Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.

Archive January to June 2015

30 June: A very hot night accompanied by some hot performances from VRAC members. James Ainsworth first back found the second half tough especially up the hill. Hard on his heels a great run from young Edward Pettitt strangely categorised as a senior man!  Top two ladies placings going to VRAC with Gemma Barnett and Sophie Smith. Category wins for Gary Weedall, John Clarke and our very own Shaun McGrath!  All very impressive. 
PosNameTime Cat Cat Pos
7James Ainsworth18.08M402
10Edward Pettitt18.33SM 
11Gemma Barnett19.07SLIst Lady
13Sophie Smith19.23SL2nd Lady
26Gary Weedall20.21M501
30John Todd20.49M502
35Clara Pettitt21.27SL 
39John Clarke21.58M601
40Lucy Burch22.06SL 
49Lucy Smith23.03SL 
80Shaun McGrath33.55M701
28 June: Eight VRAC runners turned out at the inaugural Colshaw Hall 10k for Mike Harrington's latest race. The course was predominantly flat although scenic with a couple of challenging hills just to make it interesting!! The weather was also good and the club managed to provide the winners of both the overall men's and ladies races in Stu Doyle and Gemma Barnett whilst Paul Spare ran very well to win his age category.  
PosGunName ChipGender PosCatCat Pos
27 Jun: Paul Hudson reporting from Norway:   "A cautious return after almost 2 seasons out of regular events, due to persistent injuries, resulted in a time of 58.40 and rank 1,267 out of 2086 in the Mila 10K leg of the MSM Midnight Sun Marathon, Tromso, Norway 21 - 22 June 2015 (through the brilliant  midnight sunshine, though freezing cold). The 1/2 Marathon fielded 1267 and with 866 taking part in the full Marathon the first Brit to cross the line was female at 2.49.06."
3 Vale royal members ran the first of the sale sizzler series .On a warm night the group was lead home the by Amelia Pettitt.Amelia ran strongly to win the ladies race in 17.07.Amelia was followed home by Graham Miles ,in his first race for nearly 12 months due to injury.The third member of the group was Clara Pettitt who ran well to finish second u20 lady

45 Amelia Pettitt          17.07     1st lady

113 Graham Miles        19.08     12th V45

181 Clara Pettitt           20.46      2nd U20. 
25 Jun:  Wolston Park, Warrington.   James: "A massive contingent turned out in a very humid and muggy Wolston Park to run the Warrington 10k – one representative from each sex – and ably supported by Mike Harrington. A local celebrity had been invited to start the race, but no instructions were provided as to what this meant, nor were any instructions given as to how the megaphone worked.  So, promptly at 19:33 the starter lifted the megaphone to his lips and – rumour has it – started the race.  In the ensuing silence the runners at the front of the grid started to run and that was it we were off! Whilst Tessa McCormick surged to the front of the pack and stayed there in order to win the senior ladies racemore than 4 minutes ahead of the next lady, I followed the Radcliffe recommendation (go off hard and see what happens).  I was very happy with the first 5k, happily meeting my expectations and very unhappy and dying a slow death in the final 5k!"

Tessa McCormick             Gun time 35:43                  4th overall                           1st  Lady 

James Edwards                 Gun time 40:33                 27th overall                         3rd V50

A local celebrity had been invited to start the race, but no instructions were provided as to what this meant, nor were any instructions given as to how the megaphone worked.  So, promptly at 19:33 the starter lifted the megaphone to his lips and – rumour has it – started the race.  In the ensuing silence the runners at the front of the grid started to run and that was it we were off! 
Whilst Tessa McCormick surged to the front of the pack and stayed there in order to win the senior ladies race more than 4 minutes ahead of the next lady, I followed the Radcliffe recommendation (go off hard and see what happens).  I was very happy with the first 5k, happily meeting my expectations and very unhappy and dying a slow death in the final 5k!
21 Jun:  Is Chris ever destined to do a full 'half'?    "Having run this race last year I knew what to expect, although this year there was to be a last minute decision to reverse the route and free up the town and get traffic flowing again early.  The route followed a well supported course through the town that took in plenty of short but steep hills before heading out on an undulating loop that takes in the shropshire countryside.  Unfortunately, when they reversed the route they managed to lose part of it and turn it into a 12.7 mile race!!  So at the third unsuccessful attempt in six months, to officially run a Half Marathon that I've entered, I'm starting to feel jinxed at that distance!"
Unfortunately, when they reversed the route they managed to lose part of it and turn it into a 12.7 mile race!!  So at the third unsuccessful attempt in six months, to officially run a Half Marathon that I've entered, I'm starting to feel jinxed at that distance!
The route followed a well supported course through the town that took in plenty of short but steep hills before heading out on an undulating loop that takes in the shropshire countryside.
Unfortunately, when they reversed the route they managed to lose part of it and turn it into a 12.7 mile race!!  So at the third unsuccessful attempt in six months, to officially run a Half Marathon that I've entered, I'm starting to feel jinxed at that distance!

