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 Update 12-7-2017 to 18-7-2017

First up some reminders.

Andy Smith sent in a request for volunteers to help with the Frodsham Downhill Run:

Sunday 2nd July is the Frodsham Downhill Run date. This is a popular family fun run and part of the Frodsham Festival in the Park.

Helsby Running Club have historically helped out in managing the finish area and results for this event and we have been asked if we can do so again this year.

A few volunteers to help set up the finish area in Castle Park before the race (from 10:30 onwards) and to help manage the finish (race starts at 12:00) would be much appreciated.

Drop me an email or IM me on facebook if you can help – thanks

Tim Palmer would also like to remind those who have not paid that the 2017 club subs are due ASAP.

Onto the running….
Parkrun

Helsby runners were out in parkruns at Warrington, Phoenix Park, Ellesmere Port, Wepre, Chester, Delamere, Widnes and Croxteth. Highlights include a 2nd female for Adele Croxton and 3rd place for Ian Rutherford, both at Phoenix Park.
Full results for Helsby runners are below
http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

Paul Cunningham sent in this report from Bolton Hill Marathon

It all started when Fitzy shared a Time2Run Event on his timeline  – The Iconic HillRunner 50% trail 50% country roads sounds enjoyable – with a bottle of Budweiser in hand I paid the nicely priced £32 to enter.
The morning of the race the heavens had opened and blessed us with  perfect running conditions – stood on the start line drenched –  bang the race had started – I felt really good the first 400m until I came to the base of the first climb – Jack must have dropped his hill beans here as the road seemed to disappear into the clouds – to some of the crazy sorry elite members of the Green army this might not have been such a test but for me this 4 mile climb turned into a mental battle  -the first couple of miles on road then onto trail –  up onto Winter Hill – the views from up here are meant to be quite spectacular on a clear day – this morning due to low cloud cover visibility down to approx. 20m  – carried on running upstream as all the ruts full of flowing water onto the West Pennine Moors past White Coppice down onto Anglezarke Reservoir – the course is lollipop shaped so when I reached mile 10 the leader was at mile 16  – Impressive piece of long distance running I thought and the leader was running well too – at the half way point I stopped for some photo opportunities ankle deep in the overland flooding hoping to try my hand at some trout tickling – running through Rivington pike into Barn Bridge Village and back for the return leg – the rain had now stopped and I started to really enjoy my surroundings – between miles 19-22 it’s now uphill and a slow slog up to winter Hill  – now I could clearly see the telecoms tower which this morning I run past and could not see due to the low lying cloud cover – I did walk quite a bit of this section of the race as walking seemed faster than running  – well couldn’t run so had to walk is more like the truth – the one thing that kept me going was I knew I had a nice downhill finish  back into Moss Bank Park – I finished in 5hrs 13 min 80th overall of a small field of 125 – today I found out that I really do enjoy the trail side of running it just feels so right – my hardest test to date and look forward to my next running challenge – Bolton Hill Marathon is a cracker

Danielle Ryder sent in this report of her Namibia trip

A few people have asked me about my Namibia trip and Fitzy suggested I wrote something for the blog, so here it is. Following CBH’s lead I have written a short version and a long version which includes all the blood, sweat and tears.

I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to go the Namib Desert for a 6-day endurance event organised by my work at the start of May. I was 1 of a 30 strong group who would take on the 5-day challenge.

Short Version
Day 1 – 35km cycle
·         Tail wind and easy terrain so lulled into a false sense of security
Day 2 – Half Marathon followed by 55km cycle – 12-hour day
·         Run through the Messum Crater was a breeze, cycling into a horrific headwind in the relentless heat was brutal
Day 4 – Summit Brandberg and Hike down – 12-hour day
·         Around 2500m elevation, technical scrambling, carrying water and gear for 2 days, getting lost for 2 hours and making top camp in the dark
Day 5 – Marathon followed by 35km bike – 12-hour day – 47°C
·         Brutal marathon in 47°C. Broken! Bike through a dry river bed and rocky descending is not my idea of fun.
Day 6 – Half Marathon followed by 70km bike – 12-hour day
·         The hardest day coupled with my best experience. Upset stomach, back of the pack, tears and elation.

Final descentRunning through Messum crater

Long Version

Day 1 – 35km cycle

Day 1 was set up to break us in gently. After travelling for over 24-hours, 2 international flights to make it to Windhoek International airport and then a short flight on small single prop planes (the biggest being a 10 seater) we found ourselves near the coast at Cape Cross. We were given our mountain bikes which we would use to cover the majority of our mileage. A gravel road a tail wind and only a few short sections of hard sand with deep ruts found us at our camp site with time to spare before nightfall. We were all lulled into a false sense of security.

Day 2 – Half Marathon followed by 55km cycle – 12-hour day

The first 12-hour day of the trip. On paper this was meant to be a relatively easy day which would see us reach camp at the base of Brandberg Mountain at about 3-4pm, well before sunset at 6pm. So with this in mind we set off on the half marathon at 6am as it was just getting light. As we ran through the Messum Crater, this was our first taste of being in the desert and feeling the isolation, but also of the soft sand! The scenery was insane and the miles quickly ticked down with water stops every 7km.  The run seemed to be over before I had even realised, with some clouds mercifully keeping the heat at a manageable level. The finish line of the run was the other side of the Messum Crater, the land stretched for miles and you could just see the Brandberg mountain looming in the distance. Following a short stop for water, food and a change into cycling gear we all enthusiastically jumped onto our bikes which had all been laid out for us. My enthusiasm did not last long! Lots of deep soft sand and the most brutal headwind saw us all crawling along. Somehow I had ended up in the front group and struggling like hell to stay on the back wheel of the guys in front. Luckily the guys were gentlemen and kept dropping back to tow me back on. The first water stop was meant to be in 15km, but the heat and wind was breaking us. I had run out of water within 7km and was struggling badly. I definitely had lost my sense of humour at this point as I just tried to hold myself together and carry on. We were taking that long that one of the vans had to come and find us with emergency water and electrolytes. At the stop I managed to recover sat in the shade of the van but promptly refused the offer of going off with the front group and dropped back to the second group to start again. Luckily the wind died down as we carried on and the terrain got slightly easier, still soft sand but with more stretches of gravel and rocks which meant we could speed up slightly. The heat was relentless though and the first stretch on the bike had hit us all hard. A number of people had been pulled off by the medics and forced to go in the van. At the lunch stop we knew it was going to be a real effort to make it to camp before sunset at 6pm but we set off with a determination to try and make it. It was a hard slog but I pulled into camp as the sun was setting behind the Brandberg Mountain. I was on a huge high as I collapsed into a chair with a G&T.

Day 3 – Hike up Brandberg Mountain – 12 hour day

After a brutal day 2 where the desert threw its worst weather conditions at us we were up and ready to leave camp at 6am to climb the Brandberg Mountain. Brandberg Mountain is big, and we would be climbing around 2500m while carrying 7.5 litres of water, roll mat, sleeping bag, and enough food for two days. It was safe to say my bag was heavy! I didn’t really know what to expect when I set off, but the climbing was hard. It was definitely a scramble for virtually the entire climb, and I found myself hiding in whatever shade was available whenever the opportunity arose. The terrain was challenging and the group found itself relying on each other to push or pull each other up and over rocks. We made it to the lunch stop at about 2pm where we found some pools which were filled with water from recent rains. The sun was really high in the sky at this point and shade was hard to come by. I found myself hiding in a small cave as I hunched over trying to eat. Unfortunately, just before lunch our guide had twisted his knee and was unable to continue. He would camp at the lunch spot with a number of the team who didn’t want to go any further. We had been warned it was still a 4-hour hike to the summit. Having been given rough directions we set off trying to follow the cairns. Fast forward two hours, huge boulders, lots of vegetation, cut to ribbons and a few tears we found ourselves back at the lunch stop having got properly lost! At this point a few more of the group decided to stay and camp after we were warned that we would likely be reaching the top camp in the dark. We set off again after getting our guide to give us better directions and walk us some of the way. We made good time and were lucky that the guide who had been with the front group came back to find us (I should point out at this point that the front group had made the top base camp and had summited). The head torches made an appearance but we made it to the top camp just before 7pm without getting lost again.  The mountain was beautiful and far greener than I expected due to recent rains but it definitely took no prisoners. We camped with the first group on the top of the mountain and had steak which one of the guides had carried up. Belly full, I found the flattest bit of rock I could find and promptly fell asleep under the stars.

Day 4 – Summit Brandberg and Hike down – 12 hour day

Having not made the summit the previous day we set off at first light (yes another 6am start) without our packs to make the 1.5hr ascent to the actual summit. Now this was extremely technical terrain and basically straight up, but the view from the top was incredible. We soaked in the sunrise atop the highest peak in Namibia for a few minutes before we sadly dragged ourselves back down to the top camp, collected our bags and started our descent. It was going to be another long day! We made good progress and took a detour to see some extremely old cave paintings. The terrain meant that it was difficult to move very quickly once we passed the lunch stop so it was no surprise that it was just before 6pm when we made it back to camp to a warm welcome from the rest of the guys, and not forgetting a cold gin and tonic! It is safe to say the mountain was brutal, with steep drops and stifling temperatures but I made it all the way and even managed to get a few photos to go with the memories.

Day 5 – Marathon followed by 35km bike – 12-hour day – 47°C

The marathon was ridiculous! One of the hardest things I have ever done. We set off as a group to the first water station at 7km with a walking start to break in the aching bodies. The going was slow, again with very soft ground underfoot and by the half-way point it had become apparent that we needed water more often, so a van started stopping in-between to offer more water. It was a slog! The heat was relentless, the wind had picked up and sand was being blown around at times and I was broken. Sitting down at the water stations was a bad move as my legs struggled to get back to a standing position. I was reduced to a walking out of the water station before being able to force myself into a shuffle which just about resembled a jog. The relief when I made the finish and the lunch stop was overwhelming and dropping into a chair in the shade of a van was bliss. It took 7 hours of battling to complete the marathon but we still had 35km of biking to go. Food and water was consumed before we were hurried on to get changed and get on the bikes. We had been given the bad news that the “road” (I wouldn’t have called it a road!) we were planning on taking had been washed away, so instead we had an 8km slog down a dry river bed which only had soft sand! Now I definitely lost my sense of humour. I was knackered and near the back of the group on my own, fly’s kept buzzing around my head and I’m not going to lie quite a few expletives were coming out of my mouth as I tried to wave them away and not fall off the bike. It would have been hard if I hadn’t just survived a marathon! The joy of reaching the path out of the river bed was quickly gone when I saw the terrain – an extremely rocky 10km descent. All I am going to say is after some swearing, tears, pushing and eventually some pedalling I made it off the descent. A nice gravel road was all that was between me and camp, so powering on I managed to catch and overtake some of the others and made it into camp as the sun was setting, which was no surprise by this point – why break a habit! Camp this evening was at the Save the Rhino trust so we had permanent long drops which was a huge luxury! We were also told that the temperature had peaked at 47°C today!

