A swift decision was made at Wesham last week to switch the May Handicap back to a virtual event after only a small number registered for the planned physical event from the top of Dowbridge. Members thus returned to their own routes although some chose to run the actual 4.9-mile course round Treales. Andy Moore clocked the fastest handicap time of 51:08 with Kerry Eccles second with 52:55. John Burns was third in 53:02 and Robert Danson fourth with 53:36. Karen Cook placed fifth and second woman with 54:07 and Anne Mayers 6th and third woman in 54:13. Michelle Tickle came 7th and fourth in 54:21 with Tanya Shaw and Stuart Topping a couple of seconds adrift with 54:23 and 54:24 respectively. Stephen Twist was 10th in 54:43; Alan Hudson 11th with 57:16; Martin Bates 12th in 57:34; Troy Watson 13th with 60:07; and Peter Rooney 14th in 63:18. Positions on actual time were Stuart Topping first in 36:24; John Burns second with 38:02; Anne Mayers third in 38:13; Michelle Tickle 38:21; Alan Hudson 39:16; Tanya Shaw 39:23; Stephen Twist 40:43; Robert Danson 41:36; Martin Bates 42:34; Karen Cook 44:07; Troy Watson 44:07; Andy Moore 47:08; Peter Rooney 47:18; Kerry Eccles 47:55. Numbers were probably reduced by the bank holiday weekend but were swelled by the decision to “go virtual”. It is intended that the June event will return to the physical format and may revert to Monday evening rather than Sunday morning.
Actual competitive racing returned to the North West with the Mid-Cheshire 5k road race on Friday evening at the rural location of Kingsley outside of Northwich. Two Wesham men took part, with Rob Danson putting in a great performance to finish 14th in 14:43 in the ‘A’ race. Tom Crabtree came 155th in 16:38 with a fast run for a strong new personal best performance. David Taylor had entered but did not run.
The next stage in the easing of the pandemic restrictions is due in two weeks but does not materially affect athletics. Outdoor competitions are now possible in covid-secure environments, although most event organisers are sticking to local events, with a full programme of competition starting towards the end of June. Parkrun is planning to restart on 5th June although there is some challenge that not all venues will be available, with some fears that some landowners will not allow runners back. Wesham club nights on Mondays will start to get busier as restrictions on numbers are eased and Wednesday structured training will ramp up.
Steve Myerscough topped the leader-board of Wesham’s Strava training log for last week, running 66.4 miles in an overall time of 9:19:01. He held off Ugis Datavs again who came in just short with 63.5 miles logged in 7:41:26. Daniel Shaw was third upping his mileage to 63.1 miles in 8:38:46. Sue Coulthurst headed the women’s leader-board with 33.5 miles in 5:27:45 with Kerry Eccles keeping her mileage up at 31 in a time of 5:19:49. Lynn Brown was third woman with 30.2 miles run in 7:55:30 while Tanya Shaw was fourth with 25.9 miles for a time of 3:41:53. Michelle Tickle was fifth in 3:33:46 for 25.1 miles. Mark Belfield came in fourth overall on 57.9 miles in 7:03:38 with Rob Danson fifth with 56.5 miles in 6:21:22. Neil Gregson was sixth on 43.6 miles in 5:24:06; Matty Holton seventh with 40 miles in 5:02:00 and mark Holton seventh over 39.6 miles in 5:02:56. Alan Hudson placed ninth on 39.3 miles in 5:35:22 with Lee Barlow tenth at 37.6 miles in 4:49:31. James Green bridged the gap to Sue Coulthurst with 36.5 miles in 4:15:30. On elevation gain Daniel Shaw climbed the highest to 4,475ft with Steve Swarbrick second to 4,386ft over 23.8 miles in 3:38:34. Martin Bates was third with 2,671ft in 29.8 miles in a time of 5:18:52. Rob Danson added 1,821ft ascent to his 56.5 miles and James Mulvany 1,773ft in 29.8 miles with James Green 1,752ft. Woman Monarch of the Mountains was Helen Lawrenson with 1,138ft uphill over 20.5 miles in 3:09:58. Second woman was Michelle Tickle on 1,077ft and Lynn Brown third with 1,023ft climbed. Sue Coulthurst placed fourth over 1,003ft and Tanya Shaw fifth with 687ft climbed. Rob Danson had the fastest average pace over the week at 6:45 per mile with Garry Barnett equalling this effort over 13.6 miles in 1:31:48. Alek Walker was third fastest at 6:59 for 14.5 miles in 1:41:15 and David Taylor fifth equal over 20.5 miles in 2:23:09. Anne Mayers was fastest paced woman at 8:12 per mile over 10.2 miles in 1:23:38; Michelle Tickle was second with 8:31 pace; Tanya Shaw fourth on 8:34; and Emma Lund fifth with 8:47 for a single timed mile. Ugis Datavs ran the longest individual run at 27.3 miles as Mark Holton logged 22.8 miles for one of his three runs last week. Neil Gregson clocked a 15-miler, and Lee Barlow and Steve Swarbrick (13.5 miles each); Rob Danson (13.3); James Green (13.2); and Mark Belfield 13.0 miles.
