Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.

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29 Sep: Not a drop of mud in sight this year! Sizable fields in both men and ladies race with some good performances throughout. Gareth Williams and Chris Jones went particularly well in the men's race. Likewise Matt Scott made an excellent comeback after his injury problems. Mark Pilliner showed he is in good form taking some good scalps. Liz Renondeau convincingly won the ladies race with a promising performance from young Sophie Smith. The ladies finished 3rd out of 8 teams in Division 1. The men placed 6th out of 10 in their Division 1. Full results and great pices on Bryan Dale's site here.
PosNameCatTimeCat Pos PosNameCatTimeCat Pos
8Stu DoyleM4527.431 1Liz RenondeauW3520.361
41Gareth WilliamsM5030.043 18Sophie SmithJW22.416
45Chris JonesSM30.10  37Helen SmithW4523.5311
87Darren CottierM4531.5413 51Mel JohnsonW3524.338
93Tommy ArmstrongM4032.0416 64Lucy KnightSW25.18 
136Matt ScottM4533.1528 73Liz GaleW4525.3919
153Craig SephtonM4534.1433 86Jeanette PopeW4026.1516
166Mark PillinerM5035.0014 95Eleanor RichesW4527.0222
173Geoff FawkesM4535.2237 97Debbie MoretonW4527.0523
183Matt HoughM4535.5839 99Julie AnnableW5527.148
230John ClarkeM6038.235 171Debbie RichardsonW5032.4921
234Tony ArcherM6038.336 190Carole WilliamsW6535.033
307Finishers    220Finishers  


30 Sep: Dry under foot for this years race. In the A race a good run from Gary Richardson to lead home 4 VRACers. Dave Haines missed a course PB by 1 second. Careless. Not far back Chris Swift and Jo Edwards taking 3rd F55. In the B race an impressive 2nd overall for George Thompson and 4th for Lee Carrington. Full results here.
A Race         
9502:37:17ChrisSwift02:37:1096Male84Senior Male30
B Race         
201:09:41GeorgeThompson01:09:402Male2Senior Male2
401:17:20LeeCarrington01:17:184Male4Senior Male3


22 Sep: A fantastic day with Gold medals for the U17 Women and U15 girls.The senior men managed to qualify 2 teams for the National Road Relays at Sutton Park in 2 weeks. The A team placed 13th out of 128 complete teams, very close to our best ever position. A young squad, with an average age of just 21 comprising Ryan Moore, Harry Dexter, Jacob Brown, Chris Perry, Arun Dight and Andy Miles, finished 13th of 140 teams. Vale Royal's B team of Cameron Weaver, Alex Doyle, Matt Rowlinson, Josh Betteley, Stuart Doyle and George Thompson recorded 32nd overall and will also qualify for the Nationals. The first time in VRAC history we have had two mens teams qualified. The only other clubs to get 2 teams qualified were Lincoln, Leeds, Liverpool, Morpeth, Salford and Tyne Bridge – some of the biggest clubs in the North and all from big cities so we are in very good company. This was achieved despite some last minute shuffling due to late dropouts.The C team of Chris Weedall, Tony Wardle (making his VRAC debut), Rick Murray, Matt Hough and Richard Pettitt all ran impressive legs – unfortunately the late team-adjustment meant they were a man down and so classed as incomplete. In the senior women’s competition, Emily Lowery, Kate Moulds, Andrea Hilldrup and Katelyn Mooney claimed an excellent 19th from 97 complete teams. The ladies were also able to field B and C teams finishing a very creditable 58th ans 74th. Full results here.
13 Vale Royal AC 'A' 2:08:27 Vale Royal AC 'C' Incomplete 19 Vale Royal AC 'A' 1:34:47 74 Vale Royal AC 'C' 1:53:41
Ryan Moore (43) 21:43  Chris Weedall (109) 25:36  Emily Lowery (36) 23:24  Eleanor Riches (87) 27:37
Harry Dexter (28) 21:19  Tony Wardle (109) 25:33  Kate Moulds (25) 23:48  Jeanette Pope (85) 28:35
Jacobjohn Brown (26) 21:46  Richard Murray (102) 24:54  Andrea Hilldrup (20) 23:17  Liz Gale (81) 28:07
Chris Perry (18) 20:26  Matthew Hough (101) 25:36  Katelyn Mooney (20) 24:18  Julie Annable (78) 29:22
Arun Dight (14) 21:19  Richard Pettitt (109) 32:26    
Andrew Miles (13) 21:54   58 Vale Royal AC 'B' 1:47:13 97 Complete Teams Finished
30 Vale Royal AC 'B' 2:14:27 128 Complete Teams Finished  Esme Bridge (71) 26:22  
     Helen Smith (64) 26:21  
Cameron Weaver (35) 21:31    Lisa Meadows (66) 27:12  
Alexander Doyle (37) 22:15    Debbie Broad (62) 27:18  
Matt Rowlinson (32) 22:26      
Josh Betteley (35) 23:16      
Stuart Doyle (30) 22:09      
George Thompson (30) 22:50     


