Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A&T X-country by Mark Riches

A&T X-country by Mark Riches 
Race 9 in this year’s cross-country champs is this Saturday (31st) at Heaton Park; Sat Nav M25 2SW
This is a South East Lancs race so please wear the number you wore at Leigh a couple of weeks ago. If you didn’t run at Leigh then you will need to enter on the day (£6.00 for the remaining 2 races)
Start times - ladies 1:50 pm & men 2:30 pm 

If you need clarification on anything before Saturday, I can be contacted on

Monday, 26 January 2015


You can now renew your membership using the link (top right).

Any new members please select "new member"

Manchester marathon 19 April 2015 – by Mark Riches

Manchester marathon 19 April 2015 – by Mark Riches
I mentioned this at last night’s AGM
In order to register, please use the link below select the Drink Station Marshal option & enter code astley2015
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 avoid an increase in subs this year

Friday, 23 January 2015

Club Kit

Suzanne will be selling club kit at Sunday's AGM if anyone wishes to buy anything.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Please note tonight's session is cancelled. Shaun doesn't want to risk anyone slipping on the patches of ice that are still on the East Lancs. People can still go if they want, and change the session if required, but this is up to the individual. Shaun, Mark R, Gary S and John Lee are all not going so far .. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A&T X-country LSV 17/01/15 – by Mark Riches

A&T X-country LSV 17/01/15 – by Mark Riches

Last minute change of plans meant that I was able to race over the country at LSV for the second time this season, although the weather was completely different this time (more of that later) My wife, Joanne Riches, decided during the short drive to LSV, that she would also race today; she was going to run round Pennington Flash anyway so she had her kit on! When we arrived, Joanne went to registration and paid for a number (no turning back now) then we joined the others on the field.

Before long it was time for the ladies to tackle 1 x lap of the field + 2 x large laps (6k.) Until this point it seemed like a great day for a run but then the weather took a turn for the worst and the ladies were battered by hailstone and strong winds. Just as the last runner had completed a lap of the field, Kim O’Neill set off (luckily she had phoned ahead and Susanne Gregory had collected her number) Jackie Price (30:18) just got the better of Susanne (30:22) Next was Kim (39:28) who had a great run to make up a lot of ground and just got the better of Joanne (39:31) and Clare Unsworth (40:46) – well done ladies

After much debate around t-shirt under vest or no t-shirt under vest / gloves or no gloves, the men set off (10k this time) The weather was much kinder for us; no hailstone until the last mile or so. Tim Campbell shot off as usual and finished 11th overall in 37:08. Graham Rands (38:05) just got the better of Neil Hughes (38:07) Next it was Simon Ford (39:15) followed 31 seconds later by yours truly Mark Riches (39:46) Shaun Moran (41:37) who had run 5 miles already earlier in the day (marathon training!) pulled away from Gary Stevens (42:07) on the last lap and James Bentall (45:37) completed the line-up - well done lads

I had managed to stay on my feet all the way round, which is unusual for me, but managed to perform a spectacular fall a couple of minutes into the warm-down! We enjoyed the biscuits left by Suzanne (thanks Susanne) before make the short journey home

Next race Saturday 31 January at Heaton Park – see you there!

Latest standings in the Club Champs will be posted on the website shortly

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Astley & Tyldesley Road Runners AGM 2015
Sunday 25 January 2015 at 20:00
Annual Reports (road / cross-country / fell / triathlon)
Treasurer’s report & adoption of the Accounts
Setting of membership fees for 2015

Proposed changes to Constitution (if any)

Election of Officers & Committee

• Club Secretary
• Treasurer 
• Road Captain(s)
• Race Organiser
• Membership Secretary
• Tri Captain 
• Head Coach (non-committee)
• Fell Captain 
• Cross-country Captain
• IT manager (non-committee)

‘Specfit’ funding application 

A&T X-country by Mark Riches

A&T X-country by Mark Riches 

Race 8  in this year’s cross-country champs is this Saturday (17th) at Leigh Sports Village; Sat Nav WN7 4JY

This is a South East Lancs race so if you didn’t ask to be pre-entered (list of pre-entries below) then you will need to enter on the day (£6.00 for the series)

·         Suzanne Gregory
·         Tim Campbell
·         Lewis Eccleston
·         Mark Riches
·         Shaun Moran
·         Neil Hughes

I will not be able to attend due to work commitments so if one of the above named could collect the pre-entries envelope and distribute, that would be great

Start times - ladies 1:50 pm (6k)  & men 2:30 pm (10K)

