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 weeky round-up 17th – 23rd August 2015

Happy Thursday to you all! The school holidays are nearly over, it’ll soon be Christmas and that means only two things; Borders League and Cross Country, so I hope you have all been training hard over the summer months…

On to the trials and tribulations of our green vested athletes, it’s been a quiet week:

First up we have the brutally flat ;-) 5k in Capenhurst, which is in memory of Ellesmere Port RC runner, Neil Lavery, last Wednesday the 19th. It is renowned for being a PB course and we had 13 of our illustrious Green Army out on the night. A short report by Derek “Degsy/Messi” Morris follows:

Wednesday 19th saw plenty of the Green Army take part in the EPRC Capenhurst 5k. As we lined up for the start the rain held off which was nice. The hooter took me by surprise as Chris Fitzpatrick must have had a sore throat, as the famous Green Army chant was nowhere to be heard! Anyway the race is a very fast course seemingly slightly downhill for the last 2 miles. I surprised myself ducking under the 19 min mark and with great running by all the Green Army including some PB’s.  It’s definitely one for your calendars next year, and a must if you’re PB hunting.


17:48   Chris Fitzpatrick
18:08   Adam Gordon
18:57   Derek Morris
19:12   Darren O’Connor
20:09   Gary O’Connor
20:20   Joanne Lacking
20:25   Ian Landucci
22:32   Vanessa Griffiths
22:40   Carol Shaw
23:12   Geoff Shaw
23:29   Suzanne Fletcher
25:32   Tanya Downes
26:21   Donna Geer
28:16   Janet Shaw

A Dicky bird even informs me that Chris Fitz actually managed to finish the whole race without clutching his infamous lady’s water bottle. Well done, Chris! Inspirational!

Peris Horseshoe fell race

Huge well done to Jim O’Hara who came a fantastic 6th in this very tough 17.5 mile, 8500ft climb fell race in 4hrs 24 mins. Jim is on great form at the moment and just keeps on knocking out some very tough races most weekends!


Weekly results from our local parkruns:

Delamere parkrun

Rachel ARNOLD          24:59              
Louise MCEVELEY:      26:16
Claire MORTON:         27:25

Widnes parkrun

Colin BISHOP:              17:24 (First)
Michael WILLIAMS:    23:04

News and notes

Tim Palmer has set up a new all singing and dancing race calendar. Huge thanks for Tim! Link is here and this is a great help to all our members.

Up & Running in Chester are holding a 20% discount offer this Bank Holiday weekend to all club runners.


Helsby weekly round-up 10th – 16th August 2015

Hello Green Army

Fitzy here (the one who always shouts green army if you don’t already know me), covering for CBH whilst he is away on his hols and preparing for UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) which is next week, I’m sure you will all send him some hugs, kisses and good luck messages as I know how hard he has been training for this one, he’s even done some tarmac slapping along the way.

Anyways onto this week’s news, and quite a bit to get through.

Parkrun highlights were new PB’s for Ian Landucci, Ian Hamling, Chris Hatton, and a 1st place finish for our Bish, well done all (full results below)

Also a mention to Paul Bulmer who hopes to complete his 40th Park Run at Delamere this coming Saturday. An amazing achievement for Paul and all his buddy runners. If you are around please try and come along and join in the celebration this Saturday morning at 9am.

Over to Foz for the first race report which took place up in Darwen, I know a lot more of us wanted to attend this one but it clashed with a few other races, maybe we could keep the weekend free next year as I know we would love to attend

On Saturday I attended a fell race in Darwen in memory of my sister in law Catherine this is the 2nd year it has run in her memory and the numbers were up by at least 40 runners to over 140. So maybe next year we can get a few more from Fellsby. Rachel (the better half) always helps out at registration so my pre race routine was looking after Declan my 3 year old son.He was telling me all week how he was going to run faster than me,so an idea came into my head. I entered him into the fun run, with ten minutes to go I found out it was a mile long and knew then this wasn’t going to go well. After the first little hill he looked at me with a sad bottom lip, i’m not going to win dad am I. So after a little explanation I carried him for half a mile took a short cut and he ran downhill to the finish. He was really made up and even asked when do I get a prize.

But it reminded me why we all run races no matter what age we are. We start off happy, soon become tired, feel like crying and at the end want to do it all over again. Just before the start I noticed another green vest of Tim Palmer after a quick chat it was back to warming up. This is only my 3rd race of the year so I wanted to see how my summer training of drinking and eating has paid off! The race itself starts in the main gala field across into the park then slowly up through woods on to a road up to the tower. Quick downhill then another long runnable climb back up to the moors where you follow a path which takes you to a single track Then you drop down back through the woods and park to the finish, crossing the finish you catch your breath and do the only thing left to do, queue up for a hot dog and a nice real ale. Got to say Tim Palmer ran a great race and is in good form, Jamie said he was flying up the hill.

47th Tim Palmer 41:26 54th Jamie Dowdall 42:50 92nd Paul Foster 49:39 While waiting for the rest of the runners I was thinking, I thought I actually ran quite well but then soon realised I was 4 mins slower than last year so at least my summer training of doing absolutely nothing has paid off!! There was only one last thing to do to carry on with the summer and it was to hit the real ale tent with Jamie and the family! Roll on the autumn, Paul


Nice one Foz, I know Jamie had a cracking day and Darwen running club should be applauded for putting on another cracking event in memory of his late wife.

On a more serious note, I think there’s far too many of the green army been enjoying a beer or 10 over the summer hols, shame on you all, your meant to be afleet, take Degs and Gaz for example :-)


Now, over to our 8th ROAD counter of the season, I highlight road, because not a lot of us roadies did it because there was far too much mud & hills about, and you had to race a train, whatever next?

Over to El Capitano for the report

On Saturday there was drinking, eating, more drinking….oh and a train to beat in a race! 15 green vests ventured to Tywyn for this unique racing experience and our 8th road counter. The premise is fairly straight forward, the runners set off on the 14 mile multi terrain course whilst a steam train runs adjacent to the course and the idea is to get back to the finish before the train. In reality only a small percentage of runners can actually beat the train but that certainly didn’t stop anyone from trying and putting in maximum effort! A big well done to everyone who participated, especially Phil Roberts who paced it to perfection and beat the train by a full minute! As spectator rather than competitor this year it was great watching the race unfold from a vantage point at the half way mark and everyone looked to be in fine spirits. An excellent post-race award ceremony in a marquee and a mini Ibiza experience (as well as 40th birthday celebrations for birthday girl Jane Ashbrook!) rounded off a very enjoyable weekend.

Helsby results below:

Train time: 01:47:46

194th      Phillip Roberts                   01:46:47
306th          Phil Gillard                           01:54:49
331st       Jane Ashbrook                  01:55:42
402nd      Vanessa Griffiths             02:00:07
443rd      June Swift                           02:02:25
463rd      Janet Robertson               02:03:55
550th      David Feakes                     02:09:00
579th      Lesley Feakes                    02:11:00
634th      John Whitehead               02:15:06
643rd      Rachel Arnold                    02:15:33
661st       Jackie Keasley                   02:16:50
684th      Charlie  Roberts                02:19:17
767th      Carol Shaw                          02:27:54
783rd      Andy Smith                         02:29:23
889th      Nesta Hawker                   02:54:54 

Full results here

Also thank you to Louise Spruce for taking these brilliant snaps!

FB_IMG_1439979248522_resized FB_IMG_1439979251552_resized FB_IMG_1439979254346_resized FB_IMG_1439979260940_resized FB_IMG_1439979263689_resized FB_IMG_1439979267314_resized FB_IMG_1439979271153_resized FB_IMG_1439979275930_resized FB_IMG_1439979278198_resized FB_IMG_1439979280505_resized FB_IMG_1439979284470_resized FB_IMG_1439979289290_resized FB_IMG_1439979295019_resized FB_IMG_1439979297786_resized FB_IMG_1439979301336_resized

I also have a message from Jane Ashbrook who was celebrating her 21st Birthday weekend;

Thank you to everyone for helping me celebrate my birthday in style and also all at Helsby for your generous gift….a place in Hadrians Wall Ultra, I’m so excited and petrified, I am really touched and feel very lucky to be part of such a fantastic running club…green army rocks!!

