Helsby RC weekly round-up 10th July to 16th July 2017

Hello Green Army

First of all apologies to Carl Pratt, your Tour of Merseyside report got lost in the trash folder, so it’s main billing this week.

I took part in the tour of Merseyside again for the 4th year running. 6 races in 7 days.

Sunday: Southport half marathon
Monday: thurstaston multi terrain 10k
Tuesday: Walton cycle path 10 mile
Thursday: otterspool 5 mile
Friday: knowsley X country 10k
Saturday: Wirral coastal 10 mile

15 minutes slower than last year but i did learn the art of negative splits for the first time. I see how it work now. Nice to do a bit of overtaking near the end of the races.
No mad rock festivals or holidays over the summer this year and starting to train properly again to get back to a decent pace. Still it was an awesome week and signed back up for next year. 400 places sold out in 2 hours. Nice t shirt and geeky stats attached

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helsby 2

Well done Carl, it’s one that i would love to do but i keep missing out on the registration.

One of the most popular races of the year is also one of our shortest, Over to Geoff Collins who sent in a report for Dearnford Lake relays

Last week’s Dearnford relay race proved to be a really exciting and worthwhile evening out. ‘That’s a long way to go for a 2 mile run’ was a comment made in our car on the way down. Nevertheless the scenic lakeside location of this event, together with the efficient and friendly organisation of Whitchurch Whippets made this a ‘must do’ event. Fortunately the flock of geese around the lake scarpered before the race started.

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There were lots of opportunities to cheer your team on while you weren’t running. Helsby had no less than 4 men’s teams, 2 ladies teams and one rather interesting mixed team, more about that one later. Helsby C men’s team included Roger Michell, Davyds dad in it. Also great to see one of our new members Katie Lord in one of the ladies team. Now Katie has a green vest there is no stopping her, having done The Druid fell race the day before!

Fortunately Roy managed to have a complete team together in the end, I know this had been looking doubtful at one stage.

My team was the mixed team. ‘Coming Ready or Not’ or the dream team as it became known on the night. In the team were two 15yr olds, my son Jonny and our family friend Amy (Amelia) Batchelor making her debut appearance in a grown up race. ‘Dream’ summed up my aspiration to expand their experience and involvement in running as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award.

On the night there were some fantastic performances: Helsby A, Colin Bishop, Colin Thompson, and Danny Rider finishing in 5th place in the men’s team. Helsby B Ian Rutherford, Ian Hamling and Paul Frodsham finishing in 13th place 21st overall. The Green Flyers, John Whitehead, Roy Gaskill, Ben Crosley, 19th place 46th overall. Helsby C Davyd Michell Roger Michell Paul Cunningham, 21st place 54th overall.

The competition was high where did that Olympian for Sale member who did a 9m 49s lap come from?

For the ladies Helsby JJR team, Jo Lacking June Swift and Rachel Holden finishing in 3rd place 38th overall. Helsby Ladies B Shan McCarthy, Rhea Howard-A, Katie Lord, 13th place 93rd overall.

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Coming Ready or Not – The Dream Team

So Coming ready or Not, frankly not ready for me, to be honest running a fell race the previous day maybe not a good idea, even less so when you take one of your team out for a speed session.  A day earlier I find they go a lot faster than I can!  I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest in my team, Jonny beats me by 11 secs.  Seconds count in this race.  But our team star on the night was Amy, on a roll having been first lady finisher at Chester Parkrun the previous week.  Amy beating Jonny by 12 secs!  Amy secures our own team prize and got the coveted chocolate bar, She also ran the 3rd fastest lap time of our 7 ladies.  Coming Ready or Not finishes in 23rd place in the mixed teams, 60th place overall.  Not bad for two 15yr olds, one only just old enough to enter the event and some old guy!

As always we were grateful for Joe and Mario’s support not forgetting Jane’s fantastic refreshments.  Many thanks for supporting our young team members.

Geoff Collins

Cracking report Geoff, thank you

Danielle Ryder has been up to another crazy challenge

Race to the Stones is a 100km race from Chilterns to the North Wessex Downs along the Ridgeway which is said to be the oldest path in the UK. The race is set up so that you can race it non-stop, walk through the night or stay in an overnight basecamp and complete the 100km over two days. I plucked for the two day option and managed to talk a friend who went to Namibia with me into the challenge aswell.

