Regular training: Wednesday evening

Latest: we have a growing band of beginners and intermediates …a very welcoming group that looks out for each other and is growing in confidence. Ideal for anyone not wanting to tackle the full distance. Give it a go!

We meet every Wednesday for a 6:30pm start at the Helsby Community Sports Club. We’re now on the summer program of mainly offroad runs — don’t be intimidated, nothing too hard and we have folk of all paces out. Getting started: give it a go. Come and say hello, make yourself known. Something like “Hello I’m new, I’d like to go for a run” should do the trick. More…

Helsby RC Racing News 11th-17th May 2015


Apologies for the delay to the delivery of your weekly news, entirely my fault as I thought I was doing it next week! Right, on with the News, I won’t lie, it’s massive! It also has details of a new County level runner to join the few that have swapped their green vest for a black Cheshire one. I’ll leave you to find out all about it below.

Couple of events to point out (full details at the bottom of this mail):

  • Club night out in Frodsham – Fitzy is organising so you know it’ll be good!
    • ‘Hola Green Army So the planned night out is still going ahead, usual routine, Sunday 24th May, 7.30pm, Helter skelter, and then on to a few other boozers nothing too heavy, hopefully see you there :)  Fitzy ‘
  • Road: Grocontinental relay on Thursday 9th July at Dearnford Lake
    • Colin Thompson is coordinating the mens teams, if you wish to be involved please email him
    • Jane Ashbrook is coordinating the ladies teams
  • Fell Counter – Hutton Roof Crags #Fellsby
  • North Wales Fell counter – Moel Eilio #Fellsby
  • NEW to Fells Mini Series #Fellsby
    • Mynydd Myfyr
    • Robbie Webster’s Wobbler
      • I’ve got plenty of Marshals now, so thanks to every body that has volunteered!
      • Please see cake appeal mail sent earlier – all proceeds going to Nepal Earthquake victims

Have a great half term and enjoy your running wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!


Road Running

Windermere Marathon

The Marathon results continue to fly in for the Helsby road runners. Given the location and course profile I think that Darran O’Connor needs to make the most of his form and training by getting out with the Fellsby contingent, but let’s not detract from the story in hand – over to you Darran on what was a clearly stunning performance!

“All the months of long runs and hill sprints boiled down to this. The course profile and message boards all warned of the hills but a quick course reccy on Saturday had me worried I’d get round in one piece. My original goal of beating my only previous marathon time of 3:26:00 was really looking doubtful. The morning of the race lifted my spirits as the conditions were perfect for running. Walking to start line I was full of nerves – luckily I met Helen Owens just before we set of and she was in her usual good spirits. We set of to the sound of a local drum band which gave me a boost. 

I had a pacing plan in mind and my hand was covered in biro to remind me of the worst hills! The hills started almost right away – the steepest of all was at mile 7 which reduced most people to walking (not me!!) randomly there were 2 guys playing bag pipes half way up the killer hill! I stuck to my plan through out until I got to mile 20 where there was another 1 mile of horrible hills. I was hoping to up the pace in the last 4 miles but my legs were spent by that time and these ended up being my slowest miles in the race.

Finished in 51st place with a new pb of 3:19:14. Over the moon with that! Saw Helen cross the line and she looked really strong finishing with a big smile! I would recommend this race to anyone – the atmosphere, scenery and organisation were great. Definitely the hardest race I have ever done – I think a flat one is on the menu for my next one!”

Fantastic performance Darran. And yet another marathon for Helen.. how many this year already? Helen beat the efforts of Ivan and me to come as close to a major time milestone as possible in a time of 3:59:59! Kudos.

Christleton 5K

Won in a stunning 14:31 you know a race has attracted a top field when Colin is not even in the top 50 despite an incredible PB of 16:27!!!!

Amazing runs across the board with PBs all over the place. Unfortunately apart from Colin, Fitzy and Laura BH I don’t know who else PB’ed as I’ve not got a report or a list of everybody’s previous PBs! Congratulations to all runners flying the #GreenArmy flag!

 Pos First name Last name Club Chip Time Chip Pos Category Pos
57 Colin Thompson Helsby RC 16:27 58 Senior 37
86 Chris Fitzpatrick Helsby RC 17:07 85 Senior 54
123 Adam Gordon Helsby RC 17:38 119 Over 40 22
132 Neil Finegan Helsby RC 17:47 129 Over 40 23
166 Ian Rutherford Helsby RC 18:41 166 Over 40 28
195 Ian Landucci Helsby RC 19:33 197 Over 50 8
203 Christopher Murray Helsby RC 19:45 202 Senior 97
209 Tim Igoe Helsby RC 19:58 208 Senior 101
215 Joanne Lacking Helsby RC 20:07 213 Over 35 3
248 Laura Baynham-Hughes Helsby RC 21:10 247 Over 35 5
266 Geoff Shaw Helsby RC 22:16 267 Over 60 9
298 Jo Farwell Helsby RC 24:45:00 299 Over 45 6
309 Donna Geer Helsby RC 25:39:00 309 Over 45 8
311 Mike Searle Helsby RC 25:55:00 311 Over 50 15
319 Janet Shaw Helsby RC 28:10:00 320 Over 60 1

Results are here:

Chester Half Marathon
With a predominantly flat course Chester is a favorite within the tarmac lovers of the club. This course has a sting in the tail as the finish is up the hill past Telfords Warehouse and through the Northgate.

A new course record was set in 1:02 and change – phew!

First home for Helsby was Degs in a cracking 1:25 followed by Alison Halsall in a superb 1:30! Well done to all that took to the line. Full Results below:


Pos Fname Surname Club Cat Cat Pos Gun Time Chip Time Chip Pos
138 Derek Morris Helsby RC MV40 23 01:25:57 01:25:46 140
313 Alison Halsall Helsby RC FV45 2 01:31:01 01:30:39 316
368 Adrian Jackson Helsby RC MV40 62 01:32:25 01:31:54 368
507 Scot Steel Helsby RC MV40 91 01:34:45 01:34:32 525
748 Louise Mceveley Helsby RC FV45 7 01:38:59 01:38:17 773
1059 David Madders Helsby RC MV40 161 01:43:06 01:42:28 1134
1095 Paul Roberts Helsby RC MSEN 585 01:43:36 01:42:30 1137
1639 Lesley Feakes Helsby RC FV50 16 01:49:29 01:48:24 1746
3441 Donna Geer Helsby RC FV45 103 02:07:25 02:03:17 3471

If there are any race reports for either of the two races above then send them in and they will be added to the blog pages.

Fell Running

Now to the main event – I’m not bias at all :)

47ef16cb-371d-4aba-914d-882ce12e4b72Cader Idris is a classic style fell race, run to the top and back down again. It’s a real cracker with some serious huffing and puffing on the way up, ankle challenging terrain across to the summit (which you feel like  kissing by the time you get there!) and an insanely steep downhill section on the return which has spectators gasping!

This year The #Fellsby contingent were slighltly lower in numbers due to various commitments, but Jimmy, Jim Jones, Phil Roberts and friend of the club Jeff McQueen all took to the start line for a breathless adventure. Sadly the results are still not out yet, but it’s clear from the photos that the boys had a great time out there!

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Under the radar at the Inter County Fell Running Championships

Max thought he could get away with it but social media has uncovered that he ran in a Cheshire vest at the Inter Country fell running championships!!!

No surprise to those of us that have seen him run uphill – “Glides” is the word I use! Over to Max for details (which I had to prize out of his modest self!

‘A 7 ish mile fell race in betws y coed. Two laps of a very fast course with lots of twists and turns one big ascent. Nice and sunny day bit too fast for me though. Think I did fairly well but not sure what position I came in as I haven’t checked – second out of the Cheshire vests though’.

Well Max, I finally found the results and here are the cut down version with a few people in for context. Tom Addison was 8th in 48:27! Awesome run Max, especially considering the course didn’t play to your strengths. Maybe it was the Alan Partridge super short shorts? (Context: see this link from 2:52 – ) I’m sure the rest of the club will join me in congratulating you!

Pos   Num  Name  Club Time
1 367   Andrew Douglas Scotland West 45:26
2 341   Chris Smith Middlesex 46:15
3 385   Tom Adams Yorkshire 47:14
29 308   Andrew Lamont Cheshire 52:03
38 336   Rob Grantham Merseyside 53:50
47 350   Jez Brown North Wales 54:41
49 305   Max Wainwright Cheshire 55:11
67 307   Tom McGaff Cheshire 58:12
71 309   Karl Steinegger Cheshire 58:36


Long Distance Trail & Ultras

Helsby has a few long distance fans – completing challenges from the Bob Graham and the Ring o’Fire to our very own Sandstone trail Race Challenge.

Until now we only had one centurion, but it would appear that number has now doubled! Over to Andy for the details!

Apocalypse 100
‘This weekend I ran the Apocalypse 100 in Shropshire, 100 miles, including 3 ascents of the Long Mynd.

It was an awesome event! Great weather, brilliant views across Shropshire & the Welsh hills. We didn’t have time to stop for picnics though. Best bit: hammering down off the Long Mynd to the finish. Worst bit: offroute in the middle of a rape field at 1am in pitch dark.

I ran the first half with Nigel Aston, then the 2nd half on my own, through the night. Good to see Nigel, & he helped me through a rough patch at around miles 35 to 45. Good to see Charlie Sharpe, Carmine de Grandis & Alison Brind too – all doing the 50-mile option (which was just the first half of the 100).

I must have paced it about right, since I finished 4th in about 24:09:14. Daniel Hendrikson won in 20:15:14, Paul Collier 2nd in 20:56:00. The full results are here, & I’ve written a race report and posted it Charlie Sharpe won the 50-mile race.’

Huge Kudos Mr. Robinson – a top 5 finish to boot! Clearly a great way to relax after putting on an excellent race the week before. Here are the belated details from the other side of an ultra event.

