Weekly round-up 18th Feb to 24th Feb

 

Firstly, a message from Jackie.

UKA All England Club Team Marathon Championships

How about HRC entering the inaugural UKA All England Marathon Club Team Championships? Giving club runners the opportunity to compete against one another as a single club unit at the popular MBNA Chester Marathon on 6 October. Club runners of all abilities will be able to contest for a national team title in a mixed team format. For our club size we need 4 men & 3 ladies. Who is up for this please, email jackiekeasley@btinternet if you are or reply to facebook feed.

More Info Here:- closing date for team entries 31July but you need to enter individually too.

https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/england-competitions/national-championships/champions-of-the-road/#clubteaminfo

Susie Woodwardmoor sent this in from the National XC Champs

Four of us took part in the Senior Womens race at the ECCA National Cross Country Championships, Harewood House on Sat 23rd Feb. A sparkling day, clear blue skies, colourful flags heralding the scores of clubs that take part, fluttering in the sunny breeze – it was like being at a festival (in stark contrast to last years grey chilly conditions). Hundreds of friends and families supporting the runners (many with dogs for those of us who like to bring them along). A happy and exciting atmosphere.

The race starts with an exhausting climb up clingy longish grass but evens off along a lovely smooth plateau dipping down then up again, meandering around the the rolling parkland with beautiful open views across the landscape to the house, it’s a wonderful venue, especially on a day like this. The senior women’s race is two laps long an 8km route.. long enough. Lovely as it is, it’s quite a tough course and we appreciated the support from Mario and Rachel’s son Paddy (who came 450th out of 2000 senior men representing his university) . The hills are not much fun and we are all a bright shade of pink at the end but we loved it and would recommend it as a great event, worth the travel. A mud free X country…

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Results  http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk/news/saucony-english-national-xc-results-2019Champs

Debbie Read sent this report in from Birchwood XC

Sunday saw the last cross country of the season at Birchwood, Warrington. Due to a mixture of it being half term and other races happening over the weekend a very depleted Green Army were in attendance-just 2 men and 3 women turned up.

Leaving Helsby in the fog, the race was run in beautiful spring sunshine and despite being told duff information that conditions underfoot were dry and firm we all had a good time.
My shoes are washed, drying ready for next season – can’t wait. 

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The end of season saw Helsby men finish 14th out of 24 clubs and the ladies 10th

parkrun

The full consolidated parkrun results for Helsby members are below.

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

Highlights would have normally included the 1st place for Chris Fitzpatrick at Phoenix Park. However, the shine was well and truly taken off the win when it came to light that Fitzy had resorted to wearing his expensive new cheating shoes at what is supposed to be a friendly timed run. Oh, the shame!

Cheers
Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 11th to 17th February 2019

Hello Green Army

Notice from Jackie.

Club Championships Competition & Training

Our list of Summer 2019 Championship races has been updated – please see: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2019-road-and-fell…/

There is a pdf poster version attached and at  https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/…/helsby_summ…

The key update is the Mini-Trail Championship 🙂

There’s plenty to do with a varied selection of road, fell, trails, & mini-fells (to encourage newcomers to the fells). The attached gives the rules for each and how many count etc in each competition. The annual Helsby versus Felsby races are highlighted as are the Inter Club Fell Championship Counters.  Our annual awards ceremony takes place in May/June to issue awards for both the Summer & Winter (Cross Country & Border League) Championships.  We will be announcing the date soon, in the meantime hope to see you at one of these races very soon!  

Here’s a list of the remaining Wednesday Winter Training Sessions, please meet at the club at 6:30 except for Delamere. Phil has kindly compiled a similar enticing list for the Summer, to be announced soon!

 Feb

20

Manley Mere

Steady run

27

Mickle Trafford

Time trial

March

6

Frodsham

Fartleks

13

Delamere

Lake run – meet time tba

20

Manley Mere

Steady run

27

Mickle Trafford

Time trial

Also, please see Jackies race report from the Village Bakery half marathon.

Yesterday was our first race kicking off this “Summers” 2019 club championship.