GunPos Bib GunTime Forename Surname M/F Cat Club ChipPos ChipTime
188 61 01:34:42 Chris Beard M 45 Vale Royal AC 186 01:34:20
18801:34:42Chris BeardM4501:34:20
21 Jun:  A few VRAC runners ran at Ellesmere Port this morning in the 3rd race in this years Cheshire Grand Prix.  Although the course is a flat and fast one times were slowed by the strong wind.  First home was Stuart Doyle in 5th place overall and 1st V40 in 33.38, closely followed by Ollie Williams in 12th place with an excellent new PB of 35.12 and Steve Caldwell, continuing his profilic period of racing coming home in 33rd in 37.15. Next to finish was Euan Dunbar, fresh off a PB in the previous day's PB Delamere Parkrun!, 123rd and 10th V50, in a time of 42.04 and just missing out on a 2nd PB of the weekend.  Meanwhile in the accompanying 5k the club had a double success and 100% record with Jonny Dufty smashing his PB and finished 1st U15 and 9th overall in 18.13 whilst Kate Titlow similarly won the Senior Women's race (2nd overall female) in 19.29. 
3Stu Doyle33.38   
12Ollie Williams35:12PB  
33Steve Caldwell37:15   
123Euan Dunbar42:04M5010 
9John Dufty18:13U151 
2LKate Titlow19:29SL 1
Instead of just trying to survive the marathon at this event i decided to do the half this year as i felt that i could actually race the shorter distance. In near perfect conditions i went for it. By mile 10 i was running on memory (i'm sure the've added more hills). Anyway i dragged myself over the line finishing 23rd. This event was the Welsh qualifier for the trail world champs so really pleased with the result.
23rd O/A in (1:42.27)
551 finishers 
20 Jun:   A superb run from Dave at this killer half marathon.   Here's his story:  Instead of just trying to survive the marathon at this event i decided to do the half this year as i felt that i could actually race the shorter distance. In near perfect conditions i went for it. By mile 10 i was running on memory (i'm sure the've added more hills). Anyway i dragged myself over the line finishing 23rd. This event was the Welsh qualifier for the trail world champs so really pleased with the result.
23Dave Shepherd1:42:27  
23rd O/A in (1:42.27)
551 finishers
14 Jun:  At the Rock n Roll Marathon and Half Marathon, Euan Dunbar had a superb 3 minute PB in 1:33:24 and a high 10th place finish in the V50 category.   This was despite a tough headwind in the last 4 miles.  5528 runners.  
Steve Smith ran the full marathon distance in 3:51. 
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
209Euan Dunbar1:33:24M5010
806Steve Smith3:51:02SM 
14 Jun:   Describing it as a ******* fell race(!), Tommy Armstrong ran the very tough Potters Half Marathon.   I don't think the fell race description was a compliment!   1363 finishers.
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
23Tommy Armstrong1:23:56S18
6/7 June:  Report by Sophie Rees (our tenacious team organiser!):  An amazing weekend. Drop outs within the final 24 hours and various injuries, but still a full team ran and ran very well, too. 16th out of 65 teams. 14th “open” team. Despite Matt claiming it wasn’t windy, Saturday had a v strong, biting wind which certainly wasn’t a tail-wind for the runners, from all accounts. Whilst several team members discussed innovative ways to take energy gels (!!), Bob had a decent Leg 1, though had aimed for quicker, but the wind hit him. Hainsey enjoyed Leg 2, in “slightly” drier weather than last year.  Alex Mason stepped up in the final moments to do hilly Leg 3 and then went for a cool-down, going up Snowdonia. Like you do. Jo found out, on Leg 4, that Matt’s prediction of the wind being with her was entirely wrong! Dave Phillips, another much appreciated reserve, stormed around Leg 6. Clutty, on Leg 9, showed that posties can move pretty quickly when they want to. Matt took on the lumpy half marathon Leg 10, and despite his calf going at 6.5 miles, had a great run into Newtown. Leg 10 is a serious contender for being just as tough as Leg 14 in different ways. The team was 20th after Day 1. I think Hainsey may mentioned this a “few” times.
   Sunday, the wind had gone and the sun was out, and Hainsey was modelling a different cap/hat. 7am and Gary showed he was better at running than at putting a tent down, and put in a very strong Leg 11, hills and all. He even wants to do it again next year. Nick flew round Leg 12 and Scott showed that his back spasm thankfully wasn’t going to stop him having a stormer on Leg 13. Dave Shep’s devoted prep, by training on Mowcop, paid dividends on the notorious Drovers Leg 14. Matt and Nick’s audition for next year’s Drovers is Manchester Marathon. Just 4 seconds! The Bamber running talent struck again in Leg 17, with Zack winning the stage. I’ve already told him and Scott that they’re not to go booking any festivals next year on the Castles weekend. The stage wins continued with Stu not only winning Leg 18 but setting a new course record by a minute & a half. Sophie wasn’t setting any course records on Leg 19 but was grateful that her foot held out. Her getting changed afterwards kept the local council estate alcoholic happy. Don’t ask. Chris finished the weekend with a strong run into Cardiff and appropriately threatening to be sick at the end. 
Fantastic weekend, great people, wonderful running, fab team spirit. Bring on next year. 

Sunday, the wind had gone and the sun was out, and Hainsey was modelling a different cap/hat. 7am and Gary showed he was better at running than at putting a tent down, and put in a very strong Leg 11, hills and all. He even wants to do it again next year. Nick flew round Leg 12 and Scott showed that his back spasm thankfully wasn’t going to stop him having a stormer on Leg 13. Dave Shep’s devoted prep, by training on Mowcop, paid dividends on the notorious Drovers Leg 14. Matt and Nick’s audition for next year’s Drovers is Manchester Marathon. Just 4 seconds! The Bamber running talent struck again in Leg 17, with Zack winning the stage. I’ve already told him and Scott that they’re not to go booking any festivals next year on the Castles weekend. The stage wins continued with Stu not only winning Leg 18 but setting a new course record by a minute & a half. Sophie wasn’t setting any course records on Leg 19 but was grateful that her foot held out. Her getting changed afterwards kept the local council estate alcoholic happy. Don’t ask. Chris finished the weekend with a strong run into Cardiff and appropriately threatening to be sick at the end. 
Fantastic weekend, great people, wonderful running, fab team spirit. Bring on next year. 








