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 Weekly Blog 10/10/16-16/10/16

Hello Green Army

Big mention to all the warriors who turned up last week and again this morning to my Runcorn Town park XC recce, this mornings run consisted of really cold temperatures compared to what we have been used to recently and everyone was moaning which was a good sign as we trundled our way around 5 muddy and enjoyable miles. If i haven’t put anyone off yet then its a 6am meet up with a 6.05am start at Runcorn Ski slope car park every Friday morning, all speeds catered for. Head torch is recommended.

Whilst i’m talking about training runs, we hold a session at Castle Park, Frodsham on Monday nights 6.30pm, which consists of hill repeats, tempo and interval training. Club nights as per normal are on Wednesday nights at 6.30pm from Helsby Community Sports Club, and Thursdays our very own Roy Gaskill runs a 5 ish mile road run around the Norton 5 route, 6.30pm again from Tudor Road, Runcorn. Plenty to keep you fit through the winter months.

Also, for anyone new to the club, and old who haven’t tried them before, this Sunday see’s the start of the cross country season, and similarly to the Borders league races, they are completely free of charge, you just turn up in your club vest and run…simples. The venue for this weekend is Clarke Gardens in Liverpool, 10am start, post code L19 5NF. These really are brilliant races to take part in.

Right, onto the serious stuff…..PARK RUN!

Full list of consolidated results below, but we had runners out in Warrington,Chester, Ellesmere Port, Widnes, and Wepre (where on earth is Wepre?)

First of this weeks reports comes in from El Capitano, over to Col.

Myself and Ivan took part in the inaugural Manchester Half Marathon on Sunday and I must say I was very impressed with the organisation of this race. Parking was a doddle at Old Trafford (spaces are pre-booked online), the course was actually pretty flat for once and the support from the marshals and crowds of people who came out to cheer on the runners was brilliant. We also had a choir half way around the course which is a first for me. The only thing the organisers couldn’t control was the weather, the heavens opened up as we were lining up for the start but it is Manchester after all so is to be expected! 🙂

Unfortunately both myself and Ivan were suffering from the dreaded man-flu, although you would never had known, we both soldiered on without any fuss😉 We were a way off our best times but I would recommend this HM to anyone chasing a PB, I think after the success of this event it will be become a very popular fixture in the north west. Also big thanks for the shout out of Green Army! from Daz O’Connor who was dressed as a giant banana and running the opposite way, great to see him back running again!

Helsby results below:

135th Colin Thompson 1.20.38

481st Ivan Davies 1.29.54

 Full results here


Good work by mummy’s brave little soldiers, men just get on with stuff don’t they, even with man-flu. What i really wan to know is why was Darren dressed as a giant banana?

It was the Fell relays last Saturday up in Loch Lomond, Scotland, and for anyone who hasn’t done them before i would really recommend it having done the previous 2 years, even as a road runner I really enjoyed the days out, this time it was overnight stays and a party afterwards, sounds boss! Over to fell running legend CBH (who I always beat by the way!) 

Ben and I took on the navigation leg for the fell relays this year and even before I got into the holding pen I knew there was a good chance of issues. I use a thumb compass and the strap was set for thick gloves…. Clearly I’ve not been out Nav-ing since last Christmas then! Steve had got us off to a cracking start and with our two fastest runners out on the course Ben and I got into the holding pen and scrutinised the map. It was a huge bonus to get the map before we started as we were able to take some time to review the macro route choices we had, identify attack points and thus not make a silly mistake/ not miss an obvious feature we could use to help us in the thick clag.
Max rounded the corner putting on a show looking calm as if he’d been out for a jog whilst Jimmy looked like he was hanging on his chin strap. Max confessed later he was just working it for the crowd and he was really dying on the inside, but they had just scorched the course gaining almost 50 places and were 27th fastest overall. I felt I was in for a very long day as I was really struggling to keep up with Ben on the track, but in a flash we were at check point one and in for a steep climb.
Our original plan had been to take the fence line and then drop down and up (route 1) but once on the terrain we had a rethink and decided to contour around. The rough ground evened out our speeds a bit and confidence grew as we started ticking off our collecting features. As we zeroed in on CP2 I suddenly convinced myself we’d overshot it which lost us a few minutes as if we’d have kept going we’d have pretty much hit it spot on. Thankfully we saw a number of teams lost and even split in the clag so we cracked on for CP3.
CP3 turned into a nightmare. We dropped into the wrong re-entrant and lost a lot of time desperately searching in zero visibility. Once we’d finally got it we ran on a bearing straight to CP and would have hit it spot on if we weren’t temporarily redirected by Nicky Spinks. At this stage though I was doubting my micro nav so another few minutes went by. The ground was rough, big peat hags and tussocks galore – both Ben and I were immobilised in bogs on several occasions. Nav was spot on for the final two and we were then on the race in for the finish. To our shame we arrived just as the mass start went out – gutting as we’d lost time on three CPs despite being within 50m of each one. Lesson is to practice micro nav more as the macro is pretty spot on. Still, it was a great day out and the support was awesome.
The evening do was terrific as was the postrace food, lots of familiar faces and some new friends made. Think I tucked into the beers a little bit too much though :oO
Hope you are well,


I couldn’t make the Fell relays this year because it was my most important race of the year, and it didn’t disappoint, Hellrunner, which is described as the UK’s toughest half marathon (not sure about that). 13.1 miles of mud, hills of hell, lucifers lido, and the famous bog of doom. It didn’t disappoint yet again, i’ve done this every year since it started in 2009 and love it, my best finish to date coming in 11th place in 2hrs 4 mins, and i think i was the only representative this year, although Tanya took a cracking photo pf me in the bog of doom below. I would love to do something for charity next year, and get as many involved from Helsby RC as possible. Just think its like a long cross country race.

That’s all for this week, sorry it’s taken a while to send out. Happy running🙂


Helsby RC weekly round-up 3rd – 9th October 2016

Hi everyone

Welcome to the weekly round-up. No reports in the inbox this week so only the Borders League to report on. If I have missed anything please forward any results or race reports to

Before we get to the news please see below some Autumn reminders sent out by Jackie last week and a message from our XC Co-ordinator Paul Foster.

Helsby Running Club – Autumn Dates for your Diary

Now that the evening light is fading fast, it’s time to dig out your #greenarmy high viz vest and a suitable lightweight running torch and join us for a club training session.

The first cross country race is on Sunday 23rd at Clarke Gardens, Liverpool. A great figure of 8 course for starters!

The club flutter flags and tents are stored in the ladies’ changing rooms down at the Helsby Community Sports Club and will need picking up when the club is open (all day Saturdays and evenings). It’s good to fly the #greenarmy flag at all our counters!

Good luck to all those travelling north to Lock Lomond next weekend to the Fell Relay Championships. We have two teams of 6 entered.

Winter Club Counters
Here’s a list of our Border League and Cross Country club counters. Your best 7 results to count in each championship; a minimum of 4 needed to be eligible for a prize. Separate ladies’ and men’s championships. Please come along and support these and contribute to our team placings. All races are of the order of 5-6 miles and free for club members; you must wear your Helsby club vest.

The counters along with other local races and our events are listed fully in Tim’s calendar on:
and an A4 version is here:-
If you know of any races to add to this please send them to Tim at and if you have enjoyed or have a story to tell about any races you have done, for our weekly blog then please send them to The more contributors the better the read and the easier it is for our team of blog writers!

Club Talks
We have a couple of talks planned on some of our members’ amazing endurance feats this summer. If you have any suggestions or would like to do one for us in the future please let me know. Talks are in the Helsby Community Sports Club bar, following on from our training run, at 8:30pm, with a free supper.

