Alex’s Newspaper Report.

David Taylor on his way to a new marathon personal best in London

It is now the autumn marathon season, or this year’s only season after postponement of all events in the spring. The Chester was able to go ahead on its usual date, and Wesham’s Neil Gregson finished 143rd in the Marathon in 3:13:04, 3:12:50 chip time, for a new personal best time by 13:51. He was 36th M35.

In the London Marathon David Taylor also ran a new personal best time of 2:48:29, placing 855th having passed through halfway in 1:22:40. Starting off with a 5km split of 19:25 his fastest was that to 20k (19:22) and slowest that to 40k (21:03), which is a differential of just 1:41 (0:20 per kilometre). Rob Wallace was 8114th in 3:41:37, passing halfway in 1:44:12 with a 5km split differential of 5:52 as he slowed to 35k but then rallied over the final 7.2km. Carl Groome ran well after being laid off the year before last following an Achilles operation, placing 9382nd in 3:47:29, 1:46:52 at halfway.  James Birchall was 19209th in 5:30:01 his pace dropping by 3km per hour in to 35 and 40k but he rallied well for the finish. His halfway time was 2:25:19, 15 minutes faster than his previous best for this distance. Karen Cook was 8156th woman and 458th W55 in 4:44:53, 24858th overall. She clocked 3:38:58 in the Trimpell 20 running a shade faster for the longer distance.

Paul Carter ran the Bentham Beagles Bash 10k over a hilly course and he finished 38th in 56:09, placing 5th M50.

In this week’s parkrun free timed 5k runs on Saturday mornings at 9 am, the Wesham London Marathon support group took in the Hackney Marshes event running together with Sue Rigby 32:05, Carl Groome (warming up for the race) 32:06, Vicky Gore 32:06 and Steven Gore 32:07. On home soil in Preston’s Avenham Park Steve Myerscough ran 20:29 for an M45 age graded performance of 70.30%, and Nigel Shepherd clocked 20:42 for M60 79.55%. In Lytham Hall Adam Wilding had the fastest time of the day with 17:54 and an age graded 72.25%, followed by Jonathan Lawson in 22:34 with M50 66.99%; John Burns 23:36 with M65 71.75%; Stephen Twist 25:00 and M50 60.93%; Kay Twist 25:07 with W50 68.41%; Ian Garrod 25:48 for M55 61.63%; Martin Allison 26:37 for M35 50.53%; Jo McCaffery 31:25 and W40 49.71%; and Mark Holton 38:00 for an easy M40 36.75%. In Lancaster’s Williamson Park Ian Nichols Hogg clocked 28:46 with 44.96% as a First Timer; and in Tooting Common Tracey Hulme ran 27:28 for W55 67.72%. Back home in the Blackpool run Tom Crabtree doubled with Adam Wilding by also running the fastest time of the day with 18:20 for 70.36%, with Lee Barlow 19:12 for M45 76.22%. Chris Hastwell recorded 19:50 for M35 67.82% tugging round ex-Wesham member Karl Lee. George Kennedy ran 25:40 for M60 64.74%; with Suzanne Leonard in 25:41 with W50 66.06%. Andrew Moore ran 27:37 for M55 57.57%; and Finlay McCalman 27:48 with M55 56.24%. Along Fleetwood Promenade Dave Young ran 26:57 for M70 68.09%, and in Rothay Park Martin Bates clocked 24:14 with MM60 68.57% while on holiday in the Lakes.

