Thursday, 27 February 2014

A&T X-country – by Mark Riches

The last race in this year’s cross-country champs is this Saturday (1st March) at Crooklands, Kendal; Sat Nav: LA7 7NH

This is a Mid Lancs race so please wear the same number you wore at Burnley, Hyndburn, Barrow or Blackburn. If you didn’t run at any of these events, Suzanne will let you have a number on Saturday just look out for the A&T flag!

Start times - ladies 2:00 pm & men 2:30 pm

Further details on the website
If you need clarification on anything before Saturday, I can be contacted on

2nd A&T champs race of 2014 - Trotters

Road Captain Wiggins is looking forward to seeing a sea of blue vests again this Sunday at the 2nd race of our road champs calendar.
Hosted by Burnden Road Runners the Trotters 5 promises to be another great trail run and there's a gorgeous bright orange T-shirt for all finishers this year (I hope there's enough this year).

The above link gives more information on the run and a link to the form. You can enter on the day for no additional fee and the start time is 10.00am - see you all there!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Standish Hall Trail Race - Kelly Anne Towns

Well as this was my last outing for A&T I thought I’d better contribute a race report!
Standish Hall Trail Race by Kelly-Anne Towns
Wigan Phoenix were the hosts on Saturday as I, my husband and fellow former A&T member Karen Jones headed up the M6 to Standish to take part in the twice-yearly Standish Hall trail 10k ‘ish’.  As it happens, my Garmin clocked it at exactly 10k.
A pleasant day, coupled with a civilised 2.30pm start time attracted 163 runners to this local race, many wearing club vests but also a few fun-runners.  A couple of girls had clearly underestimated their task, turning up in very clean trainers and trackies, but managing to finish in a respectable time by avoiding the second lap when a marshal went AWOL to deal with an emergency!
The entirely off-road route consists of a figure of eight, two lap course, beginning at the start of a trail about 5 minutes walk from registration (10 minutes if you include the life-threatening adventure of crossing the road in-between).
After a quick race briefing to warn of trip hazards and deep mud, the race starts and you are sent almost immediately up a mild hill, to then turn a corner and be faced with a proper one!  Just as the energy drains, down you go!  Directed through woods and trails, dodging the fore-warned obstacles, you trek further into the woods and then you hit THE MUD.  OK, it was ankle-deep, not knee-deep as I have been proclaiming for the past few days, but thick enough and wet enough and just about long enough to double your body weight (well, add a bit) and sap your energy just in time for the next hill climb.  At the bottom, you turn and off you go again.  This time after the muddy field you make a welcome left turn to head back to the finish rather than going uphill again (thank goodness!).
This is a really friendly low key event, which is unbelievably cheap if you enter both events at the same time (although there is usually a clash with XC in October).  The route is as hard as you make it, I took it easy this time and thoroughly enjoyed it, although in the past I have wondered why on earth I have tried to race it and ended up not finding it so enjoyable!  There are lots of prizes on offer, and the race organiser does try to encourage everyone to stay for the presentation.
I finished in 54.47, about 4 minutes slower than the October edition of the same race.  Partly blamed on mud, partly on fitness and partly on my Saturday afternoon attitude:  If I get six miles in I can have a whole bottle of wine to myself tonight!
So to explain to those who didn’t know: I have decided not to renew my membership with A&T.  I love the club and have met some great people over the past couple of years.  I’ve enjoyed all the events I’ve been to as part of the team, and have appreciated all the support throughout.  My family circumstances and the fact I live a bit further away than I like to travel for training has led me to the decision to join somewhere a bit closer to home.
I will still see everyone at the events and will catch up with a lot of you during the triathlon season I’m sure!
Good luck everyone!

Manchester marathon 6 April 2014 – (another) reminder by Mark Riches

My earlier reminder HERE refers
The organisers tell me that only those listed below have registered so far
  • Terry Gardiner
  • Michael Geohegan
  • Mark Riches
  • Jonathon Hall
  • Louise Simpson
  • Kay Campbell
We have been allocated the same spot as last year 40.0km, 24.8miles; our busy time will be between 11:00 – 15:00 so I only need a couple of people to accompany me to set up the tables etc ‘first thing’ and the rest of you don’t need to get there until later (we could even do 2 shifts i.e. 10:30 – 13:00 and 13:00 – 15:30)
The organisers make a considerable donation to A&T club funds in return for us supplying marshals and this is one of the reasons we were able to reduce subs this year
If you are not on the list above and you can spare a few hours to help your Club, please use the link below select the Drink Station Marshal option & enter code astley2014

Monday, 24 February 2014

A&T Parkrunners update...

