Helsby RC weekly round-up from 8th to 14th April 2019

Hello Green Army

A little bit behind with the blog from last week, apologies, it’s still the weekend in theory so you can forgive me. Gaz will update you with another one in a few days i’m sure.

A few notices first of all, it’s Border League race 7 on Weds. It’s a 4 mile race so it’ll be a quick one and the presentation is afterwards with hopefully some coming home to Helsby. Would be great to finish off the season with another great turnout. Details below

Race 7 19:30 Wed 24 Apr 2019: staged by Prestatyn RC, Ffrith, post code LL19 7AR.

We are having our annual curry night this Friday 26th, after the Mid Cheshire 5k, let me know if you want to join in, plenty of time to get home, and get showered and changed and back out again. Booking the table for 9.30pm at India Garden. Contact me on social media or fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com

Thanks for Richard Hankins sending in a report. 

I love the Lakes and will generally take opportunities to get out there for a day. A friend of mine suggested we meet up for this race: we’ve done two other races in the series over the last couple of years and I liked them both. The weather was cold but clear so I took the opportunity to get the motorbike out and travelled the scenic route via the ferry to Hawkshead. There are a series of races on the day with the 10K trail race the best attended. A small event site was established on the recreational fields with a range of traders, food stall, loos etc. Inov8 were there selling their shoes and if you wanted to try them out you could wear a pair in the race and return them after.
The route is hilly, to say the least, rising from Hawkshead up to Claife Heights and then down onto the banks of Windermere. It was at times very rocky underfoot and only two weeks before London Marathon I was nervous of injury and really took it easy in some sections. There were a few fallers who were quickly picked up by Coniston MRT who were out on the course. The initial section was paths but later opened up to wide runnable forest trails. At 13km there is a long (approx 1m) very steep incline. The organisers call this the coffin trail and it was adorned with rather naff skeletons and images of coffins. After that the last 3K are fast, fun downhill.
This is one of the races I’ve most enjoyed. The views were glorious, the weather perfect an the atmosphere was good. I wasn’t particularly fast at 1:28:45 and 46th out of 150. But for once, the point wasn’t to be quick…it was to enjoy the run and come back in one piece. I reckon I might be back for this race next year.
helsby 1
Would be good if a few of us could get back to this one, sounds great
Wed 10th April see a huge turnout for the Chester Spring 5 which was the 3rd road counter of the season. 
Colin Bishop ran a great race finishing 1st from the Helsby contingent, but is not on the results below, i think due to being 2nd claim, still a quality performance, i believe one of the fastest in the country in his age group this year. Hannah Cowley finishing 1st lady, another excellent performance on the night. Janet Robertson came 3rd FV50, Debbie Read came 2nd FV60, and Jackie Keasley came in 3rd FV60. Well done tyo call that ran greats races.
26 28:03 312 chris fitzpatrick Helsby Running Club 28:02 26 Male 26 Male Vet 40 8
27 28:12 300 Hannah Cowley Helsby Running Club 28:12 27 Female 1 Senior Female 1
87 32:29 305 Richard Hankins Helsby Running Club 32:19 87 Male 81 Male Vet 45 12
107 33:12 319 James O’Hara Helsby Running Club 33:08 110 Male 100 Senior Male 40
121 33:41 50 Davyd Michell Helsby Running Club 33:35 120 Male 113 Male Vet 40 25
132 34:19 332 June Whitehead Helsby Running Club 34:13 131 Female 11 Senior Female 5
150 35:05 267 Ian Landucci Helsby Running Club 34:55 147 Male 134 Male Vet 55 7
168 36:16 401 Benjamin Tumilty Helsby Running Club 35:51 163 Male 147 Senior Male 50
183 37:28 299 Helen Owens Helsby Running Club 37:04 181 Female 26 Female Vet 40 4
184 37:31 218 Rachael Holden Helsby Running Club 37:06 182 Female 27 Female Vet 35 5
198 38:02 301 Gary O’Connor Helsby Running Club 37:37 194 Male 167 Male Vet 50 22
203 38:12 77 Roy Gaskill Helsby Running Club 38:04 204 Male 172 Male Vet 50 23
219 38:40 395 Janet Robertson Helsby Running Club 38:30 219 Female 36 Female Vet 50 3
227 38:59 17 Mike Barnard Helsby Running Club 38:48 229 Male 187 Male Vet 45 26
234 39:18 91 Carol Shaw Helsby Running Club 39:09 238 Female 42 Female Vet 55 4
241 39:29 167 Geoff Collins Helsby Running Club 39:18 242 Male 196 Male Vet 60 14
242 39:29 47 Kai Horsley Helsby Running Club 39:00 234 Male 197 Under 20 Male 10
244 39:30 89 Debbie Read Helsby Running Club 39:21 245 Female 47 Female Vet 60 2
299 42:39 333 Stephen Wiggins Helsby Running Club 42:10 296 Male 228 Senior Male 68
307 43:14 412 Geoff Shaw Helsby Running Club 43:02 308 Male 230 Male Vet 65 13
316 43:45 334 Christopher Igoe Helsby Running Club 43:15 312 Male 236 Male Vet 55 18
347 46:26 221 Jackie Keasley Helsby Running Club 46:04 349 Female 95 Female Vet 60 3
363 47:36 160 David Wiggins Helsby Running Club 47:05 360 Male 259 Male Vet 60 21
406 51:07 413 Janet Shaw Helsby Running Club 50:55 408 Female 137 Female Vet 65 4
408 51:14 46 Karen Horsley Helsby Running Club 50:39 406 Female 138 Female Vet 45 20
John Whitehead and Geoff Collins are updating the club counters as well now so these will get sent out every month now with the blog.

For those of you that don’t know every year we run Club Championships with various disciplines to compete in from ROAD / FELL / MINI FELL / TRAIL/ CROSS COUNTRY AND BORDERS LEAGUE. Myself and Geoff Collins are stato and collate the results for every race. There are certain Races that count towards each championship all of which are on the Helsby page (LINK:https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2019-road-and-fell-champs/) and prizes for overall winners and various Category prizes.

Everyone who takes part in one of these events gets points, 1st for Helsby gets 30 pts, 2nd 29 pts etc and points are allocated by Gender so the more events you enter the better chance you have in the championships. In the Fell and Road Championships where there are 10 race’s we’ll only take your best 7 results.

In the past we’ve never really shouted about the results until presentation night but to help increase a little competition and increase the Helsby presence at some of these events we thought we’d try and do a monthly update until we only have a few events left in each championships.

Road:

In the Road Championships so far we have had 3 events and the leaders for both the men and ladies are the only Helsby vests to compete in all 3 events, the on fire Chris Fitzpatrick lead the men while the unicorn that is Helen Owns leads the Ladies

helsby 2

 Next Race is the Spring 5k in Kingsley on the 26th April with the dry weather continuing extra places are being made available!!

Fell:

As for the Fell’s we are only one race in so plenty of time to get involved and most races start and finish at a Pub too! Pipe Dream was the first Race with only 4 Helsby vests out, Rachel Arnold took the only Ladies Points on Offer while Tim Palmer claimed the victory for the Helsby men bagging himself 30 points.

helsby 3

 Next Race is the Llangynhafal Loop on the 27/04/2019 this is 7.6KM in length and classified as an AS race (Basically short in distance with S**t loads of accent, but don’t let that put you off)

Best Regards
John

Well done all who took part in a park run Our consolidated club results can be seen HERE

That’s it for now, Remember to keep sending any reports or other stuff you want including to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

 

Cheers

Fitzy

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Helsby RC weekly round-up from 11th to 25th March 2019

Hello Green Army

2 weeks for the price of 1 this week, luckily for you all you didn’t miss anything last week as there was nothing to report on. Few notices to start of with.

