Weekly round-up 14th Sept to 20th Sept

 

Firstly some great news from 4 Villages Half Marathon race director, Laura Baynham-Hughes

Amazing news – the 4 Villages Half Marathon has been voted the best half marathon in the North! Thank you to everyone who helped get people voting – £1k prize and promo in Runners World is a great result! We open for entries on 1st October 2020 – online entry here https://helsbyrunningclub.niftyentries.com/Four-Villages-Half-Marathon-2020.

This year we are also the qualifying race for the England Athletics Masters Team – more info here https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/england-competitions/england-teams-and-selection/england-age-group-masters/half-marathon-masters-team-opportunities/

We are having a 4VHM Team meeting on Wednesday 16th October @8pm at the club. If you would like to get involved in this year’s race please come along or drop me an email https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721if you are interested but can’t make the meeting (Laura@baynham-hughes.com). The more people that help the better – we want to make sure we live up to our ‘Best Half Marathon’ accolade.

Paul Cunnigham sent this report on from his amazing adventure on Offas Dyke

Offas Dyke is a large linear earthwork that roughly follows the current border between England and Wales. The structure is named after Offa the Anglo-Saxon King of Mercia from 757 until 796AD who is traditionally believed to have ordered its construction.

The Dyke is approx. 181miles in length and roughly 80 km of the dyke can still be seen today – enough History.

The morning had arrived – four trains and 5 hours later myself and Gaz O Connor arrived in Chepstow meeting up with Dave Jones and Trisha Clements at registration – well this was  after we had taken a wrong turn out of the station and walked approx. 1.2 miles in the opposite direction carrying four days’ worth of kit – Gaz even managing to lose his waterproof jacket all before registration.

A short coach trip took us from registration to  a rock situated at the top of a small hill signalling the starting point of the Offas Dyke.

You receive a small coin at this point to carry with you along the Dyke and at the finish you give back your coin – if you don’t finish you have to keep hold of the coin and return two years later and try again – I liked this concept but definitely didn’t want to hold onto the coin for a few years.

The race started Friday 8pm and the four of us decided to run together for the first few miles – Gaz had completed the race two years previously so I was in good hands and we started at a nice comfortable pace – before I knew it we had run 19 miles and into our first CP Monmouth  – the facilities were good Hot and Cold food and drinks at hand – I think here we just replenished our drink containers picked up some food and out the door within 15 mins.

Headed out towards Pandy and here entered some woodland and under torchlight we seemed to move really well once more across the ground – running at night is a magical experience and something that I do enjoy – Dave and Trisha seemed to be in their element and were soon out of sight and running away from us quite easily.

Entered Pandy Village Hall 36 miles completed and starting to feel like the race is now underway.

Stayed here for a Mug Shot and a warm brew before leaving and out towards Hay on Wye

Out of Pandy is the first noticeable steady climb which takes you onto the Brecon Beacons The Black Mountains – this is the highest part of the course.

There is a harvest full moon in the night sky really bright and illuminating the surrounding area Im at peace with the world.

Dawn is approaching and the sun is ready to show itself from below the horizon – a splash of red covers the sky to our right yet the full moon is still on our left and doesn’t want to leave – a battle commences between both lunar objects fighting for the sky – we take a minute and say nothing just staring – how lucky I thought to be here right at this moment to witness this awesome spectacle  – the sun eventually wins and a large shadow is cast over  the mountains – The Black Mountains aptly named.

52 miles completed as we enter Hay on Wye Parish hall – this is a major CP so we have our drop bag with all our personal belongings – first thing I notice is some runners are sleeping taking a break – I suppose we have been up for more than 24 hrs but myself or Gaz are not ready for sleep.

I complete some foot care and change into a new set of running attire – bacon sausage and egg batch hot brew and away we go.

It’s going to be a hot day – another really nice running section and we are soon into our stride – unfortunately after a few miles Gaz doesn’t seem to be moving as well as previously and takes a hard fall – I heard the thud and hoped he would be ok –  Gaz battled on for a few more miles but then insisted that I go ahead and run my own race as he was unsure how his was going to pan out – that’s Gazs story so I’ll leave that there.

I checked myself over and felt great – time to open up the legs and I really did enjoy the next few miles – in and out of CP4 Kington Markwick Hall 68 miles and onto Knighton – between these CPs I met up with 3 guys from Holland Maarten Martino and Franscio whom we had nicknamed The Euro Express earlier due to their effective strategy and how quickly they moved between Checkpoints – they allowed myself to run the next 15 miles with them into CP5 – now here is where you make your first real make or break decision – we are 82 miles in and extremely tired – do you push on through the night into Montgomery completing the hardest section of the race 18 miles roughly taking 7 hours or do you rest up and attack later.

