Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.


PARKING KNIGHTS GRANGE: We have been asked to remind members of the parking restrictions that apply at Knights Grange  in particular the disabled parking bays. Please park within the regulations -  preserve the reputation of the club and  avoid penalties that are imposed by the local authority.

NORTH CHESHIRE 5K SERIES: Details of this popular 5 race series here.

CAPENHURST 5k: A fast summer race which sells out. Details here.

ROAD RACE GRAND PRIX: We are doing well after 2 races. We need a good result at Alderley Edge 10k on 2nd July. Fast 10k course. Enter if you can here.

CLUB KIT: Improved discounts and latest Club kit from Rosebank Sports, Northwich. Details ghere.

2017/18 MEMBERSHIP: Fees were due by 1 April. Regretably, once again there is quite a list of regulars who have yet to renew. Subs forms on main website

WELSH CASTLES 2017 UPDATE: OUR ENTRY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED.  Sat 10th and Sun 11th June 2017.  See more here.

NORTHWICH FESTIVAL OF RUNNING: 9 July. Organised by NRC.  Details and entry here.
The real measure of our wealth is how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money.
Benjamin Jowett.


April is always a busy and eventful month. This April saw Manchester and London marathons with Mary Tavener selected for England F55 Masters based on her Manchester performance; some brilliant road racing over the shorter distances from some of our outstanding younger athletes including Holly Smith, Edward Pettitt, Matt Sheen, Nathan Williams and Andrew Miles to name a few. In addition there were a rash of other PB's over various distances. However, we have decided two athletes edge our AOM recognition this month. Chris Williams had a super quick 5 mile debut finishing 5th at Chester Spring 5 followed by a sub 16 minute PB at Mid Cheshire 5k, In the same races Pauline Davies set a new F65 course record at Chester ranking her 9th in the UK. She also won F65 at Mid Cheshire 5k ranking her 4th in the UK. April AOM's are CHRIS WILLIAMS and PAULINE DAVIES.

In 3 Words 
Other Useful Website links - Click here.

Thanks to Bryan Dale for allowing us to use his photos. Visit his racephotos website for more pictures!

Injured?  See Colin Rathbone for a massage, Paul Hudson for physiotherapy.   There are a number of other good physios - several of us have had very successful treatment at Athlete Matters in Worsley:


20 May: Despite an early afternoon deluge which cooled one or two of our athletes, it did not have a negative impact on the day. A big thank you to the Dooley's for use of their large gazebo and the Club tent brought by Lisa Meadows. As we all know the Vets' Relays, although a competitive event, also provides a strong Club cohesion, fuelled by the superb picnic provided by the girls under the expert guidance of Julie Annable (and others). There was also a modest quantity of Prosecco and Hoogarten (thank you Steve & Ann).  The day also included a celebratory note by the way of a major category birthday. Carole, 65 years old the day after on Sunday 21st (she doesn't look it does she).

36 Vale Royalers ran plus many supporters. 2 top 10 teams with the over 35 women comprising Andrea Hildrup, Carolyn Dooley, Lisa Meadows & Helen Whitby. Andrea Hilldrupp was 7th fastest of all V35 on any legs. At 24 weeks pregnant, Helen Whitby ran a superb anchor leg to bring the team home in 10th place (out of 25 teams). Lisa Meadows and Debbie Moreton smashed their times from last year. In the men's over 45 a team a strong showing of Stu Doyle, Darren Cottier, Gareth Williams & Mike Harrington we came 9th out of 43 teams. Everyone who ran were stars and some great times, despite lots who ran Christleton the night before & some running Chester Half the day after.  Some actually ran the Delamere Parkrun in the morning (respect).

Thanks must be given to John Davies who with Colin Rathbone co-ordinated men's entries, Helen Whitby for entering and team managing the ladies. Carole  for ensuring everyone had the correct numbers and running order. John Davies also spent the whole day helping Bryan Dale (Racephotos) with the official event photography. Any others who also helped you know who you are. Thank you.

