Thank you so much for all of you that took part in the wobbler, be that running, supporting or marshalling. It was testament to all of you that we experienced another fantastic race and saw so many of you back at the club. Thank you to those of you that filled out the questionnaire on the entry form – let’s just say there is clear demand for a race series, I hope we’ll be able to achieve that in 2016. For further details and to keep in touch please see details at the base of this post. I will also add those to the mailing list that wanted to be kept informed.
Wednesday evening saw the third running of ‘Robbie Webster’s Wobbler’ memorial race. This year was tinged with sadness and shock at the passing of another Helsby club member Mike McShane who unexpectedly passed away the day before. A minutes silence was respected at the start of the race and our thoughts are with Mike’s family and friends during what must be a terribly shocking and sad period.
Spectacular weather blessed the 108 competitors that toed the line for the fiendish climbs and beautiful trails Frodsham hill has to offer. The race stats slightly extended to 5.3 miles and 1220ft of ascent due to the popularity of the event and the narrow first climb.
It was fantastic to see people from so many of the local clubs. We had runners from all of the following: Ambleside AC, Buckley Runners, Helsby RC, Penny Lane Striders, West Cheshire AC, Delamere Spartans, Spectrum Striders, Warrington AC, Tattenhall, Knutsford Tri and Northwich RC – simply fantastic and I saw more than a few inter club rivalries ignited J
Talented Helsby Fell runner Max Wainwright led from the start and held on to take the win and new course record despite relentless pursuit from the Buckley’s formidable Jez Brown (Vet 40 winner). Outstanding performances from veterans Tim knight (V50) and Andy Robinson (V60) saw them take the title – the V50 category appearing the hardest fought with just 9 seconds separating first and second and exactly 3 minutes separating the top 11.
The ladies title was equally hard fought with a superb run by Victoria Walls of Spectrum Striders, hotly pursued by Carolyn Stamper-Clark of Delamere Spartans and the formidable Karen Forster who took the Ladies Vet 50 category and overall Vets trophy. The Vet 40 title went to Suzanne Eccleston and Vet 60 to Steph Charman.
Helsby Men retained the team trophy but in a battle separated by just 7 seconds Spectrum snatch the spoils from Helsby in the Ladies team event.
Sadly we had a number of the markers removed/ taken down and some posts stolen. I marked the course three times with the last round being just two hours before the start of the race, yet a number of key markers were still removed. I’m afraid I don’t understand the mentality. I sincerely hope it didn’t impede your enjoyment of the race and nobody got lost so I was relieved!
Back at the club house Mike Searle gave a touching and humorous eulogy for Mike McShane before prize giving, the odd beer or two back and homemade cakes. The now famous Helsby RC cake bakers did us proud as did the generosity of the runners in donating over £120 to the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake appeal.
We would especially like to thank the Forest Hills Hotel for generously allowing use of their car park and facilities. This is a local, community run event and without support from Forest Hills, the marshals and the cake bakers, this race wouldn’t be a success and there certainly wouldn’t have been over 100 extra smiling faces in Frodsham that evening.
The full results are out: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/results-and-reports/
We’ll be putting up all photos we have on the run Helsby flickr stream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/runhelsby ) and Mick Charman has already got a set up here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/helsby/sets/72157653612534728 so if you have any from the event please contact Steve Riley or me to get details of how you can upload or pass them to us so we can.
See you next year for a wobble!
I always like to improve on things so I’d love to hear any feedback you have on the event, if anything doesn’t work, what really does, would you return, etc. Please do get in touch, it’s all appreciated (positive or negative). I had some great feedback from the registration team so we’ve got plans for a few changes there next year.
Keeping up to date:
I’ve set up a mailing list which can be joined from this page: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2015-robbie-websters-wobbler/ this will be used to keep people informed of the Wobbler and assuming I get it organised, the 2016 trail series which got a resounding ‘yes’ when I asked for interest on the entry forms – thank you very much for taking the time to answer that for me.
I’ll also keep the Blog page up to date just as soon as we set the dates. I’m thinking the first Wednesday of each month for the trail series starting in June, but watch this space.