23 Sep: Mel Johnson reports: Last race in the Cheshire road relays Grand Prix was the Macclesfield half marathon. Mel Johnson and Jo Edwards both had good runs. A race Mel 'was dreading' but I completed it in 1hr 43.04 145th/500 22nd Lady and 5th in my age group. I got stung by a wasp on the lip at 9.5miles hence the ice cream!  Jo Edwards finished in a season best of 1hr55min 28sec. The overall series results are awaited but Mel is hoping she may have clinched 2nd.


Mel Johnson has been busy racing! Here's her update: I completed the EHM 5k night run on Friday 14th September very surprisingly I finished 1st lady/382in a time of 21.37 I think and 22nd overall/645 finishers. I also then completed the EHM 10k on Sunday 16th September disappointing time for me of 44.51 8th lady and 3rd 35. Finished 53rd overall/906. Also completed the wire mile with Oliver and Harry ... Oliver left me ... and Harry beat me at the end finished in the time of 7min 7 sec. 

In the half marathon Eleanor Riches and Mary Tavener had excellent runs. Eleanor clocked 1.44.40. Mary 1.48.49.


23 Sep: Massive congratulations to David Shepherd who has just achieved his 2018 goal of completing the GB Ultra Grand Slam, namely Chester, Liverpool to Manchester, Pennine Barrier and now Snowdon. Here's how his Snowdon event unfolded:

Official results are awaited but about 250 started the race. 99 finished (fact) but not all confirmed through all the checkpoints. I was 58th (ish).  The race was 53 miles (ish) with a few last minute changes to the route meaning no one is absolutely sure! Time 19.5hrs (ish). Sorry about this one. Didn't stop my watch or look at the clock. I was within 10 mins of my predicted finishing time.  For me the race went absolutely to plan. The 5 reecees I did in really bad weather prepared me for the worse. Yes we had a downpour. Yes it suddenly went very cold and foggy as darkness fell making visability under a head torch really difficult but I was ready for it. By the end I was on cloud nine and a little disappointed to be finishing. Physically I was fine, mentally drained but I achieved what I had set out to do at the start of the year in achieving the GB Ultras 50 mile Grand Slam. (Monday) doms has set in and my back is really sore so can hardly walk! (Pic is David taking a refuelling stop at 43 miles... and still smiling!)


16 Sep: Yet another very impressive run from Chris Williams who has had a great year. He won the race a minute clear of the second runner. A good top 10 finish for Nathan Williams over a minute clear of his dad who logged a well deserved V50 win. The first of many more to come no doubt. Liz Renondeau continued her good form placing 2nd lady overall and 1st L35. Not to be outdone the evergreen Barry Chambers won the M65 category.
PosGunFirst nameLast nameChipGenPosCatPos
132:39:00chrisWilliams32:39:00Male1Senior Male1
735:22:00NathanWilliams35:21:00Male7Senior Male5
1536:35:00GarethWilliams36:34:00Male15Male Vet 501
2337:35:00ElizabethRenondeau37:35:00Female2Female Vet 351
12149:06:00BarryChambers48:57:00Male99Male Vet 651


16 Sep: Graham Miles reports: The Sandbach 10km was advertised as a flat 10k and attracted four Vale Royal members. The description was not exactly correct ,as it was an undulating course ran in blustery conditions. First home for Vale Royal was Andrew Miles,who started the race in a group behind the early leader. He caught and passed him at 3k,and did not see anyone after that and won the race in 34.14, with a 47 second lead from his nearest rival.Second home for VRAC was James Ainsworth, who finished 8th in 37.52 and 1st v40. This was some achievement as James was dosed on pain killers to help him deal with his Achilles injury and crossed the line limping,as this had seriously affected his last half.Chloe Broad started the race well and was second female at 3km, but her long standing injury flared up again, and she had to drop out at 5k. Jayne Lomax brought the team home in 53.09 and was pleased with this as it was a seasons best, especially given the course.
PosNameCatChipGunCat Pos
1Andrew MilesSM34.1434.14 
8James AinsworthM4037.5237.531
154Jayne LomaxF5053.0953.444


9 Sept: This has become a regular event for John 'Click' Clark.  Another creditable performance although he felt the very warm conditions were responsible for a time of 1.44.35 some 7 minutes slower than last year. Photo evidence suggests he took re-hydration to another level. John Humphries was VRAC's other representative at this year's GNR running 2.22.33.


