Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Steve Myerscough, Andy Yelland and Mark Willett; the “Cottam Boys”

Saturday saw the triumphant return of the Wesham 10k on a breezy morning after a night of gales that had brought down a tree across the course, demanding the services of a hastily acquired chainsaw. The morning itself was bright if chilly but the nature of the course gave some shelter from the wind. There was a keen race at the front, with Joseph Moores of Salford AC moving ahead to win in 31:50 and lead his team to overall victory. Second was Luke Minns on Blackpool just four seconds behind in 31:54. Wesham’s Rob Danson, running well but not currently in key training, came in third with 32:42. John McDougall showed his value to the Wesham team placing 6th. Adam Wilding closed in the men’s team second behind Salford and ahead of third placed Blackpool, as he came in 10th in 35:59. In the women’s race Alice Bernstein of Ramsbottom RC was first back and first W35 in 41:42, with a thrilling tie for second in 43:18 between W45 Julia Hartley of Accrington AC and a stunning performance by W60 Sue Burns (unattached). Equally impressive was fourth placed and second W60 Gwen Kinloch of Burnden RR with 43:52. The Wesham team was below par with the away trips to Benidorm and Lanzarote, but Becky Ingam headed the team in 24th place (155th overall) in 49:49, with Natalie Middlemas 39th in 53:47 and Kirsty Holland 42nd with 54:18 to bring the women’s team in 8th place with Accrington ladies, Swinton and Blackburn RR taking the top three places. Vicky Gore finished 45th in 55:08; Sharlan Butcher 53rd in 56:12; training partner Dawn Biggs 56th with 56:21; Emma Wright 73rd in 58:40; Liz Sharrocks 84th with 59:55; and Wendy Hebblethwaite 104th in 63:39. In the Wesham men’s race Tom Crabtree finished 13th in 36:52, Ugis Datavs 18th with 37:42, Chris Hastwell 24th in 38:04; Alek Walker 31st with 39:00, and James Green 34th in 39:35. Steve Myerscough was disappointed with his 42:33 for 66th place, but behind him Paul Lancashire came in 100th in 45:22; Rob Wallace 139th in 48:46; Alan Hudson 141st in 48:53; Peter Rooney 151st in 49:14; Ian Nichols Hogg 162nd in 50:25; Andrew Wilkinson 200th 53;40; Martin Allison 201st 53:41; Finlay McCalman 203rd 53:44; Elliot Costello 212th 54:18; Lee Lawrenson 216th 54:23; Andrew Moore 229th 55:13; Paul Carter 247th 56:33; Colin Smy 255th 57:16; and Stephen Twist 294th 59:56

Shortly after the completion of the Wesham 10 the third Mid Lancs Cross Country League fixture in the 2021/22 season took place incorporated in the Cross Challenge event in Sefton Park Liverpool. For many years this event has been a challenge for Wesham members to participate in both their club event in the Wesham 10k in the morning and the cross country in the afternoon, which precipitated an earlier start, which was reciprocated in the Cross Challenge. It is physically possible with a fair wind for the men to do both, but not the women, but it does provide a real if not desired athletic challenge. However, this year the Wesham women fielded a team, with Kay Twist leading the way in a very good 72nd position with a time of 40:35 for the 8km two lap course. Julie Paton finished 83rd with 42:42, and Anne Mayers-Smith 88th with 43:20. Being also a selection race for the European cross country the event attracts the finest in the UK, with Jess Judd (Blackburn) first home in the Mid Lancs in 26:29, Mhari Maclennan (Preston) second in 27:39, and Alex O’Brien third with 29:41. The Wesham team were 25th overall and 13th W35s. In the incorporated Men Over-70 race Dave Young placed 3rd in 45:11 and Peter Bartlett 5th in 53:28, with the team winning the category overall. In the Senior Men’s 10km over 3 large laps Mark Bellfield placed 78th in 37:26; Phil Quibell 173rd and 4th M60 in 43:21; John Collier 197th and 7th M60 with 45:46; and James Danson 222nd and 24th M50 in 52:31. The Over-50s placed 10th team but unfortunately the quartet were short of any other categories.

