Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.

Archive Jul-Dec 2014

BOWSTONES FELL RACE - POYNTON
 
 31 Dec: Paul Clutterbuck and Iain Stanton decided to prepare for the evening festivities with this tough 11k fell race that included some very tough climbs.  Great to see Iain ending the year with a race after a difficult year following his injury.  A free bottle of Trooper beer to all finishers. Not that these two athletes would allow a drop to pass their lips. 
 
PosNameTime
169Iain Stanton1.01.12
182Paul Clutterbuck1.02.51
368Finishers
 
CHRISTMAS CRACKER
 
21 Dec: Belated congratulations to Laura Bestow for her efforts at the Staffs Moorlands race.  The race is a challenging 8-mile, multi-terrain run over the Roaches. Two miles of it are along the exposed ridge at 1500 feet ridge. Laura was 25th overall out of 265 in a time of 1.02.03 and picked up the 2nd lady prize. 
 
CHESTER ROUND THE WALLS
 
26 Dec: Outstanding performances from Tess McCormick and Kate Titlow both finishing inside the top 20 with Tess in the lead pack for the early stages.  Tony Archer enjoyed the chance to run in the same race as son Nathan on a visit home from Australia. Will Tony claim bragging rights even though Nathan had flu and jogged round? Probably. In any case a decent M60 win. Very solid runs from Kerry Riley and the ever present Barry Chambers and also also Val Kinvig... rumoured to be her first race of 2014!! All rounded off by Tiffany Moorcroft putting her determined efforts in training to good effect.
 
 
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
9Tess McCormick24.32LU201st Lady
18Kate Titlow26.31SL2nd Lady
30Tony Archer27.56M601
56Kerry Riley29.21SL
140Barry Chambers32.45M607
228Val Kinvig35.40L505
232Tiffany Moorcroft35.48L40
410Finishers
 
 
***LONDON MARATHON CLUB PLACES***
 
Following the draw on Thursday 18 Dec for the final London Marathon place we can now confirm the following athletes will get the 3 VRAC Club places for the 2015 London Marathon:
 
JAMES EDWARDS, BOB CORINALDI, ANGIE CHANNING (Reserve Dave Murphy).
 
Congratulations and good luck. 
 
 
N STAFFS XC LEAGUE RACE 4 - WESTWOOD HIGH, LEEK
 
13 Dec: The 4th and final race of the 2014 N Staffs XC series at the infamous hills of Westwood High, Leek. Uncharacteristic sunny and cool conditions did little to offset the daunting challenge set by this very hilly course. Mostly undulating with two significant hills including the 'The Beast', the killer hill that goes straight up with ever increasing severity bring many good athletes to a walk for the final stage... and a few to a wobbly standstill at the top! Some brave and determined performances from VRACers with Clara Pettitt well up the field in the ladies race and top 5 category positions for Jo Edwards and Carole Williams. Good to see Sarah Main racing and customary commitment from Jayne Lomax and Debbie Moreton. Another good turnout for the men (14) with Stu Doyle maintaining his classy form with 3rd overall and 1st M40. Strong and typically reliable performances from Rob Olliver and Darren Cottier. Zack Bamber is feeling his way back to form and fitness with a 2nd JM result. James Ainsworth's impressive progress continues. A friendly tussle between Tom Annable and Tony Archer helped them both along to good finishes and a 1st M60 for Tony. An off colour Matt Sweeting considered pulling out at the top of 'The Beast' but was persuaded otherwise by his enthusiastic and vocal U11 supporters! Well done everyone. It's been a good series. Full results here.  Series results to follow once published.
 
LadiesMen
PosNameTimeCatCat PosPosNameTimeCatCat Pos
25Clara Pettitt25.23JW53Stu Doyle32.09M401
49Jo Edwards28.00W50432Rob Olliver35.55SM
74Sarah Main29.38W4039Darren Cottier36.31M406
77Jayne Lomax29.51W4543Zack Bamber36.55JM
80Debbie Moreton30.12W4554James Ainsworth37.42SM
120Carole Williams36.13W60472Tom Annable38.46M506
82Tony Archer39.12M601
140Finishers95Matt Sweeting40.00SM
103Scott Bamber40.18M45
8thTeam Duv 1 (4 to Count)138Tony Atkinson42.02M45
142John Carroll42.22M50
151Mark Pilliner42.57M45
183Simon Bridge45.48M45
186John Clarke45.54M605
233Finishers
4thTeam Div 1 (6 to Count)
 

 
 
STOCKPORT 10 MILE
 
7 Dec: Two VRACers here on a busy weekend of races. Some tough hills in this 10 miler added to which windy weather and squally showers added to the challenge.  Well done Craig Sephton and David 'Spud' Murphy.
 
 
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeChip PosGenderGender Pos.Cat.Cat. Pos.
86Craig Sephton01:05:2001:05:2090Male80M4017
225David Murphy01:11:4401:11:26227Male201M3548
 
 
GRAVY PUD FELL RACE - TINTWISTLE
 
7 Dec: John Allton tackled this 5 miler woth 305m of ascent. Finishing 52nd out of the field of 155 and 11th in his category in 45.13 was a good outcome amongst a field that included many 'young bucks' and fell race specialists. Well done John. Read his full report of the days experience on the Message Board. 
 
TATTON YULE YOMP
 
7 Dec: A few VRACers got into the Christmas spirit early and delivered some brilliant performances. A 10k mostly off road race in slippery and at times very unpleasant weather conditions including a hail storm. James Ainsworth continued his rapid progression with an excellent run narrowly missing to beat his big mate and rival Andy Harris. An outstanding run by recently joined Sarah Jane Murphy setting a new course record and first female. Along with David Shepherd these 3 convincingly lifted the team trophy for VRAC. Great stuff. A category win for Penny Thorn and an excellent 3rd category place for Debbie Moreton. Jo Edwards (paced by Tony Atkinson!?) was pleased with a 2 minute improvement on last year and 2nd L50. Great to see Tiffany Moorcroft racing for VRAC having made determined and significant progress in training sessions. Happy Xmas you lot.
 
 
 
 
FOOTNOTE: Claire Chapman blagged someones number and came 202nd in 50.42. 
 
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeChip Pos.GenderGender Pos.Cat.Cat. Pos.
7James Ainsworth00:39:1800:39:188Male7MS3
9Sarah Jane Murphy00:39:3400:39:349Female1FS1
23David Shepherd00:41:2900:41:2723Male22MV4010
83Penny Thorn00:46:2300:46:1587Female4FV401
164Debbie Moreton00:50:2800:50:20185Female12FV403
173Jo Edwards00:50:4100:50:36192Female14FV502
172Tony Atkinson00:50:4100:50:36191Male159MV4065
201Tiffany Moorcroft00:51:5900:51:45234Female21FV409
 
 
MANCHESTER LEAGUE XC RACE 3 - BOGGART HOLE CLOUGH
 
 
6 Dec: By Boggart Clough standards these were benign conditions. Cool and calm weather but still with enough mud to make it a true XC test. A superb run from Kate Titlow mixing it with some quality athletes. Another strong run from Laura Bestow in VRAC colours though not able to count in the series due to EA transfer rules. A close tussle between Sophie Rees and Clara Pettitt with the VRAC ladies  contingent completed by the ever reliable Carole Williams. For the men Matt Sheen showed his quality with a top 10 finish in a classy field. A strong run from Rob Olliver who overhauled Steve Caldwells enthusiastic start. Noteworthy performances from james Edwards with a category win for Colin Rathbone. A good turnout giving the men A and B team placings in the senior and vets team rankings. Well done everyone. Full results here. Pics in Gallery - thanks John  Davies.
 
LadiesMen
PosNameTimeCatCat PosPosNameTimeCatCat Pos
5Kate Titlow28.008Matt Sheen32.47U203
16Laura Bestow30.0952Rob Olliver36.56
52Sophie Rees33.27L351186Steve Caldwell38.03
53Clara Pettitt33.31U205102Darren Cottier39.02M4015
171Carole Williams43.46L604106Zack Bamber39.11U2010
194Finishers144Tony Archer40.59M602
153Scott Bamber41.35M4519
13thTeam (4 to Count)159James Edwards41.46M552
247John Clarke47.26M606
282Colin Rathbone50.38M701
292Richard Pettitt54.32M5038
300Finishers
11thA Team (6 to Count)
32ndB Team (6 to Count)
10thVets A Team (4 to Count)
30thVets B Team (4 to Count)
 
 
 
EUROPEAN XC TRIALS - LIVERPOOL
 
29 Nov: VRAC had runners across a variety of age groups competing at the European Cross Country-Trials at Liverpool. Full results are on the main VRAC website however the highlight was that both Mike Vennard and Elliot Bowker qualified for the GB&NI Under 20's team that will compete in the European Cross-Country Championships in Bulgaria in 2 weeks time. They were the 2nd and 3rd GB qualified runners (4th and 5th in the race but one of those ahead of them was Ethiopian and the other from the R of Ireland). Both runners have been competing for the club since they started in athletics at the age of 12 and it's testament to the club's set-up, as well as their own dedication, that they have progressed to this level. It will be Mike's first international vest. Judging by the photo they gave it their all!

