2015 News Stories

These are all the archived news items that have appeared on the home page this year.

Here's the list of Optional club sessions for this Autumn. Normal club runs will also be happening.

13th October Relay in the park
27th OctoberReps in the Grove
10th November Hills
24th NovemberFartlek Session
8th DecemberRelay in the park
22nd DecemberCaterpillar run
5th JanuaryReps in the Grove
19th JanuaryHills
2nd FebruaryFaster back than out

And I'd also like to use this opportunity to welcome Katie Webster and James Rainbow to our coaching team.

And for good measure, here's a full list of our qualified coaches headed by Coaching Secretary Fiona Challinor:

Simon Parsons
Fiona Challinor
Adele Minshall
Simon Phillips
Adam Richards
Fiona Dillon
Katie Webster
James Rainbow

Training advice can be obtained from any member of the team.

Quiet racing weekend with, as far as I can see, Parkruns from Christine Henderson (Delamere), Ali Dolphin (Shrewsbury) and Phil Townsend (Lyme Park). Phil writes:

"I ran at Lyme Park Parkrun today as I was staying at my sisters house less than 1 mile from Lyme Park, having read the course write up I was not to worried about the course, but having run it today the course description does not tell you how hard it really is, not only is it very steep in places (see below) the down hill sections are also difficult as there is very course loose gravel so you can't run down them with confidence. But to give you some idea of how hilly it is here are some comparisons which I have taken from my Garmin watch.

Delamere Parkrun elevation gain 10m loss 8m
Shrewsbury Parkrun elevation gain 18m loss 28m
Lyme Park Parkrun elevation gain 113m loss 118m

(Editors note. GPS vertical measurement is not at all accurate and must never be relied upon for navigation - especially when flying a plane. Just thought you'd like to know!)

I was pleased with my time based on how hilly and difficult under foot it was.It is more like a cross country course rather than a normal park run like Shrewsbury."
After all the excitement of Saturday I could find only two results from Sunday. So, if you did run elsewhere please let me know. Richard Stewart ran the English Half Marathon in Warrington while Katie Webster raced the Worcester City 10k. Katie writes:

"Just to let you know I ran the Worcester 10k this morning. Brilliantly organised race around a lovely course starting at Worcester racecourse and taking in the sights of Worcester Cathedral, the viaduct and the River Severn. Jo Pavey was first lady home. I completed it in a steadier 55:11 so no PB but enjoyable all the same. I will definitely run it again next year."
Yesterday saw the final round in this year's close fought handicap competition. The final positions were in doubt right up to the very end, and the finishing order could have been any combination of the top 3 and others!

Top three positions:

114 Simon Parsons
112 Phlip Townsend
111 Matt Lucas

Full result on the Handicap page

In the event I emerged on top, but I had to go on a strict diet and slash 62 seconds off my previous best Park Run to make it so! Don't be too harsh on me, it's the first trophy I've won since winning the Derek Underwood cup for the 220 yards back in 1970!

Best run of the day came from ever improving Philip Townsend who took an amazing 78 seconds off his handicap. John Dillon, Fiona Challinor, and Liz Featherstone also beat the handicapper. Dean was first Whippet in 9th place at Shrewsbury but was chased hard by John Dillon and Matt Lucas.

Special mention must go to Fiona Challinor who was the only person to run in all 5 handicap races. Thanks must also, once again, go to Simon Phillips for his excellent handicap setting. This year's competition may have been very different in format to previous years - but was still an excellent, motivating challenge. Congratulations to one and all who took part.
Gareth Dodd was first Whippet home at Lake Vyrnwy in 21st place but run of the day goes to Kevin Smith for setting a new club Age Record. 18 Whippets ran and there were Pbs set by Fi Challinor, Libby Dudleston, Jo Evans, Matt lucas, Liz Rankin, Adam Richards, Roger Smith and Sue Vine.

The eagle eyed among you may have spotted Dean's result. Don't worry, he didn't have a bad race - he was on motivational duty - we'll have to ask Katie if it was a good thing! I left his result in because I know Adam will enjoy heading him the results - sorry Dean!

The race was the last qualifying Half Marathon in the Club Championship and leaves Kevin Smith with a commanding lead from Jon Morgan and Gareth Dodd, while Christine Henderson heads Libby Dudleston and Rachael Foster.

Elsewhere, Mimi Owen set a new club Age Record in the Lichfield 10k. She was 2nd in her Age Category and picked up a voucher for her great run.The performance has also gained her a Gold standard!