The morning 10k and the afternoon cross country was followed up by a resumption of Wesham’s annual dinner dance, for the second year at the Villa in Wrea Green, and a splendid night of celebration was had by all. The events also included the club awards for the year, with none made last year and this time with no race championships, although club standards were awarded and the Most Improved. In the Club Standards, for Bronze Tanya Shaw (W40), Sharlan Butcher (W45) and Debbie Myerscough (W55); Silver Peter Rooney (M60); and Gold Sue Coulthurst (W50). The Club Coaches Award was given to Andy Moore; and the Runners Runner Award was the Male to Mark Belfield and Female to Tanya Shaw. The Most Improved Runner (Male) was Mark Belfield for his outstanding marathon pb, associated running performances, and his contributions to the current cross country team. The Most Improved Female was Tanya Shaw for her dedicated training and consequent focused race performances. The Chairman’s Award for overall contribution to the club was made to David Taylor for his sterling efforts as Race Director for the Wesham 10k.

There were five Wesham finishers in the Benidorm 10k associated with a jolly club holiday. Nigel Shepherd clocked 42:35 for 183rd place and 4th M60, with Mick Edge taking 5th M60 in 219th place overall in 43:44. Carmel Sullivan finished 2nd W55 and 306th overall in 46:38 with Suzanne Leonard winning the W50 category in 47:12 in 329th place. George Kennedy placed 330th overall and 11th M60 in 47:13.

Wesham’s competition year for 2009 ended last Saturday with their triumphal 10km that boasted a good quality field and a record 466 runners out of an entry of 600, with 16 Wesham ladies and 43 men running. But the day was again blighted by a clash with the Mid Lancs Cross Country in Liverpool, and with the club’s annual dinner dance and presentation in the evening it was a very busy day. The cooler conditions continued this week but otherwise the weather was perfect for the Wesham 10k on Saturday morning. Away from the start, Blackpool’s Stuart Robinson took the bull by the horns and instantly opened up an unassailable lead. Wesham’s club champion and leading Britain in the New York Marathon Steve Littler took up the chase with Jonathan Ferguson or Rossendale, and the three of them produced the fastest times of the day, all under 33 minutes with Littler 2nd overall in 32:44, just 26 seconds behind Robinson and a mere 4 seconds clear of Ferguson. Paul Guinan and Jonathan Green were also 4 seconds apart in 4th and 5th but 76 seconds adrift. Barry Norman was challenged by on-form Jason Barlow but pushed on in the second half and the pair finished 12th and 13th for Wesham in 35:03 and 35:30. Alex Rowe also gained ground in the second 5km and crossed the line 14th and 1st M50 in 34:45. It was a close match for the men’s team, but Wesham regained the trophy by 10 points from Blackpool. The women’s race was not as close, with Gemma Unsworth a clear winner in 37:42, ahead of Wigan’s Maria Lowe who finished 2nd with 38:40. Karen Bridge of Eden runners, who brought a team down for the day came in 3rd and 1st W40 in 39:07. Joanna Goorney was Wesham’s leading lady, finishing an admirable 4th overall to seal her position as Wesham’s woman champion after a year blighted with injury, recording 40:13 for the 6.2 miles placing 2nd W40. Carmel Sullivan came in 5th with 40:19, 3rd W40, a tremendous run after also having been injured for a long while. Michaela Dempsey rounded off a good year with 41:12 in 10th place, securing the women’s team in 2nd place behind Blackpool but just 3 points behind. Sarah Sherratt was 13th and 1st W35 with 42:47; Kath Hoyer 21st and 1st W45 in 44:50; Nicola Unsworth 26th in 45:48; Jenny Salt 28th with 45:51; Helen Lawrenson 35th with 47:09; and Tracey Hulme 38th with a new personal best of 47:45. There was a close battle in the Wesham men’s ‘B’ team, with Joe Hodkinson showing his form to come through and take 16th place in 36:00. Steve Myerscough similarly made ground and was 18th in 36:12 for 4th M35, as Karl Lee dropped back slightly to finish 21st with 36:16. John Collier won the M55 category with a 26-second margin, running 37:08 in 27th place overall. Trevor Rayner has been running very well and showed it here with 37:31 for 29th place. Martin Bates is also showing a return to his true form, with 37:38 in 32nd place. Lee Barlow was off the pace with 37:50 for 34th position, but Mick Edge scored another personal best with 38:06 for 39th place. John Bertenshaw came in 7th M50 and 49th overall with 38:52 on his comeback trail, just holding off Graham Cunliffe who placed 9th M50 and 52nd overall with 39:00. In the afternoon just three Wesham men travelled down to Liverpool for the Mid Lancs Cross Country, which was incorporated yet again in the UK Cross Challenge meeting. Unpopular with most Mid Lancs clubs there was a strong Merseyside turnout giving a swelled field. Charlie Pass had an excellent run having not entered the morning’s 10k, and he covered the 3-lap 9.8km course in 33:21, 20th in the Mid Lancs and 135th overall. Alex Rowe doubled up with the Wesham 10k, finishing 69th in the Mid Lancs, 206th overall and 2nd M50 in 36:22. Russell Mabbett also doubled up with the Wesham 10k, finishing 143rd in the Mid Lancs and 378th overall with 43:09. Following the presentation evening at Wrea Green’s Ribby Hall, only two Wesham runners made it out on Sunday for a race, with Dave Waywell finishing 56th and 1st Over-60 with 44:15 in the David Staff Memorial Race from the bandstand in Sunnyhurst Wood 5.1 miles up and past Darwen Tower with 1200ft of climb. Kath Hoyer finished 19th woman and 9th Over-40 in 54:16.


