Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.


2017/18 Cross Country: N Staffs and Manchester League dates and venue announced. Details here. Note Pre Entry required for Manchester League.

CHESHIRE RR GRAND PRIX:  Men and women teams are in 1st place after Pie and Peas. We need a strong turnout in the following two races to secure victory. Please enter if you can. SUTTON 6 17th Sept. Enter here. FARNDON 10k 15th Oct. Enter here.

2017 NW Road Relays - details here. Let Stu Doyle, Colin Rathbone or Helen Whitby know if you want to participate.

CLUB KIT: Improved discounts and latest Club kit from Rosebank Sports, Northwich. Details here.

We drive our own bus. There is no one else to blame if we crash..
Glyn Evans


July was a busy racing month with more terrific performances. To name a few: another stellar month for Chris Williams; a big 10k PB for Chloe Dooley at Alderley Edge beating Mum and Dad for the first time; a magnificent turnout at Pie and Peas with men and ladies winning teams and subsequent leading positons in the Cheshire Road Race Grand Prix; Cheshire representation for Gemma Barnett. This month we are recognising two of the most prolific racers this month accompanied by good performances. Both competed admirabley on the track and three 5k road races. July AOM's are DAVE AND JILL HAINES.
In 3 Words 
Other Useful Website links - Click here.

Thanks to Bryan Dale for allowing us to use his photos. Visit his racephotos website for more pictures!

Injured?  See Colin Rathbone for a massage, Paul Hudson for physiotherapy.   There are a number of other good physios - several of us have had very successful treatment at Athlete Matters in Worsley:


20 Aug: Gemma Barnett successfully returned to this challenging race to repeat last years victory. Good training for David Murphy preparing once again to tackle Snowdonia Marathon in a few weeks. As ever, able support from John Todd as he continues to return to fitness. Full results here.
PosNameTimeCatCat Pos 
16Gemma Barnett1.33.06F3511st Lady
29David Murphy1.39.09SM  
53John Todd1.41.52M555 


19 Aug: A nice event experienced by Mary Tavener.

Organised by the Long Distance Walking Association (LDWA), this 'challenge' saw 350 runners and walkers take on an off-road loop around the rivers and canals of Birmingham. You get to run under spaghetti junction, the back of Aston and Birmingham Universities, the canals around the City Centre down to Bournville and Cadburys. It was a fantastic and fascinating way to cover some training miles. Who'd have thought that Birmingham was so green and peaceful. You are meant to navigate but it was fairly straightforward ( good instructions and maps provided). 5 check points (CPs) where breakfast, lunch, cakes, hot and cold drinks were provided,  ( a cake competition at checkpoint 4). Not a gel to be seen. A hot meal and showers were available at the end. All of this for £15 (£10 if you are a member).  The percentage of runners was quite high but most were similar to me - using it as training. Lots of Brummie humour. Weather was perfect. Would definitely do it again- tempted to walk next time as the food looked so good. The marathon course was accurate. The LDWA organise lots of events and I would definitely do another of their run/walks. No idea where I came but the official time was 4hrs 18 mins ( you get a certificate!).


20 Aug: 4 VRAC took part in this long standing local race. All four had been picked to represent Cheshire in the inter-area match against North Wales.  All four were counters in the race with the women's team winning against their North Wales rivals. A jet-lagged Chris Williams was first back for VRAC followed by Mike Harrington with a PB and Carolyn Dooley. Kate Moulds was the fourth VRAC home with a seasons best time. Full Results

Chris WILLIAMSMS00:34:13969 
Michael HARRINGTONMV4500:35:3319219PB
Carolyn DOOLEYFV4000:40:437379 
Kate MOULDSFS00:41:218486


17 Aug: Just 4 VRAC ran the fourth and final race in the 2017 Sale Sizzler series. First home was Chloe Broad with a big PB looking like another VRAC runner to be putting recent injuries behind them. Following up was Anthony Dutton, Barry Chambers and Paul Hudson, all three had solid runs with the consistency they have showed in all of their 5Ks so far this summer. Paul Hudson was the only VRAC to complete all 4 Sizzlers. Full Results

 PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameClubChip TimePosCategoryPos400m5KPB
12318:41ChloeBroadVale Royal AC18:398Under 20201:2918:39PB
25420:58AnthonyDuttonVale Royal AC20:52218Vet 403001:3420:52 
37723:17BarryChambersVale Royal AC23:05303Vet 65701:5023:05 
51630:26:00PaulHudsonVale Royal AC30:04:00353Vet 601502:1830:04:00


16 Aug: A good VRAC turnout as usual for this fast local 5k. Up at the sharp end Cameron Weaver squeezed under 16 minutes for the first time and grabbed a well deserved 3rd place. Huge PB for Nathan Williams who took his age group prize. Further down the field Tony Archer ran under 21 minutes hopefully putting his injuries behind him. Great run and PB from Lucy Knight on her old stomping ground and the usual solid runs from the stalwarts of the group. Full Results

 PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameClubChip TimeChip PosPosCategoryPos 
315:55CameronWeaverVale Royal AC15:5533Under 201PB
1516:36NathanWilliamsVale Royal AC16:341515Under 202PB
2617:17MichaelHarringtonVale Royal AC17:152826Vet 452 
3517:31GarethWilliamsVale Royal AC17:313535Vet 453 
12720:53TonyArcherVale Royal AC20:49128115Vet 604 
16822:43MaryTavenerVale Royal AC22:3216824Vet 552 
18323:11LucyKnightVale Royal AC23:0618332Senior Female11PB
19323:45RayTranVale Royal AC23:34192158Vet 5019 
20224:20:00JayneLomaxVale Royal AC24:12:0020238Vet 505


13 Aug: Mike Harrington was again the sole VRAC at the inaugural 600 sell-out Leigh 10k. The course was one small lap and two larger laps on partially closed roads starting and finishing outside Leigh Town Hall. Mike finished 5th in 36.49 (1st Vet 45). Full Results


12 Aug: Mike Harrington was the sole VRAC representative at this monthly free 5k organised by Buxton AC. Any dreams of a victory were crushed when bumping into sub 29 10k runner Chris Davies of Telford AC at the start line. Mike finished 5th in 18.15 (1st Vet 45). Full Results 


13 Aug: From Carolyn's feedback it sounds like another good day for Mr and Mrs Dooley. Full results here.

"Fab day in Blackpool. Tough course but great views..Northern Masters 10K Champs first with me finishing 2nd Female and 1st V40 and Mr D getting 3rd V45 followed by fish and chips on the front and finished off with a display from the Red Arrows".

PositionNameCatCat PosTime
27Brian DooleyM45(3/23)00:40:12
38Carolyn DooleyF40(1/17)00:41:25


7 Aug: James Ainsworth ventured up Teggs Nose. Here's his report:

"7.8miles starting at the sheep dog trials fair out over farmers fields then two steep climbs of teggs nose then back the way you came. Wasn't expecting much as had been out on the beer the evening before so set off steady, came down off the hills well and took a few places on the last couple of km and came in 16th in 1:04:58. Good fun."


5 Aug: We don't routinely report Park Runs but sometimes they have special interest. It's been great to see Julie Annable running again after another long battle with injury. On her travels she took the chance to run the Park Run at Poole and amongst the 730 other runners who did she bump into?  Here's her report:

"After 6 months off running through injury, again!!! I made it to the start line of the Poole Park Parkrun. I heard someone behind me call my name. The entire Pettitt family were also stood on the start line with me. Lovely to see them all. Small world!"


3 Aug: Race 3 in the popular series had a particularly strong field at the sharp end with 5 men going under 15 minutes despite the windy conditions. 7 VRAC made the trip to Wythenshaw Park. Some good performances from the women with Amelia Pettitt returning to some form, Chloe Broad coming back from injury and Jill Haines with another PB and looking good to break 25 mins at the final Sizzler on the 17th August. Sarah Murphy had another strong performance and the trio of Dave Haines, Paul Hudson and Richard Pettitt all had solid runs. Full Results.

 PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameChip TimeGenderPosCategoryPos
6417:41AmeliaPettitt17:39Female7Senior Female5
8617:59SarahMurphy17:57Female13Vet 404
15619:29ChloeBroad19:23Female22Under 202
16319:36DavidHaines19:30Male141Vet 4516
39124:46:00RichardPettitt24:32:00Male297Vet 5512
40925:24:00JillHaines25:05:00Female106Vet 457
47829:42:00PaulHudson29:22:00Male327Vet 6012


Following outstanding results at Pie and Peas both the men and ladies are now leading the Grand Prix.  Team and individual standings below.  Team Championship is based on 5 races from 7 and individual Championship 4 races from 7. Three races to go... Sutton 6, Congeleton half marathon and Farndon 10k..We need strong performances in at least one of these but of course the better we do in all of them helps to suppress our rivals!  Let's try and have a good turnout for Sutton 6 and Farndon 10k.



2 Aug: Another terrific Pie and Peas event. Thanks to all the organisers and marshalls.  Wind, sun and a heavy storm provided variable conditions! 46 runners from VRAC with the VRAC men claiming the first 8 places with Matt Sheen and Chris Perry crossing the line together in 1st place. The ladies claimed the top 5 places in the female category with Sarah Griffiths winning the ladies title. Also a multitude of category wins (see table). Some great inter-club (and inter-family!) duels throughout the field. This result will greatly strengthen our position in the Cheshire Road Race Grand Prix. Great stuff!
PosGunName GenGen PosCatCat Pos
600:27:30StuartDoyleMale6Vet 451
700:27:58AlexanderDoyleMale7Under 201
900:28:56CameronWeaverMale9Under 202
1300:29:53JamesAinsworthMale13Vet 401
1400:29:56GarethWilliamsMale14Vet 452
2700:31:44MattRowlinsonMale27Under 203
3200:31:59MatthewScottMale31Vet 457
4300:32:50GeorgeThornleyMale41Under 204
4500:32:51RobertRoeMale43Vet 357
4600:32:55ScottBamberMale44Vet 504
5100:33:23LewisBrownMale49Under 205
5500:33:35BrianDooleyMale53Vet 4512
5700:33:45BobCorinaldiMale55Vet 4513
6000:34:02CarolynDooleyFemale3Vet 401
6200:34:10ChloeDooleyFemale4Under 201
6500:34:39SamWashingtonMale61Under 206
6800:34:49HelenSmithFemale5Vet 451
7300:35:17StephenThompsonMale68Vet 5013
7400:35:22JohnMouldsMale69Vet 5014
8400:35:46AnthonyDuttonMale76Vet 4011
9700:36:10DavidRobertsMale87Vet 4013
10400:36:30CharlieFawkesMale93Under 207
10500:36:30GeoffFawkesMale94Vet 4522
10700:36:33ClaireThompsonFemale12Vet 352
10900:36:58JohnClarkeMale97Vet 603
11900:37:27SteveCollierMale105Vet 553
12400:37:54JeanettePopeFemale15Vet 403
12700:38:13ClaireChapmanFemale17Vet 404
14200:38:56PaulSpareMale120Vet 653
16300:40:16BarryChambersMale131Vet 654
17200:40:56ChristopherGriffithsMale138Vet 5510
17500:41:05RayTranMale141Vet 5028
18500:41:28JayneLomaxFemale39Vet 502
19000:41:47RichardPettittMale149Vet 5513
26300:47:51AnnCollierFemale81Vet 558


30 July: Well organised and a nice flat course with the weather defying the gloomy forecast. Another superb win for Chris Williams bettering his Alderley Bypass PB by 3 seconds, although he had to work hard with 3 others within 40 seconds of his finishing time. Solid run from Craig Sephton and a delighted James Edwards winning his category. 11 Second PB for Tony Dutton Tony Archer gradually returning to form but more than happy to be pain free. New member Eleanor Riches with a very respectable time. Category wins for the Rathbone/Williams household and high finishes for Mary Tavener and Debbie Broad for whom this was a debut 10k.. All in all a good day!
PosGunName ChipGenGen PosCatCat Pos 
133:11:00ChrisWilliams33:10:00Male1Senior Male1PB
2338:35:00CraigSephton38:32:00Male23Vet 455 
6742:33:00JamesEdwards42:23:00Male63Vet 551 
7943:11:00AnthonyDutton43:08:00Male72Vet 4011PB
9044:05:00TonyArcher43:54:00Male83Vet 603 
13346:44:00EleanorRiches46:34:00Female13Vet 453 
15047:40:00MaryTavener47:27:00Female17Vet 552 
19849:18:00ColinRathbone49:04:00Male168Vet 701 
20449:38:00debbiebroad49:30:00Female31Vet 454 
39159:16:00CarolineWilliams59:02:00Female108Vet 651 