I’ll second you on that Jane, it’s a cracking place to be at the minute.


Jackie also sent over a report on this one too (again I can see why it was chosen as a road counter…only joking!!)

A brilliant weekend away for the green army mixing good running with socialising. A pre-race party Friday evening set us all in high spirits for Saturdays races. The 10k, 5.5 and 3.5 mile races were in the morning meaning an early start for some. The 14mile Rotary Challenge had a relaxed start of just after 2pm when the fastest Talylynn train raised its head of steam to start the dash down to Abergynolwyn and back. The race route not always following the flatfish rail track as the second half climbs up the hillside steeply before doing a narrow slippy traverse. There were gates to hurdle, streams to wade, mud to slop through before the final road section to the finish line and celebrations. All lined by a great turnout of supporters everywhere. Good to see Louise & Col at the turnabout point, just when you needed encouragement. Great weather, course, atmosphere, support, camaraderie. We all visited the race beer tent on Saturday evening for the long drawn out presentations ( the only time all weekend for a quiet sit down!!). Unusually these days, no prizes for Helsby but we celebrated anyway. Very energetic dancing saw off any post race aches and stiffness with the final Hokey Cokey to the pretenders I will walk 500 miles finishing everyone off!!! Happy 40th birthday to Jane on Wednesday and Congratulation to Phil R for beating the train.


Last report of the week and a very happy one if you looked at his face on Facebook, Ben Williams did the Marsden Moors Meander.

A short report from the LDWA Marsden Moors Meander in West Yorkshire, which I ran/walked on Saturday. The route is around 22 miles, with about 3500 feet of climb. The 2014 event is my only DNF to date, so my only aim this time was to put that ghost to rest and get round in one piece. The run starts with a steep climb out of the village, and the whole of the first section is very undulating – including a hands-and-knees climb up a grass bank out of a steep valley after a couple of miles. The first section is the most interesting, with varied scenery and includes crossing the M62 through that farm in between the carriageways. From then on, the route climbs onto moorland, over Windy Hill and past countless reservoirs. The route description let me down at one point, and had me worried that I was lost on Saddleworth Moor, but fortunately I spotted the next checkpoint before I fell into a full-on panic. The runners soon became separated, and for the last 10 miles or so I didn’t see anyone at all. I enjoyed running alone across the moors in silence, it wasn’t as spooky as it sounds. It was nice to pass the final reservoir and drop back into Marsden though. I finished in 4.48, 11th out of 87 (mostly walkers).

Superb Ben, nobody likes a DNF (unless your Roy your my name) well and truly laid that one to rest


A few more dates for the diary in the coming weeks and if anyone wants to lift share, times of when to do so. Some great all round stuff coming up soon!

Road Counters – This Wed Capenhurst 5k 7.15, race now full. For lift share please meet at club at 6.20.

Sun 30th August Ellesmere 10k 11am, online entries still available, no entries on day. For lift share please meet at club at 9.30.

Fell Counters, all these are good races to come and try for those new to fell running, particularly if it’s summer weather!

Sat 22nd August Chipping Show, 2pm, 12k, 550m, BM. A great day out shared with the local agricultural show with all sorts going on for everyone! 1h30 min drive but could be busy so leave plenty of time, 11.30 from club for those who want to lift share.

Mon 31st August Cilcain Fell Race, 1pm, 7.5k, 400m, AS. Bank Holiday Monday, again with a village show thrown in. Another splendid route up Moel Famau. Meet at club at 11.30.

Sun 6th Sept Shelf Moor Fell Race, 11am, 9k, 500m, AS. Meet at club at 9.15.

The club has entered 3 teams of 6 into the British Fell Relays on Oct 17th near Pendle in Lancashire. A pre-requisite of entering is to have ran at least 2 category A races in the last 2 years. So for those interested there is still time to qualify! More information to follow.

Tim Palmer has been so kind as to organize a calendar for all upcoming races and if you would like to add to it could you email him at the below address

This will be updated monthly and we can send it out on the blog. You can also access it at the below link


And last but not least, Helsby night out is still going ahead, Friday 4th Sept, and rather than the usual Helter Skelter followed by Chum antics, we’ve decided to head off into Chester. Meeting in the old harkers arms from 7 onwards, I’ll be getting the 6.30pm train in Chester, few drinks around town then back on the last train home, and into Frodsham for anyone wanting to continue the drinking.

Happy running green army!

Inter club fell competition

Well done to Helsby Running Club for winning the Inter Club Fell Competition between Helsby, Spectrum, Delamere Spartans and Tattenhall for the third year running!

Race 1 was our Wobbler, Race 2 Hot Foot up Moel Famau and Race 3 this weekend’s Teggs Nose. Impressive Helsby turnout’s and performances particularly for the first two races sealed our win. Thanks and well done #greenarmy #fellsby contingent.

             Total   Tegg's Nose   Hotfoot      Wobbler		
Helsby        773        172         271          330
Spectrum      633        252         173          208
Delamere      324         62          93          169
Tattenhall    244          0         182           62


Full results: Inter-club fell race competition 2015 – standings after race 3

Helsby Running Club Weekly Update (2-8-15 to 9-8-15)


Helsby members were out at Delamere, Widnes and Warrington Parkruns. The stand out performance was Colin Bishop winning at Widnes. Full results for Helsby runners can be found at the link below.

Colin also ran the Bispham 10K where he finished 4th overall, win his age category and was 2nd placed Northern Vet in a time of 35:57. Great going, Col!

Pie and Peas 5 miler.

Wednesday 5th was the Pie and Peas 5 miler, which is a counter in the Club Road Championships. First man home for Helsby was Adam Gordon, first lady was Jane Ashbrook. Full results below:

Tegs Nose fell race.

Helsby secured the inter club Fell championship at Tegs Nose with Jim O’Hara first home for the club. Well done to everyone who participated in the race and the championship overall. A short report and full results can be found at the link below.


Jackie K sent in the the following report and pictures from the Long Tour of Bradwell Ultra… 

