Weekly round-up May 22nd – May 28th 2013

Hi all
Wednesday 22ndMay was the Harrock Hill race where Paul Foster represented the green vest finishing in 119th in 46.08.
Friday night saw three out for Helsby in the Dunham Massey 5k with Geoff Shaw leading the charge.
101st     Geoff Shaw                  21.58
112th     John Thompson        22.34
164th     Janet Shaw                 26.25
Saturday morning on a bright start to the day at Delamere for the 5k Park Run saw 11 Helsby members out led home by Nathan Davies in 19.43 for 9th place overall. First lady in was Laura Baynham-Hughes with a new PB! For full results please see below. Great to see so many out!
9 Nathan DAVIES 19:43 SM20-24 65.68 % M 9 Helsby RC First  Timer! 1
19 Andy ROBINSON 21:01 VM55-59 75.65 % M 18 Helsby RC First  Timer! 1
25 Adrian JACKSON 21:40 VM40-44 63.92 % M 24 Helsby RC PB stays at  00:21:28 3
30 Derek GALLAGHER 22:32 VM60-64 71.15 % M 28 Helsby RC PB stays at  00:21:49 6
36 John THOMPSON 22:51 VM40-44 60.61 % M 33 Helsby RC First  Timer! 4
43 Laura BAYNHAM-HUGHES 23:34 VW35-39 63.65 % F 5 Helsby RC New PB! 5
44 Rachel ARNOLD 23:39 VW50-54 71.74 % F 6 Helsby RC New PB! 3
45 Benjamin John WILLIAMS 23:42 SM35-39 55.63 % M 39 Helsby RC PB stays at  00:23:26 4
48 Helen TUDOR 23:58 VW45-49 68.29 % F 7 Helsby RC New PB! 5
65 Ian HILDITCH 25:38 VM70-74 70.55 % M 51 Helsby RC New PB! 7
73 David FEAKES 26:57 VM50-54 55.16 % M 56 Helsby RC PB stays at  00:21:37 6
Paul Foster was out running again at the Hutton Roof fell race in Cumbria. Please find a short race report from Paul below
“ My second race of the week was the Hutton roof fell race cumbria (7 miles,1302ft). Good little event for a nice hot spring day. The race starts in a field turns up a little road till the first small hill. Once on an even level you run along the fells for approx half the way then you drop down ready for a very slow steep scrabble up a scree run (hands and knees). Once you have recovered from feeling sick, nice but tired run back across the fells again to the finish. Maybe a little less sun for a 7 mile race would have been better But you always want to go again afterwards. My time for the Hutton Roof race 1:17:54
For full details of this race and all results see here http://www.huttonroof.org.uk/FellRace/2013/
Sunday was the Manchester 10k and I know of two out for Helsby, Roy Gaskill and Clare Miller, good results for both on what is a difficult course due to congestion!
769th                 Roy Gaskill                   42.17
4919th               Clare-Louise Miller    50.25
Weather changed a little for Sundays 2nd Fell Counter of the season but it didn’t change the enthusiasm of the Helsby Hillers who made up a good part of the field. Jayne Joy was in the prizes and was first lady home overall less than a minute off the course record and Chris Baynham-Hughes was first in for the men. No results yet for this race so I’ll send a separate report and email once available. Mick Charman has also kindly taken some photos of the day so I’ll get them on the blog shortly
Results should follow here.
Remember it’s the awards night on Friday so will be great to see many of you out for that.

The ‘hospice half’!

You may remember we had to cancel our annual Essar Four Villages half marathon in January because of the unprecedented bad weather.

The good news: we’ve been able to make substantial donations to our two main charities (Halton Haven and the Hospice of the Good Shepherd) because of the incredible generosity of our entrants, who voted overwhelmingly by 2:1 not to opt for a refund of their entry fees.

We’re on the front page of the Chester Chronicle today (23 May) about our low-key plan to salvage a bit of fun from the ashes and run between the two hospices to deliver the donations …as it happens just a little over half marathon distance. Hence the ‘Hospice Half’.

The bad news: the headline in the paper suggests it’s a re-run of the event and that hordes of runners will be invading the streets. It’s not I’m afraid — it’s just a few friends dropping off a donation and having a run into the bargain. Sorry if the paper gives the impression that this is an open event, but we need to avoid overwhelming the hospices with visitors and clogging the streets.

