Thursday, Aug 24 at 6:45 PM - 9:00 PM
Monday, Aug 28 at 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Monday, Aug 28 at 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Wednesday, Aug 30 at 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

THE ROYTON ROAD RUNNERS CUP 2016

 A record 77 members entered the 2016 RRR Cup - a new record.
See below for all the results. 

FINAL

8th Oct: Dave Watt (22:06) beat Chloe Clegg (23:44) by 35 seconds


THIRD PLACE RUN-OFF

8th Oct: Elliot Stone beat James Cashin (walkover due to illness)


SEMI FINALS

24th Sep: Dave Watt (23:09) beat James Cashin (23:10) by 43 seconds

1st Oct: Chloe Clegg (24:12) beat Elliot Stone (20:40) by 53 seconds


QUARTER FINALS

23rd Jul: Elliot Stone (20:21) beat Kirsty White (20:40) by 16 seconds

30th Jul: James Cashin (22:59) beat Helen Radcliffe (23:28) by 43 seconds

6th Aug: Dave Watt (23:26) beat Paul Joyce (18:13) by 25 seconds

3rd Sep: Chloe Clegg (24:55) beat Clare Darraugh (24:22) by 43 seconds

THIRD ROUND
18th Jun: Chloe Clegg (24:42) beat David Ellis (20:05) by 18 seconds
18th Jun: Helen Radcliffe (22:30) beat Simon Howard (23:29) by 1min 5secs
25th Jun: Clare Darraugh (23:26) beat Rob Battye (18:28) by 2 seconds
25th Jun: Dave Watt (24:16) beat Paul Cooke (22:53) by 52 seconds
2nd Jul: Elliot Stone (20:19) beat Becky Mercer (23:33) by 19 seconds
2nd Jul: Paul Joyce (18:22) beat Stephen Rogowskyj (23:10) by 29 seconds
9th Jul: James Cashin (23:11) beat Justine Cunniffe (32:55) by 4 seconds
9th Jul: Kirsty White (20:22) beat Matt Kershaw (20:02) by 37 seconds

SECOND ROUND

23rd Apr: James Cashin (22:44) beat Jason Keast (20:59) by 5 seconds

23rd Apr: Elliot Stone (20:42) beat Stewart Jones (25:34) by 3mins 22secs

30th Apr: Paul Cooke (23:10) beat Janet Jobey (21:58) by 23 seconds

30th Apr: Matt Kershaw (20:05) beat Lisa Howarth (23:58) by 3 seconds

7th May: Helen Radcliffe (22:38) beat Val Kilburn (21:37) by 11 seconds

21st May: Dave Watt (25:43) beat Matt Kilburn (20:46) by 23 seconds

21st May: Clare Darraugh (24:01) beat Jen Bloor (19:37) by 46 seconds

21st May: Simon Howard (22:32) beat Damian Mercer (22:56) by 17 seconds

21st May: Stephen Rogowskyj (23:32) tied with Shane Reading (18:57)

28th May: Kirsty White (21:02) beat David Emanuel (19:46) by 24 seconds

4th Jun: Paul Joyce (18:46) beat Lisa Cummins (25:43) by 27 seconds

4th Jun: Justine Cunniffe (32:54) beat Liz Phillips (30:19) by 4mins 5secs

Rob Battye beat Chris Nicholson (walkover due to injury)

Becky Mercer beat Paul Craddock (walkover due to injury)

David Ellis beat Simon Lake (walkover)

Chloe Clegg beat Gary Smith (walkover due to injury)


SECOND ROUND REPLAY

11th Jun: Stephen Rogowskyj (22:59) beat Shane Reading (18:51) by 27 seconds

FIRST ROUND

30th Jan: Clare Darraugh (24:52) beat Lee Higginbottom (21:10) by 28 seconds
27th Feb: Chris Nicholson (22:39) beat Carol Robinson (32:57) by 43 seconds
27th Feb: Matthew Kershaw (20:40) beat Andrea Simpson (24:33) by 43 seconds