This Saturday, a little to the east of the Teggs Nose race, was the Long Tour of Bradwell Ultra race;a race recommended by Andy in his January talk on ultra running. Easy to say, yes lets have a go and enter; much harder to accomplish. Lesley and I decided to run together this “short” ultra ”very tough 33 mile 6300’ trail/fell run in the Peak District”. With a sunny hot weather forecast we set off in hot windless conditions, even at 9 am in the morning, in search of the 16 dibber points along the route.  
The first half was a helter- skelter ride. A climb up behind the cement works from Bradwell  to Pin Dale and down slippery Cave Dale (where I caught up with Lesley who had already fallen badly with cuts and bruises). Down into Castleton and on through the still quiet streets heading for Hollins Cross (the saddle between Mam Tor and Losehill).Then immediately dropping into Edale which was by now hotting up with tourists and walkers. Fortunately haze and light cloud cover suddenly appeared which made the climb up towards Ringing Rodger much more bearable.  A quick search for the checkpoint on the Druid Stone and then a direct pathless descent back into Edale. Helpful waves from Bill and friends Sarah and Andy guided us (and other runners) down to the correct exit point for crossing Edale to take the steep climb back up to Lose Hill itself. A sweaty long down hill section towards Hope with church bells ringing (must have been a wedding) before turning back up to climb the shoulder of Winn Hill and onto LadyBower reservoir where our “surprise surprise marshals” greated us yet again. This time with hot cups of tea and homemade ginger biscuits which just hit the spot and galvanised us for the final trot along the railway line to checkpoint 9, (the half way point with half an hour to spare from the 2 pm cut off). Just before this other fell runners assured us we would make the cut-off and that thankfully the second half was less hiller that the first!
Through the picturesque mill grounds of Bamford and a long but steady climb up to Stanage Edge. I was really looking forward to this bit for its airy views and refreshing breeze, but underfoot hopping from flat boulder to boulder was a bit technical for my weary legs and involved too much staring at the ground. Lesley skipped ahead but then was met once again by our surprise surprise marshalls half way along the ridge. A brilliant boost for the next section. We got a bit carried way with the sight of cars ahead and dropped off the ridge too soon to get a little confused as to where the next checkpoint was but some kind cyclists directed us to Burbage Bridge. A little bit of time lost but the next section was a wonderful wide flat gradual downhill track to Pately Bridge. Here there was a fleet of ice cream vans, hundreds of folks paddling in the stream, lots of BBQ smells (it was 4pm by this time) and everyone encouraging us along the way. 
Down to the river near Hathesage with another surprise surprise greeting from our picnickers sat in an ideal setting by the cool river. Then the final climb up through the picturesque Bretton and Abney Cloughs before the last steep descent back into Bradwell. Except race tape (which we had followed reliably in the tricky navigation parts all day) suddenly led us off to the right and back up hill. Like zombies we followed to be greeted by 3 runners who had done the same and climbed back up before realising this just could not be right. We all about turned, gathering those who were behind us all and all staggered into Bradwell and  finally to the finish line where our support team greeted us!   An extra mile must have been added on, which at this stage was horrendous; apparently the tape was from the junior fell race the night before, heaven knows why someone did not go up and remove it earlier!
A great if a long day out in a stunning running area. At the end I was dreaming of cups of tea and Lesley of Guinness, scampi and chips. We dropped Lesley off at the pub to fulfil her dream whilst waiting for a lift home with Andy (who was having a run further meeting) and we raced back to our friends’ house near Matlock. A cuppa, quick bath and stroll to their local for a meal humanised the day!
1   Ken Sutor           5:21:15
2   Charlie Sharp    6:04:23
35 Andy Robinson 7:23:11
82 Lesley Feakes  9:18:43
83 Jackie Keasley 9:18:47
99 finishers
11 dnf   (1 was airlifted to hospital with heat exhaustion)
Just a reminder to send all race reports to

Helsby weekly round-up 27th July – 2nd August 2015

Hello everyone

Welcome to this week’s round-up. A fairly quiet week of racing (by Green Army standards anyway) but we have plenty coming up this month with 4 road counters and 2 fell counters! Best to try and get your entries in now to avoid disappointment, the pies & peas has already sold out but may be worth keeping an eye on social media for any last minute race numbers. Listed below are some races on the horizon, some are club counters and a couple of others which may take your fancy.

Road Running

Cheshire Half Marathon

4 green vests ventured to Arley Hall on Sunday to have a crack at their half marathon PB’s on this super quick course and it didn’t disappoint with 2 big PB’s (and some war wounds!) Neil takes up the full story with this excellent report:

“After the outstanding beauty of my recent run Wales events,  the Cheshire half offered something very different with the organisers promising a course which was perfect for a personal best. And as runners I think we’d all agree that when it comes to a PB the course doesn’t really matter – just the time over the finish line.

The event started and finished from Arley hall,  looping through the surrounding country lanes in a figure of eight, with just 230 ft of elevation gain over the course. So there were no hills of any note and thankfully this was not too hot an August day but the 22 degree heat made it very sticky especially when the sun did break through. Over 500 runners took part, dominated by club runners testing out the speed of the course, with the race winner finishing in an impressive 1:06.

The positives – well 2 of the 4 Helsby runners taking part recorded personal bests.  Ben Williams smashed a massive 8 minutes off his previous record – which itself was only set 4 weeks ago. Over 35 seconds a mile faster than his previous PB – it takes a runner to really appreciate just how outstanding a result that is and the power and form he showed at the finish suggests to me that this PB won’t stand for too long. Others had to fight through injury with Dave Madders blood stained top at the finish reminding us of the dangers of chaffing – I think he got the medal for bravery.

The negatives –  the main complaint from the finishers was the lack of water on the course.  Just 2 water stops (actually 1 stop that you went past twice) at miles 3 and 7 isn’t ideal for a summer race.  Also the roads weren’t all closed and the long finishing mile up to Arley hall was spent weaving through cars which seemed unaware of the event taking place.  But this course was about speed and on that it certainly delivered”

The Helsby runners were as follows :

33rd  Neil Finegan  1:24:52 (New PB!)
165th Ben Williams  1:42:44 (New PB!)
204th Dave Madders  1:46:56
253rd Michael Williams  1:51:55

Very impressive guys, well done to all of you. Neil is being modest and hasn’t mentioned the huge PB he got himself which saw his finish time dip under the 1:25 barrier which is a fantastic result and shows how the hard work and determination he has put in this year is starting to pay off.

Halewood 5k

On Saturday, the monthly Halewood 5k saw Dave Madders toeing the line with the cream of the Merseyside running crop. A fiercely competitive race saw no less than 8 sub 17 minute times which shows how high the standard was on the day. A fantastic run from Dave saw him execute an excellent race himself and edge closer to that sub 20 with 20:39. Well done mate.

Full results here –


Peaks Skyrace

Our ultra mountain running specialist Chris Baynham Hughes (or CBH) has been at it again. This time as Skyrunning UK Ambassador. Full report by Chris below:

“Light rain greeted the runners as they prepared to set off for second running of The Peaks Skyrace. It was my first gig in my role as SkyrunningUK amabasador (see here for comedy press release and I was going to see it as a competitor too (albeit a Ghost runner!) It’s fair to say the Peaks Skyrace is a fantastic stepping stone into Skyrunning and ultras in general; this was reflected by the large number of people toeing the line of such a race for the first time. If any of you are interested in going beyond a marathon then the course is made up of fantastically runnable trails, which is why it’s so enjoyable and unforgiving at the same time. There is nowhere to hide and if you’re out there focused more on competing that completing then if you’re not running, your rivals are!

By the start of the race the rain had stopped and the weather really improved over the day making conditions more challenging in the heat later on as the humidity was still high. The field was strong at the sharp end of the race which was reflected in the times with 9 (plus me) runners dipping under the 5 hour mark. 3rd placed Richard Ashton was just 3 minutes off the course record, whilst both second place Christopher Armit and Kim Collison dipping under the time set by Jason in 2014. In the end Kim took 12 minutes off the record to win in 4:10:12 – impressive stuff! The ladies field was equally strong and whilst Nikki Kay (5:47:55) managed not only to get the win, but an en route marriage proposal as well! There was a real tussle between the top 5 ladies for who would take 2nd and 3rd – In the end just 2.5 minutes separated 2,3 and 4th. Chatting with Rachael Meek (3rd after Sarah Sheridan in 2nd place) afterwards it was clear what a difference having serious competition for the ladies podium really meant. Rachel enthused at how chasing/ being chased by the other ladies had really spurred her on, rather than the usual scenario of “not seeing another lady all race”. Hopefully this will continue throughout the Skyrunning calendar and we’ll see more ladies entering these races to win.

The race organisation and volunteers were superb; taking the chance to run the course meant I was able to see the race from a totally different perspective. I can confirm it’s a really cracking route and for those considering getting into Skyrunning then I’d thoroughly recommend it. I’d say it especially suits fast marathon runners who can handle trails. The next step up in the calendar would have to be the Mourne Skyline MTR and the Lakes 3×3 Ultra; I sincerely hope we’ll be seeing many of the fantastic competitors from this weekend making the step up. The V3K (for me the best single day route in the UK) and the fantastic Lakes Sky Ultra add a significant step up in technicality, exposure and compete with the eye popping European races. At the extreme end of the scale the race that easily holds its own with the most extreme races in the world of Skyrunning is the Glen Coe Skyline – the next instalment for Skyrunning UK on 22nd August and it’s packed with top runners including JimMann and Jasmin Paris (Dragon’s back winners) and Emelie Forsberg to name but a few.

