Helsby RC blog. Week ending 24/04/2016

Welcome to the weekly round up. First of all a quick reminder of what’s coming up this week:

Upcoming Events

Wednesday 27/04/16 7.15pm is the final race, and presentation night, of the Borders League. This event is now being hosted by Prestatyn RC at The Frith, Prestatyn. Postcode for sat nav users is LL19 7AR. Any new club members please check with Chris Fitzpatrick that you have already been registered for the league.  Also anyone wanting to car share can meet at Helsby clubhouse at 6pm.

Thursday 28/04/2016 7.15pm is the Mid Cheshire 5k, which is one of our road counters.

Friday 29/04/2016 7pm – is of course, our annual Presentation Evening at Helsby Community Sports Club. David and Lesley are organising the catering so please let them know before this Wednesday if you will be attending.

Saturday 30/04/2016 1pmLlangynhafal Loop – A great little ‘morning after’ fell race. Venue is the Golden Lion, Llangynhafal LL16 4LN. Allow for 10 minute walk from the venue to the actual start.

Sunday 01/05/2016 10.30am -we have another road counter with the Liverpool Spring 10k at Sefton Park.


Reeth Trail 20km

On Sunday Laura Baynham Hughes had an excellent run on the Reeth Trail 20km race and has sent in the following report:

“I travelled to beautiful Swaledale this weekend for the Reeth Trail event, organised by gr8events. When I signed up I was a bit lax in my research on where it was (thought it was in the Lakes) – it turned out to be in North Yorkshire, but it was well worth the trip. A well organised ‘trail’ race with 10km and 20km options, I opted for the 20km route after enjoying the Sandstone trail A race last year. I would say it was more like a long runnable fell race with plenty of climb and some good descents, but was just missing rough ground and any really steep sections – I had to run the whole thing!! I really enjoyed the route and would recommend the race – we made a weekend of it and camped down the road as it is a good few hours away. Swaledale is great and well worth a visit. It was a bit strange doing a race though and being the only Green Army representative and not recognising any other runners. It was also missing Helsby’s chief cheering squad – kept expecting Joe and Mario to pop up on the course and I did miss their support. I did have a Baynham-Hughes cheering squad at the end though which made sure I didn’t let up on the descent for the finish. Really pleased with my time and position (25 overall, 5th lady, 1h 48mins).”

Thanks for the report Laura, and well done.

Goldrush Cani-cross


Jo Farwell and Wilma were running the trails in Coed y Brenin on Saturday. The Gold rush is described as a challenging 8.5 mile trail race and those entering with their dogs run the same route as the main race but start 30 minutes later. Well done Jo and Wilma.

Whitely 10k


There were 7 Helsby runners at the Whitely 10k on Sunday. Phil Roberts was first home for Helsby, followed by Carol Shaw who finished first in her category. Well done Carol! Also congratulations to Kate Mann on completing her first race in a Helsby vest, and welcome to the club Kate.
Full results are available here


London Marathon

Well done to the six Helsby vests who made the trip to London on Sunday. Its also apparent from social media that they had a fantastic following of supporters! Some excellent results here: Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 22.49.09


Well, Helsby continue to pop in park runs all over the UK. This week we had Carl Pratt running at Crystal Palace and Andy Smith at Workington Parkrun. There was a massive turnout of  9 Helsby runners at Delamere this week. The highlight of the parkruns though has got to have been at Widnes where Colin Thompson and Colin Bishop posted 1st and 2nd respectively – with just 20 seconds between them! Well done guys. Let me know when you two are doing the same park run again – I’d like to watch!

The Helsby consolidated parkrun results are available here

The Fellsman

And finally, a report from last weekend submitted by Andy Robinson:

“I ran the Fellsman on Saturday: a 61-mile race across tops and bogs in
the Yorkshire Dales. Two of my toes are still numb, and I’m still
knackered. It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever done. The weather
was very cold but otherwise great, but the ground was as wet as it’s
ever been for the Fellsman, and that’s saying a lot, because it’s pretty
wet even in a good year. The results aren’t up yet, but the winner took
about 11:30, and I finished in about 17:45, rolling in to the finish at
02:15 on Sunday morning. That’s why I wasn’t at the Helsby vs Felsby
race! I’ve written up an account of my race on Runfurther.com, and the
results will appear on http://www.fellsman.org.uk soon.”