All the results can be found on here.


21 May: Some excellent performances from the 11 runners from VRAC, the first 5 being PB's.  Good effort!
PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameChip TimeChip PosGenPosCatPos 


21 May: You mighty guess this was not going to be an easy half marathon. Here's how Gary Richardson found it.

The race started after a quick briefing of what we could expect, which was 13.1 miles of quad busting pain (the organisor needs to work on his pep talks before the race). The race began immediately up a steep short hill and didn't seem too bad for the first 3 miles, then the "fun" started. After taking the lessons from my last fell race, I started nearer the front this time and it was paying off, as at the half way checkpoint, I found myself in 5th place, however a gap had opened up to the 4th place runner who was slightly out of my sight which led to the issue of me missing a right turn sign as I was too busy concentrating on not falling on a steep rocky descent. I ended up running to the bottom of the mountain before realising my error and then had to run back up the same way and rejoined the race 3 miles behind the other runners. I only had my poor navigational skills to blame as the sign was clear to see for everyone, except me.The runner who was in 6th place just commented on my strava entry wondering where I had gone as he was surprised to find himself finishing in 5th place at the end without overtaking me!Great race and will happily do again, just need to work on my observation skills


19 May: Renowned for it's PB potential a few were looking forward to this one and they were rewarded with favouravble running conditions.  28 VRACer's and as usual some were pleased and others less so! 9 PB's in all. Speedy run from Matt Sheen although he was disappointed not to break through the 15 minute barrier. Solid run from 'big Stu' Doyle winning M45 category. Matt Rowlinson showing good form and a PB following injury niggles. Another good duel between James AInsworth and Chris Jones both running PB's although Chris was disappointed to miss sub 17 minutes due to a shoe lace coming undone! More progress for Gareth Williams and David Humphreys (PB) both going faster than Mid Cheshire 5k. Not such a good night for Andrew Miles who started well but blew up mid race. London marathoners Rick Murray and Carolyn Dooley clearly recovered well with PB's. PB's also for Bob Corinaldi and Simon Bridge. Ups and downs but definitley another good night for the club. Well done all.
PosGunNameNameChipChip PosGenderPosCategoryPos 
815:16MatthewSheen15:169Male8Senior Men8 
4016:18StuartDoyle16:1740Male40Over 451 
5316:38MattRowlinson16:3653Male52Under 208PB
6416:51JamesAinsworth16:4964Male63Over 407PB
7717:08ChrisJones17:0780Male75Senior Men49PB
9017:17GarethWilliams17:1287Male87Over 457 
9117:17AndrewMiles17:1696Male88Senior Men55 
9217:17MichaelHarrington17:1286Male89Over 458 
11017:35JamesGriffiths17:30110Male105Senior Men66 
13217:53SarahGriffiths17:48128Female8Senior Women5 
13517:57TomArmstrong17:52133Male126Senior Men77 
16418:30KateSpilsbury18:24166Female14Senior Women9 
17618:42RichardMurray18:36175Male158Over 5013PB
18918:52DaveGough18:48193Male169Over 5014 
20619:10ChloeDooley19:07211Female25Under 203 
20719:11JonathanDufty19:05209Male182Under 2012 
21019:12EsmeBridge19:04208Female26Under 204PB
21319:17BrianDooley19:12215Male187Over 4521 
22619:30DavidHumphreys19:24228Male197Over 4033PB
22819:34CarolynDooley19:31231Female30Over 402PB
24019:48DavidHaines19:40241Male209Over 4524 
24519:56BobCorinaldi19:44244Male214Over 4525PB
25620:17GaryWeedall20:11258Male222Over 554 
28020:53HelenSmith20:44281Female40Over 453 
29421:17MarkPilliner21:09294Male251Over 4532 
31021:52SimonBridge21:37309Male260Over 5028PB
33722:49MaryTavener22:33336Female59Over 554 
36624:00ChristopherGriffiths23:41366Male293Over 5512 


14 May: A challenging but scenic multi-terrain run taking in Shropshire Way, Ironbridge, former rail tracks in and around the Wenlock Edge on a superb sunny day. The severity of the run is indicated by the winning time of 1 hr 25 mins.