In addition there were numerous other excellent performances from our Seniors and U20's in the exceptionally high quality races that featured the vast majority of the Country's top athletes:
 
U20 Men: Sam Whitehead (60th), Matt Sheen (81st) and Ryan Moore (100th) 
U20 Ladies event Katie Gerrard (29th) and Emma Louise Pyatt 119th
 
The Senior Women's race contained a particularly elite field (Gemma Steel and Amelia Gorecka were the first 2 and neither Lily Partridge nor Steph Twell medalled!!) which demonstrated the quality of the performances of a strong VRAC quartet of Kate Spilsbury (54th), Kate Moulds (3 places and and 1 second behind), Kate Titlow (77th) and Laura Bestow (104th).
Meanwhile in the Senior Men's race Alex Hall finished a very creditable 111th with Richard Pettitt's position of 503rd and beating a significant number of runners showing the size of the field. Full results hereYou need to click on the "Liverpool" button to get to the results. 
 
CHEDDLETON 10K
30 Nov:  3 VRAC runners made the trip to a hilly but friendly 3 lap 10k race and all 3 of them managed to come 2nd in their age group. Stu Doyle was 2nd overall (and 2nd V40!) in 33.58 after a close race, Colin Rathbone 149th and 2nd V70 in 48.44 and Carole Williams 260th and 2nd W60 in 57.07. Fortunately the Xmas puddings to every finisher took some of the sting out of the defeats!!!!
 
DAVID STAFF MEMORIAL FELL RACE - DARWIN
30 Nov: Recently joined member John Alton ran his debut race for VRAC on the fells and flew the flag in fine fashion. Here's his report. "The route set off from Darwin up onto the West Pennine Moors, 4.1 miles / 366 meters of ascent. There were 162 finishers, mostly club runners. Came in 31st. Steep technical route most of the way but good fun. Anyone else interested in fell running? Let me know. There are loads of races. Check out the FRA website. Next weekend there is a race in Tintwistle, 5 miles / 305 metres of ascent." 
 
SEAGRAVE CHALLENGE - LEICESTERSHIRE
8 Nov: Late report for this race as results have been slow to come out. A 16 mile scenic off roader with ad lib cakes and high quality mud thrown in.  425 folks joined Sophie Rees for this one. She was 96th overall, 11th lady in 2.17.31.
 
CONWY HALF MARATHON
23 Nov: Congratulations to Sarah Gibbs, one of our junior coaches, who completed the tough Conwy Half marathon which starts at sea level and climbs around the Great Orme.  Sarah posted a very respectable 2.00.57.  Sarah has also just agreed to join the VRAC Committee.
 
LEEDS ABBEY DASH 10K
15 Nov: A renowned high quality race with 17 men (including ex VRAC Steve Mitchell) going sub 30 minutes. An impressive 10k debut for 18 year old Matt Sheen grabbing the 3rd U20 honours. Steve Caldwell ran well but was a tantalising 27 seconds short of the PB he set here 2 years ago. The third of an impressive trio from VRAC and a fine PB was Kate Spilsbury.
 
PosNameGunChip
117Matthew Sheen32.1932.14PB
405Steve Caldwell36.3036.18
436Kate Spilsbury36.5236.39PB
 
NORTH STAFFS XC RACE 3 - PARK HALL
15 Nov: A deceptively tough course with little opportunity for runners to get into a good rhythm. 8th placing for the Ladies team and 7th for the men. Top 3 category placings for Messrs Doyle, Whitehead, Archer and Rathbone. Well done everyone. Just one to go. Nice easy one at Leek. Full results here.
 
LadiesMen
PosNameTimeCatCat PosPosNameTimeCatCat Pos
40Sophie Rees26.33W3573Stu Doyle35.20M402
58Jayne Lomax27.19W4574Sam Whitehead35.26JM1
74Jo Edwards28.10W50635Rob Olliver40.02SM
76Debbie Moreton28.16W451259Darren Cottier41.34M4013
94Angie Channing29.00W451969James Ainsworth42.18SM
148Carole Williams33.55W60684Matt Sweeting43.18SM
186Finishers103Dave Haines44.17M4023
109Tony Archer44.35M601
8thTeam Div 1 (4 to Count)129Tony Atkinson45.48M4520
161John Carroll47.52M5011
207John Clarke51.26M605
213Chris Beard51.37M4542
240Colin Rathbone54.07M702
285Finishers
7thTeam Div 1 (6 to Count)
 
 
STOWMARKET STRIDERS SCENIC 7
 
8 Nov: Bob Corinaldi headed down south for a change of scenery to see Steve McNamara who used to run at VRAC.  As he was on a jolly he binned his usual pre race routine, didn't rest, had a few pints and a curry the night before.  Based on the recent Farndon 10k result of 43.35, Bob reckoned on an additional 7 minutes for the extra 0.8 miles. So sub 51 min would be a good day out but 53 would be fine he thought!

 "The gun went off, the red mist descended and 49.02 later, well chuffed, if not a little shocked I crossed the line.  So there you have it, beer and curry, the perfect pre-race routine, tried and tested by Bob." 
 
Place   Name                              Chip Time     Gun Time    Age Group     AG Place       Club 
79        Bob Corinaldi                    49:02             49:02           MV45              12               Vale Royal AC
128      Steve McNamara               52:18             52:18           MV40              21               Stowmarket Striders  
 
 
XC INTERNATIONAL - BURGOS, SPAIN
 
Congratulations to Elliot Bowker and Tessa McCormick who have been selected by ECCA for the junior (U20) England team. The race is on 16 November at Burgos, Spain. Well deserved recognition for two of our many talented younger athletes. Good luck. 
 
MANCHESTER LEAGUE XC RACE 2 - SHERDLEY PARK
 
8 Nov: Surprisingly good overhead and underfoot conditions welcomed a good turnout of VRACers at Sherdley Park. The usual large high quality fields were in evidence. For the ladies Laura Bestow ran strongly on her debut in the VRAC vest but unfortunately was a non counter for the team due to EA rules on transfer. The men were able to field 3 senior teams, 2 vets teams and an U20 team, including 4th Senior team and a winning U20 team. Some good battles with 'Old' Big Stu out-sprinted by 'Young' Sam Whitehead in the closing yards. Likewise 'Very Old' Tony Archer overhauled by 'Getting Old' Tommy Armstrong in the home straight. Category wins for Stu Doyle and Colin Rathbone. Great stuff. 
 
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
25Laura Bestow34.45SL
43Helen Smith35.53L455
74Emma Pyatt38.05U2010
125Jo Edwards40.08L509
184Carole Williams47.12L606
219Finishers
22ndTeamSmith, Pyatt, Edwards, Williams
19thVets TeamSmith, Edwards, Williams
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
13Sam Whitehead33.25U204
14Stu Doyle33.26M401
49Patrick Stradling36.44U2010
57Danny Morrison36.59U2013
71Rob Olliver37.32SM
91Matt Hulse38.15U2015
123Darren Cottier39.24M4016
127Alex Mason39.39SM
139Craig Sephton40.11M4020
146Tom Armstrong40.29SM
152Tony Archer40.33M602
179Scott Bamber41.35M4521
191James Edwards42.17M554
225Tony Atkinson43.22M4530
251Iain Stanton44.37SM
315John Clarke47.47M6010
335Robery Tipping48.52M4551
355Colin Rathbone50.29M701
Finishers389
4thTeam AWhitehead, Doyle, Stradling, Morrison, Olliver, Hulse
22ndTeam BCottier, Mason, Sephton, Armstrong, Archer, Bamaber
TBCTeam CEdwards, Atkinson, Stanton, Clarke, Tipping, Rathbone
1stU20 TeamWhitehead, Stradling, Morrison
9thVets Team ADoyle, Cottier, Sephton, Archer
22ndVets Team BBamber , Edwards, Atkinson, Clarke
 
ABERGELE 5
 
2 Nov: This year the race incorporated the North Wales 5 mile championships and the North Wales, Cheshire and Staffs inter-county team competition. Sunshine and blue skies greeted the 195 runners competing for individual, team, regional and corporate prizes. A very creditable performance from Steve Caldwell in his  debut for Cheshire. Finishing 20th overall and 4th counter for the Cheshire team on a hilly route with mile splits from 6.38 to 5.18 and an overall average under 6 minutes/mile.  Well done Steve. Full resultshere.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
CHESHIRE 10K - ARLEY
 
2 Nov: Good weather conditions and a fast course held the prospect for some fast times and PB's. With the race won in 29.11 this proved to be the case. Another excellent result and PB for Stu Doyle (25 seconds) and 1st vet. Next home recent member Euan Dunbar also with a PB. A good run from Paul Spare 4th in his category. Jayne Lomax was delighted to take around 2 minutes off her PB and registering 3rd in her category.  Richard Murray finished off proceedings and a successful day for VRAC.  Well done all. 
 
PosNameGunChip CatCat Pos
7Stu Doyle32.1732.15M401PB
242Euan Dunbar45.0844.49M5024PB
291Paul Spare46.2946.10M654
294Jayne Lomax46.3446.01L553PB
297Richard Murray46.4045.44M4531
1167Finishers
 
LANGLEY 7
 
1 Nov: Nick Haywood, James Ainsworth & Craig Sephton flew the Vale Royal flag at thisannual event which this year was treated to more favourable weather. Past entrants will agree that the first couple of miles can lull anyone into a false sense of security before the inevitable long climb upwards begins, eventually to summit at approximately the 4 mile point. From that point it's all downhill. Craig & James ran side by side from start until finish except when James had to deviate his route to avoid the puddles & getting his new trainers muddy! Nick following every so closely throughout the ups & downs. A great short race with a bottle of beer as a post race reward. 

