Eynsham Challenge – Away leg

Wednesday 2nd August Route is approx. 4 miles
7pm @ the Pavilion, Oxford rd, Eynsham. Please arrive by 6.45 at the latest
Jolly Sportsman in Eynsham for BBQ and results after.

We have to play by Eynsham’s rules for this leg, but we need as many runners there as possible.

Only 33 people can make up the teams, but every runner can affect the result.
Lucy, Rachael and I will be name gathering over the next couple of weeks as we want to try and have the teams sorted before the night.

If you put your name forward it is a commitment to turning up.
We need your Name and age in order to work out the teams.
It doesn’t matter if we win or lose, we just want you all to come along and support this event, and make it as successful as our leg.

The Teams /Rules are as follows

Club tops must be worn.
3 per team, 1 must be a lady, 1 must be a vet (not the animal kind). The vet and the lady can be the same person.
11 teams of 3 from each club. A team against team A, B against B, and so on.
Straight off race with the result based on the finishing positions of the team members. For example; if Wrr A finish 2nd, 5th, 6th = 13. Eynsham A finish 1st, 3rd, 7th =11. Lowest total wins so 1 point to Eynsham.

This is where anyone not in a team can affect the result. If any Wrr finish ahead of an Eynsham runner who is in a team they finish further down the field, and thus post a bigger points number, and visa versa


 Thursday 20th July 2017….7pm….The Griffin Pub, Newland

This fantastic event is here again!! Its not really a race, more an exercise in judging your pace.

The idea is to choose one of the 3 distances available on the night (and before you ask, no you can’t know the routes in advance!!), varying between 3.5 and 5 miles. THEN estimate what you think your time will be, THEN run the route WITHOUT a stopwatch and see how close you are to your predicted time!! Easy peasy, I hear you say!

Nows the interesting bit…the winner, and there’ll only be one, regardless of the distance, is the person who is nearest their predicted time, WITHOUT going over. Ha! Not so easy now, is it?

It would be great if you could wear your Orange or Yellow WRR training top, but this is not essential. It just looks SO good, all those orange/yellow vests out there!

Entry fee is just £3, and this includes food…what a bargain!!

Come along and join in the fun, it really is a great event and a great test of your pace judgement, and if nothing else, a bit of a change from the usual Thursday night burn-up……see you there!

Marathon Challenge

Every year the junior section of the club complete a marathon challenge. They cover the distance in the form of a relay over 107 laps of the track at Radley, but in a 4×100 format, in other words, you run 100 metres, pass the baton, Walt until it comes around again, do another 100 meters…….etc. Having watched last year I thought it would be a great idea to take part and challenge them, be warned they are quick,!! But it would be good to compete as a whole club Having put some ? Thought into it we need about 30 runners, that way you would only do 12x 100 reps,sounds ok doesn’t it ?

Graham and Lucy will be chasing after names so come on get your name down July 23rd at Radley college 2.00 pm bring a picnic (and your trainers)



The new WRR kit is now available to all to purchase.

The kit was on display last Tuesday at the Eynsham Challenge, Thursday at Club and Saturday at LibFest for WRR to try on for size. 

All vests and T-shirts are £23 each.

I would like to sell to competing WRR first to ensure they have them for competition and then place an order for those who are not so urgent, order time is only a couple of weeks.

This week is the Motavation, but each Thursday after that I will bring down to Thursday club sessions.

Tony Lock will shortly be in possession of the kit for juniors.

Please come along to club sessions and place your orders, or email me –



Tuesday 20th June.  Run starts 7pm.

Witney Pavilion/Bowls club. Station Lane. Witney.
Parking is available in the Cottsway Offices. Station Lane. Opposite the Pavilion.
There are changing facilities, but NO showers.
To take part in this event, just turn up on the night ready to give it your all for your club. You MUST wear your club T-shirt/Vest.
The route is Multi-terrain of approx. 3.7 miles
There will be food afterwards at a cost of £2/£3pp.
We need to get food numbers in advance this year, so if you want food please let Lucy Harris know by 18th June.
Jacket spuds with Chilli or Tuna plus Cheese.
There will also be the usual Raffle. The ticket is included in the food fee.
Donations of prizes please.

If for any reason you are unable to run, we require about 12 Marshals.

I have tweaked the scoring system this year, so that EVERYONE who runs, counts towards the result. This includes you Mrs West. 

The result is worked out as follows:

Everyone’s finishing time is recorded and those times are added together to give a total time for each club.  This will then be divided by the number of runners from each club respectively to give an average time for the route per club.
Fastest average wins.