So what for my race? Well, I ran with Charlie Sharpe for a large chunk of it which really kept me honest for the middle section before pushing on for the final third. I realise Charlie could have caught and over taken me if he wished (like a cat toying with a ball of string) however he didn’t need to as I did and extra mile and a half at the end after missing one of the markers. So rather than finishing in 7th around the 4:50 mark for this 29 mile 2000m race, I popped in just behind Charlie in 4:59 – there must be a moral victory in there somewhere :) Brilliant race. Recommended! Do it.

For more on skyrunning visit: or ask me :)”

Great report and very well done Chris. Very much the man on form at the moment, Max best watch his back ;-)


York parkrun

39th Gareth BOYD 00:20:44

Riverside parkrun

23rd Edward HALLIWELL 00:19:43 

Widnes parkrun

1st Colin BISHOP 00:17:27
73rd Stephen WIGGINS 00:29:16
74th David WIGGINS 00:29:17 

Birkenhead parkrun

47th Geoff COLLINS 00:22:40

That’s all this week. Please get in touch if I have missed any results or reports. Remember all reports to the usual email address

Happy running all.


Helsby weekly round-up 20th – 26th July 2015

Hello to all you super fit, green vested, lithe limbed, mountain running, road bashing. park running afleets.  Hope this round up finds you all well.

We have had a fantastic week of running this past week, and I shall start with the fantastic achievement of our CBH (Chris Baynham-Hughes in his official capacity).  He managed to not only win the Marmot24 marathon but he was ecstatic to note he has drawn some fabulous Strava art in the form of a Scottish Highland Terrier!  It’s the little things…  I shall pass you on to CBH for his report but a HUGE well done Chris, you are an unbelievable endurance runner who it seems, was born with an inbuilt GPS system!

Marmot 24

Friday saw me on the M6 heading North to Scotland and the Lowthers for the Marmot24 Mountain Marathon. I was excited, seriously excited in fact as this event had all my favourite things in one:

  • Endurance? Check (12 hour version)
  • Mental challenge? Check (route selection and tactical selection of controls as its score class)
  • Navigation? Check
  • Mountains? Check(ish) – The Lowthers
  • Night running? Check (My 12 hour stint finished midnight sat/sun)
  • Jeopardy? Check (lose points every minute I’m late back and more than 30 minutes = 0 points)

The format was simple, start at 12 noon on Sat and visit as many controls as you can within 12 or 24 hours.

untitledI’d had a firm showing at the Green Green Grass in the week and was feeling good going into and starting the event. Luckily for me this continued throughout and bar 1 control (where I wasted 10 minutes looking for it whilst only a few metres away from it) my Nav was spot on (although still eliciting a cheer on a couple of occasions as I hit them spot on, but wasn’t 100% sure I would J)

The ground was rough but runnable and the climbs were very steep but short; the result being that I was able to run for almost all of it. I had to expand my original route plan several times on the hoof as I was passing through the controls quicker than expected. Things were going very well indeed. The weather was amazing – hot sunshine all day and very little wind – and I felt like I had the place all to myself and only occasionally bumping into other competitors. I was running really well and had run everything so I started to believe I might be in contention by the end of the day.

untitled1Running rough ground in the pitch black with a head torch reflecting off sheep and rabbit eyes left me panicking I’d miss the cut off. I’d taken the risk to get the extra points and I’d bagged two additional controls, but whilst I was still running well the lights of the finishing camp seemed very far away as I tried to descend and get back for the Midnight cut off. Terrified of losing hard earned points I sprinted (well, it felt like that) to the finish.

I arrived with 10 minutes to spare having covered 43.7 miles and 10,500ft (I had my GPS in a tamper proof opaque bag to track me: I took 25 controls (250 points) and 25 minutes later was confirmed as the winner! My first win ever, I was slightly shocked and very happy indeed.


Snowdonia Trail Marathon

Moving on to more mountain off roading, our Mountain Goat mascot, Jim Jones and his side-kick kid, Philip Roberts with a finely tuned Alec Robertson strapped on their trail shoes and hit the Snowdonia Trail marathon in err, you guessed it… Snowdonia.

Honours go to Alec who finished first in his age category. It was a tough race made even harder by the driving rain at the start and finish with only spells of respite in between. The race started and finished in Llanberis and went through Rhyd Ddu, Beddegelert, Nant Gwynant and Pen y Pass before starting the climb of Snowdon at about 20 miles. The climb up Snowdon in the driving rain was a challenge in itself with a risk of body temperatures dropping if you didn’t keep moving. The route was well marked out but it seems the organisers may have made an error when calculating the distance as a lot of people recorded 29 miles on their devices. It was certainly stamina building getting to 26 miles and finding you’re still nowhere near the finish.

Jim Jones Male 80 MV50 5 Helsby  05:47:56 89
Phillip Roberts Male 86 MOPEN 41 Helsby  05:52:30 96
Alec Robertson Male 194 MV65 1 Helsby  06:59:56 238

Green Green Grass of home fell race

A truly stunning evening saw 17 Helsby vests in the Clwydians for the Green Green Grass of Home fell race. Traditionally the route would change each year, but of late had remained the same. Wednesday saw a new and IMO a vastly improved route – an initially shorter climb followed by a very runnable descent and second climb to return to the original route. Stopping short of Moel Famau it headed back down along the notoriously rough and lunatic looking descent.

The unanimous view was that it would have been a far better choice for the Fell mini series than Hot foot as it was far more runnable and a cracking introduction to fell racing. It was clear on the line that everybody thoroughly enjoyed this one. Speaking of which, huge congratulations to both Jen O’Hare and Donna Geer for taking this on. Donna ran with Jane and Jen with Phil which saw all four of them arrive with big smiles on their faces.

Huge thanks to Mario and Joe for their support on the course. First lady (for Helsby, 5th overall), Laura BH certainly attributed her fine descending to the fact that she knew master descender Mario was watching! With three Helsby vests in the top 10 it was certainly a great showing with Jimmy taking the spoils in 4th, Max in 5th and Adam Gordon in stunning form and 10th on the day. Prizes on the night for Janet Robinson and Nesta for second vet 40 and 50 respectively too!

We contemplated these results with a beer in hand whilst the sun set over beautiful Wales, you can do it from the comfort of your own home here:


Sefton Park 5 mile race

H1Another very well organised race by Mossley Hill AC this year again. As I found out last year it is a very fast flat course with great running from other clubs. However myself and Rachael Holden were there flying the Helsby flag with an impressive 43:49 minutes by Rachael and with myself (Chris Murray) being an exact minute outside of last years time in 34:48. The weather stayed nice and at the end we were rewarded by a medal and a mug although I did read in June that Gordon Ramsay was supposed to be dishing out post race curry however I didn’t see him!


North Wales Half Marathon

Just two Helsby vests took part in another challenging Run Wales Half two weeks after Chirk Castle.  The autumnal conditions arrived in Conwy as forecast with the rain heaviest just before the official off at 11am.  Can’t think there are too many races delayed because the tide hadn’t gone out sufficiently but that’s exactly what happened giving runners and spectators alike a further 15 mins soaking on the beach at Beacons in Conwy Morfa.

A great all terrain race ensued, the beach 1st and last mile was incredibly demanding and energy zapping – the hard sand promised in the race blurb didn’t materialise, it was soft mostly, giving way under foot and the dash across the slippery rocks and pebbles was certainly a first for me in a “road” half marathon!

The next 5 miles or so saw good fast flat road running and then came the climbs as we headed up towards the Sychnant Pass.  The scenery quickly changes as we enter Snowdonia National Park and the earlier tarmac is replaced with trails and the climb up Conwy mountain summit is reached at around the 8.5 mile point.; the scenery spectacular as you’d imagine.

A hairy-scary decent is then the next challenge.  Most (if not all) runners in road shoes struggling with grip down the grassy mountain banks and rocky trails – I managed to do my customary ankle turn in the process.  Once back on tarmac with a couple of miles to complete, past the castle and back towards the marina and then the beach for that tough last mile – this time into a now brisk head-wind!