It’s a Helsby running club affair only …of course if you were thinking of joining the club anyway and are up for 14 mile on Sunday morning, we can probably squeeze you in and would be glad to have you along!

Lost Lake 50k nr Seattle USA

Hi all

Please find a blog on a 50k trail race near Seattle from local runner and friend of Helsby Jeff McQueen

For results and official website see here http://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=18606

Jeff McQueens Blog on Lost Lake 50k

On a surprisingly warm Saturday in May, 2013, I took part in a 50k race in the Chuckanut Mountains Part of the Cascade range)  near the town of Bellingham, 2 hours north of Seattle, WA, USA. After opening a decent goodie bag, the 7am early starters set off and an hour later the rest of us took to the trails. Up and up we went past Fragrance Lake and through the tall pines (a lot taller than those in the UK!) and over rough track. At times, all you could do was walk and push on your knees. I guess we had to get through the 8200 feet of ascent somehow. Up onto a ridge with views of snow-capped Mount Baker, made for a few photo stops. With the pace unrelenting and fellow runners not stopping for anything, we ploughed on and on and then down a very long hill to an aid station at the bottom. Friendly folk greeted us with a wry smile – they knew what lay ahead. After a quick fuel up, we set off back up the long hill. We met Johnny – the retiree who walks this hill four times a week to get to his 1 million vertical feet per year challenge. With energy levels depleted we eventually made it up to Lost Lake trail – from where the race gets its name. Eventually we saw another aid station with fun signs warning us of dangerous animals – Princess Ladybird and her sister! With a loop to go, we headed off back through the woods around Fragrance Lake again only to descend enough to get close to home. With the smell on the barbeque in our noses, we were sent back up the hills to that now not so Fragrant Lake. When you go slower than a walk – we call it a sit. But sitting did not help get one there, so on we plodded. Eventually back with the dangerous Princess Ladybird we headed off down the hill again to the welcome end. A rather decent 50k and a tad harder than the Sandstone trail held on the same day.

A great barbeque awaited us. After 5:54, I managed to come home second – having been beaten by a lad half my age, and received a great trophy – a painted rock (about 2 kgs worth – great hand luggage!). A technicality meant that a novice starting at 7 am broke the record and sanity meant that we all moved down a position. No big deal- he was a lot faster than the two of us.

The race was well organised, excellently marked, great aid stations and covered all the great rough territory this part of the world is known for. Great folk and even greater war stories about 100 milers over impossible terrain kept us all entertained until late.

A big thank you to the race directors Kevin Douglas (possible relation to the ‘hare’ of Delemare Spartans – equally invincible, and Heather Anderson – who incidentally is aiming to set the record for the Pacific Walk – all 2700 miles in 64 days!) and the Skagit running club and volunteers for a great race – that made this business trip one to remember.

Add Lost Lake 50k to your bucket list.

Jeff McQueen (West Cheshire AC)

Helsby upcoming events

Dear Helsby Runner


To give you warning, here’s is a reminder of the many events going on the last weekend of this month.  It would be great if the presentation evening and the Hospice Half are well supported.


Club Presentation Evening – Friday 31st May 7:30pm

Annual Club awards plus a send off for Andy following 10 excellent years as Club Chairman. There are plenty of awards to be given out over a large spread of runners, so please come along to collect yours in person!  There will be a BBQ and a disco too! The meat, fish, veggie burgers, bread rolls etc, will be supplied by the Club with members supplying the salads, crisps, side dishes, puddings etc. If you could please let Dave and Lesley know numbers by Monday 27th May, and what you intend to bring along so that we ensure that we have enough of everything. Families and friends welcome.


Delamere Park Run – Saturday 1st June 9am


Hollins Green 5K – Road Club Counter – Saturday 1st June 4:30pm


Hospice Run – just over a Half Marathon Distance – Sunday 2nd June 9.00am

To celebrate this year’s record Four Villages Half Marathon donations to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd and Halton Haven, we plan to run between the two!  Carol has arranged with the Hospices, the press and Essar for us to be photographed and have refreshments at each Hospice. Bill has offered to host a drinks station at the club. So all we need now is a number of Helsby runners in green to run and be photographed!  Family members are welcome to join us at either end. The more the merrier! .


Its 8m from Backford to HCSC and 6.5 m from HCSC to Halton Haven – so it’s a good half!   From Backford the safest way is firstly along the back lanes, emerging on the A road at Mickle Trafford, then the winter run to the club (the shortest way is via the Cheshire Oaks roundabout and then along the A5117 but it’s not advisable as there is no pavement and its busy). After a drinks at the club, its then onwards to Frodsham, over the rusty bridge to the roundabout at Sutton Weaver then the short distance to Halton Haven.