Day 6 – Half Marathon followed by 70km bike – 12-hour day

Day 6 was to be the last day of exercise, and everyone managed to drag their weary bodies out of camp at 6am sharp. I had had the joys of the physio standing on my thighs the night before which meant I could actually move but found myself wondering why I hadn’t let her do my calf’s as well (Obviously forgetting the agony and swearing involved at the time!) We had been warned that today was going to be long and the stops short to make sure we made it to the end before nightfall. We set off on the run at a decent pace but I soon realised I wasn’t going to be able to maintain it. An upset stomach wasn’t helping but luckily at the 14km water stop there was somewhere I could hide! The pace was slow but I was determined to finish. We had started the day running through an amazing rocky valley called the Ugab rock formations before the ground opened up again, you could see for miles and we were faced with more soft sand and some hills! We saw loads of animal prints which was motivation to keep moving, but there was no way I could out race anything today. I finished the half totally spent and slumped into a chair, before being told to get changed and get on the bike as we needed to keep moving. Again, my moral took a beating and I was definitely at a low point as we set out on the bikes in the hilliest terrain we had had. The km’s went by extremely slowly and I found myself right at the back of the pack. I just hoped that getting to lunch and having a decent amount of food might give me some life back. We saw springbok and zebra in the distance and lion prints but luckily no lions! Just as we were getting close to the lunch stop we saw a black Rhino which was amazing. Getting off the bike and walking closer as it walked away from us was an added bonus. At the lunch stop the only way I can describe myself is broken and we still had 50km to go! I tried to eat as much as possible but I struggled to get much in and unfortunately the stop came to an end all to quickly for me. Dutifully I got back on my bike and was quickly right at the back of the pack again. I was going to finish but I only had one speed and that was that. I found myself getting to the water stations just as everyone else was leaving which is the most soul destroying thing in the world and I am not going to lie I did shed some tears. Stubbornness kept me going and no one was brave enough to suggest I get in the van! I somehow made it to the last descent of the day where everyone re-grouped to finish together. We were warned It was going to be rocky and then turn to extremely soft sand but the end was now in sight! I survived the rocks and made it to the sand only putting my foot down a couple of times but the view was the perfect ending to the trip. Sun setting behind the mountains with the grass swaying in the breeze either side and views for miles gave me goose bumps. I somehow made it to the finish having cycled past the Doras crater towards the Huab river and promptly broke into tears!

Day 7 – Homecoming

We had been treated to a luxury lodge for the last night and sleeping in a proper bed was bliss. After a short safari drive where we saw gorillas, ostriches, springboks and lots of elephant prints (but unfortunately no elephants) we had a 36-hour journey home.
The trip was an insane, amazing experience which really pushed me to my limits. We were looked after extremely well and only had to get ourselves from A to B as everything else was taken care of including the camp, food and G&T’s! I experienced some major lows but I think these made the highs more intense. It really is unbelievable what your body can achieve! I just need to find the next adventure now.

 

That’s it for this week, as usual please send race reports to

helsby-race-reports@outlook.com
Cheers

Gaz

Helsby RC News from 5th to 11th June 2017

Thanks to everyone who has sent in contributions for the blog this week. Please keep sending any race reports, or any other items you want including, to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com. Apologies for the rather late distribution of the blog this week, I’d have sent it out last night if I wasn’t Hotfooting up Moel Famau, …… but you can read about that in next week’s blog.

Reminders

This week we start with a few reminders and upcoming events:

Friday 16/06/2017 – 6.30pm – A chance to support the Helsby Community Sports Club and win some prizes at Bingo (see the flyer at the end of this blog)

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Wednesday 21/06/17 – 7.15pm – Up the Beast – our next counter in the Fell (mini) series. Race HQ is at the Miners Arms, Maeshafn, CH7 5LR – hope to see a few of you there.

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Friday 23/06/17 – 7.15pm – Tough Team Race – a great event for teams of 3 hosted by Tattenhall Runners – Race HQ is at Tattenhall Recreation Club, CH3 9QF

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Next, a polite reminder from our membership secretary, Tim Palmer:

“Thanks to all of those of you have paid your 2017 subs. If you haven’t paid your subs, please could you do so now because if we don’t receive payment by 30th June, we will assume that you want to resign. If you haven’t received the various emails about subs or have any questions, please contact Tim on email

For those marathon aficionados, we haven’t got enough members to get us two London Marathon places. We are currently just on one 😞. This is the position at Friday 9th so please prompt others to pay and pay yourself.

Kind regards

Tim”

Racing News

Jim O’Hara’s Paddy Buckley Round – Saturday 10/06/17 to Sunday 11/06/17

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Many thanks to Chris Baynham-Hughes for sending in a summary of Jim O’Hara’s epic achievement over the weekend. It was a privilege to be able to join Jim for just part of it. Over to CBH:

“Not sure if anybody else will write in but I just wanted to highlight Jimmy’s heroics on the weekend.

This weekend Jimmy O’Hara took on the Paddy Buckley Round. This is the Northern Snowdonia equivalent of the Bob Graham Round… only it’s universally recognised as being ~1h15m harder! Jim set off from Capel Curig at 10am on the Saturday with Peter Taylor from Tattenhall runners in what was described as atrocious weather. It got worse. By the time the pair got to Llanberis Pete had called it a day and Jimmy cracked on determined to finish.

Max, Chris Collins and Phil Roberts had all supported Jimmy on the various legs with Jim 19055820_1345759598806376_8742422086759971742_oJones, Phil Gillard and myself showing up for the glory leg! What I witnessed was an demonstration of true resolve, grit and courage in the face of some of the worse mountain weather I’ve been out in. Heading over the final leg we were blown about like rag dolls, but at no point was Jimmy looking to quit. I never thought I’d experience wind like I did on the 50th Fellsman where it was easily in the 60’s, but that was nothing compared to this. At one point I was lifted clean off my feet by the wind and dumped 2 metres to my left! I’ve been blown over before, but never lifted up, I’d estimate the wind was ~70-90mph… And Jimmy kept on going.

Being out for such a long time can play havoc with your body. The combination of sleep deprivation and lack of perspective can lead to poor decision making and disorientation. Given that this area is my playground I tend to think of it as being safe, but if it wasn’t for the lightening reactions of jim Jones Jimmy may well have ended up blown off a cliff – jim literally caught Jimmy by his jacket and kept him from being blown off the ridge…. And Jimmy kept on going.
19023450_1345761488806187_6218347848715789684_o
The ultimate benchmark for the fell running rounds is 24 hours, but for me and for everyone else I speak to who have done one we all comment on how weather dependent completion is. The Paddy doesn’t have a 24 hour cut off for completion and I’d challenge anybody in the world to have completed in under 24 this weekend. Jimmy crossed the line in under 30 hours having given everything to it. 99% of people would have given up, but Jimmy’s determination was never dented. A true fell warrior that I’m fiercely proud to know personally. First completion of the Paddy Buckley by a Helsby RC member. James O’Hara I am in awe and I salute you sir!

CBH”

Blaydon Races – Friday 09/06/17

Debbie Read was up in the North East this weekend and sent in this report from a Friday night event ……… before doing a Parkrun the following morning!

image1Last weekend I spent the weekend in Newcastle with these lovely running buddies of mine from my old club Spectrum Striders. One of them, Mike, is a Jordie and was telling us about the Blaydon Race and it sounded like an good opportunity to have a weekend away.

The Blaydon Race is an iconic running event in Newcastle. It’s on the evening of 9th June every year and it’s a celebration of the memorable day in 1862 when the working classes travelled from Newcastle to Blaydon to have a drunken day at the races. It follows the route they took which these days is mostly dual carriageway.

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This year the race sold out in less than 3 hours and there were over 4000 finishers.
The course is 5.6 miles long and this year the winning time was 27:47 with the last runner home just under 1hr 30.”

Bolton Hill Marathon – Saturday 10/06/17

Thanks to Paul Cunningham for sending in this report and reminding us all of the joys and challenges of trail running:

“It all started when Fitzy shared a Time2Run Event on his timeline – The Iconic HillRunner 50% trail 50% country roads sounds enjoyable – with a bottle of Budweiser in hand I paid the nicely priced £32 to enter.

The morning of the race the heavens had opened and blessed us with perfect running conditions – stood on the start line drenched – bang the race had started – I felt really good the first 400m until I came to the base of the first climb – Jack must have dropped his hill beans here as the road seemed to disappear into the clouds – to some of the crazy sorry elite members of the Green army this might not have been such a test but for me this 4 mile climb turned into a mental battle -the first couple of miles on road then onto trail – up onto Winter Hill – the views from up here are meant to be quite spectacular on a clear day – this morning due to low cloud cover visibility down to approx. 20m – carried on running upstream as all the ruts full of flowing water onto the West Pennine Moors past White Coppice down onto Anglezarke Reservoir – the course is lollipop shaped so when I reached mile 10 the leader was at mile 16 – Impressive piece of long distance running I thought and the leader was running well too – at the half way point I stopped for some photo opportunities ankle deep in the overland flooding hoping to try my hand at some trout tickling – running through Rivington pike into Barn Bridge Village and back for the return leg – the rain had now stopped and I started to really enjoy my surroundings – between miles 19-22 it’s now uphill and a slow slog up to winter Hill – now I could clearly see the telecoms tower which this morning I run past and could not see due to the low lying cloud cover – I did walk quite a bit of this section of the race as walking seemed faster than running – well couldn’t run so had to walk is more like the truth – the one thing that kept me going was I knew I had a nice downhill finish back into Moss Bank Park – I finished in 5hrs 13 min 80th overall of a small field of 125 – today I found out that I really do enjoy the trail side of running it just feels so right – my hardest test to date and look forward to my next running challenge – Bolton Hill Marathon is a cracker”

Keswick Mountain Festival – Saturday 10/0617

Jane Ashbrook sent us a report from the Keswick Mountain Festival which took place over the weekend. Thanks Jane:

“I ran a 25k trail race as part of the Keswick Mountain Festival on Saturday. This was a 4 day event incorporating cycling races, swimming races, triathlons, walking events, talks and music.

We camped in a muddy field and had a fantastic evening on Saturday at the music festival…who one K T Tunstall was so good!

Highlight of my weekend was an evening with Jasmin Paris and Nicky Spinks on Friday night…they are so normal and inspirational that I am now convinced that the Bob Graham round is something everyone should have a go at!

25k Jane Ashbrook 2:44:13 14th Female
10k Chris Ashbrook 58:54 52nd Male

It’s a great event for families, however I’ll probably give it a miss next year as I am dying to have a go at the Welsh Castles Relay…..who’s in?”

Some information on the Welsh Castles Relay HERE.

Parkrun – Saturday 10/06/17

We had 13 Helsby runners out at various Parkruns around the country on Saturday. Great to see Colin Bishop and Colin Thompson finishing 1st place in their respective events. Well done to everyone who ran on Saturday. Our club consolidated results can be seen HERE

Calderdale Way Ultra – 03/06/17

A report sent in by Daniel Ryder that just missed last week’s blog. Thanks for still taking the to sent it in Daniel – and well done!:

“I missed the blog last week, but I ran the Calderdale Way Ultra Short Route on the 3rd June. At 28.5miles and 1300m of climbing it was my longest and hilliest run to date.
As many of you know I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Namibia at the back end of May which consisted of a lot of running, biking and hiking. Having returned from doing 12 hour days of exercise to sitting at a desk at work I was feeling rather out of sorts and in a moment of madness spotted the Calderdale Way Ultra which was only 3 weeks away. Plucking for the short route (the long route was 50.5miles) I thought what have I got to lose and entered on the pretense that I wouldn’t have to do much more mileage and could just Calderdaleuse my fitness from Namibia to hopefully complete it. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone! The short route started at 12.15 so that we would overlap with the long route runners who had started at 6am. The late start meant I could actually have a lie in before the 1.5hr journery to Todmordon where the race HQ was. From there a bus took me to the start point, mid-way around the route. The Calderdale way is a way-marked circular route, but like any way-marked walking path it can be quite difficult to navigate at times. We had been warned before the race that a level of navigation was required and that we would be issued with a map and instructions. Having signed up relatively late I hadn’t had chance to recce any of the course and getting lost was one of my biggest concerns.