24th overall. John Stephen Thompson. 5th V50.         1.47.24
25th overall.  Claire Thompson.  2nd V35.                    1.47.24
36th overall.  Colin Rathbone.  1st V70.                         1.54.38


13-14 May: A few seniors tested themselves on the track at Warrington. Some nice performances, and for the record Dave Haines is no longer a track race virgin.
2004243Luke SEILERVale Royal AC26.21
15001227Ryan MOOREVale Royal AC04:16.87
1500282Stuart DOYLEVale Royal AC04:32.79
3000458James AINSWORTHVale Royal AC09:52.99
30005202Michael HARRINGTONVale Royal AC10:12.82
30003288Lisa MEADOWSVale Royal AC12:59.26
50003261Gareth WILLIAMSVale Royal AC17:40.81
5000599David HAINESVale Royal AC20:13.77


VRAC vests get spotted in far flung places. Debbie Moreton sporting the colours in Mauritus! Send your pics if you sport your vest overseas.


10 May: Tony Dutton, who recently joined VRAC tackled this one, clocking 45.24 to finish 78th in a field of 269.  Well done Tony.


7 May: As a student of Bristol University Nathan Williams was well placed to run this one knocking nearly 2 minutes off his previous 10k best with a blistering 35:29 for 60th place. After a strong first half, the effort began to tell and thanks to the fantastic support all along the city centre closing miles Nathan was able to keep going for a well earned PB. Full results here. Well done Nathan.
6 May:The Sandstone Trail Challenge is open to a limited field of runners and walkers - 125 of each. It starts in Whitchurch and follows the full length of the Sandstone trail finishing in Frodhsm. Approx 33 miles with 3700 feet of climbing! VRAC had 4 worthy warriors. Nick Haywood, who won this race some years ago. had another 'good'n' finishing 8th in 5 hours 19 mins. Next, the run of the day, Sophie Rees rewarded for some quiet solo long runs knocking 56 minutes off last years time to finish in 5 hours 52 mins and 2nd lady. Bob Corinaldi fresh from the brutal Keswick half last weekend strangely found his legs complained bitterley on the downhills but nonetheless finishing well inside his 6:30 target to clock 6 hours 22 minutes. John Clarke completed a great day all round well under his target 7 hours finishing in 6 hours 36 minutes. Well done ultra warriors.


6 May:Great to see Lucy Knight racing again for VRAC. Power of 10 shows her last race for VRAC was the Cardiff Marathon in 2005 in 3.06.21 ranking her No.1 U20 in the UK. A little shorter for her comeback she did the Liverpool Spring 5k. Welcome back Lucy. Here's her comments:

"First run for 
Vale Royal AC in a long time! Made up finished 16th out of 297 for my age group 29th woman out of 674 and 158th overall!! Really happy with that just gutted i couldn't break 25mins!!"


2 May: Unusally, just 3 from VRAC. Another good run from Mike Harrington finishing 8th overall. Next, great to see the return of Prodigal Son, Dave Gough, once again in VRAC colours. Welcome back 'Goffy'. Clearly, he enjoyed a run round with another familiar face that is still AWOL. Chris Griffiths completed the VRAC trio looking very chirpy in the closing stages.

PosTimeName CatCat Pos
8 29:12MichaelHarringtonM402
43 32:47DaveGoughM504
159 41:21ChristopherGriffithsM555


30 April: Seems Bob Corinaldi is a slow learner. He's forgotten how he felt after the Loch Ness marathon some time ago (pictured). He even knew Keswick half was brutal having done it before... so he did it again and plans to do so again next year.  Here's his report. Well done Bob.

