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So What's Been Happening ?

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Good News - Club Subs Are Now Due For 2018-2019

As you probably know, Subs run from August to August and it's that time of year again

So thank you once again for all your support this year.

The Christmas Chip Butty Night, the regular meals out, the Breakfast Runs, the Races, the Beginners Group, the Presentation Evening and the friendships made have all been really enjoyable and made everything Phil and I do really worthwhile.

But in order to keep this going and meet all our obligations etc, we need you to smile through gritted teeth and pay your Club Subs which are due by the end of the month

If you are a Full Time Student or Unemployed it will cost you - £20 for the year

An Adult over 16 will again cost - £40

And Joint Mother and Daughter - £60

Please fill out a new membership form next time you’re down the club and pay up as soon as you can before the end of August.

However, if we’ve done our job and you wish to move on then please let us know so that we can wish you luck, give you our blessing and take you out of the mailing lists etc.

Hope to see you soon



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Laura's Leaving Do

Our very good friend Laura Heap will be leaving us shortly and going back to Ireland to be a bit closer to her family

Laura has been with us for a few years now but with four young children and free time at a premium, she needs a bit more support.

None the less she still found time to come to the club, run marathons and inspire and encourage all those around her before racing back home to carry on her busy lifestyle.

Just to show what kind of a strong and organized lady she is, Laura not only ran through the whole of her pregnancy but she even ran on the Thursday night, taking the beginners out for their training run before going home, having a Vindaloo Curry and giving birth the following Friday morning.

So good luck Laura, we will all miss your cheery smile and friendship greatly but look forward to you opening the Irish branch of Dudley Ladies and meeting up with you sometime next year when we all come over to do one of the Dublin races as an excuse to sample the whiskey and the Guinness.

Click on the camera icon on the right to see some photos of the night


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This year’s Presentation Evening was again held at Linden House, Tettenhall on Friday 13th July.

Proceedings began at 7.30pm when Rita welcomed everyone to the event before starting the evening off with a loud explosion of party poppers

There then followed a silver service three course meal of Minestrone Soup or Iced Melon with Ginger for starters, Chicken Chasseur or Roast Topside of Beef or Feta Cheese & Broccoli Bake for main course, with Profiteroles in Hot Bailey’s Sauce or Strawberries & Cream for dessert

Following the meal, which everyone said was excellent, Rita again graciously allowed Phil his yearly treat by allowing him to speak in public and he duly congratulated everyone on their achievements


Click on the Camera icon on the right to see the pictures of who won what and read all about it


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Dudley Ladies 10 Week Beginners Course 2018

This years Beginners Course started on 17th April 2018, from Wombourne Leisure Centre, Ounsdale Road, Wombourne, WV5 8BJ and it's still not to late to join.

If you are interested and want to know more about our Beginners then click on the Learner icon on the right


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The Bipolar, Fat Girls Guide To Running, Swimming and Living

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Birmingham Half Marathon 2017

This year saw a record turn out of Dudley Ladies, many of them first timers who only started running as Beginners back in April do the Birmingham Half Marathon

To see so many blue vests was really fantastic, it was an amazing effort and everyone involved did the club proud

Michelle Marney said:

"A massive heartfelt thank you to Rita, Phil & the fellow Dudley Ladies that came to Birmingham today to support us. The hardest part for me was knowing that I'd be crossing the finish line without anyone waiting for me, so I really appreciate it. What an amazing club we are part of, proud to wear my club colours today xx"

Jenny Campana said:

"Well I ran and survived the brum half marathon with an amazing group of Dudley Ladies xx....even met a storm trooper along the way .. what an experience.....Laura Rose thank you for inspiring me.... Michelle Jayne Marney,  EllenClarkie Clarke we bloody smashed our first half marathon!!!"

For more pictures of the day, click on this link


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Marathon Success

Sunday 24th April saw thousands of runners take to the streets in order to pit themselves against the distance or raise money for good causes.

Amongst them were Sue Davis (left) who did the the London Marathon in a very creditable 5Hrs 34mins after stopping to give assistance to another runner and Becky Brookes who did the Stratford Shakespeare Marathon in 5Hrs 13mins.

It was the first marathon for both ladies and they helped raise thousands of pounds for their chosen charity.

Well done, ALL of Dudley Ladies are proud of you.



