Wesham members completed the January Virtual Challenge to Move Every Day and well over 60 members completed this with any activity allowed any day. The challenge was for the equivalent of at least 1 mile or 30 minutes a day, so this could have been running, walking, cycling, aerobics or yoga or just vacuuming the living room! January can be a traditional period of winter blues and especially with the current pandemic lockdown and perhaps a quiet Christmas and New Year the theme was to try and brighten up the month of the shortest darkest days. And the weather was a challenge at times, with sleet and cold winds some days.
February has kicked off this week with a new challenge, to traverse the 84.5 miles of Hadrian’s Wall virtually by running or walking the equivalent distance locally. The route is the advised long-distance trail route along the line of the wall starting in Wallsend in Newcastle to Bowness west of Carlisle. This challenge will be tracked day by day to enable members to see their progress relative to each other although it is not being staged as a competitive effort. With 28 days in February this works out at three miles a day, so for those wishing greater distance there is an option to run back from Bowness to Wallsend!
This weekend Wesham stage their February Handicap using a virtual equivalent of the actual route from Dowbridge in Kirkham through Treales and finishing at the bottom of Carr Hill. January’s event was the first for a couple of months and was not handicapped; the times recorded then are used for the handicap factors in this month’s event.
There was international athletics action last Friday with the first event in the indoor season in Karlsruhe on Friday, where Dina Asher-Smith recorded a swift 60m run in 7.08, a world-leading time. Leigh Harrier Keely Hodgkinson broke the Under-20 800m indoor record at the Vienna Indoor Classic with a new best of 1:59:03 having done the same at this meeting last year, this time taking a further two seconds off her previous best.
There were seventy-nine members listed in last week’s Wesham Strava training leader-board, and heading the list once again was Daniel Shaw on 64.5 miles completed in a cumulative time of 8:20:40. Rob Danson was well pleased with his January training with successive weeks of 56.4 miles, 58.1, 58.6 and 60 mile last week in a time of 6:43:0 as he prepares for the year ahead and the prospect of some racing at some stage. Ugis Datavs was third with 59.5 miles another high total week with 7:20:22 on the clock. Steven Gore motivated by the Move Every Day challenge marked up 57.8 miles in 7:26:01 and Simon Denye was just behind with 53.2 miles in 6:23:02. Steve Myerscough was sixth with 45.7 miles in 6:17:47 and Mark Belfield seventh with 45.4 miles in 5:43:32. Mark Holton was eight in 6:18:50 with 45.1 miles; Stuart Clayton ninth with 43.4 (5:58:03) and Neil Tate tenth in 5:14:04 with 40.7 miles. The top three women were all on the same mileage with Sue Coulthurst just one mile ahead with 36.2 completed in 5:48:07. Helen Lawrenson and Kerry Eccles were equal on 35.2 miles clocked in 5:22:40 and 5:52:35 respectively. Michelle Tickle was fourth with 31.1 miles in 4:37:19 and Tanya Shaw fifth on 28.2 miles in 4:06:45. Tony Leach as Monarch of the Mountains with a whopping 5157ft of elevation gain over 30.4 miles completed in a time of 3:54:05. Michelle Tickle was the leading lady in sixth overall with 1353ft over her 31.1 miles. Second on the list was Daniel Shaw with 2592ft and Simon Denye was third climbing 1759ft. Rob Danson was fourth with 1649ft ascended and Mark Belfield fifth on 1501ft. Helen Lawrenson was second woman on the mountains in 9th place overall with 1253ft and Sue Coulthurst third on 961ft. Kerry Eccles was fourth with 709ft climbed with Tanya Shaw right behind on 696ft. Rob Danson was the fastest paced member last week with an average time per mile of 6:43 for his 60 miles. Garry Barnett was second again with reliable consistency on 6:45 pace over 38.3 miles run in 4:18:31. James Green was third at 6:48 pace over 39.4 miles in 4:27:55, and Simon Denye fourth at 7:12 pace per mile. Chris Haines was fifth with 7:20 18.8 miles at 2:17:52, and Tom Crabtree sixth with 7:23 for 31.2 miles in 3:50:22. Fastest woman was Tanya Shaw, training hard at 8:45 pace over her 28.2 miles with Julie Kinsey second on 8:47 pace over a 5km distance in 27:14. Michelle Tickle was third speediest at 8:55 per mile over her 31.1 total, and Helen Lawrenson fourth on 9:10 per mile. Karen Cook was fifth at 9:17 over 5km in 28:47.
