2014 NEWS

2014 News

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.
The weekend started on Friday with the club's traditional christmas curry. 14 members sat down for an enjoyable meal at the Blue Water Indian Restaurant.

Fortunately the ice lifted in time for the races on Sunday. The Telford 10k saw 7 Whippets running to great success. There was yet another new club record for fast improving Gareth Dodd. Gareth took an amazing 66 seconds off his existing club record set at Ellesmere - fantastic running, Gareth. You'll have to let us all know what the secret is! There were also pbs for James Marsh, Katie Webster and Liz Rankin. Liz knocking a stunning 7 minutes off her previous best - on second thoughts, I think it's Liz that needs to tell us her secret!

A few of the the more masochistic of our members had a tough nine mile outing in the Mortimer Forest Hill Race. Rob Sharam held off Simon Phillips, Adrian Hayward and James Rainbow to be the first Whippet home.

Simon Phillips writes:

"Four Whippets headed out to Ludlow on Sunday to take part in the Mortimer Forest Hill Race. It was good to see two Whippets trying the race for the first time. This year the distance had been cut down to 9 miles, but it certainly hasn't made it any less challenging. With perfect weather conditions the race was a mixture of fairly brutal ascents, fast and muddy descents, with scenic and varied terrain making it one of the best races of the year."
Just a few results from a cold and sometimes icy weekend.

Simon Phillips was 2nd M40 and 7th overall in the Llandegla Dash in the dark on Friday.

On Saturday, Katie Webster ran the slippery Telford Park Run in 25:18

Sunday saw Christine Henderson take part in the Great Langdale Xmas Pudding 10k coming home 2nd F65 in a time of 59:33
Simon Phillips competed in the 2nd Dash in the Dark race last night. He writes:

"Despite a heavy sleet shower before the start, 84 runners turned up to tackle race 2 of the Dash in the Dark night trail series at Llandegla. Luckily the weather for the race itself was perfect and I managed to repeat my time of race 1 within a few seconds, finishing 7th."
All the action happened on Saturday this week, with Liz Rankin, Ali Dolphin and Christine Henderson taking part in Park Runs at Telford, Shrewsbury and Brighton, while men's and women's teams contested the North Wales XC league at Wrexham. Liz recording a new Park Run PB at Telford.

It was great to see two complete teams taking part at Wrexham and what's more, the ladies fielded more runners! That's great going from everyone, let's try and keep it going for the final two fixtures in the New Year. Next up is Lilleshall on 31st January followed just a week later by the final fixture in Oswestry.

Anyway, the official league results won't appear for a while but for now, here's a list of our finishing places:

Ladies (positions include u17 men)
14 Emily Dove
25 Lindsay Griffiths
26 Libby Dudleston
53 Rachael Foster
76 Laura Turner
85 Fiona Challinor
94 Mandy Lewis

40 Rob Sharam
41 Dean Richards
70 Simon Phillips
75 Adrian Hayward
85 James Marsh
135 James Rainbow
On Saturday morning, fresh from tasting success at the awards evening, Katie Webster demonstrated why she won her "Most Improved" award by recording a new 5k pb in the Shrewsbury Park Run. It must have been catching because Liz Rankin and Ali Dolphin also set new best times.

Or, maybe it was the weather, for over in Conwy on Sunday there were PBs over the Half Marathon distance for Adrian Hayward and James Marsh. Sadly, John Rowlands wasn't quite so lucky - maybe he enjoyed Friday too much!
35 Whippets and partners attended the club's 7th Birthday Bash on Friday at the Archie. Full story here...

Christine Henderson 2014 Female Club Champion Christine Henderson


Club Championships

1st: Christine Henderson
2nd: Rachael Foster
3rd: Libby Dudleston

1st:Gareth Dodd
2nd: Jon Morgan
3rd Richard Stewart

Don Wilbraham Handicap
1st: Katie Webster
2nd: Matt Lucas
3rd: Mark Gregory

Most improved Male Runner
James Marsh

Most Improved Female Runner
Katie Webster

Most Improved Beginner - Rowland Trophy
Elizabeth Featherstone

Special Achievement Award
Emily Dove for simultaneously holding all club records from 5k through the Marathon!
Congratulations are due to Gareth Dodds on bringing his season to a climax by winning his NSRRA category following his run in the Flying Fox 10. Well done, Gareth!

Gareth writes:

"I have checked my emails and received confirmation that I have won Group B in the NSRRA league.

The Flying Fox 10 miler marked the end of the season and my 17th race in the series which involved 1 x 4 miler, 3 x 5 milers, 6 x 10ks, 1 x 7 miler, 1 x 15k, 1 x 10 miler and 4 half marathons. I'm quite proud to have won this as I have beaten a lot of runners who are capable of sub 36 minute 10ks and sub 1.20 half marathons. Next year I will now be in Group A and my aim will be to better the performances set this season."

Simon Phillips and Emily Dove were 6th placed mixed pair in the Little Stretton to Stiperstones Time Trial on Sunday completing the distance in 1:40:12. The route is not marked and competitors have to navigate as well as run!
It was Park Run Saturday yesterday, with Whippets in action at Delamere, Telford and Shrewsbury. Delamere saw Libby Dudleston and Rachael Foster both set new age records and pbs, well done! They were joined by Laura Turner, Katie Webster and Christine Henderson. Fi Challinor and Ali Dolphin were on their own at Trelford and Shrewsbury respectively.

