It was a week with something for everyone last weekend, although there were quite a few events across the north of England there were only really two options locally, the Lancashire County Cross County Championship on Saturday and the Garstang 10k on Sunday, both of which attracted significant numbers of Wesham members.
After two or more nights of heavy rain Saturday morning dawned with more of the same, and although it had abated by lunchtime the ground in Witton Park in Blackburn welcomed the runners in the Lancashire Cross Country with some tough underfoot conditions. An individual and team event, the women’s race over 8km only saw two Wesham women competing, with Kay Twist loving the conditions and finishing 38th and 7th W50 in 36:16 over the three laps of the course. Anne Mayers-Smith finished 49th and 9th W40 in 41:29. In the Senior Men’s race over four laps giving 9.8km distance Rob Danson signed on for his fourth Lancashire vest with a 9th position recording a time of 35:18. Andrew harling had a great run coming in 48th in 41:34 and picking up the M40 bronze County medal. David Taylor was right behind him in 49th place and just 7 seconds adrift in 41:41. Unfortunately Lancashire County does not recognise nor award the M35 age category, so David’s position is unknown. Chris Hastwell was 55th in 43:00, again not credited as a M35 runner. Phil Quibell steamed round to win the M65 age category in 47:50 for the Lancashire gold medal in 86th place some two minutes ahead of second placed Kevin Hesketh of Preston. Alek Walker finished 87th in 48:23 still recovering from illness, to bring the Wesham Senior team home in 6th place behind Manx Harriers and Preston Harriers. Damian Ings was 96th and 15th M45 in 49:51; Nigel Shepherd won Wesham’s second County bronze of the day coming in 3rd M60 in 51:09 in 99th place and closing the Wesham masters’ team in 7th place with Clayton-le-Moors 6 points ahead. John Collier was 4th M65 in 52:48 for 105th place, with James Danson 118th in 60:35 and 11th M55 and Stephen Twist 121st with 63:16 for 12th M55. The weather held out and the club had a good day at the races.
Sunday was a better day and Wesham had a good showing at the Garstang 10k with 12 runners which included 5 women. Garry Barnett was the highest placed for Wesham winning the M55 age category in 10th place overall and a time of 38:49 to underline his good form and consistent training. Alek Walker doubled up on his athletics after the cross country the previous day to come 22nd in 38:49. Martin Bates finished 55th in 46:26 and placed 2nd M65 with Peter Rooney 9th M60 in 50:40 for 92nd place overall. Louise Lord was Wesham’s first lady to finish, placing 28th woman in 52:40 and 112th overall. Becky Ingham finished 32nd woman and 121st in 53:13; Dave Young was 3rd M70 and 145th in 57:37; Colin Smy 167th and 16th M40 with a time of 60:15, Vron Walker was 170th in 60:29 for 59th woman and Paul Carter 16th M50 and 171st with 60:30. Dawn Biggs placed 69th woman and 185th in 61:48 with Sharlan Butcher one place behind in 186th finishing 70th woman in 62:00, and Christine Fare 187th in 62:01 and 71st woman. Julie Rooney was 85th and 20th overall in 1:07:43.
Monday night saw a return to club training for Wesham and to get the year off in full swing it was also the next stage in the Winter Handicap around Dowbridge. Lee Nixon was first back with an overall time of 29:29 for the two-lap 4 miles. Ugis Datavs was next in with 30:33 followed by Alek Walker in 32:02 and David Taylor with 32:27. Kirsty Holland was first woman in 32:28, with Tanya Shaw 3 minutes behind with 35:29. Louise Lord was third wman in 36:06. Stuart Mulrooney came in 6th overall with 32:29 with Damian Ings clocking 32:42. Steve Myerscough ran 33:18; Nigel Shepherd 33:29; Lee Barlow 34:28; Ryan Azzopardi 34:44; Robert Danson 34:47; Peter Rooney 35:06; Martin Allison 35:26; Julie Paton 36:49; Andy Moore 36:50; Becky Ingham 37:35; Dave Young 38:22; Jo McCaffery 38:52; Sally Deacon 40:03; Debbie Myerscough 43:33; and Peter Bartlett 44:27. On the net times Ugis Datavs had the fastest time of 23:03; David Taylor second in 23:27; Alek Walker third with 25:02; Lee Barlow fourth in 25:28; and Lee Nixon fifth with 26:59. The women’s result was very exciting with Kirsty Holland on great form to post 31:58 ahead of Tanya Shaw in 32:59. Then Becky Ingham third in 34:05; Louise Lord incredibly one second behind with 34:06; and Julie Paton 5th with 34:19.
