Weekly blog 20th May to 26th May

Notice: Please come along & support this “Keeping Well in the Community” event to be held at Helsby Community Centre between 10 & 2 on Sat 8th June.Betty will be there running a HRC stall telling folks about the benefits of running & HRC, Helens couch to 5K & Frodsham Joggers. Please pop in if you can to see what’s going on & support Betty spreading the running word!

CBH sent in this report from his Dragon’s Back/ Wales Coast to Coast attempt.

What a week – many of you will know I’ve been away racing down Wales in an attempt to raise as much money as possible for those with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). I’ve been truly humbled by the response, support and generosity I received from my friends, colleagues and even some people I don’t know! It’s a very personal charity given that they helped me to get back on my feet so Thank you so very much for providing the fuel to the fire I needed to finish.If you missed out first time around and wish to contribute to this amazing cause please visit here, I’d love to burst £3k: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/cbh-dragon so if you’ve got a spare fiver or even more then please don’t be shy 😊

The race itself went even better than I predicted. Starting off I felt really under prepared due to a lack of mountain miles in my legs. Injuries have really taken their toll over the last 18 months and so to finish the incredible day 1 route within 20 minutes of my 2017 time was really surprising. A quick wash in the stream and plenty of food later I was starting to fear I’d gone too hard and would feel the impact the next day.

Day 2 is arguably the toughest due to the terrain; it’s certainly the roughest in Wales. Navigation was going well and there was more scope for good lines Vs the suggested route. The route gives loads of scope to play with the mountains; working with them more than trying to dominate and conquer them. Dropping off the first Rhinog I took a chance that I could find a good wide line and it paid off. I saved ~30 minutes and only had two 6ft drops to content with. The mental boost that a well navigated line gives is huge and I comfortably flew across the rest of the course despite the heat.

The heat played a huge part in the race, it wasn’t just hot, it was also close, meaning you simply don’t cool down as the sweat clings rather than evaporates. Combine that with the lack of streams around in both Northern and Southern Snowdonia and it’s a real problem.

Day 3 started well, but after a massive high in Machynlleth (due to a slush puppy machine, ice cream, bottle of coke and a trip to the chippy for a fish bap) I felt totally drained on the second half, plus my right knee was really hurting and would prove to be a problem going forward. Whilst I had fantastic company I just felt it was a roasting hot death march. I struggled to eat that evening and felt done.Sleep is a healer. I woke up positive and got going. I had soon caught up with my friends and we made reasonable time across to the half way drop bag. The second half of the day I got on it.

The Elan valley is covered in tussocks (baby’s heads) so it’s hard to move swiftly, but I managed to keep it moving and really put some time away. Maybe it was the promise of a hog roast at the pub next to Day 4 camp? Getting in I had a horrible wash in the lake (freezing and sharp rocks!) I tucked away 4 portions of lasagne and headed to the pub for the hog roast. Back in the game.

Day 5 I woke up with a really negative mind. Everything was wrong, but once I got going all that negativity disappeared. I was flying (relatively). The consequence of this was that I was in and out of the half way drop bag before Laura and the boys arrived… maybe I was just desperate to get on the stunning Fans of the Black Mountain. More great lines, shortcuts and sheep trods meant I hit the ice cream van with good time, only to make the amateur mistake of only ordering one cornetto!

Still, I cracked on and finished strongly. As I dropped down the final road section ignoring the pain in my knee I was put firmly in my place as I was passed by a young lady pushing a pram and walking her dog… okay, so that was Jasmin Paris, but it still tickled me. Hitting the final corner Laura I heard Laura and the body cheering. My beautiful boys grabbed my hands and ran across the final field and the line with me. Best finish ever!

Epilogue:This was my third Dragon’s Back, that puts me in excellent company – one of only five to have completed three. Those that have followed the others will know I’ve always had a dream to add day 6 on and run the additional 30 miles down to Mumbles Pier in Swansea, thus completing a coast to coast. To add the additional day once everybody else had gone home was mentally tough but so rewarding, especially given the quality of ice cream in the Mumbles! Hitting the beach two miles earlier than I had expected was sound tracked by Sunscream’s ‘I’m only chasing my dreams’. Apt.

Huge thanks to everyone that has supported me – you provided the fuel to keep me going

Gaz Boyd sent this in from his 24 hour charity run around Chester walls

Running Around The Bend

24 hours along Chester Walls-raising funds for Hospice of The Good ShepherdAt 9am Sunday 26th May, I left Chester Town Hall and started my Running challenge.
Just after 9am on Monday 27th May, I arrived back at my starting point – having covered 90 miles (over 47 laps of The Walls)Here’s my tale about the 90 mile journey.During the first 6 miles, I tried to get into a running rhythm (not going off too quick was key, as this ‘adventure’ was definitely going to be a ‘marathon’ rather then a sprint). The light initial rain showers were actually pleasant and I felt energised and excited.

Now, it’s probably no surprise that when one starts to run around The Walls at least 10 times or more, one starts to become recognised by individuals working along the route. This was certainly the case with 2 local artists by The Eastgate Clock and The Dee – both very friendly, encouraging and supportive.

