The third Mid-Lancs cross country fixture at Hyndburn Wilsons Fields turned out to be a real challenge with horrendous weather conditions and problems on the course with the markings and Marshalls, resulting in various course problems up to the Senior Mens’ race which went ahead to plan. Wesham’s first action was in the combined Senior Women and Men Over-70 race supposedly held over a medium and a large lap. Setting off 20 minutes late, Anne Mayers-Smith finished 49th in 29:10 over an approximate 8km course placing 16th W35. Carmel Sullivan made a return to cross country after a 3-year layoff with injury, coming in 31st in 27:38 and 7th W45.
In the M70+ race Dave Young finished 2nd in 35:37 and Peter Bartlett was 5th with 1:04:15 having been sent wrong near the finish getting mixed up with lapping Senior Men. Peter’s finish ensured the M70+ team victory for Wesham.
The Senior Men were more successful with Alex Rowe filling a marshaling slot. David Taylor was first Wesham runner to complete the course coming home in 42nd place in 41:06 with a great run. Andrew Harling provided great backup finishing 46th in 41:36. Phil Quibell was 3rd M60 and 78th overall in 43:52. Nigel Shepherd finished 5th and 158th in 49:37 and John Collier was close behind to clinch the M60 team win in 7th place, 165th overall with 50:34 in a hard-fought finish with fellow M60s Graham Webster and Terry Hellings of Lytham St Annes. Steve Myerscough finished 176th and 54th M40 in 51:21, a brav effort as he steadily returns from injury. Ben Wrigley was 216th in 57:45. The Mens’ team is listed as 14th; the M35s 13th; and the M50s 5th, but this may be wrong as Wesham’s Garry Barnett who did not run is listed in 198th place with54:37.
On Sunday the big race for Wesham was the Longridge Christmas Pudding 7-miler up Longridge Fell and over the infamous Jeffrey Hill, a much better day with favourable weather conditions. Simon Denye had a superb run representing many weeks of preparation and return to racing fitness, coming across the finish line in 42:22 holding the chasing third placed runner by 5 seconds. Paul Gregory placed 9th in 43:30 and Stuart Clayton finished 73rd in 53:53. Helen Lawrenson was 81st with 54:36 and Stephen Brownie was 97th in 56:38. Next in Alan Hudson finished 115th in 58:04, and Sara Ward 152nd with 60%19. David Millar finished 180th in 61:58 and Robert Danson was 185th with a good run in 62:26. Vicky Gore was 210th in 64:59; Maureen Danson 218th in 65:29; Paul Carter 223rd with 65:54; Peter Rooney was 225th in 65:48 (the results are in chip time order); Louis’s Denye 269th in 68:47; John Howorth 313rd with 1:13:23; Sally Deacon 331st in 1:14:21; Debbie Myerscough 367th in 1:17:36; Antoinette Holton 371st in 1:20:42; Julie Rooney Diane Blagden 376th and 377th in 1:21:36; there were 411 runners in all.
The weekend saw the annual double-headed Langdale Xmas 10k, split over two days to accommodate the popularity of this race from the New Dungeon Ghyll down the valley to Elterwater and return. On the Saturday Peter Cruse was the leading Wesham runner finishing 75th in 45:54. Chas Colby crossed the line 227th with 52:40, and Angela Colby 305th with 55:56.
The Lytham Hall parkrun was cancelled on Saturday morning due to high winds at the end of a breezy week. Most of Wesham’s runners managed to find their way to neighbouring runs, with David Taylor warming up for the afternoon’s Mid Lancs Cross country with a measured 20:12 for an age graded performance of 64.36. Robert Brown ran 26:07 for M60 61.97%. Elizabeth Johnson recorded 26:11 with a W35 58.05%. Tracey Hulme completed the South Manchester parkrun in Platt Fields in 24:14 for a W55 age grade of 74.69%. Martin Bates was running in the Bolton run in Leverhulme Park and he completed the undulating 5km in 26:04 for M60 62.60%. Emma Wright was in the Wyre Forest and ran 32:02 for W40 48.02%. Emma Lund ran the Lancaster parkrun in Williamson Park in 23:41 for W35 63.12%. At the Blackpool parkrun in Stanley Park Helen Lawrenson ran 23.09 with a W45 grade of 71.56%; Stuart Topping 22:18 with an M45 64.57%; Finlay McCalman M50 52.92% with his time of 28:47; and Kerry Eccles ran 30:47 for W55 59.77%. In the Fleetwood Promenade run George Kennedy and Suzanne Leonard ran 25:32 in tandem to record age grades of M60 63.38% and W45 64.10%. The Wesham parkrun tourists were at Potternewton Park in North East Leeds over 3 laps with Vicky and Steven Gore running 27:43 for W40 55.92% and M35 48.17%.