Bob Corinaldi

Caernarfon Castle to Penygroes





Dave Haines

Penygroes to Criccieth Castle




3 Hill leg

Alex Mason

Criccieth Castle to Maentwrog





Jo Edwards

Maentwrog to Harlech Castle





Steve Smith

Harlech Castle to Barmouth





Dave Phillips

Barmouth to Dolgellau




7 Hill leg

Ian Brough

Dolgellau to Dinas Mawddwy





Tony Atkinson

Dinas Mawddwy to Foel





Paul Clutterbuck

Foel to Llanfair Caereinion




10 Hill leg

Matt Sweeting

Llanfair Caereinion to Newtown




11 Hill leg

Gary Richardson

Newtown to Llanbadarn Fynydd





Nick Haywood

Llanbadarn Fynydd to Crossgates





Scott Bamber

Crossgates to Builth Wells




14 Hill leg

Dave Shepherd

Builth Wells to Drovers Arms





Daren Cottier

Epynt Visitor Centre to Brecon




16 Hill leg

John Allton

Brecon to Beacons Reservoir





Zack Bamber

Beacons Reserv’r to Cyfarthfa Castle





Stu Doyle

Rhyd-y-Car Centre to Abercynon





Sophie Rees

Navigation Park to Nantgarw





Chris Beard

Caerphilly Castle to Cardiff Castle





6 June   Maybe it's because he's so crazy that we like him so much......and inspires us too!   Deciding only to run at the last minute as an entry became available, Iain Stanton decided he should run a marathon this year!   From the name it doesn't sound easy either!    In a remarkable admission (for him) Iain admitted to finding it painful between 17 and 24 miles!   One to ask him about next time you see him!
44Iain Stanton4:02:57
192 finishers
30 May: Bob Corinaldi returned to enjoy this popular fell race. Here's how it went:
Went out on Saturday for a very cautious Wincle Trout Fell Run.  Had one eye on Castles next week so was really careful, not wanting to repeat the sprained ankle from 2 years ago.   Managed to amble round in a leisurely 54.11, for once enjoying the scenery which is a novelty for me." 
Pos.   No.   NameClubCategoryCat pos Time
91   77   Bob CorinaldiVale Royal ACMV4035   54:11
30/31 May: Cold. windy conditions for this years event, especially on Sunday. Tony Atkinson completed the sprint distance event in 30.08 including a 20 min 5k leg. Jo Edwards did the Olympic distance event on Sunday and also had to cope with heavy rain. slippy roads and choppy water. A very creditable 2.50 finish for Jo including a 48 min 10k leg. 
24 May: Paul Clutterbuck rarely goes for an easy option when it comes to races. The very hilly Buxton half is certainly not an easy option. On a rainy. misty day Clutty put in an excellent shift as the only VRAC participant. He judged his pace well passing many flagging rivals in the last 4 miles to clock a very worthy 1.44.28 (a 70 second PB) finishing 130th.  Good effort Clutty! 
22 May: The first of the 5 race series. Unusually, just 2 from VRAC. Stu Doyle got the series off to a good start and was an excellent second overall and winner of the M40 category. Stu reported that the course had been re-measured and lengthened adding about 20 seconds!  Barry Chambers also got a good start to the series being 4th in his category.  Full results here. 
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
2Stu Doyle16.46M401
109Barry Chambers23.08M604
16 May: Team coordinator (and runner) Colin Rathbone did another epic job fielding 22 runners and 6 teams (1 incomplete). Thanks Colin.  A decent bright and breezy day for the runners to tackle the 3 mile relay legs including the renowned hill soon after the start. As always a fun and competitive team event.  Well done everyone. Summary results below. Full results here.
M35 35th Vale Royal AC 1h54.54mL 3523rd Vale Royal AC 1h30.10m
Stuart Doyle 15.40mCarolyn Dooley 20.12m
Matt Sweeting 18.01m -25Lisa Meadows 22.58m -12
Geoff Fawkes 21.14m -28Jayne Lomax 23.35m +0
Brian Dooley 20.38m -4Angie Channing 23.25m +13
 Tom Annable 21.39m +25
Darren Cottier 17.42m +5
M4539th Vale Royal AC 1h22.09mL4524th Vale Royal AC
David Shepherd 18.02mJulie Annable 24.01m
Robert Tipping 23.41m -22Carole Williams 27.10m -7
David Haines 19.46m +5(incomplete)
Chris Beard 20.40m +1
M5528th Vale Royal AC 1h01.15m
Tony Archer 20.29m
John Clarke 21.31m -1
James Edwards 19.15m +5
M658th Vale Royal AC 1h05.03m
Colin Rathbone 21.56m
Beverley Taylor 21.27m +6
Paul Spare 21.40m +3
16 May: Congratulations to Laura Bestow (201) and Lucy Burch (202) on their selection for Cheshire at this event. Laura was the first Cheshire lady home in 26th place in 48.38. Lucy was home in 1.01.41. Full results here
17 May:  An interestingly different half starting and finishing on of Britain's only outdoor 200m athletics tracks in Much Wenlock and covering a scenic route taking in the footpaths, trails, bridle paths and lanes in and around the town. A tough course where VRAC excelled with Gemma Barnett and Claire Thompson taking Gold and Bronze in the ladies race and Ian Brough winning his category. Not to forget a solid race from 'Old John' Todd. And... medals presented by Jonathan Edwards!
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
12Ian Brough1.33.02M451
22Gemma Barnett1.37.34SL11st Lady
39John Todd1.44.21M504
42Claire Thompson1.46.13F3513rd Lady
17 May: Some excellent performances and another clutch of PB's at this ever growing local half. Steve Caldwell followed up his first sub 17 min 5k at Christleton on Friday with his first sub 80 min half.  Not a bad weekend. Ian Barker broke through the 1.30 barrier for the first time. Also well deserved PB's also for the dynamic duo Sula Stanley and Debbie Moreton. Great stuff.
PosNameNameGen PosCatCat PosGunChipChip Pos
17 May: This tri is as tough as it sounds. Cold conditions making it more so with the water below 10 degrees! Undaunted Jo Edwards posted a time of 32.20 and Tony Atkinson in his tri debut 33.50. Hard core. 
15 May:  Good conditions and the usual fast course and high quality field led to some outstanding performances at Christleton on Friday night. Elliot Bowker comfortably beat some top athletes including the Northern XC Champion, Andy Davies, to win the race outright in an outstanding 14.31. Meanwhile Tess McCormick also ran superbly to smash her PB and finish 2nd overall, with only GB International Elle Vernon ahead of her, and like Elliot, 1st Junior. Several other category victories and placings plus numerous PB's!
PosGunNameNameChipChip PosGen PosCatCat Pos
114:31ElliotBowker14:3111Under 201PB
1615:26MatthewSheen15:251616Under 203
3115:50StuartDoyle15:492931Over 401
6216:33TessaMccormick16:31612Under 201PB
11117:34JamesAinsworth17:34114104Over 4018PB
21420:23HelenSmith20:0921325Over 452
22220:37ClaraPettitt20:2422327Under 204
23020:55JohnClarke20:42229200Over 605
23721:11GeoffFawkes20:58237206Over 4039PB
25221:49PennyThorn21:3625135Over 404
26022:11MaryTavener21:5626038Over 501
27022:47PaulSpare22:31269228Over 657
28924:01:00RichardPettitt23:43289238Over 558
10 May: A windy and hilly challenge for Euan Dunbar and 13 year old stepson Jonny Dufty.  Looks like a healthy and competitive tussle with young Jonny taking the honours with an excellent debut 10k performance placing him well up the field and 5th in the male junior category. Euan was not far back and has his sights set on a sub 40 min 10k given a fast course and a calm day. Full results here.
PosNameTime CatCat Pos
232Jonny Dufty42.15MJ5PB
242Euan Dunbar42.29M5012
10 May: Blustery conditions and a congested field didn't lend itself to super fast times.  Nevertheless some very creditable performances throughout the field for VRAC.  Well done all! 
NamePosFinish Time
Zack Bamber6900:35:35
Steven Caldwell11600:36:46
Gary Weedall34100:39:42
Sarah Murphy2200:39:44
Lucy Burch200000:46:00
Lisa Meadows482800:50:37
Fiona Twist530500:51:16
Chris Griffiths667500:53:07
Maxine Bamber2029301:11:13     PB
Meanwhile Maxine and Zack deliver a demonstration of post race re-hydration!
4 May: First ever race held by our friends at Delamere Spartans. True to Delamere Spartans mantra the route was primarily off road in Delamere Forest... and tough, plenty of hills and warm running conditions.  VRAC were well represented by father/son duo Scott and Zack Bamber.  Zack was at the sharp end and built up a 2 minute lead by 7k... when he missed a turn and ended up running closer to 11k and still finishing an excellent 2nd overall in 42.08!!  Scott reported he found the going very tough, but still posted 15th overall in 45.54.  There were 102 finishers. Nice work the Bambers! 
3 May: Said to be one of the most scenic in the country. 'Fresh' from the London marathon Bob Corinaldi couldn't resist it! Here's his report.
"Stopping in Keswick over the weekend so had a crack at the Keswick Half Marathon.  I knew it was a tough one as I did it 2 years ago.  They've changed the course since and the website said 'don't worry, we've not made it any easier!'.   They were right. Anyway, the weather gods were smiling on us as it hammered down all night, only stopping half an hour before the race started.  Think I still had bits of London in my legs as I couldn't push on in the latter (relatively flat) road section.  Saw off a late challenge from another club runner (went on for 4 miles) and nailed someone else in the last 100 yards so its not all bad:-) Got round in 1:44:40, finishing 116th from 480".
Well done Bob! 
26 April: Belated congratulations to Catherine Barton who also ran her debut marathon at London. Catherine finished in 4:56:49. Well done Catherine! 
25 April: One we missed to report!  Congratulations to Steve Caldwell who added to his Spring 5 PB running a superb sub 60 minute 10 mile race finishing 5th overall. His time was 59.54.  Well done Steve! Full results here.
30 April: The inaugural mid Cheshire 5k organised by Mike Harrington proved a great success.  Cool weather provided good running conditions on the fast and scenic course and PB's were aplenty - including Debbie Moreton.  14 VRACers joined the field of around 150 runners.  Well done everyone. Full results here. PS: Great to see our old friend Bernie Jones racing again (a decent 18.22!!)
PosNameGunChipGen PosCatCat Pos
11MattRowlinson17:2617:2511Under 212
19DavidShepherd18:1318:1218Vet 407
40ChloeBroad19:2719:265Under 211
56Emma-LouisePyatt20:2720:269Under 214
70JohnClarke21:0821:0358Vet 605
72SteveCollier21:2221:2260Vet 506
77HollieCarrington21:4721:4413Senior Female5
81MaryTavener22:2522:2015Vet 452
90DebbieMoreton23:1523:0716Vet 453
92BeckySmith23:2523:1917Under 215
93JayneLomax23:2723:1918Vet 454
95LisaMeadows23:4623:3919Vet 355
111AnnCollier25:33:0025:26:0029Vet 458
126JohnDavies29:04:0028:55:0090Vet 6013
26 Apr:   Cool conditions for a change this year.   Almost everyone had their battles getting to the marathon this year with bugs and injuries galore.   Toughest of all was Tony's struggle with back and knee problems.   Great credit to him that he finished in a very respectable time and supported daughter Amy in her marathon debut (1:47!).   Colin had his struggles too but did amazingly well to finish in 3:21...not quite enough for another age cat win this time but still he's still up there frightening the club "youngsters"!    Rob had a very even paced run for a terrific 2:53 and the top club finish this year.   Ian, James and Dave will all be happy with very strong performances.   Bob's broken rib didn't hold him back in his fine run and Angie Channing should be proud of her debut marathon.   Overall a  great year for marathon running in Vale Royal AC!  PS: Tony has now fulfilled his ambition to run the London Marathon with all 3 of his children. FOOTNOTE: Congratulations to Catherine Barton on her debut marathon... sorry we missed your result earlier.