Great to see a few more park runners out over the last couple of weeks. A special well done to Garry Baines on a new PB at Worsley Woods.

Good running everyone, keep it up!

n.b. If you're running at Bolton, Worsley or Penny Flash Park Runs your results will be checked but if you go on tour further afield please contact Barbs on FB to let me know your time/date/venue please.

Scott Priestley21.38Worsley Woods01.02.1425-29
Mike Geoghehan23.33Worsley Woods15.02.14V
Tim Campbell19.10Penny Flash01.02.14V
Shaun Moran19.17Penny Flash01.02.14V
Steve Eldridge22.30Penny Flash01.02.14V
Ian Hamilton24.41Penny Flash15.02.14V
Paul Basnett26.09Penny Flash01.02.14V
Jason Revill25.38Penny Flash01.01.14V
Paul Cross21.51Worsley Woods08.02.1430-34
Terry Gardiner23.38Penny Flash18.01.14V
Paul Beardsworth21.05Worsley Woods08.02.1430-34
Christopher Bennett22.37Worsley Woods08.02.1435-39NEW PB
Garry Baines21.56Worsley Woods22.02.14VNEW PB

Carol Baines21.38Worsley Woods22.01.14V
Suzanne Gregory22.09Penny Flash01.02.1435-39
Louise Simpson24.14Penny Flash11.01.14 35-39
Bev Tickle29.11Penny Flash01.01.1435-39
Clare Unsworth31.21Penny Flash01.01.1435-39
Kim O'Neill31.22Penny Flash01.01.14V
Brenda Wane24.34Penny Flash25.01.14V
Barb White26.41Bolton22.02.14V

GNW Half Marathon by Gemma Lysycia

Here's a little write up for the website.

Wet, windy and wild would certainly sum up the Great North West Half Marathon.

Held in Blackpool (starting point near the Hilton Hotel), the route was two laps across from a blustery sea front.  With over a thousand runners it was a busy event!

There were pace makers which I always like in an event.  I managed to stick with the 1h 45 man for the first 9 miles and then completely lost it after that.  On the final lap we were running against the wind, which was so strong I felt I was barely moving.  I even resorted to walking for a couple of miles which I was very disappointed with.

Goody bag including a water bottle, pair of mens socks, a wagon wheel plus chocolate for the ladies!

Also, must say a thank you to the A&T members who encouraged me along when I was walking.  Although it may have not seemed evident at the time, it was wholly appreciated.

Looking forward to the next event :)

Results as follows from chip time :

Jonathon Hall  1:39:20
Tim Campbell  1:40:11
Christopher Bennet 1:43:29
Michael Geoghagen  1:48:06
Louise Simpson 1:49:36
Gemma Lysycia 1:55:29
Louise Hampton 1:58:11
Barbara White 2:04:17
Jane Eccleston  2:12.32
Emma Higgins 2:12:34

Well done to everyone who took part!

Photos courtesy of Mark Lysycia Photography.


2014 Fell Champs

So everybody here is the one you've all been waiting for!
After being inundated with enquiries about the fell champs I have decided to put you all out of your misery and I have done the fell calendar!

I think there is a good mix of races here, nothing mega difficult! ( it's all in the mind). Some races we have done before and there is some new ones as well. I have tried to make sure that they don't clash with any other races. So no excuses!

01/04/14 Liver Hill. Tuesday at 6.45pm. Marls Pit Sports Centre, Newchurch Rd, Rawtenstall, BB4 7SW. 7k of running 250m of climbing. Easy one to start the season, straight up and back down again.

12/04/14 Wardle Skyline. Saturday 2.00pm. Wardle Square, off the A58 Rochdale/Littleborough Rd. 11.3k of running 381m of climbing. I love this race a tough little cracker!

10/05/14 Last Drop Loop. Saturday at 1.00pm. Helicopter pad on car park of the Last Drop Loop, BL7 9PZ. 8.5k of running 225m of climbing. Not done this one before so it should be fun, organised by our friends at a Bolton Harriers.