Wed 23rd Nov Chris Baynham-Hughes on his amazing achievement of completing this summer’s Ultra Trail De Mont Blanc.

Wed 7th Dec Gareth Boyd talk entitled Where’s the bike Son? 200 miles on the Trans_Pennine Trail!  On this summers UK coast to coast Ultra.

Winter Club Counters
Here’s an outline of our weekly running training program together with details of times and where to meet each session.

Our Monday night track sessions have now finished at Helsby High School, after a well attended and most enjoyable summer season. Our Monday Winter sessions at Castle Park will start on 19th October.

Our Wednesday night training session will now switch to our Winter road routes (with an option for a torch lit hill route for those hardy runners familiar with the route, dark & mud). Colin is aiming to organise a monthly time trial on the Greenway from Guilden Sutton to Chester on the last Wednesday of each month. This was trialled successfully last Wed. An email on each of these will be sent out in advance of each one.

Here’s to a successful and enjoyable season of Autumn into Winter running.

Jackie Keasley
Your Chair

XC Reminder

Hello all
Now that the border league season is underway, how do you keep your legs ticking over until the next one? There is only one answer and it’s run in the XC country races for Helsby. The season is about to start for all Helsby runners, all you need is a club vest and away you go. The races are between 5 to 6 miles and are free to enter.

There are two leagues, the Saturday Liverpool league and the Sunday league which all fixtures are on the Helsby  event listing calendar.

This year for the first time Helsby will be on their own in the Sunday league and will not be mixed with Lymm and Warrington, so we really could do with a great turn out of old faces and I hope to see a lot of new faces . Both leagues count to the XC championship in the club. So I hope to see a lot of green vests at the races this season, the first two are in October.

Sunday league XC…..
Sunday 23rd October  10.00am Clarke gardens Liverpool
Liverpool league XC…..
Saturday 29th October 2.00pm Arrowe park Birkenhead

Borders League 1 – Caernarfon (10k)

Our first Borders League of the season saw 19 green vests turn out for this undulating 10k race at Caernarfon. Perfect racing conditions saw some fantastic running on the day with myself (Col T) first home for the men and Captain Joanne Lacking had a great run to storm home first for the ladies. Also superb running from Debbie Read saw her 1st overall in her age group, well done Debbie and well done to everyone else who made it to the race.

Special thanks to our support team on the day who were Mario, Shan and Nikki Hamling.

Please see individual results below, we had 16 out for the men and 3 for the ladies. 

Rank Rank M Rank F Name Time Category Category Rank Club
17 17   Colin THOMPSON 36:31 SM 8 Helsby RC
26 26   Neil FINEGAN 36:57 MV40 10 Helsby RC
34 34   Chris FITZPATRICK 37:34 SM 16 Helsby RC
53 53   Ian RUTHERFORD 38:28 MV40 14 Helsby RC
70 69   Jim O’HARA 39:36 SM 29 Helsby RC
107 102   Philip TOMKINSON 41:39 SM 45 Helsby RC
120   11 Joanne LACKING 42:25 FV35 4 Helsby RC
129   14 Laura BAYNHAM HUGHES 43:00 FV35 5 Helsby RC
130 116   James JONES 43:02 MV50 7 Helsby RC
132 118   Nick RYDER 43:07 MV45 22 Helsby RC
136 121   Ian HAMLING 43:17 SM 51 Helsby RC
170 146   Roy GASKILL 45:07 MV50 10 Helsby RC
172 147   Gary O’CONNOR 45:13 MV45 30 Helsby RC
204 169   Benjamin WILLIAMS 47:10 SM 56 Helsby RC
227   45 Debbie READ 48:25 FV55 1 Helsby RC
243 192   Stephen ROACH 49:20 SM 60 Helsby RC
254 199   Geoff COLLINS 49:45 MV60 12 Helsby RC
265 205   Stephen WIGGINS 51:06 SM 64 Helsby RC
307 217   David WIGGINS 59:11 MV55 21 Helsby RC

Team results see Helsby men second from bottom of Division 1 and the ladies bottom of Division 1. Unfortunately the ladies were unable to get a full team out on the day and as such were heavily penalised, it’s imperative we get a full team out at each race to avoid relegation. It’s still early days though and we have the talent to claw the points back but we really do need a good turn out at the remaining Borders League races now.

The next one is hosted by WCAC and is in Chester so nice and local for us Helsby lot!

All results can be found here



Please find below the consolidated parkrun stats from Saturday. Congratulations to Ben Fletcher on a superb 1st place at Erddig and well done to everyone else who ran

That’s all this week folks!

Col T

Weekly Update 26th Sept to 2nd Oct

Border League

Firstly a reminder that the Border League season starts this coming Sunday. First race is in Caernarfon and starts, as usual at 11am. Lets have a great turn out from the Green Army.



Helsby members were in action at parkruns throughout the area. Notable performances include Colin Bishops 3rd place at Princes Park and Chris Morgans first run as a Helsby member at Birkenhead.

Full, consolidated Helsby results are below

Sunday was Chester marathon and metric with Derek Morris and Dave Madders doing the full


Tanya Downes sent in this report from the Metric.

Chester Metric Marathon
A beautiful October day, who could ask for better running conditions. Lone metric Helsby runner set out for a steady training run for my November marathon in Athens with the added bonus of a medal, t-shirt and goodies at the finish line. An undulating course reminded me of a baby grand national ride, very proud of myself running all the way back up sandy lane ( getting used to hills at last). Great support and such a lovely course. Would definitely recommend for next year for anyone wanting just a little extra to that half marathon distance. Took it steady at my marathon training pace and came home in 2 hours 50 with a little sprint finish. Paced my Chester road runner friend to a 1/2 marathon PB , which was fantastic. Felt fresh and no aching legs the next day…….. onwards to the next challenge.

Glencoe Marathon

Also on Sunday was the Glencoe marathon which was run my Adam Gordon, Ste Wiggins and Roy Duffy. The race unfortunately left all 3 runners too exhausted to write a report for the blog but full results are below, including an impressive top 30 finish for Adam.

Sandstone Trail Race – View from the Back!!

A wonderful Autumnal day yesterday for the 40th Sandstone Trail Race with a healthy Helsby turnout for the A and B races. A chilly start with the mist burning off first thing then sunshine and very clear views, for those going at a slow enough pace to look up!

My experience of the long race was quite different to previous years!!  Firstly I nearly did not start as despite entering early as usual I was on the waiting list until only last week.  In the A race I am normally soon running fairly alone in the peace & tranquillity at the back of the field, but this year I seemed to have company all the way.  Within the first few miles I was amazed to have runners moving slower than me in “packs” chatting away with conversations such as the latest episode of Emmerdale.


Then to my alarm/annoyance continual swearing at every slight incline and muddy patch. Surely I thought if you have entered a 17 mile race, in October along the Sandstone Trail, these are to be expected … and relished! I put on a spurt to get away from these noisy runners (some walking so early on) and eventually found myself at one with the surroundings; birds chirping away merrily with the odd heavy breathing from fellow individual runners disturbing the silence!


Soon the miles were steadily gobbled up and I passed through Beeston, which again was quiet as the B mass start occurred 15 mins earlier.  Then I started catching up with the B runners and again unlike other years lots of them. Most moving/walking in groups some even stopping along the way to take selfies!!!  Again a sight I have not witnessed on this race before!!

Most memorable along this section were several groups of backpackers merrily cheering and shouting “Come on Helsby”. I soon worked out that they were all from Helsby High and delighted to see their same Helsby vest being worn by us. Up the field they gave each Helsby runner a cheer too – a big thanks Helsby High!


Thanks to Geoff and Janet for organising this race over the many years and to all yesterday’s marshals with quite a number from Helsby. Next year this race will be organised by Cute Fruits – hope the same winning formula (and price!) continues.