We both absolutely loved the weekend! We started early on Saturday morning near Lewknor in Oxfordshire with staggered start times to spread people along the route, registration was easy and we handed our overnight bags to the assigned waiting truck and towed the line. The km’s ticked down easily as we set off at an easy pace in the rain which persisted for the majority of the morning but with the weather warm I didn’t get the rain coat out. The first day had us working our way through wooded areas with some single track, passing through the middle of some amazing corn fields and weaving our way along the Thames. Mid way camp appeared at the top of a climb after just under 7 hours on our feet and over 700m of elevation for the day. Mid way camp was amazing, limitless food including pasta, fajitas, cake, free massage, yoga sessions and hot showers. After picking up our assigned tent numbers which were extremely spacious compared to my recent mountain marathon experience, and our bags we headed for the showers, a massage, round two of food and a relax in the sun. At this point I couldn’t even imagine carrying on non-stop for the 100k! Day 2 started dry and we set off at around 6.30am.

The terrain on the second day was more open with some stunning vistas opening up on the higher ground of the North Wessex Downs. Unfortunately the kms did not disappear as nicely today. I had started to get a pain on the outside of my foot with about 6kms to go on the first day which was only an issue when walking or running. The pain had not gone by the Sunday morning which made for a long slog of a day and numerous popping of pain killers. I still loved the day and seeing the sign for 5k to go before dropping down a long descent and doing a lap of the Avebury stones was brilliant. The sense of achievement of having covered 100km on foot over the two days was amazing and we even managed a sprint finish to overtake two women we had been zig zagging all day.

The pace was slower with more walking but we still completed day 2 in under 8 hours with 600m of elevation which I am really happy with. The event was brilliant, extremely well organised with excellent food stations (I came away with more food than I took), volunteers and medics and it had a really inclusive feel with the mix of runners and walkers. You also got copious amounts of free photos – most of which were not very flattering unless you like a grimace. I would highly recommend. Now I only need to try and heal my foot so I can do some more.

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No runner takes a decent photo if you are running hard, well done Danielle

Now i’ve been told by Gaz that if it’s not just running it shouldn’t be in the blog, so here’s a Swim run report from our CBH just to annoy Gaz, it’s also a cracking read and the photo’s aren’t too bad either

Rockman Swimrun – Lysefjorden, Norway.
Two weekends, 4 flights, two swimruns. So last week was Engadin where my race partner Liz and I qualified for the Otillo world swimrun championships, but this is the race I’ve been looking forward to all year. Rockman totally grabbed me last year. Iconic bonkers start jumping from a ferry into the Fjord for a 900m swim complete with jelly fish before heading up, up, up to three more swims and a run to Preikestolen standing at 604m. This is what it looked like:
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On the way of Preikestolen I managed to slip on a 45 degree rock and my legs went completely from under me. Sliding uncontrollably towards a 10-12ft drop I managed to angle my body towards a tree and break the momentum from my fall. As I got up I realised that I’d managed to retain the fist full of sweets I’d just got from the aid station. Professional! Cracking on from there I slipped again and landed hard on my big toe which is suspected to be broken… not good less than 10k into the race! Some extremely technical running across simply the most stunning landscape followed along with another cheeky swim and more of the same until the first big Fjord swim (1600m).
Laura had come out to spectate and have a long weekend in Norway so as we entered this big swim I did my best to shout a “No Goubunku” out so Laura would know it was us. Only seconds later I was chuckling to myself as it would have just sounded like a sad middle aged man trying to reclaim his youth to those nearby and a muffled noise to those on the boat. Liz and I have finally got our tether to the right length and with Liz using hand paddles this time we seem to really hid our swimming stride. Slow over the seaside sprint we came to Songesand and Laura. At this point we lay in 5th position in the mixed (a category that has become the most competitive of the lot this year – 4 out of the first 10 finishers were mixed).
Fitzy would have loved the next bit… road; around 7k of it! As we ground our way up the never ending hill all I could think about was the waffle lady. When an aid station is cooking fresh waffles on the side of the road for you, you know you’re in a fantastic race! Dropping down to the 1700m Fjord crossing I lost my cap, but it didn’t stop us nailing the crossing in just over 30 minutes. The Fjord was meant to be ~11-13 degrees, but it didn’t feel so cold this year… we knew we had colder to come.
The next section is a 750m climb up 4444 steps. It’s brutal. A gel, a bar, two electrolyte drinks, a water and a redbull and we were sent off with a further two gels in our wetsuits by the overzealous marshals. Frankly I was off my face on sugar. Getting to the top we could see a group of three teams ahead. Our speedy Fjord crossing had put us in 4th mixed team and with the first of three swims at the top down we were going well. The next aid station was manned and we asked if any of the teams ahead were mixed… they were… 8 minutes ahead. Game on.
The second of the two 9 degree swims complete we were on the dragon’s neck. A wonderfully runnable rock section. A slight nav error added and extra swim for us, but we could see the team ahead and were closing. By the end of the final swim (7 degrees) we were just 5 minutes behind. A stunning bit of single track trail and a steep sometimes technical descent awaited. We were refusing to go quietly into the night, despite not being able to see them.
Popping out on the final bit of technical descent I spotted them. We increase the pace and dropped Laura who had been filming. In total stealth mode we were taking chunks out of them until they broke out onto the trail and she looked up. “We’ve been seen Liz, just go!” We dropped like stones and hit the trail, switchback after switchback we were gaining and I knew they were ours for the taking. We crossed the line with huge grins and a 4 second advantage.
Podium? Don’t mind if I do!
Wow, another thing to add to the bucket list i think 
 

