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…

Colin Bishop picked for England!

Some exciting news just in! It’s huge congratulations to our supervet Colin Bishop for getting a call up to run for England at the British & Irish International Masters Cross Country Championships next month. A thoroughly well deserved place on the England team after years of consistent training and hard graft. Well done from all at Helsby RC! The race will be held on Saturday 14th November 2015 and is being hosted by Ireland at Santry Park, Dublin.

Helsby weekly round-up 21st – 27th September

Hi everyone

Apologies for the brief round-up this week, it was a bit of a rush job this morning. Thank you for the race reports, please keep sending them to if you wish for them to be included in the round-up each week. 

Wirral Multi Terrain (Arrowe Park) 

It was the season finale of the multi terrain race series on Tuesday. Great to see lots of green vests out and getting involved in this race series and nice to see a few new faces in the mix too. Neil Finegan has sent in a report from the final race at Arrowe Park.

One of the best things about running for Helsby has been the introduction to some superb races that I’d never have considered (or heard of) before.  The Multi Terrain series (I’ve ran 3 of the 4 races) have all been superb – well organised, great atmosphere and all for £1 per race.  And there was of course a big Helsby turnout.

Last weeks event was the last of the series at Arrowe park and was again a real treat.  Starting with a lap of the field it then went into a mixture of woodland trail, undulating grassed fields and just when you thought it was over – another lap.  A great run, going from the open fields into the forest at dusk was a challenge, as was dealing with the crowds at the start.  But the popularity of these events (all with over 300 runners) is understandable – They are top races and at a bargain price. One runner described it as a cross country course but without the mud which sounds about right.

The results are here:
First Male for Helsby was Chris Collins and Jo Lacking was the first Helsby Lady home. 

Sandstone Trail race

Our very own Geoff Shaw organises this race so a big thank you to him for staging another successful event. Well done to all who participated and fantastic to see a few green vests in the prizes too. Please see a brief race report from Tim Palmer below:

Here are a few jottings on the Sandstone Trail Races today (Sun 27th Sept)
Good Helsby turn-out Results at:

Helsby prize-winners:
Vanessa Griffiths – B Race – Ladies’ 50 winner
Alison Halsall – A Race – 3rd lady
Andy Robinson – A Race – Mens’ 60 winner
Prize for not running as Helsby RC – Tim Palmer (running for Deeside Orienteering Club) – A Race – 1st Orienteer

Worth saying that the first three finishers get their ‘place’ prizes and not their age category prizes – this rule affects both Alison and Vanessa. Great to see lots of support from other Helsby members.

Also this excellent report has been sent in by Jackie.

Yesterday was a splendid Indian Summer day for the 39th Sandstone Trail Race.

The A Race is 27.5km (17.1 miles) with 655m climb starting from Duckington and the B Race is 17.0km (10.6 miles) with 288m of climb starting from Beeston, both finishing at Barnesbridge in Delamere.

A great turnout from Helsby with plenty making the journey south to Duckington for the long race. A crowded start up through the trees on a tranquil dewy morning and onto the open edge of Maiden Moor with misty clearing views out towards Wales. An ideal temperature for running (to start with before it got rather hot) and great under foot, dry but soft and bouncy! Onto Raw Head and then towards Tough Team Challenge territory and Beeston Castle. The quick ones get through before the B race starts giving a less hindered run through the many flat stiled fields (planted with a lot more giant sweet corn than in previous years) before finally reaching the double pull up to Rock Farm and Primrose Hill. Finally the diversion from the trail up the Yeld to avoid the main A road crossing, over the shoulder of Eddisbury Hill and the drop into familiar Delamere for the final push dodging the many early afternoon visitors.

Well done to Helsby runner Geoff Shaw for organising a great well marshalled and signed race which takes some doing over 17 linear miles! Thanks to Mario for supplying the extra lucozade sport needy refreshments along the course and to Joe’s vocal cheers, plus a special mention to Helsby members who helped marshal.

Congratulations to Vanessa, Alison, Andy and Tim for getting individual category prizes, see Tim’s report.

A Race
4      Jim O’Hara            2:03:31
35    Ian Rutherford      2:24:13
41    Phil Roberts          2:26:36
56    Alison Halsall       2:32:21
62    Jim Jones              2:34:03
69    Andy Robinson     2:35:32
70    Tim Palmer           2:35:39
71    Chris Murray         2:36:21
72    Laura B-H              2:36:32
80    Louise McEverley  2:38:31
92    Dave Feakes          2:45:19
109  Lesley Feakes        2:49:57
128  Rachel Arnold        2:57:03
165  Jackie Keasley       3:19:19
176  Steve Wiggins       3:56:00
PS Going by the times and positions there must have been many green vests jostling for positions!   Steve and I were oblivious to all this bringing up the rear, me nursing a cold and Steve a hangover!
B Race
8   Ben Fletcher               1:15:41
45  Vanessa Griffiths      1:33:07
141 Jen O’Hare                1:55:31
187 Betty Grieve              2:14:14 


3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross

What? A cycling race you ask? Well we don’t discriminate here at Helsby RC so anything on 2 wheels is good in our book. Steve Riley was at the 3 peaks cylco-cross on Sunday which is billed as the “toughest cyclocross in the world”. Sounds interesting and slightly bonkers, please read on for Steve’s take on the race.

