Peter Douglas Photographer

Helsby Running Club would like to express their sadness and condolences at the recent loss of Fell Running Photographer Pete Douglas

Looking at Pete’s website he photographed and video’d the Tryfyn downhill dash just this Saturday.

He dedicated a lot of his time to fell running, in all conditions too, to allow us gurning fell runners to enjoy the races afterwards, capturing the moments of suffering and delight, always with a friendly smile and a chat to all who knew him.

It is a sad and big loss for the fell community.

…and you never know, maybe there is some great scenery out there for him now.

For those that knew Pete and for those not yet on the fells hopefully part of his legacy can inspire some others to get out there and enjoy the compelling countryside that spoils us nearby

All at Helsby will miss him

Helsby weekly round-up August Bank Holiday weekend 2013

Hi all

Last Wednesday was the Capenhurst 5k organised by Ellesmere Port Running Club.

Full results available here

Helsby positions and times as follows

29th              Colin Bishop          17.22 (2nd in age cat)
32nd              Colin Thompson     17.31
83rd              Roy Gaskill            19.34
99th              Tom DeJong          20.10
129th             Adrian Jackson      21.00
155th             Joanne Lacking      21.53
176th             Helen Owens          22.34
180th             John Thompson     22.48


Great turnout for Helsby at the Delamere Park Run on Saturday with 16 green vests on display and two new PB’s! Colin Bishop was first in under the 18 minutes in 2nd place in 17.56 swiftly followed by Colin Thompson for 4th. Laura was first lady home for 44th overall in 23.29. Well done to all.  


2 Colin BISHOP 17:56 VM50-54 84.29 % M 2 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:17:47 11  
4 Colin THOMPSON 18:09 SM30-34 72.27 % M 4 Helsby RC New PB! 25  
11 Roy GASKILL 19:52 VM45-49 73.07 % M 11 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:19:37 10  
25 Phil GILLARD 22:00 VM50-54 68.11 % M 25 Helsby RC First Timer! 1  
38 Mike SEARLE 22:59 VM50-54 64.18 % M 37 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:47 4  
44 Laura BAYNHAM-HUGHES 23:29 VW35-39 63.88 % F 4 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:53 9  
47 David MADDERS 23:34 VM40-44 57.92 % M 42 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:23:15 3  
52 David FEAKES 23:46 VM50-54 62.55 % M 46 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:37 10  
69 Lesley FEAKES 25:27 VW45-49 64.31 % F 8 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:24:15 11  
72 Jo FARWELL 25:42 VW40-44 60.77 % F 10 Helsby RC New PB! 7  
77 Ian HILDITCH 25:48 VM70-74 70.09 % M 67 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:25:32 12  
78 Michael FARWELL 25:54 VM45-49 56.05 % M 68 Helsby RC First Timer! 1  
82 Louise MCEVELEY 26:09 VW45-49 61.95 % F 14 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:24:35 5  
83 Alison MEAKIN 26:11 VW55-59 72.06 % F 15 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:25:34 10  
89 Betty GRIEVE 26:41 VW50-54 65.27 % F 19 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:26:14 2  
136 Helen GILLARD 33:44 VW50-54 49.70 % F 47 Helsby RC First Timer! 1

Full results can be found here

Sunday was the Fleetwood Half Marathon which Ivan Davies and Dave Madders ran.

Full results can be found here

123rd                 Ivan Davies                   98.32
203rd                 Dave Madders              1.47.13

Cilcain on Bank Holiday Monday, a race from Cilcain to the Jubilee Tower on Moel Famau and back was our 9th Fell Counter of the season and it was great to see eleven Helsby runners out including Colin Bishop for his first foray into the hills! Great run by Jayne once again to be 2nd lady overall. Over 200 runners out.

A lovely warm day (very different to last year!) meant a record turnout for the race and show which meant a course filled with spectators and support. Thanks to Jane, Laura, Vanessa and Mario.

