Alex’s Newspaper Report.

A motley group of celebrities at the start of the Rudolph Red Nose Race.

The Christmas period was wrapped up with the Rudolf Red Nose Race around the De Vere and Marton Mere on Sunday in cool damp conditions. The rule of the day was festive costume and most of the competitors complied. There was a breakaway group of 6 at the front that finished up 3 and a half minutes clear of the rest. Leading the field was M45 Gareth Booth who completed the 5 miles trail running in 27:54. Rob Danson dressed as Elvis finished 2nd in 28:01, with Steve Littler 3rd and 2nd M45 in 28:24. Simon Denye had another great run to come in 6th and 3rd M45 in 32:01 and round off his comeback. Christopher Hastwell was at the front of the chasing group, finishing 8th in 35:42 and 1st M35. Peter Cruse was 5th M55 and 37th in 38:37 and Ben Wrigley in a Santa cloak finished 43rd with 39:17. Suzanne Leonard as an elf and George Kennedy in gold lame as Elvis ran together and finished 46th and 47th in 39:37. Stuart Clayton was 58th and Kath Hoyer came in 67th in 41:55 just ahead of Sharon Cooper who finished 68th with 42:03. Maureen Danson was 78th in 43:57 and Lee Barlow coasted round in 44:00 for 79th place. Robert Danson was 81st as Elvis Las Vegas in 44:21 with Peter Rooney 82nd with the same time. Paul Carter was 84th in 45:37 and then Carmel Sullivan and Mick Edge fooling to the line as an elf riding a snowman 99th and 100th in 47:20 and 47:21. Lucy Neighbour and Peter Cooke were 110th and 111st in 47:42; Alice Deacon was 118th in 47:45; Kerrie McNeill and Graham Brook 132nd and 134th in 50:01; John Howorth 142nd with 50:19; Emma Topping, Dan and Helen Lawrenson 147th, 148th and 149th in 50:27, 50:28 and 50:29; Louisa Denye and Tanya Barlow 151st and 152nd with 50:34 and 50:45; Kerry Eccles and Sally Deacon 161st and 162nd in 52:26; Pauline Eccleston in a fairy outfit was 171st in 53:16; John Pouncy 176th in 55:25; Sue Rigby 178th in 55:59.

Whee! Here we come!

On the Second Day of Christmas there was the traditional Boxing Day 10k in Worden Park in Leyland, with six Wesham members running off their Xmas Pud in moist and misty conditions. Paul Gregory was the first finisher from the club, coming in 14th in 37:40 and 2nd M40. Steve Abbott was 21st with a time of 38:48 and 3rd M40. Chris Hastwell was in action again, finishing 37th with 40:50, 10th M35. Lee Nixon was next in with 42:29 for 47th place. Ben Wrigley finished 111th in 47:59 and Paul Carter 256th with 56:31. There were 469 runners in this popular race, with Adam Sciacca winning in 32:39 and the first woman Mel Koth crossing the line 46th overall in 42:12.

In this week’s parkrun there were 8 runners in the Lytham Hall event, with John Burns running an M60 age grade of 73.46% with a time of 22:25. Sharon Cooper ran 23:48 for W45 66.74%; Martin Allison 24:38 for M35 53.52%; Finlay McCalman 26:37 with an M50 grade of 57.23%; Graham Cunliffe ran 27:14 for M60 59.91%; Jo McCaffery and Tanya Shaw ran 28:08 and 28:09 for W40 grades 54.68% and 55.06%. James Birchall clocked 37:55 for a grade of 34.07%. Tracey Hulme recorded another South Manchester run in 24:45 for W55 73.13% and in the Preston run Steve Myerscough scored 20:48 and Nigel Shepherd 21:00 for M45 69.19% and M60 76.3%. Shona Taylor ran 27:51 for W50 63.32% and Robert Brown 30:21 for M60 53.32%. Chris Pike ran the St Helens run in 29:32 for M40 47.29%; Jenn Thompson the Southport Hesketh Park run in 30:09 for W40 50.75%; and Martin Bates Leverhulme Park in Bolton for 25:29 and an M60 grade of 64.03%. Andrew Harling was in Penrith and he ran the Frenchwood Sports Centre course at the Penrith AFC ground in 19:34 for 68.74%. In the Blackpool event in Stanley Park Dave Marsland clocked 24:00 for M60 68.61% and Andrew Moore 28:04 with M55 55.70%. David Taylor ran the fastest time of the day at the Clitheroe Castle event running 19:03 for 68.24%. Peter Cruse had the second fastest time along the Fleetwood Promenade in 21:03 for M55 73.63%, and Suzanne Leonard and George Kennedy 23:53 and 23:54 with W45 68.53% and M60 67.71%. In the second Kew Woods run in Birkdale in Southport Steven Gore had the fastest time of 19:52 for M35 67.20%; Megan Gore JW11 43.56% with a time of 38:11 and Vicky Gore also 38:11. 