Roger Smith's result at Lake Vyrnwy also nets him a Black Standard.
A slight backtrack to report that Rachael Foster completed the final race in the Telford Sexarathon series last week. The race was the Harper Scarper 5k. Rachael writes:

"Last week I completed the final race in the Telford Sexarathon series, six races between 5km and 5 miles. I know there are some Whippets who have done this series for a number of years so this year I thought why not? The races are in and around Telford and start 7pm / 7.30pm, the conditions have been perfect (except the one night which was the hottest day of the year!) and the courses are varied. I've really enjoyed it and it would be great to get some car shares arranged and see more Whippets there next year as other clubs are really well represented with runners of all abilities taking part. I finished 4th in my age category so hope to return next year to push for a podium finish!! Oh and I got a nice technical t shirt too!"
Gareth Dodd again notched up 4:59 to romp home first in the fourth Magic Mile race of the year. Fourteeen runners took part in yesterday's race and there were PBs for John Dillon, Jon Morgan, Libby Dudleston, Mimi Owen, Jo Evans and Marcus Somerfield.

This was a Championship race and has nudged a few people up a few points but hasn't changed the leading positions. It also counted towards a club standard and as a result: Jo Evans now ranks Blue, and Marcus Somerfield Purple. Libby raised her grade from Bronze to Silver and James Rainbow his from Purple to Blue. Standards here. Well done, all.
The Tilston 10k took place in excellent conditions yesterday and was well supported by Whippets despite several of them having done Park Runs the previous day! Leah Leonard won the ladies race finishing in 6th overall, while Andrew Corbett was our first male home in 8th place. I also know that Michelle Norton was overjoyed at a her debut 10k performance. Well done, Leah, Michelle and everyone else that ran.

I have also updated the standards to reflect performances. As a result, Neil Spencer now qualifies for Bronze, Duncan Meredith for Blue and Michelle Norton for Green.
Yesterday saw round 4 of the Summer Handicap. Delamere, the nominated location, saw eight Whippets in action, but there were also members running at: Telford, Shrewsbury, Ellesmere Port, Oxford and Workington! In total, eighteen Whippets challenged themselves and the handicapper over 5k.

Five Whippets beat the handicap with Marcus Somerfield chopping 45 seconds off his time! There were also impressive runs from Fiona Challinor, Jon Morgan, James Walker and Phil Townsend. With just one race to go Fiona Challinor heads the standings but the top 7 are still in with a mathematical chance. The two front runners, Matt Lucas and Simon Parsons kept their powder dry for the final showdown in two weeks time. It should be an interesting final weekend.

This was also a Championship race, and the leaders now are: Kevin Smith, Gareth Dodd and Dean Richards for the men, and Rachael Foster, Fiona Challinor and Katie Webster for the women. But Jon Morgan, Simon Phillips, Christine Henderson and Libby Dudleston could break into the top spots with good runs at Lake Vyrnwy (if running).
Handicap times for the next race on 5th September posted here. Delamere is the nominated venue. Good luck!
It was great to see 25 Whippets contesting the Ellesmere 10k in near perfect conditions. It was also pleasing to see more than half staying on for a drink and chip butties afterwards! Not quite Dolly Mixture like - but good by our standards.

First Whippets home were Gareth Dodd for the men and Libby Dudleston for the women. Recent newcomer Mimi Owen had the run of the day, setting a new Age Record. There were also Pbs for Libby Dudleston, Jo Evans, Liz Featherstone, Matt Lucas, Duncan Meredith, Michelle Purcell, Marcus Somerfield, Phil Townsend and Sue and Ed Vine. Not wishing to be left out, I ran my best 10k since 2011 to lift myself into the Bronze Award Category - an acheivement that has probably come at the cost of blowing my Handicap chances - oh, well, them's the breaks! Anyway, well done one and all, a geat race for the Whippets.

This was also a Club Championship race. The top three men are currently Kevin Smith, Gareth Dodd and Dean Richards while the female top three are: Rachael Foster, Fi Challinor and Katie Webster. Both Championships can still be affected by the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon and the remaining Magic Miles!
15 Whippets contested the third magic mile last night in refreshing drizzle. Dean was first home in 5:27. There were pbs for Mimi Owen, Duncan Meredith, Michelle Norton, Ed Vine, Sue Vine and Jenny Spencer. The next mile is on Tuesday the 8th September.
Back off holiday, so normal service will resume shortly. I've posted all the results I could find from 8th August through yesterday. If you ran elsewhere please let me know.
Two more results from the weekend. Gareth Dodd was 9th in the Meerbrook 15k while Sue Vine completed her first half marathon at Newquay alongside Ed Vine. Well done, all.
We are pleased to announce new Club Standards Awards to recognise achievement and improvement. See Club Standards page for full details. There's still time to raise your standard before the end of this year's qualifying period!
Still waiting for Newquay Half Results to appear - sorry Sue and Ed! In the meantime I've had to adjust the handicap standings as a result has turned up for Liz Featherstone.
Yesterday saw the third round in this year's handicap compeition with runners competing in Shrewsbury, Stockport and Telford. Most impressive performance on the day came from recent joiner - and novice - Mimi Owen. Following on from her good showing over the mile, Mimi slashed 71 seconds off her predicted time! I expect the handicapper will be taking a close look at Mimi's future performances - but great running, Mimi!