Ugis Datavs strides his stuff

The main focus of the week for Wesham Road Runners in 2018 was their annual 10k road race on Saturday morning, which attracted not only a record entry but a record number of finishers. It also marked another win for Rob Danson who crossed the finish line in 32:23. Not a record for him this time but he headed a stellar Wesham team, with Gareth Booth 2nd in 34:28 and the M45 win, followed up by Ugis Datavs in 5th place with a time of 36:11;  David Taylor 11th in 37:18 and Lee Barlow 12th with 37:27 finishing 3rd M45, adequately securing the senior men team win.

The leading woman in the race was Jill Jefferson of Red Rose in 42:19, a W60 with one of the best performances in UK history. Wesham’s first finisher was Emma Lund in 8th position with 45:53, 106th overall and 1st W35. Helen Lawrenson was 9th in 45:58 in 108th place and placing 4th W45. Suzanne Leonard was 16th and 5th W45 in 48:36, 148th overall. There were 60 Wesham runners in the race, with Paul Gregory finishing 1st M40 and 15th overall in 37:40; World Ironman Ian Garrod 2nd M55 in 41:01, 41st overall; Peter Cruse 3rd M55 with 41:02, 42nd; Nigel Shepherd 2nd behind only Paul Muller in 42:14, 56th; Alan Hudson was 3rd M65 in 47:40, 134th;

