Category Archives: Club News

Woodbridge Shufflers Running the 2018 London Marathon

With the London Marathon now under a fortnight away, six members of the Woodbridge Shufflers have been busy training for the race over the winter months. This year Jonathan Barnes, James Cornish, Ian Coxall, Amanda Fraser Fish, Matt Hunt and Katie Start from the club will be running the 26.2 mile course around the streets of London and here are their stories:

Jonathan Barnes: first marathon and running to raise money for EACH.

James Cornish: London will be his fifth marathon and his previous PB is 3:19. This will be his second time at London and has taken nine years to get a place again since he last ran it and will be supported by his wife and son on the day.

Ian Coxall: will be his fifth London Marathon and 24th marathon if he successfully runs the Brighton Marathon the week before. He is targeting Brighton this year and will hopefully be able to enjoy London as well if he runs well at Brighton. His marathon PB is  2:57:00 from Chicago last year and is looking at these marathons as a stepping stone to the Boston Marathon in 2019 which will be his fifth major in his quest to complete all the six World Major Marathons. He also has an ambitious target to complete 50 marathons by the time he is 50 years old ending with the Tokyo Marathon and sixth World Major.

Amanda Fraser Fish: first marathon and aiming to finish it in under 5:15. Running for Ovarian Cancer Action as one of her best friends has ovarian cancer. On target to personally raise £2500 and the team of runners at OCA will together be funding a Research Research Scientist for 1 year at OCA.

Matt Hunt: running his fifth London Marathon and his marathon PB is 2:38:30 from the Valencia Marathon in 2014. He began running in 2012 after racing Motocross for 23 years. Edinburgh was his first marathon in May 2012 where he ran 2:52. After two years of hamstring and Achilles problems he is hoping to get close to his personal best in London this year.

Katie Start: first marathon and running to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease.

Good luck to all the Woodbridge Shufflers running London on the 22nd April 2018!


2018 Woodbridge 10k Entries

The Woodbridge 10k is now in its 37th year and has always been a popular in the local racing calendar, but its popularity has grown in recent years to levels that are almost unheard of for a local club 10k race. This year around two thousand separate people visited our website during the time entries opened which is a significant increase on last year.

The race is organised and put-on by a small group of dedicated volunteers who do it in their spare time. We aim to put on a quality race for the benefit of running community whilst also raising money for charity, something that has always been a part of the race since the first Woodbridge 10k. We cannot increase the size of the race any further due to safety limits and the costs of staging any race are ever increasing and we try to keep the entry fee down as much as possible.

It is clear that people have had issues with the entry process this year. We made changes on the entry process based on issues that were encountered last year, but we have had a two-fold increase in people applying for the same number of places and the bulk of these are within the first ten minutes of entries opening. Given the sheer volume of people trying to enter at exactly the same time it will put a strain on any entry system. We will take the learnings from the entry process this year and make further changes for next year.

We have now done the initial processing of the entry list and if you appear on the list here…/woodbridge10k/entrylist.php then you are in the 2018 race! We still have some final processing to do but we hope to complete it this week and publish an entry list on our website and send an email out to all entrants later this week once this is completed.

Woodbridge 10k Race Entry Notes

A reminder that entry to the Woodbridge 10k and Junior Races opens on Saturday 3rd March at noon. Links to the Races Online entry system will be posted on the Woodbridge 10k website once entries open.

Both the 10k and junior races are extremely popular so be ready to go once the entries open! Some things to note to help you get your entry in:

  • 10k entry is £17 for Affiliated Runners and £20 for Unaffiliated Runners. Entries to the 1.5km junior race will be £6.
  • Ensure you have your URN (unique runners’ number issued by England Athletics through an affiliated club) if you want to take advantage of the affiliated club discount
  • You will be able to select your T-shirt size on the entry form – as a guide chest sizes for the different sizes are Children’s = 30″, XS = 32″ S = 34″ M = 36″ L = 38-40″ XL = 42-44″

Good luck!

