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2012 NEWS ARCHIVE

DECEMBER 31st 2012
HAPPY
New Year to all Royton Road Runners! 2012 was another fantastic year for the club, with record levels of race participation & some fantastic performances - I won't bore you with all of the details again. Suffice to say that 2013 promises to be even better, not least because a number of events are being planned to celebrate the RRR 10th anniversary...starting with a Pack Run from Royton Cricket Club at 11am on Sunday 3rd February, 10 years to the day from the very first (snowy) club run. More details to follow closer to the time, but put the date in your diary - we hope to attract many of members old & new to celebrate this memorable occasion!  [David Emanuel]  

DECEMBER 29th 2012
THE Race Director of the Southport Mad Dog 10K, first RRR Club Championship race of 2013, reports that the race is filling up fast. As at 28th December it was apparently 71% full - so if you intend to run & haven't yet entered, don't wait too long!  [David Emanuel]

DECEMBER 27th 2012
THIS
winter's Santa Stroll, organised by our chosen Charity of the Year Dr Kershaw's Hospice, again takes place after New Year - on Sunday 13th January 2013 starting at 11am - to "keep the Christmas spirit going even longer". The event is held in Alexandra Park, Oldham, with registration £10 for adults & £5 for children. David Ellis advises that "It has been titled 'Santa Stroll' again this year to encourage people who may be put off by a run...we can still run it though! It was about a 1 mile lap last year, but multi-laps are on offer if required...I think the one lap blast is the best option for serious runners...". More details & registration here.  [David Emanuel]   

DECEMBER 25th 2012
ANDY
O'Sullivan has announced that his traditional New Year's Day race will, because of the recent weather, use the same course as last year. That's start & finish at the end of Cowm Park Way South, with two laps of the reservoir. Start time is 11.15am!  [David Emanuel]

HOPE that you're all having a wonderful Christmas. Nothing to do with running, but here's some excellent advice to help you through the rest of the festivities:
1. You can claim for a Christmas cake on your insurance - but only if it's Stollen.
2. Addicts - December 26th is a great day to go cold turkey.
3. Don't leave it too long before you pick up those Pringles that have been trodden into the living room carpet; it's beginning to look a lot like crisp mush...
4. Bored with Tesco turkey? Why not try the Lidl donkey?
Have fun!  [David Emanuel]


DECEMBER 17th 2012
I
have recently spoken to a St John's Ambulance rep about first aid training for RRR club members. She is willing to teach all the basic elements of first aid to anyone interested. In the new year she would come once a week to the club, on an arranged night, to teach groups of 12 people at a time. There will be no cost at all to our members, as she is doing this in her spare time - there will be no official First Aid Certificate at the end of it, but I think this is a great opportunity to help ensure that our training groups are well-prepared should an incident occur. If you would be interested in attending one of these sessions please send me an e-mail & I can start getting things organised.  [Mike Harrison]       

DECEMBER 13th 2012
THOSE of you who voted in the Club Runner of the Year poll this year - and thanks to everyone who took the time to do so - will know that you were also asked for your views on RRR communications. And here's the results of that survey! More than 85% of those who responded said that they visit this website at least once a week, with 43% coming here several times each week & a slightly surprising 20% every day. 94% receive the weekly e-mail I send out, with a similar percentage of those who get it reading it every week. 75% of you visit the RRR Facebook site, with 57% checking it at least once a week & 19% going on every day. The RRR Twitter feed is less popular, with only 45% admitting to looking at it & 21% of those doing so "very occasionally". 85% had seen at least one of the 'RRR News' newsletters, with the majority (61%) suggesting that it should become a regular quarterly production. Only one person said "don't bother"! Similarly only one person chose "carrier pigeon" as their preferred method of communication - so we won't be investing in one - with the most popular being the website (44%) & weekly e-mail (32%).

Conclusions? Well it's quite a relief to know that all the regular RRR communications aren't disappearing into a black hole & people are actually reading them! Having said that, I realise that this isn't a completely representative sample - apart from those who filled in the survey on the coach to Keswick, most respondents logged-in to the Members Page on the website to complete the questionnaire, so were mainly already regular users. There's a significant minority of club members who didn't vote & didn't complete the questionnaire, so it's quite possible that many of them never use/see any of our on-line communications. However, the responses received do suggest that most of the on-line stuff gets read, so I'll continue to use a blend of website, e-mail, Facebook & Twitter to keep you up-to-date on what's happening at the club. A few people also gave me new/updated e-mail addresses, so hopefully you are now receiving the weekly updates each Sunday. I'm quite relieved that the majority vote was for a quarterly 'RRR News' newsletter, as I'd struggle to make the time to produce it more frequently! I'm thinking of producing these in 2013 to tie-in with the AGM/start of the championship season (Q1), Spring marathons (Q2), Royton Trail/Summer Ball (Q3) & the end of the season/Keswick trip (Q4).

Thanks again to everyone who shared their views. As always, if you have any suggestions for improvements to the website or other communications, please don't hesitate to let me know!  [David Emanuel]          

DECEMBER 8th 2012

THE leading lights in local fell-running were in attendance at Bamford Bowling Club for the Run The Moors Fell Race Grand Prix presentation night...and seven members of Royton Road Runners too! Just kidding - it was great to have a decent contingent present to see Bruce Whittam collect his prize (very nice it was too!) for a deserved victory in the V45 category, so many thanks to Ray Shaw, Des Thorpe, Alan Bodell, Chris Eavers & Barry Greaves for coming out on a bitterly cold night. The evening included a speech by Andi Jones, who revealed that he's about to sign up for Stockport Harriers & explained that his success is mainly due to running 125 miles per week & getting up at 5am every morning to fit this around a full-time job. Now you know what you have to do! I'll be publishing the races chosen for the 2013 Grand Prix as soon as they are announced  - it'll be great to have a few more people trying a fell race or two next year. These races are challenging but great fun & usually only cost a few pounds to enter!  [David Emanuel]

CONFIRMATION of club running arrangements over the holiday period: the last runs from Royton Cricket Club will be on Thursday 20th December, resuming again on Thursday 3rd January 2013. For details of arrangements for the track, check the Track Sessions page.  [David Emanuel]  

MORE events coming up at Royton Cricket Club...on Wednesday 12th December at 8pm is a Quiz Night - £6 per team, with free food & a cash prize to be won. On Sunday 23rd December from 2pm is the Members Christmas Party, "a great family day out" at £1 per ticket with music, open table & an appearance from Father Christmas (the real one, apparently). Finally, the club's New Year's Eve party (on 31st December, if you were wondering) starts at 8pm, tickets £5.  [David Emanuel]

IF you'd rather be doing something a little more energetic, Andy O'Sullivan has got two more races coming up at Cown Reservoir in the next few weeks. On Sunday 16th December at 11.30am is the Lynne Edmondson Memorial & Christine Navan race, with proceeds going to Springhill Hospice & Care of Police Survivors. Then at 11.15am on 1st January it's the traditional New Year's Day Awakener, which always attracts a surprising number of Royton runners. Both races are precisely 6.655K!  [David Emanuel]

NEXT weekend the BBC Sports Personality of the Year will be announced...if after a fantastic year for British sport you're struggling to decide who to vote for - or just who you want to win - I'd recommend a read of Tom Fordyce's persuasive article about Mo Farah posted on the BBC website this week. Fordyce points out that Farah "became the first Briton to ever win a distance gold at an Olympics...he joined a select band of greats to have completed the long-distance double [of whom] only Kenenisa Bekele has done it in the modern era, with today's deep fields and geographical spread of global rivals...Going into the 5,000m final [Farah] not only had those 10,000m in his legs but was ranked only 11th in the world on season's bests...He should have been tired, out-run and out-sprinted. Instead, once again, the implausible became reality..."  [David Emanuel]                  


DECEMBER 6th 2012
PRESENTATION Night Postscript: many thanks to John Kane for a generous donation towards the trophies presented last Saturday.  [Richard Fiddling]

EAGLE-EYED Ronnie Quinn has spotted that our very own Liz Phillips features in the photo montage on the Bupa Great Manchester Run website homepage. Clearly a photographer with impeccable taste!  [David Emanuel]

DECEMBER 2nd 2012

A remarkable number of Royton Road Runners lined up for the Fallen Heroes 5K in Littleborough this morning, considering where most of us had been the night before! It was a record attendance at the annual RRR Presentation Night, with a fantastic new Olympic-style awards ceremony (complete with gold/silver/bronze medals & podium) allowing a lot more time for other activity such as music (from Chris Eavers' excellent band The Malfunctions) & (it would seem) drinking lots of alcoholic beverages.

Congratulations to all the prize winners - a full list can be found on the updated Annual Awards page, while there's some great pictures in the Photo Gallery (many thanks to Colin Green for stepping in as 'official photographer' at the last minute). In addition to the main awards, the club's two London Marathon places were awarded to Mary Freer & Kirsty White. Given her restrained reaction it was difficult to tell how Kirsty felt about this, but I think she's probably quite pleased...

John Sweeney was a well-deserved winner of the Rod Bowers Trophy for Club Runner of the Year, after a second successive season in which he's completed all club championship races whilst also setting up a successful RunEngland Group for people new to running. It was great to have so many members taking part in the ballot this year, with a similarly large number of people being nominated - votes were received for Bernie Goodwin, Brian Hurst, Brian Moore, Bruce Whittam, Colin Green, Dave Phillips, David Emanuel, Eileen Ingham, George Meynell, Ian McBride, Jenny Wood, Marilyn Guest, Mike Harrison, Natalie Yates-Bolton, Neil Farrell, Ronnie Quinn, Roy Miller & Russell Ingham. The RRR Charity of the Year for 2013 will again be Dr Kershaw's Hospice, a clear winner with 55% of the vote ahead of Oldham Mountain Rescue (22%) & Cardiac Risk In The Young (16%).

Other highlights of the evening included a presentation of gifts to Ian McBride & Laura Walters for their baby due next year (including specially-designed RRR babygrows!), the announcement of Russell Ingham's engagement to Heather, Bruce Whittam receiving an RRR-branded mankini (which I'm sure he'll be wearing in the first club race of 2013 at Southport), plus - perhaps the most exciting moment of all - Bryan Lawton retaining his 'thinnest ankles in the club' title as he easily fought off a challenge from new narrow-limbed member Martin Schofield.

Overall it's been another fantastic year for RRR - great competition in all club championship groups & age categories, a record number of RRR participants (640) in club races, more marathons completed (68) than ever before, a new club marathon record (2:31:44 by Ian McBride at London), our 150th club race at Dentdale, a first 'home' winner of the Royton Trail, Brian Moore's track sessions going from strength-to-strength, a winner (Bruce Whittam) in our first year in the local Fell Race Grand Prix competition, a hugely successful RRR Aid Station at the Greater Manchester Manchester Marathon...plus much, much more. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the club this year, to all those who attended the Presentation Night & everyone who helped make the evening such a success!  [David Emanuel]

JULIE Greenwood has spotted that we get a mention in the 'star letter' in the new issue of Women's Running magazine. Gilly Keogh, part of John Sweeney's RunEngland Group, writes "I can definitely say from experience that group runs are friendly and accessible and I wish I'd joined a group sooner...I've really been bitten by the running bug..." Fantastic feedback & great publicity for John's group!  [David Emanuel] 
NOVEMBER 22nd 2012
THE
next meeting of the RRR 10th Annivers
ary sub-committee has been rearranged for the evening of Thursday 6th December at Royton Cricket Club, immediately after that night's training run. All welcome, if you'd like to contribute to plans to celebrate the club's first decade! Given that the meeting date has changed, the deadline for submitting your vote for a possible overseas running trip in 2013 has been extended to 3rd December - click here to vote & scroll down to October 31st News for details. There is also still time to pay your £10 deposit for next year's Summer Ball (see November 2nd News) - that deadline has also been extended to 3rd December - don't forget that partners & friends are also very welcome!  [Liz Phillips]

LAST call for votes for RRR Club Runner of the Year! Log in to the Members Page to cast your (confidential) vote before the deadline of Monday 26th November - this leaves a few days for all responses to be collated before the big announcement at Presentation Night on 1st December.  Make sure your views are counted!  [David Emanuel] 


NOVEMBER 20th 2012

JUST over a week to go until the social event of the year...if you haven't yet bought your ticket for the RRR Presentation Night on Saturday 1st December, they remain available from Bernie Goodwin at Monday & Thursday training nights. Price £12 each or two for £20 if you're bringing a partner. If you wish to be entered into the draw for our two London Marathon places, which will take place on the night as usual, please get your rejection slip to Marilyn Guest as soon as possible. If you happen to have one of the 'returnable' trophies from last year (e.g. the Linda Chadderton Club Handicap trophy) please can you return it to a member of the committee. As always, we'd also be very grateful for any contributions to the raffle that you can bring along on the night - you'll no doubt be delighted to know that we think we've found quite a clever way of reducing the amount of time both the presentations & the raffle draw take, so that everyone can get on with eating & partying a bit sooner!  [David Emanuel]

AN early date for next year's diary - which you may not have yet, but make sure this is one of the first things you write in when you get one; although come to think of it, you probably all use electronic diaries now, no doubt on your smartphones, so you can probably put this in now! - anyway, the RRR AGM will take place on the evening of Friday 8th February 2013. Further details to follow closer to the time.  [David Emanuel]

APOLOGIES for the short notice, but Dr Kershaw's Hospice is holding its annual Christmas Concert this Thursday 22nd November at the Parish Church, Rock Street, Oldham, starting at 7.15pm. Tickets are just £5 (£3 for concessions), available from the hospice now or on the door from 6.30pm.  [David Emanuel]

