Hello Green Army
It’s a busy one this week, lots going on in the Helsby racing world which is great to see and also great to read about, thanks to all the contributors, remember send your race reports into firstname.lastname@example.org
Park Run – I said to CBH after seeing his 15,000 ft of elevation over the weekend (race report below), that my 22 ft of elevation in Widnes made me feel super human and he should check it out on Strava. Getting beaten by a 14 year old last week and pipped in the final straight last Saturday, may just push me over the edge. 1st place still eludes me, maybe I should knock the Friday night bevy’s on the head and give it a real good go, after all it’s a proper serious race after all.
We had runners out in the Chester, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes
List of consolidated results below
Right enough about me and onto the good stuff.
Roy Gaskill kind of sent a report over via Facebook about the EHM 10k, over to Roy
A fantastic 10k EHM race in Warrington yesterday, quiet a few pb’s I hear, great to hear this. I also had a PB and a confidence builder I decided I had to pace this to what I am now, and not what I was a couple of years ago, and you know what it totally worked and when I finished I still had a bit to give, so I can build on this new pace starting at our first borders league 10k in Wales next month. Well done to all our runners in this race and our leading runner Colin Bishop in a good time considering he is injured, and our first lady finisher Joanne Lacking, followed by Rachael Holden, well done to everyone
Results for the 10k
Unsure if anyone did the EHM half marathon but here are the results as well
Ian Rutherford took time out from social media to send over a report, thanks chief.
King John’s Castle Fell Race – Saturday 17th September.
The Raven Inn in the small but beautiful village of Llanarmon-yn-lal at 11am was the start of this Clwydian hill race where five members of the Greenarmy hit the start-line.
A small but competitive field assembled and started by race organiser Jon Linley who interestingly said that next year will be the last time he will organise the race and is pleading for someone to take this on; be such a shame to see this disappear from the calendar.
Within the first half mile is the quick scramble over the ruins of King John’s Castle which is nothing more than a large mound and the race then begins proper. A great route of trail, open fell, hill running continues with many styles, gates and fences to contend with. As ever the Joe and Mario support crops up in a couple of places around the course; towards the end I could hear in the distance the vocal encouragement each of them was offering to Neil who ran an excellent race finishing a very comfortable 2nd – great running again from the man in such wonderful form.
After a few navigational challenges the year before saw a few improvements to the course marking and apart from one of the young Buckley runners who I observed missing a style all seemed to get home the correct way. Despite how the race is listed all of us measured this at around 5.3 miles and around 1,100 ft of climb – a great mini fell race!
Helsby Results Neil Finegan 2nd Ian Rutherford 14th Janet Robertson 22nd (4th Lady) Suzanne Fletcher 30th Sue Buck 35th
Thanks to Andy Smith for some excellent pics too!
Now following on from my 22ft of elevation, over to CBH for his 15ft plus 14,985ft, on what looked like a very scary course to us road runners, some stunning photos though
Salomon Glencoe Skyline 55KM, 4750M
What a weekend of running! As I was helping out with the event I was up in Kinlochleven on the Friday morning to help get ready for the first vertical kilometre (1km of vertical ascent, max of 5km of distance to achieve it. Uphill only). For me this meant moving a radio repeater around Munros around Na Gruagaichean, but for the competitors it meant and all out sprint to the top and was awesome to watch. I on the other hand looked like I was either going fishing or that I had the largest ever selfie stick as we’d forgotten to take the spanner to undo the mast.
Day 2 saw the first running of the Ring of Steall (29km, 2500m) and by far the best of the weather. I on the other hand was preparing for the Glencoe Skyline by… marking the route! 7.5 hours on the mountain in glorious weather was superb on the one hand, but not great race prep! It did afford me the opportunity to see my first Brocken Spectre though which was pretty awesome. The views were utterly incredible and they just go on… forever. Really magical.
The morning of the race was a rush. I was exhausted from a week of minimal sleep (away with work) and 2 hard days in the mountains. At the last minute I decided I needed to tape my heals and literally sprinted to the start line. The plan was to start slow and taper off. The first 10k was pretty standard trail running along the West Highland way, but in the light it was really special. Arriving at the climb/ scramble (the route takes in curved ridge – exposed grade 3 scramble) we hit a bit of a traffic jam which was frustrating. Faster runners don’t necessarily make faster climbers and in the interests of safety there were large sections where there was no overtaking; still we could take in the incredible views whilst they were still there.
The “running” climbs were brutally steep; the mountains in Glencoe are genuinely different to the rest of the UK. Even when on a ridgeline, each peak seems to have a long descent before a sharp ascent to the summit. It’s something you rarely get in Snowdonia and certainly very rare in the lakes; it’s like everywhere is Tryfan! Taking in the section I marked was great until the mistle descended and the majority of runners reached for their windproof. Almost 30 countries were represented at the event as it was a world series race.
Killian Jornet wasn’t there as he’s been looking at the speed attempt on Everest, but his sister was and I ran with her for a while… until we got to the descent where she showed without doubt that she was a skier – dropped like a stone, but in total control. The 800m straight descent to the road was brutal and I’d argue it was the most dangerous part of the course as the wet stone was treacherous. I had a plan though as I jumped straight onto the scree and surfed down.
