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 RC blog. Week ending 22/05/2016

Welcome to the weekly round-up. What a week for Helsby Running Club. There has been loads going and it has been great to get lots of contributions in the inbox. I hope I haven’t missed anything!

Please keep sending contributions to

Upcoming Events

First, a reminder of upcoming events:

Tonight! Wednesday 25th May at 8.30pm (after the club run) in the clubhouse. ICEFALL Through Adversity to Everest by Alex Staniforth. If you want feeding too, you should have already Leslie know.

Sunday 29th May – Mynydd Myfyr Hill Run. 11.30am Trefonen Village Hall SY10 9DF. This is the next counter in the club mini fell series.

Thursday 2nd June – Deeside Off-Road Grand Prix (race 1) 7.30pm Tata (formerly Corus) Sports and Social Club, Rowley Drive, Shotton. This race is a club counter in our mini trail series.


Walton Park 5 mile

This week’s racing reports start with  a contribution from Degsy, who did the Walton Park 5 mile on Tuesday night.

“The Walton Park 5 mile race is a cracking little 5 miler on paths around Walton Park. As I lined up at the start as a lone Green army runner I was surrounded by liverpool Based clubs mainly the fake green army (Kirkby milers) LRC and Knowsley harriers. Once again I failed to cry green army at the start hooter (sorry Gaz I was too outnumbered) it’s a fairly flat race with a medal and a set of number clip thingies waiting for you at the finish. My time was 31.07 ish (I’m so keen with my reports the official times haven’t been published yet😉 ). Apologies if anyone else ran this I didn’t see you.”

Thanks Derek. The results are now available and as far as I can see, you were the sole Helsby representative – well done mate.

Christleton 5k

There was a fantastic Helsby turnout on Friday night to the Christleton 5k. Thanks to Tanya for sending in the results and race report:

“On 20 May 16 Helsby runners attended Christleton 5K, remeasured two weeks before to ensure it was corrected. A wide variety of clubs attended and proved to be a fast field of runners. The weather was kind and ideal for running. First in for Helsby was Colin Bishop with a fantastic run and first lady, getting stronger by the race, was Jo Lacking. A very ecstatic bunch of helsby runners at the end all with personal bests, all very much deserved.
Colin Bishop 16:49
Colin Thompson 17:08
Adam Gordon 17:25
Gaz O’Connor 18:21
Ian Rutherford 18:37
James Higgins 18:45
Richard Hankins 19:08
Ian Hamling 19:08
Jo Lacking 19:38
Ian Landucci 20:21
Carol Shaw 21:51
Helen Owens 21:59
Jenn Naylor 22:53
Geoff Shaw 24:25
Tanya Downes 24:47
Janet Shaw 28:53 “

Well done everybody, and extra congratulations to everyone who achieved a PB on that course. I believe our Colin Bishop now holds the course record for V55 – brilliant work! The official results, and lots of race photos can now be accessed at:

The old County Tops Fell Race

Chris Baynham-Hughes, true to form, identified another new venture and completed the old County Tops Fell Race on Saturday. Thanks for following the excellent write up Chris:

“I’d heard about the Old County Tops race from a few people, but had never really looked into it. All I knew was that it was a classic fell race and that I should give it a go at some point. The race is run in pairs and a friend of mine I’ve met through ultra running (Matty Brennan) asked me if I was up for it; the date fitted so I said yes and thought no more about it. Fast forward to a night before a recce where I sat down to look at the route… my jaw dropped… I wondered what on earth I had agreed to.

At over 35 miles and 11,600ft of climb the bald stats are enough to concern anybody, but add in the sheer volume of rough ground, contouring, insane descents, bogs and river crossings and it is a genuine test of stamina. The race itself came in waves, the final 3 miles were absorbed by teams trying to chase us down and we weren’t prepared to given an inch… the ridgeline to Coniston old man and back was punctuated by breaks in the clag and incredible views; shadows dancing over ancient valleys, real wow moments… the run through the valley between Scafell pike and the beastly climb up to the Coniston ridge line was all about the bog – falling hip deep into a bog generated an initial panic before I remembered to lean forward slowly and patiently raise my leg as I “swam” out of it. As I escaped the clutches of the bog I heard a loud cheer from behind my misfortune found the attention of friends we’d overtaken earlier (good times)…. Getting on and off Scafell Pike itself was simple insanity mixed with the odd bits of panic as my leg went in and out of cramp just as I needed precision to climb down the wet crags in one piece… From Helvellyn to Angle Tarn was totally rough and totally exhilarating; the wind battered us with horizontal monsoon-like rain leaving us with the narrowest of vision – dare we look at all. I find in the mountains that wind is the most deadly for the mind and that the line between exhilaration and frustration is very thin; the direction and blend of rain and underfoot conditions meant this was just about kept in check and thus made for one of the most enjoyable runs I’ve had in a long time, I felt completely and utterly allive. The trip over to, up and subsequently down Helvellyn was all about control, not going too fast but keeping in contention, picking the best lines, eating well and keeping hydrated.

In summary it was one of the best races I have ever done. The paired element means you enjoy an incredible journey with a good friend. Like I’ve mentioned above, the race just keeps on giving – with several fast water crossings appearing out of the blue there was always something new to put a huge grin on your face and really feel like you were on an adventure. The old school organisation was faultless and gave a feel to the race that commercial exploits just don’t grasp or achieve. Put simply, if I can only do one race a year… this has to be very high up the list of contenders.

In the end we raced in to the finish in 8:34:16. I’ve no idea where we finished, neither is it of any consequence to me. Sometimes it’s about the event, the journey, the experience and the camaraderie – this turned the dials up to 11 on all four counts.


Excalibur Trail Marathon

So whilst CBH was galavanting around the Lake District, fourteen of us took on one of his ‘training runs’. l enjoyed reading the following report from a road-runners perspective sent in by Chris Fitzpatrick. And the results show that you don’t necessarily have to run off road all the time to be able to do well in these events. Gaz O’Connor did a PB at Christleton the night before this! Over to Fitzy:

“14 of the green army headed up to the Clwydian range on Saturday to take part in the Excalibur Marathon, described by some (Ben Williams) as the toughest UK marathon, although CBH has already spoken to me about this and just laughed at me (he’s hard-core though). For those like myself this was a bit out of my comfort zone, I’m used to doing the odd occasional ultra-marathon, and I also consider myself a good marathon runner, but I did not realise this would be as tough as it was.

IMG_0655 2

We arrived at race HQ in Moel Famau car park, registered, done our kit check and then went and sat back in the car as it was lashing down, Phil Roberts then gave myself and Gaz a lesson in what kit we should and should not have, obviously his kit was better than ours he quite quickly pointed out. The rain then stopped right up until 9.30am, right on cue for the start of the race, the heavens opened, and continued to rain probably for the next 2 hours. I had been a bit nervous before the race on the navigation, but rest assured this course was excellently marshalled and excellently signposted, even myself who gets lost around a 400m running track found it quite easy.