TIM Holdsworth at Xtra Mile Events has confirmed that, after our wonderful efforts manning an Aid Station in (to say the least) testing conditions this year, they would be "delighted to have your club back on board for the 2013 Greater Manchester Marathon". Ignoring what all the runners went through in April, I've decided that I'm going to take part in the race next year...so we need a volunteer to act as RRR Aid Station Group Leader in my place - which isn't a difficult task, it basically means being the main point of contact beforehand & on the day itself, probably attending one briefing meeting, making sure that everyone gets to the designated location on time, plus (probably the toughest bit!) being one of the small 'advance party' that gets there really early in the morning to take delivery of the water, equipment, etc. I'll obviously still help out with communications & recruitment of volunteers. I know I'll now be inundated with offers
, so it's first come first served - please e-mail me if you'd like the job!  [David Emanuel]


NOVEMBER 10th 2012
DON'T forget to have your say! There are currently two RRR member polls on the go - log-in to the Members Page to vote for the Club Runner of the Year 2012 (Rod Bowers Trophy) & Charity of the Year for 2013 (deadline 26th November) & click here to choose your preferred option for an overseas running trip next year (full details below, see October 31st news - deadline 23rd November), If you're having any trouble accessing or completing either of the voting forms, please let me know!  [David Emanuel]

ANDY O'Sullivan has announced a new winter race for a really good cause - the Fallen Heroes Memorial 5K takes place on Sunday 2nd December in Littleborough in memory of Fiona Bone & Nicola Hughes, with all proceeds going to their families & Care Of Police Survivors. If ever there was a good reason for getting up & going for a run the morning after Presentation Night, this is surely it! Full details & online entry here.  [David Emanuel]
 

NOVEMBER 8th 2012
TICKETS for the RRR Presentation Night on Saturday 1st December are now on sale from Bernie Goodwin at training nights. You'll probably have seen already that they are priced at £12 - but if you plan on bringing your partner along you can buy two for £20! More details of the event on the Home Page.  [David Emanuel]

WE hope to be able to announce the races for the 2013 Club Championship very soon, once the committee has made a final decision on current proposals. However, I think it's safe to say that there won't be too many changes...and after the very favourable response this year, it looks pretty certain that we'll be kicking off the season again with the Mad Dog 10K in Southport on 10th February 2013. Online entries are already open for the "best 10K in the country", but the race has increased significantly in size, with a maximum 2,500 runners next year, as well as a course change which means a new start line & "a straight sprint to the finish" - so if the weather is good again we can expect even faster times!  [David Emanuel]


NOVEMBER 2nd 2012
AS if there weren't enough exciting RRR events going on over the next few weeks, it's time to start thinking about our 2013 celebrations! After much hard work behind the scenes, we are now very pleased to invite you to the RRR 10th Anniversary Summer Ball on Friday 19th July 2013 at Smokies, Ashton Road, Oldham. This will be a fun-packed evening with live music, competitions & a few surprises! The date has been specially chosen to commemorate the club's official affiliation on 18th July 2003. Tickets will cost just £25 which includes a three-course meal & entertainment.

In order to secure the booking, we need to make a rather large deposit payment, so we ask everyone who would like to attend to pay a £10 deposit by Thursday 29th November. You can pay this by cash or cheque on any club training night to June Allingan or Richard Fiddling (or on the coach to Keswick on Sunday). If you can't get down to the club, then you can put a cheque in the post to David Emanuel (14 Fellside Gardens, Shore, Littleborough OL15 9LX). Please make cheques payable to 'Royton Road Runners'.

Looking forward to celebrating with you in style. Dress code: NO HI-VIZ!  [Liz Phillips]

  
OCTOBER 31st 2012
FANCY a running break in 2013 with a load of your running buddies? In order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Royton Road Runners, we are organising a running trip abroad.  We would like as many club members to take part as possible, so we have come up with three options which all have the possibility for you to take part in either a marathon, half marathon or 10/8K race - so we'd like to know which would be the most popular option from the following:  

Limassol, Cyprus
Date: 24/03/2013 (Sunday)
Average temperature
: 13C (L9,H17)
Races available: Marathon (50 Euros), Half Marathon (35 Euros), 10k (20 Euros)
Approx flight time: 5hrs
Flight frequency: Every day except Tuesday & Saturday
Current approx. flight cost: £175
Current approx. accommodation cost: 36 Euros pppn half board
Click here for race website

Amsterdam
Date
: 20/10/2013 (Sunday)
Average temperature: 10C (L7, H13)
Races available: Marathon, Half Marathon, 8k (prices not yet available)
Approx flight time: 1hr 30mins
Flight frequency: Every day
Current approx flight cost: £130
Current approx. accommodation cost: £20 pppn b&b
Click here for race website

Palma de Mallorca
Date
: 20/10/2013 (Sunday)

Average temperature
: 19C (L13, H24)

Races available
: Marathon (50E), Half Marathon (27E), 10k (12E) (if booked by 31/12/2012 otherwise prices rise)
There is also a walking race on 19/10/2013
Approx flight time
: 2hrs 45mins

Flight frequency:
Every day

Current approx flight cost:
£130

Current approx. accommodation cost:
£ 20 pppn b&b
Click here for race website

Please note that the flight/accommodation costs are approximate at the moment; once we know the preferred location we will be able to give more definite costs. 

Please let us know your preferred destination by completing this brief questionnaire. We're not looking for a firm commitment at this stage - your response will be a great help in establishing the level of interest in an overseas trip & which is the favoured time of year & location. We look forward to hearing your views - please reply no later than Friday 23rd November to give us time to collate responses ahead of the next 10th anniversary sub-committee meeting!  [Liz Phillips]

NOW you've hopefully completed that survey, don't forget to also cast your vote for RRR Club Runner of The Year by logging in to/registering on the Members Page. Deadline for this one is Monday 26th November.  [David Emanuel]
     

OCTOBER 29th 2012
CONFIRMATION
of arrangements for the grand end-of-season trip to Keswick next Sunday 4th November. The coach will be leaving Royton Assembly Hall car park at 8am (sharp!), returning around 6pm, costing a mere £10 per head. Only a few seats remaining I understand!  [David Emanuel]


OCTOBER 21st 2012
IT'S
that time of year again! At the Presentation Night on Saturday 1st December we'll be presenting - amongst many other trophies - the much-prized Rod Bowers Trophy for 'Club Runner of the Year'. Much-prized because it's the one award that is decided by the votes of club members. To cast your vote, simply go to the Members Page on this site & follow the instructions. You'll be prompted to sign-in (or register if you haven't altready done so - it only takes a few seconds) - if you can't remember which password you used, just request a reminder by clicking on 'forgot your password', but if you still have problems just send me an e-mail.
In addition to choosing your 'Club Runner of the Year', you'll also be asked to vote for the charity you'd like us to support in 2013, plus there's a little communications survey to complete. Deadline is Monday 26th November - make sure your voice is heard!  [David Emanuel]

OUR first season as part of the Run The Moors Fell Race Grand Prix hasn't seen too many RRR members taking part...but there were some great performances & one trophy winner! Bruce Whittam romped to victory in the V45 category, whilst Kirsty White (5th senior lady), Alan Bodell (5th V45), Roy Miller (6th V40) & Barry Greaves (7th V55) all showed well in the final rankings. Ian Dale & myself didn't do enough races (or run well enough) to feature in the top 10!
Bruce will receive his well-deserved trophy at a Presentation Evening on Friday 7th December at Bamford Bowling Club. The event starts at 7.30pm, with tickets priced at £6 to include pie & peas plus a guest speaker. It'll be great to see some RRR representation at what I'm assured is an excellent evening, not least to celebrate Bruce's success - I have a batch of tickets available, so please let me know by e-mail if you'd like to attend.  [David Emanuel]

MESSAGE from June Allingan, already preparing for the raffle at the Presentation Night on Saturday 1st December...if anyone has any wicker baskets or nice containers, please could you pass them on to either June or Diane Allingan. Thanks! [David Emanuel
]

OCTOBER 12th 2012
WE'VE
started collecting names for the popular end-of-season trip to Keswick for the Derwentwater 10 miler on Sunday 4th November, with a list up in the Cricket Club changing rooms. The plan is for a mega-coach to leave the Royton Assembly Hall car park at about 8am, returning from the Lakes around 6pm. Price to be confirmed, but it will be no more than £15. If you want to add your name to the list but can't get to the club please send me an e-mail & let me know the number of seats you require.  [David Emanuel]

A couple of events coming up at Royton Cricket Club in the next few weeks...on Sunday 28th October there's a Halloween Party, starting at 2pm including a children's DJ, best pumpkin competition, games, fancy dress prizes & free food. Cost is £2 for adults, £1 children & £5 for a family. Then on Sunday 4th November it's a bonfire & fireworks night, with prices the same - although this starts at 3pm, it will no doubt still be going when we get back from Keswick!  [David Emanuel]

OCTOBER 6th 2012
FULL
details have now been confirmed for the BIG event of next month, the joint RRR & Greenfield Greyhounds Quiz Night on Saturday 10th November. The event will take place at the Black Lion pub on Blackfriars/Chapel Street, Salford just around the corner from Manchester Victoria train station (as a result of Chief Greyhound Colin Green winning a night's free free room hire), with participants encouraged to arrive from 6.30pm for a 7pm start to the quiz. Cost will be £5 per person, which includes a buffet, and in addition to the quiz we are promised a raffle "with some very special prizes". Partners & non-runners are of course very welcome - to help with numbers for the buffet it would be really helpful if you could add your name to the list on Facebook (search for "Greenfield Greyhounds Quiz Night in the smoke") - if you don't do the Facebook thing, then please e-mail Colin to let him know you'll be coming. These Greyhounds are a sociable lot, so it should be a good night - since it's the weekend after our last club race of the season at Keswick it's the ideal opportunity to let your hair down (if you have any - I'm not including myself here).  [David Emanuel]

TALKING of big events...after the great success of her previous event, Liz Phillips is holding another 'Divas' night at the Puckersley Inn (OL2 6YD) on Wednesday 10th October at 8pm. Liz will be taking you "on a musical journey singing songs made famous by divas from Maria Callas to Shirley Bassey". No entry fee & tickets not required - just turn up & enjoy!  [David Emanuel]

SHORT notice, but Steve Jones has been in touch to advise that Anne is unable to run the Congleton Half Marathon tomorrow (Sunday), so there's a place available for anyone who missed out before entries closed. Steve will be at the race to help sort out the transfer - race instructions say that number swaps can be made "without additional charge, however you MUST re-register by completing a new entry form on race day".  [David Emanuel] 

SEPTEMBER 22nd 2012
FOLLOWING
the tragic event this week, Andy O'Sullivan has announced that part of the proceeds from the 5K at Cowm Reservoir on Wednesday 3rd October - named after him! -  will be donated to 'Care of Police Survivors'. Worth making the effort to take part in the last Cowm race of the year in aid of a worthy cause. More details & entry form here.   [David Emanuel]
 
SEPTEMBER 20th 2012
FOR the last two years, Dr Kershaw's Hospice has been voted by club members as the RRR 'Charity of The Year'. This has involved both a financial contribution (e.g. from raffles at club events) & more practical help (painting fences, tidying the garden, cleaning & painting their lock-up). As before, the vote for Charity of the Year for 2013 will take place at the same time as the 'Club Runner of the Year' poll coming up soon. But it's important that we have a choice! If you have any suggestions for a charity that you'd like us to support in 2013, please can you let me know by e-mail. All you need to provide is the name of the charity plus a few words explaining why you think RRR should provide support. ALL suggestions will be included on the voting form. [David Emanuel]

MORE charity stuff...as well as money raised at club events, I know that individual members have contributed to Dr Kershaw?s Hospice this year through their individual running exploits. Last year we calculated that overall RRR members/events contributed a grand total of £3,383.36 - we'd obviously like to exceed that figure this year! To help me work out this year?s final total, please could you let me know (by e-mail) of any individual fundraising you?ve carried out for the hospice & how much you raised. [David Emanuel]      


SEPTEMBER 18th 2012
THERE'S
a weekend of charity events coming up at Royton Cricket Club! This Friday 21st September at 8pm it's Race Night, with horses costing £3 & race sponsorship £25. There's free food on the night. Contact Sarah Jayne by e-mail if you want to be involved. Then on Saturday 22nd it's the main charity event, the Ladies Charity Fun Day, with a 6-a-side cricket tournament, barbecue, bouncy castle, balloon race, various stalls & much much more. Contact Therese Hurst on 0161-6262527 for further details. All proceeds to three worthy causes - Dr Kershaw's Hospice, Link4Pink & the Diasy Garland Foundation.  [David Emanuel]

SEPTEMBER 16th 2012
CONGRATULATIONS
to Ian McBride - results from today's Great North Run show that he finished in an incredible 43rd place amongst a record 39.853 finishers, in a time of 71mins 53secs. Great performance!  [David Emanuel]
 
SEPTEMBER 14th 2012
ANOTHER
important date for your diary, following the Quiz Night announced below (see September 7th) - this year's RRR Presentation Night will take place on the evening of Saturday 1st December at Royton Cricket Club. There are some exciting new elements planned this year! Further details, including ticket prices, to be announced shortly.  [David Emanuel]

I'M feeling even more guilty now about Colin Green's knee injury, which returned with a vengeance during our recent attempt to run the Yorkshire Wolds Way, as Colin has now made the decision that he won't be fit to run the Preston Guild Marathon in October. If anyone would like to take Colin's place in this race on 28th October, please contact him by e-mail.  [David Emanuel]