I’m not bragging or anything but would just like to mention ‘the hardest cyclocross race in the world’. For anyone not familiar with The Peaks, the race makes little sense. It makes little sense to those that are. It goes back to 1961, long before mountain bikes were a twinkle in the eye. Cyclocross bikes: they’re a bit like road bikes with chunkier tyres, slightly beefier frames and lower gears. They are an utterly unsuitable vehicle for travelling the slopes of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent.

whernside climb 800pxIn recent years runner Rob Jebb has made it his own, winning 11 of the last 16 events. It’s a ride that suits fell runners – several of the elite of English champs were on the start-line, together with ex World Champ MTBer Tim Gould …and me. No fear of troubling the leader board, but it’s an absolute treat just to turn up and ride. I say ‘ride’ because there’s a lot of carrying.

So anyways, Ingleborough is mostly a brutal and steep climb via Simon Fell, suited to knotty runner’s calfs, followed by a moorland traverse to the top. Dib in, turn around and after a tricky running section through the rocks to leave the summit and then a fast and rutted grassy descent (wrong bike) to Cold Cotes and the first of the road sections (wrong bike again) through to the next climb of Whernside. This is mostly rocky steps and the reverse of the descent on the fell race. Dib on the top and then the trickiest section of the whole race, down to the iconic Ribblehead viaduct familiar to all steam enthusiasts. Flags, drainage bars, rutted moorland tussocks and lots of rocks doing their best to attract punctures (wrong bike).

whernsideMore road down to Horton and the out and back climb of Pen-y-ghent. A bent rear mech by now making a nuisance of itself all the way down the road, the final hill taking a long time to draw close. Tired now and even the tiny road climbs are tempting cramp.

Because this last hill is out and back you get the extra pleasure of seeing the fast folk flying down towards you as you’re suffering like a dog on the way up. Cowbells, whistles simon fellshouts of ‘rider up, keep left!’ raise your game …it was a lot quieter when I came down and the support had mostly gone home. Hit the road for the final couple of miles into the finish and both legs lock solid with cramp. Stretch, no that doesn’t work. Pedal, no that hurts. Soft pedal, sort of works. It passes and eventually, I’m back just sneaking under 5h for a pretty mediocre performance. Still, top 500 In The World!

38 miles (4 classed as unrideable, I’m asking for a recount) 5000′ of climbing. 2 litres, 4 gels, a 9-bar and half a squashed banana. An utterly, utterly unique event.

Ed – Big contgrats Steve!


Please find the results from the Satuday parkruns. Well done to all who took part.

Warrington parkrun

27th Ian HAMLING 00:20:37
30th Joanne LACKING 00:20:59
81st Michael WILLIAMS 00:24:35
107th Rachael HOLDEN 00:26:00

Delamere parkrun

40th Janet ROBERTSON 00:23:21
52nd Geoff COLLINS 00:23:56
137th Stephen WIGGINS 00:28:28
138th David WIGGINS 00:28:28
228th Jen O’HARE 00:35:15

Ellesmere Port parkrun

12th Benjamin John WILLIAMS 00:22:53

That’s all this week. Again, apologies for the lack of content this week, if I have missed anything please let me know and I can update the blog later on.

Happy running!


Helsby weekly round-up 14th – 20th September 2015

Welcome to this week’s racing news. Apologies it is so late this week. Work deadlines and life got in the way! Sorry for the disruption.

Please remember to send your race reports to:

otherwise we don’t know about them and could miss them. I know a number of you post into Facebook which is great, but it means we generally miss them as they get buried in the whole list of posts. If you’re at a race/ event then please decide amongst you who will put together the report so we don’t miss a thing… and we wouldn’t want to miss a thing now would we :)

Essentially all we’re looking for is the following:
– The name of the event and the distance & type; e.g., Sutton 6, Road.
– A small amount of detail from the event to give it some context; e.g., for last week’s LSU it could have read: ‘Long, biblical rain, insanely hilly. Fantastic’.
– The results or a link to the results with any special mentions for performances. e.g., for the LSU it could have included ‘Special mention for Phil Roberts for best swim in an ultra marathon’. Feel free to add more of course, but this gives us enough to form a decent newsletter.

