32 runners represented Wallasey Athletic Club's in the first fixture of the 2008-2009 Borders League running programme. Claire Walton was again the foremost runner winning the ladies race in fine style in 37:20. A beautiful autumn day greeted the runners on the six mile course which was mainly over road but also included slippery cobbled bridges and some short muddy stretches. The men's team finished in third position in their first race back in division one and were not far short of winning on the day. Greg Jones was first man home in 15th place in 34:37, he was followed home by Tony Barbat 35:01 (20th) and Dave Thomas had a great first run for the club coming home in 35:51 (37th). Other counters were Connor McArdle, Bob Brimage, Matt Williams, Keith Simpson, Phil Bird, Andy Rogerson (also making his debut in a red vest) and Colin Palmer. The ladies did well in their first division one race securing fourth place on the day. Other counters were Sallie Holt (Wallasey A.C. debut), Vicky Kehoe and Julie Barbat. Many thanks to Tricia Jones for organising a great buffet after the race.
Race 2 - Hoylake - 09/11/2008
Wallasey A.C. took 33 runners to the second race in the Borders League season. The 5.9 mile course at Hoylake was flat and well marshalled and the runners had to battle against wind and rain on the return leg. Claire Walton led the ladies team home finishing an excellent second overall (38:16), she was ably assisted by Tricia Jones (42:48) 19th, Sallie Holt (44:39) 32nd and Vicky Kehoe (45:46) 36th. The ladies team finished in fourth place on the day and remain in fourth place in the first division. Jamie Pullin guided the men to the finish line, completing the course in 35:24 for 29th place. He was assisted by Greg Jones (35:52) 36th, Tony Barbat (35:59) 44th, Connor McArdle (36:42) 57th, Matt Williams (37:01) 58th, Bob Brimage (37:07) 60th, Keith Simpson (38:20) 84th, Colin Palmer (38:37) 90th, Andy Rogerson (39:34) 100th and Keith McLaughlin (39:52) 105th. The men finished fifth on the day but retain 3rd place in the first division. Club captain said "Sunday was the 2nd Borders League Race and we had a magnificent 33 runners representing the club with many other members also supporting the runners. The ladies were 4th overall in the race and the men in 5th.place, both teams consolidating their position in the top divisions. Great performances by all the athletes and well done to those who managed to compete in both races. Special thanks to Gill Pullin who provided a superb buffet at both races."
Race 3 - Mold - 14/12/2008
The third race of the Borders League season took place at Mold and Wallasey A.C. had 33 runners competing. The 5 mile course was slightly different to previous years with the finish being just behind the start line. Claire Walton led the ladies team home finishing an excellent fifth overall (31:47), she was followed by Kim McEneany (33:34) 8th, Tricia Jones (35.21) 23rd place and Sallie Holt (37:56) 36th. The ladies team finished in fourth place on the day and move up to third place in the first division. Greg Jones led a close pack of four Wallasey runners home, completing the course in 29:20 for 31st place. The others were, Matt Williams (29:29) 33rd, Connor McArdle (29:33) 34th,Tony Barbat (29:41) 35th. Other counters were Andy Rogerson, Colin Palmer, Keith McLaughlin, Keith Simpson, Colin Benson and Arthur Wilson. The men finished third on the day and retain 3rd place in the first division. Once again a special thanks to Les & Gill Pullin who provided a superb buffet at both races. Some runners who are prominent in the individual age category standings are John Cottrell (who ran his 50th Borders on Sunday) and Claire Walton first, Tricia Jones second and Bob Brimage, Peter Lonsdale, Vicky Kehoe, Nicci Davies all third. Well done also to Matt Williams whose improvement is showing in the handicap results, he finished joint first in the Mold race and lies third overall.
Race 4 - Caernarfon - 04/01/2009
The course used for the Caernarfon 10K was run in the opposite direction for the fourth Borders League fixture. On a cool day the course had some icy patches which he runners were advised to avoid. Claire Walton led the ladies team home once again finishing an superb second overall (39:14), she was followed by Tricia Jones (44:14) 19th, Sallie Holt (47.05) 28th place and Nicci Davies (50:05) 38th. The ladies team finished in fourth place on the day and occupy fourth place in the first division. Connor McArdle was first man home, completing the course in an excellent time of 37:27 for 28th place. Other counters were Matt Williams, Keith McLaughlin, John Armstrong, Colin Palmer, Keith Simpson, Colin Benson, Richard Saunders, John Cottrell and Andy Rogerson. The men finished fourth on the day and retain third place in the first division. Once again a special thanks to Les & Gill Pullin who provided a superb buffet. Some of Wallasey's runners lead their individual age category standings John Cottrell (Vet 60) , Claire Walton (Senior Ladies) and Nicci Davies (Ladies Vets 50). Well done to Phil Wilkinson and Julie Barbat who received the best race times for the day after the handicaps were applied.
