2nd February – Alex’s Newspaper Report

The Wesham men supporting Kirsty Holland at the Northern Athletics Cross Country

A small men’s and women’s Wesham team headed north-east to Sedgefield in County Durham in the east park of the Hardwick Country Park for the Northern Athletics Cross Country Championships and proved to be one of only three Lancashire clubs to turn out full squads. Kirsty Holland was the first Wesham member to run, in the Senior Women’s 8.1km race over two large laps. She finished 221st with a spirited run in a time of 50:15. While the underfoot condition wase firm going there were a couple of very muddy sections, and there was very little flat ground with a few testing climbs over rough grassland. In the Senior Men’s 12.1km distance of three large laps Adam Wilding had a great run to finish 104th in 45:19. Daniel Bolton was a couple of minutes behind in 151st position in 47:33, with Jamie Houghton showing his worth finishing 194th in 49:26. Will Parkinson was 290th in 54:33 with Steve Myerscough losing a lot of ground at one point when he lost his shoe in one of the particularly muddy sections but making a sterling recovery to come in 366th in 59:54. Tony Leach was 397th in 1:03:12 and Men’s Captain John Collier finished 416th with 01:06:21. The men’s team placed 21st with only Blackburn Harriers and Rossendale Harriers as Lancashire teams ahead of them. The weather had been benign all afternoon and made for a great day out.

There was some encouraging news from the Mid Lancs cross Country League of a sixth fixture this year now arranged for 2nd March in Beacon Park at Skelmersdale, a return to this venue after some twelve years.

Back in the Fylde on Sunday the main athletics event in the area was the St Annes 10 from the YMCA swimming baths in St Annes down the Inner promenade to the Lytham Windmill and back, and as is traditional for this race the conditions were windy with a south-westerly blast. This didn’t deter the runners and Wesham had a good turnout, being the next event in their road running championships for 2024. Despite the wind there were personal best performances to be had and Chris Haines was the first Wesham member to demonstrate this, finishing in 16th place with a new best time of 1:05:11. Carl Groome was 3rd M55 and 36th overall in 1:10:12. Dan Eyre also produced a new personal best by 3 minutes to place 53rd with 1:14:46 for 10th M45. Carmel Sullivan produced another dazzling performance with 1:15:52 to finish 134th woman, 3rd W55 and 57th overall. Mick Edge was some way behind in 62nd place with 1:17:41 to place 3rd M60 with John Naylor 82nd and 7th M40 in 1:21:57. Alan Hudson finished 2nd M70 and 108th overall in 1:27:21 and Peter Rooney was 3rd M65 and 113th in 1:28:06. Sharlan Butcher was 47th woman and 144th in 1:38:53 running all the way with Dawn Biggs who was 48th woman, 145th and 7th W55 in 1:38:54. Chrstine Fare ran a good time of 1:50:41 for 68th female and 172nd overall. The Men’s and Women’s teams both finished in 3rd place.

Helen Greenhalgh ran the Petzel Rivington Night Run on Wednesday to finish 51st woman and 13th W40 with a time of 1:21:43 for the distance of 10k and ascent of 1327ft and she was 312th place overall. The race started and finished at the Rivington and Blackrod High School and took a route up through the hanging gardens of the Leverhulme estate, out around Rivington Pike and up onto the Winter Hill moor. There were reflective signs marking the route but headtorches were required.

There were 24 Wesham members out running a parkrun on Saturday morning, a time run over a 5km course at 9am. Six members were running the Lytham Hall parkrun with Mark Holton running the 9th fastest time of the morning of 21:08 for an M45 age graded performance of 67.11%. Ian Nichols Hogg clocked 22:42 for an age grade of 57.27% and Jonathan Lawson returned 23:27 for M55 66.10%. John Burns clocked 27:18 for M65 63.19% and Finlay McCalman ran 28:11 with an M55 graded 56.42%. John’s daughter Emma Brook was down from Chester-Le-Street, and she ran 28:57 for W40 53.14%. For Blackpool’s run in Stanley Park Chris Haines kicked off his weekend with the 3rd fastest time of 20:03 for an M35 graded 67.58%, and Lee Barlow was 6th fastest in 20:45 for M50 72.21%. Neil Gregson made a welcome return with 20:59 for M35 64.58% and Jo McCaffery ran 34:40 with a W45 46.25%. Nigel Shepherd was at the Preston parkrun in Avenham Park to run 21:26 for an M65 grade 78.23%, and Emma Lund was on Morecambe Prom with a time of 22:39 for W40 67.55% for 3rd fastest female of the day. A big group of Wesham parkrun tourists were at the South Manchester parkrun in Platt Fields, where Steven Gore produced an epic run for the second fastest time of 17:59 and an M40 age grade of 77.02%. Carl Groome recorded 19:58 for M55 76.96% with Martin Bates on 23:34 for M65 72.49%. Vicky Gore ran a speedy 23:48 for W45 68.77% and Tracey Hulme clocked 25:41 for W60 75.54%. Andy Moore returned 27:13 for M60 59.95%; Alona Versinina ran 27:13 with a W35 55.11%; Sue Rigby finished with 36:01 W50 46.55%; and Michelle Pitt ran 38:11 for W40 40.90%. Further afield Mike and Helen Eyre were at the Workington parkrun, and out-and-back route from the Leisure centre where Mike ran 23:30 for M60 68.87% and Helen clocked 29:16 for W55 64.46%. Peter Rooney was in Kings Park in Bournemouth to run 27:36 for an M65 age graded 60.75%.