My Plan A was always to try and get to Montgomery 100miles without any sleep – I decided to have 1 hrs rest at Knighton and kick on – leaving the checkpoint approx. 02.00am I was ready to see what I was made of – I soon found out – jelly that’s what I was made of the hills were relentless – not huge 1500ft climbs but continuance short steep 400 footers that really got you blowing out of your backside – the descents aren’t any easier and the burning through your quads as well as feet keeps you focused.

Also through lack of sleep the hallucinations started – I saw people – clowns – scare crows – monkeys – a bear – pythons a skeleton tried to give me flowers – nothing scary but if honest quite enjoyable and got me through the next long hours – I arrived in Montgomery shattered and ready for sleep.

Montgomery another major CP – CP6 so my drop bag was waiting – again change of clothing sorted feet out fed myself and hunkered down in a quite part of the Activity centre for 2 hrs rest – woke up more food replenished my own stocks and onto LLanymynech.

My reward for running through the night is I know the next 20 miles are quite flat apart from one or two climbs to Buttingham – I knew this section as Christine Roach had kindly showed us around a few weeks earlier as herself – Sue Buck – Danielle Ryder – Debbie Read and Jackie Kearsley had done most or all of the Offas Dyke over the previous months – when I was meant to leave the dyke to locate CP7 LLanymynech Village hall I somehow missed my exit and completed my first large navigational error – took me almost 5 miles and over and 80 minutes to put right – I was feeling punchy and decided that another sleep was definitely required.

Chippy tea provided wolfed down personal care taking care of and 90 minutes rest.

This next section onto Froncysyllte  – the rest has done me good and again im running really well and enjoying myself – here I meet up with a Becky Wightman whom had won the 100 miler two years previously – great girl really chatty and kept my spirits high – Becky was powering over the ground and was killing the navigation – I felt like a passenger – unfortunately Becky somehow had pulled a muscle behind her right knee and struggled instantly – the ultra-running community is a close one and ive quickly learnt that you stay and help out your fellow competitor as one day it could be you – Becky didn’t complain once and dug in – I was totally impressed and later found out that she works as a full time fireman – made of steely stuff that girl.

Froncysyllte is where the famous aqueduct is situated and is a marvel of engineering – it is now Monday morning and getting to close to 60 hours since we started this epic adventure.

Having plenty of time to think or not to think is a cracking way to find out alitle bit about yourself – your innerself and if honest I believe I am a decent person whom likes to treat people how I wish to be treated  – I like me –  life is for living – don’t get hung up on minor things or any things for that matter – enjoy what you have and show love and compassion to all.

Leaving CP8 138 miles in this is when I knew I was going to finish this race  – I powered into llandegla taking approx. 3.5 hrs to complete the 12 miles – I was on fire ha-ha – Llandegla last major checkpoint CP9 where we had access to our drop bags – beef stew and crusty bread for breakfast taking my footwear off I could see two large blood blisters that had appeared on the side of my feet – my feet started to feel really hot and I couldn’t sooth them – medic takes a quick look but wouldn’t allow me to burst blisters in fear of infection – more tape and plasters but knew the next 30 miles home maybe difficult – also this is where I also found out that Trisha had taken a heavy fall also a day or so ago and was no longer in the race – she was first lady at the time – Dave retired at same time I believe – devastating news and Im sure they will be back in two tears time.

Knew this next section between llandegla and Bodfari as only run  it a couple of weeks ago – I was moving slow and this was my lowest point – 150+ miles into a race and first low point – I’ll take that any race – anyone who’s run this part of the Offas dyke knows there are a few nice climbs and the views are spectacular – as I was climbing up to the fort top of Moel Famau I heard my named called  -it was Jackie – yes Jackie actually in this country I couldn’t believe it – I took a big hug and wiped the tears from my eyes – I was extremely emotional and was more than happy for the company – Jackie lifted my spirits no end and before I knew it we were at Moel Arthur where Becky was waiting at the bottom with refreshments and croissants – I had only left Becky less than 24 hrs ago as she dropped out of race and now she’s supporting instantly – what a girl – I started to tell Jackie a story about Becky when I had totally got Becky and Story mixed up and knew I was confused alitle more tired  than I thought.