Just thought I’d drop out an update based upon course conditions last night for all you Wobblers.
I would have to describe the conditions as “Fun” and don’t expect to finish with clean legs.
For those of you wondering which shoes to wear, Trainers with good grip are advised!
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
- Wednesday 3rd June.
- Registration from 6:15-7 pm
- Race Starts @ 7:15pm
- Parking at Forest Hills, Frodsham, WA6 6HH
- Race entry = £5
- Pay on the day
- Cakes and prize giving back at the club house (Helsby Community Social Club) after the race
Full details: Here
24-Nov > 30-Nov 2014
It’s a beast this week!
The incredibly fast glide of Mr. Colin Bishop was on display at the Ravenstonedale 10k. In a strong field Colin came 6th in a time of 36:28. The course featured several hills around a beautiful village. One worth doing according to Colin; that word is law so look out for this one next year road runners!
David Staff Memorial Fell race or Darwen’s theory of evolution – part 2
To start the report, I would beg your indulgence and allow me to paraphrase Darwin’s theory of evolution part 1 (the original) – a load of slow moving creatures moved out of their swamps onto the land, moved over continents into new lands, developed new skills and become a super species- the human.
Darwen’s theory of evolution part 2 relates to the evolution of the next level of super species – Helsby Running club’s ladies in the form of Jackie and Jane. How can they drink the amount they did on Saturday evening, retire to their swamps, emerge on Sunday morning, move over continents (Cheshire to Darwen, Lancashire), learn how to walk / run again and then deliver fantastic results, it is beyond belief. A super species if ever there was one.
Now onto the detail of the race, a short sharp route up from Sunnyhurst woods to the Darwen tower, across the moors, traverse back across the other side of the hill, climb slightly back towards the tower and then let go on the 1 mile descent back to the bandstand in the woods – a kind of fell running equivalent of a 5K – all runnable and nowhere to hide.
……………and by the way there we also some examples of the (slightly less) super species – Helsby men and Helsby supporters in the form of Bill, Jenny, Mario and Joe. Provisional results below:
- 41st – Phil Gillard – 35.34
- 70th – Tim Palmer – 37.40
- 86th – Jane Ashbrook – 39.07
- 96th – Paul Foster – 39.35
- 138th Jackie Keasley – 45.22
Race report from current chairman Jackie Keasley
A quick note on Saturdays Liverpool & District XC. A top class event and amazing to see all the top runners with a huge number of U23 in the field. Results are on local Liverpool & District site and UKA site.
In the end I arrived late and ended up doing the men’s open race instead (I was runner 1294 in the mens race, no name assigned in results yet!), a good thing really as it meant the “men” has a team of 6 in the race! Just short of 6 miles in 3 big laps of Sefton Park. A great atmosphere with a large vocal crowd and race commentary that could be heard throughout the race.
My second and third laps were an incredible contrast but both enjoyable and memorable! I got lapped towards the end of my second lap, but it was an amazing seeing top speed athletes fly past all pushing each other and the finish line with very lively commentary. The third lap saw a hardy bunch of also rans continue around the park, in quiet solitude, an amazing contrast that sums up the full spectrum of running! As the race was won by 2 Scots, whilst steadily running through the beech tree walk at the far side of the park, Flower of Scotland and the Gay Gordons followed by Bay City Rollers and the Beatles echoed out, I’ll remember that for a while!
Chris Fitzpatrick writes:
6 Helsby runners arrived at Sefton Park all in awe of the talent on show for this 9.8km XC, it was a qualifying race for British Athletics cross country team that travels to Bulgaria in 2 weeks time for the world XC championships, Mo Farah and Andy Vernon have ran this over the past few years and Gemma Steel was taking part in the womens race again which she won last year, and yes she won again this year.
Its safe to say we didn’t qualify for the English team and can still take part in the santa dash instead. Great running from everyone, although Jackie fancied running with them elite men instead of the women as she arrived a little late, and as she said “I loved being lapped by the elite men”, think a few of us managed not to get lapped and I even beat CBH 🙂 ( it was actually Adrian) but sssshhhh don’t tell him (Ed: I am outraged, but also pleased as I’m sure Adrian got a faster time than I would have!)
