Birchwood xc

Thanks to Spectrum for putting on an excellent race yesterday up at Birchwood, Warrington. Opening the curtains on Sunday to a fresh dump of snow put a seed of doubt in place over the run going ahead. Shouldn’t have worried, the race was on and the snow only added to the fun. As did the Icey Puddle of Doom (a trench of mud and slush, barely above freezing point). Still at least we only run through it 4 times. After a good half lap of running the feeling came back into my toes ….just in time for the Slippery Banks of Dread, a set of steep rollers with no other purpose than to sap your leg strength.

Good runs from Ian, Steve and Andy S completed the Helsby turn-out. Really you’d be mad to not try a cross-country at least once in your running career.

…luckily for you it’s not too late. Normally Birchwood closes the season, but this year we’ve got a bonus event on 7th March with the rescheduled Runcorn Town Park. Again a good course. Have a go!

Pic from Mick Charman‘s set on the Spectrum site.

Dash in the Dark 2

Friday night, and another head torch run in Llandegla Forest. The Dashes in the Dark are great fun, a small but select band of nutters, numbering about 30, pitch up at the visitor centre at Llandegla for a race through the dark trees.

Fresh snow on the ground threw back a lot more light from the head torch to light the way, but left the  forest beyond darker and more impenetrable – still, no monsters in Llandegla… or so I’ve been told… Zig-zagging up the long winding track from the visitor centre saw me watching a large group of runners disappearing off into the gloom ahead, whilst those behind dwindled to become just an occassional flash of light in the trees. Consequently I spent most of the rest of the race in a bubble of my own, with no one in sight ahead or astern. This suited me fine as it took any pressure off me to ‘race’ and I could just settle down and enjoy running through fresh snow  in the silence and dark with the odd glimpse of a crescent moon high overhead. Running doesn’t get any better than this in my book.

40 minutes later the finish hoved into view with the prospect of hot chocolate with marshmellows and all the trimmings back in Llandegla centre. Don’t know whether Ben will manage to fit a third race in this winter – but if he does, I intend to be back.

Andy S.

Beacon Bash – First Long Trail Race

The first run in the new Trail Series took place this morning. The Beacon Bash was an intricate 21 mile route from Newburgh near Wigan, and four stalwart HRC members showed up to take part. Personally I’d say that was pretty good considering we all woke up to 2 or 3 inches of new snow this morning. The going was slow, needless to say, as we were running in melting snow the whole way. Nevertheless a good time was had by all, with pie and peas at the end too.


Andy Robinson 3:34
Ed Halliwell 3:40
Chris Hatton 4:04
Steve McHugh 5:20

Ed was well ahead of me but got lost near the end & lost at least 15 mins. Chris missed the official start so his run time was actually a few minutes faster, but not enough to affect the placings. Steve was doing the Beacon Bash anyway, and was wearing his walking boots little thinking he was competing in anything at all. Sorry Steve.

Post-event refreshment score: 8 out of 10. That’s by LDWA standards, which are in a different league to most running events.

Next Trail Series event

Kipling Kaper, Saturday 27th March. This is the longest run in the series, at 28 miles. There are other options from 20 miles up, but to count in the series you need to do the full 28 miles. It’s a great route in the Staffordshire Peak District, including an ascent of Shutlingsloe and finishing along the top of the Roaches. For further info go to or ask me on a Wednesday night.

Andy Robinson

Anyone need new shoes?

John Shelbourne runs the gym at The Heath in Runcorn. He’s setting himself up selling discounted sports gear to local clubs.

Ian and I have worn his spikes on the track and cross-country to good effect this season (well Ian’s had the best effect, if truth be told!) and they were extremely cheap. I can’t guarantee everything will be as cheap, but they’ll always be less than retail.

He has access to most of the main brands, but at the moment doesn’t carry much stock. It’s more ‘order, check it fits and then pay’ at the moment. Some of the things he does:

  • Road shoes
  • Fell shoes
  • Cross country/track spikes
  • Racing flats
  • Technical t-shirts.