Well done also to Dave Madders who biked to and from Cilcain, as well as doing the race! Kudos.

Well done also to Patrick Stradling who won the Julie Tillis trophy.

Helsby positions and places as follows

13th                   Adair Broughton                        37.13
18th                   Colin Bishop                             38.03
22nd                   Jayne Joy                                 38.38 (2nd lady overall)
24th                   Chris Baynham-Hughes           38.51
93rd                   Tom DeJong                             46.19
116th                 Paul Foster                               48.42
124th                 Rachel Arnold                           49.18
128th                 Andy Smith                               49.44
154th                 Chris Hatton                              52.59
184th                 Jon Hardman                            59.49
191st                 Dave Madders                          61.06


Photos are available from Alistair Tye’s website

Full results are on the Cilcain show website as below

or on the Welsh Fell Runners website


Robbie Webster Wobbler recce, race and route


We will be running out on Tuesday 27th  starting at 6:30pm sharp, anybody wishing to recce the route is welcome to join us. Meeting point is the start line; i.e., the junction of Bellemonte Rd and Hillfield – just up from the Ring o’Bells. (There will be someone at Forest Hills at 6.30pm to guide you to race start if you park there)


Wednesday 4th September @ 6.45, parking at Forest Hills, Frodsham,  registration from 6pm


  • Race entry = £5. This not only gets competitors entry into the race, but it also includes food back at the Helsby Community social club too where the prize giving will be… and yes, there will be cake.
  • Anybody Marshalling will get a free buffet afterwards back at the Helsby club
  • We’ll ask for £3 per head for anybody wishing to have food who haven’t marshalled or raced – it’ll depend upon numbers and what we’ve catered though as to whether there is any left J
  • The event is not for profit and all the race fees will go to the catering, prizes or a charity on Robbie’s behalf.



The route is:

  • Start at the Junction of Hillfield and Bellemonte Road – near Ring o’bells entrance to Middle walk
  • Into Frodsham woods and straight up the stairs on the left towards the monument – Don’t turn back on the switchbacks, but keep going straight, this takes you underneath the monument. Keep going until you re-join the sandstone trail then cut back 270 degrees left and up to the monument (approaching with Forrest Hills on your right)
  • Around the back of the monument then straight back down as if returning to the start -follow the more gentle switchbacks down to middle walk. Turn Left onto middle walk
  • Run along middle walk until you come to the main wooden stairs on the left. Up until you regain the sandstone trail (i.e., don’t do the last 10-20 stairs which take you alongside the golf course)
  • Turn Right and follow Sandstone trail (SST) until you come to the first kissing gate onto the open grassy Woodhouse hill (with Joes walk and the Iron Age forts on it) Go through the gate and when you come to the T-junction (10 yards from gate) turn left
  • Take the next right up to the Iron Age forts. Turn right
  • Follow path through low wall gap and on to kissing gate in the top corner of the field 20 yards before the kissing gate take the left turn onto Joe’s walk (in the 9 o’clock position as you approach from 7 o’clock)
  • Follow the lovely single track path, keeping to the edge; i.e., don’t take any left turns. Follow this down the hill until out of the trees and turn right to head straight down to the double gate and kissing gate which return you to the SST
  • Through the kissing gate and back onto the SST, turn right and continue on SST
  • Turn left up the wooden stairs and right to the top, follow the top path around, past the bench (with view point on left) until regain the main track, turn left and head back to SST
  • Follow SST all way to war memorial


I’ve assumed you know the Sandstone trail, if not, follow the yellow foot markers (not the yellow arrows) The only exception to this is at the top of the metal “fire escape” style ladder on the way back, as you follow the path you come to a tall rusted metal post, turn left, along the way you came rather than out onto the golf course.