There were 27 Wesham members out running a 5k parkrun on Saturday morning at 9am, and it was a rare morning of torrential rain. In the Lytham Hall run Jonathan Lawson was the fastest Wesham member with a time of 24:58 and an M50 age graded performance of 61.01%. Michelle Tickle was the next in and recovering from a year of unwellness to clock a great time of 25:12 and a W45 age grade of 64.29%. Ian Nichols Hogg clocked 25:21 for 51.02%; Graham Cunliffe an M65 53.12% grade with his time 31:34; Fran Hodskinson 31:37 for W50 55.09%; Elizabeth Johnson recorded 31:58 for W40 48.49%; and Louise Lord a time of 53:08 for a W45 graded 30.49%. At Blackpool’s Stanley Park in the fourth run on the new 3-lap course round the rose garden and the clock tower Christopher Haines was Wesham’s fastest with 20:20 for an M35 age grade of 65.66%. Lee Barlow had his speedy shoes on to record 21:12 for an M50 69.58%. Suzanne Leonard ran 24:02 for W50 70.60%; Stephen Browne 24:06 with an M55 64.32%; Finlay McCalman flew the standard with 26:36 for an M55 grade 58.77%; and Andrew Moore ran 26:59 with M60 59.42%. Dave Young returned 28:51 along Fleetwood Promenade for an M70 64.59%; and in the Preston parkrun Vicky Gore clocked 27:05 for W45 59.20%, with Molly Watson running 32:52 for 45.03%. Further afield Martin Bates recorded an M65 76.10% performance with his time of 22:02 in the Stretford event, and Tracey Hulme got a time of 24:43 with W55 76.33%. In the Sutton Manor parkrun just south of St Helens Sue Rigby ran 37:22 for a W45 grade of 43.80% with Carl Groome in support with 37:23 for M50 40.44%.
Fourteen years ago, in 2008, Wesham had had a good result in the Mid Lancs Cross Country fixture at Lancaster University on Saturday, with the women scoring their best results this season so far and the men consolidating theirs. Conditions were fair with breaks in the cloud and only one heavy burst of sleet just at the start of the women’s race. However, the underfoot conditions were boggy over much of the course with a real mud bath on the top section in and out of the trees along the old dyke. The Wesham ladies turned out 8 runners lead by Joanna Goorney, who finished a fine 16th and 4th W35 in 31:53 for the 5-mile course over 1 small lap and two large laps. Julie Cruse was 31st and 7th W45 in 33:05, and Kath Hoyer in 35th place (8th W45) in 34:00 gave the ladies 9th team position and 3rd Over-35. Carmel Sullivan dropped back and came in 37th with 34:17, 10th W35. Michaela Dempsey was 39th and 11th W35, and with Kerry Eccles having another good run over the country finishing 57th in 37:28 the Wesham ‘B’ team were 12th and 6th Over-35 team. Julie, Kath, and Kerry placed 4th Over-45 team. Tracy Hulme finished 65th in 40:00 and Pauline Weller was 71st with 42:28. The Wesham men had a good turnout of 17 with Charlie Pass once again heading the team. With a tremendous fast start, he had to relinquish some ground but held on for 17th place in a time of 35:38 over the 5.5-mile course of a small lap and 3 large laps. Alex Rowe was still below par but did enough to finish 1st M50 and 34th overall in 37:37, closely followed by fellow M50 Gary Pendlebury tracking him all the way to come home 38th and 2nd M50 in 38:00. Derek Buckley had a good run, finishing 53rd and 4th M50 in 39:57 to assure the Wesham men top M50 team. John Collier was 9th M50 and 63rd overall in 40:48, with