Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.

Archive January to June 2014

ARLEY HALL SUMMER 10K
 
30 June: Warm conditions for this race organised by Mike Harrington. A good quality field of nearly 500 took part. 
Some excellent performances from VRACers.  Mike would like to thank everyone who helped with marshalling and general organisation Full results here
 
PosNameChipGun
10Tommy Armstrong36.5136.51
16James Ainsworth37.4637.48
29Gemma Barnett39.1939.22
37Gary Weedall39.5039.54
121Richard Murray45.4145.41
128Mary Tavener45.4045.532nd F50
148Debbie Moreton47.4047.53
470Finishers
 
 
 
EUROPEAN TRIATHLON UNION CHAMPIONSHIPS - KITZBUHEL
 
22 June: Congratulations to Craig Sephton who represented GB in the above. Here's his report:
 
Probably one of the most appealing & scenic locations that I've had the opportunity to participate within. Competitors from across Europe were required to have previously qualified at designated events to be eligible to represent their own country during this weekend. Friday & Saturday were a combination of travel, reassembling bike, registration, attending team briefings & transition preparation. The recce of the bike course confirmed to me that the stunning views had to be earned in a series of long, steep uphill sections combined with some very technical downhill sections. I haven't seen crash mats before placed against tree trunks! On the morning, the swim was as I'd expected & some early clear water gained me a 23 min time. I'd decided to ride the bike conservatively to ensure that I'd have at least a pair of running legs which I'd recognise after nearly 900m of climbing over the 40k route & more importantly not using the crash mats on the way down. Back into transition in 1 hour 18 mins. The run felt awkward, uneven gravel paths making holding a constant pace difficult until I hit the road for the last 1.5 k on each of the two laps.
I reminded myself on the second lap of why I was here and hearing supporters shouting out 'Go GB' can't do anything put help push you along the way to a 39 min 10k I attempted to savour as much as I could on the last dash from home, forgetting to grab a Union Jack opting instead for a sprint against a Belgium athlete! Although perhaps not my quickest race I feel immensely proud in so many ways to have represented GB on this occasion".

Finish time 2 hours 28 mins
GB age group position 9th
 
CREWE 5K SERIES - RACE 1
 
27 June: There were five VRACers who managed to dodge all the Friday evening rain to run the first race in this years Crewe 5K series. This is an great race, low key, but well organised, well marshalled and well supported along the course. The highlight of the evenings race was Amelia Pettitt, who was first female and set a new 24 second course record, which was previously held by the second female home Gemma Barnett! Full results can be found here.
 
 Position Name Time Category Cat. Pos
 5 Rob Olliver 17.43 All Men 5
 8 Amelia Pettitt 18.05 Ladies 1
 10 Gemma Barnett 18.33 Ladies 2
 15 John Todd 19.25 V50 2
 27 Clara Pettitt 21.11 Ladies 6
 Finishers: 50
 
ENDURE 24 - ALDERMASTON
 
28/29 June: Endure 24 is a twenty four hour race run over a 5 mile loop of forest trails in the scenic Wasing Park Estate, Aldermaston near Reading. Who else but Alex Mason should be on the start line running it as a 'solo'. In doing so Alex joined the select 100 mile solo club pictured above. Here's how it went " No sooner had the rain abated and we were off but an hour later it started again, thunder and monsoon conditions and I had to put my jacket on. The course was incredibly muddy and slippy, luckily I was wearing my Speedcrosses which kept me upright. 1st marathon (well 25 miles) down in 3:40, next 25 miles in 3:50, another loop and time to stop, fuel, change into dry kit and get ready for the night. The rain had stopped and the course dried out somewhat. Somehow I was lead solo male. Thunder and torrential rain again, I stopped in my tent for the worst to pass and then headed out. The course was a quagmire and difficult to pick a decent line due to the rain and darkness.
Another 3 loops ground out but I'd dropped to 4th.  Another stop, repair busted feet and then back out. My goal was 20 loops (100 mile) and I knew I had plenty of time in the bank to do it. My feet by now were totally destroyed, the slippiness and water had softened them up and it was agony to walk let alone run. I slogged out the last one and called it a day at 100 miles in 21:27, finishing 8th. Basically 100 miles of cross country!" 
 
RECENT FELL RACES - DAVE PHILLIPS
 
Dave Phillips hasn't been seen at training much in recent weeks. Taking it easy Dave? No. He's been mid-week fell racing instead. Here's a summary of his recent exploits.
 
 28/5 Harrock Hill 1 Parbold Lancashire, a cracking little hill race, quite fast and suits roadies, 16th place 

4/6 Boars Head Poynton Cheshire, running through Lyme Park and up onto the moors, a tumble over a style before welsh castles was not a good move, 16th place 

10/6 Up the Beast North Wales, lots of rain made for a slippery course, some rock scrambling, mixed with nice sections of trail running, 5th place 

18/6 Hotfoot up Famau, a lung busting short race, my first race 4 years ago, a fast start not to my liking but 5th place 

25/6 The Daresbury Dash, as the name suggests a ten minute annual lunchtime blast around the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, 1st place but just for fun.

25/6 Harrock Hill 2, all the racing must have paid off, 1 minute faster than Harrock 1 
saying that it was dry.
WARRINGTON 10K
 
26 June:  The 4th race in this years Cheshire GP took place at the Warrington 10k on Thursday. Times were impacted by the twisting and turning course and also the fact that the lead group went the wrong way which cost them c. 40 seconds!! Nevertheless there were still some good performances by the small number of VRAC athletes who turned out. Katie Brough continued her winning streak on the roads with another convincing victory in a course record in the ladies race. Meanwhile Stu Doyle finished 3rd overall and 1st vet in the men's event. He was strongly supported by James Ainsworth, running under 38 mins for the first time, and Geoff Fawkes with a 2 minute PB. The times for James and Geoff suggest significant further improvements to their PB's are likely on faster courses!
 
 
Pos.NameTimeCategory 
3Stu Doyle33.58M401st M40
7Katie Brough34.45SL1st Lady
36James Ainsworth37.47SMPB
172Geoff Fawkes47.13M40PB
362Finishers
 
TOUGH TEAM - TATTENHALL
 
20 June: It was a lovely evening for running up the old railway and there was a fair smattering of Vale Royal vests at the start-line. Eager to go, and right at the front was Darren Cottier with 2 Chester Tri guys. All in a line, were 2 VR teams, Team Pie, Rob Olliver, Dave Phillips and Tommy Armstrong, and Rose between Two Thorns, John Todd, Gemma Barnett and Nick Heywood. Though they weren’t quite so in a line at the end. Bob Corinaldi went round with 2 from Stowmarket Striders, The Funicular (Fun) Boy Three. And Ann, Mary and Jane Lomax were spotted heading out too, named “VR we’re lost”…though I believe they stayed on track this year. Janet Snow ran with a couple of Ellesmere Port RC. Valerie Kinvig, Karen Midgley and Corinne Kinvig made another VR team, “Slow & Easy”. Another VR team was VR Ramblers, consisting of Jeremy Cole, Mark Jones and Robert Archer.

There were 55 teams in all, running this 8.8 mile multi-terrain race. The finishing time being when the all 3 runners of a team have crossed the line. The weather made for a dry run, with plenty of marshals and lots of tape, so no getting lost this year. First VR team home was Team Pie, who got 2nd overall and were the first “non-vet” team. There was some grumbling from the ranks about the necessity to sprint the final 400m when there was no-one in sight behind them, and Dave Phillips lived up to his reputation of being  a true mountain goat on the downhills. Great result, Team Pie. Rose between Two Thorns were the first mixed team home… which hopefully made the wait worth-while for Gemma’s rumbling stomach. Tired, cold, hungry…. never a good combo! Fab running, Rose and Thorns. The Funicular Boy Three then came home, closely followed by VR we’re lost…. clearly they didn’t get lost this year, and they were the 2nd lady vets team too. At 92 min Slow and Easy finished, and rounding up the evening for VR, were Vale Royal Ramblers, a couple of minutes later. A great night of running with a good turn-out for VR. Even man -flu sufferers (ur hmm, Clutty) turned out to support.

 

Name

Runners

Position

Time

Team position

Team Pie

Rob Olliver

6

60:11

2 & 2nd Overall

 

David Phillips

7

60:11

 

 

Tommy Armstrong

8

60:12

 

Rose between Two Thorns

Nick Heywood

22

66:27

9 & 1st Mixed Team

 

Gemma Barnett

26

67:02

 

 

John Todd

27

67:03

 

Last Minute Harrys

Darren Cottier

48

70:47

16

The Funicular (fun) Boy Three

Bob Corinaldi

94

78:54

31

VR we’re lost

Ann Bundeberg

100

79:50

34

 

Mary Taverner

101

79:50

 

 

Jane Lomax

102

79:50

 

Julia, Nicola & Janet

Janet Snow

147

92:29

49

Slow & Easy

Valerie Kinvig

148

92:29

50

 

Corinne Kinvig

149

92:30

 

 

Karen Midgley

150

92:31

 

Vale Royal Ramblers

Jeremy Cole

154

95:04

52

 

Mark Jones

155

95:04

 

 

Robert Archer

156

95:04

 

TRAIL MARATHON WALES (TMW)
 
 
22 June: The two David's...Haines and Shepherd... were brave (or foolish) enough to tackle this incredibly tough marathon. Here's their report:  Right in the heart of Snowdonia National Park, Coed y Brenin is base for the race which is now in its third year. Each year the organisers change the route slightly to keep even the most experienced trail runners on their toes. The reviews on the race website described the race as brutal and epic! Surely an exaggeration to sell entries. The race started at the visitors centre, the route would follow a figure of eight, two out and back loops joined at the visitors centre. All runners, (half marathon and full marathon) running the same first loop, marathon runners would run through the visitors centre and then head out to the opposite side of the valley for the second loop. Coed y Brenin has four way marked running trails, all starting at the visitors centre. The longest is a half marathon route which this year formed the first half of TMW. In previous years it has been the second half and includes the killer one mile climb that took Dave Shepherd 30 minutes last year (Dave had a score to settle this year). The second half of the 2014 route was over the world renowned Red Bull mountain bike course which today was closed to riders for the first time ever to accommodate the race. At 9am in the heat of the natural amphitheater the marathon was started by the local game keeper firing a single shot from his rifle. Runners were on there way, through the cheering crowds of the visitors centre and immediately into a climb for two miles, fire roads for the first 250 m then earthy single track through the forest. Dave Haines and Dave Shepherd set off together, by the end of the climb Dave S was 20m ahead and the first downhill lay ahead. Dave S was out of sight by the end of the first down hill section, a combination of fire road and single track which seemed to drop much further than they had climbed. The route was living up to its billing. Dave shepherd went through half way at 1:52 in 47th place, Dave Haines went through half way at 2:03 in 89th place. The next couple of miles climbed back out of the valley over technical rocking paths rather than the earthy trails of the first half. The heat had taken its toll on Dave Haines and at 16 miles the prospect of walking the remaining 10 miles was enough to stop the watch and record his first ever DNF. Dave Shepherd was enjoying his own battle hill,  determined to beat the course this time round. Working in a group Dave dug deep and finished 51st in 4:05:21 taking nearly an hour of last years time. 309 finishers and 40 DNF's. Brutal, Epic, that's an understatement. Next year there will be three events, a winter event, a night event and the full and half marathon will return in June 2015. However Coed y Brenin is open all year round, for the price of the car park you could run the way marked half marathon any day of the year.
 
