Atrocious weather greeted runners at the traditional start of the winter season, the North West Relays at Lancaster that incorporate both the Merseyside and Lancashire Championships. Liverpool Pembroke Sefton straddle boundaries so have interests either way. First up for Lancashire was the club’s Under 15 Girls led by Charlotte Mawdsley who gave her usual fighting performance. She finished 13th in 9.10 and handed over to Jessica Gonzalez-Green who ran a very steady 9.39 moving up one place to 12th. Morag Molyneux had the anchor leg responsibility and produced a storming 8.48 timing, fourth best on the day, overtaking four runners. The county result saw the club in a frustrating fourth spot but this performance augers well for the coming winter campaign.
The Senior Women’s team consisted of Maxine Thompson, June Swift and Bua Kalasiram. Always a gutsy runner Maxine led off with 17.54 to hand over 18th and send away June who has recently rejoined the club from a southern sojourn. June`s fitness was remarkable and she raced past a bunch of six runners in 16.45, seventh fastest time of the day. Bua held on courageously in 18.56 for 13th place. In county terms that was 5th, a highly satisfactory result.
The Senior Men had 14 runners report for duty, the best turn out in many years. There were two squads of four for the Lancashire Championships. It was a joy to see Alistair Nelson take off with the best in the North West and finishing his leg fifth overall in 13.38. Ryan Blackwell`s ran a good 14.27, slipping only slightly to 6th. James Loftus produced a great third lap in 13.59 taking the club back to fifth and raising the real prospect of county medals. Sean Kirkbride although far from fit fought well to record 15.13 but dropping to 8th. A check on the county position though saw the quartet collect bronze medals in the Lancashire championship. The B team of Kyle Nicholls(15.37), Rob Bland(16.05), Ian Roberts jumping nine places in 14.46 and Rob Parkinson up two on 15.39, ran out 25th overall and 8th in the county.
The Merseyside contingent was led by Greg Callaghan(16.09) and then Mark Wynne who produced an astonishing 14.48 on his debut. Bernie Murphy was next on 16.00 followed by Matt Thompson with 15.31. Overall that placed LPS 28th out of 54 teams that closed in and 7th on Merseyside. Mark Bleasdale (17.57) and Robbie Wood (18.09) ran in an incomplete team. Next event is the Northern Champs at Blackpool.