Sandstone Trail Challenge

I’ve now put a report up on the club website here, and I’ve attached a few of the best photos of club members.

We had 198 finishers, half walkers, half runners as usual.   The results are out, and you can find them here.  We had a great day on Saturday, with fine performances from the Helsby runners.  First home was Charlie Sharpe in 4:33, first woman was Tracy Entwistle in 5:23.  Helsby runners were:

7th Chris Fitzpatrick, 5:05
35th Jim Jones, 6:08
46th Jane Ashbrook, 6:29 (7th woman)
49th Derek Morris, 6:42
85th & 86th Ste Wiggins & Ben Williams, 7:43
110th Ian Hilditch, 8:52

I hope I haven’t missed anyone out there, but it’s possible!

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Trail running

Found this in the junk mail box… no idea why it got redirected, but as a result it got missed from previous reace news – time to rectify that! Jenny and I (Tim) did yet another Lakeland Trails race this weekend. As usual lovely scenery and atmosphere, quite fast as the major ascents were on tarmac – country lanes. A big plus as far as Jenny and I were concerned is that it starts and finishes with a few hundred metres if Wilfs – excellent for pre race brews and post race lunch. As usual for these races, 10k turns into 11.5k…

Park Run

Great to see green vests still making an appearance on the Park run scene. If you’re new to the club and haven’t been out racing yet then the Park run is a perfect start. Really relaxed, great atmosphere and ALL abilities.

Cheeky first place for the evergreen Mr. Colin Bishop and great to see Louise S, Rhea, Andy Smith, Rachel, Jenny O’Hare and Paul Bulmer being guided around by Louise M and Claire Morton.

Well done all!

Full results here:

Upcoming races and reminders


Date: Sat 23rd May

Fell Counter: 
Hutton Roof Crags (BM) 11.3km/ 397m
When: 14:30
Where: Hutton Roof Village Hall, nr Kirkby Lonsdale, LA6 2PG
Further Details:
Includes Country Fair so bring the family!

For those of you looking for a PDF version of the calendars, please click this link.

If you have any events to add to it then please contact Tim Palmer

PS – You’ll notice some of the events are in several times, that is because they are in multiple calendars which is better for those that use the electronic calendars. For the PDF users it’ll be an annoyance, but just scroll on by! :)

Date: Sat 23rd May
Moel Eilio (AM) 12.9km/ 915m (NW Counter)
When: 13:00
Where: Outside Plas Garnedd , Llanberis, LL55 4LF
Calendar: North Wales Fell Counters

Date: Sun 24 May 2015
Mynydd Myfyr (BS) 6.5km/ 150m – £4-5
Where: Trefonen Village Hall, approx. 2 miles SW of Oswestry. SY10 9DY
Calendar: New to Fells (Mini Series)
A great introduction to off-road running and racing. Approximately 6.5 Kilometres (4 miles) of mixed terrain on trail paths, through farmland and wooded areas and country lanes including climbs totaling 150 metres plus (500ft). Supporting the delightful Trefonen Hill Walk Weekend, which raises funds for various charities. Prizes for first 3 Men and Women plus age group prizes 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+ Venue is SY10 9DA.
Entries are taken on the day. More details can be found at

Wed 27 May 2015
19:30 – 20:30 Batch Bash (AS) 4.8km/ 305m
Where: Yew Tree Inn, All Stretton, SY6 6HG
Calendar: NCC – Fell

Sat 30 May 2015
08:00 – 12:30 Excalibur (BL) 42.2km/ 1676m
Where: Moel Famau Car Park GR173612
Calendar: NCC – Fell

11:00 – 12:00 Duddon (AL) 29km/ 1830m
Where: Newfield Inn, Seathwaite, Duddon Valley, Cumbria.
Calendar: NCC – Fell

Sun 31 May 2015
Snowdon HM £23
Calendar: NCC – Road

10:30 – 11:30 Edenfield (BM) 10.3km/ 477m
Where: Edenfield Cricket Club, Gincroft Lane, BL0 0JW
Calendar: NCC – Fell

12:30 – 13:30 Saddleworth (AS) 4.8km/ 290m
Where: Tanners Waterside Mill, Greenfield, Saddleworth, OL3 7NH.
Calendar: NCC – Fell

Wed 3 Jun 2015
Robbie Webster’s Wobbler (AS)
When: Registration from 6:15-7pm. Race start 7:15
Where: Best Western Forest Hills Hotel, Overton Dr, Frodsham, WA6 6HH
Description: A fantastic little race run by Helsby RC with cakes. Want more? See:
Calendar: New to Fells (Mini Series)

Thursday 9 Jul 2015
Grocontinental Relay
Dearnford Lake.
Description: We had a good attendance from the Green Army last year so we are putting together teams again. Teams of 3 each do a 2 mile leg. All good fun! Please find a link here to the event flier with all the details

  • Colin Thompson is coordinating the mens teams, if you wish to be involved please email him
  • Jane Ashbrook is coordinating the ladies teams

Club Captains Reports

Ladies captain report 2014/2015 by Jane Ashbrook

What a year the ladies have had! We have 11 new lady members (49) and are frequently getting bigger and bigger numbers attending training sessions on Monday morning, Monday evening and Wednesday evening. A number of new runners have competed in their first Parkruns, 10k’s, Borders Leagues, cross countries and fells this year. Hopefully with some encouragement and the introduction of the mini fells we’ll see even more ladies braving some races this year…it’s really not as scary as you think!

Massive thanks to Joe and Mario for their overwhelming support and encouragement, to Colin for the introduction of the Wednesday time trials and 20milers to test us out and to our fantastic chair Jackie and the rest of the committee for all their hard work this year!

Individual achievement of the year must go to Jayne Joy who achieved outstanding success on the fells last summer. Building on a great performance at the Inter counties cross countries in May last year she went on the win numerous fell races and earn herself an international vest coming 3rd in the Karimor Home Counties International in June and 7th in the European trials later in the same month. We are so proud of her amazing achievements and after a really tough end to the year including illness and injury we wish her our very best and a speedy recovery in time for some fells before the summer is out…I for one am missing her big smiley hugs at the end of the race!

Cross country: It was always going to be difficult to replicate the winning success of last year particularly with Tracy Entwhistle from Warrington injured and our own JJ out for most of the season. BUT the troops came good and came a brilliant 3rd team overall out of 13 teams and the top three teams were very close in the end. Each year the field gets bigger and stronger so I think we can be really proud of our performance.

Borders League: Thanks go to vice-captain Carol Shaw for co-ordinating teams for these races. Ladies came a respectable 4th in Div 1 with Joanne Lacking placing 3rd in the individual senior ladies and Carol Shaw winning a very closely fought V50 battle…fantastic stuff! Some other great results to mention are Emily Smith and Rhea Thomas were 13th and 16th respectively in the overall standings and Shan McCarthy 8th in the V40 and Vanessa Griffiths 5th in the V45.

Fell relays: In October we joined the mens and mixed teams to compete in the British Fell relays championships. Jayne, Vanessa, Laura, Jenny, Rachel and I battled the wind and rain to secure a very respectable 27th out of 45 female teams.

Other achievements: There have been many other fantastic achievements this year, sorry if I’ve missed any off but here’s a little list of my favourites from early 2015!

Joanne Lacking: VLM 3:18:25…just brilliant!

Donna Geer: HM 2:01:59 (that’s a whole 20min faster than 2014!!)

Shan McCarthy: HM 1:58:58 (10mins quicker than 2014)

Jo Farwell: 10k 51:05 (an impressive PB after a long lay off with injury)

Emma Barnes: 5k 26:52 (over 30secs faster than 2014)

June Swift: 5th Lady in her first Borders League appearance, looking forward to next season!

It has been an absolute pleasure to captain such an amazing group of ladies this year and I am so proud of all of your personal achievements over the season. Thanks for your continued support of my endurance sessions and beginners groups and helping to ensure that Helsby remains a friendly and inclusive club with something for everyone.


Mens captain report 2014/2015 by Colin Thompson


My first year as Captain (or Captain Marvel as Phil R calls me :-) and what an honour it has been, I hope I have done a reasonable job since taking over the reins last year. I had some big shoes to fill when Adair stepped down (size 12’s I believe) but I have tried to carry on the good work he did for the club over his 8 year reign – and I seem to have come in just at the right time! Helsby has done fantastically well in all disciplines of racing this year. This success is all down to you guys who turn up to training each week, enter the races and put in maximum effort.

A fantastic year and with more runners and increasing enthusiasm really highlights the current success of Helsby Running Club. Great to see an array of new faces and the energy they have given to the club as well as the fast times that are now being produced. Helsby are definitely on the map and a force to be reckoned with!

Increased numbers at track on Monday nights, with different training plans and similar to last year we have had a consistent winter training session on Monday nights at Castle Park. Thanks to Head Coach Joe and Vice-Captain Mario as always for committing their time, knowledge and support at training and races. They are always on hand to answer any running related questions and their knowledge is invaluable.

Thanks also goes to Jane Ashbrook for offering alternative sessions on a Monday to offer members a variety of training options.


What an amazing year we have had on the road. With some fast new members joining this year they have really injected an energy into the team and as a result the more established members have had to up their game which is really starting to show with some superb PBs on display from everybody.

We’ve had a magnificent 10k time of 34:20 ran by our top vet Colin Bishop (which is still the fastest in the UK this year by far for his age group) which also must be one of the quickest 10k times by a Helsby runner for many years. Further up the field we’ve had an array of sub 20 5k and sub 40 10k times which is the bench mark for most club runners.

More and more members are using parkruns each week as part of their training and rightly so. Look after those 5k and 10k times and the rest will follow. A lot of success here with many Helsby wins, 1-2 finishes and lots of PBs. Keep it up chaps!

