Press Report: 2020 Recap Part Two

WEST CHESHIRE Athletic Club ended a difficult and challenging 2020 on a winning note after lockdown was announced in March.

The purple and gold-vested organisation was named England Athletics North West Athletics and Running Club of the Year, and Dennis Wall won the Services to Athletics Award.

It is the fourth time in five years that the club has won this award. An outstanding achievement considering there are over 250 clubs in the north west.

West Cheshire AC has since been named as a finalist for the England Athletics National Volunteer Awards Evening scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 23, via social media with Olympian Katharine Merry compering the event.

Despite many challenges during the last 12 months, the club managed to supervise and deliver regular Covid-19 secure training sessions at the Ellesmere Port Sports Village Athletics Track with support from Brio Leisure following two well supported track tidy days attended by club members to ensure the facilities were ready to re-open.

And the club contributed towards Upton High School’s work in helping key National Health Service workers by making a donation to the school following the cancellation of April’s scheduled Chester Spring Five Miles Road Race.

The Club was delighted that a large proportion of entrants declined the refund and the Club was able to offer a donation to Upton High School whose design and technology department bought material from the donation to make much-needed face visors for key NHS workers.

George Hyde medalled for England in Vienna, at the British Universities Championships, and at the British Track and Field Championships where the under 20 men’s shot putter hit a new personal best of 16.55 metres to secure a bronze medal at Manchester.

Hyde, a student at Loughborough University, was joined at Manchester by club mates Emma Howe and Joseph Morrison.

Howe, who attends Leeds Beckett University and is ranked fourth in the under 20 women’s javelin UK ranking list, launched the javelin 43.99m, and Chester University student, Morrison, 19th in the UK under 23 men’s 800m rankings, posted 1:55.23 in his first round heat.

Morrison also headed West Cheshire AC’s charge at the Virtual English National 12 Stage Road Relay Championships, one of 14 members to complete a 5km run, backed up by Michael Young, Tom Booth, Andrew Cooper, Steve Fernyhough, Danny Paddock, Andy Carter, Rob Little, Steve King, Richard Hayes, Phil Woodley, Dave Irving, Kerry Riley, and Kay Hayes.

Michael Young finished runner-up in the Ultrarace Romania Lockdown event, completing a 70km distance in four hours three minutes and 49 seconds, just weeks after raising £2,000 for the NHS on his 33rd birthday, completing 69 miles in just under 12 hours on a treadmill at his home.

Young also broke his club’s senior men’s Marathon record at York with 2:34:54 to finish second in his age group, and posted 1:12:01 in the Virtual Chester Half Marathon, as well as celebrating success in the City of Preston 10 Miles Road Race, clocking 55 minutes 33 seconds for victory and achieving a male age 18-35 club record ahead of Brian Wright (1:16:25), who beat his own male vet 65 club record.

Jon Park has raised more than £3,000 for NHS charities after covering 85 miles in 24 hours at the Old Hall Country Club, Huntington, Chester.

Jean Claude Randon posted a massive personal best of 15 minutes 50 seconds in his home country of Malta, finishing fifth in the race and first in his under 23 age group.

Steve Fernyhough completed the GB Ultras Virtual Jogle (John O Groats to Land’s End), covering 825 miles in six weeks to finish 10th male overall and averaging a marathon a day, and celebrated success in the Ultra Everest 100km Race in a time of 12 hours 25 minutes.

Joseph Morrison and Harriet Wheeler claimed new club records – Morrison sliced 10 seconds off his own club 1500m record and became his club’s first sub-four minute 1500m member after clocking 3:51:37 at a British Milers Club fixture held at Nuneaton, and Wheeler powered her way to a new under 13 girls javelin club record with a throw of 33.77m at the Trafford Open Meeting.

Michael Young, Keely Smith and Carys Roberts also celebrated record-breaking performances.

Young posted a new senior men’s club record time of 71 minutes 28 seconds at the Cheshire Half Marathon held at Capesthorne Hall where Smith clocked a new over-35 ladies club record time of 86 minutes 47 seconds, while Roberts broke her own under 15 girls 1500m club record by posting 4:46.54 at a Trafford Open Meeting.

Ellie Eccles produced a memorable victory and personal best time of 18 hours 38 minutes four seconds at the Gloucester Invitational 100 miles race to win the women’s title, and finished third woman with a time of 21 hours in the Robin Hood 100 Miles Race through Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.

Tom Booth (sixth in 25:59) and Alex Duffey (seventh over-40 lady in 49:24), completed the 60th Anniversary Cilcain 5km Mountain Race.

Michael Young posted 15:41 in the Mid Cheshire 5k Road Race, ahead of club mates Chris Shaw (16:44), and Sammy Hollins (17:15).

Over-65 veteran Brian Wright secured second place in his age group at the Cheshire 10k Road Race held at Arley Hall, near Northwich alongside club mate, Sarah Hibbert.

Ruby Phillips posted a new under 13 girls 1000m club record time of 3:14.03 at a Trafford AC Open Meeting.

Keely Smith, Chris Shaw, Michael Young, and Tom Booth all posted impressive displays at the Oulton Park Running Grand Prix.

Smith sliced nearly 20 minutes off the club’s female marathon record to post a new personal best time of 3:01:24, while Shaw finished fourth in the 26.2 miles event with a new pb and over-45 men’s club record time of 2:48:39, and Young clocked a new M21-35 personal best and 10k club record of 33:00, while Booth won the 20 miles race in a new club record time of 2:04:06.

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Posted by Dave Alexander
4th January 2021
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