Helsby RC News from 14th to 20th November 2016.

Thanks everyone who has sent something to the inbox this week. There’s been loads of good stuff going on with Helsby RC. If anything there anything that needs adding please still send in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com and we’ll add it to the blog and or the next round-up.

Dates For Your Diary

After-run talks and London Marathon draw  – A brief reminder from Jackie:

“This Wed after training it’s meant to be Chris BH talking on his Mont Blanc Ultra plus our London Marathon Draw. Unfortunately Chris has been called away with work. BUT Dave Feakes has kindly stepped in at the last minute to talk again on his cross channel swimming exploits. A lot of folks missed Dave’s amazing talk and have asked for a repeat so here’s your chance. Please let Lesley know  if you are coming along then we can order the right number of chips.

Thanks to those who have already let me have their London rejection slips. If you have not already let me know please bring slip on evening or email me. 

Hope to see you there!



Sandstone Trail Challenge 2017

The 2017 Sandstone Trail Challenge is on Saturday 6th May. Entries open on 1st December, and the link to enter is HERE. Its expected to fill up very quickly so be sure to set yourself a reminder if you want to secure a place.  We’ll need plenty of volunteers on the day, and if you can help you’re welcome to run the Marshal’s Event which will probably be on 1st May.

Liverpool & District XC Fixture 2

This coming Saturday 26/11/16 at 2pm – 2nd Race in the Liverpool & District XC League at Sefton Park

Racing News

Penmaenmawr Fell Race


Thanks to Tim Palmer for sending in the Penmaenmawr report:

“Due to liberal use of Helsby RC excuse book (including: I would prefer to run 90+ miles in 24 hours as the crow flies much it along the A41 and I have a sore ankle so I will go and set a PB and win a Parkrun instead), the eight Green Army runners who turned up for the Penmaenmawr Fell Race was fewer than those who entered. The race takes its place as the finale of the North Wales fell season; although a BM, it has a bit of everything – steep climb to start, a bog halfway round, a lovely runnable section looking over the Conwy valley and a steep single track finish; and then free soup and a bottle of beer. The weather was kind (sunny intervals).

The Helsby results were:
10th – Jim O’Hara – M Open – 1:21:21

27th – Phillip Roberts – M V40 – 1:30:30

35th – Tim Palmer – M V50 – 1:33:55 – 6th V50

45th – Laura Baynham-Hughes – F V40 – 1:37:09 – 5th Lady; 1st V40

54th – Jane Ashbrook – F V40 – 1:40:13 – 8th Lady; 2nd V40

95th – David Feakes – M V50 – 1:52:10

119th – Lesley Feakes – F V50 – 2:02:32

120th – Debbie Read – F V50 – 2:02:48
Thanks to Vanessa, Joe and Mario for their welcome support half-way. An excellent race – I would recommend it to everyone.


Escape from Meriden

Thanks to Chris Baynham-Hughes for sending in a great write up on his awseome antics over the weekend:

“Escape from Meriden
It was a simple but cracking concept. Start in Meriden (centre of England), wearing a tracker you have to escape as far away as you can (as the crow flies: @Jim Higgins – that’s the shortest distance between the start point and the end point :D) and it’s all tracked by Live GPS updates. No support thumbnail_15135928_10154831326098933_344765914849607950_n-1from the organisers, no set route but that’s what made it more interesting for spectators. Competitors would earn different rewards based upon how far away they got:

  • 0-30 miles = Paper
  • 30-60 miles = Silver
  • 60-90 miles = Gold
  • 26 leagues (90 miles) or above = Black

I ran my first ultra with Tin Wilcock back in 2011 and we’ve had so many adventures together since. This seemed a good excuse to have a good catch up and thus we put in an entry and took a typically disorganised approach to the event. We had two choices, either go for the 90 miles, or draw something rude on the tracker with our GPS trace (we imagined people watching saying, “where are they going!!! Then slowly realising as our juvenile activity became clear).

My mother would never have forgiven me so we figured the canals would be good and running home would broadly do it. Our route broke down as:

  • 26 miles to the start of the Shropshire Union canal at Wolverhampton (mixture of road and canal)
  • 30 miles on Shropie to Market Drayton
  • 30 miles to Chester via roads including the A41 from near Bickerton
  • Parkgate road out to West Kirby

We arrived with 15 minutes to go before the start and many competitors in orange Tyvek jumpsuits. At first I thought it was a big fancy dress, then realised that they were giving them out to us ‘prisoners.’ As we congregated at the monument signifying the centre of England there was a real buzz about the place; wondering where everyone was going. It was at this point that Tin produced a couple of paper print outs for our maps – about 26 miles squeezed onto A5 and scant detail. 5 minutes down the road the buzz had gone, I felt for the people that had entered solo, this was thumbnail_15085647_10154831326153933_5217354026377493793_ndefinitely an adventure for two.