It was a surreal experience standing with another 60 runners in the middle of a park, with no marked starting line waiting for the organiser to set us off. I must admit we did get a few funny looks from the locals when we arrived and then promptly all spread out into the woods to try and find some cover for a last minute wee. We were set off at 12.15 and I was amazed how quickly the field spread out. Part of my game plan had been to try and stay with a group so that I could hopefully avoid getting lost. This didn’t quite go to plan. The aid stations were every 7-8miles and the first leg of the race was the flattest with a short section along a canal. A 1940’s event with people dressed up made for a very surreal experience. I was happy to leave this section and make it out of the crowds, but this meant the start of the first real climb of the day. I had been running with a girl for a few miles up to this point, but had been thinking of dropping back as the pace seemed too high for me to hold for another 20miles. The decision was taken out of my hands as she powered up the hill where I dutifully dropped into a fast hike and caught up with a group of three guys who were working together. One had the map and one had the gps route on his watch while the third was a clinger on, so I thought it seemed sensible to stick with them to avoid getting lost. We stuck together as a 4 until the 2nd water station at 15miles where myself and the other guy who hadn’t been navigating sped up. This was potentially a bad move as neither of us knew the way. We soon caught up with two people on the long route, who told us that they had got extremely lost at the start and had done about an extra 5 miles! We left these pair when we caught sight of a couple who I had seen at the start and I had overheard them saying they had recced the route. The scenery in this second half was particularly nice and we ran as a four until after the last water station. I was lucky that they stopped me going the wrong way a number of times where way markers where well hidden, but for some reason I felt brave with only 6 miles to go and decided to push on alone. At this point the weather had turned somewhat and the rain had started. The navigation was going reasonably well until I reached Todmordon again and I knew I only had a couple of miles to go. The guy who I had been running with for the majority of the race caught me on the descent into town and we promptly got lost together and ended up trying to ask a local for directions. Unsurprisingly the couple who had recced the course then caught us and pointed us in the right direction! The last two miles had a very steep ascent and descent and the heavens had opened properly at this point, ignoring the sun cream that was running into my eyes and not wanting to stop to put a coat on – I was already drenched by this point I ploughed on and found the finish line. I had finished, and felt surprisingly good! 6hr 20 and 8th female. All in all, a really good day out.

The event was brilliantly organised with excellent volunteers. The atmosphere was brilliant, and I felt no pressure on the day but to go out and enjoy myself. The cut off times were generous allowing 8 hours for the short route. I can safely safe I thoroughly enjoyed feeling none of the pressures I often feel at road races where I want to beat a time. I would say this was considerably more civilised than a road marathon. If you are thinking of trying an Ultra, the short route is a brilliant introduction. The scenery was amazing and I will definitely be tempted to run it again next year, but I may up the anti and try the 50 miler.”

I think that’s it for this week. Hope to see as many of you as possible at Maeshafn on Wednesday for a run Up the Beast!

Jim

 

Bingo

 

 

Helsby round up 29- 5-17 to 4-6-17

Parkrun

Helsby members were running at Chester, Ellesmere Port, Croxteth, Widnes, Delamere and Phoenix park. Highlights include a second place overall for Ian Rutherford and second lady for |Rachael Holden, both at Phoenix park.

Full results for Helsby runners at parkruns are below.

http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

First up is Gaz Boyds report from Escape from Meriden.

At 11.59 last Friday evening Gaz and myself set off on our ‘little adventure’. See http://www.escapefrommeriden.co.uk for race info. This is a 24 hour race, there is no set route – you decide where to go, you decide when you stop, there are no checkpoints. Basically the winner is the solo runner or pair whom travels the further (as the crow flies). It’s worth noting that CBH and running partner won the 1st Autumn edition.

meri1

Hours prior to the race, we and other competitors (one even dressed as Scoobie Do!) waited in the local village hall – sitting down and trying to chill whilst listening to the rain, queuing for the toilet or eating free tea,coffee and biscuits were the most popular past-times. It’s amusing to see all the runners head off in different directions after the start count down. Despite the rain, spirits were high – that was until 3.5 miles, when we realised that we were heading towards Coventry and not Birmingham. Our plan was to head up to and finish at Chester via canal. We retraced our steps and reached the start line after 1.10 hours of running – not surprisingly no one else was there. Ok – going the right way was finally a box ticked, next was finding the canal. Our plan was to join the Grand Union Canal and join the Shropshire Union Canal. Eventually we found the Canal – not too many wrong turns and importantly stopping off at a 24 hour garage for food supplies. Travelling along the Canal had its pros and cons

pros – safer than roads, better scenery . Canal boat owners are more than happy to provide you with water.
Cons – a mixed range of surface – sometimes making running difficult. The biggest issue in terms of this race – the Canal winds and winds – so you are often travelling a lot more miles when in fact the roads take you on a more direct route. Lesson for next time Gaz.

Running through Birmingham at around 4/5 am on a Saturday was ‘interesting’ – let’s just say we saw the more sobering sights of a major inner city. Any way, then onto Wolverhampton for a ‘pit stop ‘ and cooked breakfast.

By this stage Gaz was unfortunately struggling with ‘old age ‘ – sorry, I meant injury (it was a niggle, not an injury- Gaz O’C), meaning that running for him was difficult. At around mile 55 Gaz decided to call it a day – his injury (niggle!), spending two much time with me (maybe I shouldn’t have asked him about politics at 3am) and the lure of Champions League Final was just too much for him. I decided to carry on for at least another 26 miles and reach Nantwich. Shortly after Gaz and I had split, I decided to stop for lunch (it was my way of getting over the fact that Gaz had gone) . I must say that the pie, chips and pint of Wainwright was lovely:)

To summarise, the rest of the journey didn’t go quickly – canal paths get a bit tiresome after a while. I did get to Nantwich at 8.30pm – completing 79 miles. You could argue – well why stop there and then – why not carry on for the remaining 3.5 hours ! My response – not this time – it was always just going to be a ‘fun’ challenge.

Richard Hankins sent in this report from Deeside Multi Terrain Race.

I believe the Deestriders Multi Terrain GP has been a regular event for many years. It appeared to have come to an end this year with Deestriders struggling for accommodation. However, a few weeks ago they announced it would take place once more. It is a series for four races on the first Thursday of the month that set off from Shotton Steel Rugby Club and head out along the Dee, around some fields, through some woods and along the flood defences before circling round again for a second lap. The total route seems to be just under 5 miles and the changing surfaces do make it a different challenge. With the very late announcement of the event numbers were down, but with 84 runners it still seemed viable. It is a very laid back low key club event with a collegiate atmosphere. From Helsby there was Jim Jones, Steve and David Wiggins and I. Results aren’t published yet, but I finished around 29:30 with Jim a few minutes later followed by Steve and David. Be good to see more green vests at the races later in the series. These are on 6 July, 3 August and 1 September.

Jim Jones ran the Welsh 1000 metre race at the weekend

I did the Welsh 1000 metre race for the first time on Sunday and it was one of the toughest races I’ve done with over 9000ft of climb in 20 miles. Thankfully the sun was shining for most of the day, so navigation wasn’t a problem. There was only a short spell of wind and rain, which seemed perfectly timed to start as I was helped out of a stream I’d fallen into on the climb up to Gribin Ridge. Another first for me was getting stung by a wasp on the ankle as I climbed the side of Aber Falls! Some fantastic views along the way, and the best I’ve ever seen from the top of Snowdon. The race started on the coast by Abergwyngregyn and finished at the summit of Snowdon. The route takes you over the summits of Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Dafydd, Glyder Fawr and to Garnedd Ugain before the final push to the Snowdon summit. I had hoped to complete it in 6 hours but finished 83rd in 6:38.

Just in case you are one of the half dozen or so people in the western hemisphere that Fitzy hasn’t told about his triathlon, he’s also thoughtfully written a report about it too.

I tried my hand at something a bit different this weekend, and most of you won’t already know about it as i kept it really low key on social media, so thought i’d send in a quick report about it. I’m just hoping all 3 events make it into the “running” news this week.

This was my first crack at an Olympic distance triathlon, and I’ve had some fun along the way training for it, uploading photo’s of me and my wet suit on our travels to FB, and keeping everyone amused along the way. Strangely, i was not nervous at all, even when we got down to the transition area in Grosvenor Park, Chester, where you rack your bike up and see how much some people spend on this sport, and there i was racking up my BMX.

Time to get the wet suit on, down to the river Dee for a quick briefing, jumping in thinking it would be freezing but surprisingly quite warm. I was really disappointed in myself that i didn’t shout “green army” on the start line but if i had i may have drowned as was trying to start my watch, whilst treading water, and feared the worst that the lady next to me might dunk me, as she had already warned me to get out of her space….charming! The hooter went off, and the scramble for best positions started, swimmers knocking into you and tapping your feet, made me feel really uneasy for the first 200m or so. I managed to calm myself a little and got into my rhythm and slowly made my way up the river 850m, before turning around and coming back down 650m whilst swallowing a fair bit of the River Dee, to be greeted by the family cheering me out the water. I didn’t hesitate to use my running strengths and knocked one poor bloke out the way as I sprinted up to transition after saying sorry to him.

You go through what you will do in transition time and time again before the race. Well my master plan didn’t work as i forgot to start taking off my wet suit on the way to it, which meant nearly 2 and half mins later I  finally managed to come out and onto my bike. I really do feel this is where the race is won or lost, some of the bikes on show where mighty impressive, but then again, it’s the athlete you put on the bike I suppose as well. Well my bike was carrying me and my “Guinness Belly” so i needed to push my legs very hard. My mate who did it, caught me up within the first 5 miles after being a good few minutes behind me, we then managed to stay together for the next 20, heading out of Chester towards Wrexham Ind Est, and turning back around to head back towards the Sandy Lane end of Chester for a quick finish through the City Centre.

Now jumping off the bike and straight into a 10k run, whilst your having a few issues with stomach cramps was not a pleasurably experience, maybe i did take on too much of the River Dee, jelly legged and feeling like i wanted to walk, i managed the first lap and although it was tough i could have pushed a little harder on the run, but I seemed to be overtaking most people now including BBC news presenter Louise Minchin who i see is a fully paid up member of Chester Tri. 3 laps of the park (Handbridge Park I think it’s called, i should have asked Boydy and was very surprised not to see him out and about on one of his tours, but then again i think he was still running around Coventry with Gaz), and over the bridge back along the water front and back out again.

The event was brilliant organised by Chester Tri,  great goody bags, t-shirt, towel and loads more, and extremely well supported, it was like a bit of a carnival atmosphere, lots of family and friends in attendance and was a great day out. I would really recommend this event to anyone wanted to do something a bit different than our normal “running” races we do. I ended up middle of the field and under the 2hrs 45 i had set myself before the race so was off to the pub in a pretty happy mood.

Swim
36:44
36:44

T1
39:28
02:44

Bike
01:55:01
01:15:32

T2
01:56:32
01:30

Run
02:39:04
42:32

https://chestertri.niftyentries.com/Results/Deva-Triathlon-2017#

That’s it for for this week.

As usual all race reports to

helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers

Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up 22nd to 28th May 2017

Hello Green Army

Some serious mileage gone on this week, mainly at the park runs, but some good reports come in this week, go get a brew, take a seat and enjoy.

So first of all lets welcome new club member, Katie Lord, welcome aboard, hope to hear you shouting “green army” at a race soon. Maybe we could also do a little feature in the blog in the near future on new members and what their interests are, and maybe for the new members we can do little feature on existing members and their interests. Let me get back from my jollies and I will sort something out.

Tim Palmer has asked me to remind everyone of the below.

“Hopefully you will have received an email about paying your subs giving the amount and a link to pay. If you haven’t, please contact Tim Palmer on tim@timjenny.me.uk. If you have, please can you pay as soon as possible. If you have and have paid, thank you very much.”

