Do what you can, with what you have. where you are.
A busy and eventful month with races from 5k up to marathon on road, trail and cross country with mud, rain, snow and ice to contend with. Many, many candidates for AOM this month. A plethora of PB's and many brilliant performances including Andrew Miles, Matt Sheen, Jacob Brown, Stu Doyle, Gemma Barnett, Lisa Meadows, Claire Thompson, Craig Sephton, Andy McQue, Chris Jones and Rick Murray to name just a few! In the end we recognise someone who raced cross country and backed up a huge PB at Helsby half marathon in January with a further big PB at Wrexham half marathon. February AOM is king of the undervest CHRIS BEARD.
In 3 Words
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Thanks to Bryan Dale for allowing us to use his photos. Visit his racephotos website for more pictures!
See Colin Rathbone for a massage, There
are a number of good physios - ask around. Several of us have had very
successful treatment at Athlete Matters in Worsley (Duncan Mason): Details below. 10% Discount for VRAC.
11 Mar: 5 VRAC made the trip to Catalonia for the Barcelona Marathon. The weather conditions were perfect with even the odd spot of rain. Mike Harrington was first back managing to sneak under the 3 hour mark. At his second Barcelona marathon (2016) Gary Richardson improved on his time by over 10 minutes. Dave Haines next and with both he and Gary running solid even paced races they secured their good for age places for the 2019 London Marathon. Nick Haywood by his own admittance had an uncomfortable second half and was pleased to finish. Another debutante Jill Haines completed the line up for Vale Royal and is to be congratulated for a fantastic achievement. The organisation and atmosphere could not be any better and the race is highly recommended. (Sorry no pic for Jill... yet)
4 Mar: 7 VRAC ran the inaugural Chester 10k organised by the team behind the Chester Half and Chester Marathon. Not a particularly quick course with the final 2km being uphill but well organised as you would expect. Chris Perry was 1st VRAC home and was placed 3rd overall. Chris Williams was next back and clearly in good shape as he defied logic and earned a big PB. George Thompson was next followed by Chris Standidge in a rare outing in VRAC colours, Mike Harrington and Jodie Thompson. All four appeared to be a minute or so slower than expected which was probably a combination of the course and weather. Young 'senior' Curtis Rodway completed the VRAC team and was only a few seconds outside of his PB. .
25 Feb: The first of the 2018 races from the Mike Harrington stable saw a record entry of almost 2300 runners. The weather conditions were perfect for a half marathon and a number of the 15 strong VRAC contingency were rewarded with PBs. First home with a huge PB was relative newcomer to the club Andy McQue. Chris Jones and Rick Murray came in next to complete a hat-trick of PBs. Gemma Barnett had another solid run and was unlucky not to be in the prizes. Nick Haywood and Dave Haines came in next with steady runs in the final weeks of training for the Barcelona marathon. Chris Beard 'PBd' next with a great run just outside the 90 minute mark. Anthony Atkinson, an agonising 10 seconds outside his PB was back next with Lisa Meadows not too far behind with a PB. The combination of getting over a few niggles and those ruthless Bernie Jones Saturday sessions paying off. Debbie Broad was in next looking in great form with her London marathon on the horizon. Colin Rathbone who won his age category was next home followed by Jill Haines also in the final stage of Barcelona marathon training. Next in was another VRAC runner with a marathon looming was Carole Williams in 2.15. Jo Edwards brought up the rear whilst on pacing duties for her daughter. Full Results
Special mention to Gary Richardson, John Todd and Dave Gough who acted as pacemakers in the race and did a fantastic job.
