Weekend Round-up XC results 27th – 28th October 2012

Hi all

Cross country on both days of the weekend, with two very different day’s weather wise. One Helsby member even did the double.

Saturday, 2.00pm saw the 1st Liverpool & District XC at Beacon Park. Andy Smith first home for Helsby on what is normally a tricky cross country course, with the notorious ski slope beckoning twice in the race. Andy tackled it with consummate ease as normal, so we’ll be looking to him for any advice on the course this coming weekend when the Northwest Sunday league heads to Beacon Park.

Full Results are now available for Saturdays race at the Liverpool & District website below. Quote from the organiser below

“Match Results are now in from Beacon Park, A lovely afternoon  and the course was not as wet as normal. Thanks to Skem/Bound for once again providing us with a testing course.”


106th    Andy Smith     48.34

However, Clarke Gardens on Sunday WAS a wetter course than normal with an additional stream appearing this year. However, the grey autumnal and drizzly skies in no way diminished enthusiasm for what was a brilliant turnout for Helsby with 9 men and 4 ladies to really get a good start for the league season. Full results available from Steve’s website here:


Jayne Joy started this season as she finished the last with a brilliant 1st lady from the 57 who ran in total. Vanessa was also in the top ten for a great 9th lady overall with Carol Shaw and Lesley both easily in the top half of the field. This put Helsby ladies in 1st position for the team standings. Helsby also run with Lymm and Warrington.

Fantastic effort from talented new member Colin Bishop coming in 17th overall in a field of 148 men. This placed Colin 2nd in his age category and really helps to bolster our team this year. Lots of battles also going on for 3rd Helsby member with Steve running a strong last lap to come in just before Phil,  Adrian and Dave Feakes who all had brilliant runs on the day. Tom deJong ran well not long after his Liverpool marathon efforts. Adair, Andy Smith and Chris were the other Helsby runners out. Helsby helped the mens team to finish in 5th place.

Remember there are no times issued for this league so always worth taking a stop watch if you want those recorded. The course was 1 small lap and 2 large laps with an estimated mileage of 4.9 miles.

Many thanks to all the support on the course which was very prevalent, especially to Joe and Mario and Wayne Percival.

Helsby positions and placings as below

6th                    Adair Broughton
17th                  Colin Bishop
92nd                 Steve Riley
95th                  Phil Gillard

97th                  Adrian Jackson
102nd               David Feakes
112th                Tom DeJong
134th                Andy Smith
138th                Chris Hatton

1st                    Jayne Joy
9th                    Vanessa Griffiths
18th                  Carol Shaw
24th                  Lesley Feakes


The next cross country is the Northwest League 2 Race at the very traditional Beacon Park nr Skelmersdale. Race is at 10am but unfortunately no extra hour in bed this week! Link below is for directions to Beacon Park taken from Spectrums website


(The venue is off Beacon Lane nr Skelmersdale, WN8 7RU. )

Don’t forget, Castle Park training continues on Monday nights 6.30pm on the top field, all welcome

Jackie has put together another fantastic montage of the fell relays at Church Stretton earlier this month with a great soundtrack, well worth a look. Many thanks to Jackie for doing this, especially as she wasn’t able to be with us on the day



Border league race 1 results Sunday 21st October 2012

Hi all

It was a misty morning for those driving from the northwest, at least until the Welsh border where blue skies welcomed the early starters for the opening ceremony of this season’s Border League inter-club competition held at Caernarfon. The start and finish were a short distance from the castle, a splendid backdrop for the first 4k alongside the estuary, with its shimmering silver speckles of autumn daylight on what was a very still day.

256 runners competed and completed the approx. 10km course, a flat start but with some undulations to take everyone just outside their comfort zone and equally take the pressure off it being a PB course.

