Perhaps the big event in the North West last weekend was the Manchester Marathon, where John MacDougall finished 312th and 27th M45 in 2:44:07 having run steadily at 6:15 pace to pass halfway in 1:22:23, an excellent performance. Chris Hastwell ran 3:05:50 to place 1603rd and 320th M35, slowing over the closing 12km having reached the half in 1:29:37. Stuart Mulrooney came in 4616th in 3:40:42. He completed his first half in 1:41:56 and slowed steadily in the second. Tanya Shaw finished 1560th woman in 4:10:25 and 8037th overall, reaching the 13.1 miles in 2:00:01 and placing 241st W45. Emma Wright ran 4:57:41 3058th woman and 540th W40. Her halfway time was 2:21:51.
In the Curley’s 5k Trail Series on Wednesday evening Tom Crabtree finished 4th in 20:04, with Paul Lancashire 14th in 22:10. Steve Myerscough was 20th in 23:31, 4th M45, with Ian Nichols Hogg 49th in 30:51. Jo McCaffery finished 52nd in 31:42; Kirsty Holland 63rd in 34:17; Sally Denton 65th in 35:08; and Debbie Myerscough 67th in 41:22. Martin Bates (pictured) does not feature in the results.
David Taylor ran the Fleetwood Spring 10k on Sunday and finished 3rd in 35:53 behind Jamie Shingler of Ludlow, 30 seconds ahead, and Lytham’s Mike Toft (34:08) on a good morning for running along the Promenade and through the town. David was first M35. Finlay McCalman was 83rd in 55:24 placing 5th M55.
Wednesday evening has just seen the return after a three-year layoff of the Inter Club Series, seven 4- and 5-mile mid-week evening races hosted in turn by the North West clubs Blackpool Wyre & Fylde, Chorley AC & Tri, Lytham Road Runners, Preston Harriers, Red Rose Runners, Thornton and Wesham. The 2022 series kicked off in Blackpool’s Stanley Park, and will conclude in September in Leyland’s Worden Park.
Wesham’s Rob Danson was back in form after hiatus during the pandemic but fired up by the recent birth of his twins, and he raced away over the second 2-mile lap from Blackpool’s Luke Minns and Preston’s Chris Livesey to win in 19:52, by 35 and 53 seconds while the trio had run the first lap together. Wesham were celebrating their win in the masters overall, and second place in the M60s and third M50s. The club team were third overall in stiff competition from Blackpool and Preston, but the women were stinging a little after their 7th place despite an excellent turnout. The women masters were placed 4th however, a good result. The full results will be reported next week.
There were a good number of tempting events in the athletics calendar for the North West last week, including the Trotters Five in Bolton’s Smithills Country Park, and the Run to the Castle 10k in Lancaster. Further afield there was a feast of trail running with the Lancashire Fell Running Championship in the Pendle Fell Race from Barley village; Cheadle Trail 5k in Cheshire; and the Kielder Ultra Trail with a choice of distances; and the Snowdonia Trail Challenge. Wesham members were attracted to this week’s Saturday morning parkruns, and down in Market Harborough parkrun in Welland Park Julie Rooney ran 31:54 for W45 50.78%, while in Chester-Le-Street Emma Brook clocked 27:44 for a W35 grade 54.81% in the Riverside run. The money was on the re-vamped Delamere Forest run, where David Taylor was pipped to the fastest time of the day with 18:20 for an M35 age-graded 71.91%. Carl Groome ran 20:19 for M50 74.41%; Elliot Costello 25:13 for 51.22%; Ryan Azzopardi recorded for 25:13 M40 54.92%; Vicky Gore returned a personal best time for this course of 26:13 for W45 61.16%, supported by Steven Gore who had M40 52.07%. Sue Rigby ran 34:27 for W45 47.51% and Michelle Pitt with a 40:15 W40 38.22%. In East Grinstead parkrun in the Meridian Hall grounds on a typical Sussex undulating course Adam Wilding ran 19:49 for 65.26%. In Manchester in the Stretford parkrun in Longford Park Tracey Hulme returned 24:26 for a W55 77.22% having run a PB last week of 23:56. At home in Lytham Hall Jonathan Lawson was the fastest Wesham member in 21:43 for M50 70.15%. Michelle Tickle ran 23:35 for W45 69.40%; Antoinette Holton recorded 25:24 for a W35 graded 59.25%; Finlay McCalman ran 27:23 and M55 57.58%; Martin Allison 