THE ROYTON ROAD RUNNERS CUP 2014
Jen Bloor (20:14) beat Joel White (19:03) by 7 secs
Ronnie Quinn (22:09) beat Gary Fielding (18:59) by 31 secs
27th September: Jen Bloor (20:24) beat Gary Fielding (18:30) by 35 secs
Joel White beat Ronnie Quinn (walkover due to injury)
12th July: Ronnie Quinn (22:23) beat Des Thorpe (20:26) by 17 secs
19th July: Jen Hanson (21:17) beat Jason Keast (21:08) by 32 secs
30th August: Gary Fielding (18:48) beat Steven Shaw (23:07) by 1min 37secs
30th August: Joel White (19:26) beat David Leyland (30:05) by 22 secs
14th June: Joel White (19:36) beat Richard Fiddling (19:59) by 58 secs
14th June: Ronnie Quinn (22:23) beat Yousaf Butt (19:48) by 20 secs
14th June: David Leyland (29:53) beat Mark Wilde (19:41) by 2 secs
21st June: Jen Hanson (21:22) beat Dave Peart (19:20) by 59 secs
21st June: Steven Shaw (22:20) beat Sarah Collins (28:04) by 13 secs
21st June: Des Thorpe ran 20:30 - Liz Phillips unable to run due to injury
28th June: Gary Fielding (19:06) beat Rochelle Evans (22:21) by 51 secs
28th June: Jason Keast (20:52) beat Simon Lake (21:38) by 42 secs
19th April: Steven Shaw (21:48) beat John Felton (21:36) by 33 secs
26th April: Joel White (20:57) beat Mark Oliver (27:05) by 2mins 8 secs
26th April: Liz Phillips (27:21) beat Bryan Lawton (21:12) by 31 secs
26th April: Richard Fiddling (20:22) beat Simon Howard (23:58) by 56 secs
3rd May: Jason Keast (20:41) beat Dave Freer (19:53) by 37 secs
3rd May: Dave Peart (18:45) beat Katherine Brierley (27:49) by 9 secs
3rd May: Yousaf Butt (19:33) beat Elliot Stone (19:49) by 1 sec
10th May: Jen Hanson (21:46) beat Stephen Jones (24:40) by 1min 24 secs
17th May: Des Thorpe (20:08) beat David Ellis (21:06) by 23 secs
24th May: Simon Lake (22:00) beat Emma Kennedy (30:20) by 40 secs
24th May: Rochelle Evans (21:57) beat Chris Lowe (18:47) by 5 secs
24th May: Sarah Collins (27:19) beat Rebecca Robinson (21:29) by 30 secs
31st May: David Leyland (30:02) beat Mark Taylor (19:08) by 1min 6secs
31st May: Ronnie Quinn (22:28) beat David Emanuel (19:44) by 1 sec
Gary Fielding beat Greg Oates (walkover due to injury)
Mark Wilde beat Kirsty White (walkover due to unavailability)
15th March: Ronnie Quinn (22:30) beat Colin Green (19:46) by 6 secs
15th March: Mark Oliver (25:51) beat Paul Anderson (19:33) by 1min 2 secs
15th March: Emma Kennedy (28:31) beat John Lambe (21:51) by 3mins 5 secs
15th March: Simon Lake (20:37) beat Dan Yarwood (19:31) by 9 secs
22nd March: Katherine Brierley (28:50) beat Karen Stuttard (31:48) by 28 secs
22nd March: David Emanuel (19:52) beat Michael Harrison (20:36) by 54 secs
22nd March: Dave Freer (20:10) beat Shane Reading (19:23) by 33 secs
29th March: Steven Shaw (22:28) beat Ian Dale (19:25) by 57 secs
29th March: Yousaf Butt (20:06) beat Anne Jones (27:40) by 14 secs
Kirsty White beat Lisa Howarth (walkover due to injury)
Gary Fielding beat Val Kilburn (walkover due to unavailability)
Greg Oates beat Karen Mather (walkover due to illness)
Mark Wilde beat Rose Rowson (walkover due to injury)
David Ellis beat Karen Hayward (walkover due to injury)
The third-place play-off was slightly less close...yet another PB from Ronnie, knocking 13 seconds off his previous best, was just too good for Gary on this occasion.
Well done to all four of the competitors on finals day. Thanks to everyone who came out to support & all who took part in this year's competition!
