Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.


26 Dec: The traditional Boxing Day blow out around Chester City Walls. Thanks to Helen Whitby for the report.

A slight marshalling hicciup sent the runners an extra .5km making the race exactly 4m this year. Fantastic morning despite the wind and a great run by Kate Titlow for third lady overall. Lovely event, friendly marshals and fantastic to see Barry Chambers running. He is now one of only a handful of runners to have completed all the RTW races. Hot chocolate a welcome treat for all finishers.
PosGunName ChipChip Pos Gen PosCat Cat Pos


18 Dec: Saturday saw the 3rd and final league race of the year at Stafford Common. The course was unusually firm with only small patches of mud in the far field.
The ladies were spearheaded by Helen Smith’s fine 20th place and also featured a number of close intra-club races across the 6 who competed. Julie Annable an excellent 2nd in her category and great to see Pauline Davies winning hers. A strong turnout of 11 senior men saw some good battles including 3 in the first 7 led home by a strong run from Ollie Williams in 4th. Excellent category wins for Stu Doyle (M45), Jacob Brown (JM) and John Clarke (M60). Colin Rathbone just 5 seconds behind the M70 victor. Mike Harrington and Gareth Williams also had a close battle with both featuring in the top 50 whilst Richard Pettitt would have been higher if he hadn’t still been in the car park when the gun went! The team finished 2nd overall which should be enough to see us clear of the Division 1 relegation spots although overall series results are still awaited. Lots of pics courtesy Robert Brown here.
Ladies    Men    
PosNameCatTimeCat PosPosNameCatTimeCat Pos
20Helen SmithW4523.1124Oliver WilliamsSM27.04 
60Nikki CavanaghW4026.05126Stu DoyleM4527.191
72Julie AnnableW5526.4627Jacob BrownJM27.411
73Liz GaleW4026.481642Gareth WilliamsM4530.476
168Carole WilliamsW6034.28549Mike HarringtonM4030.586
171Pauline DaviesW6534.58166Darren CottierM4532.0712
190Finishers   119Joe CavanaghM4034.0120
5th/16Team Div 2 4 to count   152Mark PillinerM4535.2934
     194John ClarkeM6038.091
     244Colin RathboneM7042.212
     249Richard PettittM5543.2517
     2nd/9Team Div 1 6 to count  



10 Dec: It's been great to see Gareth Williams competing again especially in his favourite discipline, cross country. His form this season resulted in a deserved call up to represent North Wales in the M45 category. A typically wet Welsh day with plenty of mud and Gareth was in his element, running strongly to finish 8th M45 and 3rd M45 counter for North Wales helping the M45 category to a narrow win by a single point. 


11 Dec:  Success at the fantastic Yule Yomp event at Tatton park.    Dave Shepherd won the best club fancy dress award for running in a full Santa suit!  Sarah Murphy was superb first lady with Julie Annable an excellent 12th and winning her age category to boot.  Debbie Moreton was 2nd in her age category and ran exceptionally well despite having to stop briefly when feeling unwell.    James Ainsworth was 3rd MV40 and looking strong after a few months of with injury - just pipping Michael Carroll for 7th place.  Everyone returned smiling after a highly enjoyable to bookmark for next year everyone.

Pos  M/F PosCatCat PosTime
5Sarah MurphyFemale1FOPEN100:38:58
7James AinsworthMale6MV40300:39:37
8Michael CarrollMale7MOPEN300:39:38
67David ShepherdMale62MV50800:46:29
121Julie AnnableFemale12FV55100:49:56
152Debbie MoretonFemale21FV45200:51:07
384Valerie KinvigFemale94FV501100:57:25
402Jan SnowFemale105FV55800:57:56


11 Dec: Just one VRAC at Telford this year. Another good race from Kate Spilsbury. Only 18 seconds short of her PB set at Leeds Abbey Dash 2014.

