Leah Leonard, Karen Smith and Duncan Meredith Chester 2016 Don't let them tell you running hurts! Club Champions Kevin and Christine 2015 Ellesmere 10k Group 2015 Midland Counties Road Relay Team 2013

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Whitchurch Whippets is a friendly Road Running club for all abilities serving North Shropshire.

We meet at the Whitchurch Rugby Club on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm


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4th June - Summer Handicap Race 1

We are doing the same as last year and using Park Runs as the basis for the Summer Handicap. Unlike last year, only results from the Shrewsbury Park Run will count. So none of that driving round the countryside looking for flat Park Runs this year!

28th June - Magic Mile and Club AGM

The first of this year's Magic Miles followed by the club AGM with accompanying chip butties. What's not to like!

14th July - Grocontinental Relay

Still a long way off, but if you'd like to run you'd better get a team sorted out and get your entry in before too long! Our race will fill up early. Next month I will also start to look for helpers.

28th August - Ellesmere 10k

The next 10k Championship Race. Remember to book a place, soon! The race will fill up as there is a fixed 500 limit. 114 gone already - as at 9th May.

9th September - Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon

Book now! Only 200 places left.This is the last Half Marathon in this year's Club Championship

Recent News

Page last updated: 23/05/2016 by Simon Parsons

23rd May

A mixed weekend of Park Runs, trail runs and a 10k.

Katie Webster writes:

"I ran the 3rd Shindig in the Shire trail half on Saturday. The race starts and finishes at The Sun pub in Corfton (what's not to like) and takes in beautiful vistas of the Clee hills and Wenlock Edge. As expected the course was extremely undulating, covering narrow farm lanes, farm tracks and navigating through bluebell and wild garlic covered woodland paths. A near vertical climb called "the bump" meant runners were on their hands and knees at times but the view from the summit was amazing. A lot of mud was encountered, but this was all worth it and it was probably my favourite race to date. Extremely well organised by a great team called "How Hard can it be Events "- would definitely recommend their races. Very satisfied with my time of 2:43."

Katie Webster
Shindig Medal
Saturday also saw Tom Woodworth set a PB in the Delamare Park Run, and Louise Baldwin a PB at at Shrewsbury. Gillian Fowles is still coming back to fitness and ran at Erddig.

Michelle Norton ran the tough llangollen 10k on Sunday. If you raced anywhere else, you'll have to let me know.

21st May

Two midweek results for you. Wednesday saw the Phoenix 5k, the 2nd race in this year's Sexarathon series. Jon Morgan was 2nd MV60 and Jo Grandfield 2nd LV50. The series standings haven't been updated yet, but Jo was leading her age group after the first race and Jon was 2nd in his. Jo's time was also a new Club Age Record. Jo and Jon were accompanied by Gareth Dodd and Ian Grandfield.

The highly rated Christleton 5k took place on Friday in near ideal conditions. Dean Richards was first home for us in 19:22, but only by 5 seconds from 2nd V60 John Dillon, Simon Phillips was just another 6 seconds back and Leah Leonard a further 11 seconds down. John's time was good enough to set a new Club Age Record while Liz Rankin knocked lumps off her PB!

17th May

And another result from the weekend. Rob Sharam placed 11th in the Wenlock Half Marathon in 1:35:37

16th May

And one international result from yesterday! Fiona Challinor ran the Fast and Furious 10k in West Lorne Ontario. Fi writes:

"Today I ran the Fast and Furious 10k in West Lorne, Ontario, Canada. Expecting good weather I had packed light and ended up being the only runner lining up to run in short sleeves as it turned out to 4 degrees with a minus one wind chill this morning. I made good use of a spare pair of socks on my hands as I hadn't any gloves luckily no-one really seemed to notice :-)

Both the 5k and a 10k options were running at the same time. As it was an out and back, the 5k runners were bused to the turn around point and started from there, at the same time as the 10k start, it was interesting to have the 5 k runners coming towards you along the first half of the route with no guidance as to which side of the road to run! All in all an interesting morning, the out and back course was mostly one long straight with just 2 corners in the whole race There was a strong side on wind for 9k of the race but the free coffee for all (spectators and runners) helped me get warm again afterwards. I ran 55:12 and was 3rd 40-49 female (6th female overall) but it was a very small field with I think only 23 runners in the 10K race. Next week I will be running the 16K Walford Alvingston Race and currently the forecast is 25 degrees (it's snowing outside as I type this but the weather changes quickly over here)".

15th May

Saturday saw the introduction of a new Park Run at Erddig, Wrexham, that was well supported by the club with Ian Grandfield first home in 13th place and a PB as a Whippet. Maureen Whyte , Gillian Fowles and Caroline Nelson joined Ian at Erddig, with Caroline running with her young daughter, Lucy. New member Louise Baldwin was also in Wales, running in the Penrhyn Park Run. Elsewhere, Mandy Lewis ran Delamere while Ken Robbins and Katie Webster ran at Shrewsbury with Ken setting a new Club Age Record. Well done, Ken!

Also on Saturday, Simon Phillips tried his hand at Summer Biathlon and now combines shooting with his running. We expect great behaviour on the beginner's course! Simon writes:

"I headed down to the Forest of Dean to compete in a running event with a difference, my first summer biathlon. This combines cross country running with rifle shooting, in this event laser rifles are used. The competition consists of a 3km lap followed by five shots in the prone position, for every shot missed you incur an additional 100m penalty loop. This is followed by another 3km lap followed by five shots in the standing position and once again a 100m penalty for each shot missed, then a final 3km lap to the finish.

I really enjoyed my first attempt at biathlon, even though I had no previous shooting experience. The hour before the race consists of training by a former biathlete and ex-team GB coach. The race itself for me consisted of too many laps of the penalty loop, followed by chasing down and passing people who could actually shoot. Hopefully this will improve at the next round in a few weeks time at Cannock Chase".

