Thanks to everyone who has sent in contributions for the blog this week. Please keep sending any race reports, or any other items you want including, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Apologies for the rather late distribution of the blog this week, I’d have sent it out last night if I wasn’t Hotfooting up Moel Famau, …… but you can read about that in next week’s blog.
This week we start with a few reminders and upcoming events:
Friday 16/06/2017 – 6.30pm – A chance to support the Helsby Community Sports Club and win some prizes at Bingo (see the flyer at the end of this blog)
Wednesday 21/06/17 – 7.15pm – Up the Beast – our next counter in the Fell (mini) series. Race HQ is at the Miners Arms, Maeshafn, CH7 5LR – hope to see a few of you there.
Friday 23/06/17 – 7.15pm – Tough Team Race – a great event for teams of 3 hosted by Tattenhall Runners – Race HQ is at Tattenhall Recreation Club, CH3 9QF
Next, a polite reminder from our membership secretary, Tim Palmer:
“Thanks to all of those of you have paid your 2017 subs. If you haven’t paid your subs, please could you do so now because if we don’t receive payment by 30th June, we will assume that you want to resign. If you haven’t received the various emails about subs or have any questions, please contact Tim on email
For those marathon aficionados, we haven’t got enough members to get us two London Marathon places. We are currently just on one 😞. This is the position at Friday 9th so please prompt others to pay and pay yourself.
Jim O’Hara’s Paddy Buckley Round – Saturday 10/06/17 to Sunday 11/06/17
Many thanks to Chris Baynham-Hughes for sending in a summary of Jim O’Hara’s epic achievement over the weekend. It was a privilege to be able to join Jim for just part of it. Over to CBH:
“Not sure if anybody else will write in but I just wanted to highlight Jimmy’s heroics on the weekend.
This weekend Jimmy O’Hara took on the Paddy Buckley Round. This is the Northern Snowdonia equivalent of the Bob Graham Round… only it’s universally recognised as being ~1h15m harder! Jim set off from Capel Curig at 10am on the Saturday with Peter Taylor from Tattenhall runners in what was described as atrocious weather. It got worse. By the time the pair got to Llanberis Pete had called it a day and Jimmy cracked on determined to finish.
Max, Chris Collins and Phil Roberts had all supported Jimmy on the various legs with Jim Jones, Phil Gillard and myself showing up for the glory leg! What I witnessed was an demonstration of true resolve, grit and courage in the face of some of the worse mountain weather I’ve been out in. Heading over the final leg we were blown about like rag dolls, but at no point was Jimmy looking to quit. I never thought I’d experience wind like I did on the 50th Fellsman where it was easily in the 60’s, but that was nothing compared to this. At one point I was lifted clean off my feet by the wind and dumped 2 metres to my left! I’ve been blown over before, but never lifted up, I’d estimate the wind was ~70-90mph… And Jimmy kept on going.
Being out for such a long time can play havoc with your body. The combination of sleep deprivation and lack of perspective can lead to poor decision making and disorientation. Given that this area is my playground I tend to think of it as being safe, but if it wasn’t for the lightening reactions of jim Jones Jimmy may well have ended up blown off a cliff – jim literally caught Jimmy by his jacket and kept him from being blown off the ridge…. And Jimmy kept on going.
The ultimate benchmark for the fell running rounds is 24 hours, but for me and for everyone else I speak to who have done one we all comment on how weather dependent completion is. The Paddy doesn’t have a 24 hour cut off for completion and I’d challenge anybody in the world to have completed in under 24 this weekend. Jimmy crossed the line in under 30 hours having given everything to it. 99% of people would have given up, but Jimmy’s determination was never dented. A true fell warrior that I’m fiercely proud to know personally. First completion of the Paddy Buckley by a Helsby RC member. James O’Hara I am in awe and I salute you sir!
Blaydon Races – Friday 09/06/17
Debbie Read was up in the North East this weekend and sent in this report from a Friday night event ……… before doing a Parkrun the following morning!