PosNameGunChipGen Pos
215Kate Spilsbury37.0636.5720


Quick summary now that the series is complete. Basis for teams is best 5 races from 7 (men 6 to count, ladies 4 to count). 3rd place for the men and 4th place for the ladies. Good effort.
PosClubHelsbyWhitleyKingsleyHollins GreenColshawBirchwoodMacclesfieldOverall
1South Cheshire H5145234705365105525512676
2Wilmslow RC3144834945165464665512590
3Vale Royal48346255346051453902551
4Macclesfield H4194973984903903205032307
5Lymm Runners432301396365436395682024
6Spectrum Striders332446376491190001835
7Warrington Road Runners23145830621716747501687
8Helsby RC379286455510912521463
9Warrington Running Club96293175023440101199
10Congleton H14704303472743241135
PosClubHelsbyWhitleyKingsleyHollins GreenColshawBirchwoodMacclesfield Overall
1Wilmslow RC203218196214217205211 1065
2Macclesfield H196199204191197111180 987
3South Cheshire H152182153171172169227 921
4Vale Royal1421612346019515549 887
5Lymm Runners11514314517913815447 759
6Helsby RC1831161863750046 581
7Congleton H109039017587108 518
8Spectrum Striders2617882218000 504
9Warrington Running Club34924553871900 467
10Warrington Road Runners501185977241280 432


3 Dec: Another decent turnout with complete senior and vets teams for ladies and men. Good conditions and less mud than the previous race at Boggart Hole! More strong performances throughout the field. Two more races to come in the series after the festive celebrations.
Ladies    Men    
PosNameCatCat PosTimePosNameCatCat PosTime
29Helen SmithL45137.4524Ryan MooreSM 36.04
104Julie AnnableL55343.4262Zack BamberSM 38.35
118Sarah GibbsL351745.1479Gareth WilliamsM45539.25
121Nikki CavanaghL351845.25222Mark PillinerM452545.53
208Carole WilliamsL60861.15228Dave HainesM452746.07
214Finishers   240Chris BeardM453046.27
     261John ClarkeM60747.28
21st/41Team 4 counters   322Ray TranM454654.29
10th/38 Vets Team 3 counters   331Colin RathboneM70256.27
     20th/41Team 6 counters   
     17th/34Vets team 4 counters  


3 Dec: Helen Whitby and her Mum fancied a change from the Parkrun and headed to Halewood. H reports "Halewood 5k on a whim! Mum and I went out for a change of scenery from the parkrun. Fantastic little event and Knowsley harriers put on a great free 5k. 2nd lady 19:53, 12th overall." Not bad H even if you did forget your VRAC vest!


4 Dec: Just two from VRAC at Stockport. Craig Sephton is a regular and clocked a very respectable time. Excellent run from Malcolm Hughes agonisingly just 5 seconds short of the PB he set here last year.
PosNameChipCatCat pos
60Craig Sephton1.05.14M455
111Malcolm Hughes1.07.46M4517


PosGunName ChipGenderGen PosCatCat Pos 
3735:56:00MichaelHarrington35:52:00Male34Vet 404PB
6337:53:00BrianDooley37:45:00Male56Vet 408PB
8238:58:00RichardMurray38:50:00Male74Vet 504PB
26745:44:00MikeDevine45:01:00Male234Vet 4042 
36648:36:00DebbieMoreton47:54:00Female52Vet 458 
44850:45:00JayneLomax50:03:00Female71Vet 4511 
4 Dec: Some very quick times on a nice crisp winters day at Wilmslow. Lots of PB's with Mike Harrington going sub 36, Brial Dooley sub 38 and Rick Murray sub 39! Strong performances too from Mike Devine, Debbie Moreton and Jayne Lomax.


26 Nov: Rick Murray spurned the freezing temperatures to chase a final goal for the year. Did he make it? Here's his report (plus an insight into his radio tastes!)    "Running on ice.... I decided to make the journey to the Wesham 10k to try and crack the sub 40 mins, as the only goal that I have set myself this year that I had yet failed to do. It was a lovely road race on open country roads, with a beautifully sunny but cold day and about 3k of the race the roads were very icy and at one point I nearly ran into a hawthorn hedge as I could not stop. Well pleased with 39:30."

