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Want to run with us (member or not)? Join us on Monday evening, Wednesday evening or early Friday morning – more here: https://www.helsbyrunningclub.org.uk/club-nights/ for details.

Weekly blog 20th Jan to 26th Jan

Hello Green Army

You will all be glad to know that the 2020/21 club counters have now been finalised (with a few dates and start times TBC)

We have done it a bit differently this year, as we wanted to encourage as much participation as possible and make it accessible for everyone. We have had dwindling numbers recently so are doing it this way for this upcoming season, and if we need to change things for next season we can, but the committee got together and thrashed out loads of ideas and this is what we come up with.

Basically, there are 5 disciplines, Road, Fell, Trail, Borders and Cross Country. The Borders and Cross country dates are TBC as we don’t get these fixtures until July/Aug time. There will be 7 races in each discipline. Your best 5 are to count and a a minimum of 3 are needed to qualify for a prize. You will also notice that there are no clashes (yet).

Here is the big change. To qualify for Club Overall Champion, you have had to have ran at least 2 races out of the 7 from each discipline. So that means you’re going to see me on the fells getting lost somewhere in Wales sometime soon.

See more details on our much improved website below with is ace btw (thanks Steve R)


Can I also thank everyone who contributed to this, Tim, Ben, Laura, Phil, Karen, Col, June, Debbie and anyone else, too many to mention who were at the meetings. We have tried to cater for everyone, there will even be a turning up cup I believe as well, so watch this space.

Any questions fire them over

Warrington 5 mile trail series
Race 1: Winter 25th January 2020
by Karen Horsley

If you’re averse to a little mud then this race is definitely not for you!

I’d first heard of this series in 2018 and my plans to run last year were scuppered through injury which left me even more keen to sign up for the 2020 races. It was a lovely surprise to find out that Geoff and Hayley (and Geoff’s friend Carole) were also running, although through illness Hayley couldn’t join us.

Race 1 - Karen end

The four race series is organised by Warrington Running Club and the course start is at Colliers Moss, near Warrington. It’s chip timed and the medals are themed around the seasons with the remaining races being held on 28th March (spring), 27th June (summer), and 17th October (autumn). It was fairly pleasant weather for the winter race, not too cold, not too windy, not too bright, as 368 brave souls waited for the start.

Race 1 - Kai warrior

The series Facebook page had promised mud and they certainly weren’t kidding. The race began along a nice solid track but soon had us slipping and sliding along a single file path, up and down hills and through muddy water troughs with plenty of marshals on hand to help if needed. The 5 miles seemed to pass by relatively quickly because we were having so much fun, as Geoff said, “with mud and puddles almost deep enough to swim in” – how could this race be anything other than fun?! The camaraderie on course was great with loads of encouragement from race marshals, other runners and spectators, I especially liked the young girl on the last hill climb shouting that we’d conquered all the mud! Great running by all, fabulous goody bags and medals and a great sense of pride at what we’d achieved. Very much looking forward to the next race.

Race 1 (1)

Geoff: 00:46:04

Kai: 00:49:55

Carole: 00:57:28

Karen: 01:02:30

Race 1- team




Below are the full results for Helsby members at parkrun this week





Monday 13th – Sunday 19th January 2020!

First blog of the year…

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 2020 promises to be a fantastic year for runners! 

Please please can people send in reports and updates for us to share in this blog. They can be short and sweet or longer as you wish. It’s really interesting to hear first hand what everyone has been up to. 

Send them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com


Thanks very much to Debbie for this report ..


Saturday saw me don my 2nd claim club vest and join 10 Delamere Spartans to partake in the Buff Winter Trail Half Marathon at Coed y Brenin, Snowdonia. 

Despite having to scrape ice off the car before leaving home the weather for the run was absolutely glorious – cold, crisp, sunny with not a breath of wind – it certainly showed Coed y Brenin at it’s best.  

Starting at the visitors centre the 1st mile is straight uphill – bit of a shock, but a sign of things to follow! The challenging race is approximately 8 miles of fire tracks and 5 miles single file woodland tracks with the uphills tough and the downhills very enjoyable. With feed stations at 6&10 miles providing drinks and torq gels it’s a very well organised race with encouraging marshals and very well marked.


At the finish you get a travel cup with either soup/tea or coffee and a genuine Buff buff.

If you like running in Delamere and you’re not afraid of hills I’d recommend this race – apparently they do a summer version where you’ve got the option of doing 10k, half or full marathon.



 Thanks sounds tough but lovely!


