Wesham had a fine day out at the races on Saturday; a true team outing with coach transport to the Northern Athletics Women’s 4-Stage and Men’s 6-Stage Road relays, staged on Redcar’s Coast Road over a traffic-free 6.8km. The Men’s “A” team of Andrew Harling 21:26, Adam Wilding 21:48, Tom Crabtree 21:27, Rob Danson 18:27, David Taylor 20:46, and Ugis Datavs 21:43 finished 43rd in 2:05:37 and were just 2mins 4seconds (9 places) short of qualifying for the ERRA National Road Relays in three weeks’ time in Sutton Park. The Men’s “B” team were Mark Belfield 21:16, Lee Barlow 22:45, Mark Holton 22:40, Steve Myerscough 23:13, Peter Rooney 26:37, and Alek Walker 23:28 for 63rd place in 2:19:59. The “C” team of Ryan Azzopardi 29:26, Andrew Moore 32:50, Ben Wrigley 33:12, Stephen Twist 30:06, Liam Docherty 30:02 and Mark Renshall 30:47 for 72nd place in 3:06:23. Rob Danson had the fastest time of the Wesham men and placed 55th out of the overall 482 runners competing, with David Taylor running the second fastest and Andrew harling third, with Tom Crabtree just one second slower. The Wesham women also had three teams running, with the “A” team of Sue Coulthurst 27:29, Kay Twist 29:36, Beverley Wilding 32:33 and Lisa Minns 29:42 to claim 44th position in 1:59:20. The “B” team were 44th in 2:10:43 with Louise Lord 32:55, Jessica Coulthurst 30:57, Antoinette Holton 34:15 and Maureen Danson 32:36. The “C” team comprising Clare Belfield 35:06, Dette Dickinson 32:47, Debbie Myerscough 37:57 and Julie Rooney 37:12 to finish 45th in 2:23:02. Sue Coulthurst had the fastest Wesham tine, with Kay Twist second and Lisa Minns third with Jessica Coulthurst fourth.
Garry Barnett (pictured) ran a new personal best time of 37:15 at age 55 finishing 5th and first M55 in the Lancaster Three Bridges 10k with the 84 steps to ascend the Lune Aqueduct thrown in. Emma Lund ran the Trafford 10k in Manchester and she finished 509th and 147th woman, 27th W35 in 61:14. Anne Mayers-Smith was entered but did not run. Liz Sharrocks completed the Chester Half Marathon in 2:20:59 for 1768th place, 502nd woman and 11th W60.
In the Lakeland Trails Cartmell Sport 5km in wave starts Sue Hopcroft finished 67th in 59:59, 43rd woman and 9th W-Over-50. In the Trail Challenge 18k with wave starts Helen Lawrenson was 52nd in 2:00:544th 10th woman and W-Over-50.
There was a good deal of athletics action last week and over the weekend, and while Wesham could not raise a team for the Lancashire Road Relays in the North West event in Birchwood on Saturday this was because they were out in force all over the North of England.
In the Yarrow River Splash in Chorley there were 10 Wesham members running over the woodland 10km course from the Flaming Grill pub with as the name suggests a crossing through the river. Sue Coulthurst was the first Wesham finisher as third woman and first W50 in a time of 55:10, placing 28th overall. Julie Paton was 16th woman, 64th overall and 3rd W45 in 1:01:42, followed by Kay Twist 4th W50 and 83rd in 1:03:57. Sue, Julie and Kay were the leading women’s team with a tremendous result. Stephen Twist was 87th with 1:04:13; Lucy Neighbour 119th in 1:09:35; Louise Lord 124th in 1:10:51; Anne Berry 2nd W60 and 140th with 1:14:20; Alistair Morris 175th in 1:19:19; and Sharlan Butcher and Dawn Biggs 190th and 191st in 1:24:18 and 1:24:20 respectively.
There was a good turnout of Wesham members at the second Catforth 5km road run on Saturday evening, with Andrew Harling running a personal best time of 17:28 to finish 5th and
1st M40. Garry Barnett came in 8th in 18:09, also a personal best and placing first M55. Chris Hastwell was 10th in 19:13, and the three Wesham men won the male team. Steve Myerscough improved on his morning parkrun with 19:20 for 12th place, and Nigel Shepherd 18th and first M60 in 20:48, successfully under the 21-minute barrier after a long struggle with injury. Martin Bates was 3rd M60 in 21:08 in a hard-fought battle between the three of them. Sharlan Butcher finished 9th woman, 2nd W45 and 35th in 27:07 with Dawn Biggs 36th with 27:17 placing second W50.
John Collier ran the Pendleton Fell Race over 5 miles and with 1500ft of climb, and he finished 54th, 10th Over-60, although this does not represent his M65 position, in a time of 59:30. He had quite a battle with a group of 5 runners on the final downhill, gaining some ground over his nearest rival at the finish.
