Weekly Update 19-10-2015 to 25-10-15

Happy Halloween to the Green Army contingent! Owens here, bringing you the news you have been refreshing your email for all week.

I have no idea what horrors have happened this past week but it seems to have been a very quiet week of racing. Maybe that Degsy has exhausted himself with all his race reporting.

I am afraid I cannot bulk the report out with tales of my own racing adventures because I have been a lazy sod and it says something about my poor running for past few months when I can just about report a parkrun.

First we shall we go on to the lovely Debbie Read, who ran the Dublin marathon on Monday.

Having had several attempts to break the elusive sub 4 hour barrier in a marathon and failing I thought a change of tactics was needed. 

My unsuccessful races were all on pancake flat courses and living in and running around Frodsham, I’m a hill loving gal, so, after some research I decided to enter the “undulating” Dublin marathon. After the best part of 6 months training, 6 days a week, mostly on Tarmac I was on my way to Ireland feeling optimistically confident. Dublin marathon is on their Bank Holiday Monday at the end of October with a 4K breakfast run the day before – Geoff joined me for this and we both thought it was excellent. A gentle trot with about 500 mainly overseas runners carrying their country’s flags, a technical t-shirt, a delicious full Irish breakfast worthy of a 4* hotel, an excellent live band while we ate, a display of Irish dancing and an appearance by U2! – all for 15 euros.

Race day I woke up and my optimism took a dip – it was a wet and windy Dublin. However, once I put my kit on, my race head returned, Oatabix and banana for breakfast and I was off on the 400 metre walk to the start. A quick baggage drop, queue for the loo and before I knew it we were off, all 13,000 of us.

It was wet. It was windy. The inclines were all in the wrong places but WOW what a marathon, supporters lined the whole route. The organisation was superb and the supporters were fantastic, I’ve never known a race where so many people had spent their own money and were offering jelly sweets, gels, fruit and drinks to the runners.

If you’re looking for an Autumn marathon I’d recommend Dublin.

Oh, and my time? Sub 4 (3:59:19) Some might say only just but I don’t care – my pb for a marathon now starts with a 3.

Now then, after far too long an absence, time to hit those trails.

Well done, Debbie!

Next, and the only other race report that has dropped into my Inbox is the wonderful Andy Robinson’s report on yet another brilliant achievement, there is no stopping Andy Robbo, he’s like French cheese…

I ran the Jedburgh Three Peaks Ultra on Saturday: 38 miles in the Scottish Borders.  It was a great race: good running and brilliant views.  The winner was Lee Kemp in 4:56:36, and I was 51st out of 183 finishers in 6:53:26.  I also won a trophy for first MV60.  Full results will be on the race website at www.jedburghthreepeaksultra.org.uk when they get it together to put them up: I’ve got an advance copy!  I’ve written a full race report and that’s on runfurther.com

The Helsby Green Army TT was back in full force this week! HOORAH! Over to Captain Colin…

A big thank you to everyone who turned up for the 10k TT tonight. Excellent running all! Congratulations to new member Mark Gittins for the win and June who was first back for the ladies. Well done to Jane Ashbrook for winning the 6k. Provisional results below:


1. Mark Gittins 39.06

2. Colin Thompson 39.26

3. Phil Roberts 41.15

4. Jim Higgins 41.22

5. Chris Murray 42.52

6. June Swift 43.27

7. Ian Hamling 44.06

8. John Whitehead 47.08

9. Ste Roach 47.26

10. Ben Williams 47.47

11. Adele Croxton 48.03

12. Jamie Kong 48.18

13. Roy Gaskill 49.32

14. Rachael Holden 51.25

15. Jenny O’Hare 53.54

16. Nesta Hawker 54.03

17. Chris Igoe 59.19

18. Ian Pearce 59.19

19. Hannah Sadaoui 1.05.30


1. Jane Ashbrook 27.04

2. Tanya Downes 32.36

Thank you to Louise, Joe, Jackie, Tanya and Charlie for timing, Mario for marshalling and Carol for tail running. I will send out the more detailed results next week.

Finally, we have the parkrun results…

Delamere parkrun

Helen Owens: 24:04

Stephen Wiggins: 25:05

Louise McEveley: 25:39

David Wiggins: 28:13

Widnes parkrun

Ian Hamling: 20:32

Joanne Lacking: 20:47 (1st lady)

Michael Williams: 23:01

Chris Hatton: 24:29

Rachael Holden: 25:07

Ellesmere Port parkrun

Ben Williams: 22:57

It is the Halloween party at club tonight, starting at 6:30pm. Please support it if you can, I shall be there with my little witches. It is £3 for children and £5 for adults. Only dilemma I have is convincing my hermit youngest daughter that going out with her dressed like a fool with eyeliner drawn all over her face is a good idea.

Helsby RC Racing news! 12-Oct > 18-Oct 2015

Big thank you for the race reports, please keep sending them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com if you wish for them to be included in the round-up each week.

