The end of March has seen a bite to the start of spring with further cold weather and biting winds and a couple of stormy spells, but Wesham members ploughed on with the March Virtual Challenge and the Virtual Bingo, both welcome and innovative ideas to provide a basis for training. Members were rewarded at the start of this week with a return to club training nights as outdoor restrictions were lifted slightly to allow a brief gathering back at HQ in the grounds of Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club and a run in socially distanced groups of six as daylight returned to the evenings. Wednesday structured sessions will restart in two weeks’ time.
Three members were heading back from Milngavie to Fort William on the West Highland Way Virtual Challenge for March having already completed the 192-mile out and back. Steve Myerscough was already nearly 88 miles out and 7 miles into Stage 8 from Kinlochleven at Lairigmor rounding the corner of the mountain before dropping down towards Lochan Lunn Da-Bhra. Nigel Shepherd was also on his third stretch 59.76 miles into the trek and approaching Inveroran at the end of Stage 5. Michelle Tickle was nearing the end of Stage 3 at the north end of Loch Lomond for the third time nearing Inverarnan. In the other direction Tom Crabtree was just 14.63 miles from Milngavie having just passed through Drymen, with Stuart Clayton returning to Inverarnan descending the valley from Crianlarich at the 44.76-mile point. Clustered behind Martin Bates had 48.53 miles to go at Crianlarich and James Green 49 miles, with Robert Danson at 56.11 miles; Kerry Eccles at Kingshouse with 72 miles to go; and John Burns a little way back towards the start of Stage 7 at 73.35 miles to go. Anne Berry, Dave Young, Troy Watson, Sue Hopcroft and Sue Coulthurst were all in Fort William having completed the 96 miles, while Paul Eccles; Tanya Shaw; Karen Cook; Peter Rooney; Stephen Twist; Liz Beth and Martin Allison had all completed the outward journey and had now clocked over 100 miles each and were located between Inveroran at the start of Stage 6 and the ascent out of Glen Nevis. Chris Moss; Pauline Eccleston; Peter Cooke; Helen Greenhalgh; Sharlan Butcher; Emma Davies; Phil Leaver and Mark Renshall were all on Stage 8 making good headway to reach Fort William, with Emma Louise, Emma Wright, Helen Lawrenson, Tony Leach, Lisa Davenport, Maureen Danson and Julie Kinsey also still heading in the right direction at various points between Inverarnan (Stage 4) to Kingshouse (Stage 7).
Six Wesham members took part in last week’s Virtual Bingo, three efforts with 5-miles at tempo pace; a 3km run; and a 60-minute hard effort. Martin Bates completed his 5-miler in 42:19, with 14:50 for 3km and covering 6.05 miles in 60 minutes. Dave Young clocked 43:09 for 5 miles; 15:39 for 3km; and 6.53 miles in 60 mins. Stephen Twist ran 45:10 for 5 miles; 3km in 14:21; and 6.54 miles in 60 mins. Michelle Tickle completed 5 miles in 46:00; 3km in 16:30; and 7.19 miles in 60 mins. John Burns recorded 38:56 for 5 miles; 13:25 for 5km; and ran 7.58 miles. Robert Danson had 44:52 for 5 miles; 14:54 for 5km; and 6.71 miles.