Sixteen runners out for Helsby which highlighted the growing improvement of both our ladies and men’s teams: 

16th                        Adair Broughton                      36.31
59th                  Ian Landucci                           39.43
68th                  Jim O’Hara                             40.15
88th                  Jayne Joy                               41.11
91st                  Roy Gaskill                             41.26
106th                Colin Thompson                      42.26
117th                Jane Ashbrook                        43.23 (2nd in age cat)
139th                Adrian Jackson                       44.45
140th                Albert Berry                             44.48 (1st in age cat)
150th                Geoff Shaw                            45.27
154th                Vanessa Griffiths                    45.44 (3rd in age cat)
160th                Carol Shaw                             46.01 (1st in age cat)
164th                Helen Owens                          46.20
195th                Tom DeJong                           48.03
224th                Chris Hatton                            51.47
252nd               Janet Shaw                             56.41

A fantastic showing once again by the six Helsby ladies, with Jayne and Jane superb for top ten finishes and Jane, Vanessa and Carol all on podium finishes for their age categories. This gave the newly promoted Helsby ladies team a brilliant 3rd overall which really helps to consolidate their position in the Division 1 right behind Chester Tri.

It was a good result too for the men with a full complement of ten securing 4th position in Division two, which is probably one of our strongest showings for some time. Star performance once again goes to Albert Berry for securing pole position in his category.

Many thanks to Mario who not only supported, helped with traffic management (on a busier course than expected with cars) but also sorted the numbers out at the end.

Thanks also to Albert for printing and providing some great photos of everyone who was at the Sandstone Race a few weeks ago.

Full results of the Borders available here http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/

Race 2 is Capenhurst, nearly on our doorstep so will be good to have a big field of Helsby for this race on Sunday 11th November at 11.00am. Remember it’s a roughly 10k course and flat and fast, free to enter, just need to wear the club vest.

Be good


Six county tops – long distance run by Andy Robinson

Hi all

Please find attached report from Andy Robinson on his recent ‘Six County Tops’ attempt

“I had cracking day out yesterday with Tony Wimbush (Idle AC, & the man behind the gofar ultra challenge website), running the Peak Six County Tops. We rationalised the original route that was done last December, which reduced the distance to 45 miles, & there’s about 6300 ft of climbing.

We left a car at Crowden, then drove to park the second car up by where the Cheeks Hill path leaves the minor road near Buxton, GR026704 (It’s a point to point run, so you need 2 cars or a support driver). We set off at 7:33…

0:04 Cheeks Hill (Staffordshire). Not so much a hill, more a wall corner on a slope.

Then the only main road stretch, 1.5 miles to the Cat & Fiddle, in the cloud.

0:44 Shining Tor (Cheshire East), & the cloud lifted.

Paths & quiet roads now to Kinder, with the weather really rather good for running: no wind & the right temperature. We went via Errwood Reservor dam, Combs, Lower Crossings, New Smithy & Beet Farm (the High Peak 40 route) which worked pretty well, it’s all fast. Then along the fence line past Brown Knoll & up the Pennine Way to the Kinder Low trig. Luckily we had good visibility so only faffed around for a few minutes finding the official “top” (using back bearings on Kinder Low & the Wool Packs).

4:02 Kinder Scout (Derbyshire)

SSE & we picked up the Edale Skyline shortcut to the head of Grindsbrook, & followed the edge path from there to Crookstone. On the way the heavens opened & we got 30 minutes of cold rain & sleet. That really wasn’t pleasant, considering we weren’t exactly equipped for winter conditions. Down to the Ladybower Reservoirs to warm up, then with the weather back as it was we climbed up the good track From Howden Dam to Howden Edge & started the awful boggy trudge. It’s really wet up there this weekend, & we were up to our knees many times.

7:38 High Stones (South Yorkshire)

…and the swamp continued along the tops all the way to Featherbed Moss & down to the A628 Woodhead road. It’s not quite as bad over Dead Edge End and Britland Edge Hill, but we were getting pretty tired by this point & it took forever to reach Holme Moss. A steady trudge up Black Hill got even blacker & we had to don headtorches, but we were lucky enough to find the path up OK.

11:30 Black Hill (West Yorkshire)

Yippee – flagstones. Say what you like about them, they’re a godsend on Black Hill in the dark. We managed to pcik more or less the right point to cut up right to the fence & follow it left to…

12:21 Black Chew Hill (Greater Manchester)

Back down to the Pennine Way & down to Crowden…

13:19 Crowden car park
  …and we reckon this is a really good day out!”

UKA fell relays, liverpool marathon & sandbach 10k results


It was a choice of fell, road or multi-terrain for the energetic and active Helsby brigade this weekend, so needless to say lots of results to give and some fantastic achievements in there too.

