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 Race Reports 2009


As always - please email your race results, any thoughts, philosophy, musings etc, for the events you take part in to: Contributing anecdotes to this news page are printed in green - just in case you hadn't worked that out !

Mow-Cop to Cloud End Christmas Run

Eighteen brave souls made it to the Mow-cop castle car park to endure a baptism by sleet, ice, slush, water and what appeared to be a former paddy field. The good turn out this year was bolstered by friends from Trentham RC and Bourne Sports breakfast run who decided it might be a good idea to join us and get 'at one' with the local countryside. They might have had second thoughts in the first mile as a 40mph westerly swept sleet from a remote Snowdonian mountain lake to a pub somewhere in Derbyshire Peaks. Everyone running along the 1000ft mow-cop ridge gained a smarting red left cheek. Luckily the woods along Congleton edge provided a little shelter from the elements and the weather began to warm up to merely freezing. The descent to the Biddulph Valley Railway proved trickier than in previous years with a combination of snow, mud and water making the 50ft vertical drop on the left of one part of the path all the more interesting. The old railway line itself would have been more useful to the Scottish curling team than to Nike clad runners.  As usual Cheshire proved to be a degree warmer than North Staffordshire ( it's something to do with the council ) until the calf busting Cloud End climb began to bite. Unfortunately the normal panoramic vista at the summit of The Cloud was blocked by a fog James Herbert would have been proud of. The only thing to see was Craig's new hi-viz woolly hat which acted like a guide beacon to all those following. Unusually the runners made it to the summit just before the walkers - probably due to the walkers not hiring a husky drawn sledge-team to get them along railway tracks. Despite the conditions everyone enjoyed the run and finished safely - except for [ walker] Ron who said it was the 'worst day of my life'. The hyperfit Trentham guys were getting a bit cold at the summit and decided to run back to Mow-Cop to just to warm themselves up. Respect.   


A Club Constitution

Please have a look at this club constitution.  This constitution will now be voted on at the AGM on 13.1.09.  

News from the Charity Stall ~ 5th Dec 2009

Biddulph Running Club once again raised funds for the two charities adopted this year. On the 5th December
£130 was raised which will go to Biddulph in Bloom and  the Stroke Association. Many thanks to all those who contributed to the success in their many ways. 

~ Helen

Bloomin' great! Helen & Lynda doin' it for charity.

Race Launch Success....

Can I say a big thank you to all those who helped out at the official launch of the race at the Biddulph Christmas light switch on [sat 28/11] It was a fantastic success and exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. As you know I didn’t expect anyone to join up and rashly promised to buy all those there a drink if we got one. Well we got 18 including a gentleman of 67, the manager of Wetherspoons and the Chief Fire Officer. Luckily for my bank balance there was only 3 of us left by the time we closed. But to all those who were there but left before the end, the offer still stands.[ I was there in spirit John - SJ]

~ John Lovatt                                                                                         


Sarah Lamburn wins London place!

The draw for the club place in the 2010 Virgin London Marathon  was held on the last Thursday of November during the monthly evening gathering of club members at Bradley Green PH (Wetherspoons). Chairman John Lovatt  was master of ceremonies and pulled Sarah's name from the hat.

Good Luck to Sarah in her forthcoming endeavours!

Llandudno & Conwy half marathon, November 8th 2009

A 13th century castle, limestone headlands and views across Snowdonia greeted our only reps, Tracy and Kevin, in this inaugural North Wales race. If Tracy's comments are anything to go by it seems like they enjoyed it.....

A few thoughts on the race itself: bright and cool at the start, which went from in front of the castle at Conwy and followed the estuary to the base of the [Great] Orme. All the runners were afforded the magnificent vista of the coast as the race snaked round the toll road, but with a tough climb for 2 miles, the downhill was welcome and the route rejoined its original path - sand dunes included. Sunshine, no traffic, and the sound of waves crashing all added up to a great race. definitely one for the calendar next year! 