13 Helsby runners made the journey to Wrexham Industrial Estate on quite a warm sunny morning for February.  I last did this race many years ago & still have memories of a nightmare race for the organisers; Within 100m of the start there was a T junction with no sign & no marshal, the front runners turned left (the wrong shorter way) & those in the know turned right (the correct way!). Each race eventually merged & finished at the same finish line. Not sure the results meant much though as some very good times were recorded by the faster runners but not over the full distance!  The race has grown in popularity since being taken over by Mike Harrington at Cute Fruits & this year a record 2373 runners crossed the line at exactly 13miles  192½ yds.

It’s a surprisingly good course considering it starts & finishes in an Industrial Estate!  After a 5 mile loop thats very similar to the Border League course, firstly going by the factory units, then off into the countryside before passing more units on the way back.  Then a much bigger loop down fairly narrow, some wet & muddy country lanes towards the Dee (without actually seeing it) before heading back steadily uphill & into a strong head wind back into the estate for the final couple of miles.   For a big race it was good because it starts on wide roads & enters the narrow ones when everyone is more spreadout, so no holdups.

Chris was going for a PB but the winds made it impossible for that, still a brillant time in 1:16. Sub 1:30’s for Richard & Degsy.  Well done to Jane who smashed 1:40, Trevor who was close on her tail, Helen loking good for the Mancheter Marathon & to everyone else who ran. I was chuffed with sub 2 hours having not ran a half for a while.

Memories of the day were, hearing & seeing first lambs of the year as we ran down the farm lanes.  Just as hunger set it, the overwhelming baking smell of baking at 12 miles which turned out to be the Kellogs factory & everyone getting a pack of Village Bakery Welsh Cakes & a Welsh Dragon gong at the end.  The one downside was the finish was quite a long way from the start & parking, the whole estate looks the same & there were no signs. At the end of the race the whole estate was full of lost tired runners staggering around in circles. I added on an extra couple of miles trying to find Trevors car, didn’t know there was more than one Village Bakery on that maze of an industrial estate. Thanks to Neil Furgasson who drove me & an Oswestry Olympian from the full fat to the gluten free one!!

Position Finish time First name Last name Net time Net position Club Position Gender Gender position Category Category position
42 01:16:33 Chris Fitzpatrick 01:16:28 41 1 Male 42 Vet 40 11
236 01:28:07 Richard Hankins 01:27:52 238 2 Male 225 Vet 45 32
318 01:30:03 Derek Morris 01:29:48 318 3 Male 290 Vet 40 55
594 01:40:10 Robert Hough 01:39:34 605 4 Male 500 Senior Male 239
626 01:41:11 Jane Ashbrook 01:40:38 638 5 Female 100 Vet 40 19
644 01:41:47 Trevor Lewis 01:41:14 665 6 Male 541 Vet 50 57
761 01:44:45 Jim Jones 01:43:04 734 7 Male 628 Vet 50 67
810 01:46:04 Helen Owens 01:45:34 829 8 Female 145 Vet 40 26
1051 01:51:54 Geoff Collins 01:49:35 1010 9 Male 831 Vet 60 21
1263 01:57:37 Jackie Keasley 01:57:01 1316 10 Female 311 Vet 60 3
1282 01:58:07 Neil Fergusson 01:56:57 1309 11 Male 965 Vet 65 9
1885 02:16:41 Matt Willcott 02:15:31 1934 12 Male 1236 Vet 40 221
1885 02:16:41 Stephen Wiggins 02:13:39 1881 12 Male 1236 Senior Male 532

It was a tough last few miles thats for sure Jackie

Richard Hankins has also sent in a report for this race as well

The Village Bakery was the first half marathon I ever ran back in 2016. It has, therefore, a special place in my heart. It isn’t the most glamorous event, starting and finishing in the Wrexham Industrial Estate, but most of the course is on country lanes heading out towards the Dee. It is always well organised, cheap to enter and just 20 minute drive away. For me it is the start of the running season and my first measure of how fit I am this year.

This year the old headquarters on Oak Road had closed and so the parking arrangements were very different. There was also a larger entry with 3000 enrolled. There was plenty of warnings to arrive early and plan your parking. Geoff and I did and had no problems, but the traffic looked pretty poor later on and there were big queues for the loos. Approaching from the opposite side of the start line due to the new parking arrangements made the start a little chaotic. But, once off, everything was well organised on what felt like a mid-Spring day.