I’d not been able to load the .GPX file that Tin had sent me – not even to my computer, so there was something wrong with it. I wasn’t too concerned as Tin had got it onto his Garmin, but as we were about to start it hit me how ill prepared I was to navigate home. We did head off in the right direction, but following a breadcrumb on a garmin is not ideal. I managed to pull out some detail from the maps, but when the Garmin showed and critical error and then started making patterns on the screen it looked all over.

I’d already had a near miss having slipped off an icy wall, but this time I found myself approaching a hooded figure at 3 in the morning to ask for directions. Naturally I startled him, but in his words that was because he thought I was “some kinda Power Ranger!” We got our directions and thankfully my suggestion of taking the batteries out for a while to ensure there was no residual charge and getting away from the glitch in the track seemed to help and we were back in business on the GPS. In hindsight we simply would have had to have stopped without it.

Al Fresco
A 24 hour run requires certain bodily activity; so when Tin announced he needed to find a bush I helpfully pointed out some decent cover. He opted for an alternative and went about business. In the interest of efficiency I decided to find cover too and emerged only to find that the building next to the bushes I’d first suggested was actually the Police station. Good job it was about 2am!

Tow Path
I expected the route to be simple once on the canal, but not only were we cursing the ice, we almost went miles off course as the canal split. It looked like the only way was over the bridge, so that’s what we did, but luckily Tin caught that we were off the breadcrumb and thus saved us miles! From then on every bridge was treated with suspicion!
By the time we got to Market Drayton we were exhausted, blood sugar was low and we’d had enough. The mud on the tow path was more than we’d expected and we’d some how added an extra two miles so just when we thought we were there we found we were literally miles away. We talked about stopping because we were no longer enjoying it and I suggested we rewarded ourselves with a slap up Morrison’s breakfast – no expense spared!

Shoes off:
Coke and a breakfast did the trick, but we got a few funny looks. Tin instantly took his shoes off to air his feet and I did the same. We looked so dishevelled that nobody dared to approach us. Refuelled and back on it we set off feeling nearly new. We knew we needed to keep our blood sugar up and that the coke would wear off quickly and we got our heads down to get through the miles. It was all road from here.

Working hard:
I’ll not lie, this was one of the hardest things I’ve done. We really worked at it, against the clock, breaking the adventure down into sections, concentrating on average pace, ensuring we fuelled well. After a 40 minute stop, refuel and change in Chester we dragged our aching corpses out the door and painfully started out for the final 20 miles. By this stage I couldn’t really eat, so when our awesome support crew appeared part way down Parkgate road with Pizza I was gutted I just couldn’t stomach it.

We battled through the miles, working together, pushing how long we ran for before rewarding ourselves with a walk. By this stage we’d had a few texts urging us on (thanks – you know who you are) and then one from Laura saying that team 89 had dropped out, so it was down to us. We didn’t give a monkeys about over all position, it’s not that kind of race, we just wanted to get the 90 miles… but as confirmation that we were going to win it filtered through I’d be lying if I said we weren’t chuffed. We’d worked incredibly hard as a team and physically supported each other throughout; it felt like we’d really earned this one so a trophy to add to the converted black medal was just the cherry on the top.
Not finished yet:
We crossed the 90 mile mark and carried on to the beach at West Kirby. Our support crew for the final section had been Wallasey’s own Richie Webster who just happens to be a lifeguard in his spare time. He’d been responsible for Hilbre Island for some time and nipped back home to get into his Land Rover whilst we started out across the beach to the island. Don’t try this without back up in the dark! Befuddled Tin started drifting off course heading out towards Wales instead. Luckily Richie started flashing the full beams and beeping his horn and after a few minutes we finally caught on and turned to the island. Sadly the tide wasn’t far enough out for us to go beyond Little I, but mission accomplished, much confusion caused on social media and driving back across the sand to the marina was a pretty satisfying feeling!

The stats:
111 miles covered. 11 hours and 10 minutes. 1st place. Only team to get over 90 miles.

Learning points:
Coca Cola is your friend. Ensure you’ve got a backup GPS. Don’t even think about doing this one alone.”

Combe Crawler

From CBH’s 111 miles  to my 8! On Sunday 20/11/16 I ran in the  ‘Combe Crawler’ hosted by Ilfracombe Running Club in 15181512_731329050348533_9061065067655436711_nNorth Devon. The race starts and finishes at Marlborough Park, the ground of Ifracombe FC, and is eight and half miles with some tough climbs and stunning views of the 15170872_1152144251501246_2808751442595209276_n coast. With gales the day before and the day after the race, the weather gods smiled down on us for race day. Loads of water and mud on the ground, but no rain or wind for the race!  The route is mostly off road but there are a few bits of tarmac running and good runnable trails. It goes through the grounds of Watermouth Castle and along the coast of Watermouth Cove and into Hele Bay. There’s
then  a tough climb up Hillsboro and then back down into Ilfracombe before the final climb back up to the finish With 1700ft of climb its a tough, fast race. I finished 16th overall and won the Vet 50 category for a cracking trophy. Full results and more race info HERE

Athens Marathon

Helsby RC have been on tour again! Tanya Meredith sent in this fab sport after visiting Athens. Well done Tanya!