Lots to talk about this week. Please ensure you read the Upcoming events/ requests below so you don’t miss out!

But hold up before we get started, I’d just like to say it was great to see Colin Thompson, our Men’s Club Captain, back in action at the Warrington Parkrun and finishing 2nd in his first Parkrun since late July.

Upcoming events/ requests:
Border league:
Would anyone be interested in getting a mini bus up to Anglesea race track for the Cybi borders league Sun 6th? Due to the distance I think it may put people off but if we had decent numbers then a mini bus could be an option? Send Chris Fitzpatrick a mail if you’re interested please, we might even stop off on the way home for pub lunch and a pint!

Using the Fell running incentive of beer there eh Fitzy!!? You road runners have changed.

Remember, this Saturday (24th October) sees the first Cross Country Counter of the season,  the Liverpool & District league race at Beacon Park near Skelmesdale, starts at 2pm. Post code  WN8 7RU, on the top field.

For those new to cross country (or just scarred from school outings in pants, vest and plimsolls from the lost property bin) I’d really recommend it. It’s fantastic and traditional winter work for the road runners and speedsters out there, there is plenty of mud and some nice bumps to keep the Felsby section interested, and will certainly lay a fantastic base for 2016 season. It’s really inclusive, friendly and fun, so give it a go!

The full list of XC counters are posted here: http://tinyurl.com/pm3oplh

They are also are available via the calendars so link to the calendar and you’ll never need to update it again, those races will just appear by magic in your calendar.https://calendar.google.com/calendar/ical/rkmh3urreto503iteo6ua6b6jk%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

Race calendars:
If you do or are thinking of doing a race that isn’t on the calendars then please let Tim know the details so he can add it for all to see, never know, you might score a car share and you won’t have to shout Green Army on your own. Details are here:  https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2015-16-event-listing/

Don’t know how to put the calendar in to your electronic calendar? Then Google is your friend, just look up: ‘how do I add a new calendar to…’ and add the device or application you’re using; i.e., iphone, google calendar, outlook, etc.

Road Running

No roads this week.

Fell Running 

Felsby @ the Fell relays
The annual Fell Relays took place last weekend and were fantastic as always. It’s like a Christmas do for fell runners; a chance to catch up with friends, see the elite of the sport and come together as a team rather than race as individuals.

 Jackie “David Bailey” Keasley was on hand to record proceedings and struck some outstanding photographer stances as she moved between the final hundred metres and the first hundred to snap us all. The result was this fantastic video which really sums up the day: http://tinyurl.com/pmkroa9  Hopefully we’ll be able to enter more teams in next year, especially following the success of this year’s fell mini series.

Over to Jackie for her report, I’ll add on my favoured memory from the event at the end:

On Saturday the annual UKA British Fell and Hill Relay Championships took place from the quaint village of Barley, which rests in the shadow of Pendle Hill. A very special part of the country, but being Lancastrian I am biased!

The first leg started off at 10:30 from the centre of the village, which was by now host to an encampment of running club flutter flags and tents. A short walk up Barley Hill gave a panoramic view of the change-over area and the start of the other 3 legs; a great location allowing spectators and runners to watch competitors approach the start/finish, as well as the action on the ‘Big End’ of Pendle. Here there was continuous commentary from two local ladies which went on all day! Some said they thought it was me talking when they first heard them!

Weather was cloudy but clear, no rain, the odd beam of sunshine, but a chilly breeze. Excellent for running and with all the shuttles between the village camp (sheltered with hot drinks and food) and Barley Hill (cool and blowy but plenty going on) good for supporters too.  Amazing dedication of Joe and Mario who sat on the top of Pendle Hill ALL day (5+ hours!) cheering everyone on!
Teams of 6 go off in 4 legs, first a solo leg (5 miles), second a paired longer leg (9 miles), third a paired navigation leg (who knows how far it depends on which route you choose!) and finally a fourth slightly shorter solo leg. We had a men’s team and a ladies’ team made up of Jim, Chris & Jimmy, Phil & Phil and Steve plus Jennie, Jane & Laura, Rachel & Lesley and Vanessa. This year because of the compact location the number of teams was restricted to 150 which is about 100 less than normal.
Great running from all with everyone returning saying the terrain and course was fantastic and most enjoyable!  Lots of sweat, smiles and camaraderie all round.
First male team in was Calder Valley (the organisers on home terrain) in a total time of 3:29
First female team in was Ambleside in a total time of 4:11 (48th overall)Helsby Men          81st team in a total time of 4:43 (Jim 48m – 99th, Chris & Jimmy 1:22 – 62nd, Phil x 2 1:33 – 85th, Steve 58m -107th)
Helsby Ladies  130th team in a total time of 5:37 (Jen 52m – 127th, Jane &Laura 1:40 -120th, Rachel & Lesley 2:01 – 129th, Vanessa 1:03 127th)Excellent running and team positions from both teams. Remember amongst the opposition are most of the top fell runners from England, Scotland and Wales! A few notable times for comparison with #Felsby are:-Steve Birkenshaw (of all the Wainwrights in a week fame) ran for Borrowdale Fell runners Total Team Time 3:42 -13th team in, Steve’s time on the navigation leg 1:11 – 20th
Jasmin Paris (who has won the Paps of Jura and most other big races by many a country mile in the last couple of years) and Angela Mudge (fell legend) ran for Scottish Club Carnethy, Total Team Time 4:50 – 87th team in; Angela completed the navigation leg in 1:27 – 75th and Jasmin the final leg in 48m – 39th.

