16th March – Alex’s Newspaper Report

The Wesham men’s team at the Trotters Five Trail race last week

Bradley Flatt ran the Trimpell 20 on Sunday over the long out-and-back though Caton on the old Leeds to Morecambe railway line. He ran a great debut in 2:29:20 to finish 138th in a good quality field this year, at a distance popular with those training for a marathon. This year there were three finishers under the 1hr 50min mark, with these leading runners clocking 1:48:47, 1:48:55 and 1:49:33. 12 runners were under the 2-hour mark, and there were just short of 500 participants, a healthy resurgence in this specialist distance.

Bev Wilding who has had a couple of very successful years as a relatively novice runner and has conquered 5km and 10km this year had a wonderful Mothers’ Day present of an entry for the Freckleton Half Marathon, for its 50th anniversary as the oldest continuously running half marathon in the UK.

The Inter Counties Cross Country was almost cancelled for the same reason as the English National, by flooded car parking. It did however go ahead with revised arrangements with Lancashire finishing third behind Surrey in second and winners the North East Counties. The Lancashire Senior Women were eight team with the top three counties being Surrey, Yorkshire, and Kent.

Monday night last week saw the first Wesham Monthly Handicap for three months after January and February were cancelled due to the Kirkham town centre improvements centred on the market square and adjoining road junction. It has been decided not to reschedule the cancelled events but to extend the winter run and reduce the summer fixtures. The run was staged as a straight run after the break as the previous handicaps were deemed out of data, so Jamie Houghton ran the fastest time of 23.55 this month with Dan Hounslea further back in 27.22. James Remnant clocked 28.26 with Daniel Fryer on 30.33. Jamie Metcalfe recorded 32.12 with Kay Twist the fastest lady at 32.29. Jonathan Lawson clocked 32.44; Ryan Azzopardi 33.01; Paul Eccles 35.20; Antoinette Holton was second lady in 35.52 with Catherine Nicholls running 35.56. Ian Nicholls-Hogg ran 37.00; Natalie Mulrooney 37.31; Bev Wilding was on 38.20 with Rob Wallace at 38.38. Peter Rooney returned 38.45; Carl Groome 38.45; Stuart Mulrooney 39.28; Rob Danson Senior 40.49; James Birchall 43.31; Veronica Scott 47.42; Andy Moore 48.53; Julie Rooney 49.29; and Claire Belfield ran 49.32.

The Inter Club race series for this year is looming on the horizon with the first fixture on April 10th in Stanley Park in Blackpool. This follows the Northern Athletics Men’s 12-Stage and Women’s 6-Stage Road Relays in Wythenshawe Park in Manchester on Saturday 23rd March, which should see some competition between the Fylde and Preston area cubs.

Alan Taylor, long-time member of Wesham, is reviving the Rudolph Red Nose Race on December 14th from Blackpool Zoo over its traditional 5-mile course round the De Vere trim trail and taking in a loop of Marton Mere and grazing the edge of the Haven caravan park and the nature reserve in support of the originator and ubiquitous event organiser, Dave Waywell, who retired a few years ago. The 2024 race will follow the same format as the original race, except that the Blackpool Zoo will provide the hospitality.

With few races on there were 26 Wesham members who ran a parkrun on Saturday morning at 9am over the timed 5km courses, both locally and further afield. In the South Manchester parkrun David Taylor ran the fifth fastest time with 17:39 for an M35 age graded percentage of 75.64%. Steven Gore was right behind with the 6th fastest time of 17:59 for an M40 age graded 77.02%. Vicky Gore ran 23:29 W45 69.69%. In Preston’s Avenham Park Steve Myerscough clocked 20:50 for an M50 70.80% and Nigel Shepherd ran 22:25 for M65 74.80%. Further afield in Harrogate Martin Bates ran as a First Timer to record 25:43 for an M65 graded 66.43%, and also their first time in Hesketh Park in Southport Natalie and Stuart Middlemas ran 24:06 for W40 65.28% and M40 57.05% respectively. At home in Chester-Le-Street for the Riverside parkrun Emma Brook clocked 28:29 for W40 54.71% and Ryan Azzopardi ran the Widnes parkrun for his fourth time in 24:30 with an M40 graded 57.41%. At the Stretford run in Longford Park Tracey Hulme recorded 25:49 for W60 75.15%. There were 8 Wesham members at the Lytham Hall parkrun where Mark Holton finished fourth fastest in 20:40 for an M45 age graded 68.63%. Ian Nichols Hogg ran 22:24 for 58.04%; Jonathan Lawson clocked 23:36 with an M55 65.68%; Stephen Twist was on 25:37 for M55 61.03%; Liz Sharrocks ran 31:12 for W60 64.00%; Martin Allison 39:50 for M40 34.27%; Tony Sharrocks recorded 41:20 for M60 39.15%; and Phil Leaver upped his pace to 46:08 for an M70 graded 38.22%. There were three members in Stanley Park for the Blackpool parkrun where Daniel Shaw was third fastest in 19:02 for M35 69.26%; Chris Haines ran 22:32 and an M35 60.13%; and Lee Barlow notched up 22:49 for M50 65.67%. Along Fleetwood Promenade Jamie Houghton had the fastest time of 18:16 for an age graded 70.62% with Carl Groome third in 20:22 for M55 75.45%. Andy Moore recorded 28:09 for M60 57.96% and Sue Rigby ran 43:07 for W50 38.89%.