Helsby RC weekly round-up from 5th to 11th February 2018

Hi Everyone.

Welcome to another weekly round up. Thanks to those of you who have sent in contributions to the mailbox this week. Please keep sending anything you want including in the blog to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

First up – its always great to have new members amongst the Helsby ranks, so a very warm welcome to Hannah Cowley – who I hear was the first local lady in the 4VHM! Looking forward to running .. er .. I mean trying to keep up with you Hannah :-

Reminders

This Sunday! – 18th February – Borders League – Race 4 – 11am at Caernarfon.

We need as many Green Army as possible. Weather looks promising for the weekend so you’ll be in for some great views of the castle on a fast 10k course. http://www.bordersleague.org.uk

Wednesday 28th February at 8.30pm  – Our next running club talk – Namibia Desert Adventure

“Danielle spent a tough week last Summer running everyday in the desert
with a group of work colleagues and has a film about it to show us with
personal commentary too. Please come along after our club training,
8:30pm in the clubhouse lounge. Chip butty supper to sustain us
first/during!

For our Winter series of talks we hope to have a March one too on CPR
and using de-fibrillators (the club has one, and there are more and more
around these days); a very useful thing for us to all know about. Date
to be confirmed.

Thanks and see you training & “talking” soon

Jackie”

 

Racing News

Sunday 11/02/18 – Northern Masters Athletic Club Cross Country Champs

Well done to Colin Bishop for another fantastic result in a Helsby vest – and thanks for sending in the write-up Col. Results and a good picture from the day are in the link below Bish’s report:

“Sunday saw all wintery weather conditions snow, hail, sleet rain and wind so it only seemed sensible to head off for XC. So off I went to Asthon U Lyne for 10k course which had just had a 5k lady”s race completed on It, so to be expected plenty of puddles and leg sapping mud.
Happy to say I stayed upright despite my best impressions of Bambi on mud 😲
Pleased with 3rd position overall with 2nd in age category.
Cheers Bish”

Results

 

Sunday 11/02/18 – Liverpool & District XC Champs

XC was also on at Clarke Gardens on Sunday – not seen any race report yet but there are plenty of Helsby names in the results There’s also a load of pictures from the day here

Another reminder from our Betty,

who has been as busy as ever out and about in the Helsby community:

20180210_124124

Betty at the Helsby Health Centre’s KWIC keeping well in the community event

Sunday March 18th -Helsby Running Club and Helsby Community Sports Club sponsor the return of Helsby Sports Relief Family Fun-Run! (see flyer below).

“We will need marshals and hopefully loads of families from the club and local village’s
Jane another run for Hercules!!

Thank you
Betty”

20180212_193506

Parkrun – 10th February 2018

There were 11 Helsby members participating in various Parkuns on Saturday. Well done to Debbie Read who was the first lady to finish at Phoenix  –  and to everyone else who ran at the weekend. Our consolidated club results

That’s it for this week. If I’ve missed anything please let me know and I’ll update the blog.

Thanks,

Jim

 

 

 

 

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Helsby RC weekly round-up 29th Jan to 4th Feb 2018

Hello all

Very quiet week of running for the Green Army last weekend, no reports in the inbox so only a reminder and the parkrun results. If you completed a race which we don’t know about please fire a report over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com and I can always update the blog later on.

Reminders

 

Borders League

Please see a message from Fitzy regarding the next Borders League race…

Hello all

I know the 18th Feb is probably half term week for a lot of our members but you can always bring the kids with you, i will be 🙂

Although this one of the furthest away in all of our races it’s still quite popular. This is on the measured 10k course, with some great views of the castle and sea front. So we don’t incur any penalty points, we need 4 ladies, and 10 men please. We have been doing well of late so lets keep up the momentum. If you could let me know via Facebook or email fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com that you can attend, just so I can make sure we can field full teams it would be appreciated. I know June has already been drumming up support.

For any new members who don’t know what these are about, its 7 road races normally from Oct-April, all staged by competing clubs in the league who take it in turn to host them, they are free of charge, all you do is turn up in your race vest, run and take a counter at the end and hand it to myself or normally Mario who collates all the finish positions. They really are great events, and we always have a bit of a laugh along the way. Always remember, it doesn’t matter whether you come in the top 4 ladies or top 10 men, you are stopping other teams scoring just by turning up, so the more the merrier.