Thanks to everyone providing me with information on what you have been up to as it really helps the searching and just to reiterate if I miss anyone’s results it’s usually because the runner isn’t down as Helsby so it’s always worth letting me know if that’s the case.

And if seeing these results whets your appetite to ‘up’ your training then by all means head along to Castle Park nr Frodsham on Monday nights at 6.30pm to do a roughly half hour session of speed work with Joe and Mario. Head torches optional but can be useful! First session will start October 22nd.

UKA British Hill & Fell Relays Sunday 14th October 2012

I’ll start with what is now a regular and popular occurrence in the Helsby calendar, the British Fell Relays, sporting such athletes as the World Orienteering Champion and most recent UK, British and English Fell Running Champions, who all knew they were in good company once they saw the Helsby hoodies turn-up.

Similar to the event last year at Kettlewell, the nearly one thousand fell runners were treated to a gorgeous day of blue sky and fantastic scenery, a day that could almost have been part of our missing summer if it wasn’t for the welcoming frost and autumnal colours once reaching the destination early doors.

The relays were organised by Mercia with all four legs starting and finishing in Church Stretton and utilising the beautiful and rugged and hilly terrain of the Shropshire hills. As far as I could tell things ran smoothly and everyone appeared to be enjoying the atmosphere and day, possibly either before or after their respective runs I should add, with the start and finish side-by-side giving all runners a chance to cheer on their comrades in arms at each leg handover.

Many thanks go to Phil for organising and sorting the teams, arriving early to register and then to put up the Helsby gazebo in a prime location, close to tea and cake.

If anyone is interested in the four different legs and maps of the route then please look on the Mercia fell runner’s website here


An earlier event in our fell calendar ‘Callow’ was a tough introduction but gave a good indication of what shoes to wear for the terrain and what the actual running would be like. A great way of seeing the area would be looking at the many photos already up on various websites including Alistair Tye’s here.


More photos will follow from various websites so please keep checking back on the blog to stay updated as I’ll add them when I get to hear about them.

Helsby had two teams out from the 151 teams that finished and quite possibly Helsby’ s best results yet, especially for the ladies.


Jayne and Dave Feakes took the pressure leg, leg 1 where all the anticipation and excitement and energy is concentrated in the colourful array of club vests in the starter pen. A vocal crowd cheered the runners as they screeched past burning some good fell tread in the short road section early on before the real endeavour of hills took place. Jayne had a storming run for an 11th lady overall (against some serious competition) and Dave ran well on legs that were less than seven days after a marathon. We nurture some tough cookies at Helsby it seems.

Jimmy and Adair had their work cut-out to try and catch Vanessa and Lesley who were enjoying the run of their lives getting to checkpoint 2 and almost 45 minutes into their run before pleasantries were able to be exchanged. It felt like leg 2 was tough, with a middle section leading everyone into a false sense of security before the final climbs, with hands on knees and sterling support from Joe and Mario forcing out the last of our commitment to hand over to the great team of Phil and Steve for the thinking man’s leg, the navigation. Vanessa and Lesley still smiling all the way in were able to hand over to Jane and Janet to embark on some hills with added route choice. Even with flags I don’t know where I’m going so well done to the two navigation teams whose times surely show some sublime ‘orienteering’ skills.

Andy and Nesta were on the anchor leg, I believe leg 1 in reverse, and after waiting round and supporting everyone else taking photos and eating fantastic homemade flapjacks both securing great times to put the two teams not too far apart.

The results link above will show individual splits and times so peruse to your heart’s content but the final team standings were

Helsby men achieving a 102nd place in accumulative time of 5.05.56 and Helsby ladies toe to toe nearly all the way with 123rd and 5.32.08.

Hopefully we can continue our good progress next year in October when the 2013 relays will be announced.

Some photos of Leg 1 have appeared on the cliclic website as below


but if you like 3D action why not check out the Youtube videos available for each leg

Leg 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjI114Wi_Uk

Leg 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvzunM2kJJM

Leg 3 http://youtu.be/RON8kCdxx-g

Leg 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XidHByJ4-Y8

Interesting reports from the day for those at the sharp end



Liverpool Marathon Sunday October 14th 2012

I don’t need to write much about this marathon as Ivan has written a fantastic race report below. Ivan led the green vest home. Full results can be found at the following link but I’ve extracted out Helsby runners. Well done for all your runs and excellent work by Tom DeJong in his first marathon and all runners were easily in the top half of the field.