"Forgot how hard this one was! A warm day. All went well through the hilly first 9 miles. Then the wheels flew in all directions and the home run turned into a long painful slog! Finished in 1:41:30 116th from 683. Still my quickest time round there by just over a minute but not sub 1:40....Guess what I'm doing next year???"


28 April: The 4th running of this popular event showed its growing reputation as it was chosen for the inaugral England 5k Road Race Championship. A great achievement for race organiser and VRAC member Mike Harrington. A perfect evening for racing and a fast, scenic course. A high quality field saw 20 elite athletes going sub 15 minutes. Terrific turnout from VRAC with 38 runners of which no less than 23 set PB's. Incredible. Too many fine individual performances to mention them all. So let's make special recognition of our younger 'senior' athletes including Chris WIlliams, Andrew Miles and the outstanding young Edward Pettitt for the men. For the ladies, an exceptional run from young Holly Smith just outside the 17 min mark with Jodie Spencer, Kate Titlow and Lucy Smith running great races. Let's also recognise some of the newer members with big PB's for Natasha Smith, Robert Roe. David Humphreys and Anthony Dutton.  Well done all VRACers. Hopefully, we will be in good stead in the Cheshire Road Race Grand Prix.  Update on our standing awaited. 

PosGunNameNameChipChip PosGenGen PosCatCat pos 
6800:16:25StuartDoyle00:16:2470Male68Vet 452 
9100:17:00JamesAinsworth00:16:5591Male88Vet 408PB
12600:17:34GarethWilliams00:17:26124Male117Vet 4510 
13500:17:43SarahMurphy00:17:39137Female11Vet 351PB
15900:18:16CraigSephton00:18:10158Male145Vet 4513PB
17700:18:45NatashaSmith00:18:31170Female20Vet 451PB
18400:18:49BrianDooley00:18:41182Male163Vet 4517PB
18700:18:52ChloeDooley00:18:47192Female23Under 216PB
19300:18:54AndreaHilldrup00:18:49195Female25Vet 354PB
24400:19:55DavidHumphreys00:19:44243Male206Vet 4028PB
24600:20:01HelenSmith00:19:49247Female39Vet 454PB
25500:20:11GaryWeedall00:20:03259Male213Vet 553 
27500:20:38AnthonyDutton00:20:26277Male230Vet 4031PB
28100:20:45GeoffFawkes00:20:34279Male235Vet 4532 
28900:21:01JohnClarke00:20:42287Male243Vet 603 
30100:21:21TonyArcher00:21:05299Male249Vet 605 
31600:22:02stevecollier00:21:52317Male259Vet 555 
31900:22:10SimonBridge00:21:59321Male262Vet 5022PB
32700:22:34LisaMeadows00:22:21328Female62Vet 457 
34600:22:58marytavener00:22:42347Female71Vet 554 
36800:23:30RichardPettitt00:23:12367Male291Vet 559 
37300:23:39JayneLomax00:23:22373Female80Vet 504 
37900:23:45ChristopherGriffiths00:23:25377Male295Vet 5510 
41200:25:52PaulineDavies00:25:36413Female105Vet 651 
43400:27:28AnnCollier00:26:59432Female119Vet 5510 


23 April: Offa's 'Orror is a 20k multi-terrain race in the Wye Valley. It is a challenging race, run mainly on footpaths and forest trails. Gary Richardson decided it had to be done. Sounds 'fun' Here's his report.

