Vale Royal AC - Senior Section

Running and Athletics in the Heart of Cheshire.

NOTICES

2019 LONDON MARATHON: The club hopes to be allocated a small number of places (probably one) for the 2019 London Marathon. If you want to be considered please check eligibility requirements and application details HERE.


TRACK ETIQUETTE: PLEASE READ AND COMPLY TO THE RULES AGREED BY THE VRAC COMMITTEE. VIEW HERE.


MANCHESTER LEAGUE XC: If you want to run Manchester xc league 2018/19 contact Colin Rathbone or your  coach.  All fixtures and info can be found on the maccl website. Dates of 2018/19 XC here.

RACE REPORTS: We try and keep the  website up to date. The volume and variety of races makes this increasingly challenging. You can help by sending a brief race report with a link to the results to info@valeroyalseniors.com.  If you have been a Park Run tourist somewhere novel let us know about that too!

Our wealth is our HEALTH.

Anon

ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

October saw some varied racing with some good individual performances cross country and on the road and some excellent team relay results. Some impressive half marathon PB's for Brian Dooley, Chris Jones, Robert Roe and Scott Bamber. This month we are recognising one lady who stepped up and delivered two brilliant relay legs at National Road relays Sutton Park and then helped Liz Renondeau and Sarah Murphy to a great team Gold at the British Masters XC relays at Long Eaton with a new team course record. October AOM is ANDREA HILLDRUP.


                 In 3 Words 
OUT THE DOOR         
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,  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.

 
RACE REPORTS
please email us at info@valeroyalseniors.com with news and results.
 

CHESHIRE 10K - ARLEY HALL

10 Nov: 6 VRAC runners made the short trip to Arley Hall for what is regarded as one of the fastest 10ks in the area. Andrew Miles was first home not to far outside of his PB on 33.26. Next home was Tom Armstrong in 38.05, he was disappointed to be slower than his recent result at the Farndon 10k. Next home was Rick Murray with a 20 second PB followed closely by Robert Roe with a 39.08.  Craig Sephton was next home and was just outside the 40 minnute mark with a solid 40.03.  Rounding it up for VRAC was John Moulds taking part in his first 10k in almost 18 months.  The results are not particularly clear so apologies if anyone has been missed off. Full Results. 

SUNFLOWERS HALEWOOD 5K

3 Nov: Mike Harrington was again the lone VRAC runner at this monthly 5k.  A stronger than usual field saw Mike post a 17.39 for 18th place.  Full Results.

'NOT' LANGLEY 7

3 Nov: Gary Richardson reports: 4 VRAC runners travelled to Langley. For those familiar with it in the past, it used to be the Langley 7, but as it is now 8 miles and doesn't go through Langley at all, not sure what it is called now. The race was very scenic, but extremely hilly, effectively a fell race but on tarmac. The beginning of the race was a somber moment as we held a minutes silence for one of Macclesfield own runners that tragically died in a car crash only 10 days prior. His widow ran the race with their 4 month old son in the pushchair in his memory. It was great to see the running community coming together in this way. Very enjoyable race and one for next years calendar.
Pos.NameCategoryL Pos.MV Pos.LV Pos.Cat posTime
24Gary RichardsonMV40 10 456:17:00
42David HainesMV45 21 401:00:18
53Lee CarringtonM   1901:01:48
208Jill HainesLV4574 631801:27:14

NATIONAL XC RELAYS - MANSFIELD

3 Nov: Great to see VRAC represented at Senior level in Ladies and Mens races. Here's reports from Debbie Moreton and Stu Doyle:
Ladies - A dry but windy short course awaited the senior men and senior women teams at the national cross country relays senior women scraped an A team and incomplete B team. Chloe Broad although initially was running for Cheshire at the abegele 5 on Sunday withdrew due to university commitments made the short journey to Mansfield to kick of the A team. Emma Pratt took over for the B leg and Helen Smith brought them home in a respectful 50 out of 139 teams.  
Debbie Broad and Liz Gale enjoyed their quick run out in the incomplete B team.
Men - We had 2 strong senior men's teams out with the A team of Ryan Moore, Chris Perry, Sam Whitehead and Jacob Brown achieving a highest ever finishing position of 27th against the best teams and runners in the country. The B team of Nathan Williams, Matt Rowlinson, Stu Doyle and Gareth Williams also acquitted themselves  extremely well, finishing in 59th place - well inside the top half of the 153 complete teams.

