There were a good number of athletics events on last week but there were only a few Wesham members out taking part. With the start of spring in the air preparations are being made for this year’s Inter Club series with the first fixture hosted by Blackpool in Stanley Park on Wednesday 5th April.
The Mother’s Day 10k was staged a day early on on Saturday in Lancaster on the old railway track to the Morecambe triangle and Mick Edge finished 24th in 43:05 to come in 1st M60. Carmel Sullivan was 4th woman and 31st overall in 44:35 to claim 1st W55. Both Mick and Carmel ran their best times this year so far.
Julie Paton and Anne Berry ran the Leighton Hall AONB Trail Half Marathon with 1971ft ascent on a figure of eight route around Silverdale and the flanks of Arnside Knot on a good day for running on Saturday. Julie finished 76th and 22nd woman in 2:54:58, 11th W40. Anne was 81st overall and 26th woman in 2:56:22, placing 2nd W60.
Paul Carter travelled to warmer climes last week and completed the Cyprus Marathon, running 5:39:37 for 264th place. He has now run well over 30 marathons and still revelling the experience.
It was the final fixture in the Mid Lancs Cross Country League on Saturday in Towneley Park in Burnley and there was a smaller turnout perhaps due to the Inter Counties in Loughborough but there were still some fine performances to round off the season, reduced to 5 fixtures for the League. In the Senior Women’s 6km with a small, medium and large lap round the playing fields in front of the hall Carmel Sullivan had a great run to finish 14th overall in 24:35, placing 2nd W55. Kay Twist rounded off her season to win the Wesham club championship to come in 38th and 12th W50 in 26:19. Alona Versinina was 5th W35 and 61st in 29:45 and Julie Paton finished 74th and 9th W45 in 31:19. The Wesham ladies had just enough to finish teams in all their age categories, with the Senior team 11th, and W35s and W45s both 8th. Wesham have no M70s running this year having won medals in previous years, but the Senior Men did well in their 9.8km 3-lap course. Adam Wilding finished an excellent 12th in 34:56 having held his ground well over the three laps, with firm ground despite the snow of the previous three days. David Taylor finished 28th in 36:54, with next placed Carl Groome 78th in 41:47, 5th M50. Steve Myerscough placed 83rd in 42:14 for 11th M45 and Will Parkinson 87th with 42:43. Mick Edge ran well for 101st place in 44:23 and 9th M60; Lee Barlow battled on having a troublesome Achilles to finish 108th and 8th M50 in 45:11 having been well up on the first lap. Tony Leach placed 113th and 10th M60 in 46:05 with Nigel Shepherd 123rd with 48:10, 13th M60; Stephen Twist 125th in 48:23; and James Danson 128th in 42:49, 16th and 17th M55s. the Men’s team were 8th overall; 8th M40s; 5th M50s and 2nd M60 team. Overall for the season, the Wesham women have placed 3rd in Division 4, an excellent result for them this year, with a “B” team qualified as well. The W35s are 12th team and W45s 9th. The Senior Men finished 6th in Division 1 so will be relegated next season; the “B” team place 3rd in Division 3. The M40 team are 6th in Division 1 so also relegated, the M50 team are also 6th, and the M60 team come in second in silver medal position, so a good result.
There were a number of races last week as there were signs of spring in the air. The club fell and trail running championship continued with the Trotters Trail Five Mile race through the Smithills Country Park on the northern outskirts of Bolton.
The focus of the week for the Wesham team was the English National Cross Country Championship, at a new venue at Bolesworth Castle just south east of Chester. On a wide expanse of parkland under a ridge the ground was gently inclined giving a fast run down the course and long gruelling steady climbs in the opposite direction. Compensating for this the ground was soft and firm with no mud so it was fast running all round. In the Senior Women’s 8km over two laps Kay Twist was on good form and she finished 437th in 42:30. She was followed in 635th place by Alona Versinina clocking 47:49. Clare Belfield was 723rd in 54:24 with Sue Rigby 755th in 63:35. The Wesham Ladies team finished 88th out of 773 runners. The Senior Men’s was two longer laps with a different course to the women and taking 12km in distance. Adam Wilding fared well and held his ground for 331st place in a top quality and very fast race clocking 42:59, around 6 minutes behind the leaders. David Taylor was second in for Wesham in 616th place in a time of 46:52 with Tom Crabtree 720th in 48:14. Mark Belfield finished 773rd in 49:02 with a gutsy run and Lee Barlow striding out for 975th place to clock 52:04. Will Parkinson completed
the Wesham Men’s team in 64th place with his run in 1120th position with his time 54:28. Carl Groome came in 1175th in 55:34 with Mick Edge 1244th in 57:33. Nigel Shepherd was 1305th in exactly 1:00:00; Wesham Men’s Captain John Collier was 1353rd in 61:27 suffering a painful ankle over the final mile, and Andrew Wilkinson was 1367th in 61:56. There were 1473 runners and 99 teams; and Wesham were second of only two Lancashire clubs in both the Men’s and Women’s events fielding full teams
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.