King John’s castle – new fell race 24th sept 2011

New Fell Race 4.6 miles, 865ft ascent at 11am on 24th September 2011

King John’s Castle Fell Race


The Raven Inn (
Llanarmon yn Ial (Map ref 190562) nr Mold

The course is suitable for all abilities
& marked for the whole distance

£4 entry fee payable on the day

For further details contact
John Linley
01352 771543

Directions: The village sits on the B5431 road, near the junction with the B5430, six miles south of the market town of Mold. In the centre of the village can be found a small, traditional village shop and the Raven Inn public house, the last of the many drovers’ inns that were once found in the village. Llanarmon is 2 miles from the A494, a main north–south trunk route, and 3 miles from the A525 and the A5104 roads.

The Raven Inn
Ffordd Rhiw Ial

Read more:

Helsby 3 Peaks Challenge

Having been tied up most weekends this summer with a major DIY project my running had to take a bit of a back seat. So with the prospects of the first free weekend for sometime coming up I decided to make the most of the opportunity and get some training in ready for the Sandstone Trail Race.

For some time I had been pondering over the idea of doing the 3 peaks. However I didn’t want to spend 10 hours in a car travelling the length of the country to visit the three highest points in Scotland, England and Wales. I didn’t either want to wait until next April for the slightly more local Yorkshire version.  No my version was far more convenient.

So it was on a fine Sunday morning that I set off to jog the 3 miles up to the top of Eddisbury Hill. My starting point for this challenge was the central stone of the stone circle overlooking Delamere Forest. From here the plan was to run to the trig point on Helsby Hill and then to the Memorial on the top of Frodsham Hill. To complete the course the plan was to then return back to the starting point on Eddisbury Hill.

Given that my longest run over the previous 2 months was only a little over an hour I headed off towards Helsby at a steady pace. Following mainly footpaths but with some roads to keep a fairly direct route I reached the trig point on the top of Helsby Hill in a little over 53 minutes. The second stage of the route was probably the most familiar as a lot of it followed the normal summer time Wednesday club run route until it joined the Sandstone trail which I joined to head up to the Frodsham Hill memorial. This leg the shortest of the three saw me reach the railings at the memorial 32 minutes. Now all that remained was to get back to Eddisbury. Keeping a fairly direct route and sticking mainly to the trails, though some road couldn’t be avoided I returned to my starting point in almost exactly 1 hour.

After a few well earned minutes admiring the views and trying to identify the distant geographic features that are commemorated by metal plaques arranged round the centre stone circle I slowly jogged the last 3 miles home.

My total time for the Helsby 3 peaks route was 2 hours 26 minutes and 9 seconds. The total distance covered was 15.4 miles and I can safely say it made for a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday morning run.

The Challenge

So now that I’ve set a time for the route it seemed a good idea to throw open the “Helsby 3 Peaks Challenge” to everyone else at the club.

The rules of the challenge are pretty straight forward.

To run between the three peaks listed below following a circular route which must start and finish at one of the 3 summits.

  • The central stone of the Eddisbury Hill stone circle
  • The Trig point on Helsby Hill
  • The railings surrounding Frodsham Hill memorial


Born to run – Cabbalo Blanco talk in chester 30/09/11

For those interested in ultras, of if you know of anyone who might be, was informed by Sharon (Tattenhall) that Caballo Blanco author of ‘Born to Run’ is doing a talk in Chester end of September, ticket price ten pounds,
Friday 30th September 2011 – Chester University Conference Centre, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4BJ

The Presentation

Micah’s talk will cover:

– what first brought him into ultrarunning
– his views on running styles, barefoot running and minimalist footwear
– meeting the Tarahumara in ’94 at Leadville 100 mile race where they set the course record beating all the american runners.
– How he ended up in Copper Canyon living among the Tarahumara
– The Events leading up to the 2006 Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon (CCUM) featured in the book “Born to Run”
– What’s happened with the CCUM since then
– The work he is doing with Norawas de Raramuri (the not for profit organisation he has established to support them)

His talk will be just over one hour with as much Q&A as required. He also has a short film of the 2009 CCUM that he will show as he gives his presentation. “

Capenhurst 5k results 24th august 2011

Results available for the concrete playground that was the midweek sports special @ the Capenhurst 5k, 24th August

The flat course and with support from Joe, Mario & Steph meant some good times were achieved by the nine whooshing green vests with another 1st for Albert Berry.

Times for Helsby runners as below but full results can be obtained at the following link

or from the Ellesmere Port Running Club website

16th Adair Broughton 17.07
32nd Ian Landucci 18.18
54th Jane Ashbrook 19.46
68th Roy Gaskill 20.32
72nd Albert Berry 20.42
92nd VanessaGriffiths 21.54
94th Adrian Jackson 21.59
99th Jayne Joy 22.11
116th John Thompson 23.01


Well done to all taking part.



Midweek awayday at Chunal Fell

Inspired by Phil’s Hathersage birthday bash, I wanted to have a look at some more races further West. My very first fell race was the Kinder Downfall above Hayfield and I’ve always had  a soft spot for the Peak. So that was how I came to be racing Chunal Fell on Wednesday.

Battling it out with Pennine Rich after the first climb

This seemingly innocuous hill packed a terrier-like bite into its meagre statistics. I saw it described on the FRA forum as mixture of Herod Farm and Wormstones races, finding the worst of both! 4 miles and 950′ of climbing with some real brutal pulls on the ascent.

A quick glance at the BBC weather site in the afternoon gave a shower at 7pm. As if by magic it started to rain at 6:50pm for the 7pm start. That and a bit of waiting around for late arrivals made for a fairly low key start, with a fairly select field of 50 entries. I lined up with my old biking mate Rich, now running for Pennine, and that’s where we stayed, having a place swapping ding-dong over the rest of the course. I got him in the end.

The changeable weather made for a stunning final descent, with tired legs all heading to the finish neatly marked by the end of a rainbow. No pot of gold for this ageing runner though — 27th out of 50 and a time of 36’30. Aiming for top half next time!

An unexpected bonus was seeing Danny Chan, ex of this parish, on the start line. Dan’s running really well at the moment and enjoying Sheffield life. Tonight wasn’t his night though as he had to pull out at the furthest point with some weird problem with his leg (nerve complaint?). With at least two physios on hand at the finish, he’s already booked in for fixing. That’ll be the one time I ever beat him I think.

Good race, well marked, friendly, good course. One to come back to.


[Thanks to Glossop Ian for the pic, more on Picasaweb]

Fouless de fromental race report by Ed Halliwell (10km)


Strides of Fromental I think, but Foulees could equally be fools as it turned out.

I did this race on the middle Saturday of my holiday near Limoges. It took a bit of planning as you need a medical certificate to run in France but I thought it would be fun to try a race in a different country. It did cross my mind that it may be a bit warm, but I thought the 6.30pm start (5.30 UK  time) would mean it would be a little cooler. What I (and indeed the locals) didn’t anticipate was that race day would be one of the hottest days of the year.

I was nearly spared the race as I forgot to take the medical certificate to the race, so had to act a bit dim (quite easy being English in France), so a quick Gallic shrug from the organiser and I was in.

It was 32 degrees at the start (Celsius to be clear), and a touch of cloud in the early evening only served to make it more humid and keep the temperature the same. After a brief warm-up which had me pouring with sweat already it was time to go on the first of two 5k laps. The organisers did their best to ensure we had enough fluid with cups and sponges of water every km, and even a power washer on the start/finish line acting as an Olympic marathon style rain curtain, but they could do nothing about the heat and lack of oxygen.

After only a couple of km I was puffing hard but it seemed to make no difference – my temperature was rising rapidly and I could do nothing about my oxygen deficit. The first 3k of each lap were also uphill, though I’m not sure that actually made any difference. In the final km of the first lap I was struggling badly, and already two locals had thrown in the towel and were staggering back to a soon-to-be-busy race hq.

The first lap took me close to 24 minutes, and the thought of stopping did cross my mind, but I ploughed on – for Queen and country and all that! The second lap started in the same vein as the first, uphill and me struggling like, well, an idiot Englishman trying to race in France. I managed to find a bit more of an even rhythm in the second lap, but it was still really attritional stuff, and a real battle to keep going.

In the final 2k I managed to peg a few people back, and finished in 47m46s, absolutely drained from the effort. In terms of difficulty it truly ranked alongside the Edale Skyline or the full Sandstone Trail.

The Race HQ had now been turned into pretty much a field hospital. An extra ambulance arrived to treat people evidently suffering with heatstroke. I counted six (out of less than 100 starters) being treated when I went in, one guy requiring oxygen. An old man had also collapsed outside just from spectating.

It was an experience running in France, but a really, really tough one. An hour after the race it was still 28 degrees. Think carefully if you ever find the thought crossing your mind.

And the differences to a race in the UK? Unsurprisingly the whole community comes out to cheer you on, the blind athlete got a head start, and they re-use the race numbers (complete with stains!).


Race the train, towyn, LD counter

After a Friday evening sat around the fire keeping warm at Cae Du (a gem of a camp site overlooking the sea, recommended by Jane) and a lesuirely morning dolphin and seal spotting from the campsite, we were all raring to go waiting for the 2:05 Taly-Lynn train to raise its head of steam and hoot, to start the race to Abergynolwyn and back.

The usual weather and running conditions awaited us….mist, rain, wind and a very muddy course. It’s the 6th consecutive year I’ve done this race; its always the 3rd Sat in August, it always rains and the course is always calf deep in mud (at one point in particular). It’s every bit as good as Hell Runner!

