Apologies for the late blog this week, we have a few reports in the Helsby inbox so let’s get cracking!
Save the date, the second DIRT event is coming! Can you promote among your clubs please.
DIRT is the Delamere Interclub Relay Trail event, organised by Delamere Spartans. The event is a fun team event, and comprises four loops of between 4 and 8km within Delamere forest with roughly 500m of climb (1650 ft) using established paths and trails.
• Race 1: 5.1k (3.2 miles), 47m ascent: individual runner
• Race 2: 6k (4 miles), 260m ascent (850’): pairs
• Race 3: ~6-8k (4-5 miles) (note distance is approximate: runners will be given numbers of four location posts and asked to collect them in the fastest time: pairs
• Race 4: ‘Park run’: 5km (3.1 miles), 29m ascent: individual runners
The first race starts at 16.00 on Saturday 21 September 2019, with runners tagging their team mates as they finish their leg. Each race starts and finishes by the barrier at the bottom of the main path up Old Pale. Race HQ is the main car park on the left past the visitor centre.
The event is open to runners from Delamere Spartans, Helsby, Pensby Runners, Tattenhall Runners, Spectrum Striders and Wirral Vikings.
Teams can be between 3 and 6 runners, the ideal being 5 or 6. Smaller team mean that runners will have to complete more than one leg! Entry is £2.50 per runner which includes parking.
Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon
Report by Jackie Keasley
Last weekend was the 41st Lakeland Mountain Marathon, this time moving east across the M6 to the Howgill Fells. It was a very hot weekend, especially on Saturday. Fortunately there has been rain over the previous weeks and the streams had quite clean flowing water in which we were able to drink, with so far, no side effects. It was always going to be tough, with steep sided hills leading to fairly flat tops it was quite obvious the planners would not keep us to the ridge tops. 3 ladies pairs entered the Carrock Fell class, Danielle & me, Rachel & Christine + Jane & Anne (from Wirral). So it was always going to be competitive!
Starting at 8:30 on Satuday, we climbed steadily up the 1st hill with Chris BH & running mate Adam (of Ring of Fire Fame) in our sight for the first few minutes, they were doing the harder Scafell Class. A long up followed by one of many long ankle turning traverses, then an incredibly steep down, in bouncy waist deep heather, several topples later we reached one of many sheepfolks nestling in the valley bottom. A steep up the otherside almost to the higest point on the Howgills, The Calf, so steep it was best to use all fours in places. A short section of flat ridge running before, guess what; a steep down, a steep up…& on & on the pattern repeated itself for the next 10 hours! At 3:30 we were at checkpoint 5 of 11, in the baking heat thinking this is much longer & tougher than normal for this class. The comforting factor (in one sense!) was the fact that we were still moving along with plenty of other pairs around us, rather than being Bill no Mates at the back. Just when we were hoping some miracle would happen in temrs of effort, the course took us out of the Howgills, across the Kirby Stephen to Sedburgh A road and onto the high limestone pavements of Wild Boar Fell in the Yorkshire Dales!! Here we caught up with Rachel & Christine (who has started a mnute after us & overtook us before checkpoint 1), with Rachel flagging in the heat & not feeling too well. Lots of teams grouped together at this stage to raise moral & look after each other. Fortunately a series of streams shown on the map, had fresh enough water in (not guranteeded on limestone on a dry day). This perked us all up for the day finale, which guess what, still continued with plenty of up & down right to the end at the overnight camp near Cautley Spout, an idylic spot enjoyed by SLMMs & midges! We finished 6 secs apart on day 1 with Jane & Anne coming in 37min ahead. Chris & Adam had a nighmare day, coming in 4 sec short of being timed out at 8pm. The #Greenarmy were the last to retire to our tents, we sat drinking beer in the marquee comparing our days all agreeing the courses were a tad long & strenuous, even compared to normal.
A good nights sleep & a much more sensible course length on Sunday; a cooler, more overcast day, led to much more managable running. Rachel & Christine navigated & ran well to pull 20 mins ahead of us. We caught up with Jane & Anne & did the last 4 checkpoints together. Chris & Adams nighmare continued with a mispunch at checkpoint. 3 & retirement.
It really was a great weekend honest! Photos attached & a competitor video here to show you the slopes. http://www.slmm.org.uk/#video19
42nd Jane & Ann 9:08:03 6:16:02 15:24:05
44th Rachel & Christine 9:45:01 5:47:30 15:32:31
46th Danielle & Jackie 9:45:07 6:06:34 15:51:41
out of 55 finishers with 22 dnfs.