Well done everyone and special mention to prize winners Jim,  3rd overall and Alison 3rd lady in the A race and 5th place to Ben in the B race.

A race
4th  Jim O-Hara       2:04:34
38th Alison Halsall 2:29:06
48th Laura Baynham-Hughes 2:33:07
59th Chris Murray 2:39:14
85th Andy Robinson 2:48:41
97th Dave Feakes 2:52:20
108th Lesley Feakes 2:56:45
118th Rachel Arnold 3:01:41
132nd Paul Foster 3:08:04
137th Jackie Keasley 3:15:27
171 finishers, 9dnf

Vanessa retired injured at Rock Farm – hope no long term damage done.

B race

5th Ben Fletcher 1:15:02
11th Richard Hankins 1:22:00
77th Michele Hardwick 1:44:57
80th Debbie Reed 1:45:14
91 Suzanne Fletcher 1:48:21
105 Sue Buck 1:50:52
184 finishers, 1 dnf


Also, congratulations to Heslby second claim Chris “The Machine” Collins for his second place in the B race.


Wirral Multi Terrain Series.

The final Wirral Multi terrain race at Arrowe park saw 12 green vests toeing the line. A pretty good turn out for the finale but overall attendance has been a bit poor this year, it’s a shame these races aren’t more popular with our members as it’s a fantastic series in some lovely locations and at £1 per race they are a bargain too! Maybe it’s the mid-week logistics and also September can be a bit difficult with holidays etc. Lots of other races around at the moment too.

Anyway on to the race, the course is 2 laps of Arrowe park through fields, woods and trail. We had some very impressive running on the night and over the whole series, well done to everyone who took part.

Helsby results below:


9th Colin Thompson 26:07
13th Adam Gordon 26:28
18th Neil Finegan Helsby 26:50
44th Ian Rutherford 28:19
74th Mark Gittins 29:37
75th Richard Hankins 29:40
152nd Dave Madders 33:59
167th Tim Igoe 35:09
186th Chris Igoe 36:47
187th Stephen Wiggins 37:09


36th Debbie Reid 35:22
67th Liz Dobson 39:29

Full results can be found here

Results overall for the series are here

Special congratulations to Adam and Debbie Read for their podium finishes over the series taking 3rd in their respective age categories. Well done both!  Also of note is the 7th place in the team rankings for Helsby Men.

Thank you to Joe and Mario for their support during each race, as always it’s much appreciated guys.


Also a quick note from Max Wainwright to say he ran Saddleworth Edges fell race on Saturday, his first ‘proper’ fell race since last November and came in 8th.
Well done, Max


Last weekend Gary O’Connor (me) ran the King Offas Ultra . I’ve tried to keep the report as short as you can keep a 3 and half day race report……
King Offas Dyke Race.

Last Friday evening I started the 186 mile, 4 day Offas Dyke race in Chepstow, South Wales heading towards the finish in Prestatyn on the North Wales coast.


The first 60 miles or so, run in one stint during Friday night and Saturday afternoon, went without too much drama until I left the Kington checkpoint for the 17 mile trip to the next CP where I intended to rest until Sunday morning. A predicted “short, rain shower” turned out to be an extended, torrential downpour that left me soaked through to the skin and making navigation errors that started putting me behind the schedule I’d set myself.

I finally got to the CP at 82 miles around 1am, about 4 hours hours behind where I’d hoped to be, with several blisters affecting my running, all my kit soaked and really demoralsed. I got a few hours sleep on a row of seats and set off around 5am for the 100 mile checkpoint at Montgomery, this 20 mile section turned out to be the low point of my weekend and the only period where I had serious doubts as to my ability to finish the race. The section was extremely hilly, I only made the time cut off for the checkpoint by an hour or so as I couldn’t put too much weight on my feet on the downhill parts and was (I think!) in last place.

The excellent medics at Montgomery burst and taped my blisters and I was at least able to maintain a pace that meant I could get to the next checkpoint without getting timed out. The next 50 miles were all done with the sole aim of holding this pace and finishing the race without getting DNF’d on time.

I got to the 150 mile checkpoint at Llandegla at around 7pm on Monday near the back of the pack, having had reasonably “easy” days on Sunday and Monday due to blistering. This meant my legs were relatively fresh and I decided to just have a quick sleep and eat before heading across the Clywdians to the finish in Prestatyn, 36 miles away at 10pm.

The last section went better than I could have possibly hoped for, I felt strong, positive and the miles just melted away until, before I knew it, I was standing on the trails above Prestatyn at 10am on Tuesday morning, roughly15 places higher than I’d been the morning before.


The run didn’t go exactly to plan, I’d hoped to approximately run 85 miles Friday/ Saturday, 65 miles Sunday and 40 miles Monday to finish late Monday evening but I ended up doing 80, 35 (slow) and 75 which left me finishing Tuesday morning but was more than happy with my time given the problems I’d had on the second day.


I finished the race 26th out of 45 finishers (85 starters), having done just under 200 miles due to various navigation errors and 29000 ft of elevaton in a time of 87 hours.

Winter Training

Hello everyone

The winter training season is almost upon us and with this in mind there are a few things to announce for the coming months.

Last road counter (Norton 5)

The beady eyed amongst you will have noticed that the Norton 5 (our final road counter) isn’t going ahead now. We have scratched our heads trying to find an alternative but there doesn’t seem to be anything else suitable around this time. Therefore it’s been decided to have the 2nd borders league in Chester as the final road counter. More details will be announced nearer the time but the idea is to get as many green vests to the borders as possible and we hope this will encourage more members to take part. The date doesn’t change as this borders league race is also on the 6th November.

10k Time Trial

A new and improved (also a lot safer) course will see the 10k time trial on the Greenway at Mickle Trafford. The first one is on Wednesday 5th October so put this date in your diaries. It’s more of a recce for this first one but please all come along, Jackie has checked with the owner’s of Meadow Lea Farm Coffee Shop and parking is fine on this date so we can car share from the club. The course couldn’t be simpler, just an out and back route, the turn around point is close to Total Fitness, a sign will be there. Head torches and high viz vests are essential on this course as there is no lighting so please bring these along with you. If we can all meet at the club at the usual 6.30pm and travel down to the Greenway from there following Joe’s club talk.
Map of the new route is below:

Wednesday Winter training runs

It will soon be time for winter runs so please dig out your GreenArmy high viz vests and bring a head torch for some of the runs. I think for the first few runs we decide what run to do on the night depending on the numbers and what the local conditions are like. The important thing is we split into similar paced groups and look out for each other, especially the newer runners who may not know the routes. It is also important we all do the same route on the night, this is in part down to safety, if a runner is struggling with the pace of their chosen group an option will be to drop down a group and they won’t be on their own if all groups are on the same route. As we have found in the past it’s difficult allocating leaders each week and can tend to over complicate things but with the runners we have who know the routes it all generally seems to work out ok on the night without being too prescriptive – but we do need to look after each other!
Other options will be available over the weeks and months, Paul Frodsham’s “Fartlek” runs were very popular last year so I’m sure we will add these in again as they were brilliant training and inclusive of all abilities as were the “eye balls out” training runs.

London Marathon

For those who have entered the London Marathon but don’t get in through the ballot (folks should hear mid October), the club should hopefully be given 2 places (to be confirmed mid Nov). Those with rejection slips can be entered in the draw for these places BUT please be reminded that there is a further club requirement that you must have completed at least two (and preferably more!) Border League races in the preceding 12 months. A reminder as this seasons first two Border League races will count so there’s a great opportunity to qualify for a place if you have not already done so!!
That’s all for now, any questions or queries please get in touch with any of the committee.
Looking forward to the winter running season!

Helsby RC News from 19th to 25th September 2016.

