Helsby Race News 2-8th Feb 2015

Welcome to this week’s racing news. We have fells, cross country and Park run updates. Please remember to send all race reports to


If you are in a race then a brief report will be fantastic, if there are other people from Helsby there then please decide amongst yourselves as to who will submit a report.

On with the news!

Fell Running 

Wadsworth Trog
The relentless Jim Jones has been at it again, here’s his report: The 19.5 miles I did possibly a little bit more than I should have done due to a navigational error between checkpoints 11 and 12 on the featureless Wadsworth Moor (I should have trusted my compass bearing instead of following the handful of runners in front who also went wrong!)

Weather conditions were good. It stayed dry and hill fog that had threatened to descend only appeared for a couple of miles. The good visibility was in contrast to the conditions on the ground. The recent rise in temperature made for varied running conditions as we ascended and descended along the course. Ankle deep snow in a few places but mostly wet muddy and treacherous in places with thick ice – the grazes on my knees and elbows being testament to this.

An enjoyable but tough course, particularly the climb on the last mile and what turned out to be a sprint finish around the cricket pitch as someone tried to pip me at the post.

71st – 3:33:00 – that’s a fair old distance there Jim!

Long Mynd Valleys Race
Phil Gillard and Jimmy O’Hara took to the long and mynding road! 7 miles of glorious sunshine, crunching through the snow, followed by 4.5 miles of gradients that only the Shropshire hills can provide.

Clearly a stacked field with Jimmy coming in 75th (34th in Cat) – 2h22:58 and Phil Gillard taking 17th in his age category 118th overall in 2:37:48 Excellent work chaps!

Whilst staying with friends in Settle Harriers, I was persuaded to do one of Helm Hill’s Kendal Winter League races, Fairmile, on Sunday 9th – their website describes it as:

“This race is a real beauty and a personal favourite. A classic horseshoe on the edge of the Howgills it’s around 2.5miles long with 1400′ of climbing. From the start the race climbs steadily through the bracken with the incline increasing gradually towards the first summit. First timers might get caught out by thinking that they’ve done all the climbing at this point (I did!), but the race route drops down into a col before climbing steeply up to cairn at the second summit. At this point you swing round to the west, take a deep breath and throw yourself into the long descent. If the ground is hard you’ll feel this in your legs in the morning. There’s a tricky little river crossing to negotiate at the bottom, followed by a flat run into the finish. Once you’ve done Fairmile you can start calling yourself a proper fell runner.”

As they say, it is a proper fell race. Most of the first mile is uphill at 1 in 4….and the average uphill gradient was 1 in 5 The weather at the bottom was thick mist/cloud but up on the summits, it was glorious sunshine. I finished in 39:31 – 81st of 108 and about 14 minutes behind the winner – see here for results 

If anyone is in the area, I would recommend this race series – although it is probably too far to make the journey from Helsby.

Cross Country

Beacon Country Park
A fantastic turn out and it has been suggested that it was the loudest “Green Army” shout so far as the Helsby mud lovers took to Beacon Country Park. Colin Bishop was first home in 9th place overall, followed by Colin Thompson in 19th and Jim Jones in 55th. In the Ladies it was Jane Ashbrook who took the Helsby spoils (10th lady overall) followed by Laura Baynham-Hughes and Venessa Griffiths in 16th and 17th respectively. 14 runners in total, see the full results here

On the day this saw Helsby men in 4th and Helsby Ladies 5th overall in the team event. Series standings have the men in 4th, but the Ladies are in 3rd overall! The next race is at Birchwood on the 22nd, it’d be great to beat the turn out and the Green army cry, so take the plunge and have a go!

Park Run

Rhea Thomas stormed around to take 10th lady over all just 26 seconds ahead of Shan who took 12th Lady.

Colin Bishop shot round in a tightly foughts race to take 3rd place, Janet Robertson also took 3rd placed lady and Louise McEvely took 6th lady.

Ellesmere Port
EP saw Neil Finegan romp home in 4th with a sub 20 minute run around a slippy course – Ben Williams slid into  take 20th male.

Widnes saw the greatest turn out for Helsby Alfie Grady, Carl Pratt and Dave Madders in 16th, 21st and 28th for the men and Carol Shaw, Donna Geer and Emma Barnes in 2nd, 9th and 13th.

Well done to all runners, remember, take care of the 5 & 10kms and the distance takes care of itself. All results are here: http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

Upcoming races and reminders

Jackie sent out a mail via Jo with all the
Sat 14th Feb 12pm
Name: Moel y Ci (Fell counter)
Postcode: LL57 4BB
Further Details: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=3636

Sun 15th Feb. 11am
Name: The village bakery half (Road counter)

Wednesday 18th February – Steve Birkinshaw’s Wainwrights Film
Spend just under 45 minutes with this heart-warming tale and you’ll enjoy inspiration, true grit, pain and extreme endurance all wrapped up in stunning cinematography, mind blowing views and beauty. This award winning film documenting the incredible journey Steve Birkinshaw took as he attempted to beat a Joss Naylor record by visiting all 214 Wainwright tops. An incredible feat of physical human endurance, sleep deprivation and an insight into the highs and lows of distance mountain running.


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