8 Sept: Despite the appalling weather the club had a superb day on Saturday both in respect of quantity and quality. We had an unprecedented 7 full teams of 4 runners out with no dropouts at all during the week or on the day!  Every team performed superbly but the highlight was the A team winning the overall race after a tense final leg in which Harry Dexter held on for the victory from Rossendale by a matter of seconds despite confusion at the finish regarding the location of the finish line. This was our first ever victory at the North West Relays. Full results here.

The ladies also had an excellent day finishing 6th and 10th overall with silver and gold medals in the Cheshire category.


Mens Results: There were 73 complete teams in the North West of which 21 were from Cheshire with results by team as follows:


Vale Royal Ac ‘A’ 1:21:45 – 1st Cheshire, 1st North West

1 Ryan Moore (8) 20:44 2 Jacob Brown (4) 20:04

3 Samuel Whitehead (2) 20:00 4 Harry Dexter (1) 20:57


Vale Royal Ac ‘B’ 1:24:10 – 2nd Cheshire, 7th North West

1 Cameron Weaver (16) 21:04 2 Alexander Doyle (11) 21:07

3 Stuart Doyle (8) 21:03 4 Arun Dight (7) 20:56


Vale Royal Ac ‘C’ 1:28:48 – 4th Cheshire, 19th North West

1 Nathan Williams (26) 22:22 2 Matt Rowlinson (23) 22:03

3 James Ainsworth (22) 22:14 4 Chris Jones (19) 22:09


Vale Royal Ac ‘D’ 1:33:57 – 8th Cheshire, 35th North West

1 Gareth Williams (42) 23:38 2 Gary Richardson (40) 23:26

3 Michael Harrington (33) 22:47 4 Richard Murray (35) 24:06


Vale Royal Ac ‘E’ 1:41:11 – 14th Cheshire, 52nd North West

1 Chris Weedall (56) 24:45 2 Matthew Scott (57) 26:38

3 Malcolm Hughes (55) 25:02 4 Matthew Hough (52) 24:46


Vale Royal Ac ‘F’ 1:43:47 – 15th Cheshire, 57th North West

1 Lee Carrington (51) 24:23 2 David Shepherd (52) 25:28

3 Geoff Fawkes (56) 26:38 4 John Moulds (57) 27:18


Vale Royal Ac ‘G’ 1:57:25 – 20th Cheshire, 72nd North West

1 David Roberts (70) 26:43 2 Steve Collier (74) 30:18

3 Chris Hudson (74) 28:46 4 Richard Pettitt (72) 31:38

Ladies Results:

 6 Vale Royal Ac ‘A’ 1:15:28 1 Gemma Barnett (12)25:06 2 Chloe Broad (9) 25:08 3Kate Moulds (6) 25:14 - 2nd Cheshire
 10 Vale Royal Ac ‘B’ 1:17:15 1 Carolyn Dooley (15)25:34 2 Andrea Hilldrup (11)25:19 3Sophie Smith (10)26:22  - 3rd Cheshire
 20 Vale Royal Ac ‘C’ 1:21:58 1 Katelyn Mooney (21)26:08 2 Clara Pettitt (21)27:37 3Helen Smith (20)28:13
 38 Vale Royal Ac ‘D’ 1:28:44 1 Emmalouise Pyatt (36)28:11 2 Hollie Carrington (38)30:27 3Lisa Meadows (38)30:06
 43 Vale Royal Ac ‘F’ 1:29:18 1 Eleanor Riches (46)29:26 2 Liz Gale (43)29:56 3Emma Phillips (43)29:56
 54 Vale Royal Ac ‘E’ 1:37:45 1 Jeanette Pope (49)29:55 2 Julie Annable (51)32:31 3Ann Collier (54)35:19


2 Sept: With the January event cancelled due to bad weather there was no such problems for the September race which incorporated the England Athletics Championships. Trafford 10K always attracts a high quality field and this was once again the case with Marc Scott (recent winner of the Mid Cheshire 5k) winning in a sub 29 minute time. For VRAC Chris Williams ran an excellent PB. The depth and quality of our senior ladies was shown with Liz Renondeau, Sarah Murphy and Chloe Broad combining to win team Gold and English 10k Champions. Also an very promising run from young Lewis Brown in what is thought to be his first 10k breaking the 40 minute mark. Full results here.
35Chris WilliamsMaleM20-3900:32:2400:32:21353035PB
103Stuart DoyleMaleM45-4900:35:2800:35:24965103 
143Tom ArmstrongMaleM40-4400:37:3500:37:2513222140 
147Elizabeth RenondeauFemaleF35-3900:37:4000:37:31133147 
159Sarah MurphyFemaleF40-4400:37:5800:37:56165163 
184Brian DooleyMaleM45-4900:39:0100:38:411659182 
217Chloe BroadFemaleF20-3400:40:0200:39:522813218 
220Lewis BrownMaleM20-3900:40:0500:39:51192130217 
246Carolyn DooleyFemaleF40-4400:41:1000:40:50357243 


