Helsby Running Club Weekly Update (22/8/16 – 28/8/16)
Hello Green Army
Best way to start the weekly report if you ask me is to give massive congratulations to two of our hardy ultra runners, a round of applause please for Gareth Boyd and Chris Baynham-Hughes, Gareth completing a 200 miler from coast to coast, starting in Southport, and ending up in Hull over 4 days, and CBH completing Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, 170km I think around the French Alpes. Can’t wait to read there race reports, I’ll give you guys some time to send them in considering you can probably barely walk right now (then again you don’t write with your feet). I know having ran a few ultras with these 2 numpties how hard it must be of been……..for other competitors having to listen to their voices for such long periods. RESPECT gents truly unbelievable achievement.
Park Run – We had runners out in the Chester, Delamere, & Widnes this week, volunteers needed for Widnes next week if anyone can help out, then again most park runs need volunteers, give them a shout if you can.
Eleven green vests braved the rain on Wednesday evening for the Mid Cheshire 5k in Kingsley. The bad weather seems to be a common theme with this race as we had the cold and hail to contend with when it was run in April. There were some quick times due to the first and last miles being all downhill with Colin Thompson coming home first out of the Helsby squad in 17.04 and Chris Fitzpatrick following closely in 17.26. I battled with Philip Tomkinson for 3rd Helsby vest across the line but he left me in the rain finishing in 18.34. A special mention goes to Debbie Read finishing first in her age category and Vanessa winning fastest female Kingsley resident; not sure there is a prize for that last one.
Cheers Chris, it’s a proper hilly one this one, if ran backwards
Suzanne Fletcher sent in a report for the St Helens Dream Trail Race
I saw this race advertised and with it being local and cheap to enter I thought I’d give it a go. Ran by St. Helens Sutton AC it offered both a 5k & 10k option, I went with the 10k being two 5k loops and it was tough! Set in Sutton Manor Park and around the iconic Dream statue, it was a tough course with plenty of hard short hills, mainly on grass and gravel tracks, it reminded me of a XC but in sunshine & warm weather !
Results out of a field of 181.
1st Catherine Howard of Knowsley Harriers 41.09
20th Phil Tomkinson 46.04
68th Suzanne Fletcher 55.12 (11th lady)
Sounds like a perfect course for a winter XC maybe
Over to Richard Hankins for I think a report on a former club counter race in years gone by, the Ellesmere 10k
Looking at the results from previous years this has been a popular event with Helsby runners, although I think this year I was the only one. The promise of a fast course and some fantastic motorcycling roads en route attracted me. Its a well organised club event which is cheap to enter and the facilities were good. The ‘fabulously fast’ course is a nice mixture of rolling country roads and a few K on tracks around the mere and along the canal. There were, however, far more inclines than expected and the much hyped PB potential seemed a bit mythical to me. The results were also unusually hard to find – no text or email, although you can find them on the timing company’s website if you google around. Overall, its a nice race to do – but not a classic. I finished 40th out of 556 and 6th MV 40 in a rather disappointing 41:33.
Dates for your diary
Road runners, it’s the Halewood 5k this Saturday 3rd September, a free timed event organised by Knowsley Harriers, its a fast out and back course, check it out.
Felsby crew will be travelling to Shelf Moor Fell Race this Sunday, which is a 5.7 mile race and packs a hefty 1499ft of ascent/descent. Nice!
Welome to the weekly round-up. First of all a quick reminder that we have the Cilcain Show Mountain Race coming up on the Bank Holiday Monday of 29/08/16. It’s one of our club counters and there will be a whole programme of events at the Cilcain show so why not make it a family day out. At a distance of only 4 miles its a great introduction to fell running. The race starts in Cilcain village center at 1pm and registration is from 11.am to 12.20pm. You can see full details of the day and also a watch film of last years race by following this LINK
Catherine Dowdall Memorial Fell Race
Only one report in the mailbox this week. Thanks to Tim Palmer for pulling this report together:
“Saturday saw 8 Helsby runners (plus Jamie Dowdall (running in his 1st claim Darwen Dashers) and Helen in support) at the Darwen Gala Catherine Dowdall Memorial Race in Darwen, Lancashire . This race is run in memory of Jamie’s late wife. As the British weather had resumed its normal summer service, the race was run in strong winds and showers. Whilst short (4.7 miles), the race has a bit of everything in it: nearly 600ft of climb in the first mile only to lose ½ of it almost immediately, couple of miles over the moor (some on fast single track) with a fast and furious descent in the last mile first off the moor and then within the park.