Club counter season is well under way, so Tim has reminded us whats coming up over the next month or so

  • Borders League Race 6: Buckley RC Sun 31/03/2019 11:00
  • Chester Spring 5 Wed 10/04/2019 19:00
  • Borders League Race 7 + Presentation Night : Prestatyn RC Wed 24/04/2019 19:30
  • Mid Cheshire – 5K Spring Fri 26/04/2019 19:00
  • Llangynhafal Loop (AS) 7.6km/4.7m 533m/1749ft Sat 27/04/2019 13:00
  • Ysgol Dinas Bran (AS) 6.9k/4.3M 350m/1150ft Wed 08/05/2019 19:15
  • Fairfield Horseshoe (AM) 14.5km/9M 914m/2999ft Sat 18/05/2019 12:00
  • Chester Half Marathon Sun 19/05/2019 09:00

A quick message from myself about this Sundays Border League race 6 in Buckley

A rally cry to all, it’s mothers day this Sunday and i’m expecting numbers to be affected but if you can, please please come and race. We have had some cracking turn outs this season and it’s got the mens and ladies teams into the position they are in now because of these fantastic turn outs. I would hate to see any of our teams get penalty points at this late stage.

It’s also Helsby V’s Felsby leg 1, so i’m expecting as per usual a great turn out from the Felsby crew. Hopefully see you all on Sunday.

Thanks ….Fitzy

Over to the Captain for our first report – Cheshire 10k – Arley Hall

Our second road counter of the year and we had 12 Helsby vests toeing the line at Arley Hall ready to do battle on a cool but still morning, race conditions were perfect. The Cheshire 10k is one of the flattest and fastest 10k races in the Northwest and is a good gauge of your fitness early on in the year before the summer racing season begins.

We had some fantastic running on the day and its congratulations once again to Fitzy who is in the form of his life taking a whopping 1.30 minutes off his PB coming home in 33.55 and first back for Helsby. Months of hard marathon training has certainly paid off and he set one of the fastest 10k times by a Helsby runner for quite some time so be sure to congratulate Fitzy when you next see him.

Coming home first for the ladies with an outstanding run was Carol Shaw who is one of the most consistent runners in the club, well done Carol! Helen Owens was close on her heels and scored a new PB with a superb run and is getting back to her best after months of consistent training and mileage. It’s also congratulations to Janet Shaw who won her age group and we had some fantastic results from the rest of the troops who all put in a fine display of running. Well done everyone!

Please see the Helsby results below:

helsby 2

Trevor Lewis is next up  

“I had heard a little about Wrexham‘s Run festival from a friend who runs for Mersey-Tri. I normally run Wilmslow half marathon in late March but am unable to do so this year so I decided to try to find a fairly local half marathon earlier on in the month .

Wrexham Run Festival appears to have been running since 2015. It combines a full marathon, a 20–mile race and, in addition to these, a half marathon. There is also a short fun run for children & families.

The Full marathon and 20-mile runners set off at 9am; the fun-run at 9.30 and the half marathon 10:30am all from the same point which stands opposite Wrexham’s Waterworld Centre. The three competitive groups run three diverging courses and then all merge and run together for the final 5 miles.

When I initially read the description of how the race was organised my immediate thought was “That sounds like total carnage” and pictured some poor fun runner taking a wrong turn and ending up having to run 26.2 miles.

As it transpired there was nothing at all to worry about; it was all very well-organised and the marshals were absolutely brilliant in not only cheering you on but also maintaining that you ran in the correct direction. The course website suggested that personal bests were achievable so, I thought “Ok, great, it must be a flat course then”

Well, it’s not.

After a mile of running through a residential area you enter mainly rural settings. For anyone who knows Wrexham the route took in Clays golf course, Wrexham Industrial Estate, Bowling Bank and Marchwiel as a loop that takes you back through to finish at the start point at Waterworld.

There’s a beast of a hill at around mile 5-6 and lots of undulations after that.

Very much like Helsby’s Four Villages Half Marathon there is a lengthy downhill stretch at mile 11-12 that gives your legs a breather and allows you to pick up some time before the final push. The final mile is similar to that of Chester Half Marathon i.e. mostly a moderate uphill with crowds & Sunday shoppers cheering you on.

The weather conditions were not ideal; there was a really strong, swirling wind, some hail and a lot of standing water (or small lakes – whichever description you prefer) on the country roads.

Helen Owen ran the 20-mile race and we agreed that there was so much water on the course it was a fair shout to classify the race as a run/swim biathlon.

Having said that; that’s winter running for you and the weather won’t be that challenging every year.

I noticed that a lot of us half-marathon runners did pass the full marathoners during the final 5 miles some of whom were, understandably, struggling.

I offered encouragement to those that I passed but I couldn’t help thinking it could be a bit demoralising being overtaken by runners that were only completing half of your distance. Under those circumstances it wouldn’t be my personal choice for a marathon though you could spin the argument it on its head and assert that the half marathon group could potentially pace the other runners along in those final miles.

The half-Marathon field amounted to only about 200 runners so there was little or no jostling for position and it was easy to get into your stride and even when the 3 races converged it didn’t feel particularly congested. There were, however, a number of sharp turns on the course where you lost a little bit of momentum.

Parking at Waterworld amounted to a few hundred spaces which filled up by about 8am due to the influx of runners competing over the longer distances. I arrived early and nabbed a space but I did see half-marathoners, who arrived later, circling around trying to find somewhere to park. The Sunday parking rate at Waterworld was only £2:00 for 24hrs and it was very easy to get off the car park at the end.

I managed to shave a few minutes off my PB which seems to justify the organiser’s claims of it being a fast course. Another positive for Helsby runners is it is only a 30 minute drive from the club.

There were no Welsh cakes handed-out at the finish as was the case at the Wrexham Village Bakery Half last month – but I suppose you could always buy some locally!

In summary- a decent Half Marathon race either for the first of the year or as a follow on from The Four Villages or Village Bakery runs. The 20-mile race could potentially be used as a competitive run in training for the London or other April Marathons.

I would definitely consider running this half marathon again in the future.

Trevor Lewis”

Cheers Trevor, i’ve seen the pictures and it looked more like a swim run event than half marathon.

After Hayley’s successful bingo night down at the sports club (i’ve seen a different side to Chris “two little ducks quack quack Igoe), she’s back to the serious business of training for the London Marathon, have a read of her blog.

Pick Yourself Up & Start Again

Parkrun

Well done everyone who participated in a Parkrun see our full consolidated report is HERE

Last but not least on Friday 26th April, after the mid Cheshire 5k which is a club counter, we are going for the annual curry in Frodsham and a pint or 5. Approx 9pm start, email me if you want to come along or let me know on social media

That’s all for this week

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 11th to 17th February 2019

Hello Green Army

Notice from Jackie.

Club Championships Competition & Training

Our list of Summer 2019 Championship races has been updated – please see: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2019-road-and-fell…/

There is a pdf poster version attached and at  https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/…/helsby_summ…

The key update is the Mini-Trail Championship 🙂

There’s plenty to do with a varied selection of road, fell, trails, & mini-fells (to encourage newcomers to the fells). The attached gives the rules for each and how many count etc in each competition. The annual Helsby versus Felsby races are highlighted as are the Inter Club Fell Championship Counters.  Our annual awards ceremony takes place in May/June to issue awards for both the Summer & Winter (Cross Country & Border League) Championships.  We will be announcing the date soon, in the meantime hope to see you at one of these races very soon!  

Here’s a list of the remaining Wednesday Winter Training Sessions, please meet at the club at 6:30 except for Delamere. Phil has kindly compiled a similar enticing list for the Summer, to be announced soon!

 Feb

20

Manley Mere

Steady run

27

Mickle Trafford

Time trial

March

6

Frodsham

Fartleks

13

Delamere

Lake run – meet time tba

20

Manley Mere

Steady run

27

Mickle Trafford

Time trial

Also, please see Jackies race report from the Village Bakery half marathon.

Yesterday was our first race kicking off this “Summers” 2019 club championship.