19 Aug: 6 VRAC made the short trip to Birchwood for this longstanding 10k in the race calendar with 4 having been picked to represent Cheshire in an inter county match against Staffordshire and North Wales.  First home for VRAC was Mike Harrington in his 3rd race in 6 days with a 36.53 followed by Brian Dooley with a seasons best time.  Next home was Helen Harrington in 40.37 which is a another seasons best closely followed by Carolyn Dooley in 41.07.  Mel Johnson was next home finishing 5th in her age category in what was a strong field. Eleanor Riches brought the team home with a 48.24 and on the whole times appeared to be down for everyone with the strong wind and rain.  Full Results.

PosGunNameCatCat PosChip 
3436.53Mike HarringtonM45535.53 
5338.50Brian DooleyM45938.45 
9140.41Helen HarringtonF35240.379th lady
9841.10Carolyn DooleyF40441.0711th lady
18544.58Mel JohnsonF35544.51 
30048.38Eleanor RichesF45748.24 


23 Aug: Another stellar field for the 7th running of the Mid Cheshire 5k including Mark Scott recently returned from the European Championships, Berlin where he placed 5th in the 5000m in 13.23.  Blustery conditions were not ideal for the fastest times but nonetheless Mark Scott showed his class breaking the course record running 13.45 (the fastest road 5k in the UK this year). The women’s race was a much tighter affair with Lauren Howarth of Leigh Harriers winning with a season’s best of 16:03. Some excellent performances from the 30 VRAC athletes with several PB's. In form Chris Perry placed an excellent 4th (PB) out sprinting a sizable group of quality athletes at the finish. Alex Doyle took the family honours with a comfortable victory over dad 'Big Stu'. Sarah Murphy led the VRAC ladies home with another strong performance. Another great event. Mike Harrington would like to thank all the volunteers. Great photos free to download from Mick Hall here.
414:37ChrisPerry14:37Male4Senior Male4PB
4516:01AlexanderDoyle15:59Male45Under 215 
6516:29StuartDoyle16:26Male63Vet 455 
7116:37MattRowlinson16:34Male69Under 219 
9316:54NathanWilliams16:50Male89Under 2114 
9716:59EdwardPettitt16:56Male93Under 2115 
12317:27GarethWilliams17:22Male116Vet 502 
15117:47Tomarmstrong17:40Male143Vet 4020 
15817:52GaryRichardson17:44Male148Vet 4022PB
16818:02SarahMurphy18:00Female11Vet 402 
17018:04AaronDoyle17:53Male159Under 2121 
19818:29CurtisRodway18:17Male180Under 2123 
20218:31ChrisWeedall18:26Male183Vet 4027PB
20518:36LewisBrown18:27Male186Under 2124 
23118:59RichardMurray18:50Male205Vet 509 
23619:04CHLOEBROAD18:58Female27Under 216 
25719:27CarolynDooley19:16Female33Vet 403PB
27619:43DavidHaines19:36Male241Vet 4525 
30120:11AndreaHilldrup19:58Female41Vet 404 
31320:22GeoffFawkes20:04Male268Vet 4533PB
34420:54ClaraPettitt20:35Female57Senior Female26 
34720:57JohnMOULDS20:38Male290Vet 5023PB
37421:32MelanieJohnson21:13Female64Vet 3511 
38721:49JohnClarke21:29Male319Vet 608 
42422:39DebbieBroad22:28Female88Vet 504PB
43223:05stevecollier22:45Male342Vet 5521 
46824:16:00RichardPettitt24:10:00Male357Vet 5524 
48624:53:00JayneLomax24:32:00Female123Vet 5011 
50425:50:00ChristopherGriffiths25:27:00Male373Vet 6013 
52627:27:00anncollier26:58:00Female145Vet 5511 


18 Aug: Robert Roe reports: I tried to conquer Rome but a combination of the heat, too much pizzas and gelato and some proper athletes defeated me. Given the conditions I was happy with 5th in 20:30, even though it was the first time I've run over 20 minutes for quite a while. The parkrun was really friendly with a great mix  of locals and tourists, and the traditional post run cake and selfie.


