13th April – Alex’s Newspaper Report

The Wesham men at the finish of the Wardle Skyline Fell race on Saturday

Wednesday evening has seen the opening fixture of the Inter Club series for 2024, over the two-lap 4-mile course in Stanley Park. Both Wesham men and ladies had a good turnout and a good start to the series of 7 races, culminating in September in Leyland’s Worden Park. A full report and results will be in next week.

The first fell fixture of the Wesham Trail and Fell Running Championship took place on Saturday in the Wardle Skyline Fell Race north of Rochdale on the edge of the Southern Pennines. There were just 5 members taking part, all men, and Chris Banks excelled over the 7 miles and 1250ft of climb to come down the finishing track in 12th place with a time of 56:23. Tom Crabtree was also highly placed in 22nd in 59:56, on a fine afternoon that was extremely windy in very blustery conditions. Fortunately, despite all the recent rainfall the underfoot conditions were generally firm, which cannot be said of the low-lying ground and parks across the North-West. Alek Walker placed 34th in 1:03:04 to come in 5th M40. Ian Nichols Hogg finished 80th in 1:11:23, and John Collier was 110th in 1:16:57, placing 2nd M70, just 2:27 behind the category winner Ken Taylor of Rossendale Harriers.

Finlay McCalman ran the Movistar Madrid Half Marathon and he finished 8265th in 1:57:05 for 152nd M60. His chip time for the 13.1 miles was 1:55:45 and his race pace increased from 5:51 per kilometre at the start to 5:32 over the last 2 kilometres.

James Remnant ran the Fleetwood Spring 10k from the boating lake on the promenade, and he returned 30th in a time of 45:49. The winning time was 35:25 and the first woman was 6th overall in 39:33.

Mick Edge ran the West Lancs Spring Triathlon based at the Edge Hill University at Ormskirk on Sunday, on a challenging day in the teeth of Storm Kathleen. Over the 400m swim, 21.5k cycle and 5k ran he swam 8:41 although he managed two extra lengths by miscounting. On the bike stage he had to substitute his own bicycle for a borrowed one after disqualification for his wheel, but he pedalled 45:01 despite an incorrect exit from the transition, and then redeemed his efforts with a time of 22:11 for the run, to come in 149th in 1:20:11, coming in 4th Over-60 (60-69 age). Lisa Minns executed her tri in stella results with 8:11 for her swim, 48:43 for the bike stage, and 26:23 for the run to finish 39th woman and 259th overall in 1:26:53.

There were 20 Wesham members out running a parkrun on Saturday morning. In the Heaton Park run in northeast Manchester Dan Bolton was the fifth fastest runner in 18:07 for an age graded 71.21%. Steve Myerscough was running the Preston run in Avenham Park where he clocked 20:54 for M50 70.57%. Nigel Shepherd returned 22:35 for M65 74.24% and Vicky Gore was 8th fastest woman in 25:02 for W45 65.38%. Mike and Helen Eyre continued their tour of Durham and Tyneside with a run in the Gateshead parkrun where they recorded 25:25 and 32:05 for M60 63.67% and W55 58.81%. Also in the region and on home ground in Chester-Le-Street Emma Brook ran 28:24 at the Riverside parkrun for a W40 54.17%. Tracey Hulme was in the Stretford run again to clock 29:48 for W60 65.10%. On home ground in Lytham Hall Steve Abbott had the fastest time with a swift 18:50 for an M45 age graded performance of 76.46%. David Taylor was second fastest in 19:18 for M35 69.17%. Carl Groome had the 4th fastest time with 20:22 for M55 75.45%. Sue Rigby clocked 37:01 for W50 45.29% and Emma Davies was on 53:39 for W25 27.59%. Jamie Houghton had the second fastest time in the Blackpool run in Stanley Park with 18:43 for an age graded 68.92%. Lee Barlow ran 23:24 for M50 64.03%. Up the road on Fleetwood Promenade George Kennedy ran a good 24:35 for M65 68.88%, and further field in Sutton Park in Birmingham well before the National 12- and 6-Stage Road Relays commenced Steven Gore pulled in 19:39 for M40 70.48% and Alona Versinina returned 27:38 for W35 54.46%. In Skelmersdale at the Tawd Valley run Martin Bates recorded 26:19 for M65 64.91% as a First Timer, and Ryan Azzopardi ran 27:11 in the Sutton Manor run in St Helens for an M40 grade of 51.75%.