Simples :)

This week is a tale of PBs, podium placing and the benefits of running after a heavy night… oh, and Roy’s back! Enjoy.

Child minding rota = more racing!
Finally, with the Borders and the XC season upon us and with ever pressing family commitments I posted this on Facebook this week. If you’re interested then please let me know:

Who’d be interested in joining the Helsby winter Child minding circle? With border leagues and the winter XC coming up it can be difficult for both parents to run or even just one parent to run. Rather than miss out on the fun Fitzy and I came up with the suggestion that we take it in turns to mind the children at the race. It means that you might miss one race in X races (where X is the number in the child minding circle) but you’ll get to do X-1 races which is more than 0!

Should be reasonably straight forward:
– we’ll just have a rota
– the person on the rota for that week must commit to being at the race or find somebody willing to swap
– Parents drop their children off with the person for that day in suitable clothing
– The adult(s) can bring a football, frisby, organise tag or hide and seek, cheering, etc.
– Parents finish race knackered
– Children are returned knackered from running about/ playing
– everybody’s happy!

Who’s in??


Road Running

Sutton 6
Huge thanks to Geoff Collins for pulling together this race report for us. Nice to see people out competing in the club counters – only two left to go! For details check the race calendar here:

There was a good contingent of 13 Helsby runners at this year’s Sutton 6 10k race, with some new PB’s for some! This was the 33rd event of what originally started as a 6 mile race to raise funds to build Guilden Sutton Village Hall in 1982. More importantly this year the race was a club ‘counter’.
Weather conditions were good for running, with a light wind, the sun disappearing behind the clouds before the race started. This year the race was chip timed for the first time. This seemed to lead to a few problems it would seem! Rather than the now common chip on the number, or disposable shoe tag we got the older reusable button chip worn on the ankle with a Velcro belt!

Of course it’s always a good idea to make sure the chip is attached to you before the race starts rather than left somewhere else!

The course is mainly flat finishing on a slightly lower elevation than where it starts. However there is an incline from the junction of Wicker Lane/School Lane up Porters Hill into Oakland’s for the finish. If you don’t know the area this little hill (by Helsby standards anyway) always seems to catch people by surprise. As someone said to me later they ‘weren’t expected that in an area which looks so flat’!

Fitzy leading the chants of ‘Green Army’ at the start, apparently that’s normal I understand. Although he didn’t appear to have his special water bottle this time. I hoped this wouldn’t affect his performance, or the five Guinness and the large Chinese he consumed the night before!

The race got underway, as usual Jo and Mario making their customary encouraging appearances at different points around the course, and my resident photographer trying to catch everyone in Hare Lane. The pictures are now on Facebook. I don’t know how Jo Lacking managed to elude the camera by the way! An added attraction this year being, West Cheshire marshal Kay entertaining the runners with her cow bell in Wicker Lane!

First home for Helsby was Chris Fitzpatrick in 19th place, 1m 06s faster than his time on last year’s Sutton 6. Adam Gordon 2m 15s faster than last year. Fortunately for Adam the organisers have accepted his time and he wasn’t disadvantaged without his timing chip! First Helsby lady was Jo Lacking. Without doubt the two star performers of the day with new 10k PB’s were Jo Farwell who took a massive 3m 24s off her time in the Ellesmere 10k, and Tanya who took 1m 20s off her Ellesmere time! Well done ladies!

The full Helsby results are:

Gun time  Chip time  
Chris Fitzpatrick  00:37:04  00:36:59 7
Adam Gordon  00:37:44  00:37:43 12
Neil Finegan  00:38:05  00:38:00 15
Joanne Lacking  00:42:33  00:42:24 3
Jim Jones  00:42:52  00:42:47 9
Jane Ashbrook  00:44:58  00:44:49 4
Gary O’Connor  00:45:12  00:45:07 15
Geoff Collins  00:47:26  00:47:21 6
Geoff Shaw  00:48:14  00:48:07 12
Jo Farwell  00:54:01  00:53:49 10
Tanya Downes  00:54:25  00:54:13 12
Jen O’Hare  00:55:20  00:55:07 14
Graham Lloyd  00:55:36  00:55:19  

Ed – Nice work Fitzy, the first of the post heavy night performances!

Warrington Half & 10K
The Warrington half (or the English Half Marathon as they like to call it) received headlines last year primarily due to the incredible extras Gareth Boyd was treated to by paying extra for the VIP treatment (might be worth speak to him before signing up :)) however this year the headlines are for all the right reasons. Thanks to Jane Bishop and Neil Hughes for on the ground details.

cc15cdc7-e40f-4c8e-86b6-c8738bcb18d5In brief: Great conditions for it, cool and fresh with the sunshine breaking through, plenty of spectators lining the route, a new course this year starting near to and finishing at the Golden gates…Certainly one to consider for next year. All you need to know really! Well, ok if you want a little more then how about new member and long suffering wife of Chris, Gill Fitzpatrick, smashing out a new PB; comfortably dipping under the hour in 57:34; fantastic running Gill!