I was quite pleased with my time of 1 hour 39 mins (41st overall, 12th in cat), with only 9 people running sub 1’30 you get a sense of how tough a course it was – certainly not one for hunting PB’s!  This then makes Neil Finegan’s 1 hour 31 mins and a top 10 finish overall (4th in cat) even more outstanding – superb running from a man in great form – well done mate!

Would highly recommend this race given the multi-terrain challenges – not sure it’d make the Road Championships counter criteria though – one for the fixtures committee to contemplate maybe!?

Harrock Hill 3

Jim Jones and our 2nd claim member Jamie Dowdall did the Harrock Hill ‘3’ race on Wednesday. This is a series of 4 races held every year. Anyone who’s ran the Parboiled Hill Race will be familiar with the area and at least some of the route. These races are on the Fell Running calendar but a with only around a 1000ft of climb and at approx 5 miles they are good trail races. If anyone is looking for an introduction to off road running, this series would be a good start. So watch out for it next year.

Not seen the results yet but with Jim still nursing bruised ribs and what with Jamie coming back from an ankle injury can’t expect too much!


Weekly results from our local parkruns:

Delamere parkrun

David MADDERS:22:07
David FEAKES:22:51
Janet ROBERTSON:23:19
Stephen WIGGINS:24:57
Lesley FEAKES:25:51
Jane ASHBROOK:26:48
Louise MCEVELEY:26:51
Jen O’HARE:27:05 New PB! Well done Jen!
Emma BARNES:29:14
Jenny PALMER:29:28
Tim PALMER:29:29

Warrington parkrun

Colin THOMPSON: 17:58 (2nd place)
Joanne LACKING:21:59 (3rd female)

Ellesmere Port parkrun

Ben WILLIAMS:22:14

Widnes parkrun

Michael WILLIAMS:23:03

News and notes

Calling all Thunder Run runners!

Adidas Thunder Run 24hr

Thunder Run is a 24 hour off-road relay race against the clock ran in teams set in Derbyshire.  It is an incredibly popular event with a massive over-subscription every year.  The 2015 event has just occurred last weekend and it seems from my Facebook poll that there is sufficient interest in a Green Army attempt on this in 2016.  Web registration for the event doesn’t open until October but will literally fill in a matter of hours so we are trying to get organised right now!  It is assumed that the event will occur on the same weekend in July 2016 but is currently unconfirmed.

Team makeup:

Although teams can be solo or pairs, I am looking for interest in teams of 3+ as follows:

Teams of 3-5 can be all male, all female or mixed whereas

Teams of 6-8 must be mixed

We would set up camp either the night before which is advised (a Friday) or the morning of the race.  Once you’re geared up, your first runner will assemble at the start line at 12pm and when the claxon goes, together we won’t finish for 24 hours.

One team member must be on the course at all times during the 24hrs. Runners must complete one full 10km lap before changing over with a team mate but may run 2, 3 or more laps at a time before changeover. The team with the most laps completed when the clock stops after 24hrs will win.

2015 prices and should be used as a guide only for the 2016 event were:

Team up to 5 £272 (£54.40 ea)

Team up to 8 £312 (£39.00 ea)

Further info can of course be found at the Thunder Run website –

So, are you interested?  If so please drop me an email to register your intent.  I am going to set the cut off for interest at end of August and call a ‘meeting’ (bar after Wed run) in early September to discuss and agree the team makes ups – our Captains will have the casting vote.  Hope that all makes sense.

Cheers Ian Rutherford


Wirral Multi Terrain series

The fantastic Wirral Multi Terrain late summer series dates are released.  I absolutely loved these races, probably my favourite local races I have ever ran.  Please give them a go, great for beginners too.

MT Race Series Poster 2015

Club night out – Friday 4 September

The results are in, from all 6 of us, and I know there are more than 6 going out!

Friday 4th Sept, we’re heading to Chester, think the plan will be to head on down to the Old Harkers (directions to follow) between 7-8pm and then go on a pub crawl, we can either come back to Frodsham on the last train or stay out and find our own way home, it would be great to see some of the new members and old ones as well coming out to see really why you chose to join Helsby RC, you might want to leave come Saturday morning!

Sorry there wasn’t enough interest to organise a coach, but the trains will do a good enough job, hopefully see you all there.

Helsby weekly round-up 13th-19th July 2015

Hello and welcome to your weekly news round up. The details of the winners have gone out, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the fantastic club awards, BBQ and disco. A great time had by all! Thanks to everybody that contributed and got invovled – especially to Dave and Lesley for organising the food, Bill for slaving behind the BBQ with Dave and Chris for the disco. Naturally there were many others that put a lot into that event, so thank you to all!

One small omission from the awards was Ste Wiggins winning the Joe Beswick Runners Runner Trophy – I think he also won the award for most alcohol consumed from a trophy, but that is a different matter. Steve’s endless support of Paul in particular made him a very deserving winner on the night. Outstanding.

Don’t forget, it’s the Green Green Grass tomorrow (Wednesday) and the Gyrn Gallop on the weekend for the #Fellsby section. Another thing to look forward to is The Summer Multi-terrain races on the Wirral just announced. Tuesday evenings in September, first one on 1st September. Details attached. More details on Steve Saunders website at

As always, Reports in to Please (assuming you wish for them to be included :)) Finally a word from Fitzy – master of mischief – regarding his plans for a Helsby RC night out: Friday 4th Sept, please email me ( your preference

1. Frodsham  2. Chester 3. Liverpool  If enough interest and its Chester or Liverpool I will organise a mini bus.

Road Running

3413ddbc-08cd-43ff-a307-cb3f2eb6cd84Not sure No details this time, but a quick well done to Nic Cash and Laura Broughton. Fantastic work ladies and well done on your PBs (Nic – 55:39, and Laura with a season PB of 1:04.

Fell Running

Kentmere Horseshoe

Thanks to Ian for this superb report from the latest Fell race from the club series. The #Fellsby contingent did us proud out there, I was gutted to miss it.

Post race analysis from Ian was – A long way to go but a cracking race. All agreed that we should look to include at least one lakeland classic in the Helsby Fell Series every year – I couldn’t agree more!!!

It’s 1 O’Clock and 7 of Helsby greenest and finest are standing on the lane just below the church in Kentmere. They are not alone,another 350 runners are with them. The starter has just gone through the rules causing much amusement when he warns us that emergency rations will be included in the spot checks of kit at the end of the race. Better not get hungry on the way round, maybe empty wrappers and a few crumbs will save people from a DNQ.

Before the laughter has died down we get the go and promptly break into a walk whilst the large field squeezes down the narrow lane. Eventually we start to run and are getting up to speed when we stop again as the route diverts off the track on to a narrow path. Then we all form into a long line to march up the first mountain. A couple of short diversions means that attempts to gain a few places actually end up losing you a few.

Once at the top of the running starts again but only briefly as a style over a fence forces another halt. After this the running starts in earnest and we head off across the moorland towards the first checkpoint on top of Il Bell. Jim is leading the Helsby pack the rest are all quite close together in the midfield pack. The moorland stretch to Il Bell is not too bad so the steep down hill section off the top comes as a bit of a shock to the legs. But it doesn’t last long and it’s back to the ridge and a combination of mountain side contouring and a stroll along the High Street. Though in this case the High Street doesn’t have any shops but is a more literal version being an old roman road across the tops.

After about 50 minutes of racing we get to see the welcome sight of the top of the horseshoe. After several miles of chasing I arrive at the checkpoint just behind Phil. What I don’t notice at this point is that Steve is right behind me. This sets the 3 of us up for a cracking second half battle.

The first section after the turn is a fairly straight forward moorland section and I keep pace with Phil until we suddenly reach a short but steep descent. After slipping a couple of times I slow down to avoid falling on some of the sharp rocks and Phil starts to open a gap. It is at this point I discover just how close Steve is as he comes flying past first me then Phil (I think Mario must having been giving him some lessons).

Steve then rapidly ascends the next climb and gets a decent gap over Phil and me. Now we get a long section of moorland which is a mixture of flat and downhill. This should be an easy section but on tired legs I manage to trip over a rock and go flying. Back up with only a grazed knee but a few seconds lost on Steve and Phil.