Also a very successful spring marathon season with a few of our runners breaking that much sought after sub 3 hour target time. One of the most astonishing things here was the ease CBH went from fell runner to road geek, even resorting to posting Garmin splits on social network sites! Chris Fitzpatrick led the charge with a 2.50 time at Manchester, a big PB for him and 12th fastest time in Cheshire this year. Well done guys.

The men’s team also won the recent Mid-Cheshire 5k event which was a great triumph and shows the strength and depth in talent we have in the club currently. I must add that this race had some of the best clubs in the North West present (Liverpool Harriers, Knowsley Harriers etc.) which makes this achievement even more remarkable!


Great work from Andy Robinson revitalising and continuing with the Sandstone Challenge and seeing it develop each year in an event that gets consistent good praise. Some excellent running from Helsby this year saw a number of new PBs. Well done to all who took part and thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their free time to help the event run smoothly.

Borders League

Great news this year, if you haven’t already heard the Helsby men were 2nd in Division 2 after a closely fought battle with West Cheshire AC all season. A massive well done to all the guys who turned up to the races and fought hard for those valuable points.

This means the men will be promoted to Division 1 which (I have been reliably informed) hasn’t happened for around 15 years, so a huge well done chaps, let’s keep the momentum going into next season where I strongly believe we can compete with the best teams in the top Division.

Well done to Colin Bishop for 1st in his age category this season, he finished well ahead of 2nd place this year.

Thank you to BL Co-ordinator Adrian Jackson for his hard work and rallying the troops for each race. Sadly he’s standing down this year so a role is up for grabs.

Cross Country

Helsby men’s team were once again running as partners with Lymm and Warrington. Some good efforts saw us finish 4th from 14 teams. Great result and I’m sure it’s something we can improve on next season but we need the runners. We also had some participation in the L&D league which was good to see. Well done to Adrian for finishing top of the Helsby XC championships, one of the most improved runners this year I think you will agree.


The fells have always been very popular with Helsby RC and we still get a big turn out at the races. Hopefully this will continue with more runners trying something new out of their comfort zone. Jimmy O’Hara pretty much dominated last season but with Mighty Max now in the mix and Phil Roberts improving rapidly it’s going to be an exciting season. Also with the addition of the “Mini-Series” (new this season) we are hoping for some of the newer runners to try their hand at the hilly stuff.

Last year saw our third inter-club fell championship which overall went down well. The races for the inter-club trophy are suitable for anyone who does the normal summer hill run. Congratulations to Helsby for their second successive series win.

British fell relays was another success in October with some strong running from everyone involved. Helsby men’s team finished a brilliant 83rd from the 187 open teams in the event. Thanks once again to Phil Gillard for his team selection and continued organisation of this event.

Thank you to CBH for organising the Wobbler again which is gaining in popularity each year. This year promises to be even bigger so we need a good turn out and members to offer their help and support. Helsby won the team award again last year, well done to all those who took part.

Tattenhall Tough Team

It’s on again in June. (Teams of three). Helsby always do well at this. Worth thinking about teams now. I know a few teams have entered already so let’s get it sorted.


These September races are popular with the club and are a nice warm up gig for the XC season. Helsby Men’s ‘A’ team were 13th last season which is an improvement on the previous year but hopefully we can improve more on that this year if we get the numbers.

There is also a four race multi-terrain summer series at Shotton, Deeside. Just ask if you want any more info on this although I don’t think this has team results.


We also had a few members embarking on some epic ultra races. The Ring of Fire took place last September and we had 4 Helsby runners (Fitzy, CBH, Ste Wiggins, Phil Roberts) crazy enough to take on the challenge. For those who are unaware of this race, it’s a 135 mile coastal ultra marathon around the perimeter of Anglesey, not for the faint hearted! I believe Ste Wiggins is returning this year for another go, he must be a glutton for punishment!

Other notable races have been Gaz O’Connor embarking on the epic Centurion ultra race (100 miles) and had a fantastic first foray into the ultra long stuff and also new member Chris Murray completing the Continental 12 hour relay solo. Andy Robinson seems to be at an ultra every week too. Well done guys!

Race reports

A lot more people are writing race reports which is great to see. It adds a bit more variety to the blog each week and it’s nice to get a personal perspective from the race. So thank you to all those who contributed this year and hopefully this will continue.

Blog & Media

A big loss last year when Adair stepped down from doing the round-up each week, it left a daunting task for his successor! It was suggested we do a share of the news each week so the onus wasn’t on the one person, therefore Gaz O’Connor, Chris Baynham-Hughes and Helen Owens all came on board which I think you will agree has worked well and gives the news much more variety each week. More use of Mail-Chimp too which gives the news a more professional look. Thank you Chris for suggesting this.

A big thanks to Steve Riley as he does a lot of work behind the scenes with the blog, Helsby website, Twitter and flickr too. Steve also answers many of the clubs emails and is always encouraging everyone, a great asset to the club. Also the Facebook page is getting a lot of use now and is good for information to be quickly posted out to members.

Thanks to Ian Landucci for maintaining details of all runners at our club counters and keeping a points record which is vital for the awards ceremony we can enjoy.

Thank you to CBH for taking the time to co-ordinate the electronic race calendars this season which makes it much easier to load the club counters onto your phone/tablet or computer calendars.


An idea is to have a Sunday training run, maybe 10am each Sunday. The 20 mile time trial went down well not long ago so maybe we could use the Greenway. This could just be an informal run and the beauty is you can turn back at any point along the route depending on how far you would like to run. Something we can discuss.

The 10k TT was introduced last year and has had a steady following since. I am happy to continue with this over the summer, or maybe we could have a break and use it as part of our winter training program? Another one to discuss.

Club records would be good to have on the blog but would take some time to find and collate all the data. Any volunteers?

Any other ideas, thoughts or issues then please let us know and send me an email or please bring comments to the AGM.

That’s all folks, hope you have enjoyed reading. Once again thank you for all your hard work this year and long may it continue! Any questions then please email or ask at the AGM.


Sandstone round-up

Sandstone trail 2015

The 2015 results are now up. The lost property is listed in the results too. I’ve written a short report about the event with a few photos in it. There are more photos on the web, and we’ll add the rest soon. There are some blogs and photos up on the Delamere Spartans website too. Steve Roberts’ blog – he had a hard time of it and didn’t finish, but we hope he’ll be back for another go next year. Nick Wishart’s blog – Nick finished 5th this year. John Kleiser took some photos and a short video as well. More here. Congrats to everyone that walked, ran, baked, marshalled, drove, photographed, fed and watered. Massive team effort, well done Andy, well done Helsby and friends!

Helsby RC Weekly Update (4-10-2015 to 10-5-2015)

Please send all race reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.con

Delamere Spartans 10K Trail Race.

This race took place on Bank Holiday Monday and is a welcomed new fixture on the race calender, with Phil Gillard (1st Male Helsby), Alison Halsall (1st Lady Helsby) were amongst a strong Helsby contingent. Well done all. Full results are below.
The Sandstone Challenge.


Chris Fitzpatrick wrote the following report from Saturdays 33 mile Sandstone Challenge.

Is there a better pound for pound race (sorry challenge) about?

No is the answer, unless you speak to some of them mountain goats we have at the club running those fells week in week out. Early start for a few of us marshalling the cars into car park spaces, you would think this is easy but believe me some people really do amaze you with their driving skills. Anyway, onto the important stuff, I think this may have been one of the strongest fields we have ever had on the start line of the STC 5 finishes I think under sub 5 hrs, 2 previous winners in Dave Douglas and Nick Wishart from the Spartans, a few nifty Helsby Runners and the one and only Charlie Sharp, who pretty much wins everything he enters these days, even with his top off, whilst taking selfies and photos along the route whilst listening to music.
The weather was so much better than last years wash out (that’s because Phil Roberts wasn’t in the country, apparently he was tarmac slapping the streets of Prague), we only had a little light rain, mainly cloudy with a chance of meat balls, and a little wind, perfick as Del boy says. The first few miles was tough, sub 7 minute miles trying to keep up with the “sharpe” runners of this world but by the time we got to the first few farmers fields, the field really started to take shape, and everyone started doing their own thing. After the farmers fields comes the hills of Bickerton, and Beeston, which really are killers on the legs, I was sandwiched in between a Spartan Butty with Chris Collins, Dave Douglas ahead and Nick Wishhart close behind, this was pretty much the same all through to about 22 miles, when my legs just gave way (think it was the sight of Col T in delamere that put me off as he looked so fresh high fiving everyone after being chased around his local park run that same morning by 2 ageing women!!)
Anyone who has done an ultra before will know its not all about the legs feeling good when you get to 25 miles and the legs start to go wobbly, the real battle is in your head, just like Helen has every day about going on Facebook, I could have quite simply of given in, but I didn’t, and don’t let that put you off as I am I’m so glad I didn’t as I was greeted at the bottom of Jacobs Ladder by CBH shouting “c’mon squirrel there’s some nuts up here, get them legs up, run up the stairs ya f*nny”, ok cheers Chris thanks for the encouragement:) it did actually help but don’t tell him :)

I was now in a familiar patch running along Frodsham hill reaching the highest point thinking, Christ, I’ve got to go down the hill now quads bursting out me skin!! finally I could see the twin peaks and the green army flags to be cheered in to cattle bells, and a massive round of applause from everyone in the community centre where I must say the volunteers and helpers really come into there own, pies, mushy peas and gravy please, cup of tea sir, yes please, it really does exceed itself this race.


So Helsby RC runners had PB’s galore, myself knocking 12 mins of my previous best time, Ben, and Ste both smashing it, Degs doing it for the first time as work had given him a day off without striking so he helped his mate around the course, and Jane doing her first race over marathon distance, hope I got that right Jane?  And Jim Jones openly admitting he was questioning himself why he was out there, he did it though, everyone who completed it deserves a massive round of applause and so does Andy Robinson, and his team, a truly epic event….thank you!