JOHN Sweeney has announced that he'll be officially starting a new Royton RunEngland Group on Monday 24th September at 6.15pm. RunEngland is specifically designed for people new to running & John has recently completed the training to be an accredited group leader. If you know anyone who is looking to start running for the first time, this would be a great place to start! John has created a new page on Facebook ('Royton Run England Group') & there will shortly be a new page on the RunEngland website.  [David Emanuel]


SEPTEMBER 12th 2012
WITH
the popular Ron Hill 74th Birthday 5K coming up next week, Andy O'Sullivan reports that entries are already being received for the 75th birthday race in 2013, which actually falls on the great man's birthday. This may just be a clever marketing ploy by Mr O'Sullivan...but dare you take the chance? You'll find an entry form here.  [David Emanuel]

SEPTEMBER 9th 2012
THE
next meeting of the RRR 10th anniversary sub-committee takes place after training at the Cricket Club on Thursday 13th September. There is also a full RRR Committee meeting, so it will be split in two.  [Liz Phillips]

SEPTEMBER 7th 2012
IMPORTANT
date for your diary! On Saturday 10th November we're planning a first-ever joint social event between RRR & Greenfield Greyhounds. This all comes about as a result of Colin Green (Chief Greyhound) winning a night's free free room hire at the Black Lion pub on Chapel St in Salford - within spitting distance of Manchester Victoria Station. The plan is to hold a Quiz Night, with food available too...not to mention a well-stocked bar, for those not still recovering from the end-of -season celebtrations in Keswick the weekend before. Partners & non-club members welcome too, more details to follow.  [David Emanuel]

TALKING
of Greenfield Greyhounds...I like the ongoing competition they've been having (through their Facebook page) to see who can wear their Greyhound hoodie the furthest from home. Thought it might be entertaining to try something similar for the stylish new RRR running vest - but I'm going to make it a bit more difficult. The challenge is not just to be photographed wearing your new club vest in a far-flung location, but to be running in a race at the time! Overseas marathon, remote fell race, anything will do...you just have to post the evidence on the RRR Facebook page or in the RRR website photo gallery. Since there's not much of this year left, we'll say that a winner will be announced at the 2013 Presentation Night - that gives you over a year to come up with something spectacular!  [David Emanuel]     

SEPTEMBER 2nd 2012
THANKS
to all RRRs who have donated & supported Colin Green & I on our run of the Yorkshire Wolds Way this weekend. For those who have not been able to follow our progress on Facebook, you've really missed out...but here's a brief summary. We completed the 44 miles from Hessle to Thixendale in good running conditions in a time of 8hrs 26mins 55secs. Which may sound slow, but some of the terrain was really tough & we both struggled in the last 7-8 miles. 44 miles is a long way! Sadly Colin aggravated a knee injury during that run & was unable to continue on Sunday, but he provided fantastic support as I completed the remaining 35 miles to Filey in 7hrs 12mins 49secs, on what became an increasingly hot & sunny day on the East Coast. So our overall running time was 15:39:44 - and it's our very own Shane Reading who wins the 'Sunday lunch for four' at the King Bill, Shore thanks to his incredibly accurate prediction of 15:40. Thanks again to everyone for your support!  ;David Emanuel]

AUGUST 30th 2012
KNOWING
that everyone at RRR loves a bit of competitive action, you won't want to miss out on this! At lunchtime on Saturday September 8th, the King Bill at Shore, Littleborough (as I may have mentioned before, the only pub run by an RRR member) will be holding the first ever Baguette Throwing World Championship. There will be two events - one to see who can throw their baguette the furthest, the other testing a competitor's accuracy. More details in this article from the Rochdale Observer. The event will kick-off at about 2pm, but we're expecting lots of entries on the day, so best to get to the pub early to avoid missing out! All baguettes will be provided (we don't want people turning up with their own customised breadstuffs!) & it costs just £1 to enter, with all proceeds going to Dr Kershaw's Hospice. The event has sadly been rejected by the good people at Guinness World Records (my favourite e-mail of this year & possibly ever: "Currently, Guinness World Records cannot accept your proposal for this as a new record category...however, we have searched our Record Database and identified a similar record which may be well suited to your record breaking aims...this record is: ?most people simultaneously throwing hats?." - the current record is 655 hats, if you fancy having a go), but we do have the support of our frriends Sally & James at Wacky Nation, organisers of the annual Backward Running Championships in Heaton Park (possibly my second favourite e-mail: "Good luck with it...we are refereeing the World Welly Boot Throwing Champs so cannot make it unfortunately..."). See you at the King Bill on Saturday 8th!  [David Emanuel]

ON a slightly more conventional note, next month sees the 2012 Big Stockport Event, organised by LifeLeisure. This consists of a 5 or 10 mile walk on 9th September, a 20 mile cycle on 16th September & a 10K run on 23rd September. More details & registration from the event website.  [David Emanuel]

THE combined Royton Cricket, Bowling, Tennis & Running Club is holding its annual mixed dinner on Friday 31st August. Tickets are £25 which incloudes a meal, guest speaker Joe Royler & music/entertainment from Tom Smith. A bit short norice, but I'm reliably informed that this is "a great night out and a great way of treating the ladies...". For more information & tickets contact Bernard Wade on 07905273655.  [David Emanuel]     

AUGUST 29th 2012
IT
may not have anything to do with running...but since the band feature in their line-up the son of the RRR Chairman, it's surely the least you can do - in fact it's probably THE DUTY of every RRR member - to watch the latest video from 'Minutes To Recover' on YouTube. Several times if possible. Or show it to your children, they'll be most impressed with your ability to discover exciting new music before they do! The band have their first album launch on Saturday 1st September at Moho on Tibb Street, Manchester.  [David Emanuel]         

AUGUST 27th 2012
ENTRIES
are now being taken for the Derwentwater Ten road race, the 53rd staging of this grand finale to the RRR club championship season, taking place this year on Sunday 4th November. Full details can be found in the 'Races' section of the Keswick AC website - entries permitted online or by post.  [David Emanuel]

THE 46th Manchester Relays take place this year on Saturday 6th October on the University of Manchester Wythenshaw Playing Fields complex. Unfortunately this is the day before the Congleton Half Marathon...but if anyone would prefer a shorter race that weekend - or would consider doing both! - this event consists of teams of six men or three ladies each completing a two-mile leg on a grass course suitable for spikes. Races start at 2pm., with entry fees £10 & £20 for ladies & gents teams respectively. I'm happy to collect names to see if we can gather enough people to form one or more teams - just send an e-mail if you're interested.  [David Emanuel] 

AUGUST 24th 2012
HUGE
thanks to everyone who has so far supported Colin Green & myself as we prepare for our attempt on the 79 miles of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, from the Humber Bridge to Filey, in just two days on 1st & 2nd September. If you have sponsored us & not had a guess at our total running time, please do so via e-mail - otherwise you risk missing out on a free lunch, as whoever gets the closest prediction wins a Sunday lunch for four, kindly donated by the King Bill pub at Shore, Littleborough (the only pub run by an RRR member!). If you haven't yet joined in the fun you can do so via our VirginMoneyGiving page - all donations go directly to Dr Kershaw's Hospice & predictions can be made at the same time as making a donation. You can also follow our progress/suffering over next weekend on Facebook - if you're not already signed up, just search for 'Dave and Colin run the Yorkshire Wolds Way'. [David Emanuel]     

AUGUST 18th 2012
TONY
Kane has helpfully pointed out (on our Facebook page - check it out!) that the Congleton Half Marathon (club championship race on 7th October) is NOT allowing entries on the day this year. Entries can only be made online, which you can do via the UK Results website.  [David Emanuel]

OUR very own (multi-talented) Liz Phillips will be singing at ther Puckersley Inn in Royton (OL2 6YD) on Wednesday 22nd August. From 8pm she'll be singing a varied selection of songs, from opera to 'songs from the shows' to Shiley Bassey. It should be a great night - and as Dave Phillips points out, "it will be nice to go to the Puckersley without running up that bloody hill".  [David Emanuel]

YET another new Andy O'Sullivan race...on Thursday 23rd August the Stan Curran Birthday Charity Reservoir Race honours the Salford Harrier 31 years after he won the first 'British Pony Marathon' in 1981. Proceeds will go to the Whitworth branch of Cancer Research UK. Further details & entry form here.  [David Emanuel]

TALKING of Mr O'Sullivan...a new 5K race has been organised for 3rd October, also at Cowm Reservoir, to recognise Andy's contribution to local running. As organiser David Sherlock-Windle points out, Andy has organised well over 500 charity races since 1983!At Andy's request, proceeds from the Andy O'Sullivan 5K Race will go to the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation. Further details & entry form here.  [David Emanuel]

AT the RRR sub-committee meeting on 16th August, a proposal was put forward for a club trip to an overseas marathon, with Amsterdam (in October 2013) the favoured option. It would be useful to know how much interest there would be in such a trip, so that potential packages can be investigated. Please e-mail to let me know if this is something you might be interested in (no commitment at this stage!) & I'll pass details on to the sub-committee.  [David Emanuel]     

AUGUST 14th 2012
THANKS
to everyone who attended the kick-off meeting a few weeks ago to start discussions about ways to celebrate the RRR 10th anniversary in 2013. Another meeting is taking place at around 8.30pm (after training runs) in the Royton Cricket Club bar on Thursday 16th August - all welcome!  [Michael Harrison]

IF you've not yet taken the plunge & taken part in a parkrun, this may be the weekend to do it! At 9am on Saturday 18th August - the first weekend between the Olympics closing ceremony & the start of the Paralympics - parkrun is teaming up with 'Join In Local Sport' to help create the UK's biggest ever celebration of local sport. The idea is to make this the biggest parkrun weekend ever, by getting as many people as possible running at every single parkrun around the country. So why not head down to one of our local events at Heaton Park or Alexandra Park & take along a friend or two?  [David Emanuel]

AUGUST 12th 2012
THE
Olymp-athon is coming to an end...and we've all been getting used to a brand new vocabulary ("medalled", "podiumed", "GB victory"). So here's an opportunity to fill the gaping hole that there will now be in our lives, by joining several of your felllow RRR members & entering my little football competition (entry form attached). It's really easy to enter, costs a mere £5 to play & is guaranteed to provide great entertainment throughout the coming football season...with the possibility of a huge cash prize at the end! Deadline for entries is Friday 17th August.  [David Emanuel]

ATTEMPTING to ride a wave of post-Olympic enthusiasm, the Active Leisure Events team behind the Chester Half Marathon are shortly to open entries for next year's race. Taking place on 12th May 2013, this popular race is almost certain to be included again in the RRR club championship. You'll be able to enter from the race website here. For those who ran thios year, they are also selling off 2012 Hlaf Marathon T-shirts at £4 each or three for £9. Order form here.  [David Emanuel]  

AUGUST 1st 2012
IT'S that time of year when thoughts turn to...doing a ridiculously long run to raise money for Dr Kershaw's Hospice. As some of you already know, after our triumphant completion of the Cleveland Way in 2011, Colin Green & myself are this year attempting the 79 miles of the Yorkshire Wolds Way, from the Humber Bridge to Filey, in just two days on 1st & 2nd September. If you see us around in the next month looking a little weary, it's because we're trying to get ourselves into condition to cope with running 40 miles on two successive days! However, the main point is that anyone who sponsors us via our Virgin Money Giving page is invited to predict how long our run will take - and the prize for whoever gets closest is a free Sunday lunch for four at the King Bill pub in Shore, Littleborough (the only pub run by an RRR member!). You can also follow our preparation & progress on Facebook - just search for 'Dave and Colin run the Yorkshire Wolds Way'.  [David Emanuel]

IF you've enjoyed one of the recent 'away night' runs around Watergrove Reservoir, you may be interested in a 5K run/walk in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support which takes place on Sunday 23rd September. The event starts at 11am from Wardle Square, with entry £5 for adults & £1 for children, students & OAPs. Registration is from 10am in the Globe Inn, Wardle.  [David Emanuel]      

JULY 29th 2012
THIS sounds like an event worth attending! On Wednesday 22nd August, Royton Cricket Club plays a match against a team of ex-England players captained by Michael Vaughan. The match starts at 5pm but will be preceded by a pre-match meal in a marquee - the club is looking for companies, businesses or indiividual members to sponsor a table for this, with the possibility of having one of the 'legends' on their table. Tickets for the match are £10 for adults, £5 for children/OAPs & £25 for families - contact Bernard Wade (07905273655) or Darren Wrigley (07802557020) for more details.  [David Emanuel]

ANOTHER 'Kiwi Calssic Event' for your diary...the Millbrook Monster 10K takes place on Sunday 12th August at 10am from the Hare & Hounds pub in Stalybridge. The pub will be holding a barbecue & showing the Men's Olympic Marathon on TV after the race! Full details available from the UK Results website.  [David Emanuel]

JULY 17th 2012
AN interesting article by Scott Christensen, a US coach, on the case for barefoot running for distance runners: "When an endurance runner becomes more efficient through training, running economy improves...Studies by scientists have shown that...reducing contact time, thus improving stride rate, is the key to improving performance...If distance runners were to do training sessions of maximum velocity work, such as flying 30 meter repeats, they would learn to move their weight further forward on the foot, thus helping to reduce ground contact time, breaking forces and ultimately over-striding. They would get faster....The real practice key may be the use of more barefoot running on grass surfaces...Prescribing a session once per microcycle...such as 6 x 500 metres...would be useful in building foot strength for a stronger toe push-off..." No mention of running backwards barefoot, but I'm sure a combination of the two would produce incredible results. I'll let you know! [David Emanuel]

