News reports - September 2019

15th September 2019: Penultimate trail GP race in Yarrow Valley Park

The penultimate SWAC trail grand prix race of the season took place on Sunday 15th September at the Yarrow River Splash  10k Trail Run. The race was a scenic one lap race in and around woodland, following the River Yarrow, starting and finishing in the Yarrow Valley Country Park, Chorley. The course was quite muddy and caution was needed on a few wooden bridges. There were a  few sharp climbs and descents, but generally the course was gently undulating. The river crossings were not too deep (below the knee) and gave opportunity to wash the mud off running shoes.

The three SWAC team members enjoyed a dry run after early drizzle through the Lancashire countryside.  The race was won by Chris Pownell of Knowsley Harriers in a time of 41:35 and the first lady was Danielle Scott also of Knowsley Harriers in a time of 51:45. First home for the club was Mark Gillan with a time of 1:05:08, followed by Sue Stewart in a time of 1:08:59 and Elaine Sutton in 1:17:00. Congratulations to Sue Stewart for being first home in category.

Thanks to the organisers for a well signed and marshalled course . Thanks to Elaine for the course description.


The Trail GP series will conclude at the 13 Arches Trail Half Marathon on Sunday 17th November.

15th September 2019: Adam B sets late season club SP record at Wigan

When Blackpool Wyre & Fylde held two open T&F meetings in September, their late September meeting was effectively a celebration of the end of the Track & Field Season. It was regularly supported by Southport Waterloo athletes and I can recall groups of middle distance runners going for something to eat in Blackpool afterwards and then off to the Big Dipper and other funfair attractions. There is now only one September meeting ins Blackpool's Stanley Park - voted again the best park in Britain! It was held on Saturday and there were no Southport Waterloo athletes there at all.

And Blackpool has lost its status as the last meeting of the season - apart from Combined Events next weekend - as Wigan held its Arnold Seddon Open T&F Meeting at Robin Park Arena on Sunday.

Five Southport Waterloo athletes competed at Wigan on Sunday.

Lauren Byrne ran 12.5 for a 2nd place in the 70m hurdles race. She also cleared 1m 30 in the high jump but it is the long jump she will be best pleased with, a best clearance of 3m 97, a new PB and one that raises her to the top of the club Under 13 rankings this year.

Brother Adam had a good day too, with two PBs. He was 2nd in the 800m in a PB time of 2:39.5, cleared 1m 35 in the high jump for 3rd place and smashed his Under 13 Boys' 3k shot put club record, winning the competition and impressively pushing his best out from 7m 57 to 8m 52. At the beginning of the season, Adam was throwing under 7 metres and has improved in strength and technique throughout the year.

Abigael Bamber won both her races. She ran 12.9 to equal her PB in the 100m and ran 26.4 for the 200m.

Sam Coupland was 2nd in the long jump with a 6m 06 clearance and won the high jump with 1m 80.

Katy Coupland won the senior discus competition with 26m 19.


8th September 2019: Three club 'masters' earn England qualification

The City of Salford 10K on Sunday was qualifying race for England Masters. David Hamilton was 15th overall and 1st M50 in a Season's Best 34:48. Francois Rafferty was 20th and 3rd M50 in 35:17. Rob Johnson finished 4th M60 in another Season's Best time of 39:58 and Mike Walker was 1st M70 in yet another Season's Best time of 41:28. David, Francois and Mike have made the England team and Rob couldn't have been far off the mark.

Elsewhere two of our senior runners took on the challenge of the Whistle Stop Tour of Wirral. Friday was the Arrowe Park 5-Miler where James Brooker ran 38:47 and Andrew Bridson 42:09. Saturday was a step up to the Thurstaton 8 mile race where James ran 68:20 and Andrew 78:10. And they stepped up in distance again on Sunday with the Wirral Half Marathon. James ran a Season's Best 1:43:45 and Andrew 1:56:13. A 10K was also put on with the Half Marathon on Sunday and here Alison Cross was 4th F40 in 54:14, in her first race over the distance.

8th September 2019: Road relay season kicks off at Edge Hill University

The first of the winter series of road relays, the North West Road Relays, incorporating the 3- and 4-stage Relay Championships of North West counties, was hosted by Merseyside County AA on Sunday at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. This is usually a good opportunity for young runners in particular to pick up county medals - but that wasn't the case this year. With 43 Southport Waterloo runners taking part, however, the event was well attended, possibly the highest participation I can recall. And it was good to see our Senior Women taking part in road relays, a rare event.

In the Under 11 Girls' race, we finished 6th in Merseyside. Erin Griffin led off running 8.56 for 1.5 km, handing over to Megan Hulse in 8th place. Megan running our fastest leg of 8.46, improved by two places to 6th and Felicity Fletcher held on to 6th, running 9.14.

Our Under 11 Boys were Charles Fletcher, William James and Harry Williams. Charles led off running 8:09 for the 1.5 km leg, handing over to William in 6th place. William pulled back one place running 8:49 and Harry on the final leg improved by another position running 8:19 to finish 4th Merseyside team, just outside the County medals. Charles ran the 10th fastest leg of the Merseyside boys.

Our Under 13 Girls proved to be our first and only medallists! In our 'A team, Hannah Keenan went off first running 12:04 for 2.8 kms, handing over in 4th Merseyside place. Lucy Mitchell was next, running 12:00 and pulling back one place before handing over to Emily Dean, our fastest runner in 11:48. Emily brought the team home as 2nd Merseyside in a total time of 35:52, just 14 secs behind the winning Liverpool Harriers team, to take County silver medals. Our 'B' team completed in 42:11. Charlotte Hughes ran 14:34, Natasha Murphy 13:47 and Apphia Keenan 13:50. Emily Dean's leg run in 11:48 was the 5th fastest by a Merseyside girl and Lucy and Hannah were 8th & 9th fastest, so all three of our 'A' team featured in the top 10 fastest legs!.

