Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.

please email us at with news and results.


28 June: Congratulations to Chris Jones on breaking the 36 minute 10k barrier for the first time. Superb run coming 4th overall in 35.54.Credit to Chris as the course was not particularly quick being twisty and with some grass running. Chris was place 5th until 5K but then managed secure and maintain 4th place in what turned out to be a lonely race! Well done Chis.


27 June: Congrats on 3000m PB for Mike Harrington. 9 mins 48 Secs.


27 June: A quick field at the sharp end of the first of three races in the series. 21 VRACers in the field of 171 with Chris WIlliams first back for VRAC and 4th overall. Then a another nice battle between James Ainsworth and young Edward Pettitt. Fantastic run from Holly Weedall (U13) to win the ladies race ranking her No.1 in the UK in her age group for this distance. She pulled Dad Chris along to a PB with improving Matt Scott not far behind. Kate Moulds ran strongly to take second lady. Lots of other good runs further down the field. Should be an interesting series.
PosTimeName PosTimeName
416.11Chris Williams 7021.39Rebecca Nixon
917.06James Ainsworth 7121.47Steve Collier
1117.12Edward Pettitt 8723.09Cerys Pilliner
1818.11Holly Weedall 10324.28Richard Pettitt
2719.05Chris Weedall 10624.57Holly Haines
3119.13Matt Scott 12025.50Jill Haines
4219.53Kate Moulds 12626.36Lydia Davies
4620.11Dave Haines 12726.42Geoff Davies
5320.41Tony Dutton 14930.37Shaun McGrath
5920.59John Moulds 15331.15Paul Hudson
6921.31Beth Latham 171Finishers


25 June: Another excellent 'Mike Harrington' event with the Start and Finish in the grounds of Colshaw Hall. The route along picturesque rural lanes passing Jodrell Bank with two significant hills around 2k and 7k adding to the challenge. The ladies race was won by Hannah Jarvis (Dorking and Mole Valley) who is currently training with VRAC. Stu Doyle had to withdraw after a nasty fall in Delamere Forest the previous day. James Ainsworth delivered another excellent race finishing 7th and getting close to his PB despite the hills. Dave Gough and Gemma Barnett both competed at Tough Team 2 days earlier and ran some of the race together before Goffy drew ahead. Tommy Armstrong clearly still had the Liverpool Marathon in his legs! Tony Archer and Jayne Lomax very happy to be racing pain free again even if slower than they want! Mary Tavener claimed 2nd F55.  Good fun. Chris Griffiths and Paul Hudson doing their best both battling with dodgy knees. Well done everyone.
PosGunFirst nameLast nameChipPosGenderPosCatPos


25 June:Carolyn Dooley and Helen Smith got the call to run for Cheshire at the Stone 10k which incorporated an inter counties match between Cheshire, Staffordshire & North Wales. For Carolyn this brought back happy memories having had her first run in county colours 30 years ago when she was 13. Strong running from both ladies with Carolyn second counter for Cheshire and Helen third helping to secure a team silver comfortably ahead of North Wales and just behind Staffordshire. As an added bonus both picked up category wins in their respective age groups.


Carolyn – 40:26 1st V40 6th lady

Helen – 41:39 1st V45 12th lady


24 June: Good job the heatwave was over for this race although a river crossing added a cool down dimension. Ian Brough barely out of the shower after his Tough Team race led the VRAC trio home.
47Ian Brough48.16
63Dave Haines50.16
86Chris Beard53.20


23 June: Quite a few from VRAC participating in various teams at this 'fun' event that really hurts. 3rd place for a strong team with Williams Jnr and Snr partnering off road specialist Alex Mason. Top 10 finish for Bob Corinaldi who dragged round Nick Haywood and Ian Brough. Katie Brough was an able deputy for an injured Rob Olliver joining Dave Gough and Mark Thornley who believed this honour was the 'highlight of Katie's illustrious running career'. David Shepherd enjoying a run with some NRC friend and finally Gemma Barnett and John Todd who carried on for a team DNF when Rob Olliver's hamstring had had enough.

Overall PosTeam NameTeamTeam Time
3Vale Royal SpartansAlex Mason 
  Nathan Williams63.16
  Gareth Williams 
9Harry up it looks like rainNick Haywood 
  Ian Brough70.42
  Bob Corinaldi 
10Where's RobKatie Brough 
  Dave Gough71.34
  Mark Thornley 
47Y.O.YDavid Shepherd 
  Karen Bain (NRC)96.44
  Matt Watkins (NRC 
DNFNo Name 2Gemma Barnett 
  John Todd 
  Rob Olliver


18 June: A number of VRAC athletes made the trip up to Horwich for this year's British Masters 5k champs. The weather was very hot and the 3 lap course featured a hill on each however it didn't prevent some strong performances including silver medals in their age category for Stu Doyle and Carolyn Dooley and narrow misses for podium places in theirs by Helen Smith and Pauline Davies. Gareth Williams also had a strong run for 8th in a high quality v45 event.