Soon I was back on my own heading towards final CP when approx.. 4miles out another friendly face – Jake Holmes had decided I was moving too slowly and wanted to kick me in the backside – soon enough we were in the Bodfari CP and the heat from the log cabin was just lush – medic looks at my feet tells me I don’t have any more blisters and tapes up a few issues – I could of carried on through the night as only 12 miles remained but I wasn’t getting picked up until 10.00am Tuesday morning  – so I fed my face and bedded down for a solid 7 hours – 7 hours of the most wonderful sleep I have ever had – I left CP10 with a guy from the South – Ashley Ward and we shared our life stories to each other as if we had known each other for a lifetime – the coast was now in sight as light took over from the darkness – another beautiful morning without another sole in sight – we felt alive and so lucky – Ash and myself jogged into town to be met by friends – family – and the volunteers and crew who had made are dreams and ambitions possible.

We touch the finishing rock situated front of the Nova centre in a time which is totally irrelevant 84 hrs 22 minutes  and my first thought was………This wasn’t a race it was an adventure and I cannot wait for the next one

Full parkrun results for Helsby runners are below, including a Helsby 1-2-3 in the men’s race at Phoenix Park

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

Cheers
Gaz

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Weekly Roundup from Monday 9th to Sunday 15th September

Here’s the latest race reports from last week and reminder from Chris. Thanks to everyone who has sent one in. 

Please keep sending them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Thanks.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Message from Chris Fitz

 

Less than a week to go before the DIRT relays in Delamere. They start at 4pm so if we could get to Delamere car park just past the visitors centre for no later than 3.30pm that would be great. £3 per person 

Confirmed so far

Jackie Keasley
Sue Buck
Mildred Thehen
Tracy Woods
Jane Ashbrook
Alison Halsall
Helen Owens
Christine Roach
Debbie Read
Lesley Feakes
Rachel Arnold

Laura Baynam Hughes

Myself
Stephen Wiggins
Davyd Michell
Paul Frodsham
Colin Thompson
Ian Rutherford
Richard Hankins
Benno Mace-Crossley
Ian Llanduci
Dave Feakes
Peter Rodriguez

One more please?

 

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

 

 

Bacchus Half Marathon 8th Sept

 

I had heard of races set in vineyards in France, which sounds lovely but a bit of a trek to get there, so when I discovered that there are also such races in Surrey, I booked myself and Jason in straight away! This event was held at Denbies Vineyard, along with 10k or Marathon options, depending on your fitness / drinking propensity. With 5 wine-tasting drinks stations on offer, the Half seemed like a good distance to do. As we knew people locally, and were invited to dinner the night before, we ended up getting some practice in with a bottle of red between two of us. This kind of felt like training for this particular event. 

 

On the day, the weather was perfect – cool but sunny. The estate itself is stunning, really beautiful set in rolling countryside. We’d not factored in a lot of elevation – of course when you think about it vineyards tend to be set on slopes though – so this was a 1,500 feet of elevation race! Apart from all the wine on offer around the course, there is also a focus on fancy dress which we’d not really appreciated when booking, but will definitely go for it next year. There were people dressed as bunches of grapes, butterflies, a strawberry, a rhinoceros, various superheroes, the 118 runners, robbers, aliens and nuns, and a rather eccentric man who had an inflatable doll and was insistent that everyone high-five his blow-up lady friend 😮  Obviously everyone was terribly polite and obliged, then scarpered off quickly through the grapes. Here we are at the start looking quite sensible:

 

 

At each drinks station there were samples of the various wines produced by the estate, with a lovely sparkling wine at the first station. (Non-alcoholic was available, but we weren’t there for the water!). Jason and I asked a helpful volunteer to take a picture of us at each drinks station – and a friendly lobster took our picture at this one, then asked if we could return the favour as her pincers made taking selfies quite tricky. There was music playing, which you could hear along the course so far, all helping to create a very jovial atmosphere.

 

The first few miles were running up and down hills in grassy vineyards, then we started to move away from the main estate and into a forest, where drinks station number two was located, along with a tartan-clad gentleman playing some bagpipes. Here was some cheese and a still white wine on offer.

Out of the forest, the terrain became dry and chalky, along grassy tracks and stone paths through the top of a beautiful valley with gorgeous views, eventually to drinks station number 3, with another white, and various energy bars on offer. Whilst Jason used the portaloos, I made use of the wine tasting (amounts weren’t limited) and sampled a fair bit. There was a live band playing here too, and no-one was really hurrying to get on with the race. 