Craig Sephton 45:50 M40 overall place 27
James Ainsworth MS 45:50 overall place 28 
Nick Haywood MS 47:56 overall place 55

Finishers  288
 
 
HELL RUNNER UP NORTH - DELAMERE FOREST
 
1 Nov: Sharing a bottle of shiraz with your loved one in the warmth of the spring can lead to all sorts of things... like deciding to run Hell Runner together in November... obviously. Well done Debbie Moreton and hubby Adam.  12 miles in true Hell Runner style including plenty of smelly, boggy mud. By her own admission well out of her comfort zone Debbie came an impressive 7th L45 (out of 65) in a time of 2.55.41. More importantly, she beat hubby by 14 minutes but was quick to praise his performance off little training. Well done Mr and Mrs Moreton. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
NORTH STAFFS XC RACE 2 - STAFFORD COMMON
 
 
25 Oct: An uncharacteristically dry Stafford Common and mild conditions welcomed a good turnout from VRAC, 8 ladies and 17 men. Let's keep it going for the remaining 2 races.  
 
Men    Ladies    
PosNameTimeCatCat PosPosNameTimeCatCat Pos
3Stuart Doyle34:41:00V40134Helen Smith23:06:00V453
26Rob Oliver38:14:00SEN 37Sophia Rees23:28:00V35 
66Darren Cottier40:46:00V401466Jayne Lomax25:20:00V4511
78James Ainsworth41:20:00V35 69Joanne Edwards25:22:00V5012
90Matthew Sweeting41:52:00V35 74Angie Channing25:36:00V4013
98David Haines42:22:00V401876Debbie Moreton25:38:00V4515
106Tony Archer42:52:00V60184Sarah Main25:57:00V4017
112Scott Bamber43:07:00V4522145Carole Williams30:29:00V604
120Iain Stanton43:22:00V35   
144James Edwards44:25:00V554184Finishers 
168Mike Harrington45:49:00V4033  
193Simon Bridge47:38:00V4543
208Chris Beard48:31:00V4549
212John Clarke48:42:00V605
246Colin Rathbone51:16:00V702
286Richard Pettit56:56:00V5024
  
301Finishers 
  
6thTeam Div 16 to count  
 
HALLOWEEN HELLRAISER, NANTWICH
26 Oct: A tough little multi-terrain race of approximately 9 miles in the Cheshire countryside, near Nantwich. Some good performances with Daniel Morrison leading the 7 VRACers home with a top 10 finish. Another nice win for Gemma Barnett who came home first lady a few minutes ahead of proud Dad John Todd who was 2nd M50. Jo Edwards was delighted to run 10 minutes quicker than last year to win her age group. Hats off to Jo Edwards and Iain Stanton who raced the XC at Stafford Common the day before. 
 
PosNameTime
9Daniel Morrison1.07.32
15Gemma Barnett1.08.551st Lady
28John Todd1.12.012nd M50
38Iain Stanton1.14.05
44Cara Louise-Gibbons1.17.10
45Josh Betteley1.17.10
67Jo Edwards1.23.221st L50
146Finishers
 
BEYOND MARATHON DUSK TILL DAWN
25 October: Another in Alex Mason's ultra marathon series. A superb 3rd place podium finish racing through the night in various and difficult terrains. Congratulation Alex. Read his full report here on the Message Board.  
 
SNOWDON MARATHON
25 Oct: Just two VRACers this year at this infamous marathon. Who else could it be but Snowdon stalwarts Paul Clutterbuck and Dave 'Spud' Murphy. Excellent runs from both of them. Here's a slightly editted (!!) report from Clutty.
 
"If anyone has done this race they will no how tough it is. I feel lucky to have done it so many times (7). Spud did 3.11 at Manchester and 3.39 here, that tells you what it is! Poured down at the start and cold and windy, then perfect last 2 hours warm and wind died. Spud had a great run up to 22 miles then his calf blew up and he crossed the line like the Tin Man and ran on to the massage tent! As you no he is Tough and the marathon times don't lie. I had a good run but did expect to wake up in the back of a Sea King near the top of the last climb! Anyway in short as THE VET it is a major big thing to get round this course!"

FOOTNOTE: the following message was posted on VRAC's Facebook page by Steve Webb of Belle Vue Racers.

"A Vale Royal Runner saw me barely able to walk with cramp and hip problems at mile 19/20. He gave me his bottle of water, It saved my race, within minutes I could run again, whoever you are, I owe you one - brilliant camaraderie."

VRAC Knight of the Road was Mr P Clutterbuck. Enough said. 
 
PosNameChip Gun
265Dave Murphy3.39.043.39.38
593Paul Clutterbuck4.01.044.02.12
1709Finishers
 
FARNDON 10K
19 Oct: Another excellent race organised by Mike Harrington allowed the revival of the Farndon 10k. Blustery conditions for the runners with some good performances not least a great 3rd place for Alex Hall. Good to see Gary Weedall racing again with 2nd in his category. A very happy Bob Corinaldi smashed through the 45 minute barrier with a huge PB, just reward for 3 years of committed effort. Also a nice category 2nd for Debbie Moreton. Well done everyone. Full resultshere.
PosFirst nameLast nameGun timeChip TimePosGenderPosCatPos
3AlexHall33:34:0033:34:003Male3SM2
22DavidHaines40:26:0040:25:0022Male22Vet 403
31GaryWeedall41:17:0041:14:0031Male29Vet 502
64BobCorinaldi43:35:0043:35:0065Male58Vet 4515
97ChrisBeard46:12:0046:06:0097Male86Vet 4521
103EuanDunbar46:57:0046:46:00104Male91Vet 509
122DebbieMoreton49:08:0049:00:00124Female16Vet 452
 
NORTHERN XC RELAYS - SHEFFIELD
18 Oct: The senior men's teams achieved what is believed to be a first for the club on Saturday by winning medals at the Northern XC Relays at Graves Park in Sheffield. Elliott Bowker continued his recent excellent form by bringing the team home in 2nd place on leg 1 which Matt Sheen maintained on leg 2. Stu Doyle slipped back to 4th on leg 3 however Sam Whitehead, making a brilliant return to racing after a lengthy injury layoff, brought the club back into 3rd place just 1 second behind Warrington but crucially 2 seconds ahead of 4th placed Hallamshire. The perennial medallists,  Leeds and Sale, were 5th and 6th respectively. Meanwhile Steve Caldwell also produced a really strong run on Leg 1 as an incomplete team. The senior women similarly put in a superb team effort with Katie Gerrard coming home 5th after leg 1 and Kate Titlow and Clara Pettit then maintaining the clubs place well inside the top 10, a position the senior women's section has now become used to achieving at Regional level. 
 
MANCHESTER LEAGUE XC - RACE 1 STOCKPORT (Pics in Gallery via John Davis/Rob Brown)
 
11 Oct: VRAC in a nutshell - Jake Brown 2nd in U17 men... Colin Rathbone 2nd M70 in seniors race.
 
Woodbank Park, a venue that is usually later in the season and usually very muddy. VRACers were able to enjoy near perfect conditions with hardly any mud and fine weather. Ahead of the seniors race a superb race from Jake Brown to finish second in the U17 mens race. Unfortunately, only 2 ladies made the race with typically solid performances from both Jo Edwards and Carole WIlliams. For the men an excellent turnout of 14 runners enabling us to field 2 senior teams and 2 vets teams. A massive field of over 400 made for a difficult start. A close battle up front between Steve Caldwell and Rob Olliver with Rob overtaking Steve on the last lap but Steve winning a frantic sprint to the line. Excellent run from Craig Sephton who hasn't run much since sustaining a groin strain at the first N Staffs XC, closely followed by another good run from Darren Cottier. Good to see Iain Stanton working his way back up the places. Tony Archer and Colin Rathbone both posted 2nd in their age groups. Well done everyone... and how nice to hear so many saying 'I quite enjoyed that' at the end! 
 
PosNameTimeCat

Cat Pos 

103Jo Edwards41.38L508
187Carole Williams51.07L607
211Finishers
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
66Steve Caldwell38.35
69Rob Olliver38.39
145Craig Sephton42.01M4024
161Darren Cottier42.21M4027
170James Ainsworth42.47
179Tony Archer43.22M602
197Scott Bamber43.57M4521
238Iain Stanton45.28
244James Edwards45.41M558
336John Clarke50.18M608
394Colin Rathbone53.33M702
400Robert Tipping54.20M4553
409Richard Pettitt57.14M5044
415Paul Hudson61.06M6014
420Finishers
20thTeam (6 counters Caldwell - Archer)
45th Team (6 Counters Bamber - Tipping)
11thVets Team (4 Counters Sephton - Bamber)
36thVets Team (4 Counters Edwards - Tipping)
 
NATIONAL 4 AND 6 STAGE RELAYS
 
 
4 Oct: Over the weekend the club competed in the National Road Relays at Sutton Park in Birmingham - 6 x 5.85km for Senior Men, 4 x 4.3 km for Senior Women. The senior teams performed particularly well with the Ladies A team of Tess McCormick, Katie Brough, Katie Gerrard and Kate Spilsbury finishing 9th and the Ladies B Team, Rebecca Craigie, Jessica Parsons, Kerry Riley & Clara Pettitt finishing 37th. 60 Ladies teams took part. The Mens team of Elliot Bowker (8th fastest overall leg of the day out of 465) , Chris Perry, Matt Sheen, Alex Hall, Stuart Doyle and Nathan Tipping finished 22nd out of 77 teams - superb performances considering the size of Vale Royal AC and the fact the virtually every club that beat us are based in a major city or town in the UK. It was particularly satisfying to compete so well in a senior competition on a National Stage as for so long we have won medals in the junior age group but never been able to translate it to the senior events.  
  
