Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Gary Moore, Sarah Sherratt, Michaela Dempsey and Chris Whitlock at the Anniversary Waltz in 2010

The challenge of the week for Wesham members was the monthly handicap, run again as a virtual event with members submitting their own performance times over a course equivalent to the actual 4.9 miles of the Summer Handicap from Dowbridge around Treales. Runners must use the same course for each of their monthly trials to ensure a comparison can be made. This month, leading up to the handicap final on 24th August there was only a small contingent taking part, with Ugis Datavs the clear leader with a net time of 28:32 for his 4.9 miles. Paul Eccles was next in with 35:32, and Suzanne Leonard the leading woman and third overall in 38:12. Robert Danson (senior) was fourth with a time of 42:11; Andrew Moore fifth in 43:55; James Birchall sixth with 44:37; Jo McCaffrey second woman and seventh in 45:10; Finlay McCalman eighth with 46:28; Peter Cooke ninth in 48:30; Colin Smy tenth with 50:31; and Claire Axcell completing the field with 52:19. With the handicaps factored in James Birchall was first on finish time with 44:37; Finlay McCalman 46:28; Andrew Moore 46:55; Jo McCaffrey 48:10; Robert Danson 48:11; Peter Cooke 48:30; Paul Eccles 48:32; Ugis Datavs equal on 48:32 but a larger handicap of 20:00; Suzanne Leonard 49:12; Claire Axcell 52:19; and Colin Smy 55:31.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

The club group picture before the Wesham Inter Club Grand Prix race in 20

This week Wesham have been able to resume some club night activities on a Monday evening due to easing of the lockdown guidelines and met at the refurbished Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club for the first time since March. This is in addition to the training and coaching sessions on a Wednesday evening that resumed a few weeks ago. Members met outside on the cricket field and had limited access to the indoor facilities. Attendance must be pre-booked via the club website; unlimited numbers can meet, suitably distanced outside, but for the training run the runners split into groups of no more than six and set off in separate heats on different routes. Fortunately, the earlier wet weather abated, and it was a fine evening, with members able to socialise outside later with managed access to the bar indoors. A good evening was enjoyed by all and it was most welcoming to be able to resume some club activity.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

The start of the Wesham Inter Club race in 2014 – wet then too!

There was a special event last week that added a definite spice as the athletics world starts to emerge from the lockdown. This was a Virtual Manchester to Blackpool Relay organised as an offshoot of the David Wood Inter-Club Grand Prix between the clubs of Blackpool, Chorley, Lytham, Preston, Red Rose, Thornton and Wesham. In total there were 31 teams from the seven clubs, with each runner recording the same distance of the original relay’s 10 stages over a course of their choosing. The relay started in the 1930s, broke during the war, and was resurrected in various decades, finishing its historic run in the 1990s when road traffic became too busy. Staged on a Sunday morning and starting at Heaton Park in Manchester at 7am, it finished at the Sandcastle, later truncated back to Squires Gate, at around midday. The cumulative result was very close with Blackpool just pipping Wesham by 4 seconds. Lytham were third with 6:03:17. Helen Lawrenson took the first 4.7 miles from Heaton Park to Clifton in 35:12. Steve Myerscough ran the next 4.7 miles to Bolton in 30:09, with Neil Gregson talking the next 5.5 miles to Horwich in 34:19. Garry Barnett then ran the 5.2 miles to Yarrow Bridge in 31:19, with Mark Belfield completing the next 6.1-mile stage through Chorley to Leyland in 38:00; Alek Walker 6.4 to Much Hoole in 41:50; Lee Barlow 38:57 for 6.6 to Preston Docks through Penwortham; David Taylor 6.7 miles to Warton in 38:00; Tom Crabtree 32:15 for 5.3 miles to Granny’s Bay; and Nigel Shepherd 27:52 for the 4.2 to Squires Gate, giving a total time of 5:47:53. The Masters Men were 6th (16th overall) in 7:51:10, with Dave Young 41:03; Finlay McCalman 44:09; Mick Edge 40:47; Peter Rooney 43:04; Ryan Azzopardi 48:49; Paul Eccles 47:01; Tony Leach 51:46; Lee Nixon 1:10:00 (cut-off time); Alan Hudson 40:47; and Peter Cooke 43:54. The Open team were 2nd with 7:57:19, with Sharlan Butcher 43:29; Stuart Topping 32:59; Carmel Sullivan 39:41; Tara Fisher 36:13; Kirsty Holland 57:59; Pauline Eccleston 1:03:31; Kerry Eccles 1:00:56; Sharon Cooper 56:52; Sean Murray 45:58; and Julie Paton 39:41.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

The Wesham Whippets on the podium for team silver at the Endure 24

Last week’s club challenge was another timed mile to see how well members had been doing during the lockdown. Lee Barlow had the fastest time in 5:28, just one second ahead of Garry Barnett, top M50. Neil Gregson ran 5:33 and Rob Wallace 6:04. Mark Renshall was 5th in the list with 6:21 and Stuart Topping 6th in 6:38. John Burns clocked 6:52 as the leading M60 and Peter Rooney was second with 7:44. Andy Moore had 7:47 and Sharlan Butcher was fastest woman in 8:01. Dawn Biggs was second with 8:06, and Dave Young ran 8:13. Claire Marie notched up 8:39; Kerry Eccles 9:15 and Liz Sharrocks recorded 9:52.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

This time last year …

The start of a new month heralds a stage of the monthly Wesham handicap, now being run virtually over the summer course of 4.9 miles, with many members choosing to run the actual course from Dowbridge though Treales on a circuit. There is now the possibility to run in groups of six. Stuart Topping ran the fastest time and headed both actual and net time rankings, with 45:08 on a handicap of 10 minutes giving him a net time of 35:08. Pauline Eccleston was second with 46:19 on scratch, and Robert Danson 47:34 with a handicap of 5 minutes and a net time 42:34. Paul Eccles was 4th in the handicap with a 12 minute handicap to clock 47:40 and second on net time with 35:40. Jo McCaffery was 5th with 48:00 (2 mins and 46:00). Nigel shepherd was 3rd on net time with 38:12 (10-minute handicap to 50:12), and Alan Hudson 4th in 40:53 (50:53 handicap tine). Peter Rooney was 5th in 40:54 with an 8-minute handicap and Robert Danson was 6th. Andrew Moore was 7th in 45L:04 (51:04); jo McCaffery 8th; Pauline Eccleston 9th; Kerry Eccles 10th in 46:33 (48:33); Phil Leaver 11th in 46:41 (49:41); Claire-Marie Axcell 49:11 (51:11); Liz Sharrocks 49:19 (52:19); Peter Cooke and Finlay McCalman 51:33 both on scratch; Julie Rooney 53:14; and Dave Young 59:06 (64:06).

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

John Collier and Carl Groome complete the last lap of the Endure24-hour relay in Bramham Park in 2018

Last week’s Wesham challenge was to see how far members could now run in the time it took to run their first 5km. Stuart Topping ran 3.63 miles in 25:19; Dawn Biggs 3.41 miles in 30:55; Clare Belfield recorded 3.51 miles in 31:00. Dave Young clocked 3.59 miles in 31:03; Robert Danson 3.77 miles in 31:51 on the same Catforth course. Emma Wright ran 3.72 miles in 36:16; Alek Walker 3.95 miles in 25:22; and Liz Sharrocks topped the ranks with 4.04 miles in 40:03. This week’s running challenge is a timed mile, which will be an interesting comparison with the same challenge staged in the second week of lockdown back in March.

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