PosNameCatCat PosPaceTime
47Rick MurrayM506/483.57/6.2139.30


26 Nov:The Liverpool cross challenge is used as the selection event for the Great Britain team for the European Cross Country Champs and always attracts top quality fields. However yesterday's senior races were particularly stellar - for example the men's race featured 5 runners who ran in either the 2012 or 2016 Olympics. It's definitely the highest standard in-depth race I've ever competed in and very likely the best in this country for a number of years!!


Amelia Pettitt overcame recent injury problems with a superb run to finish in 32nd place overall and 9th U23 which gives her a chance of being a reserve for the GB team. Amelia was followed home by Kate Spilsbury, Sarah Murphy and Kate Titlow who all had excellent runs to place inside the top 100. Emma Pyatt running under her Liverpool University tab came 133rd.


In the men's race Matt Sheen continued his recent excellent form and took some notable scalps with his first appearance in a senior men's XC championship. Stu Doyle and Ryan Moore had a close battle throughout the race with experience just getting the better of youth on the gruelling last lap whilst. Stu took a fantastic 1st M45 placing.  Richard Pettitt also ran well and looked strong throughout. 

PosTimeName CatCat Pos


20 Nov: Running in the mud, wind and rain at Marbury Park. The weather didn't deter any dog owners though... meaning lots of  lovely hyper dogs, plus mud, and I still didn't fall over! Still as slow as ever but still, I'm getting the job done. 1:48:28.


20 Nov: Having stood in at short notice the previous day to make up the W35 team at the Master relays Sarah Gibbs headed to Conwy the following day. Her second time at this 'favourite' and scenic race. Here's her report:

My time was 1.47.39 but I was was never going to break any records with that belting hill in the middle! Really one of my favourite half marathons it's the 2nd time I've done it, last time I came in just over 2 hrs. Absolutely stunning views from the top & a great sea view as you travel up the Orme, also really nice finish running up towards Conway Castle. Highly recommend we were very lucky with the weather & there was great support from the locals. Finished off with chips by the harbour! Perfect.


20 Nov: A few VRACers braved the traffic to make it the Tatton Park 10k. There was also a half marathon but apparently no runners from VRAC. Some were known to abandon it due to traffic chaos. Thought to be Ryan Moore's 10k debut so very impressive performance. The in form Dooley duo delivered another great race both posting PB's and going sub 40 minutes for the first time. Solid runs from the Griffiths duo to complete the VRAC set.
PosChip PosNameTimeChip TimeCategoryCateg PosGenderGender Pos 
55RYAN MOORE00:33:5700:33:56Male4Male5PB
1818BRIAN DOOLEY00:38:4700:38:45V404Male15PB
2931CAROLYN DOOLEY00:39:5000:39:48V402Female5PB
179197CHRIS GRIFFITHS00:49:3600:49:25V556Male139 
9881031EILEEN GRIFFITHS01:10:4201:08:32V5516Female573


19 Nov: One and 2/3 ladies teams went to the BMAF XC Relay championships in Derby with the VRAC flag. The course was flat and rather boring round rugby pitches with one muddy puddle in the 1.9km  course. It was sunny but with freezing wind chill. The incomplete W45 of Debbie Moreton and Julie Annable finished 10th after 2 legs. Another brilliant performance from Julie, returning from injury. W35 team came 13th overall. Lovely camaraderie and team spirit.  Special thanks to Sarah Gibbs for replacing a late withdrawal despite running  Conway half the next day.
W35Helen Smith612.13
 Sarah Gibbs1214.17
 Debbie Broad1314.31
 13th of 18 Teams  
W45Debbie Moreton1014.42
 Julie Annable1013.59
 Incomplete Team 


As we know Sophie Rees has set herself the target of running 13 half marathons in 13 weeks to raise funds for Parkinson's from which her mother is suffering. She's almost half way through so here's her update on progress so far. More on her story here and pics in Gallery.

