VALE Royal Athletics Club runners contested events ranging from serious to festive fun at the weekend.

Fancy dress seemed to be the order of the day at the Tatton Yule Yomp, with various santas, elves, fairies and Christmas puddings taking to the course among the 1626 runners.

Winsford Guardian:

But Sarah Murphy, at the serious end of Sunday’s field, came over the line as first woman and 10th overall.

The over 40s runner covered the 10k in 41:32, becoming a winner in the event for a sixth time.

Behind her were clubmates Matthew Hough 94th (49:55), Debbie Morton 203rd (55:16) fifth over 50s woman, Jayne Lomax 282nd (57:43) eighth over 50s woman, Caroline Buckley 458th (62:40), Sharon Lynskey 460th (62:41), Paula Manley 461st (62:41), Ruth Mooney 462nd= (62:41), Helen Betteley 462nd= (62:41), Louise Walker 464th (62:42).

Meanwhile, three Vale Royal runners achieved personal bests over 10k in Telford.

Chris Perry, Andy Miles and Abigail Howarth all went faster than they have achieved before.

In a field of 1061 runners, Perry finished 31st in 30mins 10secs, Miles was 78th in 31:20 while Howarth was 13th woman and 214th overall in 34:49.

They had company from clubmates James Griffiths 171st (33:47), Amelia Pettitt 283rd (36:01) 35th woman, Rick Murray 343rd (37:23) sixth over 55s man, Richard Pettitt 794th (51:17).

Meanwhile, the club recorded four top-10 individual finishes in the third meet of the Manchester Area Cross Country League series.

Thirty of the club’s athletes braved the inclement weather and muddy underfoot conditions around the Kenworthy Woods course.

The top 10 finishers were Ed Shepherd, second in the senior men’s race to Cheshire Championship title-rival – Sale Harriers’ Nigel Martin; Kate Moulds, continuing her recent run of fine form to place sixth in the senior women’s race; Rhys Bowden and Thomas Taylor, sixth and seventh respectively in the under 15s boys’ event.

In the team competition, the senior women finished sixth of 60 teams and the veteran ladies registered eighth of 61 teams.

MACCL, Kenworthy Woods, results: U11s boys: Alexander Kruithof 15th 9:47; Mattis Kennerley 30th 10:37; Charlie Latham 45th 11:34; Matthew Knox 49th 12:04; Noah Smith 50th 12:19.

U11s girls: Lily Coates 14th 10:17; U11G Amy Turner 35th 11:57.

U13s boys: Harry Williamson 29th 12:09; Tom Jenkins 46th 13:16; Seb Harnett 64th 15:52.

U13s girls: Alba March 37th 14:00; Alexis Evers 47th 15:14.

U15s boys: Rhys Bowden 6th 15:05; Thomas Taylor 7th 15:11.

U15s girls: Anna Smith 41st 20:28; Issy Maundrill 44th 21:23 Senior women: Kate Moulds 6th 27:50; Clara Pettitt 36th 30:50; Siobhan Tarbuck 58th 31:51; Claire Thompson 71st 3:39; Anna Begbie 89th 33:32; Helen Smith 112th 34:16.

Senior men: Ed Shepherd 2nd 33:22; Ryan Moore 29th 36:09; John Humphries 50th 37:29; Gareth Williams 185th 44:22; Mark Pilliner 272nd 47:53; John Moulds 323rd 50:59; John Clarke 333rd 51:40; Barry Chambers 384th 60:03.

The next match in the series will be held in Tatton Park on Saturday, January 15, jointly hosted by Wilmslow RC and Running Bear AC. Racing starts at noon.

The Podium 5K, which normally take place at Barrowford, Lancashire, migrated to Leicester on Saturday with Tessa McCormick finishing third of 30 in a ladies only race in 16:40.

Vale Royal’s Emily Lowery, running for Cardiff University, finished fourth over 7.3km in 27:00 in the third fixture of the John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League at Pembrey Country Park.

These fixtures incorporate an inter-university competition involving the likes of Cardiff and Swansea Universities. Emily leads the individual rankings after three fixtures.