OULTON PARK DUATHLON
James Ainsworth wearing the VRAC vest with pride at the Oulton Park Duathlon.
 
Run 1: 8.61km(2 laps)33:48
T1:1:09
Bike : 38.76km (9 laps) 1:18:33
T2: 1:01
Run 2: 4.307km (1 lap) 16:49
O/A time 2:11:22
134 position o/a ; cat position 28
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RED BULL STEEPLE CHASE
 
5 Oct: The latest challenge for Alex Mason in the hills. A brutal and unusual disqualification format. The fell version of a bleep test it seems! A very good performance from Alex in a strong field of like minded mountain goats. Further details from Alex on the Message Board
 
CHESTER MARATHON
 
5 Oct: Very impressive runs from Sophie Rees and Sula Stanley. As we know Sophie suffered disappointment 8 days before the Rome marathon with a serious foot injury.  Her 'unfinished' business with the distance saw her clock a 24 minute PB... and no (reported) falls. Likewise Sula Stanley showed her huge improvement with a 30 minute PB over last years time. Impressive ladies, very impressive.  Note: Regrettably VRAC's Mark Pilliner, who was also due to run, was unable to participate following a nasty fall from his bike. 
 
HalfFinishPace/Mile
Sophie Rees1.41.263.23.507.47
Sula Stanley1.49.443.49.148.56
 
 
HALLOWEEN HELLRAISER, NANTWICH
26 Oct: A tough little multi-terrain race of approximately 9 miles in the Cheshire countryside, near Nantwich. Some good performances with Daniel Morrison leading the 7 VRACers home with a top 10 finish. Another nice win for Gemma Barnett who came home first lady a few minutes ahead of proud Dad John Todd who was 2nd M50. Jo Edwards was delighted to run 10 minutes quicker than last year to win her age group. Hats off to Jo Edwards and Iain Stanton who raced the XC at Stafford Common the day before.
 
 

 

PosNameTime
9Daniel Morrison1.07.32
15Gemma Barnett1.08.551st Lady
28John Todd1.12.012nd M50
38Iain Stanton1.14.05
44Cara Louise-Gibbons1.17.10
45Josh Betteley1.17.10
67Jo Edwards1.23.221st L50
146Finishers

 

 
BEYOND MARATHON DUSK TILL DAWN
25 October: Another in Alex Mason's ultra marathon series. A superb 3rd place podium finish racing through the night in various and difficult terrains. Congratulation Alex. Read his full report here on the Message Board.  
 
SNOWDON MARATHON
25 Oct: Just two VRACers this year at this infamous marathon. Who else could it be but Snowdon stalwarts Paul Clutterbuck and Dave 'Spud' Murphy. Excellent runs from both of them. Here's a slightly editted (!!) report from Clutty.
 

"If anyone has done this race they will no how tough it is. I feel lucky to have done it so many times (7). Spud did 3.11 at Manchester and 3.39 here, that tells you what it is! Poured down at the start and cold and windy, then perfect last 2 hours warm and wind died. Spud had a great run up to 22 miles then his calf blew up and he crossed the line like the Tin Man and ran on to the massage tent! As you no he is Tough and the marathon times don't lie. I had a good run but did expect to wake up in the back of a Sea King near the top of the last climb! Anyway in short as THE VET it is a major big thing to get round this course!"


FOOTNOTE: the following message was posted on VRAC's Facebook page by Steve Webb of Belle Vue Racers.

"A Vale Royal Runner saw me barely able to walk with cramp and hip problems at mile 19/20. He gave me his bottle of water, It saved my race, within minutes I could run again, whoever you are, I owe you one - brilliant camaraderie."

VRAC Knight of the Road was Mr P Clutterbuck. Enough said. 
 

 

PosNameChip Gun
265Dave Murphy3.39.043.39.38
593Paul Clutterbuck4.01.044.02.12
1709Finishers

 

 
FARNDON 10K
19 Oct: Another excellent race organised by Mike Harrington allowed the revival of the Farndon 10k. Blustery conditions for the runners with some good performances not least a great 3rd place for Alex Hall. Good to see Gary Weedall racing again with 2nd in his category. A very happy Bob Corinaldi smashed through the 45 minute barrier with a huge PB, just reward for 3 years of committed effort. Also a nice category 2nd for Debbie Moreton. Well done everyone. Full results here.
PosFirst nameLast nameGun timeChip TimePosGenderPosCatPos
3AlexHall33:34:0033:34:003Male3SM2
22DavidHaines40:26:0040:25:0022Male22Vet 403
31GaryWeedall41:17:0041:14:0031Male29Vet 502
64BobCorinaldi43:35:0043:35:0065Male58Vet 4515
97ChrisBeard46:12:0046:06:0097Male86Vet 4521
103EuanDunbar46:57:0046:46:00104Male91Vet 509
122DebbieMoreton49:08:0049:00:00124Female16Vet 452
 
NORTHERN XC RELAYS - SHEFFIELD
18 Oct: The senior men's teams achieved what is believed to be a first for the club on Saturday by winning medals at the Northern XC Relays at Graves Park in Sheffield. Elliott Bowker continued his recent excellent form by bringing the team home in 2nd place on leg 1 which Matt Sheen maintained on leg 2. Stu Doyle slipped back to 4th on leg 3 however Sam Whitehead, making a brilliant return to racing after a lengthy injury layoff, brought the club back into 3rd place just 1 second behind Warrington but crucially 2 seconds ahead of 4th placed Hallamshire. The perennial medallists,  Leeds and Sale, were 5th and 6th respectively. Meanwhile Steve Caldwell also produced a really strong run on Leg 1 as an incomplete team. The senior women similarly put in a superb team effort with Katie Gerrard coming home 5th after leg 1 and Kate Titlow and Clara Pettit then maintaining the clubs place well inside the top 10, a position the senior women's section has now become used to achieving at Regional level. 
 
MANCHESTER LEAGUE XC - RACE 1 STOCKPORT (Pics in Gallery via John Davis/Rob Brown)
 
11 Oct: VRAC in a nutshell - Jake Brown 2nd in U17 men... Colin Rathbone 2nd M70 in seniors race.
 
Woodbank Park, a venue that is usually later in the season and usually very muddy. VRACers were able to enjoy near perfect conditions with hardly any mud and fine weather. Ahead of the seniors race a superb race from Jake Brown to finish second in the U17 mens race. Unfortunately, only 2 ladies made the race with typically solid performances from both Jo Edwards and Carole WIlliams. For the men an excellent turnout of 14 runners enabling us to field 2 senior teams and 2 vets teams. A massive field of over 400 made for a difficult start. A close battle up front between Steve Caldwell and Rob Olliver with Rob overtaking Steve on the last lap but Steve winning a frantic sprint to the line. Excellent run from Craig Sephton who hasn't run much since sustaining a groin strain at the first N Staffs XC, closely followed by another good run from Darren Cottier. Good to see Iain Stanton working his way back up the places. Tony Archer and Colin Rathbone both posted 2nd in their age groups. Well done everyone... and how nice to hear so many saying 'I quite enjoyed that' at the end! 
 

 

PosNameTimeCat

Cat Pos 

103Jo Edwards41.38L508
187Carole Williams51.07L607
211Finishers
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
66Steve Caldwell38.35
69Rob Olliver38.39
145Craig Sephton42.01M4024
161Darren Cottier42.21M4027
170James Ainsworth42.47
179Tony Archer43.22M602
197Scott Bamber43.57M4521
238Iain Stanton45.28
244James Edwards45.41M558
336John Clarke50.18M608
394Colin Rathbone53.33M702
400Robert Tipping54.20M4553
409Richard Pettitt57.14M5044
415Paul Hudson61.06M6014
420Finishers
20thTeam (6 counters Caldwell - Archer)
45th Team (6 Counters Bamber - Tipping)
11thVets Team (4 Counters Sephton - Bamber)
36thVets Team (4 Counters Edwards - Tipping)

 

 
NATIONAL 4 AND 6 STAGE RELAYS
  
 
4 Oct: Over the weekend the club competed in the National Road Relays at Sutton Park in Birmingham - 6 x 5.85km for Senior Men, 4 x 4.3 km for Senior Women. The senior teams performed particularly well with the Ladies A team of Tess McCormick, Katie Brough, Katie Gerrard and Kate Spilsbury finishing 9th and the Ladies B Team, Rebecca Craigie, Jessica Parsons, Kerry Riley & Clara Pettitt finishing 37th. 60 Ladies teams took part. The Mens team of Elliot Bowker (8th fastest overall leg of the day out of 465) , Chris Perry, Matt Sheen, Alex Hall, Stuart Doyle and Nathan Tipping finished 22nd out of 77 teams - superb performances considering the size of Vale Royal AC and the fact the virtually every club that beat us are based in a major city or town in the UK. It was particularly satisfying to compete so well in a senior competition on a National Stage as for so long we have won medals in the junior age group but never been able to translate it to the senior events.  
  
