The last week has seen Wesham members resuming their activities as race organisers raise the shutters and there are competitive events taking place again. With the more inclement weather this week Monday night in the clubhouse at the Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club had more of an atmosphere of the past as there was a vibrant gathering of members in the refurbished bar and community room indoors, with the promise of the new veranda outdoors if warmer conditions return before autumn sets in.
Saturday evening saw the return of Alan Taylor’s Catforth 5k, a 3-race series prior to the pandemic on a fast single lap circuit. Mark Belfield came in 3rd with an excellent run in 17:36. Garry Barnett was 2nd M55 and 8th overall in 18:44, with Steve Myerscough 12th in 19:19. Martin Bates, running well with determination finished 23rd in 21:08, 2nd M60, and Peter Rooney 3rd M60 and 27th in 22:02, another tremendous run. Alan Hudson placed 1st M70 and 33rd overall in 23:19 with Andrew Wilkinson 38th and 5th M50 in 25:03; Andrew Moore 48th in 26:22; and Julie Rooney 54th and 178th woman in 30:33.
There was further athletic racing for Wesham members last week as events open up, several postponed from their usual calendar slot earlier in the year.
There were five Wesham members running the City of Preston Half Marathon round a new two-lap course in Longton, with Lee Nixon 31st overall in 1:08:43 running a new best time, taking 1:11 off his previous clocking. Stephen Twist finished 73rd in 1:27:26, also a big new best by 10 minutes, and Robert Danson 76th in 1:28:21. There was an accompanying single lap 5-mie race, with Rob Danson finishing third with a time of 25:28, tantalisingly close to breaking the 5 minute a mile pace. Thomas Crabtree placed 17th with 31:17. Jonny Mellor having missed out on Olympic selection won in 23:45; second placed Ben Johnson of Southport just beat Rob by 5 seconds.
Rob Wallace ran the Windmill Half Marathon on Sunday in Lytham clocking 1:46:47 for 71st place. Helen Lawrenson finished 72nd in the Hawkshead Trail Challenge 16k in 1:50:15, placing 19th woman and 6th woman Over-50 with her friend and ex-member Nicola Unsworth just ahead by 16 seconds (she would have placed 81st woman and 5th W50 in the accompanying 16k Trail Race; and 19th in the Mass Start Trail Race placing 2nd woman). Sharon Cooper ran well for 145th with her time 2:00:05.
Andrew Harling finished 27th in the Sub-18:00 Race in the Podium 5k, the second fastest heat at Barrowford near Nelson in a new personal best time of 17:42 (17:39 chip time), with his fastest repeated lap time being 3:33 just over the 1km distance.
Paul Lancashire and Martin Bates both competed in the revived Tour of Tameside with four events in Hyde, Stalybridge, Glossop and Oldham totalling 32.3 miles, a version of the “short Tour” encompassing some new locations outside the borough. The original event in the 1990s was a 6-stage double marathon, encompassing all terrains with road, cross country, fell and a short stretch of track! This year, in the opening X-Trail run Paul Lancashire had a good start to finish 61st in 45:02 for the 10km off-road. Martin Bates set off steady to place 145th in 51:07 with 452 runners. On the second night over 6 miles in the Hell on the Fell race Paul was 56th in 48:45 and Martin 129th in 54:41. Saturday saw the Hero Half Marathon run where Paul placed 70th in 1:37:42 and Martin had an excellent run to finish 94th in 1:41:47. In the Hyde 7 on the Sunday Martin finished off with 53:20 for 134th place. Paul was 63rd in 48:58, finishing 44th overall in a cumulative time of 4:00:27, just missing out on the sub-4 hours on gun time, but 3:59:50 on chip time. Martin was 90th overall with his total time 4:20:55 (4:20:22 chip time). 335 runners reached the finish line on the final day back in Hyde.