Apart from the Stiperstones run I'm not aware of any other race we took part in this weekend. So, if you have a result please let me know.
Simon Phillips and Andrew Corbett took part in the first of the 2014 Dashes in the Dark races organised by the Clwydian Range Runners. The muddy, night-time 6k run was right up Simon's street and he was delighted to finish in 5th place and to pick up a prize for being the first Vet. Andrew Corbett was just three places further back in 8th! The next race is on the 1st December.
Saturday saw Whippets contesting Mad Jack's 5 at Attingham Park and Park Runs at Delamere and Telford. Simon Phillips was first Whippet home in the Mad Jack's 5 in a time of 35:39. He was joined by James Rainbow (43:38) and Ali Dolphin (51:53).

Earlier in the day, new member Liz Rankin took on the Delamere Park Run while Fiona Challinor was on duty in the Telford Park Run.
There was another great run from Gareth Dodd in the Flying Fox 10 miler on Sunday.Gareth was 4th home in 59:19 PB. Gareth was joined by John Rowlands.

Meanwhile at Arley Hall in the Cheshire 10k, Adam Richards let coach Fiona Challinor lead him round for 6.1km before unsportingly kicking away to beat her home by 13 seconds. Great PB, Adam - but I think Fiona may be looking for revenge!!

On Saturday, Katie Webster and Ali Dolphin took part in the Shrewsbury Park Run.
Results from the 2nd XC fixture at Llandudno are now out and show that the club has moved up to 6th place in the Men's 2nd Div but have slipped very slightly to 4th in the Women's 2nd Div. This is just as we expected - a big push at Wrexham on 29th November should see the club move forward in both categories! So, come on you Whippets, let's show these other clubs just what we can do!
Saturday saw Katie Webster and Ali Dolphin do the Shrewsbury Park Run. I couldn't find any other results, so, if you did run somewhere you'll have to let me know!
I've found just one more result from the weekend. Elaine Homer set a new Half Marathon PB in the Cheshire Half at Arley Hall.
Provisional results for the Farndon 10k show that Gareth Dodd's rich vein of form continues. Gareth was 5th home in a club record equalling time of 35:55 - should have run just a little bit harder, Gareth!

Gareth was joined in Farndon by Matt Lucas, Katie Webster, Adam Richards, Jayne Fowles and Mandy Lewis. It looks to me like there were pbs for both Matt and Mandy - well done!

I'll catch up on any other Sunday results tomorrow.
A cracking good turn out for the North Wales XC league at St David's College Llandudno should see us maintaining high positions in both the men's and women's competitions.

Rob Sharam was first back for the men in 35th place while Libby Dudleston was our first lady home in 32nd place. There was great packing for the men with Ade Hayward just heading, Graeme Alexander and Simon Phillips!

It was also great to see Rachael Foster and Laura Turner answering the call for ladies to fill the gaps created by the unavailability of Lindsay Grffiths and Linda Viner.

35 Robert Sharam
43 Dean Richards
82 Ade Hayward
83 Graeme Alexander
84 Simon Phillips
91 James Marsh
131 James Rainbow

32 Libby Dudleston
58 Rachael Foster
81 Laura Turner

It's all looking good for the next fixture in Wrexham on 29th November.

Elsewhere, Ali Dolphin sneaked in a Park Run at York.
Yesterday saw 22 Whippets enjoy a meal followed by two competitive rounds of Skittles at the Bickerton Poacher. Modesty forbids me to point out that my team won both games! Anyway, it was all good fun and Jenny Spencer found a unique approach to establishing the record for the most improved player of the evening. I think I'll let her explain that one!

Saturday morning saw Ali Dolphin do the Shrewsbury Park Run. I've also recently been informed that Richard Stewart ran in the Great Scottish Half last weekend.
And another great result from the weekend! Christine Henderson set a Club Age Record in the Chester Marathon. Christine was 2nd FV65 in a time of 4:46:30. Congratulations Christine, well run!
Emily Dove's Marathon record set at Chester means that she now holds Club Records in all the distances we hold records for! That's a record in itself! Brilliant work, Emily!
A day for our long distance runners - in more ways than one! Dean Richards and Simon Phillips were in action in Portugal in the hot Lisbon Rock N Roll Half Marathon. John Dillon also ran, showing them all how to run 8km then stepping off the road to sunbathe!

Nearer home, Gareth Dodd and John Rowlands raced the Congleton Half Marathon while Emily Dove and Fiona Challinor completed the Chester Marathon and Pam Hardy the Chester Metric Marathon (26.2 km)!

Emily was delighted with her Club Record time of 3:10:55 and she was also 5th lady home! Gareth Dodd lowered the Club Half Marathon time setting a 2nd record inside 3 weeks! Fiona and Pam both set PBs - all in all a very good day's work!
The wet start to the day must have made our Cross Country teams wonder what they had let themselves in for. But they needn't have worried, Bangor was bathed in sunshine for the first fixture in this year's North Wales XC League.

Acting Team Captain Rob Sharam writes:

"It wasnt typical bangor weather, at least 15c warmer than it should be but it did have some standing water. Good running by all was evident, all ran 100% with plenty of suffering but still many comments of how 'nice' it was!!"

It was great to see us field a ladies team again - and it's not true that your first name must start with an "L". I certainly hope Lindsay Griffiths, Libby Dudleston and Linda Viner enjoyed their first outing in the league! There were also debuts for Patrick Corbett and Ade Hayward in the men's team. Patrick and Ade were joined by Rob Sharam, James Marsh and James Rainbow.

Let's see if we can get even more runners out for the next fixture in 2 weeks at Llandudno.