Richard Davies close behind in 41:17 in 73rd place to help the Wesham men to 5th team position. The Wesham Over-40 team were 1st as well. Alan Glasgow was in fine form with 42:29 to gain 97th position, and Dave Waywell was truly back to good shape with 43:02 to finish 2nd M60 in 103rd place overall. Martin Bates ran 44:02 for 124th; Russell Mabbett was 143rd with 45:58; Nigel Shepherd ran well again to finish 154th with 46:58; and Mark Midgley 156th in 47:28 to place the Wesham ‘B’ team 19th overall and 3rd in Division 3, consolidating their 5th position for the season so far. Phil Leaver was 161st in 47:41; Jonathan Lawson 171st in 48:52; Brian Porter, recovered from his recent troubles had a good run finishing 181st in 50:26; and John Sharples running well to claim 190th in 52:11. The phenomenal M75 Mike Walsh (still a non-counter for Wesham) was 209th with 59:02. The Garstang 10k on Sunday was sold out once again a week before the race and was truly a memorial to its founder Dave Clarke. Wesham runners were to the fore, winning the men’s team and finishing 2nd women behind Lancaster. Despite the breezy conditions Steve Littler showed his class sticking in the leading pack from the start and finishing 2nd in 32:41. In the chasing group there was a knot of Wesham men lead up to the halfway spot by Alex Rowe and then overhauled by fellow M50 Gary Pendlebury who broke away to finish a fine 10th with 35:23 and 2nd M50. Karl Lee stuck to his guns and recorded his 2nd fastest 10k with 35:31 for 11th place, securing the men’s team, victory. Karl held off in-form Lee Barlow who had to settle for 13th in 35:45. Alex Rowe was 3rd M50 and 14th with 35:51. Steve Myerscough who had the bunch in his sights ran well in 18th place with 36:57, and Alan Hudson was on great form to take M55 pole position in 21st overall with 37:25. Peter Waywell was 3rd M40 and 27th with 38:12, and Dave Waywell was 1st M60 and 30th in 38:37. Joanna Goorney made an impressive run for the ladies finishing 7th woman and 1st W35 in 41:30. Michaela Dempsey was back to form with 43:50 for 1st W40 and 15th place. Kath Hoyer was 1st W45 and 16th with a great 44:01 to place the women 2nd team. Julie Cruse finished 19th in 44:46 for 2nd W45, with Carmell Sullivan 3rd W40 and 21st in 45:33. Sarah Sherratt came in 23rd with 47:20, and Helen Jolly was 46th in 50:50. Tracy Hulme was 64th in 53:18; Pauline Weller 87th in 56:36; Pauline Mills 5th W55 and 101st in a very competitive field with 58:01; Jennie Thompson 6th W55 and 103rd with 58:38; Sue Fearon 127th in 61:33; and Berni Ashworth 130th in 62:23. Trevor Rayner was 4th M45 and 32nd in 38:46; Les Cornwall who had to pull over halfway round was 34th with 38:58. Gary de Banke came in 36th in 39:04; John Bertenshaw was 5th M50 and 40th in 39:18; Richard Davies ran well for 46th place and 39:41; Martin Bates 48th in 39:55; George Kennedy 51st in 40:02; Simon Eaton 54th in 40:25; Andy Divall 103rd with 43:18; Stephen Wilkinson 141st in 46:02; Chris Moss 168th in 47:30; Reg Chapman 199th in 49:00; Shaun Turner 222nd in 49:44; George Flanagan 223rd 49:50; John Howorth 228th 50:02; Mike Walsh was 1st M75 and 261st in 51:43; Paul Carter 314th 54:42; Bernie Krawczyk 337th 56:14; John Whiteman 380th 59:28. Peter Cruse ran the British Olympic Appeal Trail Race over a 5-mile multi terrain course in Littleborough placing 2nd M45 and 16th in 35:20.