Entry Date for Woodbridge 10k Announced

The Woodbridge Shufflers are pleased to announce that the highly popular Woodbridge Round-the-Town Charity races will take place on Sunday 20th May at 12 noon. The races, which follow an undulating course through the streets of Woodbridge, feature a 10k circuit for runners aged 15+ and a 1.5km race for juniors aged 7-15.

The ‘Round the Town’ is a true highlight of the Woodbridge sporting and social calendar, attracting visitors and residents alike to line the streets in support of the runners. This year will follow the same tried-and-tested format as in previous years, with no changes to the course and offering approximately 700 places for seniors and 150 for juniors.

The races are incredibly popular (last year’s 10k sold out in around 45 minutes!) and entries will open on Saturday 3rd March at 12 noon so all those wishing to enter are advised to keep a close eye on the Woodbridge Shufflers website where details of the online entry will be published. Details will also be shared with local online publications and on the Woodbridge Shufflers 10k Facebook page.

The races are proud to raise money for local charities and in 2017, a record-breaking amount was raised, providing nearly £11,000 for three organisations chosen by the family of Andrea McNally, a former Woodbridge Shuffler who died from breast cancer in early 2017.

Details of the sponsors and the charities supported in 2018 will be announced in March.

For more information, including entry details and planned road closures, keep an eye on the Woodbridge Shufflers website:


Woodbridge Shufflers set for London Marathon

With the Virgin Money London Marathon under six weeks away, it’s exciting to know that no less than five Woodbridge Shufflers will be flying the Club flag at the biggest event in the racing calendar.

Dave Alley, Sarah Cousins, Ian Coxall, Richard Dempsey and Matthew Hunt will all take to the capital’s streets on 23rd April 2017. Here’s a chance to hear their stories and to support their brilliant fundraising efforts.

Dave Alley


Dave and Siobhan Alley Colchester Half 2015

Dave Alley with daugher Siobhan (also a Mind runner)



Dave, who achieved his place through the VLM ballot, is supporting Mind, the charity for mental health, and The Teenage Cancer Trust.

“I’m feeling very excited about running the London Marathon.  I hadn’t run a Marathon before I joined the Woodbridge Shufflers, but was inspired by some amazing people in the club.  Everyone was incredibly supportive, and really made me believe that I could do it.  Since completing my first Marathon in 2013 I haven’t looked back, and have now run several Marathons and Ultra-Marathons. But this is my first time at the VLM – the Big One!”

“Running is now a huge part of my life, and my place in the London Marathon gives me an opportunity to raise money for two amazing charities.  All sponsorship raised will go directly towards helping people when they need it most.”

To sponsor Dave, visit his Just Giving page.

Sarah Cousins

Sarah and her mum

Sarah Cousins and her late mum

Sarah gained her VLM place through the Woodbridge Shufflers ballot. Sarah is raising money for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, a Cambridge based organisation that provides free care to people with a life-limiting illness.

“London is my first marathon. I completed a half marathon on my 21st birthday nearly ten years ago and have enjoyed many shorter distances with the Shufflers since then, but this will be the longest I will have ever run. Each Sunday, I head out on a long run with the club. Thanks to their support, I’m running increasingly longer distances each time and they’ve been a huge part of this achievement.”

“My Mum sadly died in November 2016, just a few weeks before I found out I was doing the marathon and the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity played a huge part in our lives during mum’s last few months. Having taken her to watch my sister run in London in 2015 for the same charity, I know she would have been extremely proud of me.”

“I think it’s safe to say my body was not built for running marathons! At times I’ve found the training really hard. But with the Shufflers’ support, and knowing the big difference the money will make to others going through the similarly horrid situation that I did, I know it’s going to be worth it.”

“Finally, I’m very much looking forward to my few weeks of ‘tapering’ before the big day and hope I can do the race justice!”

To donate to the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, please visit Sarah’s Just Giving page.

Richard Dempsey

Richard Dempsey and Henry

Richard Dempsey and son Henry

Richard (Rich) also gained his place through the Woodbridge Shufflers’ ballot. Richard is fundraising for the Friends of Woodbridge Primary School (FOWPS) where his son is a pupil.