Team results will appear in due course - but our placings were as follows:

25  Lindsay Griffiths
32  Libby Dudleston
90  Linda Viner

34  Rob Sharam
82  Ade Hayward
97  James Marsh
118 Patrick Corbett
132 James Rainbow

Elsewhere, Ali Dolphin took the opportunity to run in the Plymvalley park Run while down in Plymouth.
There was me looking at UK races and not finding any Whippet results when all the action was happening in Berlin! Andrew Corbett and Keith Cotton both had great races in the Berlin Marathon where in ideal conditions they helped Dennis Kimetto set a new world best of 2:02:57.Andrew ran 3:12.29 while Keith recorded 3:54.42. Andrew's time was also a new Club Age Record.Congratulations to all 3!
If you raced at the weekend please let me know - I couldn't find any results for Whippets this weekend.

The next set of club sessions will be published soon - you can look forward to all sorts of goodies over the Autumn and Winter including many chances to run up and down steep hils and chase each other round the streets of Whitchurch!
A relatively quite weekend with just 4 Whippets racing in a variety of events : Richard Stewart and Fi Challinor took part in the English Half Marathon in Warrington, Ali Dolphin in the Seven Brridges 10k and Gareth Dodd in the St Thomas 7.

What was really disapointing was our failure to turn out a team in Saturday's Midland Counties Road Relay - despite entering a squad of 18 names we could only get 5 people willing and able to run. We've got to be able to do better than that!

Having missed Lake Vyrnwy, James Rainbow took part in the Trailfest half (unmeasured and long so not included in results). He writes:

I couldn't run Lake Vrnywy because of a family party so I entered Cheltenham half on the 7th but was struck down with a horrible fever on the Friday night. Looking around for an alternate half, I entered Trailffest. We started in Porthmadog and got the steam train nearly to Ffestiniog and the start line. Supporters then got back on the train to watch the race whereas us runners ran back to Porthmadog! Starting at 700FT and finishing at sea level you would assume it was all down hill but it was advertised as "undulating" with 1500 FT of climbing. It was 95% trail running with a great mix of forest trails, tracks, paths and grassland but the up and down was relentless and incredibly tough! It was brilliantly marshalled and organised and very friendly and the stunning scenery made it a great race. It was supposed to be a half (not officially measured) but my GPS made it 13.8miles, so I was really pleased with my time.
Yesterday saw the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon mark the end of the 2014 Club Championship. There were tremendous performances throughout the field with Gareth Dodd setting a new Club Record of 1:19:12 taking the record off Graham Jones.

There were age records for Rachael Foster and Christine Henderson and Pbs were also set by Andrew Corbett, Graeme Alexander, James Marsh, Libby Dudleston, Keith Cotton, Pam Hardy, Katie Webster and Adam Richards. Well done to all of you!

Subject to any late corrections the Club Championship ended as follows:

1. Christine Henderson
2. Rachael Foster
3. Libby Dudleston

1. Gareth Dodd
2. Jon Morgan
3. Richard Stewart

It was a well fought Championship with not much between any of the main contenders and it's great to see new names on both shields. Thanks to everyone for making it such a great contest and congratulations to the winners.
Gareth Dodd ran the Great North Run on Sunday setting a new PB of 1:20:51. He writes:

Yesterday, I was one of the 55,000 people to take part in the Great North Run, the biggest mass participation run in the world. This year would see the one millionth finisher cross the line, the first race ever to achieve, this so it was a good year to take part. I was both hoping that I would and wouldn't be the millionth finisher. Hoping I would it would be great to be on the BBC but hoping I wouldn't as it would have meant my finish time would have been well over 2 hours!

The course itself isn't that great, the highlights being running over the Tyne Bridge, the red arrows flying over whilst you are running and running along the coast line towards the finish line in South Shields - these are at the start and finish of the race with the inbetween being a mixture of tunnels (a nightmare for those who wear a Garmin) and dual carriage ways. However, the course is lined with thousands of spectators all cheering along the way, bands playing and music pumping which more than makes up for this.

Standing at the start, I decided it was just too hot and too many people standing in front of me to make any attempt a decent time so I just ran to enjoy the atmosphere with the thousands of other runners, so it was to my surprise that when I did finally check my watch at 15k I noticed that I was on for a personal best and ended up with one with a finishing time of 80.51. I wasn't the millionth finisher but getting a new PB is always nice. All in all, I would recommend this race just to experience the buzz of running with so many runners and to say that you have taken part in the worlds biggest half marathon.
Sunday saw 9 Whippets contest the local Tilston 10k. It was a very succesful foray, with Andrew Corbett 1st V50 and first Whippet home. Libby Dudleston set a new PB and romped home as 2nd Lady! Organiser, Gail Graham was also 2nd Lady Vet. It was good to see new member Paula Hassall racing as a Whippet and setting a PB. There were also Pbs for James Marsh, Graeme Alexander and Patrick Corbett!

Elsewhere, Fiona Challinor and John Rowlands competed in the Wolverhampton Half; while on Saturday, Katie Webster set yet another new PB in the Shrewsbury Park Run.
Congratulations go to Jon Morgan, Richard Stewart and Keith Cotton on collecting a full set of medals in the Telford Sexarathon Series. Jon Morgan just held off Richard Stewart by 4 pts to win the v55 age group while Keith Cotton was stunned to learn he'd sneaked into 3rd place in the v50 age group! Well done, all.
Just caught up with the results for Park Runs over the last 3 weekends. Congrats to Laura Turner, Katie Webster and Ali Dolphin who all recorded new Pbs in that period.
Time to catch up on events while I've been away. Apologies if I've missed anything.

The Ellesmere 10k saw 14 Whippets in action with Gareth Dodd slashing 30 seconds off the Club 10k record. Well done, Gareth, it's been coming for some time now and it's great to see the club record dip below 36 minutes. Congratulations also go to Christine Henderson who set a new Age Record. There were also pbs for Ali Dolphin, Liz Featheerstone and Katie Webster.

Gareth Dodd also raced the challenging Leek Half Marathon on the 17th August placing 14th. Also that weekend, Mel Oulton made a return to competitive action by Racing the Train at Tywyn.

