Helsby weekly round-up 17th – 23rd August 2015

Happy Thursday to you all! The school holidays are nearly over, it’ll soon be Christmas and that means only two things; Borders League and Cross Country, so I hope you have all been training hard over the summer months…

On to the trials and tribulations of our green vested athletes, it’s been a quiet week:

First up we have the brutally flat 😉 5k in Capenhurst, which is in memory of Ellesmere Port RC runner, Neil Lavery, last Wednesday the 19th. It is renowned for being a PB course and we had 13 of our illustrious Green Army out on the night. A short report by Derek “Degsy/Messi” Morris follows:

Wednesday 19th saw plenty of the Green Army take part in the EPRC Capenhurst 5k. As we lined up for the start the rain held off which was nice. The hooter took me by surprise as Chris Fitzpatrick must have had a sore throat, as the famous Green Army chant was nowhere to be heard! Anyway the race is a very fast course seemingly slightly downhill for the last 2 miles. I surprised myself ducking under the 19 min mark and with great running by all the Green Army including some PB’s.  It’s definitely one for your calendars next year, and a must if you’re PB hunting.


17:48   Chris Fitzpatrick
18:08   Adam Gordon
18:57   Derek Morris
19:12   Darren O’Connor
20:09   Gary O’Connor
20:20   Joanne Lacking
20:25   Ian Landucci
22:32   Vanessa Griffiths
22:40   Carol Shaw
23:12   Geoff Shaw
23:29   Suzanne Fletcher
25:32   Tanya Downes
26:21   Donna Geer
28:16   Janet Shaw

A Dicky bird even informs me that Chris Fitz actually managed to finish the whole race without clutching his infamous lady’s water bottle. Well done, Chris! Inspirational!

Peris Horseshoe fell race

Huge well done to Jim O’Hara who came a fantastic 6th in this very tough 17.5 mile, 8500ft climb fell race in 4hrs 24 mins. Jim is on great form at the moment and just keeps on knocking out some very tough races most weekends!


Weekly results from our local parkruns:

Delamere parkrun

Rachel ARNOLD          24:59              
Louise MCEVELEY:      26:16
Claire MORTON:         27:25

Widnes parkrun

Colin BISHOP:              17:24 (First)
Michael WILLIAMS:    23:04

News and notes

Tim Palmer has set up a new all singing and dancing race calendar. Huge thanks for Tim! Link is here and this is a great help to all our members.


Up & Running in Chester are holding a 20% discount offer this Bank Holiday weekend to all club runners.


Helsby weekly round-up 10th – 16th August 2015

Hello Green Army

Fitzy here (the one who always shouts green army if you don’t already know me), covering for CBH whilst he is away on his hols and preparing for UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) which is next week, I’m sure you will all send him some hugs, kisses and good luck messages as I know how hard he has been training for this one, he’s even done some tarmac slapping along the way.

Anyways onto this week’s news, and quite a bit to get through.

Parkrun highlights were new PB’s for Ian Landucci, Ian Hamling, Chris Hatton, and a 1st place finish for our Bish, well done all (full results below)



Also a mention to Paul Bulmer who hopes to complete his 40th Park Run at Delamere this coming Saturday. An amazing achievement for Paul and all his buddy runners. If you are around please try and come along and join in the celebration this Saturday morning at 9am.

Over to Foz for the first race report which took place up in Darwen, I know a lot more of us wanted to attend this one but it clashed with a few other races, maybe we could keep the weekend free next year as I know we would love to attend

On Saturday I attended a fell race in Darwen in memory of my sister in law Catherine this is the 2nd year it has run in her memory and the numbers were up by at least 40 runners to over 140. So maybe next year we can get a few more from Fellsby. Rachel (the better half) always helps out at registration so my pre race routine was looking after Declan my 3 year old son.He was telling me all week how he was going to run faster than me,so an idea came into my head. I entered him into the fun run, with ten minutes to go I found out it was a mile long and knew then this wasn’t going to go well. After the first little hill he looked at me with a sad bottom lip, i’m not going to win dad am I. So after a little explanation I carried him for half a mile took a short cut and he ran downhill to the finish. He was really made up and even asked when do I get a prize.

