Weekly Update 31-7-17 to 6-8-17



(Inc. Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside Championships).

Being held at Stanley Park Blackpool, West Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 9HQ on Saturday, 09th September 2017

13:20 Senior Women 3 x 5.2km £15 per team

14:30 Senior Men 4 x 6.6km £20 per team

Anyone interested please being in a team contact Jackie on

ALL runners must be first claim members of their club for road running;
CLUB VESTS must be worn.

All athletes must be paid up members of England Athletics

This is a new, local race organised by Warrington Athletic Club.

The Warrington Athletic Club Olympians 8 mile Road Race is now open to entries on the Run Britain website. It’s on Sunday 27th August at 9.30am starting from Victoria Park. it’s in the new Warrington Road Race Grand Prix.

The Run Britain website states it is a 8 mile 2 lap road race on paths within and outside Victoria Park Warrington, starting and finishing on a running track and taking in some of Warrington’s iconic landmarks.

Onto the reports, Ben C sent in this from the Ponderosa Fell Race

We arrived to a wet, foggy and what could have been said to be a miserable setting in the hills of Llangollen for the Ponderosa 2017 fell.

We could not see anything from the end of the carpark. Still, as always, the runner’s vibes were high as we all set off walking down to sign up with our pennies ready. Took us a good 5minutes… must have been 30 meter, the Frodfather, being stopped by every man and his dog to say hello, “must be some sort of local running celebrity”, “think it’s his tan to be honest”. £4 to run, no kit check, savvy!



Back to the car we trotted to get suited and booted, “bladdy hell, its gunna be a wet one, is it a coat job?” “You kidding??!! We’re from Helsby, Vests only!!” and there we were jogging up field, vests out for the ladies, high-fiving Joe and Mario whist en route as we headed to the start.

7pm arrived and the runners assembled, 9 of us from team Helsby (Paul Frodsham, Paul Cunning ham, Debbie Read, Christine Roach, Rachel Arnold, The Roberts Due, Jim O’Hara and myself). The whistle blew and off we went,
92 runners started the ascent. It wasn’t a complete nightmare to be fair, most managed to keep a steady pace all the way up. After the ascent, there was a narrow lose stoned bike trail that we had to single line dash across, seemed to go on forever. Everyone eagerly trying to get a chance to pass those in front whilst not falling over on the unstable rocks under our shoes… wasn’t going to happen. By this point the rain had stopped and the low clouds had started to pass.


The trail final opened up down a descent, runners finally getting their chance to take the person in front of them, others taking a minute to catch their breath, whether it by the ascent or the view of the rainbows over the valley. Either way it was beautiful!


As we finally winded our way down and around the hill, we meet with Mario once again, warning us that we were about to hit a bog! and didn’t we just. There was no running through this.. runners piling up on one another, struggling to keep their shoes on. Christine fell in, luckily not all the way, but it was up to her knees. My runners are still a wet, mushy mess now at home stinking out the kitchen.

The finish line was there! If we could just make it up this final little ascent. I’d like to think everyone struggled with that last bit. I know I sure did.

We made it! The race was over. We had all managed to get our sorry for nothing, wet, boggy asses over the finish line, all with smiles on our faces!!

The race was won by Michael Corrales (NWRRC) 26.59mins followed by two runners from Mercia Fell Runners, Billy Stirling 27.44mins  and James Craig 28.04mins.

Our own Jim O’Hara came 9th with a time of 29.55. Well Done Jim!!


I’m proud to say I was only 20 seconds behind the Frodfather with a time of 35.00mins (I thank you) Debbie and Christine were the winners of their categories!! Absolutely smashing it as usual! Much respect ladies!

Over all, for a 4 mile course and the weather leaving us with an ‘orrible stinky bog, it was a tough but enjoyable race.


Fitzy sent in this from the Pie and Peas race.

My first race back from injury and really wasn’t sure whether to race or not but what a race to come back to, pies & peas at the end of it. This sells out pretty quickly every year and i can now understand why, held in a lovely little village, which is very tight for the cars to get down and also the runners.

We arrived just in time for the heavens to open, and that continued exactly until the end of the race. The race takes you out of the village road of Davenham and onto the trail paths surrounding it, down to the Salt works and what i think was the River Weaver, a bit of undulation and back into the village for a lap of the green and past the finish line.

A few great results from Adam Gordon, 2nd Vet 40 and 15th Overall, 9 out of the top 10 were Vale Royal in a very strong field, and Carol Shaw 1st FV55. All in all 10 Helsby vests out on a thoroughly enjoyable night, and then back to the Legion for the best bit, pie and peas….lovely stuff

Full results here


Jim Jones sent in this from The Peaks Skyline race

On Sunday 06/08/17 I completed the Peaks Skyline race which starts and finishes in Buxton. The route is 29.7 miles long with some 6600ft of climb and takes you to the five trigs of Axe Edge, The Roaches, Shutlingshoe, Shining Tor, Burbage Edge. I finished in 7 hours which was longer than I’d anticipated. But it was my first long run since I injured my knee in the Snowdon race 3 weeks ago. Not being able to run distance or hills while injured but continuing to eat like an ultra runner didn’t help much yesterday. I struggled the last few miles but at least the rain stayed away – and I stayed on my feet for a change. I finished 67th from 105 runners.