Hello everyone. Thanks to those of you who have already sent race reports in.  If anybody has any more updates from the past week then still please send to and we can update the blog with them.

Wirral Multi-Terrain Series – 20/09/16


The third and penultimate race of the Summer Multi-Terrain League took place at Harrison Drive on Tuesday night. I haven’t seen a race report but I can see, from a scanning  of the results and  current standings, that Helsby were well represented on Tuesday. Current team standings  have Helsby Men in 7th place and Helsby Ladies in 21st place.


More notable though, are the individual results and standings. Colin Thompson finished 5th overall on the night and 1st in his age category! Helen Owens was the first lady finisher for Helsby, closely followed by Debbie Reid who is currently placed 2nd in her age category for the series.  Colin Thompson stays at the top of his age category as we go into the final race next Tuesday and Adam Gordon is presently 3rd in his age category. Overall, some excellent performances by Helsby. Well done everyone and hopefully we will have another great turn-out at Arrowe Park on Tuesday 27th September for the final race of the series.

Macclesfield Half Marathon on 25/09/16img_0843

Helsby leads the pack at Macclesfield.

We had four of the Helsby team take part in the Macclesfield Half Marathon on Saturday. Thanks to Neil Finnegan and Jackie Keasley who have both sent in  race report – see below.  Also below are a few more photos, courtesy of Bryan Dale of

Over to Neil:

“The Macclesfield half on Sunday was an excellent race – a small scale running event organised by runners for runners and as such it is an event which clubs like ours should be actively supporting. 563 runners took part in the half and over 200 in the 5k event held while we were out on the course.

Starting on the running track, which was possibly the only flat part of the entire route, the course is challenging (950ft climb) but a real pleasure to run. Most of the route was through the outlying “desirable” villages home to various premiership footballers and the tree lined country lanes offered a real feel of autumn with the leaves changing colour, but also offered welcome shelter from the rain which unfortunately hit us that day – ranging from drizzle to torrential downpours. The course is famous for its 2 big climbs – not especially steep hills, more long slow grinds. From a runners perspective that makes it very difficult to pace yourself on the course as the constantly undulating roads hit your rhythm and left your Garmin stats all over the place. So it was a case of plod up the hills and try to take advantage of gravity on the other side.

The support on the course was superb even in the remotest points – the locals seem to have really embraced the race which has been going for 15 years. Knowing that it wasn’t a PB course I went out with the mindset to enjoy the race and scenery – high fiving the kids and thanking the marshalls. It was only when I got to mile 9 and I was told I was 20th that I kicked on for the finish. The long climb from mile 10 to 12 was tough but the encouragement from the locals despite the bad weather was brilliant.

For the finish you were back on the track – a really nice touch as there were lots of spectators and people who had taken part in the 5k race, and full commentary on the finish was provided over the speaker system. A great value for money race and really enjoyable event. Well organised from start to finish and a really good atmosphere.

4 Helsby runners – and special congratulations to Richard Hankins for getting a half marathon PB on a really tough course – 1:32 despite the climbs.

14 Neil Finegan M40 01:23:52
58 Richard Hankins M40 01:32:37
175 David Feakes M50 01:45:14
404 Jackie Keasley F55 02:01:02″


img_0625      img_0760







And now over to Jackie for her report:

“Just a few words on yesterdays penultimate club road counter.

Despite being a well established club organised Cheshire race I have not done the Macclesfield Half Marathon before. A tough treat was in store!

A well organised race by Macclesfield Harriers, who use it to raise all monies for their 3 nominated charities, local hospice, autism and the Rossendale Trust who house adults with learning and physical disabilities in local apartments and houses, some of whom clapped and cheered us along the way as we ran through the outskirts of town, a really humbling experience . img_0114
It’s described as a challenging and rewarding route through the leafy back roads of East Cheshire. Apart from the laps around the very posh running track at the start it was most definitely undulating. The biggest hill being Hare Hill, a name causing much amusement as I ran up feeling like a tortoise. However Neil. Richard and Dave must have sprinted it like Hares to record the times they did! The finish was back onto the running track, but surprise surprise it’s located in a fairly elevated position at the back of the sports centre, so there was even a sting in the tail at the very end before the 100m sprint to the finish on the bouncy track. Sunshine and showers prevailed; the overnight heavy rain stopped and the sunshine came out just in time for the start, giving cool fresh ideal running conditions, two very short sharp downpours during the race tested us out but then the sun shone for the finish.

Brilliant running race after race by Neil to claim 14th place overall and well done to Richard for getting a PB on such a tough course.”

Windsor Half Marathon – 25/09/2016

Geoff Collins sent in the following race report from the Windsor Half Marathon:

“An invite to a friend’s birthday party gave me the chance to run the Windsor Half Marathon. This year being the 34th race with sunny and warm conditions. I really wanted to do this race because I lived around this area as a child and it thought it would be a bit nostalgic. Mind you, moderation was called for on the alcohol consumption stakes, for a sporting chance to make it to the start line!

The race is set within the 5,000 acre estate of Windsor Great Park in Berkshire. The location is absolutely stunning with fantastic views of an undulating and varied country landscape. It has sweeping deer lawns, small woods, coverts and lots of huge old oak trees. Yes you could actually see the Deer. You also get a good view of the planes taking off from Heathrow 6 miles away! The course is totally car, bike and pedestrian free!

But the course is very undulating. Basically two different loops with a small section repeated. My friends had warned me this isn’t a PB course. Hardly any of it level, you either go up or go down. The race starts and finishes on the Long Walk, the wide tree lined avenue which links Windsor Castle at one end with the dramatic statue (known as the Copper Horse) which is George III on his horse at the top of the hill. The race starts off uphill towards the Copper Horse for the first mile. Then you head along the well maintained wide park road way towards The Royal Lodge, now the official residence of Prince Andrew.

Then you head towards the quaint Royal School, where some members of the Royal Family have been educated. Then back to the Copper Horse repeating part of the first loop, before heading down on a longer loop towards Cumberland Lodge, Smith’s Lawn and the Prince Consort Statue. Smith’s Lawn is where the famous Guards Polo club is. Now Polo is not a game for the faint hearted. Sitting on a galloping horse swinging a mallet with a long handle, trying to hit a small wooden ball without clouting your horses legs or the other players! But today there is no Polo on. Suddenly I’m transported back to my 11 year old self, remembering running with the family dog, over Smiths Lawn!

Then the course drops down to the Valley Gardens and Virginia Water Lake, passing a sign saying no public access. This bit the public cannot normally access. Then a steepish climb away from the water, past one of the farms within the park up to Dukes Lane and Sandpit Gate.

The best bit of the race was the final mile from the Copper Horse back to the finish! All downhill, which made for a super quick fast finish!

I would recommend this race, for the unusual stunning park location, for the views, the best maintained tarmac roads I’ve ever raced on. Good crowd support. Not the flattest of courses with 630 feet of climb, (similar to Conwy half) Not the cheapest entry fees, but I suspect the Crown Estate take a fair chunk of that. Just a medal, water bottle, Mars Bar and a nut bar from Meridian the sponsors at the end.

4,396 finishers
1st Kojo Kyereme 1hr 07mins Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers
1018th Geoff Collins. 1hr 51mins Helsby RC (6th/out of 50 in age category)

Geoff Collins”

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

Parkrun 24/09/16

We had 8 Helsby members participating across 4 different Parkruns on Saturday. Consolidated club results can be viewed HERE. Colin Bishop finished 2nd place in his first run at Ellesmere Port – well done Colin, and hopefully well be seeing you at number 1 there soon.

