Firstly a reminder that the Border League season starts this coming Sunday. First race is in Caernarfon and starts, as usual at 11am. Lets have a great turn out from the Green Army.
Helsby members were in action at parkruns throughout the area. Notable performances include Colin Bishops 3rd place at Princes Park and Chris Morgans first run as a Helsby member at Birkenhead.
Full, consolidated Helsby results are below
Sunday was Chester marathon and metric with Derek Morris and Dave Madders doing the full
Tanya Downes sent in this report from the Metric.
Chester Metric Marathon
A beautiful October day, who could ask for better running conditions. Lone metric Helsby runner set out for a steady training run for my November marathon in Athens with the added bonus of a medal, t-shirt and goodies at the finish line. An undulating course reminded me of a baby grand national ride, very proud of myself running all the way back up sandy lane ( getting used to hills at last). Great support and such a lovely course. Would definitely recommend for next year for anyone wanting just a little extra to that half marathon distance. Took it steady at my marathon training pace and came home in 2 hours 50 with a little sprint finish. Paced my Chester road runner friend to a 1/2 marathon PB , which was fantastic. Felt fresh and no aching legs the next day…….. onwards to the next challenge.
Also on Sunday was the Glencoe marathon which was run my Adam Gordon, Ste Wiggins and Roy Duffy. The race unfortunately left all 3 runners too exhausted to write a report for the blog but full results are below, including an impressive top 30 finish for Adam.
Sandstone Trail Race – View from the Back!!
A wonderful Autumnal day yesterday for the 40th Sandstone Trail Race with a healthy Helsby turnout for the A and B races. A chilly start with the mist burning off first thing then sunshine and very clear views, for those going at a slow enough pace to look up!
My experience of the long race was quite different to previous years!! Firstly I nearly did not start as despite entering early as usual I was on the waiting list until only last week. In the A race I am normally soon running fairly alone in the peace & tranquillity at the back of the field, but this year I seemed to have company all the way. Within the first few miles I was amazed to have runners moving slower than me in “packs” chatting away with conversations such as the latest episode of Emmerdale.
Then to my alarm/annoyance continual swearing at every slight incline and muddy patch. Surely I thought if you have entered a 17 mile race, in October along the Sandstone Trail, these are to be expected … and relished! I put on a spurt to get away from these noisy runners (some walking so early on) and eventually found myself at one with the surroundings; birds chirping away merrily with the odd heavy breathing from fellow individual runners disturbing the silence!
Soon the miles were steadily gobbled up and I passed through Beeston, which again was quiet as the B mass start occurred 15 mins earlier. Then I started catching up with the B runners and again unlike other years lots of them. Most moving/walking in groups some even stopping along the way to take selfies!!! Again a sight I have not witnessed on this race before!!
Most memorable along this section were several groups of backpackers merrily cheering and shouting “Come on Helsby”. I soon worked out that they were all from Helsby High and delighted to see their same Helsby vest being worn by us. Up the field they gave each Helsby runner a cheer too – a big thanks Helsby High!
Thanks to Geoff and Janet for organising this race over the many years and to all yesterday’s marshals with quite a number from Helsby. Next year this race will be organised by Cute Fruits – hope the same winning formula (and price!) continues.
Well done everyone and special mention to prize winners Jim, 3rd overall and Alison 3rd lady in the A race and 5th place to Ben in the B race.
4th Jim O-Hara 2:04:34
38th Alison Halsall 2:29:06
48th Laura Baynham-Hughes 2:33:07
59th Chris Murray 2:39:14
85th Andy Robinson 2:48:41
97th Dave Feakes 2:52:20
108th Lesley Feakes 2:56:45
118th Rachel Arnold 3:01:41
132nd Paul Foster 3:08:04
137th Jackie Keasley 3:15:27
171 finishers, 9dnf
Vanessa retired injured at Rock Farm – hope no long term damage done.
5th Ben Fletcher 1:15:02
11th Richard Hankins 1:22:00
77th Michele Hardwick 1:44:57
80th Debbie Reed 1:45:14
91 Suzanne Fletcher 1:48:21
105 Sue Buck 1:50:52
184 finishers, 1 dnf
Also, congratulations to Heslby second claim Chris “The Machine” Collins for his second place in the B race.