Three years ago the main action for the first week of 2019 was at the Lancashire
County Cross Country Championships in Blackburn’s Witton Park. In the Senior Women’s race over a 3-lap 8km course Anne Mayers-Smith finished 41st overall and 6th W40 in 30:44 on a largely dry course in excellent running conditions. Rob Danson earned himself another Lancashire County vest for the Inter-Counties event in March finishing in 3rd place with a time of 31:02 for the 4-lap 10km course, coming in just 27 seconds behind the winner. Gareth Booth running in his Horwich colours finished 39th and 2nd M45 in 34:11. Andrew Harling placed 87th in 38:10 and Phil Quibell in his Salford vest 100th in 39:42 to win the M60 category, a Lancashire gold medal. Mark Renshall made his cross-country debut with 41:31 for 127th place and 13th M45. Steve Myerscough finished 139th in 42:34 for 17th M45; Nigel Shepherd was 9th M60 in 155th place with 44:18; and John Collier 2nd M65 and 157th in 44:31, just losing the County Gold medal to Lytham’s Terry Hellings by 5 seconds. Stuart Clayton another cross-country debutant was 171st with 46:30, 16th M50, and Martin Bates 14th M60 in 48:19 and 175th place overall. Ben Wrigley finished 184th with 50:09 and Phil Leaver battling breathing problems to place with 61:20. The Wesham men finished 10th Senior Men’s team and 8th Masters. Carmel Sullivan ran 1:35:21 for 77th place in the inappropriately named Central Lancashire Half Marathon in Preston on Sunday. Rob Wallace placed 106th in 1:40:30 and Thomas Farquhar was 133rd with 1:44:25. Sean Murray ran 1:57:24 for 251st place and Lee Mangan 1:58:36 for 256th place. There are no age category or gender results for this race. The New Year took Wesham members to parkruns all over the country, although the biggest contingent were at Lytham Hall again. David Taylor took 18:33 for his 5 kilometres, back on the two-and-a-bit lap course through the gardens, scoring an age graded performance of 70.08%. Christopher Hastwell had a flying run top set a new personal best time of 19:01 for an M35 age graded performance of 69.33%. Lee Nixon ran 20:33 for an M35 personal best of 65.45%, and Jonathan Lawson 22:00 for an M50 grade of 67.47%. Stuart Topping continued in his recovery with 23:43 for M45 61.21% and kay twist ran 25:42 for a W45 grade 65.22%. Marthyn Taylor clocked 26:50 for M690 61.37% and Graham Cunliffe back from Hogmanay with 28:14 and an M60 grade 57.79%. Keith Wilding made his parkrun debut with 31:52 for an M60 grade of 50.78. at the Preston run Steve Abbott ran a good 19:26 for M40 70.75%; Steve Myerscough continued his return with 20:32 for M45 69.07%; with Robert Brown running 25:53 for M60 62.52%. Elizabeth Johnson clocked 26:21 for a W35 grade of 57.69%, and Diane Blagden ran 29:32 for W50 58.48%. Steve Pike was on the paths of Victoria Park in St Helens with a time of 26:18 for M40 53.11%. The parkrun tourists the Gores took in the Vogrie event in the appropriately named Gorebridge Park in Midlothian at Dalkeith southeast of Edinburgh, Steven running 19:24 for M35 68.81% and Vicky 27:34 for a W40 grade of 56.23%. In Sherwood Pines Centreparks near Rufford Abbey northeast of Mansfield Ann Knowles clocked 38:22 for W45 42.66% and at Lancaster’s Williamson Park Emma Lund ran 23:15 for W35 64.30%, her best run since August. In Blackpool’s Stanley Park Helen Lawrenson was the third fastest female in a time of 21:36 for an W45 grade of 76.70%. Stephen Browne ran 22:16 for M50 67.89; George Kennedy 23:32 for M60 68.82% with Suzanne Leonard also 23:31 with a new W45 personal best and a grade of 69.60%. Rob Wallace ran 23:38 for 54.58% and Dave Marsland 24:33 for M60 67.07%. Andrew Moore clocked 26:17 with M55 59.48%. Steve Littler had the fastest time of the day at Fleetwood Promenade with 17:02 a little short of his personal best with M45 83.27% Peter Cruse ran 20:22 for M55 76.10%.