ABERGELE 5 MILE

Nov 4: Great to see 3 VRAC members donning county vests and extra special that two of them were mother and daughter. Here's their comments:

Carolyn Dooley: Honoured to run alongside Chloe in her first senior Cheshire vest. Age category wins for both of us too and Cheshire won the ladies Inter-county match!  James Ainsworth: Great running with the Cheshire team again today at Abergele 5m intercounty match against north wales. Hopefully the start of a comeback after a couple of months being injury ridden! 12th o/a 3rd v40 and course pb 28:20. Full results here.
PosGunNameNameChipPosGenderPosCatPos
1228:22:00JamesAinsworth28:20:0012Male12Vet 403
4032:15:00ChloeDooley32:13:0040Female8Under 201
4432:54:00CarolynDooley32:52:0044Female9Vet 451

LAKE WASHINGTON HALF MARATHON - SEATTLE

3 Nov: Brian Dooley will travel a long way to secure 1st VRAC indeed 1st GB athlete! Sounds like a very creditable performance. Here's his summary:

Lake Washington half 5th overall and 2nd 40-49 - Very Hilly so happy with the time 1.26.55. And before the comedians start there was more than 5 people in it.

BRITISH MASTERS CROSS COUNTRY RELAYS - LONG EATON (DERBYSHIRE)

27 Oct: Fantastic result and a national title for the V35 ladies. "With two of the three V35 ladies selected to run for England later this year in the Masters International XC a strong team of Liz Renondeau, Sarah Murphy and Andrea Hilldrup showed just how good they are coming away from the British Masters XC relays not only with Gold but a new course record after storming to victory with over 2 minutes to spare.  Sarah set the team up leading from the gun and finishing fastest on leg 1 and second fastest of all the runners for the day. Andrea extended the lead clocking a time only 9s slower than Sarah on the previous leg. With a good but not insurmountable lead Liz ran strong to bring the ladies home for the Gold medal and new course record! Well Done Ladies a fantastic achievement". Full results

HALLOWEEN HELLRAISER - ALSAGER

28 Oct: This race has been a happy hunting ground for VRAC in the past and this year was no exception. Thanks to Debbie Moretion and Jayne Lomax for report and results: 

Awesome running by VRAC with some fun with the gates and Tony Dutton now known as Alison! Claire Thompson claimed 4th senior women and first V40; Debbie Morton first V45; Debbie Broad first V50; Gary Richardson first V50. Great turn out from VRAC. 
6th M Gary Richardson 1:11:59. 1st V40
9th M David Shepherd 1:14:28. 2nd V50
10th M Matt Scott 1:14:43 3rd V45
19th M Chris Beard. 1:19:22 3rd V50
32nd M/F Tony ( Alison ) Dutton 1:30:18 6th V50
45th M Richard Pettitt 1:41:30 7th V55
5th F Claire Thompson 1:20:47 1st V40
10th F Debbie Broad 1:31:16 1st V50
12th F Debbie Moreton 1:32:06 1st V45
15th F Jayne Lomax 1:35:27 3rd V50

LEICESTER MARATHON

14 Oct: An excellent run from Gary Richardson. In what he calls a 'biitter sweet' PB Gary was averaging 6.48/mile (on target for sub 3 hours) until severe cramp hit him with just 2 miles to go which put paid to that! Next time Gary.
Pos.GunChipNameCatPace 
2103:03:4203:03:26Gary Richardsn(M) V407:00 min/milePB

NORTHERN XC RELAYS - GRAVES PARK, SHEFFIELD

20 Oct: Three good team performances from the senior men at a warm and sunny Graves Park in Sheffield on Saturday. The A team of Ben Lee, Cam Weaver, Arun Dight and Jacob Brown finished a very creditable 7th behind some of the North's top club. The B team of John Humphries (on his 18th birthday), Matt Rowlinson, Josh Betteley and Stu Doyle finished a strong 18th whilst the C team of Gareth Williams, Lee Carrington. Dave Roberts and Rick Murray were also well placed in 38th thanks to some consistent running across the team. Legs were 2 miles each. On the ladies side two complete teams and one incomplete team acquitted themseves with great credit. The two complete teams placed 15th and 26th out of 40 teams with Emily Lowery running the fastest leg for VRAC.  Well done all.
7 Vale Royal Ac 'A' 42:51 15 Vale Royal Ac 'A' 40:21
Benjamin Lee (17) 10:47  Clara Pettitt (24) 13:37
Cameron Weaver (10) 10:36  Emily Lowery (16) 12:52
Arun Dight (10) 11:08  Katelyn Mooney (15) 13:52
Jacob Brown (7) 10:20  
   
18 Vale Royal Ac 'B' 45:23 26 Vale Royal Ac 'B' 45:21
John Humphries (23) 11:11  Lucy Burch (37) 15:30
Matt Rowlinson (26) 11:40  Siobhan Tarbuck (33) 14:57
Josh Betteley (22) 11:28  Melanie Johnson (26) 14:54
Stuart Doyle (18) 11:04  
   
