Any corrections, let us know.
Welcome to the weekly round up. First of all a quick reminder of what’s coming up over the next week:
a reminder from CBH:
“Robbie Webster’s Wobbler
Just a reminder that Wednesday will see the 4th running of Robbie Webster’s Wobbler – in memory of the late Robbie Webster, an inspirational figure within the club.
Details are all on the website: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2016-robbie-websters-wobbler/
But the key bits are:
Registration at Forest Hills 6:15-7pm
Start @ 7:15pm by the Ring o’Bells
Cake and social back at the club afterwards
It’s part of the INTERCLUB series we have and we have a title to defend!!! Everybody counts!!
It’s just like the Wednesday club run on the hills… only with more hills! Guarantee you won’t be last, and if you are then just think about how happy you’ve made the person who finished one ahead of you.”
Moel Siabod fell race
Saturday 2nd July, 2pm. An ‘AS’ category fell race of 5.4 miles with 2300ft of climb. Race venue is the Show Field opposite the Moel Siabod cafe, Capel Curig, LL24 0EL (GR SH728577)
Saturday 2nd July 10am at Knowsley Harriers AC club house, Okell Drive, Halewood, L26 7XB.
Fairy Freckled Cow Trail Race
Sunday 3rd July 11.30am. A fast 11k trail race around the Llyn Alwen Reservoir (GR SH 955530) http://www.denbighharriers.com/Trail_Race.html
We actually start with a race report that just missed last weeks blog. Tunnel 10k. Thanks to Carl Pratt for sending in the results and Clare Louise Miller for the race report:
“On Sunday 19th June myself, Gaz o Connor, Ste roach and Carl Pratt travelled to Liverpool for the staple of the BTR calendar which is the tunnel 10k.
This is the 11th year of the event and is a firm favourite with most north west running clubs and in the past it has attracted big numbers from Helsby. In fact one year Roy and Colin T were that keen to run it they were at the start line before the race organisers and before there was even a start line!
Anyway, the course is a pretty flat 10k course going through the kingsway tunnel from Liverpool to New Brighton. Running through the tunnel is a novelty however the rest of the rest is a bit industrial until you get to the beautiful promenade for the last 2 miles.
Some cracking times from the lads whilst myself managed a sub 55 10k on my first attempt at this distance since my “comeback”.
Great goody bag this year, along with obligatory t shirt and medal. Would recommend this race to everyone really, it’s a cracker. “
Carl Pratt – chip time 43:01 – gender position 108 – category position 70
Ste Roach – chip time 47:05 – gender position 286 – category position 172
Clare Miller – chip time 54:10 – gender position 91 – category position 43
Well done everyone!
We had six Helsby runners participating in Parkruns over the weekend. A noteable 3rd place was had by Degsy at Widnes park run and just 13 seconds short of his PB. Well done all. Consolidated results for Helsby can be viewed at http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721
Penny Lane 10k
Thanks to Adam Gordon for sending in this race report:
“Eleven members of the Green Army turned out for the Penny Lane 10k on Otterspool Prom on Sunday, our 8th Road Counter of the year. Despite a dodgy forecast, it was a near perfect day for running. Much of the pre-race chat was about it being a lovely, friendly club-organised race but not a quick course for PBs because of the grass, the off-road bits and the twists and turns.
Nearly 400 runners set off, looping around the grassy park before heading out into a bit of a headwind for 4 km on the prom, followed by a wind assisted return and a blast around a park and uphill to the finish. There was plenty of support along the course and even drummers to give encouragement. Colin Bishop led the Helsby charge and stormed to a fourth place finish and V55 category win. I was pleased come in next and bag a new PB after a bit of battle with Neil (another PB) and Fitzy. Strong performances from the rest of the gang got us 2nd Men’s Team (which I thought was a cracking achievement for a race in Liverpool) and Tanya claimed the points for the road champs as first Helsby lady!”