15 Feb: Just two VRAC made the journey to Northern Ireland to take part in this quality 5k in which 91 runners squeezed under the 15 min mark. Chris Perry was 1st home in a PB time of 14.42 followed by Matt Sheen who was just outside his PB with a time of 15.07. Full results
10 Feb: Another great turnout from VRAC in the final race of the season. Due to the heavy rain the majority of the course was ankle deep in mud and a real test of stamina and resilience. It had been well churned up in time for the senior men and women's race. Claire Thompson had a strong run over the 5 mile course and was first lady home for VRAC in 22nd place in a notoriously strong field. Lucy Knight was next in despite a number of falls and slips, followed by Hollie Carrington, Julie Annable (2nd in age group) and Lisa Meadows. The ever present Debbie Moreton was next home followed by Mary Taverner and ably supported by cross country stalwart Carole Williams. In the men's race which was just under 6 miles new 'signing' Mark Crabtree had a great debut although unable to count for us until his transfer fully goes through next month. Mark finished 41st claiming some decent local scalps. There was some good grouping after Mark as Lee Carrington, Matt Scott, Chris Weedall, Steven Thompson, Gareth Williams, Robert Roe and Mike Harrington all came in within around a minute of each other. Rick Murray was not far behind followed by Dave Haines who was nervously protecting a slight groin strain. Next in was Dave Roberts, Chris Beard and then another cross country stalwart John Clarke. Richard Pettitt and Colin Rathbone came in next just a few seconds apart. Everyone is to be congratulated in sticking that one out. Full Results.
|Pos||Name||Cat||Cat Pos||Time||Pos||Name||Cat||Cat Pos||Time|
|22||Claire Thompson||L40||3||39.32||41||Mark Crabtree||M||41.58|
|38||Lucy Knight||L||40.41||111||Lee Carrington||M||45.42|
|79||Hollie Carrington||L||43.33||113||Matt Scott||M45||14||45.49|
|109||Julie Annable||L55||2||45.39||118||Chris Weedall||M||46.06|
|134||Debbie Moreton||L45||18||47.05||126||Stephen Thompson||M50||13||46.21|
|139||Mary Tavener||L55||4||47.38||137||Gareth Williams||M45||20||46.38|
|244||Carole Williams||L65||4||68.22||141||Robert Roe||M||46.49|
|13th/51||Team 6 Count||218||Dave Haines||M45||34||50.30|
|37th/51||Team 6 Count||236||Dave Roberts||M40||40||51.50|
|12th/47||Vets Team 4 Count||279||Chris Beard||M45||43||54.27|
|33rd/47||Vets Team 4 Count||297||John Clarke||M60||7||56.00|
|18th/45||Team 6 Count|
|38th/45||Team 6 Count|
|13th/42||Vets Team 4 Count|
|30th/42||Vets Team 4 Count|
4 Feb: This race has been traditionally well supported by VRAC for many years and 2018 was no exception. Some great performances from some of our younger 'Seniors'. First back in 10th place was 800m specialist Jacob Brown with a fantastic 25.53. Next with a huge PB was Andrew Miles followed by Oliver Williams with another big PB. Liz Renondeau was 1st female home just outside the 30 min mark but fastest 5 miler since 2015. Craig Sephton was just outside of his PB followed closely by Graham Miles whose consistent injury free training is paying off. Making her debut at this distance was Andrea Hilldrup with a creditable 30.52.. This was also a 5m debut for Robert Roe and Kate Moulds and both had great runs. Dave Haines who is in heavy marathon training was next home followed by another marathon stalwart Jayne Lomax. Pauline Davies was next VRAC clinching her category prize. Last VRAC home was Jill Haines who is also only 5 weeks away from her marathon debut.
Finally a mention to second claim Ed Shepherd who regularly trains at Knights Grange and finished 2nd overall in a stunning 24.34. Full results.