Helsby summer club handicap 2013

Hi all
Many thanks to Phil for organising the handicap and I believe it was a great night for all involved. Thanks should also go to Lesley and Dave for organising the BBQ and to all marshalls who gave up their time on the night allowing the many runners to enjoy the hill.
Results are now in
Special congratulations to Tom DeJong securing first place and getting his name on the trophy. Not sure what the course record is but Jim O’Hara is surely close with his fastest time on the night.
Well done all
Finish Time Actual Time
Position Name Minutes Secs Minutes Secs
1 Tom de Jong 25 31   20 31
2 Mike Searle 26 20   23 20
3 Steve Riley 26 50   21 5
4 Tim Igoe 26 53   21 8
5 Adrian Jackson 26 59   21 59
6 Chris Hatton 27 3   25 3
7 Clive Tyrie 27 8   22 8
8 Jenny Illedge 27 16   20 16
9 Louise McEvely 27 18   26 48
10 Rachel Adams 27 20   21 20
11 Roy Gaskill 27 21   20 21
12 Ian Hillditch 27 22   25 52
13 Victoria Lowe 27 23   27 23
14 Paul Foster 27 28   22 28
15 Emily Smith 27 45   26 45
16 Joanne 27 50   23 35
17 Ben Williams 27 53   23 53
18 Jim O’Hara 27 54   18 24
19 Jackie Keasley 28 8   26 8
20 Colin Thompson 28 9   18 51
21 Stephen Wiggins 28 14   23 14
22 Vanessa Griffiths 28 28   23 28
23 Elizabeth Thomas 28 33   27 33
24 Chris Igoe 28 33   26 3
25 James Jones 28 38   23 23
26 John Hardman 29 7   27 53
27 Donna Geer 29 45   29 45
28 Carol Shaw 30 9   26 9
29 Hannah Goddard 30 15   30 15
30 Betty Grieve 30 26   28 4
31 Clare Miller 30 53   27 23
32 Andt Robinson 31 23   25 23
33 Clive W 32 0   26 0
34 ColinBishop 32 26   20 54

Helsby weekly round-up 17th – 20th August 2013

Hi all

Firstly and from all of us at Helsby let’s wish Joe good luck and a speedy recovery in his upcoming operation. We’ll see you soon Joe!

Mario will be taking the Monday night sessions while Joe is in recovery but there will be no session this coming Monday due to it being a bank holiday. Normal service resumes Monday 2nd September.

September will be a busy month for those wanting to race. We have the Robbie Webster Wobbler Inter-Club Race on the 4th September so it will be great to have a good turn-out for that race and give us a good chance of winning the Inter-club series this year but each Tuesday of September also brings us the Wirral Multi-Terrain series of races which are also team as well as individual events. They are worth having a look at and have always been popular with Helsby runners.

More details here:

So what have Helsby members been upto?

This weeks round-up starts off with a brilliant performance last Sunday 11th August by Jo Farwell in the Whitchurch Olympic Triathlon. Congratulations to Jo and please read her race report below:

“On Sunday 11th Aug, almost 5 years to the day since my last triathlon, I completed the Whitchurch Olympic Triathlon. The Weather seemed perfect when leaving home, but the wind had started to pick up by the time I was racking my bike. The race started at 9am in Dearnford Lake which was beautifully warm at 19.5C. However, with 180 bodies fighting for open water there was lots of argy-bargy with plenty kicking, punching and elbowing! Even by lap 4 when the field had spread out, the course was that short that there was still a lot of scrapping going on.

Onto the bike, and a totally uninspiring course of 4 laps along the A41 / A49 bypass….not quite the ‘cycle around the country lanes’ I was expecting. The numerous roundabouts, the fact that the roads were open to traffic and with the wind made this a terrible bike course. And then finally the run, again 4 laps, this time around the lake so a little more picturesque. However, running on uneven grass doesn’t make for the fastest course, but all the supporters around were very encouraging.

I finished with a time of 3.04.34, a little slower than I’d have liked but I knocked 1.40 off my swim and over 2 minutes off my run, but need to work on my bike as I lost over 4 minutes.