The first 10 miles of the race were fab: I felt full of energy and able to stick to my plan….in fact, I made up time. I began to dream of finally getting a 1:25 but sadly the last three miles were a nightmare. I think of this race as flat, but Strava shows that miles 10 – 13 are consistently uphill. Not by a great margin, the climb is only 120 feet, but enough for you to feel it. This year that coincided with a 15mph headwind. I just wasn’t fit enough to fight it and lost 2 minutes finishing 20 seconds slower than last year. A lot of people found the same…the last third of the race was a challenge (fell runners snigger away…).

Fabulous Fitzy led the Helsby field home in 41st with a 1:16 run…mightily impressive stuff! I lolloped home in 1:27 with Degsy making a valiant return in 1:29. Rob Hough came in at 1:39 and Jane Ashbrook was first lady home for the club in 1:40. There was then a wave of Helsby finishers: Trevor Lewis (01:41), Jim Jones (01:43), Helen Owens (01:45), Geoff Collins (01:49), Jackie Keasley (01:57), Neil Ferguson (01:56), Steve Wiggins (02:13) and Matt Wilcott (02:15).

A decent turn out for the first counter of 2019…see you at the next.

Richard

Talking about Fell runners, over to John to tell us about a steeplechase race

So after being volunteered by your wife to take Debbie Reeds place in this race I thought I better give it a good old shot. Having done the mid week Harrock Hill series I had a little bit of an idea what I was letting myself in for…. well so I thought.

This was the 49th Parbold Hill Race organised by Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers is 6.7 miles of mixed terrain including roads paths and farmers fields and what a little cracker with the start and finish at a proper country boozer! Helsby had 3 runners out myself Janet and Nesta helping make up a field of close to 600.

After a short road section to start a sharp left turn took you on the a quarry track and up you climbed. The next few miles was a mix of fields and tracks, the road running clubs stood out a mile as their runners gingerly edged around the mud while my route choice was through the middle! At just over half way my race fell apart with a long road section with a climb up Parbold Hill, at this point I realised racing with a cracked rib wasn’t my brightest move, however at the top and into the next field I was greeted with a small queue at the next stile a great opportunity for a breather and to take in the amazing views and countryside, you don’t get these on an industrial estate! The next few miles past and then a nice downhill section got my legs turning over, just before you arrived in the final field you are greeted with a horse jump a crowd of people and a number of cameras all waiting for that unsuspecting faller!

All in all a great little race and if you don’t want to wait for next year to try out the course look out for the Harrock Hill Series starting late spring!

Cheers
John

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Cracking photo

Also a little blog from one of our new ish member Hayley Brooks, about her journey to the London marathon. Good luck with the training

The Highs and Lows

Last but not least Parkrun

Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns. Well done to everyone who took part!

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

 

Thanks, see you all soon

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 4th to 10th February 2019

Hi folks,

short and sweet this week, with just the one report which has been sent in by Colin Bishop. Thanks Bish –  and well done on the medals guys:

Northern Masters XC Championships 2019 – Saturday 9th February 2019

“Saturday saw Knights Grange in Winsford host Northern Masters XC championships. It was 3 large loops of a slightly undulating course which in places had the residual winds of storm Eric gusting in your face draining your breath, and in parts once you got your breath back your legs were zapped by the mud. Cheered on by Mario, Joe, Bobby and Jane, Davyd successfully represented Helsby achieving a silver medal in MV40 category. He won’t mind me saying he also successfully managed to stay upright…..Maybe the thought of cake at the finish line. I myself managed an individual silver but was in my red vest so won’t go on too much.

For those who are eligible to run as a Vet these races are really something to be considered.
Once again well done Davyd
Cheers Bish”

Upcoming Events

Screenshot 2019-02-14 at 20.30.06

Parkrun

The Helsby RC consolidated Parkrun results for Saturday 9th February are HERE

Please keep sending any contributions for the blog to: helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers,

Jim

Helsby weekly round-up 28th Jan to 3rd Feb 2019

Hello everyone

Sorry for the late blog this week, 3 superb reports in the inbox, two from Jake Holmes and one from Ed Halliwell. Thanks guys, very much appreciated! Don’t forget if you did a race and would like it to be included in the blog please fire it over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com, even just a few words or a link to the results would be great and really helps us to compile the blog each week. If it’s not in the inbox we generally won’t know about it unless we were there!