Not quite sure how the results have worked out but there was nearly 600 runners but think the elites have been stripped out of these below?
Former Chairman Andy Smith provides an account of Sunday’s XC action.
A fine, still, sunny autumnal morning made for perfect running conditions for the second cross country race of the weekend. Going firm to soft.
I’ve raced at Arrowe Park loads of times over the years and still have a fondness for it as a cross country course, it isn’t the most technically challenging course, but has enough variety in it to keep it interesting. This year for the first time it the course was run in an anticlockwise as opposed to the more normal clockwise direction which made some differences. Leaving the narrow path through the tussocky grass until later in the lap removed this bottleneck, but the tight turns round the infield straight after the start still made for some jostling for position before the gentle climb to behind the hospital could shake the field out into some sort of order.
With 8 green vests lining up to the start line we had some impressive running from the Green Army; Gaz pulling on his spikes for the first time since he was 14; Colin B fresh from a tough 10 k in the Lake District; Colin T fresh from his new found interest in nordic skiing; Adrian looking fresh from his good run in Sefton Park – myself feeling less fresh from the previous day; and Ian Landucci, Lesley and Vanessa just looking fresh as daisies as always.
Thanks to Jane for support on the course and an impressive array of cakes for afterwards – more than we could eat, despite our best efforts.
Yet to see the results, but I think the combined men’s team were 2nd on the day against some very strong competition on the day. Well done to all the Helsby team.
Steve normally still sends me the results, so I’ll forward then on to you when I get them
Long Distance Trail & Ultras
Dark & White mini Mountain Marathon
Ok, so not a long distance trail or an ultra, but it doesn’t fit anywhere else so here is Andy Robinson’s report from the weekend.
I ran in the Dark & White mini Mountain Marathon in the Peak District yesterday: 4 hours of navigation in thick cloud From Edale & around Kinder Scout. I came in 48th out of 162 finishing teams (teams of 1 or 2 runners), 9th V50 out of 35 teams. Results are here. It was a great event, with everyone’s navigation skills given a full workout.
RunFurther Ultra Championships
After the race we had the AGM and prizegiving for this year’s Runfurther Ultra Championships – I won the V60 category for 2014, full details here. I won a £25 voucher and some running socks. I’ve spent the voucher on more socks – can’t have too many socks. Then I got bladdered with the rest of the committee. I’ll talk about the Runfurther series as part of my talk on Wed 7 January.
Fantastic result Andy, huge congratulations!!!
Peak Raid 3 mini Mountain Marathon
I also ran in this race from Totley, near Sheffield, the weather was better & I wasn’t. I could only manage 69th out of 100.
Ben Williams reports from London where the streets are paved with gold… but what are the parks like? Over to Ben to find out:
I took advantage of a weekend with friends in London to run Bushy parkrun near Hampton Court – the ‘home’ of parkrun. It attracts much bigger numbers than our local runs, but the route is open enough to accommodate everyone easily. The surface was a mix of grass and compacted mud, with very little of the run on tarmac. The most impressive thing is the way that the volunteers deal with almost 1000 runners, especially in the finish area. 23:31 got me 266th out of 964 finishers.
Looking at the winning time I suspect they are a pro in disguise!
Speaking of Pros, Colin Thompson showed his calss to take first in the Warrington Park run – Top work Colin!