However, I came 2nd in my age category and 9th overall….so gotta be happy with that!

Looking now for my next one!”

Swim 34.20
T1 3.58
Bike 1.26.13
T2 1.26
Run 58.37

Saturday morning 17th August was the 24th Delamere Park run with quite a few Helsby greens in attendance and three Delamere PB’s from Colin Thompson, Jo Farwell and Hugh Barnes. Colin Thompson was also 3rd home overall showing what a good and consistent season he is having. Well done also to Lesley being first Helsby lady home.

Full results here

and Helsby runners positions and times below.

3 Colin THOMPSON 18:29 SM30-34 70.96 % M 3 Helsby RC New PB! 24  
32 Adrian JACKSON 22:13 VM40-44 62.34 % M 31 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:28 4  
36 Stephen WIGGINS 22:35 SM20-24 57.71 % M 34 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:14 6  
45 Benjamin John WILLIAMS 23:07 SM35-39 57.39 % M 41 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:44 11  
50 David FEAKES 23:23 VM50-54 63.58 % M 45 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:37 9  
74 Lesley FEAKES 25:05 VW45-49 65.25 % F 11 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:24:15 10  
78 Jo FARWELL 25:52 VW40-44 60.37 % F 13 Helsby RC New PB! 6  
79 Ian HILDITCH 25:55 VM70-74 69.77 % M 66 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:25:32 11  
84 Louise MCEVELEY 26:13 VW45-49 61.79 % F 18 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:24:35 4  
85 Betty GRIEVE 26:14 VW50-54 66.39 % F 19 Helsby RC First Timer! 1  
91 Hugh BARNES 26:46 JM15-19 51.99 % M 70 Helsby RC New PB! 2

But I should also report on probably the furthest Park Run I’ll have to write-up…The Sydney Park Run and please find attached a race report from Lesley

“David and I have been in Australia for a couple of weeks and managed to complete a Park Run whilst in Sydney last Saturday. The run is held in Sydney Park about 4 miles south of the city centre. Course is mainly tarmacked and includes 2 laps of the park with some small inclines. We were made to feel very welcome and there were several other tourists running including a man who had won a flight to Sydney through Park Run to run Sydney Park Run! I think the field was slightly weakened due to a big run taking place in the city on the Sunday, 85,000 ran the City to Surf run to Bondhi Beach. I wished we’d known as we could have squeezed this in before flying home!

Results as follows:

27th      David Feakes             22.19
th      Lesley Feakes             24.04 (5th female)

Closer to home but still a fair distance away, also on Saturday was our 8th Fell counter of the season and definitely the toughest race in the calendar to date. Five Helsby members made the substantial journey to the Nant-y-Moch reservoir and were welcomed by support from Joe and Mario on what was not just a club counter but a race in the Open Welsh Series and in the North Wales Series. There are two race reports on the WFRA website below so I’ll not reiterate about the weather conditions but very wet and very windy should suffice, ideal racing conditions then. Good runs were had by all Helsby runners but at least two of them ran a couple of km more than required (Adair and Chris) but with other runners also going wrong in places there couldn’t be too much complaining overall. It would, however, be interesting knowing what times could be achieved if the optimum route was chosen….Jayne Joy was a brill 3rd lady overall which helps cement her position in the North Wales series. Maybe in another few years once the tussock memories have faded a little we’ll head back there…

9th        Adair Broughton                      2.32.43
th      Chris Baynham-Hughes         2.32.58
38th      Jayne Joy                               2.50.09 (3rd lady overall)
      Andy Robinson                       3.06.05
st      Jackie Keasley                       4.00.56

Full Results and race reports available from the Welsh Fell Runners Website here

Photos from Alistair Tye here

Sunday was the local Birchwood 10k and full results are already available on the Spectrum website here and looks like we have another great runner in the club in Chris Fitzpatrick.