38 Vale Royal Ac 'C' 52:18 Vale Royal Ac 'C'
Gareth Williams (38) 12:21  Jeanette Pope (40) 15:50
Lee Carrington (40) 13:01  Jo Edwards (37) 16:36
David Roberts (40) 13:55  
Richard Murray (38) 13:01  
   
49 Complete Teams 40 Complete Teams

FARNDON 10K

14 Oct: The final race of the year in the Mike Harrington stable of races saw 8 VRAC runners take part in this countryside race on the Cheshire/North Wales border. 1st home and 2nd overall was Chris Perry who was unable to retain the title he won last year. Tom Armstrong came in next with a steady sub 38. New recruit to the club Ian Simpson was next home and sneaked under 40 mins.   Gemma Barnett was our first lady home and 6th female overall closely followed by dad John Todd.  Next in was Lisa Meadows with a fantastic PB given the wet and windy conditions. Vet 70 legend Colin Rathbone took his age group prize with a sub 50 finish and completing the VRAC contingent was Jayne Lomax just outside her SB with 51.06.  Mike would like to thank VRAC runners for supporting the races in 2018 and hope to see you back in 2019. 

PosGun timeFirst nameLast nameChip TimeChip PosCategoryPos
233:19:00ChrisPerry33:19:002Senior Male2
1737:56:00TomArmstrong37:54:0017Vet 406
3239:53:00IanSimpson39:48:0033Vet 504
3940:36:00GemmaBarnett40:34:0039Vet 353
6443:36:00JohnTodd43:30:0065Vet 553
8745:46:00LisaMeadows45:39:0088Vet 453
15750:03:00Colinrathbone49:55:00165Vet 701
17951:20:00JayneLomax51:06:00187Vet 505

HELVELLYN CHALLENGE 15K TRAIL RACE

13 Oct: James Ainsworth reports: A bunch of mates traveled up to the lakes to take part in the Lakeland Trails 15km Helvellyn race, this it becoming a regular thing then staying over and enjoying a few beers this year we stayed over in Penrith which was an interesting night out avoiding many a pub brawl ! Due to current Achilles injury and being 2 weeks into rehab i decided to downgrade to the 15km Helvellyn Trail Challenge which started an hour earlier then the race to try to enjoy it and run steady. Conditions were horrific floods and strong winds more so than the previous year which was bad as well!! I seemed to be the only one wearing a vest everyone else was in full waterproof kit! I did enjoy it and ran 6mins slower than the previous year and ran in at 3rd place. Main thing was Achilles held up ok which was a worry on the hills.

MANCHESTER HALF MARATHON

14 Oct: Four very quick athletes at Manchester and 3 big PBs. Chris williams taking around 2 minutes off his for a top 20 place. Robert Roe around 3 minutes to go sub 1.25 and an overdue sub 90 minutes for Scott Bamber who's last attempt a Wilmslow a few years ago ended at 12 miles and then the medical tent. He finally smashed it,  David Humphreys (right) has lacked miles in training so was more than satisfied with his 1.34 effort. Good work fellas
PosNameChipCatCat PosGen Pos
19Chris WILLIAMS01:11:06SM1219
256Robert ROE01:24:41V4036234
304Scott BAMBER01:26:04V5012279
882David HUMPHREYS01:34:15V4579798

YORKSHIRE MARATHON

14 Oct: Having completed the S African Comrades ultra marathon on it's 'downhill' year Bob is intending to repeat his effort next year to complete the 'uphill' event. As part of his continuous mileage training he tackled the Yorkshire marathon with a hope might break 3,30 having narrowly missed out at Chester last year. In hos words it was 'The most eventful marathon' he has ever run. But most importantly he overcame events to crack 3.30. Well done Bob. Here's his comments: "3:30 pacer was on a mission and disappeared Got cold and kept dropping stuff and had to stop to pick it up. Had a wee at mile 12. Hung on in there and Forrest Gumped the last mile..3:29:10!!!!