The Handicap competition is still very tight at the top with only 1 point seperating young gun Matt Lucas and old timer Simon Parsons. With best 4 results counting, Philip Townsend and Richard Stewart could also be contesting first place. The next two races are going to prove very interesting. The next date is the 5th Septemebr with Delamere the nominated location.

The handicap Park runs are also part of the club championship. Kevin Smith now leads the men with a full set of results and looks unpassable unless John Dillon gets his jogging boots on and shows Kevin how it's supposed to be done. Dean Richards and Gareth Dodd are currently in 2nd and 3rd place. The Women's championship could go down to the wire if Libby Dudleston enters the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon. She is currently in 2nd place behind Rachael Foster but still needs to post a Half Marathon performance.
Just a few Park run results posted this week. If you raced anywhere else better let me know. But it was good to see so many people run the mile last Thursday. The cooler conditions made for faster times and there were some very smiley faces at the end!
Just two races since last weekend to report on while I wait to discover if anyone ran the Trentham 10. Gareth Dodd was 16th in the Vic Musgrove 5k on Wednesday with a time of 17 minutes exactly. Rachael Foster was 160th and continuing to have a fine series - she is currently in 4th place in her age category with just one race to go.

Meanwhile, on Saturday Libby Dudleston was our only Park Runner - running 21:24 at Shrewsbury.
Club Kit Club Hoodies Dean writes:

"Now the relay is out of the way I'll be trying to sort out a kit order....

Hoodies will be £25 each (payable in advance). Please let me know asap whether you want one and style (zipped or pullover)/size.

I've also had a request for a new vest so will be ordering some of theses, whilst ordering vests I will put an order in for short and long sleeve whippets racing shirts (prices to be confirmed, but subject to postage, they will be approximately £15 and £17 respectively)

There are also beanie hats (£8.50) and snoods (£7.50) in Stock.

If you want any of the above let me know on here, by email or on a club evening."

I could only spot two reportable Park Run results from the weekend. Heather Stewart ran at Plymvalley and Phil Townsend at Delamere.Some pacemaking was also undertaken at Shrewsbury - no names, no pack drill!
It was great to see 22 Whippets run in the Grocontinental Relay on Thursday. It's hard to see how we could get many more running given the large number of people needed to "run" the event itself. I've pasted Whippets lap times on the racing page so you can see how you fared comapred to other Whippets.

Our highest placed teams were "The Whippets" (Gareth, Dean and Emily) 4th in the Mixed category and "The Highway Men" (Andrew Corbett) 4th in the Community category. 8th team in the Male Category were the Cosford Jaguars (Matt Lucas) while "Me, You and Her" (Laura Turner and Anna Houghton) were 12th in the Female team category.

And wasn't it great to see all those Dolly Mixtures! The all ladies running club finished 18 teams, and arrived in a full sized coach! A number of other clubs were also very well represented: Helsby, Oswestry Olympians, Shropshire Shufflers, and it was great to see the Community category contested by 21 teams including 5 teams from Sponsors Grocontinental.

Anyway, it was a great night and we should be proud of ourselves. My thanks go to to everyone involved in making it such a success.
last night saw 116 teams compete in our relay. More later, but thought you'd like to know that the results are now posted here.
Saturday saw round 2 in this year's handicap competition. The heat seems to have badly affected performances as only Matt Lucas got anywhere near his handicap time. The addition of a hill into the finish at Telford didn't help either! It was good to see Michelle, Georgia and Helen from the beginner's course taking part in their first race.

After two rounds the top three ae Matt Lucas, Simon Parsons and Dean Richards. The next qualifying date is the 1st August with Shrewsbury the main venue.

Last Wednesday, Andrew Corbett and Rachael Foster did the Ironbridge 4 part of the Telford Sexarathon series.
The dark clouds rolled away and the rain stopped to reveal blue skies just as we met for our Social Run at Grindley Brook last night. It was great to see so many people there, I make it 38, and especially pleasing to see 11 people from the beginners course! And a good number stayed on for a meal and drink afterwards. All in all it was a great evening. Fi reports to say that she and Laura Turner ran the Warrington 10k last Tuesday.
A boiling hot evening saw an amazing 19 Whippets brave the first Magic Mile of the summer. Gareth Dodd just sneaked under the 5 minute barrier with new member Leah Leonard the first woman in 6:08.7.

This race was part of the Club Championship. The Men's championship is currently led by Dean Richards from Kevin Smith and Richard Stewart. The Women's championship is currently very close with Libby Dudleston just heading Rachael Foster in a battle that could go down to the last race! Fi Challinor is in 3rd place and she still needs to run a mile!

The next championship race is any Park Run on this Saturday the 4th July.
Unless anyone tells me otherwise I am only aware of a few park run results from the weeekend. Philip Townsend ran at Bramhall Park, Ali Dolphin at Wolverhampton and James Walker at Ellesmere Port.
A few more results have sneaked out from last weekend. Sue and Ted Vine did the Ellesmere Sport in the Port 10k. It was Sue's race debut as a Whippet and she was delighted to sneak under the 60 minute barrier.