The reward for our efforts so far was a 8-900m straight climb back up so we could take on the Aonach Eagach ridge. Like curved ridge, this was a scramble (grade 2) and very exposed. The mistle and rain had made the rock wet and enabled me to move through the field a bit as some racers struggled over it. All that was left were a few marshy bumps and back onto the West Highland way for a sprint finish. The last few K’s flew by as I was dreaming of food and a shower!
With a totally stacked field of world class talent it was always going to be tight at the front. Won by Jon Albion (who had played cat and mouse with Tom Owens all race) in 6:33. I, however, was nowhere near that, finishing 81st in 10:46. I went for the adventure and certainly got it. Amazing weekend.
From the VK
Fishing with the radio repeater about halfway up the VK course
From the skyline course from when I was out course marking:
Brilliant work from Chris considering he’s just back from UTMB as well. Good clip on this link as well
Couple of reports come in for the Sutton 6 from Geoff and Richard, which was another road counter
Race Report Sutton 6 Sunday 18th September
Surprisingly Just 6 green vests took to the streets of Guilden Sutton for the Sutton 6, despite this being a club points counter. This year race numbers were down anyway, possibly because of other races elsewhere. There were just 129 finishers this year, rather than the 200 (or more) plus in previous years. A bright sunny day beckoned just a tad warmer than ideal for running. This year the timing chips were on the numbers, no danger of leaving them behind!
Helsby’s team of 5 gents and one lady were nevertheless up for the challenge and looking forward to racing close to home with no worries of being stuck in traffic. And with good support from the crowds for the local runners. Also for some the chance to run past their own houses! As always we were grateful for support from Mario and Joe.
The course is two laps of Bellue Vue Lane, Guilden Sutton Lane and Hare Lane before heading past Chester Rugby Club along the A51 and return up Wicker Lane to the Village, where there is a slight incline to the finish line by the Village Hall.
Results for Helsby were:
9th Colin Thompson 35m 59s
16th Neil Finegan 37m.04m
35th Richard Hankins 41m 12s
68th Dave Madders 47m 36s
72nd Geoff Collins 48m 38s
86th Tanya Downes 53m 25s
Amazingly Neil managed to knock almost a minute off his PB from last year… despite doing rather well at the King John’s Fell race the day before! Richard taking over 4m off his time last year, and Tanya who was well pleased clocking a new PB, 1m off her last years’ time and picking up a spot prize!
We all enjoyed the race, Col thought it was bit harder than he was expecting, I certainly enjoyed the competition between Guilden Sutton runners, as Val Ornsby (Chester Tri) Claire Mallon, Richard Batterham (West Cheshire) and myself battled it out!
I believe the Sutton 6 has been a long term favourite of Helsby runners having its origins as a six mile race back in the 80’s. A small local race centred on Guilden Sutton, attendance was a bit down this year on previous years due to the numerous clashes in the calendar. It is an undulating course passing twice under the motorway (and twice over it) with a steady ascent from the lowest point which is around the 8K mark and a steep 50M just before the finish. It isn’t a stunning course (although nice in places) but the vibe of the event makes up for that. A fun run follows the main event and the local Scouts provide tea and cakes to the participants. A relatively small turn out from Helsby for the penultimate roads counter: five men (lead home by Colin in 9th) and one woman, Tanya, who came 2nd in her category. Quite how Neil ran in the King John’s Castle fell race the previous day – apparently stopped and waved for the cameras at 9K and got a PB I will never know. Full results, below:
Thanks chaps, always a popular one but as stated lots of races this weekend clashing
And final race report from Ben Williams who was out plodding (30 miles!!!!!!)
I plodded the LDWA Open to Offas event on Saturday, a 30 mile circular route with over 5000ft of climb. It starts from Cilcain and climbs steadily to the north end of the ridge before following the Offas Dyke path (with a few deviations) over all of the major Clwydian hills, and includes bits of most of the local fell races. I’d been with the leading pack up to Moel Arthur, but I couldn’t keep up with them on the climbs after that. After crossing Foel Fenlli (of ‘the Druid’ race fame) the gradients ease off for a while, but by then my legs were wrecked and I was struggling. The homeward stretch has one more sting in the tail, Pothole Crags (of ‘Up the Beast’) and then flattens out for a nice run in past Loggerheads and along the Leete Path. The weather was perfect, almost too hot at times, and I got through a lot more water than I usually would on these events. As usual there were plenty of well-stocked aid stations on the route, and it was good to see Ian Hilditch manning checkpoint 6.
I managed to take an hour off last year’s time, as did a chap who finished just behind me having done the same last year, and finished in 7h 39m.
Once again Tim Palmer has provided us with a brilliant updated race calendar, please let him know if you spot any more races you want on here for others to know about
There is an updated race calendar at: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2015-16-event-listing/
Dates for your diary
Macclesfield Half Marathon this coming Sunday, penultimate race of the road counters. entries still open I believe right up until the day of the race
That’s all folks…Happy running green army!