The Helsby contingent (helped by being more than 10% of the runners) walked away with 5 individual prizes (6 if you count the one that Jamie won) plus both men’s and ladies’ team prizes. Pos, Name, Time 3 Jim O’Hara 00:36:39 3rd man 15 Tim Palmer 00:42:05 1st M50 19 Jim Jones 00:43:56 2nd M50 22 Phil Gillard 00:45:45 1st M55 34 Suzanne Fletcher 00:50:07 3rd lady 40 Paul Foster 00:53:12 44 Debbie Read 00:54:36 55 Jackie Keasley 01:00:12
Debbie commented on Facebook: “Tough but great fun – great value too £5 and you get a half of real ale, bottle of water, hot dog, banana and apple!” ‘’
Ellesmere Port RC 5k
I haven’t seen a report but their was nearly a whole army of green vests at the Ellesmere Port 5k on the evening of Wednesday 17th August. Colin Thompson and Joanne Lacking were first home for Helsby, in admiral times, in the respective mens and ladies races. Well done everyone who took part. If anyone has completed a race report please forward it to the inbox and Ill update the blog.
We had one Helsby athlete at the Birchwood 10k on Sunday. Neil Finegan clearly had something left in the tank after his 17:31 5k finish on the Saturday and managed a brilliant 37:14 10k the day after. Well done Neil.
Green vests were again far and wide this weekend. We had five members at five different Parkruns! Well done guys. Our club consolidated results can be viewed by following this LINK
Well I think that’s it for this week. Please keep sending any reports into: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t have time to write a report just send in an email with details of the race and maybe a link to the results. It all helps to pull the bog together.
Firstly, sorry about the lateness of the blog this week, there was some confusion as to who’s turn it was. Just 2 reports in the inbox so we’ll go straight to the racing news. First up is Ben who attended another LDWA event on Saturday. Over to you Ben…
LDWA Marsden Moors Meander
Report by Ben Williams
“I plodded the LDWA ‘Marsden Moors Meander’ on Saturday, a 23 mile event in West Yorks with around 3000ft of climb.
The hard work starts immediately after the typically understated start, with a brutal climb out of Marsden and up towards Rishworth Moor. The only relief is a sharp fell-style run down into a steep valley, spoilt by the climb which goes straight back up the opposite side. The first section is probably the most varied, with repeated climbs, and a run through the farmyard of Stott Hall Farm to the first checkpoint in the shadow of Booth Wood Reservoir. The second section goes onto the moors ‘proper’ – because I was confident I knew the way I’d left the route description in my bag and of course went wrong up on Rishworth Moor. Fortunately I realised fairly quickly and managed to tab cross country to get back on the right path. The handful of people following me didn’t look impressed, but you should never blindly follow the runner in front – especially if it’s me.
I’ve made it a tradition to faceplant at least once during these events, and this time it came just before checkpoint 2 as I was chatting to another runner. I only fell into a deep muddy puddle though, so no harm done. He tried hard look concerned, fair play.
The rest of the route mostly covered open moorland, some of it on the Pennine Way. Conditions underfoot were soaking, paved paths were ok but the typical moorland peat paths were thick with mud and deep puddles. The checkpoints were great as usual, plenty of snacks and drinks and manned by really enthusiastic volunteers, and there was a welcome pasta meal and rice pudding at the end. I finished in 4h 39m, ten minutes quicker than last year which I mainly put down to my new idea of not hanging about at the checkpoints.
All in all a great day, I really do recommend LDWA events to anyone.”