Eleven years ago in 2010 An otherwise quiet week for racing was augmented with a clutch of races re-arranged from three weeks before when the area was gripped with snow and ice. The main event for Wesham was the Pennine Bridleway Relay, the 47-mile 5-stage event from Waterfoot around the Mary Townley Loop that attracts most of the local clubs. Wesham had two teams, an ‘A’ team and a Mixed Team competing this year, and a good day’s running was had by all. Alex Rowe and Jason Barlow were first off on Stage 1, 8.5 miles with 1361’ of ascent from Waterfoot to the Long Causeway, with a good start in fine conditions. Jason was setting the pace and with a good effort up the final 1½ mile climb to the changeover the pair finished 9th in 1:00:23. Lee Barlow and Steve Myerscough were on Stage 2, the longest stage with 12.5 miles over the moors and down to Callis Bridge near Hebden Bridge. With 1560’ of climbing they completed the run in 1:45:02 in 25th position. They were the 45th fastest over this stage. Mick Edge and Chris Whitlock took on Stage 3, 9.5 miles with 1570’ climb. This stage has a big climb at the start and hen levels out, with a real sting in the tail of a monster ascent from the valley at Bottomley to the changeover at Summit, and the completed the stage 29th in 1:13:50, 41st fastest. On Stage 4, 5.5 miles with 735’ ascent, Gary Moore and Simon Eaton were 24th with a good 45:04, 26th fastest, finishing at the Lobden Golf Course high above Whitworth on the moor in glorious conditions. Peter Waywell and Richard Davies put in a great finish with 1:13:42 for the 9.5 miles and 1390’ climb, bringing the team up to 23rd with a final time of 5:58:02 having run the 17th fastest time on Stage 5. John Bertenshaw and Tracey Hulme set off the Wesham Mixed team over Stage 1 with a fine run despite the icy conditions underfoot, competing the 8.5 miles in 1:23:50 to come in 75th of the 92 teams that started. Sarah Sherratt and Carmell Sullivan proved a good paring for the long stage 2, picking up to 66th place with an excellent 1:50:04, 61st fastest. John Sharples and Alan Taylor ran the hilly Stage 3, maintaining the position with 65th fastest on the stage with 1:21:45. Joanna Goorney and Julie Cruse paired up for Stage 4, running 1:04:27 to finish 69th. Russell Mabbett and Graham Vickers had the glory leg up Rooley Moor to Top o’ Leach and Cowpe Moss, picking up 5 places to come in 64th with 1:30:09 and a final time of 7:10:15 for the 47 miles. Steve Littler was the winner in the re-arranged Garstang 10k in clear conditions after the night had brought heavy sleet to the Fylde coast. In 32:53 he had a fine run to win by 12 seconds in a close race that saw him get away in the latter stages. The three chasers were only separated by 6 seconds. Barry Norman was the runner-up for Wesham in 8th place overall with a fine 35:30 as the field started to spread out. Karl Lee added some speed to his recent long runs as he prepared for this weekend’s Torremolinos Half Marathon, finishing 14th with 36:23. Brian Yates continued his return to action with a fine 36:52 for 18th place. The Wesham men were first team on a 4-man count ahead of Lancaster & Morecambe, but they lost out to them on a 3-man team score. Martin Bates ran well again to clock 38:43 and finish 29th and 6th M50. Alan Hudson was the next Wesham runner, 1st M60 in 39:33 as he recovers from a back injury finishing 35th overall. Graham Cunliffe was chasing all the way and crossed the line 42nd with 39:51, 8th M50. Gary de Banke was close behind in 43rd place with 39:55. Michaela Dempsey was the first Wesham woman in 8th place and 67th overall, 1st W40 in a time of 41:54. Nicola Unsworth finished 16th and 4th W35 in 46:16, 129th overall, and Helen Lawrenson ran 48:49 for 22nd place, 165th overall and 3rd W40. The Wesham women were 2nd team behind Preston. Sonya Whaites was 45th in 51:47 (215th overall) and Kerry Eccles was 47th, 8th W45 and 221st in 52:12. David Preston was 112th and 5th M55 with 44:48; Chris Moss 121st in 45:34; Finlay McCalman 175th with 49:07; Peter Bartlett was 6th M60 and 178th overall in 49:33; George Flanagan 181st in 49:38; Stephen Wilkinson 188th in 50:02; John Howorth 194th with 50:24; Peter Cooke 222nd in 52:17; Neil Kitchen 229th in 52:44; Shaun Turner 309th in 63:51; and David Wells 313th with 65:39. Brian Yates had run the York Brass Monkey Half Marathon the previous week in 1:21:15 finishing 75th out of 2000 runners.