 Marshalls Eye View of the 4VMH 

A misty day with some sunshine leaking through set the scene for the 4VHM. The conditions were ideal. Not too cold and roads frost free. The Helsby machine worked brilliantly setting everything up as planned. 

I was posted at an early post then moved to the last marshalling post and therefore saw the runners when they were looking both fresh and exhausted. The atmosphere was fantastic at both positions. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves enormously. 



The support for the runners was fantastic with a really vocal crowd at the last post cheering everyone on right till the end. 



Our youngest helper!



Lots of support from clubs..



And lots of shouting and encouragement from the lovely marshalls..



I absolutely love helping at this event. It is wonderful to support such an inclusive race.  Mick and Phil brought a smile to everyone’s face as they flew round. 


Looking forward to next year already.  Many thanks to the team of organisers who do a brilliant job every year.


That’s it … keep sending in your news…😀


Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 23rd to 29th December 2019

Happy new year everyone!

Not much in the inbox last week, I assume you were all enjoying yourselves too much over Christmas! Remember if you do a race please fire a report over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com, even just a few words or link to the results will be enough, generally if the bloggers weren’t at the race we won’t know about it!

Firstly a message from our Chair Phil:

I trust you had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year, I certainly did. My running was curtailed a bit by the fact that on Boxing Day, I pulled a stomach muscle celebrating Grimsby’s first goal in 6 matches against Macclesfield but ho hum.

Just a couple of things to mention; we are looking forward to another fantastic 4VHM, Laura’ team are well ahead with the preparations but still need more volunteers, so when these requests come out, please consider that the club’s success is based upon the hard work of the club pulling together.

In anticipation of a successful event and by way of celebration, Paul Frodsham has agreed to give a talk on the History and humour of the club after the club run on Wednesday 22nd January, it is bound to be great fun. Chip butties will be provided, so if you would like to attend please let Louise and Helen know via HelsbyRCSocial@outlook.com

Cheers Phil

Northwest Sunday League XC – Arrowe Park

Please find the belated results from the cross country race at Arrowe Park on 15th December. Well done to Chris Murray who was first home for the Green Army and Rachel Arnold who was first over the line for the ladies.

53rd Chris Murray
85th Kevin Smith
164th Steve Riley
209th Chris Morgan

38th Rachel Arnold
56th Sue Buck
57th Debbie Read


There were two parkruns last week, there was an extra one on Christmas Day which I can’t seem to find the link for unfortunately. Well done to everyone who took part in one, the consolidated results from the Saturday parkrun is below:


That’s all this week, good luck to everyone who is running at the Cheshire XC tomorrow!

See you soon

Col T

Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 8th to 22nd December 2019

Merry Christmas everyone

It’s a double blog this week as there were nothing in the inbox last week, but doesn’t look like there is anything this week either! So all I have are the 10k time trial results from last month and parkrun results 😦

Firstly though just a quick announcement about the 4 Villages recce this weekend. It will take place on Sunday 29th December at 1pm.

There will be 3 groups:

1.30 to 1.45 – Col T
1.45 to 2.00 – Gaz Boyd
2.00 plus – Ben Crossley

I could do with some volunteers to lead the other two groups, if you could spare a couple of hours on Sunday to help out please let me know. You can contact me at col808@hotmail.com or 07872121898.

10k Time Trial

Please see the results from last months 10k time trial below. It was another victory for one of our newer members Mike Fryer who smashed it in 38.57 and a brilliant run by June Swift saw her first over the line for the ladies. Well done both! A big well done to everyone else who took part, we had a great turn out so long may it continue!

It wouldn’t be possible to put on the TT without the crew, so thank you to all the volunteers who were Louise Spruce (results), Tracy Woods (timing) and Jackie (tail runner).

We are having a break this month for Christmas so the next TT will be on Weds 29th January.



  1. Mike Fryer 38.57
  2. Ben Crossley 40.28
  3. Darren O’Connor 40.34
  4. Ed Halliwell 43.15
  5. June Swift 43.31 (1st lady)
  6. Ian Landucci 47.18
  7. Ben Tumilty 48.20
  8. Ste Wiggins 52.18
  9. Mike Barnard 53.26
  10. Neil Fergusson 55.33
  11. Lauren Cooke 1.01.15


  1. Chris Igoe 38.32
  2. Graham Lloyd 38.38

Northwest Sunday League XC (Arrowe Park)

The results don’t seem to have been uploaded to the website for this yet so I’ll try and include them next week if they are available.