After nearly 3 hours, the fundraising campaign stepped up a gear and I grabbed a quick ‘pitstop’ to change into my first fancy dress costume = Spider-Man. Despite being rather warm, it definitely generated a lot more interest and increased the support/cheers from passers by. Families asked for selfies in return for a donation – great fun.

Support throughout from family and friends was overwhelming and without them the 24 challenge would have been a lot tougher. Special thanks to Mike, Tim and Bex (with family), Natalie, Richard H (Green Army), Joanna, Lisa and Dale, Rob and Martin. Of course HUGE thanks to my wife Karen. Local businesses were also really supportive – special thanks goes to That Beer Place, Hypha and Chip’d – awesome chips!At about 3pm it was time to ‘switch’ into my 2nd fancy dress costume = Cheerleader.

Once again this helped generate more generous donation collections. It’s worth noting that Spider-Man is definitely a more popular costume with everyone.

As well as the fabulous support throughout, I was overwhelmed by the kind donations (both online and bucket collection). Amazing!The weather ‘gods’ were certainly looking after me during the 24 hours and I was fortunate to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Chester is a stunning city. At this stage my running had reduced to a walk/run strategy – my legs not surprisingly becoming increasingly tired/fatigued.

I was really disappointed with this but recognised that the key thing was just to keep moving forward.Between 11am to 4am, what could have been a tough period was actually quite good fun. As previously mentioned, the support from the running community (bringing food/snacks/water) was awesome and with chat/banter, the crazy scary black cat by Chester Castle and the entertainment provided by pub/club goers, time flew by!Sunrise was around 4.30am and with only hours to go, I marched (staggered) on.

I am embarrassed to say that at around 6.15am, myself, Martin and Rob stopped for a short ‘pitstop’ at a well known food retailer – here, I felt very faint, struggled to eat anything, was almost sick and had a ‘fight ‘ with a toilet role 🙄. Enough said about that……..At 9.02am, I arrived back at The Town Hall and to the theme of Rocky, hurled myself up the steps before celebrating!

Fundraising to date is around £1500. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN TO EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT. This is an experience I’ll never forget.To sponsor me go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GarethBoyd

Col Bishop was at Buxton Half and sent in this report

Bank holiday Monday saw me line up on a very wet and wimdy morning outside the Buxton Opera house heading off up Axe Hill for the start of the Buxton half marathon. With constant climbing i found myself that high up i was running in the clouds with my ears popping. The route took in Axe Hill, Dowel Dale, Chrome Hill, Park house Hill, Glutton Dale, Briarlow Bar and Harpur Hill finishing at the Pavilion Gardens.

The winner came home in 1hr 17min, I am pleased to say I came in 11th overall managing to win V50 category which isn’t too bad considering I am nearer 60 than 50 😊

Whilst I have said this is by far the toughest road race I have ever run I would certainly recommend this if anyone fancies a challenge with fabulous scenery

Cheers Bish

Full consolidated parkrun results are below
https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

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Helsby RC weekly round-up from 13/05/2019 to 19/05/2019

Hello Green Army

It was the AGM last week, and lots of goings on, below are all the people elected at the 2019 Spring AGM and the people to go to if you need help with anything. Also, if you can spare any time to help out with the endless amount of tasks we have, please let one of us know. Many hands make light work. It would be great to see some new faces helping out.

2019/2019 Helsby Running Club Committee:

Chair Vacant; (Jackie to handover this Summer)
Secretary; Phil Gillard
Treasurer; Jo Farwell
Men’s Captain; Colin Thompson
Men’s Vice captain;Mario Foschi
Ladies’ Captain; June Swift
Ladies’ Vice Captain; Debbie Reed
Ladies’ Fell Captain; Laura Baynham-Hughes
Head Coach; Joe Beswick
Webmaster; Steve Riley
Press Officer; Carol Shaw
Social secretaries; Lou Spruce & Helen Gillard
Half Marathon Director; Laura Baynham-Hughes
Assistant Half Director; Michelle Hardwick
Sandstone Trail Director; Dave and Lesley Feakes
Sandstone Trail Assistants; tba
Wobbler Director; Chris Baynham-Hughes
HCSC Rep; Betty Grieve
HCSC New Build Reps; Phil Gillard, Tim Palmer
Border League Co-ordinators; Vanessa Griffiths, Chris Fitzpatrick
Cross Country Co-ordinators; Rachel Arnold & Janet Robertson
Membership Co-ordinator; Tim Palmer
Calendar Co-ordinator; Tim Palmer & Karen Horsley
Club Statisticians; Geoff Collins & John Whitehead
Welfare Officers; Jane Ashbrook, Lou Spruce, Geoff Collins
Vest Co-ordinator Sue Buck
Blog Editors; Jim Jones, Chris Fitzpatrick,
Gaz O’Connor, Colin T, Karen Horsley,
Susan Woodward-Moor

A message also from Jackie, who I’m sure you will agree has lived and breethed the running club for the past 7 years and is about to pass on her wealth of knowledge to the next chairperson.

