Helsby RC Racing news! 12-Oct > 18-Oct 2015

Big thank you for the race reports, please keep sending them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com if you wish for them to be included in the round-up each week.

Lots to talk about this week. Please ensure you read the Upcoming events/ requests below so you don’t miss out!

But hold up before we get started, I’d just like to say it was great to see Colin Thompson, our Men’s Club Captain, back in action at the Warrington Parkrun and finishing 2nd in his first Parkrun since late July.

Upcoming events/ requests:
Border league:
Would anyone be interested in getting a mini bus up to Anglesea race track for the Cybi borders league Sun 6th? Due to the distance I think it may put people off but if we had decent numbers then a mini bus could be an option? Send Chris Fitzpatrick a mail if you’re interested please, we might even stop off on the way home for pub lunch and a pint!

Using the Fell running incentive of beer there eh Fitzy!!? You road runners have changed.

Remember, this Saturday (24th October) sees the first Cross Country Counter of the season,  the Liverpool & District league race at Beacon Park near Skelmesdale, starts at 2pm. Post code  WN8 7RU, on the top field.

For those new to cross country (or just scarred from school outings in pants, vest and plimsolls from the lost property bin) I’d really recommend it. It’s fantastic and traditional winter work for the road runners and speedsters out there, there is plenty of mud and some nice bumps to keep the Felsby section interested, and will certainly lay a fantastic base for 2016 season. It’s really inclusive, friendly and fun, so give it a go!

The full list of XC counters are posted here: http://tinyurl.com/pm3oplh

They are also are available via the calendars so link to the calendar and you’ll never need to update it again, those races will just appear by magic in your calendar.https://calendar.google.com/calendar/ical/rkmh3urreto503iteo6ua6b6jk%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

Race calendars:
If you do or are thinking of doing a race that isn’t on the calendars then please let Tim know the details so he can add it for all to see, never know, you might score a car share and you won’t have to shout Green Army on your own. Details are here:  https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2015-16-event-listing/

Don’t know how to put the calendar in to your electronic calendar? Then Google is your friend, just look up: ‘how do I add a new calendar to…’ and add the device or application you’re using; i.e., iphone, google calendar, outlook, etc.

Road Running

No roads this week.

Fell Running 

Felsby @ the Fell relays
The annual Fell Relays took place last weekend and were fantastic as always. It’s like a Christmas do for fell runners; a chance to catch up with friends, see the elite of the sport and come together as a team rather than race as individuals.

 Jackie “David Bailey” Keasley was on hand to record proceedings and struck some outstanding photographer stances as she moved between the final hundred metres and the first hundred to snap us all. The result was this fantastic video which really sums up the day: http://tinyurl.com/pmkroa9  Hopefully we’ll be able to enter more teams in next year, especially following the success of this year’s fell mini series.

Over to Jackie for her report, I’ll add on my favoured memory from the event at the end:

On Saturday the annual UKA British Fell and Hill Relay Championships took place from the quaint village of Barley, which rests in the shadow of Pendle Hill. A very special part of the country, but being Lancastrian I am biased!

The first leg started off at 10:30 from the centre of the village, which was by now host to an encampment of running club flutter flags and tents. A short walk up Barley Hill gave a panoramic view of the change-over area and the start of the other 3 legs; a great location allowing spectators and runners to watch competitors approach the start/finish, as well as the action on the ‘Big End’ of Pendle. Here there was continuous commentary from two local ladies which went on all day! Some said they thought it was me talking when they first heard them!