The main story on Sunday was the Chester Half Mararthon - the second qualifying Half Marathon in this year's club Championship. Leah Leonard was first Whippet home in a magnificent 1:29:09 to place 2nd F35 and 8th lady overall! Leah's time was also a Club Age Record.The result also means that Leah leads this years Club Championship for Women. The race also marked Karen Smith's debut over the half marathon distance. Karen was running to raise funds for Vicki Denman who died tragically young. Karen ran with Duncan Meredith - we haven't yet told Karen that he was going to wear ear plugs! Karen had a great run to finish alongside Duncan in 1:57:49. There were also PBs for Jo Evans, Leah Leonard, Andy Heath, Cathy McAllister and Liz Rankin. Well done, one and all!

The next Club Championship races will be the Shrewsbury Park Run on June 4th, the Shrewsbury Half on June 19th and the Magic Mile on 28th June.

13th May

Jon Morgan's Market Drayton result took some work from the race organisers but has now emerged. Unlike many of who were badly affected by the heat, Jon ran a fantastic 42:42 to set a new Club Age Record. Well done, Jon. Great run! He's now looking nervously over his shoulder as John Dillon has just had his 60th Birthday! The result has moved Jon into 2nd place in the Club Championship.

9th May

Highlight of the weekend - and the season so far - was the Market Drayton 10k with more than 20 Whippets running. Run in blistering heat, the first Whippet home was Mark Musgrove in 44 minutes and 22 seconds. First lady was Jo Evans. Despite the conditions, there were PBs for Laurence Evans, Duncan Meredith, Michelle Purcell, Mark Musgrove and Sarah Musgrove - well done. I am still waiting on a missing result for Jon Morgan.

This was a Club Championship Race, and once Jon's result has emerged, the leaderboard will show Jon in 2nd Place with Laurence Evans in 3rd. In the Ladies Championship, Jo Evans has also moved into Bronze position - so, definitely a good weekend for the Evans household!

On Saturday, Tom Woodworth ran the Ellesmere Port Park Run before helping with the Sandstone Trail Challenge - a race in which Leah Leonard placed 30th with a time of 6:09 for the 32.5 mile route!

3rd May

The Conti Lightning run at Catton Park was the main event for us over the Bank Holiday weekend. The 12 hour race operates in relay form with teams and individuals attempting to log as many 10ks as they can in the time. The club have had a great record in this event - our teams placed 1st and 3rd in the 5 person mixed category last year. This year the team was hit by withdrawals but were lucky to have Katie Evans step in to run 3 legs! Our team of Dean Richards, Simon Phillips, Rob Sharam and Katie Evans completed 14 laps. Full results in due course - when published.

Update: Results are now out and show that our Mixed team placed 6th out of 52 teams completing 14 laps in 12hours 10 minutes and 38 seconds. Adam Richards was our only solo runner completing a very creditable 4 laps.

25th April

Yesterday proved a successful outing for Whippets in the London Marathon. Ian Grandfield was first Whippet home, while Jon Morgan and Jo Grandfield both set new age records. Fiona Challinor just missed setting a new Pb, while Mandy recorded her first Marathon finish - so a definite PB.

18th April

Last Thursday saw the first of this year's Sexarathon Races at Lilleshall. The club was well represented with Gareth Dodd finishing in 11th place. After one race, Jo Grandfield is leading the LV50 Category while Jon Morgan is 2nd in the MV60 Catgory and Ken Robbins 4th in the M65s. Rachael Foster is 5th LV45 while Ian Grandfield and Keith Cotton are 10th and 19th MV50.

New member Tom Woodworth ran the Delamere Park Run on Saturday, while Gillian Fowles was at Shrewsbury. Sunday saw Katie Webster run the Port Sunlight 10k while Cathy McAllister did the Lilleshall Monumental 10k.

11th April

Chuffed with her Winter Handicap Victory, Liz went out and set a new 10k PB on Sunday in the Cheshire 10k at Arley Hall. Liz was joined by Jo Evans who also set a new PB - great running, both! Liz also ran in the Delamere Park Run on Saturday while it was good to see Gillian Fowles back running in the Shrewsbury Park Run.

6th April

It was great to see so many people take the long run option round Black Park last night. Based on the feedback it is something we will do again this Spring/Summer!

Twenty or so members also stayed on for chips, a drink, and to see Liz Rankin presented with her trophy for winning the Winter Handicap.

4th April

A surprisingly quiet weekend with Keith Cotton running the Leamington Park Run, Ali Dolphin and Fiona Challinor at Shrewsbury and Gareth Dodd 10th in the Newcastle 10k. Easter is all over now folks, so racing should pick up from here.

Don't forget chips and a long run tomorrow - and, if you haven't already paid, your subs are now late!

28th March

Saturday Park Runs saw Geirgia Butler set a new PB at Cheltenham. Elsewhere, Keith Cotton was in action at Delamere and Ali Dolhin at Shrewsbury. Easter Sunday was once again the traditional day for the Air Products 10k at Crewe. Gareth Dodds was our first runner home in 36:40. Gareth was joined by Kevin Smith, Leah Leonard and Ken Robbins. Leah was 3rd Lady V35 and Ken set a new club age record! Well done, all.

24th March

It's no good sneaking North to run in some obscure 20 miler, and expect to get away without it being reported - my spies are everywhere! Anyway, President Jon Morgan's marathon preparations are clearly on track as he ran the Trimpell 20 in Lancaster in 2:35:59.

