Last weekend the Mortimer Forest fell race saw the culmination of the Helsby 2009 Fell Race championship. What an excellent and varied set of races they have been. From short 5 mile runs such as Rainow to tough 9 mile category A races like Moel Y Gamelin they have certainly had variety. This has been matched by the weather from the cool damp Wednesday evening of the Ponderosa to the baking hot Tavern race just a couple of weeks later. All of this made the competition for points much less predictable than they are on the roads. Some people faring better on the short steep courses others on the longer flatter ones.
However throughout the men’s series Adair Broughton was the man to beat, but no one did, as he gained maximum points in all the events he took part to take the men’s championship. Special mention should also go to Phil Gillard who competed in 11 out of the 12 races and took a well deserved second place in the championship.
The woman’s series was won by Jane Ashbrook who took maximum points in all but one of the races she took part in. The one exception to this being the first race in the series which saw the 20 points going Janet Robinson. Unfortunately since then Janet has been injured, hopefully she will recover in time to make a return in next season’s competition.
On the subject of next year it could be a very interesting championship with two of the clubs newest recruits Danny Chan and Jim O’Hara putting in excellent races at Mortimer Forest, the last race of this year’s series.
For my own part this has been my first full season on the Fells and I can safely say I enjoyed it very much and will be back for more next year. Highlights for me have been the great competition with other club members particularly Steve Riley and Jim O’Hara. The long grassy descents at the end of the Moel Gamelin and Tavern fell races which are pure joy after the miles of hard effort that precede them.
If you haven’t tried any of the fell races then why not have a go next year. If you can do the summer club runs over Helsby hill then you can certainly take on the fells.
Quick reminder: the annual club handicap is tonight. Gather at 6:30pm as normal, we’ll move up to Tesco for the actual start. Full marks to Richard M for taking on the onerous task of organising the rabble. No mutterings at the back about handicaps please! Followed by secret santa at the club house and maybe a drink or two. It’s still not too late to signal your interest to Richard (and thereby avoid starting at the back!). Bring a nice little gift of about a fiver.
It’s not far, and not necessarily fast for most of us! No excuses now.
Sunday 13th December dawned bright and sunny, ideal conditions for the last fell counter of the year at Mortimer Forest on the Shropshire/Herefordshire border. The race venue was the Moors School, an independent school on the edge of Mortimer Forest which allowed for plenty of parking together with the luxury of hot showers at the finish. There was also a baked potato/burger van laid on. The race itself was a tough 10 miles of fairly muddy tracks, a couple of stream crossings and some short but sharp climbs.
5 Helsby stalwarts entered the race and a special mention should go to Danny who was competing in his first club counter finishing in an excellent 7th position.
362 runners completed the course and the Helsby placings were
Just two runners for Beacon Park and no times provided. 114 runners in total.
17th Adair Broughton
51st Steve Riley
A classier and altogether more competitive field of over 400 runners confronted Ian Landucci and Adair Broughton at the UK Cross Country Nationals. It was a great day. Lots of mud and just as many smiles. I have a list of the complete results for all age categories if anyone wants me to send them a pdf file. Otherwise, as this race was also part of the Liverpool and District Series, a link to those results can be found here.
A trickier course with lots of heavy going in places and stated as 9.8km; quite a test but it stayed clear of rain and the two Helsby runners had some nice support from Paul Frodsham and David Alexander on the three lap route, as well as unknown faces cheering us along.
30th Adair Broughton 35.47 (189th in UK Nationals)
82nd Ian Landucci 40.10 (303rd in UK Nationals)
Please note that the next Cross Country Club Counter is the more relaxing Northwest Sunday League at Arrowe Park this coming Sunday at 11.30am. The incentive does not yet appear to be working, but free tea and biscuits and sandwiches to all participants after the race. Venue details here