MANCHESTER XC RACE 1 - WYTHENSHAWE

13 Oct: Unseasonably warm albeit windy conditions and unusually an absence of mud at Wythenshawe. The ladies fielded 11 runners to fulfill 2 senior and 2 vets teams. An excellent run from young Chloe Broad just outside the top 10 in a high quality field. Some close battles between Helen Smith and Claire Thompson and also Julie Annable, Mary Tavener and Debbie Moreton. The men fielded 8 runners to ensure a full senior and vets team. A strong race for Rick Murray and great to see a 2nd V70 for the mercurial Colin Rathbone. Also great to see long standing VRAC member Barry Chambers bring us home.  Available photos appear to suggest the ladies were more photogenic. Strange. Before and after shots suggest they gave it their all.
Ladies     Men    
PosNameCatPosTime PosNameCatPosTime
11Chloe BroadSL 32.20 152Richard MurrayV501039.42
44Helen SmithL45534.49 219David HainesV453541.49
47Claire ThompsonL40634.56 258Chris BeardV502543.22
69Mel JohnsonL35935.52 270Mark PillinerV502843.53
76Lucy KnightSL 36.08 329John ClarkeV60446.26
124Jeanette PopeL401838.31 331Tony ArcherV60546.30
152Julie AnnableL55640.02 404Colin RathboneV70251.44
155Mary TavenerL55740.09 407Barry ChambersV651152.02
158Debbie MoretonL452640.14 437Finishers   
230Jill HainesL453944.02      
289Carole WilliamsL65551.15      
307Finishers         
           
9th/63A Team4 Count   42nd/57Team6 Count  
29th/63B Team4 Count   25th/52Vets Team4 Count  
4th/59A Vets Team3 Count        
25th/59B Vets Team3 Count       

CONGLETON HALF MARATHON

7 Oct: Darren Cottier flew the VRAC flag at Congleton and delivered an excellent performance over a testing course.
Pos NameNameCat Cat/Pos ChipPosGun
48DarrenCottierM45(008/046)01:28:494801:28:51

CHESTER MARATHON

7 Oct: Tony Dutton and Matthew Wooley took on the Chester Marathon. Whilst Tony felt his time was not what he hoped for a sub 4 hour debut was a great start to his marathon career. Yes, the pain has clearly faded quickly as he is planning his next one! Well done both.
PosGunNameNameChipPosGenPosCatPos
144803:59:41AnthonyDutton03:57:471445Male1180MV40249
161404:06:53MatthewWoolley04:04:531613Male1301MV45215
2786Finishers       

NATIONAL ROAD RELAYS - SUTTON PARK

6 Oct: A great day for VRAC highlighted by the U15G team of Faye Conboy, Grace Roberts and Holly Weedall who won the national road relay champs, with Holly also setting the fastest leg time. Creditable performances from our senior ladies and men who both fielded two teams. Great to see Siobhan Tarbuck (192) back with her first outing in the famous VRAC vest for 15 years!
36  Vale Royal AC                  'A'  1:54:12

        Cameron Weaver   (64) 19:16
        Chris Perry      (46) 18:28
        Harry Dexter     (46) 18:58
        Jacob Brown      (35) 18:34
        Arun Dight       (34) 19:12
        Stuart Doyle     (36) 19:44

62  Vale Royal AC                  'B'  2:01:04

        Benjamin Lee     (47) 18:43
        Josh Betteley    (63) 20:36
        Alexander Doyle  (65) 20:18
        Matt Rowlinson   (63) 20:18
        John Humphries   (61) 20:34
        George Thompson  (62) 20:35

76 Complete Teams
20   Vale Royal AC                 'A'  1:04:43

        E Renondeau      (27) 15:48
        Chloe Broad      (30) 16:36
        Andrea Hilldrup  (23) 16:20
        Sarah Murphy     (20) 15:59

47   Vale Royal AC                 'B'  1:10:48

        Sophie Smith     (59) 17:22
        K Brough         (53) 17:12
        Katelyn Mooney   (48) 17:23
        Emmalouise Pyatt (47) 18:51

61   Vale Royal AC                 'C'  1:15:54

        Siobhan Tarbuck  (71) 18:36
        Helen Smith      (66) 18:38
        Lisa Meadows     (64) 19:04
        Debbie Broad     (61) 19:36

68 Complete Teams

CARDIFF HALF MARATHON

7 Oct: Two great times from Mr and Mrs Dooley. Carolyn ran her best time in 2 years and was rewarded with a free massage from daughter Chloe! Brian was delighted with a 'shiny new PB'.  Well done both. Great family day.

NORTH STAFFS XC RACE 1 - KNIGHTS GRANGE

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  

SANDSTONE TRAIL

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         
PosGunNameNameChipPosGenderPosCatPos
2002:12:55garyrichardson02:12:5220Male20M40-509
3702:21:39DavidHaines02:21:3737Male36M40-5019
9502:37:17ChrisSwift02:37:1096Male84Senior Male30
22703:10:12JoanneEdwards03:09:27227Female46F55-653
279Finishers        
          
B Race         
PosGunNameNameChipPosGenderPosCatPos
201:09:41GeorgeThompson01:09:402Male2Senior Male2
401:17:20LeeCarrington01:17:184Male4Senior Male3
1901:25:21ChrisBeard01:25:1618Male17M50-604
4601:32:34PaulDavies01:32:1645Male36M40-5014
7601:39:27ChristopherGriffiths01:39:1877Male56M60-706
8901:42:21debbiebroad01:42:1189Female26F45-5510
11601:49:05BarryChambers01:48:55122Male80M60-708
287Finishers       

NORTHERN ROAD RELAYS - SPORTCITY MANCHESTER

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.
SENIOR MEN   SENIOR LADIES  
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     

MACCLESFIELD HALF MARATHON

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.