1, Sun 16/10/16, Oldham Half, a rather wet (massive understatement) and lumpy affair but still loved it. Lots of street furniture but managed to stay upright. Yey. 1:51:00

2, Fri 21/10/16, Congleton to Middlewich, running home from work.  Was tired on this one, not sure why. Good to get it done before the weekend rain though…that actually never came! 1:50:10

3, Sun 30/10/16, Halloween Hell raiser, Nantwich. 10 miles (+3.1) of grass, ploughed fields, slippy slab-stones, stiles and the occasional bit of tarmac. Relieved to finish this one as I really wasn’t very well. Good fun for a run though. 2:01:03

4, Sun 06/11/16, Flying Fox 10 (+3.1), Standon, Staffordshire. A lovely rural, scenic run. Some good undulation kept it interesting. I recommend this for anyone wanting a scenic, inexpensive, low key 10 miler. You even get a biting wind thrown in for free. 1:49:32

5, Sat 12/11/16, A local half marathon run, through Bostock, Moulton, along the River Weaver, and the canal to Middlewich. Started off dry, but soon got soggy, and then soggier and then… yep, you get the picture. A nice relaxed run, with lots of doglets to say hello to. 1:49:29

6, Sun 13/11/16, The 22k Holly Hustle in Meanwood, Leeds. Described as “a forest trail run with some challenging uphills”, and they weren’t wrong. Tough, very muddy, v uneven underfoot and v lumpy (1100ft of ascent) – up, down, up, down….my Strava elevation chart looks like someone’s heart in ventricular fibrillation. Done on tired legs from yesterday’s half, I really relied on the reason for why I’m doing all of this to get me round. 2:17:23


28 Oct: One that slipped through the net. David (Spud) Murphy has a fine track record at this uncompromising race. He delivered again in style this year with another excellent race. Going through the halfway point in 1 hr 40 min he finished in 3.36.43 in 237th place out of 2069 finishers. PS: Partner in crime Paul Clutterbuck clocked off another impressive race finishing in 4.09.34.


12 Nov: Fantastic to have VRAC Masters getting International recognition. Not the first time of course for 'Big Stu' Doyle. Stu was 8th v45 and 3rd of the 6 English runners - 4 to count. There were 30 v45's - 6 from each of the 5 British and Irish countries. Stu was 3rd English and 5th overall with 200m to go but got overtaken in a frantic mass sprint finish!! "I'm reasonably OK with that as I've missed quite a bit of training recently due to a hamstring injury also the race was only 4.4 miles so bit short for my liking!!". First time call ups (as reserves) for the indomitable two Helens ie. Smith and Whitby. Helen Smith continued her excellent form with a great race placing 2nd in the reserves race. Helen Whitby, the world greatest self critic, felt she didn't quite deliver her potential. neverthless, placing a very creditable 5th in the reserves race. Well deserved proud moment for all.


12 Nov: Boggart Hole has a reputation for MUD! This year was no exception. Sensational run from Tess McCormick finishing 4th overall in the ladies race. Looks like Nikki Cavanagh and Julie Annabe had a close (ie friendly) race. Great to see Julie Annable racing so well after her comeback from injury finishing 3rd in her category. Matt Sheen continued his outstanding form with a superb 3rd place in the mens race. Some good performances throughout with the ever present Colin Rathbone bringing VRAC home and claiming 2nd in his category.
PosNameCatCat PosTime
4Tess McCormick  32.13
116Nikki CavanaghL351943.26
117Julie AnnableL55343.27
140Sarah GibbsL352445.32
240Carole WilliamsL6071.02.26
20th/50Team 4 to count   
PosNameCatCat PosTime
3Matt SheenU20133.47
122Gareth WilliamsM451441.48
176Joe CavanaghM403044.06
239Mark PillinerM453646.59
249Dave HainesM453747.29
297Chris BeardM454550.00
305John ClarkeM60550.25
394Colin RathboneM70258.43
27th/52Team 6 to count   
18th/39Vets Team 4 to count  


