Joe Beswick and the Olympic torch live

Hi all

Firstly many thanks for the kind emails that people have sent me for organising the day. I think it organised itself really, just happy that Joe’s day couldn’t have gone any better. (Hadn’t put any sunscreen on, so I didn’t want to be burnt that day anyway.)

Steve Riley and I have added some photos to the Helsby Flickr Site as below. They hopefully go somewhere to showing how honoured and happy Joe is plus the excitement and warmth that the whole of Macclesfield and Joe’s family and friends showed.

I’ve added the name of the photographer although the better ones of mine were actually taken by Bill, so thanks to Bill for those.

Also available, and I presume for a limited time only is Joe’s TV appearance! It’s on i-player link below (but you may need Adobe Flashplayer installed to watch it). Joe’s on at about 25 minutes in and you can fast forward if you need too.

Big thanks to Chris Ashbrook for downloading Joe’s live run and allowing the world to view it on youtube, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has now watched it numerous times!

Thanks to everyone who has commented on the blog, one highlight for me was knowing Andy Smith was watching live in Australia. The world is a large place but people like Joe do their part for making it smaller and better. If you haven’t commented on the blog then please do.

I was going to write a short account of the day but decided after reading some words Mario wrote that they summarise the day fantastically and I’d be unable to add more. I’m glad so many were able to share the day and it was fabulous to meet all of Joe’s family and his sister Doreen who does as much as Joe in her own wayfor he community! So in the words of Mario….

Thirty first of May Two Thousand and Twelve was the year

‘twas the year that Joe with His torch would appear.

Close to the route was Beswick Street

Where Joe would proceed with His pattering feet.

Cheering Him along would be the Helsby Brigade

Who throughout all the years Joe would have given His aide.

For someone like Joe with His torch in hand

He must have felt like the proudest man in the land.

Mario  x

Thanks again


If you do watch Joe then please comment on the blog!

No track session monday 4th June & June race details

Thanks to everyone who was at track last night and I believe that set a new record of attendance.
Obviously those at track know that the BBC were filming Joe coaching the session which was a surprise for everybody (so maybe that accounted for our times being a second or two faster last night!) and hopefully Joe will now be seen on the extended Northwest Tonight BBC1 on this Friday June 1st between 7 and 8.00pm (The show is a live event for the torch heading into Liverpool with other coverage of some of the Northwest’s torchbearers). If you happen to miss it and Joe is on TV I will send an i-player link out which should give you 7 days to watch it.
Please note: there will be no track session next Monday Bank Holiday June 4th
but for those wanting a run out on that day there is a great little introductory fell / hill race that Helsby always support and have a good showing in each year. Details here
The race is approx. 4 miles and equivalent to a run up Helsby Hill in ascent. It Will be great to see many of you there. Tea and cakes available in the community hall after the event and I think they have a kids fun run too.
For those that can’t make Monday then there is another localish trail event at Thurstaston, where we start the multi-terrain September series, although it uses a different course. This race is now run by Pensby but expect 6 miles of trail, beach and woodland. If you get a nice night can be a tremendous race running along the beach. Details here:
My running calendar might be down for a few days so I’ve attached a PDF of June’s races to keep everyone informed. If you need any more information just ask.
I’ll also be sending out a confirmation email regarding our Macclesfield day out for Joe’s torch run shortly.

