Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Very proud young recruit Maggie Belfield

The weather may have been rough towards the end of last week but the worst of it held off during the weekend apart from the wind to enable Wesham members to get out racing.   Following up his parkrun of the previous day, Martin Bates ran the Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k from Witton Park on Sunday, finishing 176th in a big field of 675 runners in 48:08 to place 3rd M65. Ian Garrod ran his recent best for 10km with 50:27 in 230th and 22nd M55. Peter Rooney finished 276th and 15th M60 in 52:38; Finlay McCalman 402nd in 57:52 (35th M55); and Paul Carter 460th in 60:36 for 43rd M50. In the Junior 2km race Maggie Belfield, daughter of the great Mark and Claire, finished 49th in 11:59 to place 11th under-9 with a forceful finish on the track.

There were four Wesham runners in the Mad Dog 10k in a breezy Southport, where Stuart Clayton finished 128th in 46:46 for 26th M50. Elliot Costello was 248th in 50:13 and Vicky Gore made it a double weekend with 55:57 for 134th woman and 40th W45 in 576th place overall. Lisa Davenport finished 378th woman and 54th W55 in 62:26 in 1019th place. There were 2167 runners in this hugely popular day out at the seaside with 1223 women and 944 men competing.

Andrew Wilkinson ran the second round of the Piling 10k on Saturday in 58:17 for 21st place to finish 3rd M50. Evergreen M60 local Paul Muller ran 39:21 for 4th place overall.

Sixteen years ago, in 2006, Wesham had a good show of hands on Saturday in the 5th fixture of the Mid-Lancs Cross-Country season amidst a grand panorama of fells in Fitz Park Keswick, while elsewhere over the weekend individuals found a rich variety of events available to choose from. The main focus of the weekend was the Mid-Lancs fixture, where the Wesham women’s team finished 5th in Division 2 and the men’s ‘A’ team 4th in Division 1. The women were first out of the start pen, and new ladies captain Yvonne Russell lead the way for Wesham around the 7km course, finishing a creditable 28th in 30:20. Julie Murphy was next in with 33:59 for 44th, 29th Over-35 and leading the W35 team to 8th position. Mandy Ingham had a great run to finish 50th in 35:01, 35th W35, and Marie Wyld ran 37:56 for 57th place, 41st Over-35 and 19th Over-45. The Wesham men were once again headed by Charlie Pass, who despite still feeling the after-effects of the Pennine Bridleway Relay the previous weekend had a great run in Keswick, placing 8th in a high-quality field in a time of 38:56 over the 10km course. Despite the mountainous surroundings the parkland course was predominantly flat but featured a steep bank four times and an undulating section. Alex Rowe finished a tired 28th in 41:41, 6th Over-40, with Lee Barlow relishing the terrain with a great run in 47th clocking 42:57. The remainder of the ‘A’ team packed well, with Karl Lee 56th in 43:32, Derek Buckley 63rd in 43:43 (4th M50), and John Collier hot on his tail in 64th with 43:52 (4th M50). Russell Mabbett led in the ‘B’ team, with 44:15 for 67th place, followed by John Bertenshaw (88th in 45:35); Alan Glasgow (97th with 46:24); Andy Yelland (101st in 46:39); Peter Cruse (full of a cold but still 116th in 48:27); and Brian Porter (140th with 52:29). The ‘B’ team finished 5th in Division 3 and may have to fight relegation at the end of the season next month. Rowe, Buckley, Collier, Mabbett and Bertenshaw took the M40 team to 5th in Division 1, while Buckley, Collier and Glasgow won the M50 team with 4th, 5th and 13th positions. Graham Vickers and Dave Young completed the Wesham men’s squad, with 53:53 and 58:45 for 148th and 163rd respectively. The Parbold Hill Race also on Saturday proved a popular race once again this year and attracted a field of 458 runners over its farmland course up and down the three hills in the area. Nigel Shepherd was the sole runner from Wesham, clocking 58:56 for the 7 miles for the traditional cross country event encountering steep hills, stiles, ditches and walls on its way across the fields and narrow tracks. The Winter Hill Race from the Rivington High Barn on Sunday has a reputation for challenging weather conditions and this year was no exception. Richard Davies tackled the 11-mile event in the company of 147 other runners, splashing around a very wet course in incessant rain and poor visibility on a cold day. With 2750’ of ascent, Richard kept a very good account of himself, finishing 46th in 2:09:48, with the 1st and 2nd placed internationals 10 seconds apart at 1:37:23. On the same day, Steve Littler took to the hills in the Kendal AC Winter League, with a short and sharp outing over Barbon Fell, 2.3 miles with a 1200’ climb at the start. Despite nearly not finding the venue, Steve took it easy on the ascent and then got into his stride, finishing a creditable 5th in 23:58, with the winner just over 2 minutes ahead. Dave Preston had an outing to North Wales on Sunday for the Nick Beer 10K Road Race in Llandudno. Running in a field of 451 Dave finished 115th, 11th Over-50, in 43:21.

