Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Anne Berry finishes the Ladybower Trail Marathon on Friday

Numbers are starting to swell at Wesham training nights on a Monday and for the structured training sessions on Wednesdays, despite still another five weeks to go until the hoped-for end of restrictions, although extreme caution will still be required. Good weather has helped over the past couple of weeks with a good opportunity for a social drink after training on the veranda outside the Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club, Wesham’s base.

Anne Berry ran the Ladybower Trail Marathon on Friday in the Peak District in the Derwent Valley. Following the reservoir bank for most of the course on good trails the race features some elevation at the northern end and some fast downhill running. This was Anne’s first marathon and one of the most spectacular in the country on a fine summer day. Quite a challenge to take on for a debut at the 26.2-mile distance.

Sharlan Butcher, Emma Wright and Dawn Biggs are running a virtual Lands End to John O’Groats and last week reached the halfway milepost with a physical run through the actual landmark in Windermere.

The planned resumption of parkrun on 26th June has had to be put back to 24th July with the delay of the lifting of the pandemic restrictions. The good news is that there are now a suitable majority of landowners that have now granted approval for the runs to recommence, although there will be some shock losses. The Lytham Hall venue hosted a trial run of its new route to a selected few last week on a straighter less restricted two and a half lap course to offer greater covid compliant environment.

Last week’s Wesham Strava training leader-board showed Rob Danson back at the top again with a weekly total mileage of 64.8 completed in a total running time of 7:13:05. Mark Holton rose to second place with 61.2 miles in 9:11:49 and Mark Belfield third on 60 miles exactly matching the previous week and an improved time of 7:30:00. Daniel Shaw came in fourth at 56.9 miles in 7:33:06 and Ugis Datavs upped his coverage to come in fifth on 49 miles in 6:03:25. Julie Paton headed up the women’s list covering 34 miles in 5:54:44 with Tanya Shaw second with 32.5 miles in a time of 4:44:23. Michelle Tickle was third on 31.5 miles in 4:37:12 and Helen Lawrenson fourth at 23.9 miles in 3:33:07. Kay Twist was next in fifth woman over 23.8 miles in 3:35:23 with Lynn Brown just behind with 22.5 miles in 5:35:37. Andrew Harling was sixth overall with 48.7 miles in 5:43:20; Neil Gregson seventh at 43.6 miles (5:27:44); Rob Wallace eighth with 41.4 miles (5:40:10); Alan Hudson ninth on 40.4 miles for the 72-year-old (5:45:25); and Chris Hastwell 38.2 miles in 4:54:47. On the hills Paul Eccles had 4,039ft of climbing to take the Monarch of the Mountains for the week over 17.8 miles in 2:39:54. Nigel Shepherd came in second at 3,521ft over 26.4 miles in 5:03:36, and Rob Danson with 2,987ft elevation gain. Michelle Tickle topped the women’s elevation leader-board and was 8th overall with 1,400ft climbed with Julie Paton second and 9th overall running uphill for 1,378ft. Helen Lawrenson was third with 1,132ft; Tanya Shaw fourth with 709ft elevated and Sue Coulthurst fifth summiting 616ft over 21.8 miles in 3:25:39. Daniel Shaw was fourth overall on 2,953ft over his 56.9 miles, and Paul Lancashire fifth with 2,002ft for 21.7 miles in 3:04:04. James Mulvany was sixth with 1,545ft; Mark Belfield seventh at 1,496ft; Richard Davies 10th overall on 1,276ft across 5.9 miles in 1:13:57; Steve Myerscough 1,171ft over 35.5 miles in 4:57:37; and Martin Bates 13th at 1,050ft in 2:46:19 over 17 miles. On average pace Alek Walker topped the rankings with Rob Danson both on 6:41 per mile, Alek clocking 10 miles in 1:06:50. David Taylor was third at 6:56 per mile over 20.2 miles in 2:20:03, with Garry Barnett fourth at 6:58 pace for 25.3 miles in 2:56:15. Andrew Harling was fifth on 7:03 a mile and Chris Haines sixth on 7:05 pace for 5.7 miles in 40:22. Tess Robinson was fastest woman last week at 7:28 per mile for 5.4 miles in 40:19 with Emma Lund second on 8:05 per mile over 6.5 miles in 52:33. Tanya Shaw was third on 8:45 pace; Michelle Tickle fourth with 8:48 per mile; and Helen Lawrenson fifth with 8:55 pace. Longest runs of the week were a long marathon of 26.6 miles for Mark Holton and 22 miles for Mark Belfield; 15.7 and 15.5 for Daniel Shaw and Ugis Datavs, and 14 miles each for Chris Hastwell and Tom Crabtree (33.1 miles in 4:13:46). Tanya Shaw ran a 13.5-miler; Sue Coulthurst 8.2 miles; Kay Twist, Claire Marie and Helen Lawrenson 8 miles each, and Wendy Hebblethwaite and Lynn Brown 6.5 miles.