Helsby runners were in parkrun action across the area. Highlights include a 1st place for Col Thompson at Phoenix Park. Full results for Helsby members are below



Thats it for this week. As usual all reports to helsby-race-reports@outlool.com





Weekly round up 11-7-17 to 17-7-17

Firstly a reminder from Cybi Striders about their 5 mile race at the end of July.

Please find attached details of our 5 mile race in Holyhead on Sunday the 30th of July. This is now a measured course.

We would be grateful if you could share this information with your club members.

We have also set up an “event” on our Facebook page if you would like to share it on your club’s Facebook.

Thank you

Elen (Club secretary)



On to the running and race reports.


Helsby runners were in action at Phoenix, Chester, Delamere, Wepre and Widnes parkuns. Highlights included second places for Ian Rutherford and Col Thompson at Phoenix and Chester respectively.

Full results for the week are below.



Richard Hankins sent in this from The We Love Manchester 10K

The We Love Manchester 10K was an excellent event for those with an interest in urban geography. Starting and finishing at the Manchester Athletics Stadium next to the Etihad Stadium the venue is an excellent example of culturally lead regeneration. Being from South Manchester I have an inherent fear of driving north of Piccadilly as I’ve heard many tales of the terrible things that can happen to your car or, God forbid, bike. So, I took the tram – an excellent example of a modern urban light rapid transit system that has extended access to the labour market for many. Upon arrival I eventually found my way into the venue (this was a little challenging due to confusing signage – a trait that continued once inside). There was also the challenge of getting passed the toilet queue which had unhelpfully formed across the only corridor that the organisers were allowing you to use to get to the start area. This resulted in some delays for people getting in and a delayed start to the warm up and race…but it wasn’t really a problem.

Once outside the Arena is an excellent venue. We started on the track running approximately half way round before heading out to see what this part of Manchester has to offer. Initially we passed through a modern commercial area, then into an area of post-industrial decay before ending up in a transitional zone of abandoned terraced housing. This gloom was eased by some modern industrial units before we repeated some of the course in the opposite direction. For those of us used to the relatively maritime climate of the Cheshire Gap we all got the opportunity to experience an urban heat island – with temperatures soaring almost from the moment we set off. As a result it felt tough out there.

The course was relatively flat with some steady inclines and a couple of bridges. Roads were wide, closed and well marshalled. The race finished back at the Arena after a series of loops around the site which got my little oxygen deprived brain confused. We had a good turn out from Helsby with seven of us running. Colin T led the field home in 15th, I (eventually) followed him in 40th place and 1st vet 45. Jane Ashbrook took the female vet 40 prize next. Other outstanding performances included Jim Jones in 6th male vet 50 and Carol Shaw 2nd  female vet 55. A pretty impressive run of results for a little Cheshire club.



Colin Bishop sent in this about the Northwich 10K trail run

While Sunday saw lots of green army head off to Manchester I decided to stay nearer home a head over to Carey  Park in Northwich for 10k trail run. The route took you out around the back of Marbury park, Lovely views of the lake on such a lovely summer morning. Bacon butties ale on a bale friendly atmosphere The gauntlet laid down for anyone to break the course record 37. 29 I think it was, in with a chance I thought until the long legs of a Vale Royal runner appeared on the start line? he knocked nearly two and half minutes of the record so had to make do with 3rd with what I thought was a respectable 37.33
Glad to say I interrupted a potential Vale Royal 123 finish. 1st Vet though
One to think about in the future

Jay Bradley ran the Tatton 10K on Sunday

Race report – Today I was fortunate enough to run the Tatton 10k courtesy of a free place offered to Helsby RC. It was a fantastic race to help kick start my training returning from injury. The start time was an early one – 8:30am, but what could be more satisfying on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning? The course was incredible, running through the pictureque Tatton parkland. It was slightly undulating but a relatively fast course, perfect for a PB. This was actually quite a small event with only 350-400 runners, reminiscent of a park run really. At the finish line there was a very nice medal, free flapjacks, a herbal tea drink and a very nice sachet of almond butter. Parking was straightforward and the atmosphere was lovely. I would thoroughly recommend.


Neil Finegan sent a report from the Offas Dyke 17 mile race

A new event for the local calendar, with Denbigh Harriers putting on what was an outstanding 17.5 mile route from Llandegla to Bodfari taking in most of the peaks of the Clywydians and following the Offas Dyke trail.  It was an exceptionally well organised race – a brilliant small race atmosphere on a hot July day.

Meeting at Bodfari, the bus to the start in Llandegla gave us the chance to take in the views of the hills which we would later be struggling over.  The route has over 3,000 foot of climb on mainly trails.  It is a race which is open to anyone looking for a challenge – Jez Brown from Buckley is a superb runner on any terrain and he took first place in a fantastic 2:11, followed in second by a Denbigh runner Tony Wood. .But there were generous cut offs for those taking it slower, with the last runner coming in at just under 5 hours.

The route had 3 water stations – which given the July heat were greatly appreciated.  The organisers made everyone run with at least a litre of water and this turned out to be very good advice as the combination of the climbs and clear blue skies (24 degrees without the usual Clywydian breeze) meant that it was an exhausting race.