Jen Bloor has come on leaps & bounds this year & is now the fastest RRR lady at Oldham parkrun, the 4th fastest lady overall. Before 2014 she'd only run parkrun twice (in 2011), but has returned from that three-year gap to run 11 times this year. Jen has regularly improved her PB to a current best of 20:24, set in beating Gary Fielding in the semi-finals. Her path through the competition also saw her beat Stephen Jones (running 21:46), Dave Peart (21:22) & Jason Keast (21:17). Jen is the only lady to reach the quarter-finals (or beyond) in the two years of this competition.
Joel White hadn't run parkrun at all prior to 2014 but has now completed 8 runs. He started in the Cup by knocking out Mark Oliver (running 20:57) & Richard Fiddling (19:36) before setting his current PB of 19:26 when beating David Leyland in the quarter-finals. With an injured Ronnie Quinn unable to fulfil his semi-final fixture, Joel progressed through to the final. His 19:26 makes Joel the 12th fastest current RRR at Oldham parkrun.
STOP PRESS: confirmed today that 3rd place play-off will also take place on Saturday!
5 Oct: Date for the final confirmed as Saturday 18th October. Get to Alexandra Park early to get a good view!
28 Sep: Sad news that, after having to pull out of the Swinton 10 because of his ongoing calf injury, Ronnie has had to withdraw from his RRR Cup semi-final. Joel had earlier offered to postpone the match until he was fit to run, but Ronnie now feels he risks doing more damage if he tries to race. So we have our final - I'll confirm the date as soon as agreed. Not sure about the third-place play-off yet - but hopefully with a bit more time to recover Ronnie will be able to take part.
19 Jul: On a wet morning in Oldham, an excellent demonstration of tactical racing by Jen Hanson means that we have our first female RRR Cup semi-finalist, after the all-male final four in 2013. Jason Keast put in a great effort - this was his fourth fastest of 61 parkruns - but Jen knew exactly what she had to do to deal with Jason's 41 second handicap & made sure that she kept him just within reach throughout the three laps of Alexandra Park. Confident that she'd done enough to win, Jen looked very comfortable as she crossed the line just nine seconds behind Jason...but it turned out to be a new PB by a full five seconds. Looks like there's more to come in the next round if needed!
12 Jul: Since the very start of this year's competition, Ronnie Quinn has been telling anyone who would listen that he's desperate to get knocked out of the RRR Cup so that he can avoid these stressful Saturday mornings. Yet still he keeps running fast times & progressing through the rounds! On a glorious sunny morning in Alexandra Park, Ronnie ran a time only one second off his previous best to become our very first semi-finalist. Credit also to Des Thorpe in defeat - not only for posting a very respectable time in the heat, following back-to-back races on Wednesday (Royton Trail) & Thursday (Bull Hill Fell Race), but also for putting himself up for the competition even though he was only just returning to running after a long period of injury. I'm sure he'll be back stronger & even quicker in 2015!
28 Jun: Here's the draw for the Quarter Finals - it's getting serious now! Some fascinating battles in store. Given that we're approaching holiday time, we're giving you until the end of August to arrange these fixtures, but please don't leave it too long to agree a date with your opponent. Handicaps (as calculated by Brian Moore) are shown below, with the handicap against the 'faster' runner.
28 Jun: Cometh the hour, cometh the speedy man...excellent performances from Jason Keast & Gary Fielding see them filling the final two places in the RRR Cup Quarter Finals, despite the brave efforts of Simon Lake & Rochelle Evans. Gary delivered a new PB by a huge 27 seconds - that'll give him a tougher handicap next time - but given that this was only Mr Fielding's fourth parkrun, Jason's performance was perhaps even more impressive. Only once in 59 attempts has Jason run faster than his 20:52 today. Well done both & commiserations to the plucky losers.
21 Jun: Another lovely morning in Alexandra Park, where not even the delivery of a large collection of portaloos to the home straight can stop Oldham parkrun! Jen Hanson showed her dedication to the RRR Cup by announcing that she had been out 'preparing' for her match until 3am...this clearly paid off with a new PB (by 24 seconds) which gave her a comfortable victory over Dave Peart, feeling the effects of a tough bike ride the previous day. The match between Sarah Collins & Steve Shaw was much closer, with Sarah pipped by just 13 seconds after another fine run from Steve. In our first-ever 'split match', Des Thorpe posted an impressive time in the humid conditions, giving Liz Phillips a tough target - she'll have to get within 22 seconds of her PB to go through to the next round. That & all the remaining Second Round matches next week!