|Position||Gen Pos||parkrunner||Club||Run Time|
|266||242||Ben WILLIAMS||Helsby RC||00:23:31|
|Position||Gen Pos||parkrunner||Club||Run Time|
|1||1||Colin THOMPSON||Helsby RC||00:17:44|
|21||2||Joanne LACKING||Helsby RC||00:21:26|
|22||20||Phillip ROBERTS||Helsby RC||00:21:44|
|41||6||Helen OWENS||Helsby RC||00:23:24|
|Position||Gen Pos||parkrunner||Club||Run Time|
|98||21||Shan MCCARTHY||Helsby RC||00:26:49|
|112||27||Claire MORTON||Helsby RC||00:27:24|
|144||43||Louise MCEVELEY||Helsby RC||00:31:02|
|145||102||Stephen WIGGINS||Helsby RC||00:31:03|
|196||69||Jenny ILLIDGE||Helsby RC||00:38:08|
Upcoming races and reminders
Sun 07th Dec. 11am
Name: The Cardington Cracker (Fell Counter)
Postcode: SY6 7JZ
Details: 9m, 800m, a tough but rewarding one around the Shrophsire Hills of the Long Mynd.
Sun 07th Dec. 11am
Name: Tattenhall – Border League Race 2
Details: 9.8K on country lanes, 11am .http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/fixtures/
Wed 3rd Dec Talk after our club training run, with chip buttie supper, in the bar at the Club House. From “Couch Potato to Marathon Runner” by our own Claire Louise Miller. Please let Leslie & Dave know you are coming asap firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Villages – Help Required
We’re currently short of Marshals. The 4VHM is critical to club funds, is why your membership is so cheap and it is the blue ribbon event for the club. Please contact Dave Feakes if you can help out.
Runners please remember it’s unusual for runners to run in their own club’s race, certainly when it is on this scale. Please could you provide a volunteer to help out with the marshalling (friend, family member, etc.) They get a good spectator spot guaranteed!
Don’t worry if you’ve not marshalled before, we will let you have full details of the role prior to the event together with a very attractive marshal’s vest.
Sandstone Trail Challenge open for entries!
Andy has update the website for this popular Helsby Race. 33 and a bit miles of fun is on offer and yes, there are jaffa cakes! One of the best value ultra distance challenges right on your doorstep so don’t be shy, roll up, roll up! http://www.helsbyrunningclub.org.uk/sandstone-intro.htm
Naturally Andy will also be looking for volunteers so if you don’t fancy running it but can help out then the date for your diary is Sat 9th May 2015. Please let Andy know if you can help.
Let’s get active in the community
Helsby Parish Council would like to develop the land where Sherwood Court once stood(by the Library), as a outdoor adult exercise park. They need to do feasibility study, so they are applying for a grant from Active Cheshire to enable them to take this project forward. So please vote and hopefully we can improve this run down area of the village.
Jackie, Betty and Colin, were also out on Saturday promoting Helsby Running Club at the open-morning event supporting the local GP Health Centre PPG initiative called ‘Keeping Well In the Community’ or ‘KWIC’ at Helsby Community Centre.
No, We’ve not idea what Dave is doing either, but it makes for a good photo!
Chris Fitzpatrick, the ringleader for the Helsby Christmas night out shares his drinks report:
Helsby Night out was…well a typical Helsby night out, lots of laughter, lots of drunk people, and lots of great xmas jumpers on show, thanks to everyone who came and had a right old knees up, I hear people are now joining Helsby RC just to be able to come out with us, never mind running.
Lakeland Trails Series
Starting off with a bang this week is a series win for Tim Palmer on the 10km Lakeland trails series; simply fantastic. The Palmer household was not happy just to leave it there though, as Jenny scooped a fantastic 6th place in the vet Ladies and 9th lady overall. Congratulations and very well done indeed!
Park run continues to spread – making the results capture harder, but introducing more courses to play with on a Saturday morning. Great to se so many Helsby vests at these events. Notable mentions this week go to Ellen Harris – making her debut for Helsby in a superb 24:40, Donna Geer and Carl Pratt both bagging PBs and the ever superb Colin Bishop for taking home the win in St. Helens. Well done all!
|Ben Williams||25:04||34||Ellesmere Port|
|Colin Bishop||17:34||1||St Helens|
Penmaenmawr fell race
Celebrating its 40th running, the fell race at Penmaenmawr has a strong following. There were plenty of Helsby vests on display despite the mass panic when we all realised that there was no entry on the day (in fell running it is highly unusual that you can sign up in advance let alone that you actually have to). That was the only unusual thing about this race though as like every other fell race it had fantastically tough but rewarding hills, incredible scenery, varied conditions under foot, beer at the end and fantastic value for money (£10 covered race entry, a lovely ceramic mug, a bottle of real ale, a hot dog and soup and a roll).