But it reminded me why we all run races no matter what age we are. We start off happy, soon become tired, feel like crying and at the end want to do it all over again. Just before the start I noticed another green vest of Tim Palmer after a quick chat it was back to warming up. This is only my 3rd race of the year so I wanted to see how my summer training of drinking and eating has paid off! The race itself starts in the main gala field across into the park then slowly up through woods on to a road up to the tower. Quick downhill then another long runnable climb back up to the moors where you follow a path which takes you to a single track Then you drop down back through the woods and park to the finish, crossing the finish you catch your breath and do the only thing left to do, queue up for a hot dog and a nice real ale. Got to say Tim Palmer ran a great race and is in good form, Jamie said he was flying up the hill.

47th Tim Palmer 41:26 54th Jamie Dowdall 42:50 92nd Paul Foster 49:39 While waiting for the rest of the runners I was thinking, I thought I actually ran quite well but then soon realised I was 4 mins slower than last year so at least my summer training of doing absolutely nothing has paid off!! There was only one last thing to do to carry on with the summer and it was to hit the real ale tent with Jamie and the family! Roll on the autumn, Paul

Results: http://www.darwenrunninggroup.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Darwen-Gala-Fell-Race-2015.pdf

Nice one Foz, I know Jamie had a cracking day and Darwen running club should be applauded for putting on another cracking event in memory of his late wife.

On a more serious note, I think there’s far too many of the green army been enjoying a beer or 10 over the summer hols, shame on you all, your meant to be afleet, take Degs and Gaz for example 🙂


Now, over to our 8th ROAD counter of the season, I highlight road, because not a lot of us roadies did it because there was far too much mud & hills about, and you had to race a train, whatever next?

Over to El Capitano for the report

On Saturday there was drinking, eating, more drinking….oh and a train to beat in a race! 15 green vests ventured to Tywyn for this unique racing experience and our 8th road counter. The premise is fairly straight forward, the runners set off on the 14 mile multi terrain course whilst a steam train runs adjacent to the course and the idea is to get back to the finish before the train. In reality only a small percentage of runners can actually beat the train but that certainly didn’t stop anyone from trying and putting in maximum effort! A big well done to everyone who participated, especially Phil Roberts who paced it to perfection and beat the train by a full minute! As spectator rather than competitor this year it was great watching the race unfold from a vantage point at the half way mark and everyone looked to be in fine spirits. An excellent post-race award ceremony in a marquee and a mini Ibiza experience (as well as 40th birthday celebrations for birthday girl Jane Ashbrook!) rounded off a very enjoyable weekend.

Helsby results below:

Train time: 01:47:46

194th      Phillip Roberts                   01:46:47
306th          Phil Gillard                           01:54:49
331st       Jane Ashbrook                  01:55:42
402nd      Vanessa Griffiths             02:00:07
443rd      June Swift                           02:02:25
463rd      Janet Robertson               02:03:55
550th      David Feakes                     02:09:00
579th      Lesley Feakes                    02:11:00
634th      John Whitehead               02:15:06
643rd      Rachel Arnold                    02:15:33
661st       Jackie Keasley                   02:16:50
684th      Charlie  Roberts                02:19:17
767th      Carol Shaw                          02:27:54
783rd      Andy Smith                         02:29:23
889th      Nesta Hawker                   02:54:54 

Full results here http://www.racethetrain.com/race-results2015.html

Also thank you to Louise Spruce for taking these brilliant snaps!

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I also have a message from Jane Ashbrook who was celebrating her 21st Birthday weekend;

Thank you to everyone for helping me celebrate my birthday in style and also all at Helsby for your generous gift….a place in Hadrians Wall Ultra, I’m so excited and petrified, I am really touched and feel very lucky to be part of such a fantastic running club…green army rocks!!

I’ll second you on that Jane, it’s a cracking place to be at the minute.


Jackie also sent over a report on this one too (again I can see why it was chosen as a road counter…only joking!!)