Rob Olliver 18-39 01:27:14 02:53:23
Ian Brough 40-44 01:31:13 03:04:14
James Edwards 55-59 01:31:24 03:08:37
Dave Haines 45-49 01:34:15 03:12:04
Colin Rathbone 70+ 01:37:49 03:21:31
Tony Archer 60-64 01:37:44 03:26:02
Bob Corninaldi 45-49 01:45:12 03:36:22
Angie Channing 40-44 01:43:01 03:44:48
      Half      Finish
Rob Olliver18-3901:27:1402:53:23
Ian Brough40-4401:31:1303:04:14
James Edwards55-5901:31:2403:08:37
Dave Haines45-4901:34:1503:12:04
Colin Rathbone70+01:37:4903:21:31
Tony Archer
Bob Corninaldi45-4901:45:1203:36:22
Angie Channing40-4401:43:0103:44:48
Catherine Barton                    18-39              02:14:58     04:56:49
23 Apr:  A good club turn out for the popular Round the Runway (5.3 miles) on a beautiful evening in dry conditions.
Category wins for Colin (running despite doing London a few days later!) and Carole and a top 10 finish and sub-30 minutes for Zack.   Top club places for the Bamber family.    
PosCatCat Pos
9Zack Bamber29:57
59Scott BamberV45433:46
85Iain Stanton35:24
94Michael HarringtonV401835:51
98David Murphy36:03
123Claire ThompsonL35437:38
138Paul ClutterbuckV451638:04
190Barry ChambersV60640:31
193Colin RathboneV70140:36
313Carole WilliamsL60148:56
We've not seen much of our resident mountain goat, Dave Phillips, lately as he's been busy on domestic duties. Nevertheless, he's managed to fit in some typically relaxing races. Check out the Edale report!  Also good to see another family rivalry developing nicely! Here's his report for 3 recent races. 

8 Feb: Long Mynd Valleys Fell Race, Shropshire, a nice 11.5 miles but plenty of climbing with 4500ft squeezed in. I finished 55th place in 2hrs 13 mins,off the pace but an enjoyable run, great scenery and perfect conditions and having forgotten the water bottle I resorted to munching snow for hydration.

29 Mar: Edale Skyline Fell Race, a tough 21.5 miler with roughly 4500ft of climb,this race turned into what felt like at the time, a matter of survival, with the conditions turning nasty on the tops and runners stopping to help and guide each other down to safety and my finish time of 4hrs 30 mins in 153rd place reflecting a difficult day.