Saturday saw Fiona Challinor and Jon Morgan run the Gnossall 10k with possibly a little extra! Congratulations go to Jon for winning his age category in the race and the overall "Fourmidables" four race series. Well done, one and all.

Tuesday evening saw the Clubs AGM with accompanying chip butties. It was an uneventful affair with all the current committee, officers and President signed up for another year. If you don't know who's on the committee you can see us all here.
You have to feel for Graeme Alexander, Libby Dudleston, Richard Stewart, Roger Smith and John Rowlands who ran the Shrewsbury Half Marathon yesterday only to learn that the course was around a half mile short! I'm afraid I'm going to have knowck that race out of the rankings - sorry folks. Elsewhere, Gareth Dodd was 12th in the Stone 10k in 36:23. There was better news from Saturday as Ali Dolphin joined the 50 Park Run Club! Well done, Ali. Ali was joined at Shrewsbury by Pam hardy and Linda Viner. Phil Townsend did the Delamere Park run.
Results are now in from the weekend and show that Jon Morgan and Fi Challinor did the Newport Carnival 10k while Gareth Dodd grabbed 10th place in the Potter's arf.
Still waiting for results for Potters Arf and Newport Carnival. In the meantime, I can report that Liz Rankin did the Delamere Park Run on Saturday while Kevin Smith was at Telford and Ali Dolphin at Conwy.
The first weekend in this year's revised handicap series saw Whippets running in Shrewsbury, Telford and Keswick! New member Phillip Townsend set the standard to beat by breaking the handicapper's predicted time by nearly 2 minutes! I managed to sneak 26 seconds off with Matt Lucas taking 17 seconds. The next handicap round will take place on the 4th July with the main venue being Telford.

The table below shows improvement against handicap in seconds. A negative number means ran faster than predicted.

Philip Townsend -117
Simon Parsons -26
Matt Lucas -17
Elizabeth Featherstone -13
Libby Dudleston -1
Richard Stewart 14
Dean Richards 50
Mark Gregory 55
Adele Minshall 87
Fiona Challinor 105
Ali Dolphin 194

Sunday saw Gareth Dodd place 6th in the Westridge 5 miler in 29:09
Last night saw Richard Stewart and Rachael Foster continue their Telford AC Sexarathon challenge by racing in the Shropshire 4 at the Granville Country Park. Richard was 123rd in a time of 29:28 and Rachael 135th in 30:10. Standings after this 3rd race in the series are not yet available, but after 2 races Rachael was 5th and Richard 7th in their age groups.
So far, just the one result for today. James Rainbow ran in the Bristol 10k and writes:

"We were in Bristol for the weekend, so thought I would enter the 10 KM. It was a really well run and organised event (bar the queues for the baggage tent) with approx 10,000 runners. The two wave start was handled well and you were off running quickly. The course was essentially flat (bar one fly over) and scenic along the water front and River Avon under the suspension bride. There were big crowds for the section through the main part of the city centre. My time was two seconds slower than Market Drayton last year, which is a bit disappointing. But my watch measured the course as 10.2KM and that last 200 M took 56 seconds, so if I'd cut the corners and took the direct route I would have smashed my PB!"

Saturday saw Whippets in Park Run action all over the shop - Lincoln, Hereford, Upton Court, Delamere and Shrewsbury. Come on guys - give us a break. It's wearing me out hunting down all your results! But at least it's keeping Simon Phillips happy. Hopefully most of you will be in Shrewsbury next week for the first of our handicap Park Runs! Anyway, there were pbs for Andrew corbett, Claire Stewart and Philip Townsend - well done all.
Two races to report from midweek. On Wednesday, Richard Stewart and Rachael Foster raced in the Phoenix 5k - the second race of the Telford AC Sexarathon series.

Then on Thursday a number of us were in action at the Attingham Park Relay. Although the results haven't yet been posted, James Marsh, Graeme Alexander and Libby Dudleston were 3rd mixed team while Simon Parsons, Richard Charmley and Laurence Evans placed 23rd in the Men's category. Andrew Corbett was in the winning Community team along with son Patrick while Dean Richards ran in a community team with Katie Evans and his mum!

It was hard work but good fun and fortunately the weather was much better this year! It would be great to see more teams of Whippets at next year's event.
Another result from yesterday. Rob Sharam just headed Simon Phillips in the Wenlock Half Marathon. Simon writes:

"It's a nice scenic half using trails, paths and road, but it's certainly a tough one. Jonathan Edwards started the race and he stayed around talking to everyone at the end."

Also, Gareth Dodd was 3rd in the Clayton 10k on Wednesday in a time of 36:12. He writes:

"Last Wednesday I raced the Clayton 10k. The course was changed this year which, in my opinion, made it even harder than last. I would definitely recommend the midweek races in the NSRRA, the next being Berryhill 10k if anyone wants to join me. Despite being a harder course I was 14 seconds quicker than last time out and managed to place third overall.