Well done to everyone who has taken part in a parkrun these last two weekends, please see the consolidated Helsby results below:


That’s all this week, remember if you did a race and would like to send a report over for us to include in the blog please email the blogging team at helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Col T


Weekly update: 2nd Dec to 8th Dec


Just the one race report this week, Richard Hankin sent this in from the Vale of Clwyd Half Marathon

I’ve been running a half a month as part of my marathon training. There are few halfs in December but I found this one on the internet. Run by Outfit it has been going for 10 years and goes out from the village of LLandyrnog near Denbigh.

Steve Wiggo had also signed up having run it before. Culturally, its more like a fell race than a half with only 111 participants and numbers handed out on the day. Chip timing was done using the organisers mobile phone!

The course has around 600 foot of ascent: it is an odd course, constantly undulating with some fast runnable hill sections. Run on open roads these were at times very narrow and covered in mud and slime. But the area is beautiful and the event is friendly and at £22 pretty good for a road half.

They provide no cups, just water butts at a few locations. I found this useless and on a hot day it wouldn’t work at all. The ‘feed station’ at halfway was also a box of jelly babies in a hedge that I missed.

I didn’t see another runner from mile 2 to the finish and it felt a little like a time trial….but, I enjoyed it and will be back next year.

I came fifth in 1:31, Wiggo was 68th in 1:56.

Full results from the various parkruns from this week are below



Helsby RC weekly round-up. Monday 25/11/19 to Sunday 1/12/19

Hello! Hope everyone has been enjoying running in the lovely winter sunshine. Please let us know what you have all been up to at helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.
Thanks very much.

Message from the Chair.

Cycle club talk on Wednesday 4th Dec (tomorrow)
Calling all members, we need you. Helsby Cycle Club are putting in a lot of effort to give us a good evening tomorrow night (after the club run) so lets get down to the club and support them.
HCC will be telling us about what they do and setting up some interactive stations for us to have a go. I would like us to be building up some strong links and supporting this new member of the HCSC family, as endurance athletes we have loads in common and loads we can be doing together. 
Not forgetting the draw for our London Marathon place which will be happening during the evening, if you have a rejection slip and qualifying races ffom the Border League, then you are eligible. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU QUALIFY FOR THE DRAW BUT ARE NOT ABLE TO MAKE IT ON WEDNESDAY, THEN LET ME KNOW (phil.gillard1@btinternet.com)
Chip butties will be provided, please let Louise / Helen know if you are going to be coming – HelsbyRCSocial@outlook.com  
Thanks Phil

Borders League Race 3: Birkenhead Park, 1st December 2019

This Sunday saw a great turnout for the third Borders League race on a beautiful but crispy and frosty morning. The park looked stunning with lovely autumn colours catching the sun. Once we had found the posh loos (in the nearby college) we were all very happy.
We had to go very carefully round the many twists and turns of the four lap route round the park. The frost on the ground did not appear to melt despite the herd of runners stomping repeatedly across it. 
Great results for Helsby with the Division 1 men standing sixth in the tables and Division 1 women an impressive 3rd. Helsby men Vets in 4th place and Vet women 3rd. 

Well done everyone – such a great series. See detailed results below.

Next Borders is Abergele on Sunday 12th January at 11.00am. Be there or be square.

Lastly a reminder about this Saturdays Christmas bash (7th December) amidst HoHo Helsby celebrations 
Plan is to still meet up in Railway for 5pm, Beer Heroes for 6pm and maybe meeting in Helter Skelter around 8-9pm (Chris F can confirm)
That’s all for this week. Happy running 😀.

Helsby RC weekly round-up. Monday 11/11/19 to Sunday 24/11/19

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to those of you who have sent something to the inbox this week. Sorry if you missed the blog last week but there wasn’t anything in the inbox. Please remember to send any contributions to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.


Borders League Race 3 –  11am Sunday 1st December – Birkenhead Park

A reminder from Fitzy:

“Borders league race 3 next Sunday, Birkenhead Park is the venue, 11am start. Its 4 laps around the park, very flat and quick course. I’m hoping for another huge turnout like last time out, who’s in?

Postcode for the college is CH43 8SQ


Racing News

Marbury Night 5 – Wednesday 20th November 2019

Well done to the Helsby ladies who completed the Marbury 5 on Wednesday night – and thanks to Laura for the report:

“On Wednesday Carol, Vanessa and I headed to Marbury Park for the inaugural Marbury Night 5 event organised by Northwich Running Club. Head torches at the ready we headed off for a great 5 mile route around the park on tracks, muddy paths, over bridges and past lakes. The atmosphere was great and the route was well marked with loads of marshals which seemed to be having as much fun as we were! A tasty cup of hot soup at the end finished off a great event. Just over 150 runners took part and results can be found here http://marbury-night-race.com/?fbclid=IwAR1iy7GZF5p4kH9CJDq9l2TxceUtllx9PeTaOrNgRgQv21Hx8Inls9LIvV8




Liverpool and District X-Country – Sefton Park – Saturday 23rd November 2019

Over to Susie Woodwardmoor for a write up on the weekend’s x-country. Thanks Susie!