Stu Doyle - 2nd V45 in 16.19
Gareth Williams - 8th v45 in 17.43
Carolyn Dooley- 2nd W40 in 19.55
Helen Smith - 4th W45 in 20.37
Pauline Davies - 4th 65 in 26.00

The ladies also managed a superb 3rd team prize

Nathan Williams also ran in the open race although results don't seem to be up yet!!


16 June: Part of the tour of tameside. Determined to do this run after accidentally entering the wrong one last year resulting in running up the wrong hill. Knee still bad from last week's injury so the usual pre-run warm up included an additional tube of volterol and knee strapping. A field of 381 set off from the local reservoir. Fortunately, was a chip start so waited at the back to be the last to set off with only the sweeper car behind. Imediately passed through the housing estate where the heady aroma of marijuana helped the volterol to kick in leaving the knee almost totally free of pain for the rest of the run. After a relatively slow 10. 1/2 min mile down hill there followed a tough 3 mile road and trail ascent to one of the highest points in the area. At the hill top the imediate 2 mile descent was worryingly steep (but not unusual for a fell race) and it wasn't easy to get up any speed due to the declination, rocks and trail width. Had to do this section even slower than the snails pace of the ascent in order to avoid stumbling (part way down passed someone having their head bandaged due to a fall). Finally a thrust on a relatively gradual slope gave a chip finish of about 71mins - better than expected bearing in mind the knee uncertainty but would otherwise aimed for around 60mins.


17 June: Races in the N Cheshire 5k series are coming thick and fast. Mike Harrington first home with a nice category win. Times look slower than Dunham Massey a few days ago. The heat may have played a part in that! Good effort folks.
PosTimeNameCategorymins/kmCat Pos
800:17:38HARRINGTON, MichaelMale Vet 4503:31.61
3000:20:21HAINES, DavidMale Vet 4504:04.29
5900:22:07BEARD, ChrisMale Vet 4504:25.414
7800:23:27EDWARDS, JoanneLady Vet 5004:41.42
9000:25:02TRAN, RayMale Vet 5005:00.48
9500:25:30CHAMBERS, BarryMale Vet 6505:06.02
130 Finishers  


15 June: A pleasant jaunt for 7 VRACers. Good category wins for James Ainsworth and good to see Barry Chambers with 2nd place in his category. Great to see Mr and Mrs Haines as a racing duo!
PosNameCatTimeCat pos
9James AinsworthM4017.101
47Dave HainesM4519.428
80Chris BeardM4520.4514
124Jo EdwardsL5022.404
127Barry ChambersM6522.532
137Jayne LomaxL5023.405
170Jill HainesL4526.106


10-11 June:
A rather wet and windy weekend but still a great one. Debbie Moreton, George Thornley and Lisa  Meadows are now the latest in the list of 71 different VR runners who have completed a Castles leg.  There were 2 new records set this year.... Zack on Leg 2 and Gary on Leg 20. (Gary due to new route). Darren remains the only person to have done all 11 Castles Relays that VRAC has entered, closely followed by Clutty and Dave Haines on 8. Craig started the weekend with a cracking run, finishing 10th out of 66 teams. Stages 1 to 6 had horrid weather, as the relevant runners will assure you. Hainesy happily enjoyed his run and Tony regretted agreeing to a hilly leg. Debbie smiled, as always, all the way round , even up the 300m steep ascent to end her run. Nick realised his honeymoon feeling was definitely over at about 9 miles of his hilly half marathon! Bob ran on adrenaline thanks to the birth of his new granddaughter, Edith. Clutty said he had his best run of his Castles career. George ran further than he'd ever run before, Lisa's calf held up for her to have a great run and Gary finished the weekend in great style with much speed. 

