Phil Gillard wins the much coveted Helsby winter handicap

Well done to Phil Gillard on a brilliant run to secure 1st place in the Helsby Winter Club Handicap. Final handicap placings were as follows:

1 Phil Gillard
2 Nesta Jones
3 Colin Scarisbrick
4 Graham Lloyd
5 compass
6 Janet Shaw
7 Paul Porter
8 Chris Igoe
9 Dave Hartley
10 Albert Berry
11 Adair Broughton
12 Janet Robertson
13 Andy Robinson
14 Kay Pirali
15 Geoff Shaw
16 Betty Grieve
17 Mike Searle
18 Chris Newham
19 Jackie Keasley

Photo to follow!



Shell four villages half marathon

Another fantastic running of this great run, now in its 30th year (that’s the same birthday as the London Marathon fact fans!). Growing from strength to strength from around a 100 runners in 1982, the race now boasts a reputation for smooth organisation, always gets great ratings, and always sells out quickly. The Helsby Half, as it is affectionately known, has just been voted no7 in the Runner’s World list of Britain’s favourite half marathons.

Sunday 23 January saw a 2000 entry running the scenic course around the Cheshire plain …although those struggling up the long drags between miles 8 and 11, would probably argue with that description! There is some payback for tired legs in a big downhill to the 12 mile marker and a fast, flat run in to the finish.

This year’s half was the first event in the Cheshire GP and included a strong contingent of local, county and national standard club athletes, as well as a healthy contingent of just under 50% ‘have-a-go’ weekend warriors.

Edinburgh AC runner Neil Renault came home first in a quick time of 1:05:55, closely followed by Tipton’s Michael Aspinall at 1:06:05 and Altrincham’s Dave Norman in 1:07:34. Several athletes came into the race strong and confident and there was some talk of the course record going. As it was Carl Warren’s 2002 time of 1:04:36 was safe for another year.

Stoke’s Michelle Ross-Cope came in first woman, first F35 and 18th overall with a time of 1:14:31, followed by Sarah Harris (Long Eaton) 1:14:50 – another close battle – and Louise Gardener (Lancaster and Morecambe) with 1:16:52.

Further down the field numerous PBs were broken (including your author’s) on what was a great day for running, featuring cool-ish temperatures in the low single digits, with dry and windless conditions.

The race also featured an unusual world record (world’s best to be strictly accurate). Personal trainer and ex-marine Lee Riley is chasing the world record at London for running the marathon with a 40lb rucsac. Today at Helsby he showed the form he’s in by posting a world-beating time of 1h41, knocking over 2 minutes from the previous best. Well done, more about Lee at

More on Helsby Running Club: (with results) and

New members are very welcome from amongst the army of unattached local runners that always make this a great local event!

Thanks as ever to our regular sponsors Shell, Asics and Running Bear and thanks also to our more recent backers Maxifuel and Northern Running Guide.


Results over on the Helsby Running Club main site

More pics:
Official Mick Hall photos
Runner/photographer Steve Angus
Mick Charman’s Flickr site

NorthWest XC Race 4 Results @ Town Park 16/01/11

Hi all

Please find attached results for the 4th North West XC held at Town Park 16/01/11, a distance of approximately 4.7miles

Well done to all taking part in what was an overcast day with some rain once the race had finished, an undulating course, great for spectators

Photos now available courtesy of Mick Charman @Spectrum

16th    Adair Broughton
51st     Steve Riley
75th    Andy Smith
81st     Phil Gillard

8th    Jane Ashbrook
11th     Janet Robertson
14th    Rachel Arnold

Helsby Men’s Team 8th
Helsby Ladies Teams 3rd

Link to results can be found @

PLEASE NOTE: If anyone would like to enter the Liverpool & District XC Championships to be held 6th February  @11.00am Clarke Gardens I do need to send off entries ASAP, so please let me know by email by Wednesday this week if possible. (Name and DOB only)



Running economy dissertation

Hi all – If anyone would like to help out on a research dissertation regarding running economy please contact Oliver at the email below for further information

Dear runner,

You have been invited, as a known runner to take part in an (3rd year university dissertation) investigation into factors affecting running economy in distance runners. The investigation will involve a single testing session, lasting approximately 1 hour and is conducted at the Manchester Metropolitan University (Crewe campus, CW1 5DU) .

Testing can be conducted up to 9pm. The test: Running for 9 minutes total on a treadmill at a sub maximal pace, expired gas samples will be collected and a video recording of the test will be done.

If you would like to be a participant in the investigation or would like more information please contact myself via:  Email or Phone: 07975771953 (text or call). Many thanks, Oliver Park (3rd year BSc Sport and exercise science)

Above is a link to where anyone who is interested can book a lot. Please could anyone email to confirm though. The purpose of the study is to:

i) Investigate why one persons running economy is different to another.

ii) Provide recommendations for improving running economy.

Running Economy: is the metabolic cost of running, that is, how much Oxygen is required to run at a given pace. If one person has a better running economy than another person (all else being equal) that person will either be able to run for longer at the same pace, or run at a faster pace for the same distance.

Club handicap 26th

We missed the traditional Xmas club handicap in December because of the weather. We’ll have earned some light relief after the Shell Four Village Half Marathon this weekend, so the postponed handicap will be this Wednesday (26), instead of the regular club run.

It’s ‘bring a prize, recieve a prize’ – so bring along a small (surprise?) gift costing about a fiver. Put it on the table with the others after the race, then when your name is called out in the results pick a prize from the collection.


Interesting read – training in Kenya

For those of you who are putting in the extra training ready for the Four Villages, or any other forthcoming race for that matter, you may wish to read about the training that second-claim Helsby runner Stephen Mitchell is currently undertaking. He’s currently at the Kip Keino training ground in Kenya and has been asked to write a blog about how he’s getting on, which you can find at:

It makes interesting reading,


Town park xc

This Sunday (16 Jan), Runcorn Town Park for a 10am start. Parking at Brookvale Leisure Centre, Barnfield Avenue, with a short stroll to the start. About a 4.5 mile course with tea snd sandwiches afterwards! Get in.

L&D xc entries


Hi all – If anyone would like to participate in the above XC race then please contact Adair, email with Name and DOB and Category only.

I have been asked to send the entries off ASAP so please let me know by Friday 28th January if you wish to run. Any other questions just ask


Cheshire xc championships

Well done to everybody who took part in the Cheshire Championships XC at the weekend.

It was a muddy course, designed by Julian from Spectrum, with zig-zag funnels through puddles and some disappearing and reappearing logs to jump over and many small hills to climb, on the multi-lap course at Birchwood Forest Park.

It was four laps for the senior ladies and five for the men. Full result, although provisional for now can be found here

So it is with great delight I can inform you that our ladies vets secured 2nd place overall! (Jane, Janet and Rachel). Be sure to congratulate them.

Brilliant running from Janet Robertson saw her secure first place V40 and Jackie Keasley following strongly behind was 3rd V50. Well done.

Ladies positions as follows:

14th JANE ASHBROOK              41:56

20th JANET ROBERTSON         43:53

25th RACHEL ARNOLD              46:31

32nd JACKIE KEASLEY                49:37

Mens positions as follows:

26th ADAIR BROUGHTON       45:37

72nd STEVE RILEY                        51:28

106th PHIL GILLARD                    57:49

115th ANDY SMITH                      1:00:12

Thanks also to Ian Landucci for turning up but suffered an injury mid race and to Joe for his usual and brilliant support on course.

Edit: Mick Charman, formerly of this parish, was there with camera. Pictures starting to appear here: More to come…