Our Under 13 Boys finished just outside the medals as 4th team in Merseyside. Luke Ward led off, running 10:46 for 2.8 kms, finishing 5th in 10:46. Joseph Wake took over, dropping a couple of places to 7th, running 12:01, and Monty Barr did extremely well, running 9.45 to finish the team 4th. Monty's run was the 2nd fastest by a Merseyside Under 13 Boy and indeed joint 2nd fastest of all the NW Under 13 Boys!! Again, we had a 'B' team with Stephen Morgan running 11:19, Jack Bradshaw, 15:21, and Reuben Donnelly 11:25. They finished 8th Merseyside team. I understand Joseph's time was actually quicker than recorded as he was held back at change-over because our incoming runner wasn't spotted! Under 11 Harry Williams was similarly affected.

We had two teams again in the Under 15 Girls' event. Elizabeth Wake led off for the 'A' team running 11:59 to finish 4th in Merseyside. Libby Simpson took over, running 12:49 for 6th place and Eleanor James ran the final leg in 12:33 to finish in a total time of 37:21 and 5th Merseyside team. For the 'B' team, Holly Bradshaw ran 12:53, Annabel Lockie 13:45 and Jemima Fletcher 13:17 . The 'B' team girls were 7th Merseyside team in a total time of 39:55. No Under 15 Boys.

Perhaps not surprisingly, we didn't have any Under 17 teams either. I had thought our Under 17 Women would run but Under 17 Men are few and far between.

Our Senior Women entered a team for the 3 x 5 km relay. Zana Ladipo ran the 1st leg in 22:46 for 9th place in Merseyside. Catherine McElhinney ran 24:37 and Julie McSloy brought the team home in 10th place running 25:54.

Merseyside fielded 22 teams in the Senior Men's 4 x 5 km relay and our four teams finished 10th, 18th, 20th and 22nd. The 'A' team comprised Stephen Ward, running19:15, Mike Taylor, 18:53, David Mulvee, an impressive 15:45 to win leg 3 and 2nd fastest overall by a Merseyside runner, and Rob McGrath 18:26. In the 'B' team, Jason Oliver ran 20:46, Graham Liu, 21:08, John Sprackland, 19:21, and Gary Kenny, 21:28. In the 'C' team Brian Davey ran 21:53 - good to see Brian racing again - David Marsh, 22:05, Mark Lowe, 23:30, and Paul Hill, 21:27. And in the 'D' team Simon Clarke ran 23:49, Mark Gillan, 24:58, Graham Padden, 26:42, and Lee Coupland, 28:09.

The Northern 4- and 6- stage road relays are at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, on Sunday 15th September and the Nationals at Sutton Park in Birmingham on Sunday 6th October.

Full results

6th September 2019: Birthday cake for SWAC Strollers

It was SWAC Strollers 1st birthday yesterday. We had 40 runners join us for our weekly social run. Where we celebrated our 1st birthday with cake.  All abilities are welcome from beginners to sub 20 min 5k runners. Friendly and supportive group which meet every Thursday at Dunes Lesiure Centre at 7pm. It’s free to SWAC members and £1 for non members. Next week we are starting our 9 week Couch to 5k (c25k) which is £10 for the programme or free to SWAC members.

1st September 2019: Consistent hurdling by Steph at England Champs

Clashing with the SWAC Open, the National Championships in Bedford only managed to attract one SWAC athlete this year. Stephanie Robertson was hoping to find an opportunity to hurdle in dry and still conditions. Choosing to focus on hurdles meant that arrival at the track was not required until 11.30am on Sunday, by which time all programmes were sold out.

Steph raced in the fourth heat with only 5 starters and they had to resettle after a green card. She has been focusing on how to end strongly but in this first race her start was slow and she ran 11.84 wind assisted.

After recovery and another warm-up, Steph was in the second semi-final. Again it was a slow start and she hit the first hurdle but came 5th in 11.83 again wind assisted. This was still fast enough to qualify for the final.

Her third hurdles race of the afternoon was a fast race and despite hitting the last hurdle she finished 6th in a time of 11.77. Although this was just outside her season’s best it shows the consistent performances Steph has produced this season in reaching both national finals and coming 6th.

1st September 2019: Dream run for trail runners

The eighth SWAC trail grand prix race of the season took place on Sunday 1st September at the Dream Trail 10k,  Sutton Manor Woodland. The race was a two lap mixed terrain course of mainly tarmac and gravel trail with mown and muddy grass paths, including a notable climb on a steep narrow grass path. Runners were rewarded by passing The Dream Sculpture twice on each lap.

The five SWAC team members enjoyed a sunny and blustery run on the challenging course . The race was won by David Wilson of St. Helens Striders in a time of 38:54 and the first lady was Claire Andrew of Spectrum Striders in a time of 45:21. First home for the club was Graham Liu with a time of 49:05, followed by Mark Gillan in 55:30, Sue Stewart 57:57, Susan Cooper in 1:00:05and Elaine Sutton in 1:08:42. Sue Stewart was first home in her category, with Susan Cooper bringing home a 1&2 in category. Thanks to St Helens Sutton AC for organising the event. Photo Credit to Elaine Sutton.

Results | Trail GP Table


The next Trail GP race will be Yarrow Splash 10k on Sunday 15th September and finally 13 Arches Trail Half Marathon on Sunday 17th November.