22nd March

Just learned that Roger Smith and Pam Hardy also ran the Shrewsbury 10k but weren't listed as Whippets in the results; which is why I missed them. Both ran PBs. As a consequence, Pam has now moved into first place in the women's club championship. Go, girl! Roger has gone into 5th place in the men's. Michelle Read, meanwhile, ran in the Charnwood Forest Marathon with her dad finishing in 5:37:16.

21st March

Sunday saw two Club Championship qualifying races with the new Shrewsbury 10k and the Stafford Half Marathon. Rob Sharam, Laurence and Jo Evans and Fiona Challinor were at Stafford with Laurence and Jo both setting new PBs. Well done, both. Must have been a good day in the Evans household!

Kevin Smith was our only runner in Shrewsbury, where he placed 25th overall and 3rd in the v50 category. Kevin writes:

It was perfect conditions for running the 1st Shrewsbury Mercedes Benz 10k this Sunday. Organisation of the event was excellent, from the information sent out prior to race day to collecting your chipped race number at registration on the day. Start and finish was in the town square and with almost 900 runners on the start line everything, excuse the pun, appeared to run smoothly. For anyone hoping to improve on their 10km P.B. this course is certainly not the one! Plenty of short sharp hills with the Mount at 1km, Port Hill at 4km, Kingsland at 5km, another at short sharp climb at 6km, Quarry at 8km and finally if that wasn't enough St Johns Hill in the last km. with the finish on the cobbles.

The winner and pre-race favourite Paul Ward stormed to victory in an impressive 33.38 I was pleased to finish 25th overall and 3rd in the over 50’s with 39.45

However tough this race was there were hundreds of encouraging spectators who also had decided to get up early to support the runners. All credit to the organisers Mercedes Benz in pulling this race off! Brilliantly marshaled route, Km signs where they should be and a well drilled drinks station at 5km. Good medal and technical t-shirt and energy bar. Happy Days.

Kevin Smith heads the men's Club Chamopnship with two qualifying distances, while Jo Grandfield leads the women. The next qualifying race is the Air Products 10k on Easter Sunday.

20th March

Saturday was a relatively quiet Park Run day with just Fiona Challinor in action at Telford and Roger Smith, Katie Webster and Pam Hardy at Shrewsbury.

15th March

Two more results from the weekend. Claire and Richard Stewart both ran the Silverstone Half Marathon on Sunday. They both ran 1:58:09 which was a PB for Claire, well done!

14th March

Highlight of the weekend was Leah Leonard smashing more than 20 seconds off Emily Dove's 5k Club record from 2012. Leah ran 19:40 at the Telford Park Run on Saturday to finish as 1st lady and 12th overall. There was also Park Run success at Shrewbury for Pam Hardy who set a new Age record and Roger Smith who recorded yet another PB.

Leah Leonard
5k Record Holder Leah Leonard

Sunday saw Jon Morgan come home 1st V60 at the Ironbridge Half Marathon. Elsewhere, James Rainbow ran the liverpool Half, but if you ran the Silverstone Half can you please let me know because their result system is club unfriendly!

I am still waiting for results from the Knighton 20, but Rob Sharam ran and has this to say:

"On such an amazing spring morning it would have been a travesty to let a number in this mornings Knighton 20 go unpinned (the relocated Stafford 20), so I felt kind of privileged to make the 30 minute journey to Knighton (5 miles east of Newport) with Gareths number.

The start location in Knighton, a village with population of about 30, was clearly infested with runners and it was probably good that we were soon spread over a 3 lap x 6 2/3 mile route which the organisers describe as having 'slight undulations' - the typical understatement for anyone used to running around Whixall . But in fairness it was all reasonable runnable, with plenty enough variety to stay focussed, and despite being on open roads was essentially traffic free, I'm not sure I even counted 5 cars, but then I wasn't really counting.

The first lap was quite chatty , the second totally un-memorable and by the third it was clear most people were also just hanging in, and it was a real relief to get to the 500m uphill finish. I was very pleased with unconfirmed 2h22m08, though less pleased to be back home early enough to join in with the gardening." The race is as well organised and as well supported as the previous editions based at the university, and the relocated course is a massive improvement. A highly recommended race for next year for anyone looking to spend quite a few hours in the sunshine "

10th March

New rules for the Club Marathon Ballot are being introduced this year. Be warned, they are more complicated than ever but are aimed at biasing the ballot towards club members who have not yet run the London marathon and members who play an active part in club life. We are publishing the rules now so that you can see how you can best maximise your chances in the ballot - if you're eligible, that is!

Consider these as draft rules therefore subject to minor change or clarification - you wouldn't believe how complex the discussions have been, and I might have just got something slightly wrong in this announcement. Other committeee members will no doubt correct me in due course.

So, here we go:


  1. You must have applied for a place in the Virgin Marathon Ballot and been rejected.
  2. You must be a first claim member at the time of the ballot
  3. You will need to have paid your subs for 2017 before the ballot
  4. You must not have run the London Marathon in 2015 or 2016
  5. You must not have had a place in the London Marathon for 2015 or 2016

Places in the ballot

  1. Everyone who enters the ballot gets one ticket with their name on in the ballot
  2. You get an extra ticket for being present on the night
  3. You can gain more tickets by earning points as follows:
One extra ticket for each 5 points up to a maximum of 3 extra tickets. One point for:
  • Running in a Club Championship Race ( 1 point for each race)
  • Helping with a Magic mile - timekeeping/refreshments/marshalling
  • Running in the Dearnford Lake Relay
  • Acting as official volunteer at Shrewsbury Park Run when hosting a Summer Handicap Race - must be listed as a volunteer on Park Run site (point per race helped with)
  • Acting as official helper at Dearnford Relay - (Includes Timekeepers/Recorders/Admin staff/Marshalls/Stewards/First Aid/course markers and clearers)

6th March

A fairly quiet weekend. Keith Cotton ran the Wrexham Half Marathon on Sunday, while Georgia Butler, Liz Rankin, Roger Smith, Pam Hardy, Linda Viner and Ali Dolphin were all in Park Run action on Saturday.