2 Hill-forts Fell Race
Report by Jim Jones
“On Sunday 14th August it was the 2 Hill-forts fell race. It was only the 4th year this race has been hosted but there was a good turn out of 103 runners. Just myself and Phil Gillard were there from Helsby. With just under 1900ft of ascent over 9.3 miles this is a fast course. After summiting Moel Arthur, the second of the two peaks, it was something of a 4 mile descent to the finish. The race is certainly multi-terrain, with some stretches of road and good trails through woodland and fields. For anybody watching us come down the relatively short but steep descent from Moel Arthur and onto the 4 mile run home, it must have been obvious who was used to running on the fells and who did more road running. I passed a few on the descent only to be outpaced again on the run home. Conditions were good and dry underfoot, and it was clear day but a warm one. Buckley Runners stole the show by winning both the men’s and women’s race with Jez Brown posting 63:47 and Hayley Evans posting 79:26. Helsby finishers were Jim Jones – 33rd in 82:43 and Phil Gillard – 53rd in 88:08. – NB the women’s race record remains at 74:06 by Helsby’s Jayne Joy in 2014.”
Thanks Ben and Jim for the excellent reports. If anyone else raced last week please drop an email to the usual email address and I can always update the blog (email@example.com).
Please find a link to the consolidated parkrun results from last Saturday. Some great running from everyone, especially Jenny Illidge for a win at Widnes and Nick Ryder with a brand new PB! Keep it up everyone!
Our long-standing ultra runner member Chris Baynham-Hughes is too polite to grub for money within the club but if anything deserves a couple of quid, it’s this bonkers double challenge of the Norway Rockman swim-run, PLUS the legendary UTMB around Mont Blanc.
You’ll know Chris as our Wobbler race director but we don’t see much of him on club nights because Mrs BH normally gets the family pass on Weds. What you might not know is Chris suffered a desperately severe head injury ten years ago when he was living in London. He’s had an awful lot of help from all sorts of people along the way including the team at the Countess of Chester and HIP (Head Injured People in Cheshire). If it hadn’t been for their deeply committed and professional care he might still have a screw loose! This is his way of putting a bit back.
A small band of dedicated fell runners arrived at the top of the Horseshoe pass for the Ponderosa Fell race on Wednesday 3rd, the 7th fell counter of the season. It was a bit blowy for August, but luckily the wind was behind us up the first climb. You then had to concentrate hard through a narrow and deep sheep trod to avoid losing your footing, but were then rewarded by a lovely grassy runnable path back down the valley. It was then a final push up hill to the finish – pleased I had been warned about this, not sure about uphill finishes though! Joe and Mario, our ever faithful marshal/cheering team were out on the course providing much needed encouragement and racing tips.
There was also an interesting approach to prize giving – you were basically given your prize as you crossed the line – full respect for working it out on the hop but slightly odd to be handed a bottle of wine as you cross the finish line!
9th Ben Fletcher 30:07 (1st V40)
34th Tim Palmer 33:25
39th Laura Baynham-Hughes 34:36 (2nd F)
71st Vanessa Griffiths 40:23
74th Rachel Arnold 40:50
Would be great to see a few more out for the next few counters which are coming up in August/Sept. The next race, the Darwen Gala Memorial, is also in the mini fell series so if you want to give the fells a go this would be a great choice. Shelf Moor is also in the inter club competition so a good turnout is needed to give us the chance of retaining the trophy!
1. Saturday 20 August, 3pm – Darwen Gala Memorial (BS)
The 3rd race in the Deestriders GP and 4th in our mini trail series, the course is roughly a 4.5m long multi-terrain that takes in some playing fields, track and woods. 7 Helsby men were showing the green vest at this one, no ladies present though!
Next and last race in the series is Friday 2nd Sept 7pm.
The green army had a treble of 1st place Category wins at The Halewood 5k on Saturday morning, MV35 for myself and 2nd overall, FV50 for Carol Shaw and FV55 for Debbie Read.