15 Aug: There was a good VRAC turnout for this traditionally quick course (now known as the Ellesmere Port RC 5k). Conditions were fairly good apart from a headwind between the 2km and 3km points. James Ainsworth had a great run despite his many ailments as mentioned on social media in the build up to the race. There was a category win for Mike Harrington but Dave Gough, Debbie Broad and Barry Chambers just missed out on their respective age group awards due to the usual strong field this race attracts from Merseyside and North Wales. There were solid runs throughout the field including a big PB for Mark Pilliner and seasons best from Richard Pettitt.  Full Results

1216:50JamesAinsworth16:4612Male12Vet 402
1817:29MichaelHarrington17:2218Male17Vet 451
6319:20DaveGough19:1262Male58Vet 552
10220:41MarkPilliner20:32102Male91Vet 5011
10920:56JohnMoulds20:48109Male97Vet 5012
11221:03GeoffFawkes20:55112Male100Vet 4515
16723:07DebbieBroad22:58166Female35Vet 502
17923:44BarryChambers23:28177Male140Vet 653
18223:47RayTran23:32180Male142Vet 5018
20024:21RichardPettitt24:11202Male152Vet 559


16 Aug: Helen Harrington reports: Slightly depleted by holidays for the last sizzler 4 VRACers towed the (delayed) start line in much cooler conditions to the previous three. Tommy Armstrong having his best run of recent years was first past the post breaking his 18 minute barrier by some margin with a 17:45. In a charge from the back Darren Cottier pipped Dave Haines to the post with 19:04 and Dave wasn’t far behind in 19:07. Helen Harrington spurred on by a surprise cheer from the whole Harrington clan at 1km ran a seasons best 19:26 and dipped inside the top 10 ladies with 9th place.
7017:49TomArmstrong17:4568Male68Vet 4016
12719:08DarrenCottier19:04130Male122Vet 4510
13119:11DavidHaines19:07132Male126Vet 4511
15219:29HelenHarrington19:26156Female9Vet 354


8 Aug: Eleanor Riches reports: Due to being easily led by a work colleague, and being a bit daft, I've decided to dabble in fell racing this summer. To this end, Wednesday 8th August saw the 2018 staging of the Eccles Pike Fell Race - thought to be one of the oldest fell races in the country. 171 runners gathered in a field behind the Navigation Inn near Whaley Bridge then promptly at 7:30 pm set off on the 3.4 miles and 1001 feet of climb up Eccles Pike and back down again. In a race that incorporated two stone stiles over dry stone walls, the best bit was definitely the point at which everyone ground to a halt and then shuffled forward in single file, very reminiscent of a Manchester Airport immigration queue, to clamber over the first stile. This gave enough time for my heart rate to drop back below 100 bpm but it turns out my little legs are not best suited to easily getting over stiles that are basically head height. After cresting the climb and passing the trig point at the peak, a typically shaky descent followed - including the expletive inducing two stone stiles. The very welcome relatively flat run in allowed a bit of a sprint finish to sneak in just under the forty minute mark and second F45. In retrospect, a very enjoyable run/walk in beautiful scenery. Full results here.


5 Aug: Liz Renondeau reports: Four Vale Royal athletes made their way down the M6 for the Trentham 10K, incorporating the British Masters 10K championships.  The hot and sunny weather combined with a very hilly course (described by one of the ladies as more akin to a fell race!) made for a pretty brutal racing conditions, however, the Vale squad equipped themselves very well.  Stuart Doyle was the first back for the club in 35:53, finishing seventh overall and second place in the M45 category.  Good to see Stu putting his name back on the map in the Masters scene with selection for the Home Countries XC international just around the corner.  Next back for Vale was Liz Renondeau. Liz just missed clinching the overall Masters title by three seconds, but claimed gold in the W35 category, her time of 39:58, reflecting the tough nature of the course.  Liz was closely followed by Sarah Murphy, clocking 40:17 and winning the bronze medal in the W40 category (4th lady in overall Masters race).  Third lady back for Vale was Jayne Lomax in 57:28.  This was not an easy race to choose for her first one back after injury but Jayne’s efforts were brilliantly rewarded as she brought the ladies home to win a team bronze medal in the W35 category.  Well done to all four VRAC member for keeping Vale firmly on the map with regards to Masters racing! Full results here.