More from this year's GNR.....

A big thanks to everyone who sponsored me for the Great North Run this year.  I sent a cheque for £103 to

 Yorkshire cancer research which added to the £340 pounds raised by my brother, Kerry, who ran the race for the same charity.


Congleton Quarter and Half Marathon, October 2009

A small group of Biddulph club runners took on the half and quarter marathon course organised by the Lions and Congleton Harriers. The course meanders around the not-so-flat country lanes to the west of the town. Dawn Addison made a  gallant attempt to set a PB and later sent in this report ...

Well it was a beautiful start to the day, cold but clear with 100's of runners all eager to go, we were all bunched together, the half marathoners, 10k and fun runners so you had no idea who was doing what until the group split approx. 3 miles in.

I personally was having the best race of my life, at 3 miles I hit 27 mins, at 5 miles I was at 46 mins....definitely on for a PB then I hit the dreaded "sting in the tail" and boy they weren't kidding! that's where I lost it and never recovered coming in a terrible 1:01, of course I'm gutted but hey I can only improve from here!

Cheered in Jan, Esther & Niamh who all had fantastic results in the half marathon.

~ Dawn


Don't be too gutted Dawn - isn't a quarter marathon a bit longer than a 10k? -sj

More Congleton half  musings from Esther.....

Congleton Half - a super course, lovely countryside, well organised & met some great runners. I would even go as far to say that I had fun in the process.  Thanks to those that came to cheer us on, though I am not sure about the photo Bryan!

Excellent results all round, and a lovely shiny medal to welcome us in.  I will definitely be entering next year & the 'sting in the tail'? nothing compared to Christine's choice of course on a club night!

~ Est


A little news from the Yorkshire Dales

September 11,12,13 saw eleven members of the Club travel to the Confluence Centre at Kilnsey for the annual

 weekend in the Yorkshire Dales.

Numbers were down this year due to late cry-offs because of illness and injury, however this did not detract from the usual hilarity and a very enjoyable few days.

The customary walk on the Saturday was lead by Keith and Lynda and commenced from Grassington via the hamlets of Linton and Thorpe and pleasant fields and meadows to the picturesque village of Burnsall. A long and leisurely picnic was taken in the sunshine on the village green by the River Wharfe before returning along the riverside path to the single file suspension bridge!!. (was it a bit like an Indiana Jones movie, Keith?- sj)_ Not a wind-up as some members thought, the reality was soon evident, but everyone got across safely and without incident to later berate the leaders.

As usual, evening meals and liquid refreshment were taken at the Tennents Arms, only a 10minute stroll away.

Sunday saw the members make their various ways home after another very enjoyable weekend in the Dales.

~Lynda & Keith

The accomodation ...... Dales  style








All present and correct (pub in background !?)







Biddulph Runners spotted North, South, East and West (well, perhaps not South) 

It’s proved a busy few weeks as Biddulph running club members competed in local races and four half marathon events.