12th Mar: Stephen Rogowskyj (23:36) beat Selina McLean (23:17) by 56 seconds

12th Mar: Gary Smith (23:21) beat Ronnie Quinn (22:23) by 12 seconds

12th Mar: Elliot Stone (21:13) beat Angela Rogowskyj (34:43) by 30 seconds

19th Mar: Justine Cunniffe (33:16) beat Martin Jones (23:18) by 1min 32secs

19th Mar: Simon Lake (22:50) beat Michael Harrison (19:09) by 34 seconds

19th Mar: Lisa Howarth (24:19) beat Rob Fairbanks (19:18) by 49 seconds

26th Mar: Val Kilburn (21:37) beat Bernadette Ball (30:03) by 1min 56 secs

26th Mar: Matt Kilburn (20:52) beat Garry Bower (23:10) by 53 seconds

26th Mar: Janet Jobey (22:42) tied with David Ellis (20:42)

26th Mar: Simon Howard (23:42) beat Diane Allingan (26:51) by 29 seconds

26th Mar: Damian Mercer (23:07) beat Nick Cuff (18:58) by 36 seconds

26th Mar: Paul Joyce (20:10) beat Adam Stirling (25:46) by 1min 36 secs

26th Mar: Rob Battye (19:07) beat Ben Lawton (25:02) by 15 seconds

26th Mar/2nd Apr: Liz Phillips (26:40) beat Emma Bower (31:04) by 2mins 24secs

26th Mar/9th Apr: James Cashin (23:37) beat Ian Dale (19:22) by 55 seconds

2nd Apr: Paul Craddock (26:01) beat Mark Smith (DNS)

2nd Apr: David Emanuel (19:29) beat Rochelle Evans (24:07) by 8 seconds

2nd Apr: Helen Radcliffe (22:49) beat Dave Peart (19:19) by 30 seconds

2nd Apr: Chloe Clegg (25:24) beat Tony Kane (25:00) by 2mins 21secs

2nd Apr: Shane Reading (18:47) beat Nefa Nessa (29:18) by 31 seconds

2nd Apr: Lisa Cummins (26:28) beat Anne Jones (28:56) by 13 seconds

16th Apr: Stewart Jones (22:36) beat Shaun Armstrong (19:11) by 20 seconds 

Paul Cooke beat Yousaf Butt (walkover)
Kirsty White beat Dan Yarwood (walkover)
Dave Watt beat Stephen Lee (walkover)

Becky Mercer beat Mike Bundy (walkover)

Jen Bloor beat Mike Doolan (walkover due to injury)

Jason Keast beat James Wright (walkover due to unavailability)

PRELIMINARY ROUND

30th Jan: Ian Dale (19:05) beat Eamonn Nolan (20:19) by 4 seconds
30th Jan: Selina McLean (23:41) beat Bryan Lawton (21:13) by 1min 12secs
30th Jan: Ben Lawton (25:11) beat Adrian Marshall (22:30) by 19 seconds

13th Feb: Stewart Jones (22:24) beat June Allingan (31:23) by 49 seconds

13th Feb: James Cashin (25:01) beat Adrian Bowcock (27:14) by 13 seconds

13th Feb: Bernadette Ball (29:22) beat Neil Brock (19:54) by 1min 52secs

20th Feb: Nick Cuff (19:27) beat Andy Hayhurst (22:41) by 44 seconds

20th Feb: Jen Bloor (19:22) beat Ronnie Garrod (20:35) by 13 seconds

19th Mar: Helen Radcliffe (22:59) beat David Crewe (21:52) by 1min 53secs

David Ellis beat Emma Kennedy (walkover due to injury)

Simon Lake beat Rachael Shuttleworth (walkover)

Liz Phillips beat Carl O'Callaghan (walkover due to injury)

Lisa Cummins beat Dave Phillips (walkover due to injury)