I had not prepared myself for some of the climbs this course had to offer, and even more so for the descent on the other side of these massive hills, which was why whilst typing this I am still in a lot of pain, road running just does not prepare your muscles for this type of event. Once the rain started to clear up a bit, you could see why so many people love walking/running up here, the views were spectacular. Mile 11 we were greeted by a marshal who said “up that way please” for the next 15 minutes (yes a 15 minute mile on my garmin, unheard of!) , I managed to run a mile up hill, whilst a few competitors ran past me, how they ran up it I do not know. All through this race there was very rarely a flat bit of the course, you were either going uphill or downhill. Eventually I reached 20 miles and had been forewarned by CBH that there is a gradual incline for 2.5 miles and not to stop running, at this point your body is screaming at you to stop, I didn’t stop and was greeted with a bit of tarmac at the top of the hill for my reward, only to be told by the checkpoint helpers I had another massive climb to make up part of the course we had earlier come down. GREAT!

By this point Mr “I’ve got better kit than yours” was catching me up and Phil soon over took me as he looked really strong going up the last hill on Moel Famau. We both descended back down to the finish line a minute apart, well done Phil, finishing in 8th and myself in 9th overall. Big mention to Andy Robinson, 1st MV60, Steve Riley, 2nd MV50 and Lesley Feakes 3rd FV50.

A great day was had by all and there was a bonus at the finish line with a beer van at the event. I would definitely recommend more of us doing this again next year, as they also offer 10k and half marathon options.

See you all soon


Thank Chris. I’d just like to add that it was brilliant to see Mario and Joe out on the the course giving their support again. I think I must of seen them at least 3 times at different points in the race:-). Helsby results are below:

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 10.40.14

Run for the 96 -5k

A truly worthwile  event was attended by Claire Louise Miller on Sunday and she has sent in the following write-up:

“Today, Sunday 22nd June I took part in the 2nd year of the run for the 96, which is a 5k run in memory of those who lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster, obviously with this year being the year the families got the justice they fought so hard for this was always going to be an emotional day.

The likes of Alan Kennedy, Pat Van Den Hauwe, Rafa Benitez and sinbad from Brooke were there to show their support along with some of the families of the 96 including Margaret Aspinall who made sure she hugged, kissed and thanked every runner that passed and she was even giving out medals and kisses at the end, very emotional day.

The course itself was a cracking 5k, if a little short my garmin recorded a finishing time of 25.57 however there were a few bottlenecks and a lot of weaving and overtaking walkers, prams etc. Would be interesting to see this course as a parkrun as it is really quick but today was more of a fun run if I’m honest.

Medal, goody bag and a t shirt were good and the race was organised by BTR so it was very well organised.”

Well done Claire and thanks for sending in the report. For anybody wanting  to know more about this event or wishing to support it in the future, the website is well worth a visit:!run-for-the-96-5k/c1em3

Sunderland Strollers Pier to Pier Race

A bit further North! Geoff Collins was also racing on Sunday and has sent in the following excellent report with photos:

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 09.23.07“A visit to one of my favourite parts of the country, the North East. Few people outside the North East know about this brilliant 7m race put on by Sunderland Strollers. It’s a multi terrain race. It starts on the beach by the South Pier at South Shields. Sea Road nearby, is the famous finishing point for the Great North Run.

The route heads South East up over the sand dunes onto National Trust headland known as The Leas. At this point the 1128 runners can follow either of several footpaths towards the cliffs at Marsden Bay. The day was perfect for this race. Sunny not too warm, light westerly wind, good visibility, and dry underfoot. Just one water stop by Souter lighthouse at the half way point. The route follows the coastal cliff top path as it winds its way up, and down towards Whitburn Bay. The views are spectacular as you travel over a variety of surfaces underfoot.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 09.24.04Further on past Parsons Rocks and yet another lighthouse, you enter the prom at Seaburn near Sunderland. Tempting as it was, I didn’t stop for ice cream. Time for a final push of speed! Finally with the lighthouse and pier at Roker Point looming into view ahead, you drop onto the beach for that final sprint to the finish. 

First male finisher was Andy Burn 37m 15s (Jarrow & Hebburn AC), First Lady finisher Alyson Dixon 41m 29s (Sunderland Strollers). I was the first (and only) finisher for Helsby in 57m 17s.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 09.24.29



The goody bag with baseball cap, number belt, handmade glass lighthouse medal, chocolate and crisps all for £21 I thought was excellent value!

Geoff Collins”


And as if the week was not busy enough …………. we had 10 Helsby members participating across 6 different Parkruns on Saturday! Well  done Colin Bishop for finishing 1st at Widnes and to Laura Baynham-Hughes for being 2nd lady to finish at Delamere. Our consolidated club results can be viewed  here

Thanks for all the contributions this week. Please keep sending them in to

keep on running:-)


Weekly round-up – 15 May

Hello Green Army

Seeing I’m doing the blog this week I think I’m going to give my 10 year old daughter the best spot in the report this week…..over to Holly Fitzpatrick.

Race for Life 5k – Delamere 15th May
I ran the race for life for my friend Jack who died of cancer at the age of 10 recently. There was about 170 people on team Jack yesterday including lots of teachers and my friends from St Berts School. Together we raised over £15,000 for his charity which is brill. I ran it in the time of 41 minutes. Maisy (my dog) came over the finish line even before my Mum! My Mum went over the finish line after me but I did do a sprint finish! I had loads of fun running the race in memory of Jack!
A truly humbling experience watching from the side-lines, it was great to see a community come together and raise so much money for a fantastic cause, well done all

Park Run – Runners were out in Warrington, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, Widnes, Wepre, & Erddig, with our Bish claiming 1st spot again after a few weeks of injury, he’s back on form which is great news.

List of consolidated results below
Andy Robinson did the Marlborough Downs Challenge on Sunday:
33 fast miles across the Wiltshire hills on a lovely sunny day with great views. 119 finishers.
1st: Andy Davies, Mercia Fell Runners, 4:17:18
25th & 1st MV60: Andy Robinson, Helsby RC, 5:32:37
Full report on
Superb running from Andy 1st MV60, your back on form just in time for Excalibur next weekend.
A report from Gaz O’Connor on the Chester Half Marathon.
Perfect weather greeted the 6000 runners at the start of Chester Half marathon on the Roodee racecourse on Sunday morning. The undulating course has changed from previous years and now heads out through Mollington from the city centre and heads back for a finish near the town hall.

There was a strong showing from the Green Army, notable performances were Jim Higgins celebrating his 30th birthday by bagging a PB just a week after running the Sandstone Challenge and Jenn Naylor, despite shamelessly flouting the new UK Athletics regulations by wearing headphones, also getting a PB. Alison Halsall was first lady home for Helsby with Gaz O’Connor first male.
Full results are below

Good to see Gaz back on form as well, excellent running from all on Sunday.