…although I’m sure he’d try and help if you had any more unusual demands. I’ve known John 5 years now and can vouch for him. Call him on 07985 221805.

JRS shoes leaflet (PDF).

Border League Race 4 – Abergele

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!!!!

And we certainly were for Race 4 of the Border League series at Abergele on Sunday. It was an out and back 5 miler along the prom between Abergele and Llandulas with a minor excursion up and down a small hill through the caravan park at the half way point. The weather was fairly kind with the rain holding off till near the end of the race and only a light breeze coming off the sea.

Helsby positions were as follows

121 GEOFF SHAW 34:25
142 PHIL GILLARD 35:30
153 CHRIS HATTON 36:10
157 ALBERT BERRY 36:19
201 ANDY SMITH 40:13
211 BETTY GRIEVE 41:51
227 JANET SHAW 46:23

Full teams in both the men’s and ladies events meant we scored well, full details can be found at the Border League Link

The next race in the series will be the Wrexham Tri event on Sunday 14th March so should be a good way to sharpen up before the summer road races get underway.


2010 Race Calendar

Updated at

Please let me know of any details to be changed or additional races to add. If anybody wants a copy in excel or pdf then just let me know.


Cheshire XC Championship 13th Feb 10

Hi all

For full results please see the following link from the Cheshire AA website

4 Helsby runners made the start line and very well done to Roy Tunstall who took home the shiny gold medal for his age category!

Conditions were ideal for running but maybe a little cold for watching. The ground wasn’t as muddy as expected with some people using trainers instead of spikes. A very enjoyable afternoon out. Hopefully a link to some photographs will follow. Positions of Helsby runners as below.

37th Adair Broughton 42.13
65th Ian Landucci 46.31
102nd Roy Tunstall 56.04
104th Andy Smith 57.58

Please note the next xc is the spectrum organised North West Series at Birchwood Forest Park on Sunday 21st Feb 11.00am.

Recent Cross Countries

Sunday 31st January – Walton Park, Liverpool

Race 4 in the North West League.

A cold crisp day with a covering of snow on the ground saw race 4 in the Sunday League Series. The full results have not yet appeared on the web however the finishing positions were;

Adair Broughton
Ian Landucci
Steve Riley
Andy Smith
Kevin Bell
Roy Tunstall

Andy’s hopes of an easy run in to the finish were scuppered when Mick Charman (Helsby old Boy now Spectrum) appeared on his shoulder. However all credit to Andy for raising a sprint and getting the extra point for Helsby. Unfortunately injury forced Roy to finish his race early, but he’s hoping to be out at the Cheshire Champs on Sunday.

A good race was rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches and other goodies.

Sunday 7th January – Clarkes Gardens, Liverpool and District Championships

A very strong field turned out for Liverpool and District Championships a race dominated at the front by Liverpool Harriers. The competition was strong right down the field and the  Helsby finishing positions were

45    Adair Broughton    38:47
85    Ian Landucci         42:47
137  Andy Smith           52:15

Full Results can be found at

The next Cross Country is the Cheshire Champs at Reaseheath, Nantwich. This is a pre-entry race so if you haven’t already entered you will have to look at other alternatives, but don’t worry you won’t have to look far.

Sunday 14th February – Race 3 in the Border League

This race is along the coast at Abergele, details can be found at the Border League website

If you would prefer a Cross Country then the next one is at Birchwood on Sunday 21st February

Hope to see some of you over the next couple of weeks.


All about Helsby

We published a leaflet about the club and its activities for the Four Villages.

We’re not always the best at getting information out there even amongst ourselves, never mind trying to recruit new people!

Let us know what you think. What do you want to know?

Read the RunHelsby leaflet (PDF download, 124k).

Night run – 4 Feb

Fancy a nightrun?Don’t forget the night run tonight. 6:30pm at the club, club member or not, all welcome. Bring a headtorch/torch though. Similar route to one of the summer hill runs, inclusive pace.