Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Thomas Crabtree puts in a good run on the fast opening stage

Steve Littler returned to winning ways in Wesham colours in the Macclesfield Half Marathon in windy conditions and over an undulating course on Sunday crossing the line with a time of 1:16:18 also turning in 1st M45. He had a 1:31 lead over second placed Matthew Devlin of no fixed abode.

The big draw of the weekend was Sunday’s Northern Athletics Women’s 4-Stage and Mens’ 6-Stage Road Relays held for the third year at Sportcity in Manchester in bright sunny conditions, although there was a stiff and chill wind at times and a late rain shower turned into a downpour for 5 minutes with hail, such were the varying conditions throughout the afternoon. Wesham had three women’s teams, setting 5 minutes after the Senior Men but running a shorter loop. Wesham’s ‘A’ team finished 85th with a combined time of 2:01:29 for the 21.6km distance (4 x 5.4k). Helen Lawrenson took the team off on Stage 1 with 26:00 (68th) followed by Tanya Shaw 32:01 (91st), Jo McCaffery 33:02 (95th) and Kay Twist (30:26). The ‘B’ team (Tracey Hulme 89th; 28:06; Emma Davies 99th 34:23; Joy Hetherington 100th 37:05 and Sue Rigby 99th 38:58) came in 95th in 2:18:32, closely followed by the ‘C’ team (Anne Berry 106th 33:19; J Sandersonwood 105th 39:22; Louisa Denye 103rd 31:24; and Sally Deacon 100th 35:58) bringing the team in 96th with 2:20:03.

 How much grit do you want?

The Senior Men ‘B’ team were first home for the Wesham men in 74th place with 2:26:46 for the 40.8km (6 x 6.8k). Paul Hetherington lead off on the first stage and came back with 25:27 for 108th place, followed by Steve Swarbrick (92nd in 23:35); Simon Denye (85th 23:51); Carl Groome (86th 26:32); Ugis Datavs (83rd 23:52); and David Taylor (74th in 23:29). The ‘C’ team finished 123rd in 2:56:19 with Thomas Crabtree (116th 25:51); Jonathan Sanders (132nd 30:48); Stuart Clayton (132 29:10); Peter Bartlett (130th 34:33); Martin Allison (128th 29:28); Chris Hastwell (123rd 26:29). The ‘D’ team were again right behind placing 124th in 3:00:30 comprising Neil Gregson (127th in 26:53); Thomas Farquhar (134th 29:59); Graham Cunliffe (136th 34:22); Ben Wrigley (133rd 31:41); John Collier (130th 28:14); and Sean Murray (124th 29:21). The Wesham ‘A’ team were 128th in 3:09:10 with Mark Renshall on the lead-out with 27:04 (128th); Rob Wallace (135th in 30:10); Elliot Costello (135th 30:50); James Danson (131st 32:23); Peter Cooke (132nd 37:27); and Ryan Azzopardi with a tremendous finish (128th 31:16).

Steve Abbott finished 3rd in the Blackpool Music 10k with bands playing along the route but a strong headwind on the return leg from Squires gate all the way back to the Metropole. He finished with 38:43 to place 1st M40. Lee Nixon ran 45:13 for a personal best and 25th place. Sharon Cooper was 51st in 49:57 10th woman and 4th W45.

Finlay McCalman ran the Ultimate Lakeland Trails 10k race at Coniston on Saturday and he finished 122nd in 1:12:35, 23rd M50.

Matty Chamberlain ran the fastest time of the day at the Lytham Hall parkrun on Saturday morning, scoring 19:01 for an age graded performance of 74.58%. Jonathan Lawson ran 21:47 for an M50 grade of 67.71%. Phil Leaver ran 24:12 for M65 69.28% and Sharon Cooper 24:41 for W45 64.35%. James Danson clocked 24:46 for M50 61.04% and Peter Rooney 25:08 and M60 63.79%. Gareth Booth ran the fasted time of the day at the Preston parkrun in 17:25 for M45 82.01%, but Steve Myerscough took it more sedately as he comes back from injury, still running a good time of 24:47 (M40 56.76%). Chris Pike was back at St Helens after his good run in the English Half Marathon in Warrington last week, running his fastest time since his personal best in August last year, 24:47 for an M40 grade of 56.36%. At Cuerden Valley Carl Groome warmed up for the road relays with 21:29 on the two-lap woodland trails for M45 68.11% while Sue Rigby ran 38:03 and earned a W45 41.74%. In the Blackpool run in Stanley Park Garry Barnett ran the 3rd fastest time of the morning with 19:14 for M50 77.90% and Martin Bates 26:20 for M60 61.46%. On Fleetwood Promenade Peter Cruse ran 21:03 for M55 73.63%; Simon Denye sharpened up with 24:03 for M40 58.49%; George Kennedy 24:41 for M60 65.56% running with Suzanne Leonard who scored W45 66.26% with a time of 24:42. Brian Jones clocked 31:27 for M55 49.71%. The parkrun tourists were at Cliffe Castle parkrun in Keighley for the second event there with David Taylor running the second fastest time of 18:52 for a senior age grade of 68.73%. Vicky Gore ran 29:22 for a W40 grade 52.78% with Steven Gore the same time (M35 45.46%) and Megan Gore running JW11 45.59% with a time of 36:29.