Full results     http://tinyurl.com/o8ovwa8 

Woodentops race photos http://www.woodentops.org.uk/index.php?topic=home&subtopic=morephotos
Brilliant, thanks Jackie. It really was a fantastic event. One top tip from me, just because you’ve arranged a rare childless night as a result of such an event, don’t choose a curry house for a meal out the night before!

As promised, my favoured memory from this year goes as follows:
Jimmy: “You’re doing well Chris, keep at it”
CBH: “Sorry Jim, I can’t seem to get going, just being slow”
Jimmy: “It’s different from running with Col last year as you know you’re s***… I mean your beans… I mean…”
CBH (Dying with laughter inside as Jimmy digs) “Cheers Jim”
Jimmy: “You know to watch your feet, keep your kit tight, look up.”
A good 10 seconds went by before I realised Jimmy meant “your” not “you’re” and was referring to my experience as a fell runner rather than my capability as one. Brilliant.

Cross Country

Don’t miss out on the weekend! opening section for details!

Long Distance Trail & Ultras

More lunacy than long distance trail or ultra, but the lunatic factor parks it right in this section!


Fitzy’s annual obsession with swimming in Delamere’s finest bogs continues with another trip to Hellrunner. Previous winnings from the race for Chris have been a broken rib; how we laughed. Over to the man himself for a round up of the action (or will it be traction this year?):

So I wonder if the committee will vote for this one to be a road counter next season? Hmmmm, not even Phillipa Roberts fancied this one, and to be fair, there’s not a lot of club runners that do this race but it’s one I’ve signed up to every year since it started in 2009. It’s a bit of a laugh, it’s extremely muddy, it’s cold, it’s…well it’s Hellish. You would think a lot of people wouldn’t take this one seriously but trying to keep up with the first 10 or so runners and I soon found out that it’s serious alright. I’m making my excuses now, a week of Man Flu did not help my prep, zero runs all week and 2.5 miles the day before the race which was a really hard 2.5 miles, meant I was going to be nowhere near our new 2nd claim member Chris “CC” Collins who had his Spartans race vest on instead of the mighty green army vest, and was challenging the leaders.

1 mile up old pale to start with, back down through Delamere’s finest trails, onto the hills of hell, lucifers lake (which felt colder than any other year) and then onto the bog of doom, which seemed a lot muddier than previous years, high fiving Degs Styleeeeee spectators and throwing beach balls at them to finish off with a half mile sprint to the finish line. Obviously it wouldn’t be hellrunner without an injury or 2 and a twisted knee and ankle didn’t disappoint and can go on the list along with broken ribs

Defo one that I would like to see more Helsby runners do, if not just for a laugh, or maybe as a charity club event maybe, I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any. And to think I missed the fell relays for this!

Results below, sorry if I have missed you

4th Chris Collins 1hr51m18
52nd Chris Fitzpatrick 2hr10m33
58th Jim Higgins 2hr12m37
611th Leah Binns 3hr19m16
1397 Tanya Downes 5hr00m06

Park Run

As mentioned earlier, it was great to see Colin back. It certainly helped Tim Palmer who managed to keep Col in sight for about the 1km; and admits that Colin was so inspirational that he helped Tim to run a new Parkrun PB! Fantastic work Tim, well done! Photos of both Colin and Tim are available on the Warrington Parkrun FB page and they will both be around for autographs at the next Wednesday night session. 🙂

Full details of all Park runners can be found here: http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721 

Tim was also the sole Green Army representative at the Birchwood Lunchtime 5k charity race – see:http://tinyurl.com/ow596l8
This race is organised by members of Spectrum Striders and follows their Forest Park Ladies 5k course and they come highly recommended.

Helsby RC Weekly Update 4-10-2015 to 11-10-2015


Helsby runners were in action at Delamere, Widnes, Ellesmere Port and Wetherby.

The full, consolidated results are at the link below:


Borders League.


There was a great Helsby turn out for the first Borders League race, Colin Thompson and Chris Fitzpatrick both sent in reports.

First Col…..