DUNHAM MASSEY 5K
 
19 June:  A strong turnout from the ladies section ( including a rare road appearance from Katie Brough rewarded with a PB) and good conditions at last night’s Dunham Massey 5k, which is run on a multi-terrain course,  resulted in some good times and a number of category wins.
 
PosNameCatCat PosTime
5DOYLE, StuartMale Vet 40115.54
11BROUGH, KatieSenior Lady 116.44
35PETTITT, AmeliaJunior Lady218.09
82BROAD, ChloeJunior Lady620.11
91SMITH, HelenLady Vet 45120.37
95DUNN, ValerieLady Vet 55120.40
139TAVENER, MaryLady Vet 50322.08
186PETTITT, RichardMale Vet 502524.57
 
 
HOLLINS GREEN 5K
 
14 June: No official results yet but all 4 VRACers were on the prize list!  Stu Doyle finishing 3rd overall (16.04), Mike Harrington getting the 1st V40 prize and Mary Taverner first V50 ... and most important of all the 4th member of the VRAC contingent - Aaron Doyle won the Fun Run!!) 
 
ETAPE EYRI
 
15 June: VRAC members get up to various antics for their kicks. On Sunday Jo Edwards completed this grueling 103 mile road race on her bike. It's around Snowdonia and includes the infamous Pen y Pass. 7 hours 43 minutes of pain. Well done Jo. 
 
WELSH CASTLES RELAY
 
7/8 June: Another fantastic Welsh Castles weekend. Started off with torrential rain, ended with torrential rain, interspersed with sun, sweat, stage wins, fish and chips and early morning wake-up calls. Tommy Armstrong started the day, to quote him, “went well 6th on my leg”. Toddy had a wet one, to say the least, on leg 2, but I didn’t hear any chuntering as he flew down the hill to the finish, past some very soggy VR marshalls. Clutty, in his spangly trainers, didn’t let black skies deter him and had a cracking Leg 3, running 6:45 miling on the flat, and then someone put a mountain in the way which slowed him a little. Steve Caldwell didn’t let his injured shoulder slow him and maintained his “finish in the top 10 at Castles” record, taking 7th on Leg 4. Craig Sephton continued the top 10 finishes, with 8th on Leg 5, and also got the sun to come out, sustaining sunburn whilst others were still drying out from marshalling Leg 2! Gemma had an amazing run on Leg 6, winning the Stage, though swears she wasn’t sick over the wall afterwards… “it was the coldest thing to lean over, to cool down”. Dave Phillips was looking very hot on Leg 7 and running strong, but perhaps was missing his usual off-road, fell-type terrain, though Leg 7 ain’t exactly flat! Colin had a great run on Leg 8, as usual smiling and waving for the camera. Leg 9 was Dave Murphy, who as usual ran a very strong and consistent race and even managed to save something for a sprint up the hill at the finish. Rob Olliver finished the day in great form on Leg 10, doing the hilliest road half marathon he’s ever done, and taking 11th place, picking off runners all the way through his run.  After some freezing showers, courtesy of Newtown Leisure centre, giving the local chippy a booster income for one night, and a lovely pub visit, it was back to it on Day 2 with Matt Sweeting starting it all off. It was lovely to see Matt running, after missing last year with injury. His strong form and measured pace got him a great 12.3 miles “Sunday morning run” in, albeit a tad faster than his usual Sunday outings!  Bob Corinaldi and Darren Cottier looked focused  on their legs, with Darren taking a respectable 14th, and then Graham Miles took on the Drover’s leg. “Started off steady and then wound it up for the end”, according to Graham. Dave Haines and Dave Shepherd continued the day, in sunshine and decent form, to bring the race to Josh who stepping in at the last minute, gave the team a great 13th place on his leg, and had “nothing more left, and ran the last 2 miles on empty”. Broughie woke people up with his speedy finish on Leg 18, taking a superb 9th place. Carole ensured that Day 2 wasn’t all about the men, being the sole female contributor on that day, taking Leg 19 in her stride. Nick Haywood brought the Team into Cardiff with great finish, albeit competing with torrential rain. Can you run a bit quicker next time, Nick, to finish before the rain arrives?! Vale Royal ended with 18th overall, 16th in the Open Category. We were soaked within an hour of the start at Carnarvon and soaked for driving home from Cardiff, but what a great weekend. Same time, same place next year folks.
Full results can be found here. A link to Dropbox photo's can be found here, here and also here.
StageLegDistanceNamePositionTimeClass Pos.
1Caernarfon Castle to Penygroes9.1Tommy Armstrong659.485
2Penygroes to Ciccieth Castle10.7John Todd241.10.1819
3Ciccieth Castle to Maentwrog12.3Paul Clutterbuck521.31.3537
4Maentwrog to Harlech Castle9.5Steve Caldwell758.175
5Harlech Castle to Barmouth9.6Craig Sephton81.01.067
6Barmouth to Dolgellau10.7Gemma Barnett (Stage Winner)171.11.4814
7 Dolgellau to Dinas Mawddwy9.1Dave Phillips281.06.3125
8Dinas Mawddwy to Foel10.8Colin Rathbone461.22.3434
9Foel to Llanfair Caereinion8.6Dave Murphy1554.4712
10Llanfair Caereinion to Newtown13.1Rob Olliver111.23.239
11Newtown to Llanbadarn Fynydd12.3Matt Sweeting271.25.1721
12Llanbadarn Fynydd to Crossgates11.2Bob Corinaldi381.23.1234
13Crossgates to Builth Wells10.6Darren Cottier141.07.3811
14Builth Wells to Drovers Arms10.8Graham Miles351.15.3329
15Drovers Arms to Brecon12.8Dave Haines401.32.2529
16Brecon to Beacons Reservoir8.8Dave Sheppard241.01.1021
17Beacons Reservoir to Merthyr Tydfil9.2Josh131.00.1611
18Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon9.1Ian Brough956.598
19Abercynon to Caerphilly Castle7.7Carole Williams551.10.1338
20Caerphilly Castle to Bute Park (Cardiff Castle)10.7Nick Heywood271.10.0222
Overall18th out of 64 (16th Open Team)
 
POTTERS ARF
 
8 June: Tough day at the office for Stu Doyle at this tough and very hilly half marathon. Hence not his usual super quick time but still vets winner and 5th overall in 77.09. Mile splits varying from 5.17 to 7.06 show just how hilly the course was. Well done skip.
 
SANDSTONE TRAIL RACE
 
7 June:  The race follows the 33 miles of the way-marked Sandstone Trail from beginning to end, apart from a minor variation at the end to finish at the Community Centre in Frodsham. Alex Mason's sort of race. Great result in slippery conditions finishing 4th in 5 hours 12 minutes just 3 minutes behind the winner. Here's his report "Arrived by coach at Whitchurch and greeted with thunder, lightning and heavy rain. 3 miles out, the bridge was up to cross the canal and 250 runners flagged down a passing barge to lower it. Going was tough, muddy and slippy, made a bad shoe choice. In 2nd at 33K, then it started raining again, thought no jacket as was quite refreshing. Dodgy turning in Delamere lost me time and I ended 4th, 5:12, 3 min behind 1st but 40 min improvement on last year." Full results here.
 
OUTLAW HALF IRONMAN
 

Craig Sephton tackled this one improving on last years time and below his target of 5 hours. Here's his report... Pretty much perfect conditions for those participating in this now annual Half IM event. Although the heat did increase throughout the morning to influence the latter part of the run on an exposed course. By my own standards I had an average swim. I then rode to plan on the bike maintaining an average of 22 mph over the 57 miles hoping that I’d be able to hop off and maintain a steady 7 min / mile pace for the 13 mile run. Things were definitely going my way until mile 10 when I could feel the fatigue setting in and then the last 2 miles just became a real effort to move forward at any recognised pace whilst I frustratingly knew that I was losing time to the clock I was able to improve on last years’ time by a few minutes, so in hindsight not all bad in a mornings work.

 

Swim 32 mins

Bike 2 hr 40 mins

Run 1 hr 39 mins

 

Finish time 4 hrs 57 mins         
 
WINCLE TROUT FELL RACE
 
31 May:  A smaller field of Vale Royal athletes than usual at Wincle this year.  James Ainsworth, Dave Haines and Bob Corinaldi, braved this years race over a route said to be the toughest of the three different circuits used for the event. The organisers had also thrown in different start just to confuse everyone. Starting right at the top of the valley the start area gives panoramic views  of what lies ahead. First, a steep sharp drop down hill to the bottom of the valley, (muddy very tight paths) then a River crossing ( first photo opportunity) followed by two miles of technical forest paths. (Bob being careful not to twist his ankle again) A killer climb back to the top. Then the long down hill through fields and woods that makes all the hard-work worthwhile. Two more serious climbs with the final climb in front of the grandstand like finish with family and friends cheering every step finish the circuit off with a fresh trout waiting at the finish line. Great run from James finishing right up in the top half of the field showing his strong commitment to training making for a strong performance just a week after gaining a new pb at 5k. Next home was Dave followed closely by Bob treading carefully with castles only a week away.
 
PosTimeCatCat Pos
41James Ainsworth51.02M19
111Dave Haines57.57M4042
123Bob Corinaldi58.40M4046
340Finishers
 
 
 
ITU TRIATHLON
 
1 June: Congratulations to Jo Edwards who completed the "ITU World Series Olympic distance triathlon in London today in a time of 2.45, the highlight of the whole day was a great swim and the run into the finish on 'THAT' blue carpet. What an experience!"  2 hrs 45 min 16 secs. Well done Jo. Ironman next! Footnote: Jo was second in her age category!!
 
SplitTimePlace
Swim00:36:23256
Trans 100:04:59116
Bike01:12:20119
Trans 200:02:38103
Run00:48:5897
 
SWIM MARATHON LAKE DORNEY
 
26 May: We all know what Sophie Rees has been through with injury and disappointment... broken foot days before the Rome marathon. So, her achievement this weekend will be of interest and inspiration to all her VRAC clubmates. Deprived (for now) of running Sophie turned her attention to the swimming equivalent of the marathon. A 10k open water swim at Lake Dorney (remember the Olympic rowing?). She clocked 2.37.01 finishing 6th female and 35th overall. Well done Sophie. You are an inspiration to us all. 
 
FLYING FOX MARATHON - KNIGHTON, SHROPSHIRE
 
25 May: A special good luck to Colin Rathbone who is running the challenging and rural Flying Fox marathon on Sunday - start 9.30 am. Hills will be frequent. Support will be infrequent... but, of course, Carole on her bike will be flitting from point to point... Colin's goal is to obtain a good for age qualifying time for M70 to secure a London Marathon place in 2015. GOOD LUCK COL.
 

Colin Rathbone and Mark Pilliner were the only Vale Royalers to tackle this undulating rural  marathon around the country lanes of Staffordshire & Shropshire.  A very well organised event by Stone Master Marathoners ensured a trouble-free race.  Weather was kind during the race - lots of surface water about but in the main good running conditions. New member Mark Pilliner training for an Iron Man Triathlon in Wales ran soundly to go under 4 hours. Colin Rathbone who promised himself no more marathons after London 2011 decided to try and get a "good for age" time for London 2015. With the support of Carole, Ian Brough & family and Col's son Adam (plus all the good luck messages from Club members), Col managed to achieve his goal in style, well done Col.
 