Race 5 - Capenhurst - 22/02/2009
Ellesmere Port Running Club organised the fifth race in the Borders League series. Once again the sun shone and the 2 lap course at Capenhurst was flat and allowed some quick times over the 5.43 miles. Wallasey had 21 men and 11 women running. Some of Wallasey's runners were jaded after their efforts of the previous day at the National in London and both teams positions suffered. The men finished 6th on the day but managed to retain third position in the first division. A gallant run by Greg Jones saw him lead the team home in 31st place in a time of 32:00. He was assisted by Tony Barbat, Connor McArdle, Jamie Pullin, Colin Palmer, Keith Simpson, Colin Benson, Matt Williams, Phil Cuthbert and Phil Bird. The ladies finished fifth on the day and held on the fourth in the first division. Although missing some of their big hitters the ladies did well, Sallie Holt was first to return in 39:19 and she was joined by Vicky Kehoe, Nicci Davies and Alison Engle (making her debut for the club). Other debutants were Nikki and Rachael Kenny and Di McArdle. Many thanks again to Les and Gill Pullin for the post race buffet and for all the supporters who cheered on the runners.
Race 6 - Connah's Quay - 15/03/2009
35 runners turned out for Wallasey A.C. in the penultimate race of the Borders League. On a day blessed with brilliant sunshine the men packed well with 12 men in the top 100. First to return after conquering the undulating course was Greg Jones. Greg completed the 4.5 mile course in 26:13 for 39th place. He was closely followed by Tony Barbat 26:22 (40th) and Jamie Pullin 26:27 (41st). Other counters were Matt Williams, Keith McLaughlin, Connor McArdle, Colin Palmer, Keith Simpson, Paul Richardson and Phil Cuthbert. The men finished 4th on the day and remain in a solid third place in division 1. Sallie Holt was first lady home in 33:29 in 30th place. She was ably assisted by Sue Nunn, Nicci Davies and Vicky Kehoe. The ladies finished sixth on the day and are fourth in Division 1.
Race 7 - Wrexham - 29/04/2009
Wallasey Athletic Club completed their best ever season in the Borders League, the men's team finished third in division one and the ladies 4th also in division one. Added to the 2 team successes were 6 runners picking up individual prizes, John Cottrell 1st in the male over 60, Nicci Davies first in the female over 50, Keith Simpson 3rd in the male over 40, Vicky Kehoe third in the female over 35, Tony Barbat 5th in the male over 45, Greg Jones 10th in the senior men. The fast flat 4 mile course was completed first by Greg Jones in an excellent time of 22:35 (31st), he was followed by a cluster of Wallasey runners, Jamie Pullin in 22:38 (34th), Tony Barbat 22:45 (37th), Connor McArdle 23:02 (42nd) and Matt Williams 23:14 (50th). Other counters were Steve Wilkinson, John Armstrong, Phil Cuthbert, Paul Richardson and Colin Benson. The first lady home was Claire Walton in 13th place after two months out injured (26:16), Tricia Jones recorded 27:43 (26th), with Jane Woodhead 29:08 (35th) making an impressive debut and Sharon Lamont 29:15 (37th) completing the team.
Liverpool & District Cross Country Union
Race 1 - Beacon Park - 08/11/2008
Wallasey's runners faced a tough introduction to the new cross country season on the hilly course at Beacon Park, Skelmersdale. To add to the task the course was particularly muddy in sections which made the going even more difficult. 9 of the club's representatives completed the course but the overall result was disappointing with the club finishing 9th of the ten clubs that fielded full teams. First home was Greg Jones (32nd), other counters were Tony Barbat (49th), Phil Cuthbert (58th), Andy Rogerson (62nd), Matt Williams (67th) and Stan Williams (80th). Club captain Dave Walton said "On Saturday we had a strong team in the opening Liverpool and District Cross Country League race on a challenging course at Beacon Park in Skelmersdale. 9 runners completed the course and all perfomed exceptionally well in difficult conditions. The first cross country of the season is always a challenge and the wet conditions did not disappoint. Well done to everyone who took part.". Another race report can be found here.