OULTON PARK DUATHLON
James Ainsworth wearing the VRAC vest with pride at the Oulton Park Duathlon.
 
Run 1: 8.61km(2 laps)33:48
T1:1:09
Bike : 38.76km (9 laps) 1:18:33
T2: 1:01
Run 2: 4.307km (1 lap) 16:49
O/A time 2:11:22
134 position o/a ; cat position 28
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
RED BULL STEEPLE CHASE
 
5 Oct: The latest challenge for Alex Mason in the hills. A brutal and unusual disqualification format. The fell version of a bleep test it seems! A very good performance from Alex in a strong field of like minded mountain goats. Further details from Alex on the Message Board
 
CHESTER MARATHON
 
5 Oct: Very impressive runs from Sophie Rees and Sula Stanley. As we know Sophie suffered disappointment 8 days before the Rome marathon with a serious foot injury.  Her 'unfinished' business with the distance saw her clock a 24 minute PB... and no (reported) falls. Likewise Sula Stanley showed her huge improvement with a 30 minute PB over last years time. Impressive ladies, very impressive.  Note: Regrettably VRAC's Mark Pilliner, who was also due to run, was unable to participate following a nasty fall from his bike. 
 

 

HalfFinishPace/Mile
Sophie Rees1.41.263.23.507.47
Sula Stanley1.49.443.49.148.56

 

 
MACCLESFIELD HALF MARATHON
28 Sep: Macc half is a tough race. It's even tougher if you have raced hard the day before. Sophie Rees 'fresh' from a great run in the long Sandstone trail the previous day and Jayne Lomax 'fresh' from the Knight's Grange XC the previous day decided to find out. They found out it was TOUGH! Very decent times all things considered. Well done ladies. Now you know.
 
PosNameTime
240Sophie Rees1.49.34
371Jayne Lomax1.58.16
689Finishers
 
 
NORTH STAFFS XC - RACE 1 KNIGHTS GRANGE
 
27 Sep: The cross country season kicked off with an excellent event hosted by VRAC. Many of the speedy youngsters were absent but some good performances nonetheless.  Helen Smith led home the ladies with Jacky Thorn and Carole Williams 2nd and 3rd in their categories respectively. A great run by Stu Doyle to win the mens race outright with Patrick Stradling, Tony Archer and James Edwards with category placings.  Thanks to the organisers, helpers and supporters. A great club atmosphere. Full results and photos here.
 
PosNameTime
31Helen Smith25.04
70Jacky Thorn27.422nd L55
73Jayne Lomax27.47
78Angie Channing27.56
92Debbie Moreton28.34
130Sarah Walker32.05
141Carole Williams33.453rd L60
154Sarah Gibbs36.12
174Finishers
7th TeamDiv 1
1Stu Doyle38.011st M40
16Patrick Stradling41.042nd JM
57Darren Cottier44.32
68David Shepherd45.08
69Matt Sweeting45.11
78Mike Harrington45.45
80Craig Sephton45.50
86James Ainsworth46.30
102Tony Archer47.321st M60
122James Edwards48.553rd M55
125Iain Stanton48.59
168John Carroll51.52
180Simon Bridge53.05
196Rick Murray54.41
199John Clarke54.52
243Richard Pettitt63.24
256Finishers
7th TeamDiv 1
 
 
SANDSTONE TRAIL
 
27 Sep: Some excellent performances at this years Sandstone trail race in fine if somewhat warm conditions.  In the A race Rob Olliver continued his excellent form finishing 4th overall just 28 seconds slower than last year. Dave Haines turned in a great race following a hamstring scare at training last Thursday managing to prevail over Nick Haywood. Sophie Rees continues her impressive comeback with a 5 min PB following her long injury break... but of course no race would be complete without the obligatory Rees tumble. This time at 16 miles. Bob Corinaldi got just rewards for his committed training for the race with a PB despite feeling bad at Rock Farm.
 
In the B race a fantastic 1st place for VRAC with Alex Hall first home with 2 minutes to spare. Another great run from Gemma Barnett with 3rd lady followed by Dad John Todd with an M50 placing. Paul Clutterbuck, Claire Chapman, Barry Chambers and Chris Griffiths rounded off a good day for VRAC.
 
Many (including himself) were containing their excitement, expectant of a great performance from Steve Caldwell. Pity he missed the race thinking it was on Sunday. Derrr...
 
A Race
PosNameTime
4Rob Olliver2.03.34
35Dave Haines2.24.08
47Nick Haywood2.28.20
67Sophie Rees2.35.49
73Bob Corinaldi2.39.21
B Race
1Alex Hall1.10.24
13Gemma Barnett1.20.483rd lady
18John Todd1.23.493rd M50
44Paul Clutterbuck1.33.33
52Claire Chapman1.36.26
66Barry Chambers1.34.283rd M60
92Chris Griffiths1.46.37
 
 
ENGLISH HALF MARATHON - WARRINGTON
21 Sep: Angie Channing and Pippa Grey flew the flag admirabley for VRAC and both had good runs. Angie knocking 2 minutes off her PB!  Well done ladies. 
 
 NamePos Chip Time 
 Angie Channing 438 1.41.49
 Pippa Grey 423 1.43.37
 
SUTTON 6 - GUILDEN SUTTON
 
21 Sep: Clearly a fast 6.3k at the Northern Road Relays on Saturday was not enough for Stu Doyle who went along to tackle this local 10k. Stu was 2nd overall in a time of 33mins dead. He's claiming it should have been 32.59! To add insult to injury after the race a lady queried if he ran for Delamere Spartans!  Full results not yet published so not sure yet if there were other VRACers out there.
 
NORTHERN ROAD RELAYS - BIRCHWOOD
 
20 Sep: Saturday's relays saw a massive step forward in the standing of the senior men's team at this level with  a superb 11th place finish by the A team. The scale of the achievement can be demonstrated by the facts that the top 10 clubs are all based in one of the North's major cities ( Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle) whilst in addition VRAC's 6 man team comprised 4 juniors, a veteran and a single Senior man.

The team were led off by Elliot Bowker who ran a phenomenal leg to finish 4th, running 18.18 for the 3.85m stage which proved to be the 6th fastest  leg of the whole day and beating an illustrious list of the North's best senior distance runners. 2nd man was Chris Perry who maintained 4th place with another strong run (19.30) whilst 17 year old Matt Sheen kept the team right up there in 6th with an excellent 20.17 leg on his debut in a Senior relay. 43 year old Stu Doyle's 20.03 run lost 3 places to 9th ( as a number of competing clubs decided to put their big guns on this leg - or so Stu informs us!!) however Ryan Moore steadied the ship by maintaining the position with an excellently paced solo 20.46 leg and the performance was finished off in style by Nathan Tipping ( 20.52). Meanwhile, also demonstrating how far the club has come was the fact we were able to field a strong B team. This again was a mix of youth and experience ( although unlike the A team more weighted towards the latter!!) After strong opening legs by Steve Caldwell ( 22.25), Tommy Armstrong (23.09) and Mike Harrington (22.58) Danny Morrison then produced the teams quickest stage of 21.38 to pick up 13 places which Dave Shepherd (23.10) and Tony Archer (24.51) maintained the bring the team home in 79th out of 116 finishing teams.

Conversely the senior ladies have been competing at high levels Regionally and Nationally for several years and yesterday's performances consolidated their status as one of the North's top clubs. Jodie Spencer led the A team on leg 1 however after a superb start she then suffered a medical issue and heroically finished her leg enabling the rest of the team to scythe their way through the field - Katie Gerrard picked up 23 places, Kate Spilsbury took another 13 and Tessa McCormick, matching Elliot's performance in running the 6th fastest leg of the day, brought the team up to a brilliant 9th.

The ladies B team similarly performed tremendously well and showed great consistency with all 4 runners ( Rebecca Craigie, Jess Parsons, Kerry Riley, Kate Titlow) within 1 min 4 seconds of each other!!! This enabled  the team to manage an overall 13th place - the only B team in the top 20 which shows remarkable strength in depth. And the reward for the such a great day's racing - Mrs Archers famous flapjacks!!!  
 