1 Aug: VRAC's Pie and Peas summer time multi-terrain event has become well established in the racing calendar. The 2018 event blessed with fine warm weather was once again a great success. Thanks to all the volunteers from VRAC and NRC. With 6 in the top 10 and winner in the ladies race VRAC once again excelled in the event. The Doyle family took 1, 2 (and 22) with Stu Doyle fighting off his ever improving offspring Alex to take first place. Chris Jones completed the 1,2,3 for VRAC with an excellent run and category win. Carolyn Dooley took a well deserved victory in the ladies race. Many interesting VRAC duals with some excellent performances. Full results here. Great photos on Bryan Dale's site here.
127:40:00StuartDoyle27:40:00Male1Vet 451
228:15:00AlexanderDoyle28:15:00Male2Under 201
328:43:00ChrisJones28:43:00Male3Vet 351
730:14:00GarethWilliams30:13:00Male7Vet 501
930:43:00GaryRichardson30:42:00Male9Vet 402
1231:12:00RichardMurray31:12:00Male12Vet 502
1731:53:00ChrisWeedall31:52:00Male17Vet 405
1931:59:00MalcolmHughes31:58:00Male19Vet 504
2232:05:00AaronDoyle32:05:00Male22Under 202
2732:33:00ScottBamber32:31:00Male27Vet 506
3432:57:00BrianDooley32:57:00Male34Vet 456
3632:58:00DavidHaines32:58:00Male36Vet 457
4533:31:00CarolynDooley33:30:00Female1Vet 401
5034:34:00SamWashington34:26:00Male49Under 203
6335:21:00DavidRoberts35:19:00Male60Vet 4013
9237:18:00AnthonyDutton37:16:00Male86Vet 4021
11738:26:00JeanettePope38:20:00Female12Vet 403
12438:50:00EleanorRiches38:42:00Female14Vet 454
12538:55:00ChrisHudson38:44:00Male111Vet 3516
13039:04:00SteveCollier38:57:00Male114Vet 5511
15540:04:00BarryChambers39:51:00Male127Vet 654
16540:45:00RayTran40:38:00Male135Vet 5022
16941:19:00ChristopherGriffiths41:07:00Male137Vet 5517
30050:28:00AnnCollier50:03:00Female108Vet 5512


31 July: The final race in the 3 race series and another good turn out with 10 VRAC representing the club at a course not renowned for producing fast times. Well done to Ollie Williams in 3rd place and congratulations also to Kate Moulds on being first female and Gemma Barnett who finished 3rd female. Full Results Race Photos


29 July: In a change to the recent weather, torrential rain and 20mph wind greeted 11 VRAC runners amongst the record 750 sell out at the latest of the Mike Harrington stable of races.  The rain eased at the start but the wind affected times and most people appeared to be a minute or more on what we would expect. There was a category win for Lisa Meadows who was remarkably only 6 seconds outside of her PB and another age group win for Colin Rathbone. Full Results. Race Photos

PositionFinish timeFirst nameLast nameNet timeCategoryCategory position
1100:35:31MarkCrabtree00:35:29Senior Male7
1500:36:14GeorgeThompson00:36:12Senior Male10
3800:38:55RichardMurray00:38:51Vet 502
4200:39:20TomArmstrong00:39:17Vet 406
7600:41:45GemmaBarnett00:41:41Vet 353
9500:43:29JohnTodd00:43:23Vet 553
15600:46:52LisaMeadows00:46:19Vet 451
18600:47:58EleanorRiches00:47:17Vet 453
19400:48:28DebbieBroad00:48:08Vet 503
20400:48:46ColinRathbone00:48:28Vet 70 Male1


22 July: Mike Harrington was the lone VRAC  to take part in this race. Mike claimed it was an excellently organised race and a great course.  As with most races in the last few months the heat was a factor and Mike managed a 36.24 to equal his season's best. Full results.


19 July: Helan Harrington reports:
Despite the heat VRAC had a good turnout for the second sizzler of series. The first 5 home (Stu Doyle, Liz Renondeau, Sarah Murphy, Gary Richardson and Tommy Armstrong) were all rewarded with fast times and Liz just prevailed in the battle of the VRAC ladies to finish 5th lady and first V35. Darren Cottier recovering from his trip away enjoyed another solid sub 20 performance just followed by Helen Harrington breaking 20 mins by virtue of a sprint round the track! Geoff Fawkes ran a season's best 20:26 and won't be far away from the magical 20 minutes by the end of the summer. Two races left in the series Thursday 2nd August and 16th August. Full results here.
PosGunNo.First nameLast nameChipGenPosCatPos400mFinish
1516:21845StuartDoyle16:21Male15Vet 45101:1316:21
6917:53691SarahMurphy17:52Female6Vet 40201:1917:52
7618:04950GaryRichardson18:01Male69Vet 401301:2318:01
8918:18759TomArmstrong18:16Male81Vet 401601:2418:16
14519:48713DarrenCottier19:45Male133Vet 451201:2919:45
19520:33710GeoffFawkes20:26Male172Vet 451801:3520:26


