Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Wesham trophy winners in brighter times last year in Benidorm

Last week saw the culmination of Wesham’s virtual running challenge for November, to complete a 5km, 10km, and a 5-mile run, the latter with the final mile the fastest of that session. There was an option to run in pairs to add inspiration. The 5km witnessed 26 members taking part, with Tom Crabtree clocking the fastest time of 17:03, a swift solo run. Lee Barlow clocked 20:54 for second fastest with Nigel Shepherd third with 21:19. Fastest woman was Kay Twist in 25:27 with Sharlan Butcher second in 27:44 and Dawn Biggs third with 27:59. Karen Cook ran 28:18; Emma Davies and Julie Kinsey as a pair 29:43; Kerry Eccles and Tanya Barlow in a pair 35:36; and Julie Rooney and Sue Hopcroft paired up for 38:01. Carl Groome ran 21:47; Stuart Topping 22:07; Steven Gore 22:08; Troy Watson 22:17; John Burns 23:08; Tony Leach 23:42; Martin Allison 26:17; Steve Twist 27:34; Peter Rooney 27:39; Peter Cooke and Finlay McCalman paired in 30:46; and the Over-70 pair Dave Young and Peter Bartlett 33:05. There were also 26 runners in the 10k, with Ugis Datavs fastest in 34:45. Lee Barlow again clocked second in 42:57. Third was Tom Crabtree in 45:26. First woman was Antoinette Holton with 54.28; second Kay Twist in 58:06 and third Karen Cook 59:48. Julie Kinsey ran 1:00:03; Dawn Biggs 1:02:49; and Kerry Eccles and Anne Berry in a pair 1:02:52; Sharlan Butcher 1:03:24; and Julie Rooney and Sue Hopcroft as a pair 1:15:09. Carl Groome clocked 48:13; Peter Rooney 48:21; John Burns 49:30; Troy Watson 49:32; Tony Leach 49:46; Martin Allison 50:30; Stuart Topping and Steve Gore together 51:25; Nigel Shepherd 56:39; Steve Twist 1:02:53; Peter Cooke 1:04:21; and Dave Young and Peter Bartlett as a pair 1:07:04. The 5-miler proved the most popular with 32 members taking part, with Tom Crabtree again the fastest in 31:51 with Neil Gregson second in 32:37 and Carl Groome third with 36:22. Fastest woman was Sharon Cooper in 42:20, with Tanya Shaw in a pair with Stuart Topping second with 42:53. Kerry Eccles was third in 45:59, followed by Antoinette Holton 46:17; Kay Twist 46:47 Anne Berry and Pauline Eccleston in a pair with 47:35; Julie Kinsey 48:00; Dawn Biggs 49:06; Sharlan Butcher 49:22 and Julie Rooney 1:00:09. Alan Hudson ran 37:51; Lee Barlow 38:16; Mark Renshall 38:27; Rob Wallace 38:38; Tony Leach 38:41; John Burns 40:16; Stuart Clayton 40:33; Ryan Azzopardi 41:54; Nigel Shepherd 42:22; Martin Allison 44:08; Peter Rooney 44:36; Robert Danson 45:17; Steve Twist 48:24; Peter Cooke and Finlay McCalman a pair in 49:12; and Dave Young and Peter Bartlett 52:31. The two pairs Dawn Biggs and Sharlan Butcher and Dave Young and Peter Bartlett were the only ones to complete all three runs together Julie Rooney & Sue Hopcroft and Stuart Topping & Steve Gore completed the 5k and 10k together.

Now in December and the next Wesham virtual challenge has started, the 12 Days of Christmas, to run in kilometres or miles one each of the distances 1 to 12 on different days up to Christmas Eve. The distances can be run in any order and the longer runs can be split into two if both done on the same day. This is already proving to be very popular and promises some good action for the festive period.

Lancashire and the Fylde are is of course now back in the Tier 3 restrictions which means that athletics clubs can resume training activities outdoors, but Wesham having previously resumed meeting and raining during the summer are not reopening club nights at this time, as the dark nights and winter weather are not conducive to meeting for a few minutes in a car park. The club are focusing on the Virtual Challenges for members and there will be an online fitness session and Christmas online special for members later this month.

England Athletics are due to announce new guidance for clubs next week once the new tier structure from the government has been fully analysed. There are a number of virtual running events planned for the festive period including a virtual race series based on the Longridge 7, Boxing Day 10k and Garstang 10k, and the British Masters are running a Virtual 10k Challenge over the period between Christmas and the New Year.

