Lots to get through this week, thanks to all for the race reports, keep them coming!
Village Bakery Half Marathon
Our first road counter of the season and a huge 16 Green Army members travelled to Wrexham Industrial Estate to tackle the 13.1 mile distance. 2 laps of an industrial estate is a little uninspiring but this course is all about fast times and with perfect running conditions and a flat course it was a tarmac slappers paradise which ensured PB’s galore from the Helsby contingent!
First home for Helsby was Colin Thompson to take the maximum points with Chris Fitzpatrick and Gaz O’Connor following closely to both take a huge chunk of time off their PB’s which bodes well for their London Marathon ambitions in April. Degsy Morris had another stormer to go sub 90 mins and strong running from Ian Landucci and Phil Roberts saw a very competitive mens team on the day. Special mention to Paul Bulmer who, after months of preparation and training, pulled on his running shoes and managed to run a fabulous time of 2:34:09 which is a truly inspiring performance. Paul was running for his charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, full link below, it would be very generous if people could contribute to this charity to support his efforts.
Over to the ladies and Joanne Lacking was in fine form smashing out a 1:33:13 for another PB and taking the chequered flag for the Helsby ladies and maximum points. Helen Owens and Michelle Hardwick were chasing hard and both had a fantastic run to go sub 1:45 and take 2nd and 3rd with Lesley Feakes following closely behind. Well done ladies! Shan McCarthy broke the magical 2 hour mark, but that wasn’t enough so she decided to break 1:59 also. That’s just greedy! Well done Shan, all the hard training has definitely paid off. Donna Geer also had a stormer taking a whopping 11 minutes off her PB, the lady is on fire, especially with that sprint finish in her armour! Rhea Thomas had her first foray into the half marathon distance and although she was a little disappointed with her time I would say that she had a great first race, a half marathon is a difficult one to judge with the pacing so you now have a base to build off and a bench mark to beat next time. Louise McEveley and Claire Morton both ran as guide runners for Paul to tidy up the Helsby pack. Thank you ladies.
Special mention to our Green Army support team in the form of Joe and Mario who were out on course offering us encouragement and support, Louise, Max, Alison Bulmer and it was great to see Adair near the finish cheering us on. Max ditched his running shoes this time to show off his new found love of photography (and tight jeans), I will post some pictures onto the blog in due course, but if you can’t wait till then the official photos can be found here: http://www.mickhall-photos.com
Full Helsby results below:
Full results can be found here: http://cutefruitevents.niftyentries.com/Results/VillageBakeryHalf2015?RaceId=1
Moel y Ci
This week also saw the first Fell counter of the season. In hindsight a bit of a trek for such a short race which saw only four Helsby vests running, although a very simple drive maybe contributed to the far greater than expected overall turn out… or maybe that was the fact it was £4 for a race, soup and a roll; you be the judge!
Max leading the way
Max took no prisoners as he immediately took on “one time race leader” status. The difference between the rest of us mere mortals and Max is that he held on to that lead for quite some time – pictured above leading the likes of Matthew Roberts, Lloyd Taggart and Rob Grantham!
Sadly Jimmy was relegated to a spectator due to an injury so Max had free reign at the front. Laura BH was also spectating on child care duty, but was gutted she didn’t bring her kit to bag the 20 points so early in the season. Andy Robinson, Phil Gillard and I panted and puffed at the back in a race which primarily featured the cruelest of gradients – the type you can run every step… just. For those of you that haven’t tried the fells yet I’ll let you into a secret… we walk every now and then! The switch of muscle groups and managing that switch correctly allows for a proper recharge before the next runable section. Check this great little video for a better impression of the wonders that are fell racing. Hopefully we’ll see you at a counter or at the mini series!
Before I get back to the race I should say that Max has been trying to work on his running nickname. He’s tried to get “Mighty Max”, “Max the Magnificent”, “Wonderful Wainwright” and others to stick to no avail. I digress, but Max was well and truly living up to these names as he hit the summit right in there with the race leaders. The views getting to the summit were nothing short of spectacular; including an view of the Glyders from I’ve never seen before – inspiring stuff!