“It’s hard to believe I’m turning 50 this year! And after stating on many occasions, “You need to be mad to run a marathon!” I was ‘lucky’ enough to get allocated one of the club places on this year’s 26.2 mile ‘jaunt’ around London. I’m pleased to say that my training is on target and I’ve just completed the Tarpley 20 mile run in under 2 hours 50 minutes so I’m hoping I can beat my target of four hours in the real thing.”

“I’ve decided to raise some funds for the Friends of Woodbridge Primary School (FOWPS) who work tirelessly all year to organize events for the school. With the money, they can provide the children with much-needed equipment and support.”

“I’m really looking forward to travelling down to London with my family and having them there on the day. I’m a little nervous about the race as it’s such a long way but I know I’ll be proud to complete my first – and very likely last – marathon!”

To support Richard’s fundraising efforts, please visit Richard’s Just Giving page.

Ian Coxall

After having just returned to running following a foot operation in November (and in recovery from sciatica), Ian hopes to run VLM at a more leisurely pace this year. Ian says:

“My aim is to get around and enjoy the great race for the 4th time. This will be my 18th Marathon in all and I’ll be using London as a benchmark for my A race in The Chicago Marathon in October where I hope to complete my 4th major.” Go Ian!

VLM team Tom_Matt_Ian

Fancy a place in next year’s London Virgin Marathon?

As a member of the Woodbridge Shufflers, we are pleased to offer our members the chance to enter our ballot for a place in the London Marathon. (read the full Ts & Cs here).  But at the Shufflers, we believe that running’s for life, not just for races! So why not come along to our training sessions and see what we’re about? You are guaranteed a warm welcome, varied sessions – and – if you still have the energy – a chat in the pub afterwards!

Learn more about club runs with the Woodbridge Shufflers.

Woodbridge Primary School benefits from Shufflers’ charitable donation

Preschool gains new library books and enhances its Forest School with £1000 donation from Woodbridge Shufflers

The Woodbridge 10k and Junior Race is well-known for its hills, its enthusiastic runners and post-run party atmosphere. But at its heart, the race is geared at helping local charities. Last year, six charities received a £1000 donation from the race: Lapwing Education, Ipswich Holiday Help For Children, Suffolk Young People’s Health Project (4YP), Orwell Panthers AC and Woodbridge Primary School.

Mark Krisson, Headmaster at Woodbridge Primary, tells us a little about how the school spent the money.

Forest School inspires learning
“We’re really grateful for the £1000 donation from the Woodbridge Shufflers. The money enabled us to buy Forest School equipment and thereby ensure that our Forest School Leaders could take groups of children off-site for all sorts of learning activities.”

“Many children find these sorts of activities really exciting and for some pupils, it allows them to demonstrate skills and abilities that they’d find hard to show in the classroom.”

A modern library
The money also helped towards the school’s library project. “With the donation, we were able to update our 10-year old library software and purchase a new package that will be really useful for parents as well as children and teachers,” continues Mr Krisson.

Books by favourite authors
In addition, the children were able to have their say in how the money was spent. Members of the ‘school council’ – nominated children from each year group – were asked which authors they liked best and favourite titles were subsequently purchased for the school to enjoy.

Lucy Cliff, who led the project on behalf of Friends of Woodbridge Primary School (FOWPS) says, “It’s been a lovely project which has allowed parents, staff and children to work really closely together. Thank you, Shufflers!”

Marathon Man to help FOWPS

And the good work doesn’t stop there! Richard Dempsey, a member of the Woodbridge Shufflers, will run this year’s London Marathon with all charitable donations going to Woodbridge Primary School.

Richard, who recently completed the Tarpley 20-mile race in under 2 hours 50 minutes, is training incredibly hard and is on target to achieve his dream sub-four hour marathon. Richard says:

“I was lucky enough to gain a London marathon place through the Woodbridge Shufflers and have decided to raise some funds for the Friends of Woodbridge Primary School (FOWPS). They work tirelessly all year organising lots of events to raise money for the school to provide the children with much needed equipment and support. All donations to this worthy causes are greatly appreciated.”

To donate, please visit Richard’s Just Giving page.