12 Nov: A wet one this. Tommy Armstrong led the VRAC contingent home and claimed it took him longer to get his car off the field than it took to run the race! Good races from Ian Barker and David Humphreys.. Followed by a trio of VRAC ladies SueYoung, JayneLomax and Jane Pillinerall all acquitting themselves well.
PosNet PosNameTimeChipCatCat PosGenGen Pos
6866TOM ARMSTRONG00:37:4400:37:30V3517Male65
145134IAN BARKER00:40:3400:39:58V5016Male136
218204DAVID HUMPHREYS00:43:2000:42:23V4030Male198
475473SUE YOUNG00:50:2700:48:41V459Female71
543611JAYNE LOMAX00:51:5300:51:23V4511Female92
11701139JANE PILLINER01:06:1401:01:48V4561Female446


29 October: The second in this years NSCC series. Not a big turnout in the seniors but we did manage to field ladies and men's teams. Don't forget the next event on 19 Nov at Keele University is CANCELLED. The 3rd and final event is on 17 Dec at Stafford Common.  Individual and team placings will be based on all 3 races. Full results here.
Ladies     Men    
PosNameCatTimeCat Pos PosNameCatTimeCat Pos
35Helen SmithW4525.094 39Mike HarringtonM4027.064
63Nikki CavanaghW4027.5015 54Darren CottierM4527.485
78Sarah GibbsW3528.1715 61Gareth WilliamsM4528.107
99Lisa MeadowsW4529.3421 132Scott BamberM4531.1025
217Carole WilliamsW6039.057 200John ClarkeM6034.302
      278Colin RathboneM7041.344
9thTeam Div 2 (4 count)    293Finishers   
      10thTeam Div 1 (6 count)  
30 Oct: A testing multi terrain course about 10 miles in length, A good turnout with 12 VRAC hell raisers. Some good battles too. Nick Haywood first back but not without a Halloween scare from Gemma Barnett just 23 seconds behind and winning a close battle for the ladies title. Stephen 'JT' Thompson and David Shepherd also close. Great to see David Back racing again after his problems. Dave Haines just in front of John Todd who won his age category and likewise an age category win for Debbie Moreton. Sophie Rees use the race as part of her 13 half marathons in 13 weeks. This was number 3. Well done all 12 of you.
14Nick Haywood1.12.00 
16Gemma Barnett1.12.231st Lady
21Stephen Thompson1.15.20 
24David Shepherd1.15.41 
36Dave Haines1.18.34 
37John Todd1.18.541st M55
42Claire Thompson1.19.34 
47Chris Beard1.21.38 
48Nikki Cavanagh1.22.08 
80Debbie Moreton1.29.301st F45
93Sophie Rees1.33.13 
95Cara Gibbons1.33.20 


30 Oct: Teams from Cheshire, Staffordshire and North Wales. Well deserved Cheshire vests for Chris Jones and Tommy Armstrong. Here's Tommy's report:

"Chris Jones & Tommy Armstrong went to the Abergele 5 (where Cheshire runners desperate for a county vest go) and that's the only good thing I can say about it. It has 2 very big hills. The first goes on forever. Chris ran well 3rd counter in 29.30 ish. I ran as well as expected I suppose after being bedridden for 2 days this week 31.20 ish and last Cheshire (got to keep the vest though)." 

21Chris Jones29.30
35Tommy Armstrong31.20


22 Oct: Josh Betteley, Ollie Williams, Cam Weaver and Matt Sheen claimed a brilliant bronze medal in the senior men?s race. With an average age of just 19, they secured third position in the last 400 metres of a thrilling race. Well attended by VRAC in all categories with some excellent performances.  Pictures courtesy of Robert Brown here.