The Wrexham Half was a championship race and Keith has now moved into 3rd place as a result of his run. The next Championship qualifying race is the Shrewsbury 10k on the 20th March. Club Championship.

29th February

Yesterday saw a few more Whippets out and about. Roger Smith and Pam Hardy were racing for the 2nd time in two days at the Oulton Park 10k. Roger setting a second PB in as many days - good running Roger! Katie Webster was over on the other side of the country running the Cambridge Half Marathon. She writes:

Cambridge Half Marathon
"The whippets red and white vest travelled to East Anglia on Sunday where I ran the Saucony Cambridge half marathon in 1:59:29. Still no where near peak fitness but an enjoyable 13.1 miles all the same. This was a great event with amazing crowd support which reminded me of the London Marathon. The route takes runners past the iconic sights of Kings College, The Round Church, the Fitzwilliam Museum, The Backs and through Grantchester. In all a lovely race, very scenic and with a great medal and bursting goody bag."

28th February

Yesterday saw the culmination of our first Winter "Naked Handicap" series where runners predict their race time and then run without any technology to help! Organiser, James Rainbow writes:

"It felt like winter this morning as 5 Whippets lined up for the final round of the Winter Naked park run series, with the top three all racing. After three rounds I finally got my pacing spot on – if only I had sprinted for the line!! Dean is obviously coming into some good form as even after some advice from the summer handicapper, he was still a minute quicker than he thought! Duncan had a great run - setting a new PB, and it would have been interesting overall if he could have made round one. Liz had a steady run and was 29 seconds out. John made his second appearance but was way quicker than he thought.

Congratulations to Liz, who wins the inaugural winter series overall, with good steady pacing over three rounds as she was never more than 37 seconds out from her predications."

The handicapped runners were joined by Roger Smith, Pam Hardy, Linda Viner and Ali Dolphin at shrewsbury. Roger and Pam also setting PBs - despite being cold it must have been a good day for racing. Pam's time was also a new 5k age record, well done, Pam! Meanwhile, Fiona Challinor was exploring another Park Run - racing at Moor Valley. I

22nd February

All the action this weekend took place on Saturday. Rob Sharam, Simon Phillips and Keith Cotton put on their mud running boots for the inaugural Llandegla Dash in the Daylight 10k. Rob Sharam was first back in 10th place with Simon just two places further back. Rob's time of over 50 minutes giving a clue as to how tough the course was! Simon thinks it would make a great club trip as the course is permanently marked - he says they also offering easier routes! We'll discuss it in committee, but it sounds a great idea to me.

Fiona Challinor ventured furthest away for a Park Run - travelling to Sheffield for the Sheffield Castle Park Run. I think she found that one a bit hilly. Sheffield is where Seb Coe spent a lot of his youth training on the hills - it didn't do him any harm! Roger Smith, Pam Hardy, Katie Webster and Linda Viner settled for Shrewsbury.

One result I missed from last week. Jo Grandfield also ran the Village Bakery Half in an excellent 1:44:23 for an age graded percentage of 76.33% taking her to first place in this year's Club Championship. After one event Jo heads the women and Kevin Smith the men. The next qualifying event is the Wrexham HM on the 6th March followed by the Shrewsbury 10k on the 20th. There are plenty of qualifying events left. See Club Championship.

14th February

The Village Bakery half Marathon today in Wrexham proved to be a very productive race for the club with age records for Leah Leonard, Kevin Smith and Jon Morgan. Kevin was also 2nd v55 in the race. There were also PBs for Pam Hardy, Duncan Meredith, Linda Viner and Mandy Lewis. Well done, one and all!

Saturday saw Whippets spread around a number of Park Runs: Prices Liverpool (Heather Stewart), Delamere(Keith Cotton), Shrewsbury (Roger Smith and Dean Richards - pacing duty) and Lytham Park (Ali Dolphin). Heather's run was a PB.

10th February

Liz Rankin did the Stourbridge Stagger on Sunday and writes:

"I ran the Stourbridge Stagger 7k (7.3 actually!) trail race on Sunday. I had no idea how I did as my watch didn't work properly and neither did my legs! - I was rather surprised to find that I finished in 16th place in a time of 40:03. It was very muddy, with an unexpected killer hill 10 seconds from the start( they reversed the route for the first 1k from the advertised route). All in all not a great day for me but still pleased to manage a respectable placing."

8th February

Saturday saw the final fixture in the North Wales XC League. I can only imagine how muddy it was! Sadly, our ladies team was hit by illness but we were valiantly represented by Liz Featherstone who, according to the photographic evidence, needed plenty of cake to aid her recovery!
Liz Featherstone
Hungry, Liz?

We nearly fielded a full men's team with Ken Robbins attempting his second race of the day. Ken set a new age record in the Shrewsbury Park Run in the morning but couldn't acheive the double. But, it's great to see Ken back running! Rob Sharam was first Whippet home, he was followed up by Dean Richards, Simon Phillips, Duncan Meredith and James Rainbow.

The men finished the season 6th in their Division with the women 7th in theirs. Not a great season, but it's the taking part that counts!

Whippets were in Park Run action at Delamere, Telford, Shrewsbury and Penrhyn (Ali Dolphin)! Ali went on to run the Nick Beer 10k on Sunday - so clearly on a running weekend. While compiling this report I discovered that I had missed a new age record by Pam Hardy for the 5k set on 23rd January at Shrewsbury. Well done, Pam!