308th Ivan Davies 3.28.05
637th Colin Thompson 3.44.37
1944th Tom DeJong 4.27.58
2215th Ivor Johnstone 4.41.31

Ivan’s race report

The Liverpool marathon and run Wirral 10k both started from Birkenhead park, with the 10k following the same route before peeling off just after New Brighton. It was extremely tempting to make that sharp left turn at 6.2 miles as it turns out the medals were identical to those doing the full marathon!

After leaving the park the runners headed off towards New Brighton and up almost as far as Hoylake before turning around and running back along the front towards Birkenhead again. Basically a half marathon on the Wirral and then another half in Liverpool itself. To coin a phrase ‘ it was definately a game of two halfs’, as the first 13m were very flat and the second half not so…The runners then crossed into Liverpool via the Queensway tunnel, which for anyone who’s ran it in the 10k event they hold, has a cruel incline halfway. The start of this uphill was almost at the 13mile point and lasted for approximately 2 miles.

From this point onwards the main thing that sticks in my mind is just how much of the second half was uphill!! We exited the tunnel to lots of cheering and huge crowds but the road was still definitely going up until about 15 miles when we headed towards Liverpool one and up a very very cruel hill past the Anglican cathedral to mile 18. The next 10k or so was all in Sefton park before at last some downhill back past the cathedral and towards the finish by the Liverpool museum.

A great race with superb support and great organisation, although I’m not sure that it’s for those after a pb. I was slightly downbeat by my time of 3.27 which put me in 313th out of about 5000 and 59th in age cat. I stayed for the presentations and was surprised to see not a single lady finished under 3 hours.

Perhaps those hills got to the elite athletes too..

Sandbach 10k

Also on Sunday was the Sandbach 10k, a multi-terrain event. The only club representative was John Thompson who had a great run for 56th place in a time of 49.25. Nice work




Just uploaded a video and some photos of the Helsby gang in action at the Fell Relays.



Rivington marathon report from Dave Madders 6th October 2012

Hi all

Please find Helsby double IronMan Dave Madders latest race report. Never one to take an easy option Dave was….

“the only Helsby member there but still donned the green vest for the Rivington fell marathon on Saturday 6th October. Described as ‘trail’ I pictured Delamere-esque terrain and thought it would be a good training run but oh Jesus it wasn’t like that at all!

Starting at Rivington nr Bolton the first 9 miles included 2 ascents of Rivington Pike and an ascent of winter hill all off road and in places in shin deep mud! …then a further ascent of Rivington Pike before it flattened out onto trails until mile 15 where I waved goodbye to the flat again and ascended Angelzark Moor before yet more trails and ridiculously muddy fields, arriving back at Rivington, Bolton after 26.2 miles.

My slowest ever marathon and undoubtedly the toughest which explains why there were so few entrants for the full marathon (only 59 on the start line and only 54 finishers) but i did the club proud finishing 39th in a time of 5.18 I’ll try better next year!!”

Fantastic effort Dave and you did the club more than proud.

Details of the Marathon here


Ironman ‘Dynamo Dave’ Madders

Helsby weekly round-up & Arenig Fawr fell counter results


Sorry for delayed results this week but I have been waiting for the Arenig Fawr Fell Race results but unfortunately they have not yet been added to the interweb so thought I’d send out what anyone wearing a green vest has been upto.

Dave and Lesley added to their recent stockpile of longer races along with Helen and over 2000 other runners at Sunday’s Chester Marathon. Great results for Helsby there so well done on completing what is often seen as a pinnacle race in a runner’s career. Good carbo food curry obviously!

Chester Marathon


781st                       Dave Feakes                        3.47.24
937th                       Helen Owens                       3.54.37
1303rd                    Lesley Feakes                      4.13.42

Photos of the event and other information here


Asics Seaside 10k at Southport

Colin and Tom headed to Southport for a 10k, which I think is the 2nd 10k there in the space of a fortnight. Well done to Colin once again in the top few per cent of the field.


