Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Anne Berry finishes the Ladybower Trail Marathon on Friday

Numbers are starting to swell at Wesham training nights on a Monday and for the structured training sessions on Wednesdays, despite still another five weeks to go until the hoped-for end of restrictions, although extreme caution will still be required. Good weather has helped over the past couple of weeks with a good opportunity for a social drink after training on the veranda outside the Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club, Wesham’s base.

Anne Berry ran the Ladybower Trail Marathon on Friday in the Peak District in the Derwent Valley. Following the reservoir bank for most of the course on good trails the race features some elevation at the northern end and some fast downhill running. This was Anne’s first marathon and one of the most spectacular in the country on a fine summer day. Quite a challenge to take on for a debut at the 26.2-mile distance.

Sharlan Butcher, Emma Wright and Dawn Biggs are running a virtual Lands End to John O’Groats and last week reached the halfway milepost with a physical run through the actual landmark in Windermere.

The planned resumption of parkrun on 26th June has had to be put back to 24th July with the delay of the lifting of the pandemic restrictions. The good news is that there are now a suitable majority of landowners that have now granted approval for the runs to recommence, although there will be some shock losses. The Lytham Hall venue hosted a trial run of its new route to a selected few last week on a straighter less restricted two and a half lap course to offer greater covid compliant environment.

Last week’s Wesham Strava training leader-board showed Rob Danson back at the top again with a weekly total mileage of 64.8 completed in a total running time of 7:13:05. Mark Holton rose to second place with 61.2 miles in 9:11:49 and Mark Belfield third on 60 miles exactly matching the previous week and an improved time of 7:30:00. Daniel Shaw came in fourth at 56.9 miles in 7:33:06 and Ugis Datavs upped his coverage to come in fifth on 49 miles in 6:03:25. Julie Paton headed up the women’s list covering 34 miles in 5:54:44 with Tanya Shaw second with 32.5 miles in a time of 4:44:23. Michelle Tickle was third on 31.5 miles in 4:37:12 and Helen Lawrenson fourth at 23.9 miles in 3:33:07. Kay Twist was next in fifth woman over 23.8 miles in 3:35:23 with Lynn Brown just behind with 22.5 miles in 5:35:37. Andrew Harling was sixth overall with 48.7 miles in 5:43:20; Neil Gregson seventh at 43.6 miles (5:27:44); Rob Wallace eighth with 41.4 miles (5:40:10); Alan Hudson ninth on 40.4 miles for the 72-year-old (5:45:25); and Chris Hastwell 38.2 miles in 4:54:47. On the hills Paul Eccles had 4,039ft of climbing to take the Monarch of the Mountains for the week over 17.8 miles in 2:39:54. Nigel Shepherd came in second at 3,521ft over 26.4 miles in 5:03:36, and Rob Danson with 2,987ft elevation gain. Michelle Tickle topped the women’s elevation leader-board and was 8th overall with 1,400ft climbed with Julie Paton second and 9th overall running uphill for 1,378ft. Helen Lawrenson was third with 1,132ft; Tanya Shaw fourth with 709ft elevated and Sue Coulthurst fifth summiting 616ft over 21.8 miles in 3:25:39. Daniel Shaw was fourth overall on 2,953ft over his 56.9 miles, and Paul Lancashire fifth with 2,002ft for 21.7 miles in 3:04:04. James Mulvany was sixth with 1,545ft; Mark Belfield seventh at 1,496ft; Richard Davies 10th overall on 1,276ft across 5.9 miles in 1:13:57; Steve Myerscough 1,171ft over 35.5 miles in 4:57:37; and Martin Bates 13th at 1,050ft in 2:46:19 over 17 miles. On average pace Alek Walker topped the rankings with Rob Danson both on 6:41 per mile, Alek clocking 10 miles in 1:06:50. David Taylor was third at 6:56 per mile over 20.2 miles in 2:20:03, with Garry Barnett fourth at 6:58 pace for 25.3 miles in 2:56:15. Andrew Harling was fifth on 7:03 a mile and Chris Haines sixth on 7:05 pace for 5.7 miles in 40:22. Tess Robinson was fastest woman last week at 7:28 per mile for 5.4 miles in 40:19 with Emma Lund second on 8:05 per mile over 6.5 miles in 52:33. Tanya Shaw was third on 8:45 pace; Michelle Tickle fourth with 8:48 per mile; and Helen Lawrenson fifth with 8:55 pace. Longest runs of the week were a long marathon of 26.6 miles for Mark Holton and 22 miles for Mark Belfield; 15.7 and 15.5 for Daniel Shaw and Ugis Datavs, and 14 miles each for Chris Hastwell and Tom Crabtree (33.1 miles in 4:13:46). Tanya Shaw ran a 13.5-miler; Sue Coulthurst 8.2 miles; Kay Twist, Claire Marie and Helen Lawrenson 8 miles each, and Wendy Hebblethwaite and Lynn Brown 6.5 miles.

