Liverpool marathon free places!

Mencap Liverpool still has some FREE Run Liverpool Marathon Places available for any runners that want to run on their behalf. The event is Sunday 14th October 2012. Contact 0151 707 8582 or email for more.

Chris Baynham-Hughes & the Dragons Back

200 Miles

45000+ ascent

5 days of over marathon distance a day?

Fancy it? Is it the toughest race in the world?

We’ll have to ask Chris Baynham-Hughes who is now in final preparations for tackling this event!!

GOOD LUCK CHRIS from everyone at Helsby Running Club. Chris’ fundraising page is if you want to bung him a few quid. Give him some money, so you don’t have to run it yourself!

Cilcain fell counter race 9 – 27th august 2012

Our 9th Fell counter of the season saw the green shirt back in the familiar territory of the Clwydians. With wet and blowy conditions for a bank holiday it was a good surprise to find the Cilcain mountain race, which forms part of the Cilcain show, had its highest ever attendance of 181 runners completing the race. Weather improved prior to race start but with a muddy course and particularly windy at the summit near the Jubilee Tower, it all made for interesting running.

Jayne Joy ran a blinder coming in half a minute behind Welsh International Andrea Rowlands for 2nd lady overall and 2nd in for Helsby and taking 4 minutes or so off her 2011 time. Ten runners out in total for Helsby and great to see Dave Madders tackling a tough hill race so soon after his Ironman outing, he’s hitting legendary status now. Looks like Phil and Adrian were having a close battle out there too.

Afternoon was finished off with a social and enjoyable tea, cake and a nose around the show after the race.

Official results available from the Cilcain show website here:

Helsby positions and places as below

5th        Adair Broughton          36.34
29th      Jayne Joy                   40.16 (2nd Lady)
36th      Ian Landucci               41.10
54th      Mario Foschi               43.04
91st      Phil Gillard                   46.46
96th      Adrian Jackson           47.08
138th    Dave Madders            52.36
144th    Andy Smith                 53.03
145th    Jackie Keasley           53.06
156th    Graham Slatter           55.30

Thanks to Joe and Tom and Rachel who were out supporting on the course. A worthy mention should also go to Patrick Stradling who had a fanastic race, finishing 2nd in his category and 15th overall! Well done.

No photos yet but Pete Douglas was out on the course so I’m sure they will appear in time.

Next fell race counter is our Inter-club race with Spectrum and Tattenhall, which we still have a chance of winning. This race is King John’s Castle on Saturday 22nd September at 11.00am.

Details from

Capenhurst 5k road counter 9 wed 22nd august

Good turnout for Helsby at last Wednesdays 9th club road counter of the season, the Capenhurst 5k organised by Ellesmere Port Running Club. Conditions were good for running and it was a particularly strong field with the course record being broken by nearly half a minute with an astonishing run from Liverpool’s Johnny Mellor. 15 out for Helsby with good runs from Jane and Janet that saw podium finishes for their respective age categories. 229 runners completed the race so a big field this year meaning the race also filled up on the night, so unfortunately a few people had to miss out.

Results available from their website as below

Helsby positions and times as follows

25th                  Adair Broughton          17.01
64th                  Ian Landucci               18.31
73rd                  Gareth Boyd               18.45
80th                  Colin Thompson          19.03
95th                  Roy Gaskill                 19.38
103rd                Jane Ashbrook            20.08   (3rd in category)
121st                Adrian Jackson           20.58
131st                Geoff Shaw                21.27
146th                Helen Owens              22.09
149th                Tom DeJong               22.17
151st                John Thompson          22.19
171st                Nesta Hawker             23.32
172nd               Jackie Keasley           23.43
193rd                Janet Shaw                 25.35   (2nd in category)
194th                Betty Grieve                25.39

The next road counter is the Lake Vyrnwy half marathon on 9th September although this is a pre-entry race only.



Helsby’s double iron man !!