Race 2 - Sefton Park - 29/11/2008
Freezing fog greeted the runners in the second race of the Liverpool & District Cross Country Union season. The event in Sefton Park also incorporated the McCain Cross Challenge and the European Cross Country Trials. The course which was slightly different to previous years was not as muddy as expected. Wallasey had 11 men and 3 women representatives, Connor McArdle was the first to race completing the 5.5k course in 20:19 for 19th place in the under 17 boys. The Kim McEneany led the ladies home over the 8.1k distance in 34:18 for an excellent 85th place. She was followed by Vicky Kehoe 40:21 (120th) and Julie Barbat 42:33 (129th). Greg Jones was first back for the men finishing in 25th in a time of 37:29. Other counters were Tony Barbat, the improving Matt Williams, Andy Rogerson, Colin Benson and John Armstrong.
Race 3 - Stadt Moers Park - 13/12/2008
Wallasey A.C. avoided relegation on the final league race of the season at Stadt Moers. Wallasey had 12 runners starting the race and good packing ensured Wallasey had their best finish for many years coming third in their division on the day. The points total from this race and the failure of St. Helens Sutton and Southport & Waterloo to field a team of at least four runners meant that Wallasey finished fourth overall in division. This is an extremely satisfying result after a difficult race on a course that had been used in the morning for 11 school's races. The mud was thick and extended for much of the course, also the it was hilly and under water in some spots, team captain Dave Walton described it as 'Proper cross country!'. Greg Jones showed the men the way home and good efforts from the other counters Matt Williams, Connor McArdle, Keith McLaughlin, Phil Cuthbert and Tony Barbat helped Wallasey to a great result.
Championships - Clarkes Garden - 08/02/2009
Connor McArdle made a flying start to the Liverpool & District Cross Country Championships and he never looked back coming home first for the club in a remarkable 20th place. The team finished in 7th on the day the other counters being Greg Jones, Tony Barbat, Phil Cuthbert, Andy Rogerson and Colin Benson. Three ladies (Tricia Jones, Sallie Holt and Vicky Kehoe) also made the trip to Clarkes Garden, the course which had some snowy areas was frozen initially but was then softened up by the runners.
Cross Country Championships
Merseyside - Arrowe Park - 10/01/2009
Wallasey's ladies had a successful day at the Merseyside County Cross Country Championships at a frozen Arrowe Park. Claire Walton finished a superb fifth on the day and was selected for the county team to race at the inter-counties championships at Nottingham in March. Nicci Davies was awarded silver for second place in her age category and Julie Barbat and Rachel Saunders made up the four that picked up a bronze medal in the team event. Connor McArdle did well to finish 16th in a tough under 17 men field. The senior men finished seventh, Matt Williams leading them home in 34th place.
Northern - Sherdley Park, St, Helens - 24/01/2009
Wallasey had 14 runners at the Northern Cross Country Championships at Sherdley Park. First to race on the muddy course was Connor McArdle, who ran well to finish 78th. Tricia Jones showed the ladies the way home, finishing in 119th place, she was followed by Vicky Kehoe (200th) and Julie Barbat (221st). The men finished in 28th place in the team event, first home was Tony Barbat, Andy Rogerson had a great run to be second home and Matt Williams, Greg Jones, Keith McLaughlin and Colin Benson made up the team. The runners owe a debt of gratitude to all the volunteers without whom there would be no race. Several of them were from Wallasey A.C. including Bob and Anne Brimage, Mel Schless, Pete McArdle and Mike Griffiths.
National - Parliament Hill Fields - 21/02/2009
The 2009 National Cross Country Championships returned to its 'spiritual home' at Parliament Hill Fields in London. On a gloriously sunny day Wallasey had 11 male and one female runners. Julie Barbat ran her first 'National' and described the course as 'ideally suited for hippos!'. Julie completed the 8km course in 51:34 for 508th place. The runners are also thankful to Ann & Bob Brimage also made the trip assisting as race officials. Wallasey's men finished 72nd out of 112 complete teams in the 6 man event, Greg Jones, Tony Barbat, Matt Williams, Phil Cuthbert, Andy Rogerson, and John Armstrong being the counters. Andy had led half way through the first lap before losing and retrieving a shoe. The course which included plenty of mud and several hill climbs was testing for the 1455 runners who managed to complete it, other runners from Wallasey who managed this were Keith McLaughlin, captain Dave Walton, Pat Riley, Stan Williams and Paul Thelwell (running his first National).