Three members took part in the Anglesey half marathon: Kevin Shufflebottom had his best ever place finish coming  25th overall in a time of 1.39.08 on what proved to be a very undulating course. Kevs's wife Tracy came home in 2.06.56 and former chairman, Alan Roberts, added a medal to his already considerable collection by breaking the tape at 2.29.52.  On the same weekend five members made the 200 mile trip to the 2009 BUPA Great North Run. The biggest half marathon in the world commences from Newcastle-on-Tyne and finishes close to the sandy beaches of South Shields. A record 54000 entrants (and what seemed like the same in roadside spectators) enjoyed glorious Indian summer conditions - many running to not only to try to better their personal best but also to raise funds for numerous charities.  BBC TV coverage of the GNR is comprehensive but unfortunately (or fortunately!) BRC vests evaded being caught on camera and all missed getting a ‘high five’ from the event starter: rock musician and local hero, Sting. Sara Cookson had the result of her life - knocking nearly five minutes off her previous best finishing in 1.57.05. After the race Sara said, “It was a great weekend, the weather was wonderful and the crowds get better and better each year. I was ecstatic to go under two hours for the first time, I still can’t really believe it!”.  Nigel Jones, competing in his first half marathon and his first race since the London marathon, comfortably achieved 1.59.52 whilst Christine Andrew narrowly missed ducking under the psychologically important two hour mark but still bagged a PB at 2.00.14.  Lucinda Knight and Gill Hardie finished for Biddulph in 2.16.27 and 2.28.46 respectively.  Earlier in the month members competed in the Gawsworth 10k and the Leek Half marathon.  Nicola Stanyer completed in the hilly Leek course in 1.58.53 gaining a creditable 7th in her category.  The now well established 10k course, at the picturesque Cheshire village of Gawsworth, saw Esther Brunsdon finish in 56.02 closely followed by Christine Andrew at 57.46 and Dawn Addison, in her first 10k,  posting a  respectable 1.02.19. By all accounts the actual 10k mark appears some yards before the official finish, Dawn was most put out to find she passed the 10k post in under the hour only to find the official result a couple of minutes slower. It happens ...

On the final weekend of September Esther Brunsdon and Nicola Stanyer were the club's representatives at the Macclesfield half. Nicola* posted yet another sub 2 hour while Esther commented, "It was a toughy, can't say I had fun and 2.02 says it all! ".

*Note: The report sent to the Biddulph Chronicle missed off Nicola's result - apologies - I'm not always aware of who is running what race - see the plea at top of page. 



Nine Biddulph Vests tackle a sweltering Potters' Arf 14 June

This year's Potters' Arf marathon was once again blessed with fine weather and to the delight of the

 race organisers the entry hit its limit of 2000.

While the spectators basked in the summer sunshine most competitors were hoping for cooler conditions and many succumbed to a combination of a tough course and the heat. Out of the  record entry only 1475 crossed the finish line - although there is some suspicion that many didn't make it to the start line or forgot to pick up their timing chips.  With typical grit Biddulph Club members toughed it out and all finished successfully - with new member Robbie Brown slicing five minutes off his previous best - quite an achievement given the conditions.  Individual times are on the Results page. After the race Pete Dutton said, "I hadn't trained properly for this one and found it much tougher than the Stafford half, I was  OK with most of the hills except for the one on Milton Road which really took it out of the legs.  Overall I enjoyed the race but the organisation for car parking and at the post finish area could have been a bit better."


Members Sarah Lamburn, Linda Moss, Helen Roberts and Ken Bedson walked the 13.1 mile course collecting donations on behalf of the Stroke Association and, thanks to the kind generosity of supporters along the route, raised £220 for the charity.  

Sarah, Helen, Ken and Linda donating the cheque to the Stroke Association


Edinburgh Marathon

On a surprisingly warm Scottish morning at the end of May Nicola Stanyer successfully completed her

 2nd Edinburgh Marathon passing the finish post in 4.25.33. This year’s event attracted a record entry of 13000 marathon runners and 4000 team relay runners. After the race Nicola said, "I had to back off - the conditions were far too warm to push for my target of a sub-four hour - I just had to jog easy for the second half and it wasn't too good for morale at the 16 mile point being able to see runners on the course who were over 4 miles ahead!".



Cindy's thoughts on the Manchester 10k

It was a very early start and cold but the atmosphere in the city centre was brilliant.

Russell Watson sang to us and as we passed the starting line we were cheered on by Victoria Pendleton and Christine Ohuragu
( ok - alternative spellings are available - SJ )

As we got going the weather improved and felt very warm and as our wave moved onto the dual carriageway we were treated to the sight of Heile Gebreselase racing to his finish. It is an honour to have run in the same race as such a great runner amongst other fab runners who were making it look all too easy.