RIDGEWAY RELAY 2017  Sunday 18th June

The two teams are now finalised and the big day approaches. If you are running a leg for the Club you will shortly be receiving an e-mail detailing all the final instructions and requirements for the day.

If you are not running a leg, then please try and come along and support somewhere along the route. Some of the legs are long, and because it is a relay, can be quite lonely, so to receive a bit of loud recognition and cheering can be a real boost.

If you fancy coming out to support, but need an idea of where to go, then just come up and see me (make me smile, I’ll do what you want, running wild), or give me a call.


I have booked us into the Griffin on Newland from 7pm onwards to celebrate the completion of the event. Good beer and company, the landlord will also do pizzas if you want food. 

This is not just open to those involved in the Relay!! Open to ALL WRR!!

I know a lot of you will have kids, school, work the next day etc, but it would be great to see a lot of you there.


LIBFEST 2017 Saturday 24th June

This popular event is in its 3rd year. The FunRun(5k) starts at 10am from Church Green, outside the front of Henry Box School. Please come along and support this absolutely fantastic cause. £5 to enter, just go online to pay your entry fee. We don’t seem to get many of you there to support this, and it would be great to see a lot more WRR vests out there on this very local, easy course with all proceeds going to good causes in the memory of Liberty Baker.

If you don’t want to run, please consider helping me and Lyn, by offering to marshal. Its not too onerous, about 9am till 11.30 am is all we need.

After the Funrun, there is a funpacked Musical Festival on the Leys, with all sorts of stuff going on right through till late evening.
Come on! Come along and run or help in some way, it’s a great day out, and as a major local sports club, we should be supporting it more!

Post WRR run 8th June.

Please join Graham (LG) to celebrate his 65th birthday this Thursday after running in the Griffin.

Everyone welcome. Come and have a drink and we will provide the pizza.  So please let us know if you will be there so we can order enough pizza.



Aunt sally night Saturday 10th June at the lamb and flag at Hailey

£5 per head………………….

4.30pm onwards for children, Adults from 5.30pm

Two pitches available

Money up front please, if you are interested please contact Andy, Lyn or Paul


26 MILES if navigated correctly by me.

Meet at 9am by the Spiceball Leisure Centre, Banbury.

You will need to carry everything you need, as I expect this to take a minimum of 5-6 hrs, as it will be run at a pace to suit all who come.
There are a number of Canal side Pubs where water and snacks might be available, but no guarantee of this.
Once in Oxford we get the Bus back to Witney, so bring some money. Or arrange to be picked up.
There are cut off options along the way, e.g. Rock of Gibraltar Inn near Bletchingdon or Kidlington. You will need to organise being picked up though.
You can track the Canal on Their Birdseye View option gives a very clear picture of the route.
It will be CANCELLED if it is raining on the morning of the run. Adventure is better in the dry.
Let me know if you wish to join me and we can talk about the logistics and lifts to Banbury.


This has been on the back burner for a little while, due to my heavy involvement with the Carterton 10k and LibFest 2017. However, Carterton is now done and dusted and rest assured RR will now be my next priority.

Over the course of the next week the teams will be finalized and you will all be notified which leg you will be running and whether you will be a scoring runner or a buddy.

So once the teams are decided I will be in touch with each of you individually to discuss your recce run so that you are fully familiar with your leg.

Calling all Snowdoneers!

Roughly 23 weeks until the marathon of marathons and Fish Hill is calling us!

Fish Hill is a fantastic training ground for the Snowdon Marathon as it includes two and half miles of tough climbing followed by three miles undulating followed by two miles pretty steep descent through Snowshill. So in one seven and a half mile lap every aspect of the Snowdon route is covered. The plan is to have several visits to Broadway over the next few months so that you can experience the Snowdon effect closer to home. Believe me the pain of hill training will pay off and you will notice the difference as you climb out of Bedgellert at about 14 miles.

I will come up with a programme of dates and publish this in the newsletter in the next few weeks. The first one is likely to be in early June, but I will give plenty of notice. This should be a good club Sunday morning outing as the coffee shop at Broadway Tower is excellent for reminiscing over the recent training session!

Pairs Handicap Event 5km.

This will be held on Tuesday 16th May around Ducklington Lake as usual.


Vernon Blowfield Life President Witney Road Runners 1919 – 26th February 2017

It is my sad duty to report that Vernon passed away peacefully last Sunday. He was 97 years old.

Vernon was an outstanding runner in an age of outstanding running pioneers. He competed in the English National X-C championships in Sheffield in 1948, and led the field until the last couple of hundred yards. At that point he was overtaken by Sydney Wooderson, who was renowned for his electric pace in the run ins. Sydney had held the world mile record for an 18 year old, clocking 4mins 6seconds!! He was also denied the opportunity to carry the GB standard at the 1948 Olympics because the authorities wanted someone better looking. They should have asked Vernon!