The plan is:-

9:00 am – meet at HCSC, lifts/drive to Hospice of the Good Shepherd

9:15 am – reception at Hospice of the Good Shepherd

9:45 am – start running, based on 9m miles

11:00 am – arrive at HCSC

12:00 am – arrive at Halton Haven for reception


Those who want a shorter run could do the 1st or 2nd leg only, or those who want an earlier run could run from the club to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd and meet us there for the presentation. Depending on numbers of runners/family members, we need to plan lifts back etc.


Here’s hoping you can may many/any of these club events!



Your new chair

Helsby weekly round-up 14th – 20th May 2013

Hi all

Once again a busy week!

Last Tuesday May 14th was the 6 mile Thurstaston Multi-terrain challenge where Jackie came in 3rd in her category for a great run.

Full results below (although they do state 14th June and not May)


72nd       Jackie Keasley              52.42

Last Wednesday saw Andy Smiths marking his new territory with a run in the short but tough Latrigg Fell Race. Please find race report below

92nd       Andy Smith                   32.27

“For my first foray into lakeland fell running as a pseudo-local, I picked the AS  category Latrigg fell race from Keswick. 3m with a 951ft climb to the top of Latrigg shouldn’t be too taxing, but with a course record set by the legendary Kenny Stuart in the early 1980’s of 16:37 (which is still a damn good time for a flat road 5k, let alone one with a big hill in the middle of it), it clearly attracts a better class of runner than me.

The start and finish area were in Fitz Park in Keswick, a venue I had last visited when taking part in the World Masters Mountain Championships back in 2005 (was there and got the teeshirt), the showers of the afternoon held off and a field of about 90 runners assembled for the start. A fast start (for some) out of the park led onto a stretch of road, then farm track crossing over the busy A66 to lead to a steep climb through woodland before breaking out onto the fellside. The views opened out, with stunning vistas away to the south down the Borrowdale and Thirlmere valleys to the hills beyond. Reaching the top of Latrigg, we turned round and headed back. The descent was steep and I quickly regretted leaving my fell shoes in Runcorn. Dropping back through the woods, it seemed to get even steeper and slipperier – trail shoes really weren’t cutting the mustard and an already poor descender lost heaps of time here. I crossed the finish line in 32:26 by my watch – my slowest ever time for a 5k, Kenny’s record looked safe for another year.

Results should be posted sometime on the Keswick AC and FRA websites.



Friday was the Christleton 5k, our 5th road counter of the season, and a really strong field was itself pulled along by a sub 14 minute run by Jonny Mellor. Colin Thompson was first in for the men in 17.36 and Vanessa was first home for the ladies in an impressive 21 minutes to be 2nd in her age category. In fact, Vanessa, Alison Meakin and Janet Shaw were all 2nd in their categories in what was a quality field all round. Well done Helsby ladies!



Colin Thompson



Edward Halliwell



Ian Landucci



Roy Gaskill



Jason Ollier



Adrian Jackson



Vanessa Griffiths



Geoff Shaw



Carol Shaw



John Thompson



Jo Farwell



Alison Meakin



Janet Shaw



Full results here


Saturday morning was the Delamere Park run with another victory for Colin Bishop, maintaining his good form and with Laura Baynham-Hughes also on a podium for her category. Five Helsby runners out with full results here


1st Colin BISHOP 17:58 VM50-54 84.14 % M 1 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:17:47 5
33rd Laura BAYNHAM-HUGHES 24:14 VW35-39 61.90 % F 3 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:23:57 4
37th Lesley FEAKES 24:37 VW45-49 66.49 % F 4 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:24:15 6
51st Ian HILDITCH 25:45 VM70-74 70.23 % M 41 Helsby RC New PB! 6
59th David FEAKES 26:15 VM50-54 56.63 % M 48 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:37 5

Saturday was the Ras y Gader, a club fell counter last year and Helsby long distance guru Andy Robinson decided to head there, well in the top half of the field too so a solid run from Andy. 188 out in total.

“...included me running the Cader Idris fell race. 76th in 2:00:16. Conditions were just about perfect, unlike when you got mud & heat last year!”
Offical website below
and some pictures of the Cader race here


and now for something completely different. Please take a look at Chris Baynham-Hughes Saturday night special, an assist at the female Paddy Buckley round record.