11 July: Lisa Meadows reports:

Helen Harrington and Lisa Meadows were part of the 369 strong field of runners who chose running over football last Wednesday turning out for the Tony Barnes Memorial Sefton Park 5 mile race. Though signs with the latest score, radio coverage and the noises coming from the local pub helped keep runners upto speed on how the game was progressing. To continue the theme of late, it was another warm and sunny evening for racing two loops on the undulating paths within Sefton Park. Helen having last ran this race some 14 years previously (some fellow runners did question how old or young she must have been back then!) ran a fantastic 32:34 to finish 4th lady. Lisa running this event for the first time finished in 37:24 which was a PB for the distance. Runners were treated to not only a t-shirt and a medal for their efforts but also a curry.  With the football on at race HQ there was even the opportunity to catch the extra time whilst enjoying the post race curry and waiting for the race presentation. A really well organised race and definitely one for next years calendar.


16 July: David Shepherd continued his brutal marathon/ultra race regime. Here's his report:

Stoke On Trent Festival of Running Marathon. (SOFTFoR). Really tough marathon which I ran in full Ultra race kit. Didn't take any energy drinks with me which I regretted and suffered with many others in the last few miles. Finished 26th out of 131 in 4:02.36. Full results on Brian's Dale's website.


10 June: Huge congratulations to Bob Corinaldi who has put many months and miles into tackling one of the world iconic ultra races. Here's how his exprerience unfolded... including 'before' and 'after' photos!

Described as the oldest and largest ultra marathon in the world, the Comrades Marathon was originally conceived in 1921 by South African Veteran Vic Clapham to commemorate South African soldiers killed during the war and to be a unique test of physical endurance….it didn’t disappoint.  Its run annually between Pietermaritzburgh and Durban, changing direction each year and a nominal 90km long.  Due to the changes in elevation between the start & finish, the Pietermaritzburgh to Durban leg is called the ‘Down Run’ and the reverse route is the ‘Up Run’.  2018 was to be a Down Run from Pietermaritzburgh to Durban.   There are several significant hills along the route affectionately known as the big five along with timed cut offs culminating in the final 12 hour cut off at the finish.


I qualified in group C following last years Chester Marathon and lined up on the chilly start line ready for the cock crowing at the 5:30am start. Pacing was always going to be difficult as it’s a hilly 50km followed by a fairly steep 30km downhill and a steady 10km to the finish.  Apparently there’s only 4km of flat profile on the entire route. I decided early on to try and enjoy it & soak up the atmosphere as the support along the entire route was incredible. I saved the legs through the first 50km and all went relatively well until about 75km when my stomach went on strike, the km’s seemed like miles and I had to give myself a serious talking to which thankfully had the desired effect. The long downhill on tired legs was brutal and I managed to get some ice from a water bath and run with it on my quads for a while until it melted in the heat.  I finished in 9:54:57 which is just inside the target I set myself although I hadn’t appreciated just how long & steep the downhill section was. All in all a great day out and thankfully the months of long miles (1,650 since November) paid off.   


Apparently I’m halfway through my Comrades journey which isn’t complete until you’ve run both up & down legs!


Final result 9:54:57

Overall 5407 from approx 20,000 starters and 16,478 finishers


9 June: Bob Corinaldi used this as his warm up for the Comrades Marathon on the following day.  "Told myself beforehand to take it easy.  No problem there, it was packed with  2271 runners!"


12 July: VRAC  had 4 out on Thursday evening in good conditions and a really enjoyable race despite the hills and numerous stiles. Stu Doyle came 2nd overall (1st vet) after a close battle with the 3rd and 4th placed runners which meant he finished within 10 secs of the winner. Pauline Davies had another strong run to win the w65 category. Chris Beard continued his excellent recent form with a really good run and was closely followed by Geoff Fawkes, both enjoying their debuts at this race and liking the variety of terrain.


14 July: Tony Dutton is training for the Chester Marathon and wanted a half as part of his build up. He didn't choose an easy one. Hot conditions and a brutal profile with nearly 2000 feet of elevation, Here's his report.

Needed to get a half marathon race in as part of my marathon training for Chester. So I entered the Pendle Running Festival half marathon. They run both the 10k and the half marathon at the same time setting off together, but the half basically does the course twice and is measured a little further than a actual half. Without doubt the hardest race I've done, over 13 miles in 25 degrees with 1989 elevation, but a beautiful part of the countryside finishing time 02:02:40 27th out of 56 runners.Full results here.


