Tribute to David Wood

The following tribute has been shared by Blackpool Fylde & Wyre Running Club.

David Wood was the Gazette Athletic Correspondent for Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde AC (BWF AC) for many years providing detailed reports of the athletic achievements of many club members over that period and therefore it is with great sadness that BWF AC has to announcing his passing earlier this month.

David was a Blackpool lad attending Thames Road Infant School before moving on to Palatine and upon leaving joined the Civil Service where he worked all his life. He became interested in running in the early 1990s, initially joining Red Rose Road Runners, but in 1995 transferred to North Fylde AC (NFAC) based at the Norcross Social Security Offices. 

He soon made a name for himself with his friendly manner and keenness to compete and would always volunteer to make up the team if it was short. He was an athlete you knew would never let you down and if he said he would compete he would be there – a true man of his word.

When NFAC & Blackpool & Fylde AC merged in 2006 to form BWF AC David’s running career was coming to a close due to injury. However, instead of disappearing as so many do, he found a new interest in Sports Photography and over the years honed this skill producing excellent photos of club members in action and also those in the other local clubs. He would then offer his photos to the clubs for their websites, social media pages and to the athletes themselves at no cost at all. 

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Great picture from 2018 but no idea where it was or what the occasion was! Haigh Hall?

Last week’s Wesham Virtual Challenge was a 5-mile run at a steady pace, irrespective of overall speed (i.e. could be run at top speed or slow speed). M70 ace Dave Young topped the table with a metronomic pace of 9:11 per mile, just let down by speeding up by 2 seconds approaching home, giving him a finish time of 45:49.  Stuart Topping was next most consistent with a 5-second differential starting and finishing with 7:44 pace for 38:41, and Mark Renshall also 5 seconds from 8:18 with a total time of 41:36. Rob Wallace had 8 seconds together with Tom Crabtree, the pair totting 43:11 and 36:08 from 8:37 and 7:14 mile pace. Sharlan Butcher recorded an 11 second difference with 49:54; long-term member John Burns 13 seconds from 7:58 to 7:54 with 39:15; Dawn Biggs also 13 seconds from a start pace 9:38 to 10:01 (48:16 total); Andrew Moore 15 seconds wit 45:04 (9:00 starting pace); Tanya Shaw 18 seconds from 8:51 (44:08 total); and on 20 seconds Julie Rooney (10:34 pace to 10:29 and 10:39 with 53:01 overall); and Emma Louise (9:53 to 9:29 and 9:47 with 48:23 overall).  Martin Allison had a difference of 25 seconds with a total time of 46:17 varying from an initial 9:17 down to 9:24 and up to 9:04; Lee Lawrenson 25 seconds (41:56 from 8:28 to 8:12); Garry Barnett 34 seconds (34:49 from 7:04 to 6:48); Sally Deacon 36 seconds (53:25 from 10:44 to 10:31); Stephen Twist 47 seconds (9:58 to 9:41); Kerry Eccles 64 seconds (49:19 from 9:54 to 9:27); Lee Barlow 64 seconds (36:56 from 7:23 to 7:13); and Alek Walker 66 seconds (35:53 speeding up from 7:25 to 7:02).

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Carmel, Kerry and Nicola in the sun at the Inter-Club

Wesham hosted their second 4.9-mile Virtual Handicap in place of the physical monthly run over the Summer course around Treales. Runners are asked to devise a 4.9-mile course of their own in the current social distancing guidelines and to stick to this course for each submission to the monthly Virtual handicap. Running scratch Julie Rooney headed round a course using some of the Freckleton Half Marathon clocking 51:47. Emma Brook ran 47:08 also on scratch, and Kerry Eccles clocked 46:43. Dawn Biggs ran 46:18 and Liz Sharrocks 45:47. David Taylor clocked the fasts time of 29:09 with the biggest handicap, on the actual Summer course round Treales. Les Cornwall was 2nd fastest in 30:13, and Alek Walker third in 30:37, also using the Treales club route. Jason Parkinson was 4th with 34:03 running around Westby and Wrea Green from the west end of Kirkham. Nigel Shepherd was 5th in 37:05, and Suzanne Leonard the first woman in 37:41. Stuart Topping ranked 7th with 38:17; Tara Fisher 2nd woman in 38:23; and Peter Rooney 9th in 38:48. Alan Hudson ran 38:52; John Burns 40:35; Vron Walker 40:52; Andrew Moore 41:13; Tanya Shaw 42:27; Robert Danson (senior) 42:56; Dave Young 43:46; Jo McCaffery 45:00; Louise Lord 45:35; Steven Twist 45:40; and Kay Twist 45:44.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Suzanne Leonard tackles the Rossell Promenade with a cracking view of Black Coombe