23 Oct: Paul Hudson continued his quest to clock off races/competitions in various places. Here's his latest report:

"The swag bag after the race had a refreshing bottle of water, the usual healthy nutritional stuff but best of all, a can San Miguel. Now that's what I would call a goody bag - but no! Shock - it was alcohol free.The bilbao night marathon (or 1/2 in my case) - a reasonably flat route (for those who like racing flats) and a winding course around the streets of the town which saved a fortune on taking the tourist bus. The whole thing started with an explosion and fireworks (a bit concerning in the basque region) but by being 3800 at the start it took 15 minster to go over the line and missed the exitement. A trot round for 18k (mostly passing tapas bars) before ramping up the speed for the last 3k to finish in 2hr 15."


16 Oct: The first of Sohpie Rees' 13 half marathons in 13 weeks in aid of Parkinson's which her mother is suffering from. Here's her report.
"I've always been curious about the bleakness of Saddleworth, so this half marathon caught my eye. 1200+feet of ascent sounded like fun, and it was. I wasn't after a PB, just enjoying being with others, it being my first one of 13. It was a very wet experience, conditions more suited for swimming than running, but lovely all the same, and some great views across the bleakness that is Saddleworth, and well supported by cheery local folk."


16 Oct: FANTASTIC performances in Manchester! Carolyn Dooley said she was "so happy she could burst". Looks like hubby Brian was equally ecstatic!!  Thanks to Brian for the following report.
Four seniors competed in the Manchester Half, a very large race with over 8,500 finishers. The race was extremely well organised and crowd support on route was superb only thing the organisers couldn?t arrange was the weather, heavy rain started right on the gun and persisted for most of the race along with blustery winds. That said 4 excellent performances with Chris Jones going sub 80 for the first time, Brian Dooley smashing his PB by over 6 mins and not to be out done Carolyn Dooley taking over 3 mins off hers and securing a championship entry for London at the same time ? Brian is keeping his fingers crossed for a club place for London so the family battle can continue. Half marathon debutant Chris Griffiths had an excellent run with consistent pacing to come in a very credible 1hour 48 and comfortably in the top quarter of the field.
POSNameChipCatCat PosGenderGen PosGun 
121Chris JONES01:19:56SEN61Male11301:20:01PB
273Brian DOOLEY01:26:19V4039Male26001:26:42PB
354Carolyn DOOLEY01:28:06V403Female1801:28:29PB
2572Chris GRIFFITHS01:48:48V5557Male212301:53:15PB


15 Oct: Huge fields for men and ladies and unusually no mud at Wythenshawe made this a great start to the series. A good VRAC turnout with complete senior and vets teams for Ladies and A and B teams for the men. Excellent race from Helen Smith leading the ladies home and winning her category. Helen Whitby suffered from her decision to wear spikes and wisely decided to make a stop to change into trail shoes before working her way back through the field. Great to see Julie Annable racing strongly after her injury woes and claiming 2nd L55. 
For the men a superb race from Matt Sheen in high quality company winning U20 and 6th overall. A typically strong yet understated run from Darren Cottier making the top 100. Tom Annable started conservatively but then worked his way up.  Strong runs throughout the VRAC contingent with John Clarke continuing his recent form. Tony Archer impeded by ongoing knee and achilles problems will be hoping to bounce back as the season progresses.
PosNameCatCat PosTime
31Helen SmithL45136.14
71Helen WhitbyL351039.08
122Debbie BroadL451242.24
132Julie AnnableL55243.37
224Carole WilliamsL60754.54
19th/48Team (4 count)   
9th/39Vets Team (3 count)  
PosNameCatCat PosTime
6Matt SheenU20133.41
96Darren CottierM45939.48
115Tom AnnableM50740.27
162Craig SephtonM451741.48
197Scott BamberM452643.25
212Dave HainesM453044.17
271John ClarkeM60546.58
278Chris BeardM454347.21
322Tony ArcherM60750.00
363Richard PettittM552354.27
374Colin RathboneM70557.23
378Paul HudsonM601660.29
18th/43A Team (6 Count)   
43rd/43B Team (6 Count)   
14th/41A Vets Team (4 Count)   
31st/41B Vets Team (4 Count)  