01bef563-620f-4269-85c8-93693637487bStill not enough? Well Helsby’s own lightening bolt Colin Bishop came in 2nd overall and 1st in age category with a time 35.02 – with so many fantastic performances it’s easy to take such results for granted and miss just how much Colin puts into his running so it’s nice to see the rewards being reaped by the fastest M50 in the country!

PBs weren’t just restricted to the half, Neil Hughes stormed around to pick up a new PB of 1:48:36. Huge congratulations.

Pos. Name Gun Time Chip Time Chip Pos. Gender Pos. Cat. Cat. Pos.
207 Carl Pratt 01:34:26 01:34:23 212 195 HM-M 114
690 Neil Hughes 01:49:10 01:48:36 711 591 HM-M 295
697 Stephen Roach 01:49:15 01:49:07 738 597 HM-M 300
784 Michael Williams 01:51:30 01:48:58 728 662 HM-M 331


Pos. Name Gun Time Chip Time Chip Pos. Gender Pos. Cat. Cat. Pos.
2 Colin Bishop 00:35:02 00:35:02 2 2 10k-M50 1
30 Ian Hamling 00:43:12 00:42:58 30 29 10k-M 18
210 Gill Fitzpatrick 00:57:34 00:54:56 203 61 10k-F 35

The Roy Gaskill 10K
Not sure what race it was, but here is the race report from Roy that he posted on Facebook. Please read the instructions at the start of the post Roy so next time there is no chance of us missing your results.

‘I finished 113 in a time of 46.40 grand 10k at aintree racecourse’

Well done Roy, great to see you back racing again.

Fell Running 

King John’s Castle
Details for this fell race are a little vague as it would appear the organisers haven’t mastered the internet… or even know it exists as there was no amount of googling that could return me the results or even any details other than other clubs like ours mentioning it as a good one for an entry into fell running. This means that unfortunately I don’t have the results yet, but we’ll ensure that once we get them we’ll get them put up on the blog for the long term record.

This race was the last of the new to fell mini series which has proved very popular within the club – certainly something to continue next year in one form or another. It’s resulted in plenty of wide eyed looks and stories of trauma, but above all dramatic scenery, smiles, exhilaration, soup, cakes and post race libations! … plus more than one additional member of the #Fellsby subsection.

Over to Laura for her race report, which is also a little vague, but the reasons for this will become apparent :)

More than 10 green vests turned up for King John’s castle fell race on a fabulous sunny Sunday. The field was pretty small with teams from Helsby, Denby and Buckley battling it out. The 5 mile course ended up nearer 6 as most of us went a bit wrong but there were no tears and we were all still smiling at the end! Well done to Emma Barns who completed her first fell race. A great one to try next year if you want to join team #Fellsby.

Adam Gordon managed the second of two gaffs for the week by throwing away first place due to a wrong turn, allowing Jim Jones to take the spoils for Helsby. I’m so sorry that there are no results out so I can’t tell you who came in first that was competing in the New to fells mini series from the gents. On the Ladies side, Laura Baynham-Hughes was first lady back for Helsby and first for the new to Fells mini series on the day. Laura’s performance marked the second piece of annecdotal evidence that the route to a great performance is in the prepartion the night before (Seen dancing in Rosies at 2am on the morning of the race meant Laura arrived with just minutes to spare after being convinced that the best hangover cure was a fell race). Fantastic performances all round by the sounds of things.

Cross Country

No races, but remember the season is coming up soon so get your spikes ready!

Park Run

Delamere and Widnes saw green shirts in action. here’s the link for details:

Please see the race calendars:

Dash in the Dark – night trail run series

The Clwydian Range Runners are pleased to announce the dates for this years Dash in the Dark series of night time trail races at the One Planet Adventure mountain bike centre, Llandegla. They are:
Friday 27th November
Friday 11th December
Friday 15th January
The timings remain the same, 6pm registration, 7pm start. Soup and a roll £1, free parking.
Also, please make your members aware of the minimum equipment list and the requirement to abide by the rules laid down by the Welsh Fell Running Association.
In order to control the number of people entering can I ask that this be kept within the running club scene as much as possible please.
We look froward to seeing at one of our races soon,
Gareth Jaggard

Running with the Kenyans

AdharanandFinnAdharanand Finn, author of ‘Running with the Kenyans’ and ‘The Way of the Runner’ is coming to Sparta! He’ll be visiting the Delamere Spartans on the evening of Sat 10th Oct to talk about his experiences training with elite athletes in Kenya and Japan.

There will be beer! Places are £5 for guests and non-members. This won’t be a mega-technical talk and should be a good night out for partners etc. Did I mention beer? Book your place by emailing or posting below.