 Gun Position

NameTimeCatCat Pos
24Colin Rathbone3.28.24V701
75    Mark Pilliner     3.57.19           V45 

CHRISTLETON 5K - CHESHIRE
 
23 May: The Christleton 5k on Friday night was the 3rd race in this year's Cheshire GP series and saw an excellent turnout by VRAC runners with numerous PB's and a couple of age category wins. Leading the way was Chris Perry, making his debut at this distance on the roads and beating a number of the region's top road runners with a superb 3rd place in 14.44 which is a new club record. Also running a PB ( according to Po10), and in the process achieving an age category win in the W55's, was Val Dunn whilst Helen Smith managed the same feat in the W45's, narrowly missing out on the sub 20 minute barrier. New lifetime bests were achieved by several other runners from the club but particular mention goes to Mike Harrington (beating perennial rivals Olliver and Armstrong), James Ainsworth and Jayne Lomax who all took significant chunks off their previous marks. James' new PB suggests a serious threat to the established rivalry between Mike, Rob, Tommy and Mike Carroll in upcoming races. Full results can be found here.
 
 Pos Name Gun Time Cat Chip Time Cat. Pos
 3 Chris Perry 14.45 M 14.44 3
 23 Stuart Doyle 15.55 MV40 15.54 3
 73 Mike Harrington 17.04 MV40 17.01 (PB) 10
 91 Rob Olliver 17.29 M 17.23 54
 92 Tommy Armstrong 17.31 M 17.27 55
 105 Mike Carroll 17.43 M 17.40 61
 106 James Ainsworth 17.45 M 17.38 (PB) 62 
 200 John Carroll 20.11 MV50 19.57 13
 202 Helen Smith  20.14 FV45 20.01 (PB) 1
 209 John Clarke 20.24 MV60 20.09 4
 210 Bob Corinaldi 20.26 MV45 20.10 28
 219 Clara Pettitt  20.44 FU20 20.27 3
 228 Val Dunn 20.59 FV55 20.43 (PB) 1
 267 Geoff Fawkes 21.58 MV40 21.35 35
 276 Jayne Lomax 22.23 FV45 22.03 (PB) 10
 309 Chris Griffiths 24.32 MV55 24.08 10
 315 Richard Pettitt 25.11 MV50 24.47 21

CHESHIRE T&F CHAMPIONSHIPS & LOUGHBOROUGH INTERNATIONAL
 
18 May:    A first for the senior site but we hope to report more T&F senior results in future.   Superb sprinting by Ryan Stringer and Ian Billinge at the Cheshire T&F Championships with Ryan settingtwo new senior club records and winning a bronze medal in the process!   PB's all round!  Ian is now ranked 7th in the UK M45 cat.
 
100m
3Ryan Stringer11.32 (PB)
Ian Billinge12.16 (PB)
200m
Ryan Stringer23.21 (PB)
Ian Billinge24.90 (PB)
 
Mike Vennard running as a guest in the 3000m s/c in Loughborough International came 5th in a high class field with a big pb of 9.05.34 which takes him to the top of the under 20 rankings for 2014 - brilliant performance!
 
BUPA MANCHESTER 10K 
 18 May: Very, very hot in Manchester. Scott Bamber has history with heat (Wilmslow half last year?) and this time he passed out and fell at 8.5k eventually walked to the finish (and thus did post a time!!) spent 2 hours on a drip, oxygen and an ice blanket and had stitches to his eye. More importantly, Mrs Bamber faired well in her first ever 10k and beat Scott by over 2 hours! Well done Maxine. Steve Caldwell, despite his high finishing position was not happy that the conditions had been against a faster time. Well done also to Fiona Twist and Chris Griffiths (who also ran the Vets relays the day before). Best wishes to Scott for his recovery (rumour has it he is considering the Marathon des Sables).
 
PosNameTime
190Steve Caldwell38.32
3223Fiona Twist49.15
9339Chris Griffiths57.20
20996Maxine Bamber1.13.19
27684Scott Bamber3.33.20!!!!
 
 
 
CHESTER HALF MARATHON
 
18 May: Warm, windy and some sneeky hills made this a tough one. Some excellent performances though with a great 5th overall and category win for Stu Doyle. A battle royal between the next 5 VRACers, all finishing within about 3 minutes. Craig Sephton prevailed with a superb PB and big confidence booster for his upcoming International triathlon. David Shepherd next after a fast run the day before at the Vets relays. As has become customary James Ainsworth was stride for stride with Craig up to the halfway point to finish with an excellent time. Looks like Kate Titlow and Gemma Barnett crossed the line just about together with a PB for Kate just breaking the 90 minute barrier. Bob Corinaldi picked up a late entry and ran well to complete the VRAC contingent. Full results here.
 
PosNameGend PosCatCat Pos10kHalf10 MileGun TimeChip Time
5Stu Doyle5M40+100:34:2900:36:2200:55:3301:13:4501:13:45
77Craig Sephton76M40+1900:41:1200:43:2301:05:5001:26:2401:26:19PB
95David Shepherd93M45+1200:41:1400:43:2801:06:3301:27:3201:27:27
123James Ainsworth119MOPEN7500:41:1300:43:2301:06:5101:28:5701:28:52
158Kate Titlow5FOPEN400:41:0800:43:2401:07:3701:30:0001:29:58PB
159Gemma Barnett6FOPEN500:41:4400:44:0301:07:5701:30:0201:29:57
1107Bob Corinaldi993M45+12200:50:0200:52:4801:22:1101:49:1901:47:41
 
BRITISH MASTERS ROAD RELAYS - SUTTON PARK
 
17 May: Beautiful (if rather warm for running) weather at Sutton Park. Thanks to Colin Rathbone for sterling effort to organise teams. VRAC fielded 4 complete teams and one incomplete team, 17 runners in total. Congratulation to Val Dunn for her medal to recognise the 3rd fastest leg in the W55 category. Great to see Andy Carter and Shaun McGrath racing again. Shaun pulled a calf muscle in the early stages and had to hobble the rest of his leg for the sake of the team! Also great to see Iain Stanton back. Also hats off to David Shepherd and Chris Griffiths who stepped in despite an appointment at Chester Half marathon the following day. Full results here.
 
W 55Val Dunn20.31*M45Chris Griffiths24.42
Carole Williams25.58Richard Pettitt24.54
Pauline Davies29.11
Incomplete team
* 3rd fastest medal
4th out of 10 complete teamsM55Tony Archer19.52
John Clarke20.31
M35Dave Haines20.06James Edwards19.5
Matt Sweeting18.09
Iain Stanton21.3118th out of 29 complete teams
David Shepherd18.18
  M65Andy Carter20.27
Darren Cottier17.53Shaun McGrath29.45
Colin Rathbone21.48
30th out of 36 complete teams
13th out of 17 complete teams
 
 
WAVERTREE MYSTERY 5K SERIES - RACE 1
 
 
13 May: Four senior men decided to go for a Tuesday blow out at this excellent low key (and cheap... £2 entry fee!) race. The race is 3 laps on tarmac paths in the park outside the impressive facilities of Liverpool Harriers. Sunny breezy conditions. Mike Harrington narrowly prevailed over the returning to form Tommy Armstrong. Likewise, Tony Archer narrowly prevailed over the returning to form James Edwards! All seemed happy with their times.  Good fun.
 
PosNameTime
14Mike Harrington17.52
15Tommy Armstrong17.55
31Tony Archer19.19
40James Edwards19.37
149Finishers
  
MOW COP KILLER MILE
 
8 May: Run since 1982 this "brief but brutal" race breaks into several different sections - a gentle first 1/4 mile away from the level crossing, then a 1-in-5 section up to Birch Tree Lane. A steady climb up through the fields in full view of the horrors to come, and at last the truly killer bit - the 1-in-4 section past the most popular spectator spot. A dynamic trio of Messrs Richard Pettit, Paul Hudson and John Davies showed the youngters what to do on a Wednesday evening. Official results awaited but Richard reckons he was sub 12 and Paul and John sub 14. Well done fellas. 
 
UTTOXETER HALF MARATHON
 
4 May: Described as undulating understates this race, the hill at 6.5 miles is like running up to the mast at Delamere, rewarded with beautiful views over the Staffordshire countryside.  Colin (in training for The Flying Fox Marathon on 25 May) and Carole who decided at the last minute to show solidarity. A brace of age category wins for this inspiring duo.

117            Colin Rathbone                  1.41.32                lst over 70

305            Carole Williams                 2.11.33               1st over 60

Total 344 finishers. 
 
 
CONTI LIGHTENING 12 HR RACE - CATTON PARK
 
3 May: How many people would 'pop' across to Leicestershire for a Park run (and running an 18.42 PB) and 'stumble across' a 12 hour endurance race the following day. Alex Mason of course.  An amazing performance at the Conti Lightening 12 hour race on undulating 10k trail loops in Staffordshire. Alex went through 100k in 9 hours 20 mins knocking 2 hours off his previous 100k best... and went on for some more to finish a brilliant second place.  Read the full details of his experience on the Message Board. Big respect Alex. Well done. 
 
 
THREE PEAKS FELL RACE
 
26 April: Never one to choose easy races Dave Phillips returned to tackle this tough fell race once again. Here's his report: "A slow start left me well down in the pack as we made our way up to Pen y Ghent. I regretted the decision to start in a waterproof, so this was taken off before before the summit. Pen y Gent summit checkpoint 5.93km in 38 mins. Slippery off the top, running for one hour and struggling to find a rhythm as the course is quite muddy, I fell down a grassy descent, luckily uninjured and onto Ribblehead checkpoint, 18.4km 1hr 35mins. Through the stream and up to Whernside summit which is very wet and boggy; I find the best way to make progress is to crawl the steep bits. Through the checkpoint on top and a massive side wind makes it difficult to stay on the single track and then navigate the rocky descent to Hill Inn Checkpoint. One more summit to go and feeling good I start to push for a sub 4hr run and hold it together up onto Ingleborough summit at 30.3km, 3hrs 16mins. Relieved not to have blown up like last year I start to relax and enjoy the 40 minute downhill run home and pip an Altrincham and Spartan runner in the last few K's.
I cross the line in 3.55.41 with 37.4km and 5279 ft ascent covered, in 120th and beating my previous PB by 9mins 18 secs.".    
 
SHAKESPEARE MARATHON - STRATFORD
 
27 April: Not sure if Nick Haywood needs to see a physiotherapist or a psychiatrist. Probably both. Having run two 20 mile races (Stafford and Trimpell) in his build up to the Virgin London Marathon he went on to race the Shakespeare Marathon just 2 weeks after London!  Finishing 87th in a creditable time of 3.20.20 Nick improved his London time by 13 minutes. Great effort Nick, but now will you consider a REST?? To be or not to be: that is the question Nick...
 
ROUND THE RUNWAY - MOBBERLEY 
 
20 Apr: This Thursday’s training session appear to have relocated to Mobberley, judging by the numbers of VR runners. Great turn out and some equally great running.  It was a busy start, with Mike Harrington flying off like a scalded cat (“enthusiastic” according to Helen), but was caught and passed by Steve Caldwell and Rob who ran as a strong pair for the majority of the race. Mike consoled himself with carrot cake. Zack Bamber was first VR home. Steve got a 31 second PB. Tony survived a hamstring pull. James (Edwards) lets Tony have this one, though in another ongoing battle, it was Scott 1, Tony 0. Col had a great sprint finish, and Clutty looked strong after London’s efforts. Tho he was disappointed there were no bikini-clad ladies to tape him up last night. Sound running from many others too, Dave Haines now having raced twice since London marathon less than 2 weeks ago, has promised to have a rest! In the ladies, very well-done to Kate Moulds who won the ladies field. Fab running.  Carole was the only other VR lady, who won her age category and seemed happy with her run.
 
