Welcome back Andy O'Sullivan

Andy O’Sullivan, MBE is now back in training to run an ‘Off Road’ Half Marathon on 16th August.

The retired Rochdale Policeman received Major Cancer Surgery in September 2019.

Andy who has organised 681 Charity Road, Trail & Fell races, has completed 46 comeback runs!

The Rochdale Harriers life Member is raising funds for the Local branch of CRUK.

In 2019/20 the ARC permitted Races donated £24,000 to various charitable causes!

Andy O'Sullivan presents trainers to Paula Dunn

March 2019

Dual Olympian Sprinter and Former Commonwealth Gold Medallist Paula Dunn MBE visited Rochdale this morning to collect a large number of Racing shoes and training kit from Rochdale’s Race Organiser Andy O’Sullivan MBE.

Paula who raced at Seoul & Atlanta Olympics does great works with young Athletes in inner city Manchester.

Andy from Lower Healey has organised more than 670 Charity Road, Trail & Fell Races.  Andy said “ Paula is an Inspiration, she achieved so much on the Track, she is now inspiring youngsters to emulate her”.

Paula said “ The Kids will be delighted with the Trainers & Training tops”.



ARC's Andy O'Sullivan presents cheque for £14000.

Cheque Presentation on £14,000 at Morrison's Store in Bacup!  This was the
amount donated in Cash and Sportswear and Foodstuffs during last Financial year!
Once again an ARC Club putting Running to good purposes!  The young lady in centre is Amy Tosh from Santander. The Bulk of the Races were held in Whitwortharound the 'Cowm' Reservoir.

ARC club raises £500 for local charity

Above; Andems Runners (Andy O’Sullivan)with Morrisons staff, just presented £500 Xmas Foodstuffs to Homeless of Rochdale!


New Annual ARC Championship - February 2016

At the last Association of Running Clubs committee meeting, it was decided to hold an Annual ARC Championship.

It will be based on the TOPS listing for all ARC races in each calendar year. The first awards will be based on the 2015 race results.
Awards will be for the 1st,  2nd,  3rd, Male and Female ARC. CLUB MEMBER, listed in each of the following race distances. 
5Km, 5Mile, 10Km, 10Mile, Half Marathon, and Marathon.
The Tops listings can be found HERE
The 2015 award winners can be found HERE


ARC permitted event raises £11,500 for local charities

The Manager and staff at Morrison’s Bacup branch with prolific  athletics race organiser Andy O’Sullivan MBE (wearing the ARC hoodie) presenting cheque for £11,500 to local charities during financial year 2015/16.

Martin Topham of Petrus (Rochdale) Homeless is on the left, John Waterhouse (Branch Manager) in centre and Andy O’Sullivan on right. Andy said “ John, Sam and the Team from Morrison’s have been so supportive to the 5K races in Rochdale & Rossendale, that’s why we raised the cash for local causes”


Leith hill Half Marathon


Click above image to enlarge

Voted number 1 race in the land -leaves 3000 events trailing to clinch magazine title.

Pemitted by ARC (see press cutting left)

Andems Runners - Donation

Andy O'Sullivan and a group of Morrison’s staff presenting £500.00’s worth of festive foodstuffs  to the local homeless unit!   Once again, ARC member Andems Runners using running to do good work in the community!  The Donation was from the Lynne Edmondson & Christine Navan Memorial 5K! 


Membership Growth 2007 to 2015

We have grown from 116 clubs/organisations in our first year and enjoyed continuous growth every year with currently more than 300 clubs/organisations (see table below). We expect growth to continue.

Year clubs/organisations
2007/2008 116
2008/2009 145
2009/2010 165
2010/2011 202
2011/2012 227
2012/2013 272
2013/2014 301
2014/2015 310

- Advice for runners from Lyme Disease Action

From veteran marathon runners to recreational joggers, from people who run in urban parks to those who prefer to take more extreme routes, charity Lyme Disease Action asks all runners to be tick-aware when out and about this spring and summer.

Caused by the bite of an infected tick, Lyme disease is found across the UK, in city parks (such as Richmond Park in suburban London) as well as in rural areas. Carried by deer, small mammals and birds, ticks (whose population peaks from April to October) are able to sense a passing potential blood donor by picking up the carbon dioxide that humans exhale. They hook their legs onto clothing or skin and hide in warm, dark corners of the body. Tiny – the size of a fullstop – ticks can easily go undetected and their bite does not cause irritation, because they inject their host with an anaesthetic. 