Chris & Adam 11:14:22 3mp
Tal y Fan Fell Race
Report by Ben Crossley
Saturday 13th July, cloudy, 16 degrees. The perfect conditions for a race. This was my third year on the start line for the Tal-y-Fan.
I was joined with 4 other green vests. Jim O’Hara, Chris Larkin, Jackie Keasley and Sue Buck. Along with the felsby gang, I brought my friend Ted along for his first fell race also. We were ready!
The first 3 miles of this race is up up up! and it pretty much splits nicely in to three parts. You get a mile of an insane 25% road incline to start you off. Its brutal. Really tests your legs and base fitness out. 2nd part is a mile of old roman road. Broken cobbles with puddles, mud and sheep sh!t. Then just when your lungs are about to burst you’re presented with a mile fell climb/ scramble up to the summit.
All three years of this have been a different experience for me. First year I walked it all. 2nd year, thanks to a challenging push by Ben F and JimO I ran it all. This year I sort of held my own with the equivalent of a doggy paddle all the way up. It was tough, but I got there at this point with Jim always in sight of me.
The Tal-y- Fan race is advertised as an 8 miler, but that could differ, depending on what line you take from the summit down to the stone circle in Penmaenmwar. This year it was hard to find that line. The clag had set in, and it was tough to see anything more than a couple of meters in front of you.
From past experience, I knew you had to take an unnatural line, aiming north east across the marsh. So that’s what I did. Praying my internal compass was in check I bounced down the hills and over marsh, the only other thing I could go by was the voices from other runners piercing through the wind and low clouds.
Finally, out of the clag but still bouncing over the marsh I started to see other runners, I had gone right. Well as right as anyone else. Jim and a group of 5 other runners where heading across the marsh and were following the same line as myself… ok, I’ll give Jim his dues here, he was leading the group and I did see him pointing out that we had to go further right to get to the stone circle. (There you go mate.. but that’s all you’re getting).
Everyone was charging full pelt through the circle and down towards the farmers tracks. This entire section is my favourite, you really get to open your legs up for a couple of miles, this is where you can make time up for what you lost with the god-awful uphill struggle from the start of the race.
I’d really started to close the gap between the group, Jim and I and I was still feeling strong, by the time we’d reached the water check point. At this point last year, is where my race was over, I’d completely drained myself. This year, I had more to give, yes, my legs were heavy, my feet were sore, my heart was pounding and my lungs burning, but I was still moving.
I saw Jim take the left turning down the final grass descent heading towards the road. Now Jim is fast on the down hills. I once planted a seed in his head saying I was the fastest in the club at descending, now every run I have done with Jim, I feel he’s made a point to prove that wrong and he didn’t disappoint here. I didn’t think I’d see him again after this and smiled knowing he’d really put that graft in to make sure there was enough space between us both for a home run.
MISTAKE!!! he’d let his guard down. Once, I passed through the farmers gate at the bottom, my foot was down and took on the final road descent as fast as my legs could possibly shift. I could see Jim, every corner I went round, hill I peeped over the closer he got to me, until just by the Ty Gwyn Hotel the gap started to shift, the weather changed, the tidal wave reached its breaking point, the volcano erupted, the clouds broke!! I took him. I felt his eyes shift slightly, he knew it was me and he put his foot down to pull ahead, the young OX had more in the tank.. and I pushed harder, taken the reins of the race and with that fire in me I didn’t let go of the pace. I did it!! I finally bet Jim in a fell race. I was made up… and completely shattered.
You can see the determination in my face in the below picture and the look of a man who knew he’d been had in Jim’s. (I’m talking myself up here, but later speaking with our beloved Mario, he said “yeah, Jim must have been tired” .. hahaha good ol’ Maz bringing me back down to earth.)
The results of the race from the green army were as followed
6th – Chris Larking – 01:13:00
17th Myself – 01:24:14
18th Jim O’Hara – 01:24:35
and Jackie and Sue bring the team back home together in 02:04:00
My Friend Ted sadly finished dead last, in 02:17:00
full results can be found here. http://rowenconwy.org.uk/activities/fell-race/tal-y-fan-fell-race-results-2019/
||Tal y Fan fell race results 2019 – Rowen
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Report by Colin Bishop
Thursday evening saw Whitchurch Whippetts host their annual relay around the lake.
Weather held off to see Danny Ryder set off on the first leg to come home in 5th position, I took over leg 2 pleased to say managed to hand over to Colin Thompson in third position who kept us in third position.
Great support out on the course from Mario, Danielle and Mrs B for providing post race picnic 😁
Please find the consolidated results from last Saturdays parkruns below, a big well done to all Helsby runners who took part 🙂
That’s all this week folks, thank you for all the race reports, please keep them coming. The Helsby inbox is email@example.com.