In 2006 it was a scorcher all round as Wesham runners competed in the hottest weekend of the year so far. Performances were affected though with gale force winds throughout the area. A Wesham team took part in the 210-mile Welsh Castles Relay, travelling the length of Wales from Caernarfon to Cardiff. The best positions were achieved on Saturday, with Trevor Rayner 4th on Stage 2 (1:08:42) and Andy Yelland on stage 4 (1:01:45). Alan Glasgow was 8th on Stage 1 (1:04:14) and Julian Mawson 9th on Stage 3 (1:17:59). Runners faced gale-force winds as they negotiated through Snowdonia, with conditions easing as the relay route passed over the hills into Powys. The team achieved 6th spot on the first day recording 11:59:35 for 110 miles. On Sunday with some of the most gruelling stages through the Brecon Beacons but with the weather starting off cooler the best positions were achieved by Barry Peatfield (11th on Stage 13) and George Kennedy (11th on Stage 17), with Charlie Pass and Russell Mabbett both 12th on Stages 14 and 15 past the remote Drovers Arms between Builth Wells and Brecon. The team arrived 11th in the grounds of Cardiff Castle on Sunday afternoon with a finish time of 24:16:43. Other runners: Phil Leaver (22nd); Joanna Goorney (25th); Paul Dunkerley (18th); John Bertenshaw (10th); Paul Carter (33rd); Alex Rowe (11th); Alan Taylor (47th); Dave Young (51st); Barry Norman (14th); Peter Cooke (33rd); Martin Bates (28th); Karl Lee (26th). Back in the North West Peter Cruse was the first Vet-40 in the Bendrigg 10k on Saturday in 39:26 in blistering and windy conditions, and went on to finish 19th and 3rd M40 in the 7-mile Grasmere Gallop the following day. Dave Waywell was the 1st Over-60 in the Bendrigg race in 40:30 with Kath Hoyer 3rd lady overall and 1st W45 in 47:45 on the testing course. Simon Eaton was second home for Wesham at Grasmere in 55:28 on the multi terrain course, finishing 59th. John Howorth finished 132nd in 1:03:41; Derek Goodenough was 4th Over-60 and 169th overall with 1:08:12; John Whiteman was 236th (8th Over-60) in 1:16:09; and Mike Owen finished 246th in 1:17:47. Stephen Wilkinson and John Howorth ran the Chorley 4 Night Series on Wednesday, finishing 135 and 148th respectively with 29:08 and 30:45. Wesham had some high scoring finishers in the Stanley Park 10k on Sunday, with Keith Wilding 4th and 2nd M45 in 36:11, with Chas Linkison 7th in 37:37. Peter Waywell and Lee Barlow came in tgether in 11th and 12th with 40:05 and 40:07, and Graham Ingham was 18th in 41:28. Peter Gleaves was delighted to win the M40 category with 41:39 for 20th. Chris Wilding was 25th in 43:46; Paul Gardner 27th in 44:19; and Chris Moss 44th in 50:27. Ken Munro was 60th and 3rd M60 in 50:27. Mandy Ingham won the W35 age category with 52:03 for 18th lady, and Pauline Mills was the leading W55 in 53:36 (23rd woman). Derek Buckley took in the tough Ennerdale Fell Race over a gruelling 24-mile course with over 6000’ 0f climb. Despite good preparation Derek struggled in the conditions and finished 146th in 5:48:33. Martin Bates finished 70th in the Paddy’s Pole Fell race in 41:42.