North Devon Marathon
I returned to one of my favourite parts of the country for coastal running on Sunday and did the North Devon Marathon. It’s one of the few races in the South West of England that is actually listed on the calendar of the Fell Runners Association. The race starts and finishes in Woolacombe Bay and takes you in a figure of eight around rolling Devon countryside and along rocky coastal paths with stunning views. With over 3300ft of climb it wasn’t one of the easiest marathons I’ve done. Having ran for over 15 hours in the V3k the week before, I was
probably a bit blasé and set off too fast on this one – and then wondered why I was tired after only 4 hours of running! A highlight of the race was a beer station laid on by a local publican at mile 19. Beer being a theme I continued afterwards while catching up with mates from Ilfracombe Running Club. I finished the race 64th out of 175 with a chip time of 4hrs 36mins.
I think that’s everything for this week. Please keep sending in any contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck with the Wobbler everyone, whether you be running or helping out. Sorry I can’t be there.
There’s a lot going on this next couple of months on the HRC running front. Here’s a reminder so you can hopefully come along and join in.
Friday 17th June – Tough Team Challenge – Chris Fitz has organised us into teams of three, hopefully all of similar pace, and there will be upto 40 green vests on show in Tattenhall. Good luck to everyone and enjoy!
Wednesday 22nd June – 4VHM 2017 Kick off meeting – 8:00pm in bar -– Please come along with your ideas and offers of help for next year’s race on 15th January 2017 (more details in 6/6/16 email from Laura).
Thursday 23rd June – Norton Priory 5mile EU Special Recce – Meet at 7:00pm at bottom end of Tudor Road in Runcorn (WA7 1BD) – This coming season Helsby need to organise a Border League Race; with Wigg Island being unavailable we need a new venue and this is potentially one of them. Please come along and test the course out and tell us what you think. This is Roy’s Thursday night training session (but an hour later to give more folks time to get there and allow voting first!!). If we can organise ourselves on the night we’ll run a handicap or time trial, not sure which yet. If you are coming please let Roy know on facebook or email@example.com your latest 5K & 10K times.
Wednesday 29th June – Robbie Webster Wobbler – Inter club fell counter organised by HRC –7:15pm – Registration from 6:15-7:00pm at Forest Hills Car Park WA6 6HH – 8.5km 370m. Our organiser Chris B-H needs help on the night, so if you are not planning on running it and want to see the action close up please volunteer for marshalling. If you have not already done so please let Chris know on TheWobbler@baynham-hughes.com. Afterwards we’ll have a social and prize giving back at HCSC. Please bring along a cake to keep our tradition of Helsby’s famous club baked cakes going and at the same time raise funds for a local cause. Last year we donated over £150 to the Nepal earthquake victims; hopefully we can do something similar again this year (more details in 28/5/16 email from Chris).
Sunday 3rd July – Frodsham Downhill Race – Starts at the Memorial on Frodsham Hill, 12.30pm. Finish: Castle Park House – Registration: 11.00am to 12.15pm at Forest Hills Hotel Car Park. Entry forms https://gallery.mailchimp.com/44f7135cdac47fa6325506208/files/DR_Entry_Form_16.pdf We have been asked to help out at this race in putting out caution runners signs and helping in the finish Funnel. Andy Smith is co-ordinating the finish but needs 4 helpers. Also if someone local to Frodsham can put up the Caution Runners signs on race morning and collect them in that would be great. Please let me or Andy know if you can help out for a couple of hours firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Wednesday 6th July – HRC Annual Summer Handicap – meet at the club at 6:30pm for a warm up jog up through the quarry to the top car park followed by 2 loops of Helsby Hill. Phil is organising this and would like to know your latest 10K or 5K times in advance firstname.lastname@example.org. Again volunteers are required to help marshal and to help at the start & finish. Please let Phil know if you can help out. (more details in 6/6/16 email from Phil)
Friday 8th July – HRC Summer BBQ – 7:30pm start at the club – We are keeping the handicap and the BBQ separate in order to make this a summer social evening open to family, friends and their children and in doing so supporting the HCSC by promoting bar takings! The club will provide the BBQ items but please bring along a salad or pudding/sweet to make the usual excellent spread. Lesley will email with more info nearer the time, but please keep your diary free for this!