Gun PositionNameTimeCatCat Pos
16Zack Bamber31.03U201
20Steve Caldwell31.27 (PB)M
21Rob Olliver31.32M
27Mike Harrington32.01MV405
29Kate Moulds32.03L201
57Alex Mason33.37M
63Scott Bamber34.01MV458
65Tony Archer34.06MV552
79James Edwards34.44
102Dave Haines35.54MV4019
143John Clarke37.54MV603
159Paul Clutterbuck38.27MV4522
167Colin Rathbone38.46MV702
314Paul Hudson46.10MV6012
328Carole Williams46.59FV601
Finishers:430
 
AIR PRODUCTS 10k - CREWE
 
20 Apr: VRAC had a reasonable number of runners out at Sunday's Crewe 10k. Although the course is a fast and flat one conditions were wet and fairly windy which meant the number of PB's was particularly notable. Stu Doyle won the race fairly comfortably in just under 33 mins and was followed home by Nathan Tipping running superbly in his first ever 10k to finish 6th overall. Next club runner home was Rob Olliver who admitted to still be suffering from his excellent performance in Rome but still managed to beat his time in this event last year by 1 1/2 minutes which shows his improvement. Amelia Pettitt was 4th lady home, narrowly missing out on 3rd spot and her PB. Dave Haines defied conventional logic by even competing just 1 week after running London and then proceeded to knock 20 seconds off his PB!! Clara Pettitt showed the benefits of her recent training stint in Portugal by producing a strong performance running just outside 44 mins. Following Clara was Sula Stanley who smashed her PB by an enormous 4 1/2 minutes.Having already done the 5k fun run (and been beaten by his 3rd child - Ed was 2nd in that event in an excellent 19.10) Richard Pettitt completed the team and the family turnout. Not to be outdone even Mrs Pettitt did her bit by walking to the race to support her clan!!
 
PositionNameTimeCat
1Stuart Doyle32:53MV40
6Nathan Tipping34:18 PBM
27Rob Olliver36:51M
48Amelia Pettitt38:21F
79David Haines40:50MV40
123Clara Pettitt44:02F
164Sula Stanley47:11 PBFV40
259Richard Pettitt54:09MV50
Finishers:327

 

OMG LONG GOOD FRIDAY RUN ULTRA
 
18 Apr:  Alex Mason's first Ultra of the year (Athletezoneuk.com). Here's his report..."Basically six hours to do as many one mile loops as you want at Haigh Country Park, Wigan. My goal was 40 miles based on SST. Set off and after first 3 loops stopped for quick drink every loop and then feed every 1/2 hr. Got to marathon distance in 3:25 which was OK.  The lad in first dropped at 32 miles and I started to flag a bit mainly due to the heat.  For the next six miles I was leading but then the guy behind me was closing fast, I knew I wouldn't hold him off. I made my 40 mile goal and looking back now I could have got in a couple more but don't we always think we could have done better?" Alex finished in second place with 40 miles in 5hrs 41 minutes. The winner completing 43 miles in 6 hours. 
 
CHESTER SPRING 5
 
16 Apr:  Wednesday saw a superb turnout of 20 runners from VRAC for the 2nd of this year's Cheshire GP races - GP standings are still awaited but his should put us well up in the standings, particularly in the men's competition. The strong turnout also meant some great intra club battles throughout the field which undoubtedly spurred people onto some fast times, numerous PB's and a couple of club records - although it may also have contributed to the fact that virtually every runner "complained" that their first 2 miles were far too fast and that they were "hanging on" for the last couple of miles! Particularly noteworthy were the age group victories for the Col/ Carole duo - the former clearly enjoying his recent move into his new age category! Full results here.
 
 
Pos.NameTimeCategoryCat Pos
4Stu Doyle26.29M401
8Chris Standidge27.20SM
29Mike Carroll29.10SM
32Mike Harrington29.20M40
38Tommy Armstrong29.44M35
46Darren Cottier30.05M40
48Steve Caldwell30.10SM
52Craig Sephton30.21M40
62Graham Miles31.16M45
77Scott Bamber31.42M45
105Gary Weedall33.02M50
136John Clarke34.46M603
180Mary Tavener36.25L502
185Colin Rathbone36.29M701
204Simon Bridge37.15M45
221Barry Chambers37.52M60
229Jayne Lomax38.17L45
246Geoff Fawkes39.10M40
251Pete Maher39.43M55
299Carole Williams44.31L601
334Finishers
 
WHITLEY 10K - CHESHIRE
 
13 Apr: Apart from the wave of VR runners who travelled to London, there were three VRACers racing a lot closer to home. The conditions were pretty good, if not a little windy, but Cheshire didn't have the heat of London. Craig Sefton was first home for VR with an impressive time, only being seconds off going under 38minutes. Craig apparently made a 'schoolboy' error and misjudged the finish, costing him a few seconds, but good pacing saw him still get a PB (unofficial, awaiting confirmation from Craig). The next home was Pippa Grey, finishing an impressive 2nd category position and 5th female overall and then it was down to Laura Ackerley to round it off for the VR trio. Full results here.
 
PosNameTimeChip Time
Category
Cat Pos
Gender Pos
14Craig Sefton00:38:03 00:38:03 MV40 614

103               Pippa Grey                00:45:02                 00:45:02        F                      2                  5

287               Laura Ackerley          00:57:41                 00:57:41        FV35                 22                 59

Finishers: 358 


BLACKPOOL HALF MARATHON
 
06 Apr: This is one we missed among the excitement of Manchester Marathon. John Carroll travelled up to Blackpool for a very windy race along the sea front. Due to the conditions, he didn't run as quickly as had hoped. Still a good time, with a third place age category finish. Well done John.
 
PosNameTimeChip TimeCategoryCat PosGender Pos
40John Carroll01:34:3001:34:20MV50338

VIRGIN LONDON MARATHON
 
 
13 April: Some outstanding performances from the 9 VRACers. Beautiful sunny conditions, although not scorching, were warmer than ideal for some. Ian Brough has quietly trained very well and was rewarded with a superb race to post one of 5 PB's on the day. Dave Haines stated his determination to stick to his race plan and ran very consistent splits to overtake several of his VRAC club mates in the second half of the race and even managing a sprint finish to squeeze under the good for age time. Perhaps the most outstanding race of the day came from Helen Smith who ran within herself in the first half and steadily moved through the field in the second half to post a 10 min PB and 38th in her category. Next, Gemma Barnett posting another excellent race followed by Dad Old' John Todd who ran yet another very respectable marathon, although he found the warm conditions sapping in the latter stages. Likewise, Nick Haywood, through halfway in a great time, suffered from about 15 miles. Paul Clutterbuck has struggled with hamstring problems and had considered deferring his entry. Held together with 'gaffa tape' (sorry kinesiology tape) applied by an attractive blond at the expo he decided to race but with no expectation of breaking his target 4 hours. Through halfway just under 2 hours he went on to run the only reverse split of the day to post a 3 minute PB! Mel Johnson has struggled during the build up but savoured the true challenge of the marathon to finish exhausted but happy (until she heard the Man City result). A very creditable debut marathon for Steph Cooper saw the VRAC contingent home.  Well done every one of you. Whether you clocked the time you hoped for or not be proud of your effort and achievement.
 
PosNameChip TimeCatCat Pos13.1m
2109Ian Brough3.08.26M404311.31.13PB
2860Dave Haines3.14.29M405891.35.19
3193Helen Smith3.17.3345-49381.37.23PB
3544Gemma Barnett3.20.1518-392211.34.07
3971John Todd3.23.3650-543191.37.00
5592Nick Haywood3.33.0118-3923631.31.59
10538Paul Clutterbuck3.55.5445-4912401.59.46PB
12628Mel Johnson4.03.5518-3916461.54.22PB
32845Steph Cooper5.55.4318-3969292.44.12PB
 
GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
 
Good luck to all our London Marathoners this weekend. Gemma Barnett, Ian Brough, Paul Clutterbuck, Steph Cooper, Dave Haines, Nick Haywood, Mel Johnson, John Todd and Helen Smith. Miles and miles of training under your belts. Now just enjoy your race. 
 
ASICS GREATER MANCHESTER MARATHON - MANCHESTER
 
 
 
06 Apr: A cool and cloudy day provided excellent running conditions for the flattest marathon in the UK. Four VRACers appreciated superb support from many VRAC club mates and friends at various points on the course. Dave 'Spud' Murphy has proved his ability to judge a marathon at Snowdon and paced this race superbly finishing strongly to post a 10 minute PB. Tony Archer was delighted to be well under his target of 3.20 which he felt could have been better but for severe leg cramp in the last 6 miles. James Ainsworth debut marathon was he said 'interesting'. Starting at well under 7 min miling and finishing at over 9 min miling with bleeding nipples James experienced putting mind and body in a place that is the domain of the few who tackle true endurance events. A very good debut nonetheless and much more to come next time. John Clarke in his first marathon for a few years was hoping for 3.45 and was just about spot on with characteristically solid performance.  This can be recommended as an excellent marathon for those who want an alternative to London. Photo's added to the gallery.
 
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeCatCat Pos10k13.1m20m
430Dave Murphy3.11.523.11.23SM44.181.32.222.22.46
498Tony Archer3.13.263.12.59V55944.081.31.562.21.53
888James Ainsworth3.25.373.25.06SM43.241.32.262.26.56
1888John Clarke3.46.493.45.31V601751.251.48.382.48.44
6902Finishers
 
 
STANFORD INVITATIONAL - CALIFORNIA
 
5 April: VRAC can be proud to have had 2 female athletes competing at this prestigious track event in recent years. Katie Brough made the long trip for the 5000m and was rewarded with a superb 20 second PB of 15.29 and 5th place in a high quality field of 26 athletes. Wondering who the other lady was? Nicky Archer 2009 and 2010 in the 10000 metres.
 
WOMENS NATIONAL 6-STAGE ROAD RELAYS - SUTTON PARK - BIRMINGHAM

5 April: A memorable day for Vale Royal women's 6-stage road relay team in this premier event.  A class team comprising Kate Moulds, Amelia Pettitt, Jade Evans, Emma Pyatt, Emma Cox & Tessa McCormick achieved 16th place overall (5th northern club) the Club's highest placing to date.  Forty clubs fielded full teams - a truly great performance - beating clubs such as Leeds City, Oxford and Trafford to name a few.  

Well done girls a brilliant team effort.  Full results on race-results.co.uk, photos on Bryan Dales site soon.
 
 
AIR PRODUCTS 10k - CREWE
 
20 Apr: VRAC had a reasonable number of runners out at Sunday's Crewe 10k. Although the course is a fast and flat one conditions were wet and fairly windy which meant the number of PB's was particularly notable. Stu Doyle won the race fairly comfortably in just under 33 mins and was followed home by Nathan Tipping running superbly in his first ever 10k to finish 6th overall. Next club runner home was Rob Olliver who admitted to still be suffering from his excellent performance in Rome but still managed to beat his time in this event last year by 1 1/2 minutes which shows his improvement. Amelia Pettitt was 4th lady home, narrowly missing out on 3rd spot and her PB. Dave Haines defied conventional logic by even competing just 1 week after running London and then proceeded to knock 20 seconds off his PB!! Clara Pettitt showed the benefits of her recent training stint in Portugal by producing a strong performance running just outside 44 mins. Following Clara was Sula Stanley who smashed her PB by an enormous 4 1/2 minutes. Having already done the 5k fun run (and been beaten by his 3rd child - Ed was 2nd in that event in an excellent 19.10) Richard Pettitt completed the team and the family turnout. Not to be outdone even Mrs Pettitt did her bit by walking to the race to support her clan!!
 
