Sandstone trail challenge Sat 21 May – help needed!

We need volunteers to help us on the day of the Sandstone Trail Challenge event that we’re organising in May.

We need around 20 people, the majority to man the checkpoints between Whitchurch and Frodsham, but also we’ll need help in other areas, such as ferrying retired participants back to Frodsham Community Centre, and help at the Community Centre.

The event will be low-key compared to the 4 Villages, but will go on all day. I expect to be at the Community Centre at about 5am and not to get home until 11 at night, but apart from the core team we’ll schedule everyone else who helps for reasonable shifts.

Please let me know if you can help out – we need you to make the event a success.


Andy Robinson

Fancy some off road running….?

Fancy some fell or off road running?

Summary: The day will involve a mixture of theory and practical sessions guiding you on the best techniques, kit and exercises for off-road running. No matter what ability you are we can cater for you. COME PREPARED FOR ALL WEATHER!!

The next event for the Cheshire Network is an introduction to fell and off-road running. The aim is to explain the basics to those who have not tried it before and provide some coaching for those who have. Or use it to learn more about descending on steep hills.  …and how do I use that compass which I carry in case of emergencies in my bum bag?  Tony Hulme from Running Bear will be there with kit and practical advice. He coaches the fell runners at Wilmslow AC and Cheshire Hill Runners.

It will last from 10am until 3:30pm and then you get a fish and chip lunch.

Meet at the Tegg’s Nose visitors centre near Macclesfield at 9:30 and start the day at 10am. The post code of the centre is SK11 OAP.

10am  – Introduction to Off Road Running – led by Phil Barnes for Macclesfield and supported by Tony Hulme.

*   Explain the mysteries of fell shoes, bumbags, compasses, the right waterproofs

*   Runners to bring their favourite kit so we can see different preferences. For example which fell shoe best works for you? What are the benefits of different shoes?

*   Explanation of the essential kit on bad weather days.

11:30am – Outdoor Practical sessions – each 30mins

*   Navigation Practical – teams of two navigate to a series of pre-arranged spots.

*   Downhill Running – a graded session dependant on ability

*   Rough Terrain Running Tips and practice – Tussocks, Heather etc

13.00 – Group run around Tegg’s Nose Country Park – session about 1 hour, split into ability groups and led by pre-arranged leaders from Macclesfield Harriers (our local host Club) – routes perhaps between 4m and 8m

14.00 approx – Return to Macclesfield Sports Centre for Shower.

15:00 approx  – Fish and Chip Lunch provided by Cheshire Network.

15:15 approx  – Closing Talk / Presentation – anecdotes /experience/Q&A /  Feedback

To book: To book your place, please contact: Vicky Huyton (Cheshire Athletics Network Coordinator) on 07738 402931 or email

Border league race 6 results – deeside

Thanks to all those who ran at the Border League Race on Sunday. A short course of 4.5 miles but with a decent hill to test the legs and lungs and even a synthetic running track lap for those with a pacy finish to a race. Positions and times attached.

Congratulations to Janet Shaw for 1st in her age category, while husband Geoff took the easy option of the Wilmslow Half! Consistent running by Robbie too for a 2nd place.

28th BROUGHTON, Adair 26:04 14
42nd LANDUCCI, Ian 26:51 8
105th RILEY, Steve 30:20 19
137th GILLARD, Phil 32:04 26
156th HATTON, C 33:05 11
200th GRIEVE, Betty 38:23 5
203rd SHAW, Janet 38:39 1
214th WEBSTER, Robbie 41:36 2

Edale skyline virgin view

Edward Halliwell writes about his very first fell event…

Sunday 27th March saw my first fell race, and I decided to throw caution to the wind by starting with a biggy – 21 miles and 4000’+ of climbing. These numbers clearly instilled a good deal of respect in me, but I don’t think I truly understood the scale of the task until I drove through Mam Nick on the way there, and dropped down into the valley. You can then look around you and see the skyline you’re going to be running round, and it’s vast. Even though I felt I’d trained well enough and was looking forward to it, the sheer size of the valley still terrified me.

After some deliberation about what to wear in the car park (field, obviously), I ended up listening to my very skinny fell-running mate and put on an extra layer and went for the long-sleeved base layer. This would prove to be my downfall later in the race as the weather warmed up.

After sign-in and very thorough kit check it was time to go. The start of the race went pretty well for me, a trot then scramble up Ringing Roger, then a run along the tops to Crookstone Hill. The run down to Crookstone Barn saw me live up to expectations and take a tumble, but fortunately I chose a good place to fall. As one runner said, “at least he chose a soft place to land”, and his mate replied, “yeah, his head”. A quick forward roll later I was off again.

