Newcastle News – November 2017

We’re fully into winter training now and that can only mean two things: Christmas and Cross Country! As a club we like to get as many people involved in both as much as possible.

Tickets to our Christmas party at Silverdale Athletic FC on 9th December are now available from committee members, priced at £20 each – partners welcome – and a dinner choices tick sheet will be put up in the club house this week.

As I’m sure you all know we’re enjoying a bit of a renaissance in XC at the moment with huge numbers turning out at NSCCL and twelve hardy men travelling all the way to Gloucester for the Birmingham league. If you’ve never ran XC and like the look of it, give it a go, all the dates are at the bottom of this newsletter. AND ITS FREE!!

Recent Events

We had the last NSRRA race of 2017; the Flying Fox 10, and we’re proud to recognise our award winners of 2017: Ben Bewley – Group B – 1st; Mark Cooper – Group D – 1st; Nigel Lee – Group F – 3rd; Michelle Buckle – Group L – 2nd; Kat Saunders – Group W – 2nd; Melvyn Askey – Male 55-59 – 2nd; Gemma Woodcock – Lady 16-34 – 3rd; Michelle Buckle – Lady 40-44 – 1st; Belinda Riley – Lady 55-59 – 2nd.

Off the road we had plenty more opportunities for XC including at the Midlands and National Relays in which both juniors and seniors competed and represented the club fantastically. We also had our second North Staffs XC fixture at Park Hall with a massive 76 athletes running for us! Martin Bailey’s race reports are available on the club website but a huge congratulations needs to go out to Becky Twardochleb who won the senior women’s race!

At the Men’s Birmingham XC fixture way down in Gloucester, we had 12 heroic members (plus Nick officiating) setting the club up for a great run at promotion already. Our A team all came in the top 21 places, with Felix coming 1st, meaning we have a 51 point cushion to push on with at the next meet. Our B team covered themselves with glory as well as mud too, sitting in 4th position in the B team standings.

Other results include Murray Grimes run/swimming through Dovedale; Nick Gordon, Lisa Ho and Tracey Johnson-Knowles running some fantastic times at Tatton Park, with Nick finally smashing 1:40 for the first time; and Jacob Droogmans setting Arley Hall alight with a new pb of 35:48 at the Cheshire 10k. A special mention to our treasure, Rob Haines who, after months of hard training, went out and absolutely smashed the Snowdonia marathon in a unbelievable time of 3:28, coming 137th out of 2200 runners.

If you’ve had a result you’re proud, don’t forget to drop me a note and I’ll make sure you’re mentioned in next month’s newsletter, it can be anything, it doesn’t have to be a pb, but we can’t shout you from the rooftops if we don’t know.

Mental Health Run

Last month, our mental health ambassadors Mark Cooper and Graham McLachlan, alongside others from Stone Master Marathoners and Trentham Running Club organized a run and talk event at Trentham Rugby club for world mental health day. The event was extremely well supported with more than 100 runners from different clubs taking part. There are plans for more multi-club events in the future. If you have experienced or are experiencing mental health problems and would like any support to get back into running then please feel free to contact either Mark or Graham in confidence.


Some of you may have noticed that Wednesdays have been a bit busier on the track recently. Gareth Copley-Jones, alongside myself, Mark Cooper, Lynne Frith and Belinda Riley have been hosting a beginner running course for the past 10 weeks. We’ve had nearly 50 people sign up to the course with the aim of being able to complete 5k at Hanley parkrun at the end. This week is our last week and we’ll be hosting a celebration in the clubhouse after alongside Ken’s chippy tea, all are welcome.

We’re running our next course in January so if there’s anybody you know who you think would be interested, please let them know, it’s £10 for the whole thing. We’re also after more members to help support the course and the club are happy to pay for your Run Leader qualification to help you.

Club Kit

We have lots of different kit available to members, not just racing vests. There are club branded hi-vis jackets, Buffs, training shirts and hoodies available to order at very reasonable prices. Keep an eye out on Facebook for more details or speak to Julia Bailey down the club.

London Marathon Draw

The draw took place on Monday 30th October with Darren Storey and Rachel Wakefield the lucky recipients of the club places, Mark Cotton is first reserve. Best get training, guys!

Newcastle parkrun

Newcastle Borough Council, alongside parkrun, have contacted the club as they are intending to start a parkrun in Newcastle, beginning around their festival of sport in April 2018. The first meeting was held at the clubhouse on Wednesday 18th October with a follow up meeting to further discuss items such as routes, core team etc on the 22nd November. Members of the club are more than welcome to attend and support however the club will not undertake the organisation or running of the parkrun itself.

Staffs Uni Sports Therapy Clinic Discount

We’ve managed to arrange a 25% discount on massages and injury assessment/rehabilitation at Staffs University for our club members. Prices are very reasonable:

30min massage – £7.50; 60min massage – £11.25; Injury assessment/rehab – £7.50. Tel: 01782 294392.

Members Pack

Hopefully you will have all seen the new members pack available to pick up in the clubhouse. It’s designed to be a complete booklet of all the information you might need regarding the club; what days we run, what our sessions look like, how much it costs and who’s who etc.

We will be updating it soon for another print run and we’d like your feedback on anything you feel is incorrect, misleading or unclear. If there’s anything missing in the pack too, please let us know and we’ll endeavour to get it included.

Elsie Ashley

The club are extremely saddened to learn of the recent death of Newcastle (Staffs) AC stalwart Alderman Elsie Ashley OBE JP on the 30th October 2017. The club would like to take this opportunity to send our heartfelt condolences to her husband Gerald and to family and friends.

Elsie was one of our clubs founding members back in 1964 and was President of the club for over 40 years, always helping the club whenever she could and attending club functions right up until recent years. Elsie played a very large roll in establishing the club and helped to make the club what it is today.

A private funeral has already taken place and there is to be a memorial service at St Giles Church on Sunday 3rd December at 2:00pm. Any tributes or memories of Elsie would be well and truly received or if you wish, you can donate to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

Upcoming Club Events

Ken’s Chippy Tea is on 15th November.
31/29 is on 27th October
The Club Christmas party is on 9th December.
Club takeover at Hanley parkrun is on 13th January (tbc)

Upcoming Fixtures


  •   Stafford Common – Saturday 18th November
  •   Staffs Uni – Saturday 16th December


Birmingham XC

  •   Saturday 2nd December
  •   Saturday 13th January
  •   Saturday 10th February

Conwy Half Marathon – Sunday 19th November

Cheddleton 10k Christmas Pudding Race – Saturday 25th November


Newcastle Dales Dash – Sunday 3rd December

Telford 10k – Sunday 10th December