Alex’s newspaper Report.

Carl Groome end Eliot Costello battled it out in 2017 on Stages 7 and 8 in Stanley Park

John MacDougall ran the Liverpool Half Marathon on Sunday and he finished 1st M45 and 12th overall in 1:16:43. Having gone through 5 miles in 29:55 he reached the 10-mile mark in 59:27, a good pace. Chris Haines placed 219th in 1:35:49, M35 position not given. He had passed 5 miles in 36:03 and 10 miles in 1:11:59. There were 1974 runners in total in this popular event.

Stephen Dagger Swift ran the Coniston 14 on Saturday, and finished 391st in 2:11:02, having gone though halfway in 54:02, showing perhaps how more challenging the second half of the course is. Andrew Wilkinson was 75th M50 in 2:54:04 to place 716th overall. There was a reduced finisher total this year of 809 although the event continues to be very popular.

The weekend saw the World’s Steepest Street Run in Harlech in North Wales, up the Ffordd Pen LLech at a 37.45% maximum gradient. The event took over the world title from Baldwin Street in Dunedin in New Zealand. It is a 6.2km course taking in the steepest street after just a few hundred metres into the race. Fastest tine to the summit of the 322m street with its 50m of climb was Luke Robertson in 2:19 going on to finish 17th in 28:19. Race winner Rhys Jones was second up the hill in 2:22 to win in 23:57. Fastest woman was Sophie Pilkington of Red Rose Runners with 2:40 to go on to finish first female in 27:10.

There was a mighty showing of Wesham members at parkruns around the globe on Saturday morning at 9am on a weekend that was otherwise quiet with the peak of the glorious spring high pressure. In Lytham Hall David Taylor initially had the better of Ross McKelvie in a battle royale for the prime position but an awesome spring finish saw him come in with the second fastest time of the day with 17:42 for an M35 age graded performance of 74.48% bettering the younger man’s percentage by 0.08%. In a good women’s time trial Michelle Tickle had the fourth fastest time with 23:36 for an W45 69.35%. Peter Rooney clocked 24:46 for an M60 graded 66.49% with Sharon Cooper 26:25 and W45 61.96%. Martin Allison recorded 27:30 for M35 48.91%; Andrew Moore 28:04 and M60 57.13%; Clare Belfield ran 28:36 for W40 53.50%; Jo McCaffery 28:42 with W40 54.82%; Deborah Parkinson returned 30:19 with an W50 grade of 56.68%; Julie Rooney 32:02 and W45 50.57%; Antoinette Holton 32:03 for W35 46.96%; Peter Bartlett ran 33:16 with an M70 graded 55.16%; and Kerry Eccles supporting the return of Debbie Bell and Georgia Preston and Laura Doyle with 36:35 for W60 52.30%. In the Blackpool parkrun Lee Barlow ran 19:52 for M50 74.24%, with Rob Wallace clocking 23:17 for 55.48%. Stephen Browne recorded 24:21 for M55 63.66%; David Marsland 26:15 with an M65 64.51%; Peter Cooke clocked 35:12 for M60 46.35%; and Janine Weatherington ran 37:07 with W40 41.45% as a First Timer. On Fleetwood Promenade Kay Twist ran 23:22 for an W50 grade of 73.54%; and in an M55 face-off Peter Cruse had the best performance of 23:36 for 67.37%; James Danson 25:02 with 62.45%; and Stephen Twist 28:18 for 54.30%. Brian Jones ran 31:41 for an M60 graded 50.60%. In Preston’s Avenham Park Nigel Shepherd clocked a better 21:34 for M60 76.35%, and Vicky Gore ran 26:32 with a W45 60.43%. Ion the Burnley parkrun in Townley Park Jonathan Lawson nearer home ground ran 21:42 for M50 70.20% for a new personal best, and in Chester-Le-Street in the Riverside run Emma Brook clocked 27:34 for W35 55.14%. In Penrith at the Frenchfield Sports Centre opposite the Brougham Castle to the east of the town Carl Groome ran 20:19 for an M50 74.41%, and Sue Rigby clocked 33:09 for W45 49.37%. In the Stretford parkrun Tracey Hulme recorded 23:56 for a W55 78.83%, and in Monsal Dale at the Hassop Station in Bakewell and along the old Midland Railway mainline to Buxton and on to Manchester Martin Bates recorded 23:17 for his M65 graded 72.01%. In Italian climes in the Roma Pineto parkrun in Regional Pineto Park featuring the Sacchetti sculpture above above the Vatican City Suzanne Leonard placed first donna with the day’s fastest female time with 24:29 for a W50 grade of 69.30%. George Kennedy was the 20th fastest uomo with 26:53 with M60 61.81%.