Well done Andy, and thanks for sending the report in.

I think that’s it for this week. Please keep sending any reports or contributions t0 helsby-race-reports@outlook.com



Helsby RC update 3-4-16 to 10-4-16

Upcoming Events:

Firstly a quick reminder from Chris F about the upcoming Border League/ Helsby vs. Felsby Challenge on this coming Sunday at 11am/

It’s borders league time… yes it’s that time of month again and it’s even bigger this month as the northwests finest fell runners will be turning up and trying to take us on our own Tarmac patch!!! Expect Phillip Roberts Chris Baynham-Hughes Adam Gordon (yes that’s right he’s defected to Felsby) all Tarmac slapping this coming Sunday, were over in Mold, if your using a sat nav use CH7 1HT, it’s a measured 5 mile race and starts at 11am.

Final teams cannot be decided until the day of the race for Helsby v Felsby but it’s pretty even up to now, maybe 1 or 2 more Felsby men needed, I expect this to be the biggest gathering of green yet to date, oh and for all you Felsby crew it’s free but you don’t get a pie and a pint afterwards so bring your own!!


Wed 20th April – 8:30pm – Phillip Pearson – President of East Cheshire Harriers & Tameside Athletic Club – on his book “Fit To Run; The complete guide to injury-free running”

Message from Phil – I will be bringing some copies of my book.  If any of your members would like to purchase one at £10 instead of the official £12.99 they are welcome.  However, please stress that this is not with the intention of making profit (it just about covers my costs) and if nobody buys one I would not be at all offended or worried!


Borders League 7 (Deestriders) Wed 27/04/2016 19:15  NB. Moved to Prestatyn


 CGP Road Mid Cheshire 5K (CGP) Thu 28/04/2016 19:15 Kingsley Cricket Club, Kingsley,
Cheshire, WA6 8HY


Club Helsby RC – Presentation Evening Fri 29/04/2016 19:00
Helsby Community Sports Club,
Chester Rd, Frodsham WA6 0DL,
United Kingdom



Helsby runners were in action across the area, highlights include a 2nd place for Colin Tompson at Warrington and a PB for the ever improving Davyd Mitchell at Delamere. Full, consolidated results for Helby RC parkrunners can be found below.



Race reports

Fitzy also sent in the following report from sunny Manchester

The sun was out on Sunday and I’ve got Brit abroad vest lines to prove it! 6 of the green army made it over Manc land after plenty of months training for what for some was there A race (ok just me) but even so 26.2 miles is to be respected so a lot of graft went into training for this one for all of us.

Bad traffic and a quite horrendous baggage drop off zone didn’t help my pre race nerves but I managed to get to the start line 1 minute before the race started.

It was near perfect race conditions and the hooter sounded and we were all off. One thing Manchester marathon does well is it attracts a big field, and it really is sight to see so many runners in the distance pounding the pavement along the streets of Manc land. For me I had a great start and felt really fresh going through the half way point, and it was a bonus as seen all the other Helsby runners apart from Jenn. Boydy was in a Cheerleaders outfit and I felt like going over and giving him a kiss he looked stunning, Gaz and Helen were running as someone else, but I still managed to spot them “greeeeeeeeeeeeeenarmy” was at its loudest when they passed. Then little quiet Louise with the loudest shout of the day she really does have a gob on her.

Now for £60 plus £10 for parking I expect this marathon to run like clockwork and a few of the mile markers were out of sync, the course measured a bit long, and I know this annoyed some people, but overall a great day was had, until people got to the baggage area that is to be greeted by long queues. A nice PB for me, Louise got a Good for Age entry at next years London marathon for her fantastic time, and Jenn running her first marathon was very impressive indeed. Big shout out to Gaz and Helen who managed sub 6 hrs, fantastic running from them both and even more so from Gaz having to put up with Helen for that amount of time!