Although not strictly a Whippet (yet), Henry Dodd ran in the Market Drayton Fun Run for ages 0-2 years. After a slow start, Henry picked up the pace after he realised a biscuit was on offer at the finish. After stopping several times to wave at the women in the crowd, he eventually finished the 50 metre sprint in last place. However, as we all know, it's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts!"
Yesterday's Park Run action saw Phil Townsend at Delamere, Fi Challinor at Ellesmere Port and Ali Dolphin at Shrewsbury. Ali will soon be knocking off her 50th park - run - let us know when you expect to achieve that feat, Ali!

Today saw 7 Whippets running in the Chester Half Marathon, where there were PB's for Jo Evans and Ed Vine. This was a club championship race. The men's Championship is headed by Kevin Smith with Richard Stewart currently in 2nd and 3rd. The ladies are headed by Rachael Foster with Fi Challinor and Claire Stewart in 2nd and 3rd. The next Championship qualifying race will be a Park Run on 6th June.
The Christleton 5k last night lived up to it's promise of a fast flat race. A dozen Whippets assembled at the rain soaked start. In the event it was a good thing that the start was delayed by 5 minutes as the rain eased off as the race got underway.

Dean led the men home with Fi Challinor heading our ladies. Simon Phillips bagged a PB and a Club Age Record while there were Pbs for just about everyone else. Only Kevin Smith, Richard Stewart and myself missing out. Having said that, my run was the fastest 5k I've run as a Whippet - I'll take that as a positive!
Two small items of news:

1. Market Drayton 10k entry for 2016 is already open and filling up. Enter now to avoid disappointment. You can always pass your number on nearer the date if you find can't make the race.

2. Dean Richards is now handling kit. So if you need anything - club vest, hoodie, headwear etc, he's the man to contact! See Kit Page
Mandy Lewis writes:

"Although not strictly a race, I took part in the Sandstone Trail Challenge yesterday. It was very well organised by Helsby Running Club. The 33 miles from Whitchurch to Frodsham included ridiculous squelchy and slippery ankle deep mud and water and some dry bits too. The last three miles over the hills into Frodsham were really hard going. There were five well manned checkpoints along the way, and Rob and the kids popped up at three of them to give me a very welcome cheer! I completed it in 8 and a half hours, slower than I hoped but really couldn't have gone much faster because of the mud and my legs! Do it again next year? Yes, probably :) Thought you'd like to know! :) I don't think I quite believe it yet."
A number of us might have missed out on an entry but there were still 17 Whippets in action at the Market Drayton 10k. First home for the men was Kevin Smith while Libby Dudleston did the honours for the women. There was an age record and PB for Rachael Foster and also PBs for Libby Dudleston, Claire Stewart, Jo Lloyd and Liz Rankin.

In case you were wondering, Dean was acting as coach and pacemaker but it is highly satisfying to see him enter this year's 10k rankings behind me! Anyway, well done one and all - entries for next year are already open. Don't delay, do it today!

On Saturday Phil Townsend did the Wolverhampton Park Run and Ali Dolphin ran Shrewsbury.
Tatenhall Runners Tough Team race is on Friday 19th June.Entry form here
Another result from the weekend. Jon Morgan writes:

"May 3rd saw the 2nd round of Newport and District Running Club's Four-midables series, the 7 mile Sherrifhales Shuffle run over a mixture of surfaces. The sun shone for the duration of the race, but the previous rain meant muddy conditions underfoot in places. Helping push cars into the car park made for a good warm up! Wet boggy uphill fields, followed by a lovely long tarmac downhill at Lilleshall Sports centre made for some very different mile a warning of an archery competition at Lilleshall! At one point you turned a corner to see the track dropping into a sea of bright yellow oilseed rape, what a sight. Each finisher received a quality embroidered towel (makes a change from a T shirt). The winner was Newport's Robin Sedman-Smith (43:51), Whippet runners were Richard Charmley completing his first race in 59:30, Fiona Challenor (1:09:21) and Jon Morgan (54:01). A marshall asked Fi and myself if we'd both run the same race as my legs were plastered in mud and her's were relatively clean. A good race over an "interesting" route."
Sunday saw another successful outing in the Conti Lightning 12 hour race. Dean writes:

"A very successful weekend at the Conti Lighting 12hr run. Despite the awful weather overnight and the first few hours of the race the following were achieved;
- 4 laps and a top 50 place for Adam Richards
- 3rd place in the mixed team of 5 for Jamie Walker, Libby Duddleston, Graeme Alexander, James Marsh and Rachael Foster
- 1st place in the mixed team of 5 for Robert Sharam, Ade Hayward, Emilly Dove, Simon Phillips and me."