Weather was cloudy but clear, no rain, the odd beam of sunshine, but a chilly breeze. Excellent for running and with all the shuttles between the village camp (sheltered with hot drinks and food) and Barley Hill (cool and blowy but plenty going on) good for supporters too.  Amazing dedication of Joe and Mario who sat on the top of Pendle Hill ALL day (5+ hours!) cheering everyone on!
Teams of 6 go off in 4 legs, first a solo leg (5 miles), second a paired longer leg (9 miles), third a paired navigation leg (who knows how far it depends on which route you choose!) and finally a fourth slightly shorter solo leg. We had a men’s team and a ladies’ team made up of Jim, Chris & Jimmy, Phil & Phil and Steve plus Jennie, Jane & Laura, Rachel & Lesley and Vanessa. This year because of the compact location the number of teams was restricted to 150 which is about 100 less than normal.
Great running from all with everyone returning saying the terrain and course was fantastic and most enjoyable!  Lots of sweat, smiles and camaraderie all round.
First male team in was Calder Valley (the organisers on home terrain) in a total time of 3:29
First female team in was Ambleside in a total time of 4:11 (48th overall)Helsby Men          81st team in a total time of 4:43 (Jim 48m – 99th, Chris & Jimmy 1:22 – 62nd, Phil x 2 1:33 – 85th, Steve 58m -107th)
Helsby Ladies  130th team in a total time of 5:37 (Jen 52m – 127th, Jane &Laura 1:40 -120th, Rachel & Lesley 2:01 – 129th, Vanessa 1:03 127th)Excellent running and team positions from both teams. Remember amongst the opposition are most of the top fell runners from England, Scotland and Wales! A few notable times for comparison with #Felsby are:-Steve Birkenshaw (of all the Wainwrights in a week fame) ran for Borrowdale Fell runners Total Team Time 3:42 -13th team in, Steve’s time on the navigation leg 1:11 – 20th
Jasmin Paris (who has won the Paps of Jura and most other big races by many a country mile in the last couple of years) and Angela Mudge (fell legend) ran for Scottish Club Carnethy, Total Team Time 4:50 – 87th team in; Angela completed the navigation leg in 1:27 – 75th and Jasmin the final leg in 48m – 39th.

Full results     http://tinyurl.com/o8ovwa8 

Woodentops race photos http://www.woodentops.org.uk/index.php?topic=home&subtopic=morephotos
Brilliant, thanks Jackie. It really was a fantastic event. One top tip from me, just because you’ve arranged a rare childless night as a result of such an event, don’t choose a curry house for a meal out the night before!

As promised, my favoured memory from this year goes as follows:
Jimmy: “You’re doing well Chris, keep at it”
CBH: “Sorry Jim, I can’t seem to get going, just being slow”
Jimmy: “It’s different from running with Col last year as you know you’re s***… I mean your beans… I mean…”
CBH (Dying with laughter inside as Jimmy digs) “Cheers Jim”
Jimmy: “You know to watch your feet, keep your kit tight, look up.”
A good 10 seconds went by before I realised Jimmy meant “your” not “you’re” and was referring to my experience as a fell runner rather than my capability as one. Brilliant.

Cross Country

Don’t miss out on the weekend! opening section for details!

Long Distance Trail & Ultras

More lunacy than long distance trail or ultra, but the lunatic factor parks it right in this section!


Fitzy’s annual obsession with swimming in Delamere’s finest bogs continues with another trip to Hellrunner. Previous winnings from the race for Chris have been a broken rib; how we laughed. Over to the man himself for a round up of the action (or will it be traction this year?):

So I wonder if the committee will vote for this one to be a road counter next season? Hmmmm, not even Phillipa Roberts fancied this one, and to be fair, there’s not a lot of club runners that do this race but it’s one I’ve signed up to every year since it started in 2009. It’s a bit of a laugh, it’s extremely muddy, it’s cold, it’s…well it’s Hellish. You would think a lot of people wouldn’t take this one seriously but trying to keep up with the first 10 or so runners and I soon found out that it’s serious alright. I’m making my excuses now, a week of Man Flu did not help my prep, zero runs all week and 2.5 miles the day before the race which was a really hard 2.5 miles, meant I was going to be nowhere near our new 2nd claim member Chris “CC” Collins who had his Spartans race vest on instead of the mighty green army vest, and was challenging the leaders.