Last week Wesham contested a 5-mile negative split challenge, that is, the latter mile splits had to be faster than the first. Rob Danson topped the table with a time of 29:21. Simon Denye was 2nd with 29:54; Alek Walker 3rd clocking 32:47 going from 6:55 pace up to 6:05. Lee Barlow was 3rd in 34:10 with his 5 miles around Stanley Park, speeding up from 7:03 pace to 6:15. Neil Gregson was 5th in 36:17 picking a hilly route from Kirkham through Treales starting at 7:24 and rising to 6:51. Nigel Shepherd 36:52; Mark Renshall 37:15; Sue Coulthurst ran 38:14 for first woman; Maureen Danson was 2nd in 44:41; Kirsty Holland came 3rd with 46:53; Kerry Eccles was 4th in 47:20; and Emma Wright 5th with 47:35. Rob Wallace ran 39:08 for the 5 miles; Stuart Topping 39:30; Peter Rooney 40:11; Lee Lawrenson 43:57; Robert Danson 44:17; Martin Allison 44:51; Dave Young 45:00; Andrew Moore 45:36; Ryan Azzopardi 46:29; Dawn Biggs 47:36; Liz Sharrocks 48:44; Sharlan Butcher 50:14; Emma Louise 52:07; and Sally Deacon 56:06. This week it has been Wesham’s May handicap over a 4.9 mile course; results next week.

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Alex’s newspaper Report.

Stuart Topping in Bank Holiday sun in the Avenham Park 5

There were two virtual challenges for Wesham members last week; a 10k run and a street signs orienteering riddle; design a route taking in streets with a first letter spelling out W-E-S-H-A-M. There were 17 participants in the 10k run, with Lee Barlow clocking the winning 37:03 on Thursday with a point-to point Over Wyre from the back of Hambleton along the banks of the Wyre halfway to St Michaels with a loop back to Ratten Row for the finish. Nigel Shepherd clocked 42:08 on a largely downhill course from the top of Jeffrey Hill on Longridge Fell to Ribchester with three loops along Blackburn Road to the Bridge and on Gallows Lane to make up the distance at the end. Sue Coulthurst was the leading woman in 3rd place with 45:55 and Rob Wallace was 3rd male in 46:09 with his route from the new housing estate at the old Pre Bonds in Blackpool, out to Stanley Park and back through the Oxford and Clifton Road. Peter Rooney was 4th in 49:30 with a loop from home through Freckleton and out towards Kirkham and along Hillock Lane. Robert Danson was next in with 50:35; Ryan Azzopardi 52:52; Martin Allison 54:40; Andy Moore 55:23; Dawn Biggs 56:51; Dave Young 58:24; Emma Wright 61:01; Kerry Eccles 61:.44; Sharlan Butcher 61:47; Liz Sharrocks 62:30; Emma Louise 62:33; Jo McCaffrey 62:50. The Street Signs challenge saw 20 complete the puzzle with Sharlan Butcher, Lee and Tanya Barlow and Sue Coulthurst declared most innovative, with Liz Sharrocks; Dawn Biggs; Jo McCaffrey; Nigel Shepherd; Emma Wright; Robert & Maureen Danson; Emma Louise; Peter Cooke; Dave Young; Kerry Eccles; Kirsty Holland; James & Leah Birchall; Carl Groome & Sue Rigby; Stuart & Julie Topping; Pauline Eccleston; Clare Bellfield, Archie & Mags and Michelle Tickle all mastering the A-to-Z.

Last week’s Wesham Strava leader-board shows Tanya Shaw complete 3 runs with a total distance of 28.3km in a time of 2:32:49. Elizabeth Johnson notched up 30.6km in 3:05:38 and Julie Rooney 31.2km for 3:24:22. Elliot Costello ran 28.5km in 2:41:02; James Birchall 29.1km in a time of 3:01:23; and Steve Waterhouse 30.9 km in 2:29:52. Alek Walker clocked 24.7km for 1:49:55; Jo McCaffery 23.9km in 2:18:37; Lynn Brown 23.7km in 3:16:43; Rich Burnett 22.1km in 1:43:08; Clare Belfield 20.6 km with 2:01:32; Neil Whipp 19.2 km in 1:33:46; Ryan Azzopardi 18.7 km in 1:40:21; and John Bertenshaw joining the list with 18.4 km in 1:34:27. Heading the leader-board was Mark Holton, 112.3km run in 10:53:36. No wonder he tops this week’s list as one of his 8 runs was a marathon distance completed in a formidable 3:24:36 on Saturday with a loop of Lytham and St Annes and then off to Freckleton, Kirkham, Westby and back though Wrea Green. He described this as a steady 40k with metronomic kilometre splits and a fast finish. David Taylor was 2nd with 102.2km run in 7:32:59; and Rob Danson 100.5km in 6:40:19. Simon Denye was 3rd in terms of elapsed time with 7:07:43 for his 95.2km, 4th in terms of distance. For the women Suzanne Leonard was the furthest run with 53.3km in 4:46:56 also topping the Queen of the Mountains last week; Helen Lawrenson 46.6km in 3:47:34; and Kerry Eccles 42.3km in 4:20:51. On the mountain leader-board Neil Gregson was ahead of Rob Danson with 762m to 598m; and David Taylor 3rd with 552m of climbing. Helen Lawrenson was 2nd woman with 261m elevation; and Liz Sharrocks 3rd with 220m.