“Great atmosphere at the L & D  X Country event at Sefton Park on Saturday. Loads of events taking place one after the other, lots of stalls and loads of spectators. 
Four women ran in the Senior women’s race with Hannah Cowley putting in a great performance despite the numerous muddy slippy corners that the Sefton Park route contains. Sue Buck stormed into second place for Helsby ladies. Well done ! Great effort. Love this race. Need new spikes before the next X country, mine have split!
The Senior men’s race saw 8 Helsby runners taking part in what looked like a competitive field. Three laps in challenging and deteriorating conditions looked tough but they glided over the mud. Great turnout! Fantastic job! 
See you next year Seffie Park! “

Combe Crawler – Sunday 24th November 2019

I ran in the ‘Combe Crawler’ on Sunday. The race starts and finishes at Marlborough Park, the home ground of Ilfracombe FC, and is an eight and half mile race with some tough climbs and stunning views of the coast. With heavy rain the preceding days there was plenty of mud and water but no rain on race day. The route is mostly off road but there are a couple of tarmac stretches and some good runnable trails. With 1700ft of climb in 8.5 miles it’s not an easy race. The race has the strapline “Bringing you to your knees over 8.5 hilly miles” however its usually the social event afterwards that brings me to my knees – and I’m pleased to say this year was no different!


Our club consolidated results for Saturday 23/11/2019
Our club consolidated results for Saturday 16/11/2019
That’s it for this week,

Helsby RC weekly round up 4th to 10th November

Lots of great reports this week, thanks for sending them in.  But first a quick mention that the Christmas Party will be on Saturday 7th December and will take in the festivities of Ho Ho Helsby!

Guess the Time – Wednesday 6th November
by Phil Gillard

Fifteen hardy souls braved a cold night for the first “guess your time competition” of the winter season. The competition is about being able to judge your pace without the help of technology, all the participants warm up by running to the top of the High School and then do one or two loops of the Matty’s lane / Godscroft lane route. Prior to starting they have to commit to an estimated time and the closest to their time is the winner.

Before going into the results; a big thank you to the marshals and time keepers; John Gallon, Mike Collins, Tim Palmer and Helen Gillard.

It was great to see some of our very new members showing up the experienced runners with some excellent pacing:

Third was Stacey Andrew who was 22 seconds off her predicted time, second was Ben Tumulity who was 16 seconds out, the winner being our very newest member Ste Currie who was came in within the 3 seconds of his estimated time – well done.

The next competition will be mid February.

Well done all, that’s some accurate guess work!

Heaton Park Half-Marathon and 10k – Sunday 10th November
by Susie Woodward-Moor

Flossy wanted to improve on her time for half marathon as the last one she did got her the under 23 club record but was done with me for charity and undersold her ability. So we found the Heaton Park half (we booked it before we knew the Borders dates sorry!) it said good course for a PB which I am not sure I agree with – it was pretty hilly! I was supposed to join her but chickened out and did the 10k instead.
Flossy did four laps (and a bit) I did two. This suited us as we got to know the course and could pace ourselves.
The start timings were staggered so it was a happy coincidence that we met each other right where the course photographer was!
I get the feeling this race is quite new as there were a few teething issues mainly to do with signage but it was otherwise a great event. Lots of people shouting ‘Come on Helsby!’ including the dude on the Leader bike. He must be one of our friends 🙂. I would definitely recommend it, and as as long as it doesn’t clash with next years Borders we will do it again. It was good value for a half marathon. Anyway Flossy smashed her time by 15 minutes so she was delighted. We need to wait and see if she retains the club record!

Lovely photo of you both and well done Flossy on smashing your PB.