27:59 for M35 48.06%; Jo McCaffery 28:00 with W40 56.19%; and Peter Bartlett ran 32:05 for an M70 grade of 57.19%. In Blackpool’s Stanley Park Chris Haines posted 20:12 for an M35 graded 66.09%, and Stephen Browne ran 24:15 for M55 63.92%. David Marsland recorded 25:17 with M65 66.97%; Ian Nichols Hogg ran 25:47 for 50.16%; and Andrew Moore clocked 26:49 for an M60 59.79%. In the Fleetwood Promenade parkrun Lee Barlow was third fastest of the day with 18:53 for M50 78.11%. Steve Myerscough as a First Timer here clocked a speedy 20:09 for M45 72.04%, and Nigel Shepherd also an orphan from the Preston run recorded 20:51 for an M60 graded 78.98%. Suzanne Leonard was the second fastest woman in 23:18 with a W50 grade 73.75%. James Danson ran 25:11 for M55 62.08%, and George Kennedy clocked 25:11 with M60 65.98%.
In 2010 twelve years ago the Easter weekend was a busy one with a wide variety of races taking place, and Wesham members were inspired to get out and run. The Caldervale Country 10 on Good Friday saw the biggest turnout with 19 men and 6 women. Alex Rowe was first past the post with 1:02:13 in 15th place, 2nd M50 and 7th Over-40. Times were slowed by a stiff wind and cool conditions, but Lee Barlow posted a swift 1:04:20 for 23rd place, towing Troy Watson in fine form with 1:04:25. Steve Myerscough made it a trio with 1:04:38 in 25th position. Peter Waywell, wearing number 1, came in 33rd in 1:06:04, with Martin Bates right behind in 34th with 1:06:19, placing 4th M50. John Bertenshaw polished up his marathon training and finished 5th M50 with 1:07:53 for 44th place, and Mick Edge ran well with 1:08:22 for 46th place. Carmel Sullivan led the Wesham women, finishing 3rd and 2nd W40 in 1:10:15 in 54th place. Sarah Sherratt was 6th and 1st W35 with 1:13:20, and Michaela Dempsey had a strong run to finish 8th with 1:13:52, 3rd W35. Kath Hoyer placed 2nd W50 in 20th place with 1:21:15, and Kerry Eccles was 6th W45 and 33rd woman in 1:29:17, running with Tracey Hulme as pacemaker who clocked 1:29:18. For the men, Graham Cunliffe ran 1:11:50 in 46th place and 7th M50; John Sharples was 91st with 1:15:19, 4th M55; Nigel Shepherd 103rd with 1:17:13; Brian Porter a brilliant run with 1;17:21 for 106th; Chris Moss 109th with 1:17:51; Dave Preston 117th in 1:19:11; Alan Taylor 134th with 1:22:09; Barry Edwards 138th in 1:23:18; Finlay McCalman 146th with 1:25:10; John Howorth 154th in 1:26:46; Shaun Turner 161st with 1:28:36; and Mike Walsh a fantastic run, credited with 4th M70 (as an Over-75) in 201st with 1:38:17. Karl Lee won the Caldervale 3.8 mile fun run in 22:12 with a fine display of front running, and Brian Porter warmed up for the main race with 28:07 placing 14th. Steve Littler took on the Salford 10k on Good Friday in a sold-out race of 600 runners, placing 6th with 31:43 as he heads towards this year’s London Marathon. On Saturday Easter was celebrated with the traditional Rivington carnival and the historic Pike Race, 3.25 miles up and down the hill with a total climb of 800 feet. Gary More had a go at the men’s race and finished 77th and 14th M45 in 24:44. In the women’s race Sarah Sherratt finished 8th in 26:14, and Michaela Dempsey was 19th and 4th W40 with 30:42. Michaela Dempsey ran in the Civil Service 10km Championship and finished 82nd overall and 8th woman in 44:06, helping the HMRC ladies’ team to 4th place and 2nd women’s veteran team. Peter Gleaves ran in the men’s 4 mile in the Southport Good Friday Races, finishing 77th with 27:29, and Jonathan Lawson finished 87th in 28:10. On Sunday Alex Rowe travelled to Crewe in Cheshire for the Air Products 10k, a two-lap race on a mainly flat course from the Manchester Metropolitan University around an industrial estate. He finished 22nd in a high-quality race with 36:11, 2nd M50. Stephen Wilkinson was 137th and 9th M55 in 48:54. Over in Yorkshire the Guiseley Gallop took on 6 miles of canal banks and tracks and trails. Dave Waywell won the M65 category in 67th place with 47:18, and Kath Hoyer was 31st woman and 3rd W50 in 53:32. Phil Leaver ran the Colin and Brenda Robinson 5k in Littleborough on Wednesday evening and finished 112th out of 207 with 22:42.
