Helsby RC weekly round-up 2nd to 8th Oct 2017

Hello Green Army

My turn for the blog, and yes as per usual its a busy one when i seem to do it normally with CBH’s auto-biographies that go on forever, or loads of race reports keeping me very busy. Love it though, wouldn’t want it any other way, keep sending them in please, helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Ok first announcement, and the most important one, Helsby RC Christmas Party Night out has been confirmed for Friday 1st December. Christmas jumpers compulsory. Meeting in Helter Skelter at 7.30pm, we shall see where the night then takes us. Would be great to see some of the new members there.

Over to Jackie for a couple of race reports to kick this weeks off

View from the Sidelines

Not being fit enough to enter the tough final Fell counter of the season, The Langdale Horseshow, the next best thing was to go up and spectate.

A wet, soggy, misty. muddy, windy day nearly got the organisers changing to the bad weather course as the race tent had blown away overnight and the start field a quagmire. Anyway at the final hour, the full course was decided on and at 11am the runners set off at a gallop up Stickle Gill to Thundacarr Knots and then along the the whole Langdale Valley skyline around to Pike O Bisco. Max & Jimmy were our only Green vest reps today with Phil, Kate (with dogs Lucy & Beth) & me supporting. Having seen them set off we climbed Bowfell Band as fast as possible (sweating in full waterproofs) to get to 3 Tarns (the half way point) just in time for the first speedy runners to come through followed soon by Max and Jimmy.  The number of runners we saw fall, slip & slide down Bowfell was incredible. We were the only folks supporting as a few others
had arrived but found it too cold to stay and wait. After no more than 30mins supporting we were frozen and ran down following the grassy then steep slopes of the aptly named Hell Gill. At the bottom we waded a deep wide stream carrying Kates panicking dogs! A final clamber over greasy slabs just above a series of steep slippy drops to substantial
waterfalls got us down to the calm flat of the valley. We missed Max finishing but were just in time for Jimmy. Looking around the field of runners there were tons of cut legs & injuries, with everyone saying how horrendous it was underfoot all the way around, the toughest Langdale yet & how nobody had seemed to enjoy it! They all looked elated to be
back though! Considering we had only spectated we had had our work cut out and I for one was exhausted but on a high, especially for Max & Jimmy completing such a toughie!

1st Carl Bell 2:13:14
46th Max 3:43:47
116th Jimmy 3:08:48 (unsure if these are the correct way around or not but well done guys)

The next morning I headed down to Farnden, the 16 mile point of the Chester Marathon. At the top of hill climb from the river, with lots of cheering crowds and a local young band playing outside the village coffee shop, it was a buzzing place to support. Soon Darrren, Paul, Ben, Kate, Tim, Graham, Chris and Ste came through. Daz was looking really strong & going too fast for me to  get a snap, and apologies I hadn’t realised
Lesley was running so missed her (photos attached). Then I went on into Chester to Sandy Lane, the top of the the last hill at 25 miles before the home straight onto the Racecourse. A great atmosphere, makes me want to come out of road marathon retirement & do our local one! Well done to all finishers!

Darren 3:02:50
Paul 3:50:51
Ben 4:02:04
Kate 4:08:47
Tim 4:28:34
Chris 4:39:35
Graham 4:39:56
Lesley 5:24:30

Steve 5:30:20

Lesley also sent this to me………..Hi Jackie, I was running with a friend and her son who hadn’t done a marathon before. They both struggled a little from about mile 11! But we had fun and they completed it and raised £600 for Cancer Research.

Jackie

I also know CBH and his mate where supporting 2 guys running as a horse, yes a horse, i think it may have beaten Wiggo as well by a nose. 

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 Ben Williams also did a Chester report, thanks for sending this in Ben

Sunday was my first marathon, and although I have done ultras in the past I knew this would be a whole different ball game. I’d never run continuously for 26 miles, or covered that many miles on hard surfaces. I was worried that my lack of training for this event would find me out very quickly. When people asked what my target was, it genuinely was ‘finish it’. Other than that, I figured that doubling my ‘comfortable’ HM pace and adding a bit would give me a 4 hour target.
It was good to catch up with the Green Army at the start area, before getting into the relevant starting pen ready for the off. Once we started I settled in behind the three 4-hour  pacers, who were bantering and giving out little tips as we went through the city and out to Eccleston. Heading down Rake Lane I edged ahead of them, mainly to escape the big group of runners who were following them. I never pulled far ahead, just enough to keep some space around me. I passed Ste Wiggins on the out-and-back section around halfway but otherwise I didn’t see any Green Army runners out on the course.
After leaving Aldford the support thinned out a bit, and I started to struggle along the country lane. The pacers passed me as we crossed the bypass back into Huntington, and I didn’t have the legs to match their pace. The closing stages were a struggle, I walked up Sandy Lane hill and again near the Groves, before the final run in to the racecourse to finish in 4.02.05 (chip time).
The support around the course was great, thanks to all the Green Army who were out and about. There were great turnouts in each of the villages too, with bands playing and a real ‘event’ feel to things. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone as a first marathon. Well done to all the Helsby runners and friends who ran it.
Ben
Kate Mann also sent in what i think is her first report and hopefully first of many, thanks Kate

‘As I ran my first marathon this weekend, I thought it might be fitting to send in my first ever race report as well! After putting it off for a years, I finally entered the Chester marathon and as Ste Wiggins will attest I was more than a little nervous for it!

Conditions for the first half were pretty perfect and I tried to stick with the 4:15 pacers to avoid going out too quickly. Having drifted ahead of the pacers, at around 8 miles I was joined by Chris, Tim and Graham for a while which really gave me a boost and we got plenty of cheers for Helsby! After hitting the half way mark I decided I would try and up the pace a bit and really settled into it and, it was a lovely surprise to see Jackie in Farndon, at the top of the first significant incline of the route at around 16 miles.

In training I had never managed to do more than 18 miles so it was a little scary running past the 18 mile marker, however at this point I was surprisingly really enjoying myself! The rain started to set in as I reached 22 miles and my garmin was also flashing low battery so there was plenty of incentive to speed up on the way back into the city centre to finish in 4:08.

The majority of the course is gently undulating country roads which my training on the 4vhm route prepared me well for, and the hill at 24 miles is close enough to the finish that it wasn’t too demoralising even with the rain (especially with Jackie supporting again at the top!). The finish at the race course is on grass which was a bit of a mud bath but with the impressive medal and finishers bag , it was well worth it!

As with the Chester Half, it was a really well organised race with plenty of water, gels and sports drinks on route, and although a lot of it is country roads there is plenty of support as you pass through each village. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who was looking to run their first marathon as it’s reasonably flat with a good atmosphere, and I would also imagine that it would be a decent route to try for a PB.’

Thanks, Kate

I see you wrote you started to ‘enjoy yourself.’…really Kate? Well done on your first marathon and race report

There was also some sad news coming out of the Chester metric marathon on Sunday, that a local running club member Trevor Cording of Northwich Running Club (NRC) had passed away during the race. I see from social media a few of our members knew him, so we would like to send our condolences from all at Helsby RC to all of his Family, friends, and running buddies. 

Park run seen runners out in Pheonix, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes, & Birkenhead. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Bish pulled himself away from eating Jane’s cakes for 2 minutes to send this over, cheers Bish
Croxteth Park on a crisp autumn morning. Lovely morning for a 10k. Rain held off for over 500 runners. Starting at the church a mix of long tarmac paths and muddy trails. Two laps around the park saw podium positions for Liverpool Harriers 123, & 6th position for me and 1st V55. I would recommend this one especially as it raises money for a great cause.
Maybe a future road counter Bish?
Over to El Capitano for a report on Cheshire Half marathon 

Myself and Fitzy managed to blag a couple of free places through the club (thanks Steve Riley J) so I picked him up in the morning and off we went to the lovely Arley Hall for the Cheshire Half Marathon.

It was a surprisingly low key event with only around 400 runners which I actually prefer as it feels less corporate and has a more relaxed atmosphere, it reminded me of a club organised event very much like the 4 Villages or the Village Bakery. I have to say the organisation was very well done with easy parking, some entertainment, stalls and plenty of porta-loos so well done to the Cheshire Half team.

The course is essentially 2 laps of the 10k route with a bit added on so some fast times should have been up for grabs, unfortunately my legs just didn’t want to play ball on the day and I fell off the pace early but was still happy to get into the top 10 with 1.21.24.

Fitzy had a great run which saw him arrive home in 7th place with 1.19.36, well done mate. Great for the club to have 2 runners in the top ten! A very enjoyable race on nice rural country lanes (with some locals coming out to support) and a pretty flat course too, I shall definitely have another crack at it in the future so if you get any more free places let me know 😉

Full results here

http://results.racetimers.co.uk/results.aspx?CId=16487&RId=4137

Yes i echo Col’s remarks about the event, surprised this isn’t pulling in more runners as was very well organised 

Jim Jones is putting in some serious mileage at the minute, and seems to be racing every week, over to Jim

I did the Trefriw Mill Fell Race on Saturday 07/10/17. It was the first time I had ran this race which is billed as not being for the ‘feint hearted’ and only for ‘experienced fell runners’ with ‘navigational skills’. It seems that a combination of people taking heed of the race description (quite correctly) and a clash of other fixtures on the day resulted in a small field of around 37 runners.

The race is 10.5 miles with around 3000ft of climb. The terrain has everything from exposed ridges to thick forests and lots of exposed tree roots along the shore of Llyn Geironydd. Heavy rainfall during the hours preceding the race made the rocky descents very slippy and the bogs very deep! Navigation was tricky at times too and knowledge of the route was an advantage to some who managed to pick better lines than I did between the checkpoints.

This was the final race to count in the North Wales Fell Running Series in which I was pushed down from 2nd to 3rd place in my age category by the results of this race. Still, I was happy to receive a a very nice slate trophy for 3rd place. I also picked up a similar trophy  for Jim O’Hara for him being 3rd Senior male in the series.

Cheers,

Jim has also sent this over 

Turning Up Competition (TUC Cup)

The standings up until 8th October can be viewed at:

https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/turning-up-competition-tuc-cup/

 

Please let me know if there are any races missing.

I’m sure there are points that still need to be credited to supporters of races, so please message me if you’ve supported Helsby at a race and not been given a point for it. Its easy enough finding out who ran  from the results, but I wouldn’t know if you turned up as a supporter unless you’ve been mentioned in a race report or if I was there myslef.

Thanks,
Jim

So that’s it for this week, just a reminder, we are back at Castle Park on Monday nights now for the winter, 6.30pm start.