14 Jun: The Second Round kicked off in fine style with three excellent matches on RRR parkrun day, amidst big crowds & in lovely sunshine. Some minor controversy too, as the provisional results show that David Leyland ran exactly 30 minutes...but as the 30-minute pacer on the day I know (as was confirmed at the finish line) that this was my time & David actually recorded the 29:53 assigned to the person in front of him. On the assumption that this will be corrected in the official results, I've taken 29:53 as David's correct time...a new PB which gives him victory by just two seconds over Mark Wilde, despite Mark producing a splendid run which knocked seven seconds off his previous best. The other two matches were more clear-cut, with Ronnie Quinn & Joel White both producing impressive new PBs to progress to the next round at the expense of Mo Butt & Richard Fiddling respectively. Joel knocked a massive 1:21 off his previous PB, with Ronnie improving by another five seconds. Mo's demise means that the showdown with Gary Fielding will have to wait until next year!
31 May: Some very interesting matches to come in the Second Round! There will be some disappointment that the much-anticipated showdown between Mo & Gary isn't going to happen...although it would make a great final if they both make it that far. Good to see that the four remaining ladies have been kept apart, hopefully some of them will make it through to the last eight. Handicaps shown against the 'faster' runner.
24th May: this year's RRR Cup has been to a large extent a story of injuries, as can be seen from the number of walkovers we've had so far. So although the morning ended in disappointment for both, it was great to see Rebecca Robinson & Emma Kennedy back competing at parkrun again. Despite the amount of training they've missed, both ran extremely well - Becki recording her seventh best time at Oldham (of 44) & Emma posting a time nearly a minute faster than any other run apart from the phenomenal performance in her Preliminary Round victory over John Lambe - but they didn't quite have enough to overcome strong competition. Sarah Collins delivered an impressive time just five seconds outside her PB to beat Becki, while Simon ran his quickest time since March to progress to Round Two at Emma's expense. Today's third match was a very close affair, with Rochelle Evans posting a new PB & breaking 22 minutes for the first time to defeat Chris Lowe by just five seconds, despite Chris running well enough to finish fourth overall. With Kirsty White & Greg Oates unable to fulfil their fixtures, that leaves us with just two remaining matches next Saturday to complete the First Round. Let's hope the rain holds off again as it did today!
17th May: Des Thorpe is back! On a glorious sunny morning at Alexandra Park, Des recorded a new parkrun PB - beating his previous best time from nearly three years ago - to progress through to the Second Round of the RRR Cup. David Ellis put in a valiant effort, recording a time just four seconds outside his Oldham parkrun best, but there was no stopping Des on this occasion. All First Round fixtures are now scheduled - you may notice that Mark Wilde v Kirsty White has two dates. As Mark & Kirsty have been unable to attend on the same Saturday morning, they have agreed to record their times on different dates. Obviously not ideal & possible that they'll face quite different conditions, but at least it means we get a 'match', so much better than a walkover or toss of a coin!
10th May: a bit late reporting Saturday's result - partly because I wasn't there, but also because Jen Hanson initially appeared as an 'unknown runner' in the results, presumably because she ran too fast for the timekeeper. However that has now been corrected & Jen's impressive victory over Stephen Jones is confirmed. Steve certainly put in a good effort, recording his sixth fastest of 20 Oldham parkruns, but it would have taken something extraordinary to beat Jen, who improved on her own PB by a massive 49 seconds. Not that I'm taking sides, but that makes Jen only the second lady through to the Second Round...since the final four last year were all men, we're hopefully going to have a better mix in the latter stages this time!
3rd May: Spring had sprung in Alexandra Park this morning. The sun was shining, the daffodils were out & so were the PBs. I don't think we've previously had two RRR Cup matches on the same day where all four runners beat their previous best times? I had a fantastic view (from behind) of the battle between Mo Butt & Elliot Stone - Mo went off fast as usual but Elliot, knowing he had 15 seconds to play with on the handicap, was running the perfect race & appeared to close the gap on the final lap. When Elliot crossed the line I was convinced he had got close enough, but Mo recorded his own new PB to take victory by a single second. Here's the power of the RRR Cup - in the last two weeks Mo has improved on his previous best time by 26 seconds, while this was Elliot's best by 28 seconds, beating a time he recorded in 2012. A great race & great effort by them both! Not quite so close, but just as impressive, was Jason Keast's victory over Dave Freer. Dave celebrated his 50th parkrun by running his fastest time yet at Oldham, producing a great sprint finish (overtaking me) to beat a previous best he set over a year ago, but Jason continued his rapid recent improvement with another PB by 14 seconds to book a place in Round Two. The third match today was another remarkably close affair (congratulations to the handicapper!) with Katherine Brierley - only two seconds outside the big PB she set last month - just failing to catch a flying Dave Peart, who recorded his seventh best time of 123 parkruns. Great racing, well done all!
