Another quiet week with some wintry weather and festive preparations nevertheless didn’t put off eight Wesham members from the Longridge 7 road race on Sunday despite a cool overcast day with heavy fog masking the summit of the fell at the notorious Jeffrey Hill. Alek Walker ran the fastest time for Wesham, with 46:15 for 13th place. Chris Haines finished 31st in 50:30 and Steve Myerscough was 35th with 51:16 for 6th M45. Damian Ings placed 61st in 55:45 for 12th M45. Ian Blundell finished 100th with 60:50. Peter Rooney was 4th M60 in 61:09 and Louise Lord 31st woman and 8th W45 in 1:04:56 for 128th overall. Lisa Minns was 37th woman and 3rd W55 in 1:05:17 just 2 seconds off 2nd place, and 134th overall.
Paul Lancashire ran the Tatton Yule Yomp in Cheshire and he finished 119th in 52:27. His chip time of 52:19 gave him 135th place. He was 16th M35.
Monday saw a reasonable turnout at Wesham’s fourth Winter Handicap on the Kirkham centre route over Dowbridge. Ugis Datavs was first back with an overall time of 29:22, with Simon Denye next in with 30:08. Lee Barlow weas third in with 31:42 and the wily Mick Edge fourth in 31:47. Closing in Carl Groome clocked 31:59 and Damian Ings was next with 33:13. First woman was Carmel Sullivan in 33:51 followed by Tanya Shaw in 35:01 and Louise Lord with 36:21. Bev Wilding was next with 36:24. Chris Haines ran 33:27; Stuart Mulrooney 33:29; Martin Allison clocked 34:57; Peter Rooney 37:16; Robert Danson Snr. 38:37; Andy Moore 39:20; Kerry Eccles 41:41; and Vron Walker 41:41. Ugis had the fastest net time with 23:22, with Simon Denye second fastest in 24:08. Lee Barlow was third fastest in 25:42, with Chris Haines fourth with 26:27 and Mick Edge on form with 27:17, quite the spring chicken. Damian Ings was next fastest with 28:13; followed by Stuart Mulrooney in 28:59 and Carmel Sullivan with 29:51. Carl Groome and Peter Rooney followed in 30:29 and 33:16.
There were a good number of Wesham members spread over the North West at parkruns on Saturday morning. At the Tawd Valley run in Skelmersdale using the green spaces to the north of the town centre David Taylor achieved the fastest time of the morning with 18:48 for an age graded performance of M35 70.12%. Carl Groome was the 4th fastest of the day with 22:10 for an M50 grade of 67.59%. Vicky Gore ran 28:01 for a W45 56.69%, and Sue Rigby paced by Steven Gore clocked 35:20 for W45 46.32% and M40 38.63%. In the South Manchester parkrun Tracey Hulme ran 25:09 for an W55 75.02%, while nearer to home former member Karl Lee met up with his old clubmates and ran 19:03 for an M35 69.64% grade. Andy Yelland produced a feisty 20:30 for M50 73.09% grade, and Nigel Shepherd recorded 20:52 for an M60 78.91%, with Lytham’s Catherine Carrdus and former Wesham team leader running 20:55 for fastest woman of the day and W50 80.16%. John Bertenshaw and Martin Bates had a battle royale for the M65 honours with 22:39 (M65 74.03%) and 22:43 (M65 73.81%). At home in Lytham Hall Stephen Twist was the leading Wesham member with 24:50 for M55 61.88% just holding off wife Kay in 24:53 for W50 69.06%. Ian Nichols Hogg ran 24:57 for a senior graded 51.84%; Bev Wilding was paced by son Adam to a new personal best time of 26:08 for W60 73.21%. James Danson recorded 27:11 for M55 57.51%; James Birchall 29:21 for senior graded 44.29%; Peter Bartlett 32:11 with M70 57.02%, and Graham Cunliffe clocked 35:54 for M65 46.70%. in the Blackpool parkrun Lee Barlow posted the fifth fastest time of the morning with 19:16 as he debuted in the M50 age group with a 76.56% grade. Chris Haines had 19:54 for M35 67.09%; Martin Allison 22:47 with M35 59.03%; Suzanne Leonard was 4th fastest woman with 23:30 for W50 72.20%; Stephen Browne 24:31 with M55 63.22%; Andrew Moore 26:20 for an M60 60.89%; and Jo McCaffery ran 29:15 for W40 53.79%. Dave Young ran the Fleetwood Promenade parkrun in 28:28 for M70 65.46%.