2018 was another highly successful year for Wesham Road Runners, with many new members joining and swelling the ranks back to the level of the 1990s, several ex-members returned to the club, a homage to the continuing reputation and camaraderie. It was a scorching summer for several months and happily at the peak of the heat Wesham took two teams to the Endure 24 event in Leeds and by a feat of total cooperation had a great three days under canvas and finished two teams together on the line after 24 hours of running. This rounded off a month which has commenced with another successful Wesham weekend trip to the Grasmere Gallop. Parkrunning continues to be a very popular time trial before breakfast on a Saturday morning with over 135 Wesham members now regularly taking part. The new Trail Running Championship was less popular was less successful in its second year but there are plans for the third year in 2019 and a return of the Fell Running Championships with the two combined. The club could not follow-up its successes in 2017 in the Inter Club Grand Prix, with the women falling form champions to 4th place, but the men were contending 2nd place most of the season. There was a great day at the Northern 12- and 6-Stage Road Relays on a glorious march day in Birkenhead Park, and another 4 teams in the 6-and4-stage relays in September. The men won the Lancashire 5-mile road championship and were 2nd in the 10-mile and won the team in a highly successful Wesham 10k in November. There was a new Wesham 10k; the Summer 10k in May, which proved to be a swift sell-out staged as a “no frills” midweek evening race. Alan Taylor and supporting crew completed the challenge of the Three Peaks and cycle challenge over 9 gruelling days; 490 miles with 25,000ft of climbing. There were overseas forays to Benidorm and Palma with a large contingent from the club, and some good performances as well as plenty of partying.  This all bodes well for the New Year and 2019, with many good events in the calendar and with the European Athletics Championships coming to Glasgow and the British and Irish Masters International in Southport it promises to be an exciting year.

Having refined all his personal bests in 2017 and coming to the attention of England Athletics Rob Danson on the cusp of breaking 30 minutes for 10k and 50 minutes for 10 miles had a good opening to the year but then was beset with injury, making a return at the end of the summer and clinching his fourth overall victory. Steve Littler returned to racing and success in the M45 age category; David Taylor continued to shine with many good performances; Simon Denye made a remarkable comeback with some excellent results; and Garry Barnett and Paul Hetherington both had a burst of excellence. Peter Cruse embraced the M55 age category and John Collier was well up in the M65 category. There are too many new members to list all but there have been many successes with new and old for Thomas Crabtree, Andrew Harling, Steve Abbott, Steven Gore, Daniel Shaw, Mark Renshall, and Rob Wallace to list just a few.  Nigel Shepherd and Phil Leaver both returned from serious injuries and Ironman Ian Garrod strapped on his running shoes again and John Burns came back to quality running.  The women have welcomed many new recruits and there is now a large community building.  Carmel Sullivan overcame her injury problems; Helen Lawrenson had a busy year and many good results; Suzanne Leonard is a promising new talent; and Anne Mayers-Smith has re-joined; Tanya Shaw and Jo McCaffery had a great day at the Chester Marathon. Good performances are coming from Emma Lund, Tracey Hulme, Sharon Cooper, and many others unfortunately too many to list. Sorry to miss you out but you are all acknowledged, and your presence is a great boost to the club.  We have many exciting ideas for the New Year!