HIGH PEAK 40
 
20 Sep: Alex Mason's 4th attempt to break 7 hours in this brutal ultra endurance fell race. Did he do it? Read on. 
 
Every time I've done this my goal has been sub 7 hours, I know and believe I could do it but it always eluded me.  I'd signed up for this a while ago with the aim of beating my demons and going sub 7.  As I was driving there my mind and heart were not with it.  I'd signed up for the Red Bull Steeplechase in two weeks time and Dusk til Dawn two weeks later and I was more excited about doing them and the HP40 just felt 'in the way'. For the previous two days before the run I wasn't feeling well, I put it down to feeling stressed about the race and dreading it.  I'd taken a leaf out of James A's book and looked at previous splits and times and identified where I could go faster. I was amazed at how slow I was on the 'easy' sections, I was faster on the hillier technical bits so I recalculated where I should be at each CP to achieve the sub 7. 10 mins here, 5 mins there. For the 1st half I was feeling great, putting a good pace in and got to Castleton in 3hrs, the exact same time as last year, oh dear.  However I was 12th rather than 30th so that was good. With ultras, conditions can have a huge variation on times and these aren't always a good indicator of performance. Up Cave Dale which was previously my nemesis but I claimed a couple of scalps and pushed onto the next CP. The next two sections are 'freebies' - flat or downhill for 10K where you can bag time.  This is where I performed poorly before and where I can adjust.  I ran strong and got to Monsal Head - 30 miles in. I checked my times and my 7hr plan was now way off mark, I had to chuck it out the window and re-evaluate my goal but I knew I still had the 'road from hell' section to haemorrhage time. At the 'road from hell' CP I necked a Red Bull and got going on the road.  I managed to run it all which was worthy of a medal in itself. Down the slash in the Earth which is Deep Dale 2 and to the last CP. Now I said my plan was off mark, normally I re-evaluate up but I had gained so much time in the 1/2 half that I would smash 7hrs and had to re-evaluate down. I had less than a Parkrun to do and landed 9th in 6:28. 20 scalps and an hour faster than last year. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything. My demons are conquered and I think this will be my last HP40 (unless any VRACers are incentivised then I'll quite happily pace them round). This is the first time I've felt emotional after a race and I had a little cry in the car on the way home.  It was little as the salt from my sweat got in my eyes!  
 
NORTH WEST ROAD RELAYS - STOCKPORT
13 Sep: The club sent strong teams in all age groups to Saturdays North West Road Relays which were held at a sunny and warm Woodbank Park in Stockport. The seniors entered 3 ladies and 2 men's teams, all of which were a mix of youth and experience and it was particularly pleasing to see so many of the club's youngsters making an impact in the senior ranks in their first races in this age group - so successfully in fact that all 4 of the complete teams gained Cheshire medals!!

Ladies A Team ( Tess McCormick, Katie Gerrard, Jodie Spencer) - 2nd North West Team (missing out on Gold to Stockport by a mere 7 seconds) and 1st Cheshire Team

Ladies B Team ( Rebecca Craigie, Jess Parsons and Gemma Barnett) - 6th North West Team and 2nd cheshire team - just ahead of Wilmslow's A Team!!

Ladies C Team ( Kerry Riley and Clara Pettit) - an incomplete team but after 2 of the 3 legs they were 16th out of the 40 North West squads who ran

In addition Tess ran the fastest female leg of the day.

Men's A Team ( Matt Sheen, Ryan Moore, Stu Doyle and Nathan Tipping) - 9th North West Team and 1st Cheshire Team - just beating Warrington to Gold by 5 secs thanks to a superb final last 200m from Nathan

men's B team ( Steve Caldwell, Patrick Stradling, Tommy Armstrong and John Todd) - 33rd North West Team ( out of 62) and 3rd Cheshire team. 
 
CHESHIRE TRACK AND FIELD - CONNAH'S QUAY
7 Sep: Vale’s senior men (Jack Forster, Ryan Stringer, Ian Billinge and Matt Jakeman) broke the 4 x 100m club record on Sunday competing in the Cheshire Track and Field League at Connah’s Quay, finishing first with a time of 46.5 seconds. Well done lads.
 
 
BALA STANDARD TRIATHLON
7 Sep: Craig Sephton keeps coming back to this event each year, attempting to chip away at his best time over the same course. Sunday’s race conditions provided a good opportunity. There was an impressive competitive field as this event was once more a European Qualifier. Here's how it unfolded:

"The swim was typified by the initial washing machine start until it settled down, I held a good initial pace from the outset to exit the water in 25 mins. Out on the bike course the absence of wind this year helped for the returning miles and I was pleased to be holding a good average pace and wondered if this would cause some suffering on the run, hopping off the bike and into transition after the 1 hour mark. I seemed to fly out of T2, far too quickly realising by mile 1 that I needed to reign my pace in a little. I kept an eye on the clock and knowing where the finish was very happy to confirm that I’d Pb’d once over the line. A slight cause for concern arose later, having been wrongly issued a 2 minute Penalty for a number violation. However this appears to be a case of mistaken identity and hence the penalty has quite rightly been nullified and my Pb of 2hrs 08 mins 14 seconds remains for now!" 

1.5km Swim – 25 mins 26 secs

40 km Bike – 1hr 48 secs

10 km Run – 40 mins 02 secs 

 
SOUTH CHESHIRE 20
 
7 Sept: It was a lovely sunny morning for a 20 mile run on the roads of the South Cheshire countryside.  Paul Clutterbuck, fuelled with 3 pints and (not his choice) fajitas which came back to haunt him, and Sophie Rees, filled with excitement about doing her first "long" run back after injury were on the start line of this low-key but lovely, little, hilly event. The lumpiness of the route just added to the interest. South Cheshire Harriers put on a great event, with ample water stations, great marshalling and lots of support... and jelly babies. Sophie was happy with her non-rested/non-tapered 2:37:45, (9th female) with her feet holding out, much to her relief, and Clutty was pleased with his pre-Snowdon 2:47:17. A great morning out. Fully recommend it to anyone.  210 ran.  
 
 
 
MONTANE TRAIL 10K - DELAMERE FOREST
 
7 Sept: A superfit alex mason who has 100 miles of trail races coming up over the next few weeks won over what was a quite technical delamere 10k route. as marbury the week before the route was further than standard - 10.5k to be accurate.
 
alex mason           pos.1st in 42.43
david shepherd     pos.3rd in 43.43
161 finishers 
 
Full results here.  
 
RUN MARBURY 10K (REVERSE)
 
 
31 Aug:  A brilliant 1 2 3 for VRAC. This is the race Steve Caldwell won in March but this time run in reverse (and with some mud!). Very quick runs from Ryan Moore and Nathan Tipping up front. Another good race from our resident teacher Steve Caldwell who owned up to two schoolboy errors. First he made 'big' of his win in March and encouraged other VRACers to enter the reverse race. Second. he wore flats in the mud. Priceless. Good to see Stephen/John/JT Thomson and Claire Thompson racing again with category wins and a second lady finish for Claire. Ang Channing and Sarah Walker brought home a successful VRAC contingent.
 
 

 

PosNameTime
1Ryan Moore36.00
2Nathan Tipping36.54
3Steve Caldwell38.21
8Stephen Thompson41.051st M50
20Claire Thompson43.422nd Lady 1st F35
44Ang Channing47.15
103Sarah Walker55.17
207Finishers

 

 
RUN MARBURY 5K
 
30 Aug: David Shepherd posted a second and Claire Thompson third was a good outcome for VRAC in this multi-terrain 5k which turned out to be 5.3k due to a route change. Claire deciding to do the 5k on Saturday and then the 10k the following day!
 
 

 

PosNameTime
2David Shepherd20.54
3Claire Thompson22.521st Lady
54Finishers

 

 
 
CREWE 5K SERIES - RACE 3
 
29 Aug: The rain held off for the third and final race in this years Crewe 5K Series. The race saw the biggest VR turnout of the series and there were some good performances on the night, from Edward Pettitt and Gemma Barnett saw her finish second female and win the series. John Clarke also finished first V60. Full results here.

 

 Position Name Time  Cat.
 4 Daniel Morrison 17.05 M
 14 Dave Sheppard 18.33 V45
 15 Ian Brough 18.38 V40
 16 Edward Pettitt 18.40 M
 17 Rob Olliver 18.43 M
 18 Gemma Barnett 18.45 F
 20 Graham Miles 19.11 V45
 21 Kerry Riley 19.19 F
 22 Sophie Smith 19.26 F
 27 John Todd 20.03 V50
 37 Clara Pettitt 21.44 F
 38 Charlie Fawkes 21.52 M
 39 Geoff Fawkes 21.52 V40
 40 Holly Smith 22.06 F
 43 John Clarke 23.20 V60
 52 Richard Pettitt 25.25 V50
 53 Paul Hudson 25.35 V55
 56 Shaun McGrath 31.28 V65

 

 Finishers: 58
 
CAPENHURST 5K
 
20 Aug: Nice cool conditions for the 10 VRACers for this potential PB course. Tessa McCormick led home with a very impressive PB following her recent Crewe race. Rob Olliver's chip time gave him a 3 second PB (gun time equaled his PB!). PB also for David Shepherd and a category win for Mary Tavener. Full results here.
 
 

 

PosNameGun TimeChip Time
23Tessa McCormick17.0917.062nd Lady 1st FU20
29Rob Olliver17.2017.17
47Tommy Armstrong17.5817.58
48Steve Caldwell18.0218.02
54David Shepherd18.1718.16
84Tony Archer19.2819.23
98James Edwards20.0019.53
146Mary Tavener22.1222.071st FV50
149Barry Chambers22.1822.09
194Richard Pettitt25.2725.2
238Finishers

 

 
 
REEPHAM SUMMER 10K
 
17 Aug: Whilst on holiday Alex Mason stumbled across this race in Norfolk. A multi terrain 10k but nothing to worry our resident ultra distance trail runner. A tidy sub 39 minute finish (38.52) placed Alex 10th in a field of 262. In fact a 3 minute PB as Alex hasn't raced this distance for 3 years... his comment "Not my sort of race...flat, short and non-technical. What Norfolk lacks in hills it makes up for in wind"! 
 
LEEK HALF MARATHON
 
17 Aug: Blustery conditions added to the challenge of this hilly half renowned for it's 'toughness'. Nick Haywood has been impressive in training and turned this into an excellent race high up the field and just outside the 1.30 mark. Gemma Barnett won here last year but had to settle for a still impressive second this time. Not far back John Todd with a very decent time on this course. Full results here.  
 