Overall, I really can’t recommend the race enough.  It would be a fantastic addition to the trail running series and if the event grows in popularity then they are already considering adding a shorter “B” race option. Great value as well – the entry fee of just £10 plus £5 for the bus to the start.

My own race was eventful.  “Follow the Acorn markers and you can’t get lost” was the advice at the start.  A couple of miles in I managed to take a diversion – following a local runner thinking he would know the way – but we were soon back on track thanks to a local walker.  Due to a little fall at about halfway and a bit of a groin strain slowing my progress over the many styles, I took the second half of the race at a more leisurely pace, struggling to get over the styles, and finishing third.

The provisional date for next year is July 8th.


Chris BH was at the Otillo Engadin Swimrun….

What a weekend! I kicked off this year’s swimrun season with a stunner in the Engadin valley of Switzerland (St. Moritz area). The scenery was utterly beautiful, the water in the lakes clean enough to drink and the whole set up pretty much immaculate. It was the first time I’ve been to the valley and I know it won’t be the last!

This year I’ve teamed up with Liz Barker and we’d set our hopes on getting into the Swimrun World championships (self-titled). The original swimrun came out of a drunken bet: to swim and run along the Stockholm archipelago. Having failed to get one of the highly prized places through the normal entry system (which sees only a handful of placed given out) we had to win a place through qualification. This meant being in the first three mixed teams not already in the race.


Engadin sported the world champions in our category as well as several other sponsored teams. We were certain that two had qualified already so we knew we needed to come in the top five. It was our first outing though and with the DBR in my legs and a 22 hour Charlie Ramsey round in Liz’s legs just 2 weeks before the race we certainly weren’t making life easy for ourselves.

The entire race we played cat and mouse with another team who were a minute or two quicker over 600 metres in the swim. Given that the penultimate swim was 1400m it meant we really needed to get ahead. We were quicker on the downhill (particularly where it was technical) and over the course of the event we’d managed to turn the uphill and flat to our advantage too.

With 600m to go on the long swim my heart sank as not one, but two mixed teams started to edge past us. We managed to hold them off for 300m and then I switched direction to try and draft the faster swimmers, eventually exiting the water at the back of the three, but all together. Liz and I immediately set off running whilst the other teams stopped to grab a coffee from the aid station. On the 400+m ascent up the mountain we never stopped working; the second pair managing to just about keep pace. We hit the aid station and grabbed a few things expecting to head downhill only to find we’d miscalculated where the aid station was… it was halfway up! Finally hitting the top we blasted the downhill looking to put 2 minutes on the team behind to give us a chance of exiting the final swim first… the race was on!

As we’d headed up the final hill a thunderstorm had broken out. Arriving at the bottom for the final swim we had already put our caps and googles on, zipped up and were ready to get in… the storm had meant they had re-routed the teams and so we had to run around the lake instead. However by this time we were well over 5 minutes ahead (unbeknown to us). All we had to do was polish off the final 3k to the finish.


Finishing we were told by the couple ahead that we were 5th!! They also said they were in Otillo… I asked an official to be told that I’d have to wait until the prize giving to find out. Post race meal and beer tasted fantastic. Liz and I had worked really hard throughout the roughly 6h and 15m we’d taken to complete the course. In the end we were around 40 minutes behind the winners of our category and 1 hour behind the male pair that won the overall event. This was a huge surprise and I’m thrilled to say we were rewarded with the second of the three places in our category for Otillo in September. Next up is Rockman in Norway where we would have needed to win overall to score a place in Otillo. It’s nice going into Saturday knowing we’ve got a place and can just enjoy what is the best single day race I’ve ever taken part in…. Rockman awaits!


Thats it for this week, as usual please send reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com





Helsby Update 12-7-2017 to 18-7-2017

First up some reminders.

Andy Smith sent in a request for volunteers to help with the Frodsham Downhill Run:

Sunday 2nd July is the Frodsham Downhill Run date. This is a popular family fun run and part of the Frodsham Festival in the Park.

Helsby Running Club have historically helped out in managing the finish area and results for this event and we have been asked if we can do so again this year.

A few volunteers to help set up the finish area in Castle Park before the race (from 10:30 onwards) and to help manage the finish (race starts at 12:00) would be much appreciated.

Drop me an email or IM me on facebook if you can help – thanks

Tim Palmer would also like to remind those who have not paid that the 2017 club subs are due ASAP.

Onto the running….

Helsby runners were out in parkruns at Warrington, Phoenix Park, Ellesmere Port, Wepre, Chester, Delamere, Widnes and Croxteth. Highlights include a 2nd female for Adele Croxton and 3rd place for Ian Rutherford, both at Phoenix Park.
Full results for Helsby runners are below