Helsby weekend round-up may 25th – 27th 2012

Hi all
Dunham Massey 5k Fri 25th May 2012
Friday night saw three Helsby runners (but not sure the correct names have been listed?) at the ever popular Dunham Massey 5k organised by Altrincham & District. This trail 5k is a two lap course round the picturesque and traffic free paths of Dunham Massey with the race starting at the National Trust House. Helsby positions and places as below. (Of note first female was Tracy Entwistle in a time 19.19 who runs for Warrington Road Runners and is part of our ladies winning Cross Country team)
110th    Geoff Shaw                21.25
153rd    Janet Salmon              23.06
201st    Janet Shaw                 26.55
Full Results available here
Cader Idris Fell Counter Sat 26th May 2012
Saturday was our 2nd fell counter and a tougher race than the majority in the calendar. This was the Cader Idris race that starts and finishes in Dolgellau. It’s a 10.5 mile route (if you manage to always go the right way!) that starts and finishes in Dolgellau centre after reaching the summit of Cader at Penygadair, but it’s a testing route due to the steep metalled Cader road for a good 2.5km which then takes you into quite dense forest trail adjacent to Gwernan lake, which looked quite appetising in the heat (but maybe swimming part of the course wouldn’t do well for the times) and then opens up to bright sunlight and the technical ascent on the pony path. From there it is lots of hard work and hoping the Helsby hill training has paid off.
Lots of photographers out on the course so there are some links to photos below which as well as promising some interesting running styles and techniques does show the terrain runners were dealing with. There were some falls from Helsby runners which thankfully were nothing too serious but shows you need to keep concentration on races such as this. There is also opportunity for route choice and time to be saved on the descent although not all of us made good choices in this instance. Definitely a race some of us have to come back too!
One of the key battles of the day was coping with the heat so thanks to the man with the hosepipe on the run in at the end.
Helsby had ten green vests on display and sterling work from Phil Gillard who was jet lagged from a transatlantic trip. Dave Feakes certainly enjoyed the day out and was great to see Ian, Mario, Alec and Robbie eating up the ground.
Jayne Joy already with a series of wins in fell races this season had the opportunity to step up a grade to a North Wales Championship race (which meant there was a record turnout of nearly 240 people) and compete against some of the best female runners in the country. Her 5th place shows the class act she is fast becoming but also what hard work is ahead of her! Jayne was only a few minutes behind Adair at the top of Cader so all bets are now off that she might be the fastest in the club soon!
Smiles could be seen on the faces of Lesley and Jackie who in such tough conditions, on the surface, appeared to be making light work of it. Maybe their legs are telling a different story now. Should I mention Jackie actually cycled to the race (but not from Helsby) to put us leisurely car drivers to shame.
I’d fully recommend this race for a more experienced fell runner, as majority of people take over two hours to complete the race and it shouldn’t be taken too lightly. It is also a very atmospheric race as you start to the sound of the Batala Drummers and finish to a chorus of cheers from many spectators in the finishing area.
Needless to say the ever vocal Joe was out on the course as was Helen and family and Bill offering jelly babies and water to the needy. Thanks guys! Was nice and sociable after the race with some food from the organisers and lots of discussion of individual races and then onto the most memorable part of the day, the first official pint of summer!
Full results and other race details available from or
Helsby Positions and Times as follows.
31st      Adair Broughton          1.50.33
67th      Jayne Joy                   2.00.21
71st      Ian Landucci               2.02.30
105th    Mario Foschi               2.09.05
168th    Dave Feakes              2.21.11
187th    Phil Gillard                   2.27.24
189th    Alec Robertson           2.29.05
192nd   Jackie Keasley           2.30.27
204th    Lesley Feakes             2.36.04
237th    Robbie Webster          3.36.00
Photos from Gwynfor James here (on the up)
And Alistair Tye here (going down)
More photos and video should follow from Peter Douglas on his website quite soon
There is the Mynd Mawr Hill run in Trefonen, nr Oswestry next Bank Holiday Monday so for those who want an introduction to fell running or fancy something a little more challenging than the average road run but nothing to serious in regards to fell racing then it will great to see you in this ideal friendly and low key race. I will send a reminder over the weekend. Race will be at 11.00am and is 4miles and approx. 500ft.
In the meantime, Joe and Mario still continuing their Monday night track sessions so will be great to see faces new and old there, Helsby High school 6.30pm
And if I’ve missed any events then let me know as I’ll add them to the weekend round-up on the blog

Helsby weekend round-up may 16th-20th

Hi all

Friday night saw our 4th road counter which was the fast Christleton 5k, fast because many of the 11 Helsby runners saw significant times fall from their 5k PB’s. This race is now in its 25th year and historically run by Tattenhall runners. Chester Tri took over the event and organisation was as smooth as ever.

