As at least 22 of you know, Wednesday was our inter-club as well as 6th fell club counter race, starting and finishing at the Druid Pub at the base of Foel Fenlli.
A delicate warmth welcomed the rainbow of vests congregating at the pub car park and the blue skies gradually gave way through the evening to cloud. It was cold by the time of prizes and many Helsby runners enjoying their pint were wearing their Helsby hoodies and pondering on a missing summer. However, there was still lots of banter and smiles and talk of close races, especially between Helsby runners!
Thanks to everyone for taking part in what is the biggest Helsby field in a fell race I’ve known and hopefully will help us in our bid for points against the Tattenhall and Spectrum runners. Tattenhall had 17 out and Spectrum 15. Jayne Joy was our only prize winner, with an impressive turn of speed at the end in a tight finish with Clywdian runner Mary Gillie, not a bad scalp to have. Guess that’s the Monday night track sessions paying off. There were some unique prizes available as usual with this series of race, ranging from water pistols to umbrellas but probably best to stick to the wine Jayne!
Foel Fenlli is the 2nd highest peak in the Clwydians coming in at 1677ft, race is advertised at 5 miles with 1200ft of climb. Muddier than some years and dark in the forest of doom but it all adds to the atmosphere. Biggest field ever for the race as a whole with 135 finishers tightly packed into a small country lane doesn’t make for the easiest of starts but the stiff climb before the farmers fields helps to spread out the field early on. From then on you dodge cow pats and cattle-grids, catch your breath to say hi to Joe who is already cheering the next runner behind, mince over some styles and dig in for the climb up Fenlli.
Great views if you could spare a moment to look round and was fantastic to see a multi-coloured trail of runners heading up the offas dyke path. Once you hit a ridge you then head to the new stone steps and contour around the top of Fenlli. Route changed slightly this year with an additional climb up Fenlli instead of back onto the ridge, before the fast downhill back to the styles and farmers fields and a chance to hold on or even gain a few positions now the back of the race has been broken.
John Thompson’s first fell race and what a stirling effort, seconds in it for many Helsby runners, so I’m sure there will be interesting battles in the green vest ahead. Results will be available soon on the www.wfra.org.uk
Thanks to Joe out on the course and to Chris Hatton taking photos on the night. Positions and places below.
|116th||Lesley Jane Feakes||
Please note the next fell counter is the Green Green Grass of Home, a little bit tougher than the Druid but a good race and anyone from Helsby will be more than capable to run it. I’ll send more details out nearer the time. The next inter-club race and also club counter is the Whittle Pike on 8th August.