Paul Cunningham sent in this report from Bolton Hill Marathon

It all started when Fitzy shared a Time2Run Event on his timeline  – The Iconic HillRunner 50% trail 50% country roads sounds enjoyable – with a bottle of Budweiser in hand I paid the nicely priced £32 to enter.
The morning of the race the heavens had opened and blessed us with  perfect running conditions – stood on the start line drenched –  bang the race had started – I felt really good the first 400m until I came to the base of the first climb – Jack must have dropped his hill beans here as the road seemed to disappear into the clouds – to some of the crazy sorry elite members of the Green army this might not have been such a test but for me this 4 mile climb turned into a mental battle  -the first couple of miles on road then onto trail –  up onto Winter Hill – the views from up here are meant to be quite spectacular on a clear day – this morning due to low cloud cover visibility down to approx. 20m  – carried on running upstream as all the ruts full of flowing water onto the West Pennine Moors past White Coppice down onto Anglezarke Reservoir – the course is lollipop shaped so when I reached mile 10 the leader was at mile 16  – Impressive piece of long distance running I thought and the leader was running well too – at the half way point I stopped for some photo opportunities ankle deep in the overland flooding hoping to try my hand at some trout tickling – running through Rivington pike into Barn Bridge Village and back for the return leg – the rain had now stopped and I started to really enjoy my surroundings – between miles 19-22 it’s now uphill and a slow slog up to winter Hill  – now I could clearly see the telecoms tower which this morning I run past and could not see due to the low lying cloud cover – I did walk quite a bit of this section of the race as walking seemed faster than running  – well couldn’t run so had to walk is more like the truth – the one thing that kept me going was I knew I had a nice downhill finish  back into Moss Bank Park – I finished in 5hrs 13 min 80th overall of a small field of 125 – today I found out that I really do enjoy the trail side of running it just feels so right – my hardest test to date and look forward to my next running challenge – Bolton Hill Marathon is a cracker

Danielle Ryder sent in this report of her Namibia trip

A few people have asked me about my Namibia trip and Fitzy suggested I wrote something for the blog, so here it is. Following CBH’s lead I have written a short version and a long version which includes all the blood, sweat and tears.

I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to go the Namib Desert for a 6-day endurance event organised by my work at the start of May. I was 1 of a 30 strong group who would take on the 5-day challenge.

Short Version
Day 1 – 35km cycle
·         Tail wind and easy terrain so lulled into a false sense of security
Day 2 – Half Marathon followed by 55km cycle – 12-hour day
·         Run through the Messum Crater was a breeze, cycling into a horrific headwind in the relentless heat was brutal
Day 4 – Summit Brandberg and Hike down – 12-hour day
·         Around 2500m elevation, technical scrambling, carrying water and gear for 2 days, getting lost for 2 hours and making top camp in the dark
Day 5 – Marathon followed by 35km bike – 12-hour day – 47°C
·         Brutal marathon in 47°C. Broken! Bike through a dry river bed and rocky descending is not my idea of fun.
Day 6 – Half Marathon followed by 70km bike – 12-hour day
·         The hardest day coupled with my best experience. Upset stomach, back of the pack, tears and elation.

Final descentRunning through Messum crater

Long Version

Day 1 – 35km cycle

Day 1 was set up to break us in gently. After travelling for over 24-hours, 2 international flights to make it to Windhoek International airport and then a short flight on small single prop planes (the biggest being a 10 seater) we found ourselves near the coast at Cape Cross. We were given our mountain bikes which we would use to cover the majority of our mileage. A gravel road a tail wind and only a few short sections of hard sand with deep ruts found us at our camp site with time to spare before nightfall. We were all lulled into a false sense of security.

Day 2 – Half Marathon followed by 55km cycle – 12-hour day

The first 12-hour day of the trip. On paper this was meant to be a relatively easy day which would see us reach camp at the base of Brandberg Mountain at about 3-4pm, well before sunset at 6pm. So with this in mind we set off on the half marathon at 6am as it was just getting light. As we ran through the Messum Crater, this was our first taste of being in the desert and feeling the isolation, but also of the soft sand! The scenery was insane and the miles quickly ticked down with water stops every 7km.  The run seemed to be over before I had even realised, with some clouds mercifully keeping the heat at a manageable level. The finish line of the run was the other side of the Messum Crater, the land stretched for miles and you could just see the Brandberg mountain looming in the distance. Following a short stop for water, food and a change into cycling gear we all enthusiastically jumped onto our bikes which had all been laid out for us. My enthusiasm did not last long! Lots of deep soft sand and the most brutal headwind saw us all crawling along. Somehow I had ended up in the front group and struggling like hell to stay on the back wheel of the guys in front. Luckily the guys were gentlemen and kept dropping back to tow me back on. The first water stop was meant to be in 15km, but the heat and wind was breaking us. I had run out of water within 7km and was struggling badly. I definitely had lost my sense of humour at this point as I just tried to hold myself together and carry on. We were taking that long that one of the vans had to come and find us with emergency water and electrolytes. At the stop I managed to recover sat in the shade of the van but promptly refused the offer of going off with the front group and dropped back to the second group to start again. Luckily the wind died down as we carried on and the terrain got slightly easier, still soft sand but with more stretches of gravel and rocks which meant we could speed up slightly. The heat was relentless though and the first stretch on the bike had hit us all hard. A number of people had been pulled off by the medics and forced to go in the van. At the lunch stop we knew it was going to be a real effort to make it to camp before sunset at 6pm but we set off with a determination to try and make it. It was a hard slog but I pulled into camp as the sun was setting behind the Brandberg Mountain. I was on a huge high as I collapsed into a chair with a G&T.