First home was Charlie Sharpe in 4:33, first woman was Tracy Entwistle in 5:23.  Helsby runners were….

7th Chris Fitzpatrick, 5:05
35th Jim Jones, 6:08
46th Jane Ashbrook, 6:29 (7th woman)
49th Derek Morris, 6:42
85th & 86th Ste Wiggins & Ben Williams, 7:43
110th Ian Hilditch, 8:52

Neil Finegan and Darren O’Connor continued their rich vein of form at Delamere Parkrun with PBs and a 4th place finish for Neil.
Meanwhile at Widnes Parkrun, Helsby RC stole the show, with Colin Bishop and Colin Thompson capturing the top 2 places. Great running lads!!!
Full, consolidated Parkrun results for all Helsby runners last week can be found at the link below:

Great Manchester 10K Run

Carl Pratt sent in the following report from the big race of the weekend.

Another tired morning following a gig Saturday night getting home at 1am, up early for porridge and the train to Manchester. We got there an hour before the race so went to weatherspoons to relax first. Just my gel and a pint of water pre-race! The beer comes later! Although there were less serious runners actually enjoying a pre-race beer believe it or not!

After leaving Weatherspoon’s, some nice runners allowed me to jump the barrier and squeeze in to the congested start area. The race started with an interesting warm up routine which involved around 30,000 people doing squat and lunge type exercises. Personally I decided not to join in as I have always preferred not to warm up for 10km and above and those kind of exercises are not ideal to warm the legs up for a run in my opinion.

We got underway slightly late. Despite putting a predicted time of 35-40 minutes down and getting an orange number, I was surprised to find myself behind the 50 minute pacer and various charity runners in costumes. Similar to London 2 weeks ago, I had to zig zag the course and jump up and down kerbs to get past the crowd and run at a target pace of just over 4min/km. At around 3km I passed the 45 minute pacer and was able to focus on a more steady pace.

The first 4km going towards Old Trafford were quite generous with a gentle downhill stretch. 5km split time 20:26.  It started to get tough between 6-8km going back uphill on the dual carriageway towards Deansgate, however the wind was behind which helped (they even said so on the telly!).  By the 8km split of 33:02, the chances of a pb had slipped so I had to dig deep to achieve the quickest time my legs would allow. I passed the 9km marker then there were markers for 400m and 200m (which always seem to put me off for some reason). There was no sprint finish on the not so nice final uphill section under the railway bridge to the finish line. A time of 41:25 is exactly a 4 minute improvement on last year’s GMR but 35 seconds short of my PB set at Liverpool spring 10k last week. I’ll take that and keep pushing for that 2015 sub 40!

The goody bag contained 5 packs of Chinese curry noodles, Lucozade, a cereal bar, t shirt, a very cheap looking medal and a box of raisins!
And on to the main reason for entering this very expensive race…The bars afterwards were great, plenty of banter and atmosphere with lots of runners.  The beer went down very well indeed! There were lots of people running for very worthy charity’s and enjoying their achievement.

Louise McEveley ran it in 57:22 with a very well-paced negative split run (5k time 00:29:12)

The Fred Whitton Challenge by Steve Riley.


This Sunday I rode around most of the hills in the Lake District with
former captain Adair Broughton, Paul Porter (who ran with us until
last year when he retired injured) and James Hack from the Delamere
Spartans. It was horrible, it was brilliant. 112 miles and around
13,000 feet of climbing with all your old favourites – Kirkstone Pass,
Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Cold Fell, Hard Knott (spit), Wrynose.
Even the hills that don’t get a billing are way bigger than anything
we have around here. Billed as “Britain’s hardest sportive” we shared
the road with around 2000 other cyclists through some pretty foul
weather. Special mention to Adair – I spoke to him on the Saturday
from a sunny Grasmere to finally persuade him to come up (he hasn’t
really done any training) – sets his alarm for 3am, breakfast, drove
up, rode the course battering my time by a full hour, had a pie and
peas and drove home again. Too early to write off the Adair legend
that’s for sure!

Rainow Fell Race.

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It was out to the fells on Wednesday evening for Rainow 5 mile fell race. The race is a club counter and attracted a very strong Helsby showing with club members figuring prominently at the top end of the field and Max Wainwright first home for the men, Jane Ashbrook first Helsby Lady.

Results below:

Louise McEvely, James Gray and Ian Rutherford have been kind enough to send in reports from Rainow.

Louises Report:

Having run the Sandstone Trail Race and Robbie Webster’s Wobbler I am not totally new to off-road races, but the Rainow Fell Race was my first one not on home turf, so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I was a little apprehensive and turned up in plenty of time to register and get changed.

I wasn’t sure if I needed a full array of kit to take with me so had compass, waterproofs, hat, gloves, scarf, kitchen sink (just in case) but only one sock, however, much to my relief Laura came to the rescue with a pair of walking socks.  As it turned out the only piece of kit being advised was a waterproof and this was optional, so I dumped the rest and went off to the start line feeling a bit nervous but was pleased to see so many green vests and friendly faces. The race was off and I quickly got into my stride and felt quite comfortable until the first gate, where all runners patiently waited in arrival order to pass through, apart from one lady who skipped 9 places (yes I counted) much to everyone else’s disgruntlement. So that was it she was on my hit list and I was determined to catch her, needless to say the next bit of the race was a very steep grassy climb up to White Nancy which was a tough one.

Once at the top the view was stunning over to Bollington and a view over to Macclesfield town as we ran along the ridge. I was feeling like we must be at least on the homeward straight only to realise we had just about clocked 2 miles, but pressed on to catch the gate lady and triumphantly passed her on the ridge. From there it was a downhill stretch which is where the pros really made up the distance, as I picked my way down with cautious steps, the old hands hurtled towards the bottom with breakneck speed. We were then finally on the homeward stretch and I was praying that there would be no more hills. I crossed the finish line cheered on by the barmy green army and was very pleased with my time.

A great night, a great team and very toasty feet (thanks Laura a life saver) I am definitely down for the next and would urge any others who haven’t done a fell to get out there and give it go!

Ians Report:
As a long-term runner I must confess to have never raced or for that matter done any real running of note away from the roads.   So what happens when you join a club like Helsby with such a strong Fell Running heritage?  Something was about to give.  I was starting from the beginning here though, the concept of having essential kit to me was an emergency fiver in your back pocket and a stop-watch.

Having my naivety corrected by the knowledgeable ones (who will remain nameless in case they get bullied for helping a road-runner) and obviously now having thoroughly read and digested FRA SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR FELL RACES and RULES FOR COMPETITION Section 1 through 12 including that tricky often overlooked subsection b, I proceeded to target the next suitable (less threatening) first race.

RESULT – it was declared a ‘no-kit’ event – so I now wouldn’t embarrass myself caring my Tesco waterproofs in my Gola rucksack around the 5-mile course that was yesterdays Rainow 5!

I arrived early and got registered.  Unluckily for Phil Gillard as the next Helsby runner to arrive he had to endure my constant questions from then on until literally the start of the race, sorry again Phil – but somewhere amongst this discussion and clearly directed by my stupid and pointless questions about split-times and pace (not really really) this wise old fox turned to me and stated “Ian, you do realise this is a Fell Race not a Fell Run.”  No further explanation necessary.  I had no further questions.

We were off!  Took it easy, knew things would obviously get tougher, nothing too much to worry about and lo and behold we’ve stopped. I’m in a race and I’m not running… this is new territory.   A-ah a gate, okay few deep breaths; well this is easy I though, we all get to take a breather – I start chatting to my fellow Helsby, even offering a relaxed joke and off we go again, some gentle ups, some downs – I try to sprint down a grass section and overshoot things a tad, I use the gate to slow me down but end up having to apologise to the runner in front as I’ve now just banged the gate against him – he’s cool and runs off.  Things are going well, someone mentions something about Nancy – she must be a good runner I thought – Oh mother of god!  My run, becomes a plod, becomes baby-steps, becomes a stagger; I can feel my heart trying to explode out of my chest, parts of my legs are on fire.  We’re not in Christleton anymore – are we?  I get to the top after seemingly an age and somehow or other it seems you’re now expected to start running again!  People start flying past me and a quick check of the Garmin (yes, yes I know) shows I’m only around one and a half mile in….Bugger.
I actually recover fairly quickly and feel confident once more to start running harder, I even pass a few runners on the level parts but just blown away by how quickly some people are able to descend, it’s such a skill.  Another steep last stage, but one where I kept some rhythm and maintained a fairly even pace throughout the climb and then its down all the way to the final few hundred yards of the race with even a smidge of tarmac at the end to see me home in a sprint finish with some fellow Helsbies.   I finished in a happy 43’40 wanting more.

James Report:

I’ve wanted to do a fell for ages, I’d heard about the value for money, the stunning scenery, friendly atmosphere and of course the tea and homemade cakes …  So after finally getting my act together, I was ready to have a crack at the Rainow 5.

I was told that Rainow was a good choice for beginners and not too brutal.  In hindsight I’d probably go with that description – it was brutal enough, but also short enough to remain fun.

I paid my fiver in the village hall and joined the Green Army outside positioning myself in the middle of the pack.  The race started promptly and we were off down the lane. Left on to a cobbled lane up a hill, across a field – bit of early jostling for position in the mid-pack area and straight on to my first queue.  Very civilised.   A few knowing nods and a bit of small talk later I made it through the gate and belted down the field to the next queue.  Bit of a breather, I could get used to this.

The climb to the White Nancy is quite early on in the race and having made the mistake of pushing up hills too fast and too early in the past I opted to try and save as much energy as possible by kind-of-like hiking up it… Although there was still plenty of the race and hills to come, that for me was the most challenging part.  Once at the top, it took a while to get my breath and run with what felt like any co-ordination as the oxygen slowly made its way back to my legs and arms.  The rest of the race however was great fun.

