Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Wesham Christmas social run at the summit of Nicky Nook in the sun

There were no athletics events in the Fylde area, with the nearest action in Hurst Green near Clitheroe at the popular Turkey Trot which saw 257 competitors and a few clubs present in large numbers, but no Wesham entrants. Instead, there was a group having a social festive training run from Scorton up and over Nicky Nook and its environs.

So it was a week for reflection over the year just ending, which had started with some innovative virtual events through the winter months, with a Move Every Day exercise in January, to run or walk for 30 minutes each day. In February the club members ran a virtual Hadrian’s Wall, 85 miles conceptually from Wallsend on the mouth of the Tyne to Bowness-on-Solway west of Carlisle. March continued with a virtual West Highland Way from Milngavie north of Glasgow to Fort William. Several members completed both these challenges and returned to the start with some then running the whole distance a third time. By April the restrictions were easing; the club had been staging virtual monthly handicaps with each member running a course of their choosing along the distance of the summer route round Treales, and it was possible to stage socially distanced physical events on the course on Sundays. By June athletics events were starting up again, and it was a scrabble for event organisers to reschedule their winter and spring events into the second half of the year within the attempted regular summer and autumn fixture; many of all of these had been postponed and rescheduled several times over the two years of the pandemic. Wesham had another successful rally to the Endure 24 relay event with four teams and a fierce overhead thunderstorm during the night bringing the event to a halt for several hours. It was not possible to stage any of the Inter Club series of races for the second year, but the cross country season was able to start in October for the 2021-22 session, and Wesham enthusiastically embraced the Mid Lancs league with good turnouts at the first two events, and promotion for the Senior Men and M40s from the last season in 2019-20. The M60 and M70 teams both had to defend their positions as reigning champions. On the roads Wesham were absent from the North-West Counties relays but out in force at the Northern Athletics 6- and 4-Stage Road Relays along the North Sea seafront at Redcar with six teams competing, 3 men’s and 3 women’s teams. New men’s captain Rob Danson did a fine job to organise all this, with a coach for transport and a social arranged, and he himself ran the fastest stage for the club. It was not possible to stage any club championship for the year, but the year was crowned off with a very successful return of the Wesham 10k in its 35th year with over 500 entrants. The day was capped off with a successful evening presentation and dinner dance at Wrea Green’s Villa.

Making up for the Christmas shopping and shortage of athletics events there were several Wesham members out at Saturday morning parkruns near and far. In the Lytham Hall parkrun on home ground Christopher Hastwell ran 18:59 for an M35 age graded performance of 70.85% in his 15th parkrun. Jonathan Lawson clocked 23:06 for M50 grade 65.95% and Martin Allison 23:56 with M35 56.20%. Ian Nichols Hogg recorded 24:51 and a senior grade of 52.0%%, and Kay and Stephen Twist were neck and neck with 26:06 and 26:07 for W50 65.84% and M55 58.84%. Louise Lord ran 27:33 with W45 58.80% and Bev Wilding 27:46 for W60 68.91%. Graham Cunliffe returned 30:18 and M65 55.34% and Jo McCaffery 31:20 with W40 50.21%. At the Blackpool parkrun Chris Haines ran 20:28 for an M35 graded 65.23% and Mark Renshall 21:26 for M45 67.73%. Suzanne Leonard clocked 22:56 with W50 73.98%; Stephen Browne 23:46 for M55 65.22%; George Kennedy 24:37 and M60 67.50%; Andrew Moore 26:23 with M60 60.77%; and Dave Marsland 27:17 with M65 62.06%. Along Fleetwood Promenade parkrun Martin Bates nipped 21:43 and an M65 age grade of 77.21%, Finlay McCalman 27:10 for M55 57.55% and Dave Young 28:11 with an M70 grade of 66.11%. In Preston’s Avenham Park Steve Abbott clocked 20:48 for M40 67.63%, and James Danson 27:23 with M55 57.09%. Further afield in the Sale Water parkrun David Taylor recorded the fastest time of the day and for a Wesham runner overall with 18:21 for an M35 age graded 71.84%. Carl Groome clocked 21:05 and M50 71.70%, with Vicky and Steven Gore 26:32 and 26:33 with W45 59.86% and M40 51.41%. Elliot Costello ran 26:35 and 48.59%, and Sue Rigby 37:20 for W45 43.84%. In Chester-Le-Street at the Riverside parkrun Emma Brook recorded 29:21 with a W35 grade of 51.79%.

