Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Nigel Shepherd in Lytham Hall on New Year’s day

Wesham Road Runners celebrated the New Year after a successful 12 months saw teams contest the Northern Road Relays; forays to the Lake District for the Grasmere Gallop; international parties to Benidorm and Palma; and take a team to the prestigious Endure24 event in Leeds for the first time. Alan Taylor and supporting crew completed the Three Peaks and cycle challenge to raise over £3000 for cancer charities. There were many individual successes with many new members and many out to set new personal best performances and take on new challenges. The club has run another two Couch to 5k programs and benefited from many success and new recruits, and 2019 is set to be another good year for the club with many team events and the continuing club championships on road, cross country, trail and fell.

The year ended with the popular and top class Ribble Valley 10k and North of England Championships on Sunday, with 5 Wesham members competing. Steve Abbott finished 188th and 119th in the championships with a time of 37:31. Peter Cruse was 408th overall and 21st M55 in 43:08, 200th in the Northern Champs. Anne Mayers-Smith came in 62nd woman and 36th in the Northern, running 44:08 coming in 441st overall. Sean Murray finished 486th in 45:24, 218th in the Northern Champs, just ahead of father-in-law Alan Hudson who was 4th M65 in 46:06, 520th overall and 225th in the NoE Championships.

Kath Hoyer ran the festive 4k race in Lancaster on Thursday, finishing 22nd woman and 1st W55 in 19:02, placing 85th overall. Alan Taylor was 156th in 21:57, and Dave Waywell 213th and 2nd M70 up against fast finishing Steve Walsh of Lancaster in 23:53. This was a well-pitched race with 377 finishers.

There were 25 Wesham runners in the New Year’s Day parkrun in Lytham Hall at 10am. Steve Abbott scorched round in 18:26 for a new personal best time and an M40 grade of 74.59%, and David Taylor 18:43 for 59.46%. Christopher Hastwell clocked 19:40 with an M35 19:40 and Lee Nixon had a blinder to set a new personal best of 20:46 and M35 64.77%. Nigel Shepherd had a strong run with 20:51 for M60 76.90 with Martin Bates in tow with 70.89% and time 23:01 and Dave Marsland 69.77% and 23:36. Suzanne Leonard ran her first run at Lytham with 24:01 for W45 68.15% with George Kennedy 24:04 and M60 67.24%. Paul Eccles ran 24:32 with M35 54.82% and Robert Brown M60 64.60 with 25:03. Ryan Azzopardi returned to running with 25:04 and M35 53.66% with James Danson 25:24 and M50 59.97%. Ben Wrigley clocked 25:34 with his son for M35 52.61%, with Kay Twist 25:45 for W45 64.34%; Peter Rooney 26:05 (M60 61.47); Stephen Twist 26:20 (M50 56.90%) and Andrew Moore 27:33 (56.90%). Antoinette Holton ran 28:27 for 52.37%; James Birchall 29:12 and %; Finlay McCalman 29:28 for M50 51.70%; Sally Deacon 30:28 and W50 56.40%; Debbie Myerscough 32:11 and W55 55.52%; Kerry Eccles 32:12 with W55 56.21%; and Sue Rigby 32:19 with W45 49:15. It was a record turnout at Lytham with 420 runners as Preston and Cuerden Valley runs were cancelled, and many had made it a double with Blackpool starting at 8:30. On Saturday at Preston David Taylor had run 18:35 for an age grade of 69.96%; Steve Myerscough 20:37 getting ever closer to a full recovery for M45 68.80%; Nigel Shepherd 21:01 for M60 76.29%; Robert Brown 25:55 for M60 62.44%; and Paul Carter 28:16 and M45 51.77%. Graham Cunliffe was preparing for New Year in Scotland and took in the Greenock run in 26:10 for his second fastest time here with M60 62.36%. Vicky and Steven Gore took in the Cross Flatts run in Leeds Hunslett Carr with 27:27 (W40 56.47%) and 27:28 (M35 48.60%). In Lytham Hall Carl Groome scored an M50 64.55% with a time of 22:51 and Jonathan Lawson 23:22 for M50 63.62%. Peter Rooney ran 25:27 for M60 63.00%; Andrew Moore 26:37 with M55 58.74%; James Birchall 29:27 for a grade of 43.86%; Sally Deacon 30:31 for W50 56.31%; and Sue Rigby 31:15 for W45 50.83%. Steve Waterhouse ran the Blackpool run in 19:30 for a debut M50 grade of 75.64%. Helen Lawrenson clocked a good 21:58 for W45 75.42%; Stephen Browne 22:49 with M50 66.25%, and Dave Marsland 23:46 for M60 69.28%. On the Fleetwood Promenade Lee Barlow debuted with 18:54 for M45 76.19%; Suzanne Leonard ran 24:56 with George Kennedy for W45 67.03% and M60 66.28%. Martin Bates recorded an M60 65.40% with a time of 24:57. On New Year’s Day the Wesham parkrun doublers Christopher Hastwell ran 19:22 for M35 68.07%; George Kennedy and Suzanne Leonard 24:04 for M60 67.24% and W45 68.01%; Ben Wrigley 24:47 for M35 54.27%; Martin bates 24:55 (M60 65.48%); Nigel Shepherd 25:05 (M60 63.92%); Andrew Moore 28:04 (M55 55.70%); Finlay McCalman 30:12 (M50 50.44%); and Dave Marsland 33:26 (M60 49.25%). The parkrun tourists Steven and Vicky Gore did a new Year’s Day double at Belton House in Lincolnshire on a two-lap multi-terrain course in 19:25 (M35 68.76%) and 27:00 (W40 57.41%), and then Steven ran a parkrun and 5km personal best at Rutland Water in Leicestershire along the lake shore out-and-back with 18:45 (M35 71.20%) with Vicky 27:24 (W40 56.57%).