3rd February

I was so surprised to see Jon Morgan running the Telford Park Run that I failed to spot that he set a new 5k Age Record. Apparently, it's all part of his cunning plan to set as many age records as possible before John Dillon reaches 60 in May. Well done, Jon. Good luck with all the other distances!

This year's Summer Handicap Dates have now been added to the race diary. The handicap series will exclusively use Shrewsbury Park Runs. Results from other venues will not be accepted this year. Find out more here: Summer Handicap

We still have one free place in the Shrewsbury Half Marathon on 19th June to give away. Dean Richards has been awarded one place - he was the only person that entered the draw made last night! There will be a draw for the final place at next month's committee meeting on the 1st March. If you'd like to take part in the draw, email simon.parsons@whitchurchwhippets.co.uk

31st January

Saturday saw a smattering of Whippets in Park Run action, including a rare sighting of Jon Morgan at Telford. I guess he was checking out his new age ratings! Roger, Pam, Linda and Ali were all in action at Shrewsbury.

25th January #1

Michelle Read

Michelle Read writes:

"Today the whitchurch whippets top travelled to Canterbury in kent, where I ran the Canterbury 10 miler in 1hour & 20 mins. Very pleased as beat my dad."

25th January #2

Simon Phillips and Rob Sharam took part in the Mercia Hill trial yesterday. Rob writes:

"Simon Phillips and I took part in the Mercia Hill trial...or more aptly this year 'Trial by Hill' as both Simon and myself nearly failed the challenge. The numbers really shouldn't have made for THAT hard a run - listed as requiring navigational basic skills , with an optimal route of about 9 miles with 875m of climbing and even the weather forecast was on our side, though in hindsight the pre-race email could have been taken more seriously :

"The forecast is for reasonably warm conditions with light to moderate wind but hill fog and thick cloud. Expect to have to navigate carefully!"

And so it was that Simon and I left the Carding Mill Valley Visitors centre in almost springlike conditions with our personal timing clock started and having just been handed an OS explorer scale map with 10 marked checkpoints which would in the words of the organisers "visit several of the many antiquities on the Longmynd, including a tree ring dating from the 1850s, a water supply reservoir completed in 1902 and a medieval enclosure and building platform." But as its self navigation and no route marking first we had to find them all.

We started well enough, and nothing actually went really wrong ( though the moderate wind was nearer hurricane force and the hill fog was thick to solid), but since neither Simon nor I know the Longmynd well, nor are particularly good orienteerers (that's being generous), we were relying more on luck than skill and its fair to say luck didn't accompany us as much as in the previous year. Also running didnt feature as much as expected, with a painfuly high percentage of hands on knees climbs, wing and prayer scrambling through the miles of zero-visibility high moorland, and even the other competitors didn't seem to know better so we always had to push on and 'navigate' our own way.

And so it was that after nearly 3 hours we were physically spent but still stuck on a golf course above Church Stretton searching for the last checkpoint, with a choice of Quit for an easy 5 minutes downhill back to the HQ or backtrack to find and climb another hill. I don't know how we chose the latter but we did and luck was back with us and we got the 10th stamp and were back at the HQ before the cutoff time.

Our final time is beyond embarrassing and into 'adventurous' , we certainly got value for money with our route which was probably about 12 miles, final bit of luck we are spared the embarrassment of accurate GPS recording.

These Mercia Fell Runner events are brilliant, they are very well organised and supported, accessible to all abilities and fair to say are unpredictable to those of us who think we can predict them."

23rd January

James Rainbow writes: "Six Whippets lined up for round 2 of the Short Winter Series at the Shrewsbury Park Run on Saturday morning. Best run of the day was by Liz Rankin who was only 7 seconds out side her predicted time. Both Dean and I got carried away and ran 1 minute and 1 minute 8 seconds quicker than our respective predictions!

Jo and Duncan made their naked debut with great runs and were 19 and 23 seconds off their predictions but unfortunately injury meant that Liz Featherstone couldn’t run as fast as she would have liked.

Overall it is a three horse race - Liz Rankin is leading and is very well placed with a 28 second cushion over Dean, who then has a 30 second margin over me. Predicted times for the final round will need careful thinking about!!"

A number of other Whippets (Roger Smith, Pam Hardy, Linda Viner and Kevin Smith) also ran at Shrewsbury but didn't take part in the Naked Handicap.

Friday night saw Simon Phillips complete round 3 in the LLandegla dash in the Dark series. Simon was 13th. Simon is next in action on Sunday in another serious off-road race!

18th January

Another Cross Country weekend, with race 4 of the North Wales XC league at Baschurch. Our teams were slightly depleted, but still did better than those teams that never showed up at all! It was a new venue that Dean has described as a proper cross country course, so that will be hills and mud, then! Furthermore, it was a complete shock to see the official results already posted this morning!

Our runners finished in these positions:

54 Mimi Owen
76 Liz Featherstone

33 Rob Sharam
58 Dean Richards
66 Simon Phillips
118 James Rainbow

Both teams lie in 7th position in the 2nd division in the league. The final fixture is on the 6th February at Oswestry.

Elsewhere it was good to see Adrian Hayward back in action on Sunday at the Four Villages Half Marathon. Saturday, saw Gerorgia Butler do the Worsley Woods Park Run, while Roger Smith, Pam Hardy and Linda Viner ran at Shrewsbury.

13th January

Results for the County Championships have now been posted on the results page. Sadly, it looks like we failed to make the podium in any category!

The eagle-eyed among you may spot two names you don't recognise - Ian and Jo Grandfield have been running with us since the summer but were racing for Market Drayton RC in the county championships.

One name missing from the results is that of Adam Richards. Adam sadly had to pull out midway through the race with a bad ankle. It was great to see 12 members running!

11th January

The county XC Championship at Attingham Park on Saturday saw our largest ever entry with teams in both the men's and women's races. I'm still waiting for results to appear but I'm hoping that we did well in the veteran (master) categories. The weather was relatively kind to the women but it tipped down for the men! Dean writes:

"The course was flat but felt tough and each lap seemed very long. The rain made each lap tougher and tougher."

Elsewhere, Roger, Pam, Linda and Ali were in action in the Shrewsbury Park Run.

Heads up - we have been granted two free places in the Shrewsbury Half on the 19th June.

If you are thinking of entering the race, please email info@whitchurchwhippets.co.uk before the end of January to let me know. We will draw the lucky winners at the next committee meeting. You will need to use the code you get to enter the race for free!

6th January

If you are desperate to do a Marathon in April and missed London, we have a guaranteed club place available in the Brighton Marathon on 17th April. Normal places are sold out. Can't get any sense of price from the Race website - but looks like around £65. If for some strange reason you are interested please respond before 15th January - cut off date. First come first served.

4th January 2016

Happy New Year and back to real life, folks!

I could only find Park Run results for the last week. Let me know if you did race elsewhere. Respect for Ali, Pam and Linda who did Park Runs on both the 1st and 2nd January!

28th December

Just a quick round up of happenings over the last few days. Christmas Eve saw just Simon Phlillips and myself running which was shame as it turned out to be a nice dry night.

The Boxing Day run saw a rare, but welcome, appearance from Mark Gregory. Accompanying Mark, were Simon Phillips, Dean Richards, Adam Richards, Christine Henderson and myself. Drinks afterwards were at Last Orders.

Boxing day also saw Roger Smith, Pam Hardy, Katie Webster, Linda Viner and Keith Cotton in Park Runs at Shrewsbury and Delamere.

On Sunday, Liz Rankin did the Wheaton Aston 10k.

24th December

Merry Christmas, Whippets! Hopefully see a few of you tonight, otherwise see you in the near future.

21st December

Saturday saw the first race in the Winter "Naked" Handicap series at the Shrewsbury Park Run.

Organiser James Rainbow writes:

"Five Whippets took part in Round 1 of the inaugural running of the Naked handicap Series at the Shrewsbury Park Run. There was a combination of tactics, ranging from flat out to more tempo pace and luckily the rain held off for the actual race. Unfortunately bonus seconds were not available for fancy dress – sorry Liz!! Run of the morning was by Dean who was only 12 seconds off his predicted time – well done. However, it remains close between the 5 and all to play for in round 2."

Pam Hardy and Roger Smith also ran at Shrewsbury but did not take part in the handicap.

The next race in the series is scheduled for 23rd January

More on the series here

14th December

Friday night saw 24 whippets attend the Club Xmas Curry at the Blue Water restaurant. This was the best turn out for a few years and was well enjoyed.

Friday also saw Simon Phillips and Andrew Corbett take part in the 2nd Llandegla Dash in the Dark. Simon was 11th, while Andrew in 17th position was the first over 50.

The main racing event of the weekend was the Telford 10k which saw Roger Smith first home in a new PB for the men with Mimi Owen heading our ladies. It was also good to see Pam Hardy back in shape and setting a PB. They were accompanied by Linda Viner, Katie Webster, Ali Dolphin and Dean Richards (on pacing duty).

The mud larks were on duty at Mortimer Forest. Regulars Simon Phillips and Rob Sharam were joined by Duncan Meredith and Adam Richards. Simon says its was even more slippery than usual, this didn't deter Adam from giving his clean trail shoes a good run out.

Muddy Shoes
Mortimer Forest Shoes

Fi Challinor was the only Whippet in Park Run action this weekend, running at Ellesmere Port. Fi was home in 17th place but points out that there were only 28 runners - I think she should have kept quiet about that bit!

7th December

Floods put paid to the planned Naked Handicap at Shrewsbury, while gales stopped the Delamere Park run going ahead. Ali Dolphin, however, ventured over to Telford for what must have been quite a blowy 5k! The first Naked Handicap will now take place at the Shrewsbury Park Run on the 19th December.

Sunday, saw Jon Morgan, Mimi Owen, Marcus Somerfield and Claire Trump run the Weston Park 10k. Mimi was 2nd in the F41 category out of 44 runners in that category (I'm not sure what F41 means - but it's different to the F40 category!). Mimi writes:

"Lovely dry run through the park, quite windy, one fair climb and some offroad parts so pb's difficult to achieve."

I know that Sue and Ed Vine did the Tatton Yule Yomp 10k on Sunday - but no results have yet emerged.

3rd December

The County XC Championships will be on the 9th January at Attingham Park. It makes a great change from Lilleshall! Men run 10k, Women 6k. If you'd like to be entered please let me know. If you don't - you won't be entered as it costs the club money to enter people, and we won't enter members just on the off chance they might fancy a run. To be eligible to run you must either have been born in Shropshire, been resident for more than 9 continuous months or a member of the Armed Services based in Shropshire.

2nd December

Following a few queries, I've added a page about Age Grading. As well as explaining how it works it shows you how to calculate the performance needed to achieve a given age %. This is invaluable if you are looking to attain a Club Standard. Enjoy!

1st December

A reminder that the Shrewsbury Park Run this Saturday is the first race in the Winter Handicap Series. If you're running, James Rainbow needs your time prediction before the race! See him at the club this Thursday or at the start.

29th November

Another wet and windy weekend to make running interesting! I was out and about before breakfast this morning to get 9 miles in before the gales. Anyway, the highlight of the weekend was the North Wales XC league on Saturday at Mold. Rachael writes:

"Mud glorious mud! Today's cross country fixture was at Mold Alun School. A new course for us all which the women's team seemed to enjoy but was probably less fun for the men's team as the course was looking particularly churned up when we finished! Great effort from both teams in wet and windy conditions. Those who turned out for the women today were Libby Duddleston, Laura Turner, Liz Featherstone and Rachael Foster and for the men were Simon Phillips, Robert Sharam, James Rainbow and Kevin Smith."

The placings were as follows:

36 Libby Dudleston
65 Rachael Foster
88 Laura Turner
95 Liz Featherstone

53 Rob Sharam
63 Kevin Smith
96 Simon Phillips
160 James Rainbow

The XC marked the end of a very busy racing week for Simon Phillips as it was his third race in 7 days! On Friday, Simon took part in the first of this year's Llandegla Dash in the Dark race. He was joined in that particular madness by Andrew Corebett, Keith Cotton and Mandy Lewis.

Simon writes:
"My legs don't feel nearly as bad as I thought they would today, but I'm certainly going to enjoy my day off. The amount of mud I'm washing out from the clothes used in the last week is ridiculous."

23rd November

Okay - was it organised to cause me loads more work, how come six Whippets managed to run in six different Park Runs on Saturday! Anyway, Whippets were in action all over the place, check out the results page to find out where. It was good to see Jo Evans make her Park Run debut at Shrewsbury.

Sunday saw seven Whippets run in the Conwy Half Marathon. Gareth Dodd was first home in 25th place. There was an age record for Mimi Owen in her first Half Marathon and pbs for Graeme Alexander and Marcus Somerfield.

Also on Sunday, Simon Phillips and Rob Sharam took part in the Little Stretton to Stiperstones Time Trial. The pair were 2nd in the Male Pair category, finishing the team trial in 1:21:03. This is how the organiser described conditions:

Weather:Fine and cold; some damp, some sun, some mist.
Ground: Generally good, some soft/muddy

19th November

The club Christmas Curry will be on the 11th December at a venue to be decided.

16th November

Photos from the Birthday Bash are now up on Picasa. Picasa Photo Link

16th November

Yesterday, saw Pam Hardy and Liz Rankin take part in the first ever Beckbury Trail race at Beckbury. The girls report that the 5.6 mile race was pretty tough but very enjoyable. A race to consider adding to your 2016 race calendar.

Liz Rankin
Liz Rankin

15h November

I don't know if it was the change of venue or the awarding of club standards - but Friday's Birthday Bash was probably the best ever attended in our history with more than 65 people attending! We'll find out later what people made of the buffet, but there was certainly food to spare. In any event, a good time wash had by nearly all, but of course only one person could win the club place in the London Marathon. The lucky winner on Friday was Fiona Challinor.

Adam's statistical pb based quiz saw a variety of strategies take place - from outright asking individuals named in the quiz, to scouring the club website. I am of course delighted that the website in now easier to use on phones - but we may have to be careful about the nature of future quizes! The raffle was another great success, with more than £150 being raised. A big thank you to all those who donated prizes, helped with the tickets or purchased a strip or two.

It was good to be able to hand out many of the club Standard mugs and certificates, but we still have many unclaimed awards. Details on how to get your mug and certficate will be published later. But it will be your responsibility to collect - we won't chase you!

Photos from the night will appear in due course.

Our award winners were:

Club Championships

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

1st: Kevin Smith
2nd: Jon Morgan
3rd: Gareth Dodd

Don Wilbraham Handicap
1st: Simon Parsons
2nd: Phil Townsend
3rd: Matt Lucas

Most improved Male Runner
Phil Townsend

Most Improved Female Runner
Jo Evans

Most Improved Beginner - Rowland Trophy
Michelle Norton

Special Achievement Award
Liz Featherstone. A well deserved award for going above and beyond in helping Christine Henderson after her bad fall needed a hospital visit lasting into the early hours.

9th November

New for this year: Winter "Naked Racing" Handicap. A three race, self handicap series using Shrewsbury Park runs. Check it out here: WINTER NAKED RACING SERIES

8th November

All of the action seems to have happened on Saturday this weekend. There were Whippets in action at the Mad Jack's 5 in Attingham Park and at Arley Hall - posh venues, then! Best run of the day came from Phil Townsend, who knocked nearly two minutes off his previous best, well done, Phillip.

Philip was joined At Arley Hall by Fiona Challinor. Meanwhile, Roger Smith, Duncan Meredith, James Rainbow, Pam Hardy, Linda Viner and Ali Dolphin enjoyed the annual 5 mile run and paddle at Attingham Park.

2nd November

Too tired after tweaking web pages all day to write anything much! A quiet racing weekends with just a few Park Run results from Saturday. On Sunday, Ali Dolphin ventured into the deep south to run in the Bridgnorth 10k.

"Standards" page now revamped with final awards listing for this year. Please let me know asap if you believe your award to be wrong!

1st November

The sharp eyed among you may have noticed that this page looks different to the last time you viewed it. Well, it's been quite a few years since the website was last given a makeover - but one is now underway. The new style should also be more usable on a phone or tablet.

I'll be changing just a page or two at a time and, with more than thirty pages to convert, this process will take many weeks. There may be a few teething problems, so please let me know if you come across a problem. I'm already aware that the slideshow may be misbehaving when the page first loads. In fact, it looks like iPads, and, I guess, other ios devices may not like the slideshow. I'll be working on it this coming week.

26th October

Saturday saw Graeme Alexander and Matt Lucas complete the tough Snowdonia Marathon. Whippets were also in Park Run action in Coventry (Phil Townsend), Delamere (Andrew Corbett), Telford (Katie Webster) and Shrewsbury (Pam Hardy, Linda Viner, Ali Dolphin and Michelle Purcell). It was Michelle's first Park Run - gaining her not only a new PB but also a Club Standard for the year!