“Athens Marathon, The Authentic.

The marathon race was created in 1896 to honor the legendary run of Greek messenger Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens. On 13th November, remembrance Sunday, 18640 runners boarded buses at 0515 and we made our way up to Marathonas. From the journey up there I could see that is wasn’t going to be a race that was easy on the legs but one that would be easy on the eye.image1

On arrival at Maratonas we were directed into the small Olympic stadium to warm up. Sitting in the stands you had an amazing view over the mountains and looked down on runners from across the world all warming up. Amongst the masses were the elite runners doing laps of the field, intermingled with other runners, you got the feeling of inclusion and acceptance that everyone there was equal.

On talking to other runners old and young the consensus was that they were not there for a specific time but to become one more person in the history of the route, to be able to stand tall and say “I’ve run Marathon”. The sense of occasion was only heightened by the sight of the Olympic flame burning brightly from within the stadium, bringing it home as to where I actually was.image2The route itself is very kind on the legs for the first 10k, we ran around the mount where the torch lighting ceremony takes place before any Olympics and then head out on the road to Athens. From 11k to 32 K it was a strength sapping incline with a 20m down hill thrown in for good measure. I knew from this point that this race was not one for a PB but to soak up the occasion and significance of the route and the race. The support along the course was amazing, children handing out olive branches and high fives joined sounds of Bravo and Greek music blasting out along the way. The last 10k, thankfully, was downhill and I made the most of this by getting my fastest miles in to ensure a strong fast finish.

The last mile is solid with supporters, which makes for a very emotional finish; running into the Panathenaic Stadium was an unforgettable experience. To run in the footsteps of the great marathon runners and athletes of the Athens Olympics surrounded by cheers was breathtaking.

I am now amongst the finishers who can say that I have truly run in the footsteps of Pheidippides and completed the “authentic marathon” .”

Tatton Park half marathon!

Now over to Neil Finegan for his really interesting review on the inaugural Tatton Park Half:

“A new race comes with risks attached. You never know how good or bad it will be until you run it. Be prepared for the most negative race review ever (is there a prize for this?)

The only positive thing I can say about this race is that it made me realise what a fantastic and professional job we do with the 4 villages. Sundays run at at Tatton Park was a masterclass in how not to organise a race.

Firstly there was the parking chaos. At 8 in the morning I was 0.4 of a mile from the car park to start my race at 9:35. I eventually parked at just after 10! The problem seemed to be that the organisers tagged a 10k run onto the event (starting at 9) which overloaded the roads nearby. It was a real shambles with inexperienced Marshals not helping.

So I eventually started the race – 30 minutes late and having to battle through the crowds of headphone wearing runners. Then came the next issue – a poor course full of dog legs to stretch the distance out. Narrow paths with cones down the middle to separate the runners going in 2 directions, made over taking near impossible. Then the conditions underfoot would go from path to woodland trail, to roads full of potholes full of water. It’s such a beautiful park but about 1/3 of the race was spent running down a road near a housing estate instead of inside the grounds. And if you were running the half like me, you had the fun of 2 laps of this chaos.

The course was also poorly designed – having to cope with the 2 different events and now with the added pressure of lots of runners starting at random times. The majority of the Marshals were completely disinterested. I had a few occasions where I had to shout at them “which way?” Then there were the big cycling groups also using the narrow paths oblivious to the race going on around them.

So you finished in a muddy field with a nice shiny medal but thinking that there are much better ways to spend your £22 and time. The tannoy announced my “fantastic clock” time of 1:44 (versus my chip time of 1:23). Having spent the race weaving past runners, I was surprised by that at least.

Definitely would not recommend this one for next year.”

Thanks for the heads-up on that one Neil, it makes me feel like running in the hills!

Rachel Holden and Joanne Lacking also braved Tatton Park for the 10k event. Full results can be viewed HERE.

Conway Half Marathon

And now over to Geoff Collins who seems to have fared better with the organisation of the Conway Half:

Race Report Conwy Half Marathon 20th November 2016

This year was the eighth Conwy half marathon, seven of which I have run previously. Although this has been a club counter in the past it wasn’t this year, there were just two Helsby runners Paul Roberts & myself Geoff Collins. I think both of us were surprised to see each other there. Overall race numbers were slightly down this year with just 2,408 finishers.