This event has proved a very happy hunting ground for the club with category wins in each of the last four years!Long may it continue

Elsewhere, John Rowlands completed the Uttoxeter Galf Marathon in 2:36:12.
Whippets sure get about! Yesterday, Liz Rankin added Worsley Woods to the ever growing list of Park Run venues Whippets have sampled - and no, I have absolutely no idea where it is!

Anyway, there were PBs for Philip Townsend as well as Patrick and Andrew Corbett at Delamere, and Shrewsbury showed that Pam Hardy is getting ever closer to her best again. One thing's certain, the handicapper is going to be rubbing his hands with glee at all this prime data!
Sunday was a great marathon day for the club. Gareth Dodd, Dean Richards, Katie Webster, Heather and Claire Stewart all completed the London marathon and setting Pbs.

Gareth Dodd also smashed the Club record with a time of 2:51:58 taking almost 6 minutes off Colin Jones's 2012 record!

Also on Sunday, Adrian Hayward and Matt Lucas ran in the Blackpool Marathon - both finishing inside the top 100.

Heather and Claire Stewart

Katie Webster
I'm saving todays Marathon report until tomorrow when, hopefully, the Blackpool Marathon results will also be out. The London results are on the racing page, though.

Anyway, Saturday saw the usual smattering of Park Run results although with some unusual venues. Ali Dolphin competed at Southwark, London while Philip Townsend took on Wolverhampton. Anrew Corbett, meanwhile, kept it traditional and ran at Delamere.
It's always good to get first hand reports. Grame Alexander, one of our Manchester Marathoners, writes:

"I'd just like to say that all the Whippets did really well, both James Marsh and Libby Dudleston ran through injuries ( James had leg problems and Libby had a knee injury sustained while running) and showed great character to complete the race in what were really good times. The race itself was very good, weather conditions were perfect and although the narrow roads got pretty congested at times everything went smoothly which was testiment to good organisation from the race officials and marshalls. Crowd support was also very good, people were out practically all round the course which really helped out at times."
Laura Mandley and Ali Dolphin attempted to sneak under the radar by racing in the Whitley 10k. It's no good, ladies - I have spies everywhere! Thanks to Liz for spotting that result.
Sunday was long race day with five Whippets taking on the Manchester Marathon and two in the Ironbridge Half. Andrew Corbett was first Whippet home in Manchester with Libby Dudleston our first lady. They were joined by Graeme Alexander, Jamie Walker and James Marsh. All bar Andrew Corbett set PBs but I'm sure Andrew was pleased with his run as he returns to full race fitness! Jon Morgan headed Fi Challinor at Ironbridge, the challenging course not being overly conducive to Pbs. Well done, one and all!
Whippets efforts fairly evenly spread between the Delamere and Shrewsbury Park Runs yesterday. Good to see new member Philip Townsend in debut race action.
Last Wednesday saw Rachael Foster and Richard Stewart run the first race in the Telford Sexarathon series at Lilleshall.

On Thursday it was good to see our friends from Tattenhall Runners over to join us for a run. I gather they all enjoyed the run round the Black Park route.

The only weekend results I am aware of are for the Shrewsbury Park run which saw Roger Smith, Pam Hardy, Ali Dolphin and Linda Viner in action. If you know of any other results please let me know.
Saturday was definitely Park Run day with 10 Whippets out to play at Delamere, Telford and Shrewsbury. Liz Rankin set a new Pb at Telford while Pam Hardy continued her steady return to form at Shrewsbury. It was also great to see both Fiona Dillon and Adele Minshall back in action at Shrewsbury.
Only four Whippets chased the Easter Bunny round Crewe Industrial Estate yesterday. Kevin Smith had an excellent run to come home in 48th place in a time of 38:38 - he's certainly back on top form. Myself, Fiona Challinor and Claire Stewart fought it out in the middle of the field. I get the feeling Fiona might have learnt a bit of a pacing lesson. I don't think she'll be setting off quite so fast in her next race! Claire Stewart also had a great run, setting a new PB.

It was a Championship qualifying race which did Kevin's prospects no harm at all. He now leads the Men's category from Gareth Dodd. Fiona has also moved into first place in the Ladies Championship! The next qualifying race is the Cheshire 10k on the 18th April followed by the Market Drayton 10k in May.
Maybe it was the blustery and often wet weather - but not many Whippets seem to have been in action this weekend. Only Kevin Smith and Christine Henderson tested the timekeepers in the Helena Tipping 10k - with both running really well to come 2nd in their age categories.

This race is part of the club championship and as a result of their efforts Kevin and Christine head the Championship! The next Championship qualifying race is the Air Products 10k on Easter Sunday.

Jo Evans writes:

"Just to let you know Loz and I did Liverpool half today. It was loz's first half and he did 1h 48 and 30 secs. I knocked 12 mins off my last and got a Pb in 2h 3 mins and 6 secs! Both very chuffed!"