“At 3am on Sunday morning I set off with Karl (Son of Wayne Percival – former Helsby), Rob Woodall (Long distance fell supremo and holder of the Paddy Buckley extended tops record) and most importantly Nicky Spinks as she attempted to break the Paddy Buckley record. We started out on Leg 1; The longest of the lot from Capel Curig to Nantmor. The route starts with a stiff climb to Moel Siabod then takes in the bogs and multiple peaks to the quarry at the base of Foel Ddu near Blaenau Ffestiniog where we met Wayne for his usual incredible standard of logistical support (it was like walking into a café/ sweet shop!)

Foel Ddu is next on the way to the Moelwyns before looping back to Nantmor via Cnicht. Conditions were perfect, if not a little warm. Thankfully I managed to keep up despite going up to my thighs twice in bogs and doing mini sprints back and forth to Nicky when she needed food or water. The highlights have to be the sunrise crossing the tops towards the quarries and the view from the top of Moelwyn Bach The peace and tranquillity up there was astounding and the sights brought back memories of the Dragon’s back. I confess to being left for dead on the climb up Cnicht with only Karl just managing to keep up. I did manage to catch up well before the road though, just in time to supply a well needed gel and banana. The section was finished in roughly 5 hours and 36 minutes which was just incredible and well up on the record breaking schedule she had set herself.

Watching my phone for text updates throughout the day built the excitement as Nicky neared a sub 19 hour finish. The clock just beat her to that, but she comfortably took the record by 17 minutes, finishing in 19 hours and 2 minutes. Phenomenal.”

Was Sunday actually a day of rest?

Well done to all the performance once again, can’t wait to join you out there sometime!

Keep on running



Helsby weekly round-up 8th – 12th May 2013

Hi all

What a busy week.

Last Wednesday saw six Helsby members do the Dinas Bran fell race. I’m unable to find any results at the moment so if someone can find them please let me know. Presumably they will appear on the Dinas Bran School website shortly. Adrian has sent me a text saying that the runners were Mario, Adrian, Tom, Vanessa and Janet and Paul Foster. Hopefully more details to follow!


Saturday morning showed off the class in Helsby at the moment with two in the top three.  Colin Bishop storming first in a new PB in 17.47 was swiftly followed by Colin Thompson in 3rd in a fantastic time of 18.11 (not yet shown on the results). Some other fantastic results and PB’s on the day can be seen in the full results here


1st         Colin Bishop                             17.47
3rd         Colin Thompson                        18.11
26th       Carol Shaw                               22.35
37th       Laura Baynham-Hughes 23.57
39th       Helen Tudor                              24.02
40th       Derek Gallagher                        24.05
41st       Rachel Arnold                           24.06
47th       Alison Meakin                           25.45
50th       Jo Farwell                                 26.00

Congratulations to all who ran so well.

Saturday was the Helsby organised Sandstone Trail Challenge. Great stuff once again from Andy and all the helpers to pull off a brilliant event.

Full results already on the Helsby webpage and well done to Gareth Boyd and Steve Riley romping home for identical times of 6.06 for 36th and 37th (hope that wasn’t a sprint finish :d ) and especially to Ian Hilditch securing a new v70 record for 101st place in 8.50 and to Betty Grieve who completed the long distance challenge in 9.44 for 120th. Hope i’ve not missed anyone? Congratulations also to this year’s winner Dave Douglas.


Photos from Ben Williams for the Sandstone Trail Challenge


Also on Saturday saw Chris Baynham-Hughes do battle with another tough ultra, the Transvulcania


I’m sure Chris will update his blog about this race shortly but news straight from Chris is that he was 179th out of 1600, struggled a bit with the heat and had a drip at the end! One tough cookie.

Sunday was the Chester Half Marathon. I’ve had a couple of reports from this race and hopefully a photo of Clare, Roy and Tom will follow on the blog.

Some words from Ben “Although I didn’t get a PB it’s an awesome race now – very well organised, nice flat course (apart from the end…) and plenty of support around.”

And words from Ed “Conditions were pretty perfect for running on Sunday for the Chester Half, the foreast wind only turned out to be a light breeze. I arrived at 7:30 for 9:00 start as recommended in the race booklet and only had a five minute wait to get into the racecourse for parking, I suspect it would have been longer for those arriving later but there was also the option of Park and Ride with extra services laid on.