First up are Jake’s two reports…

Dark mountains – Mountain Marathon

“A search back in November for upcoming ultra races introduced me to Marmot Dark Mountains. 7 course options? Score courses? Elite, A, B, C? 10pm start? There was a bit too much to work out so left it there and carried on looking for daytime events with sign posts! 

But I’d watched the promo video… and it had exciting music and everything… 

So I found myself back on the website working it all out. Linear course… navigate between predefined checkpoints and back to the start as quick as you can… simple enough. 

But it’s a pairs event. And you’ve hardly done any navigating in the daytime never mind at night. Ahh.. Steve Riley he’s said he’s done night stuff before. Quick message, and just short 6 weeks of him procrastinating later and he’s on board. 

So on the last Saturday of January we found ourselves in Lowther Castle in the lakes. We bumped in to Chris and Max, who went on to take 3rd spot in their course, great work! The hour before start consisted of double checking our kit, putting things in and taking them back out again.  You’ve got to carry quite a bit: waterproofs, sleeping bag, bivi, bothy bag (i hadn’t heard of one of these but I’ll be coming back to it later), stove, food – even a tent! So despite having to carry all that, the decision of whether to take 2 pairs of inner gloves or 3 seemed like a critical decision just 20 minutes before the start.

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10pm comes round we’re given a map each and on our way. It’s the first time you get to see the checkpoints and your route. The first stretch is signposted to get you up onto the fells from there you’re on your own. CP1 to 2: no obvious helpful footpaths, so took a bearing and headed straight for it. 20mins or so of seeing nothing but the 5 metres or so of moorland your head torch lights up and other pairs of head torches bobbing around the darkness, and then the shiny box of CP2 reflects back at you not far in front! Great feeling. A CP ticked off and you know exactly where you are on the map again. On to CP3.  

I’ll skip ahead now, as once you’ve described one stretch of pitch black mountain, you’ve described them all. The notable additions over the next hour or two were some serious ascents, the snow arriving, a highlight of the event for me when Steve splashed through a stream to get to cp3 and I took the bridge he’d missed 2 metres further up, and then the next ‘torrent’ of a stream that was unavoidable and we waded through up to our knees.

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We’d hit each checkpoint bang on so far and decided to continue with our winning ‘follow another bearing’ tactic to get to CP5. 45minutes later we got there, or we thought we had, but it wasn’t there. About 10mins earlier, the wind and snow had really picked up. We had Haweswater down in front of us so we hadn’t passed it but the snow was driving hard, we had very poor visibility and standing still we were both getting cold quickly. Steve was having problems with his jacket and my feet felt like they were about to drop off so we decided to drop down out of the wind a bit. It wasn’t enough though… we weren’t getting any warmer and needed some shelter to regroup… back to that Bothy bag I mentioned. 

5 minutes later me and Steve are cosying up in what was essentially a tent fly sheet about the size of a small arm chair but that two of you can fit in when you’re on the side of a mountain and needs must 🙂 An extra layer on for Steve, some dry gloves for me (I did take a pair) and moral started to improve. We even got the stove out for a bite of hot food and some calories not in gel or cereal bar form. 

A study of the map showed we had an easy escape down to the valley, or we head back into the moors again. It was about 3am ish. We’d been going 5 hours, and with about 7hours max left we weren’t going to be able to complete so we called it experience, cut our losses and headed down to do the the 7 miles back to the finish on the road. 

What a great event. Unfinished business this one. If I take one thing away, it’s that even if you do get your water boiling, you can’t rehydrate a dehydrated meal in minus whatever it was. Still it didn’t stop us finishing the crunchy luke-warm pasta 🙂 

Two days later Steve sent me this screenshot showing where we’d been sitting was about 10metres beneath CP5! I’ve struggled to sleep since.”

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Moel Famau Evening Race

“First of the Clwydian Mid Week series of 12 races – out and back to a different summits each time. 

So this one was Moel Famau – from the top car park, up through the woods, join the main path halfway and carry on up to the summit. A quick scan of your timing chip by the hardy marshal and straight back down to the car park. Rain, wind and heavy fog from the start to the finish added to the fun.

Very professional race for such a small one with splits so you can see how you compared to the field in climbing and descending. And I’ve found the trick to a higher finishing position (15th!)… do races that hardly anyone else enters! 