Mark Taylor & Janet Yarwood did not fulfil their fixture

8th October: that was some way to finish this year's RRR Cup! Chloe Clegg produced another remarkable run - having beaten her PB by 30 seconds in her Semi-Final last week she improved that time by another 28 seconds - but this still wasn't good enough to claim the trophy. Dave Watt rose to the occasion in magnificent style, beating his own PB (also set in the Semi-Finals) by a massive 63 seconds to become this year's RRR Cup winner. That means that Dave & Chloe have improved their parkrun PBs by 2:27 & 2:29 respectively as they've progressed through the competition - if you've been wondering whether it's worth entering next year, there's your answer. As Dave received the trophy from RRR Chairman & last year's winner Bryan Lawton (see below), we agreed that his victory is great news for headline writers ("Watt: A Win"; "Watt Powers To Victory"; insert your own pun here). With James Cashin unfortunately unwell & unable to compete in the 3rd Place Run-Off, Elliot Stone claimed the bronze medal but he didn't just treat the run as a 'lap of honour', running 12 seconds quicker than in last week's Semi-Final against Chloe & only 9 seconds off his best time of 2016. Thanks to everyone who has competed & supported the RRR Cup this year - hope to see you all taking part next year!  [David Emanuel]          
1st October: well the margin of victory may look big, but that's not completely the handicapper's fault! Chloe Clegg produced a stunning run, knocking 30 seconds off the PB set earlier in the competition, to progress through to the RRR Cup Final at the expense of Elliot Stone. Not much Elliot could do about that, but he gave it a best shot in recording his 3rd best parkrun of 2016. He does of course get an opportunity to run for the 3rd place medal against James Cashin. I must admit to a slight disappointment that Chloe's victory prevents a Stone v Watt contest, which I was planning to publicise as the "Units of Measurement Final". Maybe next year...  [David Emanuel]
24th September: it should take something special to get to the RRR Cup Final & that's definitely what we got from Dave Watt this morning. Having set a new PB in Round 3, then knocking a massive 50 seconds off that time to win his Quarter Final, Dave somehow managed to improve by a further 17 seconds to gain victory over James Cashin. Can he go even quicker in the final? Watch this space. James put in a fine effort, recording his 3rd quickest time at Oldham, but it wasn't to be his day. Still, I'm sure he'll be back fighting hard for the bronze medal in the 3rd Place Run-Off!  [David Emanuel]
3rd September: it's been a long wait for the last of the Quarter Finals & although neither Clare Darraugh or Chloe Clegg were able to match their wonderful PB performances from the previous round, this was still a keenly-fought contest. Chloe had the advantage of knowing that she just needed to keep Clare in sight to ensure victory & in an expertly-paced run she did exactly that, recording her 2nd best parkrun time only 13 seconds outside that PB set in June. Clare's 3 weeks of  warm weather training in preparation for this contest apparently got the 'warm weather' bit right without the 'training', but she still ran her 4th best parkrun to date. Clare insisted afterwards that she won't be entering the RRR Cup again next year as "I can't cope with the pressure". We've got about 6 months to change her mind... [David Emanuel]
6th August: wow! I've written in these reports before that neither runner deserved to lose & I'm going to have to do so again. Paul Joyce really couldn't have done any more - 1st finisher, with a new PB 9 seconds quicker than the new best time he set in the previous round, moving him to 55th place in the all-time Oldham parkrun rankings. Only 5 current RRRs have ever gone quicker than Paul's 18:13 - Stuart Carroll (17:48), Danny McManus (17:56), Dave Peart (18:00), Owen Flage (18:04) & Nick Cuff (18:05) - yet it still wasn't enough to go through to the Semi Finals. Dave Watt produced a phenomenal run, knocking a huge 50 seconds of his own fastest time, also set in the last round. Can he go even quicker against James Cashin?  [David Emanuel]        
30th July: it almost got lost amidst all the excitement of RRR parkrun day, but a classic Cup match today saw James Cashin progress to the semi-finals, a fine way to celebrate his 50th parkrun. Helen Radcliffe went out hard, knowing she had a 14-second handicap to overcome & it looked like this would pay off with a handy lead going into the final lap. However, James had paced his run to perfection & managed to get in front of Helen, crossing the line in his 2nd fastest Oldham time with help from pace-making referee Ronnie Quinn (right). Seeing her condition after the finish, I can vouch for the fact that Helen gave it absolutely everything, having only gone quicker in 4 previous parkruns - all in the earlier rounds of this season's RRR Cup. A great match, the result of which means that there will only be one ladyperson in the semi-finals!  [David Emanuel]  
25th July: a belated update to congratulate Elliot Stone on getting through one of the smallest-handicap matches we've had in the 4 years of this competition. Elliot displayed impressive consistency, finishing just 2 seconds outside his winning time from the previous round, making this his 4th best Oldham parkrun ever. A great effort by Kirsty White in defeat, however - not quite as quick as the new PB achieved in victory over Matt Kershaw earlier in the month, but still her 5th quickest parkrun in 65 attempts. A great start to the Quarter Finals!  [David Emanuel]      