9 April: Grizdale Grind. A recent break in the lakes gave me the opportunity to compete in the Grizedale Grind a short sharp 2.5 mile 1575ft up and down race and I was well and truly put in my place by Phillips Jnr, Luke finishing a fantastic 2nd in the U 8's in his first fell race with dad coming 23rd in 31.53 secs. 
18 April: Having decided to withdraw from the Manchester Marathon due to hip problems James Ainsworth decided to satisfy his racing and competitive urges with a fell race with his friend/rival from Macclesfield. Here's his report:
" The second running of this race saw over a hundred set off in the senior race from Hayfield Primary School over to William Clough and back. The weather was fantastic and views were out of this world but that didn't make the techical climbs any easier... I was passed twice on the first climb then managed to maintain my position over the tops and 2nd climb then a wirey fell runner ripped past me on the steep downhill section but I was able to open up on the flatter end section to take him back... finishing around the 16th place mark in 47.38. Distance was 9.7km with over 310 metre elevation gain".  When published the full results will be here.
James doesn't mention if beat his friend and rival. So we'll assume not. :0)  
19 April: Great conditions for the Manchester Marathon.  Every one of the 9 VRACers ran superbly and can be proud of their achievements. At the sharp end Sarah Murphy was amongst the action with the elite ladies and finished 10th lady with a big PB and her first sub 3 hour marathon.  Also a superb (debut?) marathon for Adrea Hilldrup recently joined from Lymm not far outside the 3 hour mark. A great battle unfolded between Matt Sweeting and Nick Haywood. Matt opened up a gap of a hundred yards or so at half way but Nick hung in and it was all in the balance in the last 400m with Matt holding out by seconds. Brilliant! Next Sophie Rees who had considered withdrawing following a difficult build up. Sophie was rewarded with an excellent performance and lots of happy tears at the end! Chris Beard has trained hard and well and ran with the 3.29 pace group through halfway. Although not able to maintain this pace he posted an excellent time for his first marathon. Jo Edwards wanted to post a Good For Age time to qualify for London next year. She did this with her best time for over 10 years being ably supported by her pacer Tony Atkinson. Finally, the dynamic 'Sarah' duo Gibbs and Walker both on marathon debuts and both acquitting themselves with huge credit.  Great support from VRAC club mates and friends out on the course. Well done everyone. Next up London!
PosNameGun TimeChip TimeCatCat PosGender Pos
67Sarah MURPHY02:55:0902:54:58OVR1010PB
582Andrea HILLDRUP03:03:4203:03:10F35528
789Matthew SWEETING03:10:1803:09:04V40152751
790Nick HAYWOOD03:10:2103:09:08SEN462752PB
1785Sophia REES03:28:3203:26:43V3528139
2951Chris BEARD03:47:0803:45:00V453252574
3616Tony Atkinson03:56:1803:52:45V453943056
3617Joanne EDWARDS03:56:1803:52:45V5028561PB
5355Sarah GIBBS04:22:4704:14:31V352261137
5982Sarah WALKER04:34:5004:27:10FSEN5551399
19 April: Clashing with Manchester marathon and Arley 10k the previous day fewer than usual at Whiltey.  Great to see 'JT' John/Stephen Thompson racing for VRAC again. Also a superb VRAC debut for new member Ian Barker and a nice 2nd category placing for Helen Smith. Well done those who made it! 
PosNameGunChipCatCat Pos
28John Thompson40.4240.36M505
33Ian Barker41.0540.57M508
71Helen Smith43.5143.24F4525th Lady
123Barry Chambers47.3047.05?
146Jayne Lomax49.1448.46F4511
18 April: Good conditions at the flat and fast Arley 10k on Saturday morning saw a number of good performances. 1st home was Stu Doyle but chasing him hard and making a superb debut at the distance was Jon Chatten who set off quickly and then showed excellent stamina to keep the fast pace going for the duration of the race. Next home was Euan Dunbar, knocking another large chunk off his PB, itself only set recently at Crewe,  and showing the benefit of hammering the miles on the club's recent training trip to Portugal. Not far behind and looking like she really enjoyed the experience was Carolyn Dooley making a return to road racing and managing to stay ahead of daughter Chloe who similarly ran really strongly on her first race at this distance. Just behind Chloe was Richard Murray who knocked over a minute his PB, set at last year's Arley 10k.
9Stuart Doyle33.0333.03M402nd M40
15Jonathan Chatten33.4533.45
?Euan Dunbar41.4441.44MPB
180Carolyn Dooley42.5042.49F40
231Chloe Dooley44.1544.10
239Richard Murray44.3144.19M45
15 April: A nice spring outing for 7 VRACers from U20 through to Vet 70. A great cross section of our Club.  At the sharp end Steve Caldwell was delighted to be 'back in the game' with an excellent PB. Also a superb PB for young Sophie Smith who was 1st in the U20 category and 2nd lady overall.  Another M70 win for Colin Rathbone warming up for London Marathon!  Full results here.
PosNameGunChipCatCat Pos
26Steve Caldwell28:50:0028:49:00Senior Male12
49Sophie Smith30:26:0030:26:00Under 2012nd Lady
140John Clarke35:18:0035:10:00Vet 607
173Colin Rathbone36:54:0036:45:00Vet 701
186Barry Chambers37:19:0037:05:00Vet 6012
218Jayne Lomax39:14:0039:01:00Vet 456
266Carole Williams43:20:0043:09:00Vet 603
12 April: Two VRAC legends Messrs Clutterbuck and Smith took on the Mow Cop fell race over 6.5 miles and 1200 ft of climb.
Well done lads! Full results here
62Paul Clutterbuck1.03.31
63Steve Smith1.03.53
5 April: The 2nd race in this year's Cheshire Grand Prix took place at the Air Products Crewe 10k this morning. The Standout result was Amelia Pettit winning the ladies race by 1 second and in the process knocking almost 2 minutes off her previous PB. She was followed home by youngster Sophie Smith running a superb 39.00 on her debut at the distance. Next VRAC Lady was Sophia Rees in 46.08 - amazingly also running her very first 10k. completing the superb performances from all the club's ladies was Carole Williams running her fastest time for 4 years and and only 17 seconds outside her PB in 54.39. First male home was Stu Doyle, still struggling with injury and probably the only VRAC runner not to at least approach his PB, in 5th place (1st Vet) with 33.25. A great battle occurred between the 2nd and 3rd club runners with Gary Weedall (39.44) just edging Dave Haines (39.54) but both very happy to break 40 mins and their fastest times for 4 years and 7 years respectively. Chris Beard wasn't far behind with another PB (42.24) and Euan Dunbar chased him home in 42.39 - again both big PB's by 3 and 2 minutes. Colin Rathbone came in next in 45.52 and ran his best time for 3 years with Richard Pettit completing the team with yet another strong run in 51.39.

Overall category results are still awaited. 
4 April: John Allton tackled this one. Here's how it went "257 folk, including Ron Hill, gathered for this years running of the Rivington Pike Fell Race in spring sunshine. Rivington Pike. is a hill summit on Winter Hill, part of the West Pennine Moors. Next time you drive north on the M6 or M61 in the Bolton / Wigan area look right and the boxy looking tower near the Winter Hill TV mast was the summit and turning point on this out and back route. The Rivington Pike Fell Race is a popular event and has been held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday since 1892 and is reputed to be the oldest fell race. The course is 3¼ miles long with 700 feet of ascent, giving it a BS grading (B - moderate underfoot conditions, S - short). An initial dash on a slightly inclining road thinned out the runners before the turn off road upto the pike on concrete, cobbled, rocky, muddy and grassy terrain. There were plenty of supporters out which really helped keep going up the steeper section near the Pike summit. Then it was a dash downhill on the same route (watched closely by a number of llamas!) and a sprint finish on the road section. 60th (23.44) was a welcome position with my last fell race nearly 4 months ago following injury. A long way off the impressive course record of 15.53. The winner came in at 17.40 and to inspire us all there was a V80 competitor." Well done John.  
29 Mar: Two VRACers made the trip to Wrexham for the next race in Mike Harrington's series. Great to see Gemma Barnett back racing after a protracted injury battle. Even better... she was rewarded with a win being first lady overall.  Good run also from Euan Dunbar. Well done both. 
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
25Gemma Barnett41.40SL11st Lady
58Euan Dunbar45.17M505
28 Mar:   A great effort to field two men's teams in the 12-stage relays and one in the ladies 6 -stage.   Not quite our strongest teams due to other commitments (we'll let Elliot off with representing GB in China) and, as ever, a few late no-shows but huge credit to those who were there.   Conditions were warm and (amazingly) dry but a nasty wind slowed the times down somewhat.   News is that the lead men's team (Liverpool) lost the race when their last runner get lost on course!  Distance 2.3 miles for 1 -lap short and 4.6 miles for 2-lap long legs (L).   Great team effort and fantastic team organisation by Colin Rathbone and James Griffiths! (with valuable support from Carole Williams and John Davies!)   Proud to represent VRAC!
Mens A (30th/65) Mens B (60th65) Ladies A (15th/55) 
Chris Perry (L)24:39Scott Bamber (L)30:08Kate Titlow (L)31:29
Ryan Moore13:03James Griffiths13:57Andrea Hilldrup14:30
Tom Annable (L)28:58Craig Sephton (L)29:13Lucy Burch16:25
Darren Cottier13:38Brian Dooley16:14Katie Brough (L)26:35
Steven Caldwell (L)28:23Iain Stanton (L)32:27Carole Williams19:49
Daniel Morrison13:37Richard Pettitt18:59Clara Pettitt16:18
Stuart Doyle (L)25:26Colin Rathbone (L)35:35
Gareth Williams14:43Chris Griffiths18:48
Dave Haines14:55Simon Bridge16:33
Paul Spare16:26Andy Windsor17:02
Robert Olliver14:06Alan Parsons16:09
George Thompson13:10Nathan Williams14:42
22 Mar:   Four Vale Royal Athletes signed up for the Trimpell 20.   3 of them building for three different marathons and Iain Stanton just doing it because he's mad.   I think all agree that 20 miles is a long way!   Perfect weather for running, a traffic free course and strong performances all round.  A happy bunch!  530 finishers.
PosTimeCatCat Pos
148Iain Stanton02:36:26
157Colin Rathbone02:37:52M701
174Sophie Rees02:39:01L353
22 Mar: Very decent conditions for this years Wilmslow half and some scorching times.  Stu Doyle taking 9 seconds of his PB set here last year. Recently joined Sarah Murphy improving her PB by over a minute and 'injured' James Ainsworth slicing over 5 minutes off his best. Interesting experience for for Jayne Lomax in her first race for 4 months. Mid race she heard cries of 'horse' from behind and was soon overtaken by 2 riderless horses clearly enjoying the race too with a sea of runners obligingly parting in Moses like fashion! Full results here.
PosNameNameCatCat Pos10k10 MileGunChip
26StuartDoyleM40+400:33:1000:54:3601:11:4601:11:45 PB
128SarahMurphyF35+300:37:4901:02:0601:21:4101:21:38 PB
144JamesAinsworthM40+3300:37:4501:02:0501:22:2001:22:14 PB