Although few details can be found online, Vernon competed in the “unofficial olympics” in Bengal India in 1943/4. The 1944 London Olympics were cancelled due to a minor European disturbance, and so unofficial olympics were held in several locations around the world. Vernon was in the RAF, serving in India and so competed in various events for “GB”

Vernon and his wife Elsie moved to Witney in 1952, where he worked for Smiths Industries, on the Burford Road. They were actually the first occupiers of the new houses on Smiths Estate!

Vernon ran every day and with his son Kevin spearheaded a fledgling Smiths Running Club with just a few members. When Witney Road Runners were formed in 1985, by Martin Crabb and Jan Johanson, Vernon was there at the inaugural meeting at the Court Inn. His running pedigree was quickly acknowledged, and his expertise and knowledge was sought after by many novice runners who were joining the running boom, following the first London marathon in 1981, where there were “just” 6255 finishers!

Vernon was made the first and only Life president of our club and his opinion and sage wisdom on various matters has been sought on quite a few occasions over the years. He was also made a Life Vice President of The Oxfordshire Athletic Association.

Vernon kept running until about 10 years ago. His distinctive running style was recognisable from a long way off, and his favourite runs were either the Buford Road / Deer Park road circuit, or off road to Maggots Grove and Minster Ruins.

Vernon leaves his wife Elsie, two daughters Dawn and Christine, and son Kevin plus an extensive family, many of whom are/were runners and active members of WRR, your running legacy is a great one, you have inspired many people to try to emulate your achievements. Your earnest advice to me was “use your arms more”!!(better than my legs?)

Thank you from all of us for your contribution to the sport in general and Witney Road Runners in particular.


Mota-vation 2017

The price is £20 per runner for the series. This is to be paid by Cash or Cheque (Cheques made payable to “Witney Roadrunners”) DO NOT pay by direct transfer.

Please return your completed entry form and payment to Graham Ferris by Thursday 6th April.

You need to be a paid up member of WRR and E/A for 2017, and wear a club vest/top to compete. If you can’t find your E/A number contact Will Downey our membership secretary.

Entry Form

Girls Movie Night

Sunday 12th March at Rocket From 6pm.
A great opportunity to do some of your favourite things: chat, relax, drink & eat pizza!
Look forward to seeing you then



This years race is at 10am on Sunday 16th April.  Entry form

This year Witney Road Runners have offered to assist the C10K organisers and try to raise the profile of the race. Traditionally numbers have been low, around the 130 mark, but the course is fast and flat, has a great HQ, and deserves to be better supported. We have had several meetings with GLL/Better, who run the Leisure Centre, and have identified several areas that could be improved for the 2018 race.

However, time is short and means we can’t do as much as we’d like for this years race. However, we have taken some short term measures, and we hope this might get us up to nearer 200 entries. With our other suggested improvements, we should see that number climb to nearer 300/350.

At the moment, there is no gain in this offer for WRR. We have offered this assistance as a neighbourly gesture in the interest of promoting running, and establishing a quality 10k nearer to Witney, and Carterton offers a good HQ and a ready made 10k course with potential for expansion. 

We have established a link with the JR Hospital Heart Unit, and will donate £2 from every entry to the Unit. We hope this link will encourage runners to enter, as it is for a very good cause…very close to all our Hearts, you could say!!!

Could I ask you all to consider EITHER a) entering the race or b) if you don’t plan to run it, help us in some way on the day?

We will make sure entry forms are available on Thursday night sessions from now on.

All the manning of the race currently comes from Leisure Centre staff, and we have identified that the race needs substantially more marshals than they can muster.

SO, we need marshals…lots of them, you can’t have too many.

Can you help, please?

Ring me, Steve Hopkins on 01993 779110/07885 463045, e-mail me on, contact Lyn, any committee member who will pass on your details to me, or see Lyn or John McCormac on a Tuesday/Thursday evening.

 The Oxfordshire Clubs Road Relay Championships. Sunday 30th April 3pm Abingdon

Graham Ferris and Lucy Harris will be taking names of runners who wish to take part in this event.

You MUST be a current member of WRR, a member of England Athletics and wear an official club T-shirt/Vest.

This is a team event consisting of Men’s and Ladies teams. 6 per Men’s team and 3 per Ladies team.

The teams are either Senior or Vet runners. (A vet can run in a senior team, but not the other way around)

We have to submit the names of all runners a week before the event, but the teams can be change up to 1hour before the start.