A quick mention to new-ish member Graham Ireland, he did Hidden Howgills in Cumbria this weekend, according to Steve Riley it’s a marathon with hills (is it as hilly as Manchester though eh Steve?)

And last but not least a report from Laura Baynham-Hughes for one of our Fell Counters last Saturday in near perfect racing conditions.
Moel Eilio Fell Race, 14th May 2016
Moel Eilio was the Inter-Counties Fell Racing Championships race for 2016 and of course most importantly the next fell counter for the Helsby Fell Championships. A great turn out of green vests arrived in Llanberis for perfect fell racing weather. Blue skys and glorious sunshine saw 5 Felsby ladies and 7 Felsby men line up for a fell race with attitude. The race starts just up the hill out of LLanberis. A top notch field headed up the track and onto the fells, and up and up and oh up some more! Then it is a fantastic run across the undulating ridge, ready for a final climb and a not for the faint hearted descent before you are across a stream and back down the track to the finish. For once I remembered to actually look up and take in the views which were spectacular. I also fell in the river which was slightly embarrassing but also quite refreshing! Of course big thanks to Felsby’s cheering squad of Jo and Mario who were out on the route and thanks also to Suzanne, June and Chops (Felsby’s new mascot) for their support too. Jim and I had the honour of wearing the Cheshire vest and I think we did Helsby proud!
A massive congratulations to Laura and Jim for representing Cheshire at this event, just shows what talent we have at our running club at present

89 75.34 Jim O’Hara Cheshire
116 80.26 Phillip Roberts Helsby Running Club
123 81.54 Ben Fletcher Helsby Running Club
129 82.47 Chris Baynham-Hughes Helsby Running Club
193 90.43 Laura Baynham-Hughes Cheshire (FSnr 37)
219 93.59 Janet Ashbrook Helsby Running Club
236 98.38 Tim Palmer Helsby Running Club
245 100.34 Janet Robertson Helsby Running Club
249 101.03 Jim Jones Helsby Running Club
277 109.59 Rachel Arnold Helsby Running Club
281 112.26 John Whitehead Helsby Running Club
283 116.26 Sue Buck Helsby Running Club
Cheshire Ladies – 9th overall (Laura 3rd for the team)
Cheshire Men – 16th overall (Jim 3rd for the team)
Dates for your diary
It’s a road counter this coming Friday 20th May at Christleton on a very fast course, it’s sure to be a good turn out, and I believe it is sold out, don’t let that stop you coming down to cheer the green army home.
We also have a lot of runners taking part in Excalibur Mararthon/Half Marathon/10k this coming Saturday 21st May, I believe this one is stunning and has a hill or 2 thrown in for good measure.
I put out a post on Facebook last week about Tattenhall Tough Team challenge, this year its Friday 17th June, we are looking to enter loads of teams as per usual, I’m still gathering a list of all names wanting to do it, and we can then sort out teams closer the date. If you’ve never done this before you run in a group of 3, the aim is to stick together, and the last one over the finish line, the clock stops. It’s one of our favourite races of the year and costs approx. £8 per person. If your interested then email me if you haven’t already responded on FB.

Don’t forget to send in your race reports, without them, well, we have nothing to write about.

That’s all folks…Happy running green army!

Helsby Championship – Current Standings 22nd May

The road series is already half way through and clear leaders are starting to emerge from the pack in both the ladies and men’s tables. In the age group categories the competitions are still pretty tight with no clear leaders in most of the categories.

In the fell champs results of the last 2 races, Dinas Bran and Moel Eilio have not yet been published (unless anyone has spotted them hidden away somewhere) so I can’t really comment on the current standings. Reckon the next two races will be interesting though as they are probably the toughest two in the calendar.

Current Standings

As per my previous post if you spot any updates or people missing from the results let me know.

Ian L



2016 AGM & officer’s reports

So thanks for a great running year with the #greenarmy and here’s to a successful 2016/17 season.

We held our AGM last week – thanks as ever for everyone that contributed in major and minor ways over the last year. Long may it continue.

One of the subtle shifts over the last couple of years is the willingness of people to just give things a go – someone has an idea, chats it through with a couple of people and then makes it happen. That’s testament to the great spirit that makes this such a buoyant time for the #greenarmy.

Have a look through the Chair’s, Women’s and Men’s Captains reports below. Great reading:

AGM Officers Reports 2016

Helbsy RC News 1-5-2016 to 8-5-2016

Upcoming races.

14th May 13:00 Fell Champs Counter at Moel Ellio

20th May 19:15 Road Champs Counter at Christleton 5K

We  also have Tattenhall tough team challenge coming up on Friday 17th June, to anyone newbies it’s an excellent event, I think we can still pay on the night so wondering who’s interested, you can send me your team of 3 or just respond saying yes you fancy it and we shall work teams out closer the time. Thanks Fitzy

Special note:

The setup of Chester parkrun in the grounds behind the countess of Chester hospital is now nearing conclusion.  They are putting on a test run next Tuesday 17th May at 18:30.  At present they have about 25 Chester tri members coming to try out the course and provide some feedback – an invite was sent to Helsby but appears to have not got through.

If anyone is free next Tuesday for a 5k then please feel free to attend – your feedback could be important in the setup of the run and it is a good chance for the organising team to be put to the test.  The venue is the countess of Chester country park.

Parkrun :

Helsby members were in action at Widnes, Ellesmere Port, Warrington and Pennington. Highlights included a win for Col Bishop at Pennington and a course PB for Rhea Thomas at Warrington.

Full, consolidated results for Helbsy parkrunners are below.

Halewood 5K.

Gaz O’Connor, Joanne Lacking and Helen Owens all recorded course PBs at the fast and flat (and also not net downhill) Halewood 5K on Saturday . Special mention must go to Helen for impressively continuing her quest to improve her race times at the expense of her race photographs.



Louise McEveley was the sole Helsby representative at Rainow 5 Fell Race and reports it was a stunning afternoons running. Louise finished the race in just under 53 minutes. Well done, Louise.

Helsby vs. Felsby (Dinas Bran Fell Race)

The Green Army headed over to Llangollen last Wednesday night for our second instalment of Helsby v Felsby, to what was a Fell counter race as well. Helsby were taking a 26 point lead into the race over our mountain loving chums, and I for one was confident we could compete with them “it’s only 4.4 miles” I was saying to myself, how hard can it be? I had to re-think that thought after seeing a few casualties drop out due to other commitments, but I was still hoping for a good turn out, as the main aim of this was to increase numbers at our borders league and fell races.

Whilst registering I heard someone say there was only 30 runners in the event last year, so when I counted the number of heads with green tops on in our pre race photo I was amazed that we had 27 runners starting the race, eventually to find out 79 in total ran in, so we made up more than a third of the field…..amazing.

