Monday, Sep 16 at 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Thursday, Sep 19 at 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Saturday, Sep 21 at 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Saturday, Sep 21 at 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM


RRR Cup Finals Day, 10th November 2018

New champion Phil Austin receives the trophy from 2017 winner Rob Battye

A free-to-enter annual competition, first introduced in 2013 & open to all club members. The RRR Cup builds on our support for & regular participation at Oldham parkrun, which takes place in Alexandra Park every Saturday morning at 9am.

The format is very simple - participating RRR members race against each other 'head-to-head' according to a random draw, with 'matches' taking place at Oldham parkrun on a mutually agreed date in a given calendar month. Winners are decided on a handicap system worked out by RRR statistical genius Brian Moore, usually based on best (recent) 5K times where available.

There is no requirement to run in club colours, although you'll look much better if you do. Competitors should introduce themselves to their opponent before the start, so that they know they are both present & the match is 'on' - a firm, friendly handshake is recommended, although hugging is permitted if both parties agree. Any use of 'mind games' is optional...

PLEASE NOTE that you must have your parkrun barcode with you on the day of your match. No barcode means your time won't appear in the official results & that will result in an automatic walkover for your opponent!

PLEASE NOTE: the runner shown on the left hand side is deemed to be the faster runner & the time against their name is their handicap - i.e. they have to finish ahead of their opponent by a bigger margin that this in order to win the match.
10th NOV: Phil Austin (23:18) beat Owen Flage (19:19) by 31 seconds

10th NOV: Tony Kane (25:13) beat Helen Radcliffe (24:03) by 30 seconds
13th OCT: Phil Austin (23:40) beat Tony Kane (25:28) by 1min 8secs
27th OCT: Owen Flage (19:10) beat Helen Radcliffe (22:52) by 2 seconds
18th AUG: Helen Radcliffe (22:49) beat Jason Keast (21:51) by 22 seconds
1st SEP: Owen Flage (19:18) beat Alex Critcher (23:10) by 1min 52secs
22nd SEP: Phil Austin (24:12) beat Andy Chadwick (23:30) by 48 seconds
Tony Kane beat Elliot Stone (walkover due to injury)
THIRD ROUND (matches to take place by the end of July)
23rd JUN: Jason Keast (21:33) beat John Fay (23:00) by 42 seconds
14th JUL: Phil Austin (24:50) beat Neil Brock (20:00) by 25 seconds
14th JUL: Elliot Stone (20:40) beat Jill Hickson (25:12) by 2 seconds
21st JUL: Tony Kane (25:23) beat Neil Bradley (29:35) by 7 seconds
21st JUL: Alex Critcher (21:55) beat Emma Bower (29:38) by 13 seconds
21st JUL: Helen Radcliffe (22:53) beat Paul Ashton (19:41) by 48 seconds
28th JUL: Owen Flage (19:58) beat Diane Allingan (26:22) by 24 seconds
Andy Chadwick beat Dave Watt (walkover due to injury)


21st APR: Tony Kane (24:14) beat Rob Nixon (21:36) by 32 seconds

21st APR: Phil Austin (24:44) beat Rob Fairbanks (19:14) by 1min 20secs

12th MAY: Emma Bower (29:28) beat Tom Giles (24:23) by 1min 45secs

12th MAY: Neil Brock (19:30) beat Gary Marshall (24:30) by 40 seconds

12th MAY: Neil Bradley (28:19) beat Jarrod Gritt (17:11) by 22 seconds

19th MAY: Dave Watt (24:17) beat Ian Giles (23:48) by 1 second

19th MAY: Jason Keast (22:35) beat Nick Mallon (22:36) by 1 second

26th MAY: Alex Critcher (21:51) beat Martin Thompson (19:23) by 2 seconds

26th MAY: Owen Flage (20:13) beat Paul Cooke (23:56) by 18 seconds

26th MAY: Paul Ashton (19:44) beat Simon Howard (23:28) by 9 seconds

2nd JUN: Helen Radcliffe (23:58) beat Rob Battye (18:28) by 10 seconds

16th JUN: Jill Hickson (25:09) beat Leonie Glynn (24:02) by 1min 8secs 

John Fay beat Ronnie Quinn (walkover due to injury)