Driving towards Conwy the weather conditions improved considerably leaving the rain and cloud behind for much dryer, warmer and brighter conditions on arrival. Ideal conditions for running really with little wind. The area does seem to have its own micro climate. Driving to and parking in Conwy was an absolute doddle unlike a certain place elsewhere. There are plenty of cafes and tea shops for a warm drink and a decent toilet before the race!

Voted as one of the top 5 most scenic half marathons in the UK by Runners World, I must admit this is one of my favourite races. But then I’m always happy at the seaside! There are fantastic views over the coastline, the Deganwy estuary, Anglesey and Snowdonia. The race starts and finishes on the Old Quay just below Conwy Castle. This year they altered the course keeping us off the flatter coastal footpath because of too much sand. Instead the route followed the road from Deganwy into Llandudno. This isn’t so flat but it’s not too hilly either!

From Llandudno the route heads past the pier up towards the Great Orme. There were a lot of spectators near the pier. One of the Warrington RC runners amused me as he turned to the crowd and said ‘its very quiet round here’! Which certainly provoked a lot of very loud cheering.

Then the hard bit starts, the climb round and up the Orme. The gradient does easy off a bit before the final slightly steeper bit before you reach the highest point after the Rest & Be Thankful Café. It’s always worth taking a look at the scenery, not just the tarmac in front of you.

Rounding the Orme views of Snowdonia open up as you start the steep descent back to Llandudno. At this point I’m joined by Val from Chester Tri Club, who lives close to me in Chester. It made the last part of the race more interesting as we pushed towards the finish. That was fourth race this year that’s happened on!

It would be good to have this race as a club counter next year!


1st Russell Bentley Eryri Harriers 1hr 09m.

Paul Roberts Helsby 1hr 41m.

Geoff Collins Helsby 1hr 50m.

Geoff Collins”


Despite all the racing going on Helsby still managed field 12 athletes across five different Parkruns, and with some cracking results!  Well done to everyone but just a special mention for Colin Thompson and Phil Tomlinson placed 2nd and 4th respectively at Warrington. Consolidated results can be viewed HERE.


Well I think that’s all for this week folks. Hope I’ve not missed anything. Keep on running!



Helsby weekly round-up 7th – 13th Nov 2016

Hello all

Before the news please see some reminders from Paul Foster and Jackie below:

L&D Cross Country

The next Liverpool and district XC on Sat 26th November Sefton Park Liverpool at 2pm is a pre entry event.

All names have to be submitted a week on Wednesday 16th November so if anybody would like to run please send me your name and date of birth to:


So please don’t forget to email me with your details..

To all new runners this is still a free event for every Helsby runners as long as you are first claim and wear your Helsby vest..

Thanks Paul..

A week Weds its the start of our Autumn talk season. Please come along and support these events.  They follow on from our club training runs on a Wednesday in our Helsby Community Sports Club bar, starting as soon as we have recovered, bought drinks and had a bite to eat, at about 8:30. The club will provide food  to help recovery and sustain us (chip butty season is upon us with the cold nights!). To help with the food order please let Lesley know by the day before if you are coming along davidfeakes1234@btinternet.com

Wed 23rd Nov Chris Baynham-Hughes on his amazing achievement of completing this summer’s Ultra Trail De Mont Blanc.   Plus our club place London Marathon Draw.

Warrington Way 40

Congratulations to all our members who tackled the Warrington Way Ultra at the weekend, some details below and a report from Ian Rutherford (who found the time to run a hard track session the next day – machine!!)

“Run forty miles around the outskirts of Warrington in November they said.  It’d be fun they said.

Do you know what?  It was.

This event gets a bit of stick it seems and for sure it’s not Chamonix but apart from a couple of busy roads and the occasional logistics depot 😉 it’s a surprisingly rural course encompassing Trans Pennine Way, numerous canal & nature reserve trails, country lanes and maybe a few too many muddy farmers fields.  It’s starts and ends in lovely Lymm town centre and it was really good to see such large numbers supporting the race.

fb_img_1479289425801_resizedThe weather forecast for the duration of the event was improving as the week beforehand progressed but it was all to obvious that a significant deluge of rain had already fell in the week and continued to do so right up until kick off on this damp, dark and lets be honest miserable early Saturday morning.