We started on a very flat field, brilliant, to be told 1 lap of the field, out and take a right up a little bit of an incline. We left the field and there was a lot of tarmac with a little incline, we turned the next corner to be greeted by what can only be described as one hell of a horrendous hill. Us that were about to run the Sandstone Trail a few days away, started to worry a little (well us roadies did, ok well just me and Ian Rutherford). You gradually climb the hill to then head onto the fells which even at the bottom gave us spectacular views of the surrounding valleys so I was keen to get to the top and see the rest. I must admit, I can see why Felsby love running in these hills, it was a superb summers evening and to turn around and see a trail of runners all climbing this massive hill was amazing. Now how Joe got to the top of it before all of us and looking not out of breath at all baffles me……”weyyyyyyyy heyyyyyyyy c’mon Helsby” he shouted as per usual, it always inspires me to put that little bit extra in and I am sure it does with the others.

Then it dawns on you, that you have to come down, and this is what sets a fell runner apart from a roadie, I’m quite strong going up hills, but coming down hill is a skill, and I was getting over taken by everyone, they seem to glide down the hill like a ballerina, it’s brilliant to watch, although soul destroying at the same time. We did another lap of the hill going back up and down again, to wind our way down to a very fast finish.

Some great performances on the night, Jim O’Hara proving he’s king of the hills, and Laura Baynham-Hughes showing us all how its done and coming in first for the ladies. Chris Baynham-Hughes only beat me because he pulled me back on the start line by they way!!

Now I think we all know the results and it pains me to say Felsby battered us on the night, and overall over the 2 legs had a clear winning margin, 965 points to 758 points for Helsby. They had their big guns out on the night that mattered, but all in all I think we all had a lot of fun over the 2 races and it will be something we will look to do again next year, it proved to be a resounding success. I have a little trophy to present to CBH the winning teams captain, picture to follow, if I can tear him away from all the media attention he’s now getting after his Sandstone Trail Challenge win at the weekend.

See you all soon…Fitzy
The 2016 Sandstone Trail Challenge (by Andy Robinson)
I’ll write a more complete account of the day and post it to the STC web pages in the next day or two.  The photos will be going online too, once I’ve got them to Steve & he’s found the time to post them.  In the meantime…
We had a great day, with no major problems other than the usual shredding of my nerves.  Many pies were eaten.  The weather was a bit hot for running, but not nearly as hot as it could have been, as the sun was behind hazy clouds for most of the day.  The slower walkers got rained on, but nobody from Helsby RC came even close to that.  201 runners and walkers started off from Whitchurch, and 179 of them finished.  Helsby had 13 starters and 11 finishers.  I’ve no intention of naming and shaming Dave Madders and Chris Murray – at least they gave it a good go.  Where exactly was Ivan though?  I shall want to see the letter from his parent or guardian.

Helsby came in 1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th, and we had 4th woman home too.  Stand up Chris Baynham-Hughes, Chris Fitzpatrick, Jim O’Hara, Phil Roberts and Jane Ashbrook!  If you can.  Chris’s storming of Frodsham Hill to get past Lawrence Eccles again was one of the performances of the day.  We also reclaimed the MV70 title and record – or rather Ian Hilditch did – another of the day’s highlights.

Full Helsby results:
1.  4:50  Chris Baynham-Hughes
3.  4:54  Chris Fitzpatrick
6.  5:07  Jim O’Hara
9.  5:16  Phil Roberts
22.  5:50  Jane Ashbrook (4th woman)
23.  5:53  Jim Higgins
24.  5:54  Gareth Boyd
35.  6:18  Ian Rutherford
36.  6:18  Derek Morris
80.  7:39  Ste Wiggins
92.  8:18  Ian Hilditch  (Ian reclaimed the MV70 record by knocking 8 minutes off Adrian Sumption’s 2015 record)

Other highlights were:

2.  4:51  Lawrence Eccles of Penny Lane Striders
4.  5:01  Chris Collins, first Spartan home
5.  5:06  Dave Clamp of Knutsford Tri, setting a new MV50 record
11.  5:21  Luci Lamb, first woman, and 2nd Spartan
57.  7:02  Carole Morrison of Pensby Runners, first FV50
110&111  9:28  Pip Adamson and Oliver Ormrod, joint first men under 18
127  10:10  Shannon McCue, first woman under 18, and a new record
129  10:10  Jean Lyon, first ever FV70, and a new record of course!



Sandstone Trail Challenge (by Ian Rutherford)

This is my review of the Sandstone Trail Challenge from a first timers’ perspective. Having never ran beyond marathon distance before this was another new running experience initiated as part of my Green Army membership. I would describe my specific training for this as ‘indifferent’. As a lot of you know I run good mileage month to month generally but stepping this up in terms of complementing trail terrain, adding mileage to individual runs – some now in excess of marathon distance and joining this all together with hillier profiles really took it out of me.

Meeting up at the community centre helped relieve a few nerves; lots of friendly faces; lots of combined experience helping me get to grips with the task ahead. The pre race organisation was flawless and despite spending what felt like hours driving to Whitchurch just underlining what a very long way we have to run back really is, well that and Steve Wiggins’ speech😉 I found myself on the start line on a sunny and already warm Saturday morning.

Bizarre to some no doubt, one of my biggest fears was actually getting lost during the run (training runs on the SST suggested this as a real and likely scenario) so with that in mind I had set to try and stay with some those with experience of the trail. So with best wishes from The Major and Andy’s watch striking the start time, we were off! So within 25 minutes or so that plan to stick with those with SST experience was already going wrong. The first few mile was pleasant easy running along the canal; my initial plan to tag with Phil Roberts was already crossed off; I felt I was already running too fast (trying to pay the distance the respect it deserves you understand) but still only observed him getting further and further away; no probs I thought I know Jane is behind me and there’s obviously still a good group of us together at this early stage – so just keep going as is.

The next few miles of undulating fields; mostly ploughed and hardened in the recent warm sunny spell made for really uncomfortable ‘ankle-breakers’ – running with any tempo was a struggle and for the first time that day I had practical reminder that this was not going to anything other than a real test to just finish. Getting to Duckington was my first milestone and the semi familiar scene having run the ‘A-Race’ last year. Again not much opportunity for site seeing but the views on the highest parts of the SST around here were just stunning – but unsurprisingly this was hard work; at times the climbing became nothing more than a yomp (I remember running them in the A-Race but clearly already 10-12 miles in and with more than 20 still to do, I was mindful). The field started to thin out around me now and was running mostly on my own; always paranoid I’d missed a yellow sign.

A word about the check-points/water stations (official and unofficial) – again brilliantly organised; so friendly, couldn’t do enough to help and really great encouragement again from so many friendly faces – a big thank-you!