THOSE who were in the King Bill on Monday night, after a slightly damp 'away night' run, will be aware of the discussions - led by Mike Harrison - about possible events in 2013 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Royton Road Runners. Ideas that have been suggested so far include a long-distance run for charity (possibly a relay), a 24-hour running event, an overseas trip & a social event (involving as many of the original members as possible). I'm sure there are lots of other ideas out there too! Mike has suggested am open meeting, to take place at around 8.30pm after the training run on Thursday 26th July in the bar at Royton Cricket Club, for anyone interested in getting involved. New ideas & suggestions will be welcomed, but the main purpose of the meeting will be to invite members to join the '10th anniversary sub-committee', to start planning how to make the ideas a reality. The more people involved the better! If you'd like to be involved but can't get to the club next Thursday, you can instead contact Mike by e-mail.  [David Emanuel]

JULY 14th 2012
FIRST it was race reports, then music reviews...now it's time to try being a film critic! Colin Green & I were amongst the full house that attended the 'pop-up cinema' screening of 'Town of Runners', organised by children's charity Retrack in Salford on Friday night. This fascinating documentary focuses on Bekoji, a small Ethiopian town that has produced some of the world's greatest distance runners including Derartu Tulu, Tirunesh Dibaba, Fatuma Roba & the Bekele brothers, all of whom started running under the idiosyncratic coaching of Sentayehu Eshetu. By following the progress of two promising young female athletes from Bekoji, the film gives a sometimes disturbing insight into how success in athletics is seen as the only realistic way of escaping a poor rural existence - literally "run their way to a different life". The film is far from perfect - I would have liked more time spent looking at the way of life & training regime in Bekoji, while having a young local shopkeeper as narrator didn't really seem to work - but it certainly puts things into perspective & is worth seeing just for the great character that is 'Coach'. You can get it on DVD now for just £9.99! [David Emanuel]

Great message from John Purdy of Rochdale Harriers: "Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed Wednesday night's trail race. As a bit of an old stager at this running malarky, I sometimes forget about the people behind the scenes who put in a great deal of time, effort & hard work to make events like this happen. As such I'd really appreciate it if you would say 'thank you' to all the organisers, volunteers, marshals & everyone else who gave up their time to make the race happen."  [Bryan Lawton]          

JULY 12th 2012
A post-Trail message from Chairman Bryan Lawton: "Thanks to all the members who helped out last night and to all those that ran or supported
." 

JULY 11th 2012
A
very welcome glimpse of summer at tonight's Royton Trail race! It looks as though we fell just short of last year's record number of finishers, but RRR members were out in force as always. Highlights included a first 'home' race winner (Ian McBride) & a first RRR victory in the men's team race (Ian, Martin Schofield & Russell Ingham). Resuklts & full race report to follow shortly. Thanks to everyone who took part in the race, marshaled, helped organise, prepared the course, produced the results or (in some cases) did several of these!  [David Emanuel]    

JULY 10th 2012
WE
will as usual be having a post-race raffle in the Tandle Hill Tavern after the Royton Trail on Wednesday, riasing money for Dr Kershaw's Hospice. Please bring along a raffle prize if possible!  [Bernie Goodwin] 

JULY 6th 2012
RETRACK,
a Manchester-based children's charity, is staging a one-off 'Pop Up Cinema Event' screening of the film 'Town of Runners' at the Black Lion Hotel, Theatre Arts Centre & Cafe Bar in Chapel Street, Manchester (2 mins walk from Deansgate) on Friday 13th & Saturday 14th July. 'Town of Runners' is "a highly-acclaimed feature-length documentary film about a remarkable running coach at an athletic club in an impoverished Ethiopian village...with virtually no facilities he has trained an incredible series of brilliant runners, resulting in several Olympic gold medals...all athletes are trained at the same tiny village club by the same man...". All proceeds will go directly to support Retrack's work with street children in Ethiopia. To see a trailer for the film, buy tickets or find out more about Retrack, click here.  [David Emanuel]

IT'S that time of year again...this year's Urban Run takes place on Sunday 29th July at SportCity in Manchester. Starting on the 2002 Commonwealth Games track, you are invited to "run, climb, crawl, slip, slide, scramble & dangle through a challlenging, totally original urban-obstacle course around East Manchester". Sounds a bit like the Greater Manchester Marathon! Each competitor receives a limited edition T-shirt & finisher's medal. Minimum age is 14 & you can run as an individual or a team of three. Click here for more details & online entry.  [David Emanuel]

JULY 1st 2012
ALWAYS
had ambitions to be a music journalist, so here's my chance...the Stone Roses may have been playing at Heaton Park, Andy Murray was on the telly playing at Wimbledon, but the best place to be on Saturday night was the King Bill in Shore watching Chris Eavers playing live with Ransom! An excellent, varied set in front of an enthusiatic crowd, with the band's new guitarist playing as though he's been with them for years. And it was a lot easier to get a beer than it apparently was at Heaton Park. The evening concluded with Mr Eavers emerging from behind the drum kit to treat us to 'Mustang Sally' & a rare live performance of the 'Manchester Rap'. Great night!  [David Emanuel]    

JUNE 28th 2012
DON'T
miss a special treat at the King William IV pub, Shore, Littleborough OL15 9LW - scene of a recent well-attended away night. Our very own Chris Eavers & his band Ransom will be performing live at the pub this Saturday 30th June, starting at around 8,30pm. As anyone who has enjoyed Ransom at RRR Presentation Nights can attest, it should be an entertaining night!  [David Emanuel]  

JUNE 22nd 2012
DON'T
forget that it's another 'away night' on Monday 25th June, from the Fairview pub on Broad Lane. Scenic route planned, followed by your choice of carvery or 'pie of the day' for just £4.50. [Stuart Carroll]

ROYTON Cricket Club is hosting a quiz night on Friday 29th June, starting at 9pm. Entry is £5 per team, with free food & a prize for the winning team. Would be good to see a few running teams taking part!  [David Emanuel]

DATE for your diary...the Diane Modahl Sports Foundation is hosting a live Olympic Screening Dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester on Tuesday 7th August. The event is part of a series of 'Olympic Inspiration' events hosted by Diane Modahl with guest speakers - including Olympic athletes Brian Whittle & Sarah Storey & cyclist Yvonne McGregor - giving "insight into high performance principles & techniques". Cost is £55 per ticket or £500 per table of 10. For full details click here. [David Emanuel]

AND another event to put on the calendar...Littleborough Lions are hosting a 5K fun run on Tuesday 28th August. Click here for an application form with full details.  [David Emanuel]   

JUNE 20th 2012
FELT
like it was time for a bit of an RRR website refresh - so here it is! Please let me know what you think of the new design & layout, all feedback welcome!  [David Emanuel]

UK Military Fitness sessions use a blend of proven military & civilian training methods to improve overall fitness, strength, stamina & agility whilst exercising in groups in the outdoors. Their experienced instructors are serving or ex-armed forces & will enthuse & motivate individuals to achieve their full potential. New group sessions are starting in Royton on Tuesday 3rd July from 6pm to 7pm, meeting at 5.45pm in the main car park at Tandle Hill Country Park, Tandle Hill Road, Royton. RRR members would be very welcome - the first two training sessions are completely free of charge. More information can be found on Facebook here.  [David Emanuel] 

JUNE 15th 2012
LESS then a month to go to this year's Royton Trail race on Wednesday 11th July! To help with race-day organisation, it would be extremely helpful if RRR members intending to run could enter in advance. You can print an entry form from here & they will also be available at our next 'away night' at the King William IV pub in Shore, Littleborough on Monday 18th June (see the Away Nights page for details).  [David Emanuel]

FOR those not able to run the Royton Trail, your help as a race marshal on the night would be very much appreciated! If you are able to assist, please send an e-mail or speak to Dave Phillips at the club.  [David Emanuel]

FOLLOWING the announcement that this year's Sale 10 has been cancelled, the decision has been made to replace it in the RRR Club Championship with the Great Warford 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday 29th July. This race, on quiet country lanes between Alderley Edge & Knutsford, costs just £9 for club members & is held to raise money for a worthy cause. It also has the added advantage of being a week earlier than Sale is usually held, allowing a bit more recovery time before the Saddleworth 6 on 8th August. See the Club Races page for more details & a link to the entry form.  [David Emanuel]     

JUNE 9th 2012
THE summer edition of Northern Running Guide is out now - copies will be available at the track session on Monday evening & at the Cricket Club on Thursday, hope to see you there!  [David Emanuel]

JUNE 8th 2012
AS previously reported here, Monday 11th June is the next 'away night' as there is a crickey cup match taking place. Plan is to meet at Royton Assembly Hall car park at 7.15pm - a later start to allow everyone time to watch the end of England's defeat to France. There's also the option of the usual Monday night track session starting at 7pm (if you're less bothered about the football). This is the first of sveral successive Monday nights away from the cricket club - next up, on Monday 18th June, a nice run around Watergrove Reservoir & sandwiches/beer in the King Bill at Shore afterwards (as far as I know, the only pub with an RRR landlord)! Full details on the 'Away Nights' page.  [David Emanuel]

ANOTHER club championship race bites the dust! It's just been announced that the Sale 10 in August has been cancelled "due to circumstances beyond our control" according to the Sale Harriers website - if anyone should know, it's them. The RRR committee will be meeting shortly to decide whether to look for a replacement - confirmation here as soon as a decision has been made.  [David Emanuel]

CONGRATULATIONS to Bill Balmer, who today represented RRR in the 'Endurancelife Real Relay', an "exciting attempt to follow the entire route of the official Olympic Torch around Britain in one continuous non-stop journey, running every step of the way, 10 days behind the official Olympic Torch". Bill ran a 10.5 mile leg from Wigan to Bolton, in what I guess must have been pretty miserable weather, carrying what appears to be a lightsaber from Star Wars. I'm sure the force was with him! Click here for more details - there are still plenty of stages available, although they seem to be mostly in Scotland & Ireland.  [David Emanuel]

DAVE & Mary Freer have both entered next weekend's Freckleton Half Marathon (which is now officially full), but are now not able to run. There's still time for an official number transfer - if you're interested in taking one or both of these places, please let me know.  [David Emanuel]

ROYTON Cricket Club will be opening at 4.30pm Monday to Friday during the European Championships. Even the most boring games might be livened up by the special offer of five pints of Budweiser for just £10, available during the games only!  [David Emanuel]  

JUNE 4th 2012
EXCITING news - the much-anticipated return of the Oldham Half Marathon! Taking place on Sunday 21st October, rebranded as the 'Mill Town To Moors' race, the popularity of this race amongst RRR members in the past makes it the natural choice to replace the cancelled Holmfirth 15 in this year's club championship. Even better, the date of the race means that there's an extra week's rest before the season's grand finale, the Derwentwater 10 on 4th November...& our very own Mark Kelly is involved as Assistant Race Director. Mark has said that he's going to reserve some numbers for RRR members, but obviosuly it makes sense to get your entry in as soon as possible. Click here to visit the race website.  [David Emanuel]   

MAY 31st 2012
DON'T forget all the events taking place at Royton Cricket Club this Jubillee weekend! Especially Monday evening (4th June), when there will be live music from 'Minutes To Recover' (featuring our chairman's son), a great opportunity to make this a club social event. As I'll be away 'down south' at a wedding, there'll be no more website updates for a few days...so this is your final reminder!  [David Emanuel] 

MAY 30th 2012
NO track session on Monday 4th June, as the Kingsway Sports Centre is closed for the Bank Holiday. Normal service will resume on Wednesday 6th & the following Monday 11th.  [David Emanuel]

AS many of you will have noticed, we need more volunteers to lead training groups on Monday & Thursday nights for runs from the cricket club. You don't need to be the fastest runner in a group - just prepared to commit to attending regularly, planning routes & making sure everyone stays together. If you're able to help out, please make yourself known to one of the other group leaders next time you're at the club!  [David Emanuel]  

MAY 23rd 2012
GREAT news following the Greater Manchester Marathon! As a 'thank you' from organisers Xtra Mile Events for our contribution in organising an Aid Station, they have sent a £400 donation to club funds. Thanks to everyone who volunteered on the day - this is a great recognition of your fine efforts in very challenging circumstances!  [David Emanuel]

PLANS for the Jubilee weekend celebrations are progressing well - with plenty of opportunities for RRR members to get involved! Why not get a team together for the six-a-side cricket competition on Monday 4th June? There must be some handy cricketers in our ranks & it's possible to 'borrow' one player from the cricket team too. To enter a team, contact Darren (07802557020) or Max (07895160194). On the Monday evening there will be live music at the cricket club from 'Minutes To Recover' (featuring our chairman's son), so it's a great opportunity to make this a club social event. Meanwhile on Sunday 3rd June it's the Bowling Fundraising Event, with bowling members pairing up with non-bowling members for the chance to win a £50 top prize. Contact Zac Scott (07944859188) for more details.  [David Emanuel]

AN extra away night is required on Monday 11th June, as the cricket club have a cup match & therefore require use of the changing rooms. I realise it's short notice, but if anyone wishes to arrange a venue for this date, please let me know. Otherwise I'd recommend that people attend the usual weekly track session instead.  [David Emanuel]  

MAY 18th 2012
AS part of the Greater Manchester participation running project, GreaterSport (the Greater Manchester Sports Partnership) has secured 12 places available on each of the next two 'Leadership in Running Fitness' courses being held at the Etihad Campus, Manchester. The dates of these courses are Saturday 16th June & Sunday 9th September 2012, each course running from 8:45am ? 5pm. Places on the course are free (£30 deposit required) for anyone who would like to become a run leader & set up a new 'Run England' running group in Greater Manchester. These groups should operate for at least 10 weeks, with a view to being sustained. In return, run leaders will need to ensure runners complete runner registration forms, keep records of attendance & provide this information to GreaterSport or a named local contact. Run leaders should have some experience & a passion for running as well as an enthusiasm for helping others to reach their own goals. The course will provide information & techniques to lead a group of adult beginner runners. A licenced & qualified run leader also has public liability insurance. If you're interested in taking one of these places, please let me know & I'll send you an application form.  [David Emanuel]