Last week’s Wesham Facebook Live broadcast featured 5 Minutes with Russell Mabbett who recounted his running experiences firstly with the marathon where he achieved 2hrs 42mins before answering the urge of ultra-distance trail racing, first cutting his teeth with the Yorkshire Three Peaks race and then the Bob Graham Round, 42 Lakeland peaks in under 24 hours from Keswick, and going on to taking part in five Ultra Tours de Mont Blanc, a staggering career with many 50- and 100-mile long distance events in between.

In 2015 this week Wesham were on fire and romped home at the Inter Club in Lytham with 53 runners and a win for the Open team and category wins for the Men’s Veterans and Men Over-50. Conditions were blustery as Steve Littler and Charlie Pass worked all the way round with the lead group, with Charlie in front of Steve right up until the final half mile. Littler recorded 27:08 for 3rd place, with Pass 5 seconds adrift in 4th. Leading veteran and Over-50 Gary Pendlebury, on perfect form for this weekend’s European Veterans Non-Stadia Championships, blasted round to finish 8th in 28:19. Alex trailed in 11th with 29:11 and right on his heels with a superb run Lee Barlow finished 14th in 29:19. Ian Sharples was 16th; John Collier 30th 30:20; Derek Buckley (30:22, 31st), Dave Waywell (30:28, 26th), and Alan Hudson (30:30, 27th) completed the men’s team with a fine grouping. Jo Frodsham led the Wesham ladies with an excellent 8th place, 34:38. Bernadette Dickinson was second in, 36:06 for 11th place. Kath Hoyer 13th in 37:07, and Yvonne Russell was 23rd in 40:11. Completing the team Mandy Ingham, 25th in 41:15. The Wesham ladies were 3rd team, a good result. Men’s results: 3. Steve Littler 27.08; 4. Charlie Pass  27.13; 8. Gary Pendlebury M50 28.19; 11. Alex Rowe M45 29.11; 14. Lee Barlow 29.19; 16. Ian Sharples M40 29.23; 30. John Collier M50 30.20;  31. Derek Buckley M45 30.22; 36. Dave Waywell M60 30.28; 37. Alan Hudson M55 30.30; 38. John Bertenshaw M45 30.33; 39. Trevor RaynerM40 31.12; 40. George Kennedy M45 31.24; 42. Martin Bates M45 31.28; 44. Karl Lee MJ 31.30; 47. John Burns M50 31.46; 59. Richard Davies M40 32.45; 61. Graham Ingham 32.55; 62. Steve Myerscough 32.55; 72. Phil Leaver M50 33.50; 76. Gary Moore M45 33.58; 79. Peter Gleaves M40 34.01; 80. Mark Midgley 34.06; 86. Brian Porter M40 34.27; 87. Graham Vickers M45 34.30; 103. Dave Preston M50 35.37; 104. Alan Taylor 35.48; 113. Richard Storey 36.50; 119. Paul Carter 37.35; 124. Derek Goodenough M60 38.11; 127. Nigel Shepherd M45 38.30; 129. Reg Chapman M55 38.38; 130. Mark Wilson M50 38.41; 131. Finlay McCalman M40 38.50; 135. Peter Cooke M45 39.18; 137. Tony Robbins M65 39.27; 144. Keith Gresty M65 40.14; 145. Ken Munro M60 40.16; 147. Ian Rawcliffe M55 40.32; 149. Michael Owen M55 40.53; 153. George Flanagan M55 41.15; 165. Dave Young M55 43.12; 173. John Whiteman M60 44.07; 179. Peter Earnshaw M60 44.42.