Four years ago, in 2018 the event of the week was the first Inter Club race for 2018 in Blackpool’s Stanley Park but there was a challenge with the weather with a cold and wet evening.
Undeterred Wesham’s Rob Danson was untouchable form the start as he ripped up the course and won in 19:54 over the measured 4-mile 2-lap circuit. The Wesham men had a great front squad as Steve Swarbrick took 5th place with 21:37; Steve Littler 7th and 1st M40 (3rd master overall) timed at 21:55, and David Taylor coming in 16th with 22:59. Lee Barlow ran strongly to finish 21st and 7th Over-40 in 23:10 passing and holding off Steve Waterhouse 27th and 10th O-40 in 23:22. Stephen Abbott was 34th in 23:52 (13th O-40); Arron Galvin came in 41st in 24:06; and Mark Belfield 47th with 24:21. Tess Robinson won the women’s race in 24:40 (53rd overall), with Helen Lawrenson 5th in 26:55 (103rd overall). Gemma Owen had a great run to finish 7th with 27:16 (113th) and Sue Coulthurst finished 15th in 28:14 (142nd) and Emma Lund 17th in 28:36 (149th). The Wesham open team with Robinson scoring placed 2nd behind winners Preston (252 to 192), and the women also finished 2nd with 45 (winners Blackpool with 38). The Women Masters team were also 2nd (Lawrenson 3rd; Coulthurst 7th; Carmel Sullivan 10th (29:51; 24th); Kath Hoyer 16th (30:46; 33rd) and Sharon Cooper 19th (31:29; 36th). The Wesham Overall Masters won with 56 (Swarbrick 2nd; Littler 3rd; Barlow 7th; Waterhouse 10th; Abbot 13th and Robinson 21st) with Preston 2nd (66). In the Masters’ Over-50s Wesham were 6th team with John Collier 19th (27:23; 116th) Peter Cruse 23rd (27:41; 127th); Sue Coulthurst 28th and Alan Hudson 35th (28:48; 158th). The Over-60 team finished 4th with Collier 7th; Hudson 14th; and Dave Marsland 15th (29:14; 169th) with 36; Red Rose won with 15. Rob Danson was awarded overall champion of the 2017 Grand Prix at the annual presentation after the race in the Blackpool Cricket Club; and the Wesham ladies won the Women Masters team. James Mulvany was 10th taking 7th Senior and David Taylor was 10th. Helen Lawrenson was 3rd W45; Carmel Sullivan won the W50; Steve Myerscough 2nd M40; Garry Barnett 3rd M50; Nigel Shepherd 3rd M55; John Bertenshaw was 3rd M60; and Alan Hudson was 2nd M65. Rob Danson finished 5th in the Podium 5km “A” race on Saturday at Barrowfield with a time of 14:48. The winning mark was 14:19 by Tom Lancashire (Bolton). Gemma Owen was 27th in the “B” race (9th woman) with a new personal best time of 20:15. The winning time was 17:29 (Andy McCue of Skyrac). The Wesham Trail Running Championship continued on Sunday at the Rivington 10-mile Trail Challenge. Lee Barlow finished 10th and 3rd M45 in 1:15:11 with the course extended to 10.5 miles with a tough uphill climb towards the end. Paul Gregory was 17th with 1:17:23, and Simon Denye 22nd and 2nd M40 in 1:18:51. Steven Gore finished 27th in 1:19:47; and John Collier 66th and 1st M60 in 1:28:43. Helen Lawrenson placed 11th woman and 69th overall in 1:29:04, 