13 Helsby runners made the journey to Wrexham Industrial Estate on quite a warm sunny morning for February.  I last did this race many years ago & still have memories of a nightmare race for the organisers; Within 100m of the start there was a T junction with no sign & no marshal, the front runners turned left (the wrong shorter way) & those in the know turned right (the correct way!). Each race eventually merged & finished at the same finish line. Not sure the results meant much though as some very good times were recorded by the faster runners but not over the full distance!  The race has grown in popularity since being taken over by Mike Harrington at Cute Fruits & this year a record 2373 runners crossed the line at exactly 13miles  192½ yds.

It’s a surprisingly good course considering it starts & finishes in an Industrial Estate!  After a 5 mile loop thats very similar to the Border League course, firstly going by the factory units, then off into the countryside before passing more units on the way back.  Then a much bigger loop down fairly narrow, some wet & muddy country lanes towards the Dee (without actually seeing it) before heading back steadily uphill & into a strong head wind back into the estate for the final couple of miles.   For a big race it was good because it starts on wide roads & enters the narrow ones when everyone is more spreadout, so no holdups.

Chris was going for a PB but the winds made it impossible for that, still a brillant time in 1:16. Sub 1:30’s for Richard & Degsy.  Well done to Jane who smashed 1:40, Trevor who was close on her tail, Helen loking good for the Mancheter Marathon & to everyone else who ran. I was chuffed with sub 2 hours having not ran a half for a while.

Memories of the day were, hearing & seeing first lambs of the year as we ran down the farm lanes.  Just as hunger set it, the overwhelming baking smell of baking at 12 miles which turned out to be the Kellogs factory & everyone getting a pack of Village Bakery Welsh Cakes & a Welsh Dragon gong at the end.  The one downside was the finish was quite a long way from the start & parking, the whole estate looks the same & there were no signs. At the end of the race the whole estate was full of lost tired runners staggering around in circles. I added on an extra couple of miles trying to find Trevors car, didn’t know there was more than one Village Bakery on that maze of an industrial estate. Thanks to Neil Furgasson who drove me & an Oswestry Olympian from the full fat to the gluten free one!!

Position Finish time First name Last name Net time Net position Club Position Gender Gender position Category Category position
42 01:16:33 Chris Fitzpatrick 01:16:28 41 1 Male 42 Vet 40 11
236 01:28:07 Richard Hankins 01:27:52 238 2 Male 225 Vet 45 32
318 01:30:03 Derek Morris 01:29:48 318 3 Male 290 Vet 40 55
594 01:40:10 Robert Hough 01:39:34 605 4 Male 500 Senior Male 239
626 01:41:11 Jane Ashbrook 01:40:38 638 5 Female 100 Vet 40 19
644 01:41:47 Trevor Lewis 01:41:14 665 6 Male 541 Vet 50 57
761 01:44:45 Jim Jones 01:43:04 734 7 Male 628 Vet 50 67
810 01:46:04 Helen Owens 01:45:34 829 8 Female 145 Vet 40 26
1051 01:51:54 Geoff Collins 01:49:35 1010 9 Male 831 Vet 60 21
1263 01:57:37 Jackie Keasley 01:57:01 1316 10 Female 311 Vet 60 3
1282 01:58:07 Neil Fergusson 01:56:57 1309 11 Male 965 Vet 65 9
1885 02:16:41 Matt Willcott 02:15:31 1934 12 Male 1236 Vet 40 221
1885 02:16:41 Stephen Wiggins 02:13:39 1881 12 Male 1236 Senior Male 532

It was a tough last few miles thats for sure Jackie

Richard Hankins has also sent in a report for this race as well

The Village Bakery was the first half marathon I ever ran back in 2016. It has, therefore, a special place in my heart. It isn’t the most glamorous event, starting and finishing in the Wrexham Industrial Estate, but most of the course is on country lanes heading out towards the Dee. It is always well organised, cheap to enter and just 20 minute drive away. For me it is the start of the running season and my first measure of how fit I am this year.

This year the old headquarters on Oak Road had closed and so the parking arrangements were very different. There was also a larger entry with 3000 enrolled. There was plenty of warnings to arrive early and plan your parking. Geoff and I did and had no problems, but the traffic looked pretty poor later on and there were big queues for the loos. Approaching from the opposite side of the start line due to the new parking arrangements made the start a little chaotic. But, once off, everything was well organised on what felt like a mid-Spring day.

The first 10 miles of the race were fab: I felt full of energy and able to stick to my plan….in fact, I made up time. I began to dream of finally getting a 1:25 but sadly the last three miles were a nightmare. I think of this race as flat, but Strava shows that miles 10 – 13 are consistently uphill. Not by a great margin, the climb is only 120 feet, but enough for you to feel it. This year that coincided with a 15mph headwind. I just wasn’t fit enough to fight it and lost 2 minutes finishing 20 seconds slower than last year. A lot of people found the same…the last third of the race was a challenge (fell runners snigger away…).

Fabulous Fitzy led the Helsby field home in 41st with a 1:16 run…mightily impressive stuff! I lolloped home in 1:27 with Degsy making a valiant return in 1:29. Rob Hough came in at 1:39 and Jane Ashbrook was first lady home for the club in 1:40. There was then a wave of Helsby finishers: Trevor Lewis (01:41), Jim Jones (01:43), Helen Owens (01:45), Geoff Collins (01:49), Jackie Keasley (01:57), Neil Ferguson (01:56), Steve Wiggins (02:13) and Matt Wilcott (02:15).

A decent turn out for the first counter of 2019…see you at the next.

Richard

Talking about Fell runners, over to John to tell us about a steeplechase race

So after being volunteered by your wife to take Debbie Reeds place in this race I thought I better give it a good old shot. Having done the mid week Harrock Hill series I had a little bit of an idea what I was letting myself in for…. well so I thought.

This was the 49th Parbold Hill Race organised by Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers is 6.7 miles of mixed terrain including roads paths and farmers fields and what a little cracker with the start and finish at a proper country boozer! Helsby had 3 runners out myself Janet and Nesta helping make up a field of close to 600.

After a short road section to start a sharp left turn took you on the a quarry track and up you climbed. The next few miles was a mix of fields and tracks, the road running clubs stood out a mile as their runners gingerly edged around the mud while my route choice was through the middle! At just over half way my race fell apart with a long road section with a climb up Parbold Hill, at this point I realised racing with a cracked rib wasn’t my brightest move, however at the top and into the next field I was greeted with a small queue at the next stile a great opportunity for a breather and to take in the amazing views and countryside, you don’t get these on an industrial estate! The next few miles past and then a nice downhill section got my legs turning over, just before you arrived in the final field you are greeted with a horse jump a crowd of people and a number of cameras all waiting for that unsuspecting faller!

All in all a great little race and if you don’t want to wait for next year to try out the course look out for the Harrock Hill Series starting late spring!

Cheers
John

thumbnail_image1

Cracking photo

Also a little blog from one of our new ish member Hayley Brooks, about her journey to the London marathon. Good luck with the training

The Highs and Lows

Last but not least Parkrun

Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns. Well done to everyone who took part!

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

 

Thanks, see you all soon

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 14th to 20th January 2019

Hello Green Army

Most important news of the week. It’s Borders League race 4 on Sunday, and we need another good turnout please. It’s a local one as well over on the Tattenhall course, which is a cracker. Post code CH3 9QF, 11am start. For anyone that has not done one of these yet just turn up in your race vest, its free of charge, it’s as simple as that.

Message from our race director Laura Baynham-Hughes, after the successful weekend and running of the Four Villages Half Marathon. 

A huge thank you to everyone who helped on Sunday, Saturday and in the run up to the 4VHM. It really is a team effort and you are all amazing. It has been another successful race with 1636 runners taking part and overwhelmingly positive comments! We should all be very proud. Thank you. Well done to all the Green Army runners and I was extra delighted to present the local trophies to two Helsby members and see Hannah finish as second lady!

pic 1

Alison Halsall sent in a 4VM race report…thanks Alison.

