32 Wallasey runners lined up for the first Borders League fixture of the 2007-2008 season. On a warm Sunday morning in Prestatyn our athletes set off on the one lap course along the promenade and round the golf course. The men were looking to make a good start after relegation last season. Good packing enabled Wallasey to post a score of 543 beating their best score from last year (556). The ladies amassed a total of 73 points and also bettered their best score from the previous season (77). Mike Stanley led the men home in 13th place, Tricia Jones (10th) was first lady. Pete Lonsdale and Tricia Jones lead their age categories. An excellent start to the season saw the men lead division 2 and the ladies lie second on division 2.
Race 2 - Birkenhead Park - 18/11/2007
On an interesting course designed by Bob Brimage, Wallasey A.C. had a successful morning of running. On a dull day, the drop in temperature and the increase in wind could not dampen the enthusiasm of the club’s runners. The ladies shone with Claire Walton finishing 2nd lady overall, she was backed up by Tricia Jones (9th) and Vicky Kehoe (19th) giving the ladies a total of 30 points and an outright lead in division 2. 12 other ladies runners also competed for Wallasey the highest number of lady entrants in Wallasey’s border league history. The men had 22 representatives and Greg Jones led them home in 24th place, with Keith McLaughlin not far behind in 34th. The men’s team also top division 2. Thanks also go to all the helpers on the day who ensured the race was a success.
Race 3 - Tattenhall - 09/12/2007
Three climbs and some steep descents were features of the 3rd Borders League fixture at Tattenhall. Fortunately the rain held off for the race around this rural part of Cheshire. This time around it was the men’s turn to grab the divisional top spot. The men mustered 22 runners and Greg Jones was first home in 20th place, with Tony Barbat next (21st) and Keith McLaughlin not far behind in 32nd. The men’s team retained their lead at the top of division 2. The ladies excelled with Tricia Jones finishing 8th lady overall, other counters were Vicky Kehoe (21st) and Rachael Saunders 43rd. The ladies also lead the second division.
Race 4 - Pensarn - 03/02/2008
Wallasey A.C. returned to Pensarn for a Borders League fixture after a gap of three years. The forecast of snow and high winds failed to materialise and the conditions turned out to be pleasant with little wind. The out and back course featured a run along the promenade onto a cycle track and a loop around a caravan park and then returned along the promenade. The men had 20 representatives and Tony Barbat was first home in 25th place, Greg Jones was close up next in 29th. An excellent run from Connor McArdle in his first Borders League season brought him home in 43rd place. Keith Simpson was next in 61st. The men’s team retained their lead at the top of division 2 despite finishing second but must be wary of Prestatyn’s challenge. The ladies maintained their top spot in division 2 after working hard for 3rd place on the day, but likewise should beware of the threat from Eyrie’s ladies. Vicky Kehoe was again consistent, coming (23rd), with Nicci Davies (46th) and Anne Brimage (48th) also counting. John Cottrell and Tricia Jones lead their individual age categories after 4 races. Club chairman Bob Brimage who also had a good run after returning from injury said "Once again, great turnout & performances from Wallasey. Well done to all concerned."
Race 5 - Mold - 09/03/2008
Wallasey Athletic Club’s men’s and ladies teams remained firmly at the top of their divisions after round 5 of the borders league. Twenty one men and eight women turned out for the club at the annual Mold race which is used by both Wrexham Tri and Wrexham Athletic Club. The former were the hosts on Sunday and the event took place in ideal running conditions. On a cool day with the sun shining and little wind, the course started and finished in Mold Industrial Estate and wound around the Welsh hills surrounding the village of Nercwys. The 5 mile course was challenging for the runners and consisted of many uphill and downhill sections. Tony Barbat just pipped Greg Jones for the honour of first Wallasey man home. Connor McArdle was next and is improving in leaps and bounds, starting the Borders season in 92nd he has gradually improved every race to finish in 36th place on Sunday, a commendable effort. Steve Wilkinson and Keith McLaughlin were next giving the men 5 runners in the top 50. Hot on theirs heels were the other counters Keith Simpson, Colin Palmer, Bob Brimage, Matt Williams and Steve Lampkin. The men’s team finished with 532 points to win the division on the day and lead division 2 by 455 points. First home representing the ladies was Tricia Jones (13th lady), she was followed by Vicky Kehoe (22nd) and the improving Nicky Rimmer (23rd). The ladies also finished first in their division (58 points) and lead division 2 by 39 points. The only individual still leading their category is John Cottrell in the over 60 category. Club chairman Bob Brimage said "Some great performances which are reflected in the team scores and individual standings. Well done to Borders first timers, Meg Hale and Elwyn Jones."