AGM

A quick update of committee changes from this weeks AGM. Great to see some new faces (blue text) joining but we still need a ChairPerson. Phil will issue the minutes soon & come up with a phased change over of chair with the possibility of a few changes along the way to make the task more attarctive to someone! Any interest and offers please come & chat to us.

We have decided to keep Wednesday training on the hill at Helsby as it really is so pleasant at this time of the year. So its not Delamere this Wed (15th), it’s the usual meet up at the club and hill run. We will go to Delamere later on in the Summer when we will all be wanting a change & to avoid the nettles! Next weeks (22nd) it’s the Greenway Time Trial, please come and try it out in the light and support Col & Lou.

Frodsham Downhill Run 

On Sunday 7th July its the Frodsham Downhill Run, 12:30 start. Each year we help out at this race, If anyone can spare a few hours in the middle of the day to helpAndy Smith  at the finish and other tasks that would be great. A few fresh faces helping this year would be much appreciated!  Please let me or Andy know (adsmith600@btinternet.com)

Club Presentation Evening

Out club presentation evening is on Friday June 14th, 7pm. Please keep the date in your diary.

I need to collect the perpertual trophies in please. Calling Colin Thompson Adam Gordon Ian Rutherford Chris Collins Richard Hankins Rachel Holden, Emily Smith

Please can you pass them on to either Laura or Joe Beswick asap. Thanks

Cheers

Jackie

So who watched dots all weekend? I did, as i kept an eye on Paul Cunnigham’s and Ben Crossley’s super human attempt to complete the big one, the 100 mile Chester Ultra. Paul has sent us in a report.

Drop bags done  – full mandatory kit checked and packed – enough snacks to open a tuck shop and a nervous twitch started which showed  I was entering a race that I knew I may not finish.

Ben Crossley and myself stood at the start line listening to the race director give us our last instructions – I’d like to say we were calm and in a zen like state but personally I was bricking it.

The race takes you along the River Dee – The Old Dee Bridge along the North Cheshire Way eventually onto Helsby Hill –  Frodsham Hill –  Sandstone Trail through Delamere Forest – Beeston Peckforton and Bickerton out to Whitchurch return along the SST to Bickerton Hill then off out to Tilston before making your way back  to Farndon and picking up the canal at Chester back to Waverton – absolute gem of a route.

Race begins and after 1 mile Ben says only 99 to go – my response wasn’t the kindest – please don’t do that mate or words to that effect.

Heading to CP1  4 guys left us to make a claim on their hopeful prize – I decided to let them go.

5 miles into the race the same 4 guys came up behind us – yes they had come off course and had been running fast in the wrong direction – which meant for at least a very short time Ben and I were actually in the leading group.

CP1  and CP2 we run straight through – first 12 miles completed in under 2 hours – we are now into our running and I have totally relaxed looking forward to the next CP.

Looking at the full race counting down from 100 miles would have destroyed my mental state so I went into the race breaking it down into more comfortable figures – CP1 to CP2 7 miles – CP2 to CP3 5 miles which helped massively.

Between CP1 and 2 we met Jim O’Hara always full of positivity and smiles luckily he was on his bike scoping out the Chester Half happening the next morning.

Into CP3 Durham on the Hill and replenish drinks and take a few snacks – straight out the door.

Coming off Helsby Hill bump into CBH doing some late late micro managing as still undecided what shoes he’s going to wear for Dragons Back – going for the triple crown – mans on a totally different level – go smash it mate.

Up the stairs to Frodsham Hill and Steve “Come on legs Bellefonte” Riley was waiting to give us encouragement and run a section – very much appreciated mate – also informed that we approx.28-30 miles in and holding 16th position – well this information just made me that little bit more determined plus I

Gets a big cuddle off Jane Ashbrook – its turning into a perfect morning.

Since leaving the roads for the trails and fells I spend a fair amount of time on the SST considering im a Birkenhead lad and knew the next 40 miles.

Weather was perfect for running I was moving the best across the ground that I had for some time and all past injury/niggle doubts hadn’t even come into my head – yep I was totally in my element and really now enjoying the task at hand.

I kept waiting for a tap on my shoulder from Ben my running partner that’s now turned into a solid friendship he’s a  quality fella very strange and with plenty of issues – I love him like a brother –  the tap never arrived  – Im going to leave that there that’s Bens Story.

Meanwhile Im kicking his @rse lol

CP4  – CP5 completed onto CP6 first bag drop Beeston Village Hall – I had a full change of clothing – and changed into my trail shoes – first 48 miles completed in road shoes which had been a great decision – forced some noodles down and back out the door – my target now was to get to CP7 Whitchurch and get as close to CP8 before total darkness.

CP7 63 miles in grab a hot coffee and can’t believe how good I feel – although still almost 40 miles to go it’s the first time I actually knew for sure I was going to complete the race – another personal shot of adrenalin.