Hi everyone

I know that my arresting subject title for this email will have had you all scurrying to your computer in response to my clarion call for the Ironman race!!

Of course the reality is far different because in fact within the club we have only 2 official ‘Ironmen’; Ivan Davies & Dave Madders.

And it was Dave who last weekend put himself on the line for a second time in what is arguably the ultimate all-round endurance challenge of them all, namely swimming 2.4 miles (open water mind, no namby pamby swimming pools you know!), cycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles consecutively in the salubrious surroundings of Dartford! And that’s not all! Just to put extra spice into the challenge (a standard Ironman for Dave is SO yesterday!), the race started at the ‘interesting’ time of 6 o’clock in the evening, which means that  competitors get the ‘opportunity’ to race right through the night, finishing around breakfast time the following morning! How attractive is that!

Well I’m delighted to report that despite those minor challenges, Dave knocked over an hour off his debut Ironman time from last year, finishing in an official time of 13:22:41 (that’s 13 hours by the way!).

Results here

I also know that Dave’s race build-up was far from smooth, with a dodgy hamstring and a chest infection which curtailed his training for 4-5 weeks; making his achievement all the more impressive. He also suffered a ‘clothing malfunction’ during the swim where his goggles kept filling with water and he lost time having to repeatedly stop and empty them. However in the second discipline, Dave’s bike strength really came to the fore and he averaged over 17 ½ mph for the entire 112 mile bike section (despite stopping several times to take on food). Now having been forced myself recently to take to 2 wheels in search of my cardiovascular ‘fix’, I can confidently report that 17 ½ mph is a damn good speed to maintain for an hour, let alone over 6 hours – and whilst I have the luxury of resting my saddle-hardened buttocks after my much shorter efforts, Dave followed up with a full marathon in a touch over 4 hours!


Now Dave is far too modest to highlight his impressive achievement – so I am! Hence BIG congratulations to Dave, our club double Ironman champion.

Best wishes                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Mike Searle, Training Director, body4life Health & Fitness

07986 483955 and 01244 301769

body4life donate 3% of profits annually to The MO FARAH FOUNDATION

Weekend round-up 18-19th August 2012

Hi all

There was another good variety of running and other activities this weekend for us to examine and thanks to Mike Searle for his email regarding Dave’s outstanding achievement from his night-time ironman. (article on above blog link) I’m more than a little bit in awe as I’m sure everyone else is.

On Saturday 5 green vests were racing the train, and with a train time of 1.48.27 Helsby’s Jane Ashbrook was closest in a big field of over 800 runners.

For full results see below

Helsby positions and times as below:

133rd                Jane Ashbrook            1.50.33
328th                Dave Feakes              2.04.00
385th                Janet Robertson         2.07.39
478th                Lesley Feakes             2.15.05
503rd                Jackie Keasley           2.18.00

And some photos of the day here

Sunday was the Birchwood 10k which was also a Cheshire Grand Prix event which always attracts a strong field. Spectrum Striders organise this one and preliminary results already on their website. Geoff Shaw was first in for Helsby.

Helsby positions and times as follows:

259th                Geoff Shaw                  45.18
397th                John Thompson           49.30

Hopefully I’ve not missed anyone but if so please send me details or race reports as I can add them to the blog.

Wednesday sees our 9th Road Counter the fast and flat Capenhurst 5k. A local race, often very popular with local runners too but you should be ok to turn up on the night if you haven’t already entered.

Details here & online entry & previous results here

Monday night tracks still progressing well, Helsby high school 6.30pm on Mondays for those who still want to give these a try



Inter-club fell championship results

Hi all

Please find the results from the Whittle Pike Race 2 of Inter-club Fell competition

As can be seen, Spectrum won this race and will now be leading the series, accumulatively the points following race 2 are as follows:

Spectrum        race 1 (166) + race 2 (216)    = 382

Helsby             race 1 (187) + race 2 (177)    = 364

Tattenhall        race 1 (152) + race 2 (55)      = 207

So once again less than 20 points separates Helsby from Spectrum so all is still to play for! Considering Spectrum had out 5 more runners than Helsby it appears we held our own due to the added points from the first race, as well as missing a couple of our key runners too.

