Weekly update 3 July to 10 July

Firstly a poster from Betty regarding the club clean up operation this weekend.



Helsby members were in action at Widnes, Ellesmere Port, Delamere, Birkenhead park and Widness. Full results are below.


Next up a couple of reports from Wednesdays Ladies 5K at Forest park, Warrington, the first from Debbie Read, the second from Tanya Downes.

This lovely little race, organised by Spectrum Striders is an ideal race for both experienced runners (course record: 16:59) and novices (last one home this year 41:15)

Starting and finishing on grass, the mainly flat course is a mixture of footpaths, woodland trails and pavements.
All runners get flowers at the finish and if you hang around at the prize giving there are 20 lucky dip prizes-usually running socks, to be won.

Forest Park ladies 5k

7 Helsby ladies and one spartan ran last wednesday at forest park 5k, hosted by spectum striders. Luckily the rain held off the 155 runners, although hot and humid it was good running weather. A multi terrain route took us through woodland paths with a tarmac middle section. Enjoyed by all, some good times gained and flowers at the end.
29th Debbie Read 23:19
38th Suzanne Fletcher 24:28
47th Leah Binns 25:14 ( helsby 2nd claim)
49th Tanya Downes 25:28
67th Jenny OHare 27:07
80th Emma Barnes 28:46
101st Donna Geer 30:36
105th Pamela Peake 31:09.


Thursday night saw a great turn out from Helsby for the 2nd Deestriders Multi Terrain Grand Prix with club captain Col Thompson again securing 2nd place overall. Well done, Col.

Tanya also sent in this report from the Surrey Badger Half Marathon on Sunday.

Surrey badger 1/2 marathon

One lone helsby runner set off for the hills of the south downes in surrey to participate in the surrey badger 1/2 marathon. A perfect day for running, slightly overcast but still warm. A very “undulating ” trail course with some wicked inclines and equally spectacular declines thrown in for good measure; beautiful views, supportive marshals and a vineyard start and finish. Knocked 19 minutes off my last visit there so very pleased with myself.
2:19, a lovely badger t-shirt and bottle of beer

If you fancy a race further a field, this, any many of the others in Dorking are well worth a weekend away for.
Tanya x

Carl Pratt ran the week long Tour of Merseyside, here’s his report.

Tour of Merseyside 2016 – 6 races in 7 days! 52 miles total. The aim was to beat last years time of 06h:10m:50s.

No detailed blog this year but here’s my summary….
Sunday – Race 1 – Southport half marathon.

New route this year with a section through the town. (last year was an out and back on a long boring B road so definitely an improvement).

Started off looking like it was going to be a sub 1:30 and a PB but got to 6 miles, hitting the prom and an almighty headwind hit taking away the dream of a PB.

2015 – 01h:33m:19s

2016 – 01h:33m:27s
8 seconds slower.

Monday – Race 2 – Thurstaston 6 mile multi terrain
Conditions much better than last year. Bit of a niggling blister on my toe but managed to forget about it and run a decent race. It starts on the beach, goes up hills and steps very similar to our summer route and ends on a flat trail for a couple of miles. Managed to keep up a nice pace up to the finish and gain a few seconds back from the total cumulative time.
2015 – 44m:08s
2016 – 43m:22s
46 seconds quicker

Tuesday – Race 3 – 10 mile Walton loop line cycle track
A very rare negative split race for me. First 5 miles were a struggle but managed to find something from somewhere for the last 5 miles. The results showed 10 places were made up in the 2nd half of the race from 49th to 39th place. Happy with that.
2015 – 01h:09m:33s
2016 – 01h:09m:54s
21 seconds slower

Thursday – Race 4 – 5 mile Otterspool (basically PLS 10k without going off the prom)
Tradition is fancy dress day on the Thursday . have taken it far too seriously in previous years and not done the fancy dress so got persuaded to join in this year. The spandex and 80s rock wig on the hottest race gives me the excuse for this one!
2015 – 34m:12s
2016 – 34m:52s
40 seconds slower

Friday – Race 5 – Stadt Moers XC
Legs decided to lock up on this one, maybe the laces were too tight. Didn’t enjoy this roller-coaster profile course this year but managed to hang in and avoid a total disaster.
2015 – 41m:44s
2016 – 42m:40s
56 seconds slower

Saturday – Race 6 – 12 mile costal – New Brighton to Hoylake and back
The final race left me 1min, 12 seconds behind last year with a time of 01:26:42 needed. I calculated that I could do this with 4m:25s/km on the Garmin. Not impossible but would require a very good race.