29 July: Billed as a 'Testing course in fantastic scenery' is race organisers speak for a lot of hills and a lot of pain!. Gemma Barnett picked up another Cheshire vest to help the Cheshire ladies team to victory. A strong performance from mileage monster Bob Corinaldi with able support from birthday boy (nearly) John Todd.
PlaceNameFirst nameLast nameCategoryGenderTime
56Gemma BarnettGemmaBarnettLady Vet Over 35Female1:05:58.7
84Bob CorinaldiBobCorinaldiMale Vet Over 45Male1:09:27.6
108John ToddJohnToddMale Vet Over 55Male1:11:58.1


25 July: Second race in the series and two more great wins for Chris Williams (1st overall) and Holly Weedall (1st lady). Good runs from Chris Weedall and Matt Scott (1st M45) both under 19 minutes. Great family turnout from the Haines family with Improving Dave Haines just missing the 20 minute barrier. Looks like a nice bit of pacemaking support by Matt Rowlinson for Izzy Davies.
116.06Chris Williams 
917.46Holly Weedall1st Lady
1017.53Oliver Williams 
2018.39Chris Weedall 
2318.57Matt Scott1st M45
3620.03Dave Haines 
4820.45Tony Dutton 
5721.13John Clarke3rd M60
6121.29Rebecca Nixon 
6221.37Matthew Woolley 
6921.59Stev Collier 
8824.05Izzy Davies 
8924.06Matt Rowlinson 
11426.25Jill Haines 
12127.06Molly Haines 
12627.47Lydia Davies 
14431.36Shaun McGrath 


You may have noticed the exceptional season Chris Williams is having. Chris originally joined the club in 1997 as a 11 year old and competed as junior, coached by Shaun for 4 years. He re-joined the club at the start of this year and has been a prolific racer on behalf of VRAC. We are delighted Chris will continue his leading contribution to the Cheshire Road Race Grand Prix by running the Pie and Peas on 2nd August. Especially as Chris is due to marry Sarah Jeffs the following day Chester! They met in their local pub in Holmes Chapel 9 years ago.  Sarah is not currently a member of a running club but she does the occasional 10k to keep fit. Congratulations Chris and Sarah. Oh, and run well at the Pie and Peas Chris!


26 July: Having missed the much awaited sizzler 5k due to a tummy bug Pauline Davies decided to have a stab at the Leasowe Seaside 5k on the Wirral starting with a half mile run run againstthe brisk wind then turning on to the promenade with a tail windfor the remaining distance which produced a seasons best of 24.52.


As we know the wonderful world of Parkrun is becoming a worldwide phenonmenon. Chris Griffiths recently ran one in Mansfield, Ohio... and bumped into running buddy Paul Doffman from NRC! Not so long ago Tony Archer ran one in Australia... and bumped into his son, Nathan! Small world.  If you travel overseas pack your barcode and always check out if there is a Parkrun closeby and send us your update.


23 July. Jo Edwards and Tony Atkinson took on this arduous trail challenge. Here's Jo's report:

Tony's time 6.41.46, 274th overall, 37th in age group, my time 6.51.48, 5th in age group, gender position 58th, overall 355. The first 5 miles was over 2.000 ft of climb, then we had to tackle miles of bog and swamp which seemed to go on forever, fell over a few times, half way point was Bedgellert, wheels had fallen off already, started to climb again at mile 18, mile 19 was the cutoff point, if you're not there in 5.15hours your pulled out of the race, then we faced with Snowdon itself, up the Pyg Track for the next 3.5 miles, went on forever, people feeling sick/ dizzy (me included) despite drinking for England. Then the decent down the Llanberis path,  every step hurt, then when you'd got so close the finish they sent you in the opposite direction grr, for the last mile, everything hurt by this time, eventually finished in pain but happy, extremely well organised, well marshalled, absolutely stunning course, would recommend it for the mad ones out there, it's one for the bucket list. PS:  we had to carry emergency safety kit, waterproof trousers, jacket, hat gloves food mobile phone even a whistle!