I took away some valuable lessons.  I’m not very quick at descending.  I knew that already but it became apparent during the race.  Secondly, I can (or at least could on this occasion) climb quite well and I found myself in a race with two or three people who would fly past me on the downhills but who I was able to catch up overtake on the flat and uphill.  I got a better understanding of where my strengths and weaknesses lie.  I’ve been overtaken on roads in the past and never usually catch up. But in this race I was much more competitive going uphill and I wasn’t really expecting that before the race.  I finished in 47.09 which I was pretty happy with.

Overall it was a very friendly and welcoming event, no pretence, just a case of turn up and leg it up a hill.  Stop around for a bit at the end and have a cake.  What’s not to like?

It was a great introduction, and I’d fully recommend a similar race to anyone thinking of having a go.

Thanks for the reports Louise, James and Ian.

Lastly, just a quick reminder that the club AGM is on Wednesday night after the training run.



Helsby RC Racing News 27th Apr – 3rd May 2015

Hi everyone

Lots of action this week from road, trail, fell and we also had an ultra thrown in. Thank you for all the reports, please keep them coming to or it’s unlikely to get into the news.


Mid-Cheshire 5k

Thursday saw a new event spring up on the racing calendar, the Mid-Cheshire 5k in Kingsley. Advertised as “lightning fast” it didn’t disappoint with an array of new PBs from a strong Helsby squad. Starting near the cricket club the race runs in a 4k anticlockwise loop through beautiful countryside with a fast downhill finish for the final kilometre. 20 Green Army members lined up to do battle and we had some excellent results, age group wins, PBs and a team win for the men! Colin Thompson was first back for Helsby to take bronze after a close battle with Colin Bishop (who won his age cat) and congratulations to ladies captain Jane Ashbrook who was first back for the Helsby ladies. A brilliant run once again from Carol Shaw saw her win her age group, Jackie Keasley 2nd in hers and Janet Shaw 3rd. Well done to everyone else, some very impressive times, please see the results below:

3 16:47 133 Colin Thompson 16:47 1
5 16:52 14 Colin Bishop 16:52 1
20 18:17 62 Neil Finegan 18:13 8
31 19:04 164 James Higgins 19:01 12
32 19:08 115 Ian Rutherford 19:04 13
42 19:29 99 Darren O’connor 19:25 14
46 19:46 80 Adrian Jackson 19:43 19
58 20:32 3 Jane Ashbrook 20:27 4
78 21:59 118 Carol Shaw 21:54 1
82 22:31 149 Stephen Wiggins 22:26 19
89 23:12 119 Geoff Shaw 23:06 9
99 24:25 57 Jo Farwell 24:17 5
102 24:32 58 Lesley Feakes 24:26 7
105 24:48 132 Rhea Thomas 24:40 7
109 25:16 163 Jackie Keasley 25:09 2
116 26:14 67 Donna Geer 26:07 9
125 28:51 8 Emma Barnes 28:44 11
128 29:22 120 Janet Shaw 29:16 3
130 29:59 68 Helen Gillard 29:47 11
131 29:59 69 Phil Gillard 29:50 12

Full results here:

Liverpool Spring 10k

Sunday saw 3 Helsby runners toeing the line in Sefton Park for the Liverpool Spring 10k. Carl Pratt, Alfie Grady and Claire Morton all executing a solid race on an undulating course around the perimeter of Sefton Park. A message from Alfie read “I did the Spring 10k in 46 minutes. Lesson learnt, do more training.” Plenty more to come from you Alfie, well done all.


Helsby results below:

126  0:40:53  Carl Pratt
404  0:46:27  Alfie Grady
1950  1:02:33  Claire Morton

Full results here:

Northern Vets 10k

Colin Bishop travelled to Sale to take part in the monthly 10k race and showed his class once again by winning the event by a large margin. Please find a report below sent in by Colin:

“Following heavy overnight/early morning rain on Bank Holiday Sunday I donned my running shoes and headed over to Sale for the NVAC monthly run, due to health and safety issues – resurfacing of the footpaths the usual 10K was reduced to a just short of 5 miles (@4.6-4.7) The race started and finished at the side of Sale Harriers track – as it was being used by the young Sale Harriers – a pleasant course that took us out along the canal towards the river and then back to the finish, wet, slippery underfoot at times. Pleased to say I was first home for both my age cat and the first runner home overall with a winning time of 26.32 with the regular winner Rob Jackson of Horwich coming in second place with a time of 27.34.”

Well done Col!

10k TT

We had 6 Helsby runners at the monthly 10k time trial, a lower number than expected due to the Mid-Cheshire 5k the following day. Congratulations to Mike Seale who stormed around to take the win (sans smile – he must have been trying!). Well done to everyone else. Good to see Roy Gaskill back running again after some time out. Results below:

10k results 29-04-15

Keswick Half Marathon

Jane Ashbrook completed the Keswick half marathon. Jane reports that it was hilly but lovely and rained a lot. Well done Jane. Results can be found here:


Andy Smith has sent the following report for the Lord’s Seat fell race. Over to you Andy…

“One of the delights of working up in Cumbria, especially once the lighter nights roll round, is the occasional mid-week fell race in some quiet far flung corner of the Lake District.

Wednesday 29th April was just one such occasion and saw me visiting the mountain biking centre in Whinlatter Forest for the Lord’s Seat fell race, the second in the Lord of the Forest series (although I’m not sure how many races are in this series – it may be only two).

Arriving a bit later than planned, my warm up seemed to consist of a sprint to the registration desk, a sprint back to the car and then a sprint to the start line with a bit of hasty stretching once there as the start was delayed for a few minutes – not exactly what they teach you on the coaching courses.

The race itself was very runnable, being largely on forest tracks which gently rose before we finally broke out from the tree line and onto the fell side proper. A short climb took us onto Derwent Fell, with fine views across the bright lights of Keswick and into the heart of the Lake District. Below was Bassenthwaite Lake and beyond that the brooding bulk of Skiddaw, its flanks streaked with later season snow. Turning west, some high level bog trotting lead to our second summit, Lord’s Seat. From there a short grassy descent took us back into the forest and the forest trails to return us to the visitor centre, punctuated only by a short,  steep, muddy drop through trees (with a couple of enthusiastic children to cheer us on “You’re doing great! Don’t be chicken!”) before a final short sprint to the finish. I came 84th in 50:51 (full results at and drove back with that happy feeling that comes from a nice run out that breaks the routine of life.”

Great result and report Andy, well done!

Pendle Cloughs

Phil and Max both ran the Pendle Cloughs fell race, no reports for this but results are below. Well done to Max for grabbing 3rd place!

2015-05-11 15.13.05

Llangynhafal Loop

Jenny and Tim Palmer both competed in the Llangynhafal Loop fell race. Tim reports that there was lots of wind and rain; nice open fire in the Golden Lion pub afterwards. Well done the Palmers!



FB_IMG_1430768436084It appears we have a new ultra runner in our midst, it must be the green vest that brings out the slightly crazy side of people. Chris Murray ran solo at the Conti Lightening 12 hour race and had a superb race. Well done Chris! A short report from Chris below:

“Had a solo attempt at the Conti Lightening 12hr run at the weekend. Managed a solid 50k in 6ish hours. Hoping to build on it and run a few more miles next year.”

No results yet but keep an eye on this link:


Delamere Spartans 10k

Neil Finegan is in fine form at the moment and is very much the man to watch. He ran an excellent race to take 6th overall in a tough field of runners. A short report from Neil below:

“Delamere Spartans 10k today – excellent race even for a tarmac plodder like me. Tough, muddy but great fun. All for a fiver. Would really recommend it to everyone for next year’s event. Finished 6th.”


Well done Neil and to all the other Green Army runners who participated, please find all results here:

6  Neil Finegan  00:42:48
23  Alison Halsall  00:49:29
35  Janet Robertson  00:52:10
37  Jim Gray  00:52:38
48  Carol Shaw  00:54:13
52  Andy Smith  00:54:56
63  Lesley Feakes  00:56:53
64  Rachel Arnold  00:57:37
74  Emily Smith Female  01:00:36

Full results:


And last but no means least the results from the weekends parkruns. Stand out performances this week belong to Neil Finegan and Carl Pratt for a Helsby 1-2 at Widnes and a PB for Ben. Great stuff guys!


19 Scot STEEL 00:20:42
41 Gareth BOYD 00:22:27
100 Lesley FEAKES 00:25:23
282 Paul BULMER 00:36:47
281 Louise MCEVELEY 00:36:47


1 Neil FINEGAN 00:18:45
2 Carl PRATT 00:20:23

Ellesmere Port

14 Benjamin John WILLIAMS 00:22:32

Upcoming races & reminders

Remember it’s the Rainow fell race on Wednesday 6th May and a club counter. Suitable for novices like me! Meet up at the club for those wanting to travel to Rainow, say 5:30/45. Keep an eye on Facebook for travel updates.

Tattenhall have confirmed their annual tough team challenge on Friday 19th June, here is the link to the flier ttr2015_entry. Always a popular one with the Green Army, so hopefully a record number of Helsby Teams will take on the challenge this year.  We will be sorting out teams over the next few weeks.

As a result of this race being confirmed our annual club presentation/celebration evening will be on Friday 12th June  –   Annual Presentation Evening at the Club House, 8pm. Our annual prize giving for the Summer 2014 Road and Fell Championships and the 2014/2015 Cross Country and Border League Championships plus much more. Followed by a Bring Along Supper and Chris Igoe’s famous and energetic disco.

AGM on Wednesday May 13th following our club run, 8:30 in the club house. It’s a time to reflect the highlights of the past year (hopefully no low lights) and set the scene for the coming year. Please come along and share your ideas and thoughts for running (and much more) with Helsby Running Club in 2015/2106 and let’s try and make it happen!

That’s all this week, thanks for reading. If anything is amiss please let me know



Helsby RC Racing News 20th – 26th April 2015

Good afternoon to the Green Army.  Bringing you the news you are all so desperate to read.