Three years ago in 2018 It was a quiet week in athletics locally but nationally it was busiest with the County Schools Championships throughout the country. The latest round of the Inter-Club Grand Prix at Preston this Wednesday evening saw the Wesham men finish 2nd team but the other categories did not fare so well with the women lacking some key players. Gareth Booth finished 3rd overall in a fast race over the revised 4.1-mile course through Avenham Park and Steve Swarbrick was well placed in the Top 10 ably backed up by David Taylor and Steve Abbott. Tessa Robinson won the women’s race and Helen Lawrenson was well up. There will be full results and report next week. There were four Wesham runners in the Catforth 10k, which this year doubled its numbers on a wonderful hot sunny day on Sunday. Run over 2 laps of the three-times-a-year 5k route this was a fast and flattish cource rewarded with a fast winning time; 32:44 by Nick Jones of Warrington. Wesham’s Steve Abbott finished 11th in a good 38:21 to finish 2nd M40, winning the age category prize cascaded down from overall winner Jones. The heat did take its toll on some runners, and Ben Wrigley was well down with 50:06 for 65th position. Similarly, Sharon Cooper was reduced to a walk for a time at the halfway point but persevered and finished 78th in 53:13, 15th woman and 3rd W40. Pauline Eccleston was 23rd woman in 56:58, 5th W45 and 94th overall. Paul Gregory ran the opening Badger Run 10k of this year in Cuerden Valley Country Park, finishing 8th in 40:53 for the undulating figure-of-eight course. Anne Berry came in 28th woman and 5th W55 in 60:08, 113th overall. There were 157 runners in total. Steven Gore ran in the Race the Train from Bury to Rawtenstall on the East Lancashire Railway, covering the 9.5 miles in 1:21:01 to reach 32nd place. Elliot Costello finished 169th in 1:38:26. Alistair Morris, demon of the off-road terrain placed 346th in 2:05:40. John Burns ran the historic and iconic Blaydon race in Newcastle over 5.6 miles from the city centre along the Scotswood Road to Shibdon. He finished 605th out of the 4351 runners in 40:24, placing 14th M60. Tessa Robinson ran the fastest women’s time in this week’s Lytham Hall parkrun, recording 18:27 for a W35 age-graded performance of 82.02%. Matty Chamberlain ran a new personal best time of 20:43 for M45 68.46% with Jonathan Lawson clocking 21:56 for M50 67.25%. Jason Blagden ran 22:50 for M45 62.55% with Graham Cunliffe a good run for 24:40 and M60 65.61%. Robert Brown ran 25:03 for M60 64.01% and Stephen Twist 26:23 with M50 56.35%. Elizabeth Johnson ran 27:19 and had 55.40% for a W35. Finlay McCalman ran 27:32 and M50 55.33%; Julie Rooney 30:04 for W40 52.33%; Kerry Eccles 30:05 and W55 60.17%; and Lynn Brown 33:57 for W55 54.05%. Chris Pike ran 25:50 in the St Helens parkrun for M40 54.06%; the Gores travelled to Rothwell in Leeds with Steven running 19:53 for M35 67.14%; Megan Gore 33:19 for JW11 49.92% and Vicky Gore 33:28. Ann Knowles ran the Long Eaton run in Nottingham in 33:14 for W45 48.75%. David Taylor ran the Keswick run in 18:06, a 2-minute improvement on his run 2 years previously in 2016 for 71.64% completing 166 parkruns. Peter Cruse ran the Lancaster run in Williamson Park in 23:14 for M55 66.14%. Carl Groome was the first Wesham finisher in the Blackpool run in a time of 20:22 for an M45 grade of 71.85%; Nigel Shepherd clocked 20:59 for M60 76.41%; Dave Marsland 22:33 for M60 72.36%; Stephen Browne 23:03 for M50 65.00%; George Kennedy 23:51 for M60 67.23%; Dave Young 27:51 with M70 63.32%; and Sue Rigby 54:22 for W40 28.94%.

Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Paul Gregory in action in Cuerden Valley in 2014

There was a definite return to some athletic action for Wesham over the last week with some competition at the weekend and a physical monthly handicap for members. The starting up of parkrun last weekend had to be postponed while permissions from enough landowners is granted but this may be only a few weeks away now.

Helen Lawrenson ran the Lakeland Trails Challenge Half Marathon to finish 107th and 10th W50 with former team-mate and now Blackpool’s Nicola Unsworth in 2:19:44 alongside Coniston Water. Helen was placed 35th woman.

Paul Lancashire ran the Montane Trail 20 Ullswater Way, what turned out to be a 22.3-mile circuit of Ullswater last weekend in brutally hot conditions, taking in lakeside, the peaks to the north of the lake and to the west up Haughscar towards Askham on rocky ascents and through woodland and open fell. He completed the round from Patterdale in 4:19:44 for 150th position.

Mick Edge was on the swim this week in the Epic Events Ullswater Swim. In the 1-mile swim he finished 50th overall, 30th male and 1st M60 out of 13 competitors in 27:11 on a gorgeous day in good conditions.

In the Wesham June Handicap on Monday evening, run as a physical event with a staggered start, Peter Rooney lead from start to finish in to clock 39:46 with a 2-minute handicap. Mick Edge was second in 41:33 working is way up the field, and Steve Myerscough also gained ground to come in third in 42:32. Carmel Sullivan stormed round to finish first woman in 43:41 and fourth overall, with Stephen Twist running strongly with 44:30. Alek Walker lead round a group of the faster men in 44:51 with Tom Crabtree 7th in 44:53 and Chris Hastwell 8th with 45:10. Jenny Salt was second woman and 9th in 45:29; David Taylor on the biggest handicap 10th in 45:36; Alan Hudson 11th in 45:40; Lee Nixon 12th with 46:06; Sharlan Butcher third woman and 13th in 46:10; Andy Moore 14th in 46:17; Ryan Azzopardi 15th in 46:28; Andrew Wilkinson 16th with 46:40; Dawn Biggs fourth woman and 17th in 46:42; Chris Haines 18th (46:49); Rob Wallace 19th (47:07); Robert Danson 20th (47:18); Steven Browne 21st (47:24); Julie Paton 5th woman, 22nd in 47:33; Kerry Eccles 6th woman, 23rd (48:01); Julie Kinsey 7th and 24th (49:25); Louise Lord 8th and 25th (50:13); Sue Rigby 9th and 26th (50:29); and Peter Bartlett 26th in 53:04. On net times, Tom Crabtree ran the fastest time of 27:53 with David Taylor 2nd at 28:36 (both on a 17-minute handicap). Alek Walker was 3rd with 30:51 and Chris Hastwell 4th with 31:10. Steve Myerscough was 5th in 31:32; Lee Nixon 6th at 32:06 (all these on 14-minute handicap and Steve at 11 minutes), with Chris Haines 7th in 33:49; and Rob Wallace 8th in 34:07. Carmel Sullivan was fastest woman at 34:41 (9th overall), with Jenny Salt 2nd and 16th overall in 40:29. Julie Paton was 3rd in 44:33; Kerry Eccles 4th with 46:01; and Sharlan Butcher 5th in 46:10. Julie Kinsey was 6th in 46:25 and Dawn Biggs 7th in 46:42. Louise Lord was 8th on 47:13, 25th overall.