The top sections were narrow single track paths making over taking difficult before the initially steep downhill section. It was at this point Max was gifted a nickname from a fellow competitor. I guess it was fair to say that he was a little frustrated not being able to pass when he christened Max “Downhill Princess”, but through strife comes genius :D
So to the results, Andy Robinson was very happy in 109th (55.12) although that may have had just as much to do with the high club points accrued in the hunt for the Vet60 title against Super Mario! Phil was beaming with 97th (53:50) and I was chuffed with 37th (45:50) against such a packed field. Our very own Downhill Princess came through to take 7th over all (39:50 ) a full minute ahead of Jez Brown – as a benchmark of success that is kudos indeed! Full results here
A splinter group decided to head the other way and take on Parbold hill. No race report so the results will speak for themselves instead! Great to see Helsby Vests out representing the club. Top work to all involved in what was clearly a stacked field. Vanessa also took home the V50 prize and was 23rd Female – awesome stuff!
55th – Phillip Roberts (55.35)
184th – Vanessa Griffiths (1.00.42)
256th – Andy Smith (1.06.20)
313rd – Edward ‘Charlie’ Roberts (1.11.01)
Long Distance Trail & Ultras
Ben Williams can’t get enough of the long stuff right now – has he done more ultras this year than our ultra ringleader Andy Robinson? Here is the report:
I spent Saturday run/walking the LDWA Anglezarke Amble, near Horwich in West Lancs http://www.ldwa.org.uk/WestLancashire/W/2968/anglezarke-amble-2015.html .
Underfoot conditions ranged from wet to terrible, and some moorland sections involved wading through full-on bogs. Because of this a lot of the course was pretty unrunnable, but there was good banter between groups of us as we slid around the hills and moors.
The course starts steeply – Rivington Pike and Winter Hill are climbed inside the first three miles – then becomes more ‘undulating’, with some fantastic downhills in places. Walkers have the option of a 16-mile course, but runners are expected to do the full 24.5 mile course which also takes in Entwistle and then Darwen Tower, before the courses rejoin to cross Great Hill.
The cloud base was too low to allow any views at all, in fact the Winter Hill mast was virtually invisible even from 50 yards away! I became a bit ‘navigationally challenged’ coming off Darwen Moor, in virtually zero visibility, and had to use my compass in anger for the first time (and Google Maps on my phone, never write off modern technology :) ) . Luckily I found the right path though.
I timed the run at 5h 44 min. My official time somehow is 5.38, but these aren’t the kind of events where time desperately matters anyway.
As usual with LDWA events, there were well-stocked checkpoints and a hot meal included at the end. And all for about seven quid!
Oh, and a quick gear review… a chap running behind me near Entwistle slipped over in the mud, slid a good few metres on his bottom, dusted himself down and announced ‘f’in Hoka trail shoes – don’t bother’. I guess that’s as good a field test as any :)
Funnily enough Ben I remember doing the Peris Horseshoe with friend of Helsby Jeff McQueen wore a pair, there were some great photos of him barefoot carrying them :)
All the action described above did nothing to stop the Green Army taking on the local Park Runs. Results below – well done to all!
Pos. Gen Pos.
17 17 Carl PRATT Helsby RC 00:21:25
4 4 Colin THOMPSON Helsby RC 00:17:48
69 11 Ellen HARRIS Helsby RC 00:24:28
102 15 Louise MCEVELEY Helsby RC 00:26:29
118 97 Stephen WIGGINS Helsby RC 00:27:54
117 96 David WIGGINS Helsby RC 00:27:54
Ellesmere Port parkrun
4 4 Neil FINEGAN Helsby RC 00:19:33
1 1 Colin BISHOP Helsby RC 00:17:20
6 5 Ivan DAVIES Helsby RC 00:18:59
8 7 Adrian JACKSON Helsby RC 00:19:47
14 13 Alfie GRADY Helsby RC 00:20:50
18 17 David MADDERS Helsby RC 00:22:03
Full details here
Upcoming races and reminders
Sun 22 FEB. 10am
Name: Birchwood (XC Counter)
Birchwood Forest Park, Warrington
Further Details: Here
Chips! oh, and a 45 minute film about Steve Birkinshaw’s incredible Wainwrights run last summer. Well worth a watch. 8:30 Wednesday at the club. Let Dave and Lesley know if you want chips.