The final race in the Don Wilbraham handicap saw Matt Lucas take the race win and 2nd place in the Series while Katie Webster paced the race and her series to perfection - winning the Series by 10 points. Katie is a very deserving winner who has been improving all Summer. Mark Gregory just hung on to take 3rd place in the series. Fastest runners on the night were Rachael Foster (22:18) and Dean Richards(17:53). Thanks go to all the helpers and of course the handicapping maestro that is Simon Phillips. Don't forget that Simon will be watching your every performance this Winter in order to inflict the greatest amount of pain next Summer!

With just one more race left in the Club Championship - the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon - the leading contenders are:

1.Christine Henderson 218.75
2.Rachael Foster 205.63
3.Libby Dudleston 204.31

1.Richard Stewart 218.80
2.Gareth Dodd 217.35
3.Simon Phillips 207.91
It was great to see so many giving the Magic Mile a go last night. Never mind the 4 minute barrier - who's going to be the first Whippet to crack the 5 minute barrier on our very own downhill(ish) course?
Saturday saw Ali Dolphin race in the Shrewsbury Park Run while Gareth Dood took on the tough Meerbrook 15k. Gareth writes:

"On Saturday I ran the notoriously hilly Meerbrook 15k. This race has been voted the third hilliest race in the UK by Runners World so you can imagine that it's quite a challenging course.

I had last run this race back in 2009 and was hoping that someone had flattened the course since then but unfortunately it was just as tough as I remember.

Steep climbs and fast descents made my legs feel like they weren't my own but I managed to finish in 11th place in a time of 1.00.47, knocking just under a minute off my previous time in 2009. At this rate if I return in another 5 years I may be able to get under the hour! However, as tough as the course was I was rewarded with 1st place in my NSRRA group.

Fortunately, Meerbrook only happens once a year. Next up is Leek Half Marathon. Just researching the course and it has stated 1,220ft of climbs, add 6 minutes to your pb and running up Meerbrook Village. And I thought Meerbrook was tough, looks like this is going to be just as tough!"

Gareth Dodd writes:

"Yesterday I ventured over to Cannock to race in the Staffs Knot 5 miler part of the NSRRA series.

The course was described as a road race in the countryside and consisted of Tarmac and gravel paths. The course was 'undulating' which is what I've come to expect with most of the races in this series.

However, the organisers failed to mention that there would be some hurdling involved as I hurdled over a fallen tree and a stray dog that the owner had let loose on the course. Luckily, I watched this event in the commonwealth games and had picked up some pointers to avoid injury.

Despite these incidents I finished 17th in a time of 29.41 and managed to achieve a new PB.

I have now completed 12 races in the series which means I will now get a final position in the tables once the season is completed. I will now look to improve on previous results in the remaining 6 races. Next up is the Meerbrook 15k on Saturday , hopefully this will be a nice and flat course...."
Just heard that Matt Lucas took part in the 24 Hour Thunder Run at the weekend. Matt competed in a Male Pair. His team Cosford D were 12th in the Male Pair category. Matt ran 10 x 10km in the 24 hours - a total of 100km and more than 60 miles! Great running Matt - is that why you didn't fancy Black Park last night?
Just two Park Runs to report on. Liz Featherstone made her debut at Shrewsbury setting a PB. Liz was joined by Fiona Challinor. Meanwhile, Sarah Phillips and Mandy Lewis were in action at Delamere.
As far as I can see, only Ali Dolphin(Shrewsbury Park Run) and Gareth Dodd(Trentham 10k) were in action over the hot weekend. Let me know if I've missed your race/performance.
Last night saw 19 Whippets contest round 3 of the Don Wilbraham Summer Handicap. The hot humid conditions didn't affect performances as much as expected. First home was Elizabeth Featherstone - one of this year's beginners! Fastest time of the day was recorded by returning member Richard Wilkinson. Race observer Paul Dobson expressed the view that some of the gents were less than gentlemanly in pipping lady runners to the line - ladies, remember that you too can use your elbows!

Libby Dudleston moved up to 3rd in the Club Championship as the result of her run! The next handicap race is on the 28th August.

Wednesday saw Jon Morgan, Richard Stewart and Keith Cotton compete in the Vic Musgrove 5k - part of Telford's Sexarathon series. The tight battle between Jon and Richard will go down to the last race - with Jon just edging it at the moment!
The weekend wasn't quite as quiet as I thought, Gareth Dodd was 13th in the Cheadle 4. His write up of that race begins with a report on our relay:

Another great Dearnford Relay on Thursday night which was accompanied by great weather. There was a good atmosphere around the place by all that took part. I think the 2 mile format is good for both experienced runners who want to work on their speed work and people who never run as it doesn't require a huge amount of training to get round the course unlike a 10k. Whilst chatting to fellow runners I heard a lot of people saying 'it's only a 2 mile course', having run the course last year I knew how challenging a race it was. My team consisted of myself, Kev Smith and James Rainbow which was fittingly called Assorted Whippets as we were put together at the last minute. We finished in a combined time of 37:34 for 11th all male team. I was pleased to have run faster than last year and also pleased to have run first as it meant I got to see everyone suffering as they crossed the finishing line and believe me, for a race that was 'only 2 miles' there were quite a few other people who found it tough!