Elliot Stone beat David Ellis (walkover due to "too much beer")

Diane Allingan beat Lee Higginbottom (walkover due to injury)

Andy Chadwick beat Kevin Heenan (walkover due to family commitments)

24th FEB: Owen Flage (19:53) beat Stephen Rogowskyj (34:13)
10th MAR: Emma Bower (38:21) beat Judith Bradley (38:44)
17th MAR: Neil Bradley (29:03) beat Emma Kennedy (41:54)
17th MAR: Phil Austin (25:53) beat Rob Kellett (22:42)
24th MAR: Ian Giles (25:02) beat Adam Stirling (23:30)
24th MAR: Tom Giles (25:23) beat David Emanuel (20:21)
24th MAR: Alex Critcher (22:44) beat Lisa Cummins (no barcode)
24th MAR: Andy Chadwick (23:03) beat Mark Rigby (22:08)
24th MAR: Gary Marshall (24:44) beat Garry Bower (22:47)
24th MAR: Rob Fairbanks (18:23) beat Simon Lake (24:34)
24th MAR: Nick Mallon (23:42) beat Adrian Marshall (24:43)
24th MAR: Jason Keast (22:24) beat Chris Nicholson (24:20)
31st MAR: Paul Ashton (19:53) beat Angela Rogowskyj (38:31)
14th APR: Helen Radcliffe (23:40) beat Bryan Lawton (21:48)
28th APR: Kevin Heenan (25:14) beat Warren Siddall (25:28)
Jarrod Gritt beat Michael Pickering (walkover)
Martin Thompson beat Matt Kershaw (walkover)
Rob Battye beat Jan Curtis (walkover)
Elliot Stone beat Brian Moore (walkover)

Diane Allingan (bye to Second Round)

Neil Brock (bye to Second Round)

Paul Cooke (bye to Second Round)

David Ellis (bye to Second Round)

John Fay (bye to Second Round)

Leonie Glynn (bye to Second Round)

Jill Hickson (bye to Second Round)

Lee Higginbottom (bye to Second Round)

Simon Howard (bye to Second Round)

Tony Kane (bye to Second Round)

Robert Nixon (bye to Second Round)

Ronnie Quinn (bye to Second Round)

Dave Watt (bye to Second Round)

10th Nov: A fine finish to this year's RRR Cup! Owen Flage continued his remarkable consistency in the latter stages of the competition - his 3 runs from the Quarter Final were all within 9 seconds of each other - but that wasn't enough to beat the ever-improving Phil Austin. Phil becomes our new champion thanks to yet another PB, a huge 22 seconds quicker than his previous best (posted in the Semi Final). Phil has done it the hard way, too - no byes or walkovers, 6 matches since March featuring 4 new PBs, with his quickest parkrun time now 91 seconds better than it was at the start of the year. A well-deserved victory.

There was also a great battle for the bronze medal, with Tony Kane just edging out Helen Radcliffe by knocking 15 seconds off his Semi Final time. For Helen I think this was one race too many - hardly surprising when she'd already run the Holmfirth 15 & Derwentwater 10 in the month since she completed the Chester Marathon, in order to get in 9 club races, as well as her Semi Final match. Time for a well-earned rest!