 I have now signed up again and it was very easy to use, brilliant work Tim, thank you

A quick message from Jackie;

Last weeks AGM went well and was well supported. Thanks to those who were able to come and for the many suggestions and comments about our club.  Full minutes will be circulated soon but the two most important highlights are:–
Our new club constitution now allows the club to nominate Honorary Life Members. So congratulations to Joe Beswick and Andy Smith on becoming the first life members for services to the club
and your committee for next year are:-

Chairman      Jackie
Secretary       Phil
Treasurer       Jo
Men’s Captain – Colin T, assisted by Paul F & Chris F
Men’s Vice captain – Mario
Ladies’ Captain – June
Ladies’ Fell Captain – Laura
Head Coach – Joe
Press Officer – Carol S
Social Secretaries – Dave and Lesley
Half Marathon Director – Laura
Assistant Half Marathon Director – Michelle
HCSC Representative – Betty
Border League Co-ordinators – Chris F and Vanessa
XC Co-ordinators – Janet R and Paul F
Sandstone Trail Organiser – Ben

Sandstone Trail Assistants – TBA
Webmaster – Steve R
Stats – Donna and Ian L (with Ben and Susanne Fletcher taking over)
Welfare – Jane A and Ivan
Calendar Co-ordinator– Tim P
Kit Co-ordinator – Donna

            Blog Writers – Colin T, Chris F, Jim J, Gaz
Cheers and thanks and welcome to another year of HRC and the #greenarmy!
Jackie
Also if anyone would like to help us do a blog or 2 or just a guest appearance every now and again let us know, it would really help us bloggers, send in your name to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com
Sandstone trail race director Ben Williams doesn’t get to run our favourite ultra, so he decided on a crazy 100 miler instead, thanks for the report Ben.  
For anyone I’ve not already bored to tears, I did the LDWA 100 mile event – actually 102 miles, and almost 11500 feet of climb, right around the North York Moors. The event started at noon on Saturday and entrants had until Monday morning to complete, with no stops longer than two hours allowed. I entered as a runner, but to be honest was reduced to walking from about 40 miles. The checkpoints were brilliant as always on these events, and were particularly welcoming overnight.

I was expecting a mental as well as physical challenge, and there were some ups and downs. I’d set a target time in my mind, and when it became clear that I wasn’t going to achieve it I felt like giving up. But then I decided that as I was halfway round and was physically ok, I may as well stick it out and I’m glad I did, even though I was reduced to walking. Of the 509 entrants, 151 retired so I’m glad I had the mental strength to keep going. I finished just as darkness fell on Sunday night.

Walking through Saturday night, and seeing first light up on the moors at 3am was amazing, as was walking through a thunderstorm. Some of the climbs up through moorland were brutal though.

Massive thanks to Serena who supported me all the way and looked after me when I finished, and massive respect to Ste Wigs who had to pull out at 25 miles through illness but turned out on Sunday to support me.

Ben

Back after his motorbiking travel Richard Hankins got stuck into the Manchester 10k on the back of the terrible atrocities the week before. 

The Great Manchester Run is according to Wikipedia the third largest mass participation sporting event in the UK (after the London Marathon and the Great North Run). It is also very much a corporate events with live TV coverage and an elite race alongside the mass participation event. I have to say it is the opposite of the sort of races that I prefer, low key, low price, club organised events. However, a group from work were running to raise money for the Christie Hospital so I joined in this year.

It turned out to be a poignant event for Manchester coming at the end of a terrible week and in some ways representing the city’s resilience and return to normality. The organisation is stunning – the whole south of the city centre is taken over and largely pedestrianised. Armed police were everywhere (they had been drawn from across the UK). With in excess of 30 000 people running it is necessary to marshall them into different waves. In this respect I was lucky, I was in the first wave and was able to secrete myself very close to the ‘Fast Club Runners’ who were starting at the very front. To do this however, I had to be lining up on the start line 40 minutes early which was ok on a warm dry day. At the start there was an enthusiastic applause for the emergency services followed by a very moving minutes silence. Some guy then read an annoying poem before we were off.

Even at the front I spent the first 500 m stuck in traffic – with some runners comically out of place. Its is not a pretty race, taking in Old Trafford and Trafford Park but it is pretty flat and fast. There were bands, DJ’s and an excellent and enthusiastic crowd along the route – it made running an experience. The finish on Deansgate was also thorough planned and executed. I ran a PB at 39:09, Carol Shaw came in at 59:52 and Damion Baker at 57:10. As a Mancunian I was pleased to be there this year and to be part of Manchester’s response to terror – if mega events are your thing this is probably as good as it gets. Personally, I think I still prefer the Sutton 6!

Congrats on the PB Richard

Over to CBH to give us a little report and then a bigger report about the dragon’s back race which he actually took 5 days off work to complete….nutter! You choose which one you would like to read, I’ve had to read both for spell checks!!

 

Little report

Did the dragon’s back last week. It also afforded me the honour of raising over £2k including gift aid so far for Head Injured People in Cheshire (they helped me in my recovery).

I was rather concerned about this one given the impact it had on me last time, putting me in A&E the next day for x-rays and suspected stress fractures to both shins. This time day 1 was changed; it took me 10 hours rather than over 15 which had an enormous impact. By day three I was confident enough to race. The heat wave made life very difficult out there for many; resulting in a drop out rate of over 50% (standard for this race!) however I managed to finish running and could not be more pleased over all.

 Day 1 highlight: Crib Goch… and the fly through below me in the Ogwen valley of a Hercules and 2 hawks

Day 2 highlight: Running off Diffwys with Neil Talbot… and the Rhinogs, never forget the Rhinogs

Day 3 Highlight: 4 strawberry splits for £1 … and racing the second half

Day 4 Highlight: Running it all… and the slush puppy in the pub at the end of the day

Day 5: Highlight: Running alongside and keeping pace with Jez Bragg whilst eating a pork pie… Running it all

 I was 20th overall, had an amazing 5 day journey and still feel quite spritely! I can’t recommend the race enough, tough, you need to prepare, but now very much doable. Who’s up for 2019?

Big report

Dragon’s Back 2017.

Last week I went out for a bit of a run across the spine of mountains in Wales known as the Dragon’s Back. This is a 5 day event which is roughly 200 miles in length, 2 Everest’s in climb and, more importantly, descent, over rough terrain. In many places the mantra of ‘think like a sheep’ rewarded me with a better trod than the purely rough ground alternative.

 This was my second time taking on the DBR having completed in 2012. 2012 took everything I had to finish and I am not convinced I ever really recovered properly…. But there is something about this race that just grabs my attention and draws me back in. Starting the race I didn’t know if my previous experiences would be a help or a hindrance; mentally knowing how much further there was to go, not needing to finish, etc.

 Day 1 – Conwy to Nant Gwynant (Via the Carneddau, Glyderau and Snowdon ranges)

We started off from the Castle in Conwy after a stirring wake up by the local male voice choir. A few familiar faces appeared including Jimmy O’Hara, luckily we bumped into Jimmy early on and it was great to have the support. The conditions appeared to be great for running, but turned out to be deceptively close and really difficult to cool off.

 Naturally we all started out too fast, having felt like caged animals for the last 24 hours. I finally managed to catch up with Carol Morgan (a good friend of Fitzy and me from the Ring of Fire, plus I ran a good chunk of UTMB with her) and we spent the day together. Coming off the Carneddau we were treated to an air show as a Hercules flew below us through the Ogwen valley followed by two hawks; it was as if the organisers had put it on specially for us.

I was feeling really out of sorts. Food was going in ok, but not great, my temperature had been worse, but wasn’t great either, plus the lack of water had left me dehydrated despite carrying two litres with me. This continued across the Glyders and I decided to take a slightly different line to Carol to Pen-y-pass which cost me 5 minutes. By the time I caught Carol we were half way to the base of Crib Goch on the PYG track. Scrambling up was a real highlight, but sadly the ridgeline was clagged out. Didn’t stop me running with a huge grin and taking out two further competitors who were clinging onto the ridge.

 The technical running continued but I arrived in camp following a few frustrating errors that cost me at least 15 minutes and I’d dropped a further 10-15 by slowing up on the final bits. I was thrilled with the day though as I’d expected 12 hours and had done it in just over 10. To put this into context, 2012 had taken me over 15 hours as the course was different and had 1000m more climb as well as extra distance.

 Day 2 – Nant Gwynant to Dolgellau via the Moelwynion and Rhinogydd.

We awoke from our tents to find clag from ~150m; with it forecasted to continue I chose not to put on suncream or take my sun hat. Running out from the camp I passed Caroline (3rd overall) and we ran together through the clag over Cnicht and to the base of the Moelwyns, then took different lines before linking up again as we crossed to the Roman steps and the start of the Rhinogs. By this time the weather had changed and was scorching…. So much for the forecast.

 I continued to really play with the mountains, some lines worked, some didn’t, but I didn’t care as I had one of the greatest days in the mountains I have ever enjoyed. A clear day in the Rhinogs is a pleasure indeed; as I ran off the final summit (Diffwys) with another friend, Neil Talbot, I kept trying to tell myself I still had a good distance to go, but my head wasn’t listening. By the time I arrived at the camp it felt like I’d done an extra day! A wash in a cold stream was transformational though… as were the salty chips with mayo!

 Day 3 – Dolgellau to Pumlumon; via Cadair Idris, Tarrens and Pumlumon.

Day three starts with a stiff ascent to the Cadair ridge, but is certainly an easier day mountain wise…. It makes up for it in extra miles instead. Again the morning saw the ridgeline clagged out, but this time I had made sure I put on my cream and sun hat ready for the afternoon. The heat had been intense from early on Tuesday and the mercury was set to rise again… boy did it!

 I was lucky to catch an error from Penygadair early enough to mean it only added ~10 minutes to the day, but crossing the ridge was noticeably easier than I remembered it. That first day in 2012 had really taken its toll, so running this freely was a real delight. Once again I’d hooked up with Caroline by accident at the start, but we proved to be a really great partnership once again. With the Tarrens down all I could think about was picking up a Solero in Machynlleth. I was to be disappointed.

 Arriving at the petrol station to find there were no Soleros was a major blow, but 4 strawberry splits for £1, 3 bags of jelly sweets and a coke sorted me out. I discovered the key to distance running in the mountains is actually just running happy. My friend James ‘Pup’ Harris had shown the way on day one; nipping into the Café on Snowdon to get a can of cider for the technical crossing to y llywydd. That’s an approach I think Fitzy would be happy to adopt.

Having lost Caroline due to spending too much time finding and eating food I eventually left the drop bag point with my stereo on and the bit between my teeth. Getting into a rhythm I nailed the remaining trail section. Catching Caroline and Wouter (the flying Dutchman) then shooting past and really pushing it. I’d started to race.

 Day 4 – Elan Valley & Drygarn Fawr

Having arrived at the finish spent the night before I had failed to take care of my camp admin. Starting day 4 I realised I was going to be off the pace. My good friend I’d known since meeting and sharing a Bob Graham round in 2012, Carwyn had been forced to withdraw from the race with a torn calf. I was gutted for him. The race means so much to him I was actually lost for words as I knew everything would sound trite. His running partner Sam had asked to start with me so I naturally obliged.

 The mercury was pushing upwards again and I was struggling in the heat. It’s my least favourite of the days as the ground is tough and there aren’t really any mountains. Wide open spaces give plenty of time for contemplation and I was feeling a little sorry for myself. Still managed to nail the few lines that I knew and Sam really pulled me along the ‘10K road time trial’ at the end of the day. Finishing next to a pub and a river was a huge winner… especially when they serve slush puppies. My order of a Slush, a coke and a shandy went without a bat of an eyelid – clearly standard in these parts.

 In the evening a huge blow was dealt as time ticked on and Pup had not appeared. He finally arrived in bits. He’d had a similar injury to the one I’d suffered in 2012; his shin just refusing to play ball anymore. Day 5 was starting with a trip to the hospital for him to x-ray for a suspected stress fracture. Bad times.

 Day 5 – Carmarthenshire and the Black Mountain

Day 5 had been absolute hell for me the previous time. With both shins in agony I’d refused to give it in. I’d spent the first part to the drop bag almost entirely in tears. I had not looked forward to this bit at all as 30% of the day is on road and was pretty bland in my memory. How wrong!

