Hello everyone. Thanks to those of you who have already sent race reports in. If anybody has any more updates from the past week then still please send to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can update the blog with them.
Wirral Multi-Terrain Series – 20/09/16
The third and penultimate race of the Summer Multi-Terrain League took place at Harrison Drive on Tuesday night. I haven’t seen a race report but I can see, from a scanning of the results and current standings, that Helsby were well represented on Tuesday. Current team standings have Helsby Men in 7th place and Helsby Ladies in 21st place.
More notable though, are the individual results and standings. Colin Thompson finished 5th overall on the night and 1st in his age category! Helen Owens was the first lady finisher for Helsby, closely followed by Debbie Reid who is currently placed 2nd in her age category for the series. Colin Thompson stays at the top of his age category as we go into the final race next Tuesday and Adam Gordon is presently 3rd in his age category. Overall, some excellent performances by Helsby. Well done everyone and hopefully we will have another great turn-out at Arrowe Park on Tuesday 27th September for the final race of the series.
Macclesfield Half Marathon on 25/09/16
Helsby leads the pack at Macclesfield.
We had four of the Helsby team take part in the Macclesfield Half Marathon on Saturday. Thanks to Neil Finnegan and Jackie Keasley who have both sent in race report – see below. Also below are a few more photos, courtesy of Bryan Dale of Racephotos.org.uk
Over to Neil:
“The Macclesfield half on Sunday was an excellent race – a small scale running event organised by runners for runners and as such it is an event which clubs like ours should be actively supporting. 563 runners took part in the half and over 200 in the 5k event held while we were out on the course.
Starting on the running track, which was possibly the only flat part of the entire route, the course is challenging (950ft climb) but a real pleasure to run. Most of the route was through the outlying “desirable” villages home to various premiership footballers and the tree lined country lanes offered a real feel of autumn with the leaves changing colour, but also offered welcome shelter from the rain which unfortunately hit us that day – ranging from drizzle to torrential downpours. The course is famous for its 2 big climbs – not especially steep hills, more long slow grinds. From a runners perspective that makes it very difficult to pace yourself on the course as the constantly undulating roads hit your rhythm and left your Garmin stats all over the place. So it was a case of plod up the hills and try to take advantage of gravity on the other side.
The support on the course was superb even in the remotest points – the locals seem to have really embraced the race which has been going for 15 years. Knowing that it wasn’t a PB course I went out with the mindset to enjoy the race and scenery – high fiving the kids and thanking the marshalls. It was only when I got to mile 9 and I was told I was 20th that I kicked on for the finish. The long climb from mile 10 to 12 was tough but the encouragement from the locals despite the bad weather was brilliant.
For the finish you were back on the track – a really nice touch as there were lots of spectators and people who had taken part in the 5k race, and full commentary on the finish was provided over the speaker system. A great value for money race and really enjoyable event. Well organised from start to finish and a really good atmosphere.
4 Helsby runners – and special congratulations to Richard Hankins for getting a half marathon PB on a really tough course – 1:32 despite the climbs.
14 Neil Finegan M40 01:23:52
58 Richard Hankins M40 01:32:37
175 David Feakes M50 01:45:14
404 Jackie Keasley F55 02:01:02″
And now over to Jackie for her report:
“Just a few words on yesterdays penultimate club road counter.
Despite being a well established club organised Cheshire race I have not done the Macclesfield Half Marathon before. A tough treat was in store!
A well organised race by Macclesfield Harriers, who use it to raise all monies for their 3 nominated charities, local hospice, autism and the Rossendale Trust who house adults with learning and physical disabilities in local apartments and houses, some of whom clapped and cheered us along the way as we ran through the outskirts of town, a really humbling experience .
It’s described as a challenging and rewarding route through the leafy back roads of East Cheshire. Apart from the laps around the very posh running track at the start it was most definitely undulating. The biggest hill being Hare Hill, a name causing much amusement as I ran up feeling like a tortoise. However Neil. Richard and Dave must have sprinted it like Hares to record the times they did! The finish was back onto the running track, but surprise surprise it’s located in a fairly elevated position at the back of the sports centre, so there was even a sting in the tail at the very end before the 100m sprint to the finish on the bouncy track. Sunshine and showers prevailed; the overnight heavy rain stopped and the sunshine came out just in time for the start, giving cool fresh ideal running conditions, two very short sharp downpours during the race tested us out but then the sun shone for the finish.