Started out of Whitchurch along the canal back onto the fields – it’s just a very slight but steady climb across the fields and by the time dusk was falling  I had managed to make it back to where we turn off the SST and head out to Tilston

Headlamp on the next 6 miles seem take forever and  noticed I wasn’t enjoying the styles anymore – this section that runs down sandy Lane up Hall lane to Bostock Hall across Wrexham Road and around Carden Park Golf Club is slightly overgrown and Im glad I completed my very last recce of this section just a few days earlier.

Gets into CP8 79 miles completed and the volunteer on the door gave me a message which was from Ben and Emma our coach – basically giving me another quality shot of adrenalin just at the time  when I needed it most – plus a bag full of Bens Goodies – he’s Vegan so some nuts and plants didn’t get me drooling I can tell you.

Wrapped up like a polar bear headlamp on I left with 3 other guys to trundle through the night  – cutting through fields and woodland in darkness with a few strange men on a Saturday night is a hobby of mine not a way of life – magical under torchlight crunching across the ground.

By the time we made it to CP9 there wasn’t much conversation going on and if honest I was starting to feel like when will this ever end.

Marshalls at CP9 couldn’t do enough these guys knew you were knackered informed us that only 10 miles to go – also if we wanted to break 24hrs we had 2 hrs 35 min to do it.

Slowly left CP9 knowing that the prize was in grasp – before leaving for the race I asked Gaz for some words of wisdom  – dig deep be stubborn those last miles hurt – well he wasn’t joking they did hurt – someone also told me that when dawn breaks you get another rush of energy – dawn chorus started I got ready for this rush of energy – well from experience I can now confirm that in my case it’s an old wives tale – didn’t happen.

The canal again seemed to go on forever but then we arrived at Egg bridge Rd the start of the race HQ – yes –  then in a cruel twist the organisers had made an out and back section on the canal to make sure the race was a minimum of 100miles – could see the finish line and had to walk to bridge 116 out n back 1.5 miles – these last miles felt harder than the whole race – turned off the canal onto the field and over the finish line – The first of many big races I hope – finished in 19th position 25hrs 11 min and got my Gold Buckle – What an experience.

Unbelievable achievement Paul to complete it, respect! I know after speaking to Ben he was a little down afterwards, but even completing what you did was amazing and i am sure you will smash it next year.

Jake Holmes has been pretty busy recently, a report on another jaunt of his

Fairfield Horseshoe Fell Race

After the usual midweek negotiation with the wife, a pass out on Saturday was granted. Adam Gordan was a step ahead in rallying support for a trip up to Ambleside and the Fairfield Horseshoe Fell Race and I don’t need much persuasion so we found ourselves on the start line.

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The course was pretty simple, up to the top of Fairfield via a couple of other checkpoints, round the top of the valley and back down the other side. I liked the idea of not having to worry about nav (you had to carry a map but it was a clear day and there was never any danger of needing it) and wondered if all this ultra-running would translate into fitness on a shorter race?

Errm… i think it probably did? What it didn’t do was suddenly make me able to cruise up the side of a mountain like it was nothing! Adam set off at a fair pace quicker than I was going to manage so I was soon just trying stick with the runner next to you. I think previously I’ve been guilty of being too cautious – that’s the ultra-running “hold on there’s another 10hours of this yet so take it easy” thought process – so i set off quick to get past the a load of runners and put myself further up the field from early on. I paid for that fairly quickly as it started climbing steeply and people were passing me more than I was anyone else.

That all meant I pushed hard getting up that hill.. and it’s a long 4 or 5 miles of climbing to get to the top. It eased every now and then for an odd 20 second break but then kicked up sharply again. Proper.

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I’d lost a few places on the steepest climbs but these runners weren’t getting far ahead and actually some of those that had past me at the beginning were still within reach so I started to feel I was holding my own… in my little section of runners… somewhere in the second half of the field 😂.

As we got onto a flatter section near the summit, everyone was bunched up heading single file along a sheep track so after the swamp filled 20 hours I’d put up with at the Fellsman, I happily skipped along the dry spongy tussocks to the side of the path and took back 10 or more places in one go. We’d done the hard climbing now… I was enjoying the runnable sections and looking forward to the downhill.

The downhill was a thing too… the other 4 or so miles of the race! Quick, technical, often a plenty of line choices so you could pass people. There was one steep stretch the size of a football field, of rocks the size of beach balls, just not as colourful or as comfy to land on. An old fella came past two of us at a pace and it showed what you could do if you were brave enough. I managed to keep with him on and then on then one of the next short ups, a guy chatted to me and then headed off as if he thought I wasn’t going to see him again. To be fair he was quick descending and stretched out a gap a couple of times but, again, it pushed me to keep up. With about 400 metres to go we’d caught 3 or 4 other people and I had a go and went passed them all ready to keep ahead to the finish. We were almost in the valley now and so it’s the end. I could see the car park coming quickly.

Ahh but hang on… we didn’t start at the car park… we’d had a 3/4 of a mile walk to the start! I turned right on to the slight incline of the track….

‘Ok, a road 1k time trial. Head up. Push on. They won’t be coming back at you, you’ll have broken their spirit with that impressive finish to the descent.’