If you need clarification on anything before Saturday, I can be contacted on

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

A&T X-country Burnley 10/01/15 – by Mark Riches

First of all a BIG thank you to Suzanne Gregory for acting as team manager and to Tim Campbell for acting as custodian of the club tent

13 A&T runners tuned up at a cold windswept Townley Park with Susanne single-handedly representing the girls

Despite her team manager duties which included obtaining a replacement number for Lewis Eccleston (want does he do with them?) Suzanne had a great run finishing in 25th place in a time of 23:57

Next it was the turn of the men, not surprisingly Lewis was first A&T finisher; 9th overall in a time of 33:50 followed just less than 2 minutes later by Alex Foster (35:47) just over a minute behind Alex was Tim Campbell (37:06) Graham Rands (38:06) Neil Hughes (38:28) and Simon Ford (38:33) had a great battle followed by Coach Shaun Moran (41:11) Making a welcome return to racing was Gary Stevens (42:38) followed by Tony Foster (43:11) with Chris Scholes (43:45) James Bentall (43:53) and Scott Priestley (44:30) completing the line-up – well done lads

Next race Saturday 17 January at LSV

Sunday, 11 January 2015

10 in 10 by Malc Collins

I’m running 10 marathons in 10 days from 8th until 17th May 2015 to raise money for the Brathay Trust.
Please help me raise money for this great charity by giving a donation to my JustGiving online page:-
Follow my training in preparation for the event and during the 10 days at:-

Gin Pit Half Marathon Entries now open

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Gin Pit Half Marathon - Road Captain update

Gin Pit Half Marathon update from Capt. Wiggins07.01.15

Hey Team – as you know we are including the Gin Pit Half Marathon as part of our club champs this year but with a difference…

The race is being jointly hosted by A&T and Malc, in conjunction with Malc’s traditional double Marathon weekend and to spice things up a bit this year there are prizes as well as points!!  As this is a Half Marathon, we wanted to offer some prizes that are not only fitting for a race of this distance and difficulty but that also complement the lovely medals that Malc has kindly agreed to organise for us again.

As a club we pride ourself on our Gin Pit 5 race but as we include this in CLGP and not club champs, this means that many of us don’t get to run on home turf as we are marshalling, volunteering and generally making sure the running experience of our fellow club athletes is enjoyable. So, thanks to the organisation of Malc’s marathon we can proudly say - this is one’s for us!

Please remember that places are limited so to be in with a chance of earning your club champs points and possibly winning a prize you need to get your entry in before 13thFebruary. After this date the race will be open to other club runners to enter.

Full details are on the entry form

Good luck everyone, hope to see a full set of blue vests of the start line!

Love Capt. Wiggins xx

Thursday, 8 January 2015

A&T Cross-Country Champs 2015

A&T Cross-Country Champs 2015

We have decided to arrange a A&T members only cross-country race around GP on Saturday 7 February 2015 starting at 11:15

Shaun has a 1.5 mile (approx.) loop in mind and championship distances will be 4.5 miles for women & 6 miles for men

There will be prizes for 1st 3 men & women plus 1st veteran (40+ men & 35+ women)

This is a great opportunity to try cross-country in a friendly supportive environment (cross-country version of Parkrun!) and there is the opportunity to run alternate distance (in multiples of 1.5) but you will not qualify for prizes unless you run the championship distances of 4.5 miles (women) / 6 miles (men)

Come along and give it a try - "mud is good"

AGM Update

My earlier post  HERE refers

You have until Saturday 10 January to stand for any of the roles listed below

       Club Secretary
       Road Captain
       Race Organiser
       Membership Secretary *
       Tri Captain
       Head Coach (option to join committee)
       Fell Captain (option to join committee)
       Cross-country Captain (option to join committee)
       IT manager (non-committee)

* The Membership Secretary role in particular needs filling; job description below:

'To collect all membership subscriptions. To register members with relevant organisations'

A&T X- country this Saturday (10th)

A&T X- country this Saturday (10th)

My earlier post HERE  refers

Susanne has kindly offered to cover for me, so if you need a number, speak to Suzanne on Saturday

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Happy Parkrunning 2015!

As some of you are getting into the swing of parkrun things I thought I'd share an update with you on who's been venturing out in January so far...

Well done to Alex Foster for setting the benchmark for the guys and to Suzanne for the girls, and a special welcome to Tony Foster on his parkrun debut on NY Day!

Looking forward to seeing many many more hardy parkrunners through the year and plotting your best times in the current standings. I'm also going to add the number of parkruns each runner completes in 2015 for good measure.

