The Hammers sit fourth in the Barclays Premier League having enjoyed victories over last season’s top two, Manchester City and Liverpool, in recent weeks. The likes of Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia, Alex Song and Cheikhou Kouyate have all instantly taken to life at Upton Park and, alongside more established West Ham names such as Winston Reid and Mark Noble, the team have impressed in the opening stages of the season. Press Association “We have got to find that level of sustainability and consistency in our levels of results and performances. They have got to find out and I have got to find out if we are capable of that. “The big danger for us at Stoke is the hype surrounding us beating Manchester City cannot have a negative effect on us on Saturday and we don’t go out and produce the same level again – otherwise Stoke will beat us. “Stoke and Mark Hughes will be looking forward to us coming and thinking let’s put these to task and see if they can cope after that big result. “For me the players have a big test on Saturday and whether they can sustain that level of success they have achieved up to now.” If his players can prove that their early season form is more than just a flash in the pan, Allardyce has targets in mind for the coming years as West Ham prepare for their move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016. “I think, as a manager, sustainable progress is what it’s all about and you can be too slow and lose your job and then too quick and falter and then lose your job,” he added. “If you build slowly and steadily and success is improved year in, year out then you can eventually get to the stage where West Ham becomes like what an Everton is at the moment. That’s not only sustainability but looking at cup competitions and winning a trophy or getting into Europe, whatever it might be. “That can happen, if everything goes well, in this season or in the next two or three years perhaps – depending upon the investment and the improvement of the squad.” But Allardyce is keen to keep his players’ feet on the ground to ensure they are not sent crashing back down to Earth at Stoke on Saturday. “It’s not difficult for me but sometimes the players find it a bit difficult,” he said when asked about the expectation levels changing. “I said to the players don’t start reading about yourself too much or else we’ll have to start changing the size of the doors to get your heads through. So keep your feet on the ground and don’t read too much praise about yourself like you shouldn’t read too much of the criticism. “You play for the enjoyment and the praise that you get but make sure you manage it and control it well.” Having recorded notable victories over Liverpool and last weekend against champions City, West Ham have shown they can pick up points against the best sides in the league. But Stoke inflicted two defeats on the Hammers last season and Allardyce knows his team need to be focused on the task at hand at the Britannia Stadium and not get carried away. “We have got to maintain it and our levels of performance,” he said. “That is my responsibility because we have not been tested like this before and whether we can sustain this success. Manager Sam Allardyce has warned his West Ham players not to bask in the hype their recent results has created.
The StandUp4SEALs Beach Challenge will mark its third year in Ocean City on May 23 with a new name and a broader beneficiary base.A standup paddleboard race is open to individuals or relay teams.The event is now known as the Memorial Beach Challenge and will benefit not just the families of Navy SEALS killed in service but the families of fallen heroes in all branches of the military, according to an event c0-founder, Mike Vaules.Registration is open for the Challenge’s three events: a stand-up paddleboard race, a beach obstacle course race and a fun run for kids.Register and get more information at memorialbeachchallenge.com.In its first two years, the event became a popular part of Ocean City’s Memorial Day Weekend calendar with more than 600 competing in the combined events in each year.Kids climb makeshift sand mounds as part of the fun run in the Memorial Beach Challenge.The Challenge provides a spectacle for visitors watching obstacle-course competitors run through a water-filled pit sprayed by a fire hose, crawl under the Ocean City Music Pier, carry sand-filled sacks, perform calisthenics, traverse balance beams, and climb walls.The stand-up paddleboard race includes a box course that starts and finishes on the beach and takes racers through the surf.This year’s event is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, May 23, on the beaches surrounding the Ocean City Music Pier at Moorlyn Terrace. The bulk of the course will be between Fifth and 14th streets.The Memorial Beach Challenge benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation, the 31 Heroes Project (named for the SEALS killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011) and the Travis Manion Foundation. Manion was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and a Marine from Doylestown, Pa., who was killed in action in Iraq on April 29, 2007. One of the obstacles in the annual Beach Challenge is a water-filled pit.