A minute or two later we hit the final checkpoint on the top of Kentmere Pike and from here it’s downhill to the finish, all be it 3 miles down hill. My legs start to recover a bit on my favourite fell race terrain “down hill but not too steep” After about a mile I catch up with Phil but we are still some way behind Steve but at least he is still in sight. All going well then we hit the final descent off the fells on to the road. This was probably the trickiest bit of the course being steep, rocky and down a slippy stream bed. I slow down rapidly and Phil starts to open up a gap. I manage to stay on my feet and get to the road but now a good way behind Phil.

Still a mile to go so try and persuade my legs that they aren’t tired and get my road legs going. Can now see that Phil is gaining on Steve who looks like he might be tiring a bit. As we cut through some well made trails Phil overhauls Steve and I push on to see if I can do the same.

Suddenly have to apply the brakes as realise there is a sign, cunningly hidden by a bush, showing the fell race goes hard right over a style. Just when you thought it was all road to the finish a short twisty section of path drops you down to the bridge over the river. Even better the path has a nice lot of rocks to avoid, which I don’t and go flying for the second time. Again not too much damage done but a matching graze on the other knee.

Up and running again and now on the road again. Just get into my stride when two cars turn on to the road in front of me and they are going slowly as they have two runners in front of them. I want to go faster but can’t get round them as the roads are too narrow. Then one of the cars spots me and pulls over into a gateway to let me pass. I then catch up with the second car and follow it for ages though in reality probably only a couple of hundred yards. Then the 2nd car spots me pulls to one side and slows down as I overtake (First time I’ve past a car in a race!). Now it’s full pelt to the finish.

As I turn sharp left I can see the finishing field I can also see Phil just about to cross the line. One last push sees me overtake a runner but not Steve who has now turned on to the field and is dashing to the finish.

At last I get to the line and finish in just under 2 hours 15 mins.

So was I disappointed about losing out to Phil and Steve. Not at all it was the best bit of racing I been involved in for ages. I am already looking forward to the rematch.

Finishing positions

44th Jim O’Hara. 1hr 52mins 50 secs
150th Phil Gillard 2hr 13mins 30 secs
155th Steve Riley 2hr 13mins 53 secs
157th Ian Landucci 2hr 14mins 08 secs
188th Andy Robinson 2hr 19mins 41 secs
207th Jane Ashbrook 2hr 20mins 57secs
215th Tim Palmer 2hr 23mins 07secs

Widdop Fell Race

News from the ever competitive Mr. Jim Jones – sounds like a painful one, but I guess that is one of the occupational hazards eh Jim! :)

I did the Widdop Fell Race on Wednesday night in the Heptonstall area. It was BM category race of 7 miles and 1200ft of climb. It was a great route that follows a lot of well defined paths but also had a lot of challenging knee high tussocks and shoulder high bracken. The weather was good but the setting sun made it hard to see where you were putting your feet at times- as i duly found out! The  area is well worth a visit for walking or running – start at the pack Horse Inn and follow the route on the Calder Valley Fell Runners site

I’ll probably remember this race for the wrong reasons though, took a tumble at 3 miles and been nursing bruised ribs since. Managed to finish 68 out of 114 – full results:

Long Distance Trail & Ultras Laugavegurinn ultra maraþon

8f265a39-778e-4cd2-90c4-ca1675556fe2Young Maximilian of Frodsham travelled to Iceland for the Laugavegurinn ultra maraþon. A mere 55KM and no less! Trotting in with a massive grin on his face and 16th place overall. The winner was clearly head and shoulders ahead of the field finishing a full 30 minutes before second place.

Maximilian spent 5:32:51 out there in varying temperatures and conditions underfoot – he swears that there was 10km of snow at first… you be the judge! Hat tipped Max, great to see that Helsby vest getting around the world. Speaking of which, Geoff Collins has been out and about in one of my favourite parts of the world: Northumberland. Over to Geoff for his report from the Northumberland Coastal run.

7f5134ed-858e-4af2-8ac1-1e78dbb37e65This year I ran this race wearing a green Helsby RC vest for the first time. Confident I would be the first finisher (and only runner) for Helsby! Outside the North East, few people know about this event. My NE running friends jokingly suggested I should say this is a rubbish event and very poorly organised! That couldn’t be further from the truth, this race is a really gem, with beautiful stunning views all the way!

Alnwick Harriers organise this race, this year celebrating its 35th anniversary. Alnwick is of course much better known for its famous castle and garden, which featured in the Harry Potter films. The first ever Beadnell to Alnmouth Race was held in 1979, with only 12 competitors. In the beginning competitors had to choose their own route starting in the sandy bay next to Beadnell Harbour and then heading south running to Alnmouth (approximately 14 miles). This year there were 1,200 entrants and 997 finishers.

Apart from one or two sensitive areas the course is unmarked and competitors choose their own route. The established course makes its way from Beadnell starting on the beach, towards Alnmouth using the coastal footpaths and a couple of short sections on tarmac. From Beadnell Bay you head South via Newton Links, Low Newton By The Sea, Dunstan Golf Course, passing the impressive Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster Village, The Heughs, Cullernose Point, Howick, Sugar Sands, Boulmer, Foxton Beach, and finishes on the beach at Alnmouth. There are rocks, seaweed, lots of sand, running water and the sea lapping at your feet to negotiate. Wet feet are guaranteed.

We left Newcastle in the rain at 7.30, by the time we arrived it was dry cool and much brighter, although there was a quite a brisk South Westerly breeze blowing as we all lined up for the start. Just before the race started I spoke to Mary Rees from Wallasey AC who was the first lady vet 60 finisher today!

a85d8ac3-eb4e-4365-a9c6-ae26e1fcdadcThe start is always wet, as you follow the retreating tide round the bay, past the bird sanctuary aiming for the top of the sand dunes. You cross Brunton Burn where there is a lot of flowing water.

From High Newton you start to climb on the coastal path towards Dunstanburgh Castle.  The castle stands very majestically on the horizon especially today with perfect visibility.  The path undulates away from the Castle as you head towards Craster a very pretty village where there is the distinctive aroma from Robinson’s Kipper smokery! Onwards towards Boulmer where the Search & Rescue Helicopter station is (which closes later this year).

62a17bff-e575-4223-b571-19d86d8d289aThen you start a gradual climb along the road out of Bulmer. Trying my hardest to get as much speed on this section. Then you descend down the steps towards Foxton beach. That’s where I noticed a load of people jumping up and down shouting ‘look there’s someone from Helsby here’!  In my excitement I almost lost it as I launched myself at speed onto the beach. On the sand I realise the wind is almost a headwind.  It’s hard going digging in and trying to get some speed on the sand, threading your way past and over the seaweed and rocks.  Finally you aim for the finish arch way in the distance at Alnmouth.

c32897fd-6976-4298-a942-cab83145408aThe race was won by Carl Avery in 1hr 15m, first lady was Emma Holt 1hr 29m, both from Morpeth Harriers. I took a more sedate 1hr 55m – at least I was 3 minutes faster than last time.  And you get a lovely quality More Mile long sleeved t-shirt with zip up front and reflective trim!

9a4732b6-f09a-41c7-9f7a-1e45831a675fGreat work Geoff – certainly a race I think Mrs. Baynham-Hughes would like a go at next year.

Park Run

A handful of Helsby vests out on the Park Run this week. See here for full details: – Well done to all!

2014/15 championship winners

We’re delighted to announce the following winners of the 2014 road and fell championships and the 2014/15 XC and Border’s League winners. Congratulation all on your trophies, representing a lot of dedication and hard work. Thanks also to everyone else for taking part — you’re all winners!