 

 

PosNameCatTime
23Nick HaywoodSM1.30.20
35Gemma BarnettL1.32.342nd Lady
53John ToddM501.35.456th M50
213Finishers

 

 
BIRCHWOOD 10K
 
17 Aug: Cool and windy conditions for this years race. The 5 strong VRAC contingent led home by the indomitable Paul Clutterbuck who chose a nice pink towel for his efforts (shunning the purple option) and 2 minutes quicker than his last Birchwood race 2 years ago. Geoff Fawkes improved on his Warrington 10k time followed by the ever present Barry Chambers. Jayne Lomax was just a few tantalising seconds outside her PB. Jo Edwards just a few short weeks since her Ironman exploits completed the VRAC field. Full results here.
 

 

PosNameGunChipGender PosCatCat Pos
190Paul Clutterbuck00:43:2800:43:17175MV4517
287Geoff Fawkes00:46:5200:46:36254MV4041
290Barry Chambers00:47:0200:46:38257MV6011
338Jayne Lomax00:48:0500:47:5846FV457
390Jo Edwards00:49:1400:49:0760FV506

 

 
SALE SIZZLER 5K - RACE 4
 
14 Aug: The final meeting of the series for 2014, saw no more than seven past Olympians turn up to support this race, the rain managed to hold off for the duration of the race, but no sooner had it finished, the heavens opened. First home was Rob Olliver, followed by Mike Harrington. Chloe Broad, had a great race to finish 1st U20 female, good performances also from Stephen Thompson and Helen Smith finishing 3rd FV45, rounded off the VR outing. Full results here.
 

 

 Pos Name Time Cat.
 58 Rob Olliver 17:25 M
 85 Mike Harrington 18:00 MV40
 145 Stephen Thompson 19:07 MV50
 177 Chloe Broad 19:43 FU20
 272 Helen Smith 21:22 FV45

 

 Finishers: 492
 
PIE AND PEAS
 
 
6 Aug: Good support for our popular race including 32 VRACers. An outstanding run from Daniel Cliff who won the race with ease close to the course record. The next three finishers were Messrs Perry, Vennard and Bowker who all clocked the same time. Tess McCormick won the ladies race with Gemma Barnett 3rd lady. In form Val Dunn posted a category win in L55.  Many other creditable individual performances and team wins for men and ladies Well done everyone and thanks to all the VRAC organisers and marshalls. Full results and winners list on main VRAC website here.
Photos on Bryan Dale website. A selection of pictures courtesy of Bryan Dale have been added to the gallery.
 
 

 

PosNameCatCat PosLady PosTime
2Chris PerryM27.40
3Mike VennardM20127.40
4Elliott BowkerM20227.40
5Ryan MooreM20328.01
7Nathan TippingM20428.50
10Rob OlliverM35229.30
12Tess McCormickL201129.48
15Steve CaldwellM30.19
16Matt RowlinsonM20530.42
18Nick HaywoodM31.22
23Gemma Barnett331.53
30Kerry RileyL432.50
32Dave HainesM40433.00
36Ian BarkerM50333.16
38Megan HoughL202533.28
45Gary WeedallM50533.38
51John ToddM50734.09
52Scott BamberM45634.31
67Chloe BroadL203835.10
70Emma-Louise PyattL204935.29
83Val DunnL5511336.11
91Ryan StringerM36.29
93Mark NaisbittM401136.32
98Lucy BurchL2018536.50
108Rebecca HirstL2019637.24
114Geoff HawkesM401537.44
117Steve CollierM55637.58
123Chris BroadM451638.16
136Barry ChambersM60439.03
137Jayne LomaxL4542639.05
156Chris GriffithsM551241.21
182Richard PettittM502243.17
261Finishers

 

 
 
TEGGS NOSE FELL RACE - CHESHIRE
 
02 Aug: Close on the back of a flat run around Wythenshaw Park, Steve Caldwell went looking for hills and found 1750ft of climbing over 7.8mile course around Teggs Nose. Describing it as horrifically painful for a Saturday afternoon, but good fun. Steve was quoted to have said "I was ace on the flat bits..... all 60m of it". Well done Steve, next time Ben Nevis or maybe some trail shoes? It was also good to see Andy Gibbs, back racing in the VR vest, here is his write up on the race. From the off the pace was brutal as Simon Bailey, former British Fell Running Champion, set off trying to break his own course record!  A few of the runners, Jack Ross under 23 English Fell Runner and former winner of the race, Damian Nicholls and I tried to keep him in sight!  After half a mile of tarmac we turned off into the hills, and the pace didn’t relent.  I was working hard and keeping up with the leading chase group, but could see the gap increasing between us and Simon Bailey.  On one of the downhill sections I took a tumble, which made a mess of my leg and took the wind out of my sails.  The others carried on and while I was sorting myself out I was passed by the next group of chasing runners.  It was then a matter of digging deep and holding on to my position for the last 2 climbs and the run back to the finish line.
 

 

 Position Name Time Cat.
 8 Andy Gibbs 1.01.19 V50
 18 Steve Caldwell 1.08.00 M

 

 Finishers: 97
 
SALE SIZZLER 5K - RACE 3
 
31 July: The trio of Armstrong, Caldwell and Harrington, from last week's 5K, became Armstrong, Caldwell and Olliver, who headed to Sale for the third meeting of the Sale Sizzler Series. There was much discussion at the start about where to stand on the start line, inside or out. In the end Rob chose the outside and Steve and Tommy the inside! Rob was first home with a 2 second PB, but the star of the evening, has to go to Val who finished 1st in her age category. Finishing things off for VR with another consistent run was Barry.
 

 

 Position Name Time  Cat.
 52 Rob Olliver 17.20 M
 62 Steve Caldwell 17.38 M
 75 Tommy Armstrong 18.04 M
 224 Val Dunn 21.14 L55
 263 Barry Chambers 22.20 V60

 

 Finishers: 443
 
GREAT WARFORD 10MILE
 
27 July: 3 club athletes ventured to this years Warford 10m. The temperature was cooler than seen in the days leading up to the race, partially due to a reasonable breeze, although it was still more than warm enough!! The race saw a return to racing for Sophia Rees, who performed superbly having missed several months of training and will undoubtedly go from strength to strength now she's back on the ladder!!! First home was Stu Doyle, running sensibly to avoid a repeat of the suffering seen in recent hot 1/2 marathons, who finished  in 2nd place overall and 1st vet. Meanwhile just missing out a sub 62 minute clocking (officially anyway!!) but looking strong at the end was Rob Olliver. Also of note was the First Lady, Jane Evans (nee Groves),  who previously used to run for the club and finished 15th overall in 60.35. Full results here.
 

 

 Position Name Time Cat.
 2 Stu Doyle 55.18 MV40
 23 Rob Olliver 1.02.01 M
 149 Sophie Rees 1.17.45 LV35

 

Finishers: 279
 
CREWE 5K SERIES - RACE 2 
 
 
 
25 July: The second race of this race series, saw a much larger VR turnout than the first, with 16 blue and yellow vest taking to Queens Park. This time the organisers decided to run the race in reverse for the first time, which made for a quick down hill start and saw Dave Sheppard, start like a rocket as soon as the whistle went and finished 4th V45! The performance of the evening has to be from Tessa McCormick, finishing 3rd overall and setting a new female course record! Rob Olliver ran it as a tempo run, aiming to run around the 6min/mile mark. Ian Brough had a solid run, finishing 4th V40. Gemma Barnett was also on the females podium finishing 3rd female. It was good to see the Pettitt family significantly adding to the number of entries, turning out a trio runners and Shaun putting in an appearance!
 

 

 Position Name Time Cat
 3 Tessa McCormick 17.49 (PB) U20
 12 Rob Olliver 18.43 M
 15 Ian Brough 18.47 MV40
 18 Dave Sheppard 19.00 MV45
 20 Gemma Barnett 19.05 F
 23 Edward Pettitt 19.39 U13
 24 Megan Hough 19.46 U17
 29 John Todd 20.23 MV50
 30 Kerry Riley 20.24 U23
 34 Clara Pettitt 20.48 U17
 40 Lucy Birch 22.08 U17
 49 Geoff Fawkes 23.12 MV45
 57 Richard Pettitt 26.50 MV50
 63 Duncan Jackson 30.17 M
 64 Shaun McGrath 32.16 MV65
 65 Alan Jackson 33.56 MV40

 

 Finishers: 67

TRAFFORD TRACK 3000M
 
22 July: Perhaps keeping the rear view of Eilish McColgan in sight was the incentive Stu Doyle needed to post a 3000m PB. Stu went off very hard and managed to keep it up pretty well posting 9.17.34. He thinks there is more to come especially if his U11 fan club is there to help! 
 
 
WAVERTREE 5K - LIVERPOOL 
 
22 July: On a warm summers evening, both Tommy Armstrong, Caldwell and Mike Harrington travelled to Liverpool to take part in the next race in this 5K series. The threesome were together for the first k after which Tommy edged away leaving Steve and Mike together to 3k. Steve made his move and getting away from Mike and running down Tommy...but left it too late finishing one second behind the victorious Armstrong. Steve's second 5K within a week. Full results can be found here.
Position Name Time Cat
 12 Tommy Armstrong 17.59 M
 13 Steve Caldwell 18.00 M
 19  Mike Harrington 18.36M 
Finishers: 140
 
IRONMAN UK - BOLTON
 
20 July: Congratulations to Jo Edwards for her huge achievement in completing her debut full Ironman race - 2.4 mile open water swim, 112 miles bike, 26.2 miles run. Here's her report on how it went.
 