King Offa’s Dyke Race

At the time of writing, Gaz O’Conner is still going strong (so it appears on his tracker) on the epic Offa’s Dyke Race. With just 185 miles over  4 days, from Chepstow to Prestatyn, I’m sure Gaz will be checking his cellphone for this bulletin- so best of luck in the final stages Gaz, and I’m  looking  forward to hearing about it in the blog next week.

Dates For Your Diary

Tim Palmer continues to do a great job updating our race calendar which can be viewed here and I’ve put a screenshot of the calendar showing the next few events below:


Essar Four Villages Half Marathon

Entries for the ESSAR 4 Villages Half Marathon open this Saturday 1st October. As usual, we need as many volunteers as possible to continue making this event successful. So any club members who are entering the race do please try and bring a friend or family member who can help out on the day.



That’s it for now.

Remember to stay safe and start wearing those high visibility vests as the nights draw in.




Helsby Running Club Weekly Update (12/9/16 to 18/9/16)

Hello Green Army

It’s a busy one this week, lots going on in the Helsby racing world which is great to see and also great to read about, thanks to all the contributors, remember send your race reports into

Park Run – I said to CBH after seeing his 15,000 ft of elevation over the weekend (race report below), that my 22 ft of elevation in Widnes made me feel super human and he should check it out on Strava. Getting beaten by a 14 year old last week and pipped in the final straight last Saturday, may just push me over the edge. 1st place still eludes me, maybe I should knock the Friday night bevy’s on the head and give it a real good go, after all it’s a proper serious race after all.

We had runners out in the Chester, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes

List of consolidated results below

Right enough about me and onto the good stuff.

Roy Gaskill kind of sent a report over via Facebook about the EHM 10k, over to Roy

A fantastic 10k EHM race in Warrington yesterday, quiet a few pb’s I hear, great to hear this. I also had a PB and a confidence builder I decided I had to pace this to what I am now, and not what I was a couple of years ago, and you know what it totally worked and when I finished I still had a bit to give, so I can build on this new pace starting at our first borders league 10k in Wales next month. Well done to all our runners in this race and our leading runner Colin Bishop in a good time considering he is injured, and our first lady finisher Joanne Lacking, followed by Rachael Holden, well done to everyone

Results for the 10k

Unsure if anyone did the EHM half marathon but here are the results as well

Ian Rutherford took time out from social media to send over a report, thanks chief.

King John’s Castle Fell Race – Saturday 17th September.

The Raven Inn in the small but beautiful village of Llanarmon-yn-lal at 11am was the start of this Clwydian hill race where five members of the Greenarmy hit the start-line.

A small but competitive field assembled and started by race organiser Jon Linley who interestingly said that next year will be the last time he will organise the race and is pleading for someone to take this on; be such a shame to see this disappear from the calendar.

Within the first half mile is the quick scramble over the ruins of King John’s Castle which is nothing more than a large mound and the race then begins proper.  A great route of trail, open fell, hill running continues with many styles, gates and fences to contend with.  As ever the Joe and Mario support crops up in a couple of places around the course; towards the end I could hear in the distance the vocal encouragement each of them was offering to Neil who ran an excellent race finishing a very comfortable 2nd – great running again from the man in such wonderful form.

After a few navigational challenges the year before saw a few improvements to the course marking and apart from one of the young Buckley runners who I observed missing a style all seemed to get home the correct way.  Despite how the race is listed all of us measured this at around 5.3 miles and around 1,100 ft of climb – a great mini fell race!

Helsby Results Neil Finegan 2nd Ian Rutherford 14th  Janet Robertson 22nd  (4th Lady)  Suzanne Fletcher 30th  Sue Buck 35th

Thanks to Andy Smith for some excellent pics too!



Now following on from my 22ft of elevation, over to CBH for his 15ft plus 14,985ft, on what looked like a very scary course to us road runners, some stunning photos though

Salomon Glencoe Skyline 55KM, 4750M
What a weekend of running! As I was helping out with the event I was up in Kinlochleven on the Friday morning to help get ready for the first vertical kilometre (1km of vertical ascent, max of 5km of distance to achieve it. Uphill only). For me this meant moving a radio repeater around Munros around Na Gruagaichean, but for the competitors it meant and all out sprint to the top and was awesome to watch. I on the other hand looked like I was either going fishing or that I had the largest ever selfie stick as we’d forgotten to take the spanner to undo the mast.
Day 2 saw the first running of the Ring of Steall (29km, 2500m) and by far the best of the weather. I on the other hand was preparing for the Glencoe Skyline by… marking the route! 7.5 hours on the mountain in glorious weather was superb on the one hand, but not great race prep! It did afford me the opportunity to see my first Brocken Spectre though which was pretty awesome. The views were utterly incredible and they just go on… forever. Really magical.
The morning of the race was a rush. I was exhausted from a week of minimal sleep (away with work) and 2 hard days in the mountains. At the last minute I decided I needed to tape my heals and literally sprinted to the start line. The plan was to start slow and taper off. The first 10k was pretty standard trail running along the West Highland way, but in the light it was really special. Arriving at the climb/ scramble (the route takes in curved ridge – exposed grade 3 scramble) we hit a bit of a traffic jam which was frustrating. Faster runners don’t necessarily make faster climbers and in the interests of safety there were large sections where there was no overtaking; still we could take in the incredible views whilst they were still there.
The “running” climbs were brutally steep; the mountains in Glencoe are genuinely different to the rest of the UK. Even when on a ridgeline, each peak seems to have a long descent before a sharp ascent to the summit. It’s something you rarely get in Snowdonia and certainly very rare in the lakes; it’s like everywhere is Tryfan! Taking in the section I marked was great until the mistle descended and the majority of runners reached for their windproof. Almost 30 countries were represented at the event as it was a world series race.
Killian Jornet wasn’t there as he’s been looking at the speed attempt on Everest, but his sister was and I ran with her for a while… until we got to the descent where she showed without doubt that she was a skier – dropped like a stone, but in total control. The 800m straight descent to the road was brutal and I’d argue it was the most dangerous part of the course as the wet stone was treacherous. I had a plan though as I jumped straight onto the scree and surfed down.
The reward for our efforts so far was a 8-900m straight climb back up so we could take on the Aonach Eagach ridge. Like curved ridge, this was a scramble (grade 2) and very exposed. The mistle and rain had made the rock wet and enabled me to move through the field a bit as some racers struggled over it. All that was left were a few marshy bumps and back onto the West Highland way for a sprint finish. The last few K’s flew by as I was dreaming of food and a shower!
With a totally stacked field of world class talent it was always going to be tight at the front. Won by Jon Albion (who had played cat and mouse with Tom Owens all race) in 6:33. I, however, was nowhere near that, finishing 81st in 10:46. I went for the adventure and certainly got it. Amazing weekend.
From the VK
The view!
Fishing with the radio repeater about halfway up the VK course
From the skyline course from when I was out course marking:
14424732_1857899931111155_3162650588287784363_o 14324676_10153767220386781_5086988897824184761_o 14361326_10153767220501781_6719168617150748380_o 14324117_10153767221476781_8101412762422534115_o
Brilliant work from Chris considering he’s just back from UTMB as well. Good clip on this link as well
Couple of reports come in for the Sutton 6 from Geoff and Richard, which was another road counter

Race Report Sutton 6 Sunday 18th September

Surprisingly Just 6 green vests took to the streets of Guilden Sutton for the Sutton 6, despite this being a club points counter.   This year race numbers were down anyway, possibly because of other races elsewhere.  There were just 129 finishers this year, rather than the 200 (or more) plus in previous years.  A bright sunny day beckoned just a tad warmer than ideal for running.  This year the timing chips were on the numbers, no danger of leaving them behind!