16 Oct: Good turnout from VRAC to this one. Good runs throughout with notable PB for Kate Titlow just under the 40 min milestone (chip) and 2nd lady. Also big PB for Lisa Meadows. We think Natasha Smith also PB'd. Well done all.
PosGunName ChipMin/kmGenderGen PosCatCat Pos 
3040:21:00RichardMurray40:19:0004:01Male27Vet 504 
4441:21:00NatashaSmith41:09:0004:06Female6Vet 452 
11946:49:00RayTran46:41:0004:40Male103Vet 4516PB?
12346:58:00LisaMeadows46:45:0004:40Female17Vet 456PB


9 Oct: Congratulations to new member Matt Woolley. Matt joined in August and attended a few training session before commitments got in the way. However, he has the bit between his teeth and delivered an excellent PB at Bangor. Here's his report. We should see Matt joining us again at training as his commitments allow.

"I had a good run, coming in at 1:48:27 to beat by previous best by 3.5 mins. I felt I ran a good steady pace, averaging about 8:20 per mile, with a steady start and keeping up a good pace for me and then I had a bit left in the tank for a good effort over the last mile. There were 169 finishers, I was 46th overall and 5th in my category (45-49). It was a good, varied course with several hills and a run up and down Bangor Pier and a loop around Penrhyn Castle estate. RunWales organised it well, with plenty of marshalls and at least 4 drinks stations and a good start/finish in the main shopping street. This was my 3rd half marathon after Wilmslow in April (1:53:07) and Rhyl in June (1:52:07)."


9 Oct: 9 VRACRer's took on the local WInsford 10k race. Joe Cavanagh claimed 4th overall and Gemma Barnett won the overall Ladies race to pick up some nice prizes! Stephen 'JT' Thompson won the M50 category with Lisa Meadows, Claire Thompson and Paul Spare claiming 2nd in their categories. Well done all.
PosTimeNameGenGen PosCatCat PosPaceChip
438:31.3Joe CavanaghM4M4023:51/K38:29.3
538:58.1Gemma BarnettF1FSen13:54/K38:56.7
1641:05.5Stephen ThompsonM14M5014:06/K41:03.9
1841:30.7Chris WeedallM16MSen104:09/K41:27.7
3043:18.2Lisa MeadowsF3F4024:19/K43:13.2
3343:39.7Claire ThompsonF4FSen24:22/K43:38.1
5044:55.9Paul SpareM44M6024:29/K44:50.1
5746:14.3Ray TranM50M40204:37/K46:11.1
7748:21.4Debbie MoretonF10F4054:50/K48:15.7


8 Oct: Another good day for the club at Sutton Park with excellent conditions leading to fast times - including Andy Butchart following up his 5th place finish in The Olympic 5000m final with  a stunning 16.29 for the 5.88km course to leapfrog Mo Farah and go to 2nd on the all time list!! The VRAC Senior men couldn't match that time but did produce a very consistent set of performances with everyone of the 6 runners within a minute of each other. Matt Sheen was the quickest runner of the day for the club with an 18.29 leg but was strongly supported by Jacob Brown, Josh Betteley, Ollie Williams, Cam Weaver and Ryan Moore. The team finished a very creditable 40th place. 

Special mention to Carole Williams who having come for a day put to watch stepped in to complete the final womens team after a late withdrawal from Kate Moulds who was unwell (credit to Col who as they were leaving the house suggested she grabbed her vest-on the off chance!!) The ladies fielded 3 complete teams , only one of 4 clubs in the country to do this.
The A team finished a credible 11th with Katie Gerrard running so close to the 15min barrier on first leg to come home 13th overall. Solid performances by Sarah Murphy's and Kate Spilsbury gave Amelia a good shot at a top 10 finish unfortunately having struggled all week with a shin complaint they just missed out by a few seconds nonetheless a fighting performance from the whole team.The 'real' race of the day was back down the field a little with Chloe Dooley finally getting the better of Mum Carolyn. Both were bumped and bashed in a brutal first 100m and ran strong first legs to come home within 20s of one another. Clara Pettitt had a fantastic run gaining 10 places to extend the Lead of the C team which was only overturned by Helen Whitby on the final bend after Lucy Burch held her off for almost the entire 3rd leg. Kate Titlow and Carole Williams rounded off a fabulous day for the ladies finishing in 41st and 55st place.