Steve Myerscough again topped the Wesham Strava training leader-board at 70.4 miles, completed in a cumulative time of 10:01:11. Daniel Shaw was second with another consistent 64.4 miles achieved in 8:10:44. Ugis Datavs was third on the list having run 59.2 miles in 7:20:03. On the women’s leader-board Tess Robinson had the biggest mileage with 38.8 miles in a time of 4:37:25 with Lynn Brown second on 35.7 miles with a time of 8:44:47. Michelle Tickle clocked 33.4 miles in 4:56:42 and Tanya Shaw was fourth with 29.2 miles in 4:14:32. Sue Coulthurst came in fifth with 26.5 miles in 4:25:26. Helen Dutton recorded 26.2 miles in 4:17:12 and Kerry Eccles 23.7 miles in 3:55:49. Fourth on the list overall was Mark Belfield with 55.4 miles in 7:01:58; Rob Danson 46.4 miles in 5:03:55; Simon Denye on 46 miles in 5:51:08; Lee Nixon back up to speed with 44.7 miles in 5:52:23; Andrew Harling clocked 42.9 miles in 5:52:23; Garry Barnett 41.2 miles in 4:49:05; and Tom Crabtree 40.1 miles in 4:50:44. Paul Lancashire had the highest elevation gain with 2898ft climbed over 29.8 miles in 4:33:10; Neil Gregson nipped up 2657ft in 4:44:16 over 36.6 miles; Stuart Clayton saw 2438ft on the altimeter over 39.1 miles in 5:47:20; Daniel Shaw came in at fourth with 1995ft; and Mark Belfield fifth on 1879ft. on the women’s leader-board Sue Coulthurst toiled up 1351ft with Michelle Tickle close behind on 1332ft. Lynn Brown was third on 1027ft; Tanya Shaw fourth with 778ft climbed; and Helen Dutton fifth with 640ft gain. Rob Danson was again fastest paced at 6:33 per mile over his 46 miles; Tess Robinson fastest woman at 7:09. Seconds were David Taylor at 6:53 per mile over 9.8 miles in 1:07:27; and Suzanne Leonard 8:28 for 4.9 miles in 41:29. James Green ran at 6:54 pace for 35.3 miles, and Anne Mayers 8:37 pace for 7.2 miles in 1:02:02. Garry Barnett took fourth slot at 7:01 pace and Tanya Shaw 8:43 per mile. Neil Tate was fifth fastest at 7:02 per mile and Michelle Tickle with 8:53 pace. Ugis Datavs ran the longest individual run of the week at 21.7 miles with Andrew Harling running an 18-miler. Paul Lancashire clocked a long run of 17.5-miles. Tess Robinson had a 12-miler while Tanya Shaw ran 10.2 miles for her long run. Helen Greenhalgh ran two 10-milers averaging 1 hour 38 minutes each.
In 2005, sixteen years ago, Martin Bates led a fine turnout of Wesham runners at the Caldervale 10-mile road race on Good Friday on a busy day for running. There were 13 Wesham men and 6 women in this revived race, although local organiser and Wesham President Mike Carter appealed for more runners for future events. “This is a fantastic run through some stunning Bowland landscapes and offers a real challenge for runners in the hilly course. It is also a great boost for the local community here in Caldervale, which is still a traditional mill village”. Martin Bates clocked 67:29 for 18th position, chased by Andy Yelland who finished 23rd in 68:52. Jonathon Lawson was next in, with 74:51 for 41st place. Graham Vickers was chasing him to the line as he finished 42nd in 75:01. Michaela Dempsey had a fine run, with 72:22 to place 3rd woman and 34th overall. Joanne Frodsham had an excellent run to finish 39th overall in 74:21. Bernadette Dickinson was the next Wesham woman in, with an excellent 77:48 to finish the 1st Over-40. In the veteran ranks, Tony Robbins finished 1st Over-65 with a fine run to record 79:51, placing 61st overall. Dougie Brown finished close behind to take the runner-up Over-65 place with 81:24, finishing 67th overall. Jennie Thompson was the leading Over-55 woman with a time of 91:00, finishing 101st overall. Wesham results: 18. Martin Bates M45 67:29, 23. Andy Yelland 68:52, 34. Michaela Dempsey W35 72:22, 39. Joanne Frodsham 74:21, 41. Jonathon Lawson 74:51, 42. Graham Vickers M45 75:01, 46. Paul Gardner 75:47, 47. Phil Metcalfe M45 75:54, 48 Paul Carter 76:04, 55. Dette Dickinson W40 77:48, 57. Derek Goodenough M50 79:05, 61. Tony Robins M65 79:51, 67. Dougie Brown M65 81:24, 74. Alan Taylor 83:44, 78. Ian Rawcliffe 85:15, 90. Ken Munro M60 87:33, 101. Jenny Thompson W55 91:00, 108. Pauline Weller W45 93:49, 128. Pauline Mills W55 100:35. On the same day, Dave Waywell was the first Wesham runner in the popular and high-quality Salford 10km. Dave recorded a sprightly 36:16 following his Over-60 course record in the Coniston 14 the previous week, to finish 58th overall out of the 505 runners. Lee Barlow was runner up Wesham man with a good run to finish 69th in 36:53. Kath Hoyer had a fine run to