‘But it’s still a long way to the finish… and after the effort you’ve just put on to get to the bottom first. The rain and cool hasn’t arrived either. You’re hot. Legs are heavy. Don’t be that guy to look behind. Someone’s there now though…’

I eased off a little as he was on my shoulder. I’ll catch my breath and as they push to go past, I’ll go again and cruise away from them.

They go… I go to go… but can’t go. Nothing left, they ease away and I take comfort out of the fact it wasn’t one of the runners I’d just past, but someone having a very strong finish and passing all of us. Another couple of hundred very heavy metres and across the finish line.

Dear me that was hard.

2h 3mins and 139th for me, from a field of 240ish (I think). It felt like I’d had a better run than that. Adam mentioned it was a strong field. He finished about 10 mins earlier and in the top 100 (again a bit lower than he’d normally be).

Maybe these lakes races are a high standard. I’ll take that as an excuse.

Sounds horrendous, but quality read as always, cheers Jake

Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns. Once again well done to all who took part, it’s great to fly the Helsby flag at these events.

https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721&eventdate=2019-04-20

Please keep sending in your race reports, I haven’t seen one for the Chester half which was a road counter so if anyone could put something together that would be appreciated. The email address in helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

See you all soon

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 29/04/2019 to 12/05/2019

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another round-up. I’ve left it a little late this week as there hasn’t been a lot in the inbox recenty. Please keep sending any contributions into helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Club Membership

First, a brief message from Tim Palmer:

“Thanks to all who have already paid your 2018/19 Helsby Running Club annual subscription . Those that haven’t, please can you pay as soon as possible. You should have an email from noreply@englandathletics.org.uk with a payment link for credit/debit card. If you don’t pay by 30 June, you will cease to be a Helsby RC member and an EA registered athlete on 1 July .

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me. Please note there is nothing to pay for honorary members and new members who joined since 1 Jan 2019.

If any non-members are interested in joining the club, please contact me for details and a form. We only need 13 more first claim members and we should get 2 London Marathon places rather than 1 .”

Moel Eilio fell race – Saturday 11/05/2019

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A view of Snowdon from Moel Cynghorion. Taken during the Moel Eilio fell race.

Four of us from Helsby RC ran in the Moel Eilio fell race on Saturday, Ben Fletcher was first home for Helsby, finishing in 28th place, followed by Jim Jones, Janet Robertson and Phil Gillard. This race affords some great views of Snowdon as you go over Moel Eilio, Foel Gron, Foel Goch, and Moel Cynghorion before a steep descent back to Llanberis form where the race started. With nearly 3,200ft of in just  under 8 miles it’s a tough fell race but not too technically challenging.

 

Sandstone Challenge – Saturday 11/05/2019

And another cracker it was too. Our directors will no doubt pen a few words of thanks when they’ve got their breath back – three cheers Dave and Leslie! But in the meantime thanks all for coming and making it happen, turning up to run and walk and for the countless small and not so small acts behind the scenes needed to get the show on the road. THANKS!

Provisional results for 2019 here. Lots of pics here on our Flickr site

 

Leeds Half Marathon – Sunday 12/05/2019

Well done to Susie and Flossy Woodward-Moor on completing the Leeds Half Marathon on Sunday. Thanks for sending in the pic and write-up Susie.

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“Flossy and Susie Woodward-Moor ran the Leeds Half Marathon together on Sunday 12th for the medical charity Doctors Without Borders. It was a beautiful sunny day and the whole route was pretty packed with people, dogs, kids, banners, sweets being handed out and people with hosepipes cooling us down. Choirs and bands serenaded us as we ran past. A really wonderful atmosphere. We raised about £600 which was fantastic. Definitely recommend it as a fun happy Half to do although pounding the tarmac on a hot day was tough for the last 2 miles.”

 

Mold Sprint Triathlon – Saturday 12/05/2019

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Congratulations to Kathryn Schofield for being the First Female Junior to finish in the Mould Sprint Triathlon last Saturday. Results are available HERE

 

Helsby RC rankings for 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon

Tim Palmer has sent this great snippet of info on our national rankings:

“Ever wondered how you compare with others in the club? The links below give you the all time list for men and women for 10k, half marathon and marathon and “stadium” track & field athletics events.

Looking at three of our hard working/running blog writers, we get rankings of 3rd, 5th, 32nd, 3rd, 4th, 43rd, 1st, 3rd and 19th across the three distances. Some really good performances.

Helsby RC – Women – 10k, HM and Mar list

Helsby RC – Men – 10k, HM and Mar list

A limitation of these lists are that they based on the Power of 10 and Run Britain Rankings data which is only been comprehensively collected from about 2010 (although a few earlier results are included). This means that it ignores some earlier results by Helsby runners eg 1hr 10m for a Four Villages Half Marathon, 2hr 57m by a Vet 50 man for a London Marathon.

As some will know via Facebook, I am working on a more comprehensive list.

