It’s that exciting time of the week again! I bet you all have been waiting with utter delight and excitement to see what the Green Army have been up to.
On a May spring evening, Chris Fitzpatrick and Colin Thompson decided to turn pro athletes and rock up to a Trafford AC Grand Prix 5k race on a track in Stretford. Only 6 others decided this was also a good idea and armed with their Garmins and 2 day hangovers, they ran 12 laps of the Stretford track. Colin finished in 6th position in 17:19 with Chris finishing in 7th, not too far behind in 17:35. (Gaz kindly informing him, this was second to last…). There was much despair when Chris clocked his Garmin had 3.23 miles as the distance and thought the track was long… A hilarious discussion on Facebook ensued with Chris coming out looking a right plonker. However, well done lads.
The Most Excellent Fell Adventures of Max, Phil & Jim (and other fell racing adventures…)
Some brilliant fell running is happening at the moment at Fellsby RC. Joe Beswick is positively 18 again with all the excitement of it all!
There is a wonderful bromance developing at Helsby RC, between Max Wainwright, Phil Roberts and Jimbo Jones (with the added delight of CBH at many of these shindigs). They spend many a Spring weekend flouncing up fells, holding hands whilst discussing what is the best gear to look as feminine as possible, in. Phil seems to be adept at picking the most girly of fell shoes.
They kicked the weekend off with a very tough race at Moel Eilio, 3000ft of climb in 9 miles and Max who is on fire at the moment, finished in a brilliant 2nd place in 1:11. The most improved fell mincer has to be Phil Roberts though, he is a racing snake at the moment and all down to clean eating, not drinking like a Docker and consistent training, Phil finished in an impressive 20th place in 1:20 . Chris Baynham-Hughes behind Phil in 1:24 (35th) and finally Jim Jones in a not too shabby 1:33 and 56th place.
Report from Chris….
Warm, close weather and good visibility greeted four intrepid Fellsby runners on Saturday for what has to be one of the great fell race routes; Moel Eilio. A long steep start took us up to the top of Moel Eilio after which we were treated to fantastic undulating ridge running and utterly spectacular Snowdonia scenery to distract us from the effort to get to the top of Moel Cynghorion. Broadly it was the reverse of the 2013 fell relays leg 2 route (which borrows heavily from the magnificent Paddy Buckley route), this meant from the top of Cynghorion it was a bonkers descent back down to Llanberis.
Four very happy faces returned safe and well – despite Jim running backwards to play with his new toy (GoPro), Phil Roberts putting in a major shift to deliver a fantastic run (kicking my backside by about 5 minutes) and mighty Max proving he can’t be that much of a downhill Princess as he glided home to an absolutely stunning second place finish in a North Wales Counter. He’s reported to have had a look that casually said “Meh, I’ve got it covered” when he was informed about the runner behind him. Now I know Max is a class act, but he stretched even beyond my expectations of him on this one. Hat is tipped yet again! So the lesson I’m taking away is that three out of the four have been racing in the fell at every opportunity this year and give evidence to the theory of “the more you race the better you get”, whereas I need to get practicing in the hills if I’m going to get close to being competitive again.
Fantastic day that couldn’t even be marred by Max’s hair looking more and more like Bieber’s every time we see him.
Mynydd Myfyr Hill Run, Trefonen
The first of our “mini fell series” saw a superb turn out of green vests on Sunday. Even the organiser thanked us before the start which was replied with a resounding cry of “Green Army!” Around 20 vests lined up for the short undulating route around the hills of Trefonen. This course is a great introduction to fell/hill racing, challenging enough to make you work hard with the sharp hills but also short enough to not have you crawling over the finish line. A flat tarmac finish was a welcoming surprise and by the looks of things everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. An award ceremony in the village hall afterwards saw Max win a prize for a fantastic 2nd place overall and first home for the Helsby men whilst Joanne Lacking was first home for the Helsby ladies (and 1st in her age cat). Also a big congratulations to Janet Robertson for winning her age category on the day. A black Labrador called Eddie also tried to steal the limelight but they had no category for Canines 🙂 A huge congratulations to all our fell beginners, no results have been published so far so we are unable to determine the positions in the series but this will be updated in the blog once they become available.
Hutton Roof fell race
Over to Phil Gillard for report on the Hutton Roof…
Bank holiday races are great; normally based around a village fete, not too taxing so the locals can join in and loads and loads of brilliant cakes – the Hutton Roof race is no exception. Just on the cusp of North Yorkshire and South Cumbria; a picturesque little village with lovely people who bake brilliant cakes (have I mentioned that before?).
The one disadvantage of Bank holiday races is the traffic, Saturday brought lots of slowing moving traffic in abundance and so the Helsby runners who set off to run the race found getting there on time the most challenging part of the day (but once you got there the cakes were brilliant). The one exception being Jane who was staying close by anyway (Jane enjoyed the cakes too). Mario, Jane and Phil made it, although Mario was just on time, Steve Riley made it but not in time to race (despite not being able to race, he got the opportunity to try the cakes)
The race itself starts from the fete and then takes you on a climb similar in height and gradient to Helsby hill, things then level out onto a single track through some woods and then out onto the limestone ridge with fantastic views – good fast running on grass, the temptation here is to go fast and not save enough for the major climb of Farleton Knott – about 400m of hands on knees work which is rewarded by a traverse of some gnarly bit of rocks and then a fast return over grassland and back through the woods with a nice downhill finish. Seven miles of sheer unadulterated joy, a race anybody who is used to our hill run would find really rewarding.
One piece of advice I would give to the organisers is perhaps to have cake stops rather than water stops, we had to wait until we finished and fortunately there were loads left despite Helen running amok with cake tokens from my wallet.
All three Helsby runners came in pretty close succession and were then able to enjoy the cakes along with Joe who earned his reward (of cake) as a result of his fantastic support.
Ox Ultra, Oxfordshire
Then we had our ultra fell runner stalwart, Andy Robinson complete the Ox Ultra, which in his words he describes as “36 miles of fast trail running, but in my case, not so fast”. Ha! Well 26th out of 158 finishers seems very fast to me and a huge well done to you, Andy. Very inspirational to many.
Delamere parkrun results:
Louise McElveley: 22:49
Janet Robinson: 22:49
Rhea Thomas: 27:13
Claire Morton: 33:09
Paul Bulmer: 33:09
Steven Wiggins: 33:09
Warrington parkrun results:
Joanne Lacking: 21:33 (3rd female)
Widnes parkrun results:
Colin Thompson: 17:43 (3rd male)
Derek Morris: 25:43
Special mention to Jane Ashbrook and Louise McEveley who this weekend, are both running marathons. Jane is running Edinburgh and Louise is a maniac and has chosen the Excalibur in Wales, for her first 26.2 miler! Good luck ladies! Go smash it!