This was my second running of Chester Half and my first on the new course.  The race has expanded to 6,500 runners (according to the announcer) now, but didn’t feel too big at all.  The start was also on the racecourse and it was easy enough to start near the front if you wanted to.  There as a fun run for the kids which started next to the main start and at the same time, which must have been a great experience for them, and didn’t get in the way of the main race at all.

The race starts by going up to Fountains Roundabout, the along Parkgate Road for around 6 miles before turning and coming back along country lanes to Blacon/Saughall and then back up into the Town Centre for the big finish outside the Town Hall.  The course is great for a PB, as the return leg is marginally downhill and there’s only one real slope to worry about, being the run back up into Chester.  This is actually a real killer after 12.5 miles, but it helps being able to hear the finish.  I’m not sure about Mr Feakes’ idea of positioning himself on that slope with a camera – we may have to have a talk about that Dave!

Results for those listed as Helsby Running Club are below:

First Name Surname Category Category Position Gun Time Overall Position Chip Time Chip Position




































As you can see, I’ve finally nailed 1:30!  I had a perfect run on a perfect day after perfect training.  My only problem on the day was a fear I was going too fast as split after split showed I was way inside my target 6:45 pace and I tried slowing down but the clock kept telling me I was still flying.  The champagne tasted great in the afternoon!


PS – As an interesting side-note, there’s a remarkable similarity between Gun Positions and Chip Positions for us all, we must have stood in the right places at the start!”

There’s a few other names I need to add as they don’t appear as Helsby in the results. A good run from Tom De Jong after a week of two fell races saw him come home in 1.42 (something) but I’m not sure what name he was running with. Ben was 3481st in 1.56.04. Great stuff from Ed joining the sub90 club

For full results and photos of the Chester Half, check out the official website below:


Helsby at Chester Half

Some other photos of the Chester Half here http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/2013/05/13/thousands-take-part-in-the-2013-chester-half-marathon-59067-33325128/

Further afield and also on Sunday saw Jayne Joy win her first International race.  This was part of a fabulous training weekend in the Pyrenees with the talented and famous 80’s marathoner John Boyes.  Hopefully more information will follow. A link below shows some information on the training weekend but a full race report will follow in time. (Great idea to organise a future training week with mountain or trail race thrown in at the end? Lots of opportunity to bike some of the Tour de France routes too)


Many thanks to Kath Boyes for the photographs of Jayne collecting her prizes, very spoilt at a race win in France!


How many gifts?

Jayne with a wonderful array of prizes from the Tarbes 10k, France

Please note that there is a local multi-terrain at Thurstaston on the Wirral organised by Pensby on Tuesday 14th May. This is a great trail race on beach and along the Wirral Way at a distance of 10k. Start is 7.15pm at Wirral Country Park but there will also be car share from the club with a meet time of 6.15pm.

Heres’a link with more information


Once again, thanks to everyone providing me with reports, photos and results as it really helps in concatenating these emails. If i’ve missed anything let me know as I can always update the blog as needed.

Keep on running


Sandstone trail challenge

Sandstone trail challenge 2013Wow, what a day! Just a quick note to say thanks all for everyone that walked, ran, volunteered, photographed, cheered, baked and turned out. Andy Robinson and his team did a fantastic job and I’m sure you’d all join me in congratulating him on another superb event.

Loads of pictures from the day on http://www.flickr.com/photos/runhelsby

Go here for the results

Andy Robinson’s race report

Thanks to Ben for the picture

Leave a comment and let us know how your day went!

Your new executive

Congratulations Jackie on her election as Chair — the people’s choice! Andy Smith leaves big shoes to fill, and we all wish him the best of luck in his new Lakeland life (anybody else jealous?), but Jackie has always done much more for the club than she takes credit for, so the new job should be like shelling peas for her.

Other names for you:

Chairman         Jackie – proposed Phil, seconded Chris H
Secretary         Phil
Treasurer         Jo
Men’s Captain – Adair
Men’s Vice captain – Steve
Ladies’ Team Manager – Joe
Ladies’ Vice Captain – Jane A
Press Officer – Carol (+Adair)
Social secretary – Dave and Lesley
Half Marathon Director – Gareth
HCSC – Betty
Border League Co-ordinator – Adrian and Vanessa
XC Co-ordinator – Jayne J
This isn’t an exclusive group though – plenty of people help out in significant ways without official recognition. The ‘committee’ is always ready to hear from you so if you have an idea, share away!