PositionNameTimeCat
1Stuart Doyle32:53MV40
6Nathan Tipping34:18 PBM
27Rob Olliver36:51M
48Amelia Pettitt38:21F
79David Haines40:50MV40
123Clara Pettitt44:02F
164Sula Stanley47:11 PBFV40
259Richard Pettitt54:09MV50
Finishers:327

 

OMG LONG GOOD FRIDAY RUN ULTRA
 
18 Apr:  Alex Mason's first Ultra of the year (Athletezoneuk.com). Here's his report..."Basically six hours to do as many one mile loops as you want at Haigh Country Park, Wigan. My goal was 40 miles based on SST. Set off and after first 3 loops stopped for quick drink every loop and then feed every 1/2 hr. Got to marathon distance in 3:25 which was OK.  The lad in first dropped at 32 miles and I started to flag a bit mainly due to the heat.  For the next six miles I was leading but then the guy behind me was closing fast, I knew I wouldn't hold him off. I made my 40 mile goal and looking back now I could have got in a couple more but don't we always think we could have done better?" Alex finished in second place with 40 miles in 5hrs 41 minutes. The winner completing 43 miles in 6 hours. 
 
CHESTER SPRING 5
 
16 Apr:  Wednesday saw a superb turnout of 20 runners from VRAC for the 2nd of this year's Cheshire GP races - GP standings are still awaited but his should put us well up in the standings, particularly in the men's competition. The strong turnout also meant some great intra club battles throughout the field which undoubtedly spurred people onto some fast times, numerous PB's and a couple of club records - although it may also have contributed to the fact that virtually every runner "complained" that their first 2 miles were far too fast and that they were "hanging on" for the last couple of miles! Particularly noteworthy were the age group victories for the Col/ Carole duo - the former clearly enjoying his recent move into his new age category! Full results here.
 
 
Pos.NameTimeCategoryCat Pos
4Stu Doyle26.29M401
8Chris Standidge27.20SM
29Mike Carroll29.10SM
32Mike Harrington29.20M40
38Tommy Armstrong29.44M35
46Darren Cottier30.05M40
48Steve Caldwell30.10SM
52Craig Sephton30.21M40
62Graham Miles31.16M45
77Scott Bamber31.42M45
105Gary Weedall33.02M50
136John Clarke34.46M603
180Mary Tavener36.25L502
185Colin Rathbone36.29M701
204Simon Bridge37.15M45
221Barry Chambers37.52M60
229Jayne Lomax38.17L45
246Geoff Fawkes39.10M40
251Pete Maher39.43M55
299Carole Williams44.31L601
334Finishers
 
WHITLEY 10K - CHESHIRE
 
13 Apr: Apart from the wave of VR runners who travelled to London, there were three VRACers racing a lot closer to home. The conditions were pretty good, if not a little windy, but Cheshire didn't have the heat of London. Craig Sefton was first home for VR with an impressive time, only being seconds off going under 38minutes. Craig apparently made a 'schoolboy' error and misjudged the finish, costing him a few seconds, but good pacing saw him still get a PB (unofficial, awaiting confirmation from Craig). The next home was Pippa Grey, finishing an impressive 2nd category position and 5th female overall and then it was down to Laura Ackerley to round it off for the VR trio. Full results here.
 
PosNameTimeChip Time
Category
Cat Pos
Gender Pos
14Craig Sefton00:38:03 00:38:03 MV40 614

103               Pippa Grey                00:45:02                 00:45:02        F                      2                  5

287               Laura Ackerley          00:57:41                 00:57:41        FV35                 22                 59

Finishers: 358 


BLACKPOOL HALF MARATHON
 
06 Apr: This is one we missed among the excitement of Manchester Marathon. John Carroll travelled up to Blackpool for a very windy race along the sea front. Due to the conditions, he didn't run as quickly as had hoped. Still a good time, with a third place age category finish. Well done John.
 
PosNameTimeChip TimeCategoryCat PosGender Pos
40John Carroll01:34:3001:34:20MV50338

VIRGIN LONDON MARATHON
 
 
13 April: Some outstanding performances from the 9 VRACers. Beautiful sunny conditions, although not scorching, were warmer than ideal for some. Ian Brough has quietly trained very well and was rewarded with a superb race to post one of 5 PB's on the day. Dave Haines stated his determination to stick to his race plan and ran very consistent splits to overtake several of his VRAC club mates in the second half of the race and even managing a sprint finish to squeeze under the good for age time. Perhaps the most outstanding race of the day came from Helen Smith who ran within herself in the first half and steadily moved through the field in the second half to post a 10 min PB and 38th in her category. Next, Gemma Barnett posting another excellent race followed by Dad Old' John Todd who ran yet another very respectable marathon, although he found the warm conditions sapping in the latter stages. Likewise, Nick Haywood, through halfway in a great time, suffered from about 15 miles. Paul Clutterbuck has struggled with hamstring problems and had considered deferring his entry. Held together with 'gaffa tape' (sorry kinesiology tape) applied by an attractive blond at the expo he decided to race but with no expectation of breaking his target 4 hours. Through halfway just under 2 hours he went on to run the only reverse split of the day to post a 3 minute PB! Mel Johnson has struggled during the build up but savoured the true challenge of the marathon to finish exhausted but happy (until she heard the Man City result). A very creditable debut marathon for Steph Cooper saw the VRAC contingent home.  Well done every one of you. Whether you clocked the time you hoped for or not be proud of your effort and achievement.
 
PosNameChip TimeCatCat Pos13.1m
2109Ian Brough3.08.26M404311.31.13PB
2860Dave Haines3.14.29M405891.35.19
3193Helen Smith3.17.3345-49381.37.23PB
3544Gemma Barnett3.20.1518-392211.34.07
3971John Todd3.23.3650-543191.37.00
5592Nick Haywood3.33.0118-3923631.31.59
10538Paul Clutterbuck3.55.5445-4912401.59.46PB
12628Mel Johnson4.03.5518-3916461.54.22PB
32845Steph Cooper5.55.4318-3969292.44.12PB
 
GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
 
Good luck to all our London Marathoners this weekend. Gemma Barnett, Ian Brough, Paul Clutterbuck, Steph Cooper, Dave Haines, Nick Haywood, Mel Johnson, John Todd and Helen Smith. Miles and miles of training under your belts. Now just enjoy your race. 
 
ASICS GREATER MANCHESTER MARATHON - MANCHESTER
 
 
 
06 Apr: A cool and cloudy day provided excellent running conditions for the flattest marathon in the UK. Four VRACers appreciated superb support from many VRAC club mates and friends at various points on the course. Dave 'Spud' Murphy has proved his ability to judge a marathon at Snowdon and paced this race superbly finishing strongly to post a 10 minute PB. Tony Archer was delighted to be well under his target of 3.20 which he felt could have been better but for severe leg cramp in the last 6 miles. James Ainsworth debut marathon was he said 'interesting'. Starting at well under 7 min miling and finishing at over 9 min miling with bleeding nipples James experienced putting mind and body in a place that is the domain of the few who tackle true endurance events. A very good debut nonetheless and much more to come next time. John Clarke in his first marathon for a few years was hoping for 3.45 and was just about spot on with characteristically solid performance.  This can be recommended as an excellent marathon for those who want an alternative to London. Photo's added to the gallery.
 
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeCatCat Pos10k13.1m20m
430Dave Murphy3.11.523.11.23SM44.181.32.222.22.46
498Tony Archer3.13.263.12.59V55944.081.31.562.21.53
888James Ainsworth3.25.373.25.06SM43.241.32.262.26.56
1888John Clarke3.46.493.45.31V601751.251.48.382.48.44
6902Finishers
 
 
STANFORD INVITATIONAL - CALIFORNIA
 
5 April: VRAC can be proud to have had 2 female athletes competing at this prestigious track event in recent years. Katie Brough made the long trip for the 5000m and was rewarded with a superb 20 second PB of 15.29 and 5th place in a high quality field of 26 athletes. Wondering who the other lady was? Nicky Archer 2009 and 2010 in the 10000 metres.
 
WOMENS NATIONAL 6-STAGE ROAD RELAYS - SUTTON PARK - BIRMINGHAM

5 April: A memorable day for Vale Royal women's 6-stage road relay team in this premier event.  A class team comprising Kate Moulds, Amelia Pettitt, Jade Evans, Emma Pyatt, Emma Cox & Tessa McCormick achieved 16th place overall (5th northern club) the Club's highest placing to date.  Forty clubs fielded full teams - a truly great performance - beating clubs such as Leeds City, Oxford and Trafford to name a few.  

Well done girls a brilliant team effort.  Full results on race-results.co.uk, photos on Bryan Dales site soon.
 
CHESHIRE 10K, ARLEY HALL
 
30 Mar: Billed as a fast flat 10k on rural roads which clearly attracted a fast field with the race being won in under 30 minutes. Superb performances from all 4 VRACers. Despite waking up feeling unwell Stu Doyle won his category clocking another sub 33 minute time. PB performances for all the others (according to Power of 10) Kate Moulds, Emma Pyatt and John Moulds.  Full results here.
 
 
 
 
PosNameTimeChip TimeCategoryCat PosGender Pos
11Stuart Doyle00:32:5600:32:53V40111
61Kate Moulds00:38:0000:37:51Female78
121Emma-Louise Pyatt00:41:0700:41:07Female1620
131John Moulds00:41:2600:41:15V4510106
1088Finishers
 
LIVERPOOL HALF MARATHON
 
23 Mar: Well done Pippa Grey and Amanda Morris who took the VRAC colours to Liverpool. Looks like they were both rewarded with excellent PB's. Full results here
 
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeCat Cat Pos
827Pippa Grey1.41.231.39.26SF42
1909Amanda Morris1.52.381.50.49F4019
6770Finishers
 
ROME MARATHON
 
23 Mar: Rob Olliver and Sophie Rees have been training hard for this one. As we know, Sophie suffered a cruel disappointment when she suffered a stress fracture of the foot just 10 days before the race. Rob Olliver has been in scintillating form in recent months so we have been eagerly awaiting the outcome of his Rome marathon. Massive congratulations on a huge PB (24minute PB and nearly an hour quicker than his last marathon!!). Despite mixed weather with spells of very heavy rain and no less than 8k of the spectacular course being on cobbles Rob smashed through the 3 hour barrier to clock 2.51.49 (6.33 miling) to finish 102nd out of 12500 runners. Sophie walked a fair few miles in an inflatable boot to shout Rob, at 23m and the finish! Full results here
 
 
 
WILMSLOW HALF MARATHON
 
23 Mar: Cool breezy conditions for this major half marathon. Stu Doyle's form continues as he clocked an excellent PB. Craig Sephton seems to be well on the road to recovery following his cycling accident. James Ainsworth, just 2 weeks away from his debut marathon at Manchester, ran with Craig until the 12th mile to post an excellent (and faster than intended!) time, not far off his PB. Solid run from the Mary Tavener and a big PBs (approx 10 min) for Sula Stanley and Debbie Moreton (8 min). Jo Edwards is in training for her first Ironman in Bolton in the summer so she cycled out to Wilmslow, ran the race and cycled home again! Looks like Mel Johnson was unfortunately out of sorts and Steph Cooper who initially was shown as DNF did complete the race - just a delay on her tag time. As always terrific support at various points from Colin and Carole.
 