20 JULY:  8 VRAC attended the 2nd of the 4 race series and were again met with a large, strong field and decent conditions. Some notable runs for Stu Doyle taking the V45 prize, Sarah Murphy who took V35 prize and Dave Haines who nudged closer to a sub 19. Jill Haines scored another PB and there was a welcome return to racing for Amelia Pettitt. Full Results

 PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameChip TimePosCategoryPos400m5K
2216:13StuartDoyle16:1322Vet 45101:1516:13
7317:31MichaelHarrington17:2767Vet 45501:2717:27
8917:44SarahMurphy17:4410Vet 35101:2017:44
17119:22DavidHaines19:19150Vet 451701:3519:19
27521:24AmeliaPettitt21:1842Senior Female2001:4321:18
35023:04BarryChambers22:54283Vet 65601:5222:54
43225:26:00JillHaines25:10:00108Vet 45902:0625:10:00
50430:52:00PaulHudson30:30:00352Vet 601102:2730:30:00


14, 15 & 16 JULY:  Nathan and Gareth Williams took on this 3 races in 3 days challenge around the Mersey Valley.Friday night was a 5 mile trail race followed by 1 mile graded races on Saturday morning and rounded off with a 3 mile race along the river bank on Sunday. Nathan and Gareth managed 10th and 11th respectively on the Friday, and slipped down the results a bit the following 2 days. The event is reported as being well organised and very friendly as well as attracting a few of the top local men and women.  Full details and results available via


16 JULY - Bob Corinaldi was the lone VRAC representative at this race. His report is below. 

"Not one for the 1/2M purist, this was an interesting trot round Dalby Forest in the sun. The ground was very tricky under foot with some nasty litte descents and a fair few boggy bits. Got stuck behind a bit of 10k traffic as we shared part of the course. According to Garmin,  the course was a little short but rumour has it this was due to the trees interfering with the signal & I'm not going to argue with that. Finished  in 1:48:35 which was 19th from 231, not bad for a grandad"


13 July: Five VRAC ran this multi-terrain race hosted by Wilmslow Running Club with great race conditions, dry underfoot and fantastic scenery. The route takes in forest trails, sections of road, farm fields with steep sharp descents and a couple of stiles. Runners were warned at the start that there were cows loose in the field en route. Dave Shepherd was first home showing he is getting his speed back after the years of injuries and claimed a few notable scalps. Joe Cavanagh was next back enjoying the trails and flying up the hills. Dave Haines was next paying the price for trying to stay with Dave Shepherd over the first two miles. Nikki Cavanagh was first Vale Royal lady followed closely by Jo Edwards who was second in her age category. Link to full results.
26David Shepherd00:31:55v503
46Joe Cavanagh00:33:36v407
57David Haines00:34:29v4513
109Nikki Cavanagh00:38:13L406
133Jo Edwards00:39:54L502


After 3 races (Chester Spring 5, Kingsley 5k and Alderley 10k) VRAC is in an excellent posotion. The mens team are in the lead with 1640 points with Macc Harriers second on 1495 points.  The ladies lie second on 616 points with Wilmslow just 6 points ahead. Notable individual standings include Chris Williams and James Ainsworth 1st and 5th respectively. We need strong performances in 3 of the remaining 4 races (Pie and Peas, Sutton 6, Congleton Half and Farndon 10k).  Let's try and make it a double for the men and women this year.  Full results here.


11 July: 11 July: Some would say one Bob Corinaldi is sufficient. But two?  Here's his mid-week fell race report:

"You have a double (from the back anyway). Spent an hour last night chasing him round the North Yorkshire Moors at the Tom's Bransdale Fell Run. Made an interesting training run but my fell running technique is far worse than my road running technique. Got within striking range, then it got all complicated with narrow tracks through moorland and I could barely stay upright. Anyway 12.5k long, 400m of climb (most in the first mile) and some of the best flapjacks I've ever tasted. Finished in 1:10:04, 21st from 55 runners with a huge smile which isn't like me at all!  No pics I'm afraid as the local midges were out in force".