The Green Army’s first Borders League of the season went off with a bang and with BL Coordinator Fitzy rallying the troops all summer we had a fantastic turn out (over 30 runners!) It was brilliant to see lots of new faces on the day enjoying the race and by the looks of things everyone put in some serious tarmac slapping effort!

Capenhurst is effectively 2 laps of the 5k course so it’s very flat and with perfect weather (for a change) we saw some great times on what turned out to be just over 5 miles. Big congratulations to England international Col Bishop for taking first home honours for the men and Joanne Lacking showing some fine form to take the chequered flag for the ladies. We also had some age category podiums which are shown in the results below. A big well done everyone!

The men’s team currently sit 6th in Division 1 and ladies are 7th so it goes to show how tough the competition is, but that shouldn’t distract from an excellent race had by all and I’m sure over the coming months we will gradually work our way up the table. Also a big thank you to Joe and Mario who were supporting out on the course and Jane Bishop for supplying the post race treats.

All Helsby results are shown here:

19  Colin BISHOP  28:22 (1st in age cat)


31  Chris COLLINS  29:06

54  Adam GORDON  30:15

87  Colin THOMPSON  31:39

100  Jim HIGGINS  32:07

109  Ian RUTHERFORD  32:32

134  Joanne LACKING  33:27

158  Chris MURRAY  34:16

166  Ian HAMLING  34:27

181  Gary O’CONNOR  35:12

192  John ROSSITER  35:40

208  Geoff READ  36:16

211  Tim IGOE  36:20

214  Benjamin WILLIAMS  36:22

233  Carol SHAW  36:52

241  Roy GASKILL  37:10

262  Andy SMITH  37:57

264  June SWIFT  38:01

275  Geoff COLLINS  38:33

276  Geoff SHAW  38:36

277  John WHITEHEAD  38:45

313  Christopher IGOE  41:03

317  Rachael HOLDEN  41:37

324  Leah BINNS  42:27

328  Jo FARWELL  42:33

337  Shan MCCARTHY  44:02

338  Graham LLOYD  44:12

346  Nicola CASH  44:50

352  Debbie READ  45:25

357  Gill FITZPATRICK  45:47

361  Janet SHAW  47:09  (2nd in age cat)

363  Rebecca GIBSON  47:23

And full results here


Team results


.and now Chris’ report

So 34 of us (1 short of a record turnout, thanks Helen Owens) donned our lovely Green Vests and headed down to Capenhurst for the much anticipated season opener of the Borders league. I believe record numbers turned out for most clubs on the day and also the quality throughout the field had took a step up yet again this year, and looking at the results you can see it had, some really good runners there, even sub 2.33 marathoners.

Having spent all week geeing up the troops and making sure we had enough members there so we didn’t get any penalty points, I was amazed with the amount of people who turned out to be honest, obviously there was no need to worry. Both the men’s and ladies team are now in the top division, and after speaking to you all, a lot of 5 mile PB’s were had me included, which is great to hear on which was an extremely quick course, this was a proper tarmac lovers heaven. Now after a week of telling everyone the rules of the borders league and you’re not being able to drink alcohol for 48 hours prior to the race, I thought I’d post a pic of me having a non-alcoholic Guinness or 7 on Facebook, just to prove how committed I am to the cause.

Anyway down to the results, 1st in for the Men was our Bish (Colin Bishop), who was made up and over the moon with his 19th place so much so he didn’t want his picture taken, c’mon bish smile for the camera. Although someone did actually get a proper quality pic of him and Richie Webster pegging it to the line, I must say our Bish, looked proper cool as always, well done mate. 1st home for the ladies was Joanne Lacking, who had a cracking little sprint finish to beat off some other runners. This was then how the rest of us came into the finish, urged over the finish line by other members of the green army who were all shouting for blood. There was a few new faces there as well, glad to meet you all, and also a few runners from Delamere Spartans, who are now also falling in love with the tarmac slapping like us roadies and have joined Helsby RC as 2nd Claim, welcome aboard CC and Leah, and thanks to CC for shouting at me near the finish and putting the frighteners up me thinking there was someone behind me about to nick some points (I turned around and it was him, he was urging me to beat him, work that one out!).

It was a tough start to the season with the mens team coming in 6th out of 7th in a very competitive league and also the ladies propping up the bottom of the table, but this was due to a lot of runners not being able to make it and also a few who were sick on the day (whilst racing!! Well done June for finishing, amazing) we are not worried though, as the season goes on we will see both teams start to climb the table I’m sure

Thanks to the amazing support from Jane, Mario and Joe as per usual on the day and Adrian for coming down as well, even though he’s injured he took a break from eating pie’s (St Helens joke) and came over and supported us, whilst his son took out a few runners with a snipers gun at the start line, good to see you mate.

Breidden fell race

There was a strong Helsby turnout at the Breidden fell race. Jim O’Hara was first home for Helsby in 22nd place overall. Meanwhile Vanessa Griffith won her age category and Jane Ashbrook was second in hers. Well done all.


