14th May 13:00 Fell Champs Counter at Moel Ellio
20th May 19:15 Road Champs Counter at Christleton 5K
We also have Tattenhall tough team challenge coming up on Friday 17th June, to anyone newbies it’s an excellent event, I think we can still pay on the night so wondering who’s interested, you can send me your team of 3 or just respond saying yes you fancy it and we shall work teams out closer the time. Thanks Fitzy
The setup of Chester parkrun in the grounds behind the countess of Chester hospital is now nearing conclusion. They are putting on a test run next Tuesday 17th May at 18:30. At present they have about 25 Chester tri members coming to try out the course and provide some feedback – an invite was sent to Helsby but appears to have not got through.
If anyone is free next Tuesday for a 5k then please feel free to attend – your feedback could be important in the setup of the run and it is a good chance for the organising team to be put to the test. The venue is the countess of Chester country park.
Helsby members were in action at Widnes, Ellesmere Port, Warrington and Pennington. Highlights included a win for Col Bishop at Pennington and a course PB for Rhea Thomas at Warrington.
Full, consolidated results for Helbsy parkrunners are below.
Gaz O’Connor, Joanne Lacking and Helen Owens all recorded course PBs at the fast and flat (and also not net downhill) Halewood 5K on Saturday . Special mention must go to Helen for impressively continuing her quest to improve her race times at the expense of her race photographs.
Louise McEveley was the sole Helsby representative at Rainow 5 Fell Race and reports it was a stunning afternoons running. Louise finished the race in just under 53 minutes. Well done, Louise.
Helsby vs. Felsby (Dinas Bran Fell Race)
The Green Army headed over to Llangollen last Wednesday night for our second instalment of Helsby v Felsby, to what was a Fell counter race as well. Helsby were taking a 26 point lead into the race over our mountain loving chums, and I for one was confident we could compete with them “it’s only 4.4 miles” I was saying to myself, how hard can it be? I had to re-think that thought after seeing a few casualties drop out due to other commitments, but I was still hoping for a good turn out, as the main aim of this was to increase numbers at our borders league and fell races.
Whilst registering I heard someone say there was only 30 runners in the event last year, so when I counted the number of heads with green tops on in our pre race photo I was amazed that we had 27 runners starting the race, eventually to find out 79 in total ran in, so we made up more than a third of the field…..amazing.
We started on a very flat field, brilliant, to be told 1 lap of the field, out and take a right up a little bit of an incline. We left the field and there was a lot of tarmac with a little incline, we turned the next corner to be greeted by what can only be described as one hell of a horrendous hill. Us that were about to run the Sandstone Trail a few days away, started to worry a little (well us roadies did, ok well just me and Ian Rutherford). You gradually climb the hill to then head onto the fells which even at the bottom gave us spectacular views of the surrounding valleys so I was keen to get to the top and see the rest. I must admit, I can see why Felsby love running in these hills, it was a superb summers evening and to turn around and see a trail of runners all climbing this massive hill was amazing. Now how Joe got to the top of it before all of us and looking not out of breath at all baffles me……”weyyyyyyyy heyyyyyyyy c’mon Helsby” he shouted as per usual, it always inspires me to put that little bit extra in and I am sure it does with the others.
Then it dawns on you, that you have to come down, and this is what sets a fell runner apart from a roadie, I’m quite strong going up hills, but coming down hill is a skill, and I was getting over taken by everyone, they seem to glide down the hill like a ballerina, it’s brilliant to watch, although soul destroying at the same time. We did another lap of the hill going back up and down again, to wind our way down to a very fast finish.
Some great performances on the night, Jim O’Hara proving he’s king of the hills, and Laura Baynham-Hughes showing us all how its done and coming in first for the ladies. Chris Baynham-Hughes only beat me because he pulled me back on the start line by they way!!