Full results here: Senior Ladies; Senior Men. Great photos from Robert Brown here.


2 Oct:  This popular local race attracted a decent club turn-out on what was supposed to be the 40th and last running of the event.    However, the good news is Mike H has stepped in to run the race in future years.    Thank-you Mike! The conditions were perfect.   Cool sunny weather and no wind and some mud meant that the race was an enjoyable if tough challenge.   In the A-race Tom had an early battle with Alex Mason tho took a wrong turn (despite getting told by Alex he was going the wrong way!) then faded late on though still holding on for the MV50 prize.   Alex finished very strongly to finish 4th.  Nikki was our only A race lady and ran strongly and this year stayed upright!  Nikki finished 4th lady in a strong field this year.   Nick ran well and still had his characteristic long bouncy stride coming into the finish.   Sensible pre-marathon pacing we hope Nick!  Gary sadly hobbled in with injury and looks like he has a setback in his marathon training.   Good luck in your recovery Gary.    Dave was happy with his finish having put his injury behind him (we hope) and Bob showed his developing endurance bu running strongly over the closing miles.   Sophie was pleased to finish again after her many struggles with injury.   Joe led the B race contingent in with a quick and high finish.   Chris was very happy with a big improvement despite the slower conditions than last year (mud!).   Debbie and Lisa got caught in the bottlenecks earlier on and were together on the Yeld only for Debbie to power on (making light of the hen party the night before).   Lisa was heard to say "never again" after skating across the slippy corn fields in road shoes (someone advised her that was a sensible option - care to own up anyone?).  I think she means she wants to do the A-race next year.
A Race (17.5)   
7thTom AnnableMV5002:10:11
25thNick HaywoodM02:23:43
46thGary RichardsonMV4002:32:45
51stNikki CavanaghLV4002:34:24
52ndDavid HainesMV4002:35:19
53rdBob CorinaldiMV4002:35:25
123rdSophia ReesL03:03:26
B Race (10.5)   
14thJoe CavanaghMV4001:22:58
60thChris GriffithsMV5001:38:54
109thDebbie MoretonLV4001:51:39
115thLisa MeadowsLV4001:53:00


2 Oct: Stu Doyle saved himself for this one so had to miss the first N Staffs XC at Knights Grange. Seems it was worth it. He only went and won the race overall!!  Here's his report:
 "Having missed the N staffs XC for it I was keen for a decent run at the Congleton 1/2 this morning and it all went to plan with good conditions and undulating scenic course. I managed to catch the early leader after 3 miles and we then ran together for the next 7 before I pushed on over the last 3 to win by c. 2 1/2 mins in 74.39".


1 Oct: The cross country season kicked off in fine conditions at Knights Grange hosted by VRAC. Another well organised event. Thanks to all the helpers before, during and after the event. Numbers of senior VRACers seemed to be down a bit with several potential runners were saving themselves for the Sandstone Trail race or Congleton half marathon.
PosNameCatTimeCat Pos PosNameCatTimeCat Pos
9Kate TitlowSW21.08  30Mike HarringtonM4029.384
36Helen SmithW4522.456 44Gareth WilliamsM4530.144
108Sarah GibbsW3526.4418 59Darren CottierM4531.039
114Julie AnnableW5526.596 73Tommy ArmstrongSM31.41 
195Carole WilliamsW6033.215 125James EdwardsM5533.466
      139Chris WeedallSM34.27 
221Finishers    152Mark PillinerM4534.5529
8th TeamDiv 2 (4 counters)    165John ClarkeM6035.372
      181Tony ArcherM6036.064
      9th TeamDiv 1 (6 counters)