9th July: just when you think the quality of this year's RRR Cup can't get any better...four fantastic performances today confirmed the line-up for the Quarter Finals, a shame that two people had to be knocked out! Despite injury problems, Justine Cunniffe produced her 2nd best parkrun of 2016 - just 1 second slower than her winning time in the previous round - but was beaten by James Cashin by just 4 seconds. James once more delivered when it mattered, running his 2nd best of all time at Oldham, also beaten only by his performance in the last round. The other match saw impressive new PBs for both Matt Kershaw & Kirsty White, with Matt improving his best by 3 seconds to come agonisingly close to breaking 20 minutes - I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he does so. However it's Kirsty who goes through after knocking 2 seconds off a PB which had stood since March 2015. So it's all nicely set up with 4 ladies & 4 men in the Quarter Finals!  [David Emanuel]    

2nd July: most unseasonal weather this morning, but that didn't prevent more excellent RRR Cup action! Becky Mercer returned from intensive preparation in Barcelona (apparently involving large amounts of tapas & red wine) to knock a huge 34 seconds off her Oldham PB - but that still wasn't enough to get through, as Elliot Stone ran his 3rd best parkrun, his quickest for more than 2 years. Stephen Rogowskyj also had a great run, his 2nd fastest of 90 parkruns beaten only by his fantastic performance in the 2nd Round Replay...but he was up against an inspired Paul Joyce. Paul recorded yet another new PB in crossing the line well clear of the field & is now in the top 70 of all-time Oldham parkrunners - with exactly the same best time as fellow RRRs Chris Lowe & Shane Reading. It was off to the Boathouse Cafe for the draw afterwards - the Semi Final line-up looks a bit complicated at the moment, but there are undoubtedly some great matches to come!  [David Emanuel] 
25th June: another top-quality morning of RRR Cup running, with PBs once again required to get through to the last 8. The closest match saw Clare Darraugh beat Rob Battye (right) by knocking a massive 35 seconds off her previous parkrun best. This was only just good enough, however, as Rob equalled his 2nd best time & was a mere 10 seconds outside his own PB, set last August. That's 3 ladies in the Quarter Finals! It was a similar result in today's other match - Paul Cooke also ran his 2nd fastest ever parkrun, but couldn't match Dave Watt who produced a great run to improve his PB by 17 seconds. One other match was scheduled for this morning but, with Elliot Stone forgetting his barcode, Becky Mercer generously agreed to postpone until next Saturday. True RRR Cup spirit!  [David Emanuel]    
18th June: there are two things we've learnt from today's opening Third Round matches. First, the ladies are going to be hard to beat this year; in the previous 3 years of the RRR Cup the only female Quarter Finalist was Jen Bloor (who went on to win in 2014), but we already have 2 this time with a possible 4 more to come. Secondly, the competition is now so fierce that you almost certainly have to run a PB to get through; only Simon Howard didn't beat his previous best today & I'm pretty sure that's because he had one eye on the 12-hour ultra he'll be running on Sunday morning! Even if Simon had been running at his best he'd still have struggled to beat Helen Radcliffe, who knocked yet another 8 seconds off her PB. That means Helen has now run a new PB in each of her 4 matches in this year's RRR Cup, an unprecedented feat. After the handicaps for these matches were published, David Ellis commented on Facebook that he'd "never broken 20 at Oldham" but he came very close with a fine run in 2nd place for a new course PB. That was no match for Chloe Clegg, though, as she ran a full 42 seconds quicker than she's ever run a parkrun before. Very impressive running!  [David Emanuel]        