Please remember that I tend to check the local Parkruns (P/Flash, Worsley, Bolton & Warrington) so if you go further afield please let me know.

Thanks Barb x

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

A&T X-country by Mark Riches

A&T X-country by Mark Riches 
Race 7 in this year’s cross-country champs is this Saturday (10th) at Towneley Park, Burnley Sat Nav: BB11 3RQ
This is a Mid Lancs race so please use the number you wore at Hyndburn
I will not be able to attend as my daughter, Laura, has been selected to run for the North of England at the Edinburgh Cross. However, I will bring the numbers to training tomorrow and hopefully someone will be able to cover for me!
We have been directed to park in the car park at the back of the park - not by Towneley Park. The parking charge is £1.00 at the time of writing. If necessary, you will be directed to the overflow parking in the golf range left up the hill. Do not park on any access roads as you risk being fined 
Start times - ladies 2:00 pm (6K) & men 2:30 pm (10K)

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

Monday, 5 January 2015

Announcing 2015 Road Champs Fixtures

Announcing 2015 Road Champs Fixtures

Hi everyone, Happy New Year and Happy New race calendar! Its time to eat the last of the mince pies and Cadbury's heroes, cross wine and beer off the shopping lists and get those running feet back out there!

Please see below the races that make up this year's club champs. We are hoping that the mix of distances and the changes to scoring will appeal to everyone in the club.  We'd really like to see a sea of blue vests at all the races - lets support each other and have a fantastic year!

The rules will be posted on the website but to summarise the main change is that for every race you do over and above the minimum required for your category, you will earn 1 add bonus point, plus another point if you complete all 11 races.
Also, Marathon runners will also earn 1 bonus point for each Marathon completed.

Looking forward to a great 2015 season with you #TeamA&T #clubchamps
Love Capt. Wiggins xx

1) 15.02.15 - Central Lancs 5k
2) 01.03.15 - Trotters 5
3) 22.03.15 - Gin Pit Half Marathon
4) 12.04.15 - Radcliffe 10k
5) 13.05.15 - Haigh Hall 4
6) 17.06.15 - Horwich 5
7) 05.08.15 - Chorley 4.4
8) 30.08.15 - Penny Flash 5
9) 13.09.15 - Blackleach 5
10) 27.09.15 - Swinton 10
11) Parkrun

Saturday, 3 January 2015

My 2014 by Neil Hodgson

My 2014 was going to be straightforward. Do Ironman!! and to be honest it is a straightforward thing to train for, if you follow your training plan. Along the way there were some great days and moments that i will look back on with fondness and in some cases a shudder of relief that that moment is now long gone. Here are some snippets of memories and events from my year:
10 mile News Years Day run with Foster and Hyde dragging me back into a headwind for the last 5 miles.
March brought the first really bad day on the bike, 75 miles in the cold and rainy conditions saw Simon Ford puncture with 10 miles to go, in true heroic style he said “ you carry on I’ll fix it” so i did carry on only to get a puncture myself 2 minutes down the road, fortunately Captain Hyde stopped and helped my cold hands by dancing and singing a rendition of “happy” whilst my frostbitten fingers fumbled with a tube. Tony Foster I remember, was long gone by this point and probably at home in the shower.
April came and saw a sigh of relief from the ironman group as we completed what was for some our first 100mile + bike ride. We were doing something right.
Simon’s puncture revenge came later that month when he took us on what we thought was the hardest ride we would ever do over to Cragg Vale, Little did we know what he had in store for us later in the year.
My running plodded on as usual and I also did a 1 mile open water swim in 26 minutes 56 seconds which to be honest was the peak of my swimming achievments for the year.
By the time May, June and July came round it was all about Ironman and regular training weeks are averaging out at 17 hours.
I also did a couple of sportive rides during this time one of which was the wheelbase sportive, a group outing over some tough hills and the other I did with a friend of mine on the route of the first stage of the tour de france.
July over with and Ironman done, as usual with any event I do, I wasn’t that happy with my performance. More run work needed!!!!!
The rest of the year contained a few more triathlons which I felt i did better in due to my increase in training, a great time trial in which we were taught a lesson by some cyclists, and finally I must mention the Simon Ford monster ride.
If Simon ever says he has found some good hills and wants to explore them on his bike, DON’T go with him. After cycling 40 or so miles we were confronted with a wall of concrete that was supposed to be a road, yes, some did get up it, I admit I got off and walked as did another person and 2 people actually fell off due to gravity pushing them over. I mention no names to protect their pride. Glad to get home after 90+ miles but a great day.
I hope 2015 is a better year for me results wise and I hope to dedicate time to running more than twice a week, even though I got a 10k pb late this year I still want to do better and I suppose thats a good thing.
If I ever achieve a great year in sport I will then promptly retire and rest on my laurels and revert back to the couch potato who didnt have to worry about which set of carbon wheels would be the next best purchase and which swim shorts are the fastest in a pool.
Thanks for reading 