Day 3 – Hike up Brandberg Mountain – 12 hour day

After a brutal day 2 where the desert threw its worst weather conditions at us we were up and ready to leave camp at 6am to climb the Brandberg Mountain. Brandberg Mountain is big, and we would be climbing around 2500m while carrying 7.5 litres of water, roll mat, sleeping bag, and enough food for two days. It was safe to say my bag was heavy! I didn’t really know what to expect when I set off, but the climbing was hard. It was definitely a scramble for virtually the entire climb, and I found myself hiding in whatever shade was available whenever the opportunity arose. The terrain was challenging and the group found itself relying on each other to push or pull each other up and over rocks. We made it to the lunch stop at about 2pm where we found some pools which were filled with water from recent rains. The sun was really high in the sky at this point and shade was hard to come by. I found myself hiding in a small cave as I hunched over trying to eat. Unfortunately, just before lunch our guide had twisted his knee and was unable to continue. He would camp at the lunch spot with a number of the team who didn’t want to go any further. We had been warned it was still a 4-hour hike to the summit. Having been given rough directions we set off trying to follow the cairns. Fast forward two hours, huge boulders, lots of vegetation, cut to ribbons and a few tears we found ourselves back at the lunch stop having got properly lost! At this point a few more of the group decided to stay and camp after we were warned that we would likely be reaching the top camp in the dark. We set off again after getting our guide to give us better directions and walk us some of the way. We made good time and were lucky that the guide who had been with the front group came back to find us (I should point out at this point that the front group had made the top base camp and had summited). The head torches made an appearance but we made it to the top camp just before 7pm without getting lost again.  The mountain was beautiful and far greener than I expected due to recent rains but it definitely took no prisoners. We camped with the first group on the top of the mountain and had steak which one of the guides had carried up. Belly full, I found the flattest bit of rock I could find and promptly fell asleep under the stars.

Day 4 – Summit Brandberg and Hike down – 12 hour day

Having not made the summit the previous day we set off at first light (yes another 6am start) without our packs to make the 1.5hr ascent to the actual summit. Now this was extremely technical terrain and basically straight up, but the view from the top was incredible. We soaked in the sunrise atop the highest peak in Namibia for a few minutes before we sadly dragged ourselves back down to the top camp, collected our bags and started our descent. It was going to be another long day! We made good progress and took a detour to see some extremely old cave paintings. The terrain meant that it was difficult to move very quickly once we passed the lunch stop so it was no surprise that it was just before 6pm when we made it back to camp to a warm welcome from the rest of the guys, and not forgetting a cold gin and tonic! It is safe to say the mountain was brutal, with steep drops and stifling temperatures but I made it all the way and even managed to get a few photos to go with the memories.

Day 5 – Marathon followed by 35km bike – 12-hour day – 47°C

The marathon was ridiculous! One of the hardest things I have ever done. We set off as a group to the first water station at 7km with a walking start to break in the aching bodies. The going was slow, again with very soft ground underfoot and by the half-way point it had become apparent that we needed water more often, so a van started stopping in-between to offer more water. It was a slog! The heat was relentless, the wind had picked up and sand was being blown around at times and I was broken. Sitting down at the water stations was a bad move as my legs struggled to get back to a standing position. I was reduced to a walking out of the water station before being able to force myself into a shuffle which just about resembled a jog. The relief when I made the finish and the lunch stop was overwhelming and dropping into a chair in the shade of a van was bliss. It took 7 hours of battling to complete the marathon but we still had 35km of biking to go. Food and water was consumed before we were hurried on to get changed and get on the bikes. We had been given the bad news that the “road” (I wouldn’t have called it a road!) we were planning on taking had been washed away, so instead we had an 8km slog down a dry river bed which only had soft sand! Now I definitely lost my sense of humour. I was knackered and near the back of the group on my own, fly’s kept buzzing around my head and I’m not going to lie quite a few expletives were coming out of my mouth as I tried to wave them away and not fall off the bike. It would have been hard if I hadn’t just survived a marathon! The joy of reaching the path out of the river bed was quickly gone when I saw the terrain – an extremely rocky 10km descent. All I am going to say is after some swearing, tears, pushing and eventually some pedalling I made it off the descent. A nice gravel road was all that was between me and camp, so powering on I managed to catch and overtake some of the others and made it into camp as the sun was setting, which was no surprise by this point – why break a habit! Camp this evening was at the Save the Rhino trust so we had permanent long drops which was a huge luxury! We were also told that the temperature had peaked at 47°C today!