…. AND LAST BUT BY NO MEANS LEAST!!
Wednesday 20th July – HRC Extraordinary General Meeting – 8:30pm in the bar after our club run. As mentioned at our recent AGM a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes to produce a new club constitution that will allow us to apply for Community Associated Sports Club Status (CASC) which will benefit HRC in the future. The paperwork and explanation for this will be sent out 3 weeks before but again please put this date in your diary. It won’t take long!
Cheers and see you very soon hopefully!
4VHM 2017 Kick off meeting
Wednesday 22nd June – 8:00pm
There will be a kick off meeting for the Four Villages Half Marathon on Wednesday 22nd June, at 8pm after the club run, in the bar. We will be discussing plans for next year’s race, agreeing any changes we want to make and any new ideas people may have! If you are currently on the event team then it would be great if you could make the meeting, it would also be really helpful to know if you are happy to be involved again for 2017!
If you haven’t been involved before but would like to help out then that would be brilliant – the more the merrier! There is lots to do in the run up to the race and it is great if we can share the work load. It would be good to see some new faces getting involved in the race. Don’t worry if you can’t commit lots of time as there are lots of different ways you can help. Give me a shout if you have any questions or would like to be involved but can’t make the meeting (Laura@baynham-hughes.com).
The date for next year’s race is Sunday 15th January 2017.
Look forward to seeing you on the 22nd!
Tim Palmer has very kindly collated data for our new “club records” section on the blog. Thank you very much Tim!
It’s still a work in progress and there may be errors (which he is happy to correct) as it relies on the results published on Power of 10/RunBritian.
If you think you have a club record Tim has missed please email him (email@example.com) with a link to the results.
Jackie has kindly sent out a comprehensive email with all reminders of up and coming events but Chris Fitz has sent in a message regarding the Tough Team Challenge on Friday. Please see his message below.
Tattenhall Tough Team Race
We are still 1 person short to complete 12 teams, doesn’t matter if its male or female as I can move the teams around to accommodate but this is how its looking at present. If need be we can ask on the night for a spare runner, we have done this in previous years. Pam and Claire, do no fret when you read this as if we get the last person to partake then based on how fast they are will depend if they go onto your team or not.
Feel free to make suggestions if you think I’ve got them wrong pace wise, I’ve gone off past Tough team events and the 10k time trial stats.
I would suggest you try and get there around 6.30pm so you can register and find your team mates all before the race starts at 7.15pm, its £8 to enter, if for whatever reason you can’t make it please let me know I’m on 07736350465, the earlier I know the better, but hopefully that won’t happen, see you all Friday night.
Chris Fitzpatrick, Colin Thompson, Chris Collins
Helen Owens, Jenn Naylor, Roy Gaskill
Rachael Holden, Adele Croxton, Mike Williams
Phil Gillard, Tim Palmer, David Feakes
Jenny O’Hare, Donna Geer, Tanya Meredith
Joanne Lacking, Alison Halsall, Ian Hamling
Emma Barnes, Emily Smith, Debbie Read
Ian Rutherford, Gareth Boyd, Derek Morris
Stephen Wiggins, Geoff Collins, Kate Mann
Rhea Thomas, Lesley Feakes, Jackie Keasley
Clare-Louise Miller, Pam Hankins, ?????????
James Gray, Richard Hankins, David Madders
Friday evening 17 June 2016 at 7.15pm
Start and finish at Tattenhall Recreation club,
Field Lane, Tattenhall CH3 9QF
- A multi-terrain race including the infamous railway
- Open to teams of 3, time based on 3rd finisher
- Entry per runner £8 affiliated and £10 unaffiliated
- Entries on the day welcome, entry limit 100 teams
- Minimum age 17 years. UKA rules apply.
- Refreshments available in the Rec Club bar
Modest prizes for the following categories
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd place team
Winning team in each of 6 categories: ladies, men, mixed,lady vets, veteran men, mixed vets
For a team to qualify as vets all team members must be aged 40+ on race day.