 It was another scorching day and my word was it beautiful! Stopping in Llandovery for a coke, Feast ice cream, two pork pies, a bag of space raiders and a huge bag of jelly sweets cost me at least 15 minutes as I got caught behind an old lady doing her weekly shop… it was worth every minute. Getting back going and trying to catch up with Sam I demolished the feast, space raiders and pork pies whilst miraculously managing to keep pace with Jez Bragg. We subsequently leap frogged each other until getting to the beautiful Usk reservoir and the drop bag.

 Finding myself able to use Jez as a target pacer was beyond a surprise, but the week had taken its toll on him too in the form of knee tendonitis. Eventually the elastic snapped and Sam and I finally summitted onto the beautiful Black Mountain ridgeline. It’s a home run into the finish from here; it’s a very long one, but you know you’ve finished – it’s the victory lap. Even the serious heat didn’t detract from the beauty, although that was boosted by an ice cream van and two ice creams (one for each hand). It did leave me with cause for alarm as I sensed a national crisis in Wales… I’d been to a petrol station, a local super market and an ice cream van and none of them had stocked Soleros. It’s a scandal brewing, that’s for sure!

 In the end I was 20th, not that I was ever concerned about my finish position. My aim had been to finish with more dignity than last time and to be able to run all the way. I’m pleased to report that I absolutely accomplished my mission. The perfect end to the best running holiday anybody could have.

Once again more than 50% had failed to finish despite the route being known in advance, the first day being a 1/3 less and everybody being issued with a GPS trace prior to the race. It’s fair to say this race eats its young, but I’m yet to find anybody that has entered and not become deeply entranced by the challenge. 5 days of the best mountain running around. Perfect organisation. Incredible experience and camaraderie… it deserves its legendary status.

A little video from day 1 

This gives a flavour of day 1: https://youtu.be/3SliYGpdjPk

I think you will all agree CBH is pretty good at this ultra stuff, but so are his reports, and now everyone understands why i constantly moan about him saying he talks too much whilst out running with him. Total respect, although a Guinness would be my choice not a cider!

CBH

CBH 2

Park run seen runners out in Runcorn, Warrington, Chester, Delamere, Keswick, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

That’s all for this week folks, happy running.

Helsby RC News from 15th to 21st May 2017

Welcome to the weekly round-up and thanks to anyone who has sent reports in this week. Please keep sending  any contributions to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

I know that everyone’s thoughts will be with families and friends of those affected by Monday night’s terrorist attack in Manchester.  There are a couple of Manchester events included in our events race calendar below, which the organiser’s  website currently confirms “will go ahead as planned “.

We also have our next club Fell and (mini) Fell Counter listed this weekend. Mynydd Myfyr Hill run is a good route for those of you wanting to try out fell running.

Reminders:

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 18.56.16

Racing News:

Latrigg Fell Race – Wednesday 17/05/17

18518308_1490298737681607_3718700260077543865_o

It is great to see Andy Smith back running in the fells after what seems a lot time off with injury. Looking forward to running with you again Andy, and thanks for sending in this report:

“After grumbling the previous week about excessive amounts of climb in a short fell race (blog passim), last Wednesday saw me heading to Keswick after work in search of more ascent in a shorter distance. With 950 feet of climb in 2.4 miles, at least the Latrigg race has the decency to describe itself as a category A fell race.
The race starts in Fitz park and heads out along the stony track heading towards Skiddaw. Shortly after crossing the A66 overbridge, you leave the stony track and climb steeply (very steeply) through trees, eventually breaking out on to the fellside to be rewarded with fine views off to the right of Derwentwater leading away to Borrowdale and ahead to the ridge line of the Dodds and Helvellyn, basking in the glow of warm evening sunlight. Plenty of time to enjoy the view as the climb continues to the summit of Latrigg. Top reached and it’s turn for home and an impossibly steep descent.
Latrigg is one of the classic lakeland fell races and the course record is still held by the legendary Kenny Stuart from the 1980s. I wasn’t going to be bothering Kenny’s record any time soon, any battles I would be enjoying were going to be right at the other end of the field. However, a long way in front of me Finlay Wild from Lochaber was having a serious crack at Kenny’s record. Finlay’s wining time of 17:28 was the fastest the course has seen for many years, but still didn’t come close to scratching Kenny’s time of 16:37. Kenny himself was in residence back at the club house to help handing out prizes at the presentation.
I wasn’t quite last, and at 32:13 even snatched a handful of seconds of my previous time. To be in the presence of one of the great heros of our sport, and to bear witness to a serious challenge on one of his long standing records was an honour. A spot prize of three bottles of locally crafted beer completed a perfect evening in the fells, all combining to make for a very memorable return to fell running.

Andy”

Christleton 5K – Friday 19/05/17

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Friday evening saw 10 of us take part in the Christleton 5k, which was our 6th club road  counter. It was a glorious summer evening and there was great support along the way, with at least as many Helsby members cheering us along the route as there was running. Christleton is a fast course and some great times were had. Chris Fitzpatrick was first back for us in 17:06 followed by Richard Hankins in 18:54. I managed a 5k PB of 20:08 while Carol Shaw and Janet Shaw both came first in their categories.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 17.29.31

Old County Tops – Saturday 20/05/17

old county tops 2

Thanks to Steve Riley for sending in the photos and following report from the Old County Tops long distance event:

“Jim O’hara and I ran the Old County Tops on Saturday, a long distance event in the Lakes linking Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Coniston Old Man. I say ‘ran’, I expect Jim and old county topsTattenhall’s Peter Taylor (it’s a pairs event) ran quite a lot. We trudged a fair bit and were not far off DFL – I had a bad day, got my food and drink wrong and was pleased to get home intact. Hadn’t appreciated how much rough, boggy ground there was and long stretches of bad weather made it stiff upper lip territory (nearly 30% drop-outs). I ran it with my boss Dave Haygarth from Rossendale – probably one of the worst kind of team building exercises you can do 🙂

Jim and Pete had a really good run and came in around 20th.

Steve”

Excalibur Trail Marathon – Sunday 21/05/17

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There were 10 of us who participated in this race last year. This year, it was just me! I felt I had a bit of unfinished business with this race, as last year it was my first long race after returning from an injury. This year, the day stayed dry and started off pretty pleasant in the Clwydians but became really humid and then hot as the sun broke through later. I drank 3 litres of water while running but was still dehydrated and cramping up at the end. The free sports massage at the end was great for the cramps though. This year saw a slightly amended route with the race starting and finishing at the lower car park of Moel Famau. This resulted in something of a ‘sting in the tail’,  as the last mile now includes a climb before dropping back down to the finish. I had hoped to sub 5 hours but was about 2 minutes over. A good result though as still about 15 mins faster than last year, and I finished 20th overall.

Chester Half Marathon – Sunday 21/05/17

34805639915_8740f87a49_o

Ten Helsby vests were in the Chester Half Marathon this year, with some cracking results again. Jane Ashbrook seems to be keeping her form from London with a 3rd place category finish. Great results from Chris Collins and Neil Finnegan too, who both had a top 50 finish. Well done everyone!

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 18.26.53

Parkrun – Saturday 20/05/17

Despite it being such a busy racing week, Helsby still put out 13 runners across 6 different Parkruns on Saturday morning. Some great results that can be viewed in our club’s consolidated report HERE

I think that’s it for now.

Jim

Helsby RC weekly round-up 8th May to 14thth May 2017

Hello Green Army

A bit of sad news to start the blog this week. Former club member Albert Berry, 73 years young, passed away earlier this week. Lots of lovely comments have been posted on the Facebook page and we want to send our thoughts to his family and friends. A sub 30, 10k runner in his prime Albert was a very talented runner, but very modest at the same time. He made everyone new to the club very welcome on club nights, and he loved the social pint and a chat afterwards. He will be missed.

Albert’s funeral will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 24th May at St Michael’s R C Church, St Michael’s Road, Ditton, Halton, Widnes WA8 8TF, and afterwards at St Michael’s Rooms.

Albert

Some good news now, our very own Joe Beswick has been given Honorary Membership of the Fell Runners Association, both for his running exploits in his earlier years and now his support. This is another achievement to put on his running CV, very well deserved Joe, be sure to congratulate him if you see him, I’m sure he will tell you a few stories about his exploits.

 A message from Betty

Mersey Weaver District Scouts are fundraising their way to Norway for the world’s northernmost jamboree in the Arctic Circle, The Helsby Community Sports Club, have teaming with up to organise a Fundraising family fun day on 3rd June

Our fun day on 3rd June Helsby Community Sports Club is shaping up to be a great day. Alongside the family fun fair, climbing wall, and birds of prey display from LORD of the WINGS, children’s soft play area, dog show with Vets Helsby and vintage tractors, Go Ape have confirmed they will be attending with a couple of instructors and swegways, there will be demonstrations from Deva Cheerleading Academy – Chester and, Filipino Eagles, Childrens Martial Arts, face painting from Party Faces, lots of community groups have signed up to have stalls, the sporting sections from the club will be providing taster sessions, there will children’s story telling with SHOUT OUT BOO 2 and lots lots more

Scouts Helsby Family Funday

Park run seen runners out in Runcorn, Chester, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, Conwy & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Geoff Collins sent in a report on the Thurstaston Summer Multi Challenge race 9th May.

Seven Helsby runners entered the race this year up from two last year, but sadly we had no ladies this time. Wirral and Merseyside clubs were well represented among the 194 finishers but not many from the Cheshire clubs. Weather conditions were much better than last year with a nice sunny evening and dry conditions. However Colin and myself managed to get an age category prize!

This is a really cracking good multi terrain race. Just £4 to enter starting in the same place as the September one by the caravan site. The usual shuffling backwards, forwards and sideways to allow cars past took place before the race could start. The course takes you towards the slipway down onto the beach and back to Heswall rather than Caldy.

There is just over a mile of running on the beach which was quite wet in places, I think for me this was the best bit of the race glorious in the setting sun and the views across the Dee estuary. Just before the sewage works you head off the beach on a track and climb up to a narrow road past a few houses heading towards Broad Lane. This continues as you cross the Wirral Way on a bridge heading up towards The Dales the next off road section. The unwelcome sight of steps going up comes into view! Then it’s a bit of a loop round the wooded Dales before yes you guessed, more steps going down again! Back to the road and onto the Wirral way finally onto the grassy headland dodging the rabbit holes to the finish. I was frantically trying to catch Tim on the closing stages of the race.

Many thanks to Christleton High School Art Dept for the photo

Results

1 Phil Robertson Wirral AC U30M 34.01 the winner

11 Colin Bishop Helsby (1st 055M) 37.37

44 Davyd Michell Helsby U40M 42.45

57 Jim Jones Helsby O50M 43.48

103 Tim Igoe Helsby O30M 48.41

110 Geoff Collins Helsby (3rd O60M) 49.35

138 Chris Morgan Helsby O60M 53.19

139 Chris Igoe Helsby O50M 53.27

Geoff Collins

geoff.docx

Bargain at £4 if you ask me.

Debbie Read sent in a report for The Llangollen 10k trail race

The Llangollen 10k trail race was recommended to me by a running buddy who did it last year – I’m passing the baton and recommending it to you.

The most beautiful 10k trail run in the UK is the heading on their website, and while it is undoubtedly very pretty, personally I’d class it as a multi terrain as there’s a fair bit of road in it.
“Welsh undulating” it starts in the sports field next to the Dinas Bran Leisure centre starting field and after a lap and a half of the grass running track we headed out past the leisure centre, UP the first stretch of road (having done the fell race last week I was starting to worry) then back DOWN into the sports field and DOWN onto the canal, ALONG for a couple of kilometres. Then it was UP a lane, OVER a bridge, UP a track, ALONG a track. At this stage the leaders were starting to pass me on their way back to the canal. UP a field with long grass, AROUND the field (grass still long – hard work I can tell you). DOWN the field onto the track – my turn to pass those on their way up, ALONG the track, DOWN a lane and back onto the canal (drink station) After a couple of kilometres and seeing the car park and hearing the finish on the other side of the canal we passed the 9k sign “that can’t be right” said the bloke doing battle with me but it was – OVER the bridge, UP onto the sports field, UP onto the road, DOWN the road to the leisure centre, back onto the sports field and 300 metres on the running track to finish where the Town Cryer rang everybody across the finish line.