Women’s results: 8. Joanne Frodsham W35 34.38; 11. Bernadette Dickinson W40 36.06; 13. Kath Hoyer WV45 37.07; 23. Yvonne Russell 40.11; 25. Mandy Ingham W35 41.14; 34. Pat Swarbrick W45 43.22; 35. Jennie Thompson W55 43.39; 36. Pauline Weller W45 43.47; 43. Marie Wyld W55 45.11

In the Wray Caton Fell Race on May Day, Richard Davies finished 65th with 55:08 for the 7-mile race, featuring 1200 feet of climbing. Alex Rowe ran in the Bluebell Trail 10-mile multi-terrain race in Halifax on Sunday, finishing 11th in 1:12:50 for approximately 10.5 miles. The race takes in the 600-foot climb up Beacon Hill and some glorious views from the hilly course. And many fine bluebell woods. Steve Littler finished 2nd in the Blackpool 10km race along the famous promenade on Sunday. Steve won the race two years ago, and this year he ran 32:59 in very windy conditions. Les Cornwall was 4th with an excellent run in 33:57. Lee Barlow is in fine form, and clocked 36:07, and Russell Mabbett is coming back to form with a superb 38:26. For the Wesham ladies, Jo Frodsham had an excellent run to record 42:15, and Sue Coulthurst ran a solid 44:15 in the difficult conditions. Kath Hoyer was close behind with a good 44:45.

Five years ago in 2015 Wesham made a good showing at the Kendal 10k on the Wednesday evening in good conditions at the start of the Kendal AC 10 series. Karl Lee finished 3rd as he moves up a gear clocking 35:19 over the hilly course south from the town to Sedgwick and back. Lee Barlow was 6th in 36:47 taking the M40 prize; and Alex Rowe 11th and 1st Over-50 in 37:24 the Wesham men were assured of the winning team. John Collier was 1st M60 and 32nd in 41:28; Peter Cruse was fourth for Wesham and 22nd place with 39:22 (3rd M50); Mick Edge 37th in 42:25; Chris Moss 54th in 45:10; Phil Leaver 2nd M60 and 56th in 45:58.  Helen Lawrenson was 8th woman and 60th in 46:09 (1st W40); Jen Salt was 9th with 46:53. Stephen Brown 64th in 46:41, his debut run for the club. Peter Bartlett was 90th in 50:55 (6th Over-60). Rowe also finished 7th in the Dalton 10k the previous Friday evening as a warmup in 36:58, also placing 3rd Over-50 in the Wray Caton Moor Fell Race (50:25 for 6.8 miles and 1100ft). John Collier was 1st M60 here in 57:00. Rob Danson was 2nd in the Avenham Park 5k on Monday running 16:21; David Taylor was 7th for a new personal best of 17:57. Ryan Heaps 16th in 19:15; Stuart Topping 19:59; Jason Blagden 21:11; Sarah Heaps 23:49; Diane Blagden 26:10; Graham Vickers 27:36; Andrew Heaps 28:43. Mick Edge reaped another M55 victory in the Yarrow Bridge Bluebell Trail race south of Chorley on Sunday, clocking 50:41 for the 10k trail (22nd). Carmel Sullivan was 2nd W45 and 10th woman in 53:32; Helen Lawrenson 13th and 3rd W45 in 54:40; Dave Young 164th (4th M65) in 1:15:00. Vernon’s 5km Series: David Taylor 13th (18:09); Graham Cunliffe 30th (20:54); Gemma Owen 6th woman in 23:13; and Alan Taylor 54th (23:36). George Kennedy was 34th in the Ripley Supper Run in Lancaster on Thursday night (27:45); Alan Taylor 77th in 31:13. Peter Cruse was 5th  in the Scorton Sheriff 10k (39:21); Graham Cunliffe 10th (43:37); Chris Moss 13th (45:08). Nicola Unsworth was 4th woman (47:02); Sharon Cooper 6th (49:26); Alan Taylor 32nd (50:26); Finlay McCalman 57th (1:01:24). Parkrun was smaller business five years ago, with just David Taylor, George Kennedy, Phil Leaver and Clive Berry in the Preston parkrun on Saturday morning. DT ran 18:35 (1 second off his personal best with an age graded performance of 69.42%.); GK 21:41 (M55 72.10%); PL 24:12 (M60 66.87%); and CB 29:55 (M45 48.52%).