Pen Llyn Winter Ultra – Saturday 9th November
by Ste Wiggins

When I entered this race it was a beautiful sunny day around 18 degrees, when it came to running the race it didn’t get above 5 degrees and rained all day but hey! The race starts from Pwllheli golf club and after registration we all braved the elements and stood on the start line, flippers at the ready. I looked at all of the chiselled athletes and then back at myself on the start line mars bar in hand (and yes I’d been to Mcdonalds that morning). We set off in direction of Abersoch and towards Llanbedrog headland a short climb up to the tin man and then back down to the Warren beach whilst running upstream/downstream through puddles and constant mud. Having only fallen over once it was a good start and a good flat section on the beach was ahead.
Sure enough no dramas on the beach and it was time for the cross country section of the course which is full of hills, mud and yes you guessed it rain. Heading away from Abersoch and over to Ty Coch via the Llyn Sailors path I got to practise my breakdancing on the various muddy fields. Ty Coch is the pub on the beach and the main cut off at 18 miles, fortunately we made this in good time and could allow ourselves some hot soup and snacks. Not wanting to get too cold we shot off fairly quickly with the next section being the longest between checkpoints.
A brief change to the rain situation! We where now running into it rather than with it. Heading towards Nant Gwrtheyrn we navigated the coastal paths and moving well with a few little climbs before the biggen itself. Once at the bottom of Nant we dug in as it was a long uphill slog to the top of the road and then to the BT tower off to the left. We made it to the top of the BT tower just about with the cold definitely setting in now. Honesty book page retrieved and sweets conned off the marshal we headed back down the hill to the next check point.
Now totally dark it was the long descent into the checkpoint at another pub, sadly no time for a pint but glad to get warm and get some food ready for the final push onwards to the finish via the roads. We had a time limit for this event of 10 hours and with the total distance ranging from 35 – 39 miles we couldn’t be sure if we would make it. Having run on the road which felt like forever we eventually came to some marshals pointing us up a hill having already done 36 miles and with roughly 20 minutes to the cut off.
A quick slip and slide up and down Pen y Garn hill and we came to a set of steps and then the main road, the race was on! 15 minutes to get back to the golf club. Cold, tired and a general dislike of golf, things where not on my side but running as fast I could down Pwllheli high street (we’ve all been there). Running past homebargains and lidl the signs for the golf club came into view. Another quick sprint and the finish line was in sight but sadly so was the 10 hours. I clocked the race as 37.6 miles with 4454ft of elevation in a time of 10:00:07, in dubious circumstances the text confirming my time said 9:59:59 but hey I’ll take that.

All in all a brilliant race was had at the Pen Llyn Winter Ultra even if it did rain ALL DAY and I didn’t get to sit on a single bench.

Great achievement Ste.  Well done in magically making the 10 hour time limit and on getting up and out the next day to enjoy the sun at Deeside Borders!

Borders League race 2, Deeside – Sunday 10th November
by our very own Borders League exponent, Fitzy
What a fantastic morning to be running a road race. A bright, crisp Remembrance Day morning saw Deeside AC Host a record breaking 446 finishers. This was a short demanding 4.3 mile course, with a big hill, but what goes up must come down. It was great to see 37 of you out with a lot of new and old faces but still a lot of borders league regulars missing, it would be great to see you back on 1st December pretty please.

A big shout out to Hannah Cowley getting the ladies win and course record I believe and Colin Bishop coming home 1st for the men after running in the Warrington Way relays the day before, along with a lot of others as well, amazing commitment, you know who you all are.

Thanks to Jane and Mario for the support and the cakes, apparently someone told me you only turn up for the cakes, I don’t believe that, I know you do it for me.

Full results below. It looks like the men have an uphill battle even this early on in the season to remain in the top flight, whilst i know the women can improve and claw it back to challenge for that top spot.

Next race is 1st December, I believe around Birkenhead park.




And finally my own report for Borders League – Deeside
by Karen “what’s broken now?” Horsley

It was a beautiful morning for a run, autumn sun filtering through the trees and a slight chill in the air, some might say perfect.  The event was well managed and the marshals were so friendly and supportive.  The only downside was the hill… and what a beast of a hill it was.  However, what goes up, as they say, eventually we hit the downhill – alleluia!

I’d like to say I was pleased with my run, and I guess I was, but coming in third from last didn’t exactly give me reason to crack open the bubbly!  Although, thank heavens I wasn’t last!  Having been injured for longer in my running journey, than I’ve actually been not injured I know that I couldn’t have put any more into it, and at the end of the race my leg was extremely sore (to the point that I thought I’d be back on the sofa for the next few days, although thankfully this eased relatively quickly).  But pushing myself that hard and coming third from last, well… it was a litte disappointing.

However, for me, Borders is about more than finishing position, it’s being able to take part, doing my best and being part of a team, and that is actually what’s important.

Well done to the Green Army for a fantastic turnout and some great racing.  I look forward to seeing lots of green vests at race 3 on December 1st.


Please find the consolidated Helsby RC results for last week’s parkrunners, well done to all, as well as those who volunteered on Saturday.


That’s all folks, this blog comes alive through your contributions, so thanks and keep the reports coming.