Post code for the day is LL54 5RP, these are the recreational grounds with limited parking, there are more parking spots at the castle car park, LL55 2PB, £1.50 it will cost you.

Hope to see you all there
Fitzy

http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/fixtures/

parkrun

Please find a link to all the parkrun stats from Saturday. Congratulations to Bish for a win at Phoenix Park, it was their first birthday celebration and they reversed the course, it didn’t slow our Bish down though! Congrats to everyone else who ran one. Consolidated results are below:

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

Sorry but that’s all this week folks, it is possibly the shortest blog I’ve ever done! Hopefully we will have an inbox full for next week 🙂

Keep on running folks!

Cheers
Col T

 

Helsby Roundup 22-1-18 to 28-1-18

 

First up a couple of quick messages, the first from Paul Foster re the Cross Country

If anybody would like to run in the last Liverpool and District cross country at Clarke gardens on Sunday 11th February.
Race starts at 11 am. .
The race is pre entry so please send me your name to mooeyf@hotmail.com
No later than the 5th February
Thanks
Paul

and secondly, a reminder from Tim Palmer that the Chester Spring 5 race (Wednesday 11th April, 7pm), which is a club road counter this year is now taking entries

Also congratulations to Hannah Cowley for collecting her 1st Local Lady trophy from the 4 Villages Half Marathon.

hannah

Parkrun

In addition to the local runs, Helsby members were in action at parkruns as far apart as Edinburgh, Hanley and Stamford. Full results for the club are below
https://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Phil Tomkinson sent this from the Northern XC Champs in Liverpool

On Saturday, 8 members of the Green Army had a day out to Leeds for the Northern Cross Country Championships at Harewood House. It was a big event with almost 2400 competitors, across the 10 senior and junior races, including more than 400 in the senior women’s race and over 700 in the senior men’s race.

An early highlight for me was receiving a programme that contained full start lists for each race. It gave the names of all the Helsby team, our club colours and the starting pen we were allocated to. At this point I was beginning to feel like a proper athlete, although that feeling diminished somewhat as I found myself trailing behind several hundred of the best club runners in the North of England.

It was a challenging course consisting of two laps around the scenic Harewood House estate. There was plenty of mud and lots of hills, including a tough uphill start. Soon after crossing the finish line I declared it the toughest XC I’d ever done, but considering I seem to make a similar claim at the end of every cross country, that may not have been an accurate assessment. However, the consensus was that it had indeed been very testing, just as you would expect a regional championship to be.

The overall standard was excellent. There can’t be that many occasions all year where so many outstanding club runners are at the same event. In the men’s race none of us managed to break into the top 400! However, it was a great effort from all the Green Army runners, particularly the Helsby ladies who claimed 51st place in team competition. It was a brilliant event to be part of, at a really good venue, which is apparently being considered to host the National XC Championships next year.

xc

 

Also from the XC Champs, Col Bishop sent this report in.

On what felt like a lovely spring morning the green army headed off to Liverpool for XC. New course consisted off two and a half laps of the park. One of the flatest XC courses I’ve done for a while but certainly the wettest. Some puddles where deep enough to call plunge pools seeing some of us at least waist deep in dirty muddy cold smelly water twice. Each time it seemed to get deeper. Having said all of that a thoroughly enjoyable course. Cracking performances by all. Ladies team with a respectable 33 points. Men did not do too badly either with 518 points with four of the team in the top 100.
Thanks to Mario and Jane for support today and a warm welcome to Richard Piggott on his Helsby XC debut . As usual thanks to Mrs B for our post race cakes.

 

Chris BH sent in this report from the Marmot Dark Mountain event

Some events really grip you and have you returning every year. Marmot Dark Mountains is one of those. Max and I have been competing as a pair for several years now but this year I reluctantly gave up my place due to a stress fracture to my shin that needed to heal. Having successfully returned to running ½ a month earlier than expected and my replacement suffering with a similar condition, I was able to step back in and we were able to continue our MDM streak. Having been out for so long it was just fantastic to be out again in the hills with Max; we work really well together, never argue and rarely get grumpy despite the duration of these events… when we do get grumpy the other person fills them with sugar or insists they put on another layer, depending upon the source of the grump. Knowing your partner in these events in crucial… especially in an area like the Forest of Bowland where the tussocks are man eaters and the bogs and grips will have you up to your neck.