See you all soon

Fitzy

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Helsby RC weekly round-up 4th to 10th September 2017

Hello Green Army

Not a lot in the inbox at all this week so it’s a quiet one, well apart from another chapter in CBH’s auto-biography.

A quick note from Laura

ESSAR 4 Villages Half Marathon

The Four Villages Half Marathon which is on Sunday 21st January opens for entries on 1st October for what will be the 35th race. You can enter online from 1st October at https://helsbyrunningclub.niftyentries.com/35th-ESSAR-Four-Villages-Half-Marathon.

 For new members, this race is organised by Helsby Running Club and is a popular race in the running calendar. As a reminder if you are a Helsby member and would like to run then we kindly ask that you nominate a volunteer to help out on race day or that you help out on Saturday 20th January. We are only able to put on this race with the help of all club members and the income from the race enables us to keep subs lower than they would otherwise have to be. The race also supports lots of local community groups and charities! I have kept a number of places in reserve for club members to give you time to organise your volunteer for race day. Any questions then give me (Laura@baynham-hughes.com) a shout.  And of course if you are able to help out in the run up to the race then please let me know as there is lots to do!

 Finally please spread the word once we are open as it would be great to get record numbers running for our 35th race!

I believe we have a fell and road counter this weekend, Saturday 16th is King John’s Castle Fell race, and Sunday 17th is the Sutton 6 road race. 

All the previous seasons results can be found here so would be great to get good turn out’s this weekend.

https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2017-road-and-fell-champs/ –

Park run seen runners out in Pheonix, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes, Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Big mention to Ste Wiggins and Col Thompson, both running their 100th park runs within the last week, well done guys. Col celebrated with a win at Pheonix whilst Wiggo celebrated with a biscuit, along with a few others from the Green Army

CBH has been swimming again (and a bit of running) although after watching the highlights and seeing some of it live, i can honestly say i would not have ventured out in a boat, never mind swim in the conditions he did. Over to Chris

It’s swimming, but not as I’ve ever known it!

ÖtillÖ Swimrun World Championships

What a few days! On Sunday I found myself on a boat on my way to Sandhamn in the Stockholm archipelago. Sitting two hours from Stockholm itself amidst over the 3000 islands that make up the archipelago Sandhamn is beautiful and well worth a visit in its own right, but we arrived with the sole purpose of making our way to Utö, some 75km away. Taking in 24 runs (65k) and 22 swims  (10k+!) it is a truly epic adventure. The runs were a mixture of wet and dry rocks, “trail” (from walking as we ducked branches and moved around trees through to nice forest trails) through to fire road and even a bit of Road (you’d have loved it Fitzy) and the swims were… well… something else!

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This little video gives an impression of the conditions ( https://www.facebook.com/otillorace/videos/1417863121644623/ ), but the conditions on here are pretty benign compared to other parts of the water. The longer swims had the exits marked by a powerful strobe, but frequently we were unable to see them due to the size of the swell, having to tread water for a few moments to confirm we were heading in the right direction and weren’t drifting/ being pulled of course by the currents. The swell made breathing difficult, not least because of a concertina effect that as I went to breathe Liz would get pulled back by the wave and I would get pulled under before I could catch my breath, the elastic would then propel Liz forward onto my feet, dunking my legs so I couldn’t make any progress in the swim! On the swim linked above Liz was being propelled so far forward that her goggles were bouncing off my feet! Without doubt these were the most challenging conditions I’ve ever swum in.

 The first swim found my style deeply mismatched to the conditions. One of the strange things about swimrun is that competitors are allowed to use aids; e.g., many run with pull buoys (floats that sit between the thighs) and almost everybody uses hand paddles. Paddles slow down your stroke and the larger the paddle the slower the stroke; however the swimrunner must balance this against a natural slowing of their stroke over the course of the event, so the paddles make a real difference later on. Due to this I use large hand paddles and my technique is therefore based upon a very streamlined, slow, but very powerful, stroke for maximum efficiency. As Helmuth Graf von Moltke, famously said; “No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy” Moltke is less well remembered for saying; “a slow stroke doesn’t help you survive in 1.5-2m swell and currents from all angles!” Missed strokes and getting a mouthful of brackish water were the order of the day.

Considering that the vast majority of competitors are now qualified or highly experienced (there is a point system to gain entry) the already high failure rate needs to be considered in that context. The organisers stated that the swims would be ~15 degrees which is quite warm, but they were certainly much colder. With so many swims and so many short runs, keeping warm was a challenge and we saw a number of competitors dropping because they simply couldn’t warm up. Thankfully I’d listened to one of the teams on the boat in this regard and had put on my neoprene vest, or we could have quite easily become one of the statistics. The ‘pig swim’ at 1.4k is followed by a number of short island hops and saw many teams desperately trying to get beyond them to the half marathon stage. At 20k it’s just short, but once past the 2k of ducking branches, climbing over fallen trees and desperately trying not to rip our wetsuits we were able to get into a real groove. Forrest tracks punctuated by traditional Swedish architecture ranging from ‘love shacks’ to seriously impressive properties gave way to a road and we started to really eat up the teams. We might not have been quick, but we were consistent!

Once the half marathon has been ticked off we figured we were just a hop and a skip from the finish, but the swims took on a whole new experience. With strong currents from our left, but wind and waves from our right it was totally confusing. Starting further up the island to adjust for the current, but still finding ourselves swimming almost perpendicular to the current and ‘ferry gliding’ across gave cause for concern. At one point I became convinced we were going to miss the island and buried myself physically to make it to the exit point; I have never hugged a rock so hard! We survived and made it to the finish in Utö in 11th place in the mixed category in 11h 21m 53s. I think we were first Brits and only one non-Swedish team finished ahead of us. Against the best in the world I’ll take that!

The winning team took less than 8 hours to complete the course. Just to put that into context, the winners covered 75k, 10k of which was swim, and I reckon maybe 30-40k was heads up running rather than rock hopping, tree dodging, etc. They have to manage getting in and out of the swim, swim in shoes and run in a wetsuit…. At nearly 10k per hour. If that is not just mind blowing then I don’t know what is!

An incredible adventure, absolute bucket list race and certainly one of the more ridiculous things I’ve done. One more way to take on mother nature and see just how small we really are!

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Well done CBH great work.

I know a few others had races last weekend, Ian Rutherford and Richard Hankins both did Lake Vyrnwy, with Ian coming in 1st V45 and Rich getting a PB, well done guys. 

Last Thursday seen quite a few of us do the 1st Steve Saunders Multi-terrain race over on the Wirral, this being my first one, and it was extremely enjoyable, they are on every Tuesday in September and are a massive £1 to enter. Results and fixtures below

http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/openingframe.htm

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That’s it for this week. See you all soon

Fitzy

 

 

 

Helsby RC weekly round-up 14th to 20th August 2017

Hello Green Army

Couple of notice’s before we do the reports.

Davyd turns 40 this weekend and to celebrate he will be doing Pheonix Park Run on Saturday, 9am start. It’s also his 50th Park run, and i believe he’s bringing cakes, so would be a great way to start his weekend of celebrating with some of the green army. Happy birthday mate.

We have a dilemma, our last road counter at Congleton half on 1st October, clashes with the first Borders League race and also the Sandstone A & B races. There are a few that have already entered, so the committee decided to add another (13th) road counter in, so people who normally commit to the Borders and the always popular Sandstone races, still have chance to do one more road counter. We have decided that Conwy Half on 19th November will be the additional race. This was also chosen so it didn’t clash with any of the Sunday XC dates that have just been finalised, list of dates coming out very soon.

Richard Hankins wanted to remind us of the following race

It’s is the Cilcain show race on Monday.  Details here http://cilcainshow.org.uk/page30.html .

Right then, onto the race reports, over to Ben Fletcher who is back running, great news for the Borders League team that is 🙂 

After a long absence from racing due to injury, I finally got to do my first race of the year, the Weasdale Horseshoe fell race. The race is part of the Ravenstonedale Show which is a typical Cumbrian show, with sheepdog trials, tug of war, wellie wanging and even the egg and spoon race which I fancied entering in myself!

The Weasdale Horseshoe is roughly 8.5 miles with just over 2000ft of climbing which takes you over the Howgill Fells of Hooksey, Randygill Top and Green Bell.

The race started at the top of the showfield before heading out onto the open fells over some very boggy tussock ground, which was good fun as I ended up knee deep in mud and ditches a few times. Once on the open fell the route choice is up to you, as long as you have reached the two checkpoints, which I found straight forward, unlike a few runners who got lost and decided to add a bit extra on! Once round the horseshoe it was back down and through the mud and ditches and back into the showfield which was a uphill finish, just what you want with a crowd watching you!

I finished in 12th place and 3rd v40.

Results

1st Phil Davies (Borrowdale FR) 59.39

12th  Ben Fletcher (Helsby RC)  1.17.14

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Good to see you back Ben

Jackie and a few others have been racing trains again. 

This weekend it was “Race the TRain” weekend in Tywyn, mid Wales.
What a grim start to the weekend! A wet week in Wales followed by a 2 hour intense deluge Friday evening meant we “surfed” our campervan into the camping field/mooring skidding very close to Dave & Lesley’s Delila.  Then sat snug in the van listening to the rain outside waiting for Rachel & Mollie to arrive close to midnight!  They insisted on putting their tent up despite me trying to persuade them to squeeze into our van. A quick discussion before we settled down made me sleep at lot easier. Lesley & I had entered the full 14 miler & Rachel & Mollie the 10 K but Rachel volunteered to swap with me. A fine deal I thought as I’ve taken a few bumps/falls these last few weeks & felt 14 miles of mud was tempting another one.
Even more rain overnight,  but it dawned slightly brighter & drier thank goodness. The 10K meant a morning ride on the steam train to the far end of Tal-y-Lyn valley. Mol & I shared a cabin with a chatty  group of runners from Holland, over specially for the race.  Yes its an international race!  Then at 11am we were off. When you’ve done the full race many times then the 10K is a delight!   The full race is out and back, the first few miles road & repeated at the start & finish with a large off road loop consisting of 5 miles of meandering & undulating fields & farmland to the train terminus at Abergynolwyn. Then a higher run back climbing & undulating along the valley sides. The 10K consisted of the return higher & hillier loop, but the difference is you do it on fresh legs. So it was thoroughly enjoyable with much more energy for the muddy, slippery sometimes calf deep boggy bits!   Mollie did really well, shooting off way ahead of me but alas a slip and her road shoes slowed her down & I caught up and we encouraged each other over the final miles (only for her to sprint ahead again in the final uphill 100m!).
There was a great viewing spot close to our campsite where the trail crosses the railway line and our support team were there to cheer us on before making their way to the start of the long race at 2pm.  Time for a quick shower & snack before making our way to the same bridge to clap the full race runners on their way. A quick nip into Tywyn for afternoon tea (where all the shops were running out of cakes due to the sudden influx of hungry runners) & then back to the same spot to cheer everyone back in.   Mud, smiles, sweat  & grimaces galore; there was even someone hopping (over the stony bits) who had lost his shoes miles earlier in the very deep bog!   Rachel & Lesley came in looking challenged & fairly beaten but by the time we made our way to the finish to greet them they were their usual happy selves and on a high at their achievement – as we were!    All washed down by a great evening back on the campsite with celebration drinks & BBQ to finish the day off perfectly. A slow & short wander along the beach to Aberdovey for coffee & cakes on Sunday, getting back to the vans just before the afternoon rain set in!  Yet another memorable and most enjoyable Race the Train “Summer” weekend! It comes fully recommended!
Cheers Jackie
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Last week seen the 12th road counter at the Ellesmere Port 5k (Capenhurst as we know it) and there was a fair few green vests out