EHM 5K, 10K AND HALF MARATHON

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.

SNOWDON 50 MILE ULTRA

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. Finally...today (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!)

GUILDEN SUTTON 10K

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
246Finishers      

SANDBACH 10K

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
364Finishers   

GREAT NORTH RUN - NEWCASTLE

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.

NORTH WEST ROAD RELAYS - DELAMERE

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

TRAFFORD 10K

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.
POSNAMEGENCATGUNCHIPGEN POSCAT POSCHIP POS 
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 
596Finishers       

BIRCHWOOD 10K - WARRINGTON

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 
957Finishers    

MID CHESHIRE 5K - KINGSLEY

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.
PosGunNameNameChipGenPosCatPos 
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 
567Finishers       

PARK RUN TOURISM - ROME

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.

CAPENHURST 5K 

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

 PosGunNameNameChipPosGenderPosCatPos
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

SALE SIZZLER 5K - RACE 4

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.
PosGunNameNameChipPosGenPosCatPos
7017:49TomArmstrong17:4568Male68Vet 4016
12719:08DarrenCottier19:04130Male122Vet 4510
13119:11DavidHaines19:07132Male126Vet 4511
15219:29HelenHarrington19:26156Female9Vet 354
496Finishers       

ECCLES PIKE FELL RACE

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.

TRENTHAM 10K (INCORPORATING BRITISH MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS)

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.

PIE AND PEAS 5 MILE

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.
PosGunNameNameChipGenPosCatChip
127:40:00StuartDoyle27:40:00Male1Vet 451
228:15:00AlexanderDoyle28:15:00Male2Under 201
328:43:00ChrisJones28:43:00Male3Vet 351
429:14:00NathanWilliams29:14:00Male4Senior1
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
2032:03:00LewisBrown32:02:00Male20Senior4
2232:05:00AaronDoyle32:05:00Male22Under 202
2732:33:00ScottBamber32:31:00Male27Vet 506
3432:57:00BrianDooley32:57:00Male34Vet 456
3632:58:00DavidHaines32:58:00Male36Vet 457
4333:30:00LeeCarrington33:29:00Male43Senior6
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
372Finishers      

CREWE PARK 5K

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

HELENA TIPPING WREXHAM 10K

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

GRIMSBY 10K

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.

SALE SIZZLER - RACE 2

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
6717:51750ElizabethRenondeau17:49Female5Senior301:2217:49
6917:53691SarahMurphy17:52Female6Vet 40201:1917:52
7618:04950GaryRichardson18:01Male69Vet 401301:2318:01
8918:18759TomArmstrong18:16Male81Vet 401601:2418:16
14519:48713DarrenCottier19:45Male133Vet 451201:2919:45
14919:52655HelenHarrington19:50Female14Senior1001:3119:50
19520:33710GeoffFawkes20:26Male172Vet 451801:3520:26
508Finishers         

TONY BARNES MEMORIAL 5 MILE - SEFTON PARK

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.

STOKE ON TRENT FESTIVAL OF RUNNING MARATHON

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.

COMRADES 'MARATHON' (56 MILES) - SOUTH AFRICA

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

PARK RUN TOURISM - DURBAN

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!"

WIZARD 5

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.

PENDLE HALF MARATHON

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.

NORTHWICH FESTIVAL OF RUNNING

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.
5k         
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
134Finishers        
10k         
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
257Finishers       

NORTHERN MASTERS INTER AREA CHALLENGE - SOLIHULL

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)

SALE SIZZLER - RACE 1

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.
PosGunNameNameChipGenPosCatPos400mFinish 
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

LADIES FOREST PARK 5K - BIRCHWOOD

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.

TOUGH TEAM - TATTENHALL

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.

ALDERLEY EDGE BYPASS 10K

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.  

PosGunNameNameChipPosGenderPosCatPos5KFinish
332:59:00ChrisWilliams32:58:003Male3Senior216:1032:58:00
3437:58:00SarahMurphy37:56:0034Female3V40218:4737:56:00
7340:01:00TomArmstrong39:56:0072Male69V401619:3339:56:00
41650:11:00TriciaIronside49:21:00409Female49V451024:11:0049:21:00
51652:31:00DebbieMoreton51:46:00517Female69V451325:24:0051:46:00
1733Finishers         

BMC GRAND PRIX LOUGHBOROUGH 

June 23: A belated well done to Chris Perry who ran a fantastic 14.18 over 5000m improving his PB from 14.57. An amazing time that puts Chris well within the elite criteria set by England Athletics. 