A very exciting (well, not quite Olympic fever but not far off) Sunday was had by many on Facebook as we tracked the London Marathon green vests through their (for many) first time slapping the streets of our capital city.   We had Chris BH, Gaz O’Connor, Carl Platt, Degsy “Messi” Morris,  Potential Word Record Breaker that is Ste Roach for the chaps and Joanne “FloJoJo” Lacking and Tanya Meredith  for the chapettes.

I shall hand you over to Chris BH for his report on this iconic road marathon….

Well, that was quite an experience. Much has been made of my conversion to road running from the hills and I can now confirm my road running retirement! The London marathon was a fantastic experience and I’m forever grateful to the club for the place and the opportunity to compete. For those that were convinced I’d go under 3 hours and ignored my protests of it being set to be a close one I think my time of 2:59:14 makes us both right . Having been put in pen 3 at the start due to a clerical error (having me down as a finish time of 3:24) I managed to fold and pin my number in such a way that I still got into Pen 1 with Jeff McQueen from West Cheshire. A huge relief for me. Being able to run with Jeff was a huge boost. We didn’t do a lot of talking, but at least my cyanosis faded within the first mile of the race.

From then on I ran within a metre of some chap called Jenson. Assuming somebody just had their name on their top it took me ~3-4 miles to realise the constant calls of encouragement were because it was Jenson Button. Having paced him to tower bridge I let him head on whilst I did my best to manage the fade in pace. The first half had been great, I saw Laura and the boys at Cutty Sark and was running smoothly and at a pace I felt I could hold.

The second half was a different story. The constant screams and noise from the crowd really encourages many, but for me it was a minor prison sentence as I struggle with loud volume noise. Some sections were just a deafening wall of sound which I found really quite distressing… especially as I was going backwards fast! As I rounded the penultimate bend in front of Buckingham Palace my face would have reflected horror as the 3 hour pacer overtook me. Seeing the clock still with 2 as the first digit as I crossed the line was an enormous relief! I’d like to thank everybody from the club, not least for the place, but for the fantastic support, encouragement and banter I had during training for this. Naturally I’d also like to thank my long suffering wife Laura for putting up with me – I think she was more relieved than I was that I dipped under 3 hours!

Huge well done to CBH for gritting through the training with Fitzy, we know how much he despises anything that doesn’t have a vertical climb of Empire State Building!  A cracking run and a very sought after sub 3 was perfectly executed.  Degs was in after Chris, with a very quick 3:08:48 – brilliant for a Professional Amateur Footballer with constant football afflicted injuries ;-). Coming in first for the ladies and with a cracking 12 minute PB was FloJoJo Lacking.  Brilliantly paced run by FloJoJo for a 3:18.  Then with his second marathon in a week after doing Manchester the week before, was Gaz with a respectable 3:23, huge well done Gaz, no mean feat, especially for an old dude who drinks cans of lager like corporation lemonade pre race.  Carl Pratt was behind Gaz with a cracking 3:31, he has been on brilliant form the past few weeks and topped it off with a great marathon time.  Then we had the quite possibly mad, Ste Roach who for some reason decided running holding a huge pan dressed in chef’s whites would be a great idea and it turned out on the day he was up against two other runners going for the same record!  He did us proud and beat them both and securing the World Record! Brilliant work, Ste.  Then last but no means least, Tanya, fresh from her Barcelona marathon only a few weeks ago, ran a PB in 5:09!!  Huge congratulations to you all.

The full results for the Green Army were:

Chris Baynham-Hughes:  2:59:14 (PB)
Derek Morris: 3:08:48 (PB)
Joanne Lacking: 3:18:25 (PB)
Gary O’Connor: 3:23:04
Carl Pratt: 3:31:49 (PB)
Stephen Roach: 4:47:51 (World Record for a runner dressed as a chef carrying a huge pan!)
Tanya Meredith: 5:09:47 (PB)

Next, on to the Borders League final race in Wrexham Industrial Estate and the presentation of awards. There was a huge presence of green vests, especially from the men who were desperate to get their long sought after promotion to the First Division.  Which they did! Well done chaps!  First time in 15 years they are back up where they should be. Some cracking running from everyone this year,which shows how much the club is progressing.  Colin Thompson finished the league in a fantastic 6th overall place!  He just keeps going from strength to strength and amazing to see after he used to be a podgy lazy smoker… ;-)   Colin Bishop, showing his incredible pedigree at any age, won the V50 by a mile!  A huge inspiration to many and I am not sure I have ever met someone with his mental ability to run so hard.  Ladies winners were Joanne Lacking who was third in the FV35 category and Carol Shaw, again another huge inspiration to many who won her category too!  Well done everyone, the Helsby lot will be a force to be reckoned with over the next few years in this league.

On to parkrun stattos…

At Delamere:

Louise McEveley: 42:03
Stephen Wiggins: 42:08
Paul Bulmer:  42:09

At Ellesmere Port:

Neil Finegan: 19:07 (New PB!)
Ben Williams: 26:15

At Warrington:

Colin Thompson: 17:37 (2nd and New PB!)


Helsby RC Racing News 13th – 19th April 2015

This is the news!*

PBs and Sunshine in this week’s issue. As a standing reminder: Please remember to send any race reports to otherwise it is unlikely to get into the news!

*homage to the genius of The day today

Road Running

Manchester marathon

d48f06b6-30bf-40c5-bb60-6102a9836060On Sunday, 4 foolish souls hot footed off to the “Stadium of Dreams” with dreams of PB’s. Chris Fitz, Ivan, Gaz and myself (Helen) rocked up in their grubby green vests and err, stood in portaloo queues with statue of Alex Ferguson eyeing them up suspiciously.  Myself, Gaz and Ivan have all ran Manchester past few years and all had good results from there, it’s a fast, flat PB course. Chris however, had trained for London, only to wait for his number to arrive, it never did and he was told he had not completed his entry. What a plonker. Chris then decided best solution was to smash the Manchester tarmac instead. 66fb1a2f-16ed-49fe-a302-22613622e87cTo the race… All the blokes were gunning for under 3 hours, Chris for a PB under 2:55. Training had gone great for all of them bar Gaz had picked an Achilles niggle up and had not ran much over last few weeks, leaving him feeling lacking in fitness. The weather was on our side, the course was not extended an extra half mile and the support was fantastic, especially from Jo Lacking who took some amazingly stunning shots of us. <sarcastic>  Brilliantly, Chris finished at 2:50, a PB of 5 mins. Then Ivan was not too far behind in a HUGE PB in 2:59, day before his 40th birthday! Poor Gaz, he just had a bad race but still finished in a cracking 3:10, excellent for a V65! Surely a record… I managed a 3:50. Was happy with that. I’m never gonna be a Paula Radcliffe but at least I only fell over a traffic cone mile 6 and didn’t defecate on the road.
Chester Spring 5
A lovely evening in Chester saw a large green army contingent deployed to battle it out over the 5 mile course, helped to a large extent by it being local and a road club counter. A course broadly consisted of an opening flat section, followed by a reasonable length of descent, a bump back up and a flat finish.

With 29 runners in the mix it was always going to be full of club rivalry just within the Helsby ranks, let alone against the other local clubs. Fantastic performances on the day and consistent with this year’s theme, a large number of PBs falling.

Colin Thompson took the Helsby win by placing 16th overall in 28:04 with Chris Fitzpatrick bagging 31st in 29:20. Derek Morris paced the race to perfection taking third place in the final mile and then teaching the eventual 4th place a very sound lesson in finishing, bagging 47th on the night.

In the ladies Jo Lacking stormed round in 34:14 looking to take that form into London on the weekend with Carol Shaw taking 2nd and Helen Owens taking 3rd (no trips over cones in this race!) PBs all round I believe.

Fantastic performances across the board – well done Helsby!

Full Helsby results here:


Arley Hall 10K
Four brave souls made it to Arley for a 10k on Saturday, three of whom were up for a 10k double with Whitley the next day. No race report but the results are here, well done ladies:

Pos Name Chip Time Gender Pos Club
483 RHEA THOMAS 00:50:49 117 HELSBY RC
493 JO FARWELL 00:51:05 121 HELSBY RC
593 DONNA GEER 00:53:43 169 HELSBY RC
903 CAROL SHAW 01:01:56 399 HELSBY RC


Whitley 10k
After some very warm weather, Sunday morning was overcast and rather cool. This didn’t deter the Green Army from turning up in force for the Whitley 10k, a local race down quiet, traffic free lanes. Despite being a bit lumpy in the second half, this race has become a popular addition to the local racing scene in recent years. Well supported by local clubs, it’s a good opportunity to meet up with friends and rivals.

The weather conditions turned out to be near perfect for running. First home for Helsby was the ever green Colin Bishop to secure 5th position overall and  an age category win. First home for the Ladies was Carol Shaw. Special mention also to heroic efforts from Jo Farwell and Donna Geer in racing their second 10k of the weekend.

Full results at

Pos.  Name  Gun Time          Chip Time
5     Colin Bishop     0:35:11    0:35:11   
38    Carl Pratt 0:41:29    0:41:24   
103   Carol Shaw 0:46:12    0:46:02   
110   Andy Smith 0:46:28    0:46:18   
126   Geoff Shaw 0:47:35    0:47:29   
146   Lesley Feakes    0:49:13    0:48:54   
205   Edward Roberts   0:52:30    0:52:19   
269   Jo Farwell 0:57:03    0:56:42    271 
272   Donna Geer 0:57:14    0:56:54    274  

Thanks to Andy Smith for the write up!