Some great performances, first back for the Men was Colin Bishop and 1st in his V55 Age Cat, 1st back for the women Jane Ashbrook and 1st in her Age cat, really good work considering she was still jet lagged. 10 Helsby vests in total

Full results here; https://eprc.niftyentries.com/Results/Ellesmere-Port-RC-5K

Park run seen runners out in Pheonix, Chester, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, Keswick, Widnes, Croxteth, & Wepre. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

That’s it for this week, keep the reports coming in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Have a great bank holiday weekend

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up 24th – 30th July 2017

Hello Green Army

Not much going on this week, only the one report, and that’s about a Swim as well. Don’t forget without reports we cannot put much in the blog, send them in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com. Would be great to get some new writers as well.

As i’m typing this i’m reading on Social Media that Gaz O’Connor (who should have done the blog this week) has just completed the Deadwater Ultra Marathon, 225 miles from Scotland to Wales, running for 6 consecutive days. Sure we will hear about it next week, but I for one want to congratulate you, what an amazing achievement, well done mate.

Park run seen runners out in Bramhall, Pheonix, Chester, Medina I.O.W, Delamere, Shrewsbury, & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Right over to CBH for the only report of the week, Helsby Swim Run club we will be known as soon. (note; i always get a mention in his reports, he must be missing me)

Breca Buttermere
Another weekend, another SwimRun! This time I stayed in the country and travelled up to Keswick for Breca Buttermere. To say the course was ambitious would be an understatement… after 21.9k of running, 4k of swimming over 7 swims, and all the transitions in between, the race heads up from Buttermere to Robinson along for a further 14.5k of the Anniversary Waltz route before dropping down to Derwent water for 2 swims (1500m total) separated by an island hop and a final 900m run to the finish. Phew! Check it out here: https://tinyurl.com/y8ad46k2
This time I was partnered with Tin Wilcock, my long-term partner in endurance sport, and what a privilege it was to spend time out with the him. We’ve done so many races together now, from our first ultra, through mountain marathons to UTMB, to winning the inaugural ‘Escape from Meriden’, I knew I was going to have a great day out in his company.
These days I find I don’t just want to rock up to an ultra unless I get to share it with one of the friends I’ve made through the club or through all my previous events; I see them as adventures to be enjoyed, sure I’ll compete, but that’s not the primary goal anymore, it’s the challenge, the adventure, the beauty and sharing it with friends that makes it for me.
Lining up I clocked Ben Abdelnoor and immediately thought the race was won if he has a half decent partner, there wasn’t much time for such thoughts as we set off and immediately got caught out by a dodgy course marking! Right from the first run I was feeling knackered, but we squeaked over the rollercoaster terrain and transitioned well into our first swim.
Sizing up other swimmers and knowing where other team’s strengths is a really important part of SwimRun, assuming you are racing (rather than just enjoying a day out). We’d decided that we were going to start off well and see how things went. The second swim was 1k and boy was it choppy! We bobbed up and down like corks and it felt for quite some time that we were not moving. Added to this a number of the other team’s ahead insisted on swimming banana shaped routes to the flags which kept making me question whether I was losing the ability to swim straight in the choppy waters; I wasn’t.
It’s the little wins that give you strength. Knowing that others were swimming extra distance, or didn’t have a swim tow rope (Tin and I consider this mandatory kit), spanking people in the swim so they know they must get well ahead in the run to maintain position (Liz and I were on the opposite side of this in Engadin!) bantering with other teams for dropping things repeatedly, or hearing the team argue. Focusing on the bits that are working for you, rather than the bits that aren’t, can bullet proof your psyche.
Every event requires a nemesis to keep things interesting and ours came in the form of one half of a mixed team. He clearly had a problem harnessing his competitive nature and was not only totally out of sync with his partner (and not even remotely interested in adjusting for the greater good) but he certainly didn’t like being overtaken due to dropping his goggles. His reaction was to elbow me out of the way on a narrow path; mine was to try and raise my jaw back up from astonishment. We’re all competitive, but these long endurance events just aren’t the place for that kind of behaviour… certainly not in the first few K. He instantly became a comedy figure and one we’d be quite happy to finish in front of.
Setting off up the climb to Robinson we spent extra time in transition whilst our comedy nemesis and his partner panicked their way through the aid station following our overtake of them in the swim. We suited down, topped up fluids, got fruit and gels in then cracked on. We were soon overtaken by a couple of farmers, one of which was a Sheppard… no prizes for guessing who could walk up a mountain quickest!
The route up is great as it affords competitors with good views of any teams ahead. For the first time in the race I realised that we could now see third place… unfortunately we could also see fourth, fifth and sixth too!
Hitting the ridge line, I realised I had absolutely nothing to give. By the time we saw Dale head we were a good 7-10 minutes behind 3rd-6th and spoke about how happy we’d be with a top ten finish. Dropping from Dale head we could see that one of the teams were really struggling. Their ‘beaten’ body language was set against the beauty of the Newlands valley… Tin got inspired.
Tin chased and I did everything I could to hold on. We finally took them on Maiden moor and put on our best cheery conversational voices (psychology is everything). To our utter astonishment they were still fully suited and wearing caps and goggles on their heads – I was roasting and I was fully suited down, goggles around my arm and cap in hand! The trip out to the Anni Waltz to cheer on Helsby runners earlier in the season left me with a nice bit of knowledge of the best line of Maiden moor; we were running free.
Descending to Derwent water allowed us to pick off another team (triathletes can’t descend Fitzy J) suddenly we were in 5th and not planning on relinquishing it. Hitting the road disaster struck, we’d lost the markers and were off course, a quick backtrack and we managed to finally find them again. To our astonishment we also found our comedy nemesis (much to his dismay). Overtaking them and heading to the final two swims I was confident we could seal 4th.
We… ok, I, had an enormous faff getting into the penultimate swim. I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Thrashing away in the swim were the farmers and the comedy nemesis and his partner. The four teams had been so far ahead, but had taken it in turns to break like wet KitkKats! At this point Tin was wondering what I was doing and I was just making sure nothing was going to need fixing whilst in the water. We set off to the island just ~ 100 swimming metres behind third and fourth.
Arriving at the island I started to get concerned… had I been over confident of our swimming prowess? We hadn’t appeared to take much out of them and Tin was doing his shoe lace up which he hadn’t thought he had time to do before the last swim. I desperately wanted to get moving. We got into the final swim 60+ metres behind the two teams with me stating the obvious, “We’ve got to go balls out on this one Tin!”
The water had got choppy. Waves attacked us from behind whilst I tried to time my stroke so I could surf in on the wave… I don’t believe I ever sussed it! Within the first 200m we’d taken the farmers. Without a tow rope they were struggling in the water, and really struggled with the chop. Just the comedy nemesis to go.
The biggest problem we had on the swim was the concertina effect of the tow rope and the waves. This manifested in me going to breathe, Tin being pulled backwards on the wave and me being pulled underwater by the rope. It was killing me! We exited the water a couple of minutes ahead and Tin confessed to being wobbly – it wasn’t over yet, but I was confident we could walk the 900m to the finish and still snatch third. Job done!
Amazing event, recommended to anybody with a sense of adventure that can swim!
Epilogue – we met our nemesis later at the prize giving (they won the mixed), he introduced himself and got chatting to Tin. Blamed his partner for being so slow and made out like he would have beaten us soundly if it wasn’t for her. There was definitely one loser there this weekend!
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Yet again superb photo’s
Shout out from our Chair Jackie, lets rally the troops

Interclub Fell Championship Counters between Helsby, Spectrum, Warrington & Delamere Spartans).

Consists of 3 races, the first one was last month’s Wobbler. Spectrum are still computing the results for this which gives points for absolute positions, all finishers plus extra veteran points, so everyone counts & the more runners the merrier!

We have a titles to defend as we have won these interclub fell champs every year so far… the remaining races are:

Wednesday 23-Aug-2017 7:30pm Harrock Hill (nr Parbold) 8.4k / 275m   5.2 miles / 902ft

Saturday 16-Sep-2017 11am King John’s Castle (nr Mold) 7.4k / 264m 4.6 miles / 866ft

Let’s retain the title again!

Sure there will be a mass of Green at both events

 

And last of all well done Jane Ashbrook, picture of Jane and Charlie at At the @ActiveCheshire,   pass on your passion celebration for inspirational women in sport

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That’s it for this week, hope to see you all soon

Fitzy 

 

Helsby RC weekly round-up 10th July to 16th July 2017

Hello Green Army

First of all apologies to Carl Pratt, your Tour of Merseyside report got lost in the trash folder, so it’s main billing this week.

I took part in the tour of Merseyside again for the 4th year running. 6 races in 7 days.

Sunday: Southport half marathon
Monday: thurstaston multi terrain 10k
Tuesday: Walton cycle path 10 mile
Thursday: otterspool 5 mile
Friday: knowsley X country 10k
Saturday: Wirral coastal 10 mile

15 minutes slower than last year but i did learn the art of negative splits for the first time. I see how it work now. Nice to do a bit of overtaking near the end of the races.
No mad rock festivals or holidays over the summer this year and starting to train properly again to get back to a decent pace. Still it was an awesome week and signed back up for next year. 400 places sold out in 2 hours. Nice t shirt and geeky stats attached

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Well done Carl, it’s one that i would love to do but i keep missing out on the registration.