Full results are below


Also on Sunday Gareth Boyd ran hillyYorkshire marathon in 3 hours 50, great running!



Helsby RC Update

27-Sept > 04-Oct 2016

I will start this week with the Chester metric (26.2km) and Chester marathon. We had a good turnout of green vests for the metric marathon, which is in its second year. A nice distance to get your teeth into but I think it is definitely one that many can underestimate when racing it! I shall pass you over to Chris for his race report…

So this was the penultimate race for Road Championships for Helsby RC, and it seen a few of the Green Army tarmac slappers, oh and Jim Jones, head down to Chester racecourse for a lovely little 26.2km Metric Marathon. Speaking to most runners after the race I think we all underestimated this one and thought we could get away with training to 10-13 miles and we would be ok, but the 16.3 miles for those that don’t like km’s had a bit of a shock, and especially myself who found the undulating country lanes spectacular and beautiful but also tough on the legs in the latter stages. More training is advisable next time.

I’m not entirely sure of the route but you come out of the racecourse, through the town centre where lots of crowds gather, and then out into the countryside passing through some lovely little “typically English” villages and the Queen (not CBH by the way but a cardboard cut out of her majesty), before turning around and meeting up with the marathon runners for 6 or so miles back home, high fiving the #greenarmy on the way back (I know Degs really enjoyed this part whilst he was skipping along).

PS; Did everyone see the Chester chronicle on Monday? There’s a famous new boy band by the name of #greenarmy, check out my FB picture if you haven’t, we’ve finally made it!!!

Mile 14 greets you with a few big hills (well for us road runners anyway) and then you descend back through the town centre and along the cobbled streets next to the River Dee before reaching the racecourse and back down to the finish line, where one side is for the “real” marathon runners and one side for the lazy gits!

Not sure if anyone got PB’s or not but I know there was a lot of people pretty happy with their times me included, there were a few walking wounded, Emily and Donna, and one in particular having ran the furthest she ever has done, well done Mrs Fitz (that didn’t stop her talking at the end though whilst I was trying to hurry her to get home for the derby though, did it?). Also a mention to Rhea Thomas, sure I speak for everyone at the club to say we are really proud of you and running in memory of your Dad was truly inspirational to see, think we may have even high fived Degs styleeeee, nice one Rhea!

First home for the men, meeeeeeeeee, first home for the ladies, Joanne Lacking, but a big congrats to all, a thoroughly good day out and although a bit pricey, one I would do again.

Results are here but Joanne doesn’t show up unfortunately under Helsby RC. Her finish time was 2:03:27 and a very respectable 13th lady and second in age category.


Chester Marathon

Surprisingly, only two vests for our local Marathon but the boys did good! We had Darren O’Connor and Jim O’Hara tarmac slapping around the villages of Chester and Wales and they both did great times, not much between them at the finish line! Little report from our Irish correspondent, Darren…

Fantastically organised race. Lots of hydration stations and facilities. The set up for the last mile along the river was amazing with lots of support lining the home stretch! I even heard a few shouts of ‘green army’ during the run! Course was tougher than expected with quite a few long drags up hills.

As for me – coasted the first 16/17 miles easy enough. Had a shocker from then up until 24 – a combination of trying not to throw up and a stitch slowed me down terribly! Luckily I found a bit of form at the end to enjoy the last couple of miles and finish with a new PB of 3:14. Happy to have ticked my local marathon off the list and join the sub 3:15 club (just).”

Jim finished in 3:12:32 with Darren slightly behind in 3:14:06. Huge well done!

Skyrunning Lakes 3*3 Ultra

Chris B-H in his usual role of tackling the hardest races he can find, reports on what sounds like a stunningly hard 50 miler…

I took part in the Lakes 3*3 ultra on the weekend as a ghost runner reporting in my role as Skyrunning UK Ambassador and what a great day it was too!

A chilly 5am start on Sunday 4th October saw the second running of the Lakes 3*3000 race get underway. Two main differences characterised the start this year:

  1. The start was at the iconic Moot hall in the centre of Keswick (the traditional starting point for long distances Lakeland challenges such as the Bob Graham Round)
  2. There wasn’t a biblical-esq rainstorm in progress!

Last year’s winner Donny Campbell was joined by course designer Ricky Lightfoot in a quite stunning turn of pace for the start of any 50 mile race; I’d guess they were going at roughly 5 minute mile pace which say them out of sight within five hundred metres of the start. Bold when there is 50 miles and 12,500 ft of climb to go.

Weather conditions turned out to be perfect for the task in hand. Single figure temperatures and an overcast day did not prevent heavy sweating on the climbs though as competitors headed up to Scafell Pike and the first control point. An absence of any wind chill was welcome as the course unfolded, as was the legacy of such a dry year making ‘The Bog’ (seriously, that is what it is called on the map, so you know what you’re getting!) nice and runnable.