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeCat Cat Pos
14Stu Doyle01:11:5401:11:54M402
214Craig Sephton01:27:3201:27:11M4042
223James Ainsworth01:27:5101:27:31SM115
830Mary Tavener01:41:3201:41:15F505
1443Sula Stanley01:50:2801:47:49F4047
1506Debbie Moreton01:51:1901:48:40F4054
1739Jo Edwards01:54:1501:52:25F5020
2857Mel Johnson02:08:5702:08:35SF288
TBCSteph Cooper02:40:0102:40:01SFTBC
3712Finishers
 
TRIMPELL 20
 
16 Mar: Having raced the Stafford 20 last weekend Nick Haywood decided to use the Trimpell 20 just a week later as a further build up in his London preparations.  Taking it sensibly (yes sensibly!) up to 15 miles Nick felt strong and pushed on through the field to finish 74th out of a field of 496 in 2.22.01 less than 3 minutes slower than his Stafford race.  Well done Nick, it's all looking good. 
 
 
SWEATSHOP 10MILE  ROAD RACE - LYTHAM-ST-ANNES
 
 
Very windy conditions on an out and back course along the sea front at Lytham.  The 23rd running of what was formerly the Ultrafit 10 miler incorporating the Northern Vets Championships. Well done Colin and Carole for flying the VR flag so well at the Northern Vets Championships
Gun PositionNameGun TimeCatCat PosPostion in Northern Vets Champs
116Colin Rathbone1:16:18MV7011
243Carole Williams1:35:23FV6032
Finishers 295
 
NORTHERN 6 /12 STAGE RELAYS - HEATON PARK (photos in Gallery c/o John Davies)
 
15 Mar: Thanks to some superb team management ( I.e. Organisation, cajoling and persuasion) from Colin and Carole the club fielded teams in both the Northern men's 12 stage and ladies 6 stage relays which took place at Heaton Park on Saturday. The legs were significantly longer than advertised ( 5.5m for the  6 men's long legs and 3.05m for the 6 men's short legs and the ladies legs. Additionally the course was undulating with a strong windy which made for some inconsistent mile splits. As they have done on so many occasions over the last few months the ladies performed superbly with Kate Titlow setting the team off to a strong start with 14th place on Leg 1. Jade Evans, Helen Smith, Jodie Spencer, Kate Spilsbury then all rang strongly to move the team through to 10th after leg 5. Katie Brough then ran the 4th fastest individual leg of the day to move the team up to 6th out of the 49 finishing teams. 

The men blended youth and experience throughout the team however in order to get off to as good a start as possible fielded the young guns of Chris Perry (15th) on Leg 1 and Mike Vennard on Leg 2 who moved the team up to 10th. Stu Doyle managed to gain a further place on leg 3 at which point the policy turned to one of consolidation!! Thanks to determined runs from the remaining team members of Scott Bamber, Craig Sephton, Andy Miles, George Thompson, Mike Harrington, Ian Brough, John Moulds, Gary Weedall and Steve Caldwell the squad ended up in 31st out of the 66 finishing teams -a very creditable position against some extremely strong teams from right across the North of England. 
 
STAFFORD 20 - STAFFORDSHIRE
 

9 Mar: Sunday saw five VRAC London Marathoners, head to this regular race, to warm up for the big day, with good conditions. First home was Ian Brough followed by Nick Haywood, both delivering impressive sub 2.20 times. Next home was Dave Haines, then another strong performance from Gemma, saw her finishing 3rd lady overall and wrapping for VR was John Todd. Full results here.

 

Gun PositionNameGun TimeCatGender Postion
45Ian Brough2:18:51MV4045
51Nick Haywood2:19:29SM51
66Dave Haines2:22:57MV4065
73Gemma Barnett2:25:12FV353
79John Todd2:26:50MV5079
Finishers 406

 

MARBURY 10K

 
9 Mar: A comfortable race win for here for Steve Caldwell with Scott Bamber also finishing at the sharp end in 5th. Abley supporeted by Lucy Devine.
  
Marbury 10kChipGun
1Steve Caldwell39.1339.14
5Scott Bamber41.0141.03
126Lucy Devine55.2855.45
305Finishers
 
TRAFFORD 10K
 
9 Mar: Just 3 at the Trafford 10k which attracts a high quality field evidenced by 7 athletes breaking the 30 minute barrier. A great run and sub 32 minute result for Chris Parry. Very decent run from Mike Harrington and a well deserved PB for Claire Chapman. Full results here
 
Trafford 10kChipGun
29Chris Perry31.3431.35
163Mike Harrington36.3436.40
374Claire Chapman42.5043.02    
824Finishers
 
HIGH LEGH 10K
 
9 Mar: Perfect running conditions and all 4 VRACers running quicker than expected.  Great run by James Ainsworth in great shape from his marathon training. 5.45 first mile, a big PB and edging out the always difficult to beat David Shepherd. Helen Smith also in good pre marathon form well pleased with her time and 2nd lady overall. Debbie Moreton delighted with a 9 second PB and sun tan to boot! Full results here.
 
High Legh 10kChipGun
23James Ainsworth38.1838.19
28David Shepherd38.4838.48
53Helen Smith41.1641.22nd Lady
150Debbie Moreton47.5547.59
457Finishers
 
INTERCOUNTIES CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS - COFTON PARK
 
8 Mar: Saturday saw the Inter-counties Cross Country championships at Cofton Park, Birmingham, an elite race in which a maximum of 9 runners are selected from each County in the UK. A number of VRAC athletes were selected for the Cheshire teams in the men's and ladies races. The ladies team did incredibly well to finish in 5th place considering we are competing against a lot of counties which are much more populous than Cheshire I.e. 1st team were Yorkshire ( yes, all of it! and 2nd were East Scotland!!) Vale Royal supplied 6 of the 8 strong county team and were led home by Katie Brough in a fantastic 2nd place which also earned her the overall UK Cross Challenge title. 2nd Cheshire runner home was VRAC's Kate Titlow in 52nd place with a typically strong run closely followed by other VRAC runners: Kate Spilsbury in 59th, Kate Moulds, making her debut as a Senior in 61st, Kerry Riley in 76th and Jodie Spencer in 124th. To get every runner home in the top half of the 275 finishers represented a fantastic performance.
 
The Senior men found it somewhat tougher and finished 25th of the 43rd competing Counties, although this still meant they had punched above their weight in relation to their relative size. VRAC only had 2 runners in this event with Stu Doyle 2nd Cheshire runner home in 122nd and Rob Olliver in 245th, impressively making the scoring 6 counters on his county debut and enjoying every minute. 
 
BELVOIR 15 (16.2 MILES!) - LEICESTERSHIRE
 
Rob and Sophie ventured to Leicestershire home of Belvoir Castle, Stilton cheese and Melton Mowbray pork pies. Sophie's summary: " Chuffing hard. Never seen so much mud, not even at a cross country, and the rutted fields made keeping upright tough. Teddy went out of the pram at 4.5 miles and really thought I was going to pull out, but thankfully I didn’t and things got better. It was a real test of fitness in a totally different way to road running with the undulation offering some great views. 3 stops for stomach issues (Sophie!) meant it was not a race for time for me, but great for an off-road experience and pre-marathon run. Rob was made up with the “lead car” being 2 horses, which he was never too far behind, posting a fantastic 3rd place, behind a true mountain-goat winner. It was a great experience and challenge, within less than a mile runners were breaking icy water as they ran through farmers fields, making for a long race with wet feet! Despite the cold start, the conditions were pretty much perfect. It was only when Rob got to the second check point at 11.5 miles and was told he was 3rd, he thought he'd better make sure he didn't drop a place! Lovely hot soup, bread rolls and crumbles back in the school hall to round things off."
 
PositionNameCatTime
3Rob OlliverM1:59:00
86Sophie ReesFV352:33:51
Finishers 638
 
CLOUD 9. CONGLETON
 
2 Mar: A popular fell race including a challenging climb up 'The Cloud'. 7 excellent performances from VRAC. Here's the race through Alex Mason's eyes: " Did the Cloud 9 yesterday, not sure how I'd feel with a 10K on Saturday but I've done back to backs before so should be OK. This time I decided to start near the front, previously I've been mid pack and suffered trying to get past people. Dave Phillips and James Ainsworth were just in front as the claxon went.  The weather was good, mild, no wind or rain. The usual slog across the fields to the real start - the base of the Cloud at Timbersbrook.  Dave had peeled away and James was about 50m in front. As we crested the Cloud I managed to pip James and Dave was still in my sights. A crazy descent off the Cloud through (and over!) the forest to the next climb through Bridestones. Coming down from Bridestones I caught a glimpse of James close behind but then unfortunately (for me) he caught me on the first field on the way back.  It was a real slogfest and you just had to plough your way through it. James pulled away and I just couldn't hold on despite the final section back along the bridlepath where I normally have some left in the tank to blast out a 2K tempo. Managed to bag a 30 sec PB."
 
A little further back some strong running (and falling Mr Clutterbuck) from Darren Cottier, Dave Haines, Paul Clutterbuck and Paul Hudson.
 
 
PosNameTime
22Dave Phillips1.06.31
34James Ainsworth1.08.29
41Alex Mason1.09.07
57Darren Cottier1.11.22
105Dave Haines1.15.50
297Paul Clutterbuck1.31.37
373Paul Hudson1.41.44
432Finishers
  
MONTANE MARMALADE 10K DALEMAIN
 
1 Mar: Alex Mason and David Shepherd tackled this one. Here's Alex's report: The weather was perfect, cool, no rain or wind. A 10k following a figure of 8 loop.  I helped out with The Trailkidz run before and managed to rope David in for some marshalling duties so thanks for that. There was a good turnout for the kids considering there were only about 100 10kers. Paddington Bear popped up from the festival and helped warm up the kids with a bit of Gangam style - check the vid on trail26.com! Anyway, to the grown ups race, it really was a race of two halves. At the start David said he'd be disappinted if I didn't beat him by 5 mins.  On a 10k course?  Unlikely, but I'll give it a go. The first 3k was across undulating fields and was more like cross country - very slippy, muddy and wet and with lots of stiles. As I came to the middle of the 8, being 2k along the drive I was 5th, a quick glance round and David was hot on my heels. I managed to pass one on the drive and then the 2nd half was mostly road, with a bump. I was gradually reeling 4th in and managed to pass him just before we made the 2nd run up the drive. Another quick check and David was still there, best not throw it away so just dig in. Managed 3rd with Daveidlose behind in 5th. I've got Cloud 9 today as penance for not beating David by 5 mins. I picked up David's prize for 1st V40. Hope he likes Marmalade! 
 
GREAT NORTHWEST HALF MARATHON - BLACKPOOL
 

23 Feb: Helen Smith travelled up to Blackpool for the next race in her Marathon training, completing in the Great North West Half Marathon. Apparently it was outrageously windy, so certainly wasn't a PB course, due to the conditions. Despite the wind, Helen had a fantastic run, finishing 5th lady overall and won the female V40 category.