Last weekend I spent the weekend in Newcastle with these lovely running buddies of mine from my old club Spectrum Striders. One of them, Mike, is a Jordie and was telling us about the Blaydon Race and it sounded like an good opportunity to have a weekend away.
The Blaydon Race is an iconic running event in Newcastle. It’s on the evening of 9th June every year and it’s a celebration of the memorable day in 1862 when the working classes travelled from Newcastle to Blaydon to have a drunken day at the races. It follows the route they took which these days is mostly dual carriageway.
This year the race sold out in less than 3 hours and there were over 4000 finishers.
The course is 5.6 miles long and this year the winning time was 27:47 with the last runner home just under 1hr 30.”
Bolton Hill Marathon – Saturday 10/06/17
Thanks to Paul Cunningham for sending in this report and reminding us all of the joys and challenges of trail running:
“It all started when Fitzy shared a Time2Run Event on his timeline – The Iconic HillRunner 50% trail 50% country roads sounds enjoyable – with a bottle of Budweiser in hand I paid the nicely priced £32 to enter.
The morning of the race the heavens had opened and blessed us with perfect running conditions – stood on the start line drenched – bang the race had started – I felt really good the first 400m until I came to the base of the first climb – Jack must have dropped his hill beans here as the road seemed to disappear into the clouds – to some of the crazy sorry elite members of the Green army this might not have been such a test but for me this 4 mile climb turned into a mental battle -the first couple of miles on road then onto trail – up onto Winter Hill – the views from up here are meant to be quite spectacular on a clear day – this morning due to low cloud cover visibility down to approx. 20m – carried on running upstream as all the ruts full of flowing water onto the West Pennine Moors past White Coppice down onto Anglezarke Reservoir – the course is lollipop shaped so when I reached mile 10 the leader was at mile 16 – Impressive piece of long distance running I thought and the leader was running well too – at the half way point I stopped for some photo opportunities ankle deep in the overland flooding hoping to try my hand at some trout tickling – running through Rivington pike into Barn Bridge Village and back for the return leg – the rain had now stopped and I started to really enjoy my surroundings – between miles 19-22 it’s now uphill and a slow slog up to winter Hill – now I could clearly see the telecoms tower which this morning I run past and could not see due to the low lying cloud cover – I did walk quite a bit of this section of the race as walking seemed faster than running – well couldn’t run so had to walk is more like the truth – the one thing that kept me going was I knew I had a nice downhill finish back into Moss Bank Park – I finished in 5hrs 13 min 80th overall of a small field of 125 – today I found out that I really do enjoy the trail side of running it just feels so right – my hardest test to date and look forward to my next running challenge – Bolton Hill Marathon is a cracker”
Keswick Mountain Festival – Saturday 10/0617
Jane Ashbrook sent us a report from the Keswick Mountain Festival which took place over the weekend. Thanks Jane:
“I ran a 25k trail race as part of the Keswick Mountain Festival on Saturday. This was a 4 day event incorporating cycling races, swimming races, triathlons, walking events, talks and music.
We camped in a muddy field and had a fantastic evening on Saturday at the music festival…who one K T Tunstall was so good!
Highlight of my weekend was an evening with Jasmin Paris and Nicky Spinks on Friday night…they are so normal and inspirational that I am now convinced that the Bob Graham round is something everyone should have a go at!
25k Jane Ashbrook 2:44:13 14th Female
10k Chris Ashbrook 58:54 52nd Male
It’s a great event for families, however I’ll probably give it a miss next year as I am dying to have a go at the Welsh Castles Relay…..who’s in?”
Some information on the Welsh Castles Relay HERE.
Parkrun – Saturday 10/06/17
We had 13 Helsby runners out at various Parkruns around the country on Saturday. Great to see Colin Bishop and Colin Thompson finishing 1st place in their respective events. Well done to everyone who ran on Saturday. Our club consolidated results can be seen HERE
Calderdale Way Ultra – 03/06/17
A report sent in by Daniel Ryder that just missed last week’s blog. Thanks for still taking the to sent it in Daniel – and well done!:
“I missed the blog last week, but I ran the Calderdale Way Ultra Short Route on the 3rd June. At 28.5miles and 1300m of climbing it was my longest and hilliest run to date.