Roads Championship
2014 Men’s Champion Colin Thompson
2014 Men’s Runner Up Roy Gaskill
2014 Men’s Senior Winner Stephen Wiggins
2014 Men’s V40 Winner Dave Madders
2014 Men’s V50 Winner Ian Landucci
2014 Men’s V60 Winner Geoff Shaw
2014 Ladies Champion Joanne Lacking
2014 Ladies Runner Up Louise McEveley
2014 Ladies V50 Winner Carol Shaw
Fells Championship
2014 Men’s Champion Jim O’Hara
2014 Men’s Runner Up Phil Gillard
2014 Men’s Senior Winner Chris Baynham-Hughes
2014 Men’s V40 Winner Paul Foster
2014 Men’s V45 Winner Steve Riley
2014 Men’s V50 Winner Dave Feakes
2014 Men’s V60 Winner Mario Foschi
2014 Ladies Winner Rachel Arnold
2014 Ladies Runner Up Jackie Keasley
2014 Ladies V35 Winner Jane Ashbrook
2014 Ladies V45 Winner Janet Robertson
Cross Country Championship
2014/15 Men’s Champion Adrian Jackson
2014/15 Men’s 2nd place Steve Riley
2014/15 Men’s 3rd place Andy Smith
2014/15 Ladies Champion Jackie Keasley
2014/15 Ladies 2nd place Jane Ashbrook
2014/15 Ladies jnt 3rd place Janet Robertson
2014/15 Ladies jnt 3rd place Vanessa Griffiths
Borders League
2014/15 Men’s Champion Colin Thompson
2014/15 Men’s 2nd place Colin Bishop
2014/15 Men’s 3rd place Adam Gordon
2014/15 Ladies Champion Carol Shaw
2014/15 Ladies 2nd place Joanne Lacking
2014/15 Ladies 3rd place Shan McCarthy
Club Champions
2014/15 Men’s Club Champion Colin Thompson
2014/15 Ladies Club Champion Joanne Lacking
2014/15 Most Improved Man Colin Bishop
2014/15 Most Improved Lady Emma Barnes
2014/15 Greatest Comeback Adrian Jackson
2014/15 Joe Beswick Runner’s Runner Steve Wiggins

The full spreadsheet is here, together with previous winners – Helsby Champs 2014-2015

Helsby weekly round-up 6th-12th July 2015

Hi everyone

A very busy week of racing for the Green Army and lots to report. Thank you to everyone who has contributed with race reports and results, it is much appreciated. Remember all reports can be sent to

Before the news there are just a few reminders about some races and events on the horizon.

  • Druid fell race today (Wed). Lovely and friendly fell race, hilly but not technical – 5m and 1200′. Starts Druid inn on the Mold-Ruthin road after loggerheads.  7:30 start. So club meet 6:15 anyone that wants to lift share.
  • A reminder that our club presentation evening is this Friday 17th July. The plan is to start with a BBQ (fingers crossed for the weather), followed by the presentations, then end the evening dancing to the fabulous Chris Igoe disco with sounds of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s …… to the present day! The proceedings will start 7.30 ish (families are very welcome). The club will provide meat and veggie options but donations of salads/puddings are welcome please. Please can you let Lesley know if you will be attending and whether you can provide pudding/salad by Wed 15th July.
  • Sunday 19th July 1pm Kentmere Horseshoe (fell club counter).

Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon

A missed report from last week, apologies Ed. Please find his fantastic report for the SLMM below:

“After having put my name down for the SLMM a couple of times in the past, only to later pull out through injury both times, 2015 was the year I actually made it to the start line. My son James is now a keen runner and so we went for the Bedafell class, which is for 14-18 year olds plus their parents. There was a bit of added spice as one of our friends and his daughter were also running, and he’s got a few MMs under his belt.

After travelling there in the morning, our Saturday run started at 9:17, four minutes behind our friends. With me being a Scout leader and James an Explorer Scout, we managed to overturn that four minute deficit by the time we’d finished map plotting at the start, so we headed off up the hill together and found the first control without too many problems. Shortly after that however we hit the clag, and I had a poor couple of controls navigation-wise as I can’t really judge distance up in the hills. Our friends were long gone by then, but the rest of the day went broadly better, apart from struggling to find the second-last control as I’d marked the obvious re-entrant on my map when it turned out to be another one. After wondering around in the mist for a while it was good to get a decent amount of running in.

James led the charge down the hill to the overnight camp, as his young knees are much better than my crocked ones. Of course our friends had their tent up and were relaxing by the time we made it down, having lost 32 minutes 26 seconds overall. Still, we were still doing OK overall in the top third, so were pretty pleased with our first attempt.

We were blessed with a lovely afternoon and evening at camp, with most people wandering round in bare feet. I’m sure in some Mountain Marathons the camp is hard work, but we chose the Saunders in the hope of good weather and got lucky, which makes the camp pretty pleasant (especially with being able to pre-order beer!).

Packing for a MM is clearly a balance between comfort and weight, and suffice to say we had plenty to eat and a good night’s sleep with the option we chose. Our friends started day 2 about 15 minutes before us as they were worried about the weather closing in. Day 2 is a bit of a procession at the start, as a lot of people are going the same way and starting close together, but after a while the route choices kick in and the field is more spread out. The main climb came fairly early in day 2 with the sun beating down on us, which made navigation for me a lot easier, as I was able to take lots of bearings and pick points on the horizon to aim out. James was also running well so it felt like we were having a very good day. Even contouring round the main hill through boggy ground felt good as we were running (and in the right direction!).

After one more big climb it was time for the big run downhill to the finish, about 2.5 miles with a couple of controls on the way. Again James led the way with me grimacing behind, and nearly falling just before hitting the finish field. It was all smiles from us at the finish as we felt we’d had a great day on the hills and make a good fist of day 2. Loads of decent food, included in the entry fee, was waiting at the finish.

We couldn’t see our friends at this stage, so presumed they were waiting by the car, but after 20 minutes we saw them arrive. Precise calculations weren’t possible with tired brains, but it looked like there might be less than a minute between us overall. Soon the latest version of the results went up, and we’d beat them on day 2 by 32:51, so after a total time of seven and a half hours we’d managed to beat them by 25 seconds!  If you’ve thought about a MM in the past like I have, then just go for it. James and I managed about half a dozen runs of up to an hour and a half before the event, you don’t need to be a full-on ultra runner to do it, and the memories will last a long time. Hopefully the sunburn will fade though!”

Fantastic running Ed, well done to you and James.

Fell Running

Our fell running stalwart Jim Jones has been in action again and has sent in two reports this week. Thanks Jim. First up is his Shepherds Stirton Fell Race report for Wednesday 8th July:

“On Wednesday night I did the Rob Shepherd’s Stirton Fell Race. Brilliantly hosted by Keighley & Craven AC, this local race of 5.5 miles and 1200ft of climb was just what I love a bout fell racing. Turned up at a grid reference and exchanged £3 for a number. Ran a great route and chatted with likeminded people while having the complimentary beer and chocolate bar at the end. I finished 31 out of 96.”

Full results here

And not one to shy away from two fell races in two days he was at it again on Thursday. Over to you again Jim…

“On Thursday night I did the Bull Hill Fell Race. Another popular midweek race which must have been a local club counter as there was over 200 doing this race. The big turn out probably did me a favour in slowing the pace down by creating a few bottlenecks as I’d raced the night before and had a marathon coming up at the weekend. The route was more technically challenging than I’d anticipated for a BS category. Conditions were pretty good but I still saw 3 runners take a tumble around me – fortunately hurting nothing more than their pride as far as I know. Not seen the results yet but I’d be surprised if I even got in the first 100 on this one. A great job done by Radcliffe AC hosting this event.”


Road Running

Dearnford Relay

FB_IMG_1436917210612Thursday night 9th July was the Dearnford Lake Relay event with a huge turnout from the Helsby contingent. Each team consisted of 3 legs each of 2 miles as a relay. There were 36 out in the green vest and some fantastic performances too. There were over 110 teams out in total so it shows how well Helsby did on the night. Lots of stats to work through at the link below for the full results. Teams and placings are shown below with an individuals time next to their name. Helsby ladies had three of the top ten fastest lap times on the night with Jenny Illidge (fresh from her GB rowing excursion), June Swift and Alison Halsall all having an excellent run. The ladies also secured 2nd and 3rd team on the night! Colin Bishop was in the top ten for male lap times. Well done to everyone on the night and a fantastic event to highlight the current strength of Helsby RC.