3rd W45; Thomas Farquhar 117th with 1:35:20; Kath Hoyer 135th and 3rd W55 in 1:37:16; Gemma Owen 145th with 1:38:07; Rob Danson (Snr) 201st in 1:47:16; Maureen Danson 240th in 1:55:48; Anne Berry 243rd with 1:56:42; Finlay McCalman was 247th in 1:57:12; and Tanya Barlow 253rd in 1:57:50. Steven Gore skipped the Inter Club Grand Prix and ran the 5km of the second of the 2018 Curly’s series. He finished 8th in 22:10 over the challenging trail course up towards the Two Lads. Vicky Gore finished 68th and 4th W40 in 30:07. Daniel Shaw completed the Kielder Ultra 50k race and placed an excellent 4th position with a time of 4:20:54. Ugis Datavs finished 4th in the Glasgow to Edinburgh Ultramarathon, completing the 55 miles of Forth and Clyde towpaths, the Antonine Wall and the Falkirk Wheel in a time of 7:37:18. In the Manchester Marathon Diane Blagden finished 1838th woman and 7093rd overall in 4:40:41, 134th W50. Fran Hodskinson completed her debut marathon with 4:26:40 in 6247th place; and she was 1446th woman and 180th W45. Rob Wallace was 5026th overall in 4:08:06, and Ben Wrigley ran well to finish 4184th in 3:57:30, 673rd M35. Alistair Morris ran the Lancashire Fell Championships on Saturday incorporated in the Pendle Fell Race from Barley village over 4.5 miles and 1499ft ascent. He finished 175th and 33rd M50 in 1:10:54. There was a big Wesham turnout again at the Lytham Hall parkrun. Arran Galvin had the third fastest time of the morning with 18:47 for an M35 age graded performance of 71.07%. Carl Groome ran 19:29 for an M45 grade of 75.11%. Andrew Harling clocked 20:11 for M35 66.14%; Jonathan Lawson 22:28 for M50 65.65%; Kay Twist 24:28 for W45 66.89%; Phil Leaver ran 25:04 for M60 66.29%; Michael Hall 25:34 with M40 54.63%; Graham Cunliffe 25:49 for M60 62.69%; Paul Eccles 26:02 and M35 51.28%; Pauline Eccleston 27:14 and W45 59.49%; Andrew Moore 27:23 with M55 56.60%; Finlay McCalman 27:29 and M50 55.43%; Kerry Eccles 30:35 with W55 59.18%; Julie Rooney ran 30:35 and W40 51.06%; Stuart Topping pace-making to 33:19 with M45 43.22%; Jennifer Woodman 33:32 and W35 44.58%; Nicola Carter 35:07 with W35 42.71% accompanied by Jason Blagden in 35:09; Sue Rigby clocked 37:01 with W40 42.50%. In the Preston parkrun Robert Brown ran 25:38 for M60 62.55%. Chris Pike ran St Helens with 26:40 for M40 52.38%. In the Blackpool Stanley Park run Helen Lawrenson bagged 21:35 for W45 grade of 75.83%; Dave Marsland an M60 72.73% with a time of 22:26; Martin Bates M60 69.01% and 23:27; Sara Ward 24:42 for W50 69.57%; George Kennedy 25:48 and M60 62.14%; Dave Young ran 26:33 for M70 66.42%. The Wesham parkrun tourists visited Bakewell in the south-east Peak District; an out and back on the Monsal Trail on the old Midland main line to Manchester; David Taylor scored the third fastest time of the morning with 17:52 for an age grade of 72.57%. Vicky Gore had the lead with 26:39 for W40 58.16%, with Megan Gore JW11 50.25% with a time of 33:06, and Steven Gore tailing with 33:07.