Welcome to this week’s blog. Before we get to the racing news please find a few words from Betty below regarding the new club house.
“Helsby Community Sports Club relocating to a new home.
The club is delighted to report that our brand new club house will finally be going ahead. The final hurdle in the long negotiations has been crossed and developers have agreed purchase of the current dilapidated club premises. The deal will see a purpose built new building for the sports club in exchange for development of new homes on the existing Chester Road site.
It’s been a long time coming – the initial planning consent goes back nearly 10 years to 2009 – and many were sceptical the land swap would ever happen! Revised planning permission was submitted in 2015 and Trafford Housing Trust has now agreed to purchase the current site with outline consent for 120 new homes. The purchase is conditional on approval of Reserved Matters been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Trafford – a profit-for-purpose developer – reinvests profits in the provision of more new homes and wider social purpose initiatives.
The money from this sale provide the necessary funding to build phases 1 & 2 of the new sports club, to be overseen by the Brookhouse Group. The deal is for the new facility to be delivered before the house building can commence on the club’s existing site. So a good deal for the all the different groups making up the Sports Club.
A very happy bunch of people representing all the various sections of the Club.”
Also a reminder from Fitzy about the Xmas knees up…
“Just a quick reminder that Friday 7th Dec is the date for the Christmas party, as per usual, drinks starting in Frodsham from 7.30pm onwards, a few of us might actually meet up a bit earlier i am told. Meet in Helter Skelter, everyone is welcome, they are pretty good nights out. Christmas jumpers are compulsory!”
First up is the belated report for the 10k time trial which took place on 31st October.
“Thank you to everyone who turned up and congrats to Nathan Woods for a fabulous win flying around in 39.06 on his debut (despite getting lost!) and Hayley Brooks and Trisha Van Rooyan, both also on their debut runs taking the chequered flag for the ladies in a joint time of 53.51! Superb ladies.
Graham Lloyd was the only runner to take part in the 6k and finished in 39.05, well done Graham!
Special thanks to Louise for working hard to organise it all this week and a big thank you to all the team – Tracy Woods (positions) Helen Gillard (tokens) Maz (marshalling) Joe (timing) and Jackie (tail running). The time trial wouldn’t be able to function without all of you!”
All results can be found below:
Warrington Way 40
A few Helsby runners ventured over to Lymm on Saturday for the Warrington Way 40 mile ultra. Some ran solo and we had a few teams of relay runners too. The four reports below are from each leg of the relay team “Helsby Team A”. Get the popcorn out, it’s a long one!
Colin Thompson (Leg 1)
“It seems ages ago since Ian organised the teams for this but before I knew it race day had arrived and our team of 4 were heading to Lymm for the start of the Warrington Way 40 mile ultra relay. Each leg was 10 miles with the swap over at the 3 different check points. We arrived, picked up our numbers, met the other Helsby teams and solo runners, quick warm up and then I was on the start line ready to go for the first leg.
To cut a long story short I made a bit of a hash of it, I led the race multiple times but I kept going the wrong way, some of the markers had blown off the trees and I just wasn’t familiar with the route at all. With hindsight I should have reccied it but I am a road runner after all who’s used to marshals on every corner! 🙂 In the end I decided to stick with the leading group of 3 runners, one of which was Charlie Sharpe, a GB ultra runner who was going for the solo record. He also seemed to be the only one who knew the way!!
The course was a bit faster and flatter than I’d expected, bar a few muddy fields and some trail I was surprised at how much tarmac was on route. It was pretty undramatic for the main and hardly any elevation, I’d definitely picked the easier leg!
As we approached mile 8 Charlie mentioned that if I follow the road and take a left at the end the finish wasn’t too far and was well marked. I was feeling good so I used this opportunity to get my foot down and I pulled away from the group, after a few more turns I saw Fitzy up ahead on a bridge who was shouting that it was only 400m to the finish down a little trail path, I put a shift on and saw the check point, dibbed the dibber and Bish was off like a grey hound for the second leg…
I really enjoyed the race and was made up to finish the leg in first place (and eventual overall winners) but I’m sure I could have ran a few minutes quicker had I’d known the route. I could have kicked myself for being so unprepared and a bit gutted to find out we’d missed the course record by only two minutes. We have all agreed to return next year and have another crack at it and next time I’ll definitely be more prepared!”
Colin Bishop (Leg 2)
“Well El Capitano put in a belting performance on the first leg handing over to me for the second leg in first
place. My leg should have been 11.4 miles however due to some navigation difficulties it ended up nearer 13.4😣 Second leg started at The Plough in Winwick saw me heading off through a housing estate for a short while then into the fields with just the local wildlife for company😊plenty of twists and turns, mud and ditches. Handing over at check point 2 still in first position to Ian Rutherford who put in another cracking performance. Have to say a great team performance all around.”