Park run seen runners out in Pheonix, Chester, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

And last of all, a very good mate of mine Colin Havey, is organising a comedy night down at the club, put this date in your diary, as he will have some of the best acts on the circuit coming to Helsby to make us LOL! Friday 10th November, it will sell out pretty quickly i reckon so watch this space and i will keep you all informed.

That’s it for this week, keep sending in the reports it makes our job so much easier

Happy Running

Fitzy

 

Weekly round up 11-7-17 to 17-7-17

Firstly a reminder from Cybi Striders about their 5 mile race at the end of July.

Please find attached details of our 5 mile race in Holyhead on Sunday the 30th of July. This is now a measured course.

We would be grateful if you could share this information with your club members.

We have also set up an “event” on our Facebook page if you would like to share it on your club’s Facebook.

Thank you

Elen (Club secretary)

cybi

 

On to the running and race reports.

parkrun

Helsby runners were in action at Phoenix, Chester, Delamere, Wepre and Widnes parkuns. Highlights included second places for Ian Rutherford and Col Thompson at Phoenix and Chester respectively.

Full results for the week are below.

http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

 

Richard Hankins sent in this from The We Love Manchester 10K

The We Love Manchester 10K was an excellent event for those with an interest in urban geography. Starting and finishing at the Manchester Athletics Stadium next to the Etihad Stadium the venue is an excellent example of culturally lead regeneration. Being from South Manchester I have an inherent fear of driving north of Piccadilly as I’ve heard many tales of the terrible things that can happen to your car or, God forbid, bike. So, I took the tram – an excellent example of a modern urban light rapid transit system that has extended access to the labour market for many. Upon arrival I eventually found my way into the venue (this was a little challenging due to confusing signage – a trait that continued once inside). There was also the challenge of getting passed the toilet queue which had unhelpfully formed across the only corridor that the organisers were allowing you to use to get to the start area. This resulted in some delays for people getting in and a delayed start to the warm up and race…but it wasn’t really a problem.

Once outside the Arena is an excellent venue. We started on the track running approximately half way round before heading out to see what this part of Manchester has to offer. Initially we passed through a modern commercial area, then into an area of post-industrial decay before ending up in a transitional zone of abandoned terraced housing. This gloom was eased by some modern industrial units before we repeated some of the course in the opposite direction. For those of us used to the relatively maritime climate of the Cheshire Gap we all got the opportunity to experience an urban heat island – with temperatures soaring almost from the moment we set off. As a result it felt tough out there.