14 Mar:    A small Vale Royal contingent travelled to Cumbria for the tough Dentdale Run.   A hilly 14.2 miles and a tricky wind to contend with didn't detract from the beautiful dales countryside and the charm of the village of Dent. Good food and beer in the village after the race!  (The camera-man missed Rob but you can play 'Where's Rob?' in the start pic!)
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
42 Rob Olliver 1:34:42  
169 Colin Rathbone 1:53:38 M70 
415 Carole WIlliams 2:28:48 F60 
8 Mar: VRAC representation at both the 10K and half marathon races around the undulating Oulton Park racing circuit where a 'Pit Stop' is totally legitimate.  A worthy category win for Sula Stanley in the 10k. In the half marathon 2nd M60 for John 'Click' Clarke. Sarah Walker just outside the 2 hour mark and Catherine Barton in her half marathon debut in her build up for the London Marathon. Full results here.
10kHalf Marathon
PosNameTimeCatCat PosPosNameTimeCatCat Pos
73Sula Stanely47.36F401164John Clarke1.41.55M602
434Sarah Walker2.00.46F4013
465Finishers551Catherine Barton2.11.18
7 Mar: Congratulations to David Shepherd for a superb performance and time at this tough, tough trail race. Tough enough in the daylight on a calm day but try it in the dark in a howling gale! Here's David's report:
"With over 1000ft of climb around the trails of Moel Famau forest park, Nitro North is a tough test but at night just a little bit mad. With winds so strong they were blowing you off the paths, getting to the finish was an achievement. 
With 2 late overtakes over some crazy descents this has to be my best result. Full results here.
David Shepherd 3rd overall 45.48  (97 finishers)
8 Mar: As usual a high quality field for the Trafford 10k with 7 athletes running sub 30 minutes. Steve Caldwell was the sole VRACer and was satisfied with a very respectable time. Well done Steve. 
191Steve Caldwell36.4536.39
1 Mar: In what proved to be a busy weekend for racing Alex Mason, David Shepherd and Tiffany Moorcroft headed for the Lake District. " David and Alex took on the lake district with this tough 10k for the second year running. the first half mile up a steep hill against a gale, rain, stiles and mud took Alex over 5 minutes with David a further half minute behind. further hills, muddy fields and *orange sheep dodging* later saw Alex come home with a brilliant 6th place and David a fast finishing 11th place. Not seen for some time it was good to see Tiffany Moorcroft out racing again with a nice 3rd place in her category.  
*(venue hosting a marmalade festival so everything had an orange theme).
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
6Alex Mason44.44SM
11David Shepherd46.47M406
76Tiffany Moorcroft57.17F403
1 Mar: Well done to Andrea Hilldrup, Lucy Scott and Debbie Moreton who ably flew the colours for VRAC at this one. A great ladies win for Andrea, recently joined from Lymm. Thought to be Lucy's first stab at the 10k and acquitting herself very well. A 12 second PB for the improving and always happy VRACer Debbie Moreton. Nice work ladies. 
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
22Andrea Hilldrup38.47SL11st Lady Overall
73Lucy Scott43.45SLPB
142Debbie Moreton47.35F452PB
1 Mar: A nice trip across to Anglesey for a trio of our endurance runners.  Tony Atkinson accompanying Jo Edwards to a good category position finish. Sarah Gibbs in the midst of her marathon training for Manchester using the race to good effect. Sarah also very proud that t'other half Peter completed the challenge too (foreground above)!! Post race celebration and re-hydration in evidence on certain social media sites!
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
561Anthony Atkinson1.51.22M45
565Jo Edwards1.51.25M507
818Sarah Gibbs2.00.00SL
1 Mar: 4 VRACers kicked March off with a popular and testing 9 mile hill race up 'The Cloud'. Muddy and windy this year too. In form James Ainsworth struggled a little up the hill but then regained all the lost places with a kamikaze descent to comfortably beat last years time by over 2 minutes and posting a high finish place. Typically, determined run from Dave Haines and likewise Chris Beard who missed Wrexham half with man flu and chose a tough test to make his return to racing after his enforced lay off. Last but never ever ever least the revered Paul Clutterbuck doing what he does best tackling tough tough races. Footnote: Based on unequivocal photographic evidence 3 VRACers opted to keep in touch with their feminine side and wear undervests. Yes, undervests. :o)
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos
23James Ainsworth1.06.24M409
52Dave Haines1.12.39M457
123Chris Beard1.20.29M4520
130Paul Clutterbuck1.20.52M4522
21 Feb: There were even larger fields than normal at the biggest event on the National Cross Country Calendar which this year was held at what many people consider to be the home of the sport, Parliament Hill in North London. Conditions were particularly tough with plenty of thick gloopy mud and numerous hills in both the Women's 8k and mens 12k event. The women went first and Sarah Murphy was soon to the fore, making light work of the conditions to finish in a superb 25th place. She was closely followed by Kate Titlow, putting her fell running strength to good use in a fine 72nd. Next home was Debbie Moreton in 632nd with Carole Williams, looking like she was enjoying every minute as ever, completing the team in 820th. The team came home in 52nd place. Meanwhile the Senior Men's race had an enormous 2005 finishers (as well as a number of non-finishers!!). The 3 VRAC athletes all performed strongly with Stu Doyle finishing 98th ( and believe 3rd vet but still waiting for confirmation), Colin Rathbone 1864th and Richard Pettit 1924th. Age category info is still awaited.  Photos in Gallery c/o John Davies.
15 Feb: A well organised and error free event this year. Well done to the organisers, Mike Harrington's Cute Fruit Events. Near perfect running conditions and a fast course led to some great performances throughout the field. Another great race from Stu Doyle at the sharp end. No less than 6 PB's including a superb 1.40 PB for Ian Brough. over 3 minutes for Gary Richardson, a whopping 7.38 improvement for Euan Dunbar and 8 minutes for Carole Williams who ran the Manchester League XC the day before.  Category wins for Stu, Colin Rathbone (who also did the XC the previous day) and Carole.  A solid day's work for those training for a spring marathon and a good day for the Club. Well done everyone. Full results here.
 PosNameNameGun timeChip TimeCatPos
6StuartDoyle01:12:2201:12:21Vet 401
62IanBrough01:23:4901:23:34Vet 4012PB
87CraigSephton01:26:3101:26:21Vet 4019
102JamesEdwards01:27:4901:27:35Vet 554
107DavidHaines01:28:1701:28:09Vet 4513PB
119TonyArcher01:29:0801:28:56Vet 602
146GaryRichardson01:31:3001:31:17Vet 4031PB
196MarkPilliner01:35:5401:35:33Vet 4524PB?
202EuanDunbar01:36:3601:36:22Vet 5020PB
283ColinRathbone01:43:5901:43:35Vet 701
443CaroleWilliams02:03:3702:03:13Vet 601PB