Helsby’s team of 5 gents and one lady were nevertheless up for the challenge and looking forward to racing close to home with no worries of being stuck in traffic.  And with good support from the crowds for the local runners.  Also for some the chance to run past their own houses!  As always we were grateful for support from Mario and Joe.

The course is two laps of Bellue Vue Lane, Guilden Sutton Lane and Hare Lane before heading past Chester Rugby Club along the A51 and return up Wicker Lane to the Village, where there is a slight incline to the finish line by the Village Hall.

Results for Helsby were:

9th Colin Thompson 35m 59s

16th Neil Finegan 37m.04m

35th Richard Hankins 41m 12s

68th Dave Madders 47m 36s

72nd Geoff Collins 48m 38s

86th Tanya Downes 53m 25s

Amazingly Neil managed to knock almost a minute off his PB from last year… despite doing rather well at the King John’s Fell race the day before! Richard taking over 4m off his time last year, and Tanya who was well pleased clocking a new PB, 1m off her last years’ time and picking up a spot prize!

We all enjoyed the race, Col thought it was bit harder than he was expecting, I certainly enjoyed the competition between Guilden Sutton runners, as Val Ornsby (Chester Tri) Claire Mallon, Richard Batterham (West Cheshire) and myself battled it out!

Geoff Collins.

I believe the Sutton 6 has been a long term favourite of Helsby runners having its origins as a six mile race back in the 80’s. A small local race centred on Guilden Sutton, attendance was a bit down this year on previous years due to the numerous clashes in the calendar. It is an undulating course passing twice under the motorway (and twice over it) with a steady ascent from the lowest point which is around the 8K mark and a steep 50M just before the finish. It isn’t a stunning course (although nice in places) but the vibe of the event makes up for that. A fun run follows the main event and the local Scouts provide tea and cakes to the participants. A relatively small turn out from Helsby for the penultimate roads counter: five men (lead home by Colin in 9th) and one woman, Tanya, who came 2nd in her category. Quite how Neil ran in the King John’s Castle fell race the previous day – apparently stopped and waved for the cameras at 9K and got a PB I will never know. Full results, below:

Richard Hankins

Thanks chaps, always a popular one but as stated lots of races this weekend clashing


And final race report from Ben Williams who was out plodding (30 miles!!!!!!)

I plodded the LDWA Open to Offas event on Saturday, a 30 mile circular route with over 5000ft of climb. It starts from Cilcain and climbs steadily to the north end of the ridge before following the Offas Dyke path (with a few deviations) over all of the major Clwydian hills, and includes bits of most of the local fell races. I’d been with the leading pack up to Moel Arthur, but I couldn’t keep up with them on the climbs after that. After crossing Foel Fenlli (of ‘the Druid’ race fame) the gradients ease off for a while, but by then my legs were wrecked and I was struggling. The homeward stretch has one more sting in the tail, Pothole Crags (of ‘Up the Beast’) and then flattens out for a nice run in past Loggerheads and along the Leete Path. The weather was perfect, almost too hot at times, and I got through a lot more water than I usually would on these events. As usual there were plenty of well-stocked aid stations on the route, and it was good to see Ian Hilditch manning checkpoint 6.
I managed to take an hour off last year’s time, as did a chap who finished just behind me having done the same last year, and finished in 7h 39m.


Once again Tim Palmer has provided us with a brilliant updated race calendar, please let him know if you spot any more races you want on here for others to know about

There is an updated race calendar at:

Dates for your diary

Macclesfield Half Marathon this coming Sunday, penultimate race of the road counters. entries still open I believe right up until the day of the race

That’s all folks…Happy running green army!


Helsby RC round-up 5th – 11th Sept. 2016

Hi everyone

The inbox is a little light this week, only one report so far. If you raced over the weekend and would like it included in the blog please fire in over to

Before we get to the news please see some reminders of races and events coming up…

  • Kings John Castle fell race (last race in our mini fell series)
    Sat 17th Sept 2016 at 11:00, £4 on the day
    Country: Wales
    Category: BSDistance: 7.4km / 4.6m
    Venue: Raven Inn, Llanarmon-yn-lal. SJ190562
    Skills & experience: n/a
    Climb: 265m / 869ft
    Region: North
  • Sutton 6 (11th road counter)
    Sunday 18th Sept at 11am
    Guilden Sutton
    £8 (affiliated) no entries on day
  • Race #3 of the Wirral Multi Terrain series (8th race of the club mini trail series)
    Tuesday 20th Sept
    Harrison Drive, Wallasey
    18.30 start time
    £1 on the night (club vests must be worn)

Rotary ClubStatic Bike Fundraiser At Tesco’s Helsby – Sept 24th  6AM to Midnight Green Army time slot is 10:00 – 11:00 – all three bikes We can also raise more by having more than one person riding in the 1/2 hour – so instead of one rider at £40, 2 riders ar £80 Or spread out the cost by having multiple riders – invite friends and family There will be a kids bike as well!!!!


Wirral Multi Terrain #1 – Royden Park

Tuesday 6th September was race 1 of the September multi-terrain series and race 6 of the club mini trail series. The course was at Royden Park near Thurstaston and is a lovely route taking in fields, woods and a tricky climb over a sandstone ridge. 9 out for Helsby with myself first home for the men and Vanessa first home for the ladies. Well done everyone, some excellent running and extra kudos to Boydy for turning up despite running a 200 mile ultra the previous week, the man’s a machine! A cracking race and at £1 each these are a bargain, make sure you get to the next one – 20th Sept, Harrison Drive, North Wirral Coastal Park, Wallasey.

Still no results for this race but if you keep an eye on Steve Saunders website they should appear soon.

Northwest Road Relays

Saturday saw the Northwest road relays at Delamere and what a fantastic day we had. It was a very similar course to the Delamere parkrun only with a slightly different start/finish area and 2 laps instead of 1, 6.4km in total for each stage (although we all measured it around 0.5 miles longer than this!). The best of the best turned up and it was a bit intimidating at first seeing proper “afleets” doing their warm up drills, but I think we can hold our heads high as we mixed it with the some of the best running clubs in the NW and all had a great time. Well done Green Army! Also a big thank you to Joe, Mario, Andy Smith, Sue Buck, Nicki Hamling, Colin B and Jane B for their support on the day (and Jane baked some lovely cookies to replenish those carbs!!).

We had 18 runners out in total (2 ladies and 3 men’s teams) please see the Helsby results below:


24 Helsby Running Club ‘A’ 1:31:54
1 Joanne Lacking (25) 29:12 2 Vanessa Griffiths (27) 32:19

3 June Swift (24) 30:23

51 Helsby Running Club ‘B’ 1:40:45
1 Rachel Holden (59) 35:27 2 Debbie Read (56) 32:59

3 Carol Shaw (51) 32:19


35 Helsby Running Club ‘A’ 1:45:42
1 Colin Thompson (24) 24:14 2 Ian Rutherford (36) 27:34

3 Phil Tomkinson (38) 28:12 4 Neil Finegan (35) 25:42

59 Helsby Running Club ‘B’ 1:58:36
1 Gary O’connor (68) 28:45 2 Ian Hamling (63) 29:15

3 Roy Gaskill (65) 30:59 4 Christopher Murray (59) 29:37

67 Helsby Running Club ‘C’ 2:04:33
1 Phil Gillard (79) 31:07 2 Jamesdavid Jones (71) 30:15

3 James Gray (69) 31:44 4 Stephen Riley (67) 31:27 


Full results and more photos can be found here:

Andy Smith kindly took some photos too. These can be viewed here:

Wirral Half Marathon & 10k

No reports for either of these races thus far so I can only show the results sorry. Having done the 10k myself a couple of years ago I can say it’s a fast course and very flat so there are some impressive times on display, especially as it was a hot day on Sunday. Well done all!