Fell Running 

Ras y Moelwyn

bdcc4133-54d2-4839-88e6-e4a2faa38377Blaenau Ffestiniog was the starting point for the latest counter in the Helsby RC Fell Racing club championships, Ras y Moelwyn. Blaenau Ffestiniog has an incredible slate mining history (the mines are well worth the visit) and also has superb mountain biking, a giant zip wire and a lovely set of shops; it also has a narrow gauge railway which is hard not to see it as the inspiration for Ivor the Engine… it also rains there… a lot! It’s positions amongst the mountain does mean it has a far higher than average rainfall which is why it was not just incredible to be there whilst a British championship race was on, but also when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky!

The race winds up from Blaenau to the top of Moelwyn Mawr (great), makes the technical traverse down and up to Moelwyn Bach (small) before heading back to Blaenau via Llyn Stwlan and over Moel-yr-hyda. So essentially it’s a long, long slog up, technical steep descent, steep up, steep descent, short flat bit before more up, a steep descent and finally back onto the track you can put the foot down on.

Being part of the 2015 British championships was really special. There was a real village fate/ gala feel to the event and the place was packed with 362 competitors, yet, as with part of what I love about fell running, if you didn’t happen to pass through the town that day then you would never know such a fantastic event was taking place. This, for me, makes fell racing special and one of the UKs best kept secrets.

6ba1bcf2-ca05-4469-b46e-06421f941874Andy Robinson must have had the wrong specs on, arriving head to toe in black thermals (full leggings, long sleeve top and gloves) under his vest as the nine Helsby runners toed the line in glorious sunshine. Interesting interclub battles afoot with Max and Jimmy fighting it out for the top spot, Phil Roberts and I both desperate for third place, a cracking run by George saw him split the difference between Phil R and Phil G and Phil, Jim and Andy all very close to each other made it a real battle for points.

Having over taken me at the end of mile 2, Phil slowly edged ahead all the way up the Moelwyns whilst I cursed my road running legs. The section around Moel-yr-hyda was a real tussle as I took the lead on the way up and into the descent with Phil pushing to overtake all the way down. This battle boiled over in an act of pure timing as Phil saw his chance to overtake and I slipped in the same split second. The result was a flying backhander right across Phil’s face, cracking him on the nose and smearing his fancy new sunglasses with mud. Unfortunately this had the opposite effect one might expect and he flew ahead, but once we hit the track the familiarity of a hard surface enabled a late surge for the final mile or so. Since Phil has been calling me GBH since he has known me it was nice to finally earn the nickname, however at the rate Phil is gaining speed it won’t be long before I won’t even be able to see him in the final mile!

0a7548ad-eb7d-47f2-a6a1-94fd603f6f0aHaving over taken me at the end of mile 2, Phil slowly edged ahead all the way up the Moelwyns whilst I cursed my road running legs. The section around Moel-yr-hyda was a real tussle as I took the lead on the way up and into the descent with Phil pushing to overtake all the way down. This battle boiled over in an act of pure timing as Phil saw his chance to overtake and I slipped in the same split second. The result was a flying backhander right across Phil’s face, cracking him on the nose and smearing his fancy new sunglasses with mud. Unfortunately this had the opposite effect one might expect and he flew ahead, but once we hit the track the familiarity of a hard surface enabled a late surge for the final mile or so. Since Phil has been calling me GBH since he has known me it was nice to finally earn the nickname, however at the rate Phil is gaining speed it won’t be long before I won’t even be able to see him in the final mile!

In the end Max took top Helsby points, as did Jane, but neither made it into the top 100 on a day that saw the best of the best competing. Nothing could stop the smiles though and there was no doubt of a good day being had by all!

Name Pos. Time
Max 101 01:33:31
Jimmy 124 01:36:54
CBH 176 01:43:24
Phil Roberts 182 01:44:18
Ian (George) 248 01:53:00
Phil Gillard 277 02:00:26
Jim Jones 306 02:06:24
Andy Robinson 308 02:06:30
Jane 321 02:09:56


Park Run

The various Park runs are still the best way to get some regular hard work in. ten Helsby vests were out last weekend in Ellesmere park, Widnes, Ormskirk, Warrington and Delamere. A cheeky win for Colin Thompson too. Nice.

Full details can be found here

Upcoming races and reminders

Today – 7pm
Wrexham Border League (Road)
Postcode: LL13 9RG

Sunday 10:10
London Marathon (Road)

Wednesday 29th April – Chris B-H will talk on
Mountain Marathons and kit – the sorts of tricks people use to bring down weight, what they eat, which way to run,  navigation, overnight camping, the ever growing number and type of events.  To add balance to this Jane, Rachel, Lesley and Jackie will chip in with their experiences from further back in the field carrying heavier loads!  (note change of date for this talk from that advertised a while back as the original date of the 15th clashed with the Spring 5)

AGM on Wednesday May 13th following our club run, 8:30 in the club house.
It’s a time to reflect the highlights of the past year (hopefully no low lights) and set the scene for the coming year. Please come along and share your ideas and thoughts for running (and much more) with Helsby Running Club in 2015/2106 and lets try and make it happen! (see separate email/blog for more information)

AGM and 2015 subs.

It’s AGM time again — it comes around very quickly. Please come along to the clubhouse after our usual training run on Wednesday 13th May. Special for our AGM, pizzas will be served in the lounge first before we go upstairs to the tea room. It’s quiet up there so we should be able to all hear the proceedings – but be warned its in a very bad state of repair, unlike us!

It’s a time to reflect the highlights of the past year (hopefully no low lights) and set the scene for the coming year. Please come along and share your ideas and thoughts for running (and much more) with Helsby Running Club in 2015/2106 and lets try and make it happen!

The agenda and last year’s minutes are attached.

Last year we increased the number of committee roles and this seems to have worked quite well. Spreading the load amongst more people enables us to do more as a club but there is always more we can do and things we can do differently. From the committee meeting held last week all members bar two are willing to stand again. Please note though that all the positions are up for grabs so if you wish to get involved in any of these roles then please let us know as we are always keen to have new faces on the committee as this breeds new and fresh ideas. It’s your club so please consider helping out in any way you can.

Sadly Gareth has decided to step down as 4 Villages Race Director; we thank Gareth for the last two year’s organisation. Laura B-H has volunteered to take over the position but if anyone else would like to take on the role or act as assistant please let me know.

Adrian has moved to St Helens and although will still be running for us will find it more difficult to act as Border League co-ordinator. Thanks for the emphatic enthusiasm and encouragement in drumming up support for the series.

For all committee roles, if you would like to know more on what they entail and what’s involved please ask me (, 07960 570827) or any of the committee.

Committee elected at the 2014 Spring AGM.
Chair – Jackie
Secretary – Phil
Treasurer – Jo
Club Coach – Joe
Men’s Captain – Colin T
Men’s Vice captain – Mario
Ladies Captain – Jane A
Ladies Vice Captain – Carol
Press Officer – Carol (+Adair)
Social Secretary – Dave and Lesley
Half Marathon Director – Gareth
HCSC – Betty
Border League Co-ordinator – Adrian and Vanessa
XC Co-ordinator – Jayne J
Webster Wobbler organiser – Chris BH
Sandstone Trail organiser – Andy R
Deputy Sandstone Trail organiser – Chris H
Webmaster – Steve
Club Stats – Ian and Donna
Welfare Officers – Louise, Jenny and Ivan

A few more dates for your diary

Wednesday 22nd April – Final Border League of the season at Wrexham followed by the Presentations. 7pm start, LL13 9RG. Meet up at the club at 5:45 for lift share. The men are aiming to close the gap between 1st and 2nd in the 2nd division contest (promotion assured if we get the turnout we have been getting all season) and the ladies consolidating their 4th (or even 3rd?) place in Division 1; plus several well earned individual Helsby category winners. Well done to all who have taken part over the season.

Wednesday 29th April – Chris B-H will talk on Mountain Marathons and kit – the sorts of tricks people use to bring down weight, what they eat, which way to run, navigation, overnight camping, the ever growing number and type of events. To add balance to this Jane, Rachel, Lesley and Jackie will chip in with their experiences from further back in the field carrying heavier loads! (note change of date for this talk from that advertised a while back as the original date of the 15th clashed with the Spring 5).

Friday 12th, 19th or 20th June – TBC (subject to the Tough Team Challenge date being announced!) – Annual Presentation Evening at the Club House, 8pm. Our annual prize giving for the Summer 2014 Road and Fell Championships and the 2014/2015 Cross Country and Border League Championships plus much more. Followed by a Bring Along Supper and Chris Igoe’s famous and energetic disco.

Yours in running,

Helsby Running Club – Chair

Please note that subs will be due from the AGM, so please bring either cheque or cash on the night, or if it’s easier to do a bank transfer ask for account details and email me when done.

Subs will remain at £35 for ordinary member, £25 for pensioner member (65+ for men, 60+ for lady at 1st May 2015) and £15 for junior member.

Subs need to be paid as soon as possible after the AGM preferably by the end of May, but no later than the end of June. If subs are not received by the end of June, members will be resigned with England Athletics meaning they will no longer be affiliated with Helsby Running Club, will not be covered by EA insurance and will be subject to the £2 levy when entering races.

To make my life easier, if you don’t want to renew your membership, please let me know and I will resign you from EA and quit bothering you with reminder emails.

Any problems, please let me know.
Many thanks,
Treasurer and membership secretary

Downloads: Minutes from 2014 AGM2015 AGM agenda

Helsby Running Club Weekly Update (5-4-5 to 12-4-15)

Helsby runners were out in force throughout the North West in Saturdays Parkruns. Highlights were a 2nd place and PB for Neil Finegan at Ellesmere Port, a PB for Chris Hatton at Widnes and a V50 age category win for birthday girl Helen Owens in her first race in the age category. Congratulations all.

A I full report for all Helsby members at this weeks Parkruns can be found at the link below.

On Saturday, Helsbys resident ultra runner, Andy Robinson, was in West Yorkshire and sent the following short report from the Calderdale Hike….

