What a difference a day makes

What a difference a day makes — Phil Gillard’s UK FRA Relays report

Saturday 18th October 2009 was a glorious day in the Western Lake District; as we drove from our hotel to the Ennerdale hills, they seemed to welcome us “come and play on us” was the very clear message and so we did.

A good recee was the order of the day; the gradual climbs (in parts) and grassy descents seemed an ideal location for the 2009 fell relays.

The following morning was very different; taking the same route to the tented village at the start of the event, the message from the hills was a menacing; “come and play on us if you dare”. It is funny how your basic senses can smell this kind of change.

The event consisted of 4 legs:

Leg 1: AS Solo – 5.8 m/1500’
Leg 2: AM Pairs – 6.7 m/2500’
Leg3: Orienteering Pairs– 5.6 m/1410’
Leg 4: AS Solo – 5.1 m/1600’

One hundred and forty nine team started the event, the Helsby team of Adair, Rachel, Georgina, Sally, Jackie and Phil finished in 120th position, a very creditable performance given the worsening weather conditions.

The clag came in during leg 2 and became gradually thicker during the event with leg 4 requiring the use of a compass even though it was a non navigation leg. These conditions do tend to reduce the advantage of the faster teams and mountain craft was more the order of the day; the three teams who finished first were all disqualified for missing out the first check point on leg 4.

This Youtube clips shows how it should be done; a fantastic descent from Tim Davies – even though he was one of the athletes who missed out on the first checkpoint


This is my favourite running event of the year, a combination of; team spirit, friendly atmosphere, superb athletes and scary challenge give me real buzz – roll on Scotland in 2010.

Cross Country – Liverpool and District Race 1 (Arrowe Park)

This winter’s cross country season kicked off with the first race in the Liverpool and District series.

The race took place on a 6 mile, 3 lap course in Arrowe park, Wirral.

Despite heavy showers whilst driving to the event these had cleared before the start of the race and the sun broke through. This made for an excellent race on a fast course with very little mud. The race was won be Jon Mellor in 30:14 nearly 1 minute clear of the rest of the field. We were also treated to a fly past by a couple, of helicopters from the Air Craft Carrier HMS Illustrious which was docked in Liverpool. Almost as good as the Red Arrows at the Great North Run.

The results were:
76 Ian Landucci 40:06
126 Andy Smith 50:24

Full results can be found at  www.lps-athletics.co.uk/l&d/

(Though I am not sure about the spelling of my name (one of the more interesting variations)

This was the first cross country I had done for about 10 years and I’d forgotten how much fun they are. No traffic to worry about and the varied terrain on the course saw a lot more position changes during the race than you would get on a normal road race. I will definitely be getting some more in this season.

Cheers Ian

Andy Todd @ Hellrunner

Andy Todd who is now an OAP (don’t worry, these are his words!) will be retiring from running with a number on.
His final race is the “Hellrunner” Delamere on Sunday 1st November at 11.00am
However, if he survives, by 3.00pm he will be in the Helter Skelter, Frodsham and invites you to join him for a drink.
I’d like to quote another Andy now because his words sum up genuinely what Andy has done for the club regarding fell running
“having largely instigated the habit within the club and pursuading the then club captain to incorporate fells  into the club championships. Without his efforts, I doubt we’d be running the fells these days and I probably wouldn’t have joined the club (it was the fells and seeing the green vests on them which brought me to Helsby in the first place).”
So if anyone fancies a drink as way of thanks to Andy or just to rib him about his efforts at Hellrunner, it’ll be great to see you there.

Sport & remedial massage

Article from Liz Dobson, Helsby runner and member

I have been a member of Helsby RC since 1996 and qualified in Sports Massage in 2001. Immediately after qualifying I practised on a professional basis for 12 months and for the past 8 years I have been doing Sports Massage on a voluntary basis for friends and family.

I have just completed an additional Diploma in Advanced and Deep Tissue Massage and have set up my own home based therapy business in Runcorn (however, can be mobile by arrangement).

I am fully insured and affiliated to the FHT (Federation of Holistic Therapists), so please don’t hesitate to contact me should you wish to discuss any treatment or just have a chat!

I offer a FREE consultation, a free gift for my first 30 customers plus reduced rates if a block of 3 massages are booked at the outset.

I will be offering complementary pre & post event massage at the Helsby Half Marathon in January so you can come along and try out my service then!

Alternatively, hope to see you all at the Border League races!



Three peaks cyclo cross

3pcxIt’s not all running… as well as running, training and racing lots of club members get involved in all sorts of other sports.

One fool recently thought it would be an idea to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks. On a bike.

“As it got proper steep, I found my own lines out right away from the fence and crowds, and picked off places, without getting too in debt. Fell running fitness I guess. This thing went on for ages though, you go into another zone. One foot, other foot. Keep off the calves if you can. Zig-zag a bit for relief. Eventually the angle eased. More pushing, more carrying, some riding… [read more on Steve’s site]

Border League – Race 1 (Christleton)

A good turn out of  Helsby runners completed the first Border League race of the season. The race was run on a one lap course of just under 6 miles. Most of the course was on the road with a small section of rough track between the fourth and fifth miles. This section had the added interest of 3 small cobbled bridges which required care to avoid tripping.

The race finished on the playing field next to the Cheshire View Masonic Lodge the start and finish point for the race.