Stage; Distance; Name; Time; Placing
Stage  1     9.1 miles Craig Sephton (V)                   01:01:43  10th
Stage  2     10.7 miles Zack Bamber                        01:04:37  10th
Stage  3     12.3 miles Gary Richardson (V)              01:19:34  20th
Stage  4     9.5 miles Sophie Rees (FV)                    01:10:46  37th
Stage  5     9.6 miles Scott Bamber (V)                    01:06:16  15th
Stage  6     10.7 miles Joanne Edwards (FV)             01:24:22  55th
Stage  7    9.5 milesAnthony Atkinson (V)                 01:15:45  53td
Stage  8     10.8 miles Dave Haines (V)                     01:14:24  25th
Stage  9     8.5 miles Debbie Moreton (FV)                01:04:00  46th
Stage 10     13.1 miles Nick Haywood                       01:34:37  50th
Stage 11     12.3 miles Dave Shepherd (V)                 01:25:29  36th
Stage 12     11.2 miles Dave Gough (V)                     01:13:52 21st
Stage 13     10.6 miles Chris Beard (V)                      01:14:38  31st
Stage 14     10.8 miles Ian Brough (V)                       01:17:24  37th
Stage 15     12.8 miles Bob Corinaldi (V)                   01:29:13  31st
Stage 16     8.8 miles Paul Clutterbuck (V)                01:09:00  51st
Stage 17     9.2 miles George Thornley                      01:02:41  29th
Stage 18     9.1 miles Darren Cottier (V)                    00:56:42  11th
Stage 19     7.7 miles Lisa Meadows (FV)                 01:00:46  45th
Stage 20     10.1 miles Gary Richardson (V)              01:04:49 26th


11 June: Nathan, Gareth and Amanda Williams (NRC) ran the Salomon 10K Trail race in the Lake District on 11th June. The race is part of the annual Keswick Mountain Festival which includes several trail races with distances of 5K, 10K, 25K and 50K as well as triathlon and open water swimming events. The journey to the race start includes a boat ride across Derwent Water and the route goes halfway up Cat Bells fell giving fantastic views of the lake and surrounding hills.Nathan set off closely following Mark Lamb from Mountain Fuel along the twisty, flat first 1k, leaving Dad already a long way behind. Up the long climb, the leader pulled away but Nathan kept going and was nearly 4 minutes ahead of the 'old man' at the finish. Gareth was equal 5th and joint first Vet. Amanda finished strongly in 346 place out of 443, despite limited training and only 2 days after completing the Great North Swim 2 miles event in Lake Windermere.

ANDY GIBBS '55 at 55'

12 June:Lifetime member Andy Gibb found a way to celebrate a new age category. Here's his story. "A while ago I decided to celebrate my 55th birthday by running the Sandstone Trail which is 55KMs (34 miles) long with 3,700” of assent.  The trail runs from Frodsham to Whitchurch and follows the ridge of sandstone that rises from the Cheshire plain passing hill forts, burial mounds an old Roman road and through Delamere Forest.Over the last 5 months I have been training twice a day every alternate day in preparation, this coupled with long runs twice a week I felt fully prepared.On the morning of 12 June 2017 I set off at 7am from the obelisk outside the Bear Paw pub in Frodsham and made my way up the first of the many hills.  47 minutes later I had arrived at Manley Common where I was feeling great.  The next section to Gresty’s Waste was a little muddy but I was now 40 minutes ahead of my schedule and still feeling great. The next section was pretty flat and through some lovely country side.  There was a strong breeze in the exposed areas but I finished that section another 5 minutes (making it 45 mins ahead overall) ahead of my schedule.  I took some food onboard while walking and carried on.  The first part of this section was easy running and I soon covered the miles, but the hills around Beeston Castle, Peckforton Castle, Bulkeley Hill and Raw Head (the highest point on the trail) took it out of me and I lost some of the time I had saved earlier, but when I stopped at Bickerton Church I was still 10 minutes ahead of my schedule.  More food was needed. The long hills up Bickerton Hill and Larkton Hill really hurt!  And the descents even more so!  When I arrived at No Mans Heath my pace was starting to suffer.  Heading off on the last section to Whitchurch I thought as it was mostly flat it would be easy; wrong!  The uneven ground caused by the cattle gave me some hot spots on the soles of my feet, but with the end in sight I knew I would finish.  I received some support from the folk on the barges which helped but when I turned the last corned just having to cross the road to finish under the arch in Whitchurch the pain disappeared and was replaced with euphoria.All in all a great day.  I was well chuffed to complete the Sandstone Trail in 5 hours 58 minutes, not bad for an old fella.Now what’s next?"

Tatton Park 10k

Sunday 11th June: James Ainsworth was the lone VRACer talking on this new route around tatton park, mainly undulating roads with a couple of small loops on trails. James managed 2nd place in 35:41 a long way behind first place Patrick Martin (Stockport) who ran 31:04. 