If you put yourself forward it is a commitment to turning up, as you will be letting the rest of your team down.

Unfortunately because the teams have to comply with the event rules, not everyone who puts their name forward will make a team, but we will try our best to accommodate all we can.


The more runners who commit, the more teams we can construct and enter and more people will get to take part.

There are few events where we enter as teams and go up against other teams; this always adds an extra edge of competition.

WRR AGM – Thursday 23rd March 2017

WRR AGM is to be held after club session on Thursday 23rd March in the Soft Play Area at the WLC. We will be providing refreshments from 8.30pm, the AGM will start at 9pm.

The Cross Country Trophies will be handed out on the night, so if you are due one make sure you come along.

Nomination Forms for the 2017/18 Committee will be out shortly, so if you think you can offer the club your expertise or just like the idea of helping out in any way, complete a form and hand to me as soon as possible.

We hope to see lots of you at the AGM to here what your club has been up to in the past year. Lyn



Some of you have expressed an interest in WRR Beanie Hats, so Andy investigated and has a price of £7.50 each with WRR on the front. Anyone interested in keeping their head warm in the winter, please let either Andy or myself know as soon as possible. (I’ve seen a picture and they look good.) Lyn and Andy



We would like to make the WRR Social Scene busy this year, we are open to ideas from anyone. If you have an idea that you think others would be interested in doing, it does not have to be for lots of people, it could be for just a few, let either myself or Andy know and we will look into. So come on contact us and we can get started. Lyn and Andy



A few places left on the coach for our annual trip to the London Marathon.

£12 for WRR and £15 for Non-WRR and marshals £12, a reminder that I would like the money before the day please. Preferably by cash or cheque direct to me.

Hope everyone’s training is going well, not long now! Looking forward to seeing all our runners at Tower Bridge on the day.




As you know we like to nominate a charity each year to try and raise money for, preferably a local one.

Over this last year we supported SpecialEffects and raised about £700 for them, we are quite impressed with this.

We are now looking for a charity for this coming year, if you have a favorite one that you would like to nominate, and it can be one that has been suggested before, please email me at Thanks Lyn.



We are required to supply 2 marshals for the XC in March, any volunteers please contact our Chairman John.



WRR Club Kit

The following are in stock

Long sleeve training tops at £11 each

5 large
3 medium
1 small


Short sleeve training tops at £9 each

4 large
6 medium
2 small


Training vests at £9 each

2 medium
1 extra small


Contact Andy Church




Please see below for details of a special discount offer for Athletics/sports club to attend sessions of the World Para Athletics Championships in 2017, taking place between the 14th and 23rd of July at the London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Park.


The offer

  • Tickets cost £3 per child (16 and under)
  • Tickets cost £5 per adult (Over 16)
  • Available for 5 out of 16 sessions
  • It should be noted before applying that this offer is valid for group bookings of 15+ tickets.

If anyone is interested let me know and if we get 15 + people I will look at booking the places. I have further details available if you would like to see. Contact me at Lyn



Ridgeway Relay Sunday 18th June 2017


Second call for names for this prestigious Club Team Event

I have had a good response so far, with 22 names already down for consideration. We have until the 18th March to enter, but if you are considering entering, please let me know as soon as you can., 01993 779110


Graham F and Lucy, our Team Coordinators will be asking around to see if you are interested as well.

Next week I will do an article about the event if you are unsure what it entails

Do please put your name down for inclusion in the team(s), it really is a terrific challenge, but a great day out.
Wokingham Half Marathon


Well done to all WRR at this brilliant, but very cold event run today.

Particularly well done to new member Victoria Hopkins, running the distance for the first time ever with her proud Mum, Lyn, and finishing together strongly in 2.02.56.



WRR Membership


As another year starts, on behalf of Witney Road Runners we would like to thank you for your continued support to the club throughout 2016.

As you may be aware your membership will be due for renewal by Friday 31st March 2017.

The club offers various benefits / events throughout the year to it’s members but you will only be eligible for some of these if you renew on time – eg

  • Retaining your league points for the races ran up to 31st March 2017,
  • The Motivation bulk entry discount and of course the London Marathon ballot (Other criteria for the ballot will also have to be met).


A breakdown of the membership renewal prices are below which can be paid via cash, cheque or online bank transfer and exclude England Athletics.

  • £17.00 Single
  • £32.00 Husband/Wife or Partners
  • £13.00 Student (in full-time education)
  • £3.00 Juniors
  • £47 3 x Family Members
  • £62 4 x Family Members


If you wish to renew your England Athletics membership as well this will be £14 per per person – Please note the price increase from last year.

