Perhaps the big event in the North West last weekend was the Manchester Marathon, where John MacDougall finished 312th and 27th M45 in 2:44:07 having run steadily at 6:15 pace to pass halfway in 1:22:23, an excellent performance. Chris Hastwell ran 3:05:50 to place 1603rd and 320th M35, slowing over the closing 12km having reached the half in 1:29:37. Stuart Mulrooney came in 4616th in 3:40:42. He completed his first half in 1:41:56 and slowed steadily in the second. Tanya Shaw finished 1560th woman in 4:10:25 and 8037th overall, reaching the 13.1 miles in 2:00:01 and placing 241st W45. Emma Wright ran 4:57:41 3058th woman and 540th W40. Her halfway time was 2:21:51.
In the Curley’s 5k Trail Series on Wednesday evening Tom Crabtree finished 4th in 20:04, with Paul Lancashire 14th in 22:10. Steve Myerscough was 20th in 23:31, 4th M45, with Ian Nichols Hogg 49th in 30:51. Jo McCaffery finished 52nd in 31:42; Kirsty Holland 63rd in 34:17; Sally Denton 65th in 35:08; and Debbie Myerscough 67th in 41:22. Martin Bates (pictured) does not feature in the results.
David Taylor ran the Fleetwood Spring 10k on Sunday and finished 3rd in 35:53 behind Jamie Shingler of Ludlow, 30 seconds ahead, and Lytham’s Mike Toft (34:08) on a good morning for running along the Promenade and through the town. David was first M35. Finlay McCalman was 83rd in 55:24 placing 5th M55.
John MacDougall ran the Liverpool Half Marathon on Sunday and he finished 1st M45 and 12th overall in 1:16:43. Having gone through 5 miles in 29:55 he reached the 10-mile mark in 59:27, a good pace. Chris Haines placed 219th in 1:35:49, M35 position not given. He had passed 5 miles in 36:03 and 10 miles in 1:11:59. There were 1974 runners in total in this popular event.
Stephen Dagger Swift ran the Coniston 14 on Saturday, and finished 391st in 2:11:02, having gone though halfway in 54:02, showing perhaps how more challenging the second half of the course is. Andrew Wilkinson was 75th M50 in 2:54:04 to place 716th overall. There was a reduced finisher total this year of 809 although the event continues to be very popular.
The spring really kicked off with some gorgeous sunny weather and Wesham members took good advantage of the conditions. In the Pilling 10k on Saturday afternoon eight members contested the rural two-lapper in the sunshine. First Wesham finisher in 3rd place was Alek Walker in 37:54. Lee Barlow finished 6th and first M50 in 39:41 with Steve Myerscough placing 8th and 1st M45 with 41:01. Kay Twist had a great run to finish 4th woman and 2nd W50 in 48:18. Peter Rooney ran 48:48 for 18th place and coming in first M60. Jonny Allsop was 19th with 49:17; James Danson 23rd and 3rd M55 in 52:14, with Andrew Wilkinson coming in 28th in 52:45, second M50 behind Lee Barlow. All in all, a good day at the races.
The Pilling 10k was closely followed by the Mad March Hare 10k and 5k on Sunday morning in Moor Park in Preston. Ryan Azzopardi finished 6th in 23:58, encouraging Michelle Pitt on the second lap who was 33rd in 40:51.
Chris Hastwell ran the Longton 10k last week, finishing 8th and 2nd M45 in 37:43 sporting the running number 1. There were 163 runners in this popular race with the men and women’s winning times 35:00 and 41:36.
Saturday saw much local excitement with the final meeting of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League for the 2021/22 season, and a mad scrabble for the final points for the overall competition over the six fixtures. Over the Senior Women’s’ 6km two-lap course in Burnley’s Towneley Park Kay Twist once again led the ladies finishing 3rd W50 and 28th overall in 25:42. Lucy Neighbour had a good run to place 53rd and 7th W40 in 28:52, with Clare Belfield 65th with 30:47 for 9th W35. Jo McCaffery was 13th W40 and 79th in 32:34. The Ladies were 11th team in Division 3 and in the W35 rank; and the W45 team were 12th in their team category. The Over-70s race held at the same time incorporated with the women is becoming a bigger event as the ranks swell with the “baby boomers”, where Dave Young placed 7th and 4th M70 in 30:48. Peter Bartlett was 10th in 38:25, and the team finished 3rd in the M70 league for the bronze medals. In the men’s 10k David Taylor was the star placing 26th in 36:54. Mark Belfield was a useful marker in 32nd place with 37:12, with Tom Crabtree 44th in 37:53, and Alek Walker 45th with 37:59. Lee Barlow came in 71st in 39:50 while Carl Groome performed a double with the parkrun for 82nd place and a time of 40:18. Steve Myerscough finished 100th in 42:00; Damian Ings 114th in 43:39; Nigel Shepherd and John Collier had a tussle for the finish in 128th and 129th with times one second apart in 45:30 and 45:31. James Danson placed 144th in 50:08; and Colin Gibson 154th in 53:00. The Wesham Senior Men have placed 3rd in Division 1, a great result for bronze Mid Lancs medals. The M40 men were 4th in the masters’ Division 1, with the M50 team 7th. The M60s also finished, adding a third team bronze to the club’s medal haul for the season.
It was a busier week for athletics in the North West last week as spring really takes a hold, although wintry weather was still very much to the fore.
Venturing into Cheshire, Natalie Middlemas and Stuart Topping ran in the Oulton Park 10k with Stuart as mentor and guidance, drawing Natalie to 42nd place in 49:29 for 3rd woman and 2nd W40. Stuart was 7th M50 and 43rd overall in 49:30, the pair wearing numbers 1 and 2! The winning times were 32:41 (male) and 45:23 (female), with 171 finishers.
In the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round from Barley in the Wesham Trail and Fell running championship Alek Walker finished 70th in 1:23:40, over 16.7km (10.37 miles) with 1936ft of climbing. Paul Lancashire placed 119th in 1:31:04; and Jen Salt was 43rd woman, 17th W40 and 226th in 2:08:47. This event was formerly known as “The Half Tour of Pendle” and is classed as a “B” graded Medium distance course with some experience of fell running for all competitors.
Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde had a good men’s team in the English National Cross Country on Parliament Hill in north London, and Preston had senior men and women running, but there were no other Fylde representatives in this culmination of club cross country running in England with Wesham sadly missing for the first time in the club’s history.