The race started off with a rude awakening racing up on to the top, but gradually flattened out as the race stretch out with glorious views across to the Carneddau on one side which took my breath away… ok, so the hill had helped.. and on the other side views out across the sea to Anglesey. The race then crosses some slightly rough ground and bog before returning around over some undulating, but mainly flat ground before the final steep single track descent.
Max gave a hint of what he is capable of by holding 5th position ahead of Jez Brown until the downhill section undid him. A stunning 9th place overall and 3rd in his category, matched only by Andy Robinson who came in 3rd for his age category too.
Phil Gillard and Jim Jones battled it out, but Phil’s rich vein of form saw him through with less than a minute separating them in the end. Steve Riley celebrated his 50th birthday too according to the age categories on the results – you must have a good moisturiser Steve.
|Max Wainwright||01:17:54||9||3rd in Age Category|
|Chris Baynham-Hughes||01:27:25||35||12th in Age Category|
|Phil Gillard||01:31:16||54||12th in Age Category|
|Jim Jones||01:31:56||58||25th in Age Category|
|Steve Riley||01:37:21||86||22nd in Age Category (happy 50th Birthday Steve)|
|Phil Roberts||01:38:18||94||23rd in Age Category|
|Andy Robinson||01:39:02||98||3rd in Age Category|
|Paul Foster||01:50:36||145||57th in Age Category|
Results were celebrated within the traditions of fell running:
Over to Roy for a round up from a half that proves popular with the club year on year despite The Great Orme section (we all know how you road runners like it pancake flat, no wind, not too hot, not too cold, not too much camber in the road, etc. J) – over to Roy before I outstay my welcome:
What a great day for the Conwy half, me, Louise and Joanne travelled to Conwy only to find we were unable able to park and ended up having to park a mile away! Anyway turned out to be a good warm up for a tough race but I won’t waffle on, here are the results:
Great running from everyone on what is probably a tougher course than last year, sadly Jane had to pull out with an injury, so all the best with the recovery.
Well said Roy!
Just to point out the progress of two of our runners here managing to deliver a PB despite the bumps in the way. After a spot of fell running this year Laura confessed that she got to over the first hill and thought, what are they all moaning about, this isn’t a hill… she wasn’t thinking that on the final hill mind! Still Laura managed a fantastic PB and agonisingly close to that sub 1:40 which is bound to come soon. Another fantastic performance from Louise prompting Ste Wiggins to call for a drugs test such has been her fantastic form lately. Well done to all.
Sat 29th Nov Cross Country Counter No 3, Liverpool & District League, Sefton Park, 2pm Note this is a pre-entry race, by 18th Nov email@example.com
Sat 29th Nov Running Club Xmas Night out in Frodsham; theme – Xmas Jumpers, meet at the Helter Skelter at 7:30 pm. For more info ask Chris firstname.lastname@example.org
*** No excuse to miss one of the two Sunday races ***
Sun 30th Nov Cross Country Counter No 4, North West Sunday League, Arrowe Park, 10 am, meet at club at 8:45am if you wish to travel together.
Sun 30th Nov Fell Counter No 11, Dave Staff Memorial Race, 5m, 370m 11:30 am; an ideal introduction to fell running, meet at club at 10am if you wish to travel together
I’m guest in the chair for the weekly roundup and there is a lot to get through so hold tight!
Firstly I’d like to highlight Colin Thompson who was invited to slip into a Cheshire vest this week – fantastic achievement Colin well done (glad to see you’re taking your captaincy seriously and leading from the front).
Secondly, if I have missed anybody/ anything off please let me know and I will update the blog.