One of the most popular races of the year is also one of our shortest, Over to Geoff Collins who sent in a report for Dearnford Lake relays

Last week’s Dearnford relay race proved to be a really exciting and worthwhile evening out. ‘That’s a long way to go for a 2 mile run’ was a comment made in our car on the way down. Nevertheless the scenic lakeside location of this event, together with the efficient and friendly organisation of Whitchurch Whippets made this a ‘must do’ event. Fortunately the flock of geese around the lake scarpered before the race started.

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There were lots of opportunities to cheer your team on while you weren’t running. Helsby had no less than 4 men’s teams, 2 ladies teams and one rather interesting mixed team, more about that one later. Helsby C men’s team included Roger Michell, Davyds dad in it. Also great to see one of our new members Katie Lord in one of the ladies team. Now Katie has a green vest there is no stopping her, having done The Druid fell race the day before!

Fortunately Roy managed to have a complete team together in the end, I know this had been looking doubtful at one stage.

My team was the mixed team. ‘Coming Ready or Not’ or the dream team as it became known on the night. In the team were two 15yr olds, my son Jonny and our family friend Amy (Amelia) Batchelor making her debut appearance in a grown up race. ‘Dream’ summed up my aspiration to expand their experience and involvement in running as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award.

On the night there were some fantastic performances: Helsby A, Colin Bishop, Colin Thompson, and Danny Rider finishing in 5th place in the men’s team. Helsby B Ian Rutherford, Ian Hamling and Paul Frodsham finishing in 13th place 21st overall. The Green Flyers, John Whitehead, Roy Gaskill, Ben Crosley, 19th place 46th overall. Helsby C Davyd Michell Roger Michell Paul Cunningham, 21st place 54th overall.

The competition was high where did that Olympian for Sale member who did a 9m 49s lap come from?

For the ladies Helsby JJR team, Jo Lacking June Swift and Rachel Holden finishing in 3rd place 38th overall. Helsby Ladies B Shan McCarthy, Rhea Howard-A, Katie Lord, 13th place 93rd overall.

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Coming Ready or Not – The Dream Team

So Coming ready or Not, frankly not ready for me, to be honest running a fell race the previous day maybe not a good idea, even less so when you take one of your team out for a speed session.  A day earlier I find they go a lot faster than I can!  I knew I wouldn’t be the fastest in my team, Jonny beats me by 11 secs.  Seconds count in this race.  But our team star on the night was Amy, on a roll having been first lady finisher at Chester Parkrun the previous week.  Amy beating Jonny by 12 secs!  Amy secures our own team prize and got the coveted chocolate bar, She also ran the 3rd fastest lap time of our 7 ladies.  Coming Ready or Not finishes in 23rd place in the mixed teams, 60th place overall.  Not bad for two 15yr olds, one only just old enough to enter the event and some old guy!

As always we were grateful for Joe and Mario’s support not forgetting Jane’s fantastic refreshments.  Many thanks for supporting our young team members.

Geoff Collins

Cracking report Geoff, thank you

Danielle Ryder has been up to another crazy challenge

Race to the Stones is a 100km race from Chilterns to the North Wessex Downs along the Ridgeway which is said to be the oldest path in the UK. The race is set up so that you can race it non-stop, walk through the night or stay in an overnight basecamp and complete the 100km over two days. I plucked for the two day option and managed to talk a friend who went to Namibia with me into the challenge aswell.

We both absolutely loved the weekend! We started early on Saturday morning near Lewknor in Oxfordshire with staggered start times to spread people along the route, registration was easy and we handed our overnight bags to the assigned waiting truck and towed the line. The km’s ticked down easily as we set off at an easy pace in the rain which persisted for the majority of the morning but with the weather warm I didn’t get the rain coat out. The first day had us working our way through wooded areas with some single track, passing through the middle of some amazing corn fields and weaving our way along the Thames. Mid way camp appeared at the top of a climb after just under 7 hours on our feet and over 700m of elevation for the day. Mid way camp was amazing, limitless food including pasta, fajitas, cake, free massage, yoga sessions and hot showers. After picking up our assigned tent numbers which were extremely spacious compared to my recent mountain marathon experience, and our bags we headed for the showers, a massage, round two of food and a relax in the sun. At this point I couldn’t even imagine carrying on non-stop for the 100k! Day 2 started dry and we set off at around 6.30am.

The terrain on the second day was more open with some stunning vistas opening up on the higher ground of the North Wessex Downs. Unfortunately the kms did not disappear as nicely today. I had started to get a pain on the outside of my foot with about 6kms to go on the first day which was only an issue when walking or running. The pain had not gone by the Sunday morning which made for a long slog of a day and numerous popping of pain killers. I still loved the day and seeing the sign for 5k to go before dropping down a long descent and doing a lap of the Avebury stones was brilliant. The sense of achievement of having covered 100km on foot over the two days was amazing and we even managed a sprint finish to overtake two women we had been zig zagging all day.

The pace was slower with more walking but we still completed day 2 in under 8 hours with 600m of elevation which I am really happy with. The event was brilliant, extremely well organised with excellent food stations (I came away with more food than I took), volunteers and medics and it had a really inclusive feel with the mix of runners and walkers. You also got copious amounts of free photos – most of which were not very flattering unless you like a grimace. I would highly recommend. Now I only need to try and heal my foot so I can do some more.

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No runner takes a decent photo if you are running hard, well done Danielle

Now i’ve been told by Gaz that if it’s not just running it shouldn’t be in the blog, so here’s a Swim run report from our CBH just to annoy Gaz, it’s also a cracking read and the photo’s aren’t too bad either

Rockman Swimrun – Lysefjorden, Norway.
Two weekends, 4 flights, two swimruns. So last week was Engadin where my race partner Liz and I qualified for the Otillo world swimrun championships, but this is the race I’ve been looking forward to all year. Rockman totally grabbed me last year. Iconic bonkers start jumping from a ferry into the Fjord for a 900m swim complete with jelly fish before heading up, up, up to three more swims and a run to Preikestolen standing at 604m. This is what it looked like:
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On the way of Preikestolen I managed to slip on a 45 degree rock and my legs went completely from under me. Sliding uncontrollably towards a 10-12ft drop I managed to angle my body towards a tree and break the momentum from my fall. As I got up I realised that I’d managed to retain the fist full of sweets I’d just got from the aid station. Professional! Cracking on from there I slipped again and landed hard on my big toe which is suspected to be broken… not good less than 10k into the race! Some extremely technical running across simply the most stunning landscape followed along with another cheeky swim and more of the same until the first big Fjord swim (1600m).
Laura had come out to spectate and have a long weekend in Norway so as we entered this big swim I did my best to shout a “No Goubunku” out so Laura would know it was us. Only seconds later I was chuckling to myself as it would have just sounded like a sad middle aged man trying to reclaim his youth to those nearby and a muffled noise to those on the boat. Liz and I have finally got our tether to the right length and with Liz using hand paddles this time we seem to really hid our swimming stride. Slow over the seaside sprint we came to Songesand and Laura. At this point we lay in 5th position in the mixed (a category that has become the most competitive of the lot this year – 4 out of the first 10 finishers were mixed).
Fitzy would have loved the next bit… road; around 7k of it! As we ground our way up the never ending hill all I could think about was the waffle lady. When an aid station is cooking fresh waffles on the side of the road for you, you know you’re in a fantastic race! Dropping down to the 1700m Fjord crossing I lost my cap, but it didn’t stop us nailing the crossing in just over 30 minutes. The Fjord was meant to be ~11-13 degrees, but it didn’t feel so cold this year… we knew we had colder to come.
The next section is a 750m climb up 4444 steps. It’s brutal. A gel, a bar, two electrolyte drinks, a water and a redbull and we were sent off with a further two gels in our wetsuits by the overzealous marshals. Frankly I was off my face on sugar. Getting to the top we could see a group of three teams ahead. Our speedy Fjord crossing had put us in 4th mixed team and with the first of three swims at the top down we were going well. The next aid station was manned and we asked if any of the teams ahead were mixed… they were… 8 minutes ahead. Game on.
The second of the two 9 degree swims complete we were on the dragon’s neck. A wonderfully runnable rock section. A slight nav error added and extra swim for us, but we could see the team ahead and were closing. By the end of the final swim (7 degrees) we were just 5 minutes behind. A stunning bit of single track trail and a steep sometimes technical descent awaited. We were refusing to go quietly into the night, despite not being able to see them.
Popping out on the final bit of technical descent I spotted them. We increase the pace and dropped Laura who had been filming. In total stealth mode we were taking chunks out of them until they broke out onto the trail and she looked up. “We’ve been seen Liz, just go!” We dropped like stones and hit the trail, switchback after switchback we were gaining and I knew they were ours for the taking. We crossed the line with huge grins and a 4 second advantage.
Podium? Don’t mind if I do!
Wow, another thing to add to the bucket list i think 
 

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

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

And last of all, a very good mate of mine Colin Havey, is organising a comedy night down at the club, put this date in your diary, as he will have some of the best acts on the circuit coming to Helsby to make us LOL! Friday 10th November, it will sell out pretty quickly i reckon so watch this space and i will keep you all informed.

That’s it for this week, keep sending in the reports it makes our job so much easier

Happy Running

Fitzy

 

Helsby RC weekly round-up 19th to 25th June 2017

Hello Green Army

Very very busy week, would be wouldn’t it eh Gaz. So here we go.

Tim Palmer has asked me to include this, so before anyone thinks a certain blogger is trying to blow his own trumpet….think again 🙂

Fell & Road standings as at 29 May 2017 are available at:
Thanks Ian Landucci has done on these.
Club Counters
I know that we all have very busy lives, but we have noticed a drop in the numbers attending club counters, both for Fell and Road. Any ideas at all to improve these numbers, i’m happy to collate the information and feedback and then go back to the committee to discuss. Email me your thoughts, be honest, i wont mention names if that helps but would love to hear of you the club members if we can help improve what races we take part in. My email is fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com
Cheers
Laura has given us a date for the 4VHM kick off meeting on Monday 24th July 

It is that time of the year again when thoughts turn to January and the ESSAR 4 Villages Half Marathon, which Helsby Running club organise. There will be a kick off meeting on Monday 24th July at 8pm at Helsby Sports Club (after Monday night track session). If you would like to get involved in this year’s race then please come along to the meeting. We will be discussing plans for the race (provisional date is Sunday 21st January) and it is an opportunity to share any ideas on how we can make the race even better! Look forward to seeing lots of you at the meeting.