7 Jan: Chris Perry was the sole VRAC representative. The race had been rearranged due to a cancellation during the snow in December. Chris was rewarded with a huge PB of 30:48 and such is the standard of the race that this was only good enough for 21st place. Full results
|Pos.||Name||Category||LV Pos.||Cat pos||Time|
|Teams A - D||1st, 2nd, 6th, 18th||3 count||31 teams in all|
|Teams A - C||1st, 8th, 17th||3 count||25 teams in all|
|Pos.||Name||Category||MV Pos.||Cat pos||Time|
|Teams A - D||1st, 8th, 15th, 21st||6 count||22 teams in all|
|Teams A - D||2nd, 12th, 14th, 17th||4 count||23 teams in all|
31 Dec: 6 VRAC made the journey to Clitheroe for what is historically a fast race, largely due to the strong field including several Olympic athletes rather than the hilly course itself. This race also incorporates the North of England 10k championships. There were strong winds all around the course which lead to some slower times than expected. First home for VRAC was Matt Sheen in 31.56. Next was a below par Andy Miles who hoped to improve on his recent PB at Wilmslow but the blustery conditions scuppered that. Amelia Pettitt was next home in a seasons best time claiming 7th lady in a strong field. Eleanor Riches was our next lady home with a solid run just outside her PB and Richard Pettitt rounded off another prolific year of racing in VRAC colours just outside his seasons best time. Special mention to former clubmate Stevie Stockton now racing for Leeds City who was 3rd overall in her first road race for two years. Full results. Mike Harrington 'ran' as well.
|Pos||Name||Gun||Chip||Cat||Cat Pos||Gen Pos|
|First Name||Surname||Gender||Gen Pos||Category||Cat Pos||Gun||Overall Pos||Chip||Chip Pos|
|14th/61||A Team (4 count)|
|46th/61||B Team (4 count)|
|11th/55||Vets A Team (3 count)|
|30th/55||Vets B Team (3 count)|
|29th/52||Team (6 Count)|
|13th/49||A Vets Team (4 Count)|
|33rd/49||B Vets Team (4 Count)|
|3rd Team||Div 2 (4 counters)|
|8th Team||Div 1 (6 Counters)|
|Pos||Name||Time||Net Time||Category||Cat Pos||Gender||Gen Pos||TOD|
|Team A||8/68||6 Count|
|Team B||44/68||6 Count|
|Vets Team A||5/62||3 Count|
|Vets Team B||29/62||3 Count|
|Vets Team A||16/56||4 Count|
|Vets Team B||43/56||4 Count|
|Pos.||Name||Category||L Pos.||MV Pos.||LV Pos.||Cat pos||Time|
|Pos||Name||Gun||Chip||Cat||Cat Pos||Gender||Gen Pos|
28 Oct: Another good turnout from senior ladies and men. The second in the 4 race North Staffs series. Weather-wise, there have been some (bad) memorable races Park Hall which can be bleak and exposed. However, the weather and underfoot conditions were good this year. The race distance was shorter than previous years with the ladies at approx 5k and the men 7k. Some good performances with Sophie Smith and Chris Williams leading VRAC home. Full results and photos on NSCC website here.
|Team||2nd Div 2 (4 count)|
|Team||8th Div 1 (6 Counters)|
|18||Gemma Barnett||L35||1.18.40||1st Lady|
Would you like a dirty weekend in the lakes she said! I’m sure that was how it was sold to me. I have to confess being a little concerned when Sophie also said should we invite Gary! After retrieving my mind from the gutter it was clear Sophie was on about the Dirty Double at Helvellyn and Ullswater. Both these 15k race’s run on consecutive days making for a challenging weekend.
16 James Ainsworth 64.57
30 Gary Richardson 67.41
42 Nick Haywood 69.09
163 Sophia Haywood 83.52
Starting and finishing at Jenkins Field, on the shores of Ullswater in Glenridding. The Trail Race was 15km following footpaths and bridleways that take you into the foothills of Helvellyn, with elevated panoramic views of Ullswater, and dramatic vistas of Helvellyn and the surrounding peaks. The underfoot conditions were lethal in places, Bambi on ice comes to mind. Sophie pulled off a small miracle and DIDN’T fall over on what was a very technical course. James had managed to organise the event to coincide with a boy’s weekend and was off to do some heavy (re-hydration) that evening.
