Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Garry Barnett in full flow in Wrexham in 2016

It was an exciting week for the February Wesham Virtual Hadrian’s Wall Challenge to complete the 84.5 miles from Wallsend in Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway 14.5 miles west of Carlisle by running or walking locally to home. Exciting because even as a non-competitive event with the emphasis being to get members out and moving about the leader-board changed considerably and three individuals in particular forged ahead on the return journey for an out-and-back. Seven members completed the full virtual journey to the Solway with just Helen Lawrenson choosing to make the mid-month stopover at Bowness. Michelle Tickle, already approaching Carlisle at the end of the first week completed the run on Day 9 to turn round and forge back to the 42-mile mark at Peel Crags near East Twice Brewed on one of the most iconic sections by the end of Week 2 having then completed 127 miles. Nigel Shepherd, in third position after 7 days at Birdoswald Fort stormed ahead to reach Bowness with Steve Myerscough on Day 11 (Thursday) to then steam back to 44.41 miles at Turret 41A at Thorny Doors (124.55 miles in total) to meet Sue Hopcroft coming the other way. Steve Myerscough eased off a bit and was at Milecastle 50 at Birdoswald 53.26 miles from Wallsend (115.74 total) with John Burns approaching from the Newcastle direction and having just passed Kay Twist who reached Turret 51A at 54.61 miles. Pauline Eccleston also jumped ahead with two long runs to overtake Steven Gore on Day 8, touch base at Bowness and return to Stanwix Castle in Carlisle at mile 71 with her personal total at 98 miles. Tom Crabtree also completed the outward journey and returned to Station Road in Burgh by Sands (91.63 miles at the mile 77.37 point). Peter Rooney had reached the Rampart head in Bowness and retraced back to Walker House in Drumburgh at mile 81.92 (87.1 miles) having just met Neil Tate (83.82 miles) and Mark Renshall. Steven Gore was at the other end of Drumburgh at the Post Office (81 miles) with Carl Groome at Cowan Bank in Kirkandrews-on-Eden at 74.93 miles. James Green had reached the Karting Centre in Newton just west of Carlisle (72.33 miles) with Martin Allison just behind at the Waverley Viaduct (72.08). East of Carlisle Robert Danson was in Low Crosby in Crosby on Eden (65.89 miles) with Kerry Eccles about to cross the A689 at High Crosby Farm (65.15). Peter Cooke was approaching at White Moss a mile behind at Wall Head, and another mile behind at 63.16 with Paul Eccles at Milecastle 60 at Bleatarn. Stephen Twist had completed 60.5 miles and was at Turret 57A at Beck Farm with Tony Leach at the Beeches in Walton at 59 miles. Liz Beth was at the Dovecote Bridge at Riverside (58.74 miles) with Anne Berry at the footbridge near Walton Wood Lodge at 57.21. Sue Hopcroft made the most progress over the week, having run 8.5 miles in the first week she notched up 36 miles last week to take her to 44.31 miles and nip past nineteen other members!

The February Wesham virtual handicap was held last weekend and Garry Barnett recorded the fastest time for the 4.9 miles traditionally an undulating circuit from Dowbridge around Treales in 30:42. Rob Wallace was second with 35:53 and Paul Eccles third with 36:12. Emma Lund recorded the fastest women’s time of 36:26 for a great run, followed by Michelle Tickle in second with 39:18. Tanya Shaw was third in 39:18. Michelle won the handicap outright with 51:18 with Rob Wallace second in 51:53 (35:53 actual time). Julie Paton was third and second woman in 52:01 (47:01 actual time), and Paul Eccles fourth with 52:12 (36:12 actual). Dave Young was fifth in 52:16 (43:16); Robert Danson sixth in 52:20 (42:20); Kerry Eccles third woman and seventh 52:25 (48:25); Emma Lund 8th in 52:26; Troy Watson 9th 52:35; Karen Cook 10th 52:35; Julie Kinsey 11th 52:42; Alan Hudson 12th 52:58; Sean Murray 13th 53:03; Garry Barnett 14th 53:42; Colin Smy 15th 53:47; Finlay McCalman 16th 53:55; John Burns 17th 54:19; Phil Leaver 18th 54:20; Pauline Eccleston 19th 54:38; Peter Cooke 20th 54:43; Tanya Shaw 21st 54:58; Peter Rooney 22nd 55:00; and Nigel Shepherd 23rd 59:45.