In last week’s Wesham Strava training log Mark Holton retained head of the leader-board for a second week as he maintained his high mileage with 73.2 miles completed in 10:31:01. Daniel Shaw, leader for the previous four weeks kept up his mileage but another 61.2 miles was second again this week in a time of 7:26:46. Peter Rooney came in third with 51.9 miles in 7:42:46, with ultra-runner Ugis Datavs fourth with 47.8 miles in 6:02:29. Helen Lawrenson was fifth and top of the women’s leader-board also with 47.8 miles, with a total time of 10:02:17. Rob Danson was fifth man and sixth overall with 45.5 miles in 5:13:11, with Tom Crabtree next with 45.3 miles in 5:32:57. Regulars Simon Denye and Steve Myerscough logged 40.1 and 39.5 miles in 4:55:24 and 5:34:26 respectively. Lynn brown was second woman with 34.5 miles in 9:14:53; Kerry Eccles third with 32.5 miles in 5:29:52; Sue Coulthurst 29.9 miles in 4:51:02; and Michelle Tickle 19.7 miles in 3:01:14. On the mountains Helen Lawrenson notched up the most elevation gain with 4629ft with James Green second with 1874ft over 36.3 miles achieved in 4:11:41. Daniel Shaw was third with 1647ft for his 61.2 miles, and Neil Whipp climbed 1370ft in 20.6 miles in 3:00:56. Steve Swarbrick had 1368ft uphill in 32.1 miles in 3:48:27, while Paul Eccles logged 1263ft in 26.9 miles in 3:58:58. Lynn Brown was second woman with 1066ft over her 34.5 miles; Sue Coulthurst third with 1001ft; Michelle Tickle fourth up 818ft; and Kerry Eccles fifth over 771ft. Fastest pace over the week again went to Garry Barnett who averaged 6:43 per mile over 24.9 miles in 2:47:15, with Rob Danson second with 6:53 pace. Lee Barlow came in third with 6:56 over 26.9 miles in 3:06:30, and James Green fourth in 6:56 pace. Neil Gregson was fifth with 6:58 over 20.7 miles in 2:24:13. Tanya Shaw was the speediest woman in 8:30 pace over 13 miles in 1:50:30 with Alice Deacon second with 8:53 over 2.1 miles (18:39). Kay Twist was third in 8:57 for 14.3 miles in 2:07:59; Antionette Holton 9:02 for 16.2 miles in 2:26:20; and Michelle Tickle 9:12 for her 19.7 miles. The longest run was an over-long marathon at 26.4 miles by Mark Holton, followed by 17.2 by Daniel Shaw. Peter Rooney clocked 15.4 in his training and Helen Lawrenson 15.2 miles. Ugis Datavs logged 14.6 miles; Tom Crabtree 14.0 and Stuart Clayton 13.2 miles; a half marathon distance from Andrew Harling, Simon Denye and Rob Danson, with James Green 13 miles and Carl Groome 12.

Fifteen years ago in 2005 Wesham Road Runners celebrated their 21st year with a fine annual dinner and presentation at Bartle Hall, close to the scene of the morning’s 10k race at Salwick. Steve Littler was crowned Men’s Champion and winner of the 2005 Road Race Championship, and Joanna Goorney was the Ladies Champion and headed the club race series, narrowly winning from Jo Frodsham. The male age category winners were  Karl Lee (junior), Ian Sharples (M40), Martin Bates (M45),  John Burns (M50), Alan Hudson (M55), who also won the Age Related contest, Dave Waywell (M6)) and Tony Robbins (M65). The female age category winners were Jo Frodsham (W35), Bernadette Dickinson (W40), Kath Hoyer (W45, who also won the Age-Related ratings, and Jennie Thompson (W55). The Wesham 10k proved as popular as ever in the host club’s 21st year despite expectations of poor weather for the weekend that did not materialise. The Wesham club turned out 66 runners in the 391 finishers, 17 of them women, securing both the men’s and women’s team trophies for only the second time in the history of the race. With Wesham’s top man Steve Littler sporting a coat of many numbers he acted as pacemaker to guide Garstang’s Mike Whyatt to second place in 33:16 but could not head Salford winner Matt Moorhouse despite a modest 32:54 finish. A cold north wind slowed times although otherwise the conditions were good. It was Charlie Pass who was Wesham’s first official finisher who came through in the second half to overtake leading M45 Alex Rowe to finish 3rd in 33:37. Rowe finished 4th in 34:13. Gary Pendlebury had a strong run to close in the men’s team in 35:37 (9th), and half a minute behind there was a strong battle for 4th Wesham place between Lee Barlow (12th, 36:04), Ian Sharples (13th, 36:05) and Joe Hodkinson (14th, 36:09). Karl Lee took over a minute off his personal best to record 37:12 in 24th position. The women’s race could not have been closer, with Joanna Goorney and Jo Frodsham neck and neck for 3rd woman overall. In a sprint finish Goorney took 3rd and 1st W35 in 41:53 with Frodsham 4 seconds adrift 4th and 2nd W35. Kath Hoyer is running very well again and she placed 7th and 1st W45 in 44:30 to complete the women’s team. Four men went on to compete in the second Mid Lancs Cross Country in Liverpool’s Sefton Park three hours after running the Wesham 10k. Sharing a high quality event with the UK Athletics Cross Challenge and European selection Alex Rowe had the best run, finishing 106th overall and 14th in the Mid Lancs with 35:08. Les Cornwall finished close behind, employing his strong finish to best effect as he crossed the line 18th, 114th overall in 35:27. Charlie Pass felt the morning’s race in his legs as he struggled to finds pace, finishing 20th and 123rd overall in 35:40. Derek Buckley led the M50 team with a great run to finish 63rd, 212th overall in 39:10, with Dave Waywell getting the better of John Collier for 69th place (223rd overall) in 39:34. John Collier finished 74th in 39:46 (229th). Karl Lee was pleased with his run despite a tight hamstring and followed up his 10k personal best run in the morning with a solid 40:18 for 80th place (240th). Andy Owen completed the Wesham squad with a great run in 43:48, 109th in the Mid Lancs and 303rd overall out of 366. Peter Cruse and Simon Eaton ran in the Eaves Wood Trail Race at Silverdale over a 5-mile course with a 500ft climb over path and woodland trails on the edge or Morecambe Bay. Peter Cruse ran 37:04 to finish 11th, and Simon Eaton, having run 41:07 to finish 63rd in the Wesham 10k the previous day, was 32nd in 41:13.