Seeing that it was only the 3 of us doing it then we were all pretty happy with that on what was a lovely summers morning, this free event on the first Saturday of every month is another great way of Improving your speed, is a very flat course and has loads of PB potential and is something different to your park runs and is very local which makes it ideal. Would be great to see a few more new faces next month on 3rd September
Davyd Michell sent in a report from the mid week Endurance Series.
Wednesday saw the last in the Wirral Endurance track series. This is a series of track races ranging from 1 mile to 10K and a chance to run at the famous Bebbington oval, location of the Chariots of Fire film.
Tonight’s race was 5k and blustery conditions met the 25 runners, the race was split into two fields with the fast boys in race 1 and the remainder including myself in race 2. A good competitive race was had by all, and as the field was seeded this lead to some great close racing. I was happy with my 20:13 finish for 4th place.
This is unfortunately the last in this years series and I only found out about it a bit too late, but will keep an eye open for the series next year. The great news is that its only a £1 to enter on the night.
Once again, not entirely running, but there was 35k of running so it may be worth including.
On Thursday I headed out to Stavanger, Norway to take part in Rockman. A swimRun in the Lysefjorden (home to Pulpit rock and the Kjerag). After not being able to help myself and doing 20 miles around the Fjord on the Thursday I still felt great going into the race. The start was unlike anything I have experienced. We were taken on fast ferries and then they got in as close as possible to the edge before slowly backing away as we all jumped in. So picture the scene, you’re heading towards the sheer cliff face, the hooter goes and the front pair look at each other, then eventually jump whilst we all shout stop to the pilot before they get run over! Next thing I know I’m on the edge ready to jump in, adrenaline through the roof as I hit the water (strapped by a leash to my partner) and then race to the first buoy. Anybody that has been in a race with an open water swim will know the chaos that goes on; add to that everybody is really two people joined by a bungee and it’s something you simply don’t forget.
We struggled on the first swim as our bungee was too short so I was literally towing my mate for the best part of a KM as he couldn’t use his arms in any sort of rhythm. So climbing up the cliff side path to the next swim was spent trying to undo tight knots in our leash. Three swims later and we finally got the length right and were on our way to Pulpit rock. It seemed a terrible waste to spend just a few moments there scoffing salted liquorice and chocolate. From there on the course just kept on giving. Incredible views, sweet single track, rough technical terrain supported by fixed chains in places. More swims, more climbs and ultimately a swim across the Fjord to the south side to take on the longest wooden stair case in the world (4444 steps). Luckily the food at the aid stations was incredible (at one station the girls had cooked waffles on site thanks to a massive extension plug) Once at the top we had a short cold swim before getting onto possibly the nicest single track trail descent I have ever done; it went on forever!
I’ve tried to work out if it’s just the honeymoon period of finding a new sport that has me so hooked on SwimRun, but actually it’s just everything. The environments that these races are in, the opportunity to take on an incredible journey simply using your own power, the insanity of the swims, iconic locations… for Rockman to have been better it would have had to have been the same of everything, just staged on the moon. was that good.
10 swims, 6 km in total
10 runs, 35 km in total
2500 m elevation gain
This probably explains it better: http://tinyurl.com/z88knrb We finished 17th in ~9 hours 23 minutes. I just hope I can get a place again next year.
Jackie Keasley sent in this report from the Round the Rock Ultra in Jersey.
A very hot day, 23C+, on Jersey yesterday for the 48 mile round the rock ultra. The route is a roller coaster around the whole island with narrow coastal paths and beaches – stunning views all day so extra stops to snap photos! Because the tide was out I cut/splashed across 3 beaches & probably cut 3 miles off. It was optional but allowed!! Great support with extra drinks stations provided by Bill & friends Andy & Sarah who hired a car & kept popping up all day with a picnic!! Time 11hrs 10 mins, 50 mins inside cut off! ! Can’t walk today but happy!