Up to 5 and a half miles it was paced perfectly, however the turnaround mile was on the beach which was very wet and sludgy. Managed to get off the beach still in contention with just over 5 miles to go but the extra weight in the soaked trainers took its toll and knocked me back to around 4m:50s/km so sadly no chance of the personal record.
38 seconds slower

Total Overall
2015 – 06h:10m:50s
2016 – 06h:12m:47s
1 minute 57 seconds slower

As always a really good event, already booked on for next year. The running is starting to feel good again after a frustrating Achilles injury. Sub 6 hour for 2017? Maybe!


Janet Robertson sent in a report from the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon,

Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon (SLMM) 2016

In January, with six months preparation time ahead, agreeing to enter the SLMM to mark my 50th birthday seemed a brilliant idea. In June, preparation began. I managed a few slightly longer than usual runs, blew the cobwebs off my compass and altimeter, and looked (unsuccessfully) for my copy of the book “Mountain Navigation for Runners”.
On 2nd July, when after five hours ‘running’ we found ourselves battling against severe wind, lashing rain and resultant cold on the high mountain ridge at High Street, I wondered whether for next year’s birthday I might just go to the pub.


These events require more than fitness. Jackie Keasley and Rachel Arnold have a long history of completing mountain marathons, including a recent win at the Highlander. It is this experience that enables them to find a small wrinkle in a contour line 2 km away across featureless moorland. I was partnered with Rachel for the weekend while Jackie opted for a weekend walking her course with non-Helsby member Georgina who had been knocked back by injury, and another non-Helsby team Sheila with son Adam. Rachel’s navigational skills were masterful and she patiently herded me in the right direction, even during her own personal battle when she lost all feeling in her feet due to the cold.

As well as the issues of navigation and the effects of the cold, the serious nature of travelling over mountainous terrain was highlighted by two incidents which led to competitors having to be helicoptered off the final descent on day one. Happily, both were reported to be OK.

Spirits were high at the overnight campsite. One unique feature of the SLMM is that you can order beer to collect on your arrival! After a delicious evening meal of beanfeast and noodles, rated by Rachel as looking “disgusting”, we settled down for the night on bubble wrap (Rachel) and a bed made of balloons (me) in a miniscule tent.



Day two started with an epic wait in the toilet queue, to be met with an organiser who had the glamorous job of handing out rations of toilet paper. After that, a pleasant if tiring day followed, with nice weather, stunning views, and a flatter course.

Results: who cares, we got back in one piece and had an amazing time …
Rachel Arnold & Janet Robertson (Carrock Fell). Total time 12:04:18. 51st. 1st VF.
Jackie Keasley & Georgina (Wansfell). Total time 09:54:05. 61st. 3rd VF.

The results from Wednesdays Summer Handicap.

By handicap position

Jamie Kong 1
Graham Ireland 2
Dave Wiggins 3
Dave Feakes 4
Andy Robinson 5
Tom de Jong 6
Phil Gillard 7
Ben Williams 8
Adam Gordon 9
Vanessa Griffiths 10
Tim Igoe 11
June Swift 12
Dave Goodier 13
Chris Igoe 14
Ste Wiggins 15
Phil Roberts 16
Laura BH 17
Charlie Roberts 18
Geoff Collins 19
Kate Mann 20
Nick Ryder 21
Helen Owens 22

and by finishing time

Adam Gordon  17 56
Phil Roberts  19 17
June Swift  20 25
Graham Ireland  20 35
Laura BH 21 27
Phil Gillard 22 2
Andy Robinson 22 4
Dave Feakes 22 25
Jamie Kong 22 49
Nick Ryder 22 52
Vanessa Griffiths 23 1
Tim Igoe 23 10
Dave Goodier 23 55
Ben Williams 24 16
Tom de Jong 24 18
Helen Owens 25 39
Dave Wiggins 25 42
Geoff Collins 25 50
Kate Mann 26 1
Ste Wiggins 26 7
Chris Igoe 27 36

Charlie Roberts 28 8

Lastly a quick picture from Friday nights BBQ, many thanks to all that attended and helped in the organisation.



Thanks for all the reports, please send to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.