A ‘nearly’ two lap loop in Christleton, Cheshire, this race sees people travelling from all over the region to compete with some tremendous local athletes. Thankfully the rain and wind stayed away for the race which meant favourable running conditions on the night. The fast leading pace seems to filter throughout the field to help pull everyone along.

This meant PB’s were had by Adrian, Colin, Gareth, Adair and Jayne, with Adrian taking two minutes off his previous 5k time and Jayne possibly more. Roy Gaskill also took 75 seconds from his previous best. It was a good battle for each Helsby position, although a short distance compared to many of our races, from the effort displayed at the finishing line (and the photos) it was clear Helsby runners had been in a race and given it their all! Well done to Carol Shaw for a significant 2nd in her category too.

Thanks to Joe for great vocal support on the course and Mario taking photos which we can hopefully put on the Helsby flickr site soon.

Great to see Dave Pinnington out on the course taking photos

Other photos promised on

And here (for £1)

Full results from the Christleton 5k Chester website.

Helsby positions and times as follows:

39th Adair Broughton

 0:16:58 PB

82nd Ian Landucci


90th Colin Thompson

0:18:40 PB

95th Jayne Joy

0:18:44 PB

109th Gareth Boyd

0:19:07 PB

118th Roy Gaskill

0:19:19 PB

149th Adrian Jackson

0:20:22 PB

163rd Mike Searle


181st Carol Shaw


183rd Tom De Jong


227th John Thompson




Other races at the weekend were the Manchester 10k which was also shown on BBC2 on Sunday morning. The eagled eyes who were watching hopefully spotted Nesta advertising the Helsby vest at the start of her race! On I-Player at the elite men’s start you should be able to see Jane and Tracy waving too! Nice one ladies for glamming up Sunday Mornings TV( much more preferable than Andrew Marr

Full results here

An amazing run by Jane Ashbrook saw her break the magic 40 minutes and in looking at the results for the elite women would have justified her a start in that particular race!

368th                Jane Ashbrook            39.45
481st                      Colin Thompson                40.30
6826th              Nesta Hawker             51.17
7144th              Peter Causton             51.39
26113th            Mike Searle                 1.16.45

Dave Pinnington was also out taking photos for this race again with some spectacular shots of the elite athletes. Not all of his photos uploaded yet.

Sunday also saw the Comberbach 5k, which had Geoff Shaw and Carol Shaw running. Well done for the 5k double Carol. Geoff Shaw was 8th(ish) with Carol close behind. Janet Shaw was out on the course with Joe and Mario as was Chris BH supporting.             

When details come through I will update the blog so please take a look over there, no results online yet.

Geoff was also out at the muddy Mobberly 5 mile multi-terrain race, adjacent to Manchester airport, race was last Thursday 17th May. A great run in a big and competitive field saw Janet Shaw take 1st in her category, well done Janet and Geoff Shaw was well up the field to claim 3rd in his. Bit slippy due to the mud on the route too by all accounts.

Full results at

And some Photos from Mick Hall

Fell legend Robbie Webster also ran at Shining Tor in the Inter-county Fell Race winning his age category for 1st v70, well done Robbie. Full results here

Phil Gillard was also out earlier on in the week at the Blackstone Edge race near Rochdale. Phil’s description below but details and results should eventually appear her

Tough little race; steep climbs, very boggy with one of those dsecents which look tempting – nice and grassy but with just the right (wrong) amount of rocks to make you think


Club AGM on Wednesday after the run with a fish supper then it’s Cader Idris Fell counter 2 on Saturday 26th May. Next road counter is the Mersey Tunnel 10k Sunday 10th June.