In 2006 Wesham Road Runners celebrated the close of its 21st year, a very successful year for the club, which had seen it grow from strength to strength with membership increasing, particularly in the ladies’ ranks. The Wesham women had won many team trophies in local races during the year with an increasing level of participation, and were excelling at cross country, where they had recently turned out three full teams in the National Relays. The men similarly are presenting a competitive front locally, swelling the ranks at a high proportion of races across the North West. The club successfully hosted its 21st 10k race and several other events locally and looks forward to its future with growing optimism. Lancs Fire AC and Wesham staged a new race on Christmas Eve, Rudolph’s Red Nose Race over a 5-mile distance on the trails around Marton Mere and the De Vere Hotel. The race was limited to 200 entries and was sold out. The atmosphere was suitably festive with many runners dressed up as Santa, Christmas music playing and a Fire Brigade ALP vehicle on display. Local ace Paul Muller and Wesham’s rock climber Joanna Goorney were the men’s and women’s race winners in 27:57 and 33:45 respectively. Muller won by over half a minute from Horwich teammate Glyn Kay and Sam Witter of Oldham & Royton, but Joanna had a closer race with local champion Andrea Smith, pulling away from her in the second half of the race to win by 16 seconds. In the Wesham ranks, Steve Myerscough was the first runner across the line at 5 miles with a speedy 29:43 for 7th and Andy Yelland was 20th with 32:15. Graham Ingham and Peter Gleaves were close matched, finishing 23rd and 24th with 32:25 and 32:31. Andy Owen had a good run, finishing 29th in 33:13 ahead of Martin Bates in 31st with 33:21. George Kennedy ran 34:13 for 38th; Lee Barlow had an easy run to clock 34:27; Des Cleary was 42nd with 34:32; and Peter Cruse and Simon Eaton finished together 43rd and 44th in 34:38. As well as winning the ladies race, Joanna Goorney was the 1st W35, with the resurgent Michaela Dempsey recording another personal victory with third place and 1st W40 in 35:11. Kath Hoyer was 6th lady and 2nd W45 in 35:41, and Carmel Sullivan came in 8th and 2nd W40 with 37:32. The Wesham ladies were well represented, with Paula Turner 10th (38:33); Julie Cruse W40 12th (38:51); Julie Murphy W40 16th (39:36); Angela Cruse 20th (40:34); Tracey Hulme W40 27th (41:32); Helen Jolly W45 28th (41:40); Anne Docherty W45 32nd (42:30); Mandy Ingham W35 and Pauline Weller W45, 34th and 35th (both 42:54); Beth de Nobrega 39th (44:09); Jennie Thompson 2nd W55 and 40th (44:11); Mandy Hinks 42nd (44:11); Celia Gregory 49th (46:37); Bev Brooks 50th (46:56); Sue Fearon 55th (51:19). Further men who ran were Mick Edge M45 (47th, 34:50); Shaun Turner M35 (53rd, 35:33); Nigel Shepherd M45 (54th, 35:34); Jon Lawson (60th, 36:19); Brian Porter M40 (64th, 37:16); Reg Chapman M55 (66th, 37:24); George Flanagan M55 (72nd, 38:10); Chris Moss M40 (73rd, 38:17); Derek Goodenough M60 (82nd, 38:39); John Sharples M50 (85th, 39:00); Mike Owen M55 (89th, 39:32); Peter Cooke M45 (95th, 39:52); Graham Vickers M45 (98th, 40:08); John Howorth M50 (103rd, 40:19); Norman Bateman M65 (107th, 40:35); Ken Munro M60 (121st, 41:46); Finnlay McCalman M40 (123rd, 42:09); Nick Brandwood (134th, 43:56); Keith Gresty m65 (137th, 44:08); Peter Earnshaw M65 (147th, 45:56); John Whiteman M60 (149th, 46:25). The Santa costumes were off and the racing shoes on for the Boxing Day 10k in Leyland with some swift times recorded and a fine field of runners assembled, with the first three finishers inside 32 minutes. Peter Waywell was the first Wesham finisher in the, crossing the line 34th in 37:01, with Peter Cruse in determined form running 37:38 for 40th place and 3rd M40. Dave Waywell scored an emphatic M60 win with 37:45 for 42nd overall, nearly 2 minutes clear of Liverpool’s Craig Slavin. Joanna Goorney ran well to place 9th and 2nd W35 in the ladies race with a time of 39:52, with Carmell Sullivan 13th and 2nd W40 with 41:22, and Kath Hoyer was 19th and 3rd W45 having run a sturdy 43:12. Michaela Dempsey had a great run to finish 19th and 3rd W40 with 43:24. Julie Cruse was 28th in 45:40; Julie Murphy ran 48:06 for 37th; Fiona Bledge was 51st in 52:22; and Andrea Rayner was 61st with 55:16. Trevor Rayner finished 48th and 6th M40 with 38:23; Martin Bates was 50th with a good 38:39; Peter Gleaves ran 39:41 for 65th; Simon Eaton was 67th in 39:53; Graham Ingham 75th with 40:24; Mick Edge 86th in 41:17; Stephen Wilkinson 160th in 45:46; George Flanagan 162nd in 46:03; John Howorth 202nd with 49:58; Norman Bateman 210th in 49:37. Michaela Dempsey takes the award for the “most raced” this Christmas, with a further outing on 27th December in the Wansfell Fell Race over 2.5 miles and 1400’ climb. Her result is not yet available.