Email to: helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Happy running!
Karen 🙂

Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 28th Oct to 3rd Nov 2019

Hi everyone

Not much in the inbox this week, just the one report and the 10k TT results. I’m sure more people have been out and about racing, if you did a race and would like to let us know about it please send a report over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com. Just a few words or a link to the results would be great, generally if the bloggers weren’t at the race we won’t know about it!

Before we get to the racing news Fitzy has sent over a rallying call for the Borders League on Sunday…

Borders league race 2 this Sunday in Deeside, it’s a 9.30am start so hopefully with it being local and early we can get a good turnout. Post code is CH5 4BR

Who’s playing out?

10k Time Trial

Please find last Wednesdays 10k TT results below. A fantastic run by one of our new members Mike Fryer saw him take the chequered flag and dip under 40 minutes, great stuff mate, there’s more to come for sure! Lauren Cooke was our first (and only) lady with a superb run in 1.07.58 Well done Lauren, and well done to everyone who took part, it’s great to see members turning out each month and supporting the event.

Big thanks to our volunteers who were Jake Holmes (timing), Richard Hankins (marshall) and Ben Tumilty (tail runner). We’re having a break over Christmas so our next event will take place on 29th January, hopefully see you all there!


  1. Mike Fryer 39.04
  2. Daz O’Connor 41.07
  3. Chris Lloyd 42.33
  4. Ian Llanducci 46.03
  5. Ben Williams 48.53
  6. Lauren Cooke 1.07.58 (1st lady)

Snowdonia Marathon

Rebecca Tate has sent in a brilliant report for the Snowdonia Marathon last month, well done Rebecca!

“Saturday 26th October dawned grey, cold and raining, ready for almost 3000 of us to run on the roads around Mount Snowdon. I kept warm in a cafe for 2 hours before the start, which involved drinking a lot of tea and coffee as etiquette requires, but then spent the following 4 hours wishing there weren’t quite so many waterfalls and streams around reminding me of how badly I needed the loo (of which there were none!). 

By the time we started the rain had almost eased off, and it soon became dry once we were going, turning into perfect cool running weather in the end. 

There is 3000 feet of elevation on this course, and Pen-Y-Pass was the first of the big hills, but strangely it wasn’t really noticeable [mantra “it’s not as steep as The Yeld” kept me going, though it must be said it was considerably longer!] and we were soon heading back downhill towards Beddgelert, which was packed with people cheering. There was plenty of support around the route, very regular drinks stops, and having found a new friend to run with, we chatted away and the miles passed quickly. I realised that – far from needing to panic about the cut-off time at mile 18 (which I ended up within by one and a half hours) I was actually on for a time here! 

My “walk 20 / run 20” method up the final massive hill worked a treat, I overtook a lot of people – though I knew at the time it was here that would cause me a lot of pain the next day. And I was right! At the top of that hill was a Mad Hatters Tea Party – the oddest sight in the middle of nowhere, somewhere on the slopes of Snowdon – “cup of tea?” asked a big flouncy dress, and I didn’t mind if I did. However, just a quick slurp then onwards as I wanted a decent time. 

The next part was all trail – which was good because I don’t get on with road running or road shoes, and had done all of this in my trail shoes as a result. Those in road shoes were now sliding about all over the place – it had rained so much, the path was a stream flowing over the stones, with the grass on each side turned to bog. I kept upright, but the steepness of the descent was very very painful bearing in mind this was now mile 24 or 25. But all that melted away when we got into Llanberis and the streets were lined with people cheering us on, there was the finish for a decent paced final run up, and I felt quite emotional about it all. I got a time of 4 hours 39 minutes which is a PB for me, and was delighted. 

I would happily do this race again, as the atmosphere, organisation, frequency of drinks stations and the views were outstanding. It’s going to become a ballot entry system next year, so it may be more difficult to get in. Onwards now to London 2020 where I understand it’s not quite so undulating  ;-)”


Please find a link below to the consolidated results from last Saturdays parkruns, well done to everyone who took part in one. The standout performance was from Darren Sankey who had a stormer to win Phoenix parkrun in 18.34 and attaining a new PB in the process, anyone who has ever ran Phoenix will appreciate how quick that is as it’s a very hilly challenging course. Well done Darren!


That’s all folks, keep on running!

Col T

Weekly Roundup from Monday 21st to Sunday 27th October

Not a huge amount in this week’s Halloween Blog – keep letting us know what you’ve been up to. Not everyone sees the facebook posts so its great to get your race reports sent through for everyone to see. Send them to Helsby-Race-reports@outlook.com

Remember, remember the 1st November…

Thanks very much to Jake Holmes for sending this report (it didn’t come in time for the week it took place but here it is a week or so late – well worth a read!) Well done Jake amazing job.. 100 miles!!!