Thanks to everyone who took part in this year's RRR Cup & to those who have supported the event & Oldham parkrun in general. See you next year!  [David Emanuel]  
27th Oct: As befits an RRR Cup Semi-Final, we couldn't have had a much closer match at a bitterly cold Alexandra Park this morning. A great effort from Helen Radcliffe, running just 3 seconds slower than her best-of-the-year performance in the previous round, wasn't quite good enough to take Helen through to a 2nd successive final. That place is instead taken by an in-form Owen Flage, who's best Oldham parkrun time for 18 months, improving on his own Quarter-Final time by 8 seconds, gave him victory by a mere 2 seconds. That makes it the closest Semi-Final we've ever seen in the competition, beating the 4 second margin of victory for Greg Oates over John Lambe in 2013. That year also saw Ian Dale win the final by a single second - here's hoping for something similarly close on 10th November!  [David Emanuel]      
13th Oct: Phil Austin produced a stunning run this morning to progress to the RRR Cup Final next month. Fresh from knocking 5 minutes off his half marathon PB at Rochdale last weekend, Phil improved his parkrun PB, set in the previous round, by a remarkable 32 seconds. That brought to an end Tony Kane's great run through the competition this year - a fine effort by Tony was only 5 seconds slower than his Third Round time, in considerably tougher conditions, but there was no catching Phil today. Some consolation for Tony - he'll get the chance to race for the 3rd place medal on 10th November against either Helen Radcliffe or Owen Flage. Can't wait!  [David Emanuel]  
22nd Sep: interesting to see the contrasting preparation of the 2 contestants for the last of the RRR Cup Quarter Finals. Phil Austin is doing the high mileage, part way through a fundraising challenge of 3 half marathons in a month (Great North Run, English HM, Rochdale HM). Andy Chadwick, to judge from his Facebook posts, has been concentrating mainly on weight training, specifically lifting large fish plucked from various rivers & lakes. On the evidence of today's race, it seems that Phil's approach has been slightly more successful. A stunning new PB, 32 seconds inside his previous best, sees him through to the Semi Finals in style & means that 3 of his 4 best-ever parkrun times have come in this year's Cup competition. That was tough on Andy, running only his 2nd parkrun of the year after walkovers in the previous 2 rounds - probably not much consolation, but he would have had to match his PB from 3 years ago to have won this match!  [David Emanuel] 
1st Sep: confirmation of our 2nd semi-finalist, with a fine run by Owen Flage this morning taking him to victory over Alex Critcher. Owen produced his best parkrun time at any venue since April 2017. Commiserations to Alex who was not able to reproduce his form from earlier rounds, no doubt affected by the health issues that forced him to drop out of the recent Hopwood Trot - he's had a great run through the competition & deserves enormous credit for turning up & fulfilling this fixture!  [David Emanuel]   
18th Aug: an excellent, hard-fought start to this Year's Quarter Finals saw RRR Cup specialist Helen Radcliffe edge out Jason Keast & continue her quest for a 2nd successive final appearance. Jason set off like a rocket (I couldn't keep up on the 1st lap) & although he wasn't quite able to match the excellent time he recorded in the Third Round, this was his 2nd best parkrun of the year by some distance. Helen, however, is an old hand at this now & she's hitting form at just the right time. Only 3 times has Helen run quicker here - all in previous RRR Cup matches - & she crossed the line just 19 seconds outside her PB from 2016. I suspect that everyone will be keen to avoid her in the Semi Finals!  [David Emanuel]
28th Jul: another hard-fought match to finish off the Third Round! Diane Allingan finally got to race, after a bye & a walkover in her 1st year in the competition, & duly produced a fine run to record her 2nd best-ever parkrun (although only her 6th in total - I don't she yet counts as a 'regular'). However that wasn't quite good enough to beat Owen Flage, who showed he's getting back to his form from earlier in the year as he improved by 15 seconds on his Second Round time. So we're down to the last 8 - the draw for the Quarter Finals will be announced shortly!  [David Emanuel]
21st Jul: the competition is really hotting up now, as we reach the business end of this year's RRR Cup, with 3 hard-fought ties taking place this morning. Interesting to note that Neil Bradley & Emma Bower almost crossed the line together, just 3 seconds apart, but both suffered very narrow defeats to Tony Kane & Alex Critcher respectively. Impressive running from all 4, but Emma must feel particularly hard done by as she recorded her 4th quickest parkrun ever, only to see Alex cross the line just 4 seconds outside his own PB to claim the win. Meanwhile last year's runner-up Helen Radcliffe continued her apparently inevitable progress towards another final. Helen's quickest parkrun since last year's semi-final proved just too good for Paul Ashton, although he did produce his best time since January. Helen is the only woman through to the quarter finals so far - Diane Allingan will attempt to join her when the last 2 matches in Round 3 take place next weekend.  [David Emanuel]    