Many thanks Laura

Like your Music, anyone fancy a Helsby RC night out? have a look at the below. A message from the Sports Club

Hi all, please find attached the poster for helsfest, could you all circulate this with your members. Also include that if any members wish to purchase tickets I am offering a discounted price of £10 for members if purchased through me at the club 🙂
Also I am in need of some volunteers for the day for some general marshalling duties. If anybody is interested in helping out on the day please let me know, the club will benefit hugely from the alcohol sales of this event.
Many thanks
Chloe

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Stand up Carl Pratt for the first race report of the day

In unusual circumstances I asked my wife Ali if we could go to the in law’s caravan in Rhyl for a night on Friday. The catch was the fact that North Wales half marathon was on the Saturday morning! How convenient! I planned the race as an ideal warm up leading up to Southport half next Sunday, which kicks of the 52 mile tour of Merseyside over the course of the week. Anyway the half marathon on Saturday was a lot smaller than I expected with only 137 runners.

A strong tail wind on the way out allowed a nice sub 4:20/km which if kept up would have led to a sub 1h:30 and a pb. However we all know what happens next! The final 6 miles was directly into the 15mph headwind and cut my pace down to 5:00-5:30/km. Good for training but kills the chance of the time you want.

1:37:29 and a 17th place overall finish. So happy enough with that. Whilst here I’d like to note that I’m still doing a fair bit of running but being a new dad has taken priority and most of the training is done early in the day so don’t get a chance to do many club training sessions these days. Might have to get over Wednesday though to break the trail shoes back in for the 2nd and 5th leg of next weeks tour of Merseyside!

Good luck with the “Tour” Carl I know a lot of us wanted to do this

Blogger Jim turned back to his natural habitat in the hills of Wales instead of the tarmac of Cheshire

I don’t know whether Max Wainright has sent a race report in, but he did well on the V3k Ultra on Saturday, finishing 23rd in just 9hrs 20 mins. Renowned as being one of the toughest races in the UK, the V3k Ultra takes in all 15 peaks in Wales that are over 3000ft and covers a distance of around 34 miles. I did the V3k Ultra last year and it was indeed one of the toughest things I’ve done, I had signed up for it again this year but decided to transfer to the V3k Half instead. My race started at Ogwen with a climb up Pen yr Ole Wen and was about 13 miles along the less technical terrain of the Carneddau. I finished the V3k Half in 7th place at 3hrs 5 mins, but I felt like a bit of a fraud when I found myself running alongside some of the lead runners of the Ultra who had already been out there for 6 hours before me!  I’d recommend the half to anyone wanting to try what is still  tough terrain, but without the more exposed climbs of Crib Goch and Tryfan.

Great work chaps, if I could navigate it’s one i would love to do

Tim sent in this for Moel-y-Gamelin Fell Race

After the hot and sunny weather of the last week or so, the drizzle and low cloud at the top of Horseshoe Pass came as a bit of surprise on Sunday, but made for pleasant running conditions (compared to the heat) although less pleasant for the marshals. The race manages two ascents of Moel y Gamelin and Joe is right – the last one is a stiff climb. 

It was a small Green Army turnout of 4 for this fell counter; thanks to Joe and Mario for their support (twice for the slower Helsby runners!) at the far end. There was also a brief appearance of Jim O on a bike just before the start.

 Where we lacked quantity, we made up for with quality with two top 10 finishes (Adam in 7th and Neil in 9th) and a category win for Adam. The race winner, Lawrence Eccles (Penny Lane Striders) finished in 1:13:56 and there were 49 finishers.

POSITION NAME CLUB CATEGORY CAT/POS TIME
7 ADAM GORDON HELSBY MV 40 1 1:22:49
9 NEIL FINEGAN HELSBY MV 40 3 1:25:12
27 TIM PALMER HELSBY MV 50 7 1:40:58
39 JIM JONES HELSBY MV 50 11 1:49:11

 At least Lawrence didn’t take you the wrong way!!!

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www.facebook.com/SteveJefferyPhotography

LBH sent this report in from one of our latest Fell Counters

Wednesday night saw the postponed Up the Beast race, one of our Fell counters and part of the Mini Fell series.  It was very hot and humid with a big storm threatening at the start of the race. 9 Green vests had made the journey to The Miners Arms in Maeshafn and we were pleased the start was through the shade of the woods. This is a cracking race, just over 4 miles with about 1500ft of climb. I honestly only really remembered the first climb from last year – I must have blocked them out – so the other 2 were a bit of a surprise! Also I didn’t get lost this year (no Froddy to follow!) Great running from Felsby on the night, well worth the trip on a hot summer’s evening.

 Helsby Results

1st in 38.40 Lawrence Eccles from Penny Lane Striders (he didn’t get lost again)

6 Max Wainwright

14 Adam Gordon

30 Laura B Hughes (1st lady)

40 Phil Gillard

41 Jane Ashbrook (4th lady)

44 Jim Jones

46 Davyd Michell

58 Rachel Arnold

68 Paul Cunningham

 Full results at http://www.wfra.me.uk/

Well done everyone decent turnout as well which is brilliant.

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Davyd decided to run on Fathers day, whats that all about?

On fathers day last Sunday I took part in the British Masters 5k championships. This is a race for anyone over the grand old age of 35 and a member of there area masters club, in our case that’s the Northern Masters Athletic Club. The race takes place in Horwich just outside Bolton and is part of their festival of sport, so there is races of all types going on from an open 5k race to under 8 children’s cycle races.
The Masters race has its own independent race although we are combined with the race walkers who started 3 mins ahead of us runners. The course is a 3 laps of the town centre on closed roads, the course is not known as a quick one due to a smallish drag up to the finish which by the time you reach the final lap and finish at the top feels much tougher than you might expect. The weather on the day was hot and humid and made for tough going despite the short distance. 144 competitors took to the line with the oldest being over 80 and as expected, being the masters champs, the field was of high quality. This was confirmed by me just managing to outsprint a V70 to the finish in 20:29…and finishing in 63rd position.
It was great to be part of another big race on closed roads with a good astrosphere, especially as my Dad was also competing in the walk. Results are on the attached link
http://bmaf.org.uk/results/res2017/BMAF5k2017.pdf

And its worth looking at some of the times and ages, some are very impressive, like the winner of the V70 category running sub 20 minutes!..

Thanks Davyd

I’m sure Davyd has told me his Dad has a 10k PB of 36 mins….walking, not running! Amazing!!

El Capitano headed over to Liverpool for one of our road counters

Our 8th road counter at the Penny Lane 10k on Sunday saw only 2 Helsby runners turn up to fly the green army flag, myself and Richard Hankins. A shame as this 10k ticks all the boxes, perfect club organisation by Penny Lane Striders, cheap entry fee and a nice route along the Otterspool Promenade with a small trail section to keep things interesting enough. Maybe the clash with Tough Team was to blame as the fell counter also suffered a low turn out too.

My legs were pretty heavy after the TTC on Friday but after a quick warm up the old legs loosened up and I was ready to go and surprisingly achieved a course PB (35.35) and 11th place. Very happy with that one! Richard showed he is going well with another sub 40 run (39.34) and 48th place. Well done Rich!

Rich seems to be at every race we do these days! well done guys

Friday night seen the green army go over to Tattenhall for the Tough Team Challenge. no report for this one but what a night, mens team coming in 1st, well done to Col, Bish and Danny, showing the 2nd placed team how to run as a team and not individuals, the clue is in the title, and the ladies team coming in 3rd, well done Jane, Alison, and Jenny, brilliant work and by the amount of smiles i seen at the top of the railway, everyone had lots of good fun.

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Park run seen runners out in Pheonix, Ally Pally, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, Widnes, & Birkenhead. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

thank god thats over, that’s it for this week, bye for now

Fitzy

 

Helsby RC weekly round-up 22nd to 28th May 2017

Hello Green Army

Some serious mileage gone on this week, mainly at the park runs, but some good reports come in this week, go get a brew, take a seat and enjoy.

So first of all lets welcome new club member, Katie Lord, welcome aboard, hope to hear you shouting “green army” at a race soon. Maybe we could also do a little feature in the blog in the near future on new members and what their interests are, and maybe for the new members we can do little feature on existing members and their interests. Let me get back from my jollies and I will sort something out.

Tim Palmer has asked me to remind everyone of the below.

“Hopefully you will have received an email about paying your subs giving the amount and a link to pay. If you haven’t, please contact Tim Palmer on tim@timjenny.me.uk. If you have, please can you pay as soon as possible. If you have and have paid, thank you very much.”

 I have now signed up again and it was very easy to use, brilliant work Tim, thank you

A quick message from Jackie;

Last weeks AGM went well and was well supported. Thanks to those who were able to come and for the many suggestions and comments about our club.  Full minutes will be circulated soon but the two most important highlights are:–
Our new club constitution now allows the club to nominate Honorary Life Members. So congratulations to Joe Beswick and Andy Smith on becoming the first life members for services to the club
and your committee for next year are:-

Chairman      Jackie
Secretary       Phil
Treasurer       Jo
Men’s Captain – Colin T, assisted by Paul F & Chris F
Men’s Vice captain – Mario
Ladies’ Captain – June
Ladies’ Fell Captain – Laura
Head Coach – Joe
Press Officer – Carol S
Social Secretaries – Dave and Lesley
Half Marathon Director – Laura
Assistant Half Marathon Director – Michelle
HCSC Representative – Betty
Border League Co-ordinators – Chris F and Vanessa
XC Co-ordinators – Janet R and Paul F
Sandstone Trail Organiser – Ben

Sandstone Trail Assistants – TBA
Webmaster – Steve R
Stats – Donna and Ian L (with Ben and Susanne Fletcher taking over)
Welfare – Jane A and Ivan
Calendar Co-ordinator– Tim P
Kit Co-ordinator – Donna

            Blog Writers – Colin T, Chris F, Jim J, Gaz
Cheers and thanks and welcome to another year of HRC and the #greenarmy!
Jackie
Also if anyone would like to help us do a blog or 2 or just a guest appearance every now and again let us know, it would really help us bloggers, send in your name to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com
Sandstone trail race director Ben Williams doesn’t get to run our favourite ultra, so he decided on a crazy 100 miler instead, thanks for the report Ben.  
For anyone I’ve not already bored to tears, I did the LDWA 100 mile event – actually 102 miles, and almost 11500 feet of climb, right around the North York Moors. The event started at noon on Saturday and entrants had until Monday morning to complete, with no stops longer than two hours allowed. I entered as a runner, but to be honest was reduced to walking from about 40 miles. The checkpoints were brilliant as always on these events, and were particularly welcoming overnight.

