Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Wesham ladies at the Mid Lancs at Hyndburn in 2016 before the white-out

It was a quiet weekend for Fylde athletes with no local competition and little on further afield as this month has five full weekends, unusual for a month and created a spare weekend in the athletics calendar.

There was a Power of 5k on a floodlit Friday evening round the cycle track at the Salt Ayre centre, creating an exciting evening of competition. Out of the 62 competitors there were new male and female course records of 14:11 and 16:59, and 53 competitors under 20 minutes.

In the first race in the Pilling 10k Spring Season on Saturday afternoon at 2pm, the winning times were 32:12 (male) and 41:45 (female) for race 1 of the series of 5, with a field of 45 runners.

There was plenty of hot action at the British Masters Indoor Pentathlon and 3,000m Championships where Scottish international Fiona Matheson tore up the 3,000m world record with 11:01.55 to land a new global best mark in the W60 category. Similarly, Midlands David Oxland set a new British M70 best with 10:55.36. Tony Bowman broke four M85 British records in the Pentathlon with 13.50 in the 60mH, a 3.05 Long Jump, 6.72 in Shot Put, and 1.02 for High Jump. Caroline Marler set a new W70 British record in her Pentathlon, with 13.54 in the 60mH, 1.14 Long Jump, 7.81 Shot Put, 3.10 High Jump, and 3:34.08 for 1000m giving her a record-beating 3959 points.

The main athletics action for Wesham members last week was the Saturday morning parkrun time trials, with 39 participants of 7,674 nationwide. At home in the Lytham Hall parkrun Jonathan Lawson was the fastest Wesham member with a time of 22:11 for an M50 age graded result of 68.67%. Michelle Tickle was the fastest woman of the day with 22:44 for a W45 grade of 71.26%. Ian Nichols Hogg clocked 24:58 for 51.80%; Bev Wilding running on her legendary husband Keith’s heels with 25:31 for a W60 74.98%. W45 Louise Lord ran 26:02 for a 62.87% performance, while W40 Elizabeth Johnson returned 29:05 for 53.30%. Graham Cunliffe was on form and steamed round to 29:12 with M65 57.42%; Pauline Eccleston scored 29:40 for W50 57.19%; Anne Berry 29:52 with a W60 64.06%; Kerry Eccles 31:17 in her new age group for W60 61.16%; Jo McCaffery clocked 31:30 for W40 49.95%; Julie Rooney 31:42 and W45 51.10%; Peter Bartlett 32:38 with M70 56.23%; and the family group Antionette Holton without her barcode and Mark Holton 36:27 for M40 38.32%. In the Blackpool run Lee Barlow was fourth fastest of the day with 19:04 for M50 77.36%; Chris Haines ran 19:47 for M35 67.48%; Mark Renshall 20:59 and M45 69.18%; Damian Ings returned 21:11 for M45 67.98%; Stephen Browne had 23:17 for M55 66.57%; and Andrew Moore ran 26:13 and M60 61.16%. Along Fleetwood Promenade with 88 runners George Kennedy nipped round in 24:51 for an M60 graded 66.87%; and Dave Young ran 26:57 for M70 69.14%. At the Preston parkrun Steve Abbott ran 19:08 for M45 74.13%; and Steve Myerscough recorded 21:24 with an M45 mark of 67.83%. Vicky Gore clocked 26:54 for W45 59.60%; Molly Watson 30:48 for 48.05% and a new PB; Nigel Shepherd however arrived late after a tyre incident and therefore completed the course in arrears with 34:38 and M60 47.55%. In Liverpool’s Croxteth Hall parkrun Wesham’s parkrun Tourists David Taylor clocked 20:23 with M35 64.68% in stiff competition; Elliot Costello ran 24:20 for 53.08%; Ryan Azzopardi 24:32 and M40 56.05%; Carl Groome 32:54 with M50 45.95%; and Sue Rigby 32:55 with W45 49.72%. First Time at Salford’s Peel parkrun Martin Bates ran 21:52 for M65 76.68%. In Stretford’s Longford Park Tracey Hulme recorded 24:02 for W55 78.50% 4th run, and the other side of Manchester at the Lyme Park parkrun in Disley between Stockport and Buxton off the A6, in its beautiful, elevated country park with a hilly course offering spectacular views over the city Helen Lawrenson ran 27:39 for W50 62.15%. In Chester-Le-Street at the Riverside run Emma Brook clocked 29:04 for W35 52.29%.