9 JULY: Chris Jones was our only representative at this testing four miler. The race forms part of the NSRRA calendar (North Staffs equivalent to our Grand Prix Series) so attracted a strong local field. Chris finished 11th in 23.34 in his debut at this distance. Full results


9 July: A lovely summers day for this brilliant event organised by Northwich Running Club with David Sheoherd playing a lead role.  A 2k fun run, a 5k and a 10k around the traffic free trails of Carey and Marbury Park. The 2k fun run gave the opportunity for a number of VRAC parents and grandparents to test themselves against their aspiring offspring! In the 5k VRAC had the mens and ladies winners covered with Gareth Williams and Holly Weedall. Mel Johnson ran an excellent race, close to her previous best, and finishing 2nd lady.  In the 10k Chris WIlliams streaked home in a stand out time with Nathan Williams taking second and Mike Harrington 4th. Chris Griffiths completed the VRAC field at a more sedate pace.

5k PosGunNameNameChipGenPosCatPos
 318:47HollyWeedall18:47Female1Under 401
 1321:32MelJohnson21,27Female2Under 402
134:48:00ChrisWilliams34:47:00Male1Under 401
237:13:00NathanWilliams37:13:00Male2Under 402
438:10:00Mike Harrington38:03:00Male440-501


6 JULY: Just 6 VRAC runners started for the first of this popular 4 race 5k series. Decent conditions and the usual strong field meant a number of runners left with PBs. First home for the club with his 1st sub 17 5k was Mike Harrington in 16.53. Next home was Sarah Murphy who won her age category, followed by Dave Haines with a 3 second PB then Chris Beard with a solid run. Jill Haines was next in just outside of her PB set last week at Crewe and finally Paul Hudson completed the team with a season's best time of 30.03.  Full Results.  The next race in the series is on Thursday 20th July. 

 PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameChip TimeGenderPosCategoryPos
3416:57MichaelHarrington16:53Male32Vet 453
7017:50SarahMurphy17:48Female5Vet 352
15019:43DavidHaines19:37Male131Vet 4515
24621:44ChrisBeard21:25Male208Vet 4531
39926:13:00JillHaines25:53:00Female104Vet 4512
46530:28:00PaulHudson30:03:00Male317Vet 6012


4 JULY: Tony Dutton tried this one. Only a small entry of 47 runners running 3 laps of the Berry Hill Fields, some high climbs and fully off road, across paths and tracks. Tony came 17th in 45.42.


2 July: This was the first staging since its conversion from a 5 mile race. 18 VRAC runners were greeted by warm and windy conditions on a course that was quite undulating. It was the 3rd race of the Grand Prix series with strong teams fielded. Mike Harrington with a sub 36 was only good enough for sixth counter. Mike Vennard, making a rare UK appearance whilst back from college in the US, was first home in 7th place in 32.10, closely followed home by another superb run from Chris Williams, beating some quality athletes in the process. Sarah  Murphy also had a strong run to finish 7th female. There were category wins for Chloe Dooley (U20), Nathan Williams (U20) and Stu Doyle (V45) and an added bonus was Vale Royal narrowly beating Liverpool to win the team completion based on the combined results of the 1st 3 men and 1st 3 ladies.  Full Results

 PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameChip TimeChip PosPosCategoryPos5KFinish


2 July:Having lost out on a national bronze at Horwich after stopping to tie a shoelace, Pauline Davies made no mistakes in the Northern Masters 
5k Multi-terrain Champs at Ratcliffe with both laces firmly tied she scored first w/65 in both open & Northern Masters in 26.53 on a far from easy course.


2 July: Even if you get a PB sometimes you are still gutted! Rick Murray missed breaking 11 minutes for 3000m by 0.9 of a second! Better luck next time Rick!


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


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


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


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


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


Carolyn – 40:26 1st V40 6th lady

Helen – 41:39 1st V45 12th lady


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


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

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


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

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

The ladies also managed a superb 3rd team prize

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


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


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


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


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

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


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

ANDY GIBBS '55 at 55'

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

Tatton Park 10k

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

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

Bowdon 5k

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

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

7.   17.25 Mike Harrington 

58.  21.00 Chris Beard 

99.  23.14 Jo Edwards

105. 23.43 Barry Chambers

108. 23.56 Jayne Lomax

134. 26.26 Jill Haines

Full results

Wincle Trout Run

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

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


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


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


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

40.53 (343rd)

DOVENSTONE DIAMOND 10k (Multi-Terrain)

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

43.37 (18th of 209 finishers)


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

All the results can be found on here.


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