The Robbie Webster Memorial Race – Robbie Webster’s Wobbler.
Firstly I’d like to say what an honour and a privilege it was to stage a race in memory of the great Robbie Webster. I found Robbie an inspirational and passionate runner. Sadly Robbie passed away in 2012, yet in that same year he was regularly seen in the Helsby vest running the fells; completing both Cader Idris and Moel y Gamlin in 2012 – and far from last too! On a personal note, seeing Joe Beswick back on his feet again cheering everybody on and getting to incorporate Joe’s path into the race route seemed very fitting.
93 runners toed the line to pit themselves against Frodsham hill’s many climbs and beautiful trails. Five proper climbs were incorporated in the route seeing a total of 346m of ascent in just over 8.25km. A simply incredible turn out for the race, let alone that it was a closed race!
I clearly tempted fate by suggesting that people were going to find it very difficult to go wrong… only for a small group of runners to do just that (including two that had recce’d the course). Despite this hiccup everybody still appeared to enjoy it and we learnt our lesson for next time.
A fantastic run by Dave Alexander from West Cheshire…. set the course record at 39:40 and the only sub 40 minutes on the night, staying strong to hold off Jeff McQueen (also West Cheshire) into second place and Graham McNeil from Wilmslow who was third.
On the ladies side a win by Pensby runner Lisa Grantham followed by Ali Lewis for second and Sarah Roberts for third both also for Pensby.
|V40||Adair Broughton||Vanessa Griffiths|
|V50||Colin Bishop||Karon Forster|
|V60||Martin Contviend||Anne Hewitt|
|V70||Ian Hilditch||No Eligible Runner|
Full results here Robbie_Webster’s_Wobbler_results_4-Sep-2013_v4
Interclub rivalry: A second honour was that the race was The Wobbler was the final race in the interclub Fell race series. Tattenhall, Pensby Spectrum and Helsby duelled it out again this year with Spectrum going in to the final race with an 18 point lead. In the end Helsby took the win by a 64 point margin! For me personally this was the icing on the cake – great running Helsby! Final scores for the series were:
786 – Helsby RC
722 – Spectrum Striders
588 – Pensby Runners
347 – Tattenhall Runners
The course didn’t give in easily leading to one retirement and a number of bumps and scrapes visible at the end as the light began to fade. The weather helped to showcase Frodsham hill’s splendour with a number of runners commenting on the beautiful yellow/ orange/ red shafts of light dazzling through the trees – colour depending upon runner speed!
It was great to see so many faces back at the Helsby RC clubhouse for the social afterwards. The Sandwiches, homemade quiches and cakes did an excellent disappearing act along with the odd beer or two.
I’d like to take this opportunity to once again thank the Forest Hills Hotel and health club for allowing us to use their car park and facilities, Les Hewitt for taking over registration and doing the results for the interclub champs so quickly, all the marshals without whom the race wouldn’t have taken place; all those that helped bounce ideas and tweak the final course, the cake bakers and finally I’d like to thank all the runners for taking part, I hope you all enjoyed it!
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Some great pics from our friend Mick Charman, taken from the monument:
Nick Wishart from the Spartans took these at the top of the 2nd steps (or was it the third set J). Some people feeling the climb!
To follow – Mike Hallsworth has a big batch that we’ll get up when he’s back from holiday and Richard Stradling has around 300 pics with almost everyone captured, to be uploaded to www.flickr.com/photos/runhelsby
Profits from this race have been donated to the Royal Liverpool Hospital on Robbie’s behalf.
PS – The Wobbler will return next year, but probably a little earlier in the year so we can start it a little later without racing against the light. It will also be open to all next year.