As many of you know I was lucky enough to go on a trip to Namibia at the back end of May which consisted of a lot of running, biking and hiking. Having returned from doing 12 hour days of exercise to sitting at a desk at work I was feeling rather out of sorts and in a moment of madness spotted the Calderdale Way Ultra which was only 3 weeks away. Plucking for the short route (the long route was 50.5miles) I thought what have I got to lose and entered on the pretense that I wouldn’t have to do much more mileage and could just use my fitness from Namibia to hopefully complete it. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone! The short route started at 12.15 so that we would overlap with the long route runners who had started at 6am. The late start meant I could actually have a lie in before the 1.5hr journery to Todmordon where the race HQ was. From there a bus took me to the start point, mid-way around the route. The Calderdale way is a way-marked circular route, but like any way-marked walking path it can be quite difficult to navigate at times. We had been warned before the race that a level of navigation was required and that we would be issued with a map and instructions. Having signed up relatively late I hadn’t had chance to recce any of the course and getting lost was one of my biggest concerns.
It was a surreal experience standing with another 60 runners in the middle of a park, with no marked starting line waiting for the organiser to set us off. I must admit we did get a few funny looks from the locals when we arrived and then promptly all spread out into the woods to try and find some cover for a last minute wee. We were set off at 12.15 and I was amazed how quickly the field spread out. Part of my game plan had been to try and stay with a group so that I could hopefully avoid getting lost. This didn’t quite go to plan. The aid stations were every 7-8miles and the first leg of the race was the flattest with a short section along a canal. A 1940’s event with people dressed up made for a very surreal experience. I was happy to leave this section and make it out of the crowds, but this meant the start of the first real climb of the day. I had been running with a girl for a few miles up to this point, but had been thinking of dropping back as the pace seemed too high for me to hold for another 20miles. The decision was taken out of my hands as she powered up the hill where I dutifully dropped into a fast hike and caught up with a group of three guys who were working together. One had the map and one had the gps route on his watch while the third was a clinger on, so I thought it seemed sensible to stick with them to avoid getting lost. We stuck together as a 4 until the 2nd water station at 15miles where myself and the other guy who hadn’t been navigating sped up. This was potentially a bad move as neither of us knew the way. We soon caught up with two people on the long route, who told us that they had got extremely lost at the start and had done about an extra 5 miles! We left these pair when we caught sight of a couple who I had seen at the start and I had overheard them saying they had recced the route. The scenery in this second half was particularly nice and we ran as a four until after the last water station. I was lucky that they stopped me going the wrong way a number of times where way markers where well hidden, but for some reason I felt brave with only 6 miles to go and decided to push on alone. At this point the weather had turned somewhat and the rain had started. The navigation was going reasonably well until I reached Todmordon again and I knew I only had a couple of miles to go. The guy who I had been running with for the majority of the race caught me on the descent into town and we promptly got lost together and ended up trying to ask a local for directions. Unsurprisingly the couple who had recced the course then caught us and pointed us in the right direction! The last two miles had a very steep ascent and descent and the heavens had opened properly at this point, ignoring the sun cream that was running into my eyes and not wanting to stop to put a coat on – I was already drenched by this point I ploughed on and found the finish line. I had finished, and felt surprisingly good! 6hr 20 and 8th female. All in all, a really good day out.
The event was brilliantly organised with excellent volunteers. The atmosphere was brilliant, and I felt no pressure on the day but to go out and enjoy myself. The cut off times were generous allowing 8 hours for the short route. I can safely safe I thoroughly enjoyed feeling none of the pressures I often feel at road races where I want to beat a time. I would say this was considerably more civilised than a road marathon. If you are thinking of trying an Ultra, the short route is a brilliant introduction. The scenery was amazing and I will definitely be tempted to run it again next year, but I may up the anti and try the 50 miler.”
I think that’s it for this week. Hope to see as many of you as possible at Maeshafn on Wednesday for a run Up the Beast!