05/06/14 Hendersons End. Thursday at 7.30pm. Rivington Hall Barn. 9.4k of running 300m of climbing. Another good tuff little race that quite a few of us have done now.

25/06/14 Eddies Revenge. Wednesday at 7.30pm. St Saviours Church, Buckstones Rd, Shaw, OL2 8NB. 6.1k of running 323 of climbing. A good turn out for this last year, I don't remember it being too hard!

3/07/14 Tockholes Evening. Thursday at 7.30pm. Rock Inn, Rock Lane, Tockholes, BB3 0LU. 9.4k of running 310m of climbing. New race to me and a new route for anybody who has done it before.

23/08/14 Pendleton. Saturday at 2.00pm. Village Hall, Pendleton, Nr Clitheroe, BB7 1PT. 8k of running 457m of climbing. Proper fell race this one!

04/09/14 Hades Hill. Thursday at 6.45pm. Red Lion, The Square, Whitworth, 0L12 8PY. 8k of running 360m of climbing. A classic race to finish the champs off.

That's it your best 5 from 8 races.

See you on the fells! 

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Lostock 6 by Paul Beardsworth

5 A & T runners made their way to Lostock for the Lostock 6. Conditions where reasonable other than a strong breeze. The course itself was undulating but runnable, with one real long and tough hill at 4 miles. First back was Shaun Moran clocking an excellent 36:08 which placed him 14th overall and second V50. Next back was Suzanne Gregory who is running very strongly at the moment clocking 42:07. 4th lady and 2nd vet 35. I was next at 44:34, closely followed by Dave Crowe at 45:10. Next in was Ian Hamilton who managed to be at the start on time, clocking 48:04 on his comeback from injury. In terms of prizes, Suzanne picked up a prize for her finish position, various spot prizes where also given with one for Shaun. As he wasn't there I picked it so hope he likes it. Good race and one I would do again as relatively local, reasonable course if you don't mind hills.

Terry Nortley 10 Mile, Radcliffe 23rd February 2014 by Cath Hodgetts

I decided to enter this race as a training run for my marathon in a couple of weeks. As I’ve done all my long runs now, going off the training programmes, so I thought a 10 mile race this weekend would be as good as a route round the roads near home. I also did a 1 mile warm up (most unlike me!) just to build up the miles for today's training run.

With “this is a training run” in mind (I did have to remind myself of that a time or two!!) I took it easy going round. This is the toughest 10 mile race I have ever done, and I will admit that there isn’t much competition for that title as I’ve only ever done Swinton 10 and Preston 10.

For anyone considering giving this a go next year only do it if you like hills, mud, gravel/loose stones and cobbles. If you don’t like all those things, especially the hills, then consider giving it a miss. Just as you think there cant be any more hills, a sneaky one pops up. Its not helped by having the last couple of miles flat then having a bit of a hill at roughly 9.5 miles.

The hills weren't made any easier by the strong wind and the rain. The wind did seem to be against me on a lot of the up hill which made the hills even harder and drained the energy from me more than they would normally. The rain was welcome though, as it cooled me down.

My legs were drained and tired at the end but I finished in one piece and with none of the knee pain I have had on my last few long runs which is a relief. I think the softer trail terrain helped with that. I came over the finish line, wet, muddy and relieved in a time of 1:37:56. This is only 4 minutes slower than my 10 miles PB so I am really happy with that considering how tough the course is.

Another A&Ter who was proud of their performance today at this race was Derek Coop. This was his first competitive race after coming back from several months of injury. In typical DC style he completed the race well before me in 1:21:02. He did tell me he was taking it easy, but I knew he wouldn't and made another runner near the end push themselves hard to try and get past. Not sure if they actually did get past or not, but no sign there of taking it easy! There was no sign if his injury in the race from what he told me after the race over a brew and piece of cake (good deal for 50p!).

So all in all a successful race for us two hardy A&Ters who turned up for this with the plan of “just taking it easy” and “its just a training run”. I would like to think we did the club proud considering the last few months of last year we were both injured and DC has spent the first few weeks of this year injured. I know we did ourselves proud hence the brew and cake to celebrate at the end.