Day 6 – Half Marathon followed by 70km bike – 12-hour day

Day 6 was to be the last day of exercise, and everyone managed to drag their weary bodies out of camp at 6am sharp. I had had the joys of the physio standing on my thighs the night before which meant I could actually move but found myself wondering why I hadn’t let her do my calf’s as well (Obviously forgetting the agony and swearing involved at the time!) We had been warned that today was going to be long and the stops short to make sure we made it to the end before nightfall. We set off on the run at a decent pace but I soon realised I wasn’t going to be able to maintain it. An upset stomach wasn’t helping but luckily at the 14km water stop there was somewhere I could hide! The pace was slow but I was determined to finish. We had started the day running through an amazing rocky valley called the Ugab rock formations before the ground opened up again, you could see for miles and we were faced with more soft sand and some hills! We saw loads of animal prints which was motivation to keep moving, but there was no way I could out race anything today. I finished the half totally spent and slumped into a chair, before being told to get changed and get on the bike as we needed to keep moving. Again, my moral took a beating and I was definitely at a low point as we set out on the bikes in the hilliest terrain we had had. The km’s went by extremely slowly and I found myself right at the back of the pack. I just hoped that getting to lunch and having a decent amount of food might give me some life back. We saw springbok and zebra in the distance and lion prints but luckily no lions! Just as we were getting close to the lunch stop we saw a black Rhino which was amazing. Getting off the bike and walking closer as it walked away from us was an added bonus. At the lunch stop the only way I can describe myself is broken and we still had 50km to go! I tried to eat as much as possible but I struggled to get much in and unfortunately the stop came to an end all to quickly for me. Dutifully I got back on my bike and was quickly right at the back of the pack again. I was going to finish but I only had one speed and that was that. I found myself getting to the water stations just as everyone else was leaving which is the most soul destroying thing in the world and I am not going to lie I did shed some tears. Stubbornness kept me going and no one was brave enough to suggest I get in the van! I somehow made it to the last descent of the day where everyone re-grouped to finish together. We were warned It was going to be rocky and then turn to extremely soft sand but the end was now in sight! I survived the rocks and made it to the sand only putting my foot down a couple of times but the view was the perfect ending to the trip. Sun setting behind the mountains with the grass swaying in the breeze either side and views for miles gave me goose bumps. I somehow made it to the finish having cycled past the Doras crater towards the Huab river and promptly broke into tears!

Day 7 – Homecoming

We had been treated to a luxury lodge for the last night and sleeping in a proper bed was bliss. After a short safari drive where we saw gorillas, ostriches, springboks and lots of elephant prints (but unfortunately no elephants) we had a 36-hour journey home.
The trip was an insane, amazing experience which really pushed me to my limits. We were looked after extremely well and only had to get ourselves from A to B as everything else was taken care of including the camp, food and G&T’s! I experienced some major lows but I think these made the highs more intense. It really is unbelievable what your body can achieve! I just need to find the next adventure now.


That’s it for this week, as usual please send race reports to



Helsby round up 29- 5-17 to 4-6-17


Helsby members were running at Chester, Ellesmere Port, Croxteth, Widnes, Delamere and Phoenix park. Highlights include a second place overall for Ian Rutherford and second lady for |Rachael Holden, both at Phoenix park.

Full results for Helsby runners at parkruns are below.


First up is Gaz Boyds report from Escape from Meriden.

At 11.59 last Friday evening Gaz and myself set off on our ‘little adventure’. See http://www.escapefrommeriden.co.uk for race info. This is a 24 hour race, there is no set route – you decide where to go, you decide when you stop, there are no checkpoints. Basically the winner is the solo runner or pair whom travels the further (as the crow flies). It’s worth noting that CBH and running partner won the 1st Autumn edition.


Hours prior to the race, we and other competitors (one even dressed as Scoobie Do!) waited in the local village hall – sitting down and trying to chill whilst listening to the rain, queuing for the toilet or eating free tea,coffee and biscuits were the most popular past-times. It’s amusing to see all the runners head off in different directions after the start count down. Despite the rain, spirits were high – that was until 3.5 miles, when we realised that we were heading towards Coventry and not Birmingham. Our plan was to head up to and finish at Chester via canal. We retraced our steps and reached the start line after 1.10 hours of running – not surprisingly no one else was there. Ok – going the right way was finally a box ticked, next was finding the canal. Our plan was to join the Grand Union Canal and join the Shropshire Union Canal. Eventually we found the Canal – not too many wrong turns and importantly stopping off at a 24 hour garage for food supplies. Travelling along the Canal had its pros and cons

pros – safer than roads, better scenery . Canal boat owners are more than happy to provide you with water.
Cons – a mixed range of surface – sometimes making running difficult. The biggest issue in terms of this race – the Canal winds and winds – so you are often travelling a lot more miles when in fact the roads take you on a more direct route. Lesson for next time Gaz.

Running through Birmingham at around 4/5 am on a Saturday was ‘interesting’ – let’s just say we saw the more sobering sights of a major inner city. Any way, then onto Wolverhampton for a ‘pit stop ‘ and cooked breakfast.

By this stage Gaz was unfortunately struggling with ‘old age ‘ – sorry, I meant injury (it was a niggle, not an injury- Gaz O’C), meaning that running for him was difficult. At around mile 55 Gaz decided to call it a day – his injury (niggle!), spending two much time with me (maybe I shouldn’t have asked him about politics at 3am) and the lure of Champions League Final was just too much for him. I decided to carry on for at least another 26 miles and reach Nantwich. Shortly after Gaz and I had split, I decided to stop for lunch (it was my way of getting over the fact that Gaz had gone) . I must say that the pie, chips and pint of Wainwright was lovely:)

To summarise, the rest of the journey didn’t go quickly – canal paths get a bit tiresome after a while. I did get to Nantwich at 8.30pm – completing 79 miles. You could argue – well why stop there and then – why not carry on for the remaining 3.5 hours ! My response – not this time – it was always just going to be a ‘fun’ challenge.

Richard Hankins sent in this report from Deeside Multi Terrain Race.