98th out of 9260  Chris Fitzpatrick 2 hrs 49 mins 54 secs
3805th Louise McEveley 3 hrs 55 mins 29 secs
4007th Gareth Boyd 3 hrs 57 mins 20 secs
4404 Jenn Naylor 4 hrs 41 secs
8289th Helen Owens & Gaz O’Connor 5hrs 7 mins 33 secs (Gaz beat Helen BTW)

It will be interesting to see in the coming days what feedback this marathon gets, it’s perfect for PB hunters, but it did let itself down this year if you ask me with some of the basics  a big race should get right.
Jim Jones’ report from even sunnier Lanzarote.

Haria Maraton de Montana

On Saturday 9th April I took part in  a ‘trail race’ hosted by he Haria Trail team in Lanzarote. There were 3 races on the day a 42k, a 26k and a 10k. I opted for the 26k. The race started and finished in the town of Maguez. My preference for the British imperial system of measurement for logging my miles,  and my very poor Spanish gave me a couple of difficulties. We set off straight into a gradual climb off course volcanic sand as we left Maguez and it was not long before we were running a ridge with stunning views. The temperature quickly rose to around 22c with a light wind for the first few miles. It was then pretty much up and down with some tough climbs and fast descents.

I reckoned there to be about 40 runners who set off in the 26k race and I was quite happy being with the first half until I got to about 10 miles. By then the field was well spread out and I realised I could see no one in front or behind! It wasn’t a navigation event and I was just thinking how well marked the course was when I realised I couldn’t see the next flag. So I carried on until I did picked up another flag,  but then found myself taking to a couple of Spanish runners on the 42k route.  The guys did their best to put me right but when I said I had already ran 10 ‘miles’ they thought  I was looking for the 10k route – confusing or what!.

By this time I was wishing it was a navigation event, and that I wasn’t relying on route markers. So I retraced my steps and picked up where I went wrong. I can only surmise that I drinking water as missed the sign because it did seem obvious when I eventually found it. The unexpected additional miles were tough but I felt a bit better about my error when I managed to pass a couple of 26k runners for the second time during the last couple of miles.
Ban Williams sent in this report from the Woldsman 50 mile ultra

Ste Wiggins and I took on the LDWA Woldsman 50 mile event on Saturday.

Ste’s an old hand at these ultras but this was the first time for me to take on this distance. I’ve entered a few LDWA events in the past, but only up to 30-ish miles.
The route took us around parts of East Yorkshire, past a deserted medieval village, two ruined churches, and a long row of dead moles hung on a farm gate (we sped up at that point…). There were no really big hills, but plenty of short sharp climbs and long gradual drags, and so the total ascent mounted up. The weather was mixed, heavy rain in the morning made the field sections very muddy – the sun came out in the afternoon but the damage underfoot was already done and long sections were really slippy underfoot and pretty much unrunnable. Unfortunately this slowed our time right down, and we had to finish in the dark, luckily the closing sections were fairly easy to navigate. Although the only time on the whole day we got lost was within half a mile of the finish, where we took a wrong turn in a wood, but luckily came out in near enough the right place.


As usual with LDWA, the event was impeccably organised and very low-key, which for me adds to their attraction. There were well-stocked checkpoints around every six miles, breaking the run up nicely into manageable chunks, and meaning I could eat my own bodyweight in sausage rolls and flapjacks on the way round.

One hint I would offer to anyone doing these type of events is to read any blogs written by past entrants, these give a good idea of what to expect and maybe some navigation tips. Doing this meant at least we were prepared for the route to be long, and so we weren’t left crying at the roadside when the watch ticked over 50 miles (though we both felt like it)

Total distance – 51.67 miles
Ascent – 4790 feet
Time – 13h 44min

Tanya Downes was kind enough to send in 3 reports from Ashford Half. Luckily enough they were all identical so I’ve chosen to post the middle one.