11th June: a historic morning, with the 1st ever RRR Cup replay, & it certainly lived up to expectations. Shane Reading couldn't really have done much more, going 6 seconds quicker than in the dead-heat 3 weeks earlier - he has only run faster 12 times at Oldham in 131 attempts - but Stephen Rogowskyj was in inspired form. Breaking the 23-minute barrier for the 1st time, Stephen ran an incredible 33 seconds quicker than in the original match & improved his parkrun PB by 14 seconds. One to watch in the next round!  [David Emanuel]    
4th June: Becky Mercer looks on anxiously as Damian draws the numbers at this morning's Third Round draw. It's Elliot Stone who needs to be worried though, as both of Becky's previous opponents have been forced to withdraw & she hasn't actually had to run a race yet! If any of the remaining participants haven't received an e-mail with instructions for arranging their match, please let me know.  [David Emanuel]
4th June: not the best of starts to the day - already knowing that this was the 1st Saturday since the announcement of the closure of Little Stoke parkrun, it didn't help to wake up to the news that Muhammad Ali had passed away. Still, there's nothing designed to cheer you up more than an RRR Cup day, especially when it coincides with the 300th Oldham parkrun. A great match between Paul Joyce & Lisa Cummins saw both of them set new Oldham PBs. Lisa knocked a huge 45 seconds off her previous best - although admittedly it was only her 3rd parkrun - but Paul's recent 'warm weather training' (including 2 Florida parkruns) paid dividends as he came home in 2nd place to beat his previous best by 27 seconds. The other contest saw Justine Cunniffe run her quickest parkrun since 2014 to claim victory over a poorly Liz Phillips. Liz admitted she'd pretty much given up on the final lap & was well down on her winning time in the previous round - but credit for turning up when she clearly wasn't feeling at her best, that's the spirit of the RRR Cup!  [David Emanuel]     
28th May: much as it pains me to say it, the handicapper got this one just about right. If I'd been able to run at the level I achieved in the First Round, another tie could have been on the cards. Unfortunately I couldn't - although with the horrific injuries suffered in my fall during the Windermere Marathon a week earlier (really bad, honest!) I was pleasantly surprised to run my 8th quickest of 70 Oldham parkruns. That was no match for Kirsty White, however, who produced her best parkrun time since March 2015 to progress comfortably to the next round. An excellent run - I fancy KIrsty to go a long way in this year's competition!  [David Emanuel] 
21st May: another marvellous morning of RRR Cup action! Many of you will have seen the video on Facebook of Jen Bloor's spectacular fall down the stairs earlier this week - the fact that she was able to run at all was surprising, to produce her 2nd quickest parkrun ever (beaten only by her time in an earlier round) was truly remarkable. Not enough to win, however, as Clare Darraugh delivered a fine new PB, 8 seconds faster then her previous best from over a year ago. Jen's defeat means that we're guaranteed a new winner of the RRR Cup this year. Meanwhile a fantastic battle between Stephen Rogowskyj & Shane Reading saw them finish in a dead heat - only the 2nd time this has happened after the Janet Jobey/David Ellis tie back in March. We're currently trying to find a date for a replay. As if that wasn't exciting enough, both Damian Mercer & Simon Howard ran new Oldham PBs in a match with just a 7 second handicap. It was Simon who came out on top - just about - after knocking 9 seconds off his previous best, compared to Damian's 3-second improvement. There were no PBs in the final match, but Dave Watt did produce his 3rd best parkrun ever, his fastest for nearly a year, to progress at the expense of Matt Kilburn. It was close, though, as Matt ran a time only 10 seconds outside his own PB, set last May.  [David Emanuel]    