 
Gun PositionNameGun TimeCatCat PosChip Time
133Helen Smith1:32:45FV4011:32:27
Finishers 1343
OULTON PARK HALF MARATHON AND 10K
 
23 Feb: Four VRACers took on the challenge at Oulton Park circuit with windy conditions making for even more tough races.  In the 6 lap half marathon Nick Haywood and Pippa Grey posted very creditable times. In the 10k an excellent 5th for Mark Ward and a nice category win for Amanda Morris. No pit stops required.
 
Half Marathon
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeGender Pos
16Nick Haywood1.27.221.27.1815
111Pippa Grey1.41.061.40.557
471Finishers
10k
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeGender Pos
5Mark Ward38.3038.285
73Amanda Morris49.2249.1571st L40
242Finishers
 
GRIZEDALE 13 - CUMBRIA
 

23 Feb: Alex Mason has been hitting the trails again, in the Lake District this time. He was running and marshaling (multi-tasking at its best), between helping out with the Trailkidz run and marshaling the finish of Grizedale marathon Alex fit in a 13mile race. The course was described as constantly undulating and not flat at all (suiting Alex) and the weather was windy, rainy, but mild. Due to Alex’s last minute option to run, there was no chip timing, but his unofficial time was 1:46, finishing 15th out of 170! Well done Alex.

 

NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS - WOLLATON PARK
 
22 Feb: A number of VRAC runners ventured to Wollaton Park in Nottingham for Saturday's National XC championships which is the biggest XC event in the country. Other than 2 patches of heavy mud totalling around 100m and 1 medium hill on each 4k lap the course was extremely flat and fast and definitely suited the track/ road runner rather than the mud-lovers. Even the weather was dry and mild!! The best individual club performance of the day was produced by Katie Brough who narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing a superb 4th in a strong ladies field featuring fellow international athletes such as Gemma Steel and Steph Twell. Further strong runs from Kate Titlow (58th), Kate Spilsbury (108th) and Jodie Spencer (120th) enabled the club to finish a fantastic 6th place in the country. By comparison the men were unable to field a full  6 man team with only 4 runners turning out in the large field of 1657 finishers. Stu Doyle missed the mud that he's enjoyed in the majority of XC races throughout the winter and consequently finished lower down than he'd hoped in 136th (3rd V40). 2nd home in 970th was Gary Weedall with a strong run on terrain which suited his smooth style more than his previous appearance (at Knowlsley!) Next home and appearing to enjoy the conditions were Colin Rathbone in 1527th and Richard Pettit in 1639th ( age group rankings awaited).  Full results here.
 
 
 
VILLAGE BAKERY HALF(+) MARATHON - WREXHAM
 
16 Feb: Perfect weather added to the hopes of those who eagerly awaited this race as a potential PB opportunity. Unfortunately, all such hopes and efforts were dashed by a marshalling fiasco within 150 metres of the start sending the entire field (bar the first 3 runners!) the wrong way adding at 0.6 - 0.8 miles (depending on how much backtracking was involved).  Many excellent runs from the 12 VRACers with no doubt several PB's had the course been the correct distance.  Top 3 category placings and prizes for Stu, Gemma, Mary, Colin and Carole was some consolation! Results for the 'extended' race below. Well done VRAC. Full results and an apology from the organisers here. Photos from Bryan Dale and John Davies added to the gallery.
 
Wrexham Half
PosNameCatTimeCat Pos
9Stu DoyleM4076.412
23Rob OlliverM3582.336
83Gemma BarnettSW89.551
89John ToddM5090.599
91Tony ArcherM5591.114
103Dave HainesM4092.2916
110Nick HaywoodSM93.3430
177Bob CorinaldiM45101.4133
211Mary TavenerL50105.583
212Sophie ReesL35106.066
218Colin RathboneM70106.462
365Carole WilliamsW60130.453
424Finishers
 
WADSWORTH TROG 20 MILE FELL RACE
 
8 Feb: Dave Phillips has been busy so had a bit of a layoff. Great to see him back at training again and those who know wont be surprised that he decided to tackle a gentle race as a comeback! 20 mile fell race in West Yorkshire with 4000 ft of climb and a brutal profile. Here's how it went. "I shouldn't have tackled this one on current form but I needed to kick the season off at some point. The Trog is a 20 mile fell run with 4000ft of climb and the route being mostly open moorland some trail and and a couple of road sections. The challenge however came from the conditions with the moors being saturated I disappeared knee deep in bog a few times, and the strong winds reduced me to a walk for long periods it became a matter of survival. I shuffled through the finish in 4.16 in 75th place and a beaten man". Nice one Dave!
 
MANCHESTER XC LEAGUE RACE 5 - WYTHENSHAWE PARK
 
8 Feb: The 5th and final race in the highly competitive Manchester League series where individuals best scores over 4 races to count for their series ranking. To the relief of many the infamous stream crossing at Wythenshawe was taken out this year due to the extreme conditions. This meant a significantly different course to previous years... still plenty of mud though!. Squally showers and very strong winds added to the challenge. Jade Evans has had a very strong XC season and put in another excellent performance to place 2nd U20 on the day and 2nd U20 for the series. Next Sophie Rees showed her improvement and stamina continue to progress, steadily moving through the field, closely followed by Emma Pyatt. Mary Tavener and Carole Williams finished their series well with Mary ending up 4th L50 with 2nd L60 for Carole.  Rob Olliver has had a stellar series with all 4 of his races well within the top 50 finishing with a fine 36th at Wythenshawe. Flat, muddy conditions seemed to suit Tony Archer posting his first sub 100 placing for the series, a category win on the day with 3rd M55 for the series. Next home Mike Harrington choosing XC over Park Run for his Saturday effort. Good to see James Edwards completing the series this year to place 4th M55. Bob Corinaldi, John Moulds, the ever present Coline Rathbone (securing 3rd M65 for the series) and Paul Hudson completed a good day for VRAC.  A great League with large competitive field on some challenging courses. VRAC acquitted themselves well.  Full results here.
 
 
PosNameCatTimeCat PosCat Series Place
24Jade EvansU2027.4622nd 
35Sophie ReesL3528.256
38Emma PyattU2028.393
80Mary TavenerL5031.2254th
151Carole WilliamsL6038.4822nd 
163Finishers
8thTeam (of 30)4 to count
12thVets Team (of 27)3 to count
36Rob OlliverSM37.0115th
99Tony ArcherM5540.1313rd 
113Mike HarringtonM4041.0322
138James EdwardsM5542.0734th
193Bob CorinaldiM4545.0729
212John MouldsM4545.3435
276Colin RathboneM6552.1733rd 
279Paul HudsonM6053.069
288Finishers4 races to count
20thTeam (of 33)6 to count
15thVets Team (of 35)4 to count
 
NATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS 22 FEB
 
Reminder... the following senior ladies and men are entered for the above at Wollaton Park, Nottingham. Good luck all.
 
Ladies:
Kate SpilsburyStevie Stockton
Katie BroughDebbie Moreton
Jodie SpencerPippa Gray
Kate TitlowCarole Williams
Kerry Riley
Men:
Gary WeedallSteve Caldwell
Chris PerryColin Rathbone
Stu DoyleChris Standidge
Richard Pettitt
 
ALSAGER 5
 
02 Feb: The weather wasn’t as bad as they predicted it might have been and the sun was shining on the eight VRACers, who took to the streets around Alsager, for this fast and flat 5miler. First home was Katie Brough, who finished an impressive second female, in this high quality field, claiming to ‘Love road racing’.The second home was VRAC newcomer Jacob Brown, on his first outing for VRAC since recently joining from Crewe. We are looking forward to seeing you on the start line of many more races. The ever improving James Ainsworth was third home, who seems to be well on track for his Marathon, with this massive  PB (also smashing his 5K PB, but you can only claim one per race)! James was followed by a run of three VRACers in fairly quick succession with Mike Carroll, Emma Louise Pyatt, John Carroll. Paul Clutterbuck made it to the start line, despite deciding to enter a race the morning after his Dryathlon had finished (well done Clutty for both)! Angie Channing and Jayne Lomax were the final two home and wrapped up some impressive performances all round. Full results can be found here, via the Chipsresults.co.uk website. 
 
Gun PositionNameGun TimeCatCat PosChip Time
33Katie Brough27.10F3327.09
45Jacob Brown27.36M4527.34
138James Ainswroth31.08M13931.02
149Michael Carroll31.31M15031.28
195Emma Louise Pyatt33.10F19433.03
226John Carroll34.11M5022434.04
275Paul Clutterbuck35.28M4527435.12
385Angie Channing38.06F4038937.54
460Jayne Lomax39.46F4547239.32
Finishers:912
 
NORTHERN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, KNOWESLY SAFARI PARK
 
33 Katie Brough 27.10 F 33 27.09
45 Jacob Brown 27.36 M 45 27.34
138 James Ainswroth 31.08 M 139 31.02
149 Michael Carroll 31.31 M 150 31.28
195 Emma Louise Pyatt 33.10 F 194 33.03
226 John Carroll 34.11 M50 224 34.04
275 Paul Clutterbuck 35.28 M45 274 35.12
385 Angie Channing 38.06 F40 389 37.54
460 Jayne Lomax 39.46 F45 472 39.32
Finishers:912
  
 
 
25 Jan: Those that did the this race last year at Knowesly had vivid (some may say haunting) memories of the conditions. Snow and freezing mud. This year no snow but runners still had extreme mud to tackle for the entire course. The outstanding results from the junior section can be found on the main VRAC website. On the senior side the ladies were first up. Katie Brough sets herself very high standards and was not particularly happy with her run, nevertheless, she posted a top 10 finish. Very strong races from Kate Titlow and Helen Smith whose marathon training stood her in good stead with the usual solid performances from Sula Stanley and Debbie Moreton. 11 senior men took on the challenge led home by Stu Doyle. Rob Olliver confirmed his dominance over fellow rivals with another great run. Steve Caldwell also managed the conditions well claiming the scalp of Tommy Armstrong. The team score was completed by Tony Archer, pleased to run over 3 minutes quicker than last year, and Gary Weedall who chose the Northerns as his first XC race of the year! Well done to all survivors! Full results here.
 