The course was relatively flat with some steady inclines and a couple of bridges. Roads were wide, closed and well marshalled. The race finished back at the Arena after a series of loops around the site which got my little oxygen deprived brain confused. We had a good turn out from Helsby with seven of us running. Colin T led the field home in 15th, I (eventually) followed him in 40th place and 1st vet 45. Jane Ashbrook took the female vet 40 prize next. Other outstanding performances included Jim Jones in 6th male vet 50 and Carol Shaw 2nd  female vet 55. A pretty impressive run of results for a little Cheshire club.

mangrap

 

Colin Bishop sent in this about the Northwich 10K trail run

While Sunday saw lots of green army head off to Manchester I decided to stay nearer home a head over to Carey  Park in Northwich for 10k trail run. The route took you out around the back of Marbury park, Lovely views of the lake on such a lovely summer morning. Bacon butties ale on a bale friendly atmosphere The gauntlet laid down for anyone to break the course record 37. 29 I think it was, in with a chance I thought until the long legs of a Vale Royal runner appeared on the start line? he knocked nearly two and half minutes of the record so had to make do with 3rd with what I thought was a respectable 37.33
Glad to say I interrupted a potential Vale Royal 123 finish. 1st Vet though
One to think about in the future

Jay Bradley ran the Tatton 10K on Sunday

Race report – Today I was fortunate enough to run the Tatton 10k courtesy of a free place offered to Helsby RC. It was a fantastic race to help kick start my training returning from injury. The start time was an early one – 8:30am, but what could be more satisfying on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning? The course was incredible, running through the pictureque Tatton parkland. It was slightly undulating but a relatively fast course, perfect for a PB. This was actually quite a small event with only 350-400 runners, reminiscent of a park run really. At the finish line there was a very nice medal, free flapjacks, a herbal tea drink and a very nice sachet of almond butter. Parking was straightforward and the atmosphere was lovely. I would thoroughly recommend.

 

Neil Finegan sent a report from the Offas Dyke 17 mile race

A new event for the local calendar, with Denbigh Harriers putting on what was an outstanding 17.5 mile route from Llandegla to Bodfari taking in most of the peaks of the Clywydians and following the Offas Dyke trail.  It was an exceptionally well organised race – a brilliant small race atmosphere on a hot July day.

Meeting at Bodfari, the bus to the start in Llandegla gave us the chance to take in the views of the hills which we would later be struggling over.  The route has over 3,000 foot of climb on mainly trails.  It is a race which is open to anyone looking for a challenge – Jez Brown from Buckley is a superb runner on any terrain and he took first place in a fantastic 2:11, followed in second by a Denbigh runner Tony Wood. .But there were generous cut offs for those taking it slower, with the last runner coming in at just under 5 hours.

The route had 3 water stations – which given the July heat were greatly appreciated.  The organisers made everyone run with at least a litre of water and this turned out to be very good advice as the combination of the climbs and clear blue skies (24 degrees without the usual Clywydian breeze) meant that it was an exhausting race.

Overall, I really can’t recommend the race enough.  It would be a fantastic addition to the trail running series and if the event grows in popularity then they are already considering adding a shorter “B” race option. Great value as well – the entry fee of just £10 plus £5 for the bus to the start.

My own race was eventful.  “Follow the Acorn markers and you can’t get lost” was the advice at the start.  A couple of miles in I managed to take a diversion – following a local runner thinking he would know the way – but we were soon back on track thanks to a local walker.  Due to a little fall at about halfway and a bit of a groin strain slowing my progress over the many styles, I took the second half of the race at a more leisurely pace, struggling to get over the styles, and finishing third.

The provisional date for next year is July 8th.

 

Chris BH was at the Otillo Engadin Swimrun….

What a weekend! I kicked off this year’s swimrun season with a stunner in the Engadin valley of Switzerland (St. Moritz area). The scenery was utterly beautiful, the water in the lakes clean enough to drink and the whole set up pretty much immaculate. It was the first time I’ve been to the valley and I know it won’t be the last!

This year I’ve teamed up with Liz Barker and we’d set our hopes on getting into the Swimrun World championships (self-titled). The original swimrun came out of a drunken bet: to swim and run along the Stockholm archipelago. Having failed to get one of the highly prized places through the normal entry system (which sees only a handful of placed given out) we had to win a place through qualification. This meant being in the first three mixed teams not already in the race.