7th May: Brian Moore was giving today's match the big build-up on Facebook ("one day you'll be able to tell your kids, grandchildren 'I was there...' ") & for once it seems he may have been right. Helen Radcliffe & Val Kilburn both set new parkrun PBs in the previous round, so it was going to be tough to repeat that...but that's what they did. Val exactly matched her previous best time, but Helen was able to reduce her PB by a further 11 seconds & thus progresses through to the next round. Great racing!  [David Emanuel] 
30th Apr: another excellent morning of RRR Cup action - four great performances, two good matches & one of the closest finishes we've had this season. That came in the match between Lisa Howarth & Matt Kershaw, with Lisa running her 5th best parkrun ever & quickest since 2013 to get incredibly close to matching Matt - despite the fact that he knocked a remarkable 25 seconds off his own PB. Wouldn't be surprised if Matt  breaks the 20-minute barrier in the next round! The other match was pretty close too, with Paul Cooke going through after posting his 4th fastest parkrun, his best for almost a year. That was tough on Janet Jobey, who in only her 5th parkrun improved her previous best by the small matter of 44 seconds. That means it's all men through to the Third Round so far - we need to see some women winning!  [David Emanuel]       
23rd Apr: what a shame! The battle of the beardy-chinned twins turned out to be no contest at all. The stress of attempting to follow the Manchester Marathon with 2 successive RRR Cup matches finally took its toll on his calf & Stewart Jones was only able to limp around the last two laps of Alexandra Park. Credit to him for getting to the finish though! Of course Elliot Stone didn't know what was happening behind him & duly produced a fine run - 31 seconds faster than he ran in his 1st Round match, his 6th best at Oldham & quickest since May 2014. The other match was much closer & it took a big new PB from James Cashin to beat Jason Keast. Despite James having made what appeared to be a fatal error in setting a new PB a week earlier, he managed to reduce that again by a remarkable 34 seconds. Under those circumstances it was a great effort by Jason to get so close, as he recorded his 4th best of 83 Oldham parkruns & his quickest since June 2014. Great running!  [David Emanuel]              
16th Apr: the longest-running round of a Cup competition in history is finally at an end! We made the draw on 16th January, the 1st match took place 2 weeks later & now the long, long, long-awaited match between Stewart Jones & Shaun Armstrong has finally taken place. It was worth waiting for too! Less than a week after his Manchester Marathon exploits, Stewart was somehow able to run his 7th fastest Oldham parkrun (indeed his 7th fastest parkrun in the UK) to progress to Round Two. It was close, though, as Shaun produced his own 6th best Oldham time - although admittedly from considerably fewer attempts.  [David Emanuel]    
9th Apr: just half a Cup match this morning, as James Cashin completed his 'split' match against Ian Dale, who ran two weeks earlier. Quite a performance too, as James recorded his best parkrun time for 12 months, just 13 seconds outside his Oldham PB, to progress to a Round Two contest with Jason Keast. Tough luck for Ian, our first RRR Cup winner, who had earlier run his 2nd fastest parkrun of 2016 - although admittedly most of those have been on the tough Watergrove circuit.  [David Emanuel]  