Should be great – he’s a good writer and has spent time with the best distance runners on the planet!

Helsby Weekly Update 6-9-2015 to 13-8-2015


It was quiet week for Helsby members Parkrunning, with runners out at Delemere and Widnes, The stand out performance was Neil Finegan coming 2nd at Delemere being just edged out by the mysterious “Unknown Runner”.

Full details of the weeks performances from Helsby members can be found at the link below.

Next its on to the race reports.

Jim Jones from Langdale Marathon:

Did the Langdale marathon Saturday. Only signed up last minute as had a free Saturday and saw it written up as “among the toughest road events in the UK. Exceptionally hilly” – so thought I’d give it a go. Turns out there was 3000ft over 26 miles so it was certainly undulating. Heavy rain up until the start but it stayed pretty light for duration of the race which was two laps of a half marathon route. Some 329 runners set off from Dungeon Ghyll and it was a bit weird trying to work out who was doing the half or the full. As I finished my second lap and saw most of the cars had gone it turned out only 85 had done the full marathon and i’d finished 24th in 4hrs 4mins. It was a well hosted event with chip timing and only cost £20 to enter. Also a fantastic free sports massage provided by Louis Mackay afterwards.

Derek Morris from The Wirral Half:

An army of 1 green vest took on the Wirral half marathon. The echos of “GREEN ARMY ” rang around in my head as the race started. Its a nice course and maybe one for next year’s fell calendar as I had to run  up a hill at least 15 yards long as well as running on about 10 yards of sand and 100 yards of stoned pathway made it a really tough race ? Weather was great and it’s a really good course with nice views along the coastline. 1.30.08 for me.

Lesley Feakes from Lake V Half Marathon:

This is a half marathon that I have wanted to run for a while but never got round to it when it was a club counter. A fairly flat course that feels like it is gradually going downhill for about 10 miles! Beautiful scenery with the route circling the lake and crossing the dam, well organised with a village feel. I have to say I much preferred this half to Warrington half although due to the 1.00pm start and distance it is a full day commitment. Pleased with my time of 1 hour 47 and 476 position out of approximately 1500 runners, perfect conditions with little wind and a pleasant temperature. Maybe it can return as a club counter in the future?

Jo Lacking was first home for Helsby.

Full results below.

Thanks for the reports, everyone.

Ian Hamling and Rachael Holden ran the Great North Run on Sunday, congratulations to both for completing this iconic race.

Max Wainwright and Phil Roberts ran the 50km Lakes Sky Ultra over some of the most challenging terrain on the Lake District with Max finishing 222rd in 10:19 and Phil 34th in 11:52. Great going lads.

There was a great Helsby turn out for the 3rd race in the Multi Terrain series. Full results and team standings are at http://www.stevesaunders,

Apologies for the lack of pictures but I’ve had intermittent Internet for the last few days and had to put a lot of this together on my phone which has limited what I can do.



Helsby weekly round-up 31st August – 4th September 2015

Hello everyone

A very busy week of racing for the green army so lots to report! Thank you for all the race reports, if there are any more then please send to and I can always update the blog at a later date.

Firstly some reminders of races and events coming up soon:

  • Don’t forget it’s multi-terrain race #2 tonight. Ladies are doing well in 3rd place,  men 17th, 5 men and 3 ladies to count. A great set of 5-6 mile fairly local races at £1 each so a bargain! 7pm start at Royden Park
  • Mini Fell Counter – Saturday 19th September –  11am – St Johns Castle –  A 4.6 mile race starting in Lanarmon yn Ial with 865ft of climbing. A good introduction to fell running out near the Clwydian Hills with a lovely village pub at the end! Entries on the day and only a few pounds!
  • Road Counter – Sunday 20th September – 11am Sutton 6 – A local 10K race just up the road at Guilden Sutton. A pleasant flat course along mainly quite country lane. Entries online or by post and on day subject to 400 limit.
  • A link to Tim Palmers comprehensive race calendar can be found here
  • Xmas party – Friday 4th Decemeber. More details to follow from Fitzy but get it down in your diaries asap (or he will be very disappointed!)



Our weekly parkrun stats are below. Some good performances this week with a podium position for Janet and a new PB for Rachael! Well done all.


45th      Janet ROBERTSON  00:23:47 (2nd lady)
47th      Geoff COLLINS         00:23:52
66th     Carol SHAW               00:24:50


63rd     Rachael HOLDEN     00:26:25 (new PB!)


The first of the muti-terrain races saw 12 helsby runners toeing the line in Thurstaston. A beautiful evening and perfect race conditions saw some excellent running from the Green Army. Congratulations to Max Wainwright who was first home for Helsby in 15th place overall and Jo Lacking who was first home for the ladies. The ladies are currently 3rd in the league and men are 17th. Nice to see some new faces on the night too, well done everyone.

