A busy week of racing last week and some superb reports in the inbox so let’s get started!
Before the racing news please see a few messages below from Jackie and Fitzy:
Helsby Beer Festival
This weekend it’s the Helsby Community Sports Club 10th annual beer festival. Please support if you can.
Monday Night Training
Thanks to Juni & John who have kindly stepped in to organise & lead our Monday night training sessions whilst Joe & Mario are unavailable. Last Monday we tried using Helsbys new running track/path in the park by the Scout Hut on Lower Robin Hoods Lane. Feedback was very good & with it being a tarmacked track it’s a great option when Castle Park is wet/gloopy. The plan is to try a few new sessions & places/routes for the remainder of our Winter Mondays. Our Summer sessions at the High School will start after Easter.
Each weekend they will post on Facebook Helsby Running Club page the session plan for each Monday & where. If you are not on Facebook this is a problem. As a temporary measure till we work out what’s the best way to spread the word each week to all. Juni can email you the session details each weekend if you let her know your email address.
Thanks & hope to see you on a Monday soon.
I’m running the London Marathon this year for Team YHA. Today I’ve set up my just giving page which gives the full story of why I’m running a marathon once again; who for & why! It really all means a lot to me.
It’s a great cause, changing young lives forever through outdoor adventure. Race day is April 28th, so training is well underway. Nearer race day, after training on a Wed, I plan on showing some heartening videos of the rewards & reactions of young people experiencing a YHA adventure break for the first time. With free chips too of cause!
Please support, if you can, by donating to this great cause. Although it’s early days yet, as I prefer to get rewarded on completion, I’ll send out a reminder after race day too!
Cheers & thanks
Helsby Vs Fellsby
Season 3 of the road runners v’s the fell crew is nearly here. The 2 races shall be Borders League Race 6 in Buckley on Sunday 31st March, and the Fell race will be at Dinas Bran on Weds 8th May 7.15pm.
For those who have not heard of this challenge before, we’ve done it for the past 2 years, and it’s to create a bit of banter between us road runners and the Felsby crew. Felsby have won it for the past 2 years, actually Helsby have never won it, but I reckon this year will be different.
All you need to do is choose a team you want to run for, so for example I would run for the road running Helsby team, and Chris Baynham-Hughes would run for Felsby. If however, you clearly are a road runner like Adam Gordon, but choose to bat for Felsby, I may unfriend you on Facebook.
Points are given for just turning up, which is why it’s important to get great numbers to both of these races, and points are also given for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on. Every point helps.
Email me email@example.com or message me on Facebook, and i’ll add you to the teams. You can also turn up on the day and I’ll allocate you a team. You don’t have to come to both races, but it would be better for your team if you did, and remember, it’s a bit of fun, and the main aim is to get more Fell runners to the road races and vice versa, us roadies to the Fells.
Any questions please let me know.
Rhayader Round the Lakes
Report by Richard Hankins
I entered this race as prep for Edinburgh Marathon last year. However, it coincided with the Beast from the East and was cancelled. The organisers kindly transferred my entry to this year and so I went along on Saturday. In previous years it has been a 20 mile race, but the metric system has arrived in Wales and it is now a 30K. Organised by Rhayader Athletic Club it is a small local race based around the leisure centre in the middle of town. This years record entry saw 540 of us complete the course. Rhayader is in Powys and famed for its Red Kite population and they were out in force to watch the start.
I had planned a marathon paced tempo run, but fortunately looked at the route profile the night before. The first 6 miles are uphill with 1200 feet of climb and a consistent pace was not realistic. Storm Freya also arrived making any consistent pacing a challenge with 40mph winds and driving rain. At times it felt like a challenge to stay on my feet never mind stay on pace. The race starts just outside the town centre and then passes down the high street before heading out into the Elan Valley. This was a new location to me and a real revelation. The valley is rugged and beautiful, possibly the most impressive countryside I have ever run a race through. The valley was flooded in the 1920s and provides the main water supply to Birmingham. It has a series of huge dams linking three reservoirs. With the wind, however, at times it was a challenge to breath…my cheeks acting like a giant wind break and the rain stinging it was hitting so hard. At the worst point I ran with some lads from Todmorden taking it in turns to lead and break the wind. Fortunately, the last four miles were downhill with the wind on your back…a fantastic way to end a race of this length.
I finished 58th in 2:21 – just 6 second off my intended tempo which I was pretty happy with. The organisation was great…really low key but friendly and efficient. The tea and bara brith at the finish topped off a great experience. Its a race I’d like to do again…but hopefully with a little less weather.