In 2013 it was warm wet and windy for the third Mid Lancs League cross country fixture at Hyndburn on Saturday, a complete contrast to the previous meeting three weeks previously in Liverpool’s Sefton Park, although to be fair the weather was a lot better than forecast and the course was alternately firm and quagmire. The twisting route through woodland was a true test of cross country technique and strength and wit were the name of the game. Daniel Moss was the first Wesham vest to hit the course at Hyndburn in the Under 13 Boys race over a single lap 3km, finishing 22nd in 13:51. The Wesham women performed admirably over the Senior Women’s 6km with one medium and one large lap to run, with Emma Lund showing the way with a strong run. She finished 19th in 28:50 in a good quality race with some top performers. Sue Coulthurst was next in with a very strong run, finishing 32nd and 6th W45 in 30:42. Jenn Thompson was 36th and 12th W35 in 31:20 and Tracey Hulme 45th and 9th W45 with 32:05. The women placed 4th in Division 1 their best placing this season although overall they lie 7th in relegation position. Kath Hoyer was placed 50th and 10th W45 and the women W45 won their category division and now head the table with three great results. The W35 team were 2nd in their Division and 4th overall. Lisa Minns was 85th and 24th W45 in 35:46; and Kerry Eccles 111th with 44:41, with the ‘B’ team placing 7th in Division 3. Rob Danson was on fine form in the Senior Men’s race over 10k of one medium and two large laps, finishing 13th in 38:26, inside 3 minutes of the winners. Jason Barlow has the bit between his teeth, and he was 51st and 12th M40 with an excellent focussed run clocking 42:36. Lee Barlow was 59th with a strong kick on the third lap and he powered away to 43:06. Alex Rowe was 63rd and 5th M50 in 43:15 with Steve Myerscough 94th in 45:33 not counting for the M40 team this year. John Collier completed the Wesham ‘A’ team in 2nd place in Division 2 giving them top slot for the season so far, a great performance. He ran 47:39 for 3rd M60 and 129th place. Troy Watson was 135th in 47:58, 40th M40 and Russell Mabbett 43rd M40 and 149th placing the M40 team 6th in Division 1 on the day and also in relegation potential overall. Graham Cunliffe was 164th and 30th M50 in 51:11 just up the road from his home, and the M50 team were 5th leaving them 3rd overall. Nigel Shepherd was 187th in 53:03; Alan Glasgow 203rd and 43rd M50 in 54:56; Phil Leaver was 212th and 10th M60 in 56:27; Peter Bartlett right behind in 213th and 11th M60 giving the M60 team a win and top of their Division. Dave Waywell was 222nd and 14th M60; Chris Moss was 226th in 60:52. The Men’s ‘B’ team were 6th on the day and lie 5th in Division 4. In the Hurst Green Turkey Trot on Sunday over a 5-mile multi-terrain course with more than expected mud and wet Chris Whitlock was 73rd in 40:26 venturing on Longridge Fell with a fair section of heather covered hillside to negotiate. Jenn Thompson was 12th woman and 93rd overall with 42:13; 1st W35. Kath Hoyer was 16th woman, 4th W50 and 104th in an unbelievably competitive race in 43:41; John Howorth was 161st and 5th M60 in 50:54. The Great Langdale Christmas Pudding 10k on Saturday saw the tentative return of Steve Littler to competitive running, and a very welcome sight too. Looking every bit the part in the dismal conditions with steady drizzle and poor visibility he clocked a respectful 34:56 for 4th place overall and 1st M40 in his debut in the historic male masters’ ranks. The race was won by the young and unattached Ciaran Fitzpatrick in 33:39. Simon Eaton was the only other Wesham runners in the race finishing 256th in 55:35, a modest performance for him running with a group of associates.