Limited to 500 runners (sold out with a waiting list), a well organised, well marshalled race.

debbie read

Just the mention of Dinas Bran would scare some of us off doing this, but I must admit stunning scenery in this neck of the woods.

Good to see Andy Smith back running after a lengthy spell out with injury, Andy sent in this report

Whitehaven Habourside 5k

My word, is nothing flat in this corner of western Cumbria ? For those of you wondering how much ascent you can get in 5k road race, the answer from the Whitehaven Harbourside 5k is in excess of 200 feet ! On a sunny, but somewhat breezy, spring evening last Tuesday, 136 runners of all abilities lined up on the cobbles of the harbourside in Whitehaven. This gives a nice flat, fast, traffic free start to the race…

Now Whitehaven sits in a natural bowl on the coastline, so once off the harbour, the only way out is up.  After half a mile round the harbourside the steep climb begins past the distinctive Candlestick Chimney, one of the last few remains of Wellington Pit.  This is a sufficiently steep climb that the race needs two lead bikes : one to the foot of the climb, the second taking over when the leaders reach the top. The path snakes round the Candlestick with engraved flagstones underfoot lamenting the passing of the pits which had brought so much employment to the area, whilst also acknowledging how hard and dangerous the work was.

Climb over and the runners are rewarded with fine views over the Irish Sea with the coast line carrying on to St Bees Head (starting point of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route). Our curent focus is a little closer to hand in the form of the preserved pit head winding gear at Haig Pit Mining Museum, which forms the half way mark and turning point. One 180 degree turn around a traffic cone, and we are heading back the way we came. This time with views to the north and the wind farm off the Galloway coast, across the Solway Forth, just visible in the distance. The evening sunlight just catching their sails. Somehow, the steep descent back to the harbour didn’t seem to give as much back to tired legs going down as it had extracted from them coming up and once back on the cobbles of the harbour it was the usual story of just trying to keep it all together in the last half mile of a tough 5k as I sought to sprint to the finish. With that 200+ feet of climb in the early stages, this was never going to be a PB cpurse, so I’m happy with a finishing time of 23:26 and 47th position. The winning times were 17:38 for the men, 20:42 for the ladies.

All in all, a fun little race. Traffic free round the harbour and over cliff top paths and surprisingly scenic, given that apart from a handful of preserved remains, there is no other evidence in the landscaping of the industrial past of this small coastal town. Definitely one to keep in my diary for next year.

Andy

Sounds like a great 5k, but where are you mile splits mate?

That’s it for this week, bye for now

Fitzy

Helsby Weekly Update 1-5-17 to 7-5-17

A busy week this week, but before we get to the reports here’s a quick notice about the Deeside Multi Terrain series that starts early next month and runs through the summer.

dee

Firstly, from Col T at Amberswood 10K Trail Race 

Myself and Louise ventured over to Wigan for the trail 10k on Sunday, a lovely course around Amberswood which takes in path, trail, grass and bridleways. It was quite a low key event with only around 250 runners but it was expertly hosted by Wigan Harrier with excellent marshalling and loads of encouragement from the volunteers.

The award ceremony at the finish reminded of a fell race with all the banter and spot prizes! As I was the sole Helsby runner at this race I thought I’d do my best to fly the flag for the club and managed to sneak a win after a battle of cat and mouse with a guy from Bramley AC most of the way around so I was very happy with the result and prize.
All in all a great morning out in the sun and would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for well organised cheap trail race.

col 10k

Results here:
http://www.ukresults.net/2017/wigan10k.html

Fitzy sent this in from the Helsby vs. Felsby fell race at Dinas Bran

Another great turnout for leg 2 of Helsby V Felsby at the Dinas Bran Fell race at least a third of the field was in a green vest, it was like an invasion of Llangollen!

So provisional results that I know you all want to hear, I won’t go into too much detail but I think they are correct.

Helsby Men 9 runners
Felsby men 5 runners
Helsby women 0 runners
Felsby women 7 runners
Helsby men 220 points v Felsby men 129
Helsby women 0 points v Felsby women 196
Total Helsby 220 v Felsby 325
1st Leg Helsby 371 v Felsby 309
2nd Leg Helsby 220 v Felsby 325
Total Helsby 591 v Felsby 634

Winners and deservedly so Felsby who retain the title, I’ll present the wine and trophy to Adam Gordon who we have just chosen in the car on the way home as the Felsby captain and turncoat 🙂

Thanks to everyone who took part, the main aim was to bolster numbers and I think it worked again, had a blast.

dinas

Paul Cunningham sent in this, also from Dinas Bran.

Arrived early excited in  knowing I was going to set a new PB yes my first ever Fell Race – fantastic turn out by the green army felt like a local run around Helsby Hill – beautiful evening weather perfect.

To be honest a more relaxed atmosphere than a road race – I even managed to stand on the startline like an elite runner but felt out of place and slowly manoeuvred myself towards the rear of the pack – home sweet home.

The race started 2 laps of a small field through a gate onto a steep hill  – I kept a steady pace happy to reach the top without too much trouble – tight right onto another hill with an even steeper incline within a minute I was struggling  crying out for a water station – looked at the watch and we had completed 0.7miles.

I couldn’t believe it I had to walk  the remainder of the hill – once onto the off road pathway I began running once more after all it was a race and started to enjoy my surroundings – turned a corner and a marshal pointed us right – I looked up and started to cry all I could see was a stream of Sherpas sorry runners making headway up the mountain face  – picked my line and felt every muscle in my legs and back burn – forehead stuck to the ground I made slow progress – once I eventually got to the Hillary step swapped over onto oxygen I pushed on to the summit – we had a weather window and had to grasp the opportunity  – delirious from reaching the summit I turned and shouted “ Yo Adrian I did It”.

Now time for the downhill – within a few meters I realized that I had grown up into a responsible adult  who doesn’t  like to take chances  – full risk assessment completed site specific and I snagged the descent  – more safety rails required and ground uneven needs urgent attention

Such a rush running at full pelt downhill – It’s great to be alive – then we had the pleasure of doing it all over again as 2 laps required.

Finished back on the playing field greeted by the rest of the Green Army – absolutely loved every second of this race.

Fell running leave the watch at home and amaze in your surroundings.

Congratulations to Felsby – Fell runners are fit as hell.

Now for a couple of reports, from Fitzy and Andy Robinson, from this years Sandstone Challenge.

I say it every year but it’s the best pound for pound race about, for £20 you get a coach to the start in Whitchurch, 5 checkpoints well stocked with food and water, and plenty of marshalls willing to help you out. Once your weary legs get back to Frodsham community centre you are greeted by the local scouts who wait hand and foot on you whilst you try and recover. What more could you ask for?
A win maybe? Again for me it wasn’t to be, after CBH hunting me down around mile 30 last year and me finishing 3rd, it happened again in virtually the same spot, with winner Lee Ireland passing me with 2 miles to go. Having ran with him for around 26 miles, i went approx 90 secs ahead going into the last checkpoint, but I just had nothing left when i got to Frodsham hill, even though Chris Collins tried his up most to gee me up and get me up that hill. I did go one better this year coming in 2nd, although a little disappointed i was very happy about my 12 minute PB, finishing on 4 hours 42 mins on a very quick and dry course in near perfect conditions.

Most years this is a good enough time to win it. I can’t even blame my navigation errors, 3 of them within the first 3-4 miles. This is my 4th time running this, but i get lost around a running track me so it’s par for the course these days. This race really did take me to a dark place at the end, I gave everything i had, I’ve never felt so exhausted and took me a good hour to come around. Never again i said, but I’m sure i will be back again next year.

Well done to everyone involved, i cannot thank you all enough

Fitzy

fitz sandstone

Andy Robinson sent in this info from the SSC

Sandstone Trail Challenge 2017
This year’s Challenge went well again, with a record 206 finishers and a record amount of food eaten.  Conditions were great underfoot, with no mud at all, and it was a cool day with perfect running conditions.

The results, a race report and a link to hundreds of photos are all on the Challenge webpage at

helsbyrunningclub.org.uk/sandstone-intro.htm

There were 7 Helsby runners, all of them heroes of course:
2nd: Chris Fitzpatrick, 4:42
33rd: Phil Roberts, 5:58
34th: Gaz O’Connor, 5:59
35th: Jim Jones, 6:00
39th: Gareth Boyd, 6:09
81st: Lesley Feakes, 7:06
84th: Roy Duffy, 7:16
Finally, the full results for Helsby runners at parkruns last weekend can be found below.

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Cheers

Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up 24th – 30th April 2017

Hello all. A big thank you for all the reports, it’s a monster blog this week so grab a brew, put your feet up and let’s get started!

Mini Trail Series Reminder

It’s our first “Mini Trail” race of the series on Tuesday 9th May at 7.15pm at Thurstaston on the Wirral. The route takes in trail paths, beach and the Wirral Way, total distance for this is around 6 miles, nothing too difficult, only a bit undulating and is a stunning race on the Wirral coastline, pretty cheap to enter too at only a fiver on the night. Let’s try and get a good turn out of green vests for this folks.

http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/openingframe.htm

AGM

Please keep the date of our AGM free if you can; it’s Wed 24th May following our training run, 8:30pm in the Helsby Community Sports Club.  It’s our time of year to reflect on last year and discuss the next one. All your comments & ideas are greatly appreciated & accepted!  Your committee (listed on our blog) have mostly said they will carry on for another year – unless of course anyone else would like to have a go!  However:-

Ian Lancucci who keeps count of all our club championships throughout the year plans to step down next year so we are looking for someone to shadow him this year to take over next.

Jo Lacking is finding it difficult to act effectively as Lady Captain with increasing work away from home so we are looking for a ladies Captain to focus on the roads & in particular the Border League.

Andy Robinson will be stepping down as Sandstone Trail Challenge organiser after this year’s race. Ben is happy to take over this role but has suggested we create a team of say 4 people to co-ordinate the race (mainly on race day). This works so well for the 4 Villages & is the best way forward to spread the load.

Agenda here: 2017 AGM agenda

Please let me know (in advance if you can), if you would like to volunteer, have any ideas or need any information to make you decide jackiekeasley@btinternet.com,

Cheers

Jackie your chair.

Sandstone Trail Challenge Sat 6 May – Cake Appeal

Those of you who are into cake baking, please, if you possibly can, bake something for the finishers in the Sandstone Trail Challenge.

We’ll have 250 hungry runners and walkers turning up in Frodsham on 6 May after doing 33 miles, & they deserve it!

Anything you can bake, please, to Frodsham Community Centre, Fluin Lane, any time on the morning of Saturday 6 May.  The finishers start arriving from about 1pm.

Thanks  very much!

Andy & Ben.

Just for info

The Thursday blue grass will be in the Lounge Wednesday the 10th as the Darts final is on the 11th their normal day. So Bowls and runners will be in the TV bar. I have sat in on the blue grass and they are quite good!!

Also the Great British Tennis weekend
SAVE THE DATE: SUNDAY 14th May 9am – 3pm.

Free mini tennis, junior tennis, cardio tennis, tennis express and family tennis.
All equipment provided.

BBQ lunchtime

Book your FREE place at

www.helsbytennis.co.uk

Thanks
Betty

Hale 5

Firstly the belated results from the Hale 5 (17th April) which we missed in the blog last week.