Potters Arf Marathon
Sunday 11th June: Tony Dutton's half marathon debut, he was targeting 1:40 however the hills on Anchor Rd & the Heartbreak Hill climb at mile 11 ended that attempt! Overall finishing position 282 out of 1296 runners, finishing in 1:44:37. A fantastic day and well organised event with lots of spectators out on the course cheering the runners on. Good effort Tony its certainly one of the toughest half marathons around.

Bowdon 5k

Thursday 8th June: The third in the series of five 5ks saw another decent turn out from VRAC.  This is historically a quick course but the heavy rain made the grass section at 2.5k and 4.75k a bit slippy.

Mike Harrington and Barry Chambers made it 3 out of 3 age group wins. There was a PB for Chris Beard and another for Jill Haines. 

7.   17.25 Mike Harrington 

58.  21.00 Chris Beard 

99.  23.14 Jo Edwards

105. 23.43 Barry Chambers

108. 23.56 Jayne Lomax

134. 26.26 Jill Haines

Full results

Wincle Trout Run

Saturday 3rd June, claimed to be the hardest of the Wincle routes, combined with the heat made this a tough run. Both Bob C & John Clarke took on this challenge which is normally a popular race for VRacers, great runs by both, Bob blew up at the end but was chuffed with his time. John clearly enjoying the river crossing a little too much! Well done guys.

Bob Corinaldi 68 o/a (M40 26th) 49:36
John Clarke   162 o/a (M60 6th)  56:28
Birchwood Brook 5k Multi Terrain
Friday 2nd June: An evening race with a decent team of 8 VRers in attendance. Great running by everyone in humid conditions with men bagging 1st team prize, a nice bottle of red each. Harrington was breathing down Ainsworth's neck in the last few hundred mtrs a very close call with only seconds between them at the finish. Some great drone footage of the race is available by clicking this link.
3    James Ainsworth     17:19
4    Michael Harrington  17:24
24  David Haines          19:55 
41  Chris Beard             21:14 
79  Joanne Edwards     23:22 
86  Jayne Lomax          24:00
88  Barry Chambers     24:06
118 Jill Haines              27:25


Sunday 28th May: A hot day to tackle a marathon. Tommy Armstrong was not deterred and had a valiant shot at a target time of 3.05.00 to qualify for a good for age time for London.  Through halfway in 1.30.04 things were looking good but Tommy's comments tell the story "Found it tough knew I was in trouble by 10k had a few bad spells and then missed gfa by 71 seconds not the easiest with the elevation gain in the first half". Tommy finished in 85th place in 3.06.11. A creditable result on a far from flat course.


29 May: Dave Shepherd reports 2 miles of ultra fell running. Downhill over a rough field and then steeply through trees. Across a minor road (only flat bit) then across a stream which you had to climb out. All fours then up an impossibly steep slippy slope (no path) is then followed by an increasingly steep climb up the fell. Around the trig point and back down. Anyone fancy this next year.
48th out of 96 runners in 24.08 mins.


28 May: Scott Bamber ran for Maxine who was injured. Happy with a solid 40:53 after a very slow first mile due to congestion.

40.53 (343rd)

DOVENSTONE DIAMOND 10k (Multi-Terrain)

31 May: Scott Bamber got a last minute entry to the Dovestone Diamond 10k race. A beautiful route with 5k of tough uphill (200 plus metres of climb) and 5k of breakneck downhill to follow. Last year I pulled a hamstring on the ascent so great to finish in one piece and crack the top 20.

43.37 (18th of 209 finishers)


28 May: Good temperature, lovely scenery, well organised but tough course. Colin Rathbone, sole Vale Royaler in this testing event, ably supported by Carole on her bike, Ian Brough and his wife on their tandem with full musical accompaniment and John Todd on his bike. Not a big field but great atmosphere and a thoroughly enjoyable Marathon.

34th. Colin Rathbone.  3.41.20.  1st O70.    83 finishers.


25 May: Seven VRAC members faced tropical conditions in the first of the North Cheshire Grand Prix 5k Series at the slower version of the two Dunham Massey courses. 

First home for VRAC was Mike Harrington in 17.50 for the V45 win. Next was Dave Haines just outside the 20 min mark with 20.08 followed by another V45 Chris Beard in a PB of 21.57. Jo Edwards was next home for VRAC with a seasons best time of 23.24 closely followed by Barry Chambers who picked up the V65 prize in 24.10. Next lady back for VRAC was Jayne Lomax in a time of 25.55 and rounding it off with a PB was Jill Haines in 28.03.


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

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

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

All the results can be found on here.


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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