I believe the Deestriders Multi Terrain GP has been a regular event for many years. It appeared to have come to an end this year with Deestriders struggling for accommodation. However, a few weeks ago they announced it would take place once more. It is a series for four races on the first Thursday of the month that set off from Shotton Steel Rugby Club and head out along the Dee, around some fields, through some woods and along the flood defences before circling round again for a second lap. The total route seems to be just under 5 miles and the changing surfaces do make it a different challenge. With the very late announcement of the event numbers were down, but with 84 runners it still seemed viable. It is a very laid back low key club event with a collegiate atmosphere. From Helsby there was Jim Jones, Steve and David Wiggins and I. Results aren’t published yet, but I finished around 29:30 with Jim a few minutes later followed by Steve and David. Be good to see more green vests at the races later in the series. These are on 6 July, 3 August and 1 September.

Jim Jones ran the Welsh 1000 metre race at the weekend

I did the Welsh 1000 metre race for the first time on Sunday and it was one of the toughest races I’ve done with over 9000ft of climb in 20 miles. Thankfully the sun was shining for most of the day, so navigation wasn’t a problem. There was only a short spell of wind and rain, which seemed perfectly timed to start as I was helped out of a stream I’d fallen into on the climb up to Gribin Ridge. Another first for me was getting stung by a wasp on the ankle as I climbed the side of Aber Falls! Some fantastic views along the way, and the best I’ve ever seen from the top of Snowdon. The race started on the coast by Abergwyngregyn and finished at the summit of Snowdon. The route takes you over the summits of Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Dafydd, Glyder Fawr and to Garnedd Ugain before the final push to the Snowdon summit. I had hoped to complete it in 6 hours but finished 83rd in 6:38.

Just in case you are one of the half dozen or so people in the western hemisphere that Fitzy hasn’t told about his triathlon, he’s also thoughtfully written a report about it too.

I tried my hand at something a bit different this weekend, and most of you won’t already know about it as i kept it really low key on social media, so thought i’d send in a quick report about it. I’m just hoping all 3 events make it into the “running” news this week.

This was my first crack at an Olympic distance triathlon, and I’ve had some fun along the way training for it, uploading photo’s of me and my wet suit on our travels to FB, and keeping everyone amused along the way. Strangely, i was not nervous at all, even when we got down to the transition area in Grosvenor Park, Chester, where you rack your bike up and see how much some people spend on this sport, and there i was racking up my BMX.

Time to get the wet suit on, down to the river Dee for a quick briefing, jumping in thinking it would be freezing but surprisingly quite warm. I was really disappointed in myself that i didn’t shout “green army” on the start line but if i had i may have drowned as was trying to start my watch, whilst treading water, and feared the worst that the lady next to me might dunk me, as she had already warned me to get out of her space….charming! The hooter went off, and the scramble for best positions started, swimmers knocking into you and tapping your feet, made me feel really uneasy for the first 200m or so. I managed to calm myself a little and got into my rhythm and slowly made my way up the river 850m, before turning around and coming back down 650m whilst swallowing a fair bit of the River Dee, to be greeted by the family cheering me out the water. I didn’t hesitate to use my running strengths and knocked one poor bloke out the way as I sprinted up to transition after saying sorry to him.

You go through what you will do in transition time and time again before the race. Well my master plan didn’t work as i forgot to start taking off my wet suit on the way to it, which meant nearly 2 and half mins later I  finally managed to come out and onto my bike. I really do feel this is where the race is won or lost, some of the bikes on show where mighty impressive, but then again, it’s the athlete you put on the bike I suppose as well. Well my bike was carrying me and my “Guinness Belly” so i needed to push my legs very hard. My mate who did it, caught me up within the first 5 miles after being a good few minutes behind me, we then managed to stay together for the next 20, heading out of Chester towards Wrexham Ind Est, and turning back around to head back towards the Sandy Lane end of Chester for a quick finish through the City Centre.

Now jumping off the bike and straight into a 10k run, whilst your having a few issues with stomach cramps was not a pleasurably experience, maybe i did take on too much of the River Dee, jelly legged and feeling like i wanted to walk, i managed the first lap and although it was tough i could have pushed a little harder on the run, but I seemed to be overtaking most people now including BBC news presenter Louise Minchin who i see is a fully paid up member of Chester Tri. 3 laps of the park (Handbridge Park I think it’s called, i should have asked Boydy and was very surprised not to see him out and about on one of his tours, but then again i think he was still running around Coventry with Gaz), and over the bridge back along the water front and back out again.

The event was brilliant organised by Chester Tri,  great goody bags, t-shirt, towel and loads more, and extremely well supported, it was like a bit of a carnival atmosphere, lots of family and friends in attendance and was a great day out. I would really recommend this event to anyone wanted to do something a bit different than our normal “running” races we do. I ended up middle of the field and under the 2hrs 45 i had set myself before the race so was off to the pub in a pretty happy mood.







That’s it for for this week.

As usual all race reports to




Helsby Weekly Update 1-5-17 to 7-5-17

A busy week this week, but before we get to the reports here’s a quick notice about the Deeside Multi Terrain series that starts early next month and runs through the summer.