In 2006 it was a scorcher all round as Wesham runners competed in the hottest weekend of the year so far. Performances were affected though with gale force winds throughout the area. A Wesham team took part in the 210-mile Welsh Castles Relay, travelling the length of Wales from Caernarfon to Cardiff. The best positions were achieved on Saturday, with Trevor Rayner 4th on Stage 2 (1:08:42) and Andy Yelland on stage 4 (1:01:45). Alan Glasgow was 8th on Stage 1 (1:04:14) and Julian Mawson 9th on Stage 3 (1:17:59). Runners faced gale-force winds as they negotiated through Snowdonia, with conditions easing as the relay route passed over the hills into Powys. The team achieved 6th spot on the first day recording 11:59:35 for 110 miles. On Sunday with some of the most gruelling stages through the Brecon Beacons but with the weather starting off cooler the best positions were achieved by Barry Peatfield (11th on Stage 13) and George Kennedy (11th on Stage 17), with Charlie Pass and Russell Mabbett both 12th on Stages 14 and 15 past the remote Drovers Arms between Builth Wells and Brecon. The team arrived 11th in the grounds of Cardiff Castle on Sunday afternoon with a finish time of 24:16:43. Other runners: Phil Leaver (22nd); Joanna Goorney (25th); Paul Dunkerley (18th); John Bertenshaw (10th); Paul Carter (33rd); Alex Rowe (11th); Alan Taylor (47th); Dave Young (51st); Barry Norman (14th); Peter Cooke (33rd); Martin Bates (28th); Karl Lee (26th). Back in the North West Peter Cruse was the first Vet-40 in the Bendrigg 10k on Saturday in 39:26 in blistering and windy conditions, and went on to finish 19th and 3rd M40 in the 7-mile Grasmere Gallop the following day. Dave Waywell was the 1st Over-60 in the Bendrigg race in 40:30 with Kath Hoyer 3rd lady overall and 1st W45 in 47:45 on the testing course. Simon Eaton was second home for Wesham at Grasmere in 55:28 on the multi terrain course, finishing 59th. John Howorth finished 132nd in 1:03:41; Derek Goodenough was 4th Over-60 and 169th overall with 1:08:12; John Whiteman was 236th (8th Over-60) in 1:16:09; and Mike Owen finished 246th in 1:17:47. Stephen Wilkinson and John Howorth ran the Chorley 4 Night Series on Wednesday, finishing 135 and 148th respectively with 29:08 and 30:45. Wesham had some high scoring finishers in the Stanley Park 10k on Sunday, with Keith Wilding 4th and 2nd M45 in 36:11, with Chas Linkison 7th in 37:37. Peter Waywell and Lee Barlow came in tgether in 11th and 12th with 40:05 and 40:07, and Graham Ingham was 18th in 41:28. Peter Gleaves was delighted to win the M40 category with 41:39 for 20th. Chris Wilding was 25th in 43:46; Paul Gardner 27th in 44:19; and Chris Moss 44th in 50:27. Ken Munro was 60th and 3rd M60 in 50:27. Mandy Ingham won the W35 age category with 52:03 for 18th lady, and Pauline Mills was the leading W55 in 53:36 (23rd woman). Derek Buckley took in the tough Ennerdale Fell Race over a gruelling 24-mile course with over 6000’ 0f climb. Despite good preparation Derek struggled in the conditions and finished 146th in 5:48:33. Martin Bates finished 70th in the Paddy’s Pole Fell race in 41:42.