Snowdon 100

People who’ve read my reports before will know they can go on… so for those in a hurry… “I completed Snowdon 100 Ultra on the weekend… it was great… a lot went on!”
There you go, no complaints please.   Now to return to form… and for those with some time.

There’s a 50 and a 100 mile race. Starting at 6am Saturday in Betws heads out to the hills and goes up Tryfan, Snowdon, the Glydwrs and Pen yr Olwen before heading back to Betws (finish for the 50 and half way for the 100) via a big divert to get some final ‘less hilly’ miles in. 
There were 40 or so of us on the 100 start line and when we set off I found it comfortable being up in the front group. I knew I wouldn’t be there all day but it was flat for a few miles so wanted to get those under my belt nice and quickly. The following few hours gave good climbs and pretty strong winds and rain. I’m gonna skip ahead to the last climb of the 50, Pen yr Olwen. It’s a tough one but the weather was fine and so when we (I was chatting to a couple of runners on the way up) got to the top to be told the route was being altered a bit to avoid a ridge because of the weather (it was still fine) I was pretty disappointed. 
Jump to about 45 miles and I’m running on my own back to Betws. It’s about 9pm and has been by head torch for a couple of hours. This was the hardest bit mentally… the altered course was bothering me…
‘So if we’ve just been diverted off Pen yr Olwen now, what are they going to do with the 100 route? I’ve seen the course before so what’s the point in heading out again to do what might end up only being 80miles or something? The kids are at home, you could just knock it on the head and have Sunday with them’. ‘Is this really how you want to spend your time?’ 
Yeh you see, bad times. 4 miles from the Betws though, a group of 5 or so head torches come bobbing along catching me. Just what was needed – a bit of chat and a good pace with some guys chuffed to be coming to the end of their race. I jumped on and picked up the pace to stay with them. Almost as soon as I did I knew I was carrying on regardless of the final distance. In Betws they crossed the line and I caught up with Wayne (Race Director) who said the weather hadn’t come in and it all looked good to do the full course. The change hadn’t reduced miles, just avoided a ridge. Great. 20 min sit down and faff and a cup of noodles and off back onto the course. 
Arrived at the next CP at around 1am Sunday to a sleeping marshal and to hear I was in 4th! Really?! That’s what he said so maybe but whatever I was happy I was going well and picturing maybe finishing in daylight!
3am and the first proper mistake: I’m on a moor and can’t find the footpath I need. It’s tiny, the bracken is big and my head torch gives me about 5metres of visibility. I give up and decide to take a bearing and just go for it. The next 40 mins is a battle of stomping through bracken scratching the hell out of my legs and making v slow progress down to the reservoir. I got there but it was not the smartest thing to do. I saw a head torch on the hill behind me. I’d lost a good half hour I reckon.
6:30am: through the next checkpoint, where they were reviewing incoming weather, and I was half way up Pen yr Olwen again before they decided.. I saw the head torch behind me again and so when I got to the face of bouldery rocky type terrain near the top, I just took up it scrambling without much planning. This was the second mistake. I did well and got high then looked up to think… well I can’t go up that bit… then turned to see.. well I can’t go back down the way I’ve just come. Oh bugger. 
I then spent what felt like an hour of traversing, going up a bit, down a bit, kept coming to dead ends. Cloud came in, visibility dropped and the rock and moss got soaking wet. I’d spend 10minutes getting to a spot to then think… ‘woh…. can I do that… but there’s nothing to hold and that’s too far down. Dammit..’ and I’d have to turn around. I genuinely felt stuck there for a minute. Had a word with myself and managed to get back down. Took a closer look at the gpx and found the path which was further round, still steep, but all doable. When I got to the top the relief was pretty big but I knew I’d just lost an hour and that head torch guy must have passed me. Still, it was done. 33 to go.