Wirral Multi Terrain Series.
The final Wirral Multi terrain race at Arrowe park saw 12 green vests toeing the line. A pretty good turn out for the finale but overall attendance has been a bit poor this year, it’s a shame these races aren’t more popular with our members as it’s a fantastic series in some lovely locations and at £1 per race they are a bargain too! Maybe it’s the mid-week logistics and also September can be a bit difficult with holidays etc. Lots of other races around at the moment too.
Anyway on to the race, the course is 2 laps of Arrowe park through fields, woods and trail. We had some very impressive running on the night and over the whole series, well done to everyone who took part.
Helsby results below:
9th Colin Thompson 26:07
13th Adam Gordon 26:28
18th Neil Finegan Helsby 26:50
44th Ian Rutherford 28:19
74th Mark Gittins 29:37
75th Richard Hankins 29:40
152nd Dave Madders 33:59
167th Tim Igoe 35:09
186th Chris Igoe 36:47
187th Stephen Wiggins 37:09
36th Debbie Reid 35:22
67th Liz Dobson 39:29
Full results can be found here
Results overall for the series are here
Special congratulations to Adam and Debbie Read for their podium finishes over the series taking 3rd in their respective age categories. Well done both! Also of note is the 7th place in the team rankings for Helsby Men.
Thank you to Joe and Mario for their support during each race, as always it’s much appreciated guys.
Also a quick note from Max Wainwright to say he ran Saddleworth Edges fell race on Saturday, his first ‘proper’ fell race since last November and came in 8th.
Well done, Max
Last weekend Gary O’Connor (me) ran the King Offas Ultra . I’ve tried to keep the report as short as you can keep a 3 and half day race report……
King Offas Dyke Race.
Last Friday evening I started the 186 mile, 4 day Offas Dyke race in Chepstow, South Wales heading towards the finish in Prestatyn on the North Wales coast.
The first 60 miles or so, run in one stint during Friday night and Saturday afternoon, went without too much drama until I left the Kington checkpoint for the 17 mile trip to the next CP where I intended to rest until Sunday morning. A predicted “short, rain shower” turned out to be an extended, torrential downpour that left me soaked through to the skin and making navigation errors that started putting me behind the schedule I’d set myself.
I finally got to the CP at 82 miles around 1am, about 4 hours hours behind where I’d hoped to be, with several blisters affecting my running, all my kit soaked and really demoralsed. I got a few hours sleep on a row of seats and set off around 5am for the 100 mile checkpoint at Montgomery, this 20 mile section turned out to be the low point of my weekend and the only period where I had serious doubts as to my ability to finish the race. The section was extremely hilly, I only made the time cut off for the checkpoint by an hour or so as I couldn’t put too much weight on my feet on the downhill parts and was (I think!) in last place.
The excellent medics at Montgomery burst and taped my blisters and I was at least able to maintain a pace that meant I could get to the next checkpoint without getting timed out. The next 50 miles were all done with the sole aim of holding this pace and finishing the race without getting DNF’d on time.
I got to the 150 mile checkpoint at Llandegla at around 7pm on Monday near the back of the pack, having had reasonably “easy” days on Sunday and Monday due to blistering. This meant my legs were relatively fresh and I decided to just have a quick sleep and eat before heading across the Clywdians to the finish in Prestatyn, 36 miles away at 10pm.
The last section went better than I could have possibly hoped for, I felt strong, positive and the miles just melted away until, before I knew it, I was standing on the trails above Prestatyn at 10am on Tuesday morning, roughly15 places higher than I’d been the morning before.
The run didn’t go exactly to plan, I’d hoped to approximately run 85 miles Friday/ Saturday, 65 miles Sunday and 40 miles Monday to finish late Monday evening but I ended up doing 80, 35 (slow) and 75 which left me finishing Tuesday morning but was more than happy with my time given the problems I’d had on the second day.
I finished the race 26th out of 45 finishers (85 starters), having done just under 200 miles due to various navigation errors and 29000 ft of elevaton in a time of 87 hours.