LYMM RUNNING FESTIVAL

July 1: David Shepherd raced the  Lymm running Festival 10k trail race in very hot conditions. He placed 11th out of 117. Time 42:42.

CONISTON TRI

We have a number of triatletes in VRAC. While we don't report triathlon races this piece of advice from VRAC's Craig Sephton is worth posting.  Recover well Craig.

"If ever I could offer a piece of advice. Please, please always wear a helmet when riding and ensure your kids do too. We collected mine along with my bike today after crashing out of the Coniston triathlon on Sunday, drystone walls don’t yield! Glad to be on the mend."

CREWE 5K SERIES

26 June: Thanks to Rick Murray for the following report: A hot summers evening for the 2nd of 3 races in the south Cheshire 5k series. Jake WIlson and Oliver WIlliams with top 10 placings. Another good tussle between Robert Roe and Rick Murray, this time Rob outdoing Rick by 3 seconds. Ladies win for Gemma Barnett and lots of other solid performances by the vale athletes. Great to see the legend Shaun McGrath bringing VRAC home. Hats off to all that competed in the heat. Full results here.
PosTimeNameCatCat Pos 
617.28Jake Wilson   
717.52Oliver Williams   
1218.46Robert Roe   
1318.49Rick MurrayM501 
1819.22Gemma BarnettF3511st Lady
3420.59John ToddM552 
3921.42Tony DuttonM402 
4221.55John ClarkeM603 
4822.34Emma Louise Pyatt   
5823.50George Scott   
7224.39Richard PettittM557 
8125.56Sharon WilsonF454 
10733.15Shaun McGrathM704 
114Finishers   

PENNINE BARRIER ULTRA

24 June: Davis Shepherd has set himself the challenge of doing all 4 UK Ultras in 2018. Having completed 2 it looked like his challenge was over when he sustained a significant ankle injury. Not so. Having missed a lot of training he got to the start line for the 3rd ultra. One to go (Snowdon). Here is David's report.

Finished 58th out of 198 In 11 hours 50 mins. The 3rd GB Ultra out of 4 to complete the grand slam. The weather was so much better for this one and needed to be as this really pushed me to my limits. The route was the "Yorkshire 3 Peaks" challenge route with a marathon added on for good measure. Starting in Malham we headed North along the Pennine Way climbing up over Fountains Fell and on to join the 3 Peaks route. Was concentrating so much not to turn my damaged left ankle almost left me turning over on my other ankle on the climb onto Penyghent. No alarms after this but was trying to save energy for the last 10 miles. It was inevitable the lack of training was going to bite and hit me on the climb back onto Fountains Fell. I had to really dig deep and after several runners had passed me I finally managed to latch onto a group and stay with them. With 2 miles to go a few in the group had dropped back and this gave me a boost knowing others were feeling worse than me. Me and one other then pushed on to the finish and a great welcome at the finish. Just Snowdon 50 to go now (57) to be exact with 5500mts of climb.

HOLLINS GREEN 5K

24 June: Thanks to Debbie Broad for report and pic. Chloe Broad, Mel Johnson and Sophie Smith picked up the women’s team. Chloe won the junior women’s and was 4th women overall. Gary Richardson won the v40 men’s prize. Mike Harrington won the overall Grand Prix prize. Full results here.

STONE 10K

24 June: Thanks to Chris Jones for the Race Report: It was a fairly successful trip to Staffordshire in very warm conditions for the VRAC contingent for the Stone 10K which incorporated the inter-area match between Cheshire, Staffordshire and North Wales with Liz Renondeau, Carolyn Dooley, James Ainsworth and Chris Jones all earning county vests. There was also a race win and a couple of age category wins for the VRAC members.James Ainsworth was first back with an excellent sub 35 time to claim the 1st V40 category followed by Chris Jones who gained a new 10k pb. Liz Renondeau was next home with a fantastic result picking up 1st Lady with Brian Dooley finishing ahead of wife Carolyn who did a superb job to win the 1st V40 ladies prize.In the inter-area match both Men's and Ladies team were second with both teams losing out to Staffordshire. Full results here.