Regards

Tim”

Parkrun

Here are our consolidated club park run reports from the past two weeks:

Saturday 12/05/19

Saturday 04/05/19

That’s it for now,

Cheers, Jim

 

 

Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 22nd to 28th April 2019

Hi everyone

Welcome to this week’s blog, sorry for the slight delay I was waiting on some key reports from last week. It was a bumper week with all types of races, London Marathon, ultra running, fell and the Borders League, so let’s get started…first up is Ed Halliwell…

Race Report – Shropshire Way Ultra (50 miles) – 27 April 2019

I signed up to do the Saunders Mountain Marathon in July this year after doing a couple of fell events towards the end of last year and remembering how much I enjoy them. I ended up watching a few fell running videos on Youtube over Christmas to get myself in the mood, drifted into Ultra videos, and somehow by Boxing Day I’d signed up to do this. Bearing in mind I was only running up to about 10 miles at the time, I suspect alcohol may have been involved, but my memory is hazy. Anyway, four months of somewhat accelerated distance training saw me up to regular 25 mile weekend runs and at 7am on Saturday I was at the start line, hoping that the other 25 miles would kind of just happen on the day.

The weekend before had been the heatwave, so I was praying that it wouldn’t be the same weather for Saturday. I certainly got my wish as it wasn’t a heatwave, but I must learn to be more specific with praying as the heatwave was replaced by gale force winds and rain. Not sure how many people had entered (it was the first year of the race, so maybe not many), but only 43 people were foolish enough to still actually turn up. Looking around, I got a sudden fear that everyone else looked like they knew what they were doing, and I was going to roll in last…

The race started with a 7 mile loop around the Ellesmere countryside, which involved a lot of long grass just to ensure our feet were properly drenched before the main 43 mile loop. I felt pretty comfortable after that, and was sitting in the top half of the field. The next section was one of the two long canal sections. This was around 15 miles to the next checkpoint in a village south of Oswestry. We came off the canals for a little while due to a closed towpath, but mostly it was quite dull, but got a lot of miles under the belt.

The next two sections contained the climb, around 750m in total I think the Race Director said, over around 17-18 miles to Chirk. I’d picked up some ultra running poles (“cheat sticks” as I believe they’re called!) cheaply a few weeks ago, and had one bit of climbing practice with them a couple of weeks beforehand. I was unsure whether or not to take them, but I had them attached to my pack and started using them. I have to say I don’t think I’d have finished without them, the extra help they gave on the climbs, and ultimately anywhere, was invaluable.

Around half way through this section I started having serious problems with my right knee, so between about 30 and 35 miles I ceased being able to run downhill. This kind of helped me keep pace on the uphills, but it was disappointing to be hobbling down descents.

This hilly section was most exposed to the wind, especially along Offa’s Dyke, and I was nearly blow straight off it a couple of times, I reminded myself I’d chosen the hills for ‘interest’ and ploughed on. This section also started to throw up navigational issues, as the orange spray painted arrows seemed absent in places (possibly washed away) and sometimes just seemed plain wrong. Several runners reported going off course. I went off course at one point, but fortunately had my compass and could see a tree line to help with navigation, so got back on track. I switched to relying on my map for navigation.

By the end of the hills, my knee was hurting so much I couldn’t run much even on the flat. I was able to keep a good power hiking pace up, but the 10 mile ‘run-in’ along the canals was really frustrating, as I had the energy to run still, but couldn’t manage more than about 50 metres at a time at most. At the last checkpoint I was in 15th place, but took around two and half hours for the final ten miles and slipped back to 19th in the end, in 11 hours and 42 minutes, with 34 out of 43 finishing the run. It wasn’t the time I was looking for in the run-up to the race, but the combination of weather and my knee meant I was happy just to finish, and in mid-table respectability.

I’m sure the signposting issues will be much improved last year, and the countryside is nice, so hopefully this race will expand in future years. Not sure I’ll be putting my body through it again though…. 🙂

Shropshire Photos

 

Some inspirational running from club members at the London Marathon last Sunday, it was great being able to track everyone and watch the finish live on TV! A big well done to everyone who took part, some big PBs were seen on the day too. Over to Jackie with her superb report.

London Marathon

After battling to get to London, during Storm Hannah on Saturday, things settled down overnight. Runners made their way to Greenwich Park on a cloudy, quite cool morning, with occasional rays of sunshine, spots of rain & blasts of wind throughout the rest of the day .  Ideal cool running conditions made for an amazing race day.  Some great times by Helsby Running Club members.

Richard Hankins    3:21:52
Jane Ashbrook       3:34:01
Rachel Holden       3:42:19
Hayley Brooks        3:58:44
Jackie Keasley        4:04:52
Jason Tate               4:15:07

& the winnners times  …

Kipchoge                   2:02:37  1st man
Mo                             2:05:59  1st Brit
Kosgei                        2:18:20  1st lady
Perdue                       2:25:38   1st Brit

I was running in a charity place, for Team YHA, with a team of 15 including Alex Staniforth (of Everest & West Cheshire fame) who managed a great time of 3:14:19 wearing a quaility street YHA triangle.  He said he was more challenged by getting his costume across London in the wind on Saturday than by wearing it on Sunday!