Thank you to Carol for sorting the ladies teams and thanks to our support team on the night Joe and Mario. Also a big thank you to Jane Bishop for providing the flapjacks and cookies at the finish. It was great to see a lot of new faces too, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Mens Teams

4th Helsby Mens Team 1 33:09
…Colin Bishop (M) 10:50
…Chris Fitzpatrick (M) 11:06
…Colin Thompson (M) 11:13

11th Helsby Mens Team 2 37:51
…Ivan Davies (M) 12:06
…Dave Madders (M) 13:35
…Jim Higgins (M) 12:10

12th Helsby Mens Team 3 38:11
…Darren O’Connor (M) 12:27
…Neil Hughes (M) 12:53
…Tim Igoe (M) 12:51

15th Helsby Mens Team 5 40:05
…Ian Rutherford (M) 12:28
…Roy Gaskill (M) 14:27
…Ian Hamling (M) 13:10

17th Helsby Mens Team 4  43:41
…Chris Igoe (M) 15:43
…John Whitehead (M) 13:43
…Ste Wiggins (M) 14:15

Ladies Teams

2nd Helsby Ladies Team 1 37:55
…Jane Ashbrook (F) 13:12
…June Swift (F) 12:12
…Jenny Illidge (F) 12:31

3rd Helsby Ladies Team 2 41:17
…Joanne Lacking (F) 3 5 13:28
…Vanessa Griffiths (F) 4 3 14:47
…Alison Halsall (F) 3 6 13:02

8th Helsby Ladies Team 3 48:22
…Suzanne Fletcher (F) 15:13
…Nicola Cash (F) 17:00
…Gill Fitzparick (F) 16:09

9th Helsby Ladies Team 6 48:31
…Debbie Read (F) 14:18
…Alison Butler (F) 18:06
…Tanya Downes (F) 16:07

11th Helsby Ladies Team 7 49:07
…Lesley Feakes (F) 15:44
…Jenny O’Hare (F) 16:48
…Rhea Thomas (F) 16:35

16th Helsby Ladies Team 4 50:12
…Helen Owens (F) 14:55
…Rebecca Gibson (F) 17:51
…Emma Barnes (F) 17:26

17th Helsby Ladies Team 5 50:35
…Carol Shaw (F) 14:51
…Laura Broughton (F) 18:32
…Shan McCarthy (F) 17:12

Full results can be found at this link

Chirk Half Marathon

Sunday saw our 6th race in the road championships and 13 Helsby vests ventured to Chirk to do battle and fight it out for those valuable club points. Thank you to Jackie for sending a report and well done to everyone who participated in the event, some very impressive times in what looked like a tough and undulating course. It’s great to see some new names in the results too.

“Sunday morning saw a Green Army contingent line up for attack at the top of a steep hill outside the portcullis castle entrance; a great vantage point with with clear sunny views east to our home territory of the Sandstone edge.  The inaugural Chirk Castle Half organised by RunWales was a gem; the road equivalent of the Wobbler, with plenty of unrelenting hills. A great course through the picturesque grounds of Chirk Castle, shady lanes, sheep dodging, some off road, before the big descent down into Chirk village itself. Past the parish church with the bells ringing out and cheers from Joe and Mario before entering another picturesque private estate of Brinkinalt. Back through the village and more encouragement from our cheer leader twins before the long hot haul back up the hill and  into the castle grounds. Still not quite half marathon distance yet, so an extra up then down before the grand finale. Through the main lower gates and up the 1 km main drive with an 80 m steadily rising climb thrown in. Plenty of green army encouragement from the Helsby brigade plus the commentator, who by this time had taken our side. Then the final crawl over the finish in front of the castle gates. Only 309 finishers but a great race which hopefully will be on again next year and well worth supporting.

Helsby men were defeated narrowly with the men’s team prize going to local boys Wrexham AC. Vannessa  got the V50 ladies prize and Jane, Vanessa and Jackie the ladies’ team prize. Victory medals were awarded to all foot soldiers.

A special mention to Steve who did the weekend double, running Pen-Y-Fan the previous day and a big welcome and well done to Michael and Gillian for their first outing wearing their Helsby uniform!

10th Chris Fitzpatrick 01:28:06
14th Neil Finegan 01:29:17 (2nd in age cat)
16th Adam Gordon 01:31:59
32nd Ian Rutherford 01:38:41
53rd Jane Ashbrook 01:44:08
72nd Vanessa Griffiths 01:47:53 (1st in age cat)
75th Christopher Murray 01:48:04
86th Ben Williams 01:50:23
122nd Michael Williams 01:55:48
165th Jackie Keasley 02:03:44 (3rd in age cat)
185th Carol Shaw 02:07:06
207th Stephen Wiggins 02:10:32
228th Gillian Fitzpatrick 02:13:52

FB_IMG_1436917345687 FB_IMG_1436917353128 FB_IMG_1436917360907 FB_IMG_1436917372362 FB_IMG_1436917378350 FB_IMG_1436917386319 FB_IMG_1436917391643 FB_IMG_1436917396998 FB_IMG_1436917402687 FB_IMG_1436917409116 FB_IMG_1436917419504 FB_IMG_1436917425979

Lions Bridge Marathon

It’s great to see Gareth Boyd back doing what he does best and running marathons again after being out of action for a while following an operation. Please see his report from the Lions Bridge Marathon below:

Yesterday, Jim and Gareth headed off to Astley to take part in the Lions Bridge Marathon. The course was most off road (with only a little road to cover) and involved a 6 lap un-inspiring course – no offence Astley, but your never win Travel/Trip Advisor awards!

Jim sped off at the start – Gareth never saw him again, until the finish! 45 runners completed the event – and with these low key events – the banter was great. Full results link below:

18th   Jim       4:09:23
23rd  Gareth  4.13.25

Jim (slightly disappointed with his time) is now off to seek out his next challenge. Gareth meanwhile will be doing John Wayne impressions for a few weeks – lesson to all ‘its not big and clever not to train properly for a marathon.

Tour of Merseyside

Carl Pratt has written an excellent blog about his adventures at the “Tour of Merseyside” organised by BTR. For those who haven’t heard of this event it’s a 52-mile challenge which covers six races over seven days ranging from 5 mile trail races to half marathon distance. A very popular event and I believe next years event has already sold out! Please find a link to Carls blog here

We Love Manchester 10k

Both Roy Gaskill and James Bessant ran the “We Love Manchester 10k” on Sunday. Please find a short report from Roy and link to the results below:

“Myself and Jay Bessant went to Manchester today to do the We Love Manchester 10k (fourth one for me) as you know I’ve not run any road races since last year due to a breathing problem, as for Jay he has overcome an injury and as he’s new to this did pretty well.”

374th      Roy Gaskill          47.23
716th         James Bessant   51.46

Well done chaps.


And last (but not least) please find a link to the consolidated park run stats for Saturday. Some notable performances were Colin Bishop comfortably winning at Widnes and a new PB for Ian Hamling. Well done gents.

That’s all this week, please get in touch if I have missed anything.

Happy running all!



Four Villages charity donations

A big thank you to everyone who opted to donate their refund from the 2015 Essar Four Villages Half Marathon to our charity partners.

We’re delighted to announce we’ve been able to donate over £25,000 to local groups involved in the race and our two local hospices, Halton Haven Hospice in Runcorn and the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester. We’ve already had fantastic feedback on the difference this money will make to these organisations. So a big thank you again.

We’re now planning for 2016 and are making some changes to try to ensure the weather doesn’t beat us again. As you may remember, we asked all 2015 entrants if it should be moved to later in the year. Around 1,500 entrants responded and over 70% wanted it to remain in January.

We’re pleased to let you know next year’s race will take place on Sunday 17 January 2016. Entries open 1 October 2015. Check back in September for entry details. We hope to welcome you again to our race in January.

Best wishes,

The Helsby Four Villages Half Marathon Team