Finally, Ian L has published the latest road and fell standings on:
A diverse mix of events last week and weekend saw the Green Army undertake races ranging from parkruns, 10ks and fell races to epic 50/100 mile ultras. A huge congratulations to Graham Ireland and our second claim runner Chris Collins for tackling the 50 and 100 mile Lakeland ultra events respectively. More on that to follow with a fantastic report by our Graham.
Also, numbers seem to be on the up for our Monday night track sessions. Paul Frodsham (AKA The Frodfather) has been coaching a group with a bit more intensity added in to spice things up and it’s going very well. Paul’s session runs alongside Joe and Mario’s fantastic track session so there is something there for everyone, please come down and join us on Monday evenings at the high school, with the Borders League looming it’s a great time to add some speedwork to your training.
Before we get to the news please find a few reminders below for some up and coming events this week which may be of interest:
Deestriders Multi-terrain GP #3 (4th in mini trail series)
Thursday 4th August, 7.30pm, £5 Start and Finish at Tata (formerly Corus) Sports and Social Club
Rowleys Drive, Shotton
0.75m from Asda Store at Queensferry Traffic Lights heading towards Flint
Saturday 6th August, 10am, free!
The Environment Centre, Okell Drive
Halewood, Merseyside L26 7XB
Green Green Grass Fell Race
Report by Laura B-H
“Green Green Grass fell race is a popular local race in the Clwydian hills. Not one of our counters this year, but 8 green vests still made the trip on a lovely Wednesday evening to represent Felsby. Some great running from the lads and ladies. Congratulations to Janet for winning the FV50 prize and having the biggest smile at the end of the race!”
Results for Helsby
59 (1st V50)
North Wales Half Marathon
Our 9th road counter of the season (how time flies!) saw 10 green vests toeing the line in Conwy. Some excellent results on what I’m told was a tough course (beach and stiles in a road race, really??) and some Helsby runners were in the prizes too. Well done everyone! Jenny has sent in this excellent report, thanks Jen!
Some notable results include Laura B-H who not only came first in her age category but also was second lady overall! For the men, Adam Gordon and Neil Finegan finished an incredible 9th and 10th respectively and every one of us survived to run another day – definitely worth mentioning!
As a race, this half definitely had something for everyone… sand, sea air, fast flat road, undulating hills, really steep hills, off-road tracks and trails, steep down-hills (track and road), incredible fell-style terrain and beautiful views combined with a local village atmosphere and lots of local support.
The first and last mile were across the (energy-sapping but beautiful) beach followed by four miles of fast tarmac along the promenade towards Penmaenmawr village. The climb begins from mile 5 and follows the Old Conway road up to the Mountain View pub. With a total climb of 312 Metres this race is not the easiest half marathon but it is stunning – and memorable. Travelling back down Conway Mountain from mile 9 was very tricky as it was hard not to be distracted by the incredible views but it was more fell/trail than road at this point and concentration was vital. The last few miles bring you back down towards the beach and are a good opportunity to pick up the pace again (if your legs are not destroyed) on good old solid tarmac. Then you only have one last mile of sand to deal with…
My own personal highlights include seeing Joe and Mario at the top of the Sychnant Pass (I nearly cried), and the views…Did I mention the views?? This is a fab race if you like a challenge, or if, like me you are just not sure whether you prefer, road, trail, fell, town, coast or country, this race has everything. I absolutely loved it!”
Excellent results everyone. Congratulations to Laura and Adam for bagging the maximum points in the road counter series, great running on a tough course!
9th Adam Gordon 01:28:51 10th Neil Finegan 01:30:18 26th Ian Rutherford 01:40:13 29th Phil Tomkinson 01:42:24 45th Laura Baynham-Hughes 01:45:14 (2nd lady overall!) 106th David Feakes 01:56:51 150th Paul Roberts 02:01:40 1720nd Lesley Feaks 02:05:18 238th Jennifer O’Hare 02:14:50 294th Tanya Downes 02:25:54
Lakeland 50 (50 miles, 9,500ft climbing), Dalemain to Coniston
Report by Graham Ireland
“Leaving myself plenty of time, I set off on Friday towards Coniston to see the start of the 100 mile race, (a clockwise loop starting and finishing in Coniston), watch the token rendition of Nessun Dorma, and smugly sit back knowing I’d taken the “easy” 50 mile option. That and waving off our very own Chris Collins, who hadn’t taken the easy option! Friday M6 traffic however had other plans for me, and missing all the above I managed to get there at exactly the right time to register with everyone else who’d signed up, complete with children, grandparents, dogs and what seemed like the entire population of the Lake District!