FOR those who really like a challenge, & aren't planning to run at Freckleton, how about trying two '3-day events' in successive weekends? The popular Rochdale Harriers event takes place between Friday 8th & Sunday 10th June, starting with the tough Norden 6-mile road race. Then between Thursday 14th & Sunday 17th June the Horwich Festival of Racing includes the 'Mini Tour of Horwich' - which sounds slightly easier as the races are a bit shorter & you get a day off in the middle! If nothing else, these races could be good preparation for the Radcliffe AC 3-Day Challenge in July!  [David Emanuel] 

MAY 15th 2012
SENT some feedback to Tim Holdsworth at XtraMile Events, organisers of the Greater Manchester Marathon - just had a reply. Tim says, "On behalf of Xtra Mile Events I would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers from Royton Road Runners that helped at the Marathon. The horrendous weather made it a hard day for everyone & we are very grateful for your group's help. We have received really positive feedback from runners about how well organised & supportive the Aid Stations around the course were. Please can you pass my thanks on to the group. The conditions were extreme & all the Royton Road Runners volunteers went above and beyond the call! As with any first year event there were some teething problems with this year?s event and any feedback received will be discussed fully in the event debrief. The marathon will be taking place again next year and it would be great if your group can operate an Aid Station again." Anyone want to volunteer?  [David Emanuel]

MAY 8th 2012
DON'T miss out on a place in the Freckleton Half Marathon on 17th June! The event website says that this RRR Club Championship race was 90% full at the end of April - so there are only a few places left.  [David Emanuel]

IF Freckleton doesn't appeal - then there's always the Warrington 10K on the following Wednesday 20th June. This race is described as a fast, flat course around Woolston Park, East Warrington & there's an extra prize for breaking the course record! Further details here.  [David Emanuel]  

ON Sunday 27th May, Saddleworth Runners will be holding the annual Saddleworth Fell Race from Tanners Waterside Mill, Greenfield. As part of this event there will be several junior races for ages 8-16. If you have any youngsters who would be interested in entering this year's races...there are goody bags for all junior competitors & winning medals for all age groups. In addition this year's event is a Greater Manchester Fell Championships race & there will be, in addition to normal race medals, seperate medals awarded to those who qualify under this category. Full details can be found on the Saddleworth Runners website.  [David Emanuel]

MAY 7th 2012
IF you were one of the brave official volunteers on the RRR Greater Manchester Marathon Aid Station last weekend & didn't get your 'crew' T-shirt, please can you let me know - can you also confirm what size you requested. Thanks!  [David Emanuel]

LAST chance to enter the UK Backward Run 2012 in Heaton Park on Sunday 27th May! Entries close this Thursday 10th May - if you wish to enter you can now do so from here.  [David Emanuel]

ENTRIES are now open for the 2012 Sale Sizzlers - a series of four 5K runs in Wythenshawe Park for all abilities, with each event on a Thursday evening in July & August. This year they are hoping to get 500+ runners in each event. The final race on Thursday 16th August is going to be very special - taking place four days after the end of the Olympics, they are gathering together as many of the regions ex-Olympians as possible to grace the event, which will also incorporate the North of England 5K championships. Don?t let that put you off, it's a chance to meet many of the North?s top runners! Full details & entry form available here.  [David Emanuel]    

MAY 3rd 2012
DAVE Ellis has a place available for the Chester Half Marathon on 13th May 2012. If you're interested, please contact Dave direct & he will organise a number transfer.  [David Emanuel]

MAY 1st 2012
GIVEN the conditions that many club members experienced at the weekend, either running or working on the Aid Station at the Greater Manchester Marathon, spare a thought for Alan Bodell! Alan was making his debut in the Fellsman in the Yorkshire Dales - a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles over very hard rugged moorland, climbing over 11,000 feet. Alan has reported (via Des Thorpe) that he "ran more than I thought I would...night stage was hard & very boggy...got to 51 miles, just one hill to go & they cancelled it...it had got very cold & windy & just too many were pulling out...I was on for sub-20 hours..." Remarkably, Alan says that he'll probably give it a go next year. Respect due - he truly is hard as nails!  [David Emanuel]

ENGLAND Athletics, UKA & the other home country governing bodies are alert to their responsibilities to all participants in athletics in respect of all aspects of health & safety. One particular area that young athletes must be aware of is the risk of cardiac problems. There have been instances of young athletes suffering potentially fatal heart conditions without being aware that they are at risk. UKA has worked with Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) for several years, providing a screening service to athletes on the World Class Performance Programme. UKA & CRY are now seeking to encourage more athletes to use CRY?s screening service to help to identify any cardiac problems that may be otherwise hidden. CRY is a charity that was established to raise awareness of conditions that can lead to the sudden cardiac death of young people. They operate a screening programme at a number of clinics around the UK & support this with mobile units that travel to other locations. Full information about CRY & their services can be found on their website. Members who are under 35 or have children involved in sport & would like to know more about the National Screening Service can find more details here. There's also information on the UKA website on work being done by UKA in this area.  [Bryan Lawton]

PLANS are being developed for all sections of the Royton sports teams based at the Cricket Club to help organise & take part in events over the Diamond Jubilee weekend from Saturday 2nd to Tuesday 5th June. Activites will include a fun tennis-based competition, a bowls competition pairing non-bowlers with club bowlers, a six-a-side cricket competition with only one 'real' cricketer allowed per team & a sports day. Please put the dates in your diary - if you'd like to get involved, please let me know.  [David Emanuel]       

APRIL 25th 2012
SOME great articles in the press ahead of this year's London Marathon. In Sunday's Observer, Jamie Doward wrote from a runner's perspective that the marathon is a quasi-religious experience, suggesting that "we run because much of life is frustrating & futile...only by countering it with some sort of painful, time-consuming, hard-won conclusion to months of repetitious slog - which has kept us from friends & family & beer & sanity - are we able to make an act of defiance to the Fates who conspire over our lives...we run because it allows us, albeit briefly, to enter another world...this may involve discomfort or even pain, a sense of alienation from our normal comfort zone that reminds us of our mortality & makes us respect our capabilities & limitations...in turn, we are rewarded for our exertions with a form of release, a smoothing out of those toxic feelings of anger, anxiety, injustice & sadness that plague our everyday lives...we run to achieve a sense of inner peace, a recalibration of our souls...". Writer & broadcaster Muriel Gray - pictured here meeting a real celebrity (from Greenfield), came at it in The Guardian from a supporter's point of view: "On the other side of the barriers, standing steadfastly in all weathers, are the legions of camera-clutching, inflatable sausage-banging supporters ? the men, women & children who have lived with their loved one through the gruelling months, sometimes years, of training. I'll be one of them...the first sign of impending marathon ambition is the bathroom bulging with runners' magazines. Your runner, following the brutal schedule impelled by these hectoring glossies, will then be virtually absent from family life unless they're sufficiently self-sacrificial to rise at dawn to train. Our runner considerately performs this ritual, but sadly then falls asleep at dinner, at parties & unfailingly in the cinema. Even during Hostel Two. In their first marathon they will be nervous & slow, & this is the peak of your career as a supporter. It's back there waiting for the five-hour-plus runners, cheering on bearded men dressed as nurses & runners spewing up on the kerb, where the most uplifting events occur & you will cry until you're caked with snot. By the next marathon, however, your runner will speed up into a different group & the tears dry. Mid-range runners are serious, always in pain, & Superman capes are few & far between. This is when the danger of the marathon abroad creeps in. Never, ever believe you will have a 'romantic weekend' in Paris to support someone running. You will spend half a day queueing to register in a concrete conference centre & the other half searching for a shop that sells Vaseline. That evening you will pass every enticing French restaurant to find a touristy Italian that serves a Desperate Dan-sized plate of bland pasta. Race day will find you running, wide-eyed with panic, to find the 18-mile marker in time, to stand with torn strips of Le Monde taped to a garden cane held above your head for hours to hand over the disgusting energy gel pack he's banking on. Should they go sub-three, forget getting dewy-eyed. Now it's just skinny men in running-club vests ignoring the clapping & frowning as they tap GPS watches. Yet every single moment is priceless. The marathon is a celebration of life's truly excellent things - ambition, self-discipline, health, dedication, love & remembrance. Just remember that those of us waiting in the rain under the alphabet family meeting signs, bursting with pride & ready with the sweatshirts, are all a part of it too. We love you."  [David Emanuel]

TALKING of the marathon...you can't possibly have missed the news stories about the incredible response to the tragic death of Claire Squires during the race on Sunday. At the last count her JustGiving page, raising money for the Samaritans, had received more than 57,000 donations totalling over £650,000. If you wish to contribute you can do so here.  [David Emanuel] 

THE Edenfield Fell Race on 3rd June - part of the 'Run The Moors' Grand Prix series - has had the satrt time brought forward. It now starts at 10.30am. [David Emanuel]

ANOTHER fundraising scheme from Royton Cricket Club - they are running an FA Cup draw, with envelopes costing £5 each & prize money of up to £200 available. Not exactly sure how it works, but envelopes are available from behind the bar, you will be asked to select an envelope & sign it. All envelopes are sealed & will be opened on Cup Final Day (Saturday 5th May) before kick off.  [David Emanuel] 

APRIL 23rd 2012
TWO events organised by Royton Cricket Club coming up in the next few weeks. On Monday 30th April the potential Premiership title-decider between Manchester City & Manchester United will be screened live on the new big screen in the bar - the Monday night club run will be a bit shorter than usual, so that everyone can be changed & in the bar for the 8pm kick-off. Then on Friday 11th May there will be a Race Night, also starting at 8pm. There will be sandwiches & hot dogs available on the night. Horses can be bought for £3, with race sponsorships available at £25 - if you're interested, please leave your details at the bar for the attention of Phil or Irene Royales - payments are required in advance. The winning horse & race sponsors will each receive a bottle of wine.  [David Emanuel]

ANDY O'Sullivan has a mere six races taking place during May! In addition to our very own Ian Casey Memorial 5K on 17th May, there are four other races in Whitworth (Hilary Craft ?Action Against Cancer? Cowm 5K on Tuesday 1st, Ian Clegg Multi Terrain 5K on Monday 7th May, Jack Betney Memorial Resers 5K on Wednesday 23rd & Skye?s Syke & Healey Dash 5K on Monday 28th) plus one in Littleborough (Geoff Doggett 5K on Tuesday 8th). Full details of all of these races can be found on the UK Results website.  [David Emanuel]   

APRIL 18th 2012
AS
mentioned here previously, the 3rd UK Backward Run takes place on Sunday 27th May 2012 in Heaton Park, Manchester. If you've not yet been inspired to sign up, you may be persuaded by the fact that Reverse Running are introducing a new reward scheme for loyal backward runners (like me!), offering a refund off the entry fee for each new person that we recruit to take part. All you need to do is enter my name in the 'recommendation' box when you complete the online registration form, available from here. Any refund I receive will go straight to Dr Kershaw's Hospice!  [David Emanuel]

IT'S just been announced that Prince Harry will present the trophies to the winners of Sunday's Virgin London Marathon. Don't know about anyone else, but I'll certainly be trying really hard to finish in the first three now!  [David Emanuel] 

APRIL 16th 2012
THE first 'Away Night' date of 2012 has arrived already - it's next Monday 23rd April. Since there have been no proposals for alternative runs, and there will be no club run from Royton Cricket Club because of a cricket fixture, I'd recommend that those wanting a run go along to Brian Moore's excellent track session at Kingsway Park High School instead. Start time is 7pm. You may even see some of our returning London Marathon heroes!  [David Emanuel]

THE RRR Chairman may be trying to lead us astray! Bryan Lawton has proposed "a club social night in the form of drinking practice for the Manchester Marathon drinks station...my suggestion is that we arrange to meet at the Oldham Beer Festival at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the evening of Friday 27th April from 7pm. It's a good night & only a couple of quid to get in". I'm sure that all club members will be welcome along, not just those manning the Aid Station on Sunday 29th...although probably not a good idea for those actually taking part in the marathon. Then again, knowing the reputation some of them have...  [David Emanuel]

ANNE Jones sends a message to say that she is "running the London Marathon in aid of Guide Dogs - this will be my first marathon & hopefully I will complete it & raise money for this worthwhile charity. By sponsoring the Guide Dogs, you will be supporting a charity that provides life-changing partnerships to blind & partially-sighted people for years to come. I have a paper sponsorship form & also an online form. Andy O'Sullivan has kindly agreed to support this charity by offering the raffle money collected from the John Metcalfe Memorial Healey Dash on Wednesday 25th April, 7pm from the Albion Inn, Whitworth Road, Rochdale. (A671 Burnley Road) - approx three miles over the roads, trails & two laps of Brown House Wham Reservoir. I would appreciate any support with the above."  [David Emanuel]

APRIL 8th 2012
NO track session on Wednesday 11th April, I've been asked/co-opted/press-ganged into doing the results for the Steve Rothwell race - which most of you who frequent the track on Wednesdays will most probably be doing anyway. Back to normal next Wednesday 18th April.  [Brian Moore]

APRIL 3rd 2012
ALTHOUGH it's a Bank Holiday on Monday 9th April, the track at Kingsway Park High School does remain open...so out of the goodness of his heart, Brian Moore has confirmed that he will be running the usual training session from 7pm. So if you eat too many Easter eggs or Hot Cross Buns over the weekend, you know what to do!  [David Emanuel]