After suffering from severe cold during the race last year, I found myself continually checking the weather reports for 4VHM day on Sunday which varied as the days went by from sunny to sleet and even snow. In the end it turned out to be near perfect race conditions, let’s face it, I was just pleased there was no ice or snow but that’s just a runners point of view! More importantly, it meant that all the effort and organisation put into this fantastic local race paid off. I jogged down to the start line from home to be met by a great ‘buzz’ at the club and the start line. It was great to talk to runners from other clubs who, despite also experiencing the conditions last year, had decided to come back again. I also noticed a lot of green 4VHM hats in the line up! Before long the race started and the support from the off was amazing. This support continued throughout the race and it was great to see familiar faces from local Helsby people, Helsby cubs who were enthusiastically handing out water, from the marshals and fellow runners from the club (Mario, Joe, Vanessa to name just a few).

 

After moaning about not feeling great and being a bit worried about the lack of serious training, I started to feel really good on the day and ran hard. Thanks to James Higgins who encouraged me and pulled me a along in the first half of the race before I found my rhythm. Once I realised that I could aim for a decent time, I just went for it and tried my best to get a category place too but was pipped in the last few hundred yards but my legs couldn’t go any faster. I was really pleased with my time (and the fact that I could feel my hands and feet this year!) and it was also great to hear that Hannah and Chris had done so well both overall and in winning the local trophies too. Well done to all the Helsby runners and everyone involved, what a great team effort which makes for a fantastic race. I may even do it all again next year! 

Alison

 

Totally agree about the support on course, it was brilliant this year.

Mark Gittens also sent in a short race report, cheers Mark 

I set off from the start. I soon realised that I was fat and heavy. So, I suffered around the course and finished in my slowest ever time. The end.

Spot on !!!

pic 2.jpg

Karen Horsley is trying to rally the troops and raise some funds for a great course

Please have a read of her blog and details to the fun run on 10th Feb

My Dad

https://www.facebook.com/events/1983160565108541/

 

We have the beer festival coming up soon at the club, would be good to see as many as possible support it, might be the last one in the lovely club house

2019

Parkrun

Our consolidated club report can be seen http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

That’s all for now, see you all soon

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 19th to 25th November 2018

Hello Green Army

Happy December. Christmas is fast approaching, drink lots, eat lot, but make sure you still run lots. A few notices from myself to start off this week, especially about the Borders league.

Borders league Sun 9th Dec

Looks like us men have a bit of a fight on our hands to stay in the top division in the Borders this season. It’s vital we get lots of us over to Anglesey on 9th Dec, as I think a lot of teams will be put off by the journey. Yes I know it’s quite far away, but I think this will be a great race and good experience of doing a race that’s a bit different as it’s around the Trac Mon race circuit. 11am start, post code LL63 5TF. There’s showers as well so bring the family and have a day out around Anglesey. 👍 Who’s in?

Oh and let’s not forget about the ladies who are flying high right now, a good turnout will help keep you pushing for the division 1 title.

To cut down on the amount of drivers heading over, i would suggest everyone meet at the club at 8.45am ish. There’s already a few who will be heading over together.

Friday Fun Club 

After speaking to the FFC committee, we shall be taking FFC on tour next Friday 7th Dec, same day as the Christmas party. 6am from Netherton Arms Car Park, we will do doing a pub crawl.

We shall run down to the Cheshire cheese, go to the queens, bears paw, golden lion, kash, helter skelter, ring o bells, bulls head, bellmonte, and finally the Mersey view, then back down the hill again to Netherton arms, if time permits we shall do the route twice, I reckon it will be around 6 miles and two huge hills, so perfect training for the Xmas party later that day.

Anyone up for the 6am pub crawl?

Xmas Party 

Xmas Party next Friday 7th Dec, meeting at Helter Skelter at 7.30pm, Christmas Jumpers compulsory

Thanks to Ed Halliwell for sending in the only race report of the week. 

Little Stretton to Stiperstones Time Trial on Foot

Not the most snappily titled race ever, but one that certainly got me interested, as well as Rebecca/Mildredthehen. The concept is simple – get from Little Stretton to Stiperstones as quickly as you can. Any route is allowed along as it doesn’t cross private property (incl. farmers’ fields), and you set off at one-minute intervals. Distance was given as 9 to 10 miles depending on route. To me, it sounded like Orienteering, but without the troublesome problem of finding controls on the way, and you were allowed to fully plan your route beforehand – simple!

After a bit (OK, a lot) of looking at routes beforehand, two things were clear: going over Long Mynd was unavoidable; and a fair bit of running on road was likely to be involved. I decided to run in my road-to-trail shoes for speed/cushioning on the roads, but most people opted for fell shoes.

The run involved a fairly early start, as there is coach from finish to start, so you can park at the end. Rebecca and I left Kelsall around 7am, to get the coach at 8.30, which arrive at registration around 9.30, and following a fair bit of queuing for registration and (solitary) toilet, we had a start time slot of between 10.10 and 10.20, so over three hours after we left. This was a downside, but the upside was that a point-to-point run means you see more scenery than a circular one.

The run can be done as solos or pairs, and you are set off at 1-minute intervals. On the face of it, this sounds like you would be running alone, but actually there ends up being more passing, as you catch slower runners who start before you, and get caught by faster runners who started later (or who got lost!).

Navigation I think was fairly straightforward, as long as you kept attention to your map. The first section up the stream to Long Mynd was very scenic. I took a different route to the top than pretty much everyone else, which was partly driven by my footwear meaning I wanted to minimise the off path part, so went straight up an earlier hillside on a bearing. Pretty soon we were up into dense fog, which added to the navigation challenge, which I was happy with.

After the top of the Mynd, it was generally road, interrupted by a bit of bridleway, until we entered the Stiperstones Nature Reserve. The road section was surprisingly taxing, as it was a gentle uphill, but with tired legs if felt more. Was glad I was in the road-to-trail shoes at this point, and passed quite a few people. In the nature reserve it was back onto paths, with a bit more climbing before it was time to descend.

The initial part of the descent was quite technical, and I had to slow down in my footwear and was passed by 3 or 4 guys in lugged soles, but the second part of the descent round Green Hill was more runnable.

Finish was by a pub, thus clearly qualifying as a fell run, but was quite unusual in that the spread of starts obviously also meant a spread of finishes, so people would arrive over a 3-hourish window.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. The navigational element was right up my street, and it was interesting passing people who started before you, and vice-versa, plus the point-to-point nature was good and the countryside great. Downsides could be seen as the time involved to get to the start and the amount of road running in the middle, but that’s just part of the unique nature of the event. One of the highlights of the year for me.

Results (171 runners) – Edward, 1h 24m 25s, 39th – Rebecca, 1h 55m 03s, 115th

Edward Halliwell

No race reports from last weekends Cross Country at Sefton Park, but some results from the day below. Well done to all. Picture sent in from Jane Bishop

helsby 1.jpg

https://www.uka.org.uk/competitions/the-british-athletics-cross-challenge/

Consolidated Parkrun results

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

That’s it for this week, see you all next Friday morning, Friday night and Sunday morning

Happy Fitzmas

 

Helsby weekly round-up from 22nd October to 28th October 2018

Hello Green Army

Please keep on sending your reports in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com, it makes us bloggers lives that little bit easier, as we can just cut and paste, we’re good at that, we’re not good at writing the reports each week.

Message from Foz re; upcoming XC

Hi all. The second fixture in the Liverpool & District cross country will be held at Sefton Park on 24th November 2018. This event is a pre-entry event, so if any Helsby runners would like to run in this please email me on mooeyf@hotmail.com no later than Monday 5th November to confirm your entry.
This is a great event in the XC calendar, it’s free to all Helsby first claim members, although the club do pay this for you so please double check your diaries for any clashes.
So to all the regulars and new members best of Luck.
Cheers
Paul
Message from myself

A week tomorrow (11th Nov) is race 2 in the borders league, and it’s a local one in Upton, by Chester, CH2 1NN. It’s a 9.30am start because of remembrance Sunday, and i think this is an ideal opportunity to smash our record of runners who have attended a borders league race. I think the record was 40 a few seasons back, we had 33 at the last one in New Brighton with quite a few of the regulars missing. It would also be great to see even more new faces as well.