14 Feb: The 5th and final race of the series. With series results based on 4 from 5 races the turnout was generally lower than previous races. In addition Wrexham half marathon the following day impacted the VRAC field.  Great to the ever present Carole Williams and Colin Rathbone (Carole the lone VRAC lady) securing admirable 3rd and 1st places respectfully in their categories for the series. Also good see Iain Stanton racing again.  Full results here and series placings here. Photos in Gallery courtesy of John Davies. 
PosNameTimeCatCat PosPosNameTimeCatCat Pos
152Carole Williams46.08L60340Zack Bamber33.12U205
166Finishers106Darren Cottier36.10M4017
178Iain Stanton39.17
319Colin Rathbone45.55M701
Individual Series Pacings (4 Races to Count)
L60Carole Williams3
M20-39Rob Olliver21
M40Darren Cottier11
M55James Edwards4
M60Tony Archer2
M60John Clarke7
M70Colin Rathbone1
8 Feb: This sounds like a race that has to be done on the merits of its name. Chris Griffiths clearly thought so and was rewarded with a 9 minute PB finishing in 48.44.  Well done Chris.  
8 Feb: Alex Mason did this one after marshalling the Trail Kidz race. "We started 20 mins after the marathon runners - it was rather chilly (-5C) and like last year after about 2-3 miles I caught the first marthoners, now I know why the kit requires them to carry head torches.  It's going to be a long day for some. The route is mainly along fire tracks with a bit of technical off piste, nothing too demanding.  With 500m of total elevation, the ascents and descents are frequent and make for a very fast course where you can really open up the throttle. On the single track sections the marathoners made for fun dodging around them and by now I was passing swathes of them, but they were running a different race! A fast descent on the last section and I gave words of encouragement and support to those I was passing thinking they were the faster marathoners. To the finish and I thought I was about 20th but chatting to some of the other finishers I was close to we'd actually passed quite a few 1/2ers who'd blown up later on in the race. Anyway, ended up 11th, 2 mins faster than last year despite running an extra 2.3K and having to take mandatory kit. Extra miles = extra smiles." Full results here 
1 Feb: As usual this fast 5 miler attracted a high quality field from all over the country with the first 4 men all under 25 minutes and the ladies race won by Helen Clitheroe. VRAC fielded a small but pacey contingent of 4 men and one lady. All the men under the 30 minute barrier and a the lady not too far behind!  No rain but a biting northerly wind for the runners. First back for VRAC Chris Perry with a top 20 finish with Matt Sheen about 30 secs back. According to Power of 10 this seems top be their debut at the 5 mile road distance.  Next James Ainsworth who has been getting quicker and quicker and threatening to break through to a new level. A great battle with Rob Olliver no doubt helped him to a big PB (1min 39sec). Just 10 seconds back a good race for Rob Olliver too taking 35 seconds off his PB. Sophie Smith who joined us this year from Crewe and Nantwich also had an excellent race, her debut at this distance. Full results here. Impressive all round. 
GunPosGunTimeForenameSurnameM/FCatCat PosChipPosChipTime
FOOTNOTE: Another VRAC rugby player to runner transition. So far the influence seems positive :) :)
24 Jan: Returning to Pontefract racecourse after a 2 year break the Northern XC Championships once again provided the chance for VRACers to test themselves alongside some of the countries top athletes on a lenghty course with its fair share of clinging mud. Interesting to see Alistair Brownlee amongst the men's field finishing 2nd just 4 second behind the winner. Huge fields and lots of fun. Well done all. Full results here. Pics in Gallery c/o John Davies.
9235.33Laura Bestow
32049.44CaroleWilliams6th V60
22nd Team out of 41 Teams
5900:41:48StuartDoyle5th V40
44100:53:22TonyArcher3rd V60
66101:06:25ColinRathbone1st V70
39th Team out of 58 Teams
Jan: We haven't seen much of 'mountain goat' Dave Phillips for a while. He's been busy on domestic duties. Pleased to hear he's kicked off his return in typical fashion... with a 16.8 mile race. Here's his report: 
"I kicked the year off with a fitness test, Cannock Chase Trig Points Race is 16.8m with 1640ft of ascent and more of a trail race which is self navigate, but in real terms meant tagging onto a local runner and trying to hang on. All was well and I felt ok for 1 1/2hrs, then the lack of training and racing was very apparent and I slipped from 19th to 25th place finally finishing in 2hrs 5mins. Verdict, much work and training to do if I'm to be ready for the 4500ft Long Mynd Valleys race next month".
18 Jan:  There were a fair few VRAC runners listed for this race, which, after trying to just delay the start, unfortunately got cancelled, due to ice that refused to shift. However, undeterred, the hardy VR runners still got out around nippy Cheshire today, and there were lots of prizes to be had.
James Ainsworth13.1 miles around the course (mad man) 1:32:12
Tony Archer11.3 miles around Kingsley and Helsby, with Amy and James Edwards, having not found the rest of the VR contingent supping tea in the club house.
Tom Armstrong14 miles on the treadmill. PRIZE! for perseverance.
Chris Beard13.1 miles around the course (2nd mad man) 1:34:03…PRIZE! for 24 min PB!
Ian BroughI’m guessing went and did the 13.1 icy course (3rd mad man).
Steve CaldwellSat on the couch and ate 12 chocolate digestives. A pre-lunch time PB.
Claire Chapman6.5 miles around Winsford.
Bob CorinaldiNot sure
Stu Doyle16.5 miles on Whitegate Way at 6:50 pace. PRIZE! for speed and distance.
James EdwardsSee Tony above, though may have added 10miles, running up his drive?
Jo EdwardsNot sure
Dave HainesI’m guessing went and did the 13.1 icy course (4th mad man).
Alex HallNot sure
Jayne LomaxPoorly
Tiff MoorcroftNot sure
Rob OlliverNot sure
Sophia Rees12.4 miles from home, on slushy roads, but not one single daffy duck impression…..Miss Clumsy stays upright….gotta be worthy of a PRIZE?!
Craig SephtonAn easy 9 miles with Brother in law around Stretton, Grappenhall & Appleton & then began stripping parts from his TT bike for the rebuild this week…. PRIZE! winning the "Sunday multi-tasking" award....runner and bike-mechanic man all in one.
Helen SmithNot sure about Helen Smith, but Helen Whitby ran off a bottle of red wine on only 90mins sleep after littlest miss partied all night! 5 hilly miles followed by a bourneville! And listened to Mike talk about races ALL DAY!....PRIZE!   wins the endurance award.
Steve SmithDidn't enter but completed a bacon butty, watched American Sniper at Cheshire oaks then ate at Pesto's- and did do park run yesterday….. PRIZE!.... winning the "it's my birthday so I can do whatever I want to" award.
Matt SweetingDid the Gruffalo trail with his 5 year old -  3 miles at 28 min mile pace….PRIZE!  winning the "most original location for a run" award.
Mary TavenerAnkle issues
Penny ThornNot sure. Last heard from, eating breakfast pre-Helsby!
17 Jan:  Colin Rathbone and Carole Williams ventured to a sunny Llandudno to run the pier to pier 10k. A great event between Llandudno pier & Colwyn Bay pier. Both rewarded with podium places in their categories.
Pos 135th. Col Rathbone. 47.35. 1st V70