Fifteen years ago, in 2006 traditionally cold conditions greeted the runners at this year’s Longridge 7-mile road race to kick off the 2007 Wesham club championship series, but a pre-race downpour dampened the spirits and made for a wet start to the challenging course up and down Longridge Fell and the notorious Jeffrey Hill at the top of the climb. The final two miles downhill features some of the fastest paced racing to be had locally and many runners take this section at breakneck speed. Wesham had 17 men and 7 women running in a quality field that was headed by Bolton international Paul Freary who won the race in a swift 37:10. Steve Myerscough was the first Wesham runner across the line, completing the course 17th in a good 42:53, closely tracked by Karl Lee who finished 19th in 43:10. John Collier made a rare outing on the roads and finished 5th M50 in 30th place overall with a time of 44:32. There was a real battle here with Dave Waywell only 2 seconds behind but separated by 2 positions, as he stormed in 34th to take the M60 top spot with 44:34. Alan Hudson was just a further 4 seconds behind, finishing 2nd M55 behind international Ken Moss, running 44:38 for 33rd place. The Wesham men finished 5th in the team result behind Blackpool, Clayton, Preston and Blackburn. John Bertenshaw ran 45:05 for 38th position and 7th M50, and Trevor Rayner was 42nd in 45:53. Peter Gleaves (M40) finished 56th with 47:32; Alan Taylor was 88th in 50:20; Andy Divall was 122nd in 53:35; Barry Edwards (M40) 128th in 54:14; Jon McLeud 144th with 55:27); Chris Moss (M40) 149th in 55:47; George Flanagan (M55) 159th in 56:27: Derek Goodenough (8th M60) 163rd with 56:40; John Howorth (M50) 172nd in 57:30; and Paul Carter 219th in 62:17. Joanna Goorney was 4th woman and 1st W35 in an excellent time of 48:42 and 71st overall, with Kath Hoyer winning the W45 category and placing 7th lady in 52:34, in 108th place. Julie Murphy ran 56:44 for 16th, closing the Wesham ladies team in 2nd place behind Accrington with 27 points. Jenny Salt ran 61:07 for 28th place (207th overall); Pauline Weller was 38th in 64:55 (234th overall); Andrea Rayner was 46th with 67:53 (248th overall); and Sue Fearon was 61st in 80:20 (274th overall). Steve Littler had a close brush with Jonathon Powell from Durham City and Vet-40 Mike Scott of Border Harriers in the Langdale Christmas Pudding 10k in the Lake District in a high-quality race. Conditions were glorious with sunshine and a light dusting of snow on the peaks. A big group of 12 headed away from the start at the head of the Langdale valley at the new Dungeon Ghyll Hotel but as the pace picked up towards the first mile mark the tall rangy figure of Powell came striding through and settled in amongst the eight breakaways, headed at this point by Littler. As they hit the hills through Chapel Stile Scott took the initiative round Elterwater but it was Powell who bided his time and sped away to win by 3 seconds in a speedy 32:03 for the undulating course, with Littler 3rd close behind in 32:12. Alex Rowe ran well to snatch 7th position and 1st M45 in 33:50 having made steady progress throughout the race to gain and hold his place. Peter Waywell had another excellent run to record 37:06 for 22nd position, anchoring the men’s team to 2nd place behind Border Harriers. Peter Cruse was chasing Waywell all the way and finished 25th with 37:29. Derek Buckley worked steadily and came in 29th with a solid 37:55 for 4th M50 despite feeling indifferent. Simon Eaton was 38th with a good run of 39:17, closely chased by Martin Bates who ran well to finish 42nd with 39:23. Graham Ingham just missed out on the 40-minute barrier with 40:11 for 54th place, but Dougie Brown excelled with an M65 win in 47:25 for 213th place. Michaela Dempsey ran 44:25 for 13th lady and 3rd W40, which was a good run and it is encouraging to see her back in form. Julie Cruse ran 47:50 and finished 41st.
In 2012 it was with great sadness that we reported the passing away this week of Reg Chapman, Wesham member and Lytham resident at the age of only 64 after a long illness. A principal at the Blackpool and Fylde College Reg will be sorely missed by friends and family alike and everyone in his long intellectual career. Further afield this week Alex Rowe donned his 11th vest for the England Masters in the British and Irish Masters International Cross Country on Saturday and earned another gold team medal, this year his first in the M55 age group. Hosted this year by the Northern Ireland Masters AA in Belfast, the planned course at Stormont had to be abandoned after a 100-year freak flood two weeks ago drowned the course and wrote off some government papers in the nearby offices. The local organising committee did a quick turnaround and organised a new course at the Queens University Playing Fields. Flat as the pitches were each one was separated by a change in elevation so the resulting 2km lap had a number of technical challenges. Rowe found he was leading the M55s over the first lap but dropped back to second and then third and came in 6th at the finish in 28:55 for the 8km having faded over the sapping fourth lap. Early rain gave way to a sunny afternoon for three international races. Closer to home the Windmill 10k in Lytham attracted 550 runners and Wesham had a good squad and Lee Barlow had a great run in his lead up to this weekend’s Leeds Abbey Dash and he finished 9th and 4th M40 with 37:14 out and back along the Promenade to Fairhaven Lake from the Lowther Gardens. Simon Eaton was a couple of minutes behind with a good run in 39:55 for 19th place. Alan Hudson continues to return to good form and he finished 27th and 1st M60 in 40:31. Troy Watson was 4th M45 and 28th right behind in 40:39. Helen Lawrenson was 2nd woman and 1st W40 in 42:17, an excellent lead for the Wesham ladies followed up with 7th place for the resurgent Carmel Sullivan with 44:53 in 79th position overall. Nicola Unsworth was 10th woman and 3rd W40 in 45:48, 98th overall. Sara Ward was 14th and 3rd W45 in 48:05 coming in 132nd overall. Graham Cunliffe made a welcome return and he ran 43:26 for 54th place and 5th M55; Mick Edge was 112th and 10th M50 with a good comeback from injury in 46:42; Jon McLeod was 197th in 50:32; and Peter Cooke was 250th in 52:32 with a good effort. Karl Lee was the first finisher in Saturday’s Preston parkrun, clocking a good 18:02 for 71.53% effort and his fourth best on the course. George Kennedy ran the Jimmy Irvine Achilles Heel Bella 10k in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow on Saturday, clocking 41:17 for 93rd place and 8th M50 in a quality race, with the winning time 31:52. Dave Waywell took part in the Lancashire team in the National Fire-fighters Cross County Championships in the scenic grounds of Stowe in Buckinghamshire, running 45:00 for 45th place and 1st M60 over the 10k undulating course, a true cross country. Nigel Shepherd ran in the Red Rose Cross Country League at Hyndburn, finishing 136th and 14th M50 in 49:42 for the 10km. Alistair Morris ran the Shepherd’s Skyline Fell Race last week, finishing 223rd in 74:16 over 10km and 350m ascent.