47th                  Chris Fitzpatrick          37.53
                Ed Halliwell                 41.43
th                Geoff Shaw                45.42
563rd                Janet Shaw                 56.52 (3rd in age category)

Also some distance away and a popular race for Helsby runners over the last few years was Saturday’s Race the Train near Tywyn. The 30th year of the event and Helsby had a race the train winner in Degsy Morris.

The Rotary Challenge train time 1h 48m 07s

147th                Degsy Morris              1.45.18
th                Nesta Hawker             2.23.54

Hope I’ve not missed any events, if so let me know as I’ll always keep the blog updated if I can.

As always, keep on running


Helsby weekly round-up 7th-14th August 2013

Hi all
Wednesday 7th August was the 5 mile Pie and Peas, a now traditional run for the club and this year was incorporated into the Cheshire GP series so a strong field was expected. Eighteen runners out for Helsby so our biggest road turnout of the year for the counters. Well done to Janet Shaw as the sole Helsby prize winner on the night!
17th Colin Thompson 29.37
st Adair Broughton 29.59
57th Roy Gaskill 32.46
th Jayne Joy 32.56
th Gareth Boyd 33.18
rd Tom DeJong 36.24
th Paul Porter 36.59
th Adrian Jackson 37.14
nd Geoff Shaw 37.20
th John Thompson 39.02
180th Carol Shaw 39.08
st Ben Williams 39.40
th Graham Lloyd 41.36
th Jackie Keasley 42.07
st Ian Hilditch 42.28
th Michael McShane 44.56
nd Alison Meakin 43.22
Janet Shaw 46.51 (Age category winner)
Photos and full results are available here
Also on Wednesday night was the Ponderosa fell race where five Helsby vests were out to tackle the short but tough course with Jim O’Hara first in for the men and Nesta Hawker running superbly for a category win.
Full results available on the Welsh Fell Runner website
19th Jim O’Hara 29.55
th Paul Foster 36.35
th Chris Hatton 41.45
th Nesta Hawker 45.10
th Jon Hardman 45.26

Saturday morning was the Delamere Park Run with five PB’s from the seven Helsby runners. Great work everyone. Colin first in for the men and Vanessa for the women.


84.69 %
PB stays at 00:17:47
74.00 %
New PB!
75.02 %
New PB!
58.62 %
New PB!
75.86 %
New PB!
57.81 %
PB stays at 00:22:44
73.79 %
New PB!
Full results for the Park Run here
Andy Robinson ran the Long Tour of Bradwell on Saturday, a 33 mile race in the Peak District with substantial climbing. Andy came in 35th from 85 and was 4th MV50 and was over an hour faster than when he last ran it three years ago!
Results here
Sunday was the Great Warford 10 Miler, a Cheshire Grand Prix counter and a Helsby road counter. Three in attendance for Helsby
36th Colin Thompson 1.00.41
121st Gareth Boyd 1.10.26
204th Tom De Jong 1.16.32 (to be verified)
Full results here

Sunday saw a top ten finish for Jim O ‘Hara at the Gladstone 9 finishing in a superb 1.23.44 and awarded 2
ndplace in his age category. Phil Gillard also showed he is getting back to form with 40th position in 1.44.37.
7th Jim O’Hara 1.23.44
th Phil Gillard 1.44.37
And full results available on the Welsh Fell Runners website
Jayne, Karl Steinegger (Ambleside and Spectrum) and Adair ran a recce of Nant-y-Moch, on Sunday which, as an honest appraisal, will probably be one of the hardest fell races to do! It’s a 20km race with 4000ft climb but much of the course is tussocky with minimal path or trails. Knowledge and use of a map and compass is also essential. The recce took 4 hours 45 minutes which included stops to read the map and a couple of errors in route choice but shows that the race organiser’s interpretation that the average runner will be out for about 3 hours is probably quite accurate.
Details on the race (next Saturday) can be found here
Enjoy the handicap on Wednesday for those that are running or helping
Keep up the good training everyone, it’s obviously paying off

Helsby weekly round-up August 1st to August 6th 2013

Hi all

Unfortunately some sad news passed on to me from Paul Aird. Paul informed me that Chris Davies, who ran for Deestriders & Buckley was killed in a motorbike accident on Sunday…………..please pass the information onto any person you can think of who knew him.

