Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Wesham group picture in 2017 at the Lytham Hall parkrun for a club Championship race

Wesham members were continuing well with the February virtual challenge of running the length of Hadrian’s Wall, 84.5 miles from Wallsend east of Newcastle to Bowness-on-Solway, with several now well on their way back on a return run. There were three who completed the out-and-back during the week, as Michelle Tickle finished on Thursday and then overshot the end of the wall over the next two days by over 29 miles. She had been overtaken by Nigel Shepherd on Monday who completed his 169 miles on Wednesday and he was not for turning back for another trek westwards! Steve Myerscough reached Wallsend on Saturday and carried on for another 19 miles. Well on their way on the return route Peter Rooney had reached Turret 24A along St Oswald’s Way at mile 27.18 after 141.82 of running; Pauline Eccleston at the Riverside Tea Room in Chollerford, at 30.64 after 138.36 miles, and Tom Crabtree making up good ground at Turret 35A at Sewingshields at mile 38.42 having just met Clare Belfield coming the other way. Helen Lawrenson was making good progress on her return at Turret 38B at Highshield Crags with 127.48 miles in her legs, with Neil Tate and Mark Renshall together at Turret 40A at Winshield Crags with a total of 125.8 miles. Steven Gore had got back to Gilsland School after 118.16 miles, and Carl Groome making good headway at mile 56.40 at Turret 53A in banks on his return journey, with 112.6 miles completed. James Green had got to Sandy Lane east of Carlisle after 104.67 miles; Peter Cooke at the Beeches in Rickerby with 100.64 miles completed; Kerry Eccles at the Trinity School in Carlisle at 99.15 miles; Robert Danson at the Eden Bridge Leisure Centre with 98.6 miles; Tanya Shaw at the Karting centre in Newton on 96.61 miles; and Stephen Twist at 94.9 miles reaching Sourmilk Bridge in Grinsdale. Liz Beth was coming past Low Farm in Drumburgh at 87.72 miles; Tony leech at the drainage channel in Glasson at 86.83 miles; Anne Berry Turret 78A at port Carlisle; and Martin Allison at Milecastle 79 in Port Carlisle on 84.92 miles. Karen Cook was approaching the end at mile 81.33 in Drumburgh at Walker House with Phil Leaver close behind at Moss Cottage in Drumburgh on 81.48 miles. Paul Eccles was at Drumburgh Castle (80.15); Sue Hopcroft at Eastonbridge (80 miles); and Sue Coulthurst at Boustead Hill (78.75 miles).

Following the UK government announcement this week about starting to lift restrictions England Athletics have responded with guidance for clubs over the coming weeks. There is a possibility for athletics clubs to resume activities in April with club training sessions and members only competition such as handicaps, but it does also suggest competitive events. The guidance indicates that full activities including competition may be able to restart towards the end of June at the earliest.  This gives a real incentive for local clubs to start planning for the summer months.

Steve Myerscough returned to the top of the Wesham Strava training leader-board as completed his out-and-back journey along the virtual Hadrian’s Wall in 19 days of effort and carried on training through the weekend, completing 71.9 miles last week in a cumulative time of 10:18:44. Daniel Shaw came to second place with 65.3 miles in 8:53:50, and Ugis Datavs was third with 60.5 miles in 7:10:33. Helen Lawrenson was the furthest running woman last week with 43 miles in a time of 7:04:16, with Julie Parton second with 38.1 miles in 7:33:23. Sue Coulthurst was third on the leader-board having run 37.7 miles in 5:55:38. Kerry Eccles was fourth at 34 miles in 5:38:18, and Liz Sharrocks fifth over 29 miles in 6:20:23. Fourth overall on the leader-board Rob Danson clocked 60.4 miels in 6:39:39, with Shaun Worden fifth with 52.7 miles in 8:41:44. Having charged back over the virtual iconic section of Hadrian’s Wall over the Housesteads crags Peter Rooney marked up 52.7 miles in 7:41:08 with David Taylor racking up his mileage with 49.3 completed in 6:08:06. Mark Belfield was eighth with 47.3 miles in 5:56:20; Neil Gregson ninth with 46.7 miles in 5:55:42, and Garry Barnett back in the Top 10 with 46.1 miles completed in 5:25:46. Daniel Shaw topped the ranks for elevation gain with 4157ft climbed, with James Mulvany second with 2300ft over 18.9 miles in a time of 3:12:47. Mark Renshall was third at 1969ft on 43.8 miles in a time of 6:42:14. Helen Lawrenson topped the women’s mountain leader-board with 1440ft climbed with Sue Coulthurst second with 1301ft.  Julie Parton was third with 1234ft climbed; Michelle Tickle fourth at 1153ft over 27.2 miles in 4:03:54; and Liz Sharrocks fifth with 1083ft elevation gain. Tony Leach was fourth overall with 1772ft climbed over 28.4 miles in 3:42:56; and Rob Danson fifth with 1702ft uphill. He also put in the fastest average pace at 6.37 per mile with James Green second at 6:53 pace. Steve Swarbrick was third on 6:58 over 14.9 miles. Emma Lund was again speediest woman at 7:44 pace over 7.3 miles in 56:27 with Kay Twist second at 8:23 pace over 6.2 miles in 51:59. Tanya Shaw was third at 8:33 per mile over 27.1 miles in 3:51:42.