From around this point I was joined by Deggsy, he looked strong and soon was starting to get away from me and mentally crossed another one off my list to run with. Just before the 4th checkpoint Jim and Gareth came alongside – again both looking way stronger than me. We arrived at the checkpoint roughly together and were soon joined by Jane who didn’t even look to be breaking a sweat. Much liquid and Jaffa-cakes later; the legs now seriously tired and stiffening with every stop the four of us set off together; Jane had a brief reunion with her family on the roadside who had managed to find her. We entered the trail once again and a rather pompous lady on horse-back thought it’d be good to give us a ‘gee-up’ “You’re about to get overtaken by a girl” she told the three of us; a quick glance behind confirmed what we knew – “That’s not a girl” I replied “That’s Jane!”  The steep climbs saw us mix running with more yomping but Jane just carried on and on with the higher-pace; by now I was also struggling to match Gareth and Jim’s climbing ability and with Jane long-gone I found myself stranded again. On one of the straighter field sections I could just glance Degs again and I seemed to be albeit slowly getting closer. Within a couple of mile, I was with him again and we remained together for the rest of the run. It was great to company on that final section – cheers Degs.


Counting off the miles to the final checkpoint we ambled – anything approaching good flowing running long since a distant memory; we eventually arrived into Manley Common having thankfully lost the crowds of Delamere Forest and honestly I’ve never been more relieved to see Joe & Mario in my life. Fozy kindly refilled my hydro-pack (thanks mate) and off again once more. On home turf but in that we know how tough it is; we stumbled through the hilly sandstone. With less than a third of a mile to go, following the zig-zag path down to the end of the trail before you hit the road in Frodsham I managed to fall over and end up on my backside; normally this would be no biggie but for the first time in six hours my calf muscles weren’t carrying me and they ballooned in spasm – I gave a massive yelp; a lady runner passed us and then thankfully Degs put his Sunday league football knowledge into practices and pushed back my feet to stretch the muscle – PAIN!

Arriving across the field in to the community centre together; a smiling Jackie to confirm our finish I was all in. It took me a good few mins to get my head together I must be honest – refreshed with a cheese pie and a cuppa!

Official time for me (and Degs) was 6h 18mins; really happy (and proud) to just finish this absolute beast of a race; on the day there were many better and I spent the next hour or so in their company at the community centre absolutely listening to their experiences and feeling made up for everyone. What a day and thanks for all who made it possible.
Also there was the Sandstone Trail Marshals’ Run, on Monday 2 May:

6:32  Andy Robinson
7:16  Ben Williams
11:15  Charlie Roberts

Ste and Dave Wiggins and Ellen Roberts provided support, so many thanks to them.  Ben’s run took 40 minutes off his PB and was a really good performance in pretty muddy conditions

Thanks for all the race reports everyone, please send to



Helsby 2015 – 2016 Stats and latest 2016 – 2017 Updates

As promised in Jackie’s write up I have attached the full stats for the 2015-2016 season

Helsby 2015-2016 Final Results

I have also been asked to publish the latest standings for the 2016 – 2017 season on a more frequent basis to encourage more competition (not that you need encouragement).

Current Standings

Publish 1

I would also be interested in any feedback you have on how we publish the results.

Also if you spot any errors in the results please let me know.






Helsby RC weekly round-up 25th Apr to 1st May 2016

Hi everyone

A very busy week for the Green Army and an excellent selection of reports in the inbox. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed. As usual all reports to be sent to

Strap into your seat belts, it’s a long one!

Helsby RC Awards Presentation Evening

A fantastic evening at our annual awards cermony! Well done to everyone who won an award and a big thank you to Jackie (host), Chris Igoe (DJ), Dave & Leslie Feakes (Catering) and Donna Geer & Ian Landucci (Stataticians). Jackie has sent the following report in which includes all the winners from the evening:

Here’s a list of the awards made at our presentation evening on Friday celebrating a year of excellent running at Helsby Running Club. We can run well and party well!! Here’s a list of trophy winners for the 2015/16 club counter season. Well done to all who ran throughout the year and here’s to lots of club counters by all this season!
For those interested in the detail, a full set of results/calculations will be put on the blog soon (we need to strip out the age data before it goes viral!)
A reminder about this coming Wed #Helsby vs #Felsby competition at Dinas Bran 4.3m 1150ft, 7:15 start LL20 8TG, for those wanting to car share please meet at the club ready to leave at 6pm.
A reminder about the fist race in the mini trail series at Thurstaston Country Park  Tues 10th at 7:15, again meet at club at  6:15
Plus the running club AGM the following evening 11th after out club run, 8:30 in the
in the upstairs tea room – please come along and discuss what you want of Helsby Running Club over the next 12 months. The plan is to keep it shorter this year by having written reports circulated in advance, with questions & answers on what and how we do things followed by the all important election of officers. If anyone would like to become part of the committee then please let me know in advance of the meeting Jane Ashbrook is stepping down as Ladies Club captain; we thank Jane for all her input and ideas these last couple of years.
Cheers and thanks
Roads Championship
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Men’s Champion Chris Fitzpatrick
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Men’s Runner Up Adam Gordon
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Men’s Senior Winner Colin Thompson
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Men’s V40 Winner Neil Finegan
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Men’s V45 Winner Gary O’Connor
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Men’s V50 Winner Ian Landucci
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Men’s V60 Winner Geoff Shaw
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Ladies Champion (Joint) Joanne Lacking
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Ladies Champion (Joint) Jane Ashbrook
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Ladies V40 Winner Jo Farwell
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Ladies V45 Winner Donna Geer
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Ladies V50 Winner Carol Shaw
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Ladies V55 Winner Jackie Keasley
Helsby Running Club Road Running Championship 2015 Ladies V60 Winner Janet Shaw
Fells Championship
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Men’s Champion Jim O’Hara
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Men’s Runner Up Phil Gillard
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Men’s Senior Winner Phil Roberts
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Men’s V45 Winner Jim Jones
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Men’s V50 Winner Steve Riley
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Men’s V60 Winner Andy Robinson
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Ladies Winner Jane Ashbrook
Helsby Running Club Fell Running Championship 2015 Ladies Runner Up Laura Baynham-Hughes
Cross Country Championship
Helsby Running Club Cross Country Championship 2015/16 Men’s 1st Place Ian Landucci
Helsby Running Club Cross Country Championship 2015/16 Men’s 2nd Place Ben Fletcher
Helsby Running Club Cross Country Championship 2015/16 Men’s 3rd Place Chris Murray
Helsby Running Club Cross Country Championship 2015/16 Ladies 1st Place Jane Ashbrook
Helsby Running Club Cross Country Championship 2015/16 Ladies 2nd Place Lesley Feakes
Helsby Running Club Cross Country Championship 2015/16 Ladies 3rd Place Vanessa Griffiths
Borders League
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Men’s 1st place Chris Fitzpatrick
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Men’s 2nd place Adam Gordon
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Men’s 3rd place Colin Thompson
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Men’s 4th place Ian Rutherford
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Ladies 1st place Jo Lacking
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Ladies 2nd place Carol Shaw
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Ladies 3rd place Laura Baynham-Hughes
Helsby Running Club Borders League 2015/16 Ladies 4th place Rachel Holden
Club Champions
Helsby Running Club Men’s Club Champion 2015/16 Ian Landucci
Helsby Running Club Ladies Club Champion 2015/16 Jane Ashbrook
Mini Fells
Helsby Running Club Men’s Mini Fells Champion 2015/16 Men’s 1st place Adam Gordon
Helsby Running Club Ladies Mini Fells Champion 2015/16 Ladies 1st place Laura Baynham-Hughes
Runners Runner
Helsby Running Club Runners Runner 2015/16 Laura Baynham-Hughes
Most Improved Runner
Helsby Running Club Most Improved Runner 2015/16 Mens Winner Ian Hamling
2015/16 Ladies Winner Alison Halsall
Greatest Comeback
Helsby Running Club Greatest Comeback 2015/16 Overall Winner Gareth Boyd
2015/16 Runner Up Claire-Louise Miller