There was no Delamere Park Run this week due to Hell Runner, however the third running of the Ellesmere Port Park run saw Jim Jones testing out the course in a superb time:
|14||Jim JONES||20:57||VM45-49||69.85 %||M||14||Helsby RC||First Timer!|
It also saw a welcome return of ‘friend of the club’ Jeff McQueen to take second place.
Warrington Park run saw Alfie Grady take the the course and secure 24th in the process
|24||Alfie GRADY||22:09||JM15-17||60.95 %||M||24||Helsby RC||PB stays at 00:20:56|
Great running both of you!
The “Green Army” shout resonated from its originator at the start of the 2014 edition of Hell Runner. Yes, not content with breaking his rib there last year, veteran runner Fitzy decided to toe the line again; with the gauntlet thrown down it was Jim Higgins that picked it up so he could roll around in Delamere’s best bogs. Report from the Mighty Fitzpatrick below:
Hellrunner is 12 miles of or errrr Hell. It’s a run through Delamere which see’s you run all on trails, take on The Hills of Hell, Lucifers Lake, and the Bog of Doom, but for me it’s my favourite race of the year as it’s totally different to the runs I normally do, and the atmosphere is brilliant amongst 1800 plus competitors. I would really like to see more of the Helsby posse down there next year. A wrong turn and a twisted ankle cost me dearly but never too bothered as it puts a real big smile on my face just finishing this one, and Saturday seen myself and Jim cross the line together, after running separately for nearly all of the race, cannot wait for next year which will be my 7th!
|Pos.||Finish time||Chip time||Participant||Category|
|30||01:56:51||01:56:42||James Higgins||(M) Senior|
|31||01:56:51||01:56:46||Chris Fitzpatrick||(M) Vet 35+|
Ben Williams was not content with the short stuff this weekend and took on the Kilburn Kanter. This is an LDWA (Long Distance Walkers Association) event; runners are welcome at their events and many would argue that without them then ultra running would have a very short history. Over to Ben for his report:
I ran the Kilburn Kanter on 1st November, a 24 mile/3600 foot ascent tour around the Hambleton Hills in the North York Moors national park. It starts deceptively gently apart from one long early climb, and most of the hard work comes in the second half. The biggest climb is up to the top of Sutton Bank, and is only a couple of miles from the end.
The weather was fantastic, though the ground was still pretty boggy in many places. The views were stunning, and as with all LDWA events, the checkpoints were incredibly well stocked with goodies. The whole event was really well organised and friendly.
I recorded 5h 46 m, which was a nice surprise as my Garmin had died on the way round and I thought I had run longer.
These LDWA-organised events are tremendous value – this one had tea and toast at the start, almost unlimited drinks and snacks at checkpoints, a full meal at the end (pasta and meatballs, then apple crumble for me, but there were other choices), parking, certificate, a badge (my first since cubs!), loads of marshals and a detailed route description – all for a tenner! They’re well worth checking out on the LDWA website – look for ‘challenge events’
Fantastic work Ben, a difficult part of the world to run in, but clearly rewarding!
Arley Hall 10k
Sunday saw 10 Helsby vests toeing the line for the Arley Hall 10k… well, 9 9official Helsby vests and a “ghost runner”, but more of that later! Over to Carol Shaw for the summary of the event:
It was a fantastic morning for running and great see so many PBs achieved on the Arley Hall route, Jo Lacking finished first for the ladies and was 13th female overall, with a PB of 42.09. Jenny O’Hare and Shan McCarthy finished just one second apart with PBs of 53.18 and 53.19 respectively. Donna Geer then finished in 55.10 a whopping 2 minute PB! The PBs didn’t stop there as Alison Butler came in 55.50, Tanya Meredith followed in 55.56 and Emma Barnes, who was still struggling with a knee injury kept the PBs flowing in 58.05.
Jane’s training is obviously working wonders and it fantastic to see these results, especially as several of the runners haven’t been running that long. I hope we get similar results next Sunday at the first Borders League Race at Christleton!