So, could i please ask Felsby, Trailsby, second claim runners, and you regulars to turn up in your droves for this one. It’s a great 5 mile measured race around the Spring 5 route for anyone wanting an official PB. It’s free all you need to do is bring your club vest.

See you all next Sunday

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

 

Race report from myself

Last Sunday seen the start of the Sunday XC season in Clarke Gardens, Liverpool. I believe this was a record turnout of over 500 runners for this extremely popular free club race, and the conditions were near perfect, lovely clear blue skies, a little chilly and plenty of incentive to hurry up and finish the race with dohnuts galore, cakes, and huge jammie dodgers for us Helsby runners.

First 3 in for the men were myself, the captain followed by the in form Phil Tomkinson. The mens team came in 6th overall out of 24.

First 3 in for the ladies were Laura BH, Christine Roach and Debbie read. The ladies finishing in 10th out of 24.

The next fixture is on 18th Nov, in Skelmersdale. Full results below

http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/xc/2018/race1_18.pdf

45614311562_596776474f_k.jpg

Parkrun

We had runners at Pheonix, Chester, Delamere, Widnes, & Birkenhead. Well done to Roy Gaskill , 22nd at Widnes. Our consolidated club result are HERE

That’s all folks

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 24th to 30th September 2018

Hello Green Army

Message from Foz to start the news this week

Hi all
October has now arrived so it can only mean one thing mud. I know Fitzy is rallying the green army for the borders league. So now it’s time for the cross country troops to dust down the spikes.
Saturday 13th October is the start of the Liverpool and District XC at Arrowe park, please note there is a new start time of 11 am. This race is just turn up and run but I will be in touch for other races in this league that are pre entry.  The first borders league is the day before so make it a double header.
Sunday 28th October is the start of the north west XC at Clarke gardens Liverpool a 10am start.  All of these races are free to enter for all Helsby members who are First claim only and club vests must be worn.  So to all new members give XCa go and you will be hooked.
It would be great to see lots of green vests on the start line.
All XC fixtures can be found on the club’s race calendar.
Cheers
Paul
No race reports this week, so a quick one from me on the Multi Terrain Series that finished last Tuesday. It’s worthwhile to note as well that this might be the last time we see this race series, Steve Saunders is stepping down after 20 years of organising them. It’s a shame really as they are great value for money, and are very enjoyable races.
Full results for last Tuesday can be found here.
A big well done to Paul Frodsham, 2nd O60, Debbie Read 1st in her age cat, O60, and me 3rd O40
Not a race report but the captain sent this in from last Wednesday’s successful 10k time trial
A big thank you to everyone who attended the 10k time trial last Wednesday, we had a great turn out with 12 runners toeing the line and an excellent standard was set by everyone!
Congratulations to Fitzy who was first overall in 37:08 and Hannah who was second overall and first lady in 38:00. this is also a brand new female course record, great stuff Hannah!
A big thank you to Louise Spruce (timing & results), Jackie Keasley (timing & results), Joe Beswick (timing) and Mario Foschi (marshalling).
See you all at the end of October for the next time trial.
Cheers
Colin
Link to results here:
Well done to all Park run participants this weekend, consolidated results below
Please don’t forget we have our 1st Borders League race on 14th October, and I am organising a training run for all abilities, especially to new club members who haven’t done a race like this before……details below.

June has come up with a great idea of a little get together and training session for those thinking about or already planning to do the Borders League Race 1 on Sunday 14th October, or any of them over the course of the season. The main aim of this is for anyone who has not took part in a Borders league race before to come along to this session, as it will give you a good idea of what the courses are like, and what distance most races are (normally between 5-6 miles). This will be run around the Norton 5 route (Roy’s old training run).

We shall have pacers running the route at 7, 8, 9 & 10 minute miles. The majority is off road, but high viz vest’s are a must, and head torch (although not essential) would come in handy.

We shall meet on Thursday 11th October on Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn WA7 1BD for 6.25pm, and start the run at 6.30pm prompt.

We really want people to understand that Borders league races are not elitist, they are for everyone at the club, and the good thing is they are free of charge. It would be great to see some new faces, and also some of the Helsby and Frodsham crew head over to sunny runny for the evening.

Any questions feel free to contact myself or June

That’s all folks

Cheers
Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 27th August to 2nd September 2018

Hello Green Army

Quick message from Jackie about the road relays and inter club relays.

This Saturday, 8th it’s the Norrthern West Counties Road Relay Championships in Delamere Forest. We have 2 ladies & 2 mens teams entered. Good luck to all taking part.  

Then a couple of weeks later it’s the  

DELAMERE INTER CLUB RELAY TRAIL (DIRT) – Sat 22nd Sept

  • Time of first leg – 16:00
  • Location – the big expanse of grass near Delamere visitors centre
  • The event will be an interclub relay between ourselves, Delamere Spartans, Spectrum Striders, Pensby and Tattenhall
  • All legs will be within the forest with no road crossings
    • Leg 1 – single runner, 5K – set course
    • Leg 2 – pairs, 8K – set course
    • Leg 3- pairs, 9K – route choice
    • Leg  – single, 5K – set course
  • Categories will be Male, Female, Male vet, Female vet and mixed
  • The cost will be £2.50 per runner to cover the fee we are being charged by the Forestry Commission, including parking in the carpark close to the start of the Park Run where the concerts are held.   All entries on day.
  • Club vests need to be worn

The ethos of the event is low key and social, so we will put up gazebos and encourage runners to bring family and food for a picnic afterwards – no BBQs!

If you have not already done so please email Phil if you would like to take part (phil.gillard1@btinternet.com) and be matched into teams.
Or if you have already made up a team great & just turn up & enter on day but if you let us know you are a team already it will help us ensure we have enough team battens on the day!
Helsby Running Club are helping orgainsie legs 1 (Railway Slalom) & 4 (Park Run) by putting out the signs & marshalling.
I could do with 3 more course marshals + a couple of timing marshals kso if you now anyone or are not running but would like to join in then please let me know.jackiekeasley@btinternet.com 

This is a trial event (to possibly take the place of the interclub fell counters) and it would be great to see a healthy Green Army turnout to support this new event.

Cheers
Jackie

Ben Williams has sent in a report for the Firelighter

Just a short report from the Firelighter ultra on Anglesey, on Friday 31st August. This is the first day of the famous Ring O’Fire which for the second year was available as an ultra in its own right. The route follows the Anglesey Coastal Path around the western and northern coast, from Holyhead to Amlwch. The weather was perfect, almost too hot and it was quite a relief when sunset neared and things cooled down.
After a slow start caused by congestion on the narrow paths leaving the start area, I soon settled down to a slow plod, reassured that everyone around me was doing the same thing. There are three checkpoints, and the course gets progressively tougher after each one, the most difficult section being around Cemaes Bay. The checkpoints are a long way apart so I was lucky in having support from Serena and Dad who kept me supplied with water. Otherwise I would have struggled in the heat. A particular highlight was stopping for a rest on the clifftop near Ynys Y Fydlyn and seeing dolphins playing in the sea.
I finished in darkness, about 15 minutes up on last year’s time. Results are at https://ringofire.niftyentries.com/Results/Ring-O-Fire-2018?
Well done Ben, that first day is the best day on ROF, but probably one of the hardest as well. 
No more running reports i’m afraid….. that’s all folks!!! Hold on a minute, just found a Triathlon report i can throw in. Over to errrrrr me……
Sundowner 70.3

OK OK OK, it’s not just about run reports, others get away with sending in Swim Run reports, walking reports and they still get into the blog with no issues or moans, plus i’m doing the blog this week so here’s my take on my first 70.3 Middle Distance Triathlon. (Gaz will be deleting this right now i think).

