Three Wesham members took on the final Ultra Tour of Edinburgh delayed for a couple of years, with a crack-of-dawn start on Sunday in Waverley setting out along the Royal Mile for a 35-mile, 57km run. On a circuitous loop, the course went out to through Holyrood Park over the iconic Arthur’s Seat and out into the suburbs though Craigmillar Castle and over Blackford Hill and then picking up a range of hill and country estates before heading north to Newhaven and Leith along a network of old railway tracks before heading south again to the finish at the Royal Commonwealth Pool. Julie Paton took on a great challenge in the Tour of Edinburgh on Sunday, a 35-mile, 57km figure-of-eight of the city from Holyrood Park. She was well within the cut-off times at each of the three pit stops, recording 1hr 45min at 10 mile/16km, 3hr 45min at 18.6 miles/30km, and 5hr 15min at 26 miles/42km, finishing with 7:17:29, 2hrs 42mins inside the final timeout. Paul Lancashire clocked 6:38:14; Helen Lawrenson 6:52:09; Julie Paton
Nearer home there were two Wesham members in the Knutsford 10k in Cheshire, with Lee Barlow finishing 67th with a time of 38:49, coming in 11th M45. Martin Bates accompanied him, placing 4th M60 in 44:27 in 193rd place overall.
The athletics world is now well up and running, and after last week’s marathons the autumn season continued with the Manchester Marathon, where Mark Belfield had a great run and fulfilled his expectation after months of hard training with an excellent 2:59:03 for 499th position overall in a field of 13,853. He passed halfway in 1:29:45 giving him a perfect steady pace and a negative split, and most significantly a new personal best of 15 minutes. Lee Nixon made a spectacular return with 3:32:23 to finish 2461st in his debut marathon also with an even split and a slightly faster first half of 1:45:54. Carmel Sullivan was disappointed with her run of 4:13:47 for 6590th (1196th woman and 39th W55) after a troublesome knee after halfway, her pace dropping from 8:07 to an ultimate 12:27. Even worse news from Mark Holton, who had to drop out having tripped on a kerb at 5km and badly bruising his foot, after completing some successful very long runs earlier in the year. In the Manchester Half Marathon Neil Whipp finished 838th in his debut at the distance to record 1:43:18 speeding up considerably in the second half to place 105th M40, and Mick Edge was 1569th in 1:52:29, 23rd M60 after a good run slowing by 2 minutes a mile over the final 3.5 miles.
It is now the autumn marathon season, or this year’s only season after postponement of all events in the spring. The Chester was able to go ahead on its usual date, and Wesham’s Neil Gregson finished 143rd in the Marathon in 3:13:04, 3:12:50 chip time, for a new personal best time by 13:51. He was 36th M35.
In the London Marathon David Taylor also ran a new personal best time of 2:48:29, placing 855th having passed through halfway in 1:22:40. Starting off with a 5km split of 19:25 his fastest was that to 20k (19:22) and slowest that to 40k (21:03), which is a differential of just 1:41 (0:20 per kilometre). Rob Wallace was 8114th in 3:41:37, passing halfway in 1:44:12 with a 5km split differential of 5:52 as he slowed to 35k but then rallied over the final 7.2km. Carl Groome ran well after being laid off the year before last following an Achilles operation, placing 9382nd in 3:47:29, 1:46:52 at halfway. James Birchall was 19209th in 5:30:01 his pace dropping by 3km per hour in to 35 and 40k but he rallied well for the finish. His halfway time was 2:25:19, 15 minutes faster than his previous best for this distance. Karen Cook was 8156th woman and 458th W55 in 4:44:53, 24858th overall. She clocked 3:38:58 in the Trimpell 20 running a shade faster for the longer distance.
Paul Carter ran the Bentham Beagles Bash 10k over a hilly course and he finished 38th in 56:09, placing 5th M50.
The Blackpool 10k returned to the Promenade and Golden Mile after a 2 ½ year absence, with 675 runners taking part on a fine late summer morning. There were a few Wesham members in action, with Garry Barnett leading the way with a new personal best if the distance can be trusted of 37:36 to take first in the 46-55 age category and 10th overall. Ex-Wesham member Andy Yelland took to the roads again after many years absence with 43:19 for 47th place and 9th 46–55-year-old. Rob Wallace was 92nd in 48:21 with Alan Hudson 1st in the 66+ age group and 102nd overall in 48:58. Kay Twist finished 120th and 2nd W46-55 with Stephen Twist just 5 places adrift in 51:12, 28th male 46 to 55. Dave Marsland came in 139th in 51:46 for a bit of pace making and 19th male 56 to 65. Dawn Biggs was 248th in 57:03; Andrew Moore 298th with 59:23; Dave Young 9th M66+ and 303rd in 59:35 with Peter Bartlett 17th M66+ and 473rd in 68:28, and Caz Wordsworth 585th in 1:18:17, 23rd Female 56 to 65.
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.