Joe’s Olympic torch run May 31st – details and route

Hopefully by now you all know we are nearing a very special occasion for the club as a whole and more importantly for a very special individual in our club and community. I’m talking Joe’s Olympic torch run in Macclesfield on Thursday May 31st.
Mike Searle has forwarded to me the official information on Joe Beswick which is now on the Olympic website including original nomination information, details of their route, profile of each torchbearer etc
Here’s the link to Joe’s page:
This is a great honour for Joe and I know many of you are going to be sharing this moment with him. Finally we will be able to cheer Joe in for a change! It will be great to see as many people as possible support Joe on his day.
Exact street details have now been provided and I have attached a scan of Joe’s route as a PDF file  
Joes Route:
From : Oxford Road (A5088) near Edward Street to Chester Road (A537) near Macclesfield Day Nursery (BEST BETWEEN THESE TWO POINTS). Please see highlighted line on pdf file. Interestingly Joe’s route goes past Beswick Street!
According to route information, Joe’s Olympic Leg will be at roughly 9.50am, which hopefully gives everyone time to drive to Macclesfield on that day. Not as early a start for us as it will be for Joe but recommended leaving time from the club will be just after 7.00am. The attached map shows some options for parking but unfortunately I don’t know Macclesfield well enough to state which is the best one in particular. However, for those wishing to car share I suggest we meet at the Helsby Club to depart for 7.15am at the latest. This will give us enough time to get to Macclesfield and arrange a good location to see Joe.
For those who want to make an extended day of it and not going back to work that day, we have decided it might be a nice idea to have a walk or social run near Macclesfield after Joe has finished his Olympic torch bearing duties and then after this head to a local pub for a social bite.
The run will be a sociable one, some canal towpaths and up Teggs Nose and back, all welcome. If you don’t fancy a run why not go on a nice walk instead before the meal.
Everybody is welcome whether you fancy a walk instead of a run and we’ll be keeping it very informal anyway. I’d suggest meeting for the walk/run at 10.30am then meet at a local pub between 12 and half past. 
The pub’s called the Church House.
Address is Church House, Church Lane, Sutton Lane Ends, SK11 0DS.  Grid
ref 931712.
They serve food 12-2, at reasonable prices.
It’s a proper pub, not a restaurant pretending to be a pub.  Friendly too.
They let dogs in. 
Please make a note in your diaries THURSDAY MAY 31st about 9.45am and if you have any questions just ask!
The A537, B5088 & A536 will be closed from approx 8:35, so there’s going to be chaos for anyone trying to get into Macc from the  west after 8:30.  Best bet is perhaps for all of us to aim to get there for 8, park up in a car park on the east side of town, & walk to where  Joe’s going to be brandishing the torch.  At least we’ll be able to get out of town once he’s finished his bit then. (Info from Andy Robinson – Thanks for the heads up)
Joe showed us at Monday night track a wonderful T-Shirt given to him by his grandaughter/daughter
Attached is a link on ebay where you could purchase something similar, and could put Joe’s name on it if required

Cheshire AA handicap – whitley 10k

Well done to Helsby’s Dave Madders topping the Cheshire Athletics Handicap Chart for the recent Whitley 10k

Excellent work and much deserved

Helsby weekend round-up May 12-13th 2012

Busy weekend for many people at Helsby!
First and foremost it was the Sandstone Challenge event managed and organised by Andy Robinson with a raft of help from Helsby members and the local community. Results here
Looks like a very successful event once again with an awesome new overall record for the winner. As mentioned on the Helsby website congratulations to Ian Hilditch for a new category record too. I’m sure Andy will be sending out a report soon about the day or check out other articles on this blog.
Saturday also saw three Helsby members at the Bollington Three Peaks event. This was a great course in a beautiful location and at five pound entry with free food and a free pint of real ale afterwards, a real bargain! The 5.7 mile route and climb of 1200ft takes in the three peaks of Kerridge Hill, White Nancy and Nab Hill. (Please note that this is a different event than the Bollington Nostalgia later in the year and a better route I think)
Phenomenal running saw Jayne Joy in 3rd place behind two of the top fell runners in the country with Adair in 5th overall closely followed by Jim O’Hara in 15th.
Full results here

5th        Adair Broughton          42.49
15th        Jim O’Hara                 45.33
27th      Jayne Joy                   48.11

Information on the day below
Sunday saw John Thompson fly under the fifty minutes at the Market Drayton 10k in 375th overall from a strong field of nearly 1000 runners
A bigger field for Helsby were at the Chester Half for the new route which also sees it under new management ‘Active Leisure’ instead of West Cheshire AC. From what I could see a fantastic turnout and perfect weather too. Thanks to Alison Meakin for support and handing out energy gels in quite frantic conditions! Chris Baynham-Hughes led Helsby home with a fantastic new PB (and looking very comfortable and chatting away at the half-way mark) with Jane Ashbrook bagging another great performance with 2nd in her category and 6th female overall. Fantastic run from Carol also saw her 4th her in category. Helsby runners as below
Chester Half provisional results
or searchable results here
Chester half website
And of course if I’ve missed anyone or any events please let me know and I can update the blog accordingly

Sandstone trail challenge – brilliant!