Next came the climb of Win Hill, I chose the narrow path to the left and tucked in behind a lady who was running in the top 10 women at that point. I was relieved to hear her breathing as heavily as I was, so that gave me confidence that if she could make it to the top then so could I, and soon enough it came, though by that stage I was sweating heavily.

Then came the descent of Win Hill. I would say this was probably my least favourite part of the race. The descent was way beyond my novice fell-running abilities and I was lucky not to be down again as I clipped my toes a couple of times on the way.

I managed to catch up the the people who’d dropped me on the descent going through Hope to the bottom of Lose Hill. I cannot tell you how relieved I was when everyone else switched to a walk up this part. It surprised me how my heart, lungs and legs were still hurting when we switched to walking, but I was so glad I wasn’t expected to run at that point.

I say everyone was walking up Lose Hill, but there was one madman who was still trying to run. “Hello Andy”, I said, as Mr Robinson rolled by. I managed to keep him in sight near the top of the hill (and managed to de-layer a bit on the way up) but the descent was a completely different matter as my legs were now starting to tire, and I was feeling cold in my wet clothes.

As I got to Hollins Cross and Mam Tor the lactic from the climb of Lose Hill started to clear and I managed to keep running over the top of Mam Tor and through the half-way check at Mam Nick, where there was some very welcome homemade flapjack, which merited a stop for a couple of minutes.

Then came Rushup Edge, which might not pose too many problems normally but was a bit of a slog by that stage. Then the race turned right and started off over the peat bog to Brown Knoll. This was where it all started to go wrong for me. I paid the penalty for the perspiration of the first half and the cramp arrived, first in my quads and then my calves. If there’s one place you don’t want cramp it’s a peat bog, when your muscles are having to work overtime to keep you upright anyway.

The remainder of the race after that was a case of walking until the cramp faded, then running again until the cramp came back, and then repeating the cycle. This was pretty frustrating as I felt I could still be running well, but at least I could keep going, albeit slower, and at least the weather conditions were fair so I feel sure the bog could have been much, much worse.

Eventually the bog ended, and I was actually glad to start climbing afterwards as it felt easier on my legs. The remaining four or five miles again were a case of running when I didn’t have cramp, but at least I could try and walk the uphill bits and run the flatter bits, and I didn’t seem to lose too many places.

The noise of race numbers being shouted signalled that the final checkpoint of Ringing Roger was near, and you could start to relax knowing there was only the descent back to the finish. This was extremely tricky with crampy legs, but by then just getting down was a satisfactory result.

The run across the grass to the finish was a truly great feeling, and I was smiling rather than grimacing as I crossed the line. My finish time of about 4 hours 9 minutes was better than I’d budgeted for. It could’ve been better without the over-layering and subsequent cramp, but I was just pleased just to have conquered it. On the stagger back to the car park I looked around at the skyline again – it still looked too big to consider running round, but somehow I can now say I have.

The Dark Peak club put on an excellent race. There were enough Marshalls to mean I didn’t have to get my map out. Admittedly this was partly because I’d memorised the main parts, and partly because I’d decided that the map would only contain bad news, but the Marshalling was excellent.


PS – Even managed a recovery run Monday lunchtime, and guess what – I still over-layered. I never learn. I’ll probably be stupid enough to try this again next year…

Jane 2nd in new NE half marathon!

This weekend saw a brand new race – the Run Northumberland Half Marathon …and our very own Jane Ashbrook came in second female, with a time of 1:32:27. Good work Jane!

Summer 2011 Race Series Road & Fell

Dear all

Following on from Adair’s earlier email regarding the Chester Spring Five race, please find attached the summer club championship on Roads and Fells. We hope that you’ll all find something of interest in the 24 races listed and we’ll look forward to some friendly rivalry in the coming months. As yet we don’t have all the details regarding times and venues, but will be circulating details on individual closer the time. The document also includes details of the long trail race series.

For our newer members who are unfamiliar with the race series, the club holds a series of championships over the course of the year. These help form a focus for club outings to races and an opportunity for a little friendly competition. In each race points are awarded in descending order according to your finishing position, so first Helsby runner home gets 20 points, second gets 19 points, third gets 18 points and so forth. Ladies and men score separately. Over each series (12 races in each) your best 7 scores are added up to give an overall total, so it isn’t necessary to race in all 12 races (although those who race more can improve their total by dropping less favourable scores). As well as the overall Mens and Ladies champions, a large number of veteran prizes are awarded, so there is plenty to aim for. Note that it is not necessary to be a top notch runner to be in with a chance for a prize, turning up and running more races than a fitter or faster clubmate can often bear dividends. If the above isn’t clear, then by all means ask one of the more established club members what it’s all about.

Above all, the championship is meant to be a bit of fun. so I’ll look forward to see many of you pushing your boundaries a little over the course of the summer.