With waterproofs on we assembled on the start line and at 7.30am prompt the hooter went to signify the off.  Wiggo led the Greenarmy cry and off we went.  My own strategy was to go easy and just try and find a decent group to hang with; especially one with good nav knowledge.  I couldn’t have executed this plan any better as the runners started to thin out with the very differing paces I latched on to a small group of three others at around the 5 mile mark.  Running at around 8’30 mile pace this was an ideal group.  Chatting with the guys it became clear these were a group of Lymm Runners and one of them Steve Davis (no not that one) had ran the course many many times as he had actually co-helped design the course route alongside the Race Director (which was nice).  So I knew as long as I could hold on I wouldn’t get lost which was my primary concern.  A real fleeting visit to the first checkpoint, not even time to take off my waterproof jacket and on we went. Approx 1h’27 for the first ten miles; everything feeling good and feet only slightly damp, spirits were high!  Next 10 miles in to checkpoint 2 was 1h’29 so fairly consistent.  A slightly longer stop allowing a quick refreshment and on the move again, this time heading towards an area I know well around Hatton where checkpoint 3 was. Our group of four had become a group of 2 as the others had dropped off the pace, the human sat-nav Steve and myself.  We hovered up Dean Allison at around 24 miles from North Wales Road Runners and this was to be a three that finished together.

fb_img_14792895595801h’39 for this next 10-mile split, so it was clear we were tiring and whilst you could never describe this course as remotely hilly (just under 1000ft for the whole 40 miles); the little elevation there was, was mainly in this stage.  A brief stop again; and nice to see my young lad here with some drink changes and we were off again.  This final stage was the most difficult terrain wise; predominantly across farmland that was waterlogged and churned up under very heavy and tired legs.  1’h43 for this leg.  We were well cheered home in Lymm town centre and the three of us joined hands as we ran across the finish line together in joint 14th position and a total time of 6h’18 mins.

I was mightily pleased with this run and thought I’d ran it as well as I could have hoped.  I would have definitely struggled with navigation if needed and feel good that over a forty-mile race not one person overtook me after the start and had managed to gradually climb up the places the entire way.

Of course I wasn’t the only green vest on the grid; 4 others all took on the challenge.

Jim Jones 61st in 7h’37

Andy Robinson 65th in 7h’41

Dave Madders & Steve Wiggins coming home together in 9h’10 in joint 97th.

Dave let me know afterwards that although he enjoyed it said it was much harder than the L2M 50; this gives a good idea on how tough the conditions were on the day.

Organisation of this event was faultless and Lymm Runners should be rightly proud of this event.”

Arley 10k

One of the fastest 10k’s in the racing calendar saw 5 green vests running around the beautiful Arley Hall on Saturday. Emma Barnes has sent in a report for this race, Thank Em and congrats on the PB!

“I ran the Arley 10k on Saturday.
A lovely rural route around the lanes of Antrobus.
The weather was grim!!
The start was delayed by 10 minutes!
No green army shouts I’m afraid, as the race got underway. (Sorry Chris)!
I set off well and managed to keep a reasonable pace around the picturesque route. There was not much support out on course……not surprising really.
By the time I had finished I looked like I had completed a cross country!!! My poor new road shoes!

Finish time of 56:42 – PB!!”

A few other green vests were also in the results, well done to all who took part. Not sure if anyone else secured a PB but please let me know if you did and I’ll update the blog.

Pos Net Pos Name Race No Time Chip Time Category Gender Gender Pos Club
368 341 RHEA THOMAS 1547 00:47:38 00:45:57 Female Female 42 HELSBY RC
405 417 JAMIE KONG 880 00:48:41 00:47:36 Male Male 356 HELSBY RC
844 797 DAVID WIGGINS 1690 00:58:21 00:54:47 V55 Male 618 HELSBY RC
853 895 EMMA BARNES 93 00:58:29 00:56:41 V40 Female 233 HELSBY RC
1160 1184 GILLIAN FITZPATRICK 526 01:05:40 01:03:19 V35 Female 434 HELSBY RC

Full results here http://www.cheshire10k.com/cheshire-10k-results-12th-november-2016/

Sunday League XC – Beacon Park

We could not have asked for a nicer day to run with great views from Beacon Hill in Skelmersdale, a light wind and no rain. Still muddy as hell though, but that’s the way we like it! The course encompasses two laps of undulating terrain and plenty of mud, a few slips and falls along the way saw some battle scars!

The ladies had a great day at the office with some excellent individual performances which saw them 4th overall in the table. Laura B-H led the way and showed her strength on the hills to secure a superb top ten finish. Jenny Illidge was in her element with all the puddles to jump in but still found the time to put in a great performance to secure a top 30 finish and 6 of our ladies all featured in the top 50. Well done, fantastic running all!

The men’s team had their best run for quite some time, Colin Bishop showing his class once again to storm around for 13th place but man of the match has to go to Neil Finegan who still isn’t 100% fit through injury but came through the field like a train to take 14th place, just a few seconds behind the mighty Bish! 3 runners featured in the top 20 and with many other fantastic individual performances the men secured 4th team overall. Probably our best position in the league for quite some time. Let’s keep it up chaps!

Thank you to Mario and Jane Bishop for their support on the day, Jane also provided some delicious cakes!