At the compulsory briefing the next morning I looked round to size up the competition, and to my great delight I was sat next to a guy who’d been weighed in at 120kg, (compulsory weigh in at registration), and looked like he’d never ran a day in his life… At least I wasn’t going to be last, but fair play to him all the same! Brushing off the panther sighting a few days before as just the crazy ramblings of a man from St Helens, (organisers words, not mine), and the jokes about the 100 mile competitors all working in IT, (sorry Chris), we all headed off to Dalemain for the start.
Gun went off at 11:30 and we started on the 4 mile loop of the estate before heading out onto the course proper. Leaving the woman with a Husky harnessed to her chest for dust, (surely there should be a rule against that… Although she did look Russian!), I blitzed the first 10 miles. Out of the first CP and up to the highest point on the course and my day started to go downhill, literally and figuratively. Pretty sure the Husky woman had poisoned the jelly babies at the first CP the night before! After what seemed like forever I made it down to Haweswater and round to CP2 at Mardale Head where I was met by the friendly faces of the Delamere Spartans. Big thanks to them for sorting me out and sending me on my way, topped up on soup and a questionable selection of sandwiches, (I’m a ham and cheese man myself), I limped my way off round the rest of the course.
The biggest test of will came not with any climbing or running, but at CP5 Chapel Stile, (or CP13 for the 100 milers), where we were met with a fire pit and sofas…. Is it me or is that just cruel? I managed to drag myself away… just, head torch on, for the final 10 mile push. Things got distinctly wet thereafter under foot, with blisters and pain management the name of the game.
By the time I hit the last CP I was feeling terrible, but with just 3.5 miles and 1000ft of climbing to go I was nearly there. Massive thanks again to the marshal who sorted me out with with a cup of tea and told me to man up and get on with it, both of which I needed. I set off up the Tilberthwaite steps and started to feel human again, (still not sure what he put in that tea!), and bombed it down the other side into Coniston and the finish in 13 hours 17 minutes and 260th overall, over 1 hr 30 mins better than 2014.
Tough race, but great atmosphere, very well organised, and fantastic marshals. Would recommend to anyone looking for that sort of distance.
Final note and massive kudos to Chris Collins who arrived in Coniston less than 1 minute before me after completing the full 100 mile course, and with an amazing overall placing. I’m sure he’ll have his own stories to tell, but hats off sir, a truly amazing achievement.”
Congratulations Graham and Chris, amazing achievement guys!
Helena Tipping 10k
Also on Sunday was the Helena Tipping 10k which saw 3 Helsby vests pounding the roads of Wrexham Industrial Estate. The first 5k is pretty much downhill but you then need to claw back the lost elevation for the second half and if judged correctly can be a very fast course. Carol Shaw had an excellent race to win her age group and Gaz was very close to his PB, just missing out by a few seconds. I managed to achieve one of my fastest 10k times of the year so was very happy with the result. Well done everyone, a great day was had by all and thank you to Louise Spruce for her support and taking the photographs. Also a quick mention to RD Michael Harrington (cute fruits) for the flawless organisation and quick publishing of the results, I’d recommend any of his races as his team always delivers a fantastic event on the day.
Helsby results below:
12th Colin Thompson 35.34 45th Gaz O’Connor 39.04 122nd Carol Shaw 46.34 (1st in age cat)
An excellent weekend of parkruns saw Jenny Illidge storm around to take 1st lady at Chester parkrun and Widnes saw a podium finish for Fitzy who grabbed a brilliant 2nd place overall. Well done both and well done to everyone else who took part in a parkrun, please find the consolidated results for Helsby below: