South Cheshire 20

Dave and Lesley Feakes ran the South Cheshire 20 at the weekend. In some pretty horrible conditions if you remember. Nice to see the age of chivalry’s not dead yet Dave! Read on…

Lesley and I took part in the South Cheshire 20 road race on Sunday and, despite the cold and wet conditions, we had a very enjoyable day (we are smiling and not grimacing on the photos). The race starts at Shavington Leisure Centre near Crewe and runs through the villages of a Weston, Englesea-brook, Betley, Wrinehill, Shraleybrook, Audley and Barthomley. The course is very well marshalled and is run on frequently hilly country lanes with regular drink stations.

It was the first time we had run this distance which we were using as a tester for the Chester Marathon later in the year. We ran the first 12 miles together and then I made a decisive break which saw me lead Lesley home by a ‘massive’ 3 minute margin (see the results below).

  • David Feakes 2 hrs 56 mins 17 secs (58th place)
  • Lesley Feakes 2 hrs 59 mins 53 secs (59th place)

We were both delighted to get under 3 hours and are now targeting Boydy’s marathon time.

Special message from Joe Beswick

Hi all

Please find attached a special message to the club from Joe Beswick

“May I express my heartfelt thanks to ‘My Girls’ for all your efforts during the last year.

In clinching the Cross Country League title and being promoted to First Division in the Borders League they are the best results for a decade or more.

These results along with the many individual awards are superb.

You have made my day!

Now let’s carry on the good work


This was certainly highlighted by Helsby Ladies excellent 2nd place team prize in the North Wales Championship at Wrexham too.

Wrexham 10 miler results – road counter 3 28th april 2012

Hi all

Please find attached results for the third road counter in the Helsby Road Series for 2012.

This race was a 10 mile race starting and finishing on the Wrexham Industrial estate (same as the Village Bakery Half)

Being a North Wales Championship race a good standard was expected and runners certainly had the best of the weekend’s weather, although parts of the two lap course were quite windy.

Success once again fell to the Helsby ladies who were a brilliant 2nd place in the team prizes, thanks to strong runs from Jayne, Carol and Alison. Jayne was also 2nd place overall with another commanding run and giving herself a great PB in the process. Alison Meakin won her age category. Helsby also fielded 7 men, a good turnout, with young Tom being the star of the day taking a nice trophy for 1st Junior. A close race ensued between Steve, Mike and Geoff to make it interesting for the spectators. I know John secured a new PB and with Jimmy and Tom being new to the 10 mile distance they did too.

Helsby runners also had fantastic support on the day with Joe, Janet Shaw and Robbie Webster in fine voice with the smiles, support and cheers. Big thanks to them.

Majority stayed back to demolish Carols biscuits (becoming a tradition now Carol!) and supp tea and lager in what was the longest awards ceremony since the 74th Academy Awards night. Well worth it though to see the success Helsby is having of late and for the interesting name choices read out.

Full ‘provisional’ results here:

Helsby runner’s positions and times below:

12th         Adair Broughton               58.44
29th         Jim O’Hara                          64.55
31st         Jayne Joy                             66.07 (2nd Overall)
52nd        Steve Riley                          71.50
53rd        Mike Searle                        72.03
56th         Geoff Shaw                        72.40
77th         Carol Shaw                          76.24
90th         John Thompson                                83.39
92nd        Alison Meakin                   85.12
93rd        Tom De Jong                      85.19 (1st Junior Male)

Next road counter is Friday 18th May at the Christleton 5k

Details here:


Free offroad training day — 27 May

Cheshire Sports have been in touch with details of yet another free training day – this time just down the road in Delamere Forest.

No matter what ability of runner you are, this training day will give you the chance to learn about road, trail and fell running and all that is involved! Learn about techniques which can improve your running, the right food to eat and event the right kit to wear! This event is free and as places are limited, its first come first served, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to learn or develop your running skills!

All that attend will receive a FREE place on a Leadership in Running Fitness course!

Vicky Huyton
Cheshire and Merseyside Athletics Network Coordinator

Download the complete flyer for the offroad training day [2-page PDF]

Sounds ideal for our budding contingent of trail/xc/fell runners!

Blackrod half marathon race report – Dave Madders

Report of Dave Madders weekend half marathon

Just a brief report on the blackrod half marathon I did on Sunday.

As prep for the Manchester marathon I’m doing on Sunday I decided to enter on the day the blackrod half marathon on Sunday just gone. a very small race of aprox 50-100 people near Bolton. The weather was atrocious and the terrain a mix of paths and very muddy trails made the going tough.

My aim was to complete the course in around marathon pace a feel pretty good at the end.

There were only mile markers at 5, 8 & 10 and when I went through 5 miles in a new PB I was pleasantly surprised ( no garmin ) however very bad signposting meant about 25 of us went a mile in the wrong direction!!

Nevertheless I felt really strong and despite the torrential rain and thick mud I really enjoyed it.

I finished having done closer to 15 miles than 13 and time didn’t matter but was about 1.49 and gave me confidence for the forthcoming marathon this week to break 4 hours for the first time. ( I’ve done 4.02 in my last 3 marathons!! )

Map of the route attached

Results now available


Joe’s olympic dream

If you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve finally managed to get hold of that brilliant article on Joe and the Olympic Torch relay. [Click the picture to read]

THERE were special cheers for Joe Beswick on his 81st birthday when the athletics veteran and Frodsham community stalwart heard he had been chosen as an honoured Olympic Torch-bearer…












Gareth Boyd Race Report London Marathon 2012

Well Marathon number 8 is run/completed and whilst I’m doing a bit of a ‘robot walk’ on the whole, 24 hours after the VLM I’m moving ok. 4 weeks ago, even getting fit and ready for the start line was 50 50 (tendonitis) but by doing this radical new thing called ‘stretching’ and having acupuncture (thank you Jane A!), I was able to join my wife at Blackheath. The Harry Hill costume was a real crowd pleaser (see attached) and I’d lost count by the first 6 miles of how many ‘Come On Harry’ shouts I’d heard. Admittedly, I was surprised that a few spectators thought I was the radical chef- Heston B?!  However, the limited vision, warmer than anticipated weather and lack of training miles took its toll and after approx 19 miles, I lost the desire to wave continuously and just wanted to get it over with. Hats off to the ‘real’ fancy dressed runners – the rhinos etc – incredible and many with such fast times – at around mile 21 for instance, I was overtaken by a ‘dog’ called Alfie. A finish time of 4.08.03 was a tad disappointing but at least, a) I had no injury problems during the race, b) I overtook Iwan Thomas and c) I’d beaten my wife (she finished in a pb of 4.26.53).Obviously a BIG shout goes out to Jane A for another GREAT finishing time. Thank you for all the support and once again, a BIG thank you to Helsby Running club for giving me the opportunity to run this amazing event.

 Harry Hill London 2012

Many thanks



Anniversary Waltz April 2012 – Report by Phil Gillard

The Anniversary Waltz is a classic Lakeland fell race instigated to celebrate Wynn and Steve’s wedding at Newlands church in 1996, it is 11.5 miles long and 3,600 feet of climb. 2011 was my first experience of the event so having entered again this year; I guess this was my Anniversary Waltz anniversary.

Last year the race was a ‘warm up’ for the Scottish Islands race; as a result I felt I was in reasonable shape and came home in 247th position with a time of 2:42:40, however no amount of training on our Cheshire hills can set you up for the Lakeland terrain and I struggled on the last part of the race. This year I was determined to improve my race management even though my fitness level was probably lower.

An early start from Helsby allowed for a coffee stop on the way up, arriving at the village of Stair two hours before the start, time to watch the start of the longer “Teenager” race, recover from the journey and catch up with some fellow runners from Macclesfield, Spectrum etc. The weather was forecast to be close to freezing on the tops with the threat of sleet and hail, so long sleeved top as minimum.

My warm up consisted of a 20 minute climb up and down the lower levels of Cat Bells and some stretching, with fifteen minutes to go, it was time to get onto the start field and the obligatory kit check – well done to the organisers, absolutely essential given the forecast conditions.

In terms of race management, the first part of the course consists of a 3 mile flattish run down the Newlands valley taking us onto a track underneath High Snab and then a very rough hands on knees climb up onto High Snab ridge thereafter taking the ridge line up onto the top of Robinson, my plan was to make the Robinson summit in 70 minutes. My route choice up onto the ridge last year was very direct, taking in a fair amount of scree but avoiding a bit of a scramble on the ridge itself, this year I opted to get onto the ridge earlier and do the scramble and it seemed to work and was pleased to get to the checkpoint on top of Robinson in about 65 minutes.

So, where was the weather, no wind reasonable temperature and fantastic visibility, along with the flattish run off Robinson the lack of clag allowed me to have a cheeky view of the next two peaks – Hindscarth and Dale Head. This is probably the most enjoyable part of the race grassy descents, (nearly) runnable climbs and the feeling you are bagging the peaks quite quickly, I timed myself taking 15 minutes going from peak to peak – Robinson to Hindscarth and Hindscarth to Dale Head.

So far, so good but now the descent from Dalehead to the tarn, I have made this descent many times and have never felt I have done it justice, however speaking to others; this seems to be a pretty common view. The terrain is quite steep, tufts of grass and intermittent groups of boulders; if you get in amongst the boulders you end up looking at the next couple of meters rather than looking 20 meters ahead to pick the best line. I chose a line to the right of the tarn to pick up the walkers path up to High Spy, despite the fact that this ascent is runnable I made the decision to take it easy and save something in the tank for the section across Maiden Moor. The choice of line also worked well in that nestled behind a rock just beyond the stream crossing (eating his lunch) was Joss (Naylor), a knowing nod was exchanged and off I went energised by a blessing from the fell runners Pope.

Maiden Moor – what a pleasure; a flattish / slightly downhill cruise on softish ground with views of Derwentwater on your right, this is where I struggled last year, what a contrast to my recollection of this year – a testament to another year of experience and better race management. Soon the summit of Catbells comes into sight, a welcome site, not quite home yet, keep the concentration make sure you take the runners line on the penultimate descent, make sure you keep your arms pumping on the short ascent to the summit, remember to take a left down the rocks just after the summit, remember to relax on the grassy descent along the contour, set yourself up for the last section of road and the descent on the finish field and then check your watch – an 8 minute improvement on last year and that warm fuzzy feeling you get when a plan comes together.


Free running leadership course

There is a Leadership in Running Fitness Course being held in Cheshire on 21st April 2012:

Saturday 21st April 2012, 8.45am to 5pm
NC0365, Box 8, Chester Racecourse, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2LY

This course is being organised by Sport Cheshire and aims to raise the number of qualified leaders in running clubs.  They are offering the course for FREE, and in return leaders are asked to completed a minimum of 10 weeks worth of running groups.  Individuals will receive a hi-vis t-shirt branded, a first aid kit and hi vis snap bands for safety.

More: Sarah Tilling, Partnership Officer (Participation)
M: 07720 592 784



Coniston 14

Dave Feakes was kind enough to drop us a line about the Coniston 14, a popular race with a few Helsby runners. Apologies for not getting this up sooner!

Team Helsby

It’s a fantastic 14 mile road race around Coniston lake which I would highly recommend to Club members. The organisation and hospitality are excellent and they even arranged for the sun to shine on us during the race this year which was very welcome.


The Feakes

The course is very undulating and so we appreciated the fact that it reverted back to the 14 mile course as opposed to the 17 mile course used for the previous 2 years due to flood damage. 



Results (and excuses!) 

Dave  Feakes   1:50:39  436th
Lesley Feakes  1:57:43  663rd  (very well done on a course PB)
Carol Shaw       2:00:02  735th (didn’t feel too well)
Jackie Keasley 2:00:42  752nd (hills a problem after Edale!) 
1492 finishers, pretty much top half for everyone. A great achievement on a tough course.
Please, keep the stories coming!