Ugis Datavs returned to the head of the leader-board in the Wesham club Strava training log last week, running 73.1 miles in a total time of 9:10:48. Daniel Shaw came in second with another high mileage week of 67.9 miles completed in 8:44:03. Rob Danson was third as he takes up the Wesham men’s captain role after last week’s AGM, last week running 59.9 miles in 6:33:21. Steve Myerscough was fourth placed with 58.3 miles as he took on the virtual challenge of a return run along Hadrian’s Wall, total time of 8:11:40. Fifth placed was Shaun Worden notching up 55.9 miles in 8:47:19, and Mark Belfield sixth with 47.1 miles accomplished in 5:42:16. Helen Lawrenson topped the women’s leader-board with 42.1 miles in a cumulative time of 6:59:36 with Sue Coulthurst marking up 38.4 miles in 5:52:38. Michelle Tickle was third with 26.4 miles in 3:58:55 and Liz Sharrocks fourth with 26.3 miles run in 6:41:04. Kerry Eccles was fifth over 25.1 miles and a total time of 4:11:25. Daniel Shaw was the Monarch of the Mountains with the largest elevation gain of 2795ft over his 67.9 miles. Rob Danson was second with 2300ft and James Mulvany third with 2259ft over 22.4 miles run in 3:31:18. Paul Eccles was fourth over 2201ft in 24.8 miles (3:31:13), Mark Renshall fifth climbing 2041ft over 46.1 miles in 6:41:04 and Simon Denye on 1745ft clocking 44.5 miles in 5:18:11. Helen Lawrenson was seventh and first woman with 1662ft ascent in 42.1 miles. Sue Coulthurst was second woman with 1246ft climbed and Michelle Tickle was third with 1129ft in 26.4 miles. Liz Sharrocks was next on the list with 831ft gain over 26.3 miles, and Pauline Eccleston fifth logging 670ft over 16.3 miles in 2:37:01. Fastest average pace was reached by Rob Danson at 6:34 per mile, with James Green second at 7:01 pace over 37.5 miles in 4:23:07. Chris Haines was third with 7:02 per mile, 13.6 miles in 1:35:39. Simon Denye was fourth at 7:09 and Neil Gregson fifth on 7:11 over 16 miles in 1:54:56. Emma Lund was the speediest woman at 7:57 pace over 8.6 miles in 1:08:22. Tanya Shaw was second fastest at 8:35 per mile over 25 miles in 3:34:35, and Michelle Tickle third with 9:03 per mile. Emma Davies was fourth with 9:06 pace for 1 mile, and Sue Coulthurst fifth with 9:11 per mile.