42nd                         Colin Thompson  41.30
108th                             Tom De Jong      46.12

Arenig Fawr Fell

This was our penultimate fell race of the season and didn’t disappoint. Recommended by Jim O’Hara (who seems to like putting Helsby runners through their paces) it also happened to be the second to last race in the competitive Welsh Fell Runners North Wales Series so it was always going to be a battle for places.

Fantastic terrain for a fell race though,  with a steady climb on a decent track at the start leading all runners into a false sense of security as they were quickly flagged to a hillier and rougher, stony and boggy terrain, for a fell run that would test all of us to our limit.

Great seeing Joe and Mario at a couple of locations on the course and this race is  worth a recce to find some time-saving lines down from the summit. Muddy runners at the end very much welcomed the homemade soups and numerous cakes that were on offer or even a quick wash in the stream for those unable to dodge the numerous cow pats on the last run in.

Helsby ladies once again stole the show with a stunning 3rd lady overall from Jayne (not too far behind Adair and Jim at the summit it has to be said) and Jackie running strongly as ever to claim first in her category. With results like this coming from Jayne and Jackie it may well be worth them doing more events in the series next year.

Helsby runners for this counter were Adair, Jimmy, Jayne, Andy Robinson, Phil Gillard, Jackie and Andy Smith

Full results now available here http://fellrunner.org.uk/results.php?id=1737

Photo below courtesy of Alistair Tye, please see link below for other runners

Jackie at the summit of Arenig Fawr

Some info on Arenig Fawr below, hopefully a race we’ll go back too.


Race info and results at Race Organiser’s website


Once again some great photos from Alistair on his website


Please also check out the clic clic photo website


Good luck to those doing the Fell Relays this weekend or Liverpool Marathon!


10% discount at Triactive

More good news: the good folk at Triactive are offering 10% discount off regular prices to club members.

Gavin and Graham from Triactive are at Rufus Court, Chester CH1 2JW. Call 01244 313 777

Remember you can also get 10% discount at Up and Running on Bridge Street too. I know online shopping is often attractive, but it’s always nice to support real life shops too, and you can’t beat personal service with something like shoes.



Long trail series 2012

Sunday’s Sandstone Trail races marked the end of this year’s Long Trail Series races, so here’s a summary of the year’s events, and the results. I’ll soon be looking at what events to include in next year’s series, so if there are any you would like to run, just let me know. Any off-road timed event between 14 and 35 miles qualifies.

This may have been the best year in the club’s history for off-road endurance running. As far as I’m aware, nobody has ever matched Chris Baynham-Hughes’ achievement in completing the Dragon’s Back race. We also had two completions of the Bob Graham Round in the same year, again something that has never happened before. And once more we were well represented at the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, with four members competing.

The Long Trail Series itself went well again, with four of the seven events having four or more club members running, and one or two more club members starting to try out some of these longer runs. Here’s a brief event by event summary:

Wuthering Hike, 33 miles, 10 March: Only me on this one, which was a pity as it’s a great event. It’s a bit of a long drive to get there, which may have put some off.

Edale Skyline, 21 miles, 25 March: Four of us ran this Peak fellracing classic, with good weather for the third year running – too warm if anything. The main highlight was Chris Baynham-Hughes’ performance, finishing in 44th place in what is always a top class field.

Sandstone Trail Marshals’ event, 33 miles, 5 May: This didn’t happen as I was ill!

Gritstone Tryal, 15 miles, 29 July: Only Jackie and me for this one, but I think we should try to get more out next year, as it’s a great local event and it needs support. We both had a great run on the Staffordshire gritstone, and the navigation was reasonably straightforward.

Race the Train, 14 miles, 18 August: It wasn’t a normal running of this event as it didn’t rain at all. Five HRC runners competed: none of them beat the train this year, but Jane Ashbrook came closest. Dave Feakes being the only man among them picked up 20 points, with Jane being first HRC lady home yet again.

Open To Offas, 30 miles, 15 September: This was a great LDWA event, crossing the tracks of a number of the short fell races we’ve had in the Clwydian Hills. Most of the participants are walkers but there are some runners too, and the organisers would be happy to have more. We had the first three finishers, with Adair setting a new course record of 5 hours 4 minutes, and Jackie finishing joint first lady.