Friday, 2 January 2015

My 2014 by Mike Geoghegan

I found that in 2012/13, trying to increase my speed and run more than twice a week resulted in more injuries so my personal aim was to complete as many races as I could but to keep it nice and steady. Only 2 ailments this year, Achilles niggle, out 3 weeks and hamstring 1 week. However thanks to the Miracle worker that is Andy Chalmers (cheers for the heads up Jane), these were quickly overcome. My one constant target is the Great North Run and despite an injury scare one week before the race, I completed my 7th this yearAlso managed 2 out of area parkruns (1 international) and achieved my 100th which was very pleasing.
  • Inskip Half marathon in a personal best time of 1:44:05
  • Central Lancs 5k in 23:10.
  • Blackpool Half Marathon 1:48:06  
  • Trotters 5, 41:02
  • muddy Gin Pit Half marathon, 1:55:23.
  • BOLTON 10,  50.34 
  • SALFORD 10, 46:57.
  • Brockwell Park (Brixton) parkrun completed in the hood!
  • Manchester 10k, 50.34
  • ATRR hosted Inter Club Challenge
  • 5K ATRR Track Event at Leigh Sports Village 23.56.
  • Horwich 5, 39.32
  • Boothstown Wobble 10K (but slightly shorter I reckon!) 46:05
  • the Emptihad City of Manchester 10k 50.53.
  • 100th Parkrun
  • ATRR Gill Pimblott 4.4m Memorial Run   35.49
  • Great North Run 2014, on behalf of the Joseph Holts Christie Charity, was completed in a very satisfying 1.56.52
  • Blackleach 5 40.43. 
  • Aintree 10k 51:08.
  • Gin Pit 5, 41:04
  • Flying the ATRR international flag – completed a parkrun in COPENHAGEN (faelledparken)!
  • Xmas Day South Manchester parkrun
Total distance completed 842 miles 
Whilst I don’t manage to get to as many ATRR training events as I would like, the Club has certainly helped me in more ways than they know and I appreciate the camaraderie at each race event. Big Up ATRR !
Happy New Year to all at ATRR. Here's to a great 2015

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Barons 2014

For me 2014 was the year of the comeback after only starting back in November 2013. I had done nothing for 8 months but drink, be lazy and generally feel sorry for myself after being injured with torn medial meniscus in my left knee. I remember the paarlauf in the December of 2013 were I died a death letting my team mates down and the first parkrun were I ran flat out for a time of 27.52. I knew the task of coming back wasn't going to be as easy as I first thought.

However just to be back running was a massive bonus and I vowed to just enjoy 2014 because even though I have always been a lazy runner, training wise, I had missed running immensely. In 2014 I also had to contend with running the London marathon. I'd had to defer 2013 through injury and could not defer for a second year so decided I would "get round" because it was London. Any other marathon I would have just not done it. Maybe doing London was foolhardy but do it I would.

In February I went to Malta for the week on Davos tours were I had entered the half marathon. I jogged round in 2.06 something and ran the race keeping my heart rate under 150 for as long as I could. I even managed a flourish in the final mile running just over 8 minutes for it. The week after I did my first club race because a lot of the Burnden runners had been on the Malta trip and I had thus promised to be there. A promise was a promise even though I ran the race after having 6 pints the night before.

By the time April came round and it was London marathon time I had got my Pennington Flash parkrun time down to a more respectable, for me, 25 dead. My knee was aching the day before the marathon and on the morning of the race so I was wondering whether doing it was a good idea. Anyway I hadn't come all this way to watch so I decided it was going to be done. Again I ran keeping my heart rate under 150 for as long as possible and managed to get to half way in about 2.10. Also to my own amazement I managed to keep running, well jogging, non-stop until about 19 miles. From then on it was jog, walk but mostly jog until the finish. Looking at my watch in the final few miles I knew I had a chance of under 4.30 so this spurred me on to jog more than walk. I crossed the line in 4.29.16 and was made up. My knee was felt fine but I grabbed my kit bag and promptly sat in the gardens in the sun with some snap pack ice on it just in case.