For the men, Roy was first back for Helsby in 41:08 and our resident ghost runner (Dave Madders) also ran and delivered a PB of 41.46. He doesn’t appear on the results as he was running with someone else’s number. Tsk, tsk.
|Position||Name||gun time.||Chip time||cat.||Cat pos||gender||Position||Club|
|494||Roy Gaskill||00:41:13||00:41:08||V45||12||Male||126||Helsby Rc|
|777||Joanne Lacking||00:42:48||00:42:09||Female||7||Female||13||Helsby Rc|
|1193||Carol Shaw||00:44:45||00:44:26||V50||4||Female||24||Helsby Rc|
|990||Jennifer O’Hare||00:54:15||00:53:18||V40||28||Female||144||Helsby Rc|
|883||Shan Mccarthy||00:54:16||00:53:19||V40||29||Female||145||Helsby Rc|
|497||Donna Geer||00:56:06||00:55:10||V45||25||Female||186||Helsby Rc|
|191||Alison Butler||00:56:16||00:55:50||Female||103||Female||191||Helsby Rc|
|389||Tanya Downes||00:57:55||00:56:56||Female||127||Female||239||Helsby Rc|
|75||Emma Barnes||00:59:02||00:58:05||Female||144||Female||264||Helsby Rc|
Thanks Carol, although you did miss out one other runner on the day, a certain Carol Shaw who came in a stunning 4th in her category in 44:26. Fab running from all concerned!
Last week saw our very own Colin Thompson received a very well deserved call up to represent Cheshire at the Abergele 5. A really fantastic achievement, not least because it wasn’t that long ago that Col was still putting away a packet of fags every day! I’ve no doubt you’ll all join me in congratulating Colin on the fruits of his hard work… but how did he do? Over to Colin for the details:
It was Friday morning when I received the phone call “Are you running the Abergele 5 on Sunday Colin?”, “Yes”, “Good, you’re in the Cheshire team!” “Oh go on then!”
The race was a representative match between Cheshire, North Wales and Staffordshire, each team consisting of 10 runners, 6 men and 4 ladies with the team scoring the most points winning the trophy. I arrived an hour before the start time and met up with Adrian Thiemicke (Cheshire team manager) and he handed me a Cheshire vest and showed me the portakabin for baggage storage. I then met the other Cheshire runners, lined up for some photos, quick warm up and before I knew it I was on the start line. The course, I’d been told, was a very undulating 5 mile route, starting from the bottom of St Georges Road, looping around the surrounding back roads and finishing in a field adjacent to the A55. The standard of runners was very high, as well being a county race it also incorporated the North Wales road champs.
My strategy was to start off tentatively and gradually build throughout the race, hilly courses aren’t my strength so I knew if I went off too quick I’d blow up too soon. The strategy seemed to work well and I felt good after the first mile so I picked up the pace and it wasn’t long before I caught the leading lady and we battled it out for most of the race, only towards the finish I managed to pull a small gap and crossed the finish line in 28.41, 3rd Cheshire runner home and 3rd in my age group – 15th overall! Both the ladies and the mens course records were smashed on the day, with various other age group records being set. All of the other Cheshire runners seemed to have a good race, 1 in the top 3, another top 10, a couple of other age cat trophies won too. Unfortunately we didn’t win the match, losing out to North Wales, but it didn’t seem to dampen anybody’s spirits, big smiles all round at the award ceremony.
It was a brilliant day and one I won’t forget. I felt very honoured to have been selected for the county, something that was a distant dream when I coughed and spluttered around my first 10k race a few years ago. Thank you to Louise for her support on the day and also my parents who made the journey over, they’ve both never been to watch me race before so it made the day that little bit more special.
Full results here: https://www.abergeleharriers.co.uk/S52k14/rptResult.html
Seriously fantastic running Colin – not the last time you’ll be pulling on the Cheshire vest I suspect!
Now for the grand finale! The Fell running (can anybody tell the editor’s bias?). 11 Helsby vests clearly in agreement that such a splendid day should be marked with a tough 15km and 3000ft beast of a race. A combination of factors had put this race onto the list of Fell club counters for a second year running – the proximity being down the list behind a fantastic course and the smallest of margins that had separated the first three Helsby vests in 2013. With Helsby newcomer and Max “hill eater” Wainwright squaring up to the heavy weight Jimmy “the machine” O’Hara would it be achingly close again?