Otillo

Engadin sported the world champions in our category as well as several other sponsored teams. We were certain that two had qualified already so we knew we needed to come in the top five. It was our first outing though and with the DBR in my legs and a 22 hour Charlie Ramsey round in Liz’s legs just 2 weeks before the race we certainly weren’t making life easy for ourselves.

The entire race we played cat and mouse with another team who were a minute or two quicker over 600 metres in the swim. Given that the penultimate swim was 1400m it meant we really needed to get ahead. We were quicker on the downhill (particularly where it was technical) and over the course of the event we’d managed to turn the uphill and flat to our advantage too.

With 600m to go on the long swim my heart sank as not one, but two mixed teams started to edge past us. We managed to hold them off for 300m and then I switched direction to try and draft the faster swimmers, eventually exiting the water at the back of the three, but all together. Liz and I immediately set off running whilst the other teams stopped to grab a coffee from the aid station. On the 400+m ascent up the mountain we never stopped working; the second pair managing to just about keep pace. We hit the aid station and grabbed a few things expecting to head downhill only to find we’d miscalculated where the aid station was… it was halfway up! Finally hitting the top we blasted the downhill looking to put 2 minutes on the team behind to give us a chance of exiting the final swim first… the race was on!

As we’d headed up the final hill a thunderstorm had broken out. Arriving at the bottom for the final swim we had already put our caps and googles on, zipped up and were ready to get in… the storm had meant they had re-routed the teams and so we had to run around the lake instead. However by this time we were well over 5 minutes ahead (unbeknown to us). All we had to do was polish off the final 3k to the finish.

Otillo

Finishing we were told by the couple ahead that we were 5th!! They also said they were in Otillo… I asked an official to be told that I’d have to wait until the prize giving to find out. Post race meal and beer tasted fantastic. Liz and I had worked really hard throughout the roughly 6h and 15m we’d taken to complete the course. In the end we were around 40 minutes behind the winners of our category and 1 hour behind the male pair that won the overall event. This was a huge surprise and I’m thrilled to say we were rewarded with the second of the three places in our category for Otillo in September. Next up is Rockman in Norway where we would have needed to win overall to score a place in Otillo. It’s nice going into Saturday knowing we’ve got a place and can just enjoy what is the best single day race I’ve ever taken part in…. Rockman awaits!

 

Thats it for this week, as usual please send reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers4

Gaz

 

 

Helsby RC News from 26th June to 2nd July 2017

Hi Everyone, and thanks for the reports and contributions this week. Please keep sending them in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

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Frodsham Downhill Run 2017

Before the past week’s racing news we have a few reminders and a brief from Phil Gillard on our upcoming Summer Handicap:

Reminders

Thursday 6th July 7.30pm – 2nd Fixture of Deestriders Off-Road Grand Prix – £5 on the night (if not already entered the series) at Tata (formerly Corus) Sports and Social Club, Rowleys Drive, Shotton

Sunday 9th July 9.30amUKFast We Love Manchester 10k is our next Club Road Counter at Etihad Stadium, M11 3FF

Wednesday 12th July 7.30pmThe Druid is our next Club Fell and Mini Fell Counter at the Druid Inn, Llanferres.

 

Summer Handicap

“Ladies and gents,

The date for this years summer handicap is Wednesday 19th July. It is open to every club member and if you run on the hill on a Wednesday evening, you are more than qualified to enter.

For those of you who are not familiar with the event, we meet at the club at 18:30 as normal and then jog on mass through the quarry to the car park at the top of the quarry. Handicaps are then given out with the faster runners setting off after the slower runners, so that everybody should cross the finish line at the same time 😊

The route is straight up to the top of the hill, down the other side and then back to the quarry car park via Middle Walk, the joy of this route is that you get to do it twice with the finish being at the end of your second run along Middle Walk. Following everybody finishing, then we all toddle off back to the club for a BBQ organised by Dave and Lesley.