In 2006 sixteen years ago, as British Summertime kicked in, Wesham runners were in action across the globe, as three teams tackled the North of England 12- and 6-stage road relays in Manchester, and a contingent were active in the Barcelona Marathon. The Wesham men were on their way to achieve their third consecutive qualification for the English Road Running 12-stage championships at the North of England event but on the day, there were hiccups. With an alteration to the start and finish area in Heaton Park Steve Littler missed the start of Stage 1 losing a minute but made a spirited run to finish 38th over the opening long stage (9km) recording 32:31. Karl Lee took over on Stage 2, the first 5km stage, and maintained the team’s start in 38th with a fine 18:43. Ian Sharples began the claw back on Stage 3, gaining 3 places with 18:52, and Alex Rowe caught up a further 5 positions with 32:07 on the 9km Stage 4. Les Cornwall posted a speedy 18:09 on Stage 5 to come home 27th, and Alan Hudson ran 19:08 to gain 26th place over Stage 6. This was the team’s highest position, as they dropped back to 27th despite Jo Hodkinson’s swift 34:41 for the 9k. Trevor Rayner took over on Stage 8 and ran 19:11 for 5km, finishing 28th, and Barry Peatfield took 20:53 on Stage 9 to maintain this position. Charlie Pass took on the final 9km stage with the team’s fastest 31:59; John Collier kept the team 28th with 19:17, but Steve Myerscough’s fine 18:42 as anchor man dropped the team to their final position in 29th, with an overall time of 4:44:13. The men’s ‘B’ team were unfortunately two runners short, and finished 58th after Stage 10 with a time of 4:54:14 for the 66km. John Bertenshaw ran 37:21 over Stage 1 for 57th place; Peter Gleaves was 61st with 21:47; Des Cleary ran 25:08 maintaining 61st; Alan Glasgow posted 38:23 for 59th; Peter Cooke kept the team at 59th with 32:21; Barry Edwards dropped to 60th with 22:28; Simon Eaton kept 60th with 43:06 over Stage 7; Richard Storey ran 24:15 over Stage 8; Chris Wilding 21:53 for Stage 9; and Gary DeBanke had an excellent but unfortunately lonely run on the final long stage 10 in 36:32 closing the team in 58th. The Wesham Ladies had a good day out on the 6-stage event, with Kath Hoyer leading them out with a fine 32:01 over 5km finishing 37th. Marie Wyld finished 43rd after Stage 2 with 30:33, and Yvonne Russell brought the team back to 41st with 23:45. Pauline Weller ran 27:30 over Stage 4 to lift the team to 37th, and Julie Murphy gained another 3 places on Stage 5 with 25:18. Helen Briggs closed in the team in 33rd with 27:42, a cumulative time of 2:37:49 for the 30km. Conditions in Heaton Park were breezy and turned to rain, but were hot and humid in Barcelona where a Wesham team tackled the marathon. Russell Mabbett was the best of the pack, with an excellent 2:53:26 for 107th place having been 149th at halfway. Peter Cruse did not run so well in the heat, posting 3:03:39 for 275th, a good run, nevertheless. Martin Bates was 788th in 3:21:19; Graham Vickers 1396th with 3:35:24; and Finlay McCalman was 3409th in 4:26:55. George Kennedy ran 39:32 for 83rd in the 10km race. Derek Buckley finished 23rd in the Fiendsdale fell race on Saturday, 7.5 miles with nearly 3000’ of climb, in his preparation for the Three Peaks Fell Race next month. Derek was the leading Over-50 in 1:21:40. Richard Davies was 27th in 1:22:28. Paul Dunkerley ran a fine 2:10:48 in the Trimpell 20 race on Sunday in poor conditions to finish 20th. Louise Williams was 39th, 11th Over-35 and 206th overall in 2:49:59. In the Northern Veterans’ monthly run at Platt’s Fields, Dave Waywell finished 4th overall and 1st Over-60 in 38:59 on a twisty parkland course. Kath Hoyer was the first lady in 44:46.