Ian Rutherford (Leg 3)
“A very different event from anything a number of us had done before. With lots of logistical challenges of transport and kit and refreshments to consider, but also lots of fun too. As a team we decided to all support each other on each leg, so by way of example even though last man Fitz didn’t start running until gone ten past eleven he like the rest of us was in Lymm Village Hall at 6.45am to support our first man off “The Captain!”
I leave it to the others to describe their own experiences of their leg, so we fast forward to CP2, Curdley Rd in Widnes circa 9.30am. Myself and Fitz arrived in good time, with Col T in transit in his car from CP1 having completed his leg and with Bish out on the course at leg 2, noteablly was the longest leg of the four at 11.5 miles. Here at Curdley Rd, we met other members of the Helsby relay teams (Rachel & Ian H) to await the incoming runners. At a little after 10am a sprinting Bish could be seen coming over the adjacent fields and along the road toward the CP. He was closely accompanied by solo race leader Charlie Sharpe which suggested some nav problems, he “dibbed’ in, handed over and off I went with no time for explanations as to how it went.
I had done a recce some weeks ago (in the dark), I also had run the entire course in the race of 2016 but the first few miles were always going to be a bit of a struggle and I was so desperate not to go wrong especially being the slowest runner of the four.
Knowing Charlie was 150m behind was a great comfort blanket for these unsure miles as I ran not at flat out pace and the large unmarked straight sections of the canal I could turn back and see him chasing. I didn’t so much map read as read the instructions on the reverse of the map, following every word carefully, looking for the pink waymarkers at all times to validate I was on the right track. Don’t think there’s much doubt, that leg 3 is the most scenic once you get across the ship canal and into Moore on the out-skirts of the nature reserve and it was here I was happy I knew the rest of my route. I rolled the map up like a batton and really put my clog down; I was happy to know I wouldn’t be seeing Charlie again till I was safely at CP3. I was basically on home turf now, almost FFC territory and was really running hard. The Bridgewater canal section had a few spectators awaiting their friends and family and I was given a great reception as the first runner in the entire field they saw. Close to Hatton I arrived at Hurst Farm where a regular Saturday Shoot takes place each week from October to January. I was greeted with a round 8 gentleman all dressed in tweeds with dogs and shotguns. I shouted “there’s about 300 runners coming through behind me”. I don’t think they were very happy. I got about a hundred metres down the field and I heard the volley of guns, I was thinking to myself at that precise time “I do hope Charlie’s alright”. Sprinting uphill to the CP, encouraged from spectators and the Helsby crew, I handed over to Fitz who I knew would never be caught… it was simply would we be able to take the course record. Charlie indeed was alright and looking really strong came in around 7 mins afterwards, a very quick stop and he was off again. His own solo course record was very much on too.
After a brief rest-bite and some refreshment from Jane who was an absolute star all day to us, we set off together – the four of us, back to Lymm to go and eat chilli-con-carne, drink tea and wait for Fitz to come home!”
Chris Fitzpatrick (Leg 4 – The Glory Leg 😉
So Ian hands over to myself in Hatton having given us a great lead over the 2nd placed relay team, possibly around 5-6 mins in the bag. As it was Borders league the next day i thought i’d take it easy, especially seeing that Ian had given me a great lead. I couldn’t do that though, we knew we had a half decent team out and we had talked about the course record beforehand. I quickly worked out the captains leg, Bish’s leg and Ian’s leg would put us in with a very good chance of beating it, so that was it, the race was on.
The weather was really kind to me, i believe this is the hardest of the 4 legs, but i personally think it’s only the hardest if the weather has been poor and the numerous farmers fields i crossed would have been so much more difficult if it had been raining lots, like the previous year. There was lots of trails to run on and a bit of tarmac, where i could really get some speed up. There was also numerous farmers fields full of cows, bulls (charging me) and styals to climb over, but i was pretty happy with how i felt and how quickly i was covering the ground. To be on for the course record i thought I would need to be finishing in around 1hr. To do a 9 mile run on tarmac in that time is doable, just, but i knew it was going to be hard to do it on this race having done a recce of it, but i did give it my all.
Having started my leg in Hatton, the Warrington way takes you through Lower Stretton, hugging the M56 motorway to Appleton, heading towards High Legh before crossing the motorway and heading back on yourself for a mile or so, before hitting the fields and heading towards Leigh Dam, which is a great place to run. It’s at this point Ian had come out to meet me with about 3/4 of a mile to go, screaming at me “it’s on it’s on, the record is on”. I picked up the pace then as if my life depended on it, next stop a road crossing where the captain and Bish were stood, also shouting encouragement, before heading back up into Lymm town centre and back to the finish line.