Monday evening saw the running of the August Monthly Handicap at Wesham over the 4.9-mile course undulating round Treales. Adam Wilding was first across the line in 45:01 with Damian Ings 2nd in 45:05. Andy Moore was third in 45:33 with Peter Rooney fourth in 46:05. Steve Myerscough was closing with 46:22 followed by Rob Wallace in 46:24. Lee Nixon ran 46:35; Andrew Wilkinson 46:49; Dave Young 47:02; Mark Belfield 47:07; Alek Walker 47:28; Steve Browne 47:51; Nigel Shepherd 48:05; Lee Barlow 48:26; Paul Eccles 49:04 and Elliot Costello 49:28. On actual times Adam Wilding was fastest with 28:01; Alek Walker second on 30:28; Lee Barlow third with 31:26; Lee Nixon fourth on 31:35; and Steve Myerscough fifth with 32:22. Mark Belfield ran 33:07; Nigel Shepherd 35:05; Damian Ings 36:05; Stephen Browne 36:51; Peter Rooney 37:05; Rob Wallace 37:24; Paul Eccles 38:04; Elliot Costello 40:28; Andrew Wilkinson 41:49; Dave Young 42:02; Andy Moore 43:33. With just sixteen runners numbers were surprisingly low; the annual trophy race is in three weeks before the evenings start to draw in.
In last Saturday’s 9am 5km parkrun there were ten Wesham members at Lytham Hall, with Jonathan Lawson and Carl Groome finishing one second apart in 22:42 and 22:43 and recording age graded performances of M50 66.59% and 65.96%. Michelle Tickle recorded 23:16 for W45 69.63%; Ian Nichols Hogg 25:08 (51.39%); James Danson 26:23 M55 58.75%; Stephen Twist 26:27 M50 57.59%; Louise Lord 27:06 W45 59.78%; Phil Leaver 30:56 M65 55.77%; Sue Rigby 32:14 W45 50.26%; and Graham Cunliffe 33:51 M65 49:53%. The Lytham Hall event attracted 299 participants, a good-sized entourage. In Blackpool’s Stanley Park Dave Marsland had the fastest time of a Wesham runner with 22:39 and an M65 age graded 74.03%. Stephen Browne clocked 23:28 for M55 65.48%; Rob Wallace 25:30 50.59%; Finlay McCalman 26:07 M55 59.86%; Andrew Moore 27:35 M55 57.64%; Peter Bartlett 31:13 M70 57.93%; Anne Flanagan visiting from Spain 36:23 W60 55.70%and George Flanagan 44:05 for M70 41.02%. On Fleetwood Promenade Alek Walker had the fourth fastest time of the day in 19:19 for M35 69.11% and Brian Jones ran 27:46 M60 57.74%. There were two Wesham members running the Preston event, with Nigel Shepherd clocking 21:15 with M60 77.49% and Elliot Costello 24:33 with 52.55%. In the Riverside run in Chester-Le-Street Emma Brook ran 29:24 with a W35 51.47% and Emma Lund the Lancaster run in 24:22 W35 62.11%. The Gores travelled to Cusworth Hall out in the country near Doncaster where David Taylor had the fifth fastest time of 19:31 age graded 67.21% with Steven Gore running 21:55 M40 62.28% and Vicky 27:40 W40 57.41%.
With competition now starting in earnest there is still much activity on the Wesham Strava training log, with Rob Danson heading up the leader-board with 68.8 miles in a total time of 7:27:32. Rob Wallace deep in marathon training came in second at 52.6 miles in 7:28:55, and Daniel Shaw, regular leader-board topper, completed 51.5 miles in 6:46:51. The Wesham women were well up the overall table last week, with Tanya Shaw in tenth place overall with 35 miles in 5:17:20. Michelle Tickle was twelfth and second woman on 32.9 miles and a total time of 4:55:33, and Helen Lawrenson fourteenth and third with 32.2 miles in 4:43:54. Lynn Brown placed fourth completing 30.5 miles in 7:32:25 and Kay Twist 28 miles in 4:09:40. Mark Belfield was fourth overall with 50.4 miles run in 6:18:00; David Taylor 41.2 miles in 5:02:08; Alan Hudson on 41.1 miles in 6:03:03; Neil Gregson seventh with 40.4 miles in 5:13:06; Martin Bates clocked 39.9 miles at 5:37:09; Peter Rooney also on the marathon path 37.7 miles in 5:11:39. Robert Danson ranked eleventh on 33.7 miles in 5:04:25; James Birchall 32.9 miles in 5:52:02; and Paul Lancashire 32.1 miles in 3:59:41. On the hills and elevation gain Martin bates topped the leader-board for