I can now envisage that you are all chomping at the bit to get involved, so this is what you need to do:

  1. If you want to run, send me your latest 5k or 10k time by 14th July – 
  2. If you want to marshal / help out, please let me know and I will assign you a position / job
  3. If you want to come to the BBQ, please let Lesley and Dave know via email

If you have any questions, please let me know

Phil”

 

Racing News

 

Robbie Webster’s Wobbler – 28/06/2017

Thanks to Chris Baynham-Hughes for taking the lead on yet another successful Wobbler and sending in the following report:

“Despite the miserable conditions 100 wobblers turned out last Wednesday to take on the now infamous Robbie Webster’s Wobbler. Prior to the event I’d had a message from Robbie’s daughter saying how Robbie would be so proud of the race – made it a really special year to hear such kind words. Robbie’s nephew and his son also ran which was a fantastic honour to have them there.

The race doesn’t happen without the fantastic club support and marshals – thank you so much to all of you that came out to help and make the event so special… especially in that weather! Huge thank you to all the cake bakers too.. I’m not 100% sure on the end amount raised there, but I’m waiting to hear from Robbie’s daughter as to whether they have a chosen charity for the money to go to. We had fewer people back this year, no doubt as people wanted to get dry and warm!

The race itself was not without mishap and controversy this year. Despite the directions of “keep to the main path and go straight until you reach a marshall or clear signs” was mis-interpretted by a penny lane runner leading the race on the first ascent which resulted in him taking a 270 degree turn off the path. Our very own Steve Riley found himself as the “one time race leader” as a result! Thankfully there were no more mishaps and the end result was a fair one.

The results are up on the blog – 2017 RWW page. No team trophies for us this year… we need a full house next year!

Thanks again.

CBH.”

 

Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, Loweswater – 1st & 2nd July 2017

We had a few Helsby ladies taking on the mountains over the weekend. Thanks to Janet Robertson for sending in this report:

“Three teams comprising of Rachel Arnold & Janet Robertson, Christine Roach & Danielle Ryder (Carrock Fell Course) and Sue Buck & friend (Wansfell Course) travelled to the Lake District to take part in the Saunders Mountain Marathon. This two day event involves navigating around the Lake District carrying camping kit, fuel, stove and food. It was very hilly. And very steep. And very long. Rachel once again demonstrated her superb skills as a navigator. Virtually none of the first day involved paths and we were treated to varied and ‘interesting’ terrain, including some entertaining river crossings. Conditions at the overnight camp were extremely wet, but despite the persistent rain, tents were pitched and we settled down to a delicious meal of beanfeast and noodles. After a surprisingly restful night sharing Rachel’s bed of wafer thin bubble wrap (having had some technical issues with my balloon bed) the four of us were off again, finishing the two days of the Carrock Fell course in a total of just over 12 hours. Now I will pass over to Sue for her perspective on her first mountain marathon….

This was my first mountain marathon and I decided to walk it , mainly because I wanted to practice some navigation skills and I didn’t want the pressure of running as well, so I asked my friend Lorna to partner me. Lorna isn’t a runner, but is ex-military so she can navigate.

We did Wansfell – the shortest of the classes. Still quite tough though in my opinion!

Day 1:

Highlights:

Weather was glorious until about mid-afternoon.

We didn’t get lost, we found all the controls and the routes we’d picked.

I did navigate for at least half of it and helped with some of the rest 🙂

Cup-a-soup is just so good when you are wet and cold.

Lowlights:

Weather turned just at the moment when the ground underneath got technical with a particularly nasty, steep and technical descent off Gale Fell. Best option was to slide down on your backside and try to avoid the rocks!!

Wearing walking boots and not fells shoes, particularly on a steep muddy, bracken path where studs would have just been great and where the water went over the top of my boots so I was walking in a puddle for about an hour.

Adventure food – who puts peas in spaghetti bolognese??

Not having dry socks – no idea why, but at least I had some plastic bags! It was irrelevant the next day as almost immediately my feet were wet as we had to ford a stream!

No camera – will try to remember that for next time!

Day 2.

Highlights:

Weather was mostly dry all day and therefore we had views 🙂

Finding control 6 a lot more quickly than we thought – Lorna was convinced that it was going to be difficult, but it wasn’t in the end down to her navigation skills.

Finishing it without missing any controls!

The food at the end!

Lowlights:

I didn’t do much navigating and left it to Lorna.

Tiredness caused us to make at least 3 mistakes that probably cost us about 45 minutes.