Suitable for entrants on foot only. No MP3 players or other personal audio devices please for everyone’s safety.
UKA licence number pending. Find running information at the Run Britain web-site: www.runbritain.com
Now on to the race news!
Up the Beast
Wednesday saw Helsby runners trying to tame the beast! Over to Laura BH who has sent in this excellent report…
“12 green vests journeyed to Maeshafan for Up the Beast fell race on Wednesday evening. It was a lovely evening to be racing on the hills and runners were rewarded by fab views, scrambling up rock faces and tasty descents. A great evenings racing saw Phil, Adam and new member Craig in the top 10 and 2nd lady for me ( opted for the bottle rose over the pack of wooden pegs – it was a tough call!) Lesson for the evening though is don’t follow a road runner (ahemm Mr Frodsham) but then when you get lost keep following them as they are better at finding their way back onto the route! Thanks again to Joe and Mario travelling all that way and supporting #felsby.”
7th Phil Roberts 40.54
8th Adam Gordon 41.38
10th Craig Todhunter 42.38
30th Chris Murray 48.12
31st Paul Frodsham 48.13
36th James Higgins 49.11
37th Laura Baynham-Hughes (2nd Lady) 49.20
38th Steve Riley 49.42
43th Phil Gillard 50.56
48th Andy Robinson 51.46
61st Roy Duffy 54.04
76th Ben Williams 1.00.38
Full results – http://www.wfra.me.uk/
Ras Pedol Cwm Pennant
CBH has sent in another brilliant report for the Cwm Pennant fell race. Looked like an excellent race was had by all, a big well done to everyone who raced.
“After 3 weeks of beautiful clear sunshine filled days we arrived in the Cwm Pennant valley to a grey day with low level clouds. The course itself is a bit of a monster; I’d argue it’s the equivalent of running a marathon on the roads and that is reflected in the times… more on that later! The course is also probably the most beautiful of any fell race… when you can see it. The first climb up Moel Hebog reveals the beautiful beaches of the Llyn peninsula (if you dare to look back) and as you summit the whole of Snowdonia suddenly reveals herself before the undulating race route distracts you with the rugged beauty of the Cwm Pennant valley itself. Sadly not on race day though.
Ras Pedol Cwm Pennant this year was a very special affair; as a British fell counter it mean numbers were swelled by roughly 15 times the previous year. The cream of UK fell running were there yet everybody was clear it would be a tough day in the office. Sadly a number of green vests had to drop out, but Jackie was still there after her fantastic performance at the Highlander MM to represent the ladies and Jim Jones, Phil Roberts and I represented the men (Jim O’s legendary admin let him down as he was too late to get a place).
Race organisation was superb, NFC wrist watch style dibbers were used to ensure everybody went to every check point, maps were provided along with a free buff and soup at the end… plus there was food and a ridiculous selection of cakes on offer for 50p each; Not bad for £10!
The race was a very sweaty affair; the humidity and temp’ were both high and the sweat just clinged on. Hebog is a monster of a climb, Phil and I both got really stuck into it and summited about the same time (only because Phil turned back in the clag wisely waiting to ensure he didn’t go wrong). Phil and I exchanged the lead several times, but in the end the navigation in the clag and the V3K looming meant Phil was happy to sit and follow my lines… which varied in success!
For those that haven’t tried to run or navigate when the clag is down it is astonishing how easy it is to get disorientated. At one point I thought I was on a different top, on another I completely missed the left turning and when straight down a direct line instead; there was one chap off to our right heading right and we were heading left along the wall, but I wasn’t confident enough to call him back despite having been up on these tops eight or so times before. Turned out that the line was about even with the official race route so no harm done.
Once we got past the half way point the lines improved as did the view; snatching glances of the Cwm Pennant valley and the drops either side of the superb bit of ridge. The suicidal drop off from Mynydd Tal-Y-Mignedd went well gaining a good 30 metres (and providing Phil with the chance to laugh in disbelief at the lunacy) and we went on to reel in another 10 runners on the climb to Craig Cwm Silyn (much to their chargrin and my delight).