Roy Gaskill, Ian Hamling, Joanne Lacking, Rachael Holden and Geoff & Janet Shaw all competed in this fast 5 mile race around the roads of Hale Village. Roy had a cracker despite running on sore ankles :0

Well done all

Full results here http://www.ukresults.net/2017/hale5.html

Borders League No.7 – Wrexham

An excellent report sent in from our BL Coordinator Fitzy. A big thank you for rallying the troops this season! What a fantastic season we’ve had, over to Fitzy for his words on the final race at Wrexham…

“We headed over to Wrexham for our final borders league race of the season, to race a 4.4 mile industrial estate route which is part of the Village bakery half route. Another cracking turnout seen 31 green vests, who also took part in leg 1 of Helsby V Felsby (Helsby lead the way going into the 2nd leg at Dinas Bran Fell Race by 371 points to 309, no doubt all the big guns of the fell running world will be out to come from behind and take the title again)

This was a super quick race, with a lot of people recording their fastest mile splits that they have ever done in the first mile, and it didn’t half tell with strong performances from all, with the Men coming in 3rd overall again for the 3rd time running, and Helsby ladies coming in 4th. Colin Thompson coming in 1st for the men, and  Jane Ashbrook 1st for the ladies .

The mens team finished the season 5th, only 21 points off 4th spot, whilst the ladies after taking penalty points at the beginning of the season pulling it back to finish 5th as well, again only a few points separating them and 4th spot.

For us who stayed for the presentation afterwards, Helsby came home with 6 trophies in total.”

Colin Thompson 6th senior

Chris Fitzpatrick 8th senior

Laura Baynham-Hughes 4th V35

Neil Finegan 6th V40

Jane Ashbrook joint 3rd V40

Debbie Read 1st V55

Full results

http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/results/

Congratulation to everyone who took part and thanks for all your kind comments, hopefully i haven’t nagged you all too much and will see you all back in September/October for the start of the new season.”

Mid Cheshire 5k  (28th April)

Three separate reports for our 5th club counter from Ian Rutherford, Danny Ryder and Davyd Michell. Thanks guys and well done to everyone who took part.

First up is Ian…

“There was a bit of extra excitement around this race than normal as it was to incorporate the English Athletics’ Championships.  What is already a super-fast course, which attracts the best local runners, would see some genuine Elite-class on the starting line from far and wide.

In reality, apart from seeing a few more thorough warm-ups than normal; you didn’t get to see much of the elite field as a runner in the race (well I didn’t), expect it was good from a spectators vantage point though. What was great to see was lots familiar faces both those in the green vest and other clubs as well; clearly this race has fast become a local favourite.

A number of us felt we had PB potential given the fast course and that became reality for quite a few which (hopefully) has been highlighted in the results.  For me (and to keep this succinct) I would single out the following for particular mention:

Danny Ryder’s 16:51 showing what a genuinely quick runner he is and most definitely much more to come (especially if we can keep him off the bike a bit more) 😉

Davyd Michell’s whopping PB now at 19:16 over 40 seconds quicker than previous and consummate to the amount of effort and training he is sticking in…sub 19 is the next attainable target mate.

And last but by no means least, Adele Croxton, first lady home for Helsby on the night and ran a PB 21 mins dead (sadly the sub 21 was provisional – see below)

A slight frustration observed by all were that the provisional times being adjusted upwards, in some cases by 3-4 seconds; which in my case was enough to alter my equal 12 year-old 5K PB of 17:48 to 17:51 in the qualified results. Hey ho, I’m sure they did this so they knew I’d enter the summer race as well 😉

Great running everyone.”

Next is Danny Ryder…

“On Friday the 29th of April Danielle and I, along with a good number of other Helsby members ran the Mid Cheshire 5k. The race also incorporated the English 5k road champs and as a result there was a very strong field in attendance. After watching some of the rather serious looking warm ups, I thought I’d better get moving myself and went for a bit of a run around Ball Lane.

Suitably warm I made my way to start line and found somewhere out of the way of the serious looking runners. After some time, the race official managed to coerce the front guys behind the start line so the race could actually start.

The race started incredibly quickly, a combination of adrenaline and the downhill start. I tried to keep the pace in check, aware that what goes down must go up. The ‘climb’ was more of a drag really, but 20m elevation gain has never hurt so much. Once the ‘climb’ was crested there were a few rollers to deal with before the final kilometer on the main road, again downhill. I had spent the previous 4km waiting to get to this point, however once I made it there I found my legs unwilling to increase to their cadence.

Following some loud encouragement from Steve Riley and Paul Frodsham (sorry if I’ve missed anyone, it was all a bit blurry by this point) I managed to find something extra and kick on in the last 400m to gain a few places before the finish.

All in all, this was a great race with plenty of PB’s being set by all. I’ll be back in August to run again, hopefully with a bit more speed training I can come back and set another new PB. For anyone looking for a fast 5k road race run on closed roads I would definitely recommend this race.”

And finally over to Davyd…

“Friday at Kingsley saw the running of the Mid Cheshire 5k, not only was this a club counter but also this year the inaugural England 5k Championships. This gave the runners the chance to mix it with elites, and if you were good enough to run Sub 14:40 for the men and 16:40 for women you got you own changing facilities and toilets!

23 Hesby vests took park with many testing their legs to see if 2 fast races in 2 days was a good idea. The course is now getting a reputation as one of the fastest around and this meant there was a full field of 476 runners finished. The green army performed well on the day and with some fantastic support around the course, noticeably The Frodfather positioning himself strategically with 400m to go to ensure we all got that last bit of energy out, ensuring some great times, and Pbs. 1st home was Danny Ryder in a rapid 16:51, well done, but even he was 2:51 behind the winner, Ben Connor who clocked a course record 14:00…wow!
1st Helsby lady was Adele Croxton in 21:00, well done. Performance of the race for me goes to Carol Shaw who clocked 21:29 for 1st in her age category, cracking running.

Flushed with some Pbs, tired legs, hungry and thirsty 11 Helsby runners made a quick get away for the main event of the evening refueling with curry and beer in Frodsham like the afleets we are. A good evening was had by all and there were a few sore heads the next day, but it was a great way to finish off the evening and hopefully we can repeat this in future with even more of us.”

Full results of the race here
https://cutefruitevents.niftyentries.com/Results/Mid-Cheshire-5K-Spring-2017#

Some photos here, curtsey of Mick Hall
http://mickhall.zenfolio.com/f668639386

If you want to run this course the good news there is another even in August, but be quick
https://cutefruitevents.niftyentries.com/Mid-Cheshire-5K-Summer

Hartland Heartbreaker

Jim Jones has been at the long hilly stuff again, this time at the Hartland Hartbreaker. Over to Jim with this fab report…

“On Saturday I nipped down to North Devon, pitched a tent, and ran the 18 mile Hartland Hartbreaker while catching up with some pals from Ilfracombe Running Club. The race starts and finishes in the hidden grounds of Hartland Abbey and includes over 2700ft of climb around a stunning coastline. It rained all day, making a tough race that bit more interesting as there was lots of slippy mud along the cliff edges. It was great fun though with no shortage of alcohol along the route. There was a Sangria stop, then a Prosecco and a Tequila stop (but I can’t remember what order they were in!), and then halfway up the final muddy climb, there was man with a barrel of real ale! After partaking in the delicious brew, I was handed a rope to assist me up the final slippery push. It was all down hill then to the Abbey and the much talked about “river crossing” – though it was more akin to a wide stream for a fell runner. I didn’t win anything but got back uninjured and had good laugh.”

Results are here:

http://northdevonroadrunners.com/component/zoo/item/hartland-hartbreaker-18-mile-results-2017

OMM Lite

A brilliant race was had by super couple CBH & LBH, it was Laura’s first foray into mountain marathon running and what a brilliant result guys. CBH has sent in a full report…

“The bank holiday weekend saw Laura and I take on the OMM Lite – a taster for the full mountain marathon experience. There was a long and short score class on foot or mountain bikes but rather than needing to carry your camping gear and overnight food competitors parked vans, pitched tents and could buy their food from the camp or the local pub should they wish.

Having ventured out to race at the border league on a splendid Wednesday evening we immediately realised the error of our ways. Wednesday had been a revelation, dodging the drudgery of a mountain environment on such a fine evening so we could run in a rectangle around an industrial estate. Sadly, we were forced to endure the Brecon Beacons for two whole days. Disaster.

Given that Laura had never run for more than 2.5 hours before I was cautious in working out what we could achieve within the 7 hours we had. The plan had been to run for a bit and then enjoy a nice walk out together. Early doors we came across another couple and the competitor came out in the pair of us.

I’ve spent more of my life with Laura than without her, yet she still manages to surprise and amaze me. In the end we ran for pretty much the full 7 hours and clocked up 35 miles and a sprint finish to come in having used all but 40 seconds of the 7 hours. Looking at the leader board we were first. Overall. By 120 points.

The other couple came in and we were bumped into second, despite us being faster than them. A smarter route had allowed them to take in an extra 30 points but late back meant they were 28 points ahead. One small Nav error had cost us 20 points (although we would have incurred penalty points for being later home) but the real blow had been the decision to go into the woods which was convoluted vs a now obvious line. Oh well, we’d had an amazing day out and were celebrating over a few beers so mission accomplished. We’d never dreamed of being right up there, but third overall and second in the mixed was a total result.

Day 2 started well and according to plan. I’d planned out a couple of routes the night before based upon expected open controls and totalled up the values to make the decision. We got going and despite thinking she wouldn’t be able to walk after day 1, we were soon running along. We finished 22 miles later and 2.5 minutes over our allotted 5 hours due to a small issue with a fence. Checking the leader board the other couple had smashed it. I’d made the error of not doing a secondary visual check of the open controls on day 2 so there was a far more efficient route that the two orienteers had spotted.

We were still incredibly chuffed with how the weekend had gone. 3rd overall, 2nd mixed. A podium finish was well deserved for our first mountain marathon together. Hopefully the first of many!”

Results: https://www.theomm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/omm-lite-overall-results-sheet1.pdf

Diggle Cake Race

Steve Riley has sent in this excellent report for the Diddle Cake Race. Any race with “cake” in the title gets my vote! Over to Steve…
“Ben F (sadly out of action) put me on to this one last year.
Saturday saw the Diggle Cake Race, 10 miles of pure evil/fun over the moors and reservoirs around Saddleworth, beyond Oldham. The charge? None. Free entry for home bakers, a fiver for the lazy/more conventional. A 2 pound donation in the hall afterwards buys you a cuppa and as much cake as you feel you’ve earned. In my case quite a lot. Strava reckoned on 2000 cals total for the day – quite a backlog to address. Some super fast performances up at the front (recognised at least one international on the list) right through to the gaggle of club mates at the rear an hour or so later, grinning at the sheer daftness of it all.
 
The race? Oh, the usual moors, steep climbs, stream crossings, tussocks, steps, fast descents. Jamie D for company who had me for a few places, despite usual protests of heavy legs and no fitness.”

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Parkrun

If you made it this far please see the consolidated results from all the park runs on Saturday. Well done to all the green vests who made it to one.

http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

Phew! That’s all this week. Thank you again for all the superb reports, it really illustrates how active the club is at present. The future is definitely green! 🙂

Col T

Helsby RC News from 17th to 23rd April 2017

Welcome to the weekly round up and thanks to everyone who has sent reports to the inbox this week – there’s a good few this week. Please keep sending anything in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Firstly though, a couple of reminders:

Tomorrow – Wednesday 26/04/17 at 7.15pm – Borders League Race 7.

It’s the final race of the series tomorrow, to be staged at Wrexham AC with a presentation after the race. Let’s have another great turn-out to consolidate the hard work done so far!

Next Wednesday 03/05/17 at 7.15pm – Dinas Bran Fell Race

At Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen. This is our next Club Fell Counter and also a Mini Series Counter. I believe the Dina’s Bran and tomorrow’s Borders race are also included in the Helsby v Felsby series ( See Fitzy’s FB posts for more details).

Racing News:

Goldrush Trail Race – Saturday 22/04/2017.