Borders League #7 (Prestatyn)

An excellent report has been sent in from BL Coordinator Fitzy for our final race at Prestatyn:

So this was our last borders league race of the season and was probably the most important for the men, having fighting off relegation over the last 2 meetings we had to make sure we had 10 runners turn up and make sure we didn’t get any penalty points, and after an end of season fixture change for a midweek race from Shotton to Prestatyn I was a little worried we might struggle….oh how wrong was I!
Another superb turn out by the men’s and ladies team seen us fight hail, wind and rain for an out and back course along the sea front, which was great going out but not so great coming back with a full on head wind.
Some fantastic performances on the night yet again but I won’t single anyone out what I will say is it’s been a pleasure seeing you all turn up week after week and making me a very happy man. We are the envy of other clubs and I really do think that we will just get stronger, even some of the Felsby crew seemed to have enjoyed the races (probably because there free)
Some awards that we received included 1st V35 for Jo Lacking, 9th & 10th Overall men, myself and Col T, and 2nd V50 lady for Carol S.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed it as much as me, now for a few months off before pre season training starts in July and I start moaning at everyone for breaking rule 4.3 thou shall not drink 48 hours before a borders league race.
For full results see below

Mid Cheshire 5k

It was great to see an array of green vests at our 5th road counter on Thursday. By all accounts the weather wasn’t very favourable but with a lightening quick course it was always a good opportunity to have a crack at a 5k PB. Over to Fitzy with another fab report…

30 of the green army travelled a hell of a long way to Kingsley on Thursday night which could only be described as a lightning fast 5k course, and I now know the reasons why, a mile downhill seen everyone post extremely quick first miles splits whilst the second wasn’t so fast as it was all “uphill”. You are then greeted with the start line again with still another 1k to run, yet again all downhill to the finish
You can see why some of the top running clubs around the northwest had plenty of runners out in a very strong field. pb’s galore were being broken much to the annoyance of Gaz and Helen sat on their sofa’s at home:)
If you’ve not done this before and want a PB this is the best course around by far and at a tenner it’s great value for money, they even through in hale for at least 5 mins at the end…lovely
For full results
Helsby results:
41st Chris Fitzpatrick 00:17:20
46th Colin Bishop 00:17:30 (1st in age cat)
54th Adam Gordon 00:17:41
94th Christopher Murray 00:18:52
101st James Higgins 00:19:07
104th Ian Hamling 00:19:12
108th Jane Ashbrook 00:19:15 (2nd in age cat)
113th Richard Hankins 00:19:20
133rd Paul Frodsham 00:19:44
135th Joanne Lacking 00:19:47 (2nd in age cat)
141st Davyd Michell 00:19:56
162nd Carl Pratt 00:20:23
182nd Tim Palmer 00:20:54
184th David Feakes 00:20:55
200th Michael Williams 00:21:25
201st Carol Shaw 00:21:38 (2nd in age cat)
234th Rachael Holden 00:22:29
235th Stephen Wiggins 00:22:38
245th David Madders 00:22:47
255th Debbie Read 00:23:11 (3rd in age cat)
269th Geoff Collins 00:23:35
296th David Wiggins 00:25:03
299th Jackie Keasley 00:25:16
306th Lesley Feakes 00:25:32
357th Janet Shaw 00:29:36 (2nd in age cat)

Llangynhafal Loop Fell Race

Twixt in between Borders, 5k and 10k Green Army members still managed to get out onto the hilly stuff. Big thanks to Tim Palmer for this report…

As a local favourite but not a counter this year, the Llangynhafal Loop saw a Helsby turn-out of 7. Janet Robertson, Sue Buck, Jim Jones and Tim Palmer running; Joe, Mario and Andy Smith supporting/marshalling/taking photos. On arrival at the Golden Lion, the weather kept most in their cars or the pub and the walk to the start wasn’t much better (some of the Helsby contingent were sure whether it was hail or snow). However the weather improved for the race. The infamous gully was as always a challenge; but the last climb (which is a bit of sting of the tail) was improved with Helsby supporters at the bottom and top – thanks Joe, Mario and Andy. Tim was the first Helsby runner home just ahead of Jim; followed by Janet and Sue. As usual, all ended up in the Golden Lion for the presentation – a highly recommended race. Full results awaiting on


Saddleworth Cake Race

image1Any race with “cake” in the title is worth a go at, Ben Fletcher and Jamie Dowdall certainly thought so and found themselves towing the line in Saddleworth, over to Ben for his take on the race…

I decided to give the Saddleworth Cake Race at Diggle a go. This fell race is famous for the cakes after the race & it didn’t disappoint, there were 3 huge tables full of them! It was £5 to enter or free if you supplied a cake bargain!

At just short of 10miles 1700ft over Saddlewoth moor it’s a cracking race. I wasn’t expecting to see anyone I knew, then Jamie Dowdall in his Darwen vest shows up. After a quick chat with Jamie we were off into the hills.