WILMSLOW HALF MARATHON

24 June: Given that the original event was postponed due to the freezing cold weather in March it was fitting that the re-arranged race was on a scorching hot day. Only 4 VRAC runners competed - Chris Williams led the team home with an excellent 9th place in 73.23, narrowly missing his PB by 9 seconds. Next was Stu Doyle (75.15) in 18th (2nd vet) having passed Sam Whitehead (75.54) , making an excellent debut at the event, in the last mile. All 3 would undoubtedly have been quicker in more  favourable conditions having lost time over the 2nd half. Solle female, and making good use of her Spring Marathon training was Eleanor Riches finishing in an excellent 1.49.36. An added bonus was the senior men winning the team event. Full results here.

WARRINGTON 10K

21 June: Mike Harrington was the only VRAC member to take part in this long standing 10k in and around the park at Woolston. It was a last minute decision as by his own words "lacks the self-discipline to do a tempo session". Mike finished 4th overall and was first in the 40-49 category in a season's best of 36.24. Full results. 

BRITISH MASTERS 5K ROAD CHAMPIONSHIPS - HORWICH

17 June: Six VRACers raced in the BMAF. 5k road championships on Sunday. Fantastic runs from Sarah Murphy coming 2nd overall and 1st V40. Liz Renondeau coming in only a few seconds behind for 3rd overall and 2nd V35.  Carolyn Dooley getting a course pb to make up the team winning overall gold. Solid run from Brian Dooley on an undulating windy course.Solid run from Helen Smith and excellent 2nd W65 for Pauline Davies. More great pics from John Davies in Gallery here. Full results here.
PosGunNameCatCat PosChip 
5518.08Sarah MurphyW40118.062nd Lady
5818.17Liz RenondeauW35218.153rd Lady
7218.53Brian DooleyM451118.47 
9119.51Carolyn DooleyW40619.47 
10121.53Helen SmithW45421.23 
14524.47Pauline DaviesW65224.42 
169Finishers    

COLSHAW HALL 10K

17 June: Round 4 of the Cheshire Road Race Grand Pris series saw 16 VRAC toe the line at the magnificent Colshaw Hall 10k. Conditions were ideal on a course not known for PB potential.  There were age group wins for Stuart Doyle, James Ainsworth and Gareth Williams who had sneaked into the Vet 50 category just days earlier.  There was a PB for Rick Murray on this undulating course and Mel Johnson was just a second outside of her seasons best which bodes well for them on a quicker course. Good run also for Debbie Broad who narrowly missed out on her category prize. Full results.

PosGun timeNameLast nameChipPosGenPosCategoryPos
534:56:00StuartDoyle34:55:005Male5V451
835:31:00JamesAinsworth35:30:008Male8V401
936:04:00RyanMoore36:03:009Male9Senior Male7
2837:26:00GarethWilliams37:24:0028Male27V501
4338:44:00RichardMurray38:38:0043Male40V502
4438:53:00RobertRoe38:43:0044Male41Senior Male32
6540:10:00GemmaBarnett40:06:0066Female6V353
8942:08:00MatthewHough41:44:0088Male81V4512
9342:17:00LeeCarrington42:08:0094Male85Senior Male49
11943:33:00JohnTodd43:26:00120Male108V556
12444:01:00MelanieJohnson43:42:00124Female13V356
12944:17:00LucyKnight43:50:00130Female15Senior Female1
24348:42:00DebbieBroad48:26:00255Female39V502
25449:07:00DebbieMoreton48:39:00260Female44V457
36552:30:00JayneLomax52:09:00386Female79V506
62359:46:00RichardKeeling58:11:00600Male412V4570

PARK RUN TOURISM - BERLIN

16 June: Geoff Fawkes is our latest foreign Park Run tourist taking on Berlin is a brisk 21.44.

DUNHAM MASSEY 5K

14 June: Round 4 of the North Cheshire Grand Prix series saw some more strong performances from the VRAC contingent. Chris Jones was first back in his first race in over a month just one place and two seconds ahead of Mike Harrington who again took the V45 prize and with it almost guaranteed the series win. Gary Richardson was next with a season's best run. Dave Haines was along next quickly followed by Chris Beard who knocked another 20 seconds of his PB set only last week with a 19.29 and must be heading for a sub 19 soon. John Clarke was in next with another solid run which has been the tale of his series. Jill Haines rounded it off for VRAC and looked like she had plenty left in the tank.  Full Results


The final race in the series is the Hollins Green 5k on Sunday 24th June.  Full details.

WELSH CASTLES RELAYS

9-10 June: Another glorious sunny weekend in Wales saw the club complete the 20 stage relay that covers 210 miles between Caernarfon and Cardiff for the 12th time.  The team finished in the top half of the field despite a spate of late injury/illness withdrawals. Thanks to Sophie Haywood's organisational skills and ability to sort logistics the enforced team changes all worked out, quite an achievement when you consider how difficult communications can be in Wales (even when you're only 10 yards apart in Caernarfon!).