Now I think we all know the results and it pains me to say Felsby battered us on the night, and overall over the 2 legs had a clear winning margin, 965 points to 758 points for Helsby. They had their big guns out on the night that mattered, but all in all I think we all had a lot of fun over the 2 races and it will be something we will look to do again next year, it proved to be a resounding success. I have a little trophy to present to CBH the winning teams captain, picture to follow, if I can tear him away from all the media attention he’s now getting after his Sandstone Trail Challenge win at the weekend.
See you all soon…Fitzy
The 2016 Sandstone Trail Challenge (by Andy Robinson)
I’ll write a more complete account of the day and post it to the STC web pages in the next day or two. The photos will be going online too, once I’ve got them to Steve & he’s found the time to post them. In the meantime…
We had a great day, with no major problems other than the usual shredding of my nerves. Many pies were eaten. The weather was a bit hot for running, but not nearly as hot as it could have been, as the sun was behind hazy clouds for most of the day. The slower walkers got rained on, but nobody from Helsby RC came even close to that. 201 runners and walkers started off from Whitchurch, and 179 of them finished. Helsby had 13 starters and 11 finishers. I’ve no intention of naming and shaming Dave Madders and Chris Murray – at least they gave it a good go. Where exactly was Ivan though? I shall want to see the letter from his parent or guardian.
Helsby came in 1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th, and we had 4th woman home too. Stand up Chris Baynham-Hughes, Chris Fitzpatrick, Jim O’Hara, Phil Roberts and Jane Ashbrook! If you can. Chris’s storming of Frodsham Hill to get past Lawrence Eccles again was one of the performances of the day. We also reclaimed the MV70 title and record – or rather Ian Hilditch did – another of the day’s highlights.
Full Helsby results:
1. 4:50 Chris Baynham-Hughes
3. 4:54 Chris Fitzpatrick
6. 5:07 Jim O’Hara
9. 5:16 Phil Roberts
22. 5:50 Jane Ashbrook (4th woman)
23. 5:53 Jim Higgins
24. 5:54 Gareth Boyd
35. 6:18 Ian Rutherford
36. 6:18 Derek Morris
80. 7:39 Ste Wiggins
92. 8:18 Ian Hilditch (Ian reclaimed the MV70 record by knocking 8 minutes off Adrian Sumption’s 2015 record)
Other highlights were:
2. 4:51 Lawrence Eccles of Penny Lane Striders
4. 5:01 Chris Collins, first Spartan home
5. 5:06 Dave Clamp of Knutsford Tri, setting a new MV50 record
11. 5:21 Luci Lamb, first woman, and 2nd Spartan
57. 7:02 Carole Morrison of Pensby Runners, first FV50
110&111 9:28 Pip Adamson and Oliver Ormrod, joint first men under 18
127 10:10 Shannon McCue, first woman under 18, and a new record
129 10:10 Jean Lyon, first ever FV70, and a new record of course!
Sandstone Trail Challenge (by Ian Rutherford)
This is my review of the Sandstone Trail Challenge from a first timers’ perspective. Having never ran beyond marathon distance before this was another new running experience initiated as part of my Green Army membership. I would describe my specific training for this as ‘indifferent’. As a lot of you know I run good mileage month to month generally but stepping this up in terms of complementing trail terrain, adding mileage to individual runs – some now in excess of marathon distance and joining this all together with hillier profiles really took it out of me.
Meeting up at the community centre helped relieve a few nerves; lots of friendly faces; lots of combined experience helping me get to grips with the task ahead. The pre race organisation was flawless and despite spending what felt like hours driving to Whitchurch just underlining what a very long way we have to run back really is, well that and Steve Wiggins’ speech 😉 I found myself on the start line on a sunny and already warm Saturday morning.
Bizarre to some no doubt, one of my biggest fears was actually getting lost during the run (training runs on the SST suggested this as a real and likely scenario) so with that in mind I had set to try and stay with some those with experience of the trail. So with best wishes from The Major and Andy’s watch striking the start time, we were off! So within 25 minutes or so that plan to stick with those with SST experience was already going wrong. The first few mile was pleasant easy running along the canal; my initial plan to tag with Phil Roberts was already crossed off; I felt I was already running too fast (trying to pay the distance the respect it deserves you understand) but still only observed him getting further and further away; no probs I thought I know Jane is behind me and there’s obviously still a good group of us together at this early stage – so just keep going as is.