Twenty-two years ago in 2009 spring took to the air as the Wesham men travelled to London for the English Cross Country Association English Championships, held once again at the proclaimed traditional seat of cross country running at Parliament Hill Fields. Well may it have been the beginnings of this now global sport on this very spot back in the Victorian days and the course remains as unrelenting as ever, with no respite over ever undulating ground that is always thick in London mud to allay the unwary. Reduced to 13km and two large circuitous laps, the Senior Men’s race was swelled to 1455 finishers this year from 1244 last by its location in the lucrative South. Wesham had just enough runners to make up a 6-man team, with other candidates stranded at home by a lack of transport. Alex Rowe led the way away from the start on the 800-metre charge up the flank of Parliament Hill itself but soon started to flounder in the morass on the other side and took a bad tumble on the second lap onto a tarmac path, limping home dejected in 508th place in 49:58. John Collier had a storming run, just a few seconds slower than 3 years ago at this venue, placing 724th in 53:01. The Men’s captain Alan Glasgow was next in, running a fine 54:57 for 847th place, and Mark Midgley came in 925th with 56:13. Trevor Rayner was right behind him in 928th with a great run to record 56:17, and Dave Young was 1426th with 1:13:31. Frank Tickner was the men’s winner in 38:02 with an 8-second lead, and in the women’s 11k Hallamshire’s Hatti Dean added another victory with 29:34, a 12-second lead. The Wesham men finished 91st out of 112 teams, a fall from 67th last year. Having said that, the event was dominated by Southern and Midland teams; Manx Harriers finished 26th but Wesham were the only Lancashire team. Sadly, the Wesham women did not raise a team for the event. With a new course record this year of 48:47 the Pocklington Snake Lane 10 has the possibility of fast times and personal best performances. The winner may have been 2 minutes clear, but 31 runners broke the hour. John Bertenshaw was the only Wesham runner in this year’s race, and after a fine run in last week’s Village Bakery Half Marathon this may have been a distance too far too soon. However, his performance of 63:47 placed him 84th in a field of 685 but 11th M50, such was the quality with a winning time of 60:08. Nearer home the Great North West Half Marathon attracted a large turnout on a blustery day. Steve Myerscough was delighted with a new personal best of 1:19:45 in 29th place as he steps up his raining for this year’s London Marathon. Peter Cruse had a good run to come in 54th in 1:23:59, with Dave Waywell 1st M60 and 96th overall in 1:26:44 as he returns to some good form. Peter Waywell took a back seat as he placed 102nd in 1:27:04. George Kennedy ran well and finished 117th in 1:28:03 and 6th M50. Simon Eaton coasted in his wake with 1:28:15 for 121st, with Troy Watson having a great run in 133rd place with a time of 1:28:42. Tony Kemp was 216th with 1:33:39, and Tanya Ashworth in Wesham colours finished 24th woman and 240th with 1:35:18. Michaela Dempsey was 25th woman and 8th W35 in 1:36:15, 259th overall, with Nigel Shepherd 292nd in 1:37:26. Kath Hoyer was 31st woman, 6th W45 and 303rd overall in 1:38:00, and Nicola Unsworth 74th, 505th overall, in 1:45:51. Paul Carter came in 610th with 1:50:08; Louise Williams 104th and 641st overall with 1:51:15; Finlay McCalman 655th in 1:51:50; Brian Porter 683rd with 1:53:04; Stephen Nelson 800th in 1:58:00; and Sharon Cooper 936th with 2:05:14. Alan Hudson took stock of the Lostock 6 road race, and was taken on the hop to be beaten into 2nd place in the M55 age category by just 3 seconds as East Cheshire Harrier Francis day, unknown to Alan, nipped in front of him with yards to go. Alan finished 44th overall in a good quality field in a time of 37:28 over an undulating course in breezy conditions. Chris Whitlock finished 98th in 40:46, and Chris Moss was 171st in 44:39. John Sharples came in 174th with 44:50, and the Wesham team placed 13th. Stephen Wilkinson was 222nd with 48:41, and George Flanagan finished 229th with 49:15.