Quick report: another brilliant day, another great event. Thanks go to everyone taking part whether running, walking, marshalling, feeding, punching cards or any of the numerous things that somehow magically happen behind the scenes. Three cheers to Andy Robinson for being catalyst and ringleader.

Hills were climbed, records broken, mud and wind conquered, feet battered, pies eaten. Results over on the main website:

Pics: (Larkton Hill) (Delamere).

Thanks to everyone for sharing their great pics! If you want copies, contact the photographers directly.


Dinas Bran fell counter 9th May 2012

Hi all

Quick report on last nights first fell counter of the season.

Brilliant night for Helsby at Dinas Bran. Glad to see the rain did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the 19 (just counted from the photo) green vests on display. Two members Roy and Tom were new to the fells and what a muddy and wet introduction to hill running.

This race is just under 5 miles and consists of two loops of the trails round Dinas Bran, starting with a lap round the school field then a short and sharp road section onto the Dinas Bran paths to start the first ascent. The paths were muddy and slippy in places so a remarkable achievement by Tom to get round in normal running shoes! Club talisman and coach Joe was (near enough) at the highest point of the course to cheer us on, which helps enormously at that particular section at the gate before the castle ruins. After the second lap a fast run in to the finish to wait for photos, tea and cake.

Lots of prizes for Helsby runners which even led to race organisor asking “is there actually anyway left in Helsby”

Prizes for Jayne 1st lady overall (That’s two from two for Jayne and yes you guessed it, straight to the wine again!) and Vanessa and Adair both 3rd plus lots of age category winners including Mario, Jackie, Janet, Ian Landucci and great to see ex Helsby member Steph Charman picking up her category prize also. Hope I’ve not missed anyone (should have taken a list!)

Some highlights

Comment of the night from young Tom “That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done”

Finish of the night undoubtedly goes to Phil Gillard for showing how a class fell runner can outpace a young whipper snapper who was even being paced to the finish! Made my night!

Fall of the night, well who else but Jimmy. Unfortunately no photographic evidence of said event but knowing Jimmy it will be Olympian standard

Photos from Adrian

Full results here

Helsby Runners positions and times as below

New female course record from Jayne Joy, Congratulations!

3rd        Adair Broughton      33.54
6th        Jim O’Hara                35.13
9th        Mario Foschi             37.18
10th     Jayne Joy                  37.37
11th     Ian Landucci             37.54
22nd     Roy Gaskill                41.04
23rd     Phil Gillard                41.12
25th     Steve Riley                41.46
26th     Paul Porter                41.49
30th     Adrian Jackson        42.55
33rd     David Feakes           43.18
34th     Vanessa Griffiths     44.46
36th     Janet Robertson      45.06
39th     Andy Smith               46.34
40th     Alec Robertson        47.16
42nd     Tom De Jong            48.06
46th     Jackie Keasley         49.54
49th     Nesta Hawker           51.37
52nd     Robbie Webster       57.15 

Sandstone challenge this weekend!

Thanks to everyone helping out over the weekend. Andy does all the tedious donkey work behind the scenes, but the event simply couldn’t happen without everyone’s quiet excellence on the day!

The comments we get back after the event make it clear that the marshalling and organisition are one of the reasons that make the event so special.

There’s still time to put your hat in the ring if you can spare even a few hours on the day (nothing compared to the 12h+ some people will be putting in!). Contact Andy Robinson.

There’s a nice little bit in the Chronicle or you can download it here sandstone-chronicle.pdf

See you on Saturday!