Helsby results here:

15th      Max Wainwright      29:46
79th      Jim Jones                  33:47
84th     Jim Higgins               34:04
120th    Jamie Dowdall         35:14
174th    Geoff Collins             39:10
194th    Paul Foster                41:02

9th        Jo Lacking                 36:10
13th      Vanessa Griffiths      36:32
27th      Louise McEvely        38:14
91st       Donna Geer               47:51
92nd     Pam Hankinson        47:53
98th     Janet Shaw                 48:21

Full results can be found here


Halewood 5k

Ian Hamling was our sole Helsby representative at the HW5k this month and ran a stormer to break the 20 minute barrier for the first time. Well done! Ian is one of our newer members and has been training hard at the track each week which is starting to pay dividends in his race times. Quality training really does work so if you would like to get some speed into your training then join us at 6.30pm each Monday at Helsby High School.

Full results for the race can be found here


Brenig Trail

Ben Williams has kindly sent in a race report for the Brenig Trail race on Saturday. Over to you Ben…

Dave Wiggins and I took on the Brenig Trail race on Saturday – nine miles around Llyn Brenig reservoir on the Denbigh Moors.  The scenic course was mainly on stony or paved tracks, with a stretch of wet muddy footpath at the top end of the lake. Road shoes were the order of the day, and many people were cursing their way through the muddy stretch. The course was ‘undulating’ rather than hilly, but there was very little of it on the level apart from the heartbreaking last half mile along the dam where the finish never seemed to get any closer. The weather was fantastic, almost too hot at one point and I was grateful for a bit of shade when the trail disappeared into the forest.

The race was nice and low-key, very well organised by Denbigh Harriers and marshalled by local cadets. The turnout was boosted by Wilmslow, who I assume were using it as a club counter and who made up almost a third of the field. It deserves support and it would be good to see a few more of the Green Army there next year.

Special mention goes to Steve Wiggins who dropped (well, hobbled) in to support on his way back from the ROF, and bought the coffees as well.

Results at

Montaine Trail 10k/HM (Delamere)

Sunday saw the Montaine Trail event which has proved popular with Helsby runners in the past (anything hilly and muddy seems to be a magnet for the green vest!) A tough course with a run up Old Pale is certainly not for the faint hearted but that didn’t deter the 4 runners from the Helsby contingent. Two reports have been sent in for this, thanks guys. First up is Darren:

Not really a big fan of the trails but thought I’d give this a go being so close to home. Tough route – very hilly and muddy in parts. Shoe came off going through a particularly boggy patch and going up old pale at the end was a killer! I would have said definitely not a pb course but Chris somehow managed to get one!

Well organised and enjoyable race. Really good training run for me but I’ll stick to the roads I think…..

And over to Neil Finegan for the next report…

In its second year of running, The Montane trail 26 events at Delamere on Sunday had a choice of 2 routes looping through the central part of the forest and familiar to those who have run the parkrun there.  A 10k and a half marathon choice,  both run on trails finishing together with a  final slog up the old pale – a 200 ft steep climb to take in the views before the downhill to the finish. 

The half route which I completed was a mixture of the main paths around the forest,  combined with some real “off road”  trails.  The amount of rain last week made this a tricky and mucky experience but thankfully the knee deep puddle towards the end cleaned my legs at least.   It was a tough route – only a 750ft climb in the course but the twists and turns made it difficult with the bad conditions under foot.  Every time you started to get a  rhythm and a bit of speed going you were diverted off again through the trees,  dodging the swamps,  tree roots and dog walkers. It was a beautiful September morning and the scenery made the race pass very quickly – but the popularity of the forest on a nice day with non runners added to the difficulty.  

It was a well organised event,  the kids trail event at the start (complete with off road Hill climbs) was particularly good.  A few more stewards and markers would have been appreciated in places but the race kept a nice small scale community atmosphere with 200 runners in the half and 148 in the 10k.  The winner of the half set a new course record of just under 1h 18m.  For Helsby Chris Murray knocked 5 minutes off his previous half marathon PB which is brilliant on a tough course like this.

There was 1 Helsby runner in the 10k and 3 in the half all finishing very well.

Helsby results below:


31st       Stephen Roach          00:51:55

Half Marathon

11th       Neil Finegan              01:29:28
24th       Darren O’Connor       01:36:02
32nd     Christopher Murray   01:40:13

Full results here

FB_IMG_1441709678745_resized FB_IMG_1441709697701_resized






Tim Palmer has kindly sent in the following report for Cilcain, thanks Tim.

The Cilcain Mountain Race saw a good Helsby turn-out – well a good turnout from the Men Vet 50s with Jim Jones, Phil Gillard, Ian Landucci and me. Chris Hatton and Andy Robinson were there representing the more mature members and Ben Fletcher representing others. The race itself is up to top of Moel Famau and back via a slightly different route.