Myself and Peter Rodriguez decided that if we ever grow a pair and want to do a full iron man, then we need to do a half iron man firstly, to dip our toes in the water a little before entering the biggy. Obviously you need to train for 3 disciplines, however, it’s pretty hard trying to fit them all into a 7 day week. Running, no problem, swimming, no problem, especially over the summer we’ve just had, but biking has been particularly hard, it takes up so much time, and neither of us have particularly enjoyed it.

A 70.3 triathlon consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. We found the flattest race possible, no hills even in the water!!! We traveled up to Allerthorpe Lake, just outside of York last Saturday and set up camp. It was a great setting, the weather was superb and we just wanted it to all be over quickly so we could get into the after party tent, whilst watching the sun go down. It’s a midday start but myself and Peter put a realistic time down when entering, and found ourselves going off with the last wave and the fast guys. This was a mistake. The start of the swim was horrible, I actually thought i was being drowned, and was certainly not prepared for the amount of times i would be hit by someone, or barged out of the way, Peter even shouting at people under water, which made me laugh. 3 laps of the lake and we came out in a respectable 44 mins, both of us within 5-6 seconds of each other, straight into transition 1, chuck on all the bike gear and out onto the super flat and lovely roads for 2 laps of a 28 mile course.

Most of our training rides we have been averaging around 17.5-18mph, so it was good to see us both averaging 19.5mph for the full 56 miles, and seeing us make a little bit of ground up on some seriously expensive bikes, some people spend more on their bikes than they do on their cars. My back was not in a good place for the first 28 miles but as then pain went from my back into my thighs i got through it in 2hrs 55 with Peter coming in a few minutes ahead in around 2hrs 52.

Back into transition 2, throw your running shoes on, and out onto a multi terrain course for the first mile or so, then heading back out onto the roads for 3 laps of about 4 and a bit miles for the half marathon route. This was particular hard now, i thought i’d easy get in under 1hr 30, but after 56 miles on the bike your legs just don’t work, however with running being my strongest discipline, i overtook a lot competitors to come out with the 4th fastest time on the day for the half marathon, in 1hr 35, followed by Peter in 1hr 41.

I finished in 104th in 5hrs 20, Peter finished in 125th in 5hrs 26, out of about 500 starters. Both of us very pleased with our first 70.3, and the after party was pretty good as well. If anyone fancied doing this distance then this would be highly recommended, it was a superb event and looking back it really was a great weekend, once the pain had subsided.

Now, do we or do we not book the full iron man………….

104th 532 CHRIS Fitzpatrick M 92nd M 40-44 17th 05:20:33 +01:12:02
125th 535 Peter Rodriguez M 110th M 40-44 21st 05:26:58 +01:18:27

https://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/1QF

↑ top ©2018 Stuweb Race Management Services, StuWeb, 26 Cradley Road, Cradley Heath, B64 6AG ©2018 Stuweb Race Management Services, StuWeb, 26 Cradley Road, Cradley Heath, B64 6AG

CheersFitzy

Parkrun seen runners out and about in Pheonix, Warrington, Catterick, Chester, Delamere, Keswick, Ellesmere Port, Northwich and Street.
Full consolidated results below;
Last word from me, Christmas Party, Friday 30th November, or Friday 7th December? Drop me an email or message on Facebook, we shall go with the most popular option
See you all soon
Fitzy 

Helsby RC weekly round-up 23rd – 29th July 2018

Hello Green Army

Straight into the race reports, and I cannot believe it, Degsy’s reports are back, go make a brew, get a pack of biscuits, he’s very well known for lengthy race reports is Degs.

Ill keep it short and sweet as ever… firstly thanks to steve Riley and the club for the free place at Aintree half marathon. Woke up to pouring rain and wind but inspired by Roy’s heroics from his training run the day before his 10k. I pulled on my green vest and headed off for Aintree. I’m currently following the “cram” marathon plan in readiness for the Cybi coastal marathon…. 10 x better than the famous P&D plan… basically “cram” as many miles into 4 weeks as possible so this race landed perfectly for my plan.
I’ll start with the good;
1. Its was a free place
2. Organisation and marshals were great.
3. flat as a pancake course ( not my mrs’s lumpy pancakes)
The bad;
1. 4 soul destroying laps
2. Awful weather
3. Uninspiring course
4. Not much support but to be fair i wouldn’t have stood around in that weather either
Cheers everyone
Degsy
Well, at least i haven’t demolished a pack of ginger nuts, only managed one. Nice one Degs, good to see you back mate

 

Over to Jim Jones for his report

After weeks of endless sunshine, the great British weather resumed normality for the Kentmere Horseshoe fell race on Sunday. We were blessed with gale-force winds, horizontal rain and low clouds. Six Helsby hardy souls braved the conditions for our 7th club fell-counter. Having looked at the forecast Sunday morning, if I hadn’t already made plans to travel up with Tim and Steve I’d have quite happily stayed at home. The Kentmere is a classic 12 mile route with about 3700ft of elevation, most of it quite runnable. Navigation was tricky this year though with low cloud causing a few deviations from the usual route! No results have been put online yet but I think the finishing order for Helsby was: Chris Baynham-Hughes, Tim Palmer, Laura Baynham- Hughes, Jim Jones, Steve Riley, Rachel Arnold.

Cheers,

Jim

Over to …… myself for mine 

9 Helsby vest’s made it over to a big hill beginning with LL in Wales for the Green Green Grass of home Fell race last Weds evening. Now as you know, i’m a road runner (beep beep), so I’m never going to be the first to say lets do this race with loads of enthusiasm, but the day before I had convinced myself i wasn’t doing it, but who could refuse a road trip with the legend that is CBH, the mad man that is Ben “Gary” Crossley, and Peter “surprise package” Rodriguez.

helsby 1

The one thing i do enjoy about fell races is the scenery, and this didn’t disappoint, the views all around of the Clywidian range (is that correct?) were lovely on a nice warm summers evening. After registering in the local boozer for only £4, we headed off to the start, which in itself could have been it’s own fell race, taking 15 minutes to get there and a hell of a lot of climbing en-route. We went for a bit of a warm up and checked out the start of the race, which straight away was up a big bloody hill, it was that steep i thought it was the stairway to heaven. The race organiser then told us the directions of the course, and to be perfectly honest, after he said up this hill and turn left i lost interest, and i was chuckling away to myself thinking what have i let myself in for.
A big green army shout as we headed off by just me (thanks guys) got a few laughs and off we went, and as per usual i started way too fast. The first part of the course was unforgiving for me, the climbs just went on for what seemed forever. Colin Bishop started strong and i started to lose sight of him quite quickly. We hit the top of the hill after walking the majority of it, and then what seemed like everyone overtaking me going down it, including Ben and Peter who actually shouted “get out of the way you’re too slow” or something along them lines.
I find with fell running the i struggle more going down hill than i do up, it really is an art, people just don’t care about falling over like i do, and they fly down these hills whereas i seem to put all 12 stone down with every thud of my feet. Once at the bottom of the hill the course evened out a little, and at last i started to feel at home and started to pick up the pace a bit, catching up with Ben, but there was no chance we could catch Peter who was off, himself admitting the fear of being overtook by us was inspiring him to have one of his best runs ever (we had been ripping each other all day on who would finish first and last….good bants!)
Myself and Ben then battled it out for the next few miles, along with 1st lady from Buckley. Looking at my Garmin i could see there was only about a mile to go, and i pushed on to get a decent lead over Ben and i thought thats it he’s not going to catch me, but i could also see we were still up in the gods, and with 0.8 of a mile to go we got to the top of the last hill which we had to come down. This is where i lost my head “where’s the path, where’s the trail, where’s the road down” i said to myself, all i could see was heather, thick heather, that apparently the race organiser had warned us about in his race instructions earlier on. Having to pick my legs up to knee height to try and jump over all of this heather absolutely destroyed me, whilst Ben must have just laughed at me as he just sprung down the hill like Zebedee. What i didn’t realise with fell races is you can just come straight down, rather than zigzagging like i did trying to find a trail and completely messing up. Once down to the bottom there was a short sprint to the finish and I was greeted by Bish, Peter, & Ben who had all beasted me and were looking pretty fresh.
Bish won his age cat, and Rachel Arnold i believe, but can i find the results? No chance, apparently they will be available by the summer of 2019. Even though there’s a lot of moaning in this report, i secretly enjoyed the night, and it was even better in the beer garden eating some of Jane’s picnic she brought along, which was a great way to finish the night, thank you.
As I say, unsure of the results as yet but think the order went something like this
Colin Bishop, Peter Rodriguez, Ben Crossley, Chris Fitzpatrick, CBH, Ed Halliwell, John Whitehead, Rachel Arnold, and Jackie Keasley
helsby 2

