Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Rob Danson in familiar style with an oft-fought battle with Dave Rigby, 2015

The Strava leader-board for Wesham was again buzzing this week as members continue to get out and about for safe training to keep up their fitness, especially to make the most of the more favourable weather conditions. Top of the leader-board for distance was Wesham’s top man, Rob Danson, with 102.7km completed, in 6:51:52. Simon Denye was 2nd on the list with 99.3km in a time of 7:24:31. Neil Harrison took the third spot with 74.9km. in terms of elevation, Nigel Shepherd took the hilly road and topped out with 758m of climb, with Rob Danson on the lower road with 603m. Neil Harrison had 176m uphill, while Simon Denye taking third with 518m. Paul had the most severe week of climbing, with 420m of climb for just 37.3km distance. For the ladies, Helen Lawrenson logged 59.7km for 4:50:32 and 349m uphill, and Liz Sharrocks came in second with 49.2km in 5:09:08 and 351m elevation. Sue Coulthurst was 3rd covering 43.7km in 3:31:57, with 243m of climb. Fastest average pace saw Rob Danson with the most speedwork, with an average of 4:01 per kilometre, David Taylor second fastest with 4:15 and Alek Walker third with 4:16. It was a close battle with Lee Barlow, who averaged 4:17 for his 64.9km, and Mark Belfield and Steve Swarbrick were even paced at 4:20 with 46 and 73.1km, 292 and 272m of climb individually. Fastest women were Suzanne Leonard with 4:45 pace (38.8km and 205m ascent); Sue Coulthurst with 4:51 per km; and Helen Lawrenson 4:52.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Men’s 12-Stage relay team in Sefton Park in 2015

Wesham’s leader-board on the running and cycling app Strava shows Simon Denye is taking things seriously and getting out there for some safe training, topping last week’s chart with 86.2km in 6:22:25. Nigel Shepherd was second with 66.1km but topped the time rankings with 6:42:52. Nigel also took the hilliest courses with 1073m of ascent. Mark Belfield was 3rd with 64.6km running. In the women’s ranks Liz Sharrocks was top with 44.9km with Sue Coulthurst 2nd with 39.9km. Sally Deacon was close behind with 38.5km. There are now 67 members in this version of the leader-board, with a second group having 17 runners completing times last week. Lee Barlow topped this list with 64.3km; Rob Danson 63.2km and Rob Wallace 51.0km. Sue Coulthurst’s 39.9km topped the women’s list again, with Sally Deacon 2nd (38.5km) and Kelly Irwin taking 3rd with 36.6km. Kelly took the longest time with 4:55:38 and Alek Walker 2nd in 4:55:27 with Lee Barlow 3rd in 4:43:21. Kellie also had the highest elevation with a whopping 1,498m of climb to Danson’s 330m and Paul Eccles 309m.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

This is what we’re all missing

These are very difficult times but the world of athletics in common with all other sports has been brought to its knees by the current health crisis. And yet it is almost busier behind the scenes than when it is in full swing. It is vital at present to keep club members engaged, while there are no events and no outdoor activity there is plenty of virtual community using social media and video conference technology.

Top of the list of activities is a growing league of virtual races and grand prix using online tools such as Strava, an application and hardware that allows tracking for runners and cyclists to record performance and routes using GPS data. Anyone can create a virtual event and individuals can record their performances against it. In these times of social distancing it is bob on to follow the government advice and stay safe while allowing athletic involvement. Wesham have run a 5-10k virtual event this week ending on Wednesday evening, the results will be available for next week.

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Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Stuart Clayton basks in the sun last week in New Longton

March is the season of the 20-Mile distance and the Trimpell 20 in Lancaster has now reached 20 in its consistent history. A quality event over this now diminishing calendar of events this race is popular with Fylde runners in marathon training for the spring season of 26.2-mile events. Wesham’s Steve Littler has made a remarkable recovery over the past two to three years from a back injury, and on Sunday he showed his indominable spirit to finish 4th in the race and 1st M45 in an excellent time of 1:53:24. Simon Denye is another club member who has made an excellent return to running and he finished 17th in 2:07:36 to claim 3rd M45 slot. Rob Wallace came in 138th with a measured run of 2:44:21 with a quality performance.

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Suspension of club activities

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UPDATE ON COVID-19

England Athletics have just released the enclosed statement surrounding the issues with Coronavirus.

It is therefore with regret that we are having to suspend all club activity with immediate effect. This includes all organised club runs and structured sessions.

Please do keep on running as we are encouraged to keep fit and healthy.

We will keep you updated as to when we can return to the club.

Thanks for your understanding and keep well.

Alex’s Newspaper Report.

Lee Barlow corners the finish at New Longton in the spring sunshine

It was a quieter week for athletics in the North West although with varied weather and a favourable Sunday, with the Inter-Counties Cross Country in Loughborough and the British Masters Indoor Championships in Enfield taking place. As yet, apart from the European Masters Indoor, Mountain Running and Non-Stadia Championships in Braga, Portugal and Madeira in March and April, there have been no athletics events cancelled or postponed.

Rob Danson had earned a second Lancashire vest and ran in the Inter-Counties at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough on Saturday. He finished a creditable 80th in the Senior Men’s race in a time of 42:13 scoring 4th for the county who came 8th overall. The only medals for Lancashire were bronze for the U17 Men.

There were five runners in the Irwell Valley 20-mile trail race on a 3-lap (1 small and 2 large) course from the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich on Sunday. Mark Holton was the first Wesham finisher in 2:21:42 in 14th place and 3rd M40. Paul Lancashire finished 59th in 2:44:52 with Rob Wallace 77th in 2:49:40. Antionette Holton was 143rd in 3:10:23, and unfortunately Kirsty Holland did not finish the race.

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