Finally underway the lack of knowledge of the route from the front runners showed as they missed a turning up the first hill. Some interesting lines were taken on the first descent of the day (I for one deciding to go down the middle of the two lines and finding the worst possible outcome). The wind threatened to make life difficult as we approached Offa’s dyke and turned towards Moel Arthur, but it generously died down for the duration of the race. A thrilling descent was followed by an exhaustingly runnable climb that seemed to never end. The summit of Moel Famau within touching distance the route then took a perilously steep and heather covered descent before the leg destroying climb up the gully to the summit.
Helsby’s cheering squad led by my boys but fully backed up by Laura and Helen Gillard greated us at the top before the final descent back to Clicain. A tough but thoroughly rewarding route with stunning views right the way over North Wales.
What about the race I hear you cry! Well, at the crest of the first hill the race was decided as Max badly rolled his ankle – even still it would have taken a monumental effort and performance to have taken on Jimmy who stormed home in 5th place overall. Jimmy knocked something like 8 minutes of his time from the previous year and showed what a classy season he is having. Fantastic work Jim and well deserved!
Fresh from a bike accident in the week Jayne Joy still picked herself up to take 3rd lady and Rachel also picked up 3rd lady for her category – not bad considering the reluctance Rachel had to get to the start line (typical fell runner!) Jim Jones took 4th place on the day for Helsby having done the double on the weekend (is there a race Jim isn’t at?)
Full results are below showing great performances across the board. For those of you that haven’t tried the fell running I can’t recommend it highly enough – give yourself a challenge and embrace the mud. I can guarantee you won’t be last and will have a great time. All this for a bargain, as Paul Foster put it: ‘… tea,soup,bread and a mince pie at the end all for £6’ couldn’t have said it better myself! Fancy giving it a go? Then why not join in the Dave Staffs Memorial race Sunday 30th Nov – Just over 5 miles and 1200 ft.
|5||Jim O’Hara||Helsby R.C||M||78:40|
|29||Chris Baynham-Hughes||Helsby R.C||M||88:24|
|35||Jayne Joy||Helsby R.C||F||90:09||F 3rd|
|51||Jim Jones||Helsby R.C||M40||94:33|
|55||Max Wainwright||Helsby R.C||M||96:19|
|58||Edward Halliwell||Helsby R.C||M40||96:33|
|63||Phil Gillard||Helsby R.C||M50||97:19|
|77||Andy Robinson||Helsby R.C||M60||102:20|
|99||Paul Foster||Helsby R.C||M||110:10|
|100||Rachel Arnold||Helsby R.C||F50||110:27||F50 3rd|
|104||David Peter Feakes||Helsby R.C||M50||111:47|
Yes it’s that time again, the border league starts this Sunday in Christleton. Full details here: http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/9-nov-west-cheshire/
These are FREE and we’ve been close to promotion so every runner toeing the line is important. They are great fun and highly recommended.
For the rest of the races check out:
Next Fell Counter: Penmaenmawr Fell race (16.1km / 10m, 594m / 1949ft) (Sat – 22nd Nov)
Next Road Counter: Conwy Half (Sun – 23rd Nov)
Next XC Counter: Sefton Park (Sat – 29th Nov) and Arrowe Park (Sun – 30th Nov) FREE
Friday 7th at the Club there will be the annual Helsby fireworks display. Entry is a bargain at just £3 for adults and £2 for children. There will be fairground rides and refreshments available and Chris Fitzpatrick will be there, but don’t let that put you off! Fireworks start at 7:30 pm.
I’ve had a few questions about head torches from the club so I thought I would share my “buyers guide”. The primary thing to get right with a head torch is to be honest with yourself about what you are going to use it for. Get that right and the rest falls into place. Hopefully my musings on the subject can prevent people making some very expensive mistakes. Check out the blog posting here: http://baynham-hughes.com/Blog/?p=868