Sandstone Trail A Race, 17 miles, 30 September: Five of us ran this year, on a day when we were expecting rain, but in the event it stayed dry. The conditions were pretty muddy, but not nearly as bad as it could have been, given the flooding there had been only days before. A great event as always, with Adair leading the club home in 11th place overall.

Overall, Jackie and I competed in five events each, and Adair and Ian Landucci ran two each. One was enough for everyone else! Full results to follow…

Andy Robinson

Helsby weekly round-up Sept 25th to Sun 30th

Hi all

Once again another busy week for the green vest, started off with a muddy and wet final Wirral Multi-terrain event at Arrowe Park last Tuesday night. Conditions were interesting, from a rain soaked field to puddles and mud on the trails around the Park, it was going to be hard work for those without adequate footwear and with this race being a series, there was still the opportunity to gain a few places and the possibility of a trophy or two for Helsby. Many thanks to Joe braving the conditions in support too. Results on the night as follows, with eight Helsby men out and two ladies:

15th          Adair Broughton     27.28
76th          Roy Gaskill              31.47
86th          Colin Thompson      32.26
94th          Adrian Jackson        33.25
96th          Albert Berry            33.36 (2nd)
107th        Tom DeJong            34.41
129th        Geoff Shaw             36.43
141st        Chris Hatton            38.01

26th          Carol Shaw              36.23 (2nd)
45th          Janet Shaw             44.09

Well done to Albert and Carol who were both 2nd on the night.

Albert was getting better throughout each event and ended up a brilliant 3rd in his category for the four races. Carol Shaw is also showing off her blazing form gaining a 2nd place trophy for the series. Jackie was 3rd in the same category so shows how strong the Helsby ladies are at the moment. Well done to everyone taking part.

For overall results please see Steve Saunders (RO) website www.stevesaunders.co.uk or head directly to the pdf file as below


I’d recommend this series for anyone who likes trail running or with a competitive spirit for the club, but there is probably no better advert than the following link created and sent by Jackie with the photographs courtesy of Bill who has been out supporting at the races.


We can now skip to Sunday where there were in fact three races on that I know about; the Macclesfield Half and the Sandstone Trail ‘A’ Race and the ‘B’ Race. B obviously means best as this was a bit of a Helsby awards ceremony, thanks once again to the strength of Helsby Ladies. Full results of each race can be found here


Great organisation for this event and a race that is gaining in popularity with words direct from the very able race organiser “Despite the volumes of rain with a potentially wet course we saw the largest ever start for the A race of 174 participants and a record equalling 157 participants in the B race, well done everybody”

Helsby had five runners out for the ‘A’ and eight for the ‘B’.

Another tremendous by Carol who ran in 1st in her category which ensured her a quality and substantial looking trophy, not a bad week for Carol! Jayne Joy’s first attempt at the Sandstone trail and another fantastic run saw her pick up a trophy for 2nd lady and a brilliant 15th overall.

‘A’ Race Results 27.5km, 655m

11th          Adair Broughton     2.07.38
18th          Jim O’Hara              2.14.46
25th          Ian Landucci            2.19.35
65th          Andy Robinson        2.31.14
131st        Jackie Keasley         2.58.29

‘B’ Race Results 17km, 288m

15th          Jayne Joy                 1.25.11
35th          Dave Feakes            1.33.17
47th          Janet Robertson      1.37.49
54th          Carol Shaw              1.39.40
66th          Lesley Feakes          1.42.23
89th          Chris Igoe                1.46.54
98th          John Gallon             1.49.15
110th        Ian Hilditch             1.53.12

Macclesfield half saw Dave and John out for what is a tough half marathon. Great results from both too were both easily in the top half of the field with over 800 runners out in total. Full results here


238th        Dave Madders         1.43.35
384th        John Thompson       1.51.00

It’s the penultimate fell counter this Sunday, the Arenig Fawr race, nr Arenig Quarry with 6.7miles of distance and 1900ft climb, a last chance to test the legs before the upcoming British Fell Relays! Race starts 1.00pm so you can even have a lie-in. Details on the Welsh Fell Runner Website


Enjoy your curry on Wednesday night everyone or don’t forget Saturday Cross country training at Runcorn Ski Centre 9.30am, Sat 6th, Runcorn Town Park