14th Jul: great relief that Alexandra Park was reopened in time for today's cup matches - there's no truth in the rumour (which I've just made up) that one of today's competitors poisoned the lake in a desperate attempt to get their match postponed. The competition was as hot as the weather, with 2 great matches & a particularly close finish between Jill Hickson & Elliot Stone. If Jill had been able to match the time she recorded in her 2nd Round victory over Leonie Glynn, she would have won by a single second - but as she crossed the line just 3 seconds slower, it's Elliot who progresses to the Quarter Finals instead, by virtue of his 2nd quickest parkrun of the year. The other match wasn't quite so close, mainly because of a superb run by Phil Austin, defying the heat to record his 3rd best parkrun ever. That proved just too much for Neil Brock, but he can take some satisfaction from his 2nd best parkrun of the year & 10th best ever (of 262), less than 48 hours after a fine run at The Royton Trail. In fact 3 of today's 4 runners competed on Thursday evening, demonstrating impressive powers of recovery!  [David Emanuel]            
23rd Jun: I think it's fair to say that the standard has been set for the 3rd Round - we're in for quite a treat if we continue to see the quality of race that took place this morning! After a bye & an injury walkover, John Fay was clearly glad to be racing at last & he did so in impressive style, beating his previous best parkrun (from nearly 4 years ago) to set a new PB, more than 30 seconds quicker than his fastest run of 2018. Unfortunately for John that wasn't quite enough, as Jason Keast also rolled back the years with his best time since April 2016, over a minute quicker than in his 2nd Round victory last month & in the top 20 of his 135 parkruns. So it's Jason who is the 1st person through to the Quarter Finals - he can now sit back & watch the remaining runners battle to join him over the next month or so. [David Emanuel] 
16th Jun: well I didn't see that coming - as my (poor) handicapping clearly demonstrates! I did think there was a good chance that Leonie Glynn would set a new Alexandra Park PB, given her fine performances at the recent Hollingworth Lake 5K series, and she delivered in style by knocking 52 seconds off her previous best with a time just 2 seconds outside her overall parkrun best (at Springburn in Glasgow last year). I also thought that Jill Hickson could improve on her best parkrun time this year - 26:57 in April - but didn't expect an improvement of almost 2 minutes. Only 3 times has Jill run a quicker parkrun than she did this morning, all of them coming in her great run to the Semi-Finals of last year's RRR Cup. This competition obviously brings out her best performances - with a Third Round tie against Elliot Stone to come next, she may well be on a similar run!  [David Emanuel]    
2nd Jun: they say that revenge is a dish best served cold. In this case it may have been past its sell-by date, as it's more than 7 months since Rob Battye raced to victory over Helen Radcliffe in the 2017 RRR Cup Final, but I'm sure that only added to Helen's satisfaction. Both demonstrated their competitive streak, with Rob running by far his quickest parkrun since last year's final, while Helen has managed just one quicker run in that time - in her First Round victory over another former RRR Cup winner, Bryan Lawton. If she's going to win the competition this year she's certainly having to do it the hard way - a Third Round match against a speedy Paul Ashton won't be any easier! A great race with a very narrow victory for Helen - thanks to both for making my handicapping look good!  [David Emanuel]
26th May: looks like our esteemed handicapper has really got his eye in now! After the 2 matches last week were won by just a single second, the biggest margin of victory of the 3 this week was a mere 18 seconds. The closest clash saw Alex Critcher edge past Martin Thompson by 2 seconds in an epic battle which saw both men set new PBs, with Alex's impressive 23-second improvement proving sufficient for a narrow victory. Paul Ashton wasn't quite able to match those heights, but he did produce his quickest parkrun since January to beat Simon Howard by just 9 seconds. Training for an ultra is hardly the best preparation for racing over 5K, so Simon should be very satisfied with his 9th best parkrun (of 110 attempts) & his quickest since February 2017. Meanwhile a fine run from Paul Cooke gave him his 8th quickest Oldham parkrun time - but this wasn't quite enough to overcome Owen Flage, who progresses to Round 3 with his 2nd fastest Oldham run of 2018.