A brilliant weekend away for the green army mixing good running with socialising. A pre-race party Friday evening set us all in high spirits for Saturdays races. The 10k, 5.5 and 3.5 mile races were in the morning meaning an early start for some. The 14mile Rotary Challenge had a relaxed start of just after 2pm when the fastest Talylynn train raised its head of steam to start the dash down to Abergynolwyn and back. The race route not always following the flatfish rail track as the second half climbs up the hillside steeply before doing a narrow slippy traverse. There were gates to hurdle, streams to wade, mud to slop through before the final road section to the finish line and celebrations. All lined by a great turnout of supporters everywhere. Good to see Louise & Col at the turnabout point, just when you needed encouragement. Great weather, course, atmosphere, support, camaraderie. We all visited the race beer tent on Saturday evening for the long drawn out presentations ( the only time all weekend for a quiet sit down!!). Unusually these days, no prizes for Helsby but we celebrated anyway. Very energetic dancing saw off any post race aches and stiffness with the final Hokey Cokey to the pretenders I will walk 500 miles finishing everyone off!!! Happy 40th birthday to Jane on Wednesday and Congratulation to Phil R for beating the train.


Last report of the week and a very happy one if you looked at his face on Facebook, Ben Williams did the Marsden Moors Meander.

A short report from the LDWA Marsden Moors Meander in West Yorkshire, which I ran/walked on Saturday. The route is around 22 miles, with about 3500 feet of climb. The 2014 event is my only DNF to date, so my only aim this time was to put that ghost to rest and get round in one piece. The run starts with a steep climb out of the village, and the whole of the first section is very undulating – including a hands-and-knees climb up a grass bank out of a steep valley after a couple of miles. The first section is the most interesting, with varied scenery and includes crossing the M62 through that farm in between the carriageways. From then on, the route climbs onto moorland, over Windy Hill and past countless reservoirs. The route description let me down at one point, and had me worried that I was lost on Saddleworth Moor, but fortunately I spotted the next checkpoint before I fell into a full-on panic. The runners soon became separated, and for the last 10 miles or so I didn’t see anyone at all. I enjoyed running alone across the moors in silence, it wasn’t as spooky as it sounds. It was nice to pass the final reservoir and drop back into Marsden though. I finished in 4.48, 11th out of 87 (mostly walkers).

Superb Ben, nobody likes a DNF (unless your Roy your my name) well and truly laid that one to rest


A few more dates for the diary in the coming weeks and if anyone wants to lift share, times of when to do so. Some great all round stuff coming up soon!

Road Counters – This Wed Capenhurst 5k 7.15, race now full. For lift share please meet at club at 6.20.

Sun 30th August Ellesmere 10k 11am, online entries still available, no entries on day. For lift share please meet at club at 9.30.

Fell Counters, all these are good races to come and try for those new to fell running, particularly if it’s summer weather!

Sat 22nd August Chipping Show, 2pm, 12k, 550m, BM. A great day out shared with the local agricultural show with all sorts going on for everyone! 1h30 min drive but could be busy so leave plenty of time, 11.30 from club for those who want to lift share.

Mon 31st August Cilcain Fell Race, 1pm, 7.5k, 400m, AS. Bank Holiday Monday, again with a village show thrown in. Another splendid route up Moel Famau. Meet at club at 11.30.

Sun 6th Sept Shelf Moor Fell Race, 11am, 9k, 500m, AS. Meet at club at 9.15.

The club has entered 3 teams of 6 into the British Fell Relays on Oct 17th near Pendle in Lancashire. A pre-requisite of entering is to have ran at least 2 category A races in the last 2 years. So for those interested there is still time to qualify! More information to follow.

Tim Palmer has been so kind as to organize a calendar for all upcoming races and if you would like to add to it could you email him at the below address


This will be updated monthly and we can send it out on the blog. You can also access it at the below link


And last but not least, Helsby night out is still going ahead, Friday 4th Sept, and rather than the usual Helter Skelter followed by Chum antics, we’ve decided to head off into Chester. Meeting in the old harkers arms from 7 onwards, I’ll be getting the 6.30pm train in Chester, few drinks around town then back on the last train home, and into Frodsham for anyone wanting to continue the drinking.

Happy running green army!

Inter club fell competition

Well done to Helsby Running Club for winning the Inter Club Fell Competition between Helsby, Spectrum, Delamere Spartans and Tattenhall for the third year running!