finish 3rd Over-45 in 45:43. Wesham results: 58. Dave Waywell M60 36.16, 69. Lee Barlow 36.53, 143. Peter Cruse M40 39.16, 215. Peter Gleaves M40 42.52, 251. David Preston M50 44.10, 294. Kath Hoyer F45 45.43 Rounding up a busy day for running, Mark Wilson (M50) ran 30:02 in the Southport 4-mile road race to finish 170th. Michaela Dempsey finished 2nd in the Customs & Excise 10km race in London’s Battersea Park, running a fine 41:43. New Wesham member Dave Evans ran as a guest and recorded 43:55. On Sunday, John Bertenshaw ran an excellent 38:46 over a testing course in the Crewe 10km to finish 24th out of 400 runners. Karl Lee had a superb run chasing John all the way, recording 38:56 in 27th place. Roy Pickles is coming on leaps and bounds since joining Wesham, and narrowly missed out on a sub-40-minute time, running 40:02 for 36th position. In the tough Guisley Gallop race in Yorkshire, Dave Waywell recorded a narrow Over-60 victory from Leeds City’s Les Haynes. Dave ran 41:32 for the hilly 7-mile course. Dave Preston finished 181st in 49:49, and Kath Hoyer was 305th, 48h woman, in 55:30. In the Rivington Pike Fell Race, Mark Midgley was the leading Wesham runner, finishing the 3-mile race 133rd in 23:58. Richard Davies was 13th Over-45 in 24:24 as he crossed the line 135th in 24:24. Peter Cruse recorded 30:05 for 324th. In 2014 the good weather that had prevailed the previous week seemed to deter some Wesham members as there were no representatives at some local races but then it was only two weeks before the London Marathon and Wesham had one of their largest number of entrants for several years taking part, so that was the time to taper off mileage and prepare for the big day. It was a week of awards for Wesham with the club cross country presentations on Monday and the Mid Lancs League on Friday evening, where the Men took silver medals in Division 2 and promotion back to the first division, and the Men Vet 60s were the winning team in that category. John Collier was top M60 and Tracey Hulme won the W45 bronze medal although she was 2nd in the W45 category and Kath Hoyer was 3rd, but the medals are awarded to “Over-45” rather than “W45-54”. The Wesham women won silver medals in the W35 team category and won the gold W45 team. A fine evening was had in Bamber Bridge with seven members present. The Wesham men were team victors for the second year at the Coniston 14 on Saturday, returning to its March date having been called off due to ice and snow this time last year and delayed until October. In good conditions occasionally breezy and overcast but turning very spring like in the afternoon a large field of 1600 runners set off in the late morning for the road circuit around Coniston Water. In the Wesham squad Jason Barlow set off well in the top 10 with Alex Rowe and Paul Gregory chasing in the following pack. Once through the initial hills Rowe pushed ahead and by 8 miles round the foot of the lake and well on the way up the eastern bank he joined up with Jason and forged up the series of climbs past Brantwood, the dreaded ‘heartbreak hill’ for some he gained 15th place and finished back at the John Ruskin School in 1:27:56, with Jason 17th in 1:28:21 for 5th M40. Paul Gregory was 26th in 1:30:15 and Steve Myersough 27th in 1:30:46. John Collier was top M60 in 1:33:03 finishing 43rd overall. Nichola Unsworth was 16th woman and 7th W40 in 1:43:43 placing 140th overall, and Helen Lawrenson was 17th woman and 8th W40 in 1:44:01, 145th overall. Jenn Thompson was 25th woman and 6th W35 in 1:48:10, 201st overall and winning the W35 bronze outside of the Top 10 women. John Bertenshaw was 11th M55 and 173rd in 1:46:30 his 21st consecutive year in this event. Peter Bartlett was 9th M65 in 2:04:52 in 520th place. Alan Taylor was 15th on Sunday morning in the Muddy Bottoms 9-mile cross-country run from Bamber Bridge completing the muddy course in 1:23:34 not that far behind the winning time of 1:19:49. In the 17-mile race Nigel Shepherd finished 6th in 2:56:49 and 2nd M55. The races feature a different course each year with the route only announced on the day and runners navigate with a way-marked map having to pass all the checkpoints on route. In the Preston parkrun on Saturday morning Nigel Shepherd ran a good 20:32 for an M55 74.84% age graded performance. Carmel Sullivan clocked 20:36 for W45 79.45% and Michaela Dempsey W45 68.86% with 23:46. Alan Taylor ran 23:06 for M45 61.40%. Karl Lee was in London for the football and ran the Highbury Fields parkrun, recording 17:39 for 73.09%.