Thanks to Steve & Angela Rogowskyj for their assistance with a very low-tech Third Round draw in the Boathouse Cafe after the run (no bingo balls this time!). Details of that draw can be seen above!  [David Emanuel]    
19th May: probably one of the best - certainly one of the closest - RRR Cup matches ever & I wasn't there to witness it! Nick Mallon & Jason Keast were so evenly matched that Brian Moore set a (rare) zero handicap...which proved to be extremely accurate, as the official timing shows them separated by just a single second. I've no idea if Jason sprinted past Nick on the home straight, or held off a late challenge in the final stages - either way, I'm sure he'll be dining out on the tale for some time to come (at least until the next round). Pretty tough for today's other tie to match that, but amazingly it did. Ian Giles set a superb new parkrun PB, almost a minute quicker than his previous best, to get within a second (on the handicap) of former RRR Cup winner Dave Watt, getting back to form after injury with his quickest parkrun since February 2017. Disappointment for Ian - probably made a lot worse by the fact that I mirsead the handicap & intiially reported that he'd won. Sorry!   [David Emanuel]    
12th May: three Cup ties this morning on the occasion of the 400th Oldham parkrun, producing some excellent performances despite the fact that all 6 competitors had completed at least one of the club championship races in midweek. The closest match saw Neil Bradley run his fastest parkrun for over a year to claim a narrow victory over a flying Jarrod Gritt. Jarrod at least had the consolation of crossing the line 1st, smashing his previous Oldham PB by more than half a minute & putting himself 19th on the all-time fastest Oldham parkrun list with the quickest time by any current RRR. I'm sure he can go quicker still - but it won't be in this year's RRR Cup! Tom Giles also set a new PB on his 3rd attempt at this course, improving by a full minute on his winning time in the previous round, but he also suffered defeat, at the hands of Emma Bower. With the help of some impressive parental pacing, Emma equalled her 2nd-best ever parkrun - only once, way back in May 2015, has she gone faster. By coincidence Neil Brock & Gary Marshall also both recorded their 2nd best time at Oldham in a close-fought battle. Gary was only 3 seconds outside his PB on his 77th parkrun, but it was Neil who claimed the win, crossing the line just 8 seconds outside his previous best, Remarkably Neil achieved this on his 233rd appearance & whilst completing his 4th race in 6 days. Exceptional running all round!  [David Emanuel]
28th April: one of those rare RRR Cup occasions this morning where the handicap is overturned! Admittedly there was little recent evidence to judge Kevin Heenan's form as he was running only his 4th parkrun of the year & his 1st at Oldham since last September, but he still produced a fine run - his best here since June 2017 - to finish in front of Warren Siddall & progress through to Round 2. A tough result for Sid, who ran his quickest parkrun since New Year's Day just a few short weeks after completing the Greater Manchester Marathon.  [David Emanuel]  
21st April: they were Rob-bed! Disappointment in the RRR Cup for both Rob Fairbanks & Rob Nixon this weekend. Rob Nixon will probably feel the most hard done by as he delivered yet another in his seemingly endless run of PBs, a full 43 seconds quicker than his previous best (a week earlier), but this still wasn't enough to beat Tony Kane. Tony produced an inspired run, his best parkrun for 2 years & 5th quickest ever. A slightly different story for Rob Fairbanks as it was his opponent Phil Austin who recorded a new PB, a 5 second improvement on the time he set in May 2017, to march on to the Third Round.  [David Emanuel]      