Sadly, exception had been taken to the placement of the markers for the event and thus a great number had been removed. Whilst this did cause some confusion on the course and the odd “inefficient line” it certainly didn’t impact on my enjoyment too much as despite the odd, “which way now!” moment.

The course is made up of woodland trails, classic Lakeland fell climbs and traverses, fantastic ridge running, classic trail racing and a climb at the end that just keeps on giving (thankfully followed by a descent which keeps on giving too!)

I didn’t manage my food and fluids very well again and certainly paid for that later on, losing a lot of time on the final section. I also made a really foolish decision as I came up Skiddaw in that I chose not to put on my gloves or a jacket thinking; “I’ll be heading down in a minute and will warm up”. The combination of food and lack of water saw me with blurred vision and lightheaded enough to genuinely be on the verge of collapse and desperate enough to stop some tourists who were fantastic at helping me with some spare water. Two gels and three quarters of a litre of water later and I was flying high all the way into the finish still in the top ten. I finished in ~11:10 which really should have been a sub 11 finish.

Superb race, fantastic mixture of all the lakes has to offer, great weather, fantastic company, I still hate Skiddaw.

Isle of Man Ultra

This weekend was the Isle of Man Mountain Ultra Race, one of the shorter races in the Run Further race series.

Organised by the Manx Fell Runners, with lots of friendly marshals and friendly encouraging local folks along the way and sponsored by the local brewers Okells with bottles of beer for everyone at the finish!  Oh yes and two not three legs allowed!

As the logo says it covers 50k, 12 summits and 2,500m of climbing along the spine of the Isle of Man from Ramsey in the North to Port Erin in the South. There was the option of an early start for the slower runners (including me) at 7:30 with the main field starting at 8:30. Plus a “half” version which set off from the middle point of St Johns (where the Tyndrum meet) at 1pm.   This made for a wonderful run as for the first half I knew there were lots of folks behind me and had the awesome sight of the fast ones sprinting past. Then as they gradually all disappeared, I was through St Johns 30 mins before the halfers set off, so then had them for company!  Many highlights of the day but the main two were running with and overtaking the local lady who then went on to win the race!  Yes for about 5k we ran along together (chatting!); down off Greeba through the prickly gorse bushes and  onto the only flat of the race, a 3k section of a disused railway line. Because I had my trail shows on rather than fell shoes, they came into there own and I sprinted past the winner before taking 10 minutes out to recover with Bill who supplied hot tea and biscuits!

– onwards and again in splendid isolation having dropped a huge distance down into a wooded glade. I was just beginning to think I had lost the trail when the leading halfer came though, assured me I was going the right way and told me at the top of the next long drag there would be drinks and crowds to cheer us on so keep going– the winner was Lloyd Taggert no less – wow!

The last few miles of the race hugged the spectacular western coast line, but as coastal paths do they included a couple of sharp final ups.

1st male: Tom Crinkle  5:18:24

1st female: Rosy Craine  6:47:51

51st:   Andy Robinson 8:06:48

68th:      Jackie Keasley  8:48:21 

Lakeland Trails Coniston 10k trail race

Suzanne Fletcher, Jenny Palmer and Tim Palmer represented the Green Army in the Lakes on Saturday at the Lakeland Trails Coniston 10k Race with Ben Fletcher supporting after a run up the Old Man of Coniston. The results are at:


The race is very scenic starting on the shores of Coniston Water with the first two miles and a bit steeply uphill, then a fast descent with the final stretch back along the lake shore. The weather was kind to us; starting in the mist at the lake but soon into the sunshine.

Merseyvend 5k Halewood

Colin Thompson sent in the following report.

My first race after being out of action for a while through injury saw myself and Ian Hamling lining up at Halewood Park for the Merseyvend 5k. A 5k race on a flat, arrow straight course may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s the perfect course to see where you are fitness wise. I wasn’t sure how fast I could go as I’ve barely ran more than a few miles in 8 weeks so was more than happy with a 19.35 finish time. Ian had a cracker chasing me down in the second half of the race and found himself just shy of a sub 20. All results here:


Good to see you back, Colin!

Parkrun Results


Janet Robertson: 23:10

Jane Ashbrook: 28:06


Chris Hatton: 25:21
Rachael Holden: 25:40 PB!

Well done Rachael!!

The Borders League

A note from Chris regarding the Borders League races.

This is going out to mainly the new members of the #greenarmy as the folk who have been here a while know all about it already. Just giving you all a heads up that Sunday see’s the start of the Borders league, and it’s the first time both the Men & Ladies teams have had both teams in the 1st Division (I think I’m correct in saying that?) It also goes to show how strong this club is at present and what a great position we are in for this forthcoming season.  