2nd Apr: as you can see (right), a big crowd attended the cafe for the Second Round draw - unless they were there to see Nigel take his top off. With one First Round match not having been arranged, we had a spare spot in Round Two & made the decision to allow both Janet Jobey & David Ellis to progress following their dead heat a week earlier. Who knows, they may meet again in the final! Scroll down for details of the draw & then a bit further for results & news from today's exciting First Round matches. 

2nd Apr: cold & wet in Alexandra Park this morning, but that didn't stop some red-hot competition in 6-and-a-half RRR Cup First Round matches (the half was Emma Bower, not quite able to match the impressive new PB that Liz Phillips set the week before in their 'split' tie). Another 3 parkrun PBs all resulted in victories - which is as it should be - for Chloe Clegg (over Tony Kane - with apologies for my terrible handicapping!), Lisa Cummins (much closer against Anne Jones) & Helen Radcliffe (improving her Preliminary Round PB by a further 10 seconds to overcome Dave Peart). The closest match of the day saw me edge past Rochelle Evans by just 8 seconds, while Nefa Nessa seemed relieved that her opponent ran fast enough to knock her out of the competition - much to the delight of Shane Reading, finally getting a victory after losing his 1st match in each of the previous 3 years. With Paul Craddock getting a 'free pass' to Round Two, the longest-ever cup round is finally coming to a conclusion!  [David Emanuel]     
26th Mar: well it was bound to happen eventually, I'm just really disappointed I'm away for the Easter weekend & wasn't able to witness the 1st ever dead heat in an RRR Cup tie! Janet Jobey & David Ellis both delivered excellent performances, with Janet setting a new PB in her 1st parkrun for a year & David recording his 5th best of 77 Oldham runs. I'm hoping that we'll be able to agree a date for a replay, as they both deserve another chance. Val Kilburn & Ben Lawton also set new PBs,  but while Val's (by a massive 23 seconds) gave her victory over Bernadette Ball, Ben's 9-second improvement wasn't quite enough to beat Rob Battye, getting back to form with his fastest parkrun of the year. Matt Kilburn secured a 2nd family place in the 2nd Round with victory over Garry Bower, while Paul Joyce beat Adam Stirling & Damian Mercer edged past Nick Cuff. Simon Howard demonstrated remarkable powers of recovery - just a week after the Red Rose Ultra he ran his 5th fastest of 50 Oldham parkruns to progress at the expense of Diane Allingan.  [David Emanuel]               
19th Mar: this might just be one of the best RRR Cup days to date! 4 well-contested matches, some excellent performances & all on a brand new Oldham parkrun circuit due to resurfacing work in the park. The new route - including 3 trips through the woodland walk - seemed to go down well with lots of the runners present & produced 3 new PBs from those taking part in cup matches. Two of these came in the last of the Preliminary Round ties, an eagerly anticipated contest between two runners who have been sizing each other up at the track for several weeks; David Crewe knocked a huge 34 seconds off his previous best, but there was no stopping Helen Radcliffe, an incredible 74 seconds faster than she's run a parkrun before. The challenge now is to repeat that in her First Round match! Michael Harrison was the other to record a PB - by an impressive 26 seconds, for a 2nd place finish in only his 9th parkrun - but he had the misfortune to come up against a slightly more experienced Simon Lake (187 parkruns, 159 at Oldham), rolling back the years with his best run at Oldham since November 2014. By an amazing coincidence, Justine Cunniffe also recorded her best performance since November 2014 as she progressed to Round 2 at the expense of Martin Jones, despite Martin running well enough to post his 4th best parkrun time. Lisa Howarth did even better, finding some impressive form with her best Oldham performance since 2013. This proved just too good for Rob Fairbanks. At least this means that Rob can now get back to being a 'parkrun tourist' - this was only his 4th Oldham run, while his 120 parkruns have taken him to a remarkable 58 different venues to date!  [David Emanuel]
12th Mar: just as an eager coach-ful of RRRs were setting off for Dentdale, six plucky runners were instead lining up for their First Round cup matches. Since I was amongst those sitting on the coach I have to rely solely on the official results to write this report! They show a fine return to form for Gary Smith, recording his best parkrun of the year to beat former semi-finalist Ronnie Quinn - despite Ronnie running his 4th best Oldham time ever - by a nail-biting 12 seconds. The results also reveal mixed fortunes for the Rogowskyj family, with Angela narrowly beaten by Elliot Stone (another returning to form, with an excellent run giving him his best parkrun time since June 2014) while Stephen triumphed over Selina McLean. Stephen was another to post his best parkrun performance since 2014, which gave him victory despite a fantastic new PB for Selina, knocking 24 seconds off her previous best. A tough way to go out, but an excellent time & position (3rd lady) which will hopefully be some (small) consolation...  [David Emanuel]        