I was expecting a mental as well as physical challenge, and there were some ups and downs. I’d set a target time in my mind, and when it became clear that I wasn’t going to achieve it I felt like giving up. But then I decided that as I was halfway round and was physically ok, I may as well stick it out and I’m glad I did, even though I was reduced to walking. Of the 509 entrants, 151 retired so I’m glad I had the mental strength to keep going. I finished just as darkness fell on Sunday night.

Walking through Saturday night, and seeing first light up on the moors at 3am was amazing, as was walking through a thunderstorm. Some of the climbs up through moorland were brutal though.

Massive thanks to Serena who supported me all the way and looked after me when I finished, and massive respect to Ste Wigs who had to pull out at 25 miles through illness but turned out on Sunday to support me.

Ben

Back after his motorbiking travel Richard Hankins got stuck into the Manchester 10k on the back of the terrible atrocities the week before. 

The Great Manchester Run is according to Wikipedia the third largest mass participation sporting event in the UK (after the London Marathon and the Great North Run). It is also very much a corporate events with live TV coverage and an elite race alongside the mass participation event. I have to say it is the opposite of the sort of races that I prefer, low key, low price, club organised events. However, a group from work were running to raise money for the Christie Hospital so I joined in this year.

It turned out to be a poignant event for Manchester coming at the end of a terrible week and in some ways representing the city’s resilience and return to normality. The organisation is stunning – the whole south of the city centre is taken over and largely pedestrianised. Armed police were everywhere (they had been drawn from across the UK). With in excess of 30 000 people running it is necessary to marshall them into different waves. In this respect I was lucky, I was in the first wave and was able to secrete myself very close to the ‘Fast Club Runners’ who were starting at the very front. To do this however, I had to be lining up on the start line 40 minutes early which was ok on a warm dry day. At the start there was an enthusiastic applause for the emergency services followed by a very moving minutes silence. Some guy then read an annoying poem before we were off.

Even at the front I spent the first 500 m stuck in traffic – with some runners comically out of place. Its is not a pretty race, taking in Old Trafford and Trafford Park but it is pretty flat and fast. There were bands, DJ’s and an excellent and enthusiastic crowd along the route – it made running an experience. The finish on Deansgate was also thorough planned and executed. I ran a PB at 39:09, Carol Shaw came in at 59:52 and Damion Baker at 57:10. As a Mancunian I was pleased to be there this year and to be part of Manchester’s response to terror – if mega events are your thing this is probably as good as it gets. Personally, I think I still prefer the Sutton 6!

Congrats on the PB Richard

Over to CBH to give us a little report and then a bigger report about the dragon’s back race which he actually took 5 days off work to complete….nutter! You choose which one you would like to read, I’ve had to read both for spell checks!!

 

Little report

Did the dragon’s back last week. It also afforded me the honour of raising over £2k including gift aid so far for Head Injured People in Cheshire (they helped me in my recovery).

I was rather concerned about this one given the impact it had on me last time, putting me in A&E the next day for x-rays and suspected stress fractures to both shins. This time day 1 was changed; it took me 10 hours rather than over 15 which had an enormous impact. By day three I was confident enough to race. The heat wave made life very difficult out there for many; resulting in a drop out rate of over 50% (standard for this race!) however I managed to finish running and could not be more pleased over all.

 Day 1 highlight: Crib Goch… and the fly through below me in the Ogwen valley of a Hercules and 2 hawks

Day 2 highlight: Running off Diffwys with Neil Talbot… and the Rhinogs, never forget the Rhinogs

Day 3 Highlight: 4 strawberry splits for £1 … and racing the second half

Day 4 Highlight: Running it all… and the slush puppy in the pub at the end of the day

Day 5: Highlight: Running alongside and keeping pace with Jez Bragg whilst eating a pork pie… Running it all

 I was 20th overall, had an amazing 5 day journey and still feel quite spritely! I can’t recommend the race enough, tough, you need to prepare, but now very much doable. Who’s up for 2019?

Big report

Dragon’s Back 2017.

Last week I went out for a bit of a run across the spine of mountains in Wales known as the Dragon’s Back. This is a 5 day event which is roughly 200 miles in length, 2 Everest’s in climb and, more importantly, descent, over rough terrain. In many places the mantra of ‘think like a sheep’ rewarded me with a better trod than the purely rough ground alternative.

 This was my second time taking on the DBR having completed in 2012. 2012 took everything I had to finish and I am not convinced I ever really recovered properly…. But there is something about this race that just grabs my attention and draws me back in. Starting the race I didn’t know if my previous experiences would be a help or a hindrance; mentally knowing how much further there was to go, not needing to finish, etc.

 Day 1 – Conwy to Nant Gwynant (Via the Carneddau, Glyderau and Snowdon ranges)

We started off from the Castle in Conwy after a stirring wake up by the local male voice choir. A few familiar faces appeared including Jimmy O’Hara, luckily we bumped into Jimmy early on and it was great to have the support. The conditions appeared to be great for running, but turned out to be deceptively close and really difficult to cool off.

 Naturally we all started out too fast, having felt like caged animals for the last 24 hours. I finally managed to catch up with Carol Morgan (a good friend of Fitzy and me from the Ring of Fire, plus I ran a good chunk of UTMB with her) and we spent the day together. Coming off the Carneddau we were treated to an air show as a Hercules flew below us through the Ogwen valley followed by two hawks; it was as if the organisers had put it on specially for us.

I was feeling really out of sorts. Food was going in ok, but not great, my temperature had been worse, but wasn’t great either, plus the lack of water had left me dehydrated despite carrying two litres with me. This continued across the Glyders and I decided to take a slightly different line to Carol to Pen-y-pass which cost me 5 minutes. By the time I caught Carol we were half way to the base of Crib Goch on the PYG track. Scrambling up was a real highlight, but sadly the ridgeline was clagged out. Didn’t stop me running with a huge grin and taking out two further competitors who were clinging onto the ridge.

 The technical running continued but I arrived in camp following a few frustrating errors that cost me at least 15 minutes and I’d dropped a further 10-15 by slowing up on the final bits. I was thrilled with the day though as I’d expected 12 hours and had done it in just over 10. To put this into context, 2012 had taken me over 15 hours as the course was different and had 1000m more climb as well as extra distance.

 Day 2 – Nant Gwynant to Dolgellau via the Moelwynion and Rhinogydd.

We awoke from our tents to find clag from ~150m; with it forecasted to continue I chose not to put on suncream or take my sun hat. Running out from the camp I passed Caroline (3rd overall) and we ran together through the clag over Cnicht and to the base of the Moelwyns, then took different lines before linking up again as we crossed to the Roman steps and the start of the Rhinogs. By this time the weather had changed and was scorching…. So much for the forecast.

 I continued to really play with the mountains, some lines worked, some didn’t, but I didn’t care as I had one of the greatest days in the mountains I have ever enjoyed. A clear day in the Rhinogs is a pleasure indeed; as I ran off the final summit (Diffwys) with another friend, Neil Talbot, I kept trying to tell myself I still had a good distance to go, but my head wasn’t listening. By the time I arrived at the camp it felt like I’d done an extra day! A wash in a cold stream was transformational though… as were the salty chips with mayo!

 Day 3 – Dolgellau to Pumlumon; via Cadair Idris, Tarrens and Pumlumon.

Day three starts with a stiff ascent to the Cadair ridge, but is certainly an easier day mountain wise…. It makes up for it in extra miles instead. Again the morning saw the ridgeline clagged out, but this time I had made sure I put on my cream and sun hat ready for the afternoon. The heat had been intense from early on Tuesday and the mercury was set to rise again… boy did it!

 I was lucky to catch an error from Penygadair early enough to mean it only added ~10 minutes to the day, but crossing the ridge was noticeably easier than I remembered it. That first day in 2012 had really taken its toll, so running this freely was a real delight. Once again I’d hooked up with Caroline by accident at the start, but we proved to be a really great partnership once again. With the Tarrens down all I could think about was picking up a Solero in Machynlleth. I was to be disappointed.

 Arriving at the petrol station to find there were no Soleros was a major blow, but 4 strawberry splits for £1, 3 bags of jelly sweets and a coke sorted me out. I discovered the key to distance running in the mountains is actually just running happy. My friend James ‘Pup’ Harris had shown the way on day one; nipping into the Café on Snowdon to get a can of cider for the technical crossing to y llywydd. That’s an approach I think Fitzy would be happy to adopt.

Having lost Caroline due to spending too much time finding and eating food I eventually left the drop bag point with my stereo on and the bit between my teeth. Getting into a rhythm I nailed the remaining trail section. Catching Caroline and Wouter (the flying Dutchman) then shooting past and really pushing it. I’d started to race.

 Day 4 – Elan Valley & Drygarn Fawr

Having arrived at the finish spent the night before I had failed to take care of my camp admin. Starting day 4 I realised I was going to be off the pace. My good friend I’d known since meeting and sharing a Bob Graham round in 2012, Carwyn had been forced to withdraw from the race with a torn calf. I was gutted for him. The race means so much to him I was actually lost for words as I knew everything would sound trite. His running partner Sam had asked to start with me so I naturally obliged.

 The mercury was pushing upwards again and I was struggling in the heat. It’s my least favourite of the days as the ground is tough and there aren’t really any mountains. Wide open spaces give plenty of time for contemplation and I was feeling a little sorry for myself. Still managed to nail the few lines that I knew and Sam really pulled me along the ‘10K road time trial’ at the end of the day. Finishing next to a pub and a river was a huge winner… especially when they serve slush puppies. My order of a Slush, a coke and a shandy went without a bat of an eyelid – clearly standard in these parts.

 In the evening a huge blow was dealt as time ticked on and Pup had not appeared. He finally arrived in bits. He’d had a similar injury to the one I’d suffered in 2012; his shin just refusing to play ball anymore. Day 5 was starting with a trip to the hospital for him to x-ray for a suspected stress fracture. Bad times.

 Day 5 – Carmarthenshire and the Black Mountain

Day 5 had been absolute hell for me the previous time. With both shins in agony I’d refused to give it in. I’d spent the first part to the drop bag almost entirely in tears. I had not looked forward to this bit at all as 30% of the day is on road and was pretty bland in my memory. How wrong!

 It was another scorching day and my word was it beautiful! Stopping in Llandovery for a coke, Feast ice cream, two pork pies, a bag of space raiders and a huge bag of jelly sweets cost me at least 15 minutes as I got caught behind an old lady doing her weekly shop… it was worth every minute. Getting back going and trying to catch up with Sam I demolished the feast, space raiders and pork pies whilst miraculously managing to keep pace with Jez Bragg. We subsequently leap frogged each other until getting to the beautiful Usk reservoir and the drop bag.