We had two Helsby Trail runners over in Coed Y Brenin on Saturday. Danny and Danielle Ryder participated in the GoldRush Trail. Thanks for sending in the report guys:

“The Ryders made a day trip out to Coed y Brenin for the Goldrush Trail race on Saturday which is arguably the best waymarked running route at Coed y Brenin. A short 8.5mile route makes the most of the amazing singletrack on offer with some really technical climbs and descents, and amazing views. The race didn’t start until 1, so a leisurely drive including a stop for breakfast and cake still got us to the venue with time to have one of the cafes excellent flapjacks and for Danny to drag me on a really hilly warm up! As normal I said my good byes to Danny at the start line and left him at the front to find a space further down the field. It was an amazing run with some of the best weather we have ever had at Coed y Brenin with a remarkably dry trail – it was my first time running the entire route and keeping dry feet! Despite this Danny still managed a fall, but I suppose that’s excusable as he did finish 6th overall. I can definitely say the track sessions on a Monday night and the hill sprints have helped me this year as I overtook on the climbs, but I definitely need to work on my descents as they always catch me back up. Luckily for me the route finishes on a steady fireroad climb so I managed to overtake two females to come 9th female overall. It was a brilliantly organised race and we would recommend any of the races at Coed y Brenin. This is our third race at the venue having ran their winter half marathon route and their 3 hour night trail wales races. Definitely recommend a Helsby day trip if anyone fancies it – really good showers and a café J

Danielle and Danny”

Full result for the Goldrush Trail Race are HERE

 

‘Teenager with Attitude’ and the ‘Anniversary Waltz’ fell races – Saturday 22/04/2017

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We had a few of the Helsby crew up in The Lakes on Saturday for two fell races, one of which was another of our club counters. Thanks to Tim Palmer for sending in the report:

” Saturday saw a small team of Green Army runners heading for the Lakes for two ‘overlapping’ fell races – Jim O and Phil R for the monster Teenager with Altitude race (15.4 miles 7,600 ft ascent) aka Teenager aka TWA – as I didn’t run it, I can’t say much other than Jim was the first home and both Jim and Phil looked as though they had a challenging run.

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Suzanne, Laura, Phil G and I opted for the slightly lesser Anniversary Waltz race (11.5 miles 3,600 ft ascent) which shares it is the same last 7.5 miles with TWA. The Anniversary Waltz race is held each year to celebrate the marriage of Wynn and Steve Cliff, the race organisers, in 1996. The Pete Bland race map says it ‘has some of the worst and best of Lakeland fell racing. The worst – the 2.5miles of track and road out of Little Town. The very best – the final descent off Catbells, a downhill finish to the free beer in the Village Hall.’ I don’t fully agree with this – the worst is actually a nice warm-up for things to come and the best should include the amazing run from High Spy to Maiden Moor – lovely running, great views. I do agree with the ‘brutally direct’ comment about the climb up Robinson – mile 4 has ¼ mile of vertical ascent with bits at 1 in 2.81E43435-FFA8-4ADD-A0D8-35F5858810B5

Laura was first home for Helsby, followed by Tim, then Phil, and then, Suzanne who crossed the line with Sharon and Jen from Tattenhall (after possibly a more social race than the rest of us). A great day in lovely weather and terrain – a fell race to remember – brilliant day out.

Still waiting for results to be published online. The Anniversary Waltz is our 2nd fell counter with Phil and Jim’s times in TWA being multiplied by 0.63 to give them Anni Wa times.

Thanks to Ben, Andy, Sue, CBH and the mini BHs for support out on the course (and some managed a chat with Joss Naylor, a fell racing legend)”

Loads more pics are available HERE and HERE

London Marathon – Sunday 23/04/17

We had 5 Helsby members running in the London Marathon on Sunday and some fantastic times were had. Well done everyone!

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Park run – Saturday 22/04/17

Parkruns were busy this weekend with 18 Helsby athletes participating in 7 different events and as far afield as the USA, from where Ben Williams has sent a brilliant report (below). A couple of other notable finishers were a new PB’s for Colin Thompson (17:35 and 1st place) at Phoenix, and Jim Higgins (21:57) at Delamere.

Helsby’s consolidated parkrun results can be viewed HERE. Well done all park runners, and thanks to Ben for the report:

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun

“After booking our holiday to the US, I realised that with some careful planning I could run my 100th parkrun there. So after running my 99th a couple of weeks back, a couple of volunteering stints meant the plan was a goer.

Parkrun is still relatively new in the US, but there are three in the Washington DC area – I found myself heading for Roosevelt Island DC parkrun, the most central of the three. The venue is an island in the Potomac river which serves as a monument to Theodore Roosevelt. It’s a beautiful green oasis surrounded by the city, but with jets roaring overhead every few minutes to remind you you’re in the capital city.

The turnout was pretty small, with a lot of tourists. I met runners from Bristol, Hampshire, Dublin, as well as Australia and the US. I don’t know why numbers aren’t higher amongst Americans, I passed plenty of runners on the way there so it’s not that they don’t run. Prior to DC we’d been to Boston, which is a running-mad city and they don’t have a parkrun at all – I don’t get it.

The run itself was lovely, trail paths which reminded me of Delamere, and a long section across a raised boardwalk crossing a swamp. It was mostly flat with small undulations, including a tiny but nasty climb at about 4.5k just to turn legs to jelly at the end. I was hoping for a single-figures finish but got passed by two guys near the end, putting me 10th. A finish position I’m never likely to repeat in any race!

Because the field was so small, everyone stayed to watch the last runners come in, have a chat and sign the visitors book before heading our separate ways back to the city. It’s a brilliant, low-key, friendly event I would recommend to anyone who finds themselves over there.

Cheers
Ben”

Wirral Track Endurance Series 2017

Davyd Mitchell sent in this report which includes details of the Track Endurance Series. There are still 3 events that can be entered this year – details in Davyd’s report (thanks Davyd) :

“A couple of Wednesdays ago I attended the Wirral Endurance track series. This is a series of track races ranging from 3k to 10K and a chance to run at the famous Bebbington oval, location of the chariots of fire film.
Tonight’s race was 5k and blustery conditions met the 15 runners as we took the line, abilities were wide ranging which unfortunately meant I got lapped a bit, lapped a runner and spent 5k chasing 1 runner to no avail. This did have the benefit of me finishing 12th and being happy with my 19:54 for a PB.
This was the first in this years series of 4 races, the next is a 3k followed by 10k and then the final 5k. The great news is that its only a £2 to enter on the night, so would be great to see a few of us do this.

Results and details of the series can be found HERE

Davyd”

That’s it for this week folks. If I’ve missed anything let me know and I’ll update the blog. Keep the reports coming in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Hopefully see you all tomorrow at Wrexham for the Borders League,

Jim

Helsby RC weekly round-up 10th April to 16th April 2017

Hello Green Army

It’s hard work putting these race reports together seeing we don’t get that many in these days, come on help us bloggers out a little and send in a quick race report please, address as per usual, helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

A few notices of events coming up in the next few weeks and also 2 of our most popular races of the year that sell out pretty quickly, so get in there fast.

Tattenhall Tough Team is to be held on Friday 23rd June 7pm, it’s a brilliant event where you team up with 3 runners, and run the 9 mile course taking on the famous railway or stairway to hell as they call it. You can enter on the night in past years but it gets busier and busier so wouldn’t want anyone to miss out. I’m not organising it this year as to be honest it’s a nightmare to sort out loads of teams so I ask you all to sort out your teams and get the forms printed off and sent in asap. On Facebook we have started organising teams so if you are not on FB feel free to email me Fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com and I’ll let people know you are interested.

http://www.tattenhallrunners.com/our-races/tough-team-race/

Dearnford Lake relays is to be held on Thursday 13th July 7.30pm, again its teams of 3 and you all run as fast as your legs will carry you for 2 miles and then hand over to your partner to run the next and again for the last leg. This will sell out, so get your entries in fast. I know Bish and Jane have been helping organise via Facebook but again if you are not on FB email me again if you are needing to join a team.

http://www.whitchurchwhippets.co.uk/relay.aspx

This is what we have so far

Men – I have tagged as Helsby Men ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ are: –

 

A

Colin Thompson

Colin Bishop

Chris Fitzpatrick

 

B

Ian Rutherford

Ian Hamling

Ivan Davies

 

C

Davyd Michell

Jim Higgins

Paul Cunningham

 

Women

A

Joanne Lacking

Rachael Holden

Juni Swift

 

B

Rhea Howard – Armitage

Shan McCarthy

Gill Fitzpatrick

 

Borders League

 

It’s the last race in the borders league season next Weds 26th April, 7.15pm, to be hosted by Wrexham AC. Again a big turnout is needed please so we don’t incur penalty points. Both mens & ladies teams have done so well this season lets finish the season on a high.

 

http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/fixtures/

 

Also, it’s Helsby V’s Felsby 1st leg, so whoever turns up (numbers are low at present) then just let me know who you want to run for as you will get points for your team. The 2nd leg is the Dinas Bran Fell Race on 3rd May. I really want to boost numbers at our fell races and this one is brilliant, more details to follow next week.

 

Park run seen runners out in Runcorn, Chester, Shrewsbury, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

 

Over to the captain for the weeks only race report.

 

Our 4th road counter saw a sea of green vests lining up to tackle this lovely 5 mile route looping around the back roads of Mickle Trafford. This race in particular is what I love about club organised races, cheap as chips to enter, a fast course and a friendly rivalry and banter with all the local running clubs makes it one of my personal favourites.

 

The course itself can be a PB course if tackled correctly, it has a fast first 2 miles which is all down hill but you need to leave something in the tank for the slow drag back up to the finish. We saw plenty of PB’s from the troops with myself, Fitzy, Ian R, Davyd, Adam, Debbie Read, Tanya Downes (2 minute PB!) and I think Wiggo? all taking slices off our 5 mile PBs, there may have been more I haven’t heard about so please let me know if you got a PB. It’s also congratulations to Jane Ashbrook who is looking in fine shape for the London Marathon and had a superb run for first Helsby lady home. Carol Shaw had a fabulous run to win 2nd in her age group as did John Gallon who was 3rd and a little further down the field it was great to see Shan, Rebecca Gibson, Charlie, Emma Barnes and Chris Morgan all putting in a valiant effort to tidy up the Helsby pack.

 

Thank you to our support on the night, Louise Spruce, Michelle Gordon (and kids), Serena Williams, John Earlston, the Frodfather and of course Joe and Mario.

 

Helsby results below:

 

14 Colin Thompson 27:53

26 Chris Fitzpatrick 28:44

38 Adam Gordon 29:30

45 Ian Rutherford 29:44

57 Jim O’Hara Helsby 30:12

93 Richard Hankins 31:55

113 Davyd Michell 32:55

114 Christopher Murray 32:45

127 Jane Ashbrook 33:23

153 John Peaker 34:31

188 Gary O’Connor 35:46

202 Carol Shaw 36:27 (2nd in age cat)

218 Roy Gaskill 37:07

219 Debbie Read 37:03

255 Geoff Collins 38:51

257 Geoff Shaw 39:01

263 Christopher Igoe 39:08

270 Stephen Wiggins 39:16

307 Edward Roberts 41:15

318 Chris Morgan 41:45

331 Jackie Keasley 42:30

341 Tanya Downes 42:55

368 Shan McCarthy 45:02

377 David Wiggins 46:21

380 Emma Barnes 46:32

382 Rebecca Gibson 47:07

387 John Gallon 48:12 (3rd in age cat)

423 Janet Shaw 48:37

 

Full results here

 

https://wcac.niftyentries.com/Results/Essar-Chester-Spring-5

 

And last of all a special mention to Debbie Read, who had a couple of very successful racing results – a 5 mile pb at The Spring 5 and a WAVA pb (82.15%) at Chester parkrun – all just a few weeks before 60th!

 

She has put this down to the Castle Park Monday night sessions, “those hilly footpaths are hard work but I can honestly say I’m going to miss them throughout the summer – thanks Joe and Mario. I’ll be at the high school but it won’t feel the same”

 

That’s it for this week, good luck in all your up and coming races, especially the London crew

 

Bye for now

Fitzy