In 2008 the cross country season got underway on Saturday with the British Masters Relays in Berry Hill Park in Mansfield, and Wesham were there with an M50 team. This was an opportunity for the twice reigning national M50 champions to test the water in an increasingly competitive field, and so it proved today. The event featured two races over a two-lap, 4km course, the first race for three women’s age categories W35, W45 and W55, and Men 60 and Men70+, all run over 3 stages except the M70 which was two. The second race was for M35 (4-stage), M40 (6-stage) and M50 (4-stage) teams. John Bertenshaw took the Wesham team out over the first stage, a twisting course making the most of the woodland on the lower aspect of the park, running 16:32 for 10th M50 position, 37th overall. Graham Cunliffe took over on Stage 2, running 16:10 to make up two places and one M50 team. John Collier worked hard on stage 3 and brought the team up a further 5 places to 30th and 7th M50 team with 15:59. Alex Rowe ran the anchor stage, clocking 14:51 gaining another 5 places, bringing the team home 5th M50 team, a good result, 25th overall in a cumulative time of 63:32. The M50 winners were Oxford City with 58:28, but the Wesham men were a further 2 minutes behind the bronze medal winners Barnet & District. There were seven Wesham runners in the Great North Run with 50,000 other competitors from Newcastle’s Town Moor to the South Shields promenade along the undulating course. Andrew Whaites was the first finisher of the bunch, with a tremendous time of 1:24:38 for 241st place. Tony Kemp was a little further back in the masses, clocking 1:38:59 to finish 2323rd. Nichola Unsworth was 5558th and 632nd woman in 1:47:37; and Chris Moss was 6856th with 1:50:14. Peter Cooke was pleased enough with his 1:55:30 in 9853rd place, although 16 minutes slower than when he last ran it 8 years ago the race has grown in size, and he has had back problems in the ensuing years. Lisa Whitlock was 4917th woman and 19672nd overall with 2:11:18; Sue Jones was 20436th and 5265th woman in 2:12:43; and David Wells 22848th in 2:17:07. As usual there was a tremendous atmosphere on the course and the good weather helped after a bad day on Saturday. Far away from all the hullaballoo on Tyneside on Sunday Lee Barlow was Wesham’s first finisher in the challenging Burnley Fire Station 7-mile road race, clocking 41:57 over the hilly course up towards Cliviger to finish a fine 7th place. Alan Hudson had a storming run to take the M55 age group by the scruff of its neck, coming in 18th with a time of 43:39. Carmell Sullivan had an excellent run, coming in 4th woman and 1st w40 in 47:24, 47th overall, and Michaela Dempsey, fresh from the Coniston Trail race the previous day, was 7th and 2nd W40 in 50:22, 57th overall. Steve Myerscough returned from a layoff after a busy period to run 44:02 for 20th place, with Peter Cruse just behind in 22nd place with 44:07. Mick Edge returned after a back injury to cross the line 6th M45 and 39th overall in 47:37. Simon Eaton, a little tired after his run at Coniston the previous day, took it a little easier and ran 51:56 for 65th place. Nigel Shepherd was 10th M50 and 82nd overall in 54:05; John Howorth 106th and 11th M55 with 56:49; Reg Chapman 4th M60 and 112th overall in 57:48, and the race founder, John Whiteman, finished an excellent 3rd M65 with 65:17, 147th overall. Simon Eaton was 26th in the Coniston Trail Race on Saturday, running 47:14 for the shortened 10.8km course on low-level ground after one of the wettest periods known in the Lake District. Michaela Dempsey came in 18th woman and 5th Over-40 in 55:34, 107th overall, and Anne Docherty was 85th, 12th W50 and 281st overall in 1:09:27. There were 302 finishers.