Brilliant running race after race by Neil to claim 14th place overall and well done to Richard for getting a PB on such a tough course.”
Windsor Half Marathon – 25/09/2016
Geoff Collins sent in the following race report from the Windsor Half Marathon:
“An invite to a friend’s birthday party gave me the chance to run the Windsor Half Marathon. This year being the 34th race with sunny and warm conditions. I really wanted to do this race because I lived around this area as a child and it thought it would be a bit nostalgic. Mind you, moderation was called for on the alcohol consumption stakes, for a sporting chance to make it to the start line!
The race is set within the 5,000 acre estate of Windsor Great Park in Berkshire. The location is absolutely stunning with fantastic views of an undulating and varied country landscape. It has sweeping deer lawns, small woods, coverts and lots of huge old oak trees. Yes you could actually see the Deer. You also get a good view of the planes taking off from Heathrow 6 miles away! The course is totally car, bike and pedestrian free!
But the course is very undulating. Basically two different loops with a small section repeated. My friends had warned me this isn’t a PB course. Hardly any of it level, you either go up or go down. The race starts and finishes on the Long Walk, the wide tree lined avenue which links Windsor Castle at one end with the dramatic statue (known as the Copper Horse) which is George III on his horse at the top of the hill. The race starts off uphill towards the Copper Horse for the first mile. Then you head along the well maintained wide park road way towards The Royal Lodge, now the official residence of Prince Andrew.
Then you head towards the quaint Royal School, where some members of the Royal Family have been educated. Then back to the Copper Horse repeating part of the first loop, before heading down on a longer loop towards Cumberland Lodge, Smith’s Lawn and the Prince Consort Statue. Smith’s Lawn is where the famous Guards Polo club is. Now Polo is not a game for the faint hearted. Sitting on a galloping horse swinging a mallet with a long handle, trying to hit a small wooden ball without clouting your horses legs or the other players! But today there is no Polo on. Suddenly I’m transported back to my 11 year old self, remembering running with the family dog, over Smiths Lawn!
Then the course drops down to the Valley Gardens and Virginia Water Lake, passing a sign saying no public access. This bit the public cannot normally access. Then a steepish climb away from the water, past one of the farms within the park up to Dukes Lane and Sandpit Gate.
The best bit of the race was the final mile from the Copper Horse back to the finish! All downhill, which made for a super quick fast finish!
I would recommend this race, for the unusual stunning park location, for the views, the best maintained tarmac roads I’ve ever raced on. Good crowd support. Not the flattest of courses with 630 feet of climb, (similar to Conwy half) Not the cheapest entry fees, but I suspect the Crown Estate take a fair chunk of that. Just a medal, water bottle, Mars Bar and a nut bar from Meridian the sponsors at the end.
1st Kojo Kyereme 1hr 07mins Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers
1018th Geoff Collins. 1hr 51mins Helsby RC (6th/out of 50 in age category)
Well done Geoff, and thanks for sending in the report.
We had 8 Helsby members participating across 4 different Parkruns on Saturday. Consolidated club results can be viewed HERE. Colin Bishop finished 2nd place in his first run at Ellesmere Port – well done Colin, and hopefully well be seeing you at number 1 there soon.
King Offa’s Dyke Race
At the time of writing, Gaz O’Conner is still going strong (so it appears on his tracker) on the epic Offa’s Dyke Race. With just 185 miles over 4 days, from Chepstow to Prestatyn, I’m sure Gaz will be checking his cellphone for this bulletin- so best of luck in the final stages Gaz, and I’m looking forward to hearing about it in the blog next week.
Dates For Your Diary
Tim Palmer continues to do a great job updating our race calendar which can be viewed here and I’ve put a screenshot of the calendar showing the next few events below:
Essar Four Villages Half Marathon
Entries for the ESSAR 4 Villages Half Marathon open this Saturday 1st October. As usual, we need as many volunteers as possible to continue making this event successful. So any club members who are entering the race do please try and bring a friend or family member who can help out on the day.
That’s it for now.
Remember to stay safe and start wearing those high visibility vests as the nights draw in.