21st October

The "Dogs" are back off tour and enjoying the change in temperature and greyer skies! Liz Rankin writes: "Race day dawned with a cloudless blue sky, perfect holiday weather but not so good if you are racing along a virtually shadeless coastal route. Just over 9500 runners from 24 countries set off at 9am for the full and half marathoners followed by the 10km 20 minutes later. From a personal point of view I ran a great 4km, the other 4 whippets were somewhere ahead of me but I was going well and according to plan, then I hit the hill, just about at the point when Dean, John and Simon were flying down it in the opposite direction. I dragged myself onwards in the beating sun, at about 8.5km I caught Katie, she has been running well and had come across a British runner suffering from heat exhaustion who was insisting on trying to continue. Using her medical training Katie put the woman in the Tredenlenburg position and tried to persuade her she needed to stop, she was determined to continue and Katie assisted her to do that, I ran on and found medical attention for them. My friend, a paramedic was by the roadside and took over enabling Katie to finish her race. I passed the 10km marker and looked for the finish, and kept running, on and on it seemed until finally there was the finish line, at 10.5km, it was a quarter marathon distance not 10km! Never mind there was the consultation of a medal plus free beer and donuts, well there would have been except John Dillon got there first!

We didn't manage many pictures but this is probably the best one, I think Dean was trying the free beer somewhere in the shade when it was being taken!

Dogs on Tour 2015

20th October

Just added a few photos from the Farndon 10k courtesy of Philip Townsend.

19th October

A very busy weekend of racing with members competing at home and abroad. From Farndo to Toronto, Amsterdam and Palma. Some people will do just about anything to get out of doing XC (I've still got a sick note from my mum)!

Saturday morning saw Pam Hardy, Roger Smith, Ali Dolphin and Linda Viner in Park Run action at Shrewsbury.

Over at Llandudno in the afternoon we fielded both men's and women's teams in the North Wales XC league - results not yet available. It was great to turn out two teams given that a number of regulars were abroad. Our racing teams comprised: Rachael Foster, Libby Dudleston, Laura Turner and Gareth Dodd, Rob Sharam, Matt Lucas, Jon Morgan and James Rainbow. The next fixture is at Mold on the 28th November.

The Farndon 10k on Sunday saw half a dozen whippets racing with PBs for both Marcus Somerfield and Mimi Owen. Mimi was 1st V55, setting a new Club Age Record in the process. Also running at Farndon were Adam Richards, Alison Birch, Duncan Meredith and Phil Townsend.

Overseas, Fi Challinor braved freezing weather to set a new Marathon PB and Club Age Record of 4:11:43. Slightly closer to home, Andrew Corbett and Keith Cotton did the Amsterdam Marathon with Keith setting a new PB.

The "Whippets on Tour" weren't so lucky, they raced in an over length 10k. Despite that, John Dillon was 2nd M55 and can now concentrate on tanning those fine legs of his! The unlucky tour group consisted of: Dean Richards, Simon Phillips, John Dillon, Katie Webster and Liz Rankin. Still, it looked like the fine weather and ice creams might have helped dull their disappointment with the race!

14th October

I've updated the Standards Table for performances up to 12th October. Only a few changes. Remember, you only have until the end of this month to improve on your currently shown standard.

12th October.

Just caught up with Saturday's Park Run results. Ali Dolphin writes:

"Two excerpts from Shrewsbury parkrun news from Saturday:-
Libby DUDLESTON (VW35-39) of Whitchurch Whippets, was second female(43rd overall) over the line in 20:58 John Liam DILLON (VM55-59) was graded 82.96% for the time 19:10 (14th overall)"

Libby's time was another Age Record, well done both!

11th October

The final Magic Mile of the season saw Dean Richards(5:29) pace John Dillon to an excellent 5:31.

9th October

After the first XC fixture at Bangor our men are in 5th place out of 16 teams in Division 2. The next fixture at Llandudno on the 17th is going to be a challenge with several regular runners in Palma. If you can run, even if you've never run cross country before, please help the club and turn out on the 17th. The more the merrier! Unfortunately, due to the vertigo I'm still suffering from, I've got a sick note from my mum.

8th October

This year's Birthday Bash on the 13th November will see many awards given out as we make presentations for Club Standards, Championships, Handicaps and more! With nearly everyone in the club receiving an award it's going to be a night not to miss!

Among known winners of Championships ets, we have some special improvement awards for which the nominations are as follows:

Most improved beginner
Georgia Butler
Helen Wood
Michelle Norton
Chrissie Rawliss

Most improved male
Matt Lucas
Philip Townsend
Simon Parsons

Most improved female
Elizabeth Featherstone
Mimi Owen
Jo Evans
Libby Dudleston

Just in case you were wondering, the club awards committee is responsible for all nominations and have had access to all the performance data I have collected over the year!

4th October

Libby Dudleston (3:36) and Graeme Alexander (3:26) completed the Chester Marathon while Jo Evans ran the Chester Metric Marathon (26.2 Km) in 2:10. All three set Pbs, Libby's time was a new club age record, so well done all of you!

Also setting a pb was Susan Vine in the Winsford 10k while Ed Vine set a season's best. Congratulations, both. Ed writes:

"Sue's knee held out, and although I was effected by asthma slightly it was a good day and the multi terrain was fun. Well organised and great support from marshals and locals."

3rd October

The xc season kicked off with the first fixture at Bangor. Unfortunately, circumstances meant we were unable to field a ladies team this time. The men finished as follows:

59 Dean Richards
61 Rob Sharam
71 Kevin Smith
81 Matt Lucas
86 Simon Phillips

Team results will be posted when available. The next fixture is on 17th October at Llandudno.

Saturday also saw people at action at Park Runs in Woodbank (wherever that is), Telford and Shrewsbury.

Older news stories have been moved to the News Archive


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