All in all a brill day - and we just made it back to the car before it started pouring with rain!



Müller 10k :Big turn-out for Yoghurt Run

A total of 1248 finished the Müller 10k road race held on 10 May at Market Drayton. First man home

 was Chris Davies of Telford AC in 32.14 closely followed by Ben Gamble of Stone MM. First lady was  Alison Lavender of Oswestry Olympians in 37.43. The fair weather of the previous week held - and even the strong winds seemed to have calmed down for the race. The event was organized by Müller Running Club and sponsored by Müller Yogurt - the customary finisher's goody bag came with a tray of firm's tasty products. At the finish area were stands from various sport suppliers, farmer's market stalls, a full sound stage where a guitar/keyboard duo knocked out some good tunes and, not least, a bouncy castle.  Steve Jones and Pete Dutton were BRC's only reps at the race.

Steve's comments:

The first time I've done this race - in fact my first 10k road race ever. We were taken en mass from the mustering field to the start area, I didn't know exactly where the start line was and assumed it was on the brow of a humped backed canal bridge.The road was narrow and, once in position, far too packed to move forward with any ease.  I wasn't too far from the brow of the bridge when the start claxon sounded but as we reached the road high point I was slightly miffed to see about 200 or more yards of runner ' traffic' in front! Spent the next mile or so picking through the crowd. In the last couple of miles I saw I was catching a little 'rival' (not mentioning names) but in the end didn't quite manage to close the gap.  I forgot to stop my own watch until going through the finish funnel but was still well under 44mins - 20 odd seconds better than the official race time. Still, I've learned a  lesson and it leaves room to do a good PB next time! All in all a very enjoyable event.



                        A Marathon experience for Nigel                    


2007 race results

It would be good to have a 2007 results sheet on the website - so dig out those old memoirs and let me know.I need Date, Event and Time. If you can point to an official results sheet i'll link it in. If there is a particular aspect of the race  e.g. 1st competitive race or PB  etc,  please let me know: email or


Good Results for Half Marathon Rookies  : photo

Eight members of Biddulph Running Club donned their club vests and competed in the Wilmslow Half Marathon (Sun 29.3.2009). This year the event incorporated the England half marathon championships attracting some of the nation’s finest athletes to the field of nearly 4000 competitors. After the previous day’s inclement weather conditions, the Wilmslow event was blessed with sunshine and cool, light winds.  Club secretary, Christine Andrew, put the Biddulph team through an unorthodox warm-up routine after she skillfully found the softest part of the parking field and promptly got her car stuck.  All team hands were required to manhandle the vehicle to firmer terrain (haven't I seen this one in RW a couple of months ago? SJ).  Four of the eight Biddulph competitors were running their first half marathon and put in some impressive performances. Finishing times are as follows: Kevin Shufflebottom, 1.34.03;  Steve Jones, 1.36.21  (1st HM); Esther Brunsdon, 1.51.02 (1st HM); Tracy Shufflebottom, 1.58.15;  Naimh Reilly, 2.00.08 ( 1st HM);  Christine Andrew, 2.01.21 ( 1st HM); Cindy Knight, 2.03.37 (personal best); Ladies veteran, Pat Bolton had a great result claiming 3rd place in the L65+ category finishing in 2.29.54. After the race Esther said, “I really wanted to finish this event with a good time but have suffered recently with a number of irritating niggles - I was so pleased and relieved at the finish I just had to sit down for a minute and have a little weep!” 



Something not found in Biddulph Grange Lake (hopefully): by John Lovatt

As some of you know I've recently been visiting our old colonies to see how they are getting on without us. I tried to do as much running as I could but occasionally I would come across a hazard that I normally don't come across when running around Biddulph. For instance when in Port Douglas in northern Queensland I did a early morning run along  their world famous Four Mile Beach named by Captain Cook. I came to the end feeling pretty good when I suddenly came across this sign. Needless to say my inward journey was much faster than my outward one.