26th April: not the closest of matches today, for once, but another clutch of PBs still made it an exciting RRR Cup day at Alexandra Park. The closest of the three matches was between Bryan Lawton & Liz Phillips, the most eagerly-anticipated Chairman v ex-President's daughter contest since Rupert Murdoch beat Julie Nixon Eisenhower in the Greco-Roman wrestling at the 1968 Olympics (fascinating ex-President's daughter fact: Nixon Eisenhower is actually the daughter of Richard Nixon, but married the grandson of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower). Bryan rose to the occasion impressively, producing a PB by three seconds, but couldn't quite compete with Liz's own new PB (by four seconds) in her first parkrun of 2014. Mark Oliver also put in a fine effort with his fourth best parkrun time, but Joel White's new PB resulted in victory on the handicap by more than two minutes. The third match was a battle between two injury-hit runners, with Richard Fiddling & Simon Howard both bravely battling through their aches & pains (in Simon's case, battling hayfever too). It was still Simon's quickest parkrun of the year, but Richard's solid run gave him victory by 56 seconds. Elsewhere, Shane Reading for once failed to deliver a new PB, presumably because his new celebrity status meant that he had to keep stopping to sign autographs on the way round...
19th April: an excellent parkrun morning, and not just because of the presence of a small (but perfectly-formed) RRR pacing team, although we did do a fine job! By my calculations there were 15 new PBs achieved by runners just in front or behind our 25, 28 & 30-minute pacers, for which I think we can justifiably claim all the credit. Meanwhile the RRR Cup First Round finally got started with a match between John Felton & Steve Shaw. In the fine tradition of the RRR Cup both produced PBs - John on his debut in the competition running 21:36, three seconds faster than his previous best in January. This was good enough to cross the line 12 seconds ahead, but not sufficient to beat the handicap. Steve, in only his second parkrun following his Preliminary Round defeat of last year's winner Ian Dale, ran a huge 40 seconds quicker than his previous attempt, so becomes the first runner through to Round Two. There's another three big matches next weekend - a good time to pop along to Alexandra Park!
22nd March: a cold & frosty morning, but nothing stops the juggernaut that is the RRR Cup! Despite confirmation of a few more unfortunate 'walkovers', another three exciting matches took place today. Results were not quite so close, so maybe not surprising that there were no PBs on this occasion. The biggest surprise of the day was Dave Freer's margin of victory over the PB-machine Shane Reading; Shane knew he probably needed another new fastest time to get through, so he went out fast but paid the price & finished with his slowest parkrun since the day before the Mad Dog 10K in early February. Dave duly came out on top with a time just 15 seconds outside his own previous best, despite this being only his second parkrun of 2014. Katherine Brierley, meanwhile, was running at Oldham for the first time since January but missed her own PB by just three seconds, enabling her to ease past a battling Karen Stuttard. Finally, I was able to benefit from a generous handicap - a consequence of Mike Harrison's very speedy 19:35 parkrun in August 2013, the last time he took part - to progress through to the First Round. We'll be back next Saturday for the last three of the Preliminary Round matches!
15th March: an excellent start to this year's competition, with a great atmosphere in Alexandra Park on a chilly, blustery but (mercifully) dry morning. Thanks to everyone who came along to run, support & assist our competitors - or in some cases all three! All four matches today featured a new or equalled PB, although only three of these resulted in handicap victories, for Mark Oliver (a third successive best, knocking more than a minute off the time he achieved just a week earlier), for Emma Kennedy (an incredible & unbeatable 2:38 quicker than her previous best) & for Ronnie Quinn, whose new personal best by four seconds was just enough to overcome a determined Colin Green in the closest of today's matches (so close that I got it the wrong way around in my initial report here - sorry!). Dan Yarwood also produced a very strong run with a great finishing lap to match his own PB, but the in-form Simon Lake (with his third best of 125 runs at Oldham) claimed a hard-earned victory by just nine seconds. So the First Round is starting to take shape - sadly with two 'walkovers' in the Preliminary Round, as shown below - and we've already lost the bronze medallist from last year in John Lambe. Just goes to show that anything can happen!