A couple hours of running through the weather the marshals had been expecting (70mph wind and rain had arrived on the Carneddau and they’d stopped other runners coming up) and I see someone running towards me!? It’s Paul Cunningham! Came along at just the right time… it had been pretty hard since about 2am and I reckon it was on its way to 11am now so a smiley face (I don’t think he has any other type) was just the ticket.
The other thing that happened about now was I started getting pains up my right ankle. I don’t remember a specific moment but it quickly had me walking. I thought it’d be something to run off but for now it was fairly slow progress – Paul kept the pace up, pointing the way… and mostly in the right direction 🙂 . 
The stretch from the next CP was along the valley on a good path. John (head torch guy) and I were there at the same time but he set off running 5mins before me and I knew I had a walk ahead so let him go. Lots going on in my head now, mostly along the lines of ’30 miles is a long way to walk… so you’re not going to do that’. After a few miles of hiking at a decent pace, with the poles being invaluable, I gave myself targets of hobble/running to the next tree… and then I’d get there and change the tree I was aiming for. Quite soon I was running again (with a bit of pain) and when I caught John before the next CP I was mentally back in a great place.
85mile CP marshal: “How are you feeling?”
Me: “Yeh great thanks”
Marshal: “Good, ok so we’ve changed the route because of the weather and everyone’s going down the valley”
There was only one mountain left! And the weather wasn’t bad. I was ready to have a moment after going through all this to get this close and potentially not do the full course. The CP manager was switched on though and when she realised me and John were two of 6 who’d so far done the full course, she let us go up. John had been suffering on the last leg though and he didn’t want to so off I headed while the rest of the field stayed low toward Betws.
It was great to know there were no more chances of route alterations and I had the full course in the bag. It was windy again up top but dry and after what took longer than expected, I followed a ridge down back to the valley at Capel Curig as it turned dark.
Ok now it started to get a bit weird. 90 miles done I’d been going for about 38 hours so was pretty tired. Hadn’t seen anyone for 3 hours and now all I can see is the bit of trail lit by the head torch surrounded by dark. Running water had been the constant sound for a lot of the race and even more here where most of the paths were streams. I suppose your mind just starts to create things for you to think about other than the cycle of ‘where’s your next step’, ‘is this the right way’, ‘is your ankle still ok’. That’s when in the corner of my eye I saw a guy in a white hoody standing about 10metres away. It didn’t immediately freak me out. I knew there was no-one there. I’d heard about lack of sleep and extended running causing hallucinations so thought maybe this is where we are then… though I definitely wasn’t looking for one! I stopped and turned to look straight at it, and at that point he turned away so I could see his back. I mean what the f*@k. I looked back at the trail and he turned back to face me again. Ok now I was freaked out. I looked back at it and it turned again. It was obviously a tree, or a rock or something, but no matter how much I knew that… I could not stop it looking like a guy standing there. 
I ran on. I was ok with it at the time… partly because I knew it wasn’t there… and partly I think cause I was knackered and didn’t have the energy to let it bother me. Thinking about it freaks me out more now than it did at the time. Soon after this though I started seeing things in everything. It was a bit like when a cloud looks like something, but I didn’t need to think about it… it just was something the second I looked at it. A bush would be a deer… over here something would look two rabbits playing chess… leaves on the floor would have smiley faces on them, there’s be a doll lying in the path up ahead etc. I’d have to get on top of them before they turned back to the leaves or rocks or whatever they were. I knew it was just something to do to break up the hours so again I was kind of ok with it but it was a bit much at times. The only times it did make my hairs stand on end were the couple of other times I saw a person. Always just a dark shape in the trees or down by the river or something, but again, once I thought I’d seen it, I couldn’t make it look like anything else. Lack of things to think about for so long… mixed in with the tiredness and the dim light from the head torch. Whatever – very weird!
Into the last 2 or 3 miles… ‘thank god’ I hear you say… I was saying something similar. It went on for longer than I thought it would. Misty so you still couldn’t see much but it was a decent path just following the river in. I started to question whether I’d passed Betws. Now for anyone who hasn’t been, Betws y Coed is a town with shops, hotels, pubs, a train station… you can’t miss it. Check of the phone and the watch and I could see I was on track, but I still wasn’t convinced. There was a footpath about 5m down to the right… “maybe I should be on that?” It would make no difference at all but this is what I was what was going through my head. I looked back at the path I was on and there was an inflatable penguin lying on its side.
There was no penguin. A second after and it had turned back to the boulder it always was.
10 mins later and I’m running across the green and under the finish line banners (to take 6th place!) 41 hours after I started. My wife and a mate had come down to pick me up. It was great to see people I knew, but also I might have still been asleep in my car now if they hadn’t! I’d been hobbling quite a bit for the last few hours but straightened up for the finish of course. Soon after I couldn’t put any weight on my ankle. Next day it was worse. Sprain. Ice and crutches for a bit then.
Finished it though… and overall… loved it. This time last year a 15 miles was the furthest I’d run off road… now there’s a 100 miler ticked off  

Clwydian Hills Fell Race 

I am attaching a couple of photos of Sundays Clwydian Hills Fell Race that Andy Smith posted on Facebook – I was due to do it too but was struck down with a horrible bug. It looked absolutely beautiful. Well done everyone! Very jealous.

That’s all folks.. keep em coming in please..