Ever present Darren Cottier got the club off to a great start by completing Stage 1 in great style with a top 20 finish. Next up was the very lean and very much in form Craig Sephton, a fantastic downhill sprint finish saw Craig gain a position and take a superb 11th place. With his car waiting for him at the finish, thanks to Sophie, Craig was quickly off to party the rest of the weekend away. Nick Haywood did Stage 3, the first of the mountain Stages, with the final downhill suiting his style perfectly, Nick finished at some speed, Nick's leg took him 88 minutes, which was slightly quicker than the time he took to 'grab a coffee' prior to the start. Legs 4 and 5 saw Athlete of the Month Lucy Knight and London Marathon star Nikki Cavanagh making their Welsh Castles debuts, both did the club proud, smiling their way to 34th and 32nd respectively. 

Welsh Castles aficionado, Paul Clutterbuck delivered a first class performance on stage 6 finishing 38th and recording a great time for the 10.7 mile stage. Dave 'Spud' Murphy completed the next stage, the second of the mountain stages. Prior to his leg Dave wasn't totally aware of how mountainous the stage is - that dawned on him halfway up the first big hill. Not daunted though former boxer Spud flew down the final hill and fought all the way to the line to ensure he gained a
place on the run in.. Stage 8 saw Jo Moly 'fresh' from completing Marathon Des Sables cope well with the heat of Wales. Jo, without her backpack, made a fine return to road racing on the undulating stage. Jo's fellow ultra runner Dave Shepherd took on stage 9. Having only returned to running a week or so earlier following a broken ankle, Dave made a cautious start before passing over 20 people in the second half of the leg to finish 24th. Phil Monks was the final runner on day 1, taking on the longest leg of the race - a mountain stage half marathon. Phil had a superb run to record a time of 1.26, which was good enough for 21st place.

At the end of day 1 it was time to set up camp and finalise the logistics for day 2!

Day 2 - leg 11 started at 7am, a cool and misty start, and first up the club on this mountain stage was Alex Mason, having completed the 22 mile Man v Horse cross country race the previous day - Alex's performance was remarkable! 1.27 for 12.3 mountain miles, meaning that during the weekend he'd completed over 34 miles of racing before 8.30am on Sunday!  Becky Buckingham was next to run, covering stage 13 on her first outing for the club. A great debut run for Becky saw her complete the 10.6 mile stage in some style, smiling all the way. Stage 14 - the iconic Drovers stage, was next. Chris Beard took this on and made short work of it, proving that preparation is the key. Regularly doing long hill reps paid off for Chris. His rich vein of form continued as he completed the stage in a fine 52nd place. Joe Cavanagh followed, it was Joe's first time doing the relay and he had a great run, finishing in a fantastic 17th position recording 1.26 for 12.8miles!

Dave Gough took on the new stage 16, the last of the mountain stages, Goffy was another to adopt the steady start principal. Gradually working his way through to finish in 36th position.  A very late change saw Andrew Miles step in to run a leg, having only recently started running again following injury Andrew was only in Wales to watch his dad run. However, when it looked very much like we weren't going to be able to field a full team he agreed to race. Bad traffic meant Andrew only just made the start but, proving the old adage that class is permanent Andrew finished 9th!  Steve Smith was on the penultimate stage and was another to produce a fine performance finishing in 45th place on the 7.7 mile leg. Finally, it was Graham Miles, as the temperature peaked, who brought the team home. A late transfer from Stage 18 didn't stop Graham running as well as ever, a time of 65 minutes for a stage in excess of 10 miles saw him take 25th place. The team finished 32nd overall in the overall event and in 30th place in the mountain stages. A great weekend for the club and all involved.

BOWDON 5K

7 Jun: Race 3 of the North Cheshire Grand Prix Series saw another 6 VRAC tackle this traditionally quick 5k. Another warm evening which has been the story of this series saw Jake Wilson first home with another junior age prize. Next home was Mike Harrington with another V45 win and is looking good for the series win.  Dave Humphreys was next home quickly followed by Chris Beard with a huge PB of almost 20 seconds. Barry Chambers had another solid run and Pauline Davies rounded it off for VRAC with another category win.  Full Results.


The next race in the series is Thursday 14th June at Dunham Massey for the fast version of the course.  Full Details.

7WILSON, JakeMale JuniorVale Royal Ac17.10
12HARRINGTON, MichaelMale Vet 45Vale Royal Ac17.34
33HUMPHREYS, DavidMale Vet 45Vale Royal19.39
37BEARD, ChrisMale Vet 45Vale Royal Ac19.48
88CHAMBERS, BarryMale Vet 65Vale Royal Ac24.00
97DAVIES, PaulineFemale Vet 65Vale Royal Ac24.39