Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Thumbs up to February!  As the days draw out and the snow drops are blooming

The Blackburn Winter Warmer 10k on Sunday was blessed with good weather although there was still a good deal of snow lying around, and the race organisers Blackburn Road Runners had done an excellent job of gritting the course and sweeping all lanes of the athletic track used for the start and finish clear of snow. And they were well prepared for the 700+ competitors, a very good turnout for this hilly and countryfied course with its awesome initial climb up the notorious Bunser Lane.

Leading the way for the Wesham women Kath Hoyer made light of the hills to finish 38th woman and 2nd W55 in a sprightly performance with a time of 49:47 coming in 204th overall. Sharon Cooper ran well and finished 49th woman and 238th overall in 51:25, 12th W45. Louisa Denye had a great run in 79th place with her time 54:54, 322nd overall. Elizabeth Johnson placed 86th and 342nd in 55:34; Vicky Gore finished 108th and 390th overall in 57:31; and Debbie Myerscough making great progress with 66:09 for 226th place and 585th overall. In the men’s race Steve Littler was up against some strong opposition but ran well to finish 7th in 35:17 placing 2nd M45. Simon Denye continued his strong form coming in 22nd and 4th M45 in 38:14. Alan Hudson regained his M65 crown with a great run finishing 177th in a time of 48:36 with James Danson placing 295th and 35th M50 in 53:40. Peter Rooney was 315th and 9th M60 in 54:38; Finlay McCalman refreshed from a team outing to see Think Floyd on Friday evening finished 360th in 56:23, and Dave Waywell was 4th M70 against considerable competition placing 429th overall in 58:56.

Stuart Topping ran the Mad Dog 10k in Southport and finished 398th in a good 49:12 placing 120th M40+ (age categories in 10-year categories with no M35s recognised). Robert Brown finished 594th in 51:26 as 12th M60, and Sue Rigby placed 1143rd woman and 2202nd overall in a race where females outnumbered males, clocking 67:59. There were 3046 runners with the tail end runner clocking 1:46:56 and the winner Simon Croft of Red Rose running 33:57 and the first 45 finishers ran inside 40 minutes.

It was a quieter week for the Saturday morning runs as Lytham Hall and Preston were cancelled due to ice on the course and a good many other events were also called off. The Blackpool parkrun in Stanley Park was the main beneficiary with most of the refugees from Lytham and Preston. David Taylor was the leading Wesham runner at Blackpool, running 18:26 for an age graded performance percentage of 70.52%. Thomas Crabtree was next in with a time of 19:47 for a grade of 65.21%. Dave Marsland returned an M60 age grade of 71.28% with his run of 23:06. Andrew Moore ran 25:52 for M55 60.36% and Robert Brown M60 60.31% with a time of 26:50. Vicky Gore ran 26:53 for a W40 grade of 58.09% with Steven Gore in support also clocking 26:53. Dave Young ran 27:19 for M70 65.34%; Finlay McCalman 27:25 for M50 55.56%; James Danson 29:33 for M50 51.55% running with Phil Leaver who clocked the same time and an M60 grade of 56.74%. Dawn Biggs ran 30:09 for a W50 grade of 56.27% with Kerry Eccles 30:10 and W55 60.83%. Debbie Bell made a welcome return with a time of 39:49 for W45 39.89%. Visiting Krakow in Poland Martin Allison and Jo McCaffery made the opportunity to run the parkrun there, recording 27:01 together for M35 48.80% and W40 56.94%. Along the Fleetwood Promenade Mark Renshall ran a good 20:04 for an M45 grade of 70.68%. Martin Bates woke early after his night at Think Floyd in Lytham and ran a good 23:24 for a new personal best time and an M60 grade of 69.73%. Suzanne Leonard clocked 23:48 to record a W45 grade of 68.77% with George Kennedy also 23:48 and an M60 grade of 68.00%