Our thoughts and condolences from Helsby running club are with his family.

I’m still waiting for a couple of results this week but not sure when they will appear so I will send the round-up out anyway and update the blog as necessary so keep having a look!

Chris Fitpatrick ran in the Sale Sizzler 5k on Thursday 1st August. Race report from Chris below

“I did the 5k Sales Sizzler last night, I prefer the longer stuff but sprints at the track has helped me massively with my shorter races, I managed 18m  40secs, 68th out of 400 in a very competitive field, 1st, 2nd and 3rd finished in 14m 31, 32 and 33!!!!”

For full results see  this link

Thursday night was also race 3 in the Deestriders Multi-Terrain off –road Grand Prix. Thanks to Jane and Sharon for support.

Out running for Helsby were Colin Bishop, Adair Broughton and Jim O’Hara. (No official results yet for Race 3). There is one race left to go in this series which will be on Friday 6th September at the earlier time of 7.00pm

Saturday morning was the Delamere ParkRun 5k, with results below and four Helsby runners out led by Colin Bishop in 2nd overall with first lady home Carol Shaw.

2 Colin BISHOP 18:07 VM50-54 83.44 % M 2 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:17:47 9  
36 Stephen WIGGINS 22:56 SM20-24 56.83 % M 31 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:39 4  
45 Carol SHAW 23:35 VW50-54 71.94 % F 7 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:24 11  
153 Jane ASHBROOK 40:05 VW35-39 37.55 % F 64 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:53 11

Saturday also saw the Merseyvend 5k where three Helsby runners competed, and first in with a sub 18 minute run was Colin Thompson, obviously hitting some good form as well as Roy now easily under the 20 minute mark.

11th      Colin Thompson          17.46
     Roy Gaskill                 19.25
st      Tom DeJong               21.45

Link to full results below:

Teggs Nose was also on Saturday and was our 7th club fell counter of the season and Race 2 of our Inter-Club fell competition with Spectrum, Tattenhall and Pensby. With only 6 points separating us from Spectrum it was disappointing to see such a low turn-out for us on the day, with 10 Helsby runners making the journey to Macclesfield. Unfortunately the low turn-out now means we probably can’t win the inter-club fell series this year. But looks like I was wrong as we had some big point scorers on the day to help us out. After two races…….we are still in it! 24 points separates…..

grand Points 2 point # #
total sub-total bonus men ladies
224 Sp 210 14 14 1
206 H 204   2   8   3
204 P 194 10 11 4
60 TH 60 0 2 1
Standings after Race Race
first 2 races #2 #1
488 Sp 224 264
464 H 206 258
399 P 204 195
227 TH 60 167

However, there was some Joy to be taken out of the day to see such a magnificent performance from Jayne, who had come back from cycling across Mongolia injured and with no good running for a month storm to victory to win the ladies race and pick up a nice trophy in the process.

Many thanks have to go to Joe and Chris Baynham-Hughes and Freddie who were all out on course providing us with great support and incentive along the way.

Runners out on the day (and in no particular order were Jayne Joy, Adair Broughton, Jim O’Hara, Steve Riley, Jim Jones (2nd claim), Paul Porter, Paul Foster, Laura Baynham-Hughes, Janet Robertson, Andy Smith and Chris Hall. Many thanks to all taking part.










75th JIM JONES (2ND claim)














Full results for Teggs and for other information on the race please keep checking here

Link to latest Inter-club fell series results should appear here

Keep on running



Cycling across Mongolia by Jayne Joy (July 2013)

Mountain bike across Mongolia … sure… how tough can it really be???