 106th Michael Williams 48:04

Half Marathon

108th Carl Pratt 1:35:55
312th Adele Croxton 1:45:43
327th Geoff Collins 1:49:00
769th Gillian Fitzpatrick 2:13:33

Full results here

Whistle Stop Tour

An excellent report has been sent in by Carl Pratt who competed in the BTR “Whistle Stop Tour” last week.

“I took part in the BTR whistle stop tour of Wirral.  It is a challenging 3 day event covering 26 miles.

Friday: Arrowe Park 5 mile trail run – 00:36:07 Saturday: Thurstaston 8 mile beach, woods and nasty hills 01:00:30 Sunday: Wirral Half Marathon: 01:35:55 Total 03:12:32.

The Thurstaston race on the Saturday was very tough. A long stretch of beach followed by 2 monster hills over 8 miles. The Wirral  half we had really good conditions but unfortunately I was not in the best condition after 2 days of racing. Next personal target will be a sub 1:30 at Tatton Park Half Marathon in November.

It is a really good event and places have opened for next year. It would be good to see some Helsby Runners there next year. It will sell out fairly quickly so you do have to sign up almost a year in advance.”


Please find a link to the consolidated parkrun results from Saturday. Well done to Fitzy who smashed Widnes for a 2nd place finish and new PB! Well done to everyone else who took park.

That’s all this week. Happy running folks!

Col T

Helsby RC update 28 Aug to 4 Sept

Firstly a Fundraiser reminder from Betty.

Static Bike Fundraiser

At Tesco’s Helsby – Sept 24th 6AM to Midnight
It would be great if the green army could get a block of time
We can also raise more by having more than one person riding
in the 1/2 hour – so instead of one rider at £40, 2 riders ar £80
There will be a kids bike as well!!!!


Full, consolidated results for Helsby members at last weeks parkruns are below:


Colin Thompson sent in this report from a brutal sounding Halewood 5K on Saturday.

I was all on my lonesome for the Halewood 5k on Saturday but managed to put in pretty decent run in torrential conditions. The standard was very high, the top 3 all under 16 minutes, I managed to get my fastest time of the year with 17.18 in 12th place so very pleased with that one!

Full results can be found here


Neil Finegan sent in this report of his win at the Clwydian 15 trail race

Not so much a race report as a recommendation for next year.  The Clwydian series has been running for a few years offering 5, 15 or 30 mile options in this vertically challenging part of the world.   They are relatively small and low key events offering excellent value for money.

The start point is the Golden Lion Inn Llangynhafal,  familiar to anyone who has ran the green green grass fell race and the routes take in Penycloddiau, Offas Dyke path, Moel Arthur then Gronfoel .  The 15 mile route that I did had 1145 metres of climbing over its 24k.  The course was petty well marked (and a map was provided at the start) with feed points (cake, water and coke) and tag watches provided at the start allowed you to assess your splits after the race and let the organisers keep track of the runners. It was a real mix of terrain – from the typical fell running steep slopes to stone gully climbs, through to some decent farmers trails where you could pick up some speed. Some of the climbs were tough but the views at the top of Moel Arthur were amazing.

For someone like myself who has taken part in a lot of the shorter fell races the 15 gave the opportunity to push on a bit further and take in the stunning scenery.  I honestly can’t recommend it enough for anyone looking to push their limits.

As for the race itself,  well no one wanted to take the lead at the start faced with a near 300m climb in the first 3 kilometres, so after a few minutes of slow shuffling  I just went for it and spent the rest of the race thinking I was being chased down.  I struggled on to the end (extra km due to wrong turns) only to find that I was nearly 15 minutes ahead of the guy in second and set a new course record.


Neil also took the overall 1st prize in the Deeside Multi Terrain series earlier in the week so a cracking few days running from him.
Next up, 2 reports from Shelf Moor fell race. The first from Steve Riley, the second for Laura BH.


Fast becoming a favourite race, Shelf Moor saw a small but perfectly formed Helsby turnout with 5 green vests toeing the line near Glossop. The local rifle club was unable to to strike fear into the heart of our brave warriors …that came a mile in when the gentle incline of the stream valley abruptly swung left to take in the brutal climb of James Thorn. Topping out at just over 2000′ the climbing was all done in pretty much one big pull.

Ben was not to be seen after the start, coming home in a very respectable top 20 finish (always a stiffer standard in these Peak District races) and knocking a few mins off last year’s time. Laura and Steve swapped places for a close tussle to the end, Janet coming in soon after. Phil came in some time later with a smile on his face after some navigation practise. We ran a good mile or two in the mist and despite a well flagged route, it was easy to go off piste (note to curious fell runners – this hardly ever happens, we usually come back with the same number we set off with). Good work Phil pulling it back. Tea and cakes to finish naturally.

Thanks also to CBH, James and Rhys for high quality cheering at a couple of places on the course.



Sunday saw the next race in the Fell series and 5 green vests made the trip east to Old Glossop for the Shelf Moor fell race. This is a cracking race with a bit of everything. I have decided I need more practice running across bogs – was not very good at taking the racing line! No official results yet but Ben Fletcher was first home for Helsby men followed by Steve R. I finished first for the Helsby ladies (after Steve) and then Janet. Mr Gillard illustrated why they require you to carry a map and compass and was last back after a bit of a detour (it got a bit misty on the tops). Luckily unlike me he can actually use a map and compass! Great running everyone.

This race was also part of the interclub competition. There were a few out for Spectrum, not sure if final results are out yet – will post them once they have been announced!

Chris Bayham-Hughes’ report from the epic UTMB Trail Race including some absolutely amazing photographs.

It’s done. Mission accomplished. The iconic trail race that has captured my imagination for the past 4 years (and has beaten me once) has been completed. For those that don’t know of it, UTMB is to ultra distance trail running what London is to Marathons. Starting and finishing in Chamonix competitors run 105 miles through 3 countries with over 10k of ascent (and 10k of descent). It’s a beast.


I’ve just started writing a list of magic moments and I totalled over 20, they were generalised, long and spanned pages. So I realise I need to cut this down for consumption. I’ll post up a full blog with photos on my blog site: http://www.baynham-hughes.comn/Blog in due course and I’ll also continue to try to get this back on line and up to date…. My mum will want to read it at least ?

In short:
It was very hot again – 32 C @ 1000m
Incredible atmosphere throughout, from whole towns out with “allez, allez allez” & cow bells, to a young lady flasher, to getting to run with personal friends
I loved almost every inch of the course (the final descent is just cruel if your feet have gone)
I stuck to my race plan and cooled my entire body at every water source and aid station
I left Champex Lac with a smile on my face (I got the bus of shame back from here last year)
Totally shredded my feet – steamed them to trench foot and then the blistered everywhere; also a good 0.5 cm deep gashes through both of them due to the trench foot
Breath-taking views throughout
Incredible personal support and thanks for all the texts!
Amazing support for my fundraising – truly humbling!


One thing that left a lasting impression was the thunderstorm directly over head whilst I was on the climb out of Champex. I love a storm, but being on a mountain side next to people with poles and it literally feeling like the lightening was missing us by inches was a good lesson in how quick mountain weather can change. I developed a need to get off the mountain very quickly and was keen to stay clear of anybody with poles, a large number of fillings or that was unusually tall!

In the end I took just over 34 hours (I’d have broken 34 if my feet hadn’t been agony) and placed 184th out of 2300 runners (over 40% of the field dropped out). I thoroughly enjoyed it, but not sure staying 100 vertical metres was a great idea (it was as it was with friends, but it did take ~ an hour for Laura to push me up the hill as I kept losing my balance and falling backwards due to the pain in my feet).



Well worth the 4+ year obsession.
My webcams:

My own go pro footage to follow.