Race 1 was our Wobbler, Race 2 Hot Foot up Moel Famau and Race 3 this weekend’s Teggs Nose. Impressive Helsby turnout’s and performances particularly for the first two races sealed our win. Thanks and well done #greenarmy #fellsby contingent.

             Total   Tegg's Nose   Hotfoot      Wobbler		
Helsby        773        172         271          330
Spectrum      633        252         173          208
Delamere      324         62          93          169
Tattenhall    244          0         182           62


Full results: Inter-club fell race competition 2015 – standings after race 3

Helsby Running Club Weekly Update (2-8-15 to 9-8-15)


Helsby members were out at Delamere, Widnes and Warrington Parkruns. The stand out performance was Colin Bishop winning at Widnes. Full results for Helsby runners can be found at the link below.


Colin also ran the Bispham 10K where he finished 4th overall, win his age category and was 2nd placed Northern Vet in a time of 35:57. Great going, Col!

Pie and Peas 5 miler.

Wednesday 5th was the Pie and Peas 5 miler, which is a counter in the Club Road Championships. First man home for Helsby was Adam Gordon, first lady was Jane Ashbrook. Full results below:


Tegs Nose fell race.

Helsby secured the inter club Fell championship at Tegs Nose with Jim O’Hara first home for the club. Well done to everyone who participated in the race and the championship overall. A short report and full results can be found at the link below.



Jackie K sent in the the following report and pictures from the Long Tour of Bradwell Ultra… 

This Saturday, a little to the east of the Teggs Nose race, was the Long Tour of Bradwell Ultra race;a race recommended by Andy in his January talk on ultra running. Easy to say, yes lets have a go and enter; much harder to accomplish. Lesley and I decided to run together this “short” ultra ”very tough 33 mile 6300’ trail/fell run in the Peak District”. With a sunny hot weather forecast we set off in hot windless conditions, even at 9 am in the morning, in search of the 16 dibber points along the route.  
The first half was a helter- skelter ride. A climb up behind the cement works from Bradwell  to Pin Dale and down slippery Cave Dale (where I caught up with Lesley who had already fallen badly with cuts and bruises). Down into Castleton and on through the still quiet streets heading for Hollins Cross (the saddle between Mam Tor and Losehill).Then immediately dropping into Edale which was by now hotting up with tourists and walkers. Fortunately haze and light cloud cover suddenly appeared which made the climb up towards Ringing Rodger much more bearable.  A quick search for the checkpoint on the Druid Stone and then a direct pathless descent back into Edale. Helpful waves from Bill and friends Sarah and Andy guided us (and other runners) down to the correct exit point for crossing Edale to take the steep climb back up to Lose Hill itself. A sweaty long down hill section towards Hope with church bells ringing (must have been a wedding) before turning back up to climb the shoulder of Winn Hill and onto LadyBower reservoir where our “surprise surprise marshals” greated us yet again. This time with hot cups of tea and homemade ginger biscuits which just hit the spot and galvanised us for the final trot along the railway line to checkpoint 9, (the half way point with half an hour to spare from the 2 pm cut off). Just before this other fell runners assured us we would make the cut-off and that thankfully the second half was less hiller that the first!
Through the picturesque mill grounds of Bamford and a long but steady climb up to Stanage Edge. I was really looking forward to this bit for its airy views and refreshing breeze, but underfoot hopping from flat boulder to boulder was a bit technical for my weary legs and involved too much staring at the ground. Lesley skipped ahead but then was met once again by our surprise surprise marshalls half way along the ridge. A brilliant boost for the next section. We got a bit carried way with the sight of cars ahead and dropped off the ridge too soon to get a little confused as to where the next checkpoint was but some kind cyclists directed us to Burbage Bridge. A little bit of time lost but the next section was a wonderful wide flat gradual downhill track to Pately Bridge. Here there was a fleet of ice cream vans, hundreds of folks paddling in the stream, lots of BBQ smells (it was 4pm by this time) and everyone encouraging us along the way. 
Down to the river near Hathesage with another surprise surprise greeting from our picnickers sat in an ideal setting by the cool river. Then the final climb up through the picturesque Bretton and Abney Cloughs before the last steep descent back into Bradwell. Except race tape (which we had followed reliably in the tricky navigation parts all day) suddenly led us off to the right and back up hill. Like zombies we followed to be greeted by 3 runners who had done the same and climbed back up before realising this just could not be right. We all about turned, gathering those who were behind us all and all staggered into Bradwell and  finally to the finish line where our support team greeted us!   An extra mile must have been added on, which at this stage was horrendous; apparently the tape was from the junior fell race the night before, heaven knows why someone did not go up and remove it earlier!
A great if a long day out in a stunning running area. At the end I was dreaming of cups of tea and Lesley of Guinness, scampi and chips. We dropped Lesley off at the pub to fulfil her dream whilst waiting for a lift home with Andy (who was having a run further meeting) and we raced back to our friends’ house near Matlock. A cuppa, quick bath and stroll to their local for a meal humanised the day!
1   Ken Sutor           5:21:15
2   Charlie Sharp    6:04:23
35 Andy Robinson 7:23:11
82 Lesley Feakes  9:18:43
83 Jackie Keasley 9:18:47
99 finishers
11 dnf   (1 was airlifted to hospital with heat exhaustion)
Just a reminder to send all race reports to heleby-race-reports@outlook.com