There is some excellent drone footage of the race – see: https://youtube/MEPXLN4ibDo – the drone did lead to some confusion with the Green Army; initial suggestions suggest the drone was…a swarm of bees, flies round the runners, a strimmer…

Unfortunately the results on the WFRA website have an Excel bug in them. From those and the info on the WFRA North Wales series, the following can be de-ciphered….

Helsby results:

31st         FLETCHER, BEN      39:45
45th        JONES, JIM               41:40
53th        GILLARD, PHIL        42:57
54th        PALMER, TIM           42:58
61st        LANDUCCI, IAN        43:55
75th        ROBINSON, ANDY   44:50 or 44:48
115th       HATTON,CHRIS       52:15

Shelf Moor

No reports for our 11th fell counter but I have found the results. Well done to Jimmy O’Hara on another strong run to take maximum points and Laura Baynham Hughes who was first lady home. Well done to everyone else who participated.

Helsby results below:

14th      Jim O’Hara                            00:50:34
38th      Ben Fletcher                         00:58:41
40th     Jim Jones                               00:59:17
54th      Paul Gilliard                          01:00:48
56th      Steve Riley                             01:01:26
71st       Laura Baynham-Hughes    01:06:29
83rd     Rachel Arnold                       01:10:38
85th      Paul Foster                            01:12:48
88th     Chris Hatton                          01:15:03
92nd     Jackie Keasley                       01:18:18

Full results here

And some photos can found here

Ring O’ Fire

ring-o-fire-routeFinally a massive shout out to Gareth Boyd who completed the epic Ring O’ Fire race over the weekend. Ring O’ Fire is a 135 mile coastal ultra marathon circumnavigating the Isle of Anglesey over 3 days and is one of the toughest trail races in the UK. Well done from all at Helsby RC! Also commiserations to Ste Wiggins who had to pull out of the race due to injury, I’m sure he will be back to fight another day. We will be pestering Gareth and Ste for a full report when they have both recovered but in the meantime all results can be found here


That’s all this week, please let me know if I have missed any races or if you have any more reports please send them over and I can update the blog.

Keep on running!



Helsby weekly round-up 24th – 30th August 2015

Hello all

Welcome to this weeks round-up. A busy week of racing with a mixed bag of races but lets get started with some reminders first.

  • Don’t forget it’s the Wirral Multi-terrain race series this month with the first one tonight (1st Sept). A great little race series which are not too challenging (generally 5 miles) and a good warm up gig for the cross country season ahead. We need 5 men + 3 ladies to make a full team and at £1 per race they are a bit of a bargain! All details can be found here
  • Tim Palmer has kindly put together a comprehensive race calendar which can be found in the pane at the side of the blog under “2015 event listing / race calendar” or by clicking this link It’s an excellent resource of information and has all the clubs counters plus other races listed.


FB_IMG_1441100876226We had our 10th road counter of the season at the Ellesmere 10k on Sunday (how time flies!) with a somewhat low attendance from the Green Army, which was great news for those looking to grab some club championship points! Excellent running from Chris Murray who bagged himself a new 10k PB (after eventually finding the correct Ellesmere!) and the ever resilient Bish getting a top ten finish and age category win. Well done to all who took part.

Chris has sent in a brilliant report for this race which can be seen below:

“Initially I thought this race was in Ellesmere Port not knowing there was an actual place called Ellesmere so leaving what I thought was loads of time I only managed to arrive a few minutes before the start as people were already lining up to race. The weather was great and not overly warm which was a nice change from the humidity of the previous days. The course itself was relatively flat and started from Ellesmere school meandering along country lanes and scenic tow paths with the finish back the school. A nice coffee and a cake at the finish sealed a great race and a great day.

There were some impressive results with Colin Bishop finishing in a great time of 35.10 and coming 1st in his age category – well done Colin! Everybody else’s results were equally as impressive. All in all it was a great day and a great race, I know I’ll be back next year chasing down a new PB.”

Helsby results below:

10th  Colin Bishop  35.10
103rd  Jim Jones  42.45
140th  Chris Murray  45.03 (10k PB)
219th  Geoff Collins  48.07
402nd  Tanya Downes  55.33
 408th  Donna Geer  55.55
434th  Jo Farwell  57.13

Full results here

SA Llego 7

Geoff Collins also ran a 10k on 22nd August at the end of his holiday in Mallorca! He has sent in this excellent report, thanks Geoff and well done.

“SA Llego 7 Malpas-Bonaire, Mallorca – 22 August .

1What better way to spend a Saturday evening at the end of a holiday in Mallorca – a 10k race! So my green vest had another outing – this time in Bonaire (pronounced Bon-eye-ray). It’s a very attractive quiet coastal resort in the hilly North East of Mallorca not far from the old town of Alcudia.