 Finding myself able to use Jez as a target pacer was beyond a surprise, but the week had taken its toll on him too in the form of knee tendonitis. Eventually the elastic snapped and Sam and I finally summitted onto the beautiful Black Mountain ridgeline. It’s a home run into the finish from here; it’s a very long one, but you know you’ve finished – it’s the victory lap. Even the serious heat didn’t detract from the beauty, although that was boosted by an ice cream van and two ice creams (one for each hand). It did leave me with cause for alarm as I sensed a national crisis in Wales… I’d been to a petrol station, a local super market and an ice cream van and none of them had stocked Soleros. It’s a scandal brewing, that’s for sure!

 In the end I was 20th, not that I was ever concerned about my finish position. My aim had been to finish with more dignity than last time and to be able to run all the way. I’m pleased to report that I absolutely accomplished my mission. The perfect end to the best running holiday anybody could have.

Once again more than 50% had failed to finish despite the route being known in advance, the first day being a 1/3 less and everybody being issued with a GPS trace prior to the race. It’s fair to say this race eats its young, but I’m yet to find anybody that has entered and not become deeply entranced by the challenge. 5 days of the best mountain running around. Perfect organisation. Incredible experience and camaraderie… it deserves its legendary status.

A little video from day 1 

This gives a flavour of day 1: https://youtu.be/3SliYGpdjPk

I think you will all agree CBH is pretty good at this ultra stuff, but so are his reports, and now everyone understands why i constantly moan about him saying he talks too much whilst out running with him. Total respect, although a Guinness would be my choice not a cider!

CBH

CBH 2

Park run seen runners out in Runcorn, Warrington, Chester, Delamere, Keswick, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

That’s all for this week folks, happy running.

Helsby RC weekly round-up 8th May to 14thth May 2017

Hello Green Army

A bit of sad news to start the blog this week. Former club member Albert Berry, 73 years young, passed away earlier this week. Lots of lovely comments have been posted on the Facebook page and we want to send our thoughts to his family and friends. A sub 30, 10k runner in his prime Albert was a very talented runner, but very modest at the same time. He made everyone new to the club very welcome on club nights, and he loved the social pint and a chat afterwards. He will be missed.

Albert’s funeral will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 24th May at St Michael’s R C Church, St Michael’s Road, Ditton, Halton, Widnes WA8 8TF, and afterwards at St Michael’s Rooms.

Albert

Some good news now, our very own Joe Beswick has been given Honorary Membership of the Fell Runners Association, both for his running exploits in his earlier years and now his support. This is another achievement to put on his running CV, very well deserved Joe, be sure to congratulate him if you see him, I’m sure he will tell you a few stories about his exploits.

 A message from Betty

Mersey Weaver District Scouts are fundraising their way to Norway for the world’s northernmost jamboree in the Arctic Circle, The Helsby Community Sports Club, have teaming with up to organise a Fundraising family fun day on 3rd June

Our fun day on 3rd June Helsby Community Sports Club is shaping up to be a great day. Alongside the family fun fair, climbing wall, and birds of prey display from LORD of the WINGS, children’s soft play area, dog show with Vets Helsby and vintage tractors, Go Ape have confirmed they will be attending with a couple of instructors and swegways, there will be demonstrations from Deva Cheerleading Academy – Chester and, Filipino Eagles, Childrens Martial Arts, face painting from Party Faces, lots of community groups have signed up to have stalls, the sporting sections from the club will be providing taster sessions, there will children’s story telling with SHOUT OUT BOO 2 and lots lots more

Scouts Helsby Family Funday

Park run seen runners out in Runcorn, Chester, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, Conwy & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Geoff Collins sent in a report on the Thurstaston Summer Multi Challenge race 9th May.

Seven Helsby runners entered the race this year up from two last year, but sadly we had no ladies this time. Wirral and Merseyside clubs were well represented among the 194 finishers but not many from the Cheshire clubs. Weather conditions were much better than last year with a nice sunny evening and dry conditions. However Colin and myself managed to get an age category prize!

This is a really cracking good multi terrain race. Just £4 to enter starting in the same place as the September one by the caravan site. The usual shuffling backwards, forwards and sideways to allow cars past took place before the race could start. The course takes you towards the slipway down onto the beach and back to Heswall rather than Caldy.

There is just over a mile of running on the beach which was quite wet in places, I think for me this was the best bit of the race glorious in the setting sun and the views across the Dee estuary. Just before the sewage works you head off the beach on a track and climb up to a narrow road past a few houses heading towards Broad Lane. This continues as you cross the Wirral Way on a bridge heading up towards The Dales the next off road section. The unwelcome sight of steps going up comes into view! Then it’s a bit of a loop round the wooded Dales before yes you guessed, more steps going down again! Back to the road and onto the Wirral way finally onto the grassy headland dodging the rabbit holes to the finish. I was frantically trying to catch Tim on the closing stages of the race.

Many thanks to Christleton High School Art Dept for the photo

Results

1 Phil Robertson Wirral AC U30M 34.01 the winner

11 Colin Bishop Helsby (1st 055M) 37.37

44 Davyd Michell Helsby U40M 42.45

57 Jim Jones Helsby O50M 43.48

103 Tim Igoe Helsby O30M 48.41

110 Geoff Collins Helsby (3rd O60M) 49.35

138 Chris Morgan Helsby O60M 53.19

139 Chris Igoe Helsby O50M 53.27

Geoff Collins

geoff.docx

Bargain at £4 if you ask me.

Debbie Read sent in a report for The Llangollen 10k trail race

The Llangollen 10k trail race was recommended to me by a running buddy who did it last year – I’m passing the baton and recommending it to you.

The most beautiful 10k trail run in the UK is the heading on their website, and while it is undoubtedly very pretty, personally I’d class it as a multi terrain as there’s a fair bit of road in it.
“Welsh undulating” it starts in the sports field next to the Dinas Bran Leisure centre starting field and after a lap and a half of the grass running track we headed out past the leisure centre, UP the first stretch of road (having done the fell race last week I was starting to worry) then back DOWN into the sports field and DOWN onto the canal, ALONG for a couple of kilometres. Then it was UP a lane, OVER a bridge, UP a track, ALONG a track. At this stage the leaders were starting to pass me on their way back to the canal. UP a field with long grass, AROUND the field (grass still long – hard work I can tell you). DOWN the field onto the track – my turn to pass those on their way up, ALONG the track, DOWN a lane and back onto the canal (drink station) After a couple of kilometres and seeing the car park and hearing the finish on the other side of the canal we passed the 9k sign “that can’t be right” said the bloke doing battle with me but it was – OVER the bridge, UP onto the sports field, UP onto the road, DOWN the road to the leisure centre, back onto the sports field and 300 metres on the running track to finish where the Town Cryer rang everybody across the finish line.

Limited to 500 runners (sold out with a waiting list), a well organised, well marshalled race.

debbie read

Just the mention of Dinas Bran would scare some of us off doing this, but I must admit stunning scenery in this neck of the woods.

Good to see Andy Smith back running after a lengthy spell out with injury, Andy sent in this report

Whitehaven Habourside 5k

My word, is nothing flat in this corner of western Cumbria ? For those of you wondering how much ascent you can get in 5k road race, the answer from the Whitehaven Harbourside 5k is in excess of 200 feet ! On a sunny, but somewhat breezy, spring evening last Tuesday, 136 runners of all abilities lined up on the cobbles of the harbourside in Whitehaven. This gives a nice flat, fast, traffic free start to the race…

Now Whitehaven sits in a natural bowl on the coastline, so once off the harbour, the only way out is up.  After half a mile round the harbourside the steep climb begins past the distinctive Candlestick Chimney, one of the last few remains of Wellington Pit.  This is a sufficiently steep climb that the race needs two lead bikes : one to the foot of the climb, the second taking over when the leaders reach the top. The path snakes round the Candlestick with engraved flagstones underfoot lamenting the passing of the pits which had brought so much employment to the area, whilst also acknowledging how hard and dangerous the work was.

Climb over and the runners are rewarded with fine views over the Irish Sea with the coast line carrying on to St Bees Head (starting point of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route). Our curent focus is a little closer to hand in the form of the preserved pit head winding gear at Haig Pit Mining Museum, which forms the half way mark and turning point. One 180 degree turn around a traffic cone, and we are heading back the way we came. This time with views to the north and the wind farm off the Galloway coast, across the Solway Forth, just visible in the distance. The evening sunlight just catching their sails. Somehow, the steep descent back to the harbour didn’t seem to give as much back to tired legs going down as it had extracted from them coming up and once back on the cobbles of the harbour it was the usual story of just trying to keep it all together in the last half mile of a tough 5k as I sought to sprint to the finish. With that 200+ feet of climb in the early stages, this was never going to be a PB cpurse, so I’m happy with a finishing time of 23:26 and 47th position. The winning times were 17:38 for the men, 20:42 for the ladies.

All in all, a fun little race. Traffic free round the harbour and over cliff top paths and surprisingly scenic, given that apart from a handful of preserved remains, there is no other evidence in the landscaping of the industrial past of this small coastal town. Definitely one to keep in my diary for next year.

Andy

Sounds like a great 5k, but where are you mile splits mate?

That’s it for this week, bye for now

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up 10th April to 16th April 2017

Hello Green Army

It’s hard work putting these race reports together seeing we don’t get that many in these days, come on help us bloggers out a little and send in a quick race report please, address as per usual, helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

A few notices of events coming up in the next few weeks and also 2 of our most popular races of the year that sell out pretty quickly, so get in there fast.

Tattenhall Tough Team is to be held on Friday 23rd June 7pm, it’s a brilliant event where you team up with 3 runners, and run the 9 mile course taking on the famous railway or stairway to hell as they call it. You can enter on the night in past years but it gets busier and busier so wouldn’t want anyone to miss out. I’m not organising it this year as to be honest it’s a nightmare to sort out loads of teams so I ask you all to sort out your teams and get the forms printed off and sent in asap. On Facebook we have started organising teams so if you are not on FB feel free to email me Fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com and I’ll let people know you are interested.

http://www.tattenhallrunners.com/our-races/tough-team-race/

Dearnford Lake relays is to be held on Thursday 13th July 7.30pm, again its teams of 3 and you all run as fast as your legs will carry you for 2 miles and then hand over to your partner to run the next and again for the last leg. This will sell out, so get your entries in fast. I know Bish and Jane have been helping organise via Facebook but again if you are not on FB email me again if you are needing to join a team.

http://www.whitchurchwhippets.co.uk/relay.aspx

This is what we have so far

Men – I have tagged as Helsby Men ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ are: –

 

A

Colin Thompson

Colin Bishop

Chris Fitzpatrick

 

B

Ian Rutherford

Ian Hamling

Ivan Davies

 

C

Davyd Michell

Jim Higgins

Paul Cunningham

 

Women

A

Joanne Lacking

Rachael Holden

Juni Swift

 

B

Rhea Howard – Armitage

Shan McCarthy

Gill Fitzpatrick

 

Borders League

 

It’s the last race in the borders league season next Weds 26th April, 7.15pm, to be hosted by Wrexham AC. Again a big turnout is needed please so we don’t incur penalty points. Both mens & ladies teams have done so well this season lets finish the season on a high.