Lyme disease causes a range of unpleasant symptoms which may include a circular red rash, headaches, a stiff neck, extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and disturbances of sight, hearing, digestive system and sleep. If left untreated it can progress to the joints, the heart and the nervous system.

There’s no need to be afraid – it’s more a case of being aware; knowing how to reduce the chances of being bitten, how to remove a tick and knowing what to look out for in the way of symptoms.

To reduce the risk of being bitten by an infected tick, Lyme Disease Action advises runners to take the following precautions:

•           Try to avoid stretching out on long grass

•           Ensure you brush your clothing and bare skin off before going indoors

•           Use an insect repellent effective against ticks (look for those containing the chemical DEET)

•           Check for ticks regularly and very carefully when you wash or shower after a run

•           Try to avoid running through areas of long grass or bracken

•           Remove any ticks found attached as soon as possible

Tick removal
Ticks should be removed immediately with a tick removal tool. Do not try to pull the tick out with your fingers, burn the tick or cover it with creams or chemicals. If you don’t have a tick removal tool, use a thread of cotton wound round close to the skin and pull upwards or, alternatively, cut a slit in a plastic card and slide that under the tick’s body. This reduces the risk of squashing the tick’s body and the rick regurgitating the (potentially infected) contents of its stomach directly into the bloodstream of the host (the human).

If you have been bitten by a tick and notice any of the above symptoms, seek medical help straight away. Diagnosed and treated early, Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics. NB tick bites do not itch like mosquito bites, so awareness is important to aid diagnosis.

Much more information is available on the Lyme Disease Action website ( Lyme Disease Action is a charity striving for greater awareness of Lyme disease and associated tick-borne diseases.

Ends – 30 April 2014

Note to Editors:
A Lyme disease poster, showing how to remove a tick correctly, and leaflets on Lyme disease, are available for publication if required or, free of charge, for readers to take to their own local GP, veterinary practice or running club. A fact sheet is also available on request. Tick removers can be ordered via the Lyme Disease Action website ( and cost from £4.99 including p&p.

Press: Issued by Lyme Disease Action’s press office (    

For more information, case studies or to speak to Stella Huyshe-Shires, the Chair of Lyme Disease Action, please contact Sue Ockwell or Helena Hamlyn via email – – or ring 020 8891 4440.

ARC Championships

Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle has taken over responsibility for ARC Championships with immediate effect.  He is looking for clubs to stage some championships in 2014.  Please see the Championships page for details.

Full On Sport

For further information contact:  | 01935 426779



Possible ARC Newsletter.


Your committee is keen to explore the possible production of a newsletter for ARC members. The idea is for a regular electronic production, perhaps every 4 months or so, to be sent direct to each club. Distribution to individuals would have to be effected by clubs since the ARC does not hold individual contact details.


The newsletter would contain a variety of general interest articles on running, a photographic competition, regular contribution from committee members, reports from member clubs on races, member spotlight, training tips, letters/forum, diary, ARC championships and other articles of interest.


Before embarking on a project of this magnitude, it will be essential to know whether the idea is wholeheartedly supported by members. We have already mailed your club to seek their views, but the opinion of individual members would also be very welcome.  If you would like to comment please do so using the following email address: 


Yours in sport,

Ian Vaughan-Arbuckle.

Committee Member.

01929 426956


Advice for orienteers on Ash Dieback disease

Concerns have been raised in the media recently over the threat to ash trees in the UK following the identification of the potentially deadly disease of Ash Dieback (Chalara faxinea)

British Orienteering has issued the following advice to all clubs on the biosecurity measures that should be taken by all orienteers (i.e Planners, Controllers and control hangers, as well as competitors) when holding or participating in an area suspected to contain Ash trees:

  • Thoroughly wash all footwear before leaving the area, ensuring that all mud, soil and leaf litter is removed. Event organisers may wish to provide water, buckets and brushes at a suitable location i.e at a point where there is little risk of further contamination.
  • On returning home rinse all boots and shoes in a chlorine based cleaner or garden fungicide and allow them to dry thoroughly. N.B please read the manufacturer’s label and follow their instructions on use and disposal of the product.
  • Thoroughly wash and dry all kit and any other clothing that may potentially have been contaminated with fungal spores.
  • Clothing and footwear should not be reused for at least 48 hours after drying.

Whilst it is currently thought that the disease is restricted to East Anglia and the South East of England, this position may change as Forestry Commission pathologists and surveyors enter more woodlands

Peter Brett, Environment Officer.

ARC Affiliation and Fees after 1st April 2013

Q. What are the fees for races and events organised by ARC Affiliated Clubs ?
Affiliated Clubs will pay a fee of £25 for each Race or Event Permit issued. They will pay nothing more after the race or event.