Monarch of the Mountains at 2,959ft, and Michelle Tickle was the leading woman at 1,157ft gain, eighth overall. Paul Lancashire came in second with 2,395ft; James Mulvany third with 2,152ft over 29.5 miles in 4:01:25; Rob Danson fourth with 2,072ft; Daniel Shaw fifth at 1,493; and Lee Barlow sixth with 1,448ft over 21.1 miles in 4:02:18. Helen Lawrenson was second woman with 991ft uphill; Lynn Brown 951ft; Liz Sharrocks fourth on 643ft over 18.4 miles in 3:13:30; Julie Paton fifth with 640ft across 17.6 miles in 2:48:58; and Tanya Shaw 627ft. On average pace Rob Danson was speediest on 6:30 per mile for 68.8 miles; Garry Barnett was second with 6:38 average over 14 miles run in 1:32:52; Andrew Harling third at 7:09 pace for 29.9 miles in 3:33:47: Thomas Farquhar 7:10 per mile for 6.2 miles in 44:26; and David Taylor 7:20 pace with Steven Gore close behind at 7:21 (3.9 miles in 28:40). Emma Lund was fastest woman again with 8:00 pace for 4.9 miles in 39:12; Helen Lawrenson was second at 8:49 per mile; Kay Twist third averaging 8:55 pace; Michelle Tickle fourth with 8:59; and Tanya Shaw fifth on 9:04. Longest individual run of the week was Rob Wallace with 20-miler in 2:53; Mark Belfield an 18-miler in 2:17; Tanya Shaw had the longest run of the women also with 18 miles; Neil Gregson clocked 15.3 miles; David Taylor 14.2; Peter Rooney and Alan Hudson a 14-miler each; Dave Young, Martin Allison and Michelle Tickle half marathon at 13.1 miles; Martin Bates and Paul Lancashire 12.9 miles each, and James Mulvany and James Birchall 12 miles each.
In 2010, Steve Littler won the popular Chernobyl Challenge 10k in Preston on Sunday, clocking a swift 33:35 on a multi terrain course with several twists and turns and ups and downs, winning by 32 seconds from top Preston man Gary Pennington. Alan Hudson was 2nd M60 in 15th place with 39:08, having lost out to rival Mike McKenna in the third mile. Mick Edge made a return to racing with a solid 41:02 for 29th place and 2nd M50. Chris Whitlock made light of the course with 41:21 for 32nd place, and John Oliver was 39th in 41:13. Charles Colby was 49th in 43:23. Michaela Dempsey had a superb run to finish 2nd woman and 1st W40 with 43:59. Graham Vickers came in 57th in 44:07 to place 5th M50. Alan Taylor was 60th in 44:31, and Shaun Turner was 100th with 47:01. Angela Colby was 12th woman in 48:57, 5th W35 and 123rd overall. Dave Young was 5th M60 and 127th in 49:29, with George Flanagan 6th M60 and 153rd in 51:23. John Howorth placed 169th with 52:42; Paul Carter 183rd in 53:29; Sharon Cooper 28th woman and 187th in 53:43. Dave Jones came in 210th in 55:46; Linzi Young 55th and 252nd overall with 61:13; John Whiteman 263rd in 62:46; Ruth Turner 66th and 271st, 4th W50 with 63:48; sue Jones 75th and 282nd in 66:44. In the Boulsworth Fell Race from Trawden on Sunday Sarah Sherratt finished 9th in 70:29 over the 7.25 mile course with 1150’ ascent. Kath Hoyer was 17th and 2nd W50 in 79:11. Jason Barlow was 12th in the men’s results with 58:14. Lee Barlow was 35th with 63:25, and Dave Waywell 50th and 1st M65 in 69:37. Peter Gleaves finished 8th in the 800m at the Mid Lancs Track & Field league at Lancaster on Saturday in 2:33.4 after being held up in severe traffic through the city. He later ran 5:29.1 in the 1500m for 3rd place. He tried the Shot Putt and threw 5.75 for 8th place. Joanna Goorney 2:37.1 in the women’s 800m finishing 2nd; 5:23.1 in the 1500m for 2nd place; and 11:15.7 in the 3000m also 2nd. The previous Wednesday evening Gleaves had run in the Northern Veterans League at Leigh Sport Village, finishing 2nd in the 800m with 2:32.6. In the 1500m he was 1st with 5:24.4 employing new tactics that should see him revise his best performances before the end of the season. In the third and final Badger Run at Cuerden Valley Park at Bamber Bridge on Thursday evening there was another good turnout