"Weather was great for a day out in South Wales for the Offa's 'Orre 20k Hill race. The first 500m were on tarmac but that was the only flat part of the race. After the tarmac came the first hill which was relentless, but this was followed by a suicidal descent through the forest with no marked path to speak of (One runner found a quicker route, but this involved a lot of somersaults, swearing and the inevitable retirement from the race).After the descent we had a more quad pleasing run along the river Wye, before tackling the largest of the hills, which was un-runnable in places. The run along the ridge at the top was worthy of a scene in Last of the Mohicans. With only 2 miles to go, we thought the hills were all done, only to be taken half way back up the largest hill again before yet another vertical descent.Finished 36th out of 209 in 1.43.52 but lesson for next year would be to start closer to the start as the first climb is single path with very little chance of passing slower runners. Great organisation and support and would recommend to anyone"


23 April: While some VRACers were pounding the streets of London others were pounding the country lanes of Cheshire. On the start line experienced Race Director Mike Harrington forgot to attach his timing chip to his shoe and made a dash to the car park to rectify his schoolboy error. Allegedly the Whitley Race Director then started the race a little early leaving Harrington behind! Nevertheless Mike overhauled most of the field to lead VRAC home. Craig Sephton was a little disappointed at High Leigh 10k but put this behind him with a 6 second PB. Claire Thompson flew the flag for the ladies finishing 3rd F35.  Well done all.

PosChipNameCatCat Pos 
837.25Mike HarringtonM404 
1337.57Craig SephtonM405PB
1638.16Tommy ArmstrongSM  
4442.37David HumphreysM4012 
5843.39Stephen ThompsonM5012 
8545.29Claire ThompsonF353 
14748.32Ray TranM5026 
15549.04Barry ChambersM60+7 
19450.57Chris GriffithsM5035 


23 April: Months of training, weeks of anxiety, days of self doubt culminate in London Marathon race day. Tales are still emerging but all that tackled the most famous race in the world can be 100% proud of their efforts and achievment. A fine sunny day if a little warm for the later finishers for this years event. Rick Murray led the VRAC contingent home with a PB if a little frustrated that 'a pain in the butt' from 18 miles had seen him finish in run/walk mode. Still an impressive time.  Carolyn Dooley was delighted with her debut sneaking under the 3,15 mark. Not far back Gemma Barnett was 'well satisfied' with another very creditable marathon. Thought to be marathon debuts for Tony Atkinson and Matt Wooley with Tony under the 4 hour mark and Matt just outside. Jo Edwards no doubt smiled and waved her way around the course (except miles 20 - 24 apparently) to a worthy effort..on 4 weeks training!. Great to see Sarah Walker finally getting the 'London Marathon Experience' having been deprived last year due to ill health. Well done all of you. Just remember now that the recovery phase is just as important as the training phase.
Place overallPlace genderPlace categoryNameCategoryHalfFinish 
33293110246Rick Murray50-5401:27:3803:12:16PB
378628558Carolyn Dooley40-4401:34:4303:14:58Debut
3942305199Gemma Barnett18-3901:35:2503:15:55 
1278598021508Tony Atkinson45-4901:52:0003:58:13Debut?
13591103281570Matt Wooley45-4901:58:3904:00:48Debut?
179664828437Jo Edwards50-5401:57:2604:19:47 
2942798671262Sarah Walker45-4902:25:0405:07:58Debut?


Starting from Autumn 2016 the Bournemouth, Chester, Yorkshire, Brighton and Greater Manchester marathons have all provided masters athletes with the opportunity to represent England in the MBNA Chester Marathon on 8 October 2017. Following Mary's 3.51.38 at the Manchester Marathon she has been selected as one of 5 ladies for the F55 team to compete at the Chester Marathon on 8 October 2017. See full details here.  Huge congratulations Mary.