I set off faster than I intended, taking over a minute off my ParkRun time these days. Feeling comfortable I thought I might as well carry on rather than slow down  & managed to keep going for the next 20  miles before dropping below my typical ParkRun pace!  Stopped at 11 & 17 miles for a quick chat, refuel & photos with Bill & co. At mile 17 I managed to stuff down a huge piece of granola flapjack & jelly babies which lifted my fading pace. The last 6 miles were tough but the sights & the amazing crowds all the way round keep cheering you on,  handing you sweets, drawing you to the finish.

Very pleased with a time of 4:04:52 as I was aiming for 4:30, which is my good for age time! 50th V60 lady out of 331.

It was great being part of team YHA. It added an extra dimension and being in the charity runner start was really humbling, with all the different causes with slogans and outfits about why folk were running.   I’m currently over 80% towards my target of £1500 so there is is still time for you to add to this great fund !

https://www.justgiving.com/fundr…/Jackie-Keasley-London-2019

Here’s some happy memories of the weekend.

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Steve Riley has been playing on the fells again, looked like a great race Steve! Please read on for his report…

Prestatyn to Meol Gyw

Dave Jones and me had a cracking day out on the new Sea to Summit event from Prestatyn to Moel Gyw in the Clwyds. The lowest key marathon ever – free jelly babies and no ballot! Dave played a blinder and came in 4th. Nice warm up for his hundred miler. Cough! Glad we had Sunday’s weather not Saturday’s 😀

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Jake Holmes has sent in an epic race report for an epic race! Thanks for sending in such a comprehensive report Jake, get the popcorn out folks it’s a great read.

Fellsman Race report – Saturday 27th (and a bit of Sunday 28th!) April

What a ridiculous event!

It’d been in my head since January as something I wouldn’t mind having a stab at and at and 3 weeks earlier I was chatting to a guys at a different race who’d done it twice, was in it again and in the same breath telling me how hard it was while trying to persuade my to sign up. A few days of back and forths later and I had!

From their website: “The Fellsman is a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles over very hard rugged moorland. The event climbs over 11,000 feet in its path from Ingleton to Threshfield in the Yorkshire Dales…. the route does not follow well defined footpaths, so the entrants’ skills with a map and compass are tested as well as their physical fitness.” I was after a challenge and reckoned this qualified.

Heading up the night before the weather was poor and getting worse… but that’s all part of it (I kept telling myself). Didn’t stop the butterflies from showing up! There were plenty of checkpoints to duck out at if things went wrong of course but no one wants to do that.

Saturday morning and after the most thorough kit check I’ve ever been through – first aid kit with various bandages, emergency bivvy, 5 long sleeve tops, 2 full length trousers, emergency food and, most importantly, 4 safety pins(??) –  we were bused the hour over to the start and come 8:30am we were off.

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Half a mile in and alongside me arrives they guy who persuaded me to sign up. He’d come with another mate and I thought I’d tag on to see if the pace worked as company for the day would make for a completely different event. It worked well and we were soon up and over the first mountain, Ingleborough, two checkpoints were ticked off and we were heading up Whernside.

Skip ahead a bit and Our first taste of heading straight up the face of a hill, off footpath, was to Gragareth summit. The wind picked up, hail started coming down the size of frozen peas and you realise a bit more of what you’re in for. It was that harsh it was funny and spirits were good as we approached the CP to see the commitment the Marshalls were putting in too!

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From the beginning, total miles and time were irrelevant. It was all about completing and whether it was 12noon or 2pm I couldn’t have told you. The race is broken down into 25 checkpoints and it was all about getting to the next one. They’re on tops, in valleys, at the end of footpaths or surrounded by bog. Some a mile apart, some 7 miles apart.

Over the next few hours, we got well acquainted with bog, more wind and rain (thankfully not too much more hail). The bigger targets became the catered checkpoints which came every so often… with different offerings: sausage rolls, pasta, beans, flapjack, biscuits. You had to carry a cup for hot drinks and my favourite was handing it over, to be given it back full of chilli! Finished that, handed in again for a quick wash before I got my cup of tea 🙂

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Come 7pm, and everyone is put into groups of at least 4 to run through the night. This made Fleet Moss CP17 our checkpoint we’d be grouped at. We decided it was the chance to reset things before heading into the night. Fresh/additional layers, gloves, hat, anything you needed. Because of that coming, I didn’t worry about how cold my hands were getting from the wind and rain and  by the time we got there, I couldn’t pinch the buckle on my bag to get it off… “err.. excuse me mate, do your hands work? any chance of a bit of help”. We’d been in and out of other checkpoints in 10mins top, but we knew to take our time here to get things right again.

We’d been running as a three all day and a girl had joined us a little earlier which meant we had an evenly paced 4 ready to go. Two other guys were waiting for a group though so they were added and became a 6. You’re not sure what you’ll get then, might be someone who’s struggling but not wanting to give up yet, which could make settling to a good pace tricky. Turns out we landed on our feet with a couple of hardy yorkshiremen who’d completed the race 12 times between them. This also meant that instead of having to check the map every time you started to doubt your nav, we had John who just led the way like he could have done it blind folded. Big plus!

