Alex’s newspaper Report.

David Taylor running in the Wesham Handicap Trophy Race

The delayed Wesham Handicap Trophy Race took place on Sunday morning around the undulating 4.9-mile summer handicap course from Dowbridge through Treales, having been delayed a week due to flooding. Finlay McCalman was the first across the finish line in a time of 41:40 with a handicap of 0.05 seconds on his watch time of 41:35. Tanya Shaw was the women’s winner in 44:30 with an actual time of 38:38 and a handicap of 5:52. She finished 5th overall. Lee Barlow was second in 42:29 with actual time 31:49 and handicap of 10:40. Phil Leaver was third with a good run of 43:06, handicap of 1:05 and actual time 42:01. Nigel Shepherd was fourth in 43:23 (33:16 with 10:07). Kay Twist was second woman in 45:16 (42:02 and 3:14), and Kerry Eccles third in 46:23 on scratch (no handicap). Stuart Topping was 6th in 44:35 (33:55 and 10:40); Paul Eccles 7th with 44:57 (33:56 and 11:01). Peter Rooney was 9th in 45:46 (39:01 and 7:45); Robert Danson 10th in 46:05 (41:38 and 4:27); Alek Walker 11th with 46:16 (29:47 and 16:20); David Taylor 13th in 46:49 (29:00 and 17:49); and Andrew Moore 14th with 47:11 (41:51 and 5:20). On net times the ranking was David Taylor, Alek Walker and Lee Barlow, and for the women the same order of Tanya Shaw, Kay Twist and Kerry Eccles. Nigel Shepherd was 4th, Stuart Topping 5th and Paul Eccles 6th. The handicap was worked out from the best performances over the season (all the summer monthly events had been held virtually over the space of a week), and on top of the handicaps there was also a socially distanced start to ensure separation of all runners.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Dark and stormy conditions at the Inter Club race in Chorley’s Astley Park

Wesham were due to hold their annual handicap Trophy Race on Sunday morning over the 4.9-mile Summer Handicap route but the spell of good August weather broke and the course at its lowest point and also further on became flooded under the railway bridge and thus was called off. The Trophy Race is the culmination of the 12 monthly runs over the year, seven events on the Winter Handicap 4-mile town course and four over the summer 4.9-mile country route leading up to the trophy race. With storm weather this week a new date is being sought and the event will go ahead sometime in September.

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Alex’s newspaper Report.

Happy group at the Lowther Run in August 20

The world of athletics continues to awake steadily, with several events across the country taking part last week, very much along the guidelines of England Athletics with small club-based events. There was an inter-club meeting at Lee Valley stadium in North London with a full timetable of selected events for all age groups. The focus is on track and field, where track events have to use alternate lanes or staggered starts, and field events either require officials to clean implements after each use or athletes to use their own and retrieve after each use.  Non-stadia events (termed “off-track”) such as road and trail running are still limited to avoid mass starts and are run on a time-trial basis with separate starts for groups of 6 athletes. These events are mainly the preserve of the commercial organisations, as smaller events run at grass roots by clubs and individuals would not want to take on all the extra officials and equipment necessary to meet the health guidance. Participants seem to be willing to turn out, but these are not racing as such so are non-competitive. The risks are still great, and it will be some time before full head-to-head competition will resume.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Neil Gregson, Helen Lawrenson, Mark Renshall and Alek Walker Hillside 24-hour Run

This week, a tentative restart of some athletic activity in the North West, with a series of Podium 5k races on Saturday evening an Barrowfold near Nelson giving the two fastest 5k road men’s time in the UK and the fifth fastest women’s time, and the first fell running event since March at the Lowther Castle run over an approximate half marathon distance. There were three Wesham members running at Lowther, there was a staggered start every 5 minutes from 10am with groups of six runners at a time. Steve Littler ran well starting at 12:10, and finishing with the 8th fastest time in 1:32:02, 2nd M40 and 12 minutes behind the winning time. He had the 4th fastest time over the final 5k split. Steve Swarbrick, with his Bowland identity came in 17th in 1:39:05, 4th M40. Carmel Sullivan starting at 12:05 pm finished 18th woman and 101st overall in 2:06:27, placing 4th W50. Anne Berry had an earlier start at 11:15, returning 60th woman and 12th W50 with 2:43:25, 207th overall. The course featured two summits with a river crossing in-between and there were three checkpoints on the course with a steady run back to the finish in front of the castle.

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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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