We took forever to find control 4 – we both thought we were somewhere other than we were on the map, albeit on the same fence line, but luckily we found it eventually. Jackie’s words of wisdom about ‘knowing exactly where you are on the map at all times’ were ringing in my ears!

The last steep ascent through a muddy forest!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would like to do another one with the intention of running some of it

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Before

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End of Day 1

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Rachel’s delicious cooking yum! And so well presented …”

 

Chevy Chase Fell Race 01/07/2017

Geoff Collins sent in the following report about the Chevy Chase Fell Race – Thanks Geoff:

“Misadventure in the Cheviots – Race Report Chevy Chase Fell Race – Sat 1 July.

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I almost didn’t write this report, nows a good time to take the dog out if you’re expecting another worthy tale of an epic PB. There isn’t one. But then I thought no it’s worth telling this story. Sometimes things don’t go to plan but it’s still worth having a go.

This year was the 61st Chevy Chase fell race. The Chevy Chase is a 20 mile race through some of the finest scenery in Northumberland giving runners the opportunity to ‘channel their energies into a rewarding and demanding personal challenge’ say the organisers. Finest scenery maybe, I would say more like 20 miles of hell in a peat bog! The route takes you deep into the heart of the land of the ‘far horizon’ which is code for you’re never going to get there!

You summit both Cheviot 2,676 feet and Hedgehope 2,348 feet. Total climb is 4,000 feet. Its organised by Wooler Running Club who take over the youth hostel as the race HQ.

I’m the first to admit I’m a road runner really not a fell runner. But I have always wanted to have another go at this having done it once 20 years ago.

The route is entirely unmarked you chose you own path and there are 7 check points. The weather up to two days before the race was very warm and dry, but 48 hours of rain soon changed all that. At least on the day it was dry and sunny with perfect visibility.

Armed with all the clutter you must carry for a fell race, I felt like I was embarking on some major expedition to a faraway land. Starting on the road to Wooler Common 227 runners set off immediately its uphill from the off. Soon you are on the fell which was indeed very wet and muddy.

I followed the runners towards the first checkpoint at Broadstruther so far so good. Then towards Cheviot Knee next check point. The climb is unrelenting towards Cheviot checkpoint 3, which seems to take forever to get to. All the runners are well, not running now everyone is walking. There is a fair headwind but the views are spectacular. I reach the summit in 1hr 51m. I’ve no idea if that’s good or bad but I’m there. So far so good no need to look at the map or the other clutter of paper I’ve got. Famous last words.

Now over the summit comes the first bit of descent. I follow the other runners over a stile and towards the edge of the summit. The view down into the heather covered valley was astonishing. Astonishingly steep that is. People hesitated at the edge there were cries of despair. Some were jumping down and falling over. A guy shouted ‘this is how you do it’ and promptly launched himself off like he was on a slide on his backside. Everyone followed, there was a mass of bouncing rolling and falling bodies’ down the hill, accompanied by screaming and howls from people in pain. So this is fell running eh? Eventually you try and regain your footing I kept falling over. The heather is soft I started not to care if I fell over anymore, I ‘got bits of vegetation inside my shorts. Bottom of the valley is Harthope Burn a watercourse in I go and scramble up the other side on all fours. A female runner tries to overtake me and loses her grip and careers back into me, so fell running is a contact sport then? We apologise smile and carry on. But then the climb starts for Hedgehope it’s a case of trying to find firm ground there isn’t any. It’s very wet on the ground I don’t care anymore. I reach Hedgehope after 2hr 54m. At this point I remember there are cut off times on check points. To my alarm I realise I’m only 16m ahead of the cut off at Hedgehope. That’s a bit tight really not much room for error.

Now the next two decisions I make would alter the whole outcome of my day. I need a toilet stop. Still runners in front so I wait until they are out of sight over a small hillock. Then I continue where are the runners in front now? Nowhere to be seen. Time to get the map out. Where’s the checkpoint? It’s not marked on the map, the point I’m at is just off the map copy. I fumble for the bit of paper with checkpoints on. Where exactly am I, the clocks ticking, must make a decision, quickly, cut off times. Harder to think when you’re getting tired. Head left its going down I speed up. A walker is coming towards me, ‘that’s an interesting route your taking he says’. Is he joking? Which way is Langlee Craggs I gasp? Up there he points back to where I’d come from. Then the awful realisation struck me I must be at least 400 feet lower and gone the wrong way. 10 minutes to go I retrace my steps it’s really hard work. I’m never to going to make it. So after a few expletives I contemplate what to do, retire? Carry on? Try to regain the route missing the check point out entirely? But of course I knew what the penalty would be. I turned my watch off.