 

Not far along from here was drinks station number 4 with a lovely rose and more of a country-music type band. [Jason was actually wearing suncream, I think it’s just a dodgy picture. But look at those lovely tasting cups of rose!]

 

Through more forest, where munchies set in and I had to have some emergency jelly babies to keep me going, and eventually we came to the top of the estate, which was stunning, set high up overlooking the main buildings, and with the last mile entirely downhill. But before that was drinks station number 5 with a cheeky red and more sparking white, with all sorts of tasty samosa type snacks and another live rock band.

 

We lingered for a bit, then ran to the end, earning a disgraceful half marathon time (though actually our running time excluding the stops was around 2 hours 20 which isn’t too bad considering we were non-too sensible by the end!), a t-shirt, medal, hog roast and drinks voucher for… more wine! We basked in the sun for a bit then dragged ourselves off to start the trek home. 

 

If you want to do something a bit different, perhaps as a group, in fancy dress, as serious or not as you want to make it, and enjoy a trail race in a beautiful setting, this could be the race for you! It was one of the most fun running events we’ve been to, and despite the quite long travelling time, we definitely want to go back next year.

 

 

Essar Guilden Sutton 10k 15th September

 

Several of us gathered at the Essar Sutton 6 – a number of us regular participants in this speedy 10k. It was a bit damp when we set off but stayed dry. It’s a great easy to get to and cheap race. There’s two laps of a loop then a wider route along the roads around Guilden Sutton. I am always grateful for the gentle downhill on the 7th Kilometre but the last 2k are hilly..

 

 

Great result for Hannah who came first (of course!) and also achieved a PB. Many congratulations to her.

 

 

Although the course undulates it seems to yield really good results. We also achieved first place in the Ladies team. Great results for the fellas too.

 

Well done everyone.

 

 

THAT’S ALL FOR THIS WEEK – KEEP SENDING THOSE REPORT IN!

Helsby RC weekly round-up. Monday 2/9/19 to Sunday 8/9/19.

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to those of you who have sent something to the inbox. Please remember to send any contributions to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Firstly I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Karen Bell and Peter Causton who I understand have recently joined us. Looking forward to running with you both  sometime soon.

Upcoming Events

A reminder that there is loads coming up over the next week. See the snapshot of our club calendar below, or view the full calendar at: https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/helsby_rc_calendar-31-07-2019.pdf

Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 19.56.13

Also thanks to Janet Robertson for sending in details of a new local race coming up in November:

Save the date … Weds 20th November

Marbury Night 5 

Northwich Running Club have come up with a great idea to give a bit back to the North West XC League running community.  They are planning a new 5 mile night race that has the feel of a Club XC with mud, hilly bits, woodland and a bit of water as well as team prizes. Headtorches will be essential.  The entry fee includes refreshments afterwards and is being offered at a discounted price of £6 to members of clubs that run in the NW XC league – so that includes Helsby!    Entries are not open quite yet but save the date.  Hope that lots of you are interested – it sounds like a fun event!

Racing News

Wirral 10k – Sunday 8th September 2019

Thanks to Karen Horsley for sending in a report from the Wirral 10k. Well done everyone who ran – some awesome results for Helsby!

“Pre-race nerves or excitement had me awake at 2.30am and I didn’t manage to achieve much sleep after that, however a hearty breakfast set me up for the race.

Wirral 10k (and half marathon) was blessed by the running gods today as the weather was perfect for racing. Early sunshine became grey skies as the start time approached and the majority of runners will have completed the 10k before the sun made a second appearance. The half marathon runners will have had more sunshine to contend with but at around 17 deg C at least it wasn’t too hot.

Logistically the race was great, with plenty of parking which was near the start line, a good number of portaloos, and the distances helpfully marked in both km and miles.

Knowing there was a real possibility that I might struggle to make the distance I began at a steady pace, however on reaching the 1km marker and feeling good I kept going to the 2 mile marker where I took a short walk break before running on to the half way point. The first 5k I completed in around 31 -32 minutes. A brief stop for water and I was off again. The second 5k was more difficult, but then I’d expected that it would be so was prepared to run/walk as I needed. By around 7k my leg was starting to ache more, but as it was an out and back course I had to make my way back to the start/finish line one way or another so carried on but at a slightly slower pace.