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Sainsbury’s Sports Relief 2016







On Sunday March 20th, Tracey Priest, Claire Panter, Natalie Wilkes, Annie Marie, Angela Dainty, Rachel Jukes and Amanda Harcourt all took part in the Sainsbury’s Sports Relief event at Wolverhampton Speedway.

In 2012 Tracey was only able to walk the speedway track but having now been through Rita’s Beginners Course and on-going coaching she and all the others did the club proud by running 18 laps of the track which added up to 3 miles, raising nearly £200 in the process. Well Done Ladies.


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Silverstone Half Marathon 13th March 2016

On Sunday 13th March Debbie Hughes, Nicky Pinchers, Sue Davis and Jane Breakwell undertook the Silverstone Half Marathon.

Sue was using it as a stepping stone towards her London Marathon run in a few weeks time, it was Nicky's first half marathon and she is now so enthused that she wants to do a full marathon somewhere abroad, it was Debbie's second half marathon and beat her previous run by seven minutes as did Jane. So everyone was absolutely delighted with what they set out to achieve.

They were each running for their own personal charities but ran together all the way around and paced it spot on to finish in 2hrs 27min

Well Done Ladies


For more pictures click the camera icon on the left


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Because of the increased numbers in the club now, can we re-remind everyone to use the Ounsdale School carpark or the slip road outside? 

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT park on the Leisure Centre carpark. 

It’s causing all sorts of disruption and problems  so PLEASE park on the school or the road. 

If you are able to car share then that would help enormously

Please email rita@dudleyladies.co.uk and we will try and match up up with a suitable friend.


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Dudley Ladies Are Now On Facebook

There is now an "Official" Dudley Ladies Facebook page.

So if you want to keep up with old friends or just want to have a chat then just simply search for "Official Dudley Ladies Running Club" on Facebook and ask to be enrolled as a member now.


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Well Done Lisa - You Did it

After months and months of training through rain, wind, heat and everything else, Lisa completed the London Marathon and did everybody proud.

She writes:-

"To all my wonderful friends and family. Thanks for your support over the last months I couldn't have run the marathon without you guys. The year has been hard not just training but all the other things that have been going on but I did the run for Carl and it was so wonderful to see his face, he was so proud and I'm so glad that he inspired me to run.

Thanks to Sharon Jackson Jill Dixon and Julie I had no idea you were coming and fab to see you !!! And to Louise Kimpton Kelly Dunn and Ru for coming too. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends xx thanks xx

Also thanks to Rita Vanes who has been with me every step of the way. I couldn't have achieved this without you xxx



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Lisa Needs Your Help

Last year, Lisa’s brother Carl ran the London Marathon in 3:48, despite his recent diagnosis of Advanced Prostate Cancer.

Carl is a truly amazing person and throughout last year he continued to raise money for Prostate Cancer by running three half marathons in 5 weeks!!

That was despite undergoing numerous treatments and overcoming various difficult hurdles!

At that time Lisa couldn’t run 100 yards, however Carl asked her to enter the 2014 London Marathon with him, just in case he couldn't do it, so she joined Dudley Ladies 10 week Beginners Running Course and that started her journey, making some great friends and meeting some inspirational people along the way!

Her journey has been arduous, with long hours of training in all sorts of weather and she still has many more hours of training to complete before the big day.

To go from absolute beginner to marathon runner inside 12 months is daunting enough by anybody’s standards, but as Lisa said, this is nothing compared to what Carl has to endure every day to continue his fight against this terrible disease!!

Lisa loves Carl and her aim is to raise awareness, raise lots of money and hopefully make her big brother proud!!!

So please support Lisa if you’re able and help raise some money for a very worthy but under publicised charity that is doing a wonderful job under very difficult circumstances.

You can sponsor Lisa and help her raise some money no matter how small for a cause that is personal and very close to her heart by clicking on the link below.



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Superwoman Natalie Does 4 Marathons in 4 days














To find out why she did it, click on Natalie's picture


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A once in a lifetime day for proud torchbearer Rita

On Sunday 1st July, Rita fulfilled nearly 40 years of involvement with running by carrying the Olympic Torch through Redditch. The 64 year old, who has inspired literally thousands of women to take up running, said that being torchbearer was the "best moment" of her life.

She added "It was absolutely fantastic. There were hundred and hundreds of people there and everybody was hooting and cheering. I couldn't believe that I was part of such a wonderful thing. I feel so proud and humble to have been chosen."