More recently in 2012, Olympic year, it was a weekend of great action from Wesham Road Runners with many successes across the North West and Cumbria, with good weather just holding off until Sunday evening. The Wesham women fielded three teams in the Northern Athletics 4-Stage Road Relays at Leigh Sports Village with glorious autumn sun on Saturday, and team captain Kerry Eccles mixed the teams around to even out the score between them and ensure the slower ladies had a run in the pack. In the ‘A’ team Jen Thompson (16:27), Linzi Young (15:26), Bernadette Dickinson (17:42) and Helen Lawrenson (14:52) finished an excellent 31st overall with a total time of 1:02:27 for the 4 x 4100m course (16.4km). The ‘B’ team were Vicky Barlow (17:40), Tara Fisher (16:11), Sue Jones (19:53) and Claire Bateman-Stephenson (18:49) for 53rd place in 1:12:33. The ‘C’ team ran 1:15:08 for 55th place, with Carmel Sullivan (17:02), Claire Hardman (22:18), Kath Hoyer (19:09) and Laura Wilsdon (16:39). In the Men’s 6-Stage over a two-lap 6.4km course Alan Glasgow took Stage 1 with 25:28; Stephen Oliver on Stage 2 ran 24:43; Dave Waywell 28:22 on Stage 3; Dave Young 31:25 on Stage 4; John Collier 23:32 on Stage 5; and on Stage 6 kingpin Rob Danson pulled out 20:26 for a great run to put the team 85th with a total time of 2:33:56 for the 38.4km. With the first 30 teams to qualify for the English National 6-Stage Road Relays it was a shock that this event was cancelled this week due to an outbreak of e-coli at the venue Sutton Park in Birmingham. Saturday’s good weather was very favourable for the tough hilly Langdale Marathon and Half Marathon run on the circuit from Great Langdale through Elterwater and Little Langdale. Wesham’s Steve Littler unexpectedly retuned to winning ways in the Half Marathon with a fine 1:19:52, somewhat slower than his best which is outshone by his magnificent marathon course record but an excellent start back after a year out with back and groin injuries. He was nearly two minutes clear of second placed Paul Kaiser of Valley Striders on this hilly circuit, well suited to Littler. Simon Eaton finished 2nd M40 and 24th with 1:35:52, a very good performance, and Alan Taylor was 127th with 1:53:02; Finlay McCalman 281st in 2:19:25. It was the full marathon that caught Wesham members alight, with Charlie Pass following up on last year’s half marathon win with 3rd this year in the Marathon with a great run in 3:11:51 for the tough two laps of the 13.1 distance run in the warmest part of the day. Emma Lund was 2nd woman and 18th overall in 3:32:59 a superb run and shows she can go the distance on the most challenging course. Nigel Shepherd was 49th and 6th M50 in 3:54:34 and he relishes these tough Lakeland events. John Bertenshaw had to hold himself back as his intention was for a long tough run in his preparations for the Preston Guild Marathon and he delivered with two even splits to finish 53rd with 3:58:26. Charles Colby struggled with the first half and only completed the first lap but Angela Colby was up for the full distance and she was 8th woman, 2nd W40 and 62nd overall in 4:02:57. Troy Watson was similarly testing the water and he came in 73rd in 4:12:26. Karl Lee finished 2nd in the inaugural Run the Lanes 10-mile road race organised by Wesham from the Salwick site at Lea. He ran his best ever time of 57:42, a creditable performance and shows off his new training regime. John Collier was 1st M55 and 9th overall with 1:03:48. Gary Barnett was 1st M45 and 11th in 1:05:10, and Duncan Carter 15th and 4th M40 in 1:08:43, giving Wesham the 4-man team win. Sarah Sherratt was 4th woman, 1st W40 and 27th with 1:14:22 closely followed by Helen Lawrenson who was 5th, 2nd W40 and 28th in 1:14:48. Nicola Unsworth was 6th and 32nd, 3rd W40 in 1:16:36 to seal the Wesham women’s team win. Jen Thompson was 9th woman and 46th with 1:20:47 and Vicky Barlow 16th and 62nd, 4th W35 in 1:28:35. Phil Leaver was 30th and 3rd M55 in 1:16:06; James Davenport 33rd in 1:16:40; Jon McLeod 56th and 5th M40 with 1:24:19; and John Howorth was 64th and 3rd M60 in 1:29:22. Dave Young was 67th and 4th M60 in 1:30:31 having run the Northern 6-Stage relays the day before, and Dave Jones was 78th and 5th M60 in 1:39:38. Gary Moore ran the Scafell Fell Race following up on last month’s Ben Nevis race and he finished 65th and 6th M50 in 1:35:46 over 4.5 miles and 3000ft climb. He just missed the Snowdon race for the big triple.