In 2007 the Lakeland Trails series kicked off this week with the Hawkshead Trail race, a 15km race across the Claife Heights ridge with two 250 metre climbs and a 2km section along the shores of Windermere. There was a good Wesham contingent entered, with Alex Rowe the first finisher feeling the aftereffects of his run seven days previously in the London Marathon but managing a fine 18th place in a quality field, finishing 1st M50 in 1:06:39. Conditions were warm, glorious for running, but there was a stiff easterly breeze to cool the competitors. Peter Cruse ran well on the challenging course, which took in the Coffin Trail, a steep paved ascent from the side of Windermere back up on to the ridge, finishing 36th in 1:12:50. Dave Waywell ran exceptionally well, despite running into a tree at the top of the Coffin Trail, to place 48th and 1st M60 in 1:15:14, some 18 minutes clear of the 2nd Vet-60. Graham Ingham had a great run, finishing 62nd in 1:18:10, with Simon Eaton who also ran the marathon last week close behind in 66th place with 1:18:37. Martin Bates was 11th in 1:22:20, with Dougie Brown, an M65, placing 3rd in the Over-60s with an excellent 1:34:51 for 273rd place. Derek Goodenough (M60) was 355th in 1:41:47, and Finlay McCalman was 366th in 1:42:29, with Norman Bateman (M60) 372nd in 1:43:19. The Wesham ladies won the women’s team with Michaela Dempsey first home with 1:25:21 in 20th (151st overall); Julie Cruse 29th in 1:29:10 (194th overall); Sarah Sherratt 34th with 1:31:08 (225th overall); and Kath Hoyer 64th in 1:40:14 (342nd overall). In the Wray Scarecrow 10k on Saturday, part of the week-long Wray Village Scarecrow Festival 9 Wesham runners took part in the challenging race over an undulating course. Mark Midgley was the first Wesham finisher in 25th place with a time of 43:26, with Graham Vickers close behind with a great run to record 43:40 in 27th position. Alan Taylor ran a solid 44:16 in 30th place, with Nigel Shepherd 47th in 47:09. Helen Briggs held off Chas Linkison in 54th position with 48:24 with Chas 55th in 48:41. Pauline Weller was 82nd with 54:44. The Rothwell 10k road race in Leeds produced some outstanding performances in perfect conditions for running on Sunday. Lee Barlow took 38 seconds off his 10km personal best to run 34:59 for 38th place. Karl Lee took 23 seconds of his previous best with a superb 35:44 in 52nd position. John Bertenshaw had prepared meticulously for this race but succumbed to a bad viral infection the week before and had to settle for 38:00 for 103rd place, still a good performance despite not feeling good. Michaela Dempsey ran the mid-week Steve Rothwell Memorial Road race over an approximate 4-mile course from Rochdale, finishing 2nd W45 and 53rd overall in 26:52. In the Radcliffe 10k near Bury Sarah Sherratt completed a weekend double with 59:55 for 54th position in the women’s race, 242nd overall. John Howorth (M50) finished 212th in 53:07. Derek Buckley ran the Three Peaks Fell Race and finished down on last year’s performance with 3:54:33 for 112th, 8th M50. Conditions were warm and sunny but very windy on the higher ground. Russell Mabbett ran excellently last year and reached the top of Ingleborough in 3:24:57 just 10 minutes behind Derek but he had nothing left in his legs for the last 5 miles and finished 240th in 4:17:39. Phil Leaver ran 45:06 in the Whitley 10k over a challenging hilly course near Warrington, a race organised by the Whitley Village Hall.