I also ran in the Cheadle 4 on Sunday. Having never raced a 4 miler before I thought that no matter how badly I did I was guaranteed a PB and it's always nice to get a PB no matter the circumstances! The course is 1 mile flat, 1 mile tough climb, 1 mile downhill then 1 mile flat again. I have been working on pacing myself throughout races as I have been known to start races too fast and suffer towards the end so it was good when a fellow 'B' league runner passed me at 3.5 mile and I still had enough in the tank to put ten seconds between us at the finish. I finished 13th in a time of 23.52 and was awarded a spot prize for finishing 1st out of the B league runners.
A quiet weekend, as far as I can see. Ali Dolphin and Katie Webster did the Shrewsbury Park Run while Dean fancied a bit of a Bike Challenge - completing his first 100 mile Time Trial in 5h 06m 57sec.
Fantastic weather last night accompanied the 3rd running of our own race the Grocontinental Relay at Dearnford Lake.111 teams contested the 2 mile(ish) off-road race, an increase of 50% on 2013!

27 Whippets ran in a variety of teams. Last year's Mixed Team winners - "Two Off-Roaders and John" met their match this year and had to settle for 2nd place.

Great runs were had up and down the field and it was especially pleasing to see newcomers Liz Featherstone and Jayne Fowles take part. Full results can be found here.

Photos will be posted in due course - and if anyone has got the time, I'd love to publish your own accounts of the race. I had a very focussed view of life - I just know that the race started and finished and lots of people went by!
Ali Dolphin and Christine Henderson were in action at Park Runs in Shrewsbury and Oxford on Saturday. Christine setting a new PB.

On Sunday, Jon Morgan and John Rowlands contested the challenging Shifnal Half Marathon with Jon Morgan coming home first MV55. Well run, John!
A couple of mid week races to report. Andrew Corbett, Jon Morgan, Richard Stewart and Keith Cotton took part in the Ironbridge 4 on Wednesday while Gareth Dodd ran in the Berryhill 10k on Tuesday - that was his excuse for missing the Beep Test!

Gareth writes:

"On Tuesday I ran in the Berryhill 10K, the 11th race in this years North Staffs League. Normally, I wouldn't normally consider running in a race like this as it has a reputation for being a challenging course and is in the middle of no where but being part of the league I thought it might be a good chance to pick up some points. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed this race, as it was quite a tough course and even enjoyed running up quite a long and steep hill three times on the three lap course. It was excellently organised and I will definitely be entering more mid week races like this in the future. I would recommend this to others as part of a training/tempo run if they didn't want to race it. I finished in 38.12 and finished second in my group which I was pleased with."
It was great to see so many Whippets take part in the Beep test on Tuesday. Well done to Matt Lucas for showing everyone a clean pair of heels!

The next "Club Session" will be on the 15th July and will be an introduction to speedwork with a series of 200m runs. There will be a number of groups and the session will be suitable for all standards!
The rules for entering the club ballot for Marathon Places have now been published here

Note that you must provide us with your Virgin London Marathon Rejection letter!
Last friday Simon Phillips, Dean Richards and Emily Dove took part in the Tattenhall Tough team race. This was a 9 mile run over mixed terrain, including a run up the Bickerton Hills railway track! Our team was well placed in 11th recording a time of 68:56. The time is that of the last runner of the team. Our team all finished together, unlike some teams who seemed to think that leaving their slower runner to do his own thing was the best approach!
Summer sun and distance runing don't really go to gether - but even so there were PBs for Ali Dolphin and the lesser spotted Roger Stanley in the Shrewsbury Half Marathon yesterday. A total of 9 Whippets competed in the hot town race.

Over in the Stone 10k, Gareth ran well but suffered from the Stone 10k heat curse and poor marshalling. He writes:

"I raced the Stone 10k today and that usually means one of the hottest days of the year and this years race didn't disappoint. The heat coupled with the lack of sleep due to a teething baby wasn't ideal for racing. The 2 lap course is described as fast with a pb almost guaranteed which, in the right temperature, would be true. Despite these conditions I was on for a good time until the last Marshall failed to direct me onto the field for the last hundred yards. As I carried on running thinking where has everyone gone?? I was eventually told I'd gone the wrong way and turned back to the finish in a time of 37.05. Although I wouldn't have got a pb it would have been nice to run sub 37 as I'd paced myself well throughout the race. I think going the wrong way cost me an extra 20-30 seconds but the one consolation is that I scored quite highly in the NSRRA points. I think next time I race I will take my sat nav!"
Sarah Phillips was our only Park Runner this weekend. Sarah ran 28:13 for a new PB at Delamere.
Twenty-three Whippets contested round two of the Don Wilbraham Handicap with Mark Gregory knocking 58 seconds off his previous time to come home a surprised first! First lady home was guest runner Sian Leese (No relation!). Fastest run of the day, 16:47, was recorded by Gareth Dodd - just 9 seconds off the course record! Fastest lady was Emily Dove in 19:04.

After two races Katie Webster leads the series with Mark gregory in 2nd place and Keith Cotton 3rd. With only 10 points covering the first 7 places it's still all to play for! The next race is on Thursday 17th July.
Newport Carnival 10k and Park Hall 5k results show that Jon Morgan was our sole runner at Newport finishing in 45:24. Simon Phillips and Richard Stewart raced at Park hall and were both a bit slower than their previous outing at the ultra fast Christleton 5k.
Still waiting for results from the Park Hall 5k on Wednesday and yesterday's Newport Carnival 10k. But Saturday saw Whippets in Park Run action at Killerton, Delamere and Telford.

There were Pb's for Heather Stewart, Christine Henderson and Katie Webster. Christine's time was a new Age Record, well done, Christine. Looking at results from earlier this year shows that Katie has knocked over 3 minutes off her 5k time! It goes to show that the Park Run series is a great way to brush up your speed and race craft.
And to complete the story - here's a picture of Jon Morgan, your 2014 Club President.