Ashford and district 1/2 marathon
On a glorious sunny day I set off to complete a sneaky 1/2 marathon to start my family break away. There had been a late change of route due to flooding at the running club headquarters and the photocopied map via email didn’t show much. About 400 people doing either the 1/2 or full marathon (2 laps) started out at 9am. And up we ran, I have never seen so many roads that go up with so little down to compensate, it was described as undulating ( i think it must have been written by Phil Roberts) and made Helsby feel flat. By mile 7 my legs were goosed. A walk / run got me home in 2:35 and after only 3 weeks back running I was pleased with that. Beautiful day, fantastic scenery and friendly running club. Hills on Wednesdays for me I think.

Arley Hall 10K.

Donna Geer, Emma Barnes and Rebecca Gibson rann Arley 10K on Sunday, Emma and Rebecca got PBs with Donna doing very well coming back from injury prior to running London Marathon next weekend. Well done ladies

Thanks for the reports guy and gals as usual please send them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com



Helsby weekly round-up 28th March to 3rd April 2016

Hi everyone

A busy weekend of racing for the Green Army with 3 road races and a fell to report. Thank you for all the reports sent to the inbox, please keep them coming each week, they should be sent to the usual email address helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Before we get started just a few word regarding Wednesday training:

It’s our first Wednesday hill run of the year and it will be in a similar format to the road with 4 different groups to cater for all abilities.

Traditional hill run muster:

Muster points:

  1. Middle walk (top of first steep off road section, Helsby hill)
  2. Middle walk (top of steep road section, Frodsham hill)
  3. Top of Sandstone steps.
  4. Bench after Frodsham Golf course with views across to Helsby.
  5. Bench at top of Snidley Moor.
  6. Bottom of steep hill at Sandy Lane junction.
  7. Commonside at Sandstone trail junction.
  8. Cross roads end of Commonside (option to run straight back to club via The Rock).
  9. Trig point Helsby Hill.

Groups as winter runs:

A: sub 43 min 10kers
B: sub 53 min 10kers
C: 53 min+ 10kers
Beginners: not regularly running 10k (hill route will be cut short appropriate to group)

Please muster within your group and run back to the tail runner at each muster point.

You are welcome to push yourself and run up a group but you must inform the group leader if you start to get dropped and either run on at your own pace or fall back to the next group. The idea is that each group should not be too spread out, but we don’t want to lose anyone on the hill!!

We need some volunteers to lead each group on Wednesday, if you can help please get in touch.

Now on to the news…

Fron Four Fell Race

It’s great to see Jim Jones back competing after being out with injury for a while, he was our sole Helsby representative at the Fron Four fell race but he certainly made it count by stealing 3rd V50! Well done Jim!

Jim has sent in this brief race report…

I was one of only about 20 runners who ran the Fron Four fell race near Caernarfon on Saturday 2nd April, the weather possibly deterring a few people. I knew it was going to be a tough one, having done it last year with the sun shine. This year there were some strong winds and a heavy rainfall resulted in any pathways turning into streams. The wind didn’t even keep the cloud away, and I found myself having to run on a compass bearing a couple of times. The race is listed as 7.1 miles with 2350ft of climb but this obviously depends on your route choice – I’ve actually done well over 8 miles each time. I picked up a prize for 3rd vet 50.

Results should appear at http://www.wfra.me.uk

Halewood 5k

Myself, Ivan and Dave Madders returned to Halewood for the monthly 5k event. Ivan had a great run in preparation for his half marathon the next day….more on that later.

Please find the Helsby results below:

9th Colin Thompson 17:39
24th Ivan Davies 19:02
43rd Dave Madders 22:06

A few people have asked about this race, please find a link below to the website showing all the details. Remember this is a free event on a super fast course, it would be nice to see a few more club members there each month.


Darwen Heritage Half Marathon

3 of our green troops ventured to Darwen for the Heritage half marathon on Sunday. By all accounts it wasn’t exactly easy with over 1200 ft of climb! Well done to Jackie, Ian and Neil for flying the Helsby flag, Ian has also sent in this excellent report…

Has the argument for supporting running races put on by runners for runners ever have been made so compelling?  Darwen Dashers should be rightly proud of this ‘new’ race; the organisation was flawless and thanks to our very own Paul Foster for advertising it in the first place!