I also like to encourage a paperless approach to membership renewal so if your details haven’t changed since last year and you are paying via online bank transfer then just send me an email to let me once you have paid and I can update the database.

More details can be found here



Witney Road Runners Newsletter

This is usually emailed to members either Sunday or Monday evening and contains latest news items, recent race results and runs or other WRR activities for the week ahead.

If anyone wants any other information put in the newsletter please contact Graham.

If you enjoyed an event or race please let other club members know by giving it a mention it in the newsletter!

If you don’t already receive the newsletter, than please send Graham an email to be put on the list.


Eynsham Challenge – Return

 Eynsham Challenge. Away Leg. Wednesday 17th August

We have to play by Eynsham’s rules for this leg, but we need as many runners there as possible. Only 33 people can make up the teams, but every runner can affect the result.

Lucy Harris and Graham Ferris will be name gathering over the next couple of weeks as we want to try and have the teams sorted before the night. If you put your name forward it is a commitment to turning up. We need your Name and age in order to work out the teams. We just want you all to come along and support this event, and make it as successful as our leg.

Please see the rules description below:-

3 per team, 1 must be a lady, 1 must be a vet(not the animal kind). The vet and the lady can be the same person.

11 teams of 3 from each club. A team against team A, B against B, and so on.

Straight off race with the result based on the finishing positions of the team members. For example ; if Wrr A finish 2nd, 5th, 6th = 13. Eynsham A finish 1st, 3rd, 7th =11. Lowest total wins, so 1 point to Eynsham.

This is where anyone not in a team can affect the result. If any Wrr finish ahead of an Eynsham runner who is in a team they finish further down the field, and thus post a bigger points number, and visa versa.



Motavation Series

Your race numbers will be available to collect from me on the night at Bletchingdon.Make sure you arrive in good time to collect them as I am marshalling that night and will be gone to my position about 20 mins before race start.I am away for race 3 (Combe 1) so will make arrangements for somebody else to have them at the race start.Graham Ferris.

London Marathon Entry 2017

The public ballot will open on Monday 2nd May and close at 5pm on Friday 6th May

Don’t forget the “Good for Age” entries

Prolific Racer Award

The WRR committee have agreed upon a new award for the WRR member who competes (and completes) the most league races each year.


The challenge returns! The first one will be on Tuesday 26th April, and forms part of the Tuesday Night Speed Session.

One a month between April and October. Octobers will be brought forward a week to ensure we beat the clock change.

Seven sessions, four times needed to qualify for the award, although that doesn’t stop you coming to meet the challenge and post a time.

This year we will begin at Kings School, venue for the 2016 Cotswold Classic. The measured mile will begin on the main road and head out to New Yatt, where the mile is just before the bend (and rise!). The distance will be officially measured and clearly marked.

You will run on the RIGHT HAND SIDE of the road and we will have Marshals wearing HI-VIS tabards dotted along the road at strategic spots. As before, please wear a stopwatch, and give your time to Lyn at the finish line. Numbers will dictate how many “waves” you run in, but please congregate in the Kings School drive prior to the event, so we can decide tactics.

Graham will provide more information regarding departure time from the Leisure Centre, warm up requirements, etc.


Fund Raising


Judith Le Good cycling London Surrey 100 mile on 31st July

Fund raising for Clic Sargeant as WRR club members have got first hand knowledge of the excellent work they do for children and their families in Witney.


Graham LeGood and Steve Hopkins are cycling Lands End to John O’Groats in June. We start on the 1st June from Lands End and will arrive in JoG on the 15th(hopefully!), having cycled about a thousand miles, and averaged around 70 miles a day.

Although not specifically raising money for charity, we acknowledge the Club link with our nominated charity Special Effect, so if anyone would like to chuck any spare dosh our way, so that we have an added incentive, that would be great.

We have very kindly been given two HobGoblin cycling tops by the Cotswold Classic sponsors Wychwood Brewery, and will be posting regular progress updates, along with with photos of us both posing, wearing our corporate wear!

If you would like information on our preparation, please drop us an e-mail, or talk to us at Club Sessions. If you want to join us for a days cycling, we would really welcome the company!


Cardiac Screening for Athletes

England Athletics, UKA and the other home country governing bodies are alert to our responsibilities to all participants in athletics in respect of all aspects of health and safety.  One particular area that young athletes and their parents 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.

England Athletics would like to make you aware of a piece of work that has been undertaken by UKA.  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 and 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 and support this with mobile units that travel to other locations.

Full information about CRY and their services can be found on their website at  Young people between the age of 14 and 35 who would like to have cardiac testing can go to

You can also see for information on work being done by UKA in this area.