Back in 2017 it was a big day at the races for Wesham on Saturday at the Northern Athletics Women’s 6-Stage and Men’s 12-Stage Road relays which took place in Stanley Park in Blackpool. The club had two women’s and two men’s teams running. In the women’s 6-stage with two long legs of 9.5km and 4 at 5.2km, the Wesham women finished 38th in a combined time of 3:12:55, with Carmel Sullivan on the first long stage placing 37th in 42:34; Jess Coulthurst 43rd with 24:51 for the first short stage; Pauline Eccleston 44th in 29:01; Sue Coulthurst on the second long stage with 41:27 for 38th; Claire Jones 40th in 28:48 and Bernadette Dickinson anchoring the team on the last stage with 26:14. The ‘B’ team were lead out by Tracey Hulme 51st in 45:54; Caz Wadsworth 55th with 32:43; Anne Berry 53rd in 28:19; Kath Hoyer 49th on the second long stage in 45:05; Sue Rigby 50th in 32:55 with Diana Blagden bringing the team home in 49th place with 25:59 for a total time of 3:30:55. The men took on 12 stages with 4 at the long distance of 9.5km; Rob Danson had an excellent run on the first stage with 29:54 to place 10th; followed by Steve Waterhouse 16th in 18:08; James Mulvaney the second long stage with 33:11 for 22nd ; Steven Gore 28th in 20:41; David Taylor 30th with 34:39; Alan Hudson 36th in 21:59; Ugis Datavs 37th with 35:39; Eliot Costello 41st in 22:48; Phil Leaver 44th in 24:46; Jason Blagden 44th with 20:26 and Ben Wrigley finishing the team 47th with 25:13 for a combines time of  5:09:31. The ‘B’ team were 61st with 6:09:33 with Stuart Topping leading he way with 38:35 for 65th; Roger Leadbeater 58th with 19:12; Nigel Shepherd 66th in 42:17; Sean Murray 64th with 22:41; Alan Taylor 67th in 48:56; Dave Young 66th with 26:20; Carl Groome 65th in 29:19; Robert Danson 64th with 27:18; Peter Bartlett 63rd in 25:49; Peter Cooke 61st with 27:38 and Mark Renshall 61st with a flourish in 21:11. Despite the relays there was a good contingent of Wesham runners at the Coniston 14 race in Cumbria on a beautiful day for Lakeland scenery. Lee Barlow was the first Wesham finisher in 43rd place with a time of 1:32:10 placing 10th M45. Paul Gregory was 48th in 1:33:17 followed by Paul Hetherington 60th in 1:34:36, 12th M40. Steve Myerscough was next in with 1:34:41, 62nd overall and 13th M40. Jason Barlow was close behind in 65th with 1:34:59 for 15th M45. Catherine Carrdus was 18th woman and 2nd W45 with 1:43:55, with Helen Lawrenson 23rd and 3rd W45 in 1:45:21, the pair 152nd and 170th overall. Nicola Unsworth was 32nd and 6th W45 in 1:48:14, 204th overall. John Bertenshaw finished 5th M60 and 227th overall well through his third decade in this event running 1:49:19. Martin Bates was 11th M60 and 289th with 1:52:57 and Paul Carter 893rd in 2:24:32. Tanya Barlow was 308th woman in 2:29:32 and Finlay McCalman 1062nd with 2:44:53. There was a choice of 9 miles or 17 miles in the Muddy Bottoms cross-country navigational events on Sunday from Caldervale and out and about into the Brock valley. Steve and Debbie Myerscough chose the shorter distance and finished together in 10th and 11th places with a time of 1:59 49 (Debbie) and 1:59:54 (Steve). Phil Leaver ran the Cheshire 10k at Arley Hall on Sunday, finishing 446th in 51:04 and placing 14th M60. In the Lytham Hall parkrun this week Ben Wrigley ran 24:42 for an M35 age graded performance of 53.71%. Sharon Cooper clocked 26:18 for a W40 59.38% and Graham Cunliffe 27:33 for M60 58.20%. Emma Davies recorded 29:27 for 50:25%; Ashleigh Coles 30:47 with 48.08% and Debbie Bell 34:19 for W40 45.51%. In the Preston parkrun David Taylor warmed up for the Northern Relays with 21:07 for a relaxed 61.25%; Vicky Gore 25:23 for W40 60.60% and Robert Brown 25:30 with M55 62.35%. Simon Denye ran the Blackpool run in 22:30 (M40 62.07%); Anne Flanagan 30:37 for W55 61.62%; Mark Bellfield 31:56 with M35 41.28% and George Flanagan 35:09 with M65 48.60%.