It’s good for the series that it comes down to the last race to determine the winner!

Disappointingly and due to travel distance Tattenhall were unable to field many runners so we will make sure the choice of races is rectified for next year, possibly moving away from midweek races if need be.

The final race in the series is King Johns Castle, more similar to the Druid than Whittle Pike so could suit the trail runner rather than the out and out fell runner. Hopefully we’ll have a few out to challenge Spectrum again.

Thanks to Tomo and Janet who both sent me a link to some wonderful photos of Whittle Pike so peruse and smile to your hearts consent here:

Good luck to those racing the train this weekend!


Helsby weekend round-up 11th-12th august 2012

It was a busy weekend for Helsby runners, a mixed bag of results and races for those out and about.

Jimmy and Phil had great runs in the tough North Wales fell race ‘Gladstone 9’ on Sunday. A much deserved top ten finish for Jimmy showing his continuing improvement on the hills. ‘Baking hot’ for them heading out and I believe a bit windy heading home but the rain did hold off thankfully.

Results and photographs of the day below. Once again we can thank Alistair for being out taking shots.

8th        Jim O’Hara     1.28.49
35th      Phil Gillard       1.52.11

Full results available on the WFRA

Also on Sunday was the Nike Challenge 10k, a 24 lap track race near Cheshire Oaks. I know of at least one PB from the ever improving and tenacious Tom, hitting 43.04. Not long till Tom heads towards the 40 minute barrier I bet. Colin had a stormer for another sub 40 and 6th place overall and Roy ran well too finishing in front of Tom.

6th        Colin Thompson          39.12
14th      Roy Gaskill                 41.48
15th      Tom De Jong              43.04

What’s great about this result is that Colin, Roy and Tom are newer members of Helsby all getting better each race and I think helps to show training with people does make a difference. Would love to have some feedback about how different racing on a track is for that distance compared to road so please let us know.

For full results see

Or to go straight to the pdf document

The ever energetic Jackie has sent a couple of race reports as below. After running a trail half marathon on Sunday she was still zooming round track doing sprint relays on Monday night!

Words from Jackie……..A few races to report… 

Firstly somewhat belated, the Trail counter, The Gritstone Tryal on July 29th was a 13 mileish orienteeringish event around the Staffordshire borders, taking in parts of the Gritstone Trail, The Dane Valley and the tussocky Roaches. A map was given out to study an hour before the start for us to work out the fastest route linking 5 well spread out check points. Most runners went the same way to check point 1, but various routes to checkpoint 2 about 7K away were taken. A number of the faster runners re-traced their footsteps (as I was still slowly approaching checkpoint 1) to go a longer but “faster” way along the river Dane. I took the more direct hilly route and was only overtaken by them close to checkpoint 2!  So speed is not everything in these races!  On towards the Roaches where a short cut I took resulted in a mix of bracken & bramble & cut legs to tell the story. Finally a tussocky pull up to the top of the Roaches. Thanks Andy (Robinson) for telling me beforehand that it was better to stay on the road as long as possible as the tussocky terrain was impossible to make good progress on. A really good race with a difference. Shame only 30 runners in total entered, a good one to support with Helsby runners next year? 

12th      Andy Robinson           2:47:33
27th      Jackie Keasley           3:09:28 