ISSUE 3 of 'RRR News' is out now! Contains all of those regular features which have made the first two such a good read ("Fantastic - I just couldn't put it down, can't wait for the next issue!" is just one of many quotes that I've made up). The new issue features a fiendishly difficult cryptic crossword...but only hard because I had to make the clues very small to fit on the page. Colin Green will hopefully be issuing copies at the club on Thursday, but there'll be more available next week - when I've printed them off.  [David Emanuel]

APRIL 1st 2012
CONFESSION time! The item below was a rather feeble April Fool's Day joke, with 'Olaf Pirlo' a bit of a giveaway, I think. Hope I had some of you believing it for a while! There is method in my madness, however, because the Athletics Weekly awards scheme is now open again for April nominations. If you've not voted before, please do so - it only takes a few minutes from here. If you voted last month, there's nothing to stop you doing so again - as I did this morning. In terms of the 'club ambassador' vote, as mentioned last month, I think we've got more chance if we coordinate our efforts - so for this month I've cast my vote for Colin Green, not least for his fantastic achievements with the Greenfield Greyhounds....but of course the choice is yours!  [David Emanuel]      

FANTASTIC news! Having previously encouraged members to vote in the new Athletics Weekly awards scheme (see March 13th below), I've been contacted by Olaf Pirlo from the magazine today. So impressed were they with the submissions that they received for Royton Road Runners that they've decided to change their plans, forget the monthly awards & make us their Club of the Year. However, because they want to announce this in the magazine later in the year, they've asked us to keep it low-key for now. So please congratulate yourself quietly...you're a member of the best running club in the land!  [David Emanuel]    

MARCH 30th 2012
MORE awards news! The Oldham Evening Chronicle has announced the One Future Oldham Sports Awards 2012, in partnership with the Oldham Business Leadership Group & the Integrated Youth Service. There are nine awards categories, including Club of the Year, Sports Achiever of the Year, Coach of the Year & Unsung Hero. I'm sure that you'll want to at least vote for the Club of the Year - in fact some (not me, obviously) would argue that it's your duty not only to cast your vote for Royton Road Runners, but to also get your family, friends & pets to do the same! To make things as easy as possible, I've obtained a copy of the nomination form which you can print from here - you just need to fill & return the front sheet & the one page relevant to the award. If you wish to nominate for more than one award you need to complete separate front sheets. You'll see that they ask for personal rather than club contact details for the nominee - when voting for the club I've confirmed that you need to provide our chairman's details (17 Chichester Crescent, Chadderton, Oldham, OL9 0RW, 0161-6523881, b.lawton4@ntlworld.com). Closing date is 30th April, after which an independent panel of judges will choose three finalists, who will be special guests at an awards night when the winners will be announced. The winners will go forward to represent Oldham in the Greater Manchester awards which in turn provide entry into the North-West & national sports personality nominations. Go on, you know it makes sense, vote Royton Road Runners today!  [David Emanuel]       

MARCH 29th 2012
SPLENDID news from Victoria Stackhouse at Dr Kershaw's Hospice, following the RRR Community Day last month, when we helped sort out their lock-up to enable them to hand it back: "Really appreciate all that you did on the day...just to let you know that because of the fantastic work that you carried out, it saved us here at the hospice approximately £4,000". Well done to everyone who came along to help on the day - George Meynell, Brian Hurst, June Allingan, Brian Moore, Bryan Lawton, Richard Fiddling, Debbie Fiddling & Chris Eavers - I reckon that saving makes it all thoroughly worthwhile!  [David Emanuel]

IF you haven't yet paid your annual RRR subscription, please can you do so as soon as possible! Fees are the same as last year (£40 for 1st claim members, £35 for 2nd claim) despite the £5 increase in cricket club subscriptions. Payment can be made to Richard Fiddling at most Thursday club training nights - but if you can't get there, you can alternatively post a cheque to Richard at 16 Cornbrook Close, Wardle, Rochdale, OL12 9NN.  [David Emanuel]   

MARCH 28th 2012
WELL we did it! As mentioned below (22nd March), Steve Senior of Middleton Harriers & I carried out our very own 'Running Vest of Hurt' for Sport Relief at the track on Monday, doing the whole session wearing each other's club colours. Steve claimed that the Royton shirt slowed him down, but many people commented on how good it looked on him. Nobody said the same to me (but then it's never been said about me in a Royton vest either). Here's the photographic evidence - note how we're both pretending to smile, but those are most definitely gritted teeth. I'm sure that most of you have already donated to Sport Relief this year, but if you haven't yet you can do so here. Thanks to those who have already contributed!  [David Emanuel]

ADVANCE notice for those training at the club on Thursday - there's preparatory work taking place between 6-8.30pm ahead of the perimeter fence being professionally sprayed on Saturday. May cause a little disruption around the changing rooms...but more importantly, I'm sure that they'd welcome help from anyone who can get there earlier than usual.  [David Emanuel]

THINGS are progressing nicely in preparation for the official RRR Drinks Station at the Greater Manchester Marathon on 29th April. An e-mail has been sent this week to all 24 volunteers, providing instructions for registration & to make sure you get the right size T-shirt - please can you action this as soon as possible. Safe to say that, if our plans don't give the RRR members running the race a huge boost at 38K, then nothing will!  [David Emanuel]

CONGRATULATIONS to the four Royton runners who travelled to Barcelona to take part in the marathon last weekend! Official results show impressive performances from Andy Schofield (3:35:13), John Kane (3:45:20), Steve Shaw (4:25:06) & Neil Barker (5:17:49). Well done all - the first of many, many marathons planned by club members this year! [David Emanuel]     

MARCH 24th 2012
AMONGST all the rather tiresome debate about the Stella McCartney-designed Team GB outfits for the Olympics, I was interested to read about the research by sports psychologist Professor Robert Barton of Durham University. The Guardian reported that he "co-authored a report in 2005 that showed that wearing the colour red consistently increased athletes' probability of victory...clinical sports psychologist Dr Victor Thompson argued that Britain had missed a chance to give their athletes a helping hand: '[They] may have missed an opportunity here to include more red in the design. This may have helped give the GB wearers a boost psychologically that would be reflected in physical performance...in addition, there may be negative effects on opponents, facing our athletes wearing significant amounts of red...'." It all makes you wonder how our yellow-and-green clad athletes (Ian McBride & Stuart Carroll in particular) have managed to perform so well this year!  [David Emanuel]  

MARCH 22nd 2012
MANY of you will no doubt be taking part or helping out at one of the many Sport Relief miles on Sunday 25th March...just thought I'd let you know that Steve Senior (Middleton Harriers) & myself have decided to take things a little further, in a variation on the Sport Relief Shirt of Hurt that we're calling (rather unimaginatively) 'The Running Vest of Hurt'. On Monday 26th March, at our weekly track session at Kingsway Park High School & for one night only, we'll be running around in circles wearing each other's club colours. Pictures will be taken & published here next week - but we'd welcome as many people as possible along to the session to see it 'live' & join in the fun. You can also make a donation to help ease our pain!  [David Emanuel]

MARCH 21st 2012
VERY
sad news has reached us that the husband of Lou Gilchrist has recently passed away. Sincere condolences to Lou & her family on behalf of everyone at Royton Road Runners.  [David Emanuel]

ENTRIES are now being accepted for the Rochdale 10K on 3rd July, race 9 in the RRR 2012 Club Championship. You'll find a link on the '2012 Club Races' page. This year's Rochdale Harriers Three Day Event has also been confirmed as taking place between 8th-10th June. I can thoroughly recommend this tough combination of road, multi-terrain & fell races...but probably not if you're also planning to run the Freckleton Half Marathon the following weekend (the mistake I made last year). All three events can however be entered individually - more details & an entry form here.  [David Emanuel]

THANKS to everyone who came along to the RRR Race Night on Saturday, and to those who couldn't make it but contributed anyway. A splendid £470 raised on the night, several shirts lost & John Sweeney proved to be a remarkably talented jockey, beating even Bruce 'Lester Pigott' Whittam. An excellent night, well done all & special thanks to Mike Bowler & his race team.  [David Emanuel]

MARCH 17th 2012
THE Two Crosses Event is next Sunday 25 March & it has been club tradition for as long as I can remember for RRR groups to run it together. I'm going & there are three other runners that I usually run with intending to do it, so anyone who wants to do 18 miles in around 3hrs 40mins is welcome to join us. I'm not sure what other groups are planning, but you may have heard on the grapevine who is planning to go. The event usually accepts entries on the day - registration is at Tottington Youth Centre usually from about 7:15am, start time is 8am. It is £10 on the day & you get food at checkpoints, tea & toast before the start & a meal at the finish. The route is along tracks, footpaths & a small section of open moorland. For anyone who hasn't done it before, it's just a nice well organised event that makes a change from the usual long runs that people do at weekends.  [Shiela Waite]

MESSAGE from Royton Cricket Club: Tesco for Schools & Clubs has this week re-introduced its voucher scheme. If you're not donating to any other school or club, please put your vouchers in the box on the bar at the club - they'll be used to obtain free sports equipment mainly for the junior cricketers.  [David Emanuel]

THIRD in our occasional series of motivational quotes: "Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision." Cassius Clay, 1960 Olympic gold medallist).  [David Emanuel] 

MARCH 15th 2012
YOU'VE
probably already heard lots about this year's Sport Relief & the Sport Relief Mile on Sunday 25th March...but it can't do any harm to mention it here too! There's plenty of local events to choose from - such as those at Radclyffe Athletic Centre, Dovestones Sailing Club & a 'flagship mile' in Hardman Square, Manchester. Cost to take part is £6 for adults, £3 for children & £15 for a family of four (two adults & two children). You can choose a distance from one, three or six miles. More details here.  [David Emanuel] 

MARCH 13th 2012
HERE'S
a great opportunity to raise the profile of RRR! Athletics Weekly has launched a new awards scheme. They explain that "we wish to reinforce our commitment to grassroots club athletics & running with a new monthly awards scheme, culminating in our annual awards to be announced at the end of each year. Each month there will be two awards - club of the month & club ambassador. Each monthly winner will also automatically be entered into our 2012 annual awards. Every club & club member is invited to register their choice for club and/or ambassador via our website & each proposal will be reviewed by our judges." It's really easy to cast your vote - just go to the Athletics Weekly website, register (which is free!) then log-in & enter your nominations & reason as prompted. If enough of us vote for Royton Road Runners we must be in with a chance! In terms of the 'club ambassador' vote, I think we've got more chance if we coordinate our efforts - so for this month I've cast my vote for Brian Moore, for all the great work he's done at the track (I did think about trying to communicate this without letting Brian know, but wanted to make sure the message gets out to everyone!). We can of course target our votes at other club members in future months - I'm open to suggestions, there's plenty to choose from! So don't delay, follow the link above & cast your vote today!  [David Emanuel]

AS mentioned here previously, Joe Ashcroft of Oldham & Royton Harriers, who died earlier this year, was a great contributor to local running & will be missed by all who knew him. If possible please support Andy O'Sullivan's 5K race at Cown Reservoir this Sunday in memory of Joe.  [David Emanuel] 

HAVING heard only good things about the Snowdonia Marathon in the past, I thought I should pass on details of the new Snowdonia Half Marathon which takes place on Sunday 1st April. The race starts at 12 noon next to the scenic Pont y Pair Bridge & heads out to the village of Trefriw via Gwydyr Castle, from where it heads up to the village of Llanfychwen & on to Lake Geirionydd, then back down 2.5 miles through stunning forestry to the finish at Pont y Pair Bridge. OK, I copied all that from their e-mail - which also says "a fast start to the race but save some energy for the hill in the middle!" All sounds good - more details on the RunWales website here. [David Emanuel]

MARCH 12th 2012
WE'VE today had confirmation of the position of the official RRR Drinks Station on the Greater Manchester Marathon course. Tim Holdsworth of race organisers Xtra Mile Events has written to say: ?I have allocated Royton Road Runners to Drink Station 12 which is based at kilometre 38 (Urmston village, opposite chef Peking)?the water station is located just after the 38km mark?. You can view an interactive course map here. This is great news, especially for the 20 confirmed RRR runners in the race, who will I?m sure benefit from the extra boost of seeing the massed ranks of fellow club members so close to the finish! I've written separately with additional details to all those who have previously volunteered to help. We?ve also been advised that, if we can recruit some more volunteers, then some of us could act as course marshals in various designated positions around the Drinks Station - if you are now able to help out on 29th April, please contact me as soon as possible.  [David Emanuel]

MARCH 11th 2012
IF our Race Night on 17th March isn't enough excitement for one weekend...the Cricket Club is holding a quiz night on Friday 16th. Teams of 4-6 people invited - £5 per team, the club will be open from 8pm with the quiz starting around 9pm & a cash prize for the winners.  [David Emanuel]

MARCH 7th 2012
STILL opportunities available to be an owner of a horse at the Race Night on 17th March! The cost is a mere £5 & you get to name the horse. Please act quickly - we need to get them sorted by the end of this week, so either see Bernie Goodwin at the club on Thursday or send an e-mail & I'll pass it on.  [David Emanuel]

DIANE & June Allingan are both running the Manchester Marathon! As this is Diane's first marathon, they are running to support Parkinson's UK (both), Francis House Children's Hospice (Diane) & Prostate Cancer (June). If anyone would like to donate to these great causes then they would be more than grateful - every little helps! All the money raised will be shared between these three charities. [David Emanuel]

MARCH 3rd 2012
IN October 2013, Dr Kershaw's Hospice is hoping to send a small group (about 20) to the Himalayas, to explore & trek this incredible area & raise much-needed funds. If this sounds interesting...on Tuesday 13th March at 7pm they are holding a fact-finding presentation when all your questions about the trip will be answered by a professional, experienced member of the Classic Tours team. If you (or anyone you know) would like to find out more about joining the intrepid walkers on this adventurous expedition, please contact Deputy Appeals Manager Christine Harrop on 0161-624 9984 or 07801483272.  [David Emanuel]