This week in 2017 Rob Danson rewrote his performance record book with a superb new 5k best performance of 14:42 in the Mid Cheshire 5k at Kingsley on Friday night amid a stellar cast, finishing 18th in the race. Carmel Sullivan ran 20:31 for a great performance finishing 270th; 45th woman and 1st W50. Anne Mayers-Smith was 86th woman and 12th W35 in 23:50, 381st overall. Rob then went on to win the Avenham 5k on the May Day Bank Holiday Monday in 15:57 with a 17 second lead on a lap course through the park. Jason Blagden was 33rd and 8th M45 in 20:10, and Stuart Topping was 37th in 20:41. Diane Blagden was 21st woman and 116th overall in 25:27; Graham Brook was 158th in 26:52; Molly Watson 188th in 28:31; Julie Rooney 241st in 31:37. Lee Barlow had run the London Marathon the previous week; hopeful of running under three hours his early pace was on target but he had to slow in the second half but he still ran a very respectable 3:06:31 for 317th M45, 2481st male and 2603rd overall. Sharon Cooper ran well and finished 3876th woman and 15363rd in 4:08:55. The Inter Club Fell Series had its first fixture of the year at Diggle with the Saddlesworth Runners Cake Race, 10 miles and 1699ft up over the moors starting up the Boat Road so named as it took the canal barge horses from the canal while the boats navigated the four-mile tunnel of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Nigel Shepherd was the first Wesham finisher in 92nd place with 1:29:01, 7th M55. John Collier was close behind in 95th with 1:29:19 to win the M60 category. Sarah Sherratt was 11th woman and 103rd overall in 1:30:51, 4th W45, and Alistair Morris finished 243rd in 1:59:25. Kath Hoyer was 2nd W55 and 160th overall in 1:39:50; she went on to run the Wray Caton Fell Race on Monday over 6.8 miles and 1099ft climb and finished 1st W55 here in 1:04:27 in 66th place. Alan Taylor ran in the Three Bridges 10k in Lancaster on Sunday, finishing 110th with a time of 50:03 alongside the Lune with the steps up and down the canal aqueduct over the river. Dave Young was 131st in 51:50 finishing 1st M65 with Dave Waywell 159th in 55:12 and 2nd M70. Paul Carter was 223rd in 62:08. Steve Myerscough took on the 24 mile Three Peaks Fell Race on Saturday with 5276ft ascent over Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough from Horton-in-Ribblesdale, finishing the round in 321st place with a time of 4:20:09. Martin Bates ran the Coniston Fell Race, 8.7 miles and 3494ft of climb, and he finished 213th in 2:08:35, 13th M60. Jason Blagden finished 21st in the Sheriff 10k in Scorton in a time of 43:26, 4th M45. Helen Lawrenson was 25th with 44:10, 2nd W45 and 3rd woman with Nicola Unsworth 45th in 47:01, 9th woman and 5th W45. Paul Eccles was 79th in 52:19 with Pauline Eccleston 105th in 57:07, 29th woman and 7th W45. Claire Jones finished 113th in 60:55, 33rd woman and 11th W40. The Ripley Supper Run on Thursday evening in Lancaster saw David Taylor complete the undulating 4-mile circuit in 22:59. Vicky Gore ran the inaugural Oswestry Hale Marathon in 1:55:26 finishing 294th and 72nd woman. There were nearly 900 runners in this popular event. There were eight Wesham members at the Lytham Hall parkrun on Saturday morning in favourable spring morning conditions. Carl Groome ran the fastest time with 19:39 for an M45 age graded performance of 73.88%. John Bertenshaw was not far behind with 20:50 with M60 76.96% with Ryan Azzopardi 22:54 for M35 68.30% and Phil Leaver with 23:51 for M60 69.04%. Finlay McCalman registered M50 56.55% with a time of 26:44; Kay Twist W45 59.78% with 27:06; Stephen Twist M50 52.87% with 27:54; and Debbie Bell W40 51.60% with 30:16. At the Preston parkrun Tracey Hulme ran 23:12 for W50 76:01; Roger Leadbeater 23:20 for M55 67.57%; Robert Brown 25:28 for M55 62.43%; Paul Carter 31:08 with an M45 46:25%. The Wesham parkrun tourists went to the Congleton run, with David Taylor running the second fastest time of the day with 17:33 for 73.69%. Steven Gore ran 20:38 for M35 63.89%, and Megan Gore JW10 48.83% with 34:57 with Vicky Gore in support with 34:58. Simon Denye lead the way for Wesham in the Blackpool parkrun with 20:38 for M40 67.69% with Helen Lawrenson running the fastest women’s time in 20:38 with a W45 age graded 78.51%. Nicola Unsworth clocked 21:52 for W45 73.32%; Stephen Browne 23:30 with M50 63:71; Sara Ward 24:53 for W50 68.18%; Chris Pike 25:08 with M40 55:11%; Tanya Barlow 25:46 with W45 61.64%; Bernadette Dickinson 27:34 for W55 64.81%; Anne Flanagan 32:02 with W55 58.90%; Lee Barlow recovering his marathon legs clocking 32:33 for M45 43:57; and George Flanagan 35:32 with M65 48.08%.