Mens Results

13th      Colin Bishop
14th      Neil Finegan
16th      Colin Thompson
41st      Chris Fitzpatrick
62nd    Chris Baynham Hughes
77nd    Gareth Boyd
89th      Phil Roberts
146th    Steve Riley
151st    Mike Williams
189th    Paul Foster

Ladies Results

8th        Laura Baynham Hughes
24th      Jenny Illidge
31st      Janet Robertson
42nd      Rachel Arnold
44th      Debbie Read
49th      Susan Fletcher
76th      Susan Buck

Lots more photos of the day are available here courtesy of Andy Smith

Full results can be found on www.stevesaunders.co.uk

The next Sunday League is at Walton Hall Park on Sunday 4th December but please note we have a clash with a borders league on this day. Which ever race you choose it will be great to see lots of support at both so let’s get a big turn out folks!

Athens Marathon

Tanya Downes travelled to Athens to take part in the original marathon, a report will be on the way soon for this but in the mean time be sure to congratulate Tanya on an excellent run and we look forward to reading all about it.


A bit quiet at the parkruns, it must have been all those pesky races over the weekend! We still had a small number showing at Widnes & Delamere and a new PB for Geoff Collins at Chester! Well done all.


That’s all this week. If have have missed anything please let me know. Remember our email address is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com if you want to send us any race reports to include in the blog.

Col T

Helsby Weekly Update 31 Oct to 6 Nov

Firstly,  quick reminders from Paul Foster about the L&D cross country race at Sefton Park and Chris Fitz  about the upcoming Xmas do…

L&D Cross Country

The next Liverpool and district XC on Sat 26th November Sefton Park Liverpool at 2pm is a pre entry event.

All names have to be submitted a week on Wednesday 16th November so if anybody would like to run please send me your name and date of birth to:


So please don’t forget to email me with your details..

To all new runners this is still a free event for every Helsby runners as long as you are first claim and wear your Helsby vest..

Thanks Paul..

Christmas Do

Helsby Christmas night out will be on Saturday 10th Dec, usual set up, starting in Helter Skelter at 7.30pm, Christmas jumpers a must, greener the better


Border League Race 2 at Chester.

Fitzy sent in this report from the race.

There was a great turn out for the second Border League race at Chester on Sunday. A total of 36 runners helped give the Ladies team 2nd place and the Mens team 4th place on the day.

We had a very chilly start on Sunday morning at our second borders league race of the season in nearby Upton, which was being held by West Cheshire on the very fast Spring 5 course. This is a very popular race in April when it’s warmish, and Sunday seen a record number of runners turn up, 431 in total, which is a record by 61.  Another brilliant turn out by the green army seen 36 of us in total take counters.

Some great performances on the day seen Colin Thompson first home for the men, followed by myself and Bish, also a quick note to people turning up and helping us out after racing the night before, CC, take a bow son, and we even had local celebrity Fell Runners Ben Fletcher and Jim O’Hara helping the men’s team out coming in 4th on the day, and moving us up to 5th in the Division 1 table. 7 men ran subs 30 mins and top 10 counter all within 91st place, which just goes to show we have real strength in numbers now, exciting times ahead!

Alison Halsall, followed by Joanne Lacking, and Laura BH made up the top 3 for the women and a great performance to bring them in 2nd on the day, however they are still rooted to the bottom of the top division because of race 1’s penalty points. It wont be long before they are heading up that table if they continue to put in great performances like yesterday.

The next race is on Dec 4th and is at Birkenhead Park, would be great to get decent numbers to this one again, although it will clash with a cross country race so i will be in contact for a bit of careful planning so we don’t get any penalty points for either team.

Thanks again for the support of Jane, Mario and Joe out on the course as always


Individual race results:


Team race results


Overall team standing after Race 2


Dublin Marathon report by Jo Farwell.
This was my second dalliance with the Dublin Marathon, both as support entourage, but this time with the ‘Green Army Girls on Tour’

The group of 10 set off to the Emerald Isle at not even the crack of dawn on Saturday, yes there really are two 5 o’clocks in the day! All runners were very reserved on the flight out, lots of nervous giggles and alas no ‘flight juice’ for Nesta.

Upon arriving to our extremely sumptuous guest house and dumping our bags, we set off in search of the best Irish Breakfast in Dublin. All I can say is thank goodness we didn’t use the facilities before we’d ordered!!!

It was then off to the Expo and a mammoth 6 mile hike later the GAGs had registered, no turning back now, and we were back at our extremely sumptuous guest house to check in, and for room swaps, blimey, so soon, it was only early afternoon!

Once settled into our new rooms, air freshener and breakfast purchased for the morning, some Guinness and a bit of carbo loading were in order, not to mention a few more nervous giggles and a ‘bit of magic’! It was then back to our extremely sumptuous guest house for an early night and an extra hour in bed…. 

