Hello and welcome to your weekly news round up. The details of the winners have gone out, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the fantastic club awards, BBQ and disco. A great time had by all! Thanks to everybody that contributed and got invovled – especially to Dave and Lesley for organising the food, Bill for slaving behind the BBQ with Dave and Chris for the disco. Naturally there were many others that put a lot into that event, so thank you to all!
One small omission from the awards was Ste Wiggins winning the Joe Beswick Runners Runner Trophy – I think he also won the award for most alcohol consumed from a trophy, but that is a different matter. Steve’s endless support of Paul in particular made him a very deserving winner on the night. Outstanding.
Don’t forget, it’s the Green Green Grass tomorrow (Wednesday) and the Gyrn Gallop on the weekend for the #Fellsby section. Another thing to look forward to is The Summer Multi-terrain races on the Wirral just announced. Tuesday evenings in September, first one on 1st September. Details attached. More details on Steve Saunders website at http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/
As always, Reports in to firstname.lastname@example.org Please (assuming you wish for them to be included :)) Finally a word from Fitzy – master of mischief – regarding his plans for a Helsby RC night out: Friday 4th Sept, please email me (email@example.com) your preference
1. Frodsham 2. Chester 3. Liverpool If enough interest and its Chester or Liverpool I will organise a mini bus.
Thanks to Ian for this superb report from the latest Fell race from the club series. The #Fellsby contingent did us proud out there, I was gutted to miss it.
Post race analysis from Ian was – A long way to go but a cracking race. All agreed that we should look to include at least one lakeland classic in the Helsby Fell Series every year – I couldn’t agree more!!!
It’s 1 O’Clock and 7 of Helsby greenest and finest are standing on the lane just below the church in Kentmere. They are not alone,another 350 runners are with them. The starter has just gone through the rules causing much amusement when he warns us that emergency rations will be included in the spot checks of kit at the end of the race. Better not get hungry on the way round, maybe empty wrappers and a few crumbs will save people from a DNQ.
Before the laughter has died down we get the go and promptly break into a walk whilst the large field squeezes down the narrow lane. Eventually we start to run and are getting up to speed when we stop again as the route diverts off the track on to a narrow path. Then we all form into a long line to march up the first mountain. A couple of short diversions means that attempts to gain a few places actually end up losing you a few.
Once at the top of the running starts again but only briefly as a style over a fence forces another halt. After this the running starts in earnest and we head off across the moorland towards the first checkpoint on top of Il Bell. Jim is leading the Helsby pack the rest are all quite close together in the midfield pack. The moorland stretch to Il Bell is not too bad so the steep down hill section off the top comes as a bit of a shock to the legs. But it doesn’t last long and it’s back to the ridge and a combination of mountain side contouring and a stroll along the High Street. Though in this case the High Street doesn’t have any shops but is a more literal version being an old roman road across the tops.
After about 50 minutes of racing we get to see the welcome sight of the top of the horseshoe. After several miles of chasing I arrive at the checkpoint just behind Phil. What I don’t notice at this point is that Steve is right behind me. This sets the 3 of us up for a cracking second half battle.
The first section after the turn is a fairly straight forward moorland section and I keep pace with Phil until we suddenly reach a short but steep descent. After slipping a couple of times I slow down to avoid falling on some of the sharp rocks and Phil starts to open a gap. It is at this point I discover just how close Steve is as he comes flying past first me then Phil (I think Mario must having been giving him some lessons).
Steve then rapidly ascends the next climb and gets a decent gap over Phil and me. Now we get a long section of moorland which is a mixture of flat and downhill. This should be an easy section but on tired legs I manage to trip over a rock and go flying. Back up with only a grazed knee but a few seconds lost on Steve and Phil.
A minute or two later we hit the final checkpoint on the top of Kentmere Pike and from here it’s downhill to the finish, all be it 3 miles down hill. My legs start to recover a bit on my favourite fell race terrain “down hill but not too steep” After about a mile I catch up with Phil but we are still some way behind Steve but at least he is still in sight. All going well then we hit the final descent off the fells on to the road. This was probably the trickiest bit of the course being steep, rocky and down a slippy stream bed. I slow down rapidly and Phil starts to open up a gap. I manage to stay on my feet and get to the road but now a good way behind Phil.
Still a mile to go so try and persuade my legs that they aren’t tired and get my road legs going. Can now see that Phil is gaining on Steve who looks like he might be tiring a bit. As we cut through some well made trails Phil overhauls Steve and I push on to see if I can do the same.
Suddenly have to apply the brakes as realise there is a sign, cunningly hidden by a bush, showing the fell race goes hard right over a style. Just when you thought it was all road to the finish a short twisty section of path drops you down to the bridge over the river. Even better the path has a nice lot of rocks to avoid, which I don’t and go flying for the second time. Again not too much damage done but a matching graze on the other knee.
Up and running again and now on the road again. Just get into my stride when two cars turn on to the road in front of me and they are going slowly as they have two runners in front of them. I want to go faster but can’t get round them as the roads are too narrow. Then one of the cars spots me and pulls over into a gateway to let me pass. I then catch up with the second car and follow it for ages though in reality probably only a couple of hundred yards. Then the 2nd car spots me pulls to one side and slows down as I overtake (First time I’ve past a car in a race!). Now it’s full pelt to the finish.