The Helsby counters were

86 Ian Landucci 37:35
110 Jim O’Hara 39:04
141 Geoff Shaw 40:23
152 Mike Searle 40:47
206 Chris Hatton 42:57
216 Mike Hallsworth 43:30
220 Vanessa Giffiths 43:50
233 Carol Shaw 44:50
235 Steve McHue 45:00
279 Liz Dobson 48:17
284 Betty Grieve 48:32
296 Graham Lloyd 50:30
297 Robbie Webster 51:01
303 Janet Shaw 52:13
The Helsby Team

The Helsby Team

The Full Results can be found on The Borders League website


Well done to all those who took part. The good turn out ensured we had a full set of runners for both mens and womens  teams.  The next date for your diary is  Wallasey Sunday 15th November.

Breidden Hills Fell Counter Results

Hi all
Please find attached the results for the ‘penultimate’ Fell Counter of the series, the Breidden Hills (AM)
Helsby positions and times as follows:
18th    Adair Broughton        1:07:05
29th    Jim O’Hara               1:11:36
68th    Phil Gillard               1:18:49
95th    Chris Hatton             1:25:21
99th    Andy Todd               1:28:56
116th  Robbie Webster        1:42:29
Congratulations to all taking part on what was a really nice day in gorgeous surroundings with an interesting and tough course (7 miles and 2300ft).
Thanks to Andy Smith for fellside support and nice to see a new member Jim O’Hara running so well in his first official race in the Helsby vest. I’m sure he’ll be at the Borders so make sure you say hi!
There are also some good photos of this event for those who like a little interaction with their emails and can be looked at via the link in the race summary taken from the Mercia Fell Runners homepage (but link included below)
“The Shropshire Hill Winter Series kicked off it 2009 – 2010 campaign with a good turn out at The Breidden Hill Race, The race in its 25th year had one of the best turn outs for with 124 starters. Tim Davies was comfortable winner of the men’s reace in a time of 52:22 ahead of Steve Cale, the first lady was Andrea Rowlands of Eryri, next race in the series is the Wrekin Wreker on 22nd November…
Photos can be viewed on Alistair’s webs site at http://www.fellrunningpictures.co.uk/ there will be another link from there to Pete’s website for even more pictures.”
Good luck to everyone running in the Borders Road Race this coming Sunday, unfortunately on the same day as the British Fell Relays.



Borders League 2009-2010

Having spoken to a few of our newer members I realised that the Border League was something not everyone knew about so I thought a little bit of a write up might help. 

The league itself consists of 15 Clubs based around North Wales, Wirral and the Welsh borders. There are separate competitions for the men’s and ladies teams. The league consists of a series of 7 road races varying in distance between just over 4 miles up to 10km.

Most of the races take place on Sunday mornings with the exception of the last race in the series which is held on a Wednesday night at the end of April. All the races are FREE TO ENTER providing you have your club vest.

Last season saw the Helsby ladies narrowly miss out on promotion from the 2nd division finishing third with two teams going up. The men’s team are also in division 2 though finished last season a little bit further down the table. Scoring for division 2 teams is based on the finishing positions of the first 7 runners in the men’s league and 3 runners in the women’s league.

The dates and organising clubs for this years events are:
18th October Chester Tri
15th November Wallasey
3rd  January Tattenhall
14th February Abergele
14th March Wrexham Tri
11th April Prestatyn
28th April Deestriders

Full details of each event together with directions are provided on the Border League website www.bordersleague.org.uk

The first event for this year will be held at 11:00 am Sunday18th October at Christleton.

Why not turn up and give it a go?

Sandstone Trail

In contention for my top race of the year, the Sandstone trail is a fabulous race over some of the most scenic parts of Cheshire. Its popularity was reflected in the large turn out from Helsby, 11 runners in the long (17.1 Mile) A race and 5 runners in the shorter (10.6 Mile) B Race.

The weather on the day was ideal, sunny but not to hot. The great visibility meant if you had time to look there were some excellent views across the Cheshire plain to the Welsh hills. Everyone enjoyed the race, though the last few miles of hills on the A race tested a few peoples stamina to the limit.

The club also had great support on the day with Joe and Mario (previous race winner) popping up several times on route.  Mike Hallsworth was helping to marshal the event and gave everyone a shout when not too busy making sure no one got run over crossing the busy A51.

The excellent conditions saw the course record broken with John Brown of Salford winning in 1:50:20. There were also course records in the Men’s V40, V50, V60 and women’s V50 races. The Helsby placings:

A Race (17.1 Miles)
38 Ian Landucci 2:22:27
47 Edward Halliwell 2:26:51
53 Steve Riley 2:28:38
73 Phil Gillard 2:34:54
78 Andy Robinson 2:39:15
81 Rachael Arnold 2:39:51
92 Richard Mitchell 2:44:31
103 Jackie Keasley 2:49:11
111 Dave Feakes 2:52:00
139 Lesley Feakes 3:19:14
Dnf Beverley Mitchell (Retired at Beeston)

B Race (10.8 Miles)
28 Chris Baynham-Hughes 1:22:56
67 Ian Hilditch 1:35:23
78 Vanessa Griffiths 1:36:54
131 Sheila Ryder 1:54:27
Dnf Albert Berry (injured calf near end of race)

More long run mania

Andy Robinson’s been at it again. He’s a had a busy September, with two ultras in the space of a fortnight. Chapeau!

“At 3:15 my alarm went off, and despite all my instincts I got up, put on my running shorts and shirt and packed my camping gear into the car. Other poor souls were also wandering around wondering aloud how they’d talked themselves into this and gradually getting themselves ready for the day. Inside the hall about a hundred people were milling about, eating toast, drinking tea…”

Read the full story… https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/more-long-run-mania/