The Village Bakery Half Marathon on Sunday was just the biscuit for the sizable group of Whippets who ventured over the Wrexham. There were pbs for Andy Heath, Mimi Owen, Liz Rankin, Michelle Purcell and Dave Thornton. Well done, guys! They were joined by Mark Gregory, Duncan Meredith, Cathy McAllister, Mandy Lewis and Liz Featherstone.
This race was the first qualifying race in this year's Club Championship and, as a result, Andy Heath and Mimi Owen have set the initial pace. The next qualifying race is the Wrexham Half on 12th March. See Club Championship.
Saturday saw Fi Challinor celebrate her 51st parkrun at Ellesmere Port in the company of a balloon, Simon Phillips, Dean Richards and Liz Rankin. Other Whippets were in action at Widnes (Tom Woodworth), Wepre (James Walker) and Erddig (Jo Grandfield, Keith Cotton, Gillian Fowles and Caroline Nelson) Caroline accompanied her ever improving young daughter Lucy - hopefully a Whippet in the making!
Okay - now you're just testing me. Six different parkrun locations this weekend. Come on guys, make my life a bit easier and all run in Shrewsbury!
Anyway, the Dunedin result was reported to me along with the other five. Whippets running at Moors Valley(Fi), Penrhyn(Tom Woodworth), Birkenhead(Keith Cotton), Wepre(James Walker) and Erddig(Jo Grandfield)
Most notable result was Fiona Challinor notching up her 50th parkrun. Well done, Fi!
An early result from today! Neil and Jen ran in the Dunedin parkrun in New Zealand. Jen writes:
" Well, against all probability, Neil and I decided to do a Parkrun, but just to be different we decided to do it in New Zealand whilst on holiday. What we didn't take into account is the fact that Dunedin is on a very steep hill and it was an 8am start!
The location itself was beautiful, being around the Botanic Gardens. It started with a double loop on the lower section of the garden through the formal beds, but then a very steep climb up to the wooded section of the run. This also had to be done twice, it was a killer!
Neil said he was watching the old hands, and they very sensibly walked up these sections to save their legs. Our times were not the best, but we're putting in our excuses early with the course description! I didn't manage to beat the man who ran with a 5 year old on his shoulders the whole way round, though I almost caught him by the end.
Everyone was very friendly asking where all the visitors were from, they included us, Norfolk, Guildford, London the U.S. and Lincolnshire. The last one being a 73 year old woman entered in the London marathon this year. (I did beat her). If you're going to do a Parkrun, then this may be the place to do it!"
There’s going to be a change at the top. Having finally run out of steam, I’ve decided to stand down as Chairman at the next AGM. That will be somewhere between the beginning of April and the end of June!
I’m not disappearing. I will continue to coach, maintain the race diary and stats and update the web. And, injuries permitting, I will even get back running. I’m rather looking forward to enjoying the club as a regular member!
I informed committee members on Monday and it was discussed in committee last night. Just thought I’d better let the rest of you know as soon as possible before the rumour mill got going.
The King is dead, long live the King!
There are two more race stories to report from Sunday - and I've been spoilt with race reports!
Rob Sharam writes about the Long Mynd Valleys race on 5th Feb 2017:
"If you enjoy running up the equivalent of Ben Nevis on a sunday afternoon, or using a race profile to saw wood, then this is the race for you.
The weather was as good as it gets, no wind, temperature of 4C at the start in Cardingmill valley, with a sprinkling of snow higher up and a mix of sublime views and eerie misty valleys.
The race gets down to business straight away, gaining 450ft in the first km isnt comfortable for anyone, then doing the same in the 3rd km and repeat for 6 other 'smaller climbs' until the final walk up Yearlet, with 620ft in 1 KM, keeps things in perspective. Even some of the descents are a struggle but at least you dont have to worry about any long flat stretches.
Attempting this the day after the Oswestry cross country meant I started with a more sensible pacing strategy and a surprise result finishing 7 minutes quicker than last year in 2:03 (for 11miles, 3395ft of up - and down I guess).
Not a particularly high placing but this year saw a supercharged field with lots of vests from Ambleside, Pennines, Bowland (get the link?) presumably using it as a recce for the English National Fell championship of the same route race in march. Even if youre not tempted to run its got to be worth popping down to watch the suffering on 26th March."
Liz Rankin was also in mudlark action and writes:
"I returned to the midlands this weekend to take on the Stourbridge Stagger. The past two years I have taken the option of the ladies 7k race. This year I put my big girl pants on and tackled the whole 10.34 miles of the full Stagger. This is an off road including the locally infamous slop alley! ( a deep gulley filled with shin deep churned up mud) The route also includes part of my old school cross country course so was a little nostalgic too! It was cold, foggy and very muddy but an enjoyable experience nonetheless I felt as if I deserved a medal as I crossed the finish line but had to make do with the commemorative towel instead."
The club finished the Cross country season in style with the women fielding another large team and the men moving up to clinch 5th place above teams such as Telford and Wrexham! Rob Sharam led the men home with Jo Grandfield doing the same for the women. Rob was backed up by Simon Phillips, Andy Heath, Dean Richards and James Rainbow.
The magnificant women's team comprised Jo Grandfield, Mimi Owen, Rachael Foster, Liz Featherstone, Mandy Lewis, Fi Challinor and Mirta Calvo. I wonder what Mirta made of the conditions on her debut for the club!
Well, that's it for the season with the men finishing in an improved 5th place and the women holding steady at 7th in their repective Divisions. A great all round effort by the club. Thanks and much credit must go to captains Simon Phillips and Rachael Foster. Thanks too, to all the runners who turned out over the season.
Saturday also saw Katie Webster do the Shrewsbury parkrun while Tom Woodworth ventured over to Rugby.