                        4 mile beach, Queensland, Australia




John's running ability suddenly  improves ......








'Cloud 9' .

Earlier in March members competed in the ‘Cloud 9’ - a notorious race organized annually by Congleton Harriers. It starts from the former Congleton Warf and incorporates a tough climb to the 1125ft Bosley Cloud summit followed by a fast decent before leveling out to finish back in Congleton. Running legend and former marathon world record holder, Ron Hill now 71, was also competing and still showing many younger athletes the way to go.

Finishing times were as follows: Tracy Shufflebottom, 1.33.16; Christine Andrew, 1.35.38; Niamh Reilly, 1.38.22.  After the race Tracy commented that “This event is described as challenging and scenic but I find it really tough- if not tougher - than a half marathon! It was great to have a chat with Ron Hill though.”



Apedale 8k Orienteering Run

Three  members of the club took part in the Apedale Country Park orienteering run on the 1st March.  The event, organized by part time ranger Gary Heppleston, was held to raise funds for a new bird hide. According to Gary the course was  designed "more for runners than orienteering experts." The task was to find 16 letter marked wooden posts located around the country park and record their individual code numbers. Each competitor was given an orienteering style map with the location of the posts accurately marked.  Competitors were sent off at one minute intervals - in alternate clockwise and anti-clockwise directions - ensuring at least a two minute separation. Time penalties would be issued for unrecorded or inaccurate codes.

Steve's report:

I'd never been to this country park before and never done an orienteering race. In normal races I just set my mind on dumb and go for it.  Having to think logically about stuff at the same time as running was a bit of an unknown scary thing.  I started out with some pace - the guy who was about to follow me looked quite useful.  Unfortunately the pace didn't help as I ran clean past the first post and came across other competitors further up the tracks who'd done exactly the same. I knew my chances were effectively blown as the 'useful' runner came bounding past - looking now a lot more than just useful. He roughly thumbed us direction of the first post and was gone.  Not before time I found the first post and was away! I thought I was running fairly well (for me anyway) but it was so easy to get into 'just running' mindset and miss a post - and have to double back, or take the 1st left when it should have been the 2nd. 

After a few miles I was still feeling good and going well but somehow still failing to see Wendy - a girl who started 2 minutes ahead - who must obviously be a dab hand at this map reading game and making no errors.  Pressing on, I somehow found every post - including those cunningly hidden behind a tree stump or in dense foliage. I ended up  2nd overall - a net 4 minutes behind Mr U - feeling like I'd covered 10k rather than the stated 8. At the finish Wendy was found in the cafe, sipping a hot coffee, having bagged the first few posts then getting completely disorientated ( I nearly headed that way myself after my 1st post disaster). For anyone who thinks running events are about mindlessly getting from A to B in the fastest time possible I can thoroughly recommend they try a race like this one- for me it went N, C, D, O, P, Q ............X, Z, W, what a laugh!.  It turned out Mr Useful got the wrong post 1 and incurred a penalty....... if only i'd known ........"

Cindy's report:

Sara and me ran this together - Sara's got a geography degree so I figured that might come in handy. We found the whole event really enjoyable - there wasn't anyone we saw who didn't have a smile on their face. The mid-morning light drizzle  stopped and the sun came out. Lovely weather, great off-road running tracks. It was doubly sweet when Sara and myself managed to win the ladies competition! It's a shame there weren't all that many taking part - clashing as it did with the Cheadle 5 and Cloud 9, overall i'd say this was more fun than either of those - but of course I'm biased by the 'win' :-)"

Gary H is planning on organizing another similar event next year.


Knype Pool Charity Race raised £600 for Mayor's Charities

Icy underfoot conditions forced a last minute change to the  main race course of the  Knypersley Pool

 Charity Run held  8 February  reducing the original 5 mile off road race to just under 4. Other than the abnormally heavy frost, the cool, dry weather conditions were virtually ideal attracting nearly 100 runners.


First  boy home in the fun run was Tom Brookes in a time of 6 minutes 38 seconds, first girl back was Melissa Harding in 7:26.  The main race saw a close battle between Ryan Holroyd and Gareth Briggs both of Staffs Moorlands AC. Holroyd finished strongly in 22 minutes 30 seconds just edging out Briggs 2 seconds behind.  Third place was taken by Ryan Proctor of Trentham RC in 24:16. After picking up his first senior win Holroyd, 17, said, “ I really enjoyed this course and it was fantastic to get my first win against the seniors.” 

Jo Donnelly, of Trentham RC, also had her maiden win in the women’s race crossing the line at 26 minutes 51 seconds, closely followed by club mate Sarah Johnson at 26:55.  Third place went to Hayley Matthews in 30:05.  All finishers were awarded with a commemorative mug - which came in very handy for the free hot soup on offer at the finish post.  Jo said she was “over the moon” at taking her first ever race win in serious competition having just held off the in-form Johnson. 

The run  was organized by Biddulph Running Club in aid of Biddulph Mayor’s Charities and has raised £600 for Cancer Research UK and the Stroke Association.  The  Mayor, Mr.Wayne Rogers, would like to thank all the competitors for taking part, the organizers and event supporters (Bourne Sports, Charlton’s Solicitors, Churchill China, Somerfield, Staffordshire County Council, Biddulph Town Council, Biddulph Sports Council, Bryan Dale, Biddulph Running Club).  Full race results can be found on Bryan Dale’s website   It is planned to make the event an annual fixture on the race calendar.

Unfortunately most of the Biddulph club were on race organizing duties. The only Biddulph 'vest' taking part in the race was Andy Lamburn (pictured).  Having had some time away from the running scene Andy is now back in training having been conned - sorry coaxed - by some of his co-workers into competing in this year's Potters 'Arf.  Andy crossed the finish line in 34.32.


           Andy Lamburn (148) at Knypersley Pool, Feb 2009



Alsager 5.

The Alsager 5 is a major event on the race calendar attracting over 1000 athletes from as far a field

 as Bristol and Yorkshire.  Weather conditions were extremely cool as runners made their way to the start line.  The race was won by Belgrave Harrier, Phil Wicks, in a very impressive 23 minutes 25 seconds.  Biddulph results are as follows: Steve Jones 36:06, Bill Harvey: 39:03, Lucinda Knight: 44:36, George Smith: 44:55, Alan Roberts:  49:15, Pat Bolton: 53:54.  After the race Jones said: “it was quite a scramble at the start with the large number of runners taking part but I managed to keep a consistent pace and was pleased with the time”.


Annual General Meeting

The club recently held its AGM. It marked the end of an era as the three senior officers of the club, Alan Roberts, Helen Roberts and Linda Moss decided to step down from their posts after an incredible 37 years combined service  in their respective roles. New Chairman, John Lovatt, formally gave thanks presenting Helen and Linda with flowers and Alan (pictured below with John) with a bottle of his favourite tipple (try not to drink all that the night before your next race Alan).  With new senior officers officially elected and in place, the club and its members will continue to be affiliated to England Athletics.


    Outgoing chairman, Alan, hands over the reins to John Lovatt, Jan 2009


Helsby Four Villages  Half Marathon

Members Tracy and Kevin Shufflebottom were the first from the club to enter competition this year.  Previous club participants have described the Helsby course, in North Cheshire, as 10 miles climb and 3 miles downhill - although Kevin’s latest experience suggested that the so-called ‘downhill’ was nothing of the sort. Kevin will sort it out later with you Julian!   However, in cool but more or less ideal conditions Kevin finished in a very respectable 1.38.03 and Tracy crossed the line at  1.57.01 despite both not training to distance for this early season event. Well done to both.