As I turn sharp left I can see the finishing field I can also see Phil just about to cross the line. One last push sees me overtake a runner but not Steve who has now turned on to the field and is dashing to the finish.
At last I get to the line and finish in just under 2 hours 15 mins.
So was I disappointed about losing out to Phil and Steve. Not at all it was the best bit of racing I been involved in for ages. I am already looking forward to the rematch.
44th Jim O’Hara. 1hr 52mins 50 secs
150th Phil Gillard 2hr 13mins 30 secs
155th Steve Riley 2hr 13mins 53 secs
157th Ian Landucci 2hr 14mins 08 secs
188th Andy Robinson 2hr 19mins 41 secs
207th Jane Ashbrook 2hr 20mins 57secs
215th Tim Palmer 2hr 23mins 07secs
Widdop Fell Race
News from the ever competitive Mr. Jim Jones – sounds like a painful one, but I guess that is one of the occupational hazards eh Jim! 🙂
I did the Widdop Fell Race on Wednesday night in the Heptonstall area. It was BM category race of 7 miles and 1200ft of climb. It was a great route that follows a lot of well defined paths but also had a lot of challenging knee high tussocks and shoulder high bracken. The weather was good but the setting sun made it hard to see where you were putting your feet at times- as i duly found out! The area is well worth a visit for walking or running – start at the pack Horse Inn and follow the route on the Calder Valley Fell Runners site http://www.cvfr.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Widdop.jpg.
I’ll probably remember this race for the wrong reasons though, took a tumble at 3 miles and been nursing bruised ribs since. Managed to finish 68 out of 114 – full results: http://www.cvfr.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Widdop-20151.pdf
Long Distance Trail & Ultras Laugavegurinn ultra maraþon
Young Maximilian of Frodsham travelled to Iceland for the Laugavegurinn ultra maraþon. A mere 55KM and no less! Trotting in with a massive grin on his face and 16th place overall. The winner was clearly head and shoulders ahead of the field finishing a full 30 minutes before second place.
Maximilian spent 5:32:51 out there in varying temperatures and conditions underfoot – he swears that there was 10km of snow at first… you be the judge! Hat tipped Max, great to see that Helsby vest getting around the world. Speaking of which, Geoff Collins has been out and about in one of my favourite parts of the world: Northumberland. Over to Geoff for his report from the Northumberland Coastal run.
This year I ran this race wearing a green Helsby RC vest for the first time. Confident I would be the first finisher (and only runner) for Helsby! Outside the North East, few people know about this event. My NE running friends jokingly suggested I should say this is a rubbish event and very poorly organised! That couldn’t be further from the truth, this race is a really gem, with beautiful stunning views all the way!
Alnwick Harriers organise this race, this year celebrating its 35th anniversary. Alnwick is of course much better known for its famous castle and garden, which featured in the Harry Potter films. The first ever Beadnell to Alnmouth Race was held in 1979, with only 12 competitors. In the beginning competitors had to choose their own route starting in the sandy bay next to Beadnell Harbour and then heading south running to Alnmouth (approximately 14 miles). This year there were 1,200 entrants and 997 finishers.
Apart from one or two sensitive areas the course is unmarked and competitors choose their own route. The established course makes its way from Beadnell starting on the beach, towards Alnmouth using the coastal footpaths and a couple of short sections on tarmac. From Beadnell Bay you head South via Newton Links, Low Newton By The Sea, Dunstan Golf Course, passing the impressive Dunstanburgh Castle, Craster Village, The Heughs, Cullernose Point, Howick, Sugar Sands, Boulmer, Foxton Beach, and finishes on the beach at Alnmouth. There are rocks, seaweed, lots of sand, running water and the sea lapping at your feet to negotiate. Wet feet are guaranteed.
We left Newcastle in the rain at 7.30, by the time we arrived it was dry cool and much brighter, although there was a quite a brisk South Westerly breeze blowing as we all lined up for the start. Just before the race started I spoke to Mary Rees from Wallasey AC who was the first lady vet 60 finisher today!
From High Newton you start to climb on the coastal path towards Dunstanburgh Castle. The castle stands very majestically on the horizon especially today with perfect visibility. The path undulates away from the Castle as you head towards Craster a very pretty village where there is the distinctive aroma from Robinson’s Kipper smokery! Onwards towards Boulmer where the Search & Rescue Helicopter station is (which closes later this year).
Then you start a gradual climb along the road out of Bulmer. Trying my hardest to get as much speed on this section. Then you descend down the steps towards Foxton beach. That’s where I noticed a load of people jumping up and down shouting ‘look there’s someone from Helsby here’! In my excitement I almost lost it as I launched myself at speed onto the beach. On the sand I realise the wind is almost a headwind. It’s hard going digging in and trying to get some speed on the sand, threading your way past and over the seaweed and rocks. Finally you aim for the finish arch way in the distance at Alnmouth.
The race was won by Carl Avery in 1hr 15m, first lady was Emma Holt 1hr 29m, both from Morpeth Harriers. I took a more sedate 1hr 55m – at least I was 3 minutes faster than last time. And you get a lovely quality More Mile long sleeved t-shirt with zip up front and reflective trim!
A handful of Helsby vests out on the Park Run this week. See here for full details: http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721 – Well done to all!