I’m guest in the chair for the weekly roundup and there is a lot to get through so hold tight!
Firstly I’d like to highlight Colin Thompson who was invited to slip into a Cheshire vest this week – fantastic achievement Colin well done (glad to see you’re taking your captaincy seriously and leading from the front).
Secondly, if I have missed anybody/ anything off please let me know and I will update the blog.
There was no Delamere Park Run this week due to Hell Runner, however the third running of the Ellesmere Port Park run saw Jim Jones testing out the course in a superb time:
It also saw a welcome return of ‘friend of the club’ Jeff McQueen to take second place.
Warrington Park run saw Alfie Grady take the the course and secure 24th in the process
Great running both of you!
The “Green Army” shout resonated from its originator at the start of the 2014 edition of Hell Runner. Yes, not content with breaking his rib there last year, veteran runner Fitzy decided to toe the line again; with the gauntlet thrown down it was Jim Higgins that picked it up so he could roll around in Delamere’s best bogs. Report from the Mighty Fitzpatrick below:
Hellrunner is 12 miles of or errrr Hell. It’s a run through Delamere which see’s you run all on trails, take on The Hills of Hell, Lucifers Lake, and the Bog of Doom, but for me it’s my favourite race of the year as it’s totally different to the runs I normally do, and the atmosphere is brilliant amongst 1800 plus competitors. I would really like to see more of the Helsby posse down there next year. A wrong turn and a twisted ankle cost me dearly but never too bothered as it puts a real big smile on my face just finishing this one, and Saturday seen myself and Jim cross the line together, after running separately for nearly all of the race, cannot wait for next year which will be my 7th!
Ben Williams was not content with the short stuff this weekend and took on the Kilburn Kanter. This is an LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association) event; runners are welcome at their events and many would argue that without them then ultra running would have a very short history. Over to Ben for his report:
I ran the Kilburn Kanter on 1st November, a 24 mile/3600 foot ascent tour around the Hambleton Hills in the North York Moors national park. It starts deceptively gently apart from one long early climb, and most of the hard work comes in the second half. The biggest climb is up to the top of Sutton Bank, and is only a couple of miles from the end.
The weather was fantastic, though the ground was still pretty boggy in many places. The views were stunning, and as with all LDWA events, the checkpoints were incredibly well stocked with goodies. The whole event was really well organised and friendly.
I recorded 5h 46 m, which was a nice surprise as my Garmin had died on the way round and I thought I had run longer.
These LDWA-organised events are tremendous value – this one had tea and toast at the start, almost unlimited drinks and snacks at checkpoints, a full meal at the end (pasta and meatballs, then apple crumble for me, but there were other choices), parking, certificate, a badge (my first since cubs!), loads of marshals and a detailed route description – all for a tenner! They’re well worth checking out on the LDWA website – look for ‘challenge events’
Fantastic work Ben, a difficult part of the world to run in, but clearly rewarding!
Arley Hall 10k
Sunday saw 10 Helsby vests toeing the line for the Arley Hall 10k… well, 9 9official Helsby vests and a “ghost runner”, but more of that later! Over to Carol Shaw for the summary of the event:
It was a fantastic morning for running and great see so many PBs achieved on the Arley Hall route, Jo Lacking finished first for the ladies and was 13th female overall, with a PB of 42.09. Jenny O’Hare and Shan McCarthy finished just one second apart with PBs of 53.18 and 53.19 respectively. Donna Geer then finished in 55.10 a whopping 2 minute PB! The PBs didn’t stop there as Alison Butler came in 55.50, Tanya Meredith followed in 55.56 and Emma Barnes, who was still struggling with a knee injury kept the PBs flowing in 58.05.
Jane’s training is obviously working wonders and it fantastic to see these results, especially as several of the runners haven’t been running that long. I hope we get similar results next Sunday at the first Borders League Race at Christleton!
For the men, Roy was first back for Helsby in 41:08 and our resident ghost runner (Dave Madders) also ran and delivered a PB of 41.46. He doesn’t appear on the results as he was running with someone else’s number. Tsk, tsk.
Thanks Carol, although you did miss out one other runner on the day, a certain Carol Shaw who came in a stunning 4th in her category in 44:26. Fab running from all concerned!
Last week saw our very own Colin Thompson received a very well deserved call up to represent Cheshire at the Abergele 5. A really fantastic achievement, not least because it wasn’t that long ago that Col was still putting away a packet of fags every day! I’ve no doubt you’ll all join me in congratulating Colin on the fruits of his hard work… but how did he do? Over to Colin for the details:
It was Friday morning when I received the phone call “Are you running the Abergele 5 on Sunday Colin?”, “Yes”, “Good, you’re in the Cheshire team!” “Oh go on then!”