Eleven years ago in 2011 it was another quiet weekend on the roads and trails of the North West but Wesham Road Runners managed to make a busy weekend with a couple of top events in the North of England. It was a long day on Saturday for those who made the journey to Sunderland in County Durham for the Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships in Herrington Park beneath the Penshaw Monument an impressive Grecian folly. The Wesham women were one runner short of a team unfortunately, but this did not stop Sarah Sherratt giving her all on the 2-lap 8.4km course to finish 95th with a time of 38:40. Running conditions were very good although the previously clear skies had started to cloud over and the course was starting to cut up as the frozen ground thawed. Helen Lawrenson was full of smiles with 133rd place in 42:15, and cross country captain Tracey Hulme completed the trio in 148th place in 43:40. In the men’s race over 3 laps and 12km of running the course was deteriorating and with the constantly undulating nature of the course it was a challenging race. The Wesham men ran with a full team plus one and were the only Lancashire club to complete a team. Charlie Pass had a great run making light of the conditions to finish 89th in 45:32. Alex Rowe was some way behind in 187th with 50:21, and cross country specialist John Collier was not far back in 236th place with 52:08. Steve Myerscough finished 274th in 54:13. Next year’s cross country captain John Bertenshaw came in 292nd with a good run in 55:09. Mark Midgley had a strong run to finish 332nd in 57:07, and cross country enthusiast Dave Young was 477th in 1:14:15. Collectively the Wesham men finished 24th team and although it was a long day out it was well worth the effort. The following day Wesham fielded two teams in the popular Pennine Bridleway Relay around the Mary Townley Loop from Waterfoot. There were several survivors from the Northern Cross Country undertaking a challenging weekend double. Wesham’s main thrust this year was with a veterans’ team, and this was headed out by Lee Barlow and Russell Mabbett who had turned out after a heavy bout of flu. After 8.5 miles and 1361 ft of climbing the pair finished 44th with 1:09:07. Jason Barlow and Alex Rowe took over for Stage 2, 12.5 miles and 1560ft climb and the pair made up considerable ground with a good run, clocking 1:32:30 to gain 18 places to 26th, the 24th fastest pair on the stage. Steve Myerscough and Simon Eaton took on Stage 3, 9.5 miles with 1570ft of climb with a tough finish and ran 1:09:33 to bring the team in 33rd. On stage 4 Mick Edge and Gary Moore took up the baton and completed the 5.5 miles and 753ft climb in 42:47 pulling the team up to 29th as again, 24th fastest on the stage. Richard Davies and John Collier ran the final Stage 5 as the weather improved, 9.5 miles and 1390ft climb back to Waterfoot, completing the run in 1:13:15 and gaining a place to 28th with a total time of 5:47:12. This was the 2nd best time by a Wesham team in 7 years of competing, a good result. The Wesham Open team were led out by John Sharples and Alan Taylor and finished 75th in 1:18:06. Carmel Sullivan and Sarah Sherratt made good work of Stage 2 finishing 64th in 1:48:00. On Stage 3 Jenny Salt and Helen Lawrenson clocked 1:24:36 for 72nd place, and Stage 4 saw Martin Bates and Peter Bartlett with a great run to record 53:15 in 69th place. Mark Midgley and Chris Whitlock took on Stage 5 and came home in 68th place with 1:22:02 to complete the team’s run in 6:45:59. Michaela Dempsey finished an excellent 87th in the Meltham 10k in Yorkshire on Sunday, running 44:57 on a tough course to finish 2nd W45 and 8th woman in a field of 363 runners. The winning men’s time as 35:21 (the class Michael Hunt of Trafford AC) and the winning woman was Karen Pickles of Pudsey Pacers in 39:24.

Five years later in 2016 the weather had improved again over the previous week with a return to unseasonably warm conditions but it was still a quiet time of year and in previous years this was the week for half marathons, but they were all last week with a concertina in the calendar with only four weekends. The main event of this week was the Hunters 10k, formerly the Welcome Tavern in Preston. David Taylor finished 8th with a good run to clock 37:13, and Paul Hetherngton was 26th and 8th M40 in 39:11. Chris Moss was 8th M50 in 82nd position with 44:39 with Elliott Costello close behind in 86th place with a time of 45:00. Tracey Hulme was 13th woman and 1st W50 with 45:39 in 96th overall. Phil Leaver was 3rd M60 as Red Rose duo Joe Swarbrick and Ken Addison have both recently aged into the category finishing 114th in 47:56. Alan Taylor was 118th in 48:14; Michaela Dempsey was 23rd woman and 2nd W50 with 48:48, 127th overall, and Gemma Owen was 26th and 156th overall in 51:59. In the Rivington Night Runner trail 10k last week Brian Weatherington finished 96th in 1:11:26.70. Janine Weatherington was 28th woman and 178th overall in 1:29:52.55. Wesham had a good day at the Preston parkrun with three finishers in the first 7 runners. David Taylor ran 19:05 for an age graded performance of 67.69%. Alex Rowe was one second behind in 19:06 for an M55 82.55%. steve Myerscough was half a minute back with 19:35 for M40 70.72%. Nicola Unsworth ran a new personal best of 20:56 for W45 75.88%. Martin Bates ran the Bolton parkrun in Leverhulme Park clocking 23:30 for an M55 67.66%. The Lytham Hall parkrun was the most popular this week with the club, with 11 members running. Garry Barnett ran 18:30 for an M45 79.10% performance; Stuart Topping 20:55 for M45 67.81%; Duncan Carter 21:18 for M45 68.15%; Elliot Costello 21:54 for 58.90%; Ben Wrigley 22:41 with 58.12%; event organiser Sharon Cooper 23:23 for W40 66.29%; Phil Leaver ran 24:06 for M60 67.70%; Dave Young 24:39 for M65 69.98%; Gemma Owen 24:42 for W35 60.53%; Lisa Minns 27:07 for W50 62.57%; Finlay McCalman 27:19 for M50 54.42%.