Saturday saw Rachael Foster do the Delamere Park Run while Roger Smith, Pam Hardy and Linda Viner did Shrewsbury.
Half a dozen of us ran the Shrewsbury Park Run yesterday with Mark Gregory making his first Park Run appearance. Ali Dolphin was very happy to be back in 26 minute territory and not far behind her was recovering Pam Hardy. Linda Viner also had a good run and I was delighted to knock 55 seconds off my time of two weeks ago. All in all a good morning's work.

Sunday was equally good with Pbs for Dean Richards and Fi Challinor in the Stafford Half Marathon and Gareth Dodd was only 10 seconds away from his own club record.
A few people were in action yesterday. Richard and Claire Stewart competed in the Silverstone Half Marathon with Claire setting a new PB of 2:02:06. While Ali Dolphin writes:

"Because I don’t think it’s on any radars as it’s not chip timed – I did Delamere Forest Resolution Stroke 10k yesterday – good fun but very muddy and hilly so no records broken!!"
The Telford Park Run on Saturday saw Kevin Smith use all his experience - to set off too fast! Despite this, Kevin came 8th in 18:51. The Shrewsbury Park Run saw Pam Hardy back in welcome action after a layoff. Pam was accompanied by Roger Smith who is also steadily coming back into good form.

Meanwhile, Liz Rankin ventured abroad to the Loggerheads Country park near Mold for the Loggerheads Trail 10k. Liz was 87th in a time of 66:37. She writes:

I would recommend the race to any Whippets that fancy an off road challenge, the course was a tough mixture of flat riverside & downhill and technical including a climb that STARTS with 106 steps. It's a well organised race in a lovely setting. There are 5k and 10k options.

An action packed weekend with races on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, half-a-dozen Whippets helping marshal the Shrewsbury Park run. Not only did they do a great and valuable job, but they were privileged to witness Dean Richards and Simon Parsons in 5k action. Ali was impressed with Dean's sprint finish but must have turned her head and missed me outkicking a 10 year old! Also on Saturday, Christine Henderson did the Delamere Park run.

Sadly, on Sunday, the weather turned rather grim for those racing in Wrexham and Oulton Park. Ali Dolphin had the best run of the day setting a new Age Record in the Oulton Park 10k. But there were also PBs for Roger Smith and Jo and Loz Evans in the same race. While the Wrexham Half saw Pbs for Adrian Hayward and Matt Lucas.

Finally, over in Stafford Libby Dudleston, Graeme Alexander and James Marsh toughed out the Stafford 20 finishing in 200th, 201st and 202nd place. It looks like Libby just outkicked the guys at the end - or did they just let her sneak in first? I think a race off is needed...

If you raced somewhere else and I've missed your result, please let me know.
You'll have to let me know if you raced anywhere else over the weekend - I could only find Whippets in Park Runs at Delamere (Andrew Corbett) and Shrewsbury (Roger Smith, Fi Challinor and Ali Dolphin).
Kevin Smith is continuing to make an impressive return to form after a few years out. On Sunday he placed 23rd in the Run Wales Rhyl 10 mile race in a time of 64:51 which was good enough to make him 1st v55! Well run, Kevin. I've informed the handicapper.
Looks like Whippets were only Park Running over the weekend. Keith Cotton and Liz Rankin at Delamere, Katie Webster in Telford and Ali Dolphin in Shrewsbury.
Yesterday saw 10 Whippets take on the Village Bakery Half Marathon at Wrexham. This race is now chip-timed and organised by Cute Fruit Events who also organise the Helena Tipping 10k.

Gareth Dodd was in fine form, romping home in 16th place and lowering his own club record by nearly two minutes! Kevin Smith was the next Whippet home - Kevin placed 2nd in his age group and set a new age record. There were also Pbs for Matt Lucas, James Marsh, James Rainbow and Katie Webster.

This was also the first qualifying race for this year's Club Championship. Kevin Smith now heads the men's competition while Vicky Leese tops the women's championship. The next qualifying race will be the new Wrexham Half Marathon on 8th March.
The final results are out for the North Wales XC league, and, as expected, they show our men in 4th Place and our ladies in 2nd place. Well done to one and all for taking part, and making it our most successful season yet on the country. Can we look forward to promotion next year?

In other news, members were in Park Run action on Saturday: Keith Cotton and Liz Rankin at Delamere, Ali Dolphin at Shrewsbury, Fiona Challinor at Ellesmere Port and Christine Henderson in Bognor Regis.
Two results I missed at the weekend. Mel Oulton and Ali Dolphin enjoyed a challenging run up the Great Orme as part of the Nick Beer 10k at Llandudno. Ali recommends the race, and says the hill wasn't too bad. It's good to see Mel back in action as well.
Our cross country teams wrapped up a great season with fine performances at a bitterly cold Oswestry. At least it stayed dry and wasn't howling a gale. The men packed exceptionally well and it was also good to see Liz Rankin making her XC debut.The day was made even better with cakes courtesy of Libby!