“I ran in the second race of the Runfurther ultra series on Saturday, the Calderdale Hike in West Yorkshire.  This was a 37-mile route round the moors and valleys around the Calder Valley, on a complicated and scenic route.  The Calderdale Hike has a new route every 3 years, and this was a new route year.  As a consequence plenty of runners got lost or took less than optimum routes between checkpoints.  I’d been out recceing the route, so managed to finish in a respectable time of 6.55.  I was equal 11th from 75 finishers, 2nd MV50 and 2nd MV60.   I’ve written a race report though, and you can find that on the Runfurther website:”. Cheers Andy, well done.

Also on Saturday Phil Roberts, Phil Gillard and Jamie Dowdall (who was running for Darwin) ran the Wardle skyline fell race. Phil came 38th in time 55.04, Jamie came 79th in time 59.24 and Phil Gillard came 86th time 01.00.47 . Phil Roberts reports that186 people took part the pulls were not to brutal but hit a cobbled road last quarter of the route and a small up hill to get to the finish which you could call the sting in the tail.

gil kamie phik

Sunday was the penultimate race of the Border League at Caernarfon, club captain Col Thompson reports….

“A race in gale force winds is never a good thing, or is it? Judging by the amount of PBs acquired by the Green Army contingent at Caernarfon on Sunday it seems that when you’re blown towards the finish along a coast road by 60 mph winds it really favours those 10k times! Excellent running all. The results below speak for themselves with 10K PBs from Sue Buck, Adam Gordon, Jo Farwell, Shan McCarthy and myself,  we had no fewer than 8 sub 40 min 10k times in the mens team, which really shows the depth in talent we have in the club now. As promotion looks more and more imminent we can start looking forward to next season and with results like these I’m sure we can compete with the best in the league. Congratulations to Colin Bishop for leading the men home with an excellent sub 35 min run and 1st in his age group, also a big shout out to Chris Fitzpatrick who is showing an amazing rate of improvement by breaking the magic 36 min barrier and a top 20 position. The men were 2nd in Division 1, just behind a strong Eryri squad. Well done chaps!

bl4 bl3 bl2 bl1
It was panic stations in the ladies camp when a few almost never made it to the start line after a navigation error en route but arrived just in the nick of time! Jo Lacking led the team home and ran another blinder for a 42:48 time and 3rd in her age group and Carol Shaw once again won her age group with a fine display of running. Also well done to Debbie Read who had a superb race to grab 2nd in her age group on her maiden club race. The ladies were 5th in Division 1 on the day. Well done to all!

bl8 Bl7 bl6

Thank you to Joe and Mario for their support and Jackie who hung up her racing flats for the day to try her hand at photography. Also thank you to Jane Bishop for sorting race positions and providing the delicious cookies!”
All results here:

Also on Sunday, Steve Riley tackled the Mow Cop fell race for the first time and sent in this report.

“Nobody was going to be impressed by my 10k time so instead of joining
the brave warriors heading West to Caernarfon I headed East to the
wilds of Staffordshire and the Mow Cop fell race. I’d never been to
Mow Cop before, I’d heard of the Killer Mile but this one was six and
a bit and somehow squeezed in 1300′ of climbing. For a village outside
the bounds of the Peak district we managed to find a fair few hills in
the rolling countryside. More tough trail than actual fell race, it
had a bit of everything – single track, fields, mud, forest, bog and
even a bit of tarmac. 53rd and 1h57s, firmly mid-pack. Top notch
banana bread at the finish. Worth a look-out for next year.”
Cheers Steve and well done!

The same day Jim Jones journeyed to the South coast to compete in the Brighton marathon and, despite getting blocked in during the opening miles, was rewarded with a sub 3:45 finish in his first marathon. Great running Jim.


An important reminder for next Wednesday night. Its the final Border League race at Wrexham Industrial Estate with the final team placings in the Mens and Ladies Leagues still to be decided. In particular the Men, whilst promotion to Division 1 seems likely as runners up, could still win the division with a strong showing so a good turnout would be greatly appreciated. An Email with further details, times etc will be going out over the next few days, please keep an eye out for it.

As ever, please send you race reports to

Helsby RC Racing News Easter 2015

Happy Easter everyone! A good turn out at the fells and roads at the weekend, seems everyone has been burning off those Easter egg calories! Thank you for all the reports this week, please keep sending them to


dc5d115e-df2f-4dfa-939b-3346c85b1a0fLots of green vests out for the parkruns and a few new PBs too! Widnes saw 3 PBs from Derek, Carl and Dave Madders and all in the top 10 with Derek on the podium for silver. Good stuff guys! Neil Finegan had another strong run for a new PB at Delamere showing a return to form after a recent injury. Well done to everyone else who took part, Helsby results below:

Warrington parkrun
79 Rhea THOMAS 00:25:01

Riverside parkrun
10 Edward HALLIWELL  00:19:25

Delamere parkrun
7 Neil FINEGAN 00:19:18
27 Scot STEEL  00:20:51
63 Janet ROBERTSON 00:22:51
72 Louise MCEVELEY  00:23:30

Keswick parkrun
60 Rachel ARNOLD  00:25:15

Ellesmere Port parkrun
21 Benjamin John WILLIAMS 00:23:49

Widnes parkrun
2 Derek MORRIS 00:18:29
5 Carl PRATT 00:20:05
9 David MADDERS 00:20:46

Full results here:

Road Running

Halewood 5k

On Saturday Colin Thompson found himself toeing the line at the Halewood Triangle Park with a small number of local athletes for the monthly Halewood 5k. Perfect race conditions and a pancake flat course saw him run a sub 17 minute time,  4th overall and 1st in age category. This is a brilliant little race series and is part of a Grand Prix with awards and prizes on offer if you do enough races. The best thing is they are free!

4th  Colin Thompson  16:59 (1st in age cat)

More info and full results here:

Air Products 10k

Colin Bishop travelled to Crewe on Easter Sunday to partake in the Air Products 10k. The course is described as “flat and fast” which Colin took full advantage of by belting out an eye watering 34:20 and 9th overall. Big congratulations to Colin for another superb time and PB!

9th  Colin Bishop  34:20 (1st in age cat)

Full results here

Hale 5

A new event from BTR saw the resurrection of the Hale 5 on Easter Sunday which has been absent from the racing calendar in recent years. Geoff and Janet Shaw ventured to Merseyside to represent Helsby and both had an excellent race with Geoff running a sub 40 minute time and Janet grabbing 2nd in her age category. Well done The Shaws!

Results below:

103rd  Geoff Shaw 36:56
262nd  Janet Shaw  46:42 (2nd in age cat)

Full results here:


Fell Running

Lots of action at the fells this weekend with Andy Smith, Sue Buck and Phil Gillard all flying the Green Army flag. Andy and Phil have sent in the following reports, thanks guys. First up is Andy:

Rivington Pike

“A sunny Saturday at Easter and it’s off for a real classic fell race. Hailed as the oldest fell race in Britain, the Rivington Pike race is run in the traditional manner – from the Crown pub in Horwich. It’s a straight up – as hard as you can – to the monument on Rivington Pike. Turn, and straight back down – as quick as you can. Crowds line the whole route up and down to cheer the runners on, it’s got a great atmosphere. And to toe the start line with the legend that is Ron Hill (yes! taken part in a race with great man himself) turns participation into a privilege.  A fast and furious race of 3.25 miles, with no respite for us mortals, it’s a great hard sustained effort. The winning time of 17:40 is a 5k time many of would die for on the flat, for the rest of us just happy to finish  an enjoyable run out for a glorious day out on the fells.”

146th Andy Smith  27:38
221st Sue Buck (2nd claim) 32:25


And over to Phil…

Pendle race report

“So, there we were, the whole of Easter Saturday ahead of us, so many races, so little time, I thought I would give Helen the choice; Fran Four – no too remote, Rivi Pike – no too short, how about a trip to Bali – ooh that sounds great. Unfortunately my spelling isn’t great either, so when we set off on the M56, it wasn’t to the airport, it was to Lancashire and the village of Barley, just at the bottom of Pendle hill.

Driving into the village, we were greeted to the colourful site of the kid’s races which had already started – loads of little fell running munchkins in club colours, all of them with the potential to become the next Brownlees.

The village of Barley seems to be in a time warp, an honesty box in the car park, two thriving pubs, a village green and gentle stream running through.

Registering at the village hall, there was no requirement for kit and the route looked like a subset of the Stan Bradshaw race a few of us ran earlier this year.

There is something about Easter races in Lancashire, the whole of the county seems to turn out and as we left the hall you could see the trig point on Pendle hill with spectators who had made the trip up earlier in the day

Leaving Helen in the tea shop, my warm up took me on the race route, up past the reservoir and along Ogden Clough and so onto the race itself.

Nearly three hundred entrants and we were off. A steady grind for about one mile up past the reservoir, following a track to the open fell, where the terrain got a bit rougher, this was also the route down, so as well as trying to gain places it was a case of scanning the best lines in readiness for the descent. Up onto the shoulder of the hill and then the route took us back down into the valley, allowing us a lung busting climb back up to the trig point. The number of spectators seemed to have increased, I guess the warm sunshine had brought out the rambling fraternity judging by the number of walking poles and gaiters.

A lovely descent with a couple of technical sections to keep you interested and back onto the track by the reservoir for a fast downhill finish by the village hall. There was evidence of few ankle rolls and falls with a few ice buckets and blooded knees in evidence but everybody seemed in good spirit.

In true Lancashire terms this was a grand day out, the kind of event supported by the whole of the community, you couldn’t hope to mix with such friendly and positive folk.”

Oh and the result

155th  Phil Gillard  49:01


Please remember it is the penultimate Borders League on Sunday 12th April in Caernarfon. We need as many green vests there as possible, if you can spare a morning we would be most grateful. Info and directions can be found here A number of people meet at the club house to share lifts, details can be found on our Facebook page.

That’s all this week, if I have missed anything please get in touch and I will update the blog. Happy running all!