1 mile up old pale to start with, back down through Delamere’s finest trails, onto the hills of hell, lucifers lake (which felt colder than any other year) and then onto the bog of doom, which seemed a lot muddier than previous years, high fiving Degs Styleeeeee spectators and throwing beach balls at them to finish off with a half mile sprint to the finish line. Obviously it wouldn’t be hellrunner without an injury or 2 and a twisted knee and ankle didn’t disappoint and can go on the list along with broken ribs

Defo one that I would like to see more Helsby runners do, if not just for a laugh, or maybe as a charity club event maybe, I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any. And to think I missed the fell relays for this!

Results below, sorry if I have missed you

4th Chris Collins 1hr51m18
52nd Chris Fitzpatrick 2hr10m33
58th Jim Higgins 2hr12m37
611th Leah Binns 3hr19m16
1397 Tanya Downes 5hr00m06

Park Run

As mentioned earlier, it was great to see Colin back. It certainly helped Tim Palmer who managed to keep Col in sight for about the 1km; and admits that Colin was so inspirational that he helped Tim to run a new Parkrun PB! Fantastic work Tim, well done! Photos of both Colin and Tim are available on the Warrington Parkrun FB page and they will both be around for autographs at the next Wednesday night session. 🙂

Full details of all Park runners can be found here: http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721 

Tim was also the sole Green Army representative at the Birchwood Lunchtime 5k charity race – see:http://tinyurl.com/ow596l8
This race is organised by members of Spectrum Striders and follows their Forest Park Ladies 5k course and they come highly recommended.

Robbie Webster’s Wobbler 2015 – Race report

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.

RD’s report:

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.


Wobbler Update

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!

Race details

  • 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 



Helsby RC Racing news!

24-Nov > 30-Nov 2014

It’s a beast this week!

Road Running

Ravenstonedale 10k
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!

Fell Running 

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


Cross Country

Sefton Park
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?

Place Name Name Time Gen Notes
49 Chris Fitzpatrick 00:38:03 M Nearly sick
93 Jim Jones 00:41:38 M
108 Chris Baynham-Hughes 00:43:41 M Adrian
125 Steve Riley 00:45:43 M
138 Andy Smith 00:47:51 M
147 Jackie Keasley 00:51:18 F Top 10

Arrowe Park
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
1 1 Unknown ATHLETE Unattached 00:16:08
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 davidfeakes1234@btinternet.com

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.

Community Corner

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.

Xmas Drinks

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.

Helsby RC Weekend Round-up 17th – 23rd Nov 2014

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
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!

Name Time Position Location
Dave Madders 21:41 26 Delamere
Janet Robertson 23:48 58 Delamere
Ellen Harris 24:40 67 Delamere
Jane Ashbrook 24:41 68 Delamere
Lesley Feakes 26:13 82 Delamere
Shan McCarthy 27:13 96 Delamere
Donna Geer 28:26 113 Delamere
Jen O’Hare 28:27 114 Delamere
Paul Bulmer 34:25 183 Delamere
Louise McEveley 34:26 184 Delamere
Jo Farwell 34:27 185 Delamere
Ben Williams 25:04 34 Ellesmere Port
Colin Thompson 18:01 4 Warrington
Carl Pratt 21:21 20 Warrington
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).
 Warming Up.

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:

Conwy Half
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:

Roy Gaskill 1.34.19 235
Gareth Boyd 1.36.45 322
Joanne Lacking 1.36.53 325
Louise McEverley 1.38.55 403 PB
David Feakes 1.39.27 421
Laura Baynham-Hughes 1.40.03 438 PB

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 mooeyf@hotmail.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 fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com
*** 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

Helsby Running Club Weekly Update 27/10 – 2/11

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.


Park Run:

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!

Hell Runner:

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+

Kilburn Kanter

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!

Abergele 5:

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!

Clwydian Hills:

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.

Position Name Club Class Time Notes
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


Border League!

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


Helsby Fireworks

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.

Extend your season wisely! The ins and outs of head torch selection

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