For those that haven’t heard of it before it’s basically 17 local clubs dotted roughly along the Welsh Border, competing in 7 races with varying distances of approx. 8-10k. All you have to do is turn up in your green vest, run as fast as you can, and collect a disc at the end of the race and hand it to our club co-coordinator (normally, Joe/Mario/Jane Bishop/or now myself). Oh and it’s FREE

The club had really good numbers last year, and I expect with lots of new members this year it will grow in popularity even more, and the #greenarmy is by far the best represented club at these events, and it’s great to see. Below is the link to the borders league website, have a look, it will include in this coming week the directions, but I will send out another email and also post on FB and twitter for all to see when it does

Farndon 10k

You have less than 2 weeks to register for the picturesque Farndon 10k on the outskirts of Chester on the border with North Wales.

 The UKA licenced course is closed to traffic, chip-timed and lends itself to fast times for those prepared to give it a go. Starting half a mile from Farndon Sports & Social Club the race visits the villages of Stretton and Tilston before returning back to Farndon.

Cash prizes in male and female categories are

1st – £100

2nd – £50

3rd – £25

All vet category winners will receive a prize and there are medals and goodies for all finishers.

Pre and post race massage provided by the fantastic www.hannasbeautyandholistictherapy.co.uk and we will have an onsite sports retailer.

Click the link to go straight to on-line registration

Colin Bishop picked for England!

Some exciting news just in! It’s huge congratulations to our supervet Colin Bishop for getting a call up to run for England at the British & Irish International Masters Cross Country Championships next month. A thoroughly well deserved place on the England team after years of consistent training and hard graft. Well done from all at Helsby RC! The race will be held on Saturday 14th November 2015 and is being hosted by Ireland at Santry Park, Dublin.

Helsby weekly round-up 21st – 27th September

Hi everyone

Apologies for the brief round-up this week, it was a bit of a rush job this morning. Thank you for the race reports, please keep sending them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com if you wish for them to be included in the round-up each week. 

Wirral Multi Terrain (Arrowe Park) 

It was the season finale of the multi terrain race series on Tuesday. Great to see lots of green vests out and getting involved in this race series and nice to see a few new faces in the mix too. Neil Finegan has sent in a report from the final race at Arrowe Park.

One of the best things about running for Helsby has been the introduction to some superb races that I’d never have considered (or heard of) before.  The Multi Terrain series (I’ve ran 3 of the 4 races) have all been superb – well organised, great atmosphere and all for £1 per race.  And there was of course a big Helsby turnout.

Last weeks event was the last of the series at Arrowe park and was again a real treat.  Starting with a lap of the field it then went into a mixture of woodland trail, undulating grassed fields and just when you thought it was over – another lap.  A great run, going from the open fields into the forest at dusk was a challenge, as was dealing with the crowds at the start.  But the popularity of these events (all with over 300 runners) is understandable – They are top races and at a bargain price. One runner described it as a cross country course but without the mud which sounds about right.

The results are here:

Click to access mtrace4_15.pdf

First Male for Helsby was Chris Collins and Jo Lacking was the first Helsby Lady home. 

Sandstone Trail race

Our very own Geoff Shaw organises this race so a big thank you to him for staging another successful event. Well done to all who participated and fantastic to see a few green vests in the prizes too. Please see a brief race report from Tim Palmer below:

Here are a few jottings on the Sandstone Trail Races today (Sun 27th Sept)
Good Helsby turn-out Results at: http://deeside-orienteering-club.org.uk/sstrail/results.htm

Helsby prize-winners:
Vanessa Griffiths – B Race – Ladies’ 50 winner
Alison Halsall – A Race – 3rd lady
Andy Robinson – A Race – Mens’ 60 winner
Prize for not running as Helsby RC – Tim Palmer (running for Deeside Orienteering Club) – A Race – 1st Orienteer

Worth saying that the first three finishers get their ‘place’ prizes and not their age category prizes – this rule affects both Alison and Vanessa. Great to see lots of support from other Helsby members.

Also this excellent report has been sent in by Jackie.

Yesterday was a splendid Indian Summer day for the 39th Sandstone Trail Race.

The A Race is 27.5km (17.1 miles) with 655m climb starting from Duckington and the B Race is 17.0km (10.6 miles) with 288m of climb starting from Beeston, both finishing at Barnesbridge in Delamere.

A great turnout from Helsby with plenty making the journey south to Duckington for the long race. A crowded start up through the trees on a tranquil dewy morning and onto the open edge of Maiden Moor with misty clearing views out towards Wales. An ideal temperature for running (to start with before it got rather hot) and great under foot, dry but soft and bouncy! Onto Raw Head and then towards Tough Team Challenge territory and Beeston Castle. The quick ones get through before the B race starts giving a less hindered run through the many flat stiled fields (planted with a lot more giant sweet corn than in previous years) before finally reaching the double pull up to Rock Farm and Primrose Hill. Finally the diversion from the trail up the Yeld to avoid the main A road crossing, over the shoulder of Eddisbury Hill and the drop into familiar Delamere for the final push dodging the many early afternoon visitors.