PosNameTime
10Katie Brough32.31
23Kate Titlow34.13
69Helen Smith37.02
182Debbie Moreton44.41
190Sula Stanley45.51
232Finishers
8thTeam (of 28)4 to count
PosNameTime
41Stu Doyle44.56
171Rob Olliver50.44
244Steve Caldwell53.08
269Tommy Armstrong53.51
349Tony Archer56.48
365Gary Weedall57.29
477Bob Corinaldi1.03.50
527John Clarke1.07.00
571Colin Rathbone1.10.59
602Paul Hudson1.19.04
608Richard Pettitt1.25.05
613Finishers
26thTeam (of 59)6 to count
 
 
INSKIP HALF MARATHON - LANCS
 
19 Jan: Nick Haywood looked North for a fast half marathon course. Nick has been running well at training and showed he is well on track for the London Marathon running an excellent 1.27.19 at Inskip. Well done Nick. Keep up the good work for London... and when you get there no more 5 mile PB's on the opening stretch please. Full results here
 
PosNameCatTime
70Nick HaywoodM1.27.19
430Finishers
 
FOUR VILLAGES HALF MARATHON - HELSBY
 
19 Jan: Always eagerly awaited as the first significant road race of the year for many VRACers. History has shown the course although undulating can produce fast times but a lot depends on the weather. Unlike last year, this time the weather gods smiled blessing the race with near perfect conditions. Some excellent times and several PB's resulted. Stu Doyle just keeps on getting better! First VRAC home with a 5 second PB to win his category and a top 10 finish. Not far back an outstanding run from December AOM Chris Standidge. Rob Olliver is now consistently at the sharp end and was well pleased with his run just a tantalising 4 seconds short of his PB (Warrington) . Steve Caldwell was also delighted with his race and looks set to achieve his sub 1.20 goal this year. Gemma Barnett finished well up the ladies field but more important beat Dad 'Old John' by over 40 seconds! Other highlights included: a PB for Helen Smith improving on her Great North Run PB last year; a rejuvenated Sophie Rees running over 4 minutes quicker than her previous Helsby best and only a few seconds short of her PB; another PB for Bob Corinaldi knocking nearly a minute of his time at Wrexham last year; and Steve Smith saying he actually enjoyed himself!! This is the first Cheshire Grand Prix of the year and we should be off to a decent start both men and ladies. Well done everyone. You all did VRAC proud.
Full results here
 
Gun PositionNameGun TimeCatCat PosChip TimeKnown PB
10Stu Doyle01:12:15M40101:12:13PB
13Chris Standidge01:13:22MSEN1101:13:20PB
42Rob Olliver01:19:02MSEN2801:18:51
54Steve Caldwell01:20:17MSEN3101:20:13PB
175Gemma Barnett01:27:01FSEN501:26:48
196John Todd01:27:43M501501:27:31
246Craig Sephton01:30:10M404901:29:44
266Matt Sweeting01:30:57MSEN11201:29:59
293Helen Smith01:32:01F40601:31:01PB
319Dave Haines01:33:00M406601:32:46
440Sophie Rees01:36:39F351401:36:24
547Bob Corinaldi01:39:06M459901:38:51PB
633Mary Tavener01:41:27F50301:40:52
782Steve Smith01:45:25M4513901:43:01
1021Jayne Lomax01:51:45F453601:50:14
 
 
MANCHESTER XC LEAGUE - RACE 4 BOGGART HOLE CLOUGH
 
13 Jan: It's usually muddy at Boggart. This year it was a quagmire. Great fun. Jade Evans had a very good race to lead the ladies home (2nd U20) with Sophie Rees, Mary Tavener and Carole Williams all coping well (and cheerfully) with the conditions. For the men, with the exception of 'young' Rob Olliver it was a day for the tough oldies - all M50 - M65! Another good result for Rob. James Edwards got off to a flying start nearly pulling a fast one over fellow M55 Tony Archer. Good to see Barry Chambers racing XC again with stalwarts Rathbone, Hudson and Pettitt delivering their usual creditable performances. Full results here.
 
 
PosNameCatTimeCat Pos
24Jade EvansU2028.502
48Sophie ReesL3530.159
77Mary TavenerL5032.314
150Carole WilliamsL6041.273
162Finishers
16thTeam16thVets Team
PosNameCatTimeCat Pos
42Rob Olliver36.15
100Tony ArcherM5539.152
116James EdwardsM5539.503
263Barry ChambersM6049.0410
269Colin RathboneM6549.525
285Paul HudsonM6051.5112
292Richard PettittM5056.5838
295Finishers
27thTeam24thVets Team
 
NORTHERN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS - ENTRIES
 
Please note the following names (Senior Ladies and Senior Men) are entered in the Northern XC Champs on 25 January at Knowsley Safari Park. 
 
Ladies:Men:
Gemma BarnettTony Archer
Katie BroughTommy Armstrong
Angie ChanningSteve Caldwell
Pippa GreyJohn Clarke
Debbie MoretonBob Corinaldi
Sophie ReesStu Doyle
Kerry RileyJames Griffiths
Helen SmithPaul Hudson
Jodie SpencerRob Olliver
Sula StanleyChris Perry
Steve StocktonRichard Pettitt
Kate TitlowColin Rathbone
Carole WilliamsCraig Sephton
Chris Standidge
Gary Weedall
 
LIVERBIRD DOUBLE DAY MARATHON, LIVERPOOL
 
31 Dec: Two marathons take place, one on New Years Eve and one on New Years Day. A few people do both!  David Shepherd returned for a second time... choosing to do the New Years Eve event. Here's his report:
 
I chose to do day 1 again (NYE) and this year was definitely the right choice as the (NYD) day 2 marathon weather was awful. Day 1 started very wet, so wet that I stopped at Costa (other coffee shops available) on the way to stay dry for as long as I could. Arrived 10 mins before the race was due to start only to find the start was delayed for 15 mins. My Kalenji waterproof running jacket (Christmas present) did its job and I remained warm and dry. Just before the start the heavy rain stopped and waterproofs were removed. Off we went, runners, joggers, walkers and dogs with owners in tow for 8 x 3.30 laps along Otterspool Promenade. the wind was against for the first 3.3 miles so I started very steady and then got into doing 7.20 min miles which I kept up for the next 20 miles. Felt very good and a time of 3.15 or quicker seemed possible. Unfortunately the tide turned which brought up a bit of a gale and the last lap was difficult, not helped by running into a young boy on his new bike just when I felt at my most tired. A bit of a sprint at the end brought me home in 3.20.30 and 20th place out of 146 finishers. So what possibly was my last marathon (I don't think so David!!!) will be remembered for being really enjoyable and I would recommend this race to anyone.  
 
CENTRAL LANCS HALF MARATHON, CATFORTH
 
5 Jan: Following his PB last year Tommy Armstrong returned for the 6th running of this race on flat, quiet rural roads. Although a tantalising 41 seconds outside last years time Tommy clearly had a very good run finishing 4th overall (3rd was a V55!). Mary Tavener also made the trip north and was rewarded with a comfortable category victory. Well done both. Full results here.
 
PosNameCatCat PosTime
4Tommy ArmstrongSM1.19.10
120Mary TavenerL5011.39.52
418Finishers
 
CHESHIRE X-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
 
04 Jan: Well, what a day. Vale Royal AC did fantastic and completely wiped out the opposition, winning  9 out of the 14 team awards available. U13 boys, U13 girls, U15 boys, U17 boys, U17 girls, U20 boys and U20 girls all got team golds.  Senior men got team gold as did the senior women. Individual results were very impressive too.  Elliot Bowker  and Tessa Mc Cormick were so strong that they have been picked to run for England in Spain on the 19th Jan, and a number of the senior men (Chris, Stu, Chris and Rob) have the  opportunity to race at the inter-counties. Though it was a cold, soggy, muddy, swimming pool-like affair at Warrington’s Birchwood Forest Park, at least the predicted wind and rain held off for a majority of the day. To quote one particular VR runner…. “Where else can you see so many dirty women in one place?”

As per routine, out of the seniors, the females went off first. The route was initially described in the information to be a rather precise 7860m, but a course alteration increased the distance to be approx. 8.3k. Well, off the women went. There was a very strong threesome, (Kate Titlow, Kerry Riley & Jodie Spencer) leading the VR contingent. Indeed so strong that they wiped the floor with winning the team prize, coming 2nd 4th and 6th. In comparison, 2nd place Wilmslow got 3, 8 & 15.  Kate 2nd place overall is something to be proud of. Next in was Sophia Rees (19th, 5th in cat), trying desperately to catch the Wilmslow 3rd counter but happy to get down all the hills without falling once. Jane Lomax was next in (33rd, 4th in cat), despite cutting it mightily fine at the start, trotting across the field seconds before the gun went off. Jo Edwards was only 34 seconds behind (34th, 4th in cat) and enjoyed the run, working hard enough to need to ditch arm-warmers at an early stage. Ang Channing (44th, 5th in cat) followed after Jo, and then Sula Stanley and Debbie Moreton who were multi-tasking, being very encouraging to other VR runners whilst also dragging themselves through the mud. Carole Williams finished bringing the VR female team home with a 2nd in her category. 

So, after the women came in, with no fallers that I’m aware off, though covered in plenty of mud, the men thought they’d give it a go. An initially predicted length of 9750 metres was in excess of 10k in reality. The VR line-up was looking strong on paper and didn’t fail to do the club extremely proud.  VR won the team prize with a mighty impressive 91 points, compared to 2nd place Wilmslow’s 100 points and 3rd place Chester Tri’s 171 points. Chris Perry took 3rd place overall, with Stu Doyle on 6 seconds behind him and retaining his V40 1st placing. Until the final hill, the 2 of them were hand in hand as they closely followed each other around the course, making it look like they had mini-hovercrafts attached to their spikes, seeming to not touch the mud. Chris Standidge looked extremely strong, with long legs striding out, coming 9th overall. Rob Olliver did himself and VR very proud…. coming 15th, compared to 90 something 3 years ago. Similar improvement next year Rob? Steve Caldwell was next in, reported to love running in the mud and putting his alcohol abstinence to good use with a tidy run. Mike Harrington, complete with white gloves (he obviously had confidence he wasn’t going to be falling in that mud), was next in, looking consistent through-out the race. There was no sprint finish between Tony Archer and Scott Bamber this time. Tony was over a minute in-front and blatantly not suffering from somewhat cooler conditions, compared to Oz, pushing round the course in his usual determined fashion. Scott, reported to have fallen on the first lap, never made up his deficit, but had a good run all things considered, and reported to be tired enough “not to be going clubbing” that evening.  After all, he did have a sprint finish, though not with Tony. Next in was John Clarke, navigating the course better than his drive to the park. I trust he found his way home better than the “varied route” he took to get to Warrington. Geoff Fawkes followed John, and then Bob Corinaldi, who was heard chuntering “never again” as he picked his way through the ever-so dry course. Hmmm, we’ll see, Bob. Snapping at Bob’s heals was Simon Bridge, a mere 3 seconds behind. Colin Rathbone came home with 2nd in his category and a forever present smile through-out the run. Finishing it off for the men were Steve Collier, Paul Hudson and Richard Pettitt. Full results can be found here.

Team placings: Senior Women 
 Pos Name Cat Time Cat Pos
 2 Kate Titlow L 35.54 2
 4 Kerry Riley L 36.39 3
 6 Jodie Spencer L 37.25 5
 19 Sophia Rees V35 43.02 5
 33 Jayne Lomax V45 47.00 4
 34 Jo Edwards V50 47.34 4
 44 Angela Channing V40 48.57 5
 48 Sula Stanley V40 49.45 7
 51 Debbie Moreton V40 50.32 9
 64 Carole Williams V60 58.04 2
Finishers: 65
 
Team placings: Senior Men - Team Gold
 Pos Name Cat Time Cat Pos
 3 Chris Perry M 40.11 3
 4 Stuart Doyle V40 40.17 1
 9 Chris Standidge M 42.38 8
 15 Rob Olliver M 44.32 11
 24 Steve Caldwell M 46.11 14
 36 Mike Harrington V40 47.41 9
 55 Tony Archer V55 49.41 3
 70 Scott Bamber V45 51.08 14
 110 John Clarke V55 57.19 8
 115 Geoff Fawkes V40 58.20 19
 117 Bob Corinaldi V45 58.51 26
 118 Simon Bridge V45 58.54 27
 131 Colin Rathbone V65 1.03.58 2
 133 Steve Collier V55 1.07.01 9
 136  Paul Hudson V60 1.08.35 5
 142 Richard Pettitt V50 1.16.02 23
Finishers: 142

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