The next few miles of undulating fields; mostly ploughed and hardened in the recent warm sunny spell made for really uncomfortable ‘ankle-breakers’ – running with any tempo was a struggle and for the first time that day I had practical reminder that this was not going to anything other than a real test to just finish. Getting to Duckington was my first milestone and the semi familiar scene having run the ‘A-Race’ last year. Again not much opportunity for site seeing but the views on the highest parts of the SST around here were just stunning – but unsurprisingly this was hard work; at times the climbing became nothing more than a yomp (I remember running them in the A-Race but clearly already 10-12 miles in and with more than 20 still to do, I was mindful). The field started to thin out around me now and was running mostly on my own; always paranoid I’d missed a yellow sign.
A word about the check-points/water stations (official and unofficial) – again brilliantly organised; so friendly, couldn’t do enough to help and really great encouragement again from so many friendly faces – a big thank-you!
From around this point I was joined by Deggsy, he looked strong and soon was starting to get away from me and mentally crossed another one off my list to run with. Just before the 4th checkpoint Jim and Gareth came alongside – again both looking way stronger than me. We arrived at the checkpoint roughly together and were soon joined by Jane who didn’t even look to be breaking a sweat. Much liquid and Jaffa-cakes later; the legs now seriously tired and stiffening with every stop the four of us set off together; Jane had a brief reunion with her family on the roadside who had managed to find her. We entered the trail once again and a rather pompous lady on horse-back thought it’d be good to give us a ‘gee-up’ “You’re about to get overtaken by a girl” she told the three of us; a quick glance behind confirmed what we knew – “That’s not a girl” I replied “That’s Jane!” The steep climbs saw us mix running with more yomping but Jane just carried on and on with the higher-pace; by now I was also struggling to match Gareth and Jim’s climbing ability and with Jane long-gone I found myself stranded again. On one of the straighter field sections I could just glance Degs again and I seemed to be albeit slowly getting closer. Within a couple of mile, I was with him again and we remained together for the rest of the run. It was great to company on that final section – cheers Degs.
Counting off the miles to the final checkpoint we ambled – anything approaching good flowing running long since a distant memory; we eventually arrived into Manley Common having thankfully lost the crowds of Delamere Forest and honestly I’ve never been more relieved to see Joe & Mario in my life. Fozy kindly refilled my hydro-pack (thanks mate) and off again once more. On home turf but in that we know how tough it is; we stumbled through the hilly sandstone. With less than a third of a mile to go, following the zig-zag path down to the end of the trail before you hit the road in Frodsham I managed to fall over and end up on my backside; normally this would be no biggie but for the first time in six hours my calf muscles weren’t carrying me and they ballooned in spasm – I gave a massive yelp; a lady runner passed us and then thankfully Degs put his Sunday league football knowledge into practices and pushed back my feet to stretch the muscle – PAIN!
Arriving across the field in to the community centre together; a smiling Jackie to confirm our finish I was all in. It took me a good few mins to get my head together I must be honest – refreshed with a cheese pie and a cuppa!
Official time for me (and Degs) was 6h 18mins; really happy (and proud) to just finish this absolute beast of a race; on the day there were many better and I spent the next hour or so in their company at the community centre absolutely listening to their experiences and feeling made up for everyone. What a day and thanks for all who made it possible.
Also there was the Sandstone Trail Marshals’ Run, on Monday 2 May:
6:32 Andy Robinson
7:16 Ben Williams
11:15 Charlie Roberts
Ste and Dave Wiggins and Ellen Roberts provided support, so many thanks to them. Ben’s run took 40 minutes off his PB and was a really good performance in pretty muddy conditions
Thanks for all the race reports everyone, please send to email@example.com