Daniel Shaw was back at the top of the Wesham Strava training leader-board last week after logging 66.5 miles in 8:36:15. Mark Belfield rounded up 60 miles in 7:36:41 for second place with Rob Danson on 50.1 miles run in 5:28:09. Lee Barlow was back on form to come in fourth after 45.1 miles in 5:43:31 with Peter Rooney knocking out the miles at 43 in 6:23:25. Steven Gore was up there in sixth place with 39.7 miles in 6:00:37 with Steve Swarbrick on the hills with 37.6 miles in 5:34:01 and Robert Danson eighth on 37.2 miles in 5:36:40. Steve Myerscough was down to 36.5 miles with an easier week in 5:19:59, and Alan Hudson 10th with a consistent 36.3 to clock 5:14:00. On the women’s leader-board Julie Parton came out top on 33.9 miles in 6:43:38, 13th overall, with Helen Lawrenson second at 32.7 miles in 5:23:44. Tanya Shaw came in third with 28.2 miles in 4:08:38 chased by Kerry Eccles on 27.7 miles in 4:53:37. Sue Coulthurst was fifth woman with 26.8 miles run in 3:55:24. Lynn Brown and Michelle Tickle were sixth and seventh this week on 23.8 and 22.4 miles respectively in 6:00:58 and 3:17:30. On elevation gain Julie Parton was head of the leader-board on 3,891ft climbed ahead of Steve Swarbrick at 3,486ft uphill. Paul Lancashire was third with 3,244ft over 22.2 miles in 4:07:32 with Daniel Shaw fourth at 2,536ft climbed. Helen Lawrenson was second woman on 2,096ft ahead of James Mulvany in sixth position with 1,703ft. Martin Bates loves hills and he clocked 1,695ft over 30.2 miles in 4;50:56. Neil Gregson ran 1,690ft uphill over 31.6 miles and Chris Hastwell 1,681ft over 29.5 miles for 9th place. Paul Eccles was tenth at 1,601ft over just 5 miles in 47 minutes. Helen Dutton was third woman on 1,058ft with 12.1 miles in 3:09:10 and Michelle Tickle next in at 945ft. on average pace Rob Danson was back at the top turning over at 6:33 per mile with Alek Walker second on 6:57 pace over 6 miles in 41:42. James Green was third at 7-minute pace for 15.1 miles in 1:45:42 and Garry Barnett fourth with 7:04 pace for 22.3 miles in 2:37:35. Andrew Harling was fifth at 7:06 per mile for 20.3 miles in 2:24:08.  Suzanne Leonard was back as the fastest woman over 13 miles at 7:59 pace in 1:43:47, just ahead of Tess Robinson at 8:03 pace for 5.8 miles in 46:41. Anne Mayers was third woman at 8:12 pace over 3 miles in 24:36 with Karen Cook fourth running 8:26 pace for 3.1 miles in 26:09 just beating Troy Watson in the same run. Emma Lund clocked 8:31 pace over a 5.5-mile distance in 46:51. Longest runs last week were 22.2 miles by Paul Lancashire and 20 miles by Mark Belfield. Mark Holton ran a 15.2-miler in his 29.8 for the week (in 4:20:15) while Julie Parton ran 13.2 miles for the fourth longest of the week. Helen Lawrenson ran a 12.5-miler and Tanya Shaw 10.2 miles.