8 July: Another excellent event staged by our friends at Northwich Running Club. VRAC took first place in both in both 5k and 10k races with Nathan Williams and Chris WIlliams prevailing respectively. Top 3 placings for Rick Murray (5k) and Gareth Williams (10k) and a strong run from Mel Johnson 3rd lady in the 5k. Full results here.
PosGun NameNameChipGenPosCatPos
118:08 NathanWilliams18:08Male1Under 401
319:17 RichardMurray19:16Male3Under 601
722:10 MelanieJohnson22:08Female3Under 402
1524:18:00 BenjaminFisher24:17:00Male11Under 405
2627:10:00 GeorgeScott27:08:00Male20Under 4010
PosGun NameNameChipGenPosCatPos
134:37:00 ChrisWilliams34:36:00Male1Under 401
239:57:00 GarethWilliams39:56:00Male2Under 601
3650:46:00 JeanettePope50:43:00Female7Under 505
3850:58:00 JadeEvans50:56:00Female8Under 403


8 Jul: Carolyn Dooley, Helen Smith and Debbie Broad headed to Solihull to represent Northern Masters in the British Masters Inter-area challenge. With temperatures sizzling conditions were very warm for distance racing. That said great performances all round. Carolyn was first up in the 1500m and was pleasantly surprised with her time of 5.25 exceeding her pre race target in her first track race in over 25 years. Helen made her debut over 400m and was strong right through to the finish with a time quicker than expected. Debbie Broad completed the line up with her first ever track race over 3000m running sensibly in the heat and being rewarded with a time to be proud of. Also to note that Helen took on the role of ladies team manager and did a sterling job with lots of last minute changes to deal with. Without The Helen’s of this world many events wouldn’t happen so thankyou! (Thanks to Carolyun Dooley for report)


5 Jul: Another warm one at the first Sale Sizzler series of 4 races, Another fantastic run by Athlete of the Month Liz Renondeau bringing home 2nd Lady (1st v35 age cat) in a 4 second PB of 17:41, Big Stu Doyle had a target to get sub 16:30 which he didn’t fail to deliver with 16:21 and won a pair of trainers from a raffle picked out from 10 race numbers at the start! What a bonus. James Ainsworth adopted the go hard off go home tactic and blew at 4k so stopped briefly and then decided to run again to finish. More solid performances by Gary Richardson and Dave Haines with Gary very close to sub 18 which is impressive both still having a fell race from the weekend in their legs. Tony Dutton and a jet lagged Geoff Fawkes brought the VRAC contingent home in style. Photo credit Brian Tuohey.
2616:22StuartDoyle16:21Male26Vet 45301:1516:21 
3316:48JamesAinsworth16:47Male33Vet 40401:1616:47 
6217:43ElizabethRenondeau17:41Female2Vet 35101:2517:41PB
8518:11GaryRichardson18:08Male78Vet 401301:2518:08 
14119:25DavidHaines19:21Male129Vet 451601:2519:21 
24221:35AnthonyDutton21:25Male211Vet 403201:4021:25 
25521:48GeoffFawkes21:40Male223Vet 453501:4421:40


4 July:Only two ladies this year at the Forest Park ladies 5k trail race, Lisa Meadows and Helen Harrington. After a promising start Helen was one of a duo who were turned the wrong way and was disappointed to finish is 20:54 after turning back 30s later and completing the remainder of the course. Lisa had a fantastic run finishing only 16s slower than she ran at Mid Cheshire 5k earlier this year on a significantly tougher course. Lisa finished 18th in 23:07 and 2nd V45. Full results here. Thanks to Helen Harrington for report.


22June: Thanks to Helen Harrington for report and pics.Beautiful night again, this race always seems to provide the weather. VRAC had 2 complete teams with Gareth Williams joining two hardy hill runners and Geoff Fawkes featuring in the same team as when he last raced the 9 mile trail race 7 years ago. Gareth (Partnered with Chris Collins from Helsby and Alex Mason from Delamere Spartans) finished 5th team overall narrowly missing out on the prizes in a time of 64:51. Next home were the all female trio of Gemma Barnett, Kate Moulds and Helen Harrington finishing first ladies team and breaking the ladies course record by 3 minutes in a time of 69:30 (11th team overall). The VRAC trio of Toddy, Darren and Goffy finished in 73:25 and 15th place with Geoff's team knocking almost 10 minutes off their time from 2011 clocking 77:53 and 20th place overall.


July 1: The hot weather continues to effect races and this one was just a matter of surviving. Five VRAC runners ran this out and back 10k on the bypass as it was temporarily closed to traffic. Another fine run from Chris WIlliams in 3rd place and just dipping under 33 minutes. Good to see Tommy Armstrong back racing and after a quick check on Power of Ten there didn't seem to be any PBs.