Friday, 21 February 2014

2014 A&T Club Champs

The 2014 A&T club champs latest standings after the Bolton 5k are available by clicking here

Thanks to Captain Wiggins for compiling them.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Bolton 5k by Road Captain Wiggins

On Sunday 16th Feb, a 31 strong team from A&T turned up at Leverhulme Park, Bolton to run the first CLGP race of the 2014 season.
It was great to see the return of some familiar faces like Dale, Ian, Vanessa and Michelle Fairclough – welcome back. Also a big welcome to new members who joined us for their first A&T CLGP race – Matt Corlett, Chris Bennett, Louise Simpson, Neil Hughes & Damian Munro.

The race got off to an unforgettable start with the leading pack going the wrong way out of the track only to be seen by those of us as at the back turning around like a shoal of fish approaching a shark – as quickly as they started the talented front runners negotiated the exiting runners and resumed their race, albeit, with a handicap of approximately 20-30 seconds to make up. (Note – Bolton have been very apologetic about the start with one of the marshalls reportedly walking round like a broken man and possibly in need of support from the Samaritans - so we should go easy on them!).

The course was wet and muddy in patches but thankfully the rain that threatened the start of the race stayed away to allow 285 runners to get around the course without any further incident.

Leading the A&T squad home was Alex Foster who finished 8th in a fantastic time of 17:08 earning him an age group trophy. 2nd A&T finisher was Simon Ford in a time of 18:31 closely followed by 3rd A&T man, Mark Riches in 18:41.
First A&T lady home was Josie Maley in a time of 20:08 followed by 2nd and 3rd A&T ladies Soozy G and Carol Baines with times of 21:13 and 21:30 respectively earning both ladies a well deserved age group cat trophy.
There were too many good runs today to mention on here but judging from FB posts there was quite a few PBs  – congratulations to anyone achieving a personal best!
All runners received a bottle of water at the finish and a sexy water bottle resembling a urine bag (Barbs’ declined the gift, Emma proceeded to try and fill hers!), but on a serious note, with chipped timing a charge of £6 was great value for money.

Road Captain Wiggins brought cakes and biscuits for everyone (sorry if you didn’t get any – you gotta be quick), we will be bringing goodies to each race and also giving a prize for runner of the day.
The prize for today’s run goes to Ian ‘Bacon Mon’ Hamilton for not only starting the race late (great vid clip thanks Gary Stevens) but for a great run and his first race back after missing a full season due to  knee surgery – its great to see you back Ian – there’s a bottle of wine for you in the boot of Barbs’ car!

If you haven’t seen the full results yet, they’re available courtesy of John Schofield

Well done everyone and we look forward to seeing you at the 2nd race of the season

Emma & Barbs (aka Road Captain Wiggins) xx


Exciting news! We have former GB athlete Peter Riley coming to the track tomorrow, with Shaun Moran, to assist Simon with the session and offer some advice and tips.
Peter has run 14.01 for 5k, 28.38 for 10k and 2.14 for the Marathon.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Parbold Hill Race by Gary Stevens

In 10 years competing in races, this was my 5th Parbold Hill race. In the previous 4 the conditions were normally pretty runnable, but this year it was quite the opposite. After the wettest winter for 200 years I knew that it was going to be very muddy, and it didn't let me down.
The plan today after months of injury problems was to get from A to B in one piece. I started off feeling a bit sluggish but soon got in to my stride. After ¾ of a mile of running on the road we hit the first big climb which is another ¾ of a mile on a narrow trail, which made overtaking almost impossible. Once we got to the top we hit a mile of farmers fields which included a few styles. I was like Bambi on ice just trying to stay on my feet as a didn't seem to have enough grip. After the field we hit the notorious Parbold Hill. I was starting to feel good at the point so took a couple of places going up. On hitting the Wiggin Tree at the top of Parbold Hill we take a turn left through more farmers fields including a few obstacles and more styles. Normally you start to motor at this point as most of it is downhill, but with all the mud it was actually a case of trying to stay on your feet. I was still feeling good and taking places as I hit the 6 mile mark. A Marshall shouted “stream crossing”? So with about ½ mile to go I waded through a knee high stream and scrambled out at the other side knowing I was nearly there. I completed the course in 54 mins 55 according to my Garmin, my slowest time ever, but taking all the mud into consideration it was probably a par performance, finishing 84th from 485 brave runners.