Three years ago in 2018 Rob Danson was a clear winner in the 2nd St Anne’s 10-Miler road race on Sunday in blustery conditions along the seafront to the end of Lytham Green. He covered the out-and-back course in an excellent time of 52:59. Second in for Wesham was Lee Barlow, 29th in 1:05:31, 7th M40, with Steve Myerscough 33rd in 1:06:18, 9th M40. Carl Groome was 41st in 1:08:18, 11th M40. Helen Lawrenson was 11th woman and 3rd W40 in 1:12:43, 73rd overall, with Gemma Owen was 20th and 114th overall in 1:19:18, and Kerry Eccles finished 32nd and 153rd in 1:24:44, 7th W50. Troy Watson was 82nd in 1:14:04; Simon Denye 100th with 1:17:18; Rob Wallace 120th in 1:20:28; Stephen Browne 128th with 1:21:21; Ryan Azzopardi 141st in 1:23:20; Dave Young won the M70 category in 1:27:24 in 174th place overall; Rob Danson Snr came in 187th in 1:28:50 with Ben Wrigley 198th in 1:29:42. Anne Berry was 54th woman and 204th in 1:30:25; Pauline Eccleston 66th and 226th with 1:33:24; Kay Twist 69th and 232nd in 1:34:07; and Sue Rigby 108th in 1:44:27, 305th overall. There was a new event on the block in the shape of the Hunters 10k on Sunday replacing the former Welcome Tavern race in Lostock Hall. David Taylor having run the Northern Cross Country Championships the previous day took to the streets and he finished 8th with a very creditable time of 37:13. Paul Hetherington was 26th in 39:11, finishing 8th M40. Chris Moss was 82nd in 44:39 8th M50 with Elliott Costello 86th with 45:00. Tracey Hulme was 13th woman and 1st W50 in 96th place overall in 45:39, Phil Leaver was 3rd M60 and 114th overall in 47:56, and Alan Taylor 118th with 48:14. Michaela Dempsey was back in action with 48:48 for 2nd W50, 23rd woman and 127th position and Gemma Owen finished 4th W35, 26th woman and 156th overall in 51:59. There were just three Wesham members running in the Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships, held at a new venue in Harwood House, a royal estate with rolling acres of fabulous grounds with red kites circling overhead. In the senior women’s race of 1 medium and 1 large lap Jenn Thompson finished 332nd in 47:39 for the 8km. In the senior men’s 12km of two large laps David Taylor was 261st with a time of 50:03. John Collier worked is way through the field making good progress to place 563rd in 58:39. There were 761 runners in the senior men’s ranks. It was damp and fresh on Saturday morning for the parkrun at 9am. At Lytham Hall Alex Rowe was back in action and ran 20:37 for an M60 age graded performance of 77.77%. Ben Wrigley clocked 23:51 for M35 55.97%, with Sharon Cooper a W40 65.19% with her time of 24:08. Phil Leaver achieved an M60 68.43% with 24:17 and Andrew Moore M55 56.67% with 27:21. Finlay McCalman ran 27:26 for M50 55.10%; Stephen Twist 27:27 for M50 54.16%; Debbie Bell 30:17 for W40 51.96%; and Julie Rooney 36:07 for W40 43.24%. Rob Danson had the fastest time at the Preston parkrun with a swift 16:48 for an age graded rating of 76.79%. Steve Myerscough ran 19:58 for M40 70.45%; Gemma Owen clocked 21:53 for the second fastest women’s time and W35 68.77%. Elizabeth Johnson ran 26:45 for W35 56.57%; Paul Carter recorded 27:59 for M45 51.88%. In the Hyndburn run at Wilsons Fields Graham Cunliffe ran 31:39 for M60 51.13%. Chris Pike ran the St Helens run in 27:50 for M40 49.76%; Emma Lund ran at Lancaster Williamson Park with a time of 24:02 for 62.00%. In the Blackpool run 4 Wesham men occupied the first four fastest times; Steve Swarbrick ran 17:31 for M45 80.97%; Mark Belfield 18:53 and M35 69.81%; Lee Barlow 19:07 for M45 74.72%; and Carl Groome 19:32 for M45 74.91%. Dave Marsland ran 22:32 for M60 72.41% with George Kennedy clocking 23:41 for M60 67.70%. Steven Gore ran 26:21 with Vicky the same time and W40 58.82%. Tanya Barlow clocked 26:51 for W45 59.71% and Sue Ward finished with 29:49 for W50 57.63%; Sue Rigby W40 52.53% with 37:57; and Megan Gore JW11 45.38% with a time of 36:39.