MARCH 2nd 2012
THERE'S a spare number available for the Dentdale Run on Saturday 10th March - if you're interested, please let me know & I'll pass the message on.  [David Emanuel]

ARE you interested in getting more involved in the running (excuse the pun) of our club? Any volunteers would be very welcome - as mentioned at the AGM, we're particularly looking for people to represent us on the Cricket Club General & Social Committees. Just speak to any of the RRR Committee (see the Contacts/Club Officials page for details).  [David Emanuel]

FORGET all the fuss about the 'Sun on Sunday'! Issue 2 of 'RRR News', the exciting - in my opinion, although I accept I may be a little biased, & if I'm honest it doesn't contain any information that hasn't already appeared on this website - new club publication, is out now. I'll be taking copies to the track on Monday 5th March & on the coach to Dent on Saturday 10th. If things go according to plan there should also be copies available at the club on Monday 5th & Thursday 8th, so it's going to be almost impossible to avoid having a copy thrust into your hand. Given that it's bound to become a collector's item in the future, I'll also be taking the remaining copies of Issue 1 to Dent if anybody wants one!  [David Emanuel]

TIME for a second in an occasional series of motivational quotes. This seems quite appropriate, with many RRR members reaching the really high-mileage part of their spring marathon training: "We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 metres. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." Emil Zatopek, four-time Olympic gold medallist).  [David Emanuel]   

FEBRUARY 26th 2012
EARLY news from today's Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool - it just gets better & better! Two Royton Road Runners 'on the podium', with fantastic performances from Ian McBride (2nd in 69:01) & Stuart Carroll (3rd in 75:06). Looks like we had 30 runners in a field of just over 1,000 - with six in the top 50 & nine in the top 100. Congratulations to everyone who took part - full race report to follow.  [David Emanuel]

FEBRUARY 21st 2012
NAMES are now being collected for the annual coach trip to Dent on Saturday 10th March - an even more special occasion this year, as it's the 150th championship race in the history of  Royton Road Runners. The coach will leave Royton (Assembly Hall car park, as usual) at 8am, planning to be back around 8.30pm, with some running & maybe a little drinking in between. Cost will be £10 or £15 per head (TBC, depending on the number of people travelling). Please add your name to the list on the noticeboard at the club as soon as possible - or if you prefer, let me know by e-mail.  [David Emanuel]

ANOTHER date for your diary: this year's much-anticipated RRR Race Night will take place at Royton Cricket Club on Saturday 17th March, starting at 7.30pm. Anyone who has attended these events previously will confirm that it's an entertaining night! In order that we can print a programme, we need in advance six race sponsors (cost £20 - with the race named after you!) & 36 horse owners (cost £5 - you choose the name!). We also need 36 jockeys (£2 each) - this can be done on the night, but you may want to book in advance to avoid disappointment! Other than that, we'll be charging just £3 a head for a curry. Proceeds to be split between RRR & Dr Kershaw's Hospice, our charity of the year. Once again, there's a list on the noticeboard at the club or you can book your race/horse/ride by sending an e-mail. See you there!  [David Emanuel] 

WE doubted that it would ever happen - arriving at the track last night more in hope than expectation - but I'm delighted to report that the floodlights were shining brightly & we were able to run in circles for the first time since December! A small group braved the rain as Brian Moore & Mark Kelly put us through a tough but enjoyable 6x800m session. Thanks to Russell 'Usain Bolt' Ingram, Ian Dale, Bill Balmer, John Sweeney, Rob Kellett & various 'guest' runners (from Middleton Harriers & elsewhere) for coming along. Also thanks to Brian & most of this group for turning up regularly over recent weeks, knowing full well that we'd probably be running on the industrial estate. Brian is now trialling an additional Wednesday night track session, starting on 22nd February at 6pm - if enough people turn up this could become a regular weekly session. Please come along & give the track a try on Mondays or Wednesdays - it would be good to see more laydeez attending regularly! Full details on the 'Track sessions' page of the website.  [David Emanuel]      

ANYONE have a number for this coming weekend's Great North West Half Marathon but is no longer able to run? We have at least two members (Chris Lowe & Ian Dale) who missed the entry deadline & are looking for a chance to race. Chris has already posted a message on the RRR Forums, but you can get in touch with me if you prefer & I'll pass the message on. Apparently the race organiser is advising that the race is full, but they will allow people to enter on the day if there are any cancellations - registration opens at 8am & it's first-come first-served. If you get someone else's number, please let us know in advance so that Brian Moore only has to produce one set of results!  [David Emanuel]   

FEBRUARY 18th 2012
THANKS to all the RRR volunteers who helped out at our Community Day for Dr Kershaw's Hospice today - George Meynell, Brian Hurst, June Allingan (winner of the best-dressed worker of the day award!), Brian Moore, Bryan Lawton, Richard Fiddling, Debbie Fiddling & Chris Eavers. Fantastic effort by you all - the lock-up was completely transformed, we've saved Dr Kershaw's a load of money & I know that Lisa & the team are really grateful. Great work!  [David Emanuel]     

FEBRUARY 17th 2012
INFORMATION reaches us at RRR Towers of a new Andy O'Sullivan race - one that's quite special to Andy. Skye's Syke & Healey Dash on Monday 28th May is named for Skye "the beloved westie of Andy & Em O?Sullivan...this would have been her 15th birthday...ALL proceeds to  Pennine Pen Rescue Centre". The race is 5K, incorporating two laps of BrownHouse Wham Reservoir. Click here for more details & an entry form. [David Emanuel]

FOR those who haven't seen it via the 'Manchester Area Running Clubs' Facebook group, this short animated video is great. I challenge anyone to watch it & not feel the need to go straight out for a run!  [David Emanuel]

FIRST in an occasional series of motivational quotes (and possibly last, although if you want to send them in I'm happy to publish!): "Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of." (PattiSue Plumer, American athlete, competed in the 1988 & 1992 Olympics)  [David Emanuel]   

FEBRUARY 16th 2012
YOU'RE probably heartily sick of messages about the RRR Community Day for Dr Kershaw's Hopsice this Saturday 18th February - but this is the last one. Promise! Plan is to head straight to Dr Kershaw?s lock-up, which is on Moss Lane Industrial Estate, 5a - 5b Moss Lane, Royton, Oldham, OL2 6HR. From Shaw Road (A663) head down Salmon Fields, then straight across into Moss Lane. I?m reliably informed that if we turn into the industrial estate through the red gates, past Unit 23 then right to a white building, the lock-up (Unit 15) is opposite.

We said we?d aim to start work at 10am ? both myself & people from the hospice should be there from about 9.30am. If you?re having trouble finding it, I?ll have my mobile with me (07985876621), or you can try Lisa Pearson from the hospice (07789772079). Some people plan to arrive later/after lunch, which is fine - all help is very welcome, for as much time as you can spare. This is by no means restricted to RRR members only, so if you know anyone who could do with a bit of (non-running) exercise on Saturday, please spread the word!

The hospice are planning to lay on some lunch, but given the limited facilities at the lock-up it might be worth bringing along something to drink (hot or cold). And come in clothes that you don't mind getting grubby!

Although Dr Kershaw?s will provide equipment, it wouldn?t do any harm to bring your own stuff if you have it ? that?ll help if we get lots of extra people turn up, and I know that it?s often easier using your own equipment! Things you might want to bring: gloves (for outdoor working), paintbrush/roller, stiff brush/broom, shovel.

Hope that?s all OK, but please give me a call on the number above if you need any more info. If we can work as impressively as everyone ran at Southport last weekend, we?ll be done in no time! Hope to see you there on Saturday. Don?t forget to spread the word!  [David Emanuel]

FEBRUARY 15th 2012
IT'S that time of year again...a desperate attempt to try to get some more RRR members to take part in the wonderful event that is the UK Backwards Running Championships in Heaton Park. For each of the previous two years it's just been Chris Eavers & myself representing the club - we currently stand proudly as officially the 6th & 8th best backward runners in the country - so it really is time that a few more took up the challenge! I know that several of you have started giving it a try (Dave Smith & Debbie Shaw - this means you!) & once you've got that far it really doesn't take much to build up to be able to compete over the one mile race distance. This year's race has been moved to 27th May from August - clearly they didn't want to overshadow the Olympics - so you can't even use summer holidays as an excuse. Click here for more details & registration!  [David Emanuel]      

FEBRUARY 14th 2012
ON behalf of our happy band of Mad Dog runners, I sent a 'thank you' message to Adrian, Race Director & self-styled Mad Dogsbody. Here's his reply in full: "I am so very pleased Royton enjoyed it - our pleasure to have you. I?m sure you can understand in the week before the event, I do start to wonder 'is it all worth it?', but it most certainly is! There were a couple of little hiccups on the day, but I think you are always going to get that with any event, but the feedback I?ve had via emails & on 'Runners World' is simply amazing. As you know, I am a runner myself & this seems to be a big advantage when you are organising a race like Mad Dog, because you know what runners want. Equally, I do try to put as much of the money back into the race as I possibly can. There are a lot of charities & people out there making a lot of money & most of them treat the runners very poorly indeed in my opinion. I like to think that this event is run firstly for the runners & secondly for the charities & good causes. There will be a Mad Dog 3, but I have to make some serious decisions about whether or not we take more runners (which would mean a different starting venue) or whether we just leave it roughly as it is, year on year. I look forward to seeing you again at Mad Dog 3 & once again, thank you very much indeed for taking the time to email, it really is appreciated!"  [David Emanuel]

IF you attended the recent AGM or have read the minutes on the Members Page, you'll know that annual subscriptions are now due - amounts the same as last year (£40 for 1st claim members, £35 for 2nd claim) despite the £5 increase in cricket club subscriptions. Payment can be made to Richard Fiddling at most Thursday club training nights - but if you can't get there, you can alternatively post a cheque to Richard at 16 Cornbrook Close, Wardle, Rochdale, OL12 9NN.  [David Emanuel]

MORE initiatives from Royton Cricket Club. First, the Social Committe are re-introducing the Bonus Ball Competition they ran some years ago (Lynda Marland as the co-ordinator). There will be 49 numbers available & you will keep the same number as long as you want to. Payment is £1 per week, payable in advance. You must be up-to-date to win. The member who has the same Bonus Ball number as drawn on Saturday's National Lottery Draw will win £40 (if all numbers are sold, otherwise a pro-rata reduction will be made), the remaining £9 will go towards club funds or projects as required. If sufficent number join up they will run another one on the same basis. First draw to be made Saturday 18th February. Secondly, the General Committee has approved a weekly draw (for members only) where one lucky member could win loads of beer tokens. However, the committee has stipulated that the winning member must be a fully paid-up member (except in February) and be present when the draw is made (6pm every Saturday). To quote the committee: "This has a two-fold effect on the club's finances by encourging you to pay your membership early & attending the club when the draw takes place - hopefully you will have a drink or two to kill the suspense." Initial prize (last Saturday) was 10 free pints - if nobody wins, it rolls over & two additional pints are added to the prize fund each week.  [David Emanuel]    

FEBRUARY 12th 2012
CONGRATULATIONS to Ian McBride for his magnificent victory in the Southport Mad Dog 10K, the first race in the 2012 RRR Club Championship season. Great to see so many Royton vests on show, and to hear of many excellent times & new PBs - results & full race report to follow. A great addition to the RRR race calendar!  [David Emanuel]  

FEBRUARY 11th 2012
DON'T forget our 'Community Day' at Dr Kershaw's Hospice next Saturday 18th February (see 25th January news item below). We'll be starting work at 10am - but there will also be an 'afternoon shift' for anyone who can come along after lunch. I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know as soon as possible whether you'll be able to help out for the morning, afternoon or both...that way I can advise Dr Kershaw's how much equipment we need & how many will be there for lunch. Many thanks!  [David Emanuel]

THE Holmfirth 15, race 16 in the 2012 RRR Club Championship has been cancelled. The race oraniser has been in touch to say that the race "will not be held again....the main reason is road safety and ever increasing costs". The RRR Committee are considering options for an alternative race - suggestions welcome - watch this space for further information!  [David Emanuel] 

POSSIBLE races for your diary: the Trotters Five is a 5 mile trail race in Bolton on Sunday 4th March, organised by Burnden Road Runners. And if you had intended to run the Blackburn Road Runners Winter Warmer 10K - which was cancelled like so many other races on 5th February - this race has now been rescheduled for Sunday 19th February. [David Emanuel]

SOME comments at the RRR AGM that members weren't aware of events taking place at Royton Cricket Club. So...in addition to a whole host of live football & rugby union on TV this weekend (bar opens at 12 on Saturday & Sunday), there's a fundraising 'Meet The Pro' evening on Saturday 25th February - a chance to meet Zimmy, the RCC professional for 2012 & sample some authentic Puntabi food, prepared by the top chefs from Indigo at Bury. The event starts at 7pm, tickets just £5 for adults (£2.50 for children). Tickets are available at the bar.  [David Emanuel]        

FEBRUARY 4th 2012
FOR all those who put their name down for the proposed coach trip to the Southport Mad Dog 10K on Sunday 12th February, I'm pleased to confirm that this is now booked. The coach will be leaving Royton (Assembly Hall car park, as usual) at 7.45am, leaving Southport for the return journey at approximately 5.30pm. There are seats still available if anyone else would like to travel with the RRR team - just send an e-mail or speak to Bernie Goodwin at the club.  [David Emanuel]