of runners for this popular trail race through woods and across fields. Steve Myerscough was the first Wesham finisher in 10th place with 39:21 for the undulating trail route. Simon Eaton was 27th in 42:31, and Charles Colby 48th with 45;21. Michaela Dempsey finished 3rd woman and 1stW40 in 45:42. Sarah Sherratt was 5th woman and 2nd W35 in 46:14. Peter Bartlett came in 1st M60 in 47:26 in 73rd place, and Alan Taylor was 76th with 47:52. Shaun Turner was 97th with 49:53; Kath Hoyer finished 14th woman, 3rd W50 and 104th overall in 50:36, and Dave Young was 3rd M60 in 52:45. Ruth Turner finished 42nd woman and 178th overall in 64:50. The ladies finished 2nd team behind Accrington and the men were 5th. Steve Myerscough was 18th in the third race in the Chorley Harriers 4.4m Trail Race Series on Wednesday evening, running 27:32 over the undulating course through Astley Park. Joanna Goorney was 1st W40 and 2nd woman in 28:51 emphasising her great form at present, finishing 33rd overall. Gary Moore was 43rd and 7th M50 in 29:26; and Graham Vickers 61st with 30:50 as 8th M50. Carmel Sullivan was 8th woman and 3rd W40 in 31:09, 66th overall and Michaela Dempsey 9th woman and 4th W40 in 31:18. Sarah Sherratt was 10th woman and 1st W35 in 31:29, just ahead of Dave Waywell who finished 1st M65 and 71st overall in 31:31. Alan Taylor came in 88th with 32:45; Helen Lawrenson 5th W40 and 17th woman in 33:42; Kath Hoyer 20th and 2nd W50 in 34:37, 104th overall. Nicola Unsworth was 21st and 6th W40 in 34:38, 105th overall; George Flanagan 2nd M60 and 123rd in 37:29; Kerry Eccles 39th woman and 5th W45 with 39:43; The Wesham men were 8th team, but the women finished 2nd team, a good result for the Central Lancashire Grand Prix series.
Eight years ago in 2013 the big action of the week was the fourth Inter Club race held at Lea Town and hosted by Wesham over the 4.5-mile route around Springfields. Held on a very humid evening threatening storms and rain 195 runners took part with Wesham’s Rob Danson taking on the leaders and finishing 3rd in 24:5, an excellent run. Karl Lee was in top form with 6th place in 25:55. Steve Myersough was 13th in 26:33 and Jason Barlow 15th and 6th veteran in 26:43. Alex Rowe was next in 16th place with 26:56, 2nd M50, and Garry Barnett was 17th in 27:16, good packing for the trio. John Collier was 23rd and 3rd M50 in 27:53 and Joanna Goorney counted in the top team coming in 2nd woman and 39th in 29:05. Simon Eaton was 44th in 239:37 and Russell Mabbett 48th in 30:02 to complete the Wesham open team in 2nd place, an excellent result. Emma Lund was 5th woman and 51st in 30:20; Sue Coulthurst 8th and 64th in 30:58; Helen Lawrenson 9th and 65th in 30:59 and Sarah Sherratt 10th in 31:10 formed the winning ladies’ team, a superb performance. The Wesham veterans were 2nd (Barlow, Rowe, Barnett, Collier, Goorney and Eaton) were 2nd with the M50s (Rowe, Collier, Gary de Banke 12th in 30:10 and John Bertenshaw 14th in 30:30) were also 2nd.The M60 team (Alan Hudson 2nd in 30:55, Phil Leaver 4th in 32;48 and Peter Bartlett 9th in 34:02) finished in 1st place. Wesham had 14 ladies and 26 men running. Wesham hosted their first Kirkham Kricket Klub Klassic race at their new HQ to support their expansion plans of the Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club. Held over a 6-mile multi terrain course Barry Norman finished 3rd in 40:16 in an exciting race between the top 3 runners. Graham Cunliffe was 7th in 43:56 and Helen Lawrenson as 2nd woman and 1st W40 in 47:36. Carmel Sullivan was next in with 48:08 for 3rd place and 1st W45. Charles Colby was 16th overall in 49:25 and Mick Edge 21st in 51:29. John Sharples finished 22nd in 51:34 and John Howorth 27th with 54:32. Angela Colby was 5th woman in 54:44 3rd W40. Vicky Barlow was 6th and 1st W35 in 56:13 and Sharon Cooper 8th and 4th W40. Doug Brown was 1st M75 and 38th in 