£17 – a half marathon in the fantastic and stunning Lancs countryside, medal, beer and tech t-shirt!  Even the spring sunshine came out right on cue!

From over 400 runners, there were three green vests on display – myself, Neil and our very own Commander in Chief Jackie.


The race is described as “similar to the old ‘Roller Coaster’ route, but with a new venue and slight alterations…on scenic undulating roads south of Darwen Lancs.”  Well rollercoaster is an excellent description as there are so very few actually flat sections:


The support from the local area was amazing, outside the obvious ‘big-commercial’ events I have never experienced anything like it; even in some of the most rural areas, there was plenty of cow-bells and encouragement from the road-side; and I’ll be honest it was not only appreciated but much needed – this was a tough run!


Neil as we know goes from strength to strength and finished in 13th position overall and was 2nd in MV40 Cat; absolutely brilliant run to complete this challenging course in a staggering 1’25:56.  Although as is the way these days, I couldn’t get near him; I was made up with my run of 1’29:48 which was effective for 29th overall and 7th in MV40 cat.  Both Neil and I ensured we had the ear of the Race Director at the end with the microphone to ensure Jackie got a big Green Army welcome – beaming smiles and waving Jackie crossed the tape at 2’09:50 and 4th in her category!


1st Ben Fish (Blackburn Harriers) Snr Men 01:12:40 (next in was 1’19 wow!)
13th Neil Finegan M40 (2nd from 57 in cat) 01:25:56
29th Ian Rutherford M40 (7th from 57 in cat) 01:29:48
298th Jackie Keasley F55 (4th from 7 in cat) 02:09:50

Assuming the Dashers put this on next year we could do an awful lot worse as a club than promoting this race hard!  I also have deliberately not mentioned Darwen Dashers naked charity calendar (doh!), thankfully Jamie Dowdall was away when they shot it!




Good photos of Neil & Ian on these links



Wilmslow Half Marathon

Another half marathon on Sunday saw 4 Helsby vests toeing the line at the Wilmslow half. It was almost 5 runners but luckily Ivan found out he hadn’t actually entered the race after opening his race pack in the morning and found a different race entry altogether and promptly returned to bed! I shall pass you over to Jim Gray who has sent in another fab report…

Wilmslow Half Marathon was brilliant to take part in this year – the event was well organised, the crowd support along the way was great and the sun was shining.  So much so that a concerned spectator shouted that she hoped I was wearing sun cream!..

The route reaches out from Wilmslow into the Cheshire countryside taking runners (almost 4000 on sunday) on a wide loop around Mobberley and back.  The course undulates and there’s a good mix of gentle downhills and flat stretches however you start noticeably climbing again from about 7 miles steadily all the way back to the finish.  I’m sure I’m not alone in finding the last 3 miles particularly challenging and you really have to dig deep to push on to the end, definitely is all part of the fun.

Well done to Ste Roach who trimmed a massive six minutes off his recent liverpool time to run 1:40.23.

Four Helsby runners in action:

Ste Roach: 1:40.23
Me (Jim) 1:42:39
Mike Williams: 1:46:41
Paul Roberts: 2:12:47

Full results here: http://tdleventservices.co.uk/race-results.php


All the consolidated Helsby results from last Saturdays parkruns can be found below. Well done all who took part, especially Colin Bishop and Joanne Lacking who both won silver at Widnes and another PB for the ever improving Davyd Mitchell at Delamere. Nice one!


London Marathon

Geoff Collins has sent the following request:

London Marathon race report, surely not yet,  is this an April fools day joke?  No it isn’t yet but it will be in three weeks time!

I have a request,  I’m running this year’s London Marathon for the charity Save the Children.   I did say I would never do this again for charity, but somehow after a glass of wine or two I changed my mind!

Most people at Helsby might not know I‘m doing this for charity and might like to sponsor me.  I would be very grateful if anyone could sponsor me for this good cause.  You can do this via;  virginmoneygiving.com/GeoffCollins  or www.justgiving.com/Geoff-Collins2   I’m also writing a blog about my preparations for this on Word Press under Geofftherunner.

Thats’ all this week. Thanks again for all the great reports. Please let me know if I have missed anything.