Race 6 - Frodsham - 06/04/2008
Snow covered the fields around Frodsham for the penultimate race of the Borders League series. Fortunately the roads were clear and Helsby Running Club had set out a challenging course setting off from the Forest Hills Hotel. Several hills tested the Wallasey runners and the men’s and ladies teams again performed excellently. First home for the club in 23rd place was Tony Barbat and hot on his heels running his first ’Borders’ since returning from Australia was Jamie Pullin (24th). Connor McArdle continued his improvement by moving up to 29th place. Greg Jones, Keith Simpson, Mark Beckett, Colin Palmer, Bob Brimage, Colin Benson and Steve Lampkin were the other counters as Wallasey’s top ten finished inside the first 80 for their best performance of the season (443 points). The ladies were led home by Tricia Jones (13th). Ann Taylor-Kilbane made a welcome return to record 21st with Vicky Kehoe third counter (30th). The ladies team finished with 64 points. Both teams now hold strong leads at the top of their divisions. John Cottrell faces a tough fight to win the over 60 category, Pete Lonsdale lies second in the over 65 category as does Trica Jones in the over 45 ladies. Men’s club captain Dave Walton enthused "Absolutely brilliant set of results. I believe both the women and men are now in an unassailable position at the top of each division. On Sunday’s race only two teams out of the fourteen competing beat Wallasey!! Fantastic Let’s ensure we get a strong team out for the final race and then relax and have a very enjoyable presentation evening."
Race 7 - Shotton - 30/04/2008
Wallasey Athletic Club’s runners were like the apple blossom trees, that is in full bloom, as they stormed win the ladies and men’s division 2 titles in the final Borders League fixture at Shotton. Added to the 2 team prizes, 6 runners also picked up individual prizes, John Cottrell 1st in the male over 60, Pete Lonsdale 2nd in the male over 65, Greg Jones 8th in the senior men, Tony Barbat 4th in the male over 45, Vicky Kehoe second in the female over 35 and Nicci Davies 3rd in the female over 50. The fast flat 4 mile course was completed first by Jamie Pullin in an excellent time of 22:36 (28th), he was followed home by Greg Jones in 22:47 (33rd), Tony Barbat 23:03 (37th), Phil Cuthbert 23:19 (45th), Connor McArdle 23:24 (48th) and Keith Simpson 23:31 (51st). Other counters were Phil Bird, Steve Lampkin, Bob Brimage and Colin Palmer. The first lady home was Claire Walton in an impressive 3rd place (25:01), Vicky Kehoe recorded 21st with Ann Taylor-Kilbane third counter in 24th. The ladies team finished with 48 points and won their division by over 100 points and the men scored 528 points and won their division by over 1,000 points. Club chairman Bob Brimage said "Absolutely brilliant. Well done to everyone concerned, particularly Dave & Louise for getting such strong and enthusiastic teams out for what is a long season." Men’s captain Dave Walton added "An outstanding Borders League season for Wallasey Athletic Club. Both the men and women won their respective divisions by a considerable margin. The men having won 6 of the 7 races and 2nd in the other and the women winning 4 out of the 7. A prodigious achievement! 34 different members contributed to the men’s team and 15 women. Well done everyone and sincere thanks to one and all".
Race 1 - Beacon Park - 10/11/2007
The first fixture of the 2007-2008 cross country season saw Wallasey face a difficult course at Beacon Park, Skelmersdale. Although the course was firm there were some muddy sections and gusts of wind. 15 Wallasey runners completed the course and good packing enabled the club to score its lowest total for many years. First home was Mike Stanley (29th), closely followed by Phil Cuthbert (31st), Greg Jones (33rd) and Keith McLaughlin (36th). Other counters were Tony Barbat (41st), Keith Simpson (45th). Vicky Kehoe made her debut on the country and finished 4th lady. The team finished 5th on the day and lie second in division 2.
Race 2 - Sefton Park - 24/11/2007
Wallasey had a large cross country team tackling the UKA Cross Challenge at Sefton Park. Connor McArdle was the first runner to hear the starting gun as he set off in the under 17 boys race. A good performance saw Connor home in 93rd position in 20:26 for the 5.5 km course. Next up were two brave ladies who decided to mix with some top class company as the races doubled for the European cross country trials. Vicky Kehoe finished in 113th place and Rachael close behind in 123rd. The men had twelve runners and finished in 7th place out of 12 teams (L&D). Greg Jones showing good form again led the men home in 190th place (35th in L&D), second was Phil Cuthbert 213th (45th L&D) and third Tony Barbat 215th (45th L&D). Other team counters were Richard Saunders, Matt Williams and Arthur Wilson. The team retain second place in division 2.
Race 3 - Arrowe Park - 15/12/2007
Wallasey A.C. had 15 runners out for the final round of the Liverpool & District Cross-Country Union League. Arrowe Park presented plenty of challenges for the runners. On a cold day, the wind made running more difficult and the frozen and muddy ground did not make for a smooth passage around the 3 lap course. Greg Jones (33rd) led the team home followed closely by Tony Barbat (36th), Keith McLaughlin (36th), Pat Riley (48th) and Colin Palmer (53rd). John Armstrong made a fine debut for the club in 59th place. Rachael Saunders was the sole lady representative finishing 109th(9th lady). The team finished second overall place in division 2 behind Southport & Waterloo A.C.