THANKS to all the members who attended the AGM on Friday evening. Some lively discussion & an excellent curry! A summary of decisions made can be found on the Members Page of the website.  [David Emanuel]

FOLLOWING several requests, a slight tweak to the arrangements for our 'Community Day' at Dr Kershaw's Hospice on Saturday 18th February (see 25th January news item below). We'll still be starting work at 10am - but given that this is still too early for those going for a long Saturday morning run, there will also be an 'afternoon shift' for anyone who can come along after lunch. Quite a few people told me at the AGM that they intend to come along - but I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know whether you'll be able to help out for the morning, afternoon or both...that way I can advise Dr Kershaw's how much equipment we need & how many will be there for lunch. Many thanks!  [David Emanuel]      

JANUARY 27th 2012
ANOTHER marvellous response to my request for additional volunteers for the official RRR Greater Manchester Marathon drinks station! Full list of volunteers now looks like this:
1. Bryan Lawton
2. Stuart Carroll
3. David Emanuel
4. Dean Burgess
5. Ged Navesey
6. Liz Phillips
7. John Lambe
8. Anne Jones
9. Mark Kelly
10. George Meynell
11. Julie Greenwood
12. Ronnie Quinn
13. Colin Green
14. Tony Kane
15. Mary Freer
16. Dave Freer
17. Tony Hunking
18. Ian McBride
19. Val Kilburn
20. Matt Kilburn
21. Jen Hanson
22. David Booth
23. Pete Bramley
24. Kirsty White
I'm sure they won't object to a few extra people...our many runners (18 at the last count) will certaintly appreciate the support! Further details to follow soon.  [David Emanuel]    

JANUARY 25th 2012
AN opportunity for a good deed! Following the great success of our 'Community Day' at Dr Kershaw's Hospice last June (see here for details), we have arranged a similar day of activity on Saturday 18th February. I know this is quite short notice, but there's a very good reason! The hospice currently rents a lock-up, used mainly for storage, which is a significant drain on funds that could be better used for the benefit of patients. Before they terminate the lease at the end of February some remedial works must be completed - mainly cleaning & painting - to avoid additional charges. The hospice has asked if we can help...and 18th February falls neatly between the two race weekends in Southport & Blackpool, whilst keeping the Sunday free for those who intend to run the fell race in Littleborough. I've suggested a 10am start to allow for those of us who like to get a run in early on a Saturday! All equipment will be provided (including face masks & rubber gloves - apparently it's very dusty) & lunch will be arranged for us at the hospice. It would be great if we could get as good a turnout as we had last year - if you're able to help this good cause (even if only for an hour or so) please let me know!  [David Emanuel] 

FOR all those representing RRR in the Pennine Bridleway Relay on 5th February - I will be at the AGM on Friday 3rd February to discuss everything regarding the race (kit requirements, transport logistics, etc). It will be great if you can all attend for this pre-race briefing!  [Des Thorpe]

YOU may have spotted that Andy O'Sullivan has organised a race at Cowm Reservoir in August called The 'Come On Eileen' Ingham Multi-Terrain Race. I had to ask Andy the question...apparently it's not to honour our very own Eileen Ingham, but by remarkable coincidence a lady of the same name from Bury AC who has "done lots for athletics & children?s charities". Still it is all in a good cause - Andy says that he wants as many Eileens as possible to take part!  [David Emanuel]           

JANUARY 24th 2012
LOOKS like the Greater Manchester Marathon is growing bigger than expected! The organisers are now asking if we can get 20 volunteers for the official RRR drinks station - we currently have the 18 listed below.
1. Bryan Lawton
2. Stuart Carroll
3. David Emanuel
4. Dean Burgess
5. Ged Navesey
6. Liz Phillips
7. John Lambe
8. Anne Jones
9. Mark Kelly
10. George Meynell
11. Julie Greenwood
12. Ronnie Quinn
13. Colin Green
14. Tony Kane
15. Mary Freer
16. Dave Freer
17. Tony Hunking
18. Ian McBride
If you're not running the race & are available to help out on Sunday 29th April, please let me know.  [David Emanuel]

JANUARY 21st 2012
THE Southport 'Mad Dog' 10K on 12th Feb - first club championship race of the season - is now officially full. If you've entered but won't be able to run because of injury etc please let me know - despite my best efforts to encourage everyone to get their entries in, I'm sure there are a few people in the club who left it too late & would be keen on a number transfer!  [David Emanuel]

JANUARY 20th 2012
WANTED: enthusiastic volunteer to lead the first RRR venture into the local Fell Race Grand Prix. GSOH & a pair of muddy legs an advantage, but not essential. Responsibilities won't be particularly onerous - attending a couple of meetings a year with representatives of the other clubs involved, co-ordinating our attendance at their annual presentation event & encouraging RRR members to take part in the races. Benefits - not many, apart from the honour of representing the club...but you will get your photo on the 'Contacts/Club Officials' page of our website, with the magnificent new title of 'Fell Running Captain'. Please let me know if you're interested!  [David Emanuel]  

JANUARY 19th 2012
THE club membership has reached the point where race groups were becoming overcrowded & as a result uncompetitive. The committee is proposing the inclusion of a new race group for the 2012 season - the new group will be called the Premiership & its inclusion will mean that we will have five race groups in total - click here for the proposed new structure. The reasoning behind having smaller race groups is to encourage competition of members at a similar standard which keeps things interesting & promotes inclusion. In previous years there has been the traditional promotion/relegation between groups based on overall finishing positions, together with the added discretion of the committee in order to prevent any anomaly. This year, we are proposing a move to a much more scientific system which ranks each RRR member (assuming they compete) in the following way: individual runners race finish time is compared as a % against the overall race winners finishing time. This is done for every race & distance competed in during the previous season (i.e. 2011). All % values from every race run are added together & divided by the number of races competed in to get an amalgamated number. This number is compared against all other runners in RRR & a club ranking generated. Allocation to a group is dependant on ranking (i.e. highest-ranked runners are put into the Premiership, next highest ranked runners in the Championship etc). Actual numbers in each group would be decided by splitting overall membership evenly over the five groups whilst ensuring that everyone that was expecting to be promoted due to their performance last season actually was. If you have any questions regarding the above, please speak to me on a training night, send me an e-mail or wait to the AGM when I will talk through the changes.  [Stuart Carroll]

JANUARY 17th 2012
AS you're hopefully aware by now, the RRR Annual General Meeting takes place on Friday 3rd February, starting at 7.30pm prompt. As usual, once the meeting has finished there will be food available (plus drinks from the bar, of course).To ensure that we allow enough time for a proper discussion, the deadline for 'Any Other Business' items is Wednesday 1st February - please submit any items to me by e-mail. The same deadline also applies if you wish to nominate someone for election to any of the Committee roles (Chairperson, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice Treasurer, Social Secretary, Communications) - nomination forms are available in the changing room at the club or from Marilyn, but you can also nominate by e-mail if you wish - please clearly state the names of the nominee, the person proposing & the person seconding.  [David Emanuel]

THE full list of Club Championship races is now available on the '2012 Club Races' page. Apart from the new first race in Southport, there are no surprises - we've kept the same events as last year. Entries are now open for most of those with dates shown - those worth entering early as they fill up quickly are the Mad Dog 10K, Chester Half Marathon & Freckleton Half Marathon.  [David Emanuel]

GIVEN the large number of club members known to have entered already, we're considering running a coach to Southport on 12th February for the Mad Dog 10K. A list will go up in the changing room on Thursday 19th January for you to add your name - but if you're not able to get there, please send me an e-mail & I'll put you on the list!  [David Emanuel]  

THE Dentdale Run on 10th March will (according to Brian Moore, club statistician & a man never to be doubted) be the 150th club race in our history. We know that, as always, there'll be a big crowd of us taking the trip up to Dent - but to mark this occasion it will be great to see as many as possible of the original RRR members coming along - either to run or to take part in the celebrations!  [David Emanuel]

ALTHOUGH not part of the 2012 Club Championship, we are keen to support the Joe Ashcroft Memorial 5K race on Sunday 18th March (the weekend after Dentdale). As reported last week, Joe was a great contributor to local running & will be missed by all who knew him. Please support this race if possible.  [David Emanuel]

WE'RE pleased to announce that we've joined forces with several other local running clubs to take part in a Fell Race Grand Prix this year. If you've been enjoying off-road training for the forthcoming Pennine Bridleway Rekay this may be right up your street! Please visit the new page on the website for more details.  [David Emanuel]     

JANUARY 15th 2012
GREAT to see so many club members have already entered a marathon for this year, as listed on the 'Marathons in 2012' page. If you've entered one & your name doesn't appear, please let me know. We don't yet have anyone entered in this year's Chinese Marathon - apparently the worst thing about running that one is hitting the Wall...  [David Emanuel]

JANUARY 13th 2012
RUNNER'S World has announced its top races for 2011, based on reader reviews. Somehow the Royton Trail missed out on a place in the top 10 trail races (I suspect voting irregularities!). The top-rated marathons include several that will be familiar to RRR members - Snowdon was placed 1st, Windermere 2nd, Loch Ness 4th, Abingdon 5th, Chester 6th, London 8th & Liverpool 10th. However the big news is that the top 10K was the Southport 'Mad Dog' race - a new addition to the RRR club championship & our first race of the year on 12th February. Even more reason for getting your entry in now - please note that the race is reported as 92% full!  [David Emanuel]

THURSDAY night was my first club training session of the year - & I was stunned by the number of people who turned up to run on such a cold night! Far too many to count, but there must have been at least 60. Well done to you all - and thanks to the hard-working group leaders for devising the interesting/challenging sessions that attract so many runners (Colin & Stuart even seemed to have arranged for a finishing funnel at the top of our first hill to help us practice our race finishes). For anyone who hasn't been to the club for a while, things are certainly thriving at the moment!  [David Emanuel]     

JANUARY 12th 2012
HELP needed! Dr Kershaw's Hospice is holding its Santa Stroll on Sunday 15th January, postponed from before Christmas...and they are desperately in need of additional race marshals. The event takes place in Alexandra Park, Oldham starting at 11am. If you're able to assist, please contact the hospice on 0161-6249984 or call Appeals Manager Lisa Pearson on 07789-772079. Any assistance will be very greatly appreciated.  [David Emanuel] 

JANUARY 10th 2012
CONDOLENCES from Royton Road Runners to the family & friends of Joe Ashcroft from Oldham & Royton Harriers. Joe died suddenly at the weekend after officiating at the Greater Manchester Cross Country. Several RRR members knew Joe from their time at Oldham & from many local races. [Marilyn Guest]

THANKS to everyone who has volunteered to help out at the official RRR drinks station at the Greater Manchester Marathon in April. We now have sufficient people to man the station...we'll probably organise a few practice sessions to make sure we're the very best drinks dispensers at the race! The full magnificent team is listed below.  [David Emanuel]

1. Bryan Lawton
2. Stuart Carroll
3. David Emanuel
4. Dean Burgess
5. Ged Navesey
6. Liz Phillips
7. John Lambe
8. Anne Jones
9. Mark Kelly
10. George Meynell
11. Julie Greenwood
12. Ronnie Quinn
13. Colin Green
14. Tony Kane
15. Mary Freer
16. Dave Freer
17. Tony Hunking
18. Ian McBride 

JANUARY 7th 2012
WE still need a few more volunteers to help at the official Royton Road Runners drinks station at the first Greater Manchester Marathon on 29th April 2012. Judging from the list I've compiled on the 'Marathons in 2012' page, most club members seem to have entered the race already, but there must still be a few left! You need to be available between 9am & 3pm (depending where we are located on the course). Not only will each volunteer get a GMM T-shirt & refreshments on the day, but the organisers will also make a per person donation to the club. From my previous request we already have 10 volunteers - please let me know if you'd like to join the best drinks station team.  [David Emanuel]

JANUARY 6th 2012
JUST an update & request for help with the Greenfield beginners running group. For those of you who don't know...I started a running group last January for people who did not feel able to join a 'competitive' club. This group has now been running for 12 months, has just been renamed 'Greenfield Greyhounds' & is going from strength to strength with a core of approx 25-30 regular runners (both male & female), with 80 people having run with us over the last year. I have run starter groups every six months & am about to start the next introductory group on Tuesday 10th January, which is exactly one year since our first meeting. I have recently funded myself on a Run England Leadership in Running Fitness course at Sportcity, Manchester & this provides me with insurance to lead running groups.We have been having two groups running every Tuesday from Tesco Greenfield. At 6pm we have a 5K group & at 7pm the 10K group meet. These groups are based on the races that people want to compete in & we do hill & speed sessions in addition to timed 5K and 10K courses. The new starter group is going to meet at 6.15pm (after I have given the 5K group their activity). Currently I am running this group on my own & would REALLY appreciate assistance, either on a regular or ad-hoc basis. It is a really friendly group & I am sure that you would enjoy the sessions, whatever your ability. This group is beneficial to RRR & we have already seen Jen Hanson & Kirsty White become regular members of both Greenfield Greyhounds & RRR. Indeed, about eight members of the Greyhounds will be joining RRR in the trip over to Southport in a few weeks for the Mad Dog 10K. I feel that it is really important to encourage new runners in their first steps into running - it can feel pretty daunting joining a 'professional' running club such as RRR. Any help would be very gratefully received! If you feel you can help please call me on 07803933760 or send an email. Thanks!  [Colin Green]

YOU may not know that Preston is the designated UK European City of Sport in 2012. As part of the planned activities, the Preston Guild Marathon will take place on Sunday 28th October. As the organisers say, "Miss it and you?ll have to wait another 20 years to take part!" We already have one Royton Road Runner entered - Neil Barker - if you'd like to join him, click here for more details.  [David Emanuel]