In 2017 four years ago at the winter running of the Standish Hall Trail race over 6.2 miles Nigel Shepherd returned to off-road terrain and he finished 72nd and 7th M55 in a time of 47:58. Kath Hoyer ran well to place 14th woman and 2nd W55 in 51:31. Alan Taylor followed up his off-road victory at Caldervale last week with 134th place here in 54:14, 14th M45. Kath Hoyer was back in action in Leverhulme Park on Sunday in the Central Lancashire 5k race on the figure-of-eight course with start and finish on the track, quite multi-terrain with some gravel path as well as mainly tarmac surface. She finished 31st woman and 3rd W55 in 24:04, 157th overall. Dave Waywell was 1st M70 and 201st in 26:16. Carmel Sullivan renewed her ties with the Reading area and ran the Bramley 10 Mile race on Sunday, finishing 6th woman and 1st W50 in 1:09:44 placing 66th in the race overall. The winning time was a fast 48:55. In the North West Half Marathon in Blackpool on Sunday Lee Barlow ran 1:23:56 in damp and misty conditions along the gloomy concrete of Blackpool Promenade to cross the line in 39th place and 6th M45. Nichola Unsworth was 4th W45 and 200th overall in 1:38:26; female position not listed. Sharon Cooper was 15th W40 and 382nd in 1:49:09. Tanya Barlow made a sterling effort after a stress fracture and several years of injury finishing 21st W45 and 626th in 2:02:05. In the popular Wrexham Village Bakery Half Marathon David Taylor finished the 13.1 miles in 70th place with a time of 1:20:32. Catherine Carrdus was 28th woman and 1st W45 with a great run placing 300th overall in 1:33:57. John Bertenshaw was 8th M60 in 1:36:10 placing 353rd overall. Vicky Gore was 224th woman and 904th overall in 1:59:18 and Jayne Hurst 283rd in 2:04:02 (998th overall). A club championship qualifier attracted 18 Wesham runners to the Lytham Hall parkrun on Saturday morning. David Taylor clocked the third fasted time of the day with 18:06 for an age graded performance of 71.45%. Steve Myerscough was tempted away from his usual haunt at Preston parkrun to record 19:08 for M40 73.00%, with parkrun tourist Steven Gore 19:58 for M35 66.03%. Nicola Unsworth had the fasted female time with a good paced run to forge through on the last lap with 20:55 for W45 76.65%. Alan Glasgow ran M60 74.91% with 21:59 and Phil Leaver 70:12 with 23:29. Ben Wrigley with injury ran 23:42 for M35 55.98%; Vicky Gore 25:09 for W40 61.17%; Dave Young M65 68.55% with 25:26; Kerry Eccles 26:16 for W55 68.02%; Finlay McCalman 26:42 for M50 56.12%; George Helme JM10 58:57% with 26:57; Fran Hodskinson 26:58 for W45 60.69%; Diane Blagden 27:10 for W50 61.72%; James Danson 27:44 for M50 54.03%; Anne Berry 29:26 with W55 60.70%; Kellie Helme 29:28 for W45 53.90; and Debbie Bell 30:42 for W40 50.87. Carl Groome took in Keswick parkrun on his travels clocking 21:46 for M45 66.69%. George Flanagan visited the West Coast run in Singapore and pasted a time of 34:39 for M65 49.30%. Steve Waterhouse made a welcome return at the Blackpool run with 18:44 for M45 77.49%, with Jonathan Lawson recording 22:48 for M45 64.18%; George Kennedy 24:01 for M55 66.20% and Peter Cooke 29:15 for M55 53.45%.