1:00:39 with Ken Munro 2nd M70 and 41st in 1:04:03. Mike Walsh was 2nd M75+ in 1:05:52 and Jenny Thompson was 2nd W65 and 16th woman in 1:15:45. On a busy weekend Wesham took two teams and helpers to the Thunder Run near Tamworth, a 24-hour relay challenge to run the maximum number of laps of a 10k off-road course though woods and up and down hills. The first team completed 28 laps in 24:16:41 finishing 15th out of 253 teams in the 6-8 mixed team category. Rob Danson, Alex Rowe, Steve Myerscough, Troy Watson and John Collier completed 4 laps each with George Kennedy running three and Sarah Sherratt a single and a double lap and Linzi Young two laps. The event ran though the night and torrential rain from 8pm to 4:30am following a thunderstorm turned the course into a quagmire and adding extra challenge temporarily replacing the baking heat and sunny weather which returned in the morning. The second Wesham team completed 24 laps finishing 52nd in 24:05:02 with Mark Midgley, Sue Coulthurst and John Bertenshaw each running a single and a double lap and Alan Taylor, Jenny Salt, Yvonne Russell and Tracey Hulme 3 laps each with Lisa Minns completing two. The squad were camping but the teams were excellently supported with Alan Taylor and Kerry Eccles providing a mess tent and all the equipment and catering for the weekend. There were four Wesham runners in the third Harrock Hill Race on Wednesday evening in fine conditions. Steve Myerscough took in the race on the way home from work, clocking 38:17 for the 5.2 miles and 902ft ascent to finish 27th. Charles Colby was 77th in 44:24; Jenn Thompson was 11th woman and 79th overall in 44:33 with Angela Colby 15th woman, 3rd W40 and 105th overall with 48:06. In the Lancashire Fire Service Relays on Friday evening round the De Veres circuit in Blackpool on Friday evening the Leg Irons were the winning team from Blackburn in 44:36 for the 3-lap 3-mile course in a fun event promoting collaboration between local clubs. Wesham’s John Bertenshaw was in the 7th team “Lancashire Rockets” clocking 53:44 with Lytham’s Graham Webster and Colin Laidlaw. “Fortysomethings are Fecked” featuring Wesham’s Helen Lawrenson and Charles and Angela Colby were 13th in 56:38 while Carmel Sullivan, Mick Edge and Dette Dickinson were “Sick, Fat and Nearly Dead” finishing 15th in 57:52. Garry Barnett was in the “Misfits” team with Mark Neath and Debbie Cardwell finishing 18th in 1:00:04. “3 For the Price of 2, the Cheapest is Free” featured Kath Hoyer, Vicky Barlow and Claire Stephenson and finished 22nd in 1:05:43. Joanna Goorney, Fiona Geldard and Catherine French were the “Green Queens” finishing 23rd in 1:07:17, and “Old, Older, got to be Kidding” with Dave Young, Mike Walsh and Dave Jones were 25th in 1:10:28. Alan Taylor ran in the Blues and Twos 10k on Wednesday evening from the Lancashire police HQ at Hutton, running 45:52 over the multi-terrain course finishing 46th in a new event organised by Steve Broadbent to host a Lancashire police championship. Paul Carter was 59th in 48:15, a great run. In the Black Knight Charge 6-mile multi-terrain race on Wednesday; Kath ran 48:56 for 7th woman and 2nd W50. Dave Waywell was 2nd M65 in 52:42. The Beetham Fell Race was on Saturday and Charles Colby was 51:36, Kath Hoyer 55:04, Angela Colby 56:23 and Dave Waywell 56:58.
It was a week for ultra-endurance efforts as Ugis Datavs completed his second long distance canal race of the Canalrace Community interest Company. He completed the 145 miles from Little Venice in the west of London to the Bathurst Basin in the middle of Bristol along the length of the Kennet and Avon Canal finishing first placed in 26 hours 56 minutes. He was 4 hours 13 minutes ahead of the second place of 31:09. He ranks third on the event hall of fame and this year he headed 39 finishers. His previous canal race was the Leeds to Liverpool in August 2019.