In 2008 thirteen years ago it had been the penultimate Mid Lancs Cross Country fixture on Saturday at Wilson’s Fields in Hyndburn and the Wesham men put on a good show but the ladies were a little below par while consolidating their position in the League. Joanna Goorney was the leading Wesham woman over the two-lap 7km course, a pleasant revision from previous fixtures at this venue, with a long lap through the woods on the slopes above the athletic track and football pitches. The course was a bog all the way round, but it was a good challenge on a twisting and constantly undulating trail. The runners were rewarded with a glorious warm day with clear skies and no wind. Joanna finished 21st and 5th Over-35 in 26:18. Carmell Sullivan returned to form with a great run, finishing 31st and 1st W40 in 27:08, well suited to the sticky underfoot conditions. Julie Cruse came in 43rd in 28:47, 7th Over-45 and completing the Wesham women’s ‘A’ team in 8th position overall and 3rd in Division 2. Tracy Hulme was first in for the Wesham women’s ‘B’ team, crossing the line 63rd with a gutsy run in 32:11, 11th Over-45. Pauline Weller was next in, with 36:29 for 74th place, and Sue Fearon once again showed no trepidation clocking 40:40 for 79th place. The ‘B’ team were 19th overall and 6th in Division 3, and the W35 team were 3rd overall, a great result, with the W45 team also 3rd. Charlie Pass set off at a pace on the initial climb from the start but held his position well, gaining ground towards the finish to come in 13th in 35:43. Gary Pendlebury ran very strongly despite a twinge on his knee and coped admirably with the conditions to finish 29th and 2nd M50 in 37:41. Alex Rowe suffering hip pain hung on well for 32nd place just behind with 38:05 for 3rd M50. Pendlebury and Rowe are battling for the top M50 spot in the League results for 2007/8, outclassed today by Barrow’s Bob Atkinson, 50 a week ago, who stormed back to 5th place after a 5-year absence. Next in for Wesham was Lee Barlow easing into 44th place in a time of 39:36, ahead of Derek Buckley in 52nd position with 40:33, bringing the Wesham M40 team into 3rd place overall and securing the M50 team the top spot with a clear lead this season. John Collier completed the Wesham men’s ‘A’ team into 3rd place, running 41:35 for 65th today after being struck with the flu last week. Alan Glasgow was 76th in 42:36, 16th M50; Russell Mabbett came in 90th with a good run clocking 43:51; Mark Midgley was 123rd in 47:45; Brian Porter was in good form with 49:23 in 131st place; Nigel Shepherd finished 152nd with 54:01; and Mike Walsh, still a non-scorer for Wesham, placed 160th and 9th Over-60 with 58:00. The Winter Warmer 10k in Blackburn has taken over from its mid-summer sister race over this course and offers the awesome climb up Bunser Lane away from the start in Witton Park in Blackburn. There was a good quality race lined up and Wesham’s Steve Littler rose to the challenge, running an impressive 32:33 for 2nd place on the hilly course. Peter Waywell was next in, placing 31st in 37:48. Alan Hudson had a great run, although he was challenged in his age group and had to settle for 3rd M55 in a good time of 38:32 for 39th place overall. Simon Eaton placed 56th, coming across the line in tandem with Gary de Banke (57th) in 39:51. Chris Whitlock returned to athletics after a period playing football, and ran 43:08 in 91st place. Colin Waites was 151st with 46:49; Stephen Wilkinson 159th with 47:08; John Howorth 166th in 47:51; Dougie Brown was 2nd M70 in an excellent 48:38; Brian Porter scored a weekend double with 48:45 in 180th; George Flanagan was 224th in 51:25; and Scott Munday was 366th with 65:29. Pauline Weller lead the way for the Wesham women, with 54:55 for 54th place and 2nd W50; Anne Docherty was 55th in 55:25 and was 3rd W50; Sue Fearon another weekend double racer was 86th in 63:40; and Berni Ashworth was 90th in 65:29, finishing with Scott Munday. Both the Men’s and Women’s teams tantalisingly placed 4th. Sarah Sherratt took on the toughest of races on Sunday but had advantage of the superb weather in the 11-mile Winter Hill race with 2700’ of climb, finishing 19th woman and 163rd overall in 2:34:27. Nigel Shepherd showed he is the man for the off-road life, following up his Saturday run in the Mid-Lancs cross