The spring really kicked off with some gorgeous sunny weather and Wesham members took good advantage of the conditions. In the Pilling 10k on Saturday afternoon eight members contested the rural two-lapper in the sunshine. First Wesham finisher in 3rd place was Alek Walker in 37:54. Lee Barlow finished 6th and first M50 in 39:41 with Steve Myerscough placing 8th and 1st M45 with 41:01. Kay Twist had a great run to finish 4th woman and 2nd W50 in 48:18. Peter Rooney ran 48:48 for 18th place and coming in first M60. Jonny Allsop was 19th with 49:17; James Danson 23rd and 3rd M55 in 52:14, with Andrew Wilkinson coming in 28th in 52:45, second M50 behind Lee Barlow. All in all, a good day at the races.
The Pilling 10k was closely followed by the Mad March Hare 10k and 5k on Sunday morning in Moor Park in Preston. Ryan Azzopardi finished 6th in 23:58, encouraging Michelle Pitt on the second lap who was 33rd in 40:51.
Chris Hastwell ran the Longton 10k last week, finishing 8th and 2nd M45 in 37:43 sporting the running number 1. There were 163 runners in this popular race with the men and women’s winning times 35:00 and 41:36.
Saturday saw much local excitement with the final meeting of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League for the 2021/22 season, and a mad scrabble for the final points for the overall competition over the six fixtures. Over the Senior Women’s’ 6km two-lap course in Burnley’s Towneley Park Kay Twist once again led the ladies finishing 3rd W50 and 28th overall in 25:42. Lucy Neighbour had a good run to place 53rd and 7th W40 in 28:52, with Clare Belfield 65th with 30:47 for 9th W35. Jo McCaffery was 13th W40 and 79th in 32:34. The Ladies were 11th team in Division 3 and in the W35 rank; and the W45 team were 12th in their team category. The Over-70s race held at the same time incorporated with the women is becoming a bigger event as the ranks swell with the “baby boomers”, where Dave Young placed 7th and 4th M70 in 30:48. Peter Bartlett was 10th in 38:25, and the team finished 3rd in the M70 league for the bronze medals. In the men’s 10k David Taylor was the star placing 26th in 36:54. Mark Belfield was a useful marker in 32nd place with 37:12, with Tom Crabtree 44th in 37:53, and Alek Walker 45th with 37:59. Lee Barlow came in 71st in 39:50 while Carl Groome performed a double with the parkrun for 82nd place and a time of 40:18. Steve Myerscough finished 100th in 42:00; Damian Ings 114th in 43:39; Nigel Shepherd and John Collier had a tussle for the finish in 128th and 129th with times one second apart in 45:30 and 45:31. James Danson placed 144th in 50:08; and Colin Gibson 154th in 53:00. The Wesham Senior Men have placed 3rd in Division 1, a great result for bronze Mid Lancs medals. The M40 men were 4th in the masters’ Division 1, with the M50 team 7th. The M60s also finished, adding a third team bronze to the club’s medal haul for the season.
It was a busier week for athletics in the North West last week as spring really takes a hold, although wintry weather was still very much to the fore.
Venturing into Cheshire, Natalie Middlemas and Stuart Topping ran in the Oulton Park 10k with Stuart as mentor and guidance, drawing Natalie to 42nd place in 49:29 for 3rd woman and 2nd W40. Stuart was 7th M50 and 43rd overall in 49:30, the pair wearing numbers 1 and 2! The winning times were 32:41 (male) and 45:23 (female), with 171 finishers.
In the Stan Bradshaw Pendle Round from Barley in the Wesham Trail and Fell running championship Alek Walker finished 70th in 1:23:40, over 16.7km (10.37 miles) with 1936ft of climbing. Paul Lancashire placed 119th in 1:31:04; and Jen Salt was 43rd woman, 17th W40 and 226th in 2:08:47. This event was formerly known as “The Half Tour of Pendle” and is classed as a “B” graded Medium distance course with some experience of fell running for all competitors.
Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde had a good men’s team in the English National Cross Country on Parliament Hill in north London, and Preston had senior men and women running, but there were no other Fylde representatives in this culmination of club cross country running in England with Wesham sadly missing for the first time in the club’s history.
Two storms at the weekend, Eunice and Franklin, had some effect on running last week but there were few events in the calendar in the North West for Wesham members, and a time to consider some DIY perhaps!
In the Great North West Half Marathon along the Blackpool Promenade Ugis Datavs stretched his legs with a time of 1:24:17 for the 13.1 miles to return a finish position of 15th in a race with 479 participants. He finished 4th M40. Stuart Mulrooney finished 153rd battling the high winds and rain to clock 1:51:08, M35 position not available.
Martin Bates ran in the Waterson’s Hale 10K in Cheshire’s Ashley Park part of the 2022 Hale & Ashley Race Series, placing 145th in 46:21 with a 5k split of 23:01 for 1st M65 (credited as 4th Over-60). There were 711 runners in this popular run.
There was quite some action last week in the athletics world to give Fylde athletes plenty to have a go at, and Wesham members were out there.
The main action of the weekend was the fifth round of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League staged at the leigh Sports Village on a course running out onto the neighbouring Pennington Flash. In the Senior Women’s 6km over one small lap and two large ones Kay Twist finished 61st and 11th W50 in 27:35. Anne Mayers-Smith, also competing in the incorporated Northern Masters Championship was 66th and 12th W40 in 28:24, with Lucy Neighbour placing 95th and 14th W40 in 31:25. 95th was Louise Lord in 16th W45 position with her time 31:34. Clare Bellfield was 103rd and 15th W35 in 35:09. In the overall placings for the season after 5 matches with one to go the Wesham ladies are 9th in Division 3, with the W35 team 10th. The W45s are 11th, with no W55 or 65 teams. In the accompanying M70 race over the 6km Dave Young finished 10th in 31:59 with Peter Bartlett 15th in 39:33. Wesham were 3rd M70 team behind Clayton and Kendal. In the Senior Men’s 10km of 3 large laps Andrew Harling ran a blinder to finish 41st and 8th M40 in 41:34, ahead of David Taylor who was 44th in 42:25. Tom Crabtree placed 53rd in 43:22; Mark Belfield was 57th in 43:44, with Lee Barlow was 93rd and 18th M45 in 46:21. Carl Groome made his cross country debut after running the Lytham Hall parkrun earlier, coming in 108th and 7th M50 to close in the men’s team with 47:03. Steve Myerscough finished 131st and 24th M45 in 49:03; Damien Ings was 148th and 27th M45 in 50:19; Nigel Shepherd 6th M60 and 160th overall in 52:37 with John Collier 4th M65 and 173rd in 54:54. Training partners James Danson and Stephen Twist battled it out over the last few metres to finish 199th and 202nd for 24th M55 and 19th M50 in 1:01:43 and 1:02:08. Colin Gibson came in 13th M60 and 207th overall in 1:02:30. The Senior Men are now 3rd in Division 1 after an excellent season with the “B” team 3rd in Division 3. The M40 team are also in good stead in 4th place in Division 1, with the M50 team 7th and the M60s 2nd, both good results. The M70 season is very close race behind Kendal and Clayton.