In 2013 Wesham had a total of 24 men and 13 women running in their home event, the 28th Wesham 10k, plus a further a further 40 members helping out on the course and in the race HQ at the Queen Mary Catholic Primary school. This year the race was held over a revised course forced by railway electrification works on the Lea Lane road bridge close to the race start, but with fine and windless weather it was perfect for running and there were several personal best performances. The Wesham women were resplendent in their performance and despite not having their best team in action were dominant team winners ahead of Blackburn harriers and Darwen Dashers. Carmel Sullivan was the first Wesham finisher in 8th place with a time of 40:36 also placing 1st W45. Emma Lund was 10th in 41:22, and Nicola Unsworth was 19th and 4th W40 in 43:21. Completing the team was Jenn Thompson in 23rd place with 44:34, 5th W35. Tracey Hulme ran well to finish 25th and 2nd W50 in 45:36 and Sara Ward was 28th and 2nd W45 with 46:48. Rob Danson had prepared well for this race as a personal target and he set off with intent in the chasing group, and held his position well to cross the line as first Wesham runner in 33:59, in 6th place. Karl Lee was not quite as strong as he had hoped and equaled his recent performance in the Leeds Abbey Dash with 35:22 for 15th place. Lee Barlow had been in contention with Lee and after a battle royal with resurgent Barry Norman just held out for 18th place (2nd M40) with 35:46 with Norman 19th in 35:51. Behind them Paul Gregory had the race of his life working through the field well to earn a new personal best with 36:29 for 24th place. M55 Alex Rowe just managed to gain some ground in the closing stages to finish 25th in 36:41 and win his age category. Steve Myerscough just nipped in ahead of Jason Barlow in the last mile after the latter had run very strongly through halfway with the pair 26th and 28th in 36:49 and 37:07, 4th and 4th M40s. The men’s team race was hotly contested and the Wesham men were 3rd behind Preston Harriers and Rossendale. The day was a busy one for Wesham as always with their annual presentation dinner dance in the evening, and Rob Danson and Carmel Sullivan crowned club champions for the best performances in the club. Karl Lee and Nicola Unsworth were the winners of the Road Race Championship based on performance in a set of local races, with the masters’ age categories going to Jen Salt, Nicola Unsworth, Carmel Sullivan, Tracey Hulme, Lee Barlow, Troy Watson, Nigel Shepherd, Alex Rowe, John Howorth and Mike Walsh. Tracey Hulme and Alex Rowe won the Age Related competition while the Fell Running Championship was won by Jen Salt and Lee Barlow. Jenn Thompson and Garry Barnett were the Most Improved Runners and Peter Cooke was Club Person of the Year. The Sotos Runners Runner of The Year award went to Carmel Sullivan and Garry Barnett. After the festivities of the Saturday there was little appetite for the Guys 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday. Graham Cunliffe finished 68th in 1:08:57, 6th M55. Nicola Unsworth undertook the double and she finished 29th woman and 150th in 1:16:42, 6th W40. Stephen Wilkinson was 212th and 8th M60 in 1:23:53; John Howorth was 261st and 10th M60 with 1:29:06; and Paul Carter also did the double and he came 271st in 1:31:03. Dave Waywell and Kath Hoyer ran the Northern Veterans Xmas Handicap at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday, no results yet available.