The race was a representative match between Cheshire, North Wales and Staffordshire, each team consisting of 10 runners, 6 men and 4 ladies with the team scoring the most points winning the trophy. I arrived an hour before the start time and met up with Adrian Thiemicke (Cheshire team manager) and he handed me a Cheshire vest and showed me the portakabin for baggage storage. I then met the other Cheshire runners, lined up for some photos, quick warm up and before I knew it I was on the start line. The course, I’d been told, was a very undulating 5 mile route, starting from the bottom of St Georges Road, looping around the surrounding back roads and finishing in a field adjacent to the A55. The standard of runners was very high, as well being a county race it also incorporated the North Wales road champs.
My strategy was to start off tentatively and gradually build throughout the race, hilly courses aren’t my strength so I knew if I went off too quick I’d blow up too soon. The strategy seemed to work well and I felt good after the first mile so I picked up the pace and it wasn’t long before I caught the leading lady and we battled it out for most of the race, only towards the finish I managed to pull a small gap and crossed the finish line in 28.41, 3rd Cheshire runner home and 3rd in my age group – 15th overall! Both the ladies and the mens course records were smashed on the day, with various other age group records being set. All of the other Cheshire runners seemed to have a good race, 1 in the top 3, another top 10, a couple of other age cat trophies won too. Unfortunately we didn’t win the match, losing out to North Wales, but it didn’t seem to dampen anybody’s spirits, big smiles all round at the award ceremony.
It was a brilliant day and one I won’t forget. I felt very honoured to have been selected for the county, something that was a distant dream when I coughed and spluttered around my first 10k race a few years ago. Thank you to Louise for her support on the day and also my parents who made the journey over, they’ve both never been to watch me race before so it made the day that little bit more special.
Full results here: https://www.abergeleharriers.co.uk/S52k14/rptResult.html
Seriously fantastic running Colin – not the last time you’ll be pulling on the Cheshire vest I suspect!
Now for the grand finale! The Fell running (can anybody tell the editor’s bias?). 11 Helsby vests clearly in agreement that such a splendid day should be marked with a tough 15km and 3000ft beast of a race. A combination of factors had put this race onto the list of Fell club counters for a second year running – the proximity being down the list behind a fantastic course and the smallest of margins that had separated the first three Helsby vests in 2013. With Helsby newcomer and Max “hill eater” Wainwright squaring up to the heavy weight Jimmy “the machine” O’Hara would it be achingly close again?
Finally underway the lack of knowledge of the route from the front runners showed as they missed a turning up the first hill. Some interesting lines were taken on the first descent of the day (I for one deciding to go down the middle of the two lines and finding the worst possible outcome). The wind threatened to make life difficult as we approached Offa’s dyke and turned towards Moel Arthur, but it generously died down for the duration of the race. A thrilling descent was followed by an exhaustingly runnable climb that seemed to never end. The summit of Moel Famau within touching distance the route then took a perilously steep and heather covered descent before the leg destroying climb up the gully to the summit.
Helsby’s cheering squad led by my boys but fully backed up by Laura and Helen Gillard greated us at the top before the final descent back to Clicain. A tough but thoroughly rewarding route with stunning views right the way over North Wales.
What about the race I hear you cry! Well, at the crest of the first hill the race was decided as Max badly rolled his ankle – even still it would have taken a monumental effort and performance to have taken on Jimmy who stormed home in 5th place overall. Jimmy knocked something like 8 minutes of his time from the previous year and showed what a classy season he is having. Fantastic work Jim and well deserved!
Fresh from a bike accident in the week Jayne Joy still picked herself up to take 3rd lady and Rachel also picked up 3rd lady for her category – not bad considering the reluctance Rachel had to get to the start line (typical fell runner!) Jim Jones took 4th place on the day for Helsby having done the double on the weekend (is there a race Jim isn’t at?)
Full results are below showing great performances across the board. For those of you that haven’t tried the fell running I can’t recommend it highly enough – give yourself a challenge and embrace the mud. I can guarantee you won’t be last and will have a great time. All this for a bargain, as Paul Foster put it: ‘… tea,soup,bread and a mince pie at the end all for £6’ couldn’t have said it better myself! Fancy giving it a go? Then why not join in the Dave Staffs Memorial race Sunday 30th Nov – Just over 5 miles and 1200 ft.
||David Peter Feakes
Yes it’s that time again, the border league starts this Sunday in Christleton. Full details here: http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/9-nov-west-cheshire/
These are FREE and we’ve been close to promotion so every runner toeing the line is important. They are great fun and highly recommended.
For the rest of the races check out:
Next Fell Counter: Penmaenmawr Fell race (16.1km / 10m, 594m / 1949ft) (Sat – 22nd Nov)
Next Road Counter: Conwy Half (Sun – 23rd Nov)
Next XC Counter: Sefton Park (Sat – 29th Nov) and Arrowe Park (Sun – 30th Nov) FREE
Friday 7th at the Club there will be the annual Helsby fireworks display. Entry is a bargain at just £3 for adults and £2 for children. There will be fairground rides and refreshments available and Chris Fitzpatrick will be there, but don’t let that put you off! Fireworks start at 7:30 pm.