All of this leads up to the grand finale. The descent from Garnedd Goch is truly horrible; deep heather and tussocks hide ankle breaking drops and loose rocks. In the previous two years I’ve been destroyed in this section… and it goes on forever. After the Climb to Craig Cwm Silyn I’d become the pied piper. I desperately tried to shake off many of these people in the clag, but they were fast and determined not to lose the person that appeared to know where he was going. I felt a huge responsibility as I wellied down the best trod I could find knowing at some point I’d need to turn right over the horrendous ground. Finally turning right I was astonished to find it ok. I kept expecting the tussocks to swallow me up but got away with it pretty much. Finally emerging from that section to find Laura and the boys along with Helsby’s number 1 cheers squad (Joe and Mario) was terrific. Beyond the call of duty for Joe and Mario to take on the 180 mile round trip – shows just how lucky we are to have them on board, certainly gave me a huge boost.
The final descent generally leaves people wishing for the final road section, but 1k into the road almost without exception they are regretting what they wished for. Fell runners generally have a total aversion to roads, but 3K+ is a real killer. Thankfully the mornings with Fitzy paid off as I managed to hoover up 6 more places. I did find it slightly bonkers to see people walking, broken from the road – considering what they had just undertaken in the hills it was rather perverse.
In the end I finished 15 minutes slower than I’d hoped (PB is ~3:02 and I really wanted to break 3 hours) but really chuffed. 3 hours 14, but not even in the top 100 – nothing like a long British counter to put you in your place! The winner got round in an astonishing 2:16… so you can see why I suggest this is the equivalent of running a road marathon. An astonishingly good day out. Loved it.”
Results are not out yet, but Helsby positions wise it was:
Birkenhead Park 5 Mile
I must confess, I thought the Birkenhead 5 mile race had changed location to the Clwydians when I saw Helens Strava profile, especially when I heard how everyone struggled with the 3 laps and “huge” hills. We had tears and tantrums, over to Gaz for his report on this epic race…
“There was a small Helsby contingent at Birkenhead Park 5 mile race on Wednesday consisting of Rachael Holden, Helen Owens, Jo Lacking (who had had all cleverly decided to run a tough track session the night before) and Gaz O’Connor. The course has changed from the previous year and is now 1 short lap followed by 2 larger laps on a predominantly flat course with a slight undulation on each circuit. First home for Helsby was Gaz (30:58) followed by the increasingly stroppy looking trio of Jo (34:08), Helen (38:27) and Rachael (40:18).”
Full results are below. http://tinyurl.com/zr99v9s
Well done to all Helsby runners who ran a parkrun on Saturday and extra kudos to Neil Finegan for a fabulous 1st place finish at Ellesmere Port! Well done mate.
That’s all this week, please let me know if I have missed any reports or results. All reports should be sent to the usual email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tattenhall Tough Team
A quick message from Fitzy regarding the above.
Going to sort the teams out this week for team on Friday 17th, if you want to be part of this event send me a quick email Fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com
Entries for the September 26th road club counter Macclesfield Half entries are now
open at http://www.macc-half.co.uk.
Robbie Webster’s wobbler – 29th June
Chris BH sent in this request….
I’ll be sending out an official mail, but just a quick note to ask for volunteers for the wobbler at the end of the month please. The wobbler goes ahead and has a great feel to it because of the fantastic support from the Helsby marshals. As has been custom for a few years now, the wobbler also features as one of our inter-club counters so if we are to win again then we need all hands to the pump (all toes to the line). Remember, Spectrum took home the ladies team prize on the night so we need to win that back! If you can do any of the following please let me know:
1. Help marshal on the night.
2. Bake cakes for the post race knees up at the club (we raised over £150 for the Nepal earthquake last time)
NOTE: As per the notes from Jackie and the AGM, there is an expectation that everybody in the club pitches in to help in AT LEAST ONE of these events or gets a substitute to do so whilst they race. These events help ensure our fees stay low, so if you’re thinking of running the 4VHM, SST or the wobbler then please consider putting yourself or somebody else forward in your place. Please don’t let this put you off racing.