"I would just like to thank everyone that nominated me, I'll never be able to repay them" she said

Click on the camera icon on the right for more images



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Rita on the Radio

On Wednesday 18th April Rita was interviewed on The Joanne Malin Show at Radio WM.

Click on the Radio WM logo on the left to hear what she had to say



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Marathon Heroines

This year Dee, Nina and Susan did the London Marathon, Wendy, Heather and Lisa plumped for the Brighton whilst Natalie braved torrential rain storms at Manchester.

Graduates of Rita's School of Beginners, all of them accredited themselves well and finished in a good state full of pride at what they had achieved.


Click here for more pictures

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Rita Selected To Carry Olympic Torch

Dudley Ladies' Group Leader Rita Vanes has been selected to be an Olympic Torch Bearer at the 2012 Olympics

Rita was among the 8,000 inspirational people selected to carry the Olympic flame as it makes its way through the region during its 70-day trip to London.

She was nominated for the honour by members of the club, which she founded in 2002 and will join with others to complete a section of the route between Birmingham and Coventry on Sunday July 1.

The 63-year-old ex-special needs teacher said: “I’m really, really pleased as it will be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement and something I’ll always treasure.

The grandmother of three, from Wordsley, who didn't take up running until she was 35, went on to become one of the best runners in her age group in the country and quickly grew to love the sport. She has taken part in hundreds of races for several clubs in the area before deciding to help other women interested in running and keeping fit by starting up her own club nine years ago.

Since then Rita has helped literally thousands of women take their first steps on the running ladder through the Beginners Running Courses that she organises every April.

Now Dudley Ladies Running Club meets three times a week at Wombourne Leisure Centre, which she describes as “one big family”.

Everybody is agreed that the honour could not have gone to a more deserving person.


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Dudley Ladies Featured in The Wolverhampton Magazine

To read the article click here

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Congratulations to everyone that did the Lake Vyrnwy race.

The results look like everyone really enjoyed themselves.

Now we know that if you did run it, then you’re probably still walking like a penguin and can’t think straight because the blood hasn’t come back to your brain yet.


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Good News - Hooded Tops Have Arrived

Here we see Dee and Nina modelling the all new Dudley Ladies Hooded Tops complete with club logo.

They come in sizes Extra Small to Extra Large and cost £15.

It's cash with order so see one of the girls on the desk to try one on before ordering.


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Natalie's 40 Mile Stroll in Connemara

I can say now, I was pretty nervous about this one.

Click on this link to find out why.



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Natalie's Disney Experience

I can't remember when or why I decided to enter the Disney Marathon, I think I saw an advert in Runners World and decided to look it up. Having been to Florida on holiday a few years ago and enjoyed it, it seemed like a nice idea - sunshine, holiday, relax on some roller coasters(!) and do some running at the same time.


Click here to read all about it



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Rita Vanes

Rita Presented with Civic Award

On Monday 22nd March, club founder Rita Vanes, who will be 62 in May, was invited to the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in order to meet the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Pat Martin, to receive a Civic Award.

She was presented with a handcrafted engraved glass trophy and framed certificate for winning The Duncan Edwards award for sport, which is named after Dudley’s most famous footballing son who tragically died aged 21, in the 1958 Munich air disaster.

This award is given once a year for those who have achieved in any sport. They may have represented a group, borough or even the country or overcome adversity such as illness or disability to achieve a personal goal. It is also to celebrate and thank those who give their time to working behind the scenes at our local sporting clubs and groups and Rita won hands down on all those counts.

The award was the recognition for over 25 year’s participating, organising and actively encouraging women into running but as usual, Rita never told anyone about it until it appeared in the papers.

It was said during the evening that throughout the entire history of the Mayor's Civic Awards, no one had ever received so many nominations.

Rita told the Express & Star, "It feels absolutely fantastic to receive this award. I just feel very humble and am over the moon. I have been running for over 25 years and have got so much out of it that I wanted to help other women enjoy running to and I would just like to thank all those hundreds of people that voted for me"


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For More Information Contact:

Dudley Ladies Running Club
Meet at Wombourne Leisure Centre
Ounsdale Road, Wombourne, WV5 8BJ

Email: rita@dudleyladies.co.uk

Site Last modified: April 24, 2018