Pos 247th. Carole Williams. 55.45. 3rd FV60

Total finishers 355 
10 Jan: Some mud but it was the gale force bitter wind that posed the main challenge at Heaton Park. Unfortunately, just 3 ladies braved the conditions but all acquitted them selves well with Clara Pettitt first back followed by Sophie Rees and Carole Williams.  A decent turnout for the men with Zack Bamber getting back to his true potential. Another solid run from Rob Olliver. Tony Archer was pleased to secure his fourth 2nd in the M60 category not far ahead of another resurgent VRACer, James Edwards. John Clarke next who dropped a few places stopping to tie a shoelace! Category M70 win for the evergreen Colin Rathbone with Richard Pettitt bringing us home.  One race to go.  Full results here. Photos in Gallery c/o John Davies.  Footnote: Chris Beard who is listed finishing 332nd out of 333 didn't run! Organisers informed.
PosNameTimeCatCat PosPosNameTimeCatCat Pos
42Clara Pettitt41.09U20662Zack Bamber40.41U205
61Sophie Rees42.47L351173Rob Olliver41.11SM
166Carole Williams53.50L604     
193Finishers134Tony Archer44.16M602
144James Edwards44.43M556
289John Clarke52.41M605
319Colin Rathbone57.11M701
322Richard Pettitt57.46M5046
20thTeam Div 1 (6 to Count)
17thVets Team (4 to Count)
3 Jan: Some terrific performances in difficult and muddy conditions with a haul of team and individual medals. Bolesworth hosted the Cheshire XC Champs for the first time on Saturday and provided an interesting and challenging course due in part to a couple of short but testing climbs and plenty of mud! There were large turnouts and strong performances by the club in both the senior ladies and mens races.

The ladies had an exceptional day with our senior ladies filling 4 of the first five places.   Sarah Murphy and Katie Brough had a great battle for gold with Sarah taking the honours after catching Katie on the last lap.   Not surprisingly, the ladies won team gold! The veteran ladies (Sarah Murphy, Penny Thorn, Sophie Rees) secured a well earned vets team silver medal.   Category placings for Carole Williams (1st V60), Jo Edwards (2nd V50), Penny Thorn (3rd V40), Sarah Murphy (1st V35).  In the senior age category we had 1st, 2nd and 3rd with Katie Brough, Kate Titlow and Kate Moulds. An epic haul for our ladies!

We also had 19 men (including 16 vets!) competing which meant we completed three 6 man senior men's teams and four 4 man Vets team - the A teams achieving silver medals in each category. Meanwhile age category placings were seen from Stu Doyle (1st V40), James Edwards (2nd V55) and John Clarke ( 3rd V60) - the high standards were definitely due in part to the numerous intra-club battles being seen between VRAC members throughout the race. Full results here
PosNameCatCat PosTimePosNameCatCat PosTime
1Sarah Murphy V35130:144Stuart Doyle V40137:25
2Katie Brough L130:4516Ryan Moore M1340:31
4Kate Titlow L231:3225Rob Olliver M1841:48
5Kate Moulds L331:4335James Ainsworth V40743:32
11Laura Bestow L633:4040Darren Cottier V50243:59
22Penny Thorn V40337:1044Tom Armstrong M2844:09
23Sophia Rees V35937:1651Craig Sephton V401044:45
37Carolyn Dooley V40739:2555James Edwards V55245:39
40Jo Edwards V50239:4356Gary Weedall V50545:45
46Debbie Moreton V45541:0058Alex Mason M3245:55
59Sarah Walker V401343:5565Scott Bamber V45946:38
62Carole Williams  V60148:3367James Griffiths M3546:50
77Anthony Atkinson V451447:34
97John Carroll V501550:12
98Brian Dooley V401650:30
106Geoff Fawkes V401852:01
113Simon Bridge V452053:57
122John Clarke V60355:48
130Steve CollierV551358:28
132Richard Pettitt V502359:46
138Paul Hudson V6091:06:54
1st: Vale RoyalSarah Murphy  (V35)30:142nd: Vale RoyalStuart Doyle  (V40)37:25
7 points (1,2,4)Katie Brough 30:45164 points (4,16,25,35,40,44)Ryan Moore 40:31
Kate Titlow 31:32Rob Olliver 41:48
James Ainsworth  (V40)43:32
2nd:Vale Royal "B"Kate Moulds 31:43Tom Annable  (V50)43:59
38 points (5,11,22)Laura Bestow 33:40Tom Armstrong 44:09
Penny Thorn  (V40)37:10
2nd:Vale RoyalSarah Murphy  (35)30:142nd: Vale RoyalStuart Doyle  (40)37:25
24 points (1,11,12)Penny Thorn  (40)37:1050 points (1,13,15,21)James Ainsworth  (40)43:32
Sophia Rees  (35)37:16Tom Annable  (50)43:59
Craig Sephton  (40)44:45

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