Report by Jake Holmes
The 2nd of the Clwydian Mid Week Series (a to a Clwydian summit and back). This one was Foel Fenlli, Moel Famau’s neighbour and a 3.5 mile loop.
It started with a long grassy descent from the car park on a narrow path to add a bit more ascending to the evening. I quite like the downs, and after being surprised with an ok finish place last time, I thought I’d be brave and put myself at the front. A little out of place, but it meant I’d avoid having to check my stride if anyone was taking it easier. It worked out well as I managed to make a place and get to the bottom in 3rd(!). I knew that’d be my high point though so as we started to climb the long path that wrapped around the back of the hill, I just tried to keep perspective (and count) as the quicker runners came past. The weather couldn’t have been more different to round one. That was driving rain and 5m visibility, this was really mild and a sky full of stars! 7th, 8th, 9th (and a dog). I lost count then but it didn’t get too much worse and a glance back as we reached the top showed a bit of a gap to the head torches behind so I was hopeful to better my 16th place from round one.
Scan of the wrist band as you go over the top and all the way down the other side. The field had spread a bit so there weren’t many runners in reach on the descent but I managed to regain a couple of the places I’d lost. The route drops down past the finish, along a straight fire track that gave me a glimpse of the next two runners in the distance. A u-turn at the bottom onto a path to come back up the 500metres to the finish. Each site of them showed them a fraction closer… maybe… but that’s where they stayed to the finish. Just close enough to give me hope, but all I actually got was a pretty painful last stretch trying to catch them! That, or good training, depending on how far after the effort you’re thinking about it.
A few fewer runners this time but I managed that higher finish – 13/39. If it carries on like this, by Christmas I could be on the podium out of a field of 4.
Next up – 7pm Tuesday 26th March Moel-Y-Parc. if you need any more incentive, the start/finish is at a pub. ⛰ 🍺
Borders League Race No.5 – Birkenhead Park
Another fantastic turn out from the Green Army at the Borders on Sunday, a big thank you to everyone who turned up to support the club on a cold and miserable day at Birkenhead Park.
The course is 4 full laps of the park with a slight detour around the lake and then the long slog up to the start/finish. Fitzy and Hannah lead the charge for the Helsby contingent with Fitzy having a storming run to take 12th place overall and first home for the club and Hannah showing her class once again to take the overall win by quite a big margin! Great stuff you two!
We had an array of age category wins and podiums with Colin Bishop, Alison Halsall, Laura Baynham Hughes and Debbie Read all coming in first and Jackie was second in her age group! Helsby really does have some super vets!!
Well done to everyone else who ran, we have a great strength in depth in our squad and it really paid off on the day and cemented the men’s team in 4th position in the league with the ladies in 3rd.
A big thank you to our support team on the day who were Mario, Leah Binns, Karen Horsley, Danielle Ryder and Jane Bishop (with her fantastic cakes!!). Sorry if I missed anyone else…
Don’t forget the penultimate race is on 31st March, this is a new race in Caergwrle hosted by Buckley RC, put it into your calendar folks! I’m sure Fitzy will be rallying the troops nearer the time.
12th Chris Fitzpatrick 30:00
26th Colin Thompson 30:58
31st Colin Bishop 31:07 (1st in age cat)
37th Mark Amphlett 31:23
43rd Neil Finegan 31:38
47th Danny Ryder 31:50
50th Chris Collins 31:55
53rd Hannah Cowley 32:04 (1st lady overall)
75th Mark Gittens 33:17
84th Matt Huntbach 33:49
86th Adam Gordon 33:52
99th Matthew Larkin 34:29
125th Ian Rutherford 36:37
134th Alison Halsall 37:12 (1st in age cat)
135th Davyd Michell 37:13
151st Laura Baynham Hughes 37:55 (1st in age cat)
157th Ian Landucci 38:10
177th Peter Rodriguez 39:17
181st Jane Ashbrook 39:42
184th Jim Jones 40:00
205th Roy Gaskill 40:52
232nd Helen Owens 42:19
235th Ben Williams 42:24
241st Florence Woodward-Moor 42:45
249th Geoff Collins 43:19
250th Debbie Read 43:21 (1st in age cat)
274th Susie Woodward-Moor 44:26
276th Neil Fergusson 44:37
296th Jackie Keasley 47:24 (2nd in age cat)
303rd Ste Wiggins 48:11
304th Kai Horsley 48:12
324th David Wiggins 52:07
338th Charlie Roberts 56:15
Full results can be found here http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/results/
Please find the consolidated results from the Saturday parkruns, no magic pumps were worn by any members this week so no parkrun wins but some superb running as always 🙂
That’s all this week, thanks again for all the reports, please keep sending them in, the helsby inbox is firstname.lastname@example.org.