Q. What are the fees for races organised by ARC Associate Members ?
Associate Member races will pay the fees set out in the Schedule of fees attached to the Permit Application for Associate Member races and also published elsewhere on this website. These fees approximate to those currently charged by ARC and are some 25% less than those charged by UKAthletics.

Q. What is the situation regarding the £2 unattached runner levy ?
Races must continue to surcharge runners who do not belong to a club affiliated to  ARC or UKAthletics. However races will now retain the whole of this levy for their own purposes. 

Q Can clubs whose members participate in both track and field and road running affiliate just their road running section to ARC and pay ARC affiliation fees based on just the number of those in their road/trail/cross-country/fell running section ?
A. Yes

Subject to approval at ARC AGM on 17.11.12

Andy and Kate Bleasdale

Andy O’Sullivan, MBE is arguably the World’s Most Prolific Unpaid Race Organiser! Andy, 59, has organised a staggering 529 races, all for Charitable purposes. The Former Rochdale Policeman, first started organising races from his local pub in 1983. The self confessed extrovert told ARC. ‘ I did Cross Country at School, then I switched to boxing, as soon as I could I joined the Rochdale Police Force, long hours and dedication meant that my fitness suffered’.

In 1982 I ran in a 7 mile Fun Run from Rochdale Town centre, really enjoyed it and was bitten by the Running Bug! In September 1983 I was persuaded to stage a 5 mile race from the ‘Local’. Two Dozen Saudi Arabian Cops took part and it raised £366 for ‘A Hospice For Rochdale Appeal’. I was on my way!

I have staged as many as 38 races in one year, and in 1991 I was awarded the British Empire Medal for Community services to Athletics. In 2004 I was one of only 3 people from the North of England to carry the Olympic Torch in London, it was a great experience mingling with lots of Olympic Gold Medallists! My ‘Stint’ was in Peckham, Only Fools And Horses?????

On 31st December 2004 I was appointed MBE for services to Athletics and on my visit to Buckingham Palace I finished my conversation with Prince Charles, stating ‘My Knees are in Fine Fettle’! I really enjoy organising these races and have made great changes to the Courses, this minimises People power and maximises safety of all concerned. The bulk of the races are now round reservoir’s.

I am delighted to join ARC and look forward to working alongside people who love the sport! Details of these races are on

ARC Rankings

ARC now has a ranking system for top athletes. Top performances over standard distances for ARC permitted races will be available on the following link:-


Suspension Notice

The result of a Case Management Decision is publicised on the UKAthletics website
ROBERT SLOAN - ATHLETE - 1st December 2011

Following an investigation by England Athletics, an Independent Disciplinary Panel chaired by Mr Walter Nicholls (Solicitor) met on the 3rd November 2011 to consider allegations of misconduct against Mr Robert Sloan, an athlete formerly with Sunderland Harriers.
The outcome of the hearing was that Mr Robert Sloan is to be suspended from all competition or from taking part in any event organised or run under UKA rules of competition for a period of 6 months dated back from 9th October 2011. Mr Sloan declined the opportunity to appeal the panels decision, the suspension will cease on Monday 9th April 2012 at midnight.
ARC has decided that Mr Robert Sloan is ineligible under ARC Rule 1 (2) to take part in competition under ARC Rules. Mr Sloan's ineligibility to compete will cease on Monday 9th April 2012 at midnight.

Grantham Running Club

ARC is keen to receive comments from members about our activities and are pleased to have received this welcome comment from Grantham Running Club:-

We noticed that there were plenty of runners in the Grantham area that didn’t belong to the local UKA registered athletic club. We identified the barriers that prevented them joining that club and decided to form a club that they could identify themselves with and one that they wanted to belong to – Grantham Running Club.


Our aims are to encourage and support anyone that wants to take up running, no matter what their ability.

Like ARC, we also believe that running as a sport/hobby or organising running as a club, shouldn’t cost the earth or be overly bureaucratic. We aim to be a low cost and light touch club that is in touch with its members.


We applaud the folks at ARC for making it possible for us to achieve our goals.


GRC Committee


North East Marathon Club

ARC is pleased to support the North East Marathon Club. Their race programme has been welcomed with enthusiasm by many North East athletes.

Click HERE to see two articles

Starting a Running Club

I started a club in September 2010, similar idea to yourself there is other clubs in my area but I felt a desire to be involved in something new !