This year due to my return we changed to the short score class, a mere 8 hours long – the logic being that if there were any problems we could return to base or just walk our way around instead and temper our ambition. I certainly didn’t want to go back to square one with my shin. The last minute change meant we started last. Initial annoyance at this soon parted to delight as we realised we could turn up, register having eaten enough fish and chips to put ourselves in a food coma, and then go for a few hours sleep in the van. Thus we started with at least 2 hours sleep in the tank which was a huge luxury.

Feeling the pace on the initial run out it still took us 30 minutes to reach the terrain we were going to face for the evening. Difficult was a huge understatement. Tussocks, heather, bogs, random holes… you name it, it’s there! Our route took in three controls before heading East and, in hindsight, gave us the most practical view of how to run the terrain. In many of these events, the straight line is picked, but here we needed to be smart about using paths which were longer, but an order of magnitude quicker. One particular crossing stuck in my mind. Having crossed through into a complex area with defined fences and crossings we found ourselves shimmying across a well weathered board, holding onto a fence for hand holds to cross around 5 metres of a bog that probably would have been neck deep… thankfully after that there was a trod that was really quick and took us down to a manned check point.

chris and max

An event should be judged on the civility as well as the challenge, so being offered a shot of port at this check point by a very good friend of ours certainly ticked that box. It provided a warmth to our spirits and our bodies as we proceeded to hoover up points and be smart about leaving other points on the course as they would have eaten up huge amounts of time for little reward. We picked up a tale at this point and were followed for 3 check points. In a night event this is a hazard as your torches give you away. It’s really frustrating to be doing all the Nav. The clag came in and we made an error at one check point having headed off too far to the right to hit the check point. We realised this relatively quickly and lost probably 10-15 minutes overall, so not a huge problem. This error allowed us to confirm our tail though as they immediately turned around after asking us if we’d found the control. If they had continued looking for it then fair enough, but they literally followed us and pretended to adjust kit, look at the map, tie shoelaces, etc. Poor form. A little pat on the shoulder and a pointed comment to confirm that we knew what they were doing meant we were able to lose the tail on the next section and get on with finishing up the night.

chisandxx2

Coming into our final cluster of controls the weather got considerably worse. Based upon the map we expected pure hell, but were pleasantly surprised to hit the first control very quickly, then the second… three, possibly five to go! Alas the ground between us and the next control was just hellish. Knee to thigh high heather, random holes, tussocks, a serious side wind and the worst rain of the night, low energy and Max was getting dangerously cold due to an old (no longer) water proof. We fought our way around focused on finding shelter so Max could get his primaloft and water proof trousers on. Looking back now I realise that the point where I almost fell down the steep side we were contouring on (the ground gave way due to water and poor foot placement) was the re-entrant we were looking for, but it was far less pronounced than the map suggested. It was worth 25 points. As max put on his gear I re-assessed the map and we decided to keep going. We’d either hit the control or we’d hit the next control. We’d been 20 m too low and I’d simply not looked up.

We nailed the next control, dropped down to bag a 50 pointer and had started back hoping to bag a 20 pointer in the re-entrant between us and the finish. The run out on the road to the course had taken 30 minutes and we had the aim to hit the road with roughly 30 minutes to go to get back. Before we’d even got to the top of the hill we were at T-minus 30 and were clearly going to hit penalty points. Having dropped to pick up 50 points rather than play it safe, our mission now was to get back without losing more than 50…. But since it meant an easy 20 going begging we wanted to make that less than 30. In the end we lost 7. Job done.

All in all it was a fantastic and unexpected return to the hills. Once again, Max and I had worked really well as a team… and once again we’d ended up as the bridesmaid rather than the bride. Having made the 10 minute mistake we’d ended up just under 7 minutes over time and lost 7 points and probably the 20 pointer in the final re-entrant. The weather coming in on us and missing that 25 point control had also knocked points. We scored 463 points and the winning team was 495 – 463 + 7 + 25 equals…. Curses. Of course that’s not a fair reflection of the errors the other teams above us had made and what could have been for them. Whilst there were a number of other places we could have picked up the minutes we’d needed, there is no point in dwelling on what could have been. We‘d had a fantastic night out on the hills and have already entered our next mountain marathon (albeit a mini one – 4 hours long) which is on Sunday in Bethesda if anybody is interested. Come and have a go, it’s a fantastic escape.
Hope you are well,
Chris Baynham-Hughes

As usual please send race reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers

Gaz