Jon Morgan
I must be getting bored of not running! Here's your 2014 Club Committee in all their glory. 2014 Committee
Saturday saw Ali Dolphin live up to her name in a water drenched Park Run at Shrewsbury. Sunday was a complete contrast for the 4 Whippets who braved the hilly Potters Arf in hot sun. It's no surprise that no records were set!
Starting on the 1st July we are introducing organised club sessions suitable for all members. A more complete program will be published soon - but the first 4 sessions are as follows:

1st July . Beep test - come and discover how fit you really are. I call it exercise to music; but then I have a strange taste in music and exercise!

15th July. Introduction to Speedwork. An interval session over 200m. If you haven't done any speedwork before, this is an ideal opportunity to try it. The session will be adjusted for all abilities. This really is recommended for all members as either the start to a progressive training program or just as an alternative to running round Brown Moss.

29th July. For those that want to go a little further, we are going to have a club 6 mile run over stimulating and undulating rural roads. We will be setting out prompt at 7:00. Please expect a later finish time than usual. All paces very welcome.

12th Aug. Another speedwork session - this time over 30m stretches.

These sessions are all optional - so if you just fancy a regular run come down to the club anyway. There will still be someone to run with!
The Summer Handicap series got off to a good start in perfect running conditions - warm with some dampness in the air. 21 Whippets took advantage of the conditions to set up their championship challenge.

Paul Dobson was first across the line - but the handicapper is looking suspiciously at the use of his dog as a running partner - this may constitute a form of illegal pacing! Fastest male was Dean Richards but his ungentlemanly conduct down the home straight may lead to some "wider obstacles" in his way next time! Dean ran 17:46. Fastest lady was Emily Dove who completed the 3 mile course in 18:31 The next race is on the 17th June.

This was also a Club Championship event. Richard Stewart leads the men with Linda Viner heading the women. Full standings here
Gareth Dodd did indeed run the Westbridge 5 on Sunday. He writes:

"Results are in from the Westbridge 5 and I placed 14th in a time of 30.14. It was a good out and back race through fields, country lanes and canal paths. There appeared to be a problem with the results initially and it was a nice touch when I received a phone call on Sunday night from the race director who wanted to confirm if the time they had corresponded to the time off my Garmin. I tried to convince him that I finished 1st in a time of 24 minutes but he didn't seem to believe me for some reason no matter how much I protested. All in all a nice and well organised race and a good workout in preparation for Sundays Potters 'Arf."
Another mainly Park Run weekend, with Andrew Corbett and Sarah Phillips in action at Delamere, Ali Dolphin running in Shrewsbury and Keith Cotton at some place called Plym Valley! There were PBs for Andrew Corbett and Ali Dolphin. I think Gareth Dodd may have run the Westbridge 5 on Sunday but I haven't found the results yet.
Last night saw Dean lead three other Whippets home in the ultra flat and fast Christleton 5k. The race was won in 14:35 by Andrew Davies from Maldwyn Harriers. Dean Richards, Simon Phillips, Richard Stewart and Fiona Challinor all ran Pbs - well done to all! Simon's time was also an Age Record.

This morning Whippets were in action in Park Runs at Shrewsbury and Delamere with PBs for Katie Webster, ALi Dolphin and Sarah Phillips - nice one! Katie and Sarah both set new Age Records.

Results from Attingham on Thursday show that our men's teams placed 6th and 12th while our mixed team placed 7th. For Simon and Dean it was clearly a good warm up for Christleton! Individual times were:

Team A
Adrian Hayward 12:48
Simon Philllips 12:51
Dean Richards 12:17

Team B
Andrew Corbett 12:47
Neil Salt 12:46
Keith Cotton 14:36

Team C
Arvon Williams 12:56
Vicky Leese 14:03
Juliet Jones 14:54
Three teams of Whippets ventured down to Shrewsbury for the first running of the Attingham Relays organised by the Shropshire Shufflers. The format of the race at 3 x 2 mile legs seemed strangely familiar - as did the weather our first relay was held in the rain!

After the first leg all three of our teams were comfortably within sight of each other - and there wasn't much between them at the end! We're still waiting on the results...

Our teams were:

Adrian Hayward, Simon Phillips and Dean Richards
Neil Salt (guest whippet), Andrew Corbett and Keith Cotton
Arvon Williams, Vicky Leese and Juliet Jones

On Wednesday Jon Morgan and Keith Cotton took part in the second of Telford AC's Sexarathon races - the Phoenix Flyer 5k. The current standings are not yet available...
Whippets turned out in force for the second week running with 11 members in action at the Chester Half Marathon. Despite the hot conditions, there were age records for Rachael Foster and Christine Henderson - and pbs for Graeme Alexander, Libby Duddleston, Pam Hardy, James Marsh and Linda Viner. Well done to all!

This was another race in the Club Championship series. Richard Stewart is still heading the men while Christine Henderson has moved to the top of the women's leader board! The third discipline kicks off on 3rd June with the first of the Summer Handicap races. The handicapper says thank you for all running so well over the last 2 weeks - it makes his job easier, and your's much harder!

Elsewhere, Dean Richards, Simon Phillips and Adrian Hayward fancied nothing better than running up a big hill and down again! The guys took part in the Mynydd Mythyr Hill race at Trefonen - an event that John Dillon remembers all too well - and not too fondly! For the record Dean was 4th, Simon 7th and Adrian 11th.
Some great photos from Market Drayton courtesy of Garry Norton - I really love them - the pure joy and exhilaration of being a runner!