5th Mar: of all the days for Oldham parkrun to be called off, it had to be the busiest RRR Cup day of the year so far, with 6 matches scheduled. To rub it in even more, Watergrove parkrun managed to proceed as normal. Still, at least it means that we now have the mark of a true cup competition - a fixture pile-up! I'm sure that those due to race today will be busily setting a new date, but appreciate that this may be challenging in some cases. All we ask is that matches are arranged for the soonest possible date; we've already extended the First Round to 2nd April & if we need to go further into next month then we'll just have to push back the later rounds. As they said about the First World War, it'll all be over by Christmas...  [David Emanuel]    
27th Feb: thank goodness for that! Having been parachuted in as last-minute handicapper for today's cup matches, followed by a sleepless night worrying that I'd got them completely wrong, I'm relieved to report that the margin of victory in both matches was only 43 seconds. I'm sure it would have been closer if Brian Moore had set them, but within a minute will do for me. In my defence, Chris Nicholson did knock a huge 37 seconds off his Oldham PB, while Matt Kershaw ran his quickest time since June last year. These impressive performances proved to be just too strong for Carol Robinson & Andrea Simpson respectively, although both ran extremely well on a chilly morning - which helped make the handicapping look half-decent...  [David Emanuel]    
20th Feb: two very competitive Preliminary Round matches on a breezy morning in Oldham. Ronnie Garrod really went for broke & was leading Jen Bloor at the end of the 1st lap, but Jen moved ahead & raced to a PB by a huge 28 seconds (despite the fact that she was doubling-up with a cross-country race later in the day). No disgrace for Ronnie, who still held on for his 9th best time at any parkrun. Andy Hayhurst, making his debut at Oldham & running his 1st parkrun since 2013, ran quicker than any of his previous efforts at Heaton Park but this wasn't quite enough to challenge Nick Cuff. Nick, coming back from injury, was some way short of his best times (from July 2015), but still progresses to a First Round match against Damian Mercer.  [David Emanuel]       
13th Feb: a bit chilly in Alexandra Park this morning, but it soon warmed up oncfierce battle commenced in 3 RRR Cup Preliminary Round matches. Not really a day for PBs but some exciting contests nonetheless. The closest match saw James Cashin win by just 13 seconds against Adrian Bowcock - the latter completing his first ever parkrun, exactly what we were trying to achieve when we started this competition. Lady Club Presidentess June Allingan was also making her (official) debut at Oldham - although she has also completed a couple of Watergrove parkruns - but she wasn't quite able to progress to the next round, despite the generous assistance of her opponent Stewart Jones pacing her in to the finish. Stewart has a somewhat more substantial parkrun history, but he was still able to rise impressively to the occasion & deliver the 4th fastest of his 83 Oldham runs. Neil Brock hit similar heights - this was his 3rd best of 160 runs at this venue - but he was no match for Bernie Ball, who somehow managed to trick the handicapper & romped to a comfortable victory.  [David Emanuel]            
30th Jan: the 2016 RRR Cup kicked off in fine style with 4 matches featuring 3 PBs & a couple of really close finishes (or really impressive handicapping, if you prefer). Bryan Lawton continued the fine tradition of Cup winners getting knocked out in their first match the following season - despite producing his 8th best of 44 runs at Oldham parkrun he was no match for Selina McLean, who knocked a remarkable 39 seconds off her previous best to progress to a First Round match against Stephen Rogowskyj (who must be quaking in his running shoes). The Lawton family is still represented in the competition, however, as Ben produced his own PB (admittedly in only his 2nd parkrun & his 1st for nearly 2 years) to beat Adrian Marshall. The winning margin was just 19 seconds, with a brave effort from Adrian producing his best time on the course since July 2015. Ian Dale, the first ever winner of the competition in 2013, was up against the man he beat in that year's Semi Final, Eamonn Nolan. On that occasion the margin of victory was just 16 seconds, but it was even closer this time, with Ian prevailing by just 4 seconds. Finally, in an early First Round match, Clare Darraugh claimed an impressive victory over Lee Higginbottom, with her 3rd best parkrun time ever...although you have to feel sorry for Lee, making his exit despite a shiny new Oldham PB which is a well-deserved reward for his efforts on the track. Well run everyone & thanks for getting us off to a great start!  [David Emanuel]