country with another challenge here, completing the tough course 178th in a fine 2:42:06. The 5th Kendal Winter League proved popular with Wesham runners as Peter Cruse finished 36th (11th M40) in 41:00; Martin Bates 39th and 7th M50 in 41:56; Michaela Dempsey 6th lady in 47:11 (53rd overall); and Helen Jolly 12th lady (63rd overall) in 56:46 for the 4-mile race over 1200ft of climb. Levon Bates was 43rd with 10:09 in the Under-12s 0.6-mile race with 80ft climb; Ellis Jolly was 29th in 8:14. In 2016 this week at the fifth Mid Lancs Cross Country fixture athletes found a new venue and a new organiser; Thornton Cleveleys Running Club at Rossall School between Cleveleys and Fleetwood. In architecturally stunning surroundings there was an interesting and challenging course on mainly flat fields but featuring sand-dunes, some rough ground and a section along the original course of the Fleetwood Tramway. Being local for some Wesham members ensured the club had a good team turnout and also a supply of marshals. The senior Women were off first on a two-lap course of 6km. Helen Lawrenson was the first to cross the finish line, clocking 29:56 for the 3.75 miles placing 9th W45 and 31st overall. Jenn Thompson was 17th W35 in 59th place with a time of 32:25. Gemma Owen ran well and did her bit for the team finishing 73rd and 23rd W35 in 34:22. Kerry Eccles came in 23rd W45 and 80th overall with 34:52. The women’s senior team placed 18th overall; and the W35s 8th. Simon Denye led the Wesham men in the Senior Men’s 3-lap course of 10.4km, finishing 10th M40 and appropriately 40th overall in 41:49. David Taylor ran well and he finished 57th with a time of 42:57. Lee Barlow was the third male for Wesham coming in 21st M40 and 77th in 44:12. Steve Myerscough was next across the line with a solid run clocking 44:48 placing 25th M40 and 85th overall. Alex Rowe was a little way behind finishing 92nd and 13th M50 in 45:27. John Collier produced the run of the day finishing 1st M60 once again in 118th place with a time of 46:47 for the 6.46 miles. Martin Bates finished 31st M50 and 149th in 49:30 with Elliot Costello 155th in 50:02. Nigel Shepherd finished 40th M50 and 179th with 52:00 and Chris Moss 42nd M50 and 181st in 52:09. Jonathan Lawson was 199th and 53rd M40 in 54:08; Peter Bartlett 12th M60 and 215th in 57:14. The Wesham Senior Men placed 13th team and a ‘B’ team 23rd; with the M40s 4th with a good result and the M50s also 4th. David Taylor made it a double weekend with the second Valentines Weekend 10k on Sunday in Lancaster finishing 8th in 37:25, just 12 seconds short of his best for this year so far. Emma Pass finished 3rd woman in 20th place overall with 40:57. Helen Lawrenson also followed up her cross-country effort on the previous day with 5th place and 1st W45 in 45:00. Dave Waywell placed first M70 and 38th overall in 49:11. Kath Hoyer was unusually a little further behind as she finished 10th woman and 1st W55 in 51:19, but she made up for it on Sunday with the Windy Hill Fell race, finishing 3rd W55 and 27th woman in 1:38:41 over the 9 miles and 1281ft ascent. Alex Rowe won British Masters bronze for his age category M55 in the BMAF 10 Mile Championships in the Lytchett 10 near Poole in Dorset on Sunday, running 1:06:36 to finish 39th in the race and 13th in the championship on a wonderful morning for running on a challenging undulating course. There were four Wesham runners in the Wrexham Village Bakery Half Marathon on Sunday, their first visitors for some years. Garry Barnett had a good run finishing 60th overall and 11th M45 in 1:21:42 in a top-quality race. Mark Billington was 153rd with 1:28:01, 11th M45. John Bertenshaw ran a good 1:31:36 for 210th place, 5th M55, and Catherine Carrdus was 22nd woman and 5th W40 in 1:33:08, 232nd overall. Brian Jones ran the Calderdale 11-mile Muddy shoes on Sunday, finishing 19th with 1:44:57. Duncan Carter was the first Wesham finisher in this week’s Lytham Hall parkrun at 9am, running 20:45 for M45 age graded performance of 69.96%. Dave Young clocked 25:13 for M65 68.41%; Lisa Minns 26:24 for W50 64.27%. Steve Myerscough kicked off his Saturday with 19:06 in the Preston parkrun for an M40 72.51%, while Alex Rowe ran 19:10 at Pennington Flash for M55 82.26%. Sarah Sherratt ran the Southwark event running 21:50 for W40 72.06%.