The first CP of note after grouping and night arriving was Middle Tongue (great name). We found ourselves at the foot of a big ol’ climb. New guys were pushing the pace and Dave (the guy I knew from previous) was struggling which started to stretch our group out. It was a real of climb. Nature of it all being by head torch and about 5 or 10m visibility meant as the slopes steepened, you didn’t know what you were climbing in to. A steep moorland slope turned into a much steeper rocky face to negotiate round, before a 3m scramble to get over onto the tops. The little tent CP at the top was a very welcome site.

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The next CP, Cray, was a catered one.. a tent we could catch our breath in and have a cup of tea. I had a dry pair of socks in my bag I’d been thinking about most of the day and now was the time. All a bit pointless as I put my feet straight back into the sodden inov8’s but for 2 minutes it felt great :). Dave decided to call it a day here, to be fair, he didn’t look great and there was still another 17 miles to go or something. His pal gave him a suitable amount of stick but it all made sense as there were first aiders about and better to duck out here than have trouble on the tops somewhere.

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After another couple more hours of bog dodging, we got to the only part of the course I knew. I’d done my one recce the week before of the last climb and about 8 of the last 12miles. It was a good call as it meant getting to that had been my target, in my head shortening the route by 10 miles. Get there and I’m on the home straight. Turns out the home straight was about 3.5 hours but by that point no one was dropping out. (It was somewhere along here I started to lose my voice. Not through shouting or even talking that much, I guess it had just had enough of the whole thing and decided to take a break. Made for an interesting first day back at work but it’s pretty much back now).

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The sun started to come up, the birds started singing and we started dropping down off the last fell and back to Threshfield and the finish at 6am Sunday.

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I’d only gone and completed it!

Official results aren’t in yet, but from the tracker.. 330ish started… 100 dropped out (higher than usual due to the weather) and I finished about 135th (which is pretty irrelevant, but top half is always nice).

What a mad event. It’s fair to say I’m still sleeping pretty heavily.

 

Over to Fitzy for a report on the final Borders League at Prestatyn. Congratulations on a superb season in such a tough league, the standard was very high this year so to be battling it out in the top league is testament to the quality runners we have. Huge big thanks to Fitzy for rallying the troops and making sure we have full teams each week!

Borders League Race No. 7

Weds 24th April seen the green army travel over to Prestatyn for the season finale, already in the knowledge that Hannah Cowley had secured 1st lady, but hoping the ladies could put another great performance in and somehow finish champions. Even if the the injured Hannah would have run, I think the Buckley team overall were just a little bit too strong finishing 51 points ahead in the final standings.

There has been some great performances from the ladies this season, but what has most impressed me is the number of ladies now turning up to race these month after month. There have been years gone by were we always struggled for the 4 counters, and have even incurred penalty points in past seasons. It’s not just Hannah who has stolen the headlines this season, Laura BH coming in a very good 2nd place in the FV40, Alison Halsall 1st place in FV45, and Debbie Read 1st in FV60.

I’m not sure if the ladies have ever won the Borders league before, maybe someone can correct me if i’m wrong, but i think the strength and depth now of this team of ladies can definitely go one better next season.

After a difficult start to the season the mens team have got bigger, and stronger each race. I think we all agree that we have never seen such a competitive borders league like this since the days of Froddy back in the 1980’s/90’s. Our bacon was probably saved from relegation when loads of of turned up and showed our commitment over in Anglesey, other teams in the league just could not compete with our numbers that day.

There’s been some fantastic performances from lots of the men this season, but Colin Bishop yet again is my stand out performance winning the MV55 category. I know how much Bish loves this club, even though he’s always moaning, as Jane says “if he’s not moaning he”s not well”

Another 4th place finish 2 seasons running for the men, above teams with quality runners like Prestatyn and Wirral. I think it’s my aim to push us to 3rd next year but with EPRC and Wrexham coming up from Div 2, i think it’s going to be more competitive than ever.

Next season will see us host a race, we are working hard right now to organise this and i cannot wait for October and the season to start all over again. Thank you to each and every one of you who have turned up in your droves month after month, my highlight being the Chester Spring 5 course race, us getting a photo outside the club house and then all walking down to the start. It was like a scene out of Braveheart and us going into battle.

Pre-season training starts in August, rule 4.3 is not in place right now so make the most of it.

See you all soon

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

Tim Palmer has sent over some interesting stats about the borders league, please see below:

This is an analysis of the winning times at Birkenhead Park over the seasons – which shows that these are becoming faster by perhaps a minute over the last 10 seasons or so.

Borders League

 

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Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns. Once again well done to all who took part, it’s great to fly the Helsby flag at these events.

https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721&eventdate=2019-04-20

Phew! That’s all folks, thanks if you got this far. It’s great to see so many reports in the inbox, please keep the coming each week, the email address in helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Keep on running…

Cheers
Col T