If you can help please mail
Helsby runners were in action at a host of parkruns this Saturday. Highlights were second places for Colin Bishop and Neil Finegan at Princes Park and Ellesmere Port respectively.
Full parkrun results for Helsby runners can be found below.
Colin Thomspon was at both the Deeside Multi Terrain and Halewood 5K races, he’s sent in reports from both.
Deestriders Off Road GP
The second race of our mini trail championships and race #1 in the series, this course is a 5 mile long (approx) multi-terrain that takes in some fields, track and woodland. 8 Helsby runners were showing the green vest at this and we had some good battles out on the course in lovely sunshine. A no show from the ladies so would be nice to see some at the next one on 7th July.
2nd Colin Thompson 26.39
12th Jim Higgins 30.12
13th Ian Rutherford 30.14
17th Paul Frodsham 30.44
22nd Richard Hankins 31.29
25th Davyd Mitchell 32.30
59th Geoff Collins 37.02
71st Ste Wiggins 38.31
Saturday saw myself, Helen Owens, Jo Lacking, Carol Shaw & Davyd Mitchell all lining up for the Halewood 5k on a hot and humid morning. A good day at the office for the Green Army saw myself 3rdoverall, Jo Lacking 2nd lady overall and course PB and Helen & Carol both 1st in their respective age groups! Well done gang.
3rd Colin Thompson 17.28 (1st in age cat)
20th Jo Lacking 19.54 (2nd lady overall, 1st in age cat)
24th Davyd Mitchell 20.44
29th Carol Shaw 21.13 (1st in age cat)
36th Helen Owens 22.17 (1st in age cat)
Chris BH sent in the following report from the Welsh 1000n Peaks race
Welsh 1000m Peaks
A scorching day saw four Helsby members (3 Helsby vests as I was in civvies) toe the line for the monstrous Welsh 1000m peaks race. It’s a true long distance fell running test. The route starts at sea level a mile from the car parks for Aber falls, and goes via the summits of Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Dafydd and Glyder Fawr, Pen- y- Pass Youth Hostel, the summit of Garnedd Ugain to finish on the summit of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) – that’s a whopping 31.86 km (19.80 miles), 2678m (8785ft) of ascent. To say that the views were magnificent would be a total understatement… although it’s difficult to see them through the sweat and tears.
It’s fair to say that this race has seen it’s casualities from the club over the years. This was my 5th running of the race having first done it in 2011. The conditions this time were similar to that first year where I ended up sitting down for 5 minutes wondering if I could continue. I’ve returned every year since to try and get my dignity back after that day. Both Jimmy and Max have also both had their quarrels with the course over the years, but it’s addicitive and it’ll be interesting to see if Ben and Phil (debutants this year) will be back for more punishment in 2017. I think it’s fair to say that this race puts you on your backside. It’s not the distance as such, it’s just the constant long climbs followed by long descents and no ridges to run to catch your legs back.
Persistence pays off in this race though. Jimmy arrived at the finish in a magnificent third place! Seriously remarkable run in the conditions. Sadly Jimmy has been given a time penalty which puts him down to 7th in the overall standings. To the letter of the law this is a fair penalty to give as Jimmy ran with a photocopy of the map rather than an officially printed bought one, but for me this is totally bogus. Firstly the difference in weight of an official version vs the one that Jimmy carried is negligible and would have had no bearing on the speed he covered the course. I realise it’s a safety issue, but he’s run the course 3 times in this race alone, it was also perfect conditions. As fell runners we’re bound by the rules (quite rightly) to carry a map, Jimmy did that, it’s simply a technicallity that has led to this 10 minute penalty. Secondly, the scrutiny placed on the map is due to his position, so I’d question whether everybody else that came after Jimmy had the same scrutiny. I’ve no doubt 4th (now third) did, but 5th and 6th and beyond? In my eyes Jimmy flew the flag for the club and came up trumps with a magnificent run; the final standings on paper take nothing away from this.