and Dave Young 3rd M70 with 54:18, 265th overall. Andrew Harling was 17th in 38:34; Thomas Crabtree in 27th in 39:58; Mark Renshall 28th in 40:00; Jason Barlow 34th with 40:23; Chris Hastwell 35th in 40:33; Steve Myerscough 62nd with 42:48; Paul Lancashire 65th in 43:06; Elliot Costello 67th in 43:19; Stuart Clayton 71st with 43:40, 7th M50; Graeme Taylor 72nd in 43:43; Neil Whipp 76th in 43:57; Rob Wallace 44:18; Jonathon Sanderson 93rd in 44:49; Stephen Browne 127th with 47:13; George Kennedy 148th in 48:36; Dave Marsland 163rd and 8th M60 in 49:16; Martin Allison 164th in 49:17; Ryan Azzopardi 189th with 50:44; Mark Dobson 191st in 50:49; Stephen Twist 194th in 50:55; James Danson 211th in 51:39; Finlay McCalman 215th in 51:55; Maureen Danson 49th woman and 6th W50 in 53:17, 240th overall; Elizabeth Johnson 53rd woman, 246th in 53:27; Peter Cooke and Russell Mabbett, 251st and 252nd with 53:40 and 53:41; Catherine Nicholls 59th woman and 258th in 53:56; Chris Pike 260th in 54:01; Paul Carter 273rd in 54:36; Pauline Eccleston 68th woman and 283rd in 55:10; Tanya Shaw 73rd and 290th with 55:33; Martyn Taylor 292nd in 55:41; Tanya Barlow 74th and 293rd in 55:42; Stuart Topping 294th in 55:42; Jo McCaffery 84th and 311th with 57:14; Antionette Holton 91st and 323rd in 57:49; Heather Buckel 96th and 330th in 58:16; Lucy Neighbour 110th and 351st with 59:04; James Birchall 360th in 59:45; Sharlan Butcher 117th and 361st with 59:51; Clare Belfield 124th and 371st in 60:47; Emma Wright 125th and 372nd in 60:54; Sally Deacon 126th and 373rd in 61:04; Nicola Ball 132nd and 381st in 41:47; Julie Rooney 146th and 401st with 63:15; and Joy Hetherington 117th and 439th in 67:41.The second round of the Mid Lancs cross Country took place in Liverpool’s Sefton Park on Saturday afternoon, incorporated in the UK Athletics Cross Challenge, the third event in this series. It is used as the selection for the GB team for the European Cross-Country Championships, so it is guaranteed the highest standard with athletes from all over the country taking part. The action for Wesham started at 13:05 with the Senior Women’s race incorporating the Mid-Lancs Over-70s on an 8.1 mile two-lap course with a short opening lap.  Wesham had just one woman running, Kath Hoyer, who finished 9th W55 and 99th overall, placing 225th in the main ladies’ race. In the M70s category Dave Young finished 3rd M70 (143rd in the Mid Lancs field and 277th in the main race) with a time of 45:43. overall. Dave Waywell was 4th (149th and 283rd) in 46:16. Together they won the M70 team in the Mid Lancs. In the Senior Men’s 9.8km 3-lap course Mark Belfield was the first Wesham finisher in 126th place with a time of 37:53, placing 308th overall, a good position in such a high-quality field. Phil Quibell was 6th M60 in 38:50, 150th in the Mid Lancs and 342nd in the main race. John Collier was 7th M60 and 229th in 42:15, finishing 460th overall, and Ben Wrigley was 291st (561st) with 47:17. Russell Mabbett finished 61st M50 and 314th in 51:47, 601st overall. The men didn’t finish a senior nor an M40 team but were placed 9th in the M50 stakes. Steve Littler was in Benidorm and ran the 10k there is 34:39 to finish 8th overall and M45 and 1st Brit in a field spattered with GB runners. Carmel Sullivan finished 1st W50 and 95th in 42:57, and Mick Edge managed a creditable 48:44 for 17th M55 and 241st overall. Martin Bates is also sunning himself and taking part in the annual Lanzarote Challenge, based at the Club Lasanta training facility. So far he has completed the 10K on Sunday in 50:46; the Ridge 13K trail race on Monday in 1:17:04; Beach 5K on Tuesday in 25:00; and 21K (metric half-marathon) on Wednesday in 1:53:02. Tessa Robinson not only ran the fastest woman’s time at the Lytham Hall parkrun on Saturday morning but the fastest overall as she steamed round the 2-lap course in 18:59 for a W35 age graded performance score of 80.07%. Numbers were noticeably down due to the imminent Wesham 10k and the afternoon Mid-Lancs Cross Country League in Liverpool in the afternoon. Jonathan Lawson ran 21:44 for an M50 age graded performance of 68.40%. Tracey Hulme ran the south Manchester parkrun in Platt Fields in 23:41 for W55 76.43%. John Burns ran the Preston run and he clocked 22:52 for M60 72.01%. Robert Brown clocked 25:45 with his M60 grade of 72.01%, and Vicky Gore 27:25 for W40 56.53%. Graham Brook ran Fleetwood Promenade, and he ran 28:42 in his debut at the venue for M50 52.21%.