After a very noisy night, that’s those in the room without the air freshener, race day was upon us, and more nervous giggles on the way to the start, fortunately it wasn’t a 6mile hike to get there.
Now, I can’t tell you much about the race, but with the start and finish just outside the city centre, the course of one lap took the runners north of the river for the first half, around the zoo, (leave that monkeys banana alone now) and through the very scenic Phoenix Park, or so I’ve been told. It’s then back south over the river for the second half, around the University College Dublin with the final straight two mile run back to the finish.

Now the girlies did a ‘grand’ job, staying together until about mile 11, then finding their own pace…. results are

Jenny – debut marathon – 4.36.56
Louise – 4.36.56
Nesta’s first road marathon – 4.55.39
Donna’s second marathon in 6 mths – 5.05.09

Epic running from all 4 GAGs!!!


Have to say, the support entourage did a ‘grand’ job too, kept popping up like Fenella the Kettle Witch or rather Joe and Mario, when you least expect it! Walking near on 12 miles we managed to see the girls at 4 points throughout the race, all looking great throughout. Can’t say the same for the supporters mind, not even time for a pee stop, never mind coffee and cake!!

A well earned post race Guinness to celebrate was thoroughly deserved and enjoyed by all, no more nervous giggles, just lots of laughs and crazy statements like ‘I really enjoyed that’!!

The remainder of the weekend was spent re-hydrating and re-fuelling with good food, good drink, good friends and lots more laughs and of course a mandatory trip to the Guinness factory.
Well…. when in Dublin!

A great weekend was had by all, but last note has to go to Louise McEveley, who not only accepted her mission and carried it through not once, but twice…..!! 😉

Brilliant report, cheers Jo.

Ben Williams sent in this report from the Kilburn Kanter

I ran the LDWA Kilburn Kanter on Saturday. This is a great little event taking in footpaths and tracks in the countryside near Thirsk. The weather was grim, with persistent rain giving way to hail on the moors, and underfoot conditions were tough in places. The scenery and atmosphere were fantastic though, with plenty of banter between runners and lots of support from the checkpoints.

There are four big climbs on the 24-mileroute, and having done this event twice before I feel that I was better able to judge how much energy to put in on different sections.

I was in a cat-and-mouse battle with another runner over the last couple of stages, which helped keep my pace up on the sections where I normally tire. I completed the event in 4 hours 54, 27 minutes quicker than last year, so pleased with that. No pictures, I didn’t dare get my phone out of my pocket in the monsoon.

Results may appear here sometime –



Helsby members were in action at Delamere, Ellesmere Port and Widnes parkruns. Full, consolidated results are below.


Thats it for this week, as usual can you please send your race reports to:



10k TT 02-11-16

A big thank you to everyone who turned up for the 10k time trial last night at the new Greenway course, we had 12 runners toeing the line ready to do battle. A fabulous run from Chris Fitzpatrick saw him storm around in 37.47 for the win and a good 3 minutes ahead of anyone else! Jo Lacking had a great run to take the win for the ladies, Chris and Jo both now hold the course records. Well done to everybody else, it was great to see some new faces on the night too (as well as the old faces!). Feedback was generally good for the new course so we will stick to the Greenway for the foreseeable future but if you have any comments about how we can improve the run please drop me a message or see me at club.

Special thanks to the 10k team – Louise Spruce (race director), Joe (timing), Mario (results), Leslie Feakes (tail runner). It wouldn’t be possible without you guys! Also thanks to Meadow Lea Farm Café for use of their car park 🙂

Full results in the link below:


The next one will be on Weds 30th November so put it in your diaries folks!


Helsby RC weekly round-up 24th – 30th Oct 2016

Hi everyone

Firstly apologies for the delay this week, been waiting on a couple of reports. This week we had 2 marathons, an XC a 10k and a hellraiser! All will become clear on that last one with Debbie Reads fab report!

Before we get to the news Fitzy and Vanessa have asked me to send out the info for this Sundays Borders League in Chester (nice and local for us lot!). All the information can be found in the PDF link below. We need a good turn out for this folks so if you can spare an hour or two on Sunday morning to support the club it would be much appreciated. For info we need 10 men and 4 ladies for a complete team. Please be aware that the start time for this one is 10am.


Lausanne Marathon Weekend (10k option)

It’s great to see Richard Hankins running so well at the Lausanne 10k. Richard is a fairly new member but is already showing big improvements in his race times since joining the club. His report can be found below, thanks Richard.