Wirral Multi Terrain League
Race 1 - Royden Park - 02/09/2008
29 Wallasey runners contested the first Wirral Multi Terrain race of the new season. Rain earlier in the day had left the 4.5 mile course wet and in parts treacherous. Claire Walton was the star of the show, superbly winning the ladies race in 32:13. She was ably supported by Tricia Jones (13th) 36:07 and Kim McEneany, representing Wallasey for the first time for 5 years, (15th) 36:47. These excellent results meant the ladies first team finished the evening in second place. The ladies 'B' team finished ninth and were second 'B' team. The men's first team showed good packing with 5 runners in places 18 to 30, Jamie Pullin leading them home in 29:46. The men's first team finished in third place. The men's 'B' team finished tenth and were second 'B' team.
Race 2 - Eastham Woods - 09/09/2008
The second Wirral Multi Terrain fixture took place at Eastham Woods and Wallasey again hard a large contingent of runners. The course was dark and narrow and fortunately no runners completely lost their way. Claire Walton excelled again by winning the ladies race. This time she extended her margin of victory over the second runner to more than a minute, a superb performance. Kim McEneany improved to 12th and was immediately followed by Tricia Jones. This meant the ladies team finished a close third on the day and retain second position overall. The ladies 'B' team (Ann Taylor-Kilbane, Sallie Holt and Vicky Kehoe) finished fifth and were first 'B' team. The men's first team slipped a little from the previous week to finish fifth. Tony Barbat was first home for the club in 16th place (25:34). The men's 'B' team again finished tenth and were second 'B' team. Early leaders in the individual categories include Greg Jones (Men under 30), Claire Walton (Ladies under 30) and Tricia Jones (Ladies over 40).
Race 3 - Harrison Drive - 16/09/2008
Claire Walton won the ladies race in the the third race of the Wirral Multi Terrain series at Harrison Drive. This helped the ladies finish in second with assistance from Tricia Jones 9th and Kim McEneany (12th). The men's finished third on the day. Counters for the men were Greg Jones (13th), Tony Barbat (23rd), Jamie Pullin (24th), Connor McArdle (27th) and Steve Wilkinson (31st).
Race 4 - Arrowe Park - 23/09/2008
The final race of the multi terrain series took place at Arrowe Park on a sunny evening. Men's captain Dave Walton said "It was a joy and a pleasure to be part of Wallasey Athletic Club at the Multi Terrain presentation evening. The ladies team finished in 2nd place overall and the men were 3rd in extremely competitive leagues. This is an outstanding performance and demonstrates the ever increasing strength in depth of the club. In each race we had at least 20 men and 9 ladies competing and all have contributed to the success of the club. Thanks and well done to one and all. Individual age category awards went to Greg Jones 3rd, Jamie Pullen 3rd, Tricia Jones 2nd and Claire Walton 1st. In addition Claire Walton was awarded the overall ladies winner with a maximum of 75 points having won the ladies race on three occasions. A fantastic set of results and further adds to the growing reputation of Wallasey Athletic Club. We now need to take this standard of participation and performance into the forthcoming Borders League and Cross Country season. See you all on October 10th at Christleton for the first Borders League race."
Wallasey A.C. successfully hosted the third race in the Wirral Multi Terrain series at Harrison Drive. The contest started along the beach at the site of the former Derby pool. Claire Walton dominated the ladies race, winning in 27:15. Tricia Jones put in a great effort to finish 9th and she was backed up by Kim McEneany in 12th. This meant the ladies team finished second just one point behind the winners Tattenhall and are in joint second position overall with Tattenhall just four points behind leaders Wirral. The ladies 'B' team finished seventh and were second 'B' team (2nd overall). The men's first team got back on track to finish second 'A' team. Greg Jones had a good run the finish 13th and first for the club. The men's 'B' team again finished eighth and were second 'B' team. Claire Walton has an unassailable lead in the ladies under 30 and in the overall ladies categories. Others with leaders in the individual categories are Tricia Jones (Ladies over 40) and Greg Jones (Men under 30), in which Wallasey also have Steve Wilkinson second and Matt Williams third. Bob Brimage has a medal chance in second in the over 50 men.