Please find the consolidated parkrun results below for last Saturday.

http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721&eventdate=2018-07-21

That’s all folks, please keep sending your reports in. The Helsby inbox is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Cheers

Fitzy

 

Helsby RC weekly round-up 2nd July to 8th July 2018

Hello Green Army

Not only do we have 1 race report this week about a certain race, not only do we have 2, but we have 3, all on the same race. Bravo!!

Lets get straight into it.

Step up Lad number 1 – Ian Rutherford

So, the best laid plans to be proper organised for this event, including a pre-visit to the North East for a full reckie of the course had long since been forgotten. The kit-check and prep starting on the Friday evening a mere few hours before setting off. At 3.50am, Saturday, Davyd pulled up and in the still dark very early morning we began to load up the car and off we set. Soon light and yet another beautiful hot and sunny day was in prospect. Travelling any distance in England so early is always fraught with difficulty; over-night road works still in place right across the motorway network so lots of detours and diversions needed but we had plenty of time to play with so it was all good. Just outside Wooler, we found an accommodating service stop for coffee. The scenery now proper stunning in the foot of the Northumbrian National Park; it was also a lot greener than the desert plains of Costa-del-Cheshire I noticed.

Having found the location easy enough we got parked and walked up to register. The folks at Wooler RC couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly and a great atmosphere was the theme for the entire day. Back to the car and Davyd now in full boy-scout role, complete with camping stove and voila – tea and toast was served. That wouldn’t be the last time today I was appreciate of his efforts.

Getting changed and final tinkering with kit, including a change of shorts – the orange ones sadly just attracting to many unwanted pests (make your own jokes) we made a slow walk back up the hill to the club-house. Still a bit of time to kill including meeting up with Geoff who was running with his friend, both having done this on numerous occasions. From the club it was about a five min walk to the start with a brief stop as Davyd and I were both selected for a random kit check. Having to carry full waterproofs, hat, gloves on what was already a scorching hot day seemed a bit excessive but I understand rules are rules.

So off we went around 200+ of us. Lots of DNS apparently; just too dam hot for a lot.

The road soon left behind, you enter the beautiful national park; most definitely one of the most picturesque parts of the country this is, I shall be visiting the area again.

The first few miles were gentle, obviously feeling fresh, the terrain nothing particularly technical and checkpoint number 1 successfully negotiated. Once up and over Cheviot knee, the climb to the proper summit begins. I could sense Davyd just starting to fall away from me. The sun now high and strong in the sky; my body temperature starting to properly climb. I kept checking back, occasionally mustering for him. The Cheviot climb was long and hard with plenty of skilled climbers demonstrating their superior and more efficient skills as they went past. Occasional turns and exchanging thumbs up with Davyd below me, I managed to successfully overcome the craggy rocky summit. The views were off the charts, totally clear sky, it was stunning. Davyd safely up, posed for the obligatory photo and on we went to the actual checkpoint at the Trig point. And that readers, is where the run flipped on its head. The terrain and decent off the Cheviot is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I remember Geoff some weeks ago and again this morning explaining it’s like jumping off a cliff, privately you’re thinking at the time, ‘oh it can’t be that bad’… but oh my, he nailed the description perfectly. Mincing very gingerly, almost at 90 degrees angle from in front of me I try to get down; not going to lie, I was thinking I was about to die. Davyd in front then proceeds to sit down and literally start to what I can only describe as ass-surfing down the mountain. I’m proper hating this now and genuinely working ever so hard just to stop myself from tumbling down the hill, not breaking a leg or worse. The decent goes on forever, Davyd is now just a distant blob and getting ever further away, there are people literally flying past me and I’m aware I’m getting in the way. There is absolutely no path, it’s just heather and brush, unable to see were each foot is planting. I’ve still no idea how I got to the bottom in one piece; but the fun was only just beginning. Across a stream the ascent of Hedgehope was now underway. It started with actual scrambling,

hauling my weary figure up onto a mound. I was having a proper meltdown. I was broken and we’d only covered around 9 miles. So, how’s Davyd I hear you ask, didn’t he have a wobble even before the Cheviot summit? This guy was amazing. Suddenly I found myself in the company of Kilian but in a Helsby vest 😉 Seriously, the transformation was dramatic. He was absolutely buzzing, full of energy and encouragement; he was dealing with my sense of humour failures well. Honestly, I’m still unclear what happened to me, did I attempt to go off to quick, had I been taking enough liquid, had I eaten enough. Just don’t know. My confidence shot, the terrain way to technical for my tarmac plodding skills I knew I was well out of my depth. Climbing the foot of Hedgehope was relatively okay, feeling a little better, I tried to pull myself together, then the terrain changed once again; away from flat open grass land, to craggy rock and heather. I was struggling again. Davyd, the top fella he is, was an endless source of encouragement and support; I kept apologising, I felt I was spoiling his day; I’ll tell everyone now; he would have knocked at least 30 mins, maybe more off his time had he wanted too. The ascent of Hedgehope was way more tough than Cheviot. Terrain so much more challenging (for me at least), I was proper cooked. And we were finally half-way, oh joy!

Roll up rollup, all the fun of the fair continued as Langlee Craggs was the next ride in town, the teddies were being proper thrown about now. We didn’t take an optimum route off the cragg face and found ourselves knee deep in brushland and heather. Getting through that, almost unable to lift my feet high enough. The danger of following people and assuming they know the route right there. Where it was runnable, I was just about capable of a slow-stagger; kept trying though, just needed to get this done. Davyd, had a bit of cramp but otherwise looked strong. The miles were getting done and the terrain became much more Ian friendly; mile 14 an impressive 11.5 mins.

The run in was yet another challenge. The rocky and eroded trail of Carey Burn. The heat in the valley was oppressive. Dusty and challenging terrain on very tired feet was a right struggle, but knowing the end was, if not in sight but relatively imminent was keeping me going. Once out of the ravine, back on to the national park track, it was the proper final acts. A shout of “Away Pet” as a local lady ran past us as if out for a park run and then establishing that England were just one up from the driver of the Northumbria Water tanker half a mile from the end.

And so, it was done. An unimpressive time, completely down to me I’m afraid. A cold hose down and then some genuine hospitality from the volunteers in the centre, lots and lots of food and drink and the England match on the big projector occupying the attention of the others.

I will never forget this day. So many special things happened and it was a proper insight in to fell running for me. Walking back to the car, past the local hostilely, the shouts for the England match loud and happy. Finally got to take my shoes off and began the journey home. Swapping drivers just before we hit the M1, all I will say is thank the lord Davyd’s car is an automatic 😉

Great report Ian, Lad number 2 looked after you well.