16 April: A slightly different (and slower) course with a twisty 1k section on paths. Some wind to cope with too. Fresh from warm weather training with VRAC in Portugal Stu Doyle led the small VRAC contingent home with a M45 win. Impressive first race from Matt Scott (bib 303) who smashed his sub 40 min target. VRAC vests needed Matt!). A nice PB from Clara Pettitt with a few minutes to spare over Dad. There was also a 5k 'fun run'. A 1,2,3 for VRAC with PB's for Nathan Williams sub 17 mins and young Edward Pettitt not far back. The old master Gareth WIlliams in 3rd and Aaron Doyle not far behind. PB and first lady for Debbie Broad. Good day at the office VRAC. FOOTNOTE: Tony Dutton has been added to the 10k results based on his watch as his chip didn't work! Nice run Tony.
PosNameGunChipCat Cat Pos 
5Stu Doyle33:58:0033:58:00M451 
38Matt Scott38:44:0038:42:00M455PB
95Clara Pettitt42:23:0042:20:00SL5PB
104Tony Dutton43:21:0043:21:00   
199Richard Pettitt50:01:0049:53:00M5512 
1Nathan Williams16:59PB 
2Edward Pettitt17:14PB 
3Gareth Williams18:03  
6Aaron Doyle19:03  
13Debbie Broad22:55PB1st Lady


12 April: Well, what a great turnout from VRAC for the first race in the Cheshire Road Race Grand Prix (CRRGP). Great response folks. Fantastic win for Matt Sheen supported brilliantly by two other young athletes Chris WIlliams and Andrew Miles. Despite stopping twice with a crippling stitch James AInsworth PB'd to secure the race team prize for VRAC men. Speedy races from Chris Jones and Mike Harrington will complete the 6 counters for CRRGP and should put VRAC in a very strong position (result awaited). Don't forget those not in the top 6 still made significant contributions by pushing back rival runners from other clubs. Another terrific race from Helen Smith PB and 1st F45 and well done Tony Atkinson who also PB'd. We witnessed a great spritely finish from Colin Rathbone to secure 1st M70. Great to see Pauline Davies running well and setting a new course record for F65. Well done everyone. Next CRRP Mid Cheshore 5K 28 April. Let's keep it going. 
PS: Men are in first place and Ladies 4th place in the CRRGP. See tables below.
PosGunName ChipPosGen PosCatPosAge Time  


2 April: Good weather blessed the runners. It was Katie Brough's first marathon and she led the VRAC contingent home with an excellent sub 3 hour debut. Katie paid tribute to experienced marathoner Rob Olliver who 'planned every training session'. Snowdon Marathon specialist Dave (Spud) Murhpy once again showed his ability over the distance. Deprived of a PB at Manchester in 2014 (course declared short) he ran the full distance even quicker! We haven't seen much of Ian Barker at training but he's clearly been working hard. A superb run taking nealy 9 minutes of the PB he set last year at Chester. Great to see Mary Tavener marathon running again delivering a typically robust performance. Jane Pilliner completed the VRAC line up in what we think was her first experience over the distance delivering a very creditable time. Well done all.
PosNameChip TimeCategoryCat PosGen PosPace 
418Katie BROUGH02:59:38SEN31714.1 km/hPB
775David MURPHY03:11:33V3519973813.2 km/hPB
1229Ian BARKER03:20:40V5075114912.6 km/hPB
3375Mary TAVENER03:51:38V55946610.9 km/h 
4052Jane PILLINER04:05:47V45??10.3 km/hPB


2 April: Three VRAC at this one and three VRAC well under 90 minutes. A very good run from recent Dad Tommy Armstrong despite a frantic search for Rick Murray who had all his kit and his number! With 4 minutes to start time they found each other and Tommy duly stripped in the steet (again).  Rick decided to go ahead with this race despite London Marathon on the horizon in 3 weeks. Obviously in great shape he returned a sizzling performance knocking nearly 4 minutes off his PB.  Jenny Watt whose goal to break 1.25 at Wilmslow was thwarted by being trampled by a horse went tantalizingly close today. Another excellent race from Jenny equalling the PB she set in 2016 at Birmingham to the second! That takes some doing.
Name Gen PosCategoryCat Pos5 Mile10 MileGun Gun PosChip Chip Pos