Helsby weekly round-up 27th July – 2nd August 2015

Hello everyone

Welcome to this week’s round-up. A fairly quiet week of racing (by Green Army standards anyway) but we have plenty coming up this month with 4 road counters and 2 fell counters! Best to try and get your entries in now to avoid disappointment, the pies & peas has already sold out but may be worth keeping an eye on social media for any last minute race numbers. Listed below are some races on the horizon, some are club counters and a couple of others which may take your fancy.

Road Running

Cheshire Half Marathon

4 green vests ventured to Arley Hall on Sunday to have a crack at their half marathon PB’s on this super quick course and it didn’t disappoint with 2 big PB’s (and some war wounds!) Neil takes up the full story with this excellent report:

“After the outstanding beauty of my recent run Wales events,  the Cheshire half offered something very different with the organisers promising a course which was perfect for a personal best. And as runners I think we’d all agree that when it comes to a PB the course doesn’t really matter – just the time over the finish line.

The event started and finished from Arley hall,  looping through the surrounding country lanes in a figure of eight, with just 230 ft of elevation gain over the course. So there were no hills of any note and thankfully this was not too hot an August day but the 22 degree heat made it very sticky especially when the sun did break through. Over 500 runners took part, dominated by club runners testing out the speed of the course, with the race winner finishing in an impressive 1:06.

The positives – well 2 of the 4 Helsby runners taking part recorded personal bests.  Ben Williams smashed a massive 8 minutes off his previous record – which itself was only set 4 weeks ago. Over 35 seconds a mile faster than his previous PB – it takes a runner to really appreciate just how outstanding a result that is and the power and form he showed at the finish suggests to me that this PB won’t stand for too long. Others had to fight through injury with Dave Madders blood stained top at the finish reminding us of the dangers of chaffing – I think he got the medal for bravery.

The negatives –  the main complaint from the finishers was the lack of water on the course.  Just 2 water stops (actually 1 stop that you went past twice) at miles 3 and 7 isn’t ideal for a summer race.  Also the roads weren’t all closed and the long finishing mile up to Arley hall was spent weaving through cars which seemed unaware of the event taking place.  But this course was about speed and on that it certainly delivered”

The Helsby runners were as follows :

33rd  Neil Finegan  1:24:52 (New PB!)
165th Ben Williams  1:42:44 (New PB!)
204th Dave Madders  1:46:56
253rd Michael Williams  1:51:55

Very impressive guys, well done to all of you. Neil is being modest and hasn’t mentioned the huge PB he got himself which saw his finish time dip under the 1:25 barrier which is a fantastic result and shows how the hard work and determination he has put in this year is starting to pay off.

Halewood 5k

On Saturday, the monthly Halewood 5k saw Dave Madders toeing the line with the cream of the Merseyside running crop. A fiercely competitive race saw no less than 8 sub 17 minute times which shows how high the standard was on the day. A fantastic run from Dave saw him execute an excellent race himself and edge closer to that sub 20 with 20:39. Well done mate.