Train took 1:47:48 secs, the winner Andrew Hunt from Cardiff AC, 1:21:31 (not quite the course record of 1:18:15). 181 runners beat the train. Jane only just missed out with a time of 1:50:42, claiming the 3rd Lady V35 prize for the 2nd year running. Dave and Janet had a close fought battle at the end and Jackie had hers before it started (falling of bike on way to start!).

Jane Ashbrook             1:50:42             210th

Dave Feakes                 2:07:12             484th

Janet Robertson            2:07:32             490th

Jackie Keasley              2:16:33             622nd

Lesley Feakes               2:19:07             645th

918 runners in total

+ well done to Charlie Ashbrook for competing in the kiddies fun run, ably assisted by Chris.

Another pleasant evening sat around the fire followed thanks to Robert (Janet’s son) co-ordinating the firewood collection earlier on in the day and Lesley providing the marshmallows. A few glasses of wine had by all before retiring to Dave and Lesley’s Gazebo as the rain set in. The mesh sides just meant it turned into a shower as the wind blew the rain in! Mind you we all needed another one following our attempts after the race to shower/de-mud in Towyn Rugby Club, the combination of lots of muddy runners and a trickle of water made Helsby Community Sports Club facilities look pretty good!!



Choo choo

Ponderosa helsby fell counter 11 results 10th aug 2011

Hi all

Please find attached results for the recent Ponderosa Hilly 4 Mile Helsby Fell Counter

A wet and windy night at the Ponderosa did not deter the Helsby runners for the Penultimate race in the Helsby 2011 Fell series.

Once again the ladies shone in the prizes, with Jane and Rachel collecting bottles of wine in reward.

Quote of the evening surely goes to Nesta, who incredibly, at the finish asked to go round again. Bare in mind this was Nesta’s first foray onto ‘the fells’!

Helsby positions and times as follows:

6th           Adair Broughton               28.17

13th         Jim O’Hara                        29.49

37th         Jane Ashbrook                  33.34 (?)

50th         Phil Gillard                        34.40

79th         Adrian Jackson                  37.31

80th         Rachel Arnold                    37.36

94th         Jackie Keasley                   40.50

105th      Nesta Hawker                    43.29

109th      Chris Hatton                       48.05

110th      Jon Hardman                      48.08

Support was provided on the night by Andy, also with Camera in hand, and to Joe and to Jayne, so many thanks to those prepared to get soaked and cold without even running!

A few pictures are available on the website or at the link as below

The next fell counter is not till Sunday 9th October , the Breidden Hills race so details will follow before that event.




Some of the soggy Helsby runners - still smiling - at the finish

Great Warford 10 mile results (Road Counter 10)

Results from the Warford 10 mile race can be found on the attached link.


5 green vests toed the line for this 3 lap course which finishes in the grounds of the David Lewis centre in Great Warford. A nice breeze helped to keep the temperature down on what otherwise might have been a hot day.

Performance of the day has to go to Jane Ashbrook who not only  finished inside 70 minutes but also took home the prize for 2nd lady. Jane together with Alison Meakin and Nesta Hawker also came 3rd in the ladies team event.

Support was provided by Janet and Steph

Helsby positions and times as follows

30th Ian Landucci 64.57

66th Jane Ashbrook 69.55

96th Geoff Shaw 73.56

169th Alsion Meakin 85.02

197th Nesta Hawker 89.54

Also well done to Mick Charman who finished 93rd in 73.36

Steph and Mick  have very kindly provided some pictures from todays race




Gyrn gallop fell counter results 30th july 2011

Results are now up for Gyrn Gallop, Rhiwlas nr Oswestry

 This was our 10th Fell Counter of the season which was only a few days after the Green Green Grass, a week last Saturday on 30th July, which possibly accounted for the lower turnout that at previous races of 5 Green vests

This is an interesting Fell Race due to the fast road start which then becomes a climb up the Gyrn on a good trail path. Although runnable, the steady climb is quite a test, as it is a constant climb for just under 2 miles, even more difficult on a warm afternoon. There are some photos of this section on Pete’s great site here

The trail becomes some fields at the top and after quickly going round the marshall is the same route back, so a couple of miles of downhill running really gives the legs a good stretch. The climb then back to the finish is survivable knowing the drink and food that follows.

Please also note Gareth’s brilliant performance on what was his first fell race!

Helsby positions and places as follows

2nd          Adair Broughton               45.51

19th         Jim O’Hara                          53.12

24th         Gareth Boyd                      55.59

27th         Phil Gillard                           58.24

45th         Robbie Webster               77.10

Many thanks to Joe who as well as supporting also marshalled on the day


Note: The next Fell Counter is this Wednesday’s Ponderosa, a short, sharp fell of about 4 miles, starting at the Ponderosa Café (Same location as Moel-y-gamelin. Horseshoe Pass, nr Llangollen)

Details here or

Start time is 7.00pm so I’d suggest a 5.45pm meet at the club for those wishing to car share