A quiet weekend with Whippets only in parkrun action as far as I can see. It was good to see Clare Trump back in action - recording a pb at the Killerton parkrun in Exeter. Well done, Clare!
James Rainbow writes:
"This morning saw round two of the “Naked” winter handicap at Shrewsbury Park run, where 8 Whippets braved the freezing conditions. The run of the round went to Dean, who was only 5 seconds of his prediction (thanks to a last minute pre-race assessment of the conditions!). Keith and Janet made up the top three this morning, with excellent runs of only 15 and 18 seconds of prediction. Congratulations go to Liz Rankin, who was running her 50th Park Run and set a fantastic PB and also provided some great cakes!
The top three overall in the series is Simon Phillips, Janet Burgess and Keith Cotton all of whom only have one score, so would need to run the next two rounds. Dean is sitting pretty in fourth with the best score from two rounds. It’s still all to play for in round three and four!"
The next round is on the 25th February.
Don't forget that it's round 2 in this year's Winter Handicap competition on Saturday. No watches, phones or tech allowed! The competition takes place as part of the Shrewsbury parkrun. If you're taking part you must get your predicted time to James Rainbow, or email@example.com before the start of the parkrun.
Simon Phillips heads the competition after one round - just 6 seconds off his predicted time in race 1!
Yesterday saw the fourth fixture in the North Wales XC league and what could be one of our best ever performances as a club! A total of fourteen Whippets competed in the two races with seven men and seven ladies in action. The men finished 4th team on the day while the women placed 6th out of 14 teams. There was even a rare XC outing for President Jon Morgan while Liz Rankin was that keen to race she also ran in the Erddig parkrun in the morning!
The men's team consisted of Rob Sharam, Dean Richards, Simon Phillips, Andy Heath, Jon Morgan, Ken Robbins and James Rainbow. The women's team were Jo Grandfield, Rachael Foster, Liz Rankin, Fi Challinor, Liz Featherstone, Lynne Norton and Helen Robbins. The river crossing was particularly enjoyed and helped keep feet cool!
The club is now placed 8th in the Men's league and 9th in the Women's league. Another strong showing in the final fixture in Oswestry on the 4th Feb could see both teams move up several places. Come on, you Whippets!
Both Jo Grandfield and Simon Phillips had also been action the previous night in the last of the Llandegla Dash in the Dark races. Jo magnificently finishing 1st lady v50 - well done, Jo! Jo and Simon were joined at Llandegla by Ian Grandfield and Mandy Lewis.
Yesterday also saw Whippets in park run action at Shrewsbury(Kate Webster) and Erddig (Liz Rankin and Keith Cotton)
Shropshire County Cross Country Championships – Sat 7 Jan 2017 Attingham Park
A great afternoon out with 11 Whippets running for our teams and Liz Rankin doing a fantastic marshalling job on a muddy corner of the course. Finished off in style with tasty cakes made by Simon Phillips…a highlight of everyone’s afternoon!
Rachel Foster led the ladies around the course, with Mimi Owen on her shoulder the whole way but the other ladies weren’t far behind. It wasn’t as muddy as expected but still a challenging 6K cross-country course with some fast runners in the field. We had lots of team support from the men cheering us on at the halfway point which gave everyone a boost! Telford AC dominated the ladies competition taking 1st place in Seniors and 1st-3rd places in the Vets category. Overall team winners were Shrewsbury AC (Senior Ladies) and Telford AC (Vets Ladies).
The mens race was longer at 10K and the field included some very fast club runners. All the men raced hard and the ladies had plenty of chances to cheer them on with 3 loops of the course! Rob Sharam led the team home, with Dean Richards and Simon Phillips very close on his tail. Telford AC again featured in the individual and team positions for the men, but Shrewsbury AC won the Senior team competition and Oswestry Olympians won the Vets category.
Well done everyone – looking forward to a very chilly cross-country at Baschurch on Saturday!
Elsewhere, Whippets were running in parkruns in Shrewsbury, Erddig and Ellesmere port with Simon Huxley setting a new PB.
Whippets Kit – new Online Club Shop
I am delighted to announce that RunGeek of Warrington will now be the main supplier of Club Kit and accessories. You order direct from the online shop. There is a delay of around 10-14 days for kit to be produced. To keep delivery costs down you can always get together with friends to place an order.
Visit the Online Club Shop Whitchurch Whippets Club Shop
I will update the kit page on this website over the weekend.
Whippets Press Officer role - in new hands!
Well, here goes! I've volunteered to take on the Press Officer role from Dec 2016 and I'm excited to get going and see if we can build on current publicity and become even better known within the local community of Whitchurch and surrounding villages.
To kick off 2017, I'm aiming to take team photos at the County XC Champs at Attingham this Sat and provide a brief write-up for the local press and Gossip magazine.
If you're planning an exciting personal or charity challenge in 2017, or you have a running story to share, please let me know and we can follow your progress and have a chat about putting an article together. I'll also be asking for your support during the year with posing for 'Whippets' photos at some of our local races and providing or checking race reports for accuracy!
If you have photos or race information that we can use at any point this year, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and it will get to me - and I'll do my best to get back to you promptly!
Many thanks for reading this far - I'll see a lot of you on Sat afternoon for team pics!!
I don't know what all you slugabeds were doing on New Year's Day, but Fiona Challinor was clearly feeling in need of some exercise as she completed both the 9:00 Congelton parkrun and 10:00 Hanley parkrun. Respect!
Happy New Year Whippets! Just a few parkruns from Saturday to report. Gill Fowles was in action at Shrewsbury, Tom Woodworth at Sherwood Pines and Fi Challinor and Mandy Lewis at Erddig.
Older news stories have been moved to the News Archive