Gareth Dodd writes:

"Last night I ran the Clayton 10k. This was a 2 lap course that started and finished outside the Gatehouse pub. After hearing seasoned NSRRA runners talk about the hills that we were about to face I nearly decided to skip the race and head straight to the pub. It was anther rollercoaster of a race with plenty of ups and downs and virtually no flat. The climb up Seabridge road was hard enough so whoever decided that it was a good idea to run up this twice needs to be shot. However, despite another hard course I managed to clock a time of 36.26 which I was extremely chuffed with but having just noticed the club record is 36.25, I'm now thinking I could have run a little harder. Oh well... maybe next time!"
Results for Market Drayton have now been finalised - but sadly they did miss chip timings for a number of runners. The official results therefore have to be the gun times that they have for everbody. I've taken a pragmatic view and taken the fastest time recorded for all of you - and it is this time that has been used for records and the club championship. I know that a number of you have run faster than the times given - sorry, there's nothing I can do about that! Also, if you ran at Drayton but are not listed by me can you let me know.

Anyway, first home for us were Adrian Hayward and Rachael Foster. There were age records for Rachael Foster and Pam Hardy and a number of Pbs! There wee no changes in the Club Championships which are still led by Richard Stewart and Libby Dudleston. The next Championship race is the Chester Half Marathon next week. The first Handicap races is on 3rd June and I will be sending Simon your Drayton times later today!
It was great to see so many Whippets in action at Market Drayton yesterday - but a full report and results will have to wait until the organisers have finalised the results.

However, I do know there were a number of great performances and that it was good to see Whippets we haven't seen in a while.

Fiona Challinor has informed me that she ran in the Sheriffhales shuffle on the 4th May. She writes:

"Finally I've done the Sheriffhales Shuffle, Up hills, around fields, through mud, tracks, paths and some road, first race where I've had to climb over a farmers gate - enjoyed it all!"
And one more picture from the Lightning Run. This time of our B team who placed 5th. From left to right: Pippa Mahen, Libby Dudleston, James Walker, Graeme Alexander and James Marsh Lightning Run B team
Gareth Dodd writes to say:

"Just to let you know myself and John Rowlands completed the Uttoxeter Half Marathon on Sunday. The course started and finished at the race course. It was tough with steep climbs and rapid descents with a killer hill at the 7 mile mark. I would recommend this race to anyone who wants a challenging and tough race with great views. I finished 1.23.12 which I was very happy with considering the course and John in 2.35.38."

Note: Gareth's time was a new PB. John wished he'd stayed in bed!
News from abroad! Rob Sharam posted a new M40 Marathon Age record of 3:10:06 in the Arles Alpilles Marathon on 27th April. Rob will be back with us in a few more months. Well done, Rob!
Dean Richards, Emily Dove and Simon Phillips maintained their winning streak in the Conti 12hour lightning run at Catton Park on Sunday. Along with Adrian Hayward and Arvon Williams the team was placed first in the Mixed team category and third overall. They managed 16 laps in the 12 hour period beating the next placed team by a lap!

A second team of Whippets (James Marsh, James Walker, Pippa Mahen, Graeme Alexander and Libby Dudleston) finished in a magnificent 5th place! Vicky Leese and Juliet Jones ran as a pair to also place 5th in that category while ex-member Jo Meadowcroft went solo for 2nd place - running 10 6 mile laps!

Lightning Run B team Lightning Run Vicky and Juliet
Yesterday saw Whippets in action in the Delamere and Shrewsbury Park Runs. There were PBs for Andrew Corbett, Pam Hardy and Katie Webster. It was also great to see Carl Swain and Gillian Fowles running./
One more result from the weekend. Christine Henderson raced in the St George's 10k at Langdale in the Lake District. Christine ran an excellent 59:42 to place first in her age group.
Another quiet weekend on the racing front, with just 4 whippets in action at the Shrewsbury Park Run on Saturday. A good run from Katie Webster saw her record a new Pb for the distance.
A Happy Easter weekend with members racing well in Park Runs at Leamington and Shrewsbury on Saturday, and the Air Products 10k on Sunday. Ali Dolphin set another new pb in Shrewsbury where she was joined by Roger Smith and Pam Hardy. Meanwhile, Keith Cotton gave the Leamington Spa Park Run a go.

Seven Whippets ran in the Air Products 10k on Easter Sunday; with pbs for Gareth Dodd, Libby Dudleston, Fiona Challinor and Katie Webster. This was a Club Championship event, and at this stage Libby Dudleston leads the Women, while Richard Stewart is top Man! The next Championship event is the Market Drayton 10k in May.
Congratulations to Charlotte Wainwright and Ursula Stoddard on completing the London Marathon yesterday. Charlotte ran a 3:35:25 PB while marathon novice Ursula ran 4:04:10 to set a PB and new Age Record!

Saturday saw 4 Whippets take part in the Shrewsbury Park run where there were new PBs for Pam, Katie and Ali. Pam's and Katie's times were also new Age Records.
A few more results have crawled out of the woodwork. On Sunday, Gail Graham set a new Age Record for 10k in the Wrexham Road Runner 10k. This will probably embarrass Gail, hopefully in a nice way - on an age graded basis (77.35%), Gail's performance was the club's best female performance to date! Well done, Gail!

I nearly miss that on Sunday 30th March Jon Morgan and John Rowlands contested the hilly Lilleshall Monumental 10k.
The weekend saw Pam Hardy and Ali Dolphin contest the Shrewsbury Park Run, while Elaine Homer took on the Ironbridge Half. There was a new Age Record for Pam and PBs for both Ali and Elaine!

If you ran in the Manchester Marathon you'll have to let me know, as I can't page through all the results!
Sunday saw the first big club race of the year with 15 Whippets taking part in the Helena Tipping 10k. Numbers were down after moving this race from December - but that may have been because of the Mother's Day clash!

In any case, Whippets did well with Age Records for Rachael Foster, Pam Hardy and Gail Graham. There were also pbs for Adrian Hayward, James Marsh, Libby Dudleston and Linda Viner. Dean Richards was first home for us in 43rd place despite running with shin problems.