The highlight of the race was not feeling any niggles in my leg, which gives me optimism to move my training on to the next level, ready for my next race in March.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

MAD DOG 4 10KM RECAP By Louise Simpson

Sunday 9th February 2014 10:40am
The Cost: Standard £23.50 UKAC £21.50
Parking: Ample & free.
Transport: Free buses provided from the car park to start. Didn’t use it, but seemed well organised.
 Staging Area: Well organised, start clearly signposted and well marshalled. There was music, bag store, showers, food stalls and plenty of toilets.
The Race:
"Who let the dogs out..."
Runners: Approx 2500
Surface: Road
Profile: Flat
Weather: hideously WINDY but dry at least
Course: One loop, approx 7km costal
The Results:
Finishers: 1788
1st Male 0.37.05
1st Female 0.40.19

It was windy, very windy in fact, felt I was static running for 7km, everyone huddling together to shelter from the sand blasting & flying beach debris!

There was loads of support from marshals, spectators & residents. It was a really great atmosphere, the music acts on the way around ranged from a steel band, Elvis to an opera singer, and the positivity from the marshals was fantastic.

At 5km the route turned in land which gave us a break from the wind. Water station at 6km, back to costal at 7km, wind side on, finish in sight. 

 The Finish
 I crossed the finish line, handed a banana, doggy bag and water. As I was being given this my phone was notifying me of my chip time (49.31) no pb no surprise. Next A&T member Chris Bennett hobbled round in 52.13 (shin splints) Closely followed by Ian bushrod 53.02. 

The doggy bag was full of bits & pieces including a medal, juice, samples, discounts etc. 

It was a well organised fun race, great atmosphere, nice and flat and probably quite a fast course if the weather behaves.

Would I do it again?Yes!

Overall a good race, despite the wind! Though tech T shirt a bit gordy for my liking.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

1st race of the season -Who's in?

The first club race of 2014 is almost upon us. Sunday 16th February is Bolton 5k at Leverhulme Park. This is a Central lancs race so if you're registering on the day you don't pay the additional 'pay on the day' fee as advertised (subject to availability).
Emma and I are looking forward to seeing a sea of Blue A&T vests and hopefully some supporters to cheer you round the course, so let's make it a great turn out like last year! :D
Link to the form below if you've not seen it yet.
Happy Racing and see you Sunday 
Road Captain Wiggins

Monday, 10 February 2014

Parkrun Update

Well done to all our A&T Parkrunners who braved the cold on Saturday morning:

Worsley Woods - Paul Beardsworth, Paul Cross & Chris Bennett (new PB!!)

Penny Flash - Tim Campbell, Bev Tickle, Paul Basnett, Ian Hamilton & Louise Simpson

Bolton - just me!!!

All times updated on the club champs for your bonus points to show your best time to date. Please let me and Emma know (on facebook) if you've got a different best time for 2014 so far or have ran at a different Park run to those above.

Thanks All


Position Name Time Event Date Category
Scott Priestley 21.38 Worsley Woods 01.02.14 25-29
Mike Geoghehan 24.45 Worsley Woods 01.02.14 V
Tim Campbell 19.10 Penny Flash 01.02.14 V
Shaun Moran 19.17 Penny Flash 01.02.14 V
Steve Eldridge 22.30 Penny Flash 01.02.14 V
Ian Hamilton 25.15 Penny Flash 04.01.14 V
Paul Basnett 26.09 Penny Flash 01.02.14 V
Jason Revill 25.38 Penny Flash 01.01.14 V
Paul Cross 21.51 Worsley Woods 08.02.14 30-34
Terry Gardiner 23.38 Penny Flash 18.01.14 V
Paul Beardsworth 21.05 Worsley Woods 08.02.14 30-34
Christopher Bennett 22.37 Worsley Woods 08.02.14 35-39 NEW PB

Position Name Time Event Date Category
Carol Baines 21.47 Worsley Woods 11.01.14 V
Suzanne Gregory 22.09 Penny Flash 01.02.14 35-39
Louise Simpson 24.14 Penny Flash 35-39
Bev Tickle 29.11 Penny Flash 35-39
Clare Unsworth 31.21 Penny Flash 35-39
Kim O'Neill 31.22 Penny Flash 01.01.14 V
Brenda Wane 24.34 Penny Flash 25.01.14 V
Barb White 27.40 Bolton 08.02.14 V