Ben Fletcher 1.18.03 22nd Jamie Dowdall 1.33.18 89th

Full results

 Liverpool Spring 10k (6th road counter)
The Liverpool Spring 10k is 2 laps of Sefton Park, billed as flat but not exatly – some energy sapping long gradients and tight turns certainly made it a bit of a challenge, as did the horrible weather. That didn’t hinder our Green Army contingent from setting PBs galore though, a huge well done to everyone for running so well and some of our newer members who have improved so much recently. Big thank you to Colin and Jane Bishop for their support on the day, Jane even had a selection of fresh baked cakes for us at the finish to replenish those depleted carbs! Result!
Please find the Helsby results below:

16th Colin Thompson 0:35:26
83rd Gary O’Connor 0:38:47
136th Richard Hankins 0:40:38
172nd Davyd Michell 0:41:47
198th Carl Pratt 0:42:00
382nd Helen Owens 0:45:43
383rd Rachael Holden 0:46:02
669th Stephen Wiggins 0:49:00
732nd Rhea Thomas 0:49:48
1092nd Tanya Downes 0:53:36
1101st David Wiggins 0:53:42


Please find a link to the consolidated parkrun results from Saturday. Well done to everyone who ran, especially Col Bishop for another fantastic win at Widnes! Well done mate.
And finally, it’s big congratulations to June Swift and Jim O’Hara who have been selected to run for Cheshire at the Inter-Counties Fell Running Championships on 14th May. Well deserved after a brilliant season, be sure to congratulate them on their fantastic achievement.
Phew! That’s it this week. Many thanks for all the excellent reports, if I have missed anything please get in touch and I can always update the blog later on.

Helsby RC blog. Week ending 24/04/2016

Welcome to the weekly round up. First of all a quick reminder of what’s coming up this week:

Upcoming Events

Wednesday 27/04/16 7.15pm is the final race, and presentation night, of the Borders League. This event is now being hosted by Prestatyn RC at The Frith, Prestatyn. Postcode for sat nav users is LL19 7AR. Any new club members please check with Chris Fitzpatrick that you have already been registered for the league.  Also anyone wanting to car share can meet at Helsby clubhouse at 6pm.

Thursday 28/04/2016 7.15pm is the Mid Cheshire 5k, which is one of our road counters.

Friday 29/04/2016 7pm – is of course, our annual Presentation Evening at Helsby Community Sports Club. David and Lesley are organising the catering so please let them know before this Wednesday if you will be attending.

Saturday 30/04/2016 1pmLlangynhafal Loop – A great little ‘morning after’ fell race. Venue is the Golden Lion, Llangynhafal LL16 4LN. Allow for 10 minute walk from the venue to the actual start.

Sunday 01/05/2016 10.30am -we have another road counter with the Liverpool Spring 10k at Sefton Park.


Reeth Trail 20km

On Sunday Laura Baynham Hughes had an excellent run on the Reeth Trail 20km race and has sent in the following report:

“I travelled to beautiful Swaledale this weekend for the Reeth Trail event, organised by gr8events. When I signed up I was a bit lax in my research on where it was (thought it was in the Lakes) – it turned out to be in North Yorkshire, but it was well worth the trip. A well organised ‘trail’ race with 10km and 20km options, I opted for the 20km route after enjoying the Sandstone trail A race last year. I would say it was more like a long runnable fell race with plenty of climb and some good descents, but was just missing rough ground and any really steep sections – I had to run the whole thing!! I really enjoyed the route and would recommend the race – we made a weekend of it and camped down the road as it is a good few hours away. Swaledale is great and well worth a visit. It was a bit strange doing a race though and being the only Green Army representative and not recognising any other runners. It was also missing Helsby’s chief cheering squad – kept expecting Joe and Mario to pop up on the course and I did miss their support. I did have a Baynham-Hughes cheering squad at the end though which made sure I didn’t let up on the descent for the finish. Really pleased with my time and position (25 overall, 5th lady, 1h 48mins).”

Thanks for the report Laura, and well done.

Goldrush Cani-cross


Jo Farwell and Wilma were running the trails in Coed y Brenin on Saturday. The Gold rush is described as a challenging 8.5 mile trail race and those entering with their dogs run the same route as the main race but start 30 minutes later. Well done Jo and Wilma.

Whitely 10k


There were 7 Helsby runners at the Whitely 10k on Sunday. Phil Roberts was first home for Helsby, followed by Carol Shaw who finished first in her category. Well done Carol! Also congratulations to Kate Mann on completing her first race in a Helsby vest, and welcome to the club Kate.
Full results are available here


London Marathon

Well done to the six Helsby vests who made the trip to London on Sunday. Its also apparent from social media that they had a fantastic following of supporters! Some excellent results here: Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 22.49.09


Well, Helsby continue to pop in park runs all over the UK. This week we had Carl Pratt running at Crystal Palace and Andy Smith at Workington Parkrun. There was a massive turnout of  9 Helsby runners at Delamere this week. The highlight of the parkruns though has got to have been at Widnes where Colin Thompson and Colin Bishop posted 1st and 2nd respectively – with just 20 seconds between them! Well done guys. Let me know when you two are doing the same park run again – I’d like to watch!

The Helsby consolidated parkrun results are available here

The Fellsman

And finally, a report from last weekend submitted by Andy Robinson:

“I ran the Fellsman on Saturday: a 61-mile race across tops and bogs in
the Yorkshire Dales. Two of my toes are still numb, and I’m still
knackered. It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done. The weather
was very cold but otherwise great, but the ground was as wet as it’s
ever been for the Fellsman, and that’s saying a lot, because it’s pretty
wet even in a good year. The results aren’t up yet, but the winner took
about 11:30, and I finished in about 17:45, rolling in to the finish at
02:15 on Sunday morning. That’s why I wasn’t at the Helsby vs Felsby
race! I’ve written up an account of my race on, and the
results will appear on soon.”

Well done Andy, and thanks for sending the report in.

I think that’s it for this week. Please keep sending any reports or contributions t0



Helsby RC update 3-4-16 to 10-4-16

Upcoming Events:

Firstly a quick reminder from Chris F about the upcoming Border League/ Helsby vs. Felsby Challenge on this coming Sunday at 11am/

It’s borders league time… yes it’s that time of month again and it’s even bigger this month as the northwests finest fell runners will be turning up and trying to take us on our own Tarmac patch!!! Expect Phillip Roberts Chris Baynham-Hughes Adam Gordon (yes that’s right he’s defected to Felsby) all Tarmac slapping this coming Sunday, were over in Mold, if your using a sat nav use CH7 1HT, it’s a measured 5 mile race and starts at 11am.

Final teams cannot be decided until the day of the race for Helsby v Felsby but it’s pretty even up to now, maybe 1 or 2 more Felsby men needed, I expect this to be the biggest gathering of green yet to date, oh and for all you Felsby crew it’s free but you don’t get a pie and a pint afterwards so bring your own!!

Wed 20th April – 8:30pm – Phillip Pearson – President of East Cheshire Harriers & Tameside Athletic Club – on his book “Fit To Run; The complete guide to injury-free running”

Message from Phil – I will be bringing some copies of my book.  If any of your members would like to purchase one at £10 instead of the official £12.99 they are welcome.  However, please stress that this is not with the intention of making profit (it just about covers my costs) and if nobody buys one I would not be at all offended or worried!