Good racing


Road Championship

1          Wednesday 6th April                           7:00pm        Chester Spring 5m

2          Sunday 24th April                   (P)          9:30am        Runcorn Bridge 5m

3          Friday 6th May                        (P)          7:30pm        Christleton 5k

4          Sunday 22nd May                                11:00am       Comberbach 5k

5          Wednesday 8th June                            7:45pm        Birkenhead Park 5m

6          Sunday 25th June                                  4:30pm        Lymm 5k

7          Sunday 3rd July                                    10:30am       Penny Lane 10k

8          Saturday 16th July                                     pm             Burtonwood 5m

9          Wednesday 3rd August                         T.B.C.          Pie & Peas 5m

10        Sunday T.B.C. August                           T.B.C          Great Warford 10m                                          

11        Sunday 18th September                       T.B.C.          Sutton Six

12        Sunday 20th November                       T.B.C.          Conwy Half Marathon


Fell Championship

1          Saturday 9th April                                11:00am       Llantysilio Mountain (AM)

2          Wednesday 4th May                             6:45pm        Dinas Bran (AS)

3          Wednesday 11th May                           7:30pm        Rainow (BS)                             

4          Monday 30th May                                T.B.C.          Mynydd Mawr (BS)

5          Tuesday 14th June                                 7:15pm        Up the Beast (AS)

6          Sunday 26th June                                 11:00am       Moel-y-Gamelin (AM)

7          Monday 4th July                                    7:30pm        Hathersage Gala (BS)

8          Wednesday 13th July                            7:30pm        The Druid (AS)

9          Wednesday 27th July                            7:30pm        Green Green Grass of Home (AS)

10        Saturday 30th July                                 2:00pm        Gyrn Gallop (BM)

11        Wednesday 10th August                       7:00pm        Ponderosa (BS)

12        Sunday 9th October                             11:00am       Breidden Hills (AM)  http:/ (P) Pre-entry required

Separate mens and ladies championships will be run in each series.

Your best 7 results to count in each championship, a minimum of 4 needed to qualify for a prize.

More details from Andy Smith (01928-712548 / 07764-948514),  Adair (07821-073959) or Joe Beswick (01928-732427)

Border League Race 6 @ Deeside Sunday 27th March

Hi all – Just a reminder that this Sunday is the 6th and penultimate race in the Border League Series. For those not trying the Cheshire GP Wilmslow Half then this 4.5 mile Borders league race might do the trick.

Directions and course map are available here:

Postcode is CH5 4BR. Remember that this event is free to enter but a club vest will be required. All positions finished really do help the club in their League positions. Any questions please email or ask at the club tonight.

Regards, Adair

Border League Race 5 Results for Mold

Well done to everyone taking part in the 5th Border League Race at the undulating and roughly 5 mile course at Mold.

Positions and times of Helsby runners as below:

28th BROUGHTON, Adair 30:13 SM 15
38th LANDUCCI, Ian 30:58 V45 6
92nd O’HARA, Jim 34:18 SM 35
110th BERRY, Albert 35:40 V65 1
127th SHAW, Geoff 36:22 V55 11
143rd GILLARD, Phil 37:21 V45 25
159th SHAW, Carol 38:16 LV45 6
165th KIDD, Tony 38:55 V40 23
169th GRIFFITHS, Vanessa 39:15 LV45 10
213th PIRALI, Kay 44:29 SL 16
214th SHAW, Janet 44:34 LV55 3
215th HAWKER, Nesta 44:36 LV45 20
231st WEBSTER, Robbie 50:25 V70 2

A spring blue sky welcomed the 13 Helsby runners at the busy Mold Sports Centre and some great races and times were had by various Helsby green shirts.

Once again Albert stormed to an age category win showing the good form he is enjoying, and Ian Landucci continuing his excellent progress in catching Adair. Only 30 seconds to go Ian! Well done also to Janet Shaw with the bronze for her category also and Robbie with a silver!  The men’s team are now positioned 5th in Division two and the Ladies  5th.

Thanks again to Joe supporting from the side-lines and doing the admin at the end!

Please note the next Border League event is on 27th March – details will follow

Full results and further details available from the official Border League website as below:



Border League Race 5 Sunday 13th March @11.00am Mold Sports Centre

Hi all
A reminder that we have the 5th race in the 7 Race series Border League races this Sunday 13th March @11.00 am by organised by Buckley.
Remember these events are free for club runners, will be between 5 and 6 miles, and anyone who runs really helps the club in its league table positions, all that’s required is the wearing of a club vest and some lungs.

If anyone has any questions or would like more information then do not hesitate to ask.

Hopefully we’ll see lots of green vests on Sunday
A link to the course and map can be found on the Border League Website link below:
“The course – The five mile route used before, starting on the industrial estate behind the Mold Sports Centre, through Nercwys and finishing in front of the Sports centre”