Well done to Helsby runner Geoff Shaw for organising a great well marshalled and signed race which takes some doing over 17 linear miles! Thanks to Mario for supplying the extra lucozade sport needy refreshments along the course and to Joe’s vocal cheers, plus a special mention to Helsby members who helped marshal.

Congratulations to Vanessa, Alison, Andy and Tim for getting individual category prizes, see Tim’s report.

A Race
4      Jim O’Hara            2:03:31
35    Ian Rutherford      2:24:13
41    Phil Roberts          2:26:36
56    Alison Halsall       2:32:21
62    Jim Jones              2:34:03
69    Andy Robinson     2:35:32
70    Tim Palmer           2:35:39
71    Chris Murray         2:36:21
72    Laura B-H              2:36:32
80    Louise McEverley  2:38:31
92    Dave Feakes          2:45:19
109  Lesley Feakes        2:49:57
128  Rachel Arnold        2:57:03
165  Jackie Keasley       3:19:19
176  Steve Wiggins       3:56:00
PS Going by the times and positions there must have been many green vests jostling for positions!   Steve and I were oblivious to all this bringing up the rear, me nursing a cold and Steve a hangover!
B Race
8   Ben Fletcher               1:15:41
45  Vanessa Griffiths      1:33:07
141 Jen O’Hare                1:55:31
187 Betty Grieve              2:14:14 


3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross

What? A cycling race you ask? Well we don’t discriminate here at Helsby RC so anything on 2 wheels is good in our book. Steve Riley was at the 3 peaks cylco-cross on Sunday which is billed as the “toughest cyclocross in the world”. Sounds interesting and slightly bonkers, please read on for Steve’s take on the race.

I’m not bragging or anything but would just like to mention ‘the hardest cyclocross race in the world’. For anyone not familiar with The Peaks, the race makes little sense. It makes little sense to those that are. It goes back to 1961, long before mountain bikes were a twinkle in the eye. Cyclocross bikes: they’re a bit like road bikes with chunkier tyres, slightly beefier frames and lower gears. They are an utterly unsuitable vehicle for travelling the slopes of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent.

whernside climb 800pxIn recent years runner Rob Jebb has made it his own, winning 11 of the last 16 events. It’s a ride that suits fell runners – several of the elite of English champs were on the start-line, together with ex World Champ MTBer Tim Gould …and me. No fear of troubling the leader board, but it’s an absolute treat just to turn up and ride. I say ‘ride’ because there’s a lot of carrying.

So anyways, Ingleborough is mostly a brutal and steep climb via Simon Fell, suited to knotty runner’s calfs, followed by a moorland traverse to the top. Dib in, turn around and after a tricky running section through the rocks to leave the summit and then a fast and rutted grassy descent (wrong bike) to Cold Cotes and the first of the road sections (wrong bike again) through to the next climb of Whernside. This is mostly rocky steps and the reverse of the descent on the fell race. Dib on the top and then the trickiest section of the whole race, down to the iconic Ribblehead viaduct familiar to all steam enthusiasts. Flags, drainage bars, rutted moorland tussocks and lots of rocks doing their best to attract punctures (wrong bike).

whernsideMore road down to Horton and the out and back climb of Pen-y-ghent. A bent rear mech by now making a nuisance of itself all the way down the road, the final hill taking a long time to draw close. Tired now and even the tiny road climbs are tempting cramp.

Because this last hill is out and back you get the extra pleasure of seeing the fast folk flying down towards you as you’re suffering like a dog on the way up. Cowbells, whistles simon fellshouts of ‘rider up, keep left!’ raise your game …it was a lot quieter when I came down and the support had mostly gone home. Hit the road for the final couple of miles into the finish and both legs lock solid with cramp. Stretch, no that doesn’t work. Pedal, no that hurts. Soft pedal, sort of works. It passes and eventually, I’m back just sneaking under 5h for a pretty mediocre performance. Still, top 500 In The World!

38 miles (4 classed as unrideable, I’m asking for a recount) 5000′ of climbing. 2 litres, 4 gels, a 9-bar and half a squashed banana. An utterly, utterly unique event.

Ed – Big contgrats Steve!


Please find the results from the Satuday parkruns. Well done to all who took part.

Warrington parkrun

27th Ian HAMLING 00:20:37
30th Joanne LACKING 00:20:59
81st Michael WILLIAMS 00:24:35
107th Rachael HOLDEN 00:26:00

Delamere parkrun

40th Janet ROBERTSON 00:23:21
52nd Geoff COLLINS 00:23:56
137th Stephen WIGGINS 00:28:28
138th David WIGGINS 00:28:28
228th Jen O’HARE 00:35:15

Ellesmere Port parkrun

12th Benjamin John WILLIAMS 00:22:53

That’s all this week. Again, apologies for the lack of content this week, if I have missed anything please let me know and I can update the blog later on.

Happy running!