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Over to Lad number 2 – Davyd Michell

One Friday night its cold a wet outside, your having a few beers and your mate messages you, I’ve found a race…its 20 miles and its in Northumberland and its called the Chevy Chase, what you think?
Immediately the name caught my imagination, what a great name for fell race over the cheviots, I’m in. A few weeks later the reality dawned that i’ve never ran over 14 miles and that was on the road, still I have 4 months on training to get ready.

Fast forward that 4 months and I’d done quite a bit of training but not as much as i’d hoped, we’d planned to do some longer runs over similar terrain and even a recce, none of that actually happened, still, we’d be ok!?!
The race was on Saturday and the Thursday 2 days before I meet up with Ian for a social run and to formulate a plan of action. The plan was simple – get up a stupid o’clock and drive 230 miles north and run, then drive home.
Friday was all about getting the kit and gear together, I had most bits from my walking days but this still gave me the opportunity to obviously buy some new gear, as everyone loves new gear. So Friday morning I had the chance to try out my new running vest, perhaps a bit last minute! 🙂 much to the amusement of the Friday Fun Club

3am Saturday morning the alarm went off and I got up to go and pick up Ian, we had a 230 mile journey and registration opened at 8:30am for a kit check with the race starting at 10:30. Despite the best effort of Highways England to close off the M60 and A1 for a large section it was no match for us, we were on a mission.
We duly arrived bang on 8am, got our gear together and went and registered. This now gave is 2.5 hours of time to kill. As all good scouts know be prepared, and we were. I’d stuck the camping stove, chairs and kettle in the car so it was time to brew up and get the breakfast on. We also bumped into fellow green army runner Geoff who was also running.

10 am we headed off to the start ready to go, we were loaded up with 2 litres of water each, emergency food, waterproofs, map compass etc as this was run under fell running rules. The other issue was the weather, it was now getting pretty hot at around 25 degrees. After a random spot kit check we were ready to go.
10:30 and we were off. The first mile or so is on road before you head off onto a path and make your way to Cheviot Knee, before tackling the main accent of the 2800ft of Cheviot itself. We started off nice and steady trying not to get carried away, we were covering the ground well and reached the knee in good shape in around 70 minutes. From there the land started to rise rapidly and the main assent had well and truly started, it was at this point I started to feel it a bit, it was getting hot and I was feeling it in my legs. Ian was looking good and was making it look easy. I dug in, but it wasn’t pretty but with Ians encouragement we arrived at the summit.

The view was spectacular and we took a minute to look around whilst getting our trackers check in. The next bit we knew was going to be tough, it evolved a descent off the side of the summit without a path. We headed out following a few other runners and then the route appeared before us…wow..it really was downhill. The steepness was surprising to two tarmac slappers, we picked, fell and slid our way to the bottom and the stream that split the route up the next accent. My legs were shaking, thighs screaming and I was so hot. I’d made it down a minute or so ahead of Ian and just stood in the stream cooling off my feet and throwing water over my head in an attempt cool down.

We gathered our thoughts and then set about climbing straight up the next peak that was Hedgehope, again there was no path and we had to yomp our way up towards the ridge. I started to feel a bit better and my legs were starting to come back to life a bit after the struggle of the pervious peak. The two summits are probably only a few miles apart but that section had taken us an hour by the time we reach the next check point at the summit of Hedgehope. It had also taken its tole on us a bit as the going had been tough. The good news was that was the major climbing over, but we had only covered about half distance.

We descended Hedgehope and thankfully this was not as steep the Cheviot and set on our way to the next checkpoint. The terrain was tricky and quite technical and some parts were just awful with thick gorse, it was my turn now to offer the encouragement. We made it out of that section and we were on a path, thank god! The only issue was that the path was quite eroded and followed a stream with a 3m fall into it if you got it wrong. This coupled with the fact we were 14 miles in and there seemed to be no breeze that had blessed us on the higher ground made tough going. I was now in uncharted territory in terms of distance, but my legs were holding up well and I was having a much better second half of the run than the first.  We reached the final checkpoint at 17 miles and knew we only had 3 to go, but hells path stood in our way, a short half mile assent that normally you’d just push on over, but today was a different story. It was a tough climb and we were both now feeling it at the top, still all downhill to the finish, but even that hurt.
We joined the original road that we’d started on and had a mile or so to go. As we turned off the road to the final path we could hear the welcoming sound of the YHA were it all was going to end soon. We rounded the corner and crossed the line together, we’d done it. 5 hours 20 minutes of running, yomping and in places walking. I think its fair to say we were both knackered, the heat and terrain had done its best but we came through.
The race was impeccably orgainised, they had managed to get water out to even the most remote of checkpoints (a first for the race I understand) given the heat. We now set about replacing as many calories as we could before we had to set off home.

As I write this, reflecting on the run I’m still on a bit of a high. The opportunity to run with my mate in some stunning scenery, meet some great people on the way round and support a great small running club who put on an amazing event has made it the event of the year for me so far, which is going to be hard to beat.  My legs are in bits, stairs are an issue but I can see that this won’t be a one off.  Roll on next year…..

Reckon we could maybe muster a few more bodies for next year, this sounds like a great race

Step up Geoff Collins for report number 3

Chevy Chase Fell Race Wooler Northumberland – Sat 7 July.

What a difference a year makes.  After my attempt last year missing a checkpoint I’m back again for another go at the 62nd Chevy Chase fell race.  The conditions were very different, dry sunny and baking hot with no rain for weeks and no bog.  Last year it was very wet and spongy underfoot.

Its 20 miles through some of the finest scenery in Northumberland giving runners the opportunity to ‘channel their energies into a rewarding and demanding personal challenge’ say the organisers.  The route takes you deep into the heart of the land of the ‘far horizon’.  Indeed the views were truly spectacular you could even see the distant coast towards Beadnall.  A fantastic day apart from the heat and the flies to be in the fells.

This year Helsby RC had a higher profile with two of our best, Ian Rutherford and Davyd Mitchell also taking part.  Together with my Newcastle friend Jill who knows the area well, we ran together as a team of two, with much discussion over pacing to ensure we didn’t get timed out on the check points.  There is an overall time limit of 6hrs to complete the event.  Times are tight particularly at Hedgehope, after that it gets easier.

We met Davyd and Ian in the carpark brewing up and cooking toast on a camping stove.  Madly they left at 3am and drove up on the day!  I felt so grateful for my comfy bed and leisurely breakfast at Jill’s house in Newcastle.

You go up Cheviot 2,676 feet dropping down into a deep valley before heading up Hedgehope 2,348 feet.  Total climb is over 4,000 feet.  Its organised by the friendly Wooler Running Club who take over the youth hostel as the race HQ.

It’s an unmarked route with 7 check points.  Being able to navigate is key particularly in poor visibility, and of course to make sure you find the all the checkpoints!

This was my first race since the end of last year.  Following my knee injury and diagnosis of a stress fractured patella and other age related wear and tear issues.  My training on Helsby Hill & Sandstone.

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Well done guys, really tough going in this heat

Carol Shaw sent in this report

8 Helsby runners took part in the Ladies 5K race organised by Spectrum Striders last Wednesday, July 4th.
Jane Ashbrook was first from Helsby to finish in 8th place in 21.52 and was 2nd in her age category.
Carol Shaw was next in 20th place in 23.18, then Debbie Read in 22nd place in 23.25, Vanessa Griffiths 29th in 24.09, Rhea Howard Armitage 66th  in 28.43, Leah Binns 67th in 28.50 and Donna Geer 78th in 29.29.
Many thanks to Debbie for providing us with prosecco, strawberries and chocolate after the race.
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And last but not least Roy didn’t send in a race report, but asked me kindly to include this in the blog …so here goes

We love Manchestor 10k 

Roy ran a respectable 46.51, but could have done better but got sun stroke, it was boiling hot!

Well done mate

Park run seen runners out in Pheonix, Chester, Delamere, Widnes & Whitehaven. Full consolidated results below

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

If someone could kindly send in race reports for Dearnford Lake Relays, and maybe the midweek fell race, send them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

See you all soon

Fitzy

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