“This is an fantastic weekend of running that the whole family can enjoy: on the Saturday there are children’s races of ten different distances and age groups. My children and niece and nephew all took part in these. They are well organised and enclosed within the park so very safe and family friendly. There are also walking events of various distances and styles (Nordic, speed, leisurely). The Sunday is the serious business with a beautiful marathon that mostly follows Lake Geneva and a half marathon on a one way route from Vevey to Lausanne. My brother and I, however, did the 10K. A fast but undulating route starting in the City by the main park, heading out of town on wide closed roads into the Swiss countryside before circling back through the cobbled streets of a small village and finishing on the banks of Lake Geneva at Ouchy. The quality of the runners was breathtaking with the first man (Bernard Matheka)coming in at 28.18 and the first woman (Delia Sclabas) at 34.16.  A fast and flowing course I came in 44th out of 625 vet 40s at 39:42 (a PB and first sub 40 10K). My brother came in just behind me at 79th vet 40 at 42:23. For those who fancy a European escapade this event is well worth the cost and hassle.”

Halloween Hellraiser

This event looked like a cracker and the feedback is always excellent, entry fee is a bargain too! Maybe one to consider as a club counter next year perhaps? Debbie Read has sent in the following report, thanks Debbie.

“On an appropriate drizzly Sunday morning Suzanne and Debbie took part in South Cheshire Harriers’ 10 mile multi terrain race – Halloween Hellraiser in Nantwich. It was a lovely event, enjoyed by them both – very well organised with lots of encouraging marshals. Excellent club facilities with showers, hot food and drinks available. All runners got a goody bag which had a towel and a bottle of beer. Suzanne’s husband Ben cycled out and did a wonderful impression of Joe and Mario popping out and about on the course with much appreciated encouragement. Fancy dress was optional and Suzanne found herself being chased by the Grim Reaper!”

Dublin Marathon

fb_img_1478178364044A report should appear for this soon and I will update the blog accordingly but in the meantime it’s a massive well done to the ladies who took part in the Dublin marathon on Sunday – Donna Geer, Jenny O’Hare, Louise McEveley and Nesta Hawker, some of them in their first ever marathon! Jo Farwell went over to support also. Can’t wait to read the report for what looked like a fantastic weekend.



Snowdonia Marathon

Jim Jones just can’t stay away from the long hilly stuff and found himself toeing the line at the Snowdonia Marathon with 3 other green vests. Advertised as the “toughest marathon in the racing calendar” it isn’t for the faint hearted but Jim and the chaps took it all in their stride and ran a fabulous race. Over to Jim for his full report…

“Four of us took on the Snowdonia Marathon this year. Jim O’hara was first back for Helsby in a brilliant time of 3:18 – nearly 7 minutes faster than last year. Jim O’Hara was followed by Jim Jones at 3:53, Derek Morris at 4:05 and Graham Lloyd at 4:55. Conditions were good with some light rain at the start. The course is mostly on road but with a steep descent on trail for the last couple of miles, which was quite slippy. It proved to be something of a ‘sting in the tail’ for many who are less used to running off-road (I’m sure Degsy will testify to that 😉 . The men’s race was won by Russell Bentley (unattached) in 2:35:05 and the women’s race was won by Joanne Nelson of Darwen Dashers in 3:03:53.”

Full results link here: http://tdleventservices.co.uk/race-results.php?event=2468

L&D XC – Arrowe Park

A big thank you to Phil Tomkinson for his report on the first L&D of the season, an excellent turn out of green vests and some close battles by all accounts. Over to Phil…

“Saturday afternoon saw the first race of the Liverpool & District Cross Country League at Arrowe Park, and there were 9 Helsby runners in attendance. The course was about 9.5k and basically consisted of 3 laps round 2 big fields, plus a few seconds spent running though some woods towards the end of each lap. Although not the most inspiring route, this layout did mean we ran past Joe and Mario several times so there was plenty of encouragement on offer. Resuming their duel from last weekend’s fell race, Ben Fletcher and Neil Finnegan were again separated by only a few seconds. This time Ben was first home for Helsby in 19th place, and overall we finished 6th out of 11 participating clubs. Two races into my debut cross country season my experience so far has been most notable for the surprising lack of mud – my shiny new spikes are still gleaming. Whether this will still be the case in a few months time remains highly doubtful.”


Helsby results were as follows:

19th   Ben Fletcher   35:52
20th   Neil Finnegan   35:56
45th   Ian Rutherford   37:26
47th   Chris Baynham-Hughes   37:42
62nd   Phil Tomkinson   39:07
63rd    Chris Murray   39.20
109th   Davyd Michell   43:52
140th   Rachel Arnold   48:21
154th   Jackie Keasley   52:16


Please find a link to the consolidated parkrun stats from last Saturday. Excellent running from Tim Palmer saw him attain a big PB and 8th overall at Warrington and another PB for Adele Croxton at Widnes saw her 2nd lady overall! Well done both and well done to all those who took part in parkrun.


That’s all this week, anything missing please let me know. All future report should be sent to the usual email address – helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Keep on running…

Col T