The London marathon really kick started my progress because my knee whilst still giving me some grief I knew could withstand a marathon effort. I then decided I should run more club races to see where I was at with regards where I was prior to injury. I also entered the North Cheshire 5k series in which I'd done before injury and ran 22.50 at Dunham Massey at the beginning of June. My first time under 23 for 5k since my comeback and was happy with that because it was not a million miles away from my PB of 21.40. At the end of July I ran 22.36 at one of the Sale 5k's which was to be my best time for the year.

In September I raced my first 10k in 2 1/2 years having entered it some months prior to the event. To my surprise I had a decent run, for me, and ran 49.02. Of late I have been running consistently under 24 at Penny Flash parkrun and beating Bacon Mon who has been giving me some needle for most of the year when he has been beating me so it's been nice to return the favour.

In December it was the annual paarlauf again and I was determind to make up for last years very poor effort. I was a fitter than the 12 months previous. This determination was cemented even more when I was one of the last ones to be picked for a team! The thought they obviously have not seen me run short distances before and I will show them sprung to mind. Anyway as fate would have it I was running the last 400m leg for my team and in the lead with a 30 or so metre lead on the second team which happened to be Dave Sloan chasing me down. I just thought run hard but not too hard just in case it went down to a sprint finish. I was going to puke if I had to get the win. Anyway I crossed the line first and didn't let the team down which more than made up for last year.

Other highlights included winning a trophy for 3rd place in the first division road champs which I never would have dreamt of doing at the beginning of the year. I also did one or 2 fell races which I enjoyed and back doing cross country. Also having been training on my own for most of the year I thought it was time to up the game and train at the track and efforts on Wednesday on a regular basis. Cheers to Dave Sloan and Shaun Moran for running the sessions and to the fellows A&Ters for the laughs and pain endured together. All in all I ran 65 races during the year, if you include parkruns, and managed to run exactly 1000 miles which is quite an achievement for a lazy git like me!

In 2015 I'd like to have a crack at my 5k PB of 21.40 and my 10k PB of 46.17. Also perhaps do more fell races, get out on my road bike a bit more and run at least 1250 miles. Hell maybe I'll even learn to swim and show everyone how not to do a triathon as well as how not to run.

My 2014 - Emma Higgins

My 2014 by Emma Higgins x

After receiving a new Garmin from Santa I Went into 2014 determined to try and take running a little more seriously! stop the jog and chatter and put some effort in!
Signing up with Barb in the road captaincy role would hopefully help to keep me focused, I promised myself I would run all the club champs races in 2014. As I wanted to get my times down and gain Pbs in 5k, 10k and Half Marathon distance. Hard work paid off and a tick in all those PB boxes obtained, with thanks to Jane who has put up with my moaning and craziness on the training runs along the way many times!

It really helps having great friendly members, who I can have a banter with or obtain advice from!
The Palma trip was brilliant again if you can get yourself booked on this you won't be disappointed.
Thank you to all of you who have shared 2014 with me and put up with my craziness! (apologies if I have caused any offence this is not my intention)
Love you all ๐Ÿ˜˜ cheers๐Ÿน to 2015! ๐ŸŽ‰

My 2014 - David Sloan

My year in running, David Sloan.


My 2014 has been a marathon one, literally.


Having joined A&T in late 2013 I was looking for a challenge than would push me on to the next level with my running after struggling on the final leg of Ironman UK the year before.

Because of this, I decided to concentrate on 'making marathons seem easy'. This is not a real thing, I have learnt (there's no such thing as an easy marathon), but just trying it has lead to a great 2014. It has taken me to some places I would not have seen otherwise and led me to understand the mindset of the endurance athlete.


My main target was to run 10 marathons in the year and beat my PB, which stood at 3:51.


I managed to do all 10, plus a couple of others, including the 46 mile Grand Tour of Skiddaw and the Scafell Pike Marathon, and take my PB down to 3:05, a big tick in them boxes.


Targets aside, I just wanted to enjoy my running and become part of a club, something that I haven't had since finishing marshal arts 4-years previously. In this I have been extremely successful, joining A&T alongside Claire (Matchwick) was one of the best decisions I have made in recent years, I have met some great people who have helped me greatly with my running and made some good friends too, especially those who I regularly train with on the track on a Monday evening.

Taking on the track programme from Simon earlier this year has allowed me to give back to the club and help other develop by causing them great discomfort for 1 hour a week!


The highlight of the year has got to be Thunder Run, as mentioned by Tim in his year review, and I cannot wait to do it all again next summer!


 So, what does 2015 hold for me? At the moment I am concentrating on getting over some injuries, but if I can get healthy, stay healthy and enjoy my running I will be more than happy!


Happy new year everyone x.