Three years ago in 2018 It was a quiet week in athletics locally but nationally it was busiest with the County Schools Championships throughout the country. The latest round of the Inter-Club Grand Prix at Preston this Wednesday evening saw the Wesham men finish 2nd team but the other categories did not fare so well with the women lacking some key players. Gareth Booth finished 3rd overall in a fast race over the revised 4.1-mile course through Avenham Park and Steve Swarbrick was well placed in the Top 10 ably backed up by David Taylor and Steve Abbott. Tessa Robinson won the women’s race and Helen Lawrenson was well up. There will be full results and report next week. There were four Wesham runners in the Catforth 10k, which this year doubled its numbers on a wonderful hot sunny day on Sunday. Run over 2 laps of the three-times-a-year 5k route this was a fast and flattish cource rewarded with a fast winning time; 32:44 by Nick Jones of Warrington. Wesham’s Steve Abbott finished 11th in a good 38:21 to finish 2nd M40, winning the age category prize cascaded down from overall winner Jones. The heat did take its toll on some runners, and Ben Wrigley was well down with 50:06 for 65th position. Similarly, Sharon Cooper was reduced to a walk for a time at the halfway point but persevered and finished 78th in 53:13, 15th woman and 3rd W40. Pauline Eccleston was 23rd woman in 56:58, 5th W45 and 94th overall. Paul Gregory ran the opening Badger Run 10k of this year in Cuerden Valley Country Park, finishing 8th in 40:53 for the undulating figure-of-eight course. Anne Berry came in 28th woman and 5th W55 in 60:08, 113th overall. There were 157 runners in total. Steven Gore ran in the Race the Train from Bury to Rawtenstall on the East Lancashire Railway, covering the 9.5 miles in 1:21:01 to reach 32nd place. Elliot Costello finished 169th in 1:38:26. Alistair Morris, demon of the off-road terrain placed 346th in 2:05:40. John Burns ran the historic and iconic Blaydon race in Newcastle over 5.6 miles from the city centre along the Scotswood Road to Shibdon. He finished 605th out of the 4351 runners in 40:24, placing 14th M60. Tessa Robinson ran the fastest women’s time in this week’s Lytham Hall parkrun, recording 18:27 for a W35 age-graded performance of 82.02%. Matty Chamberlain ran a new personal best time of 20:43 for M45 68.46% with Jonathan Lawson clocking 21:56 for M50 67.25%. Jason Blagden ran 22:50 for M45 62.55% with Graham Cunliffe a good run for 24:40 and M60 65.61%. Robert Brown ran 25:03 for M60 64.01% and Stephen Twist 26:23 with M50 56.35%. Elizabeth Johnson ran 27:19 and had 55.40% for a W35. Finlay McCalman ran 27:32 and M50 55.33%; Julie Rooney 30:04 for W40 52.33%; Kerry Eccles 30:05 and W55 60.17%; and Lynn Brown 33:57 for W55 54.05%. Chris Pike ran 25:50 in the St Helens parkrun for M40 54.06%; the Gores travelled to Rothwell in Leeds with Steven running 19:53 for M35 67.14%; Megan Gore 33:19 for JW11 49.92% and Vicky Gore 33:28. Ann Knowles ran the Long Eaton run in Nottingham in 33:14 for W45 48.75%. David Taylor ran the Keswick run in 18:06, a 2-minute improvement on his run 2 years previously in 2016 for 71.64% completing 166 parkruns. Peter Cruse ran the Lancaster run in Williamson Park in 23:14 for M55 66.14%. Carl Groome was the first Wesham finisher in the Blackpool run in a time of 20:22 for an M45 grade of 71.85%; Nigel Shepherd clocked 20:59 for M60 76.41%; Dave Marsland 22:33 for M60 72.36%; Stephen Browne 23:03 for M50 65.00%; George Kennedy 23:51 for M60 67.23%; Dave Young 27:51 with M70 63.32%; and Sue Rigby 54:22 for W40 28.94%.