I’m sorry to report we missed out on the course record by approx 2 mins, although we will be back next year for another crack it. I have to say i was really impressed at the organisation of the whole event, especially the chilli, cakes and cups of tea at the end. We had 3 teams in it this year, i reckon we could get 5-6 teams for it next year, it’s an excellent event.
Well done Lymm runners, and well done to the real #greenarmy and all the teams involved. Special mention to Jane who followed us around each checkpoint making sure Bish could dress himself and genuinely looking after us all.”
Borders League (Chester)
Report by Colin Bishop
Big thanks to Bish for our Borders report this week and a big well done to all members who took part and kudos to everyone who did the double over the weekend.
“A record number of #Green Army turning out for for the 2nd race of the season. Have to say there was quite a few tired legs out there with previous day races/runs in them. However great to see everyone.
We saw Hannah come home first for Helsby ladies with a 20 second gap ahead of second lady. This gives he 2 wins a row. Great performances from all our ladies on Sunday which have contributed to Ladies being second overall in the league just 12points behind the leaders.
Fitzy was first home for Helsby followed by a great performance from Neil Finegan and the rest of the men. Then Men are currently in 6th place overall 64 points behind 5th place.
Thanks as ever to everyone who turned out, there is strength in numbers. Thanks to our support team Mario, Ian especially for the cracking team photo and Jane for her belting cakes as ever.
Speedy recover to our club members who are injured hopefully see you all at next Borders League.”
Pen Llyn Winter Ultra – Pwllheli
Report by Jake Holmes
We weren’t the only ones running the long stuff over the weekend, Jake also ran an Ultra in Pwllehli, please read on for his fab report…
“Excited to be on the start line of my first Ultra. Huw, jolly race organiser chap in the orange jump suit, said something about a high tide, lit a flare, counted down from 10 and we were off!
I’d traced the route on the OS map a couple of times so had an idea of what to expect. Start off with a flat two or three miles, then up and over the first bump and along to Abersoch. Nothing too complicated, except that at about mile 3 the high tide comment came to life as we’re wading to the start of the bump with the sea pretty much up to our shorts. Love it. Out of the water and up the short but steep climb to the top and it felt like the event had properly started with some great trail running, a bit technical but still quick and I was looking forward to how much more was to come before we’d be back at the clubhouse.
Get to Abersoch and head inland to start over to Nefyn in what feels like the second ‘leg’ (from the south coast to the north). Mix of fields some rolling hilly stuff and a chunk of road. I had entered with a mate from work with the idea we’d run together for a bit and see how it goes. We thought it made sense that we split up about now but checkpoint 3 was a pub… so mile 19 ticked over and two halves at Ty Coch went down very easily.
Third leg was back up the north coastline, longest stretch between checkpoints at 11miles. We split up and I headed off for about 6miles of not seeing anyone except the odd glimpse every now and then of a group of about 4 runners that maybe I was catching, but not particularly quickly. Taking it easy from the start had meant I wasn’t too beaten up yet and I could really enjoy this bit… the scenery was fantastic. There was a single track descent at about 25miles where you lost about 400 ft in about a mile or something (is that a lot? well it felt it anyway). Narrow path and dramatic coastline dropping away on your left but still really runnable.
Getting down to the beach meant the biggest climb of the day next though with 1300 ft ascent in about 2.5miles. I still felt ok ish and managed to catch the next group of runners before the top which ended in a set of concrete steps that you have to climb just for the sake of it, turn around and head half a mile back down the way you came. Good to see my mate for the first time in an hour on his way up looking in great shape.
Check point 4 (another pub, no chance of a beer this time though) started the last leg back across to Pwllheli. Nearly all road and feet were definitely starting to hurt. I passed a group of three chatty runners and quickly thought better of it and dropped back again to run with them. Best decision as it kept me going and it added another aspect to the race which was having people to chat to about how ridiculous it was that we were almost done.
Back on the coast path around the golf course and to the welcoming party at the finish line with the watch saying 39miles.
Really great event… scenery… plenty of different sections to keep it interesting and very friendly bunch of organisers and marshals. I could do this one again.”
A big well done to everyone who took part in a parkrun on Saturday, the Helsby consolidated results can be found in the link below:
That’s all this week folks, if you made it this far thank you for reading! We always appreciated reports each week as it really helps us compile the blog and adds variety. If you would like your report to be included please fire it over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on running…