Originally we formed as a run in England group and I attended the leadership in running course, after a month it was obvious that run in England did not meet our needs or seem to provide value for money, so after a bit of research the obvious step forward was to affiliate with ARC (Association of Running Clubs)

Initially I made contact with my local gym, put my idea to them and they agreed to allow me to run my sessions from there, this gave my members car parking & changing facilities.

On the first night we had 12 turn up, since then membership has grown and we now get around 50 runners on a regular basis each session.

Only recently as membership has grown to manage the club efficiently I formed a committee and this helped with the workload involved in running the club 

We are now currently working hard on planning our first annual 10k race which is proposed for next summer.

Hope it all goes well.

Mark Connor of Liverpool Running BUGS

Ian Champion, ARC Committee member and Chairman of the Road Runners Club, reviews a recently published book about one of the great ultra runners of yesteryear.

On sale from 10th August 2009

‘Tea With Mr Newton’ – 100,000 Miles the longest ‘Protest March’ in history - by Rob Hadgraft

Published by Desert Island Books

Foreword by Prof. Tim Noakes
(author of ‘Lore of Running’)

224-page illustrated hardback

ISBN 978-1-905328-64-2   Price £18.99

Order from: or, on or after 10th August,
or Pre-order now via any bookshop

“At last the definitive autobiography of the late truly great ARTHUR NEWTON."
Arthur Newton a ‘self-taught’ runner became an ‘ultra-distance’ running legend.   In his later years he became guru to many international runners who were happy to ‘take tea’ with him at his home in Ruislip, London.   He was a very modest and private man.  He always avoided publicity and often never revealed physical or medical injury problems he had during his competitive years.   Some of his private life he does mention in his books but now at last we have a far more detailed version.   It makes fasinating reading.  

      After very lengthy and detailed research, experienced author Rob Hadgraft launches his fourth book about a ‘running legend’.   He reveals many previously ‘unpublished’ facts about his every day life style, relevant to his training and racing.  He also records previously little known or published reports on some of the events Arthur took part in as well as illustrations. 

      I recommend this as a very readable book and a ‘must have’ read for anyone with any ‘historical’ interest in the people and the races which have made up our chosen sport of ‘road-running’ ”.                          Ian Champion

        Additional to the above Arthur Newton himself, wrote four books.   ‘Running’, ‘Running on Three Continents’, ‘Races and Training’ and ‘Commonsense Athletics’.   They are now out of print and are rare items to buy.   However they are still available from some libararies.    For any aspiring road runner, the book ‘Running’ is worth a read.  

       It tells the full story of how Arthur ‘taught himself’ to run and why during the 1920’s and 1930’s.  (He raced and trained, some walking but mostly running, 109,000 miles).  He won the ‘Comrades’ Ultra distance road race in South Africa five times.   He set new record times for the London to Brighton race in UK, Bath to London 100 miles on the road, 24 hours on the track and ran in Trans-continental races in in America. It is very interesting reading and nearly all of its aims and principals are still applicable today.  

      For inexperienced runners and those prepared to seek and learn it can be of benefit as a guide to find out what is ‘best for the individual’ runner.   There are various running styles to suit various needs and this book will give you some ideas as to how to find out what is best for you.

Do you have Sports Massage at your event?

An increasing number of events these days are providing on the day sports massage facilities for competitors, pre race, post race or both. Many organisers already have contacts with qualified sports massage people who can come along to their event. But for those ARC club organisers who would like to have sports massage at their race but don’t have a source, we draw attention to the service provided by the Sports Massage Association (SMA). This is a nationwide organisation and they have a facility on their web site which allows race organisers to notify their need so that SMA members in the area of the event can get in touch with them. (Go to and click on “SMA Events Service” ). Alternatively the same site gives contact details of SMA members in various areas of the country (click on “Find a Practitioner”).

The Rough Guide to Running

"The Rough Guide to Running" will propel you ahead of the pack with a power brew of reliable guidance and inspirational tips. The guide includes the basics from good running technique, goal setting and motivation to schedules, preparation and how to deal with injuries and strains. You'll find the low-down from our team of professional runners, coaches, health experts, including a nutritionist and an osteopath as well as the best advise on running shoes, clothes, accessories and gadgets, and where to buy them.

They're all covered, from fun runs and charity runs to clubs, competitive racing, marathons and best running events around the world. Whether you have already notched up many miles or are a beginner taking your first steps in this addictive pastime, you need this book. Stay ahead of the pack with "The Rough Guide to Running!"
Available now with a 25% discount at

ARC Membership Map of England (Location of all affiliated clubs)

Click on the map for a full size version (with key to clubs and organsiations)


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