The Blackpool Night Run took place on Wednesday evening over in support of Brian House Children’s Hospice along 7.5km from the Tower Festival Headland out along the Blackpool Promenade and back, all in the dusk and dark. There were over 2000 runners and Julie Rooney, Debbie Myerscough and Sally deacon took part in very fetching brightly coloured t-shirts meeting up with friends from Lancaster AC.
The athletics scene was a little quieter this last week for Wesham although there were several races within easy reach of the Fylde, although the traditional August Bank Holiday break was well and truly under way and the Wonderhall event in Lytham attracted many members.
Rob Danson however equalled his 5k personal best on Friday evening with a fine run in the top quality Mid Cheshire race on Friday evening as he clocked 14:36 to finish 11th after an epic battle in the final 500 metres against Chorley’s Adam Sciacca and in a packed bunch that saw a dozen athletes crossing the line within seconds of each other. Tom Crabtree placed 162nd in 17:05 a personal; best for him and a great run with Lee Barlow 249th and also running well for a time of 18:21. Chris Hastwell and Steven Gore had entries but didn’t make the start line while David Taylor had an invite but declined due to other commitments. The winning time was 13:48 with 28 runners under 15 minutes and 345 under 20.
Martin Bates took on the 5km distance this week in his current drive for running form and finished 11th in the Media City race in Manchester’s docklands on Thursday evening coming in 3rd M60 in a time of 21:31 backing up his recent string of performances.
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal Race last week remembers the 2019 run of Wesham’s Ugis Datavs who finished 2nd that year in 25:06 and sits 11th in the event’s Hall of Fame, his time beaten by only one athlete after this year’s event.
There was a fair variety of activity for Wesham members last week as the athletics racing calendar begins to open up.
There was a modest turnout for the trophy race of the Wesham monthly handicap run over the 4.9-mile course around Treales, with 17 runners taking part in the event having qualified by running 2 of the Winter series and two of the Summer sequence over the last 12 months. Half of these events had been run virtually by members running their own course in their own time. It was a warm pleasant evening after the weekend rains, and with the handicap worked out from the previous results Julie Paton was fist cross the line in 49:12 (41:11 actual time) in only her third competitive run to take the Joyce Smith Memorial Rose Bowl. Dave Young was the first man in 51:52, 41:32 actual time placing 5th overall for the John Hearn Trophy. Michelle Tickle was second woman in 51:18 (37:08); Sharlan Butcher 3rd in 51:37 (43:55); Dawn Biggs 4th with 52:38 (44:02); and Tanya Shaw 5th in 53:48 (40:40). Peter Rooney was second man in 51:53 (36:27 actual time); Robert Danson 3rd with 52:29 (41:16); Rob Wallace 4th in 52:48 (34:24); Stephen Twist 5th in 52:54 (39:53); Andrew Wilkinson 6th with 53:07 (42:25); Paul Eccles 7th in 55:43 (39:24); and Andy Moore 8th with 56:40 (46:06). In the non-scoring category Elliot Costello was second finisher overall with 51:17 (actual time 39:14); Stephen Swift ninth in 52:42 (33:42); David Taylor thirteenth in 53:08 (29:13); and Steve Myerscough fourteenth (53:19, 32:20 actual).
It was the Trimpell 20-mile race in Lancaster on Sunday for anyone fancying a longer race or preparation for an autumn marathon. Carmel Sullivan finished 122nd for Wesham in 2:57:13, placing 32nd woman and 3rd W55. Rob Wallace was right behind her in 123rd place in a time of 2:57:25, with Karen Cook 205th in 3:38:58, 6th W55. Lee Nixon unfortunately had to pull out at 16 miles after 2:03:30; after Saturday’s rains it was very hot on Sunday.
The last week has seen Wesham members resuming their activities as race organisers raise the shutters and there are competitive events taking place again. With the more inclement weather this week Monday night in the clubhouse at the Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club had more of an atmosphere of the past as there was a vibrant gathering of members in the refurbished bar and community room indoors, with the promise of the new veranda outdoors if warmer conditions return before autumn sets in.
Saturday evening saw the return of Alan Taylor’s Catforth 5k, a 3-race series prior to the pandemic on a fast single lap circuit. Mark Belfield came in 3rd with an excellent run in 17:36. Garry Barnett was 2nd M55 and 8th overall in 18:44, with Steve Myerscough 12th in 19:19. Martin Bates, running well with determination finished 23rd in 21:08, 2nd M60, and Peter Rooney 3rd M60 and 27th in 22:02, another tremendous run. Alan Hudson placed 1st M70 and 33rd overall in 23:19 with Andrew Wilkinson 38th and 5th M50 in 25:03; Andrew Moore 48th in 26:22; and Julie Rooney 54th and 178th woman in 30:33.