Sooo, in my naivety initial thoughts about biking this unique part of the world were, I’m surely run fit, biking will be no problem!

After minimal contemplation I booked with a company called bike asia (who i would highly recommend-they do various bike tours around China and numerous other places. Check out there website if you get chance )…. and after minimal training (I’ve since discovered 20 miles along Wirral way doesn’t really cut it), off i globe trotted to the Asian continent.

The first few days of the trip we were eased into Mongolia living by spending a few days in the capital Ulaan Baatar, experiencing the Naadam Festival – Mongolia’s National Games. This was followed by a 2 day drive out into the vast Mongolian planes to Bayanhongor where our 485km biking journey through the Arkhangai mountain ranges would begin.

Essentially the cycling part of the trip was spread over 9 days. The terrain was like nothing I could have prepared for. In our entire journey the only paved track we rode was 4k worth. Throughout our trip we were completely isolated  riding through absolutely beautiful mountainous terrain. We left civilisation behind, partaking in nomadic living and meeting the charming, affable Mongolian people dotted about the vast Mongolian countryside.

It would be too difficult to relay in words just how amazing this trip was (sincerely) So figured id have a shot at a touch of reflective summary on what the trip involved, and try to refrain from banging on too much!

Our journey commenced at Shargaljuut Valley, the top of which allowed for truly breathtaking views. On to riding through Tuy River Valley which essentially involved tackling ridiculously rocky riverbeds and endless river crossings. This part of the trip I found to be incredibly challenging; both mentally and psychologically. The weather generally stuck to driving rain storms, wind and sub 0 temperatures. I fell off the bike countless times; my legs were battered and bruised and my leg strength for biking (or lack there of) became increasingly apparent. We were constantly drenched right through and after river crossing number 30 I lost count….i even almost got swept away during one crossing – thank god for lanky frame which left me able to find the floor after a rather scary underwater trip down stream! I confess I just wanted to call it a day and curl up in the support truck but my dam stubbornness wouldn’t let me and I dug in best I could.

Our route then led us to Bulgan and Tamir Valley leaving the river rocks and beds behind – for a while atleast… but onto epic hill climbs instead. I think we reached altitude of 2900 at one point! We dropped down to the outskirts of Tsetserleg which meant we would have the opportuninty to visit the Aimag (provincial) Museum in the temple Zayayn Gegeenii Sum. And pick up some essentials (tiger beer will heal my damaged limbs?!). Onward to Tsagaan allowed a descent towards Orkhon Water Falls and a welcomed swim…a welcomed sight if only for a cheeky way to bag a full body wash!!

The final days saw us follow the Orkhon River all the way to Kharkhorin, the ancient capital at the time of the Mongolian Empire. Think we all found ourselves on a high for the last day that we got to Kharkhorin at record pace which allowed us time to visit the Erdene Zuu Khiid, the first Buddhist monastery in Mongolia dating from 1586.

Sadly my knee gave in towards the end of our biking adventure after pushing my self too hard.  I discovered I am not a comfortable quitter and was extremely frustrated to have to sit out for part of our adventure – the fact I struggled to even walk kind of left me with little option! On hindsight I know it was a wise decision to stop when I did, there are too many fell races I hope to run in the future to give it all up for a days biking. Fortunately some rest allowed me to get back in the saddle and finish the final leg of our journey and experience the sense of achievement and satisfaction that came with this.

I found Mongolia to be a vast and picturesque country. Mongolian people (certainly the nomadic population) were incredibly friendly and welcomed us into their homes offering food and drink without question. Mongolia is quite unlike anywhere I have ever visited before. I feel incredibly privileged to have experienced all that I have over the last few weeks and guess I wanted to bestow my findings on this little bit of the world with you all. If anyone is up for a spot of cross training I reckon this is the perfect place to go do it.

Locals! Camping River Crossing The Bikes The Team and Crew Majestic Sunrise