Borders League 7 (Deestriders) Wed 27/04/2016 19:15  NB. Moved to Prestatyn

 CGP Road Mid Cheshire 5K (CGP) Thu 28/04/2016 19:15 Kingsley Cricket Club, Kingsley,
Cheshire, WA6 8HY

Club Helsby RC – Presentation Evening Fri 29/04/2016 19:00
Helsby Community Sports Club,
Chester Rd, Frodsham WA6 0DL,
United Kingdom



Helsby runners were in action across the area, highlights include a 2nd place for Colin Tompson at Warrington and a PB for the ever improving Davyd Mitchell at Delamere. Full, consolidated results for Helby RC parkrunners can be found below.


Race reports

Fitzy also sent in the following report from sunny Manchester

The sun was out on Sunday and I’ve got Brit abroad vest lines to prove it! 6 of the green army made it over Manc land after plenty of months training for what for some was there A race (ok just me) but even so 26.2 miles is to be respected so a lot of graft went into training for this one for all of us.

Bad traffic and a quite horrendous baggage drop off zone didn’t help my pre race nerves but I managed to get to the start line 1 minute before the race started.

It was near perfect race conditions and the hooter sounded and we were all off. One thing Manchester marathon does well is it attracts a big field, and it really is sight to see so many runners in the distance pounding the pavement along the streets of Manc land. For me I had a great start and felt really fresh going through the half way point, and it was a bonus as seen all the other Helsby runners apart from Jenn. Boydy was in a Cheerleaders outfit and I felt like going over and giving him a kiss he looked stunning, Gaz and Helen were running as someone else, but I still managed to spot them “greeeeeeeeeeeeeenarmy” was at its loudest when they passed. Then little quiet Louise with the loudest shout of the day she really does have a gob on her.

Now for £60 plus £10 for parking I expect this marathon to run like clockwork and a few of the mile markers were out of sync, the course measured a bit long, and I know this annoyed some people, but overall a great day was had, until people got to the baggage area that is to be greeted by long queues. A nice PB for me, Louise got a Good for Age entry at next years London marathon for her fantastic time, and Jenn running her first marathon was very impressive indeed. Big shout out to Gaz and Helen who managed sub 6 hrs, fantastic running from them both and even more so from Gaz having to put up with Helen for that amount of time!

98th out of 9260  Chris Fitzpatrick 2 hrs 49 mins 54 secs
3805th Louise McEveley 3 hrs 55 mins 29 secs
4007th Gareth Boyd 3 hrs 57 mins 20 secs
4404 Jenn Naylor 4 hrs 41 secs
8289th Helen Owens & Gaz O’Connor 5hrs 7 mins 33 secs (Gaz beat Helen BTW)

It will be interesting to see in the coming days what feedback this marathon gets, it’s perfect for PB hunters, but it did let itself down this year if you ask me with some of the basics  a big race should get right.
Jim Jones’ report from even sunnier Lanzarote.

Haria Maraton de Montana

On Saturday 9th April I took part in  a ‘trail race’ hosted by he Haria Trail team in Lanzarote. There were 3 races on the day a 42k, a 26k and a 10k. I opted for the 26k. The race started and finished in the town of Maguez. My preference for the British imperial system of measurement for logging my miles,  and my very poor Spanish gave me a couple of difficulties. We set off straight into a gradual climb off course volcanic sand as we left Maguez and it was not long before we were running a ridge with stunning views. The temperature quickly rose to around 22c with a light wind for the first few miles. It was then pretty much up and down with some tough climbs and fast descents.

I reckoned there to be about 40 runners who set off in the 26k race and I was quite happy being with the first half until I got to about 10 miles. By then the field was well spread out and I realised I could see no one in front or behind! It wasn’t a navigation event and I was just thinking how well marked the course was when I realised I couldn’t see the next flag. So I carried on until I did picked up another flag,  but then found myself taking to a couple of Spanish runners on the 42k route.  The guys did their best to put me right but when I said I had already ran 10 ‘miles’ they thought  I was looking for the 10k route – confusing or what!.

By this time I was wishing it was a navigation event, and that I wasn’t relying on route markers. So I retraced my steps and picked up where I went wrong. I can only surmise that I drinking water as missed the sign because it did seem obvious when I eventually found it. The unexpected additional miles were tough but I felt a bit better about my error when I managed to pass a couple of 26k runners for the second time during the last couple of miles.
Ban Williams sent in this report from the Woldsman 50 mile ultra

Ste Wiggins and I took on the LDWA Woldsman 50 mile event on Saturday.

Ste’s an old hand at these ultras but this was the first time for me to take on this distance. I’ve entered a few LDWA events in the past, but only up to 30-ish miles.
The route took us around parts of East Yorkshire, past a deserted medieval village, two ruined churches, and a long row of dead moles hung on a farm gate (we sped up at that point…). There were no really big hills, but plenty of short sharp climbs and long gradual drags, and so the total ascent mounted up. The weather was mixed, heavy rain in the morning made the field sections very muddy – the sun came out in the afternoon but the damage underfoot was already done and long sections were really slippy underfoot and pretty much unrunnable. Unfortunately this slowed our time right down, and we had to finish in the dark, luckily the closing sections were fairly easy to navigate. Although the only time on the whole day we got lost was within half a mile of the finish, where we took a wrong turn in a wood, but luckily came out in near enough the right place.


As usual with LDWA, the event was impeccably organised and very low-key, which for me adds to their attraction. There were well-stocked checkpoints around every six miles, breaking the run up nicely into manageable chunks, and meaning I could eat my own bodyweight in sausage rolls and flapjacks on the way round.

One hint I would offer to anyone doing these type of events is to read any blogs written by past entrants, these give a good idea of what to expect and maybe some navigation tips. Doing this meant at least we were prepared for the route to be long, and so we weren’t left crying at the roadside when the watch ticked over 50 miles (though we both felt like it)

Total distance – 51.67 miles
Ascent – 4790 feet
Time – 13h 44min

Tanya Downes was kind enough to send in 3 reports from Ashford Half. Luckily enough they were all identical so I’ve chosen to post the middle one.

Ashford and district 1/2 marathon
On a glorious sunny day I set off to complete a sneaky 1/2 marathon to start my family break away. There had been a late change of route due to flooding at the running club headquarters and the photocopied map via email didn’t show much. About 400 people doing either the 1/2 or full marathon (2 laps) started out at 9am. And up we ran, I have never seen so many roads that go up with so little down to compensate, it was described as undulating ( i think it must have been written by Phil Roberts) and made Helsby feel flat. By mile 7 my legs were goosed. A walk / run got me home in 2:35 and after only 3 weeks back running I was pleased with that. Beautiful day, fantastic scenery and friendly running club. Hills on Wednesdays for me I think.

Arley Hall 10K.

Donna Geer, Emma Barnes and Rebecca Gibson rann Arley 10K on Sunday, Emma and Rebecca got PBs with Donna doing very well coming back from injury prior to running London Marathon next weekend. Well done ladies

Thanks for the reports guy and gals as usual please send them to