I regain the route towards Brands Corner checkpoint, I pass it they don’t notice me. Then I head along a path close to another watercourse think it’s called Hell Path. It’s very rough and eroded and lots of overhanging vegetation, slip here and you’re in the fast flowing river nice. At this point I teamed up with a lady runner from Elvet Striders (from Durham) who looked like she needed a bit of encouragement. We ran together for the last 4.5 miles to the finish. This was probably the best part of the race for me. Partly because it was the end, and my companion was quite engaging and seemed to appreciate my sense of humour. We had a bit of a laugh. Jokingly I said I’ll chase you to the finish then, amazingly we both had enough energy to do that.

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Interestingly there were 29 non finishers, who retired or missed checkpoints seemed a lot, out of 227 starters I though. Still I got the t-shirt and the cakes at the end.”

Frodsham Downhill Run 02/07/2017

A massive congratulations to Elliot Michell for completing the Frodsham Downhill Run, and well done to Dad Davyd for sending in this report:

“On Sunday I did my best run of the year, this wasn’t because it was the furthest or fastest, it was because it was my eldest sons first race. Elliott is 4 1/2 and has been asking to do the downhill run for at least 6 months, so much so that he’s been practicing on every bit of downhill pavement between home and school. So the big day came on Sunday and we duly arrived at Forest Hills for registration and picked up our numbers. It was great to see some familiar Green Army faces and have a chat even if pre race nerves seemed to have kicked in for Elliott. The race starts at the memorial on the top of Frodsham hill and at 12:30 we were off, we set off at a good pace but were being overtaken my loads of children sprintingimage-2 past. Not panicking we kept moving well and we soon started to overtake people who had set of way too fast, Elliott was running really well and you could see the determination on his face to catch and overtake people. By the time we got to Howey Lane and a mile had gone past he was starting to get tired, but his determination kept him going, we entered castle park and again it was great to see the Green army marshals cheering everyone on. We rounded the corner and spotted the finish line and my wife Kate cheering and he put on a sprint finish and crossed the line ahead of me in a cracking time of 12:30. He looked shattered but the smile on his face was priceless, I was so proud of him to run the whole way without a break and was amazed at the the amount of competitiveness in him already.
Big thanks to everyone from the club who said well done and chatted to him, despite his shyness I know he was very happy.
David”

 

Parkrun 01/07/2017

Saturday saw 9 Helsby members participating across 5 different parkruns. The most notable results coming Phoenix parkrun where Colin Thompson and Ian Rutherford finished in 1st and 3rd places respectively. Well done Guys! Our Club’s consolidated results are available HERE

 

Turning Up Competition (TUC Cup)

Finally for this week, just a brief heads-up on a competition we are going to trial from 1st August to 31st December 2017 where you will be awarded points when you race for the club. I’ll be sending out an email in the next couple of weeks to let you know about it but here’s a summary.

The aim is simply to accrue as many points as possible which will be awarded as follows:

  • 1 point awarded for any UKAA, FRA or WFRA recognised race.
  • 1 point awarded for other ‘notable’ races
  • 1 point awarded to members organising or marshalling at a Helsby RC event, and therefore unable to race.
  • 1 point awarded for turning up and supporting Helsby RC at a race – even if you are not running yourself!
  • 1 point for achieving a PB at a parkrun.

All you have to do to get credited points is make sure that we know you have ran (wearing a Helsby vest) or supported at a race.  You can make sure we know by emailing  helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Race reports will be very welcome but not obligatory for you to be credited points – we just need to know about the race you have completed or supported. Parkruns are not included but we will award a point for anyone getting a PB at a parkrun, if you let us know about the PB.

 

That’s it for this week. Thanks again for the reports that have been sent in.

Jim