 

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

 

Also, it’s Helsby V’s Felsby 1st leg, so whoever turns up (numbers are low at present) then just let me know who you want to run for as you will get points for your team. The 2nd leg is the Dinas Bran Fell Race on 3rd May. I really want to boost numbers at our fell races and this one is brilliant, more details to follow next week.

 

Park run seen runners out in Runcorn, Chester, Shrewsbury, Ellesmere Port, & Widnes. Full consolidated results below

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

 

Over to the captain for the weeks only race report.

 

Our 4th road counter saw a sea of green vests lining up to tackle this lovely 5 mile route looping around the back roads of Mickle Trafford. This race in particular is what I love about club organised races, cheap as chips to enter, a fast course and a friendly rivalry and banter with all the local running clubs makes it one of my personal favourites.

 

The course itself can be a PB course if tackled correctly, it has a fast first 2 miles which is all down hill but you need to leave something in the tank for the slow drag back up to the finish. We saw plenty of PB’s from the troops with myself, Fitzy, Ian R, Davyd, Adam, Debbie Read, Tanya Downes (2 minute PB!) and I think Wiggo? all taking slices off our 5 mile PBs, there may have been more I haven’t heard about so please let me know if you got a PB. It’s also congratulations to Jane Ashbrook who is looking in fine shape for the London Marathon and had a superb run for first Helsby lady home. Carol Shaw had a fabulous run to win 2nd in her age group as did John Gallon who was 3rd and a little further down the field it was great to see Shan, Rebecca Gibson, Charlie, Emma Barnes and Chris Morgan all putting in a valiant effort to tidy up the Helsby pack.

 

Thank you to our support on the night, Louise Spruce, Michelle Gordon (and kids), Serena Williams, John Earlston, the Frodfather and of course Joe and Mario.

 

Helsby results below:

 

14 Colin Thompson 27:53

26 Chris Fitzpatrick 28:44

38 Adam Gordon 29:30

45 Ian Rutherford 29:44

57 Jim O’Hara Helsby 30:12

93 Richard Hankins 31:55

113 Davyd Michell 32:55

114 Christopher Murray 32:45

127 Jane Ashbrook 33:23

153 John Peaker 34:31

188 Gary O’Connor 35:46

202 Carol Shaw 36:27 (2nd in age cat)

218 Roy Gaskill 37:07

219 Debbie Read 37:03

255 Geoff Collins 38:51

257 Geoff Shaw 39:01

263 Christopher Igoe 39:08

270 Stephen Wiggins 39:16

307 Edward Roberts 41:15

318 Chris Morgan 41:45

331 Jackie Keasley 42:30

341 Tanya Downes 42:55

368 Shan McCarthy 45:02

377 David Wiggins 46:21

380 Emma Barnes 46:32

382 Rebecca Gibson 47:07

387 John Gallon 48:12 (3rd in age cat)

423 Janet Shaw 48:37

 

Full results here

 

https://wcac.niftyentries.com/Results/Essar-Chester-Spring-5

 

And last of all a special mention to Debbie Read, who had a couple of very successful racing results – a 5 mile pb at The Spring 5 and a WAVA pb (82.15%) at Chester parkrun – all just a few weeks before 60th!

 

She has put this down to the Castle Park Monday night sessions, “those hilly footpaths are hard work but I can honestly say I’m going to miss them throughout the summer – thanks Joe and Mario. I’ll be at the high school but it won’t feel the same”

 

That’s it for this week, good luck in all your up and coming races, especially the London crew

 

Bye for now

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up 13th to 19th March 2017

 

Hello Green Army

Not a lot in the inbox this week, so a quick mention to the fell and road counter’s coming up this weekend. Saturday see’s Felsby go to Llantysillio Fell Race, 11am start, 6.2 miles of grass, mud and probably lots of hills. Sunday will see us roadies head to Arley Hall for the Cheshire 10k, 9.30am start, which I am told is on a very fast course. It’s also mother’s day, happy mother’s day to all you mums out there.

Also whilst we are talking about Fell and road races, don’t forget Helsby V’s Felsby takes place again soon, email me Fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com if you want to take part. Basically we get as many to run the last borders league race on Weds 26th April in Wrexham, and then the following Weds we race again at the Dinas Bran Fell race near Llangollen. Just nominate yourself as a Fell or road runner, turn up and I will sort the rest out.

Park run seen runners out (and falling over) in Runcorn, Newbury, Warrington, Delamere, Workington, Widnes and Croxteth. Full consolidated results below

 

http://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

 

A message from Jackie

 

A bit belated because I left for a week’s remote hut to hutting in deepest Norway early the morning after out presentation evening.

 

Here’s a summary of who won what. Thanks to all who made the evening and compiled the statistics. It was great too getting all the community groups that helped in the Four Villages together at the start of the evening to personally give out their donation cheques too.  I’ll put the video on the 4V website sometime soon. Congratulations to all category winners and to everyone who turned up to run in all our club counters last season, may it inspire you all to run a record number of counters this season too!

 

Roads Championship
Men’s Champion Colin Thompson
Men’s Runner Up Neil Finegan
Men’s Senior Winner Chris Fitzpatrick
Men’s V40 Winner Adam Gordon
Men’s V45 Winner Gary O’Connor
Men’s V50 Winner Dave Feakes
Men’s V55 Winner Colin Bishop
Ladies Champion Joanne Lacking
Ladies Runner Up Tanya Downes
Ladies Senior Winner Rachel Holden
Fells Championship
Men’s Champion Jim O’Hara
Men’s Runner Up Ben Fletcher
Men’s Senior Winner Chris Baynham-Hughes
Men’s V40 Winner Phil Roberts
Men’s V50 Winner Tim Palmer
Ladies Winner Laura Baynham-Hughes
Ladies Runner Up Sue Buck
Ladies V50 Winner Rachel Arnold
Cross Country Championship
Men’s 1st Place Colin Bishop
Men’s 2nd Place Neil Finegan
Men’s 3rd Place Gareth Boyd
Ladies 1st Place Suzanne Fletcher
Ladies 2nd Place Rachel Arnold
Ladies 3rd Place Christina Roach
Club Champions
Neil Finegan
Laura Baynham-Hughes
Mini Fells
Mens Winner Neil Finegan
Ladies Winner Suzanne Fletcher
Trail Series
Mens Winner Colin Thompson
Ladies Winner Debbie Read
Runners Runner
Jackie Keasley
Most Improved Runner
Mens Winner Adam Gordon
Ladies Winner Alison Halsall
Greatest Comeback
Gareth Boyd

 

The Border Leagues wards will be made after the tow final races are completed. Note we were able to give the club championship awards out because with two races to go Neil & Laura were uncatchable! Even more amazing!

 

Nesta says – Just wanted to let you know I raised £198 on Friday night!!! Really chuffed x   All for her Leukaemia London Marathon fund raising. Good luck to all in London.

 

Plus thanks for my Runners Runner votes this year, makes another one chuffed!

 

Over to the single race report of the week and it sounded like a cracker, Geoff Collins do tell us more…

 

Race Report Forest of Dean Trails Half Marathon – 19 March 2017

Richard Hankins and I headed down to Gloucestershire for the Forest of Dean Trail Half Marathon.  This proved to be a really cracking good value race.  It certainly exceeded my expectations in the search for a different half marathon experience, attracted by the good race reviews. Richard’s expectations were exceeded too, more about that later!

For those that don’t know the area, The Forest of Dean is 42 square miles of ancient woodland that has an industrial past.  It’s also quite undulating.  It forms a triangular plateau bounded by the river Wye to the west and North West, and the River Severn to the South.  The nearest large town is Monmouth on the other side of the River Wye.

The race is run by the local rotary club costing just £23 to enter. It starts near the impressive building called the Speech House.  Now a posh hotel, it was once the HQ for the area hosting the Court of Speech.  A sort of local parliament which managed the forest, game and mineral resources.  There is an abundance of wildlife in the forest including wild boar, deer and birdlife.  But the race safety notices didn’t include the boar his time!

Richard & I together with his friend Giles who kindly put us up, did the race with his running partner friend Claire and Colleague Jana.  We were very good moderated ourselves in the Dog and Muffler PH the previous evening, carb (over?) loading on the sumptuous food.

However Claire clearly didn’t seem quite so well prepared.  A late night out with lots to drink complaining she was totally hung over! I seriously wondered if she would start the race let alone be able to finish it!  But finish it she did in just over 2 hours!

The race was started by a local athlete and Paralympic medallist Andy Lewis who got gold in the first-Paralympic Triathlon event at the 2016 Paralympics.

The weather was fortunately dry but a bit windy but the course was quite sheltered.  The first mile of this race is on the road before you enter the forest.  The trails lead toward a steep downhill slope.  After that apart from two marshalled road crossings the course is entirely on really good trail surfaces.  With long sweeping curves up or down and few tight bends, this was a much cleaner and dryer race than some recent road races!  Road shoes would be absolutely fine for this course.  In short this was a well organised and very friendly race we really enjoyed, with a nice medal and the proceeds go to charity.

The early stages of this race were quite easy and quick with mainly downhills until mile 5.  Between miles 5 to 8 it’s mainly uphill, 8 to 10 is downhill and finally 10 to 12 uphill before levelling at 13 miles.  In total I reckon a good 800 feet of climb!  That last climb really finished me off!

Results (2,254 finishers).

1st male finisher Chris McMillian 1h 14m 39s

1st lady finisher Katherine Matthews 1h 24m 36s

97th Richard Hankins 1h 30m 56s

691th Geoff Collins 1hr 52m 19s.

helsby 1

 

Star performer on the day was Richard finishing in the top 100!  A fantastic achievement for what is quite a challenging half marathon course, when the first finisher’s time was 1hr 14m.  Richard was only 2 mins slower than his Village Bakery time!

The Rotary Club organise another trail half in September if anyone is interested see www.forestofdean-halfmarathon.co.uk

 

Well done chaps

 

That’s it for this week, good luck in all your up and coming races

 

Bye for now

Fitzy