Yesterday, Sunday 12th August, the tides were set right for the Cross Bay Challenge Half Marathon across Morecambe Bay from Flookborough near Grange over Sands to Hest Bank near Morecombe. Note: The only known race in the world to cross a tidal bay! Historically the quickest route from Cumbria to Lancashire at low tide, the bay crossing dates back to the 13th century when monks from the local abbeys served as guides to travellers. Direct it’s only 9 miles so to make it a half the route took us on a tour of the bay, winding and splashing in and out across the sands past Grange towards Silverdale before turning and heading in a huge loop out towards the main channel and finally back to Hest Bank. High winds and a spell of heavy rain in the middle of the bay, which was ankle deep in water anyway, with no land visible on either side was quite exhilarating to say the least! Then followed the crossing of the river Kent channel which was thigh deep and fast flowing involved quite a bit of concentration. At one point Nesta pointed out a boat that separated us from visible land, an eerie experience!  After 8 miles we turned downwind, the sun came out and we were running on dry solid sand so the pace picked up. One of the slowest yet totally flat races you will ever do. Its in Nesta’s 100 races to do before you die book and well worth a try!

365th    Jackie Keasley    2:17             (62ndlady)
378th    Nesta Hawker    2:23              (88th lady)

out of                           561        193  finishers

Runners World Votes Cross Bay Challenge 4th best Trial Race 2011



Brenig trail race sept 15th 2012 details

Please find details of the Brenig Trail Race Saturday Sept 15th 2012
1 p.m. at the Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre
Cerrigydruddion, Nr Corwen
A 9 mile multi-terrain trail race around the Llyn Brenig Reservoir.
Starting and finishing at the Brenig Visitor Centre. There will be prizes for category finishers plus a memento for all finishers.
Results will be available at
Entries on the day only. Affiliated runners £6, unaffiliated runners £8.

Whittle Pike fell club counter 8 & inter-club fell race Wed 8th Aug 2012

Hi all

Very quick results for Whittle Pike, race 2 of our Inter-Club Fell series and race 8 of our fell club counters.

A tougher location than most to get to for a Wednesday night so was very pleasing to field 15 runners for Helsby. Spectrum had the most with 19 runners out and unfortunately for the competition Tattenhall only four. Hopefully we will try and select a closer race next year.

This race was advertised as 4.5 miles and 1400ft and has been a championship course in the past. For those who can visualise the course from a map there is a link below

Map link

As a brief race description taken from the Rossendale website

‘You will be climbing for the first two k; Descending for about 1 k; climb again for 1 k to Whittle Pike; drop sharply down hill for half a k; short sharp climb followed by a more gradual climb and then a long run in, all downhill. More or less if you are running on the flat you are off route. ‘

But for those who want a more detailed description please see the following link

If I can add anything to that I’d say it was also boggy! Not many clean legs after the race and a tricky course in that hitting a bog instantaneously loses you momentum but we had fantastic support from Adrian and Joe on the course which helped.

Helsby were in the prizes with Jimmy and Adair picking up a team prize, surprising considering we went the wrong way! Ian Landucci, Jayne, Mario and Janet had age category prizes. If I’ve missed anyone do let me know as I didn’t get to the prizegiving so hoping I’ve not missed anyone.

There were some great individual races out there and good to see Helsby faces with war paint too! You’ll have to ask Jayne about that. Jimmy and Adair were close all the way to the top and some brilliant runs from Helsby runners who have not attempted a race quite like this before. Hopefully the sense of achievement more than makes up for the smell of the south Pennines that takes roughly two or three showers to get off completely.

I’ll send a separate email for the Inter-club results when officially available, early indications are Spectrum will have won this one but it means it’s all to play for in the third and final race in September. Let’s have a big crowd out for what is a much less difficult race. Not sure Tattenhall can do much to catch up now but it is all still up for grabs.

Full results for Whittle Pike here

10th      Adair Broughton          47.59
18th      Jim O’Hara                 48.58
45th      Mario Foschi               54.46
53rd      Ian Landucci               55.38
62nd     Jayne Joy                   56.47
66th      Steve Riley                 57.15
80th      Roy Gaskill                 58.44
83rd      Paul Porter                  59.09
99th      Phil Gillard                   61.02
108th    Janet Robertson         62.18
143rd    Tom DeJong               69.25
148th    Jackie Keasley           71.25
152nd   Andy Smith                 74.07
155th    John Thompson          76.36
169th    Robbie Webster          83.28

Please comment on the race!