No results at time of writing
Due to poor weather the ferries were cancelled so the planned route was changed to a gentler 12.2 KM over a small mountain! The late start (1pm) provided Nick with a chance to organise his race safety pins and for Gary to hit up the INOV8 stand for some demo shoes. Pulling off a proper Del Boy moment Gary managed to do a lovely deal involving a new pair of trainers. On the start line overlooking Ullswater and a large mountain we all convinced ourselves we would be running up that! How wrong we were. After just 4 miles the route took on a distinct vertical feel as 10ish minutes of walking took you to 260 meters, the hill was noticeable. Once again Sophie stayed upright and it was Mr Haywood who took a tumble while trying a dodgy overtake. A massive shout-out to Debbie Richardson who provided fantastic support all weekend and took some great photos. The whole weekend is highly recommended in fact Gary was heard to say “they do a season ticket, you know.”
15 Oct: The final race in the Cheshire Road Race Grand Prix series with the Ladies team event on the line with VRAC needing a strong performance to overhaul leaders Wilmslow. In short, they did it!! See separate report below for more details. Some superb individual performances with Chris Perry and Chris Williams taking first and second with Gemma Barnett fourth lady and F35 winner. Category wins also for Graham Miles (M50 debut!), Curtis Rodway, Helen Smith, Emma-Louise Pyatt, Colin Rathbone and Carole Williams.Meanwhile, Gareth Williams enjoyed a run to support wife Amanda (NRC) to a fantastic PB!
VRAC has done a historic double in the Cheshire Road Race Grand Prix series winning both men and ladies team events. To recap, the Team Championship is based on 5 races from 7 and individual Championship 4 races from 7. The men had already secured their team title after Sutton 6 (Race 5) but the ladies were in a close second place to Wilmslow before the final race at Farndon. They did an excellent job to field a strong team given other races such as the Manchester Half marathon had taken some potential participants, To put this double into perspective the race history shows the VRAC ladies won the team event in the inaugural year 2003 but the men have never won the team event. The last time a double was achieved was Wilmslow in 2014. On the individual side Chris Williams secured the men's title with Stu Doyle as runner up. Helen Smith was runner up in the ladies individual event. Great result for VRAC. Well done to all those who took part, Remember even if you weren't a counter you may well have helped the team by pushing back a rival counter!
|Pos||Name||Time||Category||Cat Pos||Gen Pos|
|17th/48||Team (4 count)|
|15th/51||Vets Team (3 count)|
|15th/53||Team (6 Count)|
|14th and 34th/48||Vets Team (4 Count)|
|16||Liz Renondeau||1.25.36||F35||1||1st Lady|
1 Oct: A new edition to the Mike Harrington portfolio of races with plenty of runners and volunteers from VRAC. Some great performances in the A race (17 miles from Duckington to Delamere) in particular David Shepherd who covered the hilly, muddy trail in 2.17.18 and was unlucky not to pick up and age group prize. Following on from a long-term injury David seems to have found his niche with these longer distance races. In the B race (10 miles from Beeston Castle to Delamere) there were again some great performances with terrible conditions under foot. Great to see some of the 'track mums' (Caroline Buckley and Debbie Broad) running fantastically well in their own right. Full Results
1 Oct: 6 VRAC members made the short trip to the salt mines in Winsford for this scenic multi-terrain race. 1st home and retaining her crown was Gemma Barnett who finished 4th overall. Steven Thompson just beat John Todd for the age category win and the pair were followed closely home by a returning to form Melanie Johnson. Next home was Claire Thompson who narrowly missed her age category prize and rounding it off solidly for the club was Ray Tran. Full Results.
1 Oct: Race 6 in the Cheshire Grand Prix series saw a low turnout from VRAC due to a congested racing weekend. Ably representing the club however were Stu Doyle who was unable to hang on to the lead group and retain his title but still finished with an age group win in a creditable 1.17.31 and 5th overall. In next was the usual solid run from Daren Cotter in 1.31. Third in and a little off the pace by his own high standards was Joe Cavanagh in 1.35.07. Full Results The final race in the series is the Farndon 10k on Sunday 15th October. Details and entry here.