In 2005 Wesham’s international race walker Bill Newhill took two M65 gold medals on the track in the Midland Veterans’ championships, while the club scored other successes on the roads and trails of the North. Bill Newhill won the M65 gold medal in the Midland Veterans’ 5000m Track Walk, pacing 32:34.0 before repeating the result with an M65 win in the 5000m run with 25:36.0. Mid-week 16 Wesham runners ran in the second fixture of the Kendal AC 10km series at Levens. With the course reversed, times were improved, taking in the hilly section to Brigsteer first. Series leader Chris Winward was never challenged but Charlie Pass and Alex Rowe put on a good chase, finishing 2nd and 3rd in 34:19 and 34:41 respectively. Alex was the first Over-40 finisher. Ian Sharples and Peter Cruse were 10th and 11th respectively in 37:17 and 37:30, with Paul Dunkerley close behind in 13th with 37:50. Bernadette Dickinson was 5th woman and 1st Over-40 in 45:32, while Kath Hoyer was 6th woman and 1st Over-45 with 46:16. Lee Barlow finished 27th in the 2-lap Chorley 4, recording 22:32, and George Kennedy (M45) was 50th in 23:47. Stephen Wilkinson finished 141st in a time of 28:52. On Sunday Peter Cruse led the blues in a strong field in the Morecambe 10k. Peter ran 36:52 for 19th place in high winds along the sea front. Dave Waywell was second Wesham home, 1st Over-60 in 37:19 for 24th place. Martin Bates was next in with a great run, recording 38:46 for 35th place, with John Bertenshaw hot on his heels with 39:00 in 36th. Jo Frodsham finished 8th woman and 2nd Over-35 in 42:34, with Kath Hoyer 13th and 2nd Over-45 running 44:41. Alex Rowe finished 5th overall and 2nd Over-40 in the Garburn Trail Race from Staveley to Windermere. Alex ran 1:27:47 for the 20km course with 1550’ of ascent. Richard Davies (M45) ran a fine 1:44:43 to finish 46th. Dave Preston travelled east to join 339 other runners for the Goole Viking Striders Riverbank Challenge on Sunday, an 8.73-mile trek along trails beside the River Ouse. Dave finished 51st in 63:15. Peter Cooke ran the Central Pier 4-mile race along Blackpool Promenade, finishing 7th in 30:04. Peter was 1st Over-45. The Wesham M50 team won the third Inter-Club race hosted by Blackpool & Fylde in Stanley Park on Tuesday evening. The Open and Veterans’ team both finished 2nd, with the women 3rd. Full results next week.

Seven years ago in 2014 Paul Gregory won the Staveley Trail Challenge on Saturday morning in stunning weather conditions, running 1:22:50 for the 17km up though Kentmere and on to the fells. He ended with a 2:45 lead on the second placed runner. Elliot Costello finished 403rd in 2:32:36. In the Welcome Tavern 5k on Tuesday evening Steve Myerscough finished 12th in 18:23, a good performance on the undulating course going into the Avenham meadows alongside the Ribble. Carmel Sullivan won the women’s race in 31st place overall with 20:01, a fine run beating Blackpool’s Emily Japp by 4 seconds. Helen Lawrenson was 3rd woman in 20:47 placing 41st overall and 1st W40. Nicola Unsworth was 5th and 2nd W40 with 21:40 in 47th place. Sara Ward completed a fine Wesham ladies’ team in 11th place and 6th W45 in 61st place with 23:48. Wesham had a very strong turnout at the Levens 10k on Wednesday evening the second race in the Kendal AC series. Under skies that threatened the rain held off until the end of the race although there was considerable wind on the way out up the Lyth Valley. Lee Barlow was in fine form and he pulled away strongly into the hills after a good opening half to finish 4th and 2nd Over-40 in 37:21. Alex Rowe faded over the second half but with a strong finish placed 8th and 1st Over-50 in 37:57. Close behind Paul Gregory was 10th in 38:14, and Jason Barlow was 14th and 6th M40 in 38:26. John Collier finished 22nd and 1st M60 in 40:13, with Garry Barnett 25th with a strong run recording 40:54. Phil Leaver was 3rd M60 and 45th in 44:41; Alan Taylor 66th with 47:28; Jen Salt 68th in 47:48; and Chris Moss 70th in 48:00. Kendal AC were the winning team, but the Wesham men were a close 2nd behind them. Wesham had an excellent showing at the first of three Catforth Canter 5k races this year. Rob Danson was 2nd in 15:46; Lee Barlow 14th in 17:19 and 4th M40; Alex Rowe was 16th and 1st M55 in 17:31. Steve Myerscough was hot on his heels with 17:37 for a new personal best; Troy Watson was 19th in 17:44; Garry Barnett 28th in 19:04; Paul Gregory 8 seconds adrift in 29th place with 19:12, having run the Staveley Trail Race that morning; Emma Lund was 2nd woman and 38th in 19:43; George Kennedy was 39th in 19:49, an excellent run as the M55 returns to the fold; Alan Hudson was 1st M60 and 42nd in 20:20; Daniel Moss 47th with 21:00; Helen Lawrenson 3rd woman and 48th in 21:02; Jason Blagden 52nd with 21:33; Chris Moss 54th in 22:24; Jonathan Lawson 56th with 22:36; Jen Salt 1st W35 and 58th in 22:57; Ben Wrigley 61st with 23:20; Tracey Hulme 5th woman and 62nd in 23:23; Diane Blagden 7th woman and 67th in 24:19; and Gemma Owen 12th woman and 75th with 26:28. Alex Rowe was 2nd in the Crazy Cow 10k on Sunday morning in lovely warm summer conditions, running 36:46 placing 1st M55. Alan Taylor was 34th in 47:17 and Michaela Dempsey was 39th with 47:53. Jon McLeod was 57th in 51:48.

Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Barry Peatfield, Dave Young and Peter Bartlett in the M60 team at the BMAF Relays

There were fewer cancelled races last week but still nothing on offer locally for Fylde athletes, although competition is getting under way. The Levens 10k, part of the Kendal AC series, was cancelled, as was the Grasmere Gallop in Cumbria, a popular weekend for Wesham in the past. This event was going to be split across two days on Saturday and Sunday for the first time as it grows in size and complexity with multiple disciplines.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Ron Hill sports the Wesham vest at the Blackpool Beach race

Wesham members were greatly saddened by the loss of running legend Ron Hill this week at the age of 82. Many members knew Ron who was always willing to stop for a chat and supported local athletics all his life. His international career was centred in the 1960s and 70s, but he ran his famous streak every day for 54 years and always remained competitive. Many members will own and wear many items of his revolutionary athletics clothing which continues to thrive, and he was always willing to visit clubs to recite details of his running adventures, documented in his many books. He was happy to pull on a Wesham vest for a picture.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Jo McCaffery leads Steven Gore and Martin Allison at Wholan Nook in 2019

There was an acclaimed return of mid-week summer racing last week with a 5k and 10k in Manchester’s Heaton Park and at Carlisle with a City Urban Trail but both events were too distant to attract Fylde runners. There was still a long list of cancelled and postponed events but with restrictions being lifted again this week next month will likely see a gentle increase in localised athletics.

Mick Edge competed in the Southport Triathlon on Sunday and he came 315th and 10th M60 in a total time of 2:32:42. This included 27:04 for a 1.5km swim, 1:11:56 for 40km bike stage along the Promenade and finally 45:48 for 9.5km run with 8 minutes in the transitions.  He achieved his fastest times in the swim and on the bike with personal best performances.

There were a number of local open track meetings last week where distance can be kept across the lanes with staggered starts allowing the field to spread out. Many of these events were for juniors where restrictions are lighter but there were some opportunities for seniors. Locally in the Fylde athletics is poised to ease into action in a few weeks but at the moment there are not the events taking place to kick start the action.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Anne Berry racing in the Thomson Park woods in the Brun Valley race in 2018

There are now several athletics events being staged locally and last weekend there was a mix of multi terrain and road events starting up. The Lakeland Trails series opened with the Staveley event featuring four events over 10km and 18km, there was racing at Tatton Hall in Cheshire and at Aintree, and locally there was the Bounce Back 10k in Blackpool, all events operating with wave starts in groups of six as per the current guidance. Members are not yet tempted to travel and the Bounce Back 10k in Blackpool on Sunday saw Wesham’s Steve Abbott finish 5th on the Middle Walk after a clifftop run to Anchorsholme and back along the Lower promenade to clock 39:33. Rob Wallace came in 31st with a time of 44:34; and Carmel Sullivan placed 8th woman and 1st W55 in her first run in a new age category to record 45:28. These were time-trial results due to the wave starts in groups of six runners as per the restrictions.

Wesham club nights are gathering momentum with greater numbers on a Monday and structured training sessions well booked on Wednesdays. Pre-booking is required for all meetings and from next week larger groups will be able to train together. Wesham’s headquarters at the Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club is now open for serving outside and will open indoors next week. Arrangements are now underway for team activities later in the year.

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