Russell Mabbett was back at ultra-running in the Lakeland 50 over the weekend and completed the half round from the Dalemain Estate near Penrith to John Ruskin School in Coniston in 16:34:06, an excellent performance. Helen Greenhalgh completed the route in 19:47:41.
Martin Bates began a three-day racing spree at the Pinhaw Trail race on Friday night where he ran 46:01 for 84st place and 6th M60 in the 8km trail run near Earby. He continued at the Worsley woods parkrun on Saturday morning where he ran a fine 22:27 for an M60 74.02% in his 160th run in the series. He rounded off the week with the Race the Train trail event in the Irwell Valley north from Bury 11 miles to Rawtenstall, beating the steamer in 1:33:58 for 151st place and 3rd M65. There were 309 runners in this popular run.
Daniel Shaw finished 13th in the Run Aintree Half Marathon in a time of 1:24:28 with a good performance.
Wesham hosted their July Monthly Handicap last Monday with eighteen members taking part. On overall time Ryan Azzopardi was the first to reach the end of the 4.9 undulating miles round Treales on a warm evening in a time of 40:25. Lee Barlow was second in running 41:44 with Nigel Shepherd third with 44:41. Kay Twist was the first woman finisher in fourth place overall at 44:56 with Louise Lord next in 45:07. Rob Wallace was 6th in 45:35; Robert Danson next in 46:43; Stephen Twist 8th with 46:43; Alan Hudson 9th recording 47:23 just ahead of fellow M70 Dave Young in 47:46; Mick Edge 11th in 47:34; Carmel Sullivan third woman in 47:49; Peter Rooney 13th with 48:11; Andy Moore 48:44; Tanya Shaw fourth woman at 48:45; Chris Hastwell 49:03; Steve Myerscough slower than usual in 49:09; and Peter Bartlett 52:44. On Net time Lee Barlow had the fastest time at 30:44; Chris Hastwell 33:03; Steve Myerscough 33:09; Nigel Shepherd 34:41; Carmel Sullivan fastest woman with 34:49; Mick Edge 36:34; Alan Hudson 37:23; Ryan Azzopardi 37:25; Peter Rooney 38:11; Rob Wallace 38:35; Stephen Twist 40:20; Kay Twist second woman at 40:56; Robert Danson 41:43; Tanya Shaw third woman on 41:45; Dave Young 42:26; Louise Lord 45:07; Andy Moore 45:44; Peter Bartlett 52:44.
There has been great excitement this week with the return today of parkrun, with local events in Blackpool, Lytham Hall and Fleetwood set to have returned at 9am for the Saturday morning free timed 5km runs. All parkruns on the Fylde and neighbouring areas have permission from their respective landowners to resume the weekly runs. There are still several venues in the UK without permission, and sadly some have been refused any permission to restart, with the Cuerden Valley event now closed and looking for a new venue.
Mass running returned to the North West with 2535 finishers in the Wilmslow Summer 10k at the weekend and Wesham’s Paul Lancashire was there to finish 311th in 42:19 in a high quality race. There were 227 finishers under 40 minutes with the top 6 inside 32 minutes. The winning male took 30:07 and the leading woman 32:38.
In the Blackpool Summer 10k along the Bispham seafront Lee Barlow returned to racing with a performance of 38:16 to place 11th overall and 2nd M45. Martin Bates was 52nd in 45:39 and placing 4th M60, with Peter Rooney 77th in 50:10 showing his training regime paying off. There were 261 runners pounding the concrete in this race.
Martin Bates had made a trio of runs, starting with the Blackpool & Fylde Handicap run on Wednesday evening where he clocked 29:18 for the 3.72 miles, followed by a test running of the Fleetwood Promenade parkrun on Saturday morning where he ran 22:18 for the 5km out-and-back from the Marine Hall past Rossall Point and back to rank 11th from those assembled. He completed his trio run the next day in the Blackpool Summer 10k further along the Fylde promenade. All of the local parkruns to the Fylde now have landowner permission to re-commence the free weekly Saturday morning 5km runs on 24th July.