Bonaire sits below an imposing hill called Talaia d’ Alcudia. A hill well worth climbing for the stunning views towards mainland Spain. The 462 runners, just a hand full of English but mainly Spanish set off at 7pm, even at that time it was still really hot, over 30 degrees C! The route takes you out on the (closed) main road 2climbing uphill towards Alcudia before heading down into the town along the shady back lanes. Then you head towards Marina Manresa round the very pretty bay along the seafront path, off road and up over the headland more uphill and finally downhill to Bonaire. I managed to overtake Miguel a runner and local celebrity – judging by the excitement of the spectators. I ran with Miguel earlier in the holiday – more about that later.

3I finished in just over 46m, a lovely scenic run not technically difficult, but very challenging in the heat! Entry cost was just 11 euro’s, for that I got a plum coloured tech t-shirt, chip timing, with plenty to eat and drink afterwards! But no toilets not even one portaloo! Oh well a scramble down the rocks for the customary pre-race wee was unavoidable but the view was spectacular!

Miguel is one of the leaders of an organisation called Runny knows – the way in Mallorca. They organise guided running for tourists in the Pollencia Alucudia area. Organised by Johanna MacDonald a very friendly enthusiastic English runner resident on the island. Fortunately runs start early in the morning when it’s not so hot. I and a group of like-minded runners from all over the UK got together for a couple of very enjoyable runs, this year starting and finishing on the beach. An incentive being to get your clothes off at the end and into the sea! We even shared a bottle of sparkling wine on the beach; it really doesn’t get much better than that!

5Mallorca has lots to offer the runner, the North East has some fantastic hills; most of the longer races on the island take place between October and April when the weather is a lot cooler. In fact it could make a good club weekend running trip. If anyone is interested I would be more than happy to organise something.”


Harrock Hill

Jim Jones, Jamie Dowdall (2nd claim member) and Paul Foster did the 4th Harrock Hill Fell Race on Wednesday night and finished 80th, 86th and 134th respectively in a field of 202 finishers. Full results below:

Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

Chris Baynham Hughes was at the ultra long stuff again on Sunday, this time running the UTMB which is an ultra mountain race in Chamonix (close to the French Swiss border) and is over 105 miles (yes 1-0-5, that’s not a typo!) Massive kudos to Chris for even attempting such an epic race distance in tough sweltering conditions. Over to CBH for his take on the race:

So UTMB turned into my second ever DNF.  I loved it though, what a race! The course is amazing, although very groomed trails compared to the UK, that’s not such a bad thing for 105 miles. In the end though, I couldn’t control my body temp. My guess would be it was in the thirties even at 2500m and with no shade for almost the entire race it meant I got too hot, spent 45 mins trying to reduce it and must have looked bad judging by the degree of attention I was getting by the aid station team. I carried on and the heat increased further still (~35deg) stopped sweating, chundered, spent over an hour trying to reduce it and to up my blood sugar from “not critical, but borderline”. Flipped to shivering. Made the decision to continue, but then changed mind as I filled bottles and realised I had no interest in the food and wouldn’t going forward. It had taken 25 mins to decided to go on. Would have been 12 hour walk and a pyrrhic victory for me. I could easily have had a full night of sleep and started again the next morning, but that’s not why I was there.

Delayed Aftermath for me included a disturbed night of violent projectile vomiting and sleeping on the pavement of an airre like a tramp just outside of Dijon. Don’t regret any of it though, I loved every minute of the race, ran it as I wanted too, was blown away by the beauty of the trail and the pageant of ultrarunning. Amazing.


Please find the results below for the Saturday parkruns. Well done to all who took part.

Delamere parkrun

59th David FEAKES 00:23:51
65th Geoff COLLINS 00:24:11
90th Lesley FEAKES 00:25:18
125th Tim PALMER 00:26:38
149th Jenny PALMER 00:29:00
284th Claire MORTON 00:41:34
283rd Paul BULMER 00:41:34
285th Louise MCEVELEY 00:41:35
286th Stephen WIGGINS 00:41:35

Widnes parkrun

45th Michael WILLIAMS 00:23:48
76th Rachael HOLDEN 00:27:11


Finally our resident party planner Chris Fitzpatrick has asked me to remind everyone about the forthcoming knees up on Friday. The plan is to catch the 6.30pm or 7.30pm train to Chester for a 7-8pm meet in the Old Harkers Arms just off City Road. It promises to be a brilliant night! All are welcome to join in the shenanigans.

That’s all this week. Many thanks to those who sent in race reports this week and remember any future reports can be sent to – they help massively in compiling the round-up for the week and are very much appreciated.

Keep on running!


Helsby weekly 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.