Men's Team Oswestry

League results won't be out for a while but we should have at least held our league positions. Rachael Foster has kindly agreed to become the Women's Cross Country Captain, so, ladies, expect a call early next autumn!

The individual results were:

27 Libby Dudleston
44 Rachael Foster
60 Liz Rankin
64 Mandy Lewis

39 Dean Richards
51 Simon Phillips
53 James Marsh
63 Andrew Corbett
65 Graeme Alexander
66 Adrian Hayward
94 James Rainbow
The results for last Saturday's Cross Country fixture have now been posted and show that the club had a great day out. Dean writes:

"The mens team finished 2nd in division 2 (and had a better score than 3 teams in the first division) and move up to 4th overall by turning 107 point deficit on Denbigh into a 16 point lead!!!

The ladies team were 2nd on the day in division 2 and 4th overall! Because of the fantastic performance they remain 2nd in the league and are very unlikely to be caught due to the points gap they have amassed over 3rd place.

But we still need two full teams on Saturday at Oswestry to finish off our best cross country season in style!!!"

It's also great to hear that Rachael Foster has taken on the role of Women's Cross Country Captain - better let me know if I got that wrong Rachael!
The main event this weekend was the North Wales XC League at Lilleshall where we once again managed to field teams in both the men's and women's races. League results are not yet available, but here are our individual placings:

33 Dean Richards
39 Rob Sharam
51 Simon Phillips
66 Graeme Alexander
67 James Marsh
84 Adrian Hayward
107 James Rainbow

22 Libby Dudleston
36 Rachael Foster
47 Mandy Lewis

Saturday also saw Alison Dolphin do the Shrewsbury Park Run.

On Sunday, Kevin Smith returned to racing with a great performance in the Alsager 5 where he was first M55. Gareth Dodd also had a strong run to break the 28 minute barrier for the 5 mile race.

Sunday also saw Liz Rankin race in the Stourbridge Ladies 7k.
Friday night saw Simon Phillips complete the 3rd Dash in the Dark at Llandegla. Simon finished in 12th place. He was joined by Mandy and Rob Lewis. The organisers write:

"Friday night saw Round 3 of the Dash in the Dark series return to the forest trails of Coed Llandegla. The biggest field so far warmed up for what became the most tricky and coldest of conditions in the series so far, with most parts of the forest trails covered in snow. In the days leading up to the race, Coed Llandegla had a few layers of fresh snow but with the final inspection of the route late Friday morning, the go ahead was given for the surprise massive field of 191 runners to set off into the dark. The runners set of slightly later than planned, delayed only for some late course alterations taking place"

On Saturday, Whippets were in action in Park Runs at Kingsbury (Christine Henderson) and Shrewsbury (Katie Webster, Ali Dolphin and Linda Viner). With the Shifnal Gallop not being held today it looks like it will have been another fairly quiet weekend.
Yesterday saw Whippets racing in Park Runs at Plym Valley, Shrewsbusy and Delamere. Libby Dudleston was the star of the day setting a new age record for 5k. Well done, Libby!

Sadly, the Helsby Four Villages Half, scheduled for today, was cancelled by the police due to the bad weather.
The only results I've found are for Roger Smith and Pam Hardy who did the Shrewsbury Park Run yesterday. Please let me know if you raced somewhere.
Richard Charmley has emerged from hibernation to report his first race of the year - on 1st January. Here's hoping it's the first of many! Richard took part in the Church Stretton "Morning After Run". Well done, Rich!
Gareth Dodd clearly had more training runs than mince pies over the Xmas period as he's come out fighting fit! Gareth won the Telford Park Run yesterday in a Club Record time of 16:48. Well done, Gareth!

Saturday also saw Dean Richards, Rob Sharam and Simon Phillips represent us in the Shropshire XC Championships at Lilleshall. It was a shame we couldn't field 6 runners to make a team - but the guys did us proud, with Dean just holding off Rob for 25th and 26th place. Simon was just a bit further back in 38th. Next year....

Elsewhere Whippets competed in Park Runs at Delamere and Ellesmere Port.
Right, that's all that nonsense out of the way - goodbye crap Xmas music and awful TV - now let's get the decorations down and get ready to kick into a great new year!

Anyway, Saturday saw Fi Challinor out racing in the Wheaton Aston 10k while Andrew Corbett, Keith Cotton, Liz Rankin and Ali Dolphin were all out running parks! Ali Dolphin ventured a bit further than normal to run in the Dunedin Park Run, New Zealand. Some people will do anything to get away from the cold!
Fiona Challinor seems to have been the only racing Whippet this weekend - unless you tell me otherwise! Fiona took part in the Ellesmere Port Park Run on Saturday.
Dean has just informed me that there was another race at the weekend. Graeme Alexander, James Marsh and Lindsay Griffiths took part in the Delamere Forest 10k Night race. In case you're wondering, Lindsay ran with a friend.