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.
- Wed 5th Aug – Pies & Peas 5 (sold out)
- Thur 6th Aug – Deestriders Offroad GP
- Sat 8th Aug – Teggs Nose (fell counter + race #3 in the inter-club fell running competition)
- Tue 11th Aug – Mystery 5k
- Sat 15th Aug – Race the Train (road counter)
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.
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/
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 😉
39th Gareth BOYD 00:20:44
23rd Edward HALLIWELL 00:19:43
1st Colin BISHOP 00:17:27
73rd Stephen WIGGINS 00:29:16
74th David WIGGINS 00:29:17
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy running all.