In 2018 four years ago the Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k was the event for Wesham members this week, with 9 men and 6 women running in the next event in the club championship series for 2018. Lee Barlow ran well on the hilly course to finish 36th in 39:20, 9th M45. Paul Hetherington was 43rd with 39:53, 3rd M40. Steven Gore finished 65th in 41:32 just edging ahead of Carl Groome who came in 68th in 41:54. Helen Lawrenson finished 3rd woman and 1st W45 in 43:40, 91st overall. Gemma Owen was 19th woman and 2nd W35 in 47:37, 167th overall. Kath Hoyer placed 4th W55 in 49:56, 27th woman and in 216th place overall. Kerry Eccles was 5th W55 and 48th woman with 52:47, 280th overall, and Tanya Barlow was 63rd woman, 13th W45 and 337th overall. Vicky Gore finished 71st woman, 21st W40 and 352nd in 55:47. Andrew Harling placed 90th in 43:36; Alan Hudson on the road to recovery was 4th M65 in 50:29, 226th overall. Paul Carter finished 314th in 54:17, 43rd M45 and Rob Danson Snr was 351st in 55:40, 35th M50.Dave Waywell was 5th M70 and 414th in 58:13. Julie Rooney was the only Wesham member running in the Mad Dog 10k in Southport on Sunday, she finished 947th woman in this very popular sea front race in a time of 1:07:58, 1836th overall and 355th W35. She ran a chip time of 1:06:56. Last week’s report for the Hunter’s 10k were incorrect, with the right results seeing Paul Hetherington finish 10th in 38:34, the first M40. Paul Carter was 161st in 53:17; Stephen Wilkinson 162nd with 53:35; and Steven and Vicky Gore 175th and 176th in 54:07. Alex Rowe completed his third Lytham Hall parkrun in a row with 20:44 for an M60 age graded performance of 77.33%. Helen Lawrenson ran the second fastest women’s time of the day with 20:52 for W45 78.43%. John Burns made a very welcome return to the running scene, and he ran 22:52 for M60 71.36%, a tremendous debut as a First Timer. Phil Leaver ran 24:27 for M60 67.96%. In the Preston parkrun Steve Myerscough clocked 20:32 for M40 68.51% and Elizabeth Johnson ran 26:26 for a W35 grade of 57.25%. Robert Brown ran 27:50 for M60 57.60%. Graham Cunliffe was in action again at the Hyndburn run and he had an M60 performance of 53.38% with a time of 30:19. Chris Pike ran St Helens in 25:51 for M40 53.58%. David Taylor was up in Lancaster for the Williamson Park event, clocking 19:24 for 66.84%, with Steven Gore running 20:59 for M35 63.22%. Vicky Gore finished in 28:17 for a W40 grade of 54.80%. Carl Groome ran the best time of the Wesham runners at the Blackpool parkrun, recording 20:53 for M45 70.07%. Mark Renshall ran 22:12 for M40 63.36%, with Dave Marsland coming in with 22:51 for M60 71.41%. Rob Wallace ran 23:28 and a grade of 54.97%; Martin Bates 23:44 and M60 68.19%; George Kennedy 24:04 for M60 66.62%; Sara Ward 25:26 and W50 67.56%; Dave Young ran an M70 65.43 grade with his time of 26:57; Andrew Moore 27:26 and M55 56.50%; Stephen Twist 28:30 with M50 52.16%; and Sue Rigby 30:57 with W40 50.83%.