Alex’s Newspaper Report.

The Wesham Men’s Team in glorious cross country weather at the English National Bramham Hall

The English Cross Country Association National Championships were held in Bramham Park north of Leeds on Saturday in glorious unseasonal but very spring-like gorgeous weather. There was not a skid of mud anywhere on the 6km loop through the very undulating stunning parkland with Red Kites circling overhead looking for any rich pickings of ailing stragglers. Fortunately there were none as the pace up front was breath-taking and the fields of runners were closely packed with record numbers of competitors.  Wesham lost their only runner in the Senior Women’s 9km as unfortunately Anne Mayers-Smith had to withdraw due to a recurrent calf problem.  In the Senior Men’s 12km race Wesham had a full team, lead by Mark Belfield who ran well to finish 885th in a time of 48:31. Mark Renshall was next in 1539th 55:35; Nigel Shepherd 1598th 56:41; John Collier 1644th 57:22; Ben Wrigley 1770th 59:46; Martin Bates 1813th 61:02; Peter Bartlett 1993rd 76:41. The winner was Mohamed Mohamed in 36:44 and the last placed runner was George Routledge in 2006th place with 1:46:43.

Simon Eaton completed the Trans Gran Canaria Advanced 65k race in his final event as a Wesham member, and certainly made it an occasion to remember. Starting in 23rd February at 09:00 he completed the course with a clocking of 11 hours 15 minutes, with over 19,000 feet of climbing taking in the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains on the island. One of the highest peaks is called Rogue Nublo.

In the Standish Hall Trail Race on Saturday the Wesham Trail Running Championship series for 2019 got underway. Paul Gregory had a good run to complete the two-lap 6-mile undulating course in 42:09 to achieve 9th place. Lee Barlow came in 12th with 42:42 to place 3rd M45. Thomas Crabtree was right behind in 15th place win 43:07. Kath Hoyer was 10th woman and 2nd W55 in 52:15 finishing 89th overall. Anne Berry placed 60th woman and 5th W55 in 62:30, in 182nd place overall. Dave Waywell finished 4th M70 and 198th overall in 65:02. The Wesham Men finished 7th team; there were 247 runners.

It was a busy weekend for the Wesham club championships as it was the next round for road running on Sunday in the Lostock 6 race. Simon Denye finished an excellent 11th to come in 4th M45 in a time of 35:45. Andrew Harling finished 19th with 36:27 while Garry Barnett was 3rd M50 and 25th overall in 37:04. Lee Barlow was 26th and 7th M45 in 37:08; Thomas Crabtree placed 36th in 38:31; and Stuart Topping was 92nd in 43:19. Helen Lawrenson was Wesham’s first woman in 12th place and 3rd W45 in 44:22, 110th overall. George Kennedy finished 9th M60 and 156th overall in 46:41 with Suzanne Leonard 24th woman and 6th W45 (157th overall) in 46:42. James Danson was 193rd in 49:07; Peter Rooney 205th in 49:39; Kerry Eccles 41st woman and 6th W55 (226th overall) in 50:42. Catherine Nicholls finished 51st and 14th W45 (250th) in 52:04; Maureen Danson was 52nd and 254th in 52:19; Tanya Shaw 53rd and 255th with 52:23; and Fran Hodskinson 55th and 257th in 52:36. Colin Smy placed 270th with 53:06; Tanya Barlow was 76th and 298th in 54:02; Jo McCaffery 80th and 303rd in 54:11. James Birchall was 315th with 55:26; Antoinette Holton 93rd and 321st in 55:50; Diane Blagden 98th and 331st in 56:37; Debbie Myerscough 107th; 12th W55 and 353rd overall in 57:58. Julie Rooney placed 146th and 409th in 63:50; the Wesham women’s team finished 5th with the ‘B’ team 11th. The Men’s team placed 4th with their ‘B’ team 9th. Alan Hudson ran the Stanley Park 10k on Sunday morning, completing the 2-lap course in 45:49 for 64th place overall and 1st M65. Kath Hoyer was 100th in 48:42, 14th woman and 2nd W55. Finlay McCalman made it a double weekend in Stanley Park with 54:19 for 174th place, completing 15k in the park over two days.

  The Wesham Team at the Oulton Park 3.5 hour Challenge.

As part of their Manchester Marathon training, Steven Gore, Rob Wallace and Elliot Costello too part in the Asics Race on Track 3.5-hour challenge in Oulton Park in Cheshire on Sunday. The idea was to run as many laps as possible in the time, and the three finished 115th, 116th and 117th in 2:14:16 having run as a team, with 7 laps at pace and an 8th lap as cooldown. The event was run in conjunction with a Half Marathon and a 10k. Rob clocked a half marathon personal best time of 1:37:20 on the route.

Half term week was an opportunity for Wesham members to experience a Saturday morning parkrun in a different location, and members were out and about. Dave Marsland was in Chester le Street on Tyneside and took a run along the course used for the 1999 World Veterans cross country in the Riveside parkrun along the banks of the River Wear, running 22:43 for M60 72.49%. A little further south in Druridge Bay, Hadston, just north of Sunderland David Taylor clocked the fastest time of the morning on the lap round Ladyburn Lake, recording an excellent 17:56 for an age grade of 72.49%. Vicky and Steven Gore ran round together in 26:30, with Vicky recording W40 58.93% and Steven M35 50.36% with 26:31. Along the Hove Promenade Ian Garrod steamed to 22:22 and an M55 grade of 69.90%. At the South Manchester run in Platt Fields Tracey Hulme ran a good 24:22 for a W55 grade of 74.28%. Back at home at the Lytham Hall parkrun Jonathan Lawson completed his 89th run in 21:58 with an M50 age graded performance of 67.68%. Ben Wrigley warmed up for the National Cross Country with 23:24 for an M35 grade of 57.48%. Paul Boustead clocked 23:55 for M35 56.24% while Graham Cunliffe produced a creditable 26:46 for M60 60.96%. Kay Twist ran 28:03 for W45 59.06% with hubbie Stephen one second adrift in 28:04 for M50 53.38%. Keith Wilding ran 28:59 for M60 55.84%. John Sharples ran his 2nd parkrun and debut at Lytham Hall with 29:11 for M60 56.94%. Debbie Bell clocked 36:52 for W45 43.08%. In Preston’s Avenham Park Steve Myerscough took a pace up in his recovery with a time of 21:13 for M45 66.85%. Robert Brown ran 26:23 for M60 61.34%. In Blackpool Rob Wallace was the first Wesham finisher in 22:59 for an age grade of 56.13%. Finlay McCalman ran 26:21 for M50 57.81% and Andrew Moore clocked 26:22 for M55 59.29%. Gemma Owen clocked 29:06 for W35 52.00%. Steve Littler set a new personal best at the Fleetwood Promenade parkrun running 16:35, just 16 seconds short of the event record, to register an M45 age grade of 85.53%. Peter Cruse ran 21:08 for M55 73.34%; George Kennedy ran 22:59 for M60 70:41 with Suzanne Leonard clocking 23:08 for W45 70.75%. Brian Jones ran 29:06 for M55 53.72%.