14th April: maybe I'm not so bad at this handicapping lark after all! Despite limited recent parkrun appearances to go on - not to mention the added complications of a long-term foot injury & a very recent marathon - today saw the closest RRR Cup match of the season to date. It was Helen Radcliffe who just came out on top, running only 24 seconds outside the time she ran in last year's final, an impressive performance just a week into her recovery from the Manchester Marathon. So disappointment for former champion Bryan Lawton, although he does at least have the consolation of posting a good time - just 2 seconds slower than the last time he ran at Oldham, in August 2017 - despite ongoing foot problems. Helen's victory means that in the Second Round we're set for a repeat of the 2017 RRR Cup Final between her & Rob Battye - can't wait for that grudge match!  [David Emanuel]     

31st March: quite a contrast to last week, with just 1 Cup match on a cold morning. Angela Rogowskyj produced an impressive run on return from her travels (including a parkrun on the south coast), but this wasn't quite enough to overcome Paul Ashton, who was a little slower than in his last 2 parkruns in January but still did enough for victory. Paul progresses to face Simon Howard as the Second Round becomes ever clearer; Angela will I'm sure be back for another go next year!  [David Emanuel]     
24th March: a bumper RRR Cup morning - 8 well-contested ties in total - contributed to a big Oldham parkrun attendance (252 finishers) alongside an impressive group of RRR RunTogether graduates. Pride of place must go to the Giles family, with father & son Ian & Tom both setting new Oldham PBs in beating Adam Stirling & me respectively. Alex Critcher was another to set a new best parkrun time, improving by a whopping 25 seconds, which meant that even if Lisa Cummins hadn't forgotten her barcode (tut tut) she would still have bowed out of this year's competition. Mark Rigby's new fastest Oldham time sadly didn't result in similar success - but Mark has only run a few of his 95 parkruns in Alexandra Park & he was up against an inspired Andy Chadwick who has only once gone quicker here, a full 3 years ago. The battle of the Gar(r)ys produced the closest finish in this year's RRR Cup, with Gary Marshall delivering his 5th best of 72 parkruns to edge past Garry Bower. Meanwhile Rob Fairbanks, 3rd across the line just 12 seconds outside his best Oldham time, claimed victory over Simon Lake, who recorded his best time since last July at a variety of different parkruns. In what was (I think) the 1st cup match considered so evenly-matched that there was no handicap, it was NIck Mallon who just prevailed over Adrian Marshall. Also progressing into the Round 2 draw was Jason Keast, beating Chris Nicholson despite the latter recording his best time at Oldham since 2016. Well run all! [David Emanuel]    

17th March: congratulations to the hardy RRRs who braved the snowy conditions to complete their RRR Cup matches this morning! Neil Bradley ignored the cold to record his 2nd quickest parkrun of the year & claim victory over Emma Kennedy, despite Emma knocking nearly a minute & a half off her last parkrun in January. Phil Austin also wasn't hanging about - he hasn't run a faster parkrun since he set his current PB in May 2017. This proved a bit too good for Rob Kellett, not quite able to match his last Oldham run on New Year's Day (he's run quite a few different courses since). Great effort all round!  [David Emanuel]

10th March: as the latest RRR Cup match took place, I along with many other RRRs was sitting on a coach heading north for the Dentdale Run. What we missed was a fine performance by Emma Bower, achieving the unusual feat of overturning the handicap & finishing ahead of Judith Bradley. Sadly Judith wasn't 100% on the day & was 'penalised' by a handicap based in part on her excellent run of 1:03:08 at the Mad Dog 10K in February. So it's Emma who progresses to Round Two, no doubt with faster times to come!  [David Emanuel] 

24th February: many thanks to Stephen Rogowskyj & Owen Flage for getting this year's competition off to a flying start on a very cold morning in Alexandra Park! Great credit to Stephen for putting his name in the hat after his recent health problems - he certainly did himself proud with his 4th best parkrun since the start of 2017. However that wasn't quite enough to match Owen, who ran his best Oldham time since June last year to progress through to Round Two. Well run both!  [David Emanuel]