Lastly, Fitzy has turned to the darkside and tried his hand at a triathlon. Heres his report….

Ok so it’s not a report fully focusing on running, but thought I’d let you know how I got on in my first Triathlon.


8 weeks ago I decided to take the plunge, and enter a sprint distance, 400m pool swim, 20k bike and 5k run. I know it doesn’t sound a lot but for me who could not swim very well at all, the swim part of this was always my worry, but a few lessons off my daughters swimming teacher soon sorted out my breathing technique, and 8 weeks of a few hours in the pool each week, got me to the start line raring to go, and I’m glad to say I probably enjoyed the swim more than the bike and run.

There is definitely room for improvement on the swim, the bike was pretty good and I was 2nd fastest on the run, and came 9th overall which I was over the moon about.

70% of participants were first timers, so this created a really friendly atmosphere, the organisation and facilities was brilliant and the marshals were some of the best I’ve seen encouraging people all the time. For a starter event this was great value at £20. I need to now man up a bit and go for an open water Tri, although that won’t be until next spring as the winter approaches.

My message to you all, if you really don’t fancy doing something like I have for years with swimming, it’s always put me off, then have a go, you might just surprise yourself and get a proper good kick out of it just like I have this weekend.

Helsby Tri club anyone?

Full results below

Oh, and Ste Roach was there too.
Thanks for all the reports sent in. As usual please send them to


Helsby Race Reports 22nd -28th August

Helsby Running Club Weekly Update (22/8/16 – 28/8/16) 

Hello Green Army

Best way to start the weekly report if you ask me is to give massive congratulations to two of our hardy ultra runners, a round of applause please for Gareth Boyd and Chris Baynham-Hughes, Gareth completing a 200 miler from coast to coast, starting in Southport, and ending up in Hull over 4 days, and CBH completing Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, 170km I think around the French Alpes. Can’t wait to read there race reports, I’ll give you guys some time to send them in considering you can probably barely walk right now (then again you don’t write with your feet). I know having ran a few ultras with these 2 numpties how hard it must be of been……..for other competitors having to listen to their voices for such long periods. RESPECT gents truly unbelievable achievement.

Park Run – We had runners out in the Chester, Delamere, & Widnes this week, volunteers needed for Widnes next week if anyone can help out, then again most park runs need volunteers, give them a shout if you can.

List of consolidated results below

First of the race reports come from Chris Murray

Eleven green vests braved the rain on Wednesday evening for the Mid Cheshire 5k in Kingsley. The bad weather seems to be a common theme with this race as we had the cold and hail to contend with when it was run in April. There were some quick times due to the first and last miles being all downhill with Colin Thompson coming home first out of the Helsby squad in 17.04 and Chris Fitzpatrick following closely in 17.26. I battled with Philip Tomkinson for 3rd Helsby vest across the line but he left me in the rain finishing in 18.34. A special mention goes to Debbie Read finishing first in her age category and Vanessa winning fastest female Kingsley resident; not sure there is a prize for that last one.

All the results can be found here:

Cheers Chris, it’s a proper hilly one this one, if ran backwards

Suzanne Fletcher sent in a report for the St Helens Dream Trail Race

I saw this race advertised and with it being local and cheap to enter I thought I’d give it a go. Ran by St. Helens Sutton AC it offered both a 5k & 10k option, I went with the 10k being two 5k loops and it was tough! Set in Sutton Manor Park and around the iconic Dream statue, it was a tough course with plenty of hard short hills, mainly on grass and gravel tracks, it reminded me of a XC but in sunshine & warm weather !

Results out of a field of 181.
1st Catherine Howard of Knowsley Harriers 41.09
20th Phil Tomkinson 46.04
68th Suzanne Fletcher 55.12 (11th lady)

Sounds like a perfect course for a winter XC maybe

Over to Richard Hankins for I think a report on a former club counter race in years gone by, the Ellesmere 10k


Looking at the results from previous years this has been a popular event with Helsby runners, although I think this year I was the only one. The promise of a fast course and some fantastic motorcycling roads en route attracted me. Its a well organised club event which is cheap to enter and the facilities were good. The ‘fabulously fast’ course is a nice mixture of rolling country roads and a few K on tracks around the mere and along the canal. There were, however, far more inclines than expected and the much hyped PB potential seemed a bit mythical to me. The results were also unusually hard to find – no text or email, although you can find them on the timing company’s website if you google around. Overall, its a nice race to do – but not a classic. I finished 40th out of 556 and 6th MV 40 in a rather disappointing 41:33.

Dates for your diary

Road runners, it’s the Halewood 5k this Saturday 3rd September, a free timed event organised by Knowsley Harriers, its a fast out and back course, check it out.

Felsby crew will be travelling to Shelf Moor Fell Race this Sunday, which is a 5.7 mile race and packs a hefty 1499ft of ascent/descent. Nice!

That’s all folks…Happy running green army!


Helsby RC News from 15th to 21st August 2016.

Welome to the weekly round-up. First of all a quick reminder that we have the Cilcain Show Mountain Race coming up on the Bank Holiday Monday of 29/08/16. It’s one of our club counters and there will be a whole programme of events at the Cilcain show so why not make it a family day out. At a distance of only 4 miles its a great introduction to fell running. The race starts in Cilcain village center at 1pm and registration is from to 12.20pm.  You can see full details of the day and also a watch film of last years race by following this LINK

Catherine Dowdall Memorial Fell Race


Only one report in the mailbox this week. Thanks to Tim Palmer for pulling  this report together:

“Saturday saw 8 Helsby runners (plus Jamie Dowdall (running in his 1st claim Darwen Dashers) and Helen in support) at the Darwen Gala Catherine Dowdall Memorial Race in Darwen, Lancashire . This race is run in memory of Jamie’s late wife. As the British weather had resumed its normal summer service, the race was run in strong winds and showers. Whilst short (4.7 miles), the race has a bit of everything in it: nearly 600ft of climb in the first mile only to lose ½ of it almost immediately, couple of miles over the moor (some on fast single track) with a fast and furious descent in the last mile first off the moor and then within the park.

The Helsby contingent (helped by being more than 10% of the runners) walked away with 5 individual prizes (6 if you count the one that Jamie won) plus both men’s and ladies’ team prizes.
Pos, Name, Time
3 Jim O’Hara 00:36:39 3rd man
15 Tim Palmer 00:42:05 1st M50
19 Jim Jones 00:43:56 2nd M50
22 Phil Gillard 00:45:45 1st M55
34 Suzanne Fletcher 00:50:07 3rd lady
40 Paul Foster 00:53:12
44 Debbie Read 00:54:36
55 Jackie Keasley 01:00:12

Debbie commented on Facebook: “Tough but great fun – great value too £5 and you get a half of real ale, bottle of water, hot dog, banana and apple!” ‘’

Ellesmere Port RC 5k

I haven’t seen a report but their was nearly a whole army of green vests at the Ellesmere Port 5k on the evening of Wednesday 17th August. Colin Thompson and Joanne Lacking were first home for Helsby, in admiral times, in the respective mens and ladies races. Well done everyone who took part. If anyone has completed a race report please forward it to the inbox and Ill update the blog.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 19.08.35

Birchwood 10k

We had one Helsby athlete at the Birchwood 10k on Sunday. Neil Finegan clearly had something left in the tank after his 17:31 5k finish on the Saturday and managed a brilliant 37:14 10k the day after. Well done Neil.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 19.25.38


Green vests were again far and wide this weekend. We had five members at five different Parkruns! Well done guys. Our club consolidated results can be viewed by following this  LINK

Well I think that’s it for this week. Please keep sending any reports into:

If you don’t have time to write a report just send in an email with details of the race and maybe a link to the results. It all helps to pull the bog together.

Thanks and keep on running🙂,