Next race is on Tuesday 26th Feb if anyone fancies it £9 in advance of £10 on the night.”

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And now over to Ed…

Kong Mini Mountain Marathon – Round 1 – Capel Curig

“As I’m aiming to do the Saunders Mountain Marathon in summer, I decided I was going to do this as a ‘warm-up’ on Sunday. The format is a four-hour score event, which means that there isn’t a set course, it’s a case of getting as many points as possible for visiting controls in the time limit. This was a pretty new format for me, as my one previous MM (an ‘easy’ course with my son a few years ago) was a set course.

There were plenty of warnings about the conditions we’d be facing in the week up to the event, so the race vest was left in the cupboard and I went with rucksack complete with down jacket in. It looked like I was packing for a weekend camp away! The conditions meant a slightly reduced course, but given much slower going, this wasn’t an issue.

After a two-mile jog from Car Park to Registration to Start I was ready to go. Well, not quite, there was still time for more dire warnings from the lady at the start. Apparently someone had spent four hours putting controls out the previous day and only managed three or four. The someone in question was someone called ‘Max’ who apparently fancies himself as a bit of runner. The lady suggested I should put my over-trousers on from the start as I’d be needing them pretty soon anyway. I happily took the advice, and away I went, wearing more clothes than I’d ever imagined running in – two merino tops, waterproof, leggings, over-trousers, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves.

I had a vague idea at the start of a possible route, and wanted to start with an easy control to settle in. This first control was at a low level, and running was OK then, but as soon as I was moving uphill to my second control it was snow halfway up my shins. The third control was up at 2500 feet. This was a real slog in knee deep and above snow, with strong winds at the top, but was feeling like a real adventure. Certainly happy to have full waterproofs on.

After the top, it was time to descend, and it was good to be running, but only briefly before I managed to get trapped by a crag and had to pick my way round. I was then into the rocks, which was a nightmare as you couldn’t tell what your feet were going to land on in the snow. At one point my foot went between two rocks and I fell. I could easily have broken my leg, but I ended up stuck in a ‘127 hours’ scenario unable to extract myself, as my weight was pulling me forwards, and I couldn’t push back or up in the snow and my calf wouldn’t fit through the gap. After some digging with my hands in the snow I only found more rocks locking me in, so I just had to really force my calf through the gap in the end to escape.

Off and running again, the next two controls were OK. On my way down to the valley after those, I panicked a bit about running out of time, so decided to abridge my loop and play safe to make sure I didn’t run out of time. Whilst these thoughts were going through my head, I failed to notice the big flat rock coated in ice, until my feet disappeared and my shoulder followed by my head hit it. Fortunately I didn’t lose consciousness, but my vision was blurred for a good 15-30 minutes afterwards, so I took it easy to the next control, and was anticipating a trip to hospital that evening. Sometime after the control after that I realised with relief I could see clearly again.

After that, it was another two controls along a bridleway, before a mile or so run into the finish, only just over three and a half hours.

Result – 77th out of 151

Summary – A great adventure. Not a particularly outstanding result for me, but it was my first attempt at one of these. Another couple of controls would have been just inside the top 50. Could’ve been a bit braver with route maybe, or could have chose a different route which would have yielded more points, but glad to be round in one piece!”

Northwest Sunday League XC – Croxteth Park

No reports in the inbox for this sadly, looked like a great race though in some quite challenging conditions. Quotes from Steve Riley and Davyd about the race:

Steve: “Croxteth XC: Good course, frosty, icy puddles, no falls. Average run, above average cakes. Thanks Jane.”

Davyd: “Croxteth XC: Good course, frosty, cold icy puddles, fell over 3 times due to stupid choice of spike length. Decent run, top cakes. Thanks Jane.”

Unfortunately Steve Saunders website seems to be down so I am unable to extract the Helsby results, once it’s back up and running I’ll update the blog. In the mean time keep an eye out here http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/

Don’t forget the last and final race of the NWSLXC season is at Birchwood park on 24th Feb, would be nice to get a good turn out from the Green Army for that one!

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Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns, we had a lot of cancellations last week due to the weather so it was great to see so many people finding alternative parkruns. Well done to everyone who took part!

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

That’s all folks, if you got this far thanks for reading and see you all soon. Keep on running…

Cheers
Col T