Championships - Croxteth Park - 10/02/2008
Wallasey A.C. runners had faced several tests over the cross country season and the Liverpool & District Cross Country Union championships were no exception. Mud and an uneven surface on the horse field tested the competitors. The first lap of the 5.2 mile course was also run under foggy conditions. 9 runners completed the course, they were led home by Tony Barbat (28th), other counters were Greg Jones (43rd), Matt Williams (56th), Colin Palmer (57th) and Mike Cockburn (77th). Also representing the club were Dave Walton (82nd), Stan Williams (96th), Frank Egan (108th) and Rolf Westrum (110th) . The team finished seventh out of the ten that finished complete teams.
Merseyside - Sherdley Park, St. Helens - 05/01/2008
Sunshine and a cool wind made for an excellent cross country race at Sherdley Park, the course was a great mixture of hills and mud and was testing for Wallasey’s runners. First out was Connor McArdle who competed in the under 17 men’s race and returned home on the 4.6km course in 25:39 for 17th place. Two ladies braved the conditions, first home was Vicky Kehoe who ran the 8km course in 42:23 (13th) and picked up a prize for second in her age category, she was followed home by Rachael Saunders in 44:12 (21st). The senior men finished 5th and the first man home, showing good cross country form, was Greg Jones in 50:05 for 28th place. Phil Cuthbert and Tony Barbat were in hot pursuit and finished 30th and 32nd respectively. Other counters were Keith McLaughlin, John Armstrong and Dave Walton. Youngster Matt Williams finished11th in the under 20 men.
Northern - Roundhay Park, Leeds - 26/01/2008
Wallasey runners had to contend with the downhill and uphill battles with hill 60 and the wind at the Northern cross country championships. The senior men improved on their last team finish at Heaton Park, by 5 places, finishing 36th. The first man home was Tony Barbat in 210th place. Other counters were Greg Jones, Phil Cuthbert, Colin Palmer, Pat Riley and Stan Williams. Rolf Westrum also completed the course. Connor McArdle (107th in the under 17 boys) and Matt Williams (93rd in the under 20 men) faced tough competition in their categories.
National - Alton Towers - 23/02/2008
What a great day to be a runner!, the National Cross Country Championships for 2008 took place on pasture land just outside Alton Towers and it was a magnificent spectacle. A team of 9 senior, two under 20 and one under 17 men competed for Wallasey A.C., Ann & Bob Brimage also assisted as race officials and where would we be without the organisers and helpers. The race was well organised and presented a challenging course with good views across Staffordshire, all in all it made for an exciting event.
First off was Connor McArdle, supported by his family, he finished his race against strong opposition in 17:42 for 212nd place.
In the under 20 race Steve Lampkin running his first cross country race finished 189th with Matt Williams was not far behind in 191st.
The recent mild weather meant that the course, although soft underfoot in some places, was not particularly muddy but it did include a long hill which became steep at the top end, forcing many runners to walk the last few yards. Wallasey’s men finished 64th out of 99 complete teams in the 6 man event, Tony Barbat, Steve Wilkinson (cross country debutant), Greg Jones, Phil Cuthbert, Pat Riley and captain Dave Walton were the counters. The men’s team also finished 32nd out of 40 in the 9 man event Stan Williams, Frank Gower and Rolf Westrum making up the next 3 runners. This result is the men’s highest placing for many years.
Race 1 - Royden Park - 04/09/2007
Wallasey A.C. had 24 runners contesting the first Wirral Multi Terrain race of the new season. Several runners made their debuts for the club on a difficult two lap circuit over Thurstaston Common. Mike Stanley was first Wallasey man home and the ladies were lead by newcomer Vicky Kehoe. The men’s first team finished in third place. The ladies first team finished in 7th place.
Race 2 - Harrison Drive - 11/09/2007
Wallasey were hosts for the second multi-terrain race of the series. Mike Stanley was again first Wallasey man home in 9th position and Vicky Kehoe lead the ladies home again. In the team race the men eased to 5th whilst the ladies managed 10th place.
Race 3 - Rivacre - 18/09/2007
Race 3 of the series brought the Wallasey runners to the tricky course in Rivacre. Greg Jones continued his good form and led the men home and Vicky Kehoe the ladies. Some runners with chances of top three places in the individual events are Lisa Riley (2nd U30 women), Greg Jones (4th under 30 men) and Vicky Kehoe (4th U40 women) The men’s team finished 5th and lie 4th overall, whilst the ladies finished tenth and occupy the same slot overall.
Race 4 - Arrowe Park - 25/09/2007
The final race of the multi terrain series took place at Arrowe Park and 21 Wallasey runners completed the course. The men’s ’A’ team retained the 3rd place they won last year and Greg Jones won second in the under 30 age category tying with the same points as the winner but losing out after finishing behind him in the final race. Mike Stanley was first man home and was Wallasey’s highest placed male (14th) and Vicky Kehoe was first lady completing a clean sweep for the series and finished the highest overall lady (21st).