" Twelve months ago my daughters declared they were going travelling for six months and I knew I was going to miss them terribly. For a distraction I entered Ironman UK and after 11 months of blood, sweat and a few tears, the day arrived. Its 6am and we are being quickly herded like sheep into what looks like the black lagoon. Terror is on every face, I do a 360 and I'm surrounded by 1999 white caps but I dont have time to worry, the horn goes and the washing machine begins. In the first lap I was kicked in the ribs, swam over 6 times and elbowed in the face, the second I was actually overtaking people, I thought 'I've got to finish!'. A good swim and I am on the bike. 7 days earlier I had a nasty crash which resulted in a buckled wheel and a hole in my knee so I was apprehensive. The bike course was tough, windy, hot and hilly with the famous Sheep House Lane, it was quite bizarre to find a complete stranger running alongside me wearing an inflatable doll strapped to his back. With the bike malfunctioning I thought 'I've got to finish!'. Bike leg over, the run starts and I can't feel my legs, I am in a world of pain. The first 3 miles are done and I start to relax and am soon in Bolton starting my 3 laps up and down a never ending road, but I am only thinking 'I've got to finish!'. I am at mile 14 and it's getting hotter, I work out that if I march the rest I will do it! I collect my last coloured band and I'm on the last lap. As I get closer to Bolton Town Hall I can hear the noise, I am nearly there! I turn the corner and the pain disappears and I am on the red carpet. I hear 'Joanne Edwards, you are an Ironman' and I feel like a superstar. Seconds later my family and I are sobbing like babies but we are not alone, I thought 'I have actually finished!'. My good friends Jo Moly and Goffy also waited until after dark just to see me finish. This has been the hardest, most emotional but proudest 11 months of my life. It wasn't a fast finishing time but I don't care, because I am an Ironman!"

Swim - 1:45:56
Bike -  8:03:01
Run -   5:46:05

Overall - 15:52:55

8th In Division
 
 
SALE SIZZLER - RACE 2
 

17 July: 4 VRACers braved a very hot and humid evening for the second in the Sale Sizzler 5K series. Steve Caldwell hasn't raced for a while and was pleased to be back with a sub 18 effort. Solid runs too from Helen. Barry and Mary. Well done everyone.




Name
PosTimeCatCat Pos
Steve Caldwell5317.58SM
Helen Smith19121.08L454
Barry Chambers25222.26M609
Mary Tavener27222.48L505
Finishers438

 

 
SEFTON PARK 5MILE - LIVERPOOL
 
16 July: On a warm mid week evening there were two VRACers who headed over the Runcorn Bridge to Liverpool, to take part in this two lap course of Sefton Park. Well Done great times for a warm evening.
 

 

 Position Name Time Cat
 149 John Clarke 38.00 MV60
 153 Pete Maher 38.06 MV55

 

 Finishers:440
 
GOLDEN JUBILEE LYKE WAKE RUN - NORTH YORKSHIRE
 
12 July: There is only one man who would turn 70 and then decide this is the time to tackle his first Ultra race! It all apparently started 12months ago at his nephews wedding, when after a few pints of undoubtably Real Ale, Colin agreed to enter this race, with his nephew. Not someone to go back on his word, despite being less than 2months since his outstanding efforts at the Fly Fox marathon, Colin headed to North Yorkshire. Colin's first and last attempt at an Ultra was the deep end initiation of the Lyke Wake.  42-miles of effort - hills, moors, bogs, rocks, heat - this race had it all.  Run on a handicap basis start times decided by predicted time Colin and his nephew Nick left Osmotherley at 8.10 am in a group of about 8 (160 runners from 4 am to 10am).  Col soon gravitated to the sweeper position.  Getting into his stride and not wanting to let Nick down gradually started to catch the 10 past 8'ers then inroads into earlier starters.  The first 10 miles very hilly most of the highest points in North Yorkshire with partial shade in the lower sections.  As the temperature rose to the early 20's the more exposed sections of Farndale Moor & Danby High Moor gave no protection, an unavoidable 10 mile section of bog sometimes knee deep followed until Eller Beck Bridge then through Fylingdales Moor bleak no protection from sun, lots of cramp setting in, walking the climbs, counting down the miles, questioning the wisdom of participation, digging deeper than ever.  After 7 checkpoints we finished on the coast at Ravenscar to a welcoming Carole & family & a well earned beer on the finish line. Great work Colin!
 
Starters  138,          Finishers   116           Colin and nephew Nick   Joint 8th        Col   2nd vet O55

Finish Time: 7hrs 59mins 
 
BUPA GREAT NORTH 10K
 
13 July: Katie Brough made the trip North for her last race of the season to join some high quality company at the sharp end of this prestigious race. A tough course meant it was not a PB opportunity but Katie was well pleased with her run. In a ladies race won by Gemma Steel in 32.45 Katie finished an excellent 5th in 34.56 narrowly missing out on 4th after a great battle with Rebecca Robinson. Now two weeks well deserved rest for Katie after a great racing season. 
 
WE LOVE MANCHESTER 10k
 
13 July: With arch rival Mike Harrington safely away on holiday in Scotland Tommy Armstrong headed for this 10k. Breezy conditions saw him post a decent time of 36.56 and 20th overall. Some way off his PB but a very creditable performance nonetheless.   
 
WIZARD 5MILE - ALDERLEY EDGE 
 
10 July: A VRAC contingent that was low in quantity but high in quality enjoyed a warm evening and dry conditions at the 5th race in this years Cheshire GP series. Stu Doyle made the most of a rare off-road appearance by winning the race outright, followed home in 14th place by Rob Oliver, who clocked a 38 second PB, compared to last year and clearly thrives on undulating courses. Following closely behind came Tommy Armstrong, finding his way back to full fitness in 24th, James Ainsworth, continuing his improvement, in 40th and Paul Clutterbuck in 116th and scoring valuable GP points for the club. Meanwhile the sole female competitor, Jayne Lomax, managed to knock almost 4 minutes off her time from last year at the same event and finished an excellent 3rd in her age category. Full results can be found here.
 

 

 Position Name Time Cat Cat Position
 1  Stu Doyle 26.54 V40 1
 14 Rob Olliver 29.09 (PB) SM 7
 24 Tommy Armstrong 30.20 SM 13
 40 James Ainsworth 31.27 SM 23
 116 Paul Clutterbuck 37.11 V45 13
 125 Jayne Lomax 38.23 (PB) FV45 3

 

 Finishers: 237

CHESHIRE TRACK AND FIELD
 
6 July: Support for the Tour de France paled into insignificance compared to that for Stu Doyle at the Cheshire Track and Field 3000m. After some great junior performances it was Stu's turn. Shouts of 'Come on Big Stu' all around the track from all ages spurred him on to victory and a 1 sec PB of 9.22! Signed 'Big Stu' memorabilia now available for his fan club :) 
 
LYMM FESTIVAL 10K TRAIL RACE
 
6 July: Sula Stanley and Debbie Moreton ran in this trail race for the second time yesterday.  Very hot conditions but both managed to beat last year's times by a distance with Sula 2nd woman overall (not in age categories) and Debbie 3rd woman overall.  A purple patch for Debbie Moreton with 3 great performances in just 7 days!
 
Sula Stanley        47:54   2nd woman    39th pos overall
Debbie Moreton  48:50   3rd woman     43rd pos overall

151 runners
 
 
SALE SIZZLER 5K - RACE 1 
 
3 July:  Thursday was the first in the series of four Sale Sizzler races, around Wythenshawe Park, despite rain during the day, it stayed dry for the race. Four VRACers took part in this race, first home was Rob Olliver, who got bogged down at the start on the running track and felt he never really managed to make the time back. Helen had previous experience and kept to the outside of the track at the start and went on to have a strong race finishing 2nd L45. Next home was Mary, who had a solid run and was closely followed by Barry. Full results can be found here.
 

 

 Position Name Time Cat Cat Position
 47 Rob Olliver 17.41 Open 37th
 190 Helen Smith 21.07 L45 2nd
 250 Mary Taverner 22.30 L50 4th
 258 Barry Chambers 22.45 L60 9th

 

 Finishers: 396
 
FOREST PARK LADIES 5K - WARRINGTON
 
2 July: A very warm evening saw some excellent performances from our junior and senior ladies - including a second PB for Debbie Moreton in 4 days! 
 

 

PosNameTimeCatMin/kCat Pos
3DIMMICK, Caitlin00:19:07Junior Lady03:49.41
6HOUGH, Megan00:19:43Junior Lady03:56.62
12EVANS, Jade00:21:24Junior Lady04:16.84
28MORETON, Georgina00:23:03Junior Lady04:36.68
29LOMAX, Jayne00:23:14Lady Vet 45+04:38.87
32MORETON, Debbie00:23:47Lady Vet 45+04:45.48
152Finishers
2ndTeamDimmick, Hough, Evans
7thTeamMoreton, Lomax, Moreton
27Total Teams

 

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