This week last year it had been the second Inter Club race on Wednesday evening hosted by Lytham in blustery and cool conditions along the Promenade from the St Anne’s beach huts to Fairhaven Lake and back. 72 Wesham members took part in the large field and the course had to revised to accommodate the sea defence works introducing a stiff climb up the grass bank to exit the park. Rob Danson chewed up the new hairpin turns to complete the 4.6 miles in 23:03, toying with Preston’s Andy Benson in the opening two miles to pull away from him on the return along the lake shore from Granny’s Bay and opening up a minute lead. Steve Swarbrick was second for Wesham in 25:48 in 9th place and 3rd Masters Over-40. Simon Denye was 12th and 5th Over-40 with a strong run clocking 26:20. Ugis Datavs 16th with 26:30; David Taylor 18th in 26:39; Steve Abbott 19th in 26:55; Paul Gregory 29th in 27:28; Mark Belfield 37th in 27:36 with Andrew Harling 40th in 27:42; Tom Crabtree 41st with 27:49, placing 2nd team behind. Helen Lawrenson was 10th woman in 32:09; Anne Mayers-Smith 17th in 33:39, 164th; Sue Coulthurst 20th in 33:58 with Suzanne Leonard 24th in 34:40 and Sharon Cooper 36th in 36:18; they were 3rd team behind Lytham and Blackpool. Steve Abbott ran the Avenham Park 5k on Monday in Preston and finished 4th in a good quality field with 18:19. Chris Hastwell was 7th in 18:39 and Alice Deacon 25:09 for 92nd place, 26th woman. Paul Hetherington finished 7th in the Sheriff 10k in Scorton on Sunday in 39:08 over the hilly course. Peter Cruse was 27th and 3rd M55 in 43:56, with Emma Lund 4th woman and 36th in 47:04. Emma also ran the Lancaster supper Run on Thursday evening, 4 miles in 28:29 finishing 2nd woman and 1st W35. Jonathan Lawson was 41st at Scorton in 47:42; John Howorth 94th in 63:31 and Joy Hetherington 106th in 67:12 running in with Sue Rigby. Susan Hopcroft was 108th with 67:37. Elizabeth Johnson ran the Yarrow River Bluebell 10k in Chorley in 1:03:38 through the woods with water crossings and all sorts of fun to finish 102nd, with Fran Hodskinson 111th in 1:04:16. Graham Brook finished 222nd in the Kentmere Trail 10k on Saturday, part of the Lakeland Ultimate Trails series, with a time of 1:20:47 for the fell-side course. Diane Blagden was 344th in 1:31:53; Helen Lawrenson ran the Challenge 18km for 59th place in 1:44:07, 2nd woman in the 40-49 age category. Paul Lancashire ran the 18k Trail Race an hour later and he finished 54th in 1:31:58. Monday May Day bank holiday saw the annual Wray Caton Fell Race over 6.8 miles and 1099ft ascent and a Wesham club championship. Paul Gregory was first to finish in 25th place in 49:19, with Thomas Crabtree 31st in 50:09. Steve Myerscough was 59th in 55:51 with Jason Parkinson hard on his tail with 55:53 for 60th place. Stuart Clayton was 86th in 61:45 and Rob Wallace 97th in 64:40. Ryan Azzopardi finished 107th in 1:10:26 with Emma Davies and James Birchall 126th and 127th in 1:22:43 and 1:22:44. Debbie Myerscough was 130th in 1:38:38.

Alex’s newspaper Report.

Nice, totally irrelevant photo from 2011, Warton Fell Race, with Alistair Morris on rig

Next week’s Wesham virtual challenge is a 10k run, with the additional challenge of running past or up or down a set of roads where the first letter of the road name makes up the word “Wesham”. Last week the distance was 7 miles and David Taylor had the fastest time with 44:36 over a course out from Preston through Lea Town and a loop round Newton before a return home. Lee Barlow was second in 50:56 with a point-to-point winding through Stanley Park, across into the Victoria Hospital perimeter and then into the De Vere with a finish at the far end of Marton Mere. Suzanne Leonard was 3rd and first woman in 55:17 out-and-back from Anchorsholme along the Lower Promenade to the Blackpool Sea Life Centre and back. Stuart Topping ran 55:38; Rob Wallace 56:28: Peter Rooney M60 59:51; Vron Walker 59:56; Alek Walker M35 60:04; Robert Danson M50 60:32; Tanya Shaw W35 60:54; Dave Young M70 63:18; Colin Smy 65:46; Dawn Biggs W45 67:29; Claire Axcel 68:58; Liz Sharrocks W35 69:39; Andy Moore M55 69:58; Sharlan Butcher 72:45; Liz Johnson 72:53; Sally Deacon W50 73:10; James Birchall 75:03; Julie Rooney W45 75:39; Kerry Eccles W55 77:17; Peter Cooke M60 78:21; and Carl Groome M45 on one leg with 112:17.

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