Ben finished with a smile on his face as did Phil. Both put in fantastic performances given the heat and the crowds on Snowdon. Fantastic work boys!
Heading back down the mountain the classic question was posed though and had unsurprising results:
Ben: “Did you enjoy that Phil?”
I wouldn’t’ bet against them being back for more!
Jim O’Hara – 7th (3rd) – 4:53:19 (4:43:19 – 10 minute penalty for map, see above)
Chris B-H – 19th – 5:30:29
Phil Roberts – 20th – 5:31:11
Ben Fletcher – 36th – 5:57:58
Jackie Keasley sent in this report from the Highlander Mountain Marathon.
Rachel & Jackie had a very hot, sunny and exhausting couple of days running around Glen Cannich amongst the Affric, Mullardoch & Strathfarrer high mountains. In their first and last Highlander Mountain Marathon; the race has been going for 10 years but the organisers have decided that this will be the final one which is a great shame. Its had a great following as it has the attraction of dancing on the Saturday evening with food and drink available for purchase throughout the evening .. or until they run out of beer!!! The last couple of years both the LAMM and Highlander have competed against each other at similar times of the year and the organisers have decided to focus on one and guarantee it happening and being full. There is also an issue with the land owners as its harder and harder each year to get permissions so hopefully focusing on one will give these events a better chance.
We competed in the C class which covered about 25K each day and 1200+m climbing (if you followed the planners routes) and involved finding 10 well scattered check points. As in any mountain marathon you very rarely follow paths (and in this part od Scotland there are not many) and spend most of the time going up, down or contouring along ankle twisting rough slopes. Each morning started misty but then we climbed above the clouds (watching deer scatter having suddenly lost their hiding places) to see the still snow covered mountain tops appear above a sea of cloud. It then didn’t take long for the hot sun to burn off everything and blast out it’s heat. We had 7 hours plus of very tough going each day. Normally on these events we have a good natter and catch up for at least some of the time but I could honestly say it was so tough to go keep going in the heat and terrain that all energy was preserved and the odd conversation about navigation, discomfort and wow that’s a fantastic view was all that was said throughout!
Saturdays campsite in Strath Farrer was beautiful located, the stream was deep and icy cold and we joined a lot of runners standing in it to thigh level for 15 minutes to help recovery. It made them numb so it worked for me but it didn’t settle Rachel’s huge blisters and mega underlying aches and pains. A meal was provided as soon as we finished on Saturday, we ate it them cooked ourselves another 2 course one (plus chocolate) to refuel and hydrate for the next day. The ceilidh band struck up and it was mazing how many managed to join in energetically! We didn’t think we would have the energy but then were asked to dance and managed to enjoy a rather long rendition of the Dashing White Seargent – in running shoes and on grass of course! This guaranteed (along with a couple of drinks) a good nights sleep!
More of the same the next day but Sunday mentally if not physically always seems easier because its the final push. We finished on a high having just made it back (from 15 hours of what we thought was slow tussock shuffling!) in time for the presentation to hear our names called our for 1st lady vets in C class. We were presented with trophies that thoroughly reminded us (see photo) of our couple of days in the Scottish Hills! Then it was over to Bill for the endurance part as he drove us home in the camper van with the odd comfort, tea and burger (yes that’s all you can get on the M74 on a Sunday evening) break to get back at 2am. A great memorable weekends running!
Andy Robinson ran the Northhants Ultra and sent in this brief report
35 miles in the Northamptonshire countryside, and a bit too flat and fast for me! Mind you, I’m going well at the moment and took 2 minutes off my PB and (I think) about 40 minutes off the MV60 course record. I’ve got a trophy and prize to prove it. I’ve posted a full race report at Runfurther.com, full race results at
1st: Stephen Marks, Rugby & Northants AC, 4:12:29 (course record)
30th: Andy Robinson, Helsby RC, 5:34:21
As usual all reports to