Elsewhere, Gareth Dodd was 16th in the Newcastle 10k and now leads the 10k rankings. Kat Clarke was also in action in the Cheshire 10k at Arley Hall.

The Helena Tipping 10k was a championship race and as things currently stand, Libby Dudleston heads the Women's Championship with Richard Stewart leading the Men. The next qualifying race is the Air Products 10k on 20th April. The Handciap series starts on 3rd June.
Heavy rain meant a poorly attended run and AGM. On the plus side, this made John Dillon a very happy extra chip eater!

One major decision taken at the AGM was to change the club's membership and financial year end to run from 1st April to 31st March instead of from 1st January to 31st December. This aligns our membership period with the UKA subscription year - we also hope it will prove easier to obtain renewals in daylight! As a result all current memberships will run until 31st March 2015 - a bonus of 3 months free membership!

Your club officers and committee for the next year are as follows:

Jon Morgan (President)
Simon Parsons (Chairman)
Alison Birch (Secretary)
Dean Richards (Treasurer)
Simon Phillips (Club Captain)
Jenny Spencer (Membership Sec)
Adam Richards (Social Sec)
Adele Minshall (Welfare Officer)
John Rowlands
Keith Cotton
John Dillon
Fiona Challinor
James Rainbow
Still waiting for a mad rush of results - hopefully loads of you are running next weekend!

Anyway, this weekend saw Keith Cotton, Carl Swain and Ali Dolphin in Park Run action, while Juliet Jones and Janis Taylor did the Liverpool Half Marathon. Ali's park run saw her continue to nibble away at her PB.
A week after a twenty mile race, Stafford was the venue for another race - this time a Half Marathon. First Whippet home was new father Gareth Dodd in a new PB time of 87 minutes exactly. Fellow "Potters" fan Fiona Challinor was our only other runner. Fiona recorded 2:00:34.

Saturday saw both Pam Hardy and Ali Dolphin set new pbs in the Shrewsbury Park run. Must have been something in the air on Saturday!
Fine weather - and some fine results, too! Whippets were in action at the Delamere, Telford and Shrewsbury Park Runs, as well as the Stafford 20 and High Legh 10k. Definitely a wide range of distance running!

5k PBs were set by Katie Webster at Shrewsbury, and by Roger Smith and Pam Hardy at Telford in their Park Runs. Also in Park Run action were Ali Dolphin at Shrewsbury, Christine Henderson at Delamere and Linda Viner in Telford.

Elsewhere Cathy Reynolds contested the High Legh 10k while Richard Stewart took on the Stafford 20.
Another quiet racing weekend. So far I am only aware of Whippets running in the Shrewsbury Park Run on Saturday. Let me know if you did run somewhere else. Anyway, Shrewsbury saw Katie Webster and new joiner Ali Dolphin in action. Both ladies set new PBs for the Shrewsbury event.
Just learnt that Ali Dolphin also competed in the Oulton Park 10k setting a 10k PB and picking up the V55 Winner's trophy! Well done, Ali.
Oulton Park Motor Racing Circuit saw Pam Hardy, Linda Viner and Roger Smith take a break from Park Runs to contest their first 10k of the year! And a successful outing it was, too! As newish members, all three recorded PBs as Whippets, with Pam Hardy setting a new Age Record.

Elsewhere, back on Park Run duty, Whippets competed in Delamere (Fiona Challinor and Mandy Lewis), Oxford (Christine Henderson) and Shrewsbury (Katie Webster). Katie set a new PB, while Mandy was keen to stress that her relaxed time was due to escorting young Sam in his first race. Handicapper, please note that Mandy can definitely run way faster than the official time recorded!
The race season's back underway - but not off to a very good start. Sadly, the Wrexham Village Bakery Half seems to have been about half a mile over long! But well done to the seven Whippets who took the race on. Simon Phillips was first home for us in 154th place, Libby Dudleston led the women home in 246th place.

This was the first race in this year's Club Championship - so we will have to discuss addding another Half Marathon to the list of qualifying races. We also need to find a replacement for the Ellesmere Half Marathon which seems to have dropped off the 2014 calendar!

Anyway, as it stands the Men's Club championship is headed by Richard Stewart and the Women's by Libby Dudleston - but there's still a long way to go!
Thanks go to Richard Stewart for pointing out that Jo Meadowcroft had been missed from the Essar Four Villages Half results last week because she was not listed as a Whippet. Jo actually recorded a new Age record - nice one, Jo!
The racing season is back under way with Whippets out racing over the country and on the roads.

Saturday saw Dean Richards, Simon Phillips and James Rainbow continue their lonely challenge in the North Wales XC league. Dean was 35th, Simon 65th and James 120th. It would be good to field a full team in the last fixture in Oswestry on the 8th February.

The Delamere Park Run saw Gail Graham race her way out of hibernation. Gail ran a more than useful 28:01, setting a new age record - well done Gail! Roger Smith and Pam Hardy meanwhile took part in the Shrewsbury Park Run.

Sunday saw Richard Stewart and Fiona Challinor take on the Essar Four Villages Half Marathon. Richard recorded 1:39:42 while Fiona stopped the clock at 2:05:29
Just caught up on a few Shrewsbury Park Run results and discovered that new member Pam Hardy nearly (but not quite) sneaked a new 5k Club Age Record past me! Pam ran 25:06 on the 7th December. Well done, Pam.
Happy New Year, Whippets! The year started with a social run on New Years Day. Racing began on Saturday with Dean Richards, Simon Phillips and James Rainbow contesting the Shropshire County XC Championship at Lilleshall. Dean was 18th with Simon in 29th and James in 56th place. It was good to see Whippets taking part, even if not in great numbers!