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)



On to the running and race reports.


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.



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.



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.


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.


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





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