The half marathon route followed the same first six miles with the 10k runners taking a left at the clown roundabout to head to the finish. What a welcome sight it was to see the clown sculpture as I made my way along New Brighton promenade, and knowing that the end was close. I even had enough in my legs for a little sprint finish (albeit a slow sprint). I finished in an official time of 01:07:11 which was the sub-70 minutes I had hoped for and didn’t collapse with exhaustion on the finish line. All in all a good result!

The only downside to the race is that there wasn’t a great deal of spectators on route, I rather like being cheered on by random supporters and sadly there wasn’t much cheering happening.

But my first of three 10k races in September is now ticked off and I totally deserve a couple of days of rest.

Helsby Results

Well done everyone on some great running!

  • Richard Hankins 00:39:37  – 9th male and 1st in age cat
  • Trevor Lewis 00:43:37  – 19th male and 2nd in age cat
  • Geoff Shaw 00:51:08  – 1st in age cat
  • Kai Horsley 00:54:42
  • Janet Shaw 01:04:02 – 2nd in age cat
  • Karen Horsley 01:07:11″

Northwest Road Relays – Sunday 8th September 2019

Thanks to June Swift for sending in a report on behalf of the Ladies Team at the Road Relays from Sunday:

“SILVER for the Ladies at the North West Relays
Sunday epitomised what running for Helsby RC is all about….working together as a team and encouraging each other to push outside our comfort zone and improve. We put on our green vests and ran our little legs off and were rewarded with a SECOND Cheshire team and NINTH team overall out of a field of 51 teams from across the North West.
Hannah led the charge with a storming run clocking up a new PB (17.37). Even after taking a tumble (due to Fitzy’s distracting Hannah on a hair pin bend – tut tut!!) Hannah showed true grit (pardon the pun!) and jumped back up to take third fastest lady overall – amazing! Tracy (aka the running machine) had a fantastic run showing her strength and determination to not let her nerves get the better of her and brought the team home in 14th place. I was on last leg and nearly missed Tracy’s handover as I was too busy nattering – some things never change! I managed to chase down a few teams (including my old club Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton AC) and crossed the line in 9th place overall.
I’m so proud of both Hannah and Tracy for putting on their green vests, fastening up their laces and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone.  We were all super nervous at the start line but together we supported one another and together we succeeded. The future is looking very bright for Helsby Ladies – together we can achieve great things!  
Let me know if you need any pictures and I can send them across.
Cheers,
June”

Parkrun

Well done all everyone who did a park run at the weekend. Our consolidated club results can be seen HERE

That’s all for this week. If anyone still has something to contribute from the weekend then please do still send it in and we will include it in the next round-up.

Cheers,

Jim

Helsby RC weekly round up 26th Aug to 1st Sept

Welcome to all readers and welcome to the start of autumn bringing with it lots of club events to get involved in.

Sunday 8th September is the North West Road Relays, this year being held at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk.  Men in teams of four with each runner completing 5km, and three runners in the women’s teams again running 5km each.

Then on Saturday 21st September, the second DIRT event is coming up, and as reigning champions in both the mens and ladies categories, we would love it if we can muster up 2-3 teams. Ideally a mens, ladies and possibly a mixed team. All details below. Please email me at fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com or drop me a message on Facebook to register your interest and I’ll sort the teams out. It was a brilliant event last year, and there are a few new clubs included this year so it looks like it’ll be good fun.

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.

* Thank you Fitzy for the above info!

Also coming up:

  • the Wirral Multi-terrain series on Tuesday evenings through September
  • L&D cross-country league starting Saturday 12th October
  • Border League starting Sunday 13th October
  • North West cross-country league starting Sunday 20th October

Finally, Steve Riley has shared via facebook the great news that we’ve been nominated for the ‘Best Half Marathons North‘, you can vote for the 4VHM using the below link.

https://www.letsdothis.com/challengeawards/best-of-the-uk/half-marathons-north

Thank you.


Mid-Cheshire 5k (summer)

Eight Helsby runners took part in the summer 5k in Kingsley on Thursday 29th August, results as below.

Hannah Cowley  17:50
Daz Sankey  18:06
June Whitehead  19:06
Trevor Lewis  20:29
Rachael Holden  21:59
Neil Fergusson  23:35
Chris Morgan  26:31
Karen Horsley  31:59

Parkrun

Please find the consolidated Helsby RC results for last week’s parkrunners, well done to all, as well as those who volunteered on Saturday.

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

That’s all folks, this blog comes alive through your contributions, so thanks and keep the reports coming.

Email to: helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Happy running!
Karen 🙂