Full results here – https://sites.google.com/site/halewood5kresultsservice/


Peaks Skyrace

Our ultra mountain running specialist Chris Baynham Hughes (or CBH) has been at it again. This time as Skyrunning UK Ambassador. Full report by Chris below:

“Light rain greeted the runners as they prepared to set off for second running of The Peaks Skyrace. It was my first gig in my role as SkyrunningUK amabasador (see here for comedy press release http://tinyurl.com/oxbbfhj) and I was going to see it as a competitor too (albeit a Ghost runner!) It’s fair to say the Peaks Skyrace is a fantastic stepping stone into Skyrunning and ultras in general; this was reflected by the large number of people toeing the line of such a race for the first time. If any of you are interested in going beyond a marathon then the course is made up of fantastically runnable trails, which is why it’s so enjoyable and unforgiving at the same time. There is nowhere to hide and if you’re out there focused more on competing that completing then if you’re not running, your rivals are!

By the start of the race the rain had stopped and the weather really improved over the day making conditions more challenging in the heat later on as the humidity was still high. The field was strong at the sharp end of the race which was reflected in the times with 9 (plus me) runners dipping under the 5 hour mark. 3rd placed Richard Ashton was just 3 minutes off the course record, whilst both second place Christopher Armit and Kim Collison dipping under the time set by Jason in 2014. In the end Kim took 12 minutes off the record to win in 4:10:12 – impressive stuff! The ladies field was equally strong and whilst Nikki Kay (5:47:55) managed not only to get the win, but an en route marriage proposal as well! There was a real tussle between the top 5 ladies for who would take 2nd and 3rd – In the end just 2.5 minutes separated 2,3 and 4th. Chatting with Rachael Meek (3rd after Sarah Sheridan in 2nd place) afterwards it was clear what a difference having serious competition for the ladies podium really meant. Rachel enthused at how chasing/ being chased by the other ladies had really spurred her on, rather than the usual scenario of “not seeing another lady all race”. Hopefully this will continue throughout the Skyrunning calendar and we’ll see more ladies entering these races to win.

The race organisation and volunteers were superb; taking the chance to run the course meant I was able to see the race from a totally different perspective. I can confirm it’s a really cracking route and for those considering getting into Skyrunning then I’d thoroughly recommend it. I’d say it especially suits fast marathon runners who can handle trails. The next step up in the calendar would have to be the Mourne Skyline MTR and the Lakes 3×3 Ultra; I sincerely hope we’ll be seeing many of the fantastic competitors from this weekend making the step up. The V3K (for me the best single day route in the UK) and the fantastic Lakes Sky Ultra add a significant step up in technicality, exposure and compete with the eye popping European races. At the extreme end of the scale the race that easily holds its own with the most extreme races in the world of Skyrunning is the Glen Coe Skyline – the next instalment for Skyrunning UK on 22nd August and it’s packed with top runners including JimMann and Jasmin Paris (Dragon’s back winners) and Emelie Forsberg to name but a few.

So what for my race? Well, I ran with Charlie Sharpe for a large chunk of it which really kept me honest for the middle section before pushing on for the final third. I realise Charlie could have caught and over taken me if he wished (like a cat toying with a ball of string) however he didn’t need to as I did and extra mile and a half at the end after missing one of the markers. So rather than finishing in 7th around the 4:50 mark for this 29 mile 2000m race, I popped in just behind Charlie in 4:59 – there must be a moral victory in there somewhere 🙂 Brilliant race. Recommended! Do it.

For more on skyrunning visit: http://skyrunninguk.com/ or ask me :)”

Great report and very well done Chris. Very much the man on form at the moment, Max best watch his back 😉


York parkrun

39th Gareth BOYD 00:20:44

Riverside parkrun

23rd Edward HALLIWELL 00:19:43 

Widnes parkrun

1st Colin BISHOP 00:17:27
73rd Stephen WIGGINS 00:29:16
74th David WIGGINS 00:29:17 

Birkenhead parkrun

47th Geoff COLLINS 00:22:40

That’s all this week. Please get in touch if I have missed any results or reports. Remember all reports to the usual email address helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Happy running all.