Firstly, from Col T at Amberswood 10K Trail Race 

Myself and Louise ventured over to Wigan for the trail 10k on Sunday, a lovely course around Amberswood which takes in path, trail, grass and bridleways. It was quite a low key event with only around 250 runners but it was expertly hosted by Wigan Harrier with excellent marshalling and loads of encouragement from the volunteers.

The award ceremony at the finish reminded of a fell race with all the banter and spot prizes! As I was the sole Helsby runner at this race I thought I’d do my best to fly the flag for the club and managed to sneak a win after a battle of cat and mouse with a guy from Bramley AC most of the way around so I was very happy with the result and prize.
All in all a great morning out in the sun and would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for well organised cheap trail race.

col 10k

Results here:

Fitzy sent this in from the Helsby vs. Felsby fell race at Dinas Bran

Another great turnout for leg 2 of Helsby V Felsby at the Dinas Bran Fell race at least a third of the field was in a green vest, it was like an invasion of Llangollen!

So provisional results that I know you all want to hear, I won’t go into too much detail but I think they are correct.

Helsby Men 9 runners
Felsby men 5 runners
Helsby women 0 runners
Felsby women 7 runners
Helsby men 220 points v Felsby men 129
Helsby women 0 points v Felsby women 196
Total Helsby 220 v Felsby 325
1st Leg Helsby 371 v Felsby 309
2nd Leg Helsby 220 v Felsby 325
Total Helsby 591 v Felsby 634

Winners and deservedly so Felsby who retain the title, I’ll present the wine and trophy to Adam Gordon who we have just chosen in the car on the way home as the Felsby captain and turncoat 🙂

Thanks to everyone who took part, the main aim was to bolster numbers and I think it worked again, had a blast.


Paul Cunningham sent in this, also from Dinas Bran.

Arrived early excited in  knowing I was going to set a new PB yes my first ever Fell Race – fantastic turn out by the green army felt like a local run around Helsby Hill – beautiful evening weather perfect.

To be honest a more relaxed atmosphere than a road race – I even managed to stand on the startline like an elite runner but felt out of place and slowly manoeuvred myself towards the rear of the pack – home sweet home.

The race started 2 laps of a small field through a gate onto a steep hill  – I kept a steady pace happy to reach the top without too much trouble – tight right onto another hill with an even steeper incline within a minute I was struggling  crying out for a water station – looked at the watch and we had completed 0.7miles.

I couldn’t believe it I had to walk  the remainder of the hill – once onto the off road pathway I began running once more after all it was a race and started to enjoy my surroundings – turned a corner and a marshal pointed us right – I looked up and started to cry all I could see was a stream of Sherpas sorry runners making headway up the mountain face  – picked my line and felt every muscle in my legs and back burn – forehead stuck to the ground I made slow progress – once I eventually got to the Hillary step swapped over onto oxygen I pushed on to the summit – we had a weather window and had to grasp the opportunity  – delirious from reaching the summit I turned and shouted “ Yo Adrian I did It”.

Now time for the downhill – within a few meters I realized that I had grown up into a responsible adult  who doesn’t  like to take chances  – full risk assessment completed site specific and I snagged the descent  – more safety rails required and ground uneven needs urgent attention

Such a rush running at full pelt downhill – It’s great to be alive – then we had the pleasure of doing it all over again as 2 laps required.

Finished back on the playing field greeted by the rest of the Green Army – absolutely loved every second of this race.

Fell running leave the watch at home and amaze in your surroundings.

Congratulations to Felsby – Fell runners are fit as hell.

Now for a couple of reports, from Fitzy and Andy Robinson, from this years Sandstone Challenge.

I say it every year but it’s the best pound for pound race about, for £20 you get a coach to the start in Whitchurch, 5 checkpoints well stocked with food and water, and plenty of marshalls willing to help you out. Once your weary legs get back to Frodsham community centre you are greeted by the local scouts who wait hand and foot on you whilst you try and recover. What more could you ask for?
A win maybe? Again for me it wasn’t to be, after CBH hunting me down around mile 30 last year and me finishing 3rd, it happened again in virtually the same spot, with winner Lee Ireland passing me with 2 miles to go. Having ran with him for around 26 miles, i went approx 90 secs ahead going into the last checkpoint, but I just had nothing left when i got to Frodsham hill, even though Chris Collins tried his up most to gee me up and get me up that hill. I did go one better this year coming in 2nd, although a little disappointed i was very happy about my 12 minute PB, finishing on 4 hours 42 mins on a very quick and dry course in near perfect conditions.

Most years this is a good enough time to win it. I can’t even blame my navigation errors, 3 of them within the first 3-4 miles. This is my 4th time running this, but i get lost around a running track me so it’s par for the course these days. This race really did take me to a dark place at the end, I gave everything i had, I’ve never felt so exhausted and took me a good hour to come around. Never again i said, but I’m sure i will be back again next year.

Well done to everyone involved, i cannot thank you all enough


fitz sandstone

Andy Robinson sent in this info from the SSC

Sandstone Trail Challenge 2017
This year’s Challenge went well again, with a record 206 finishers and a record amount of food eaten.  Conditions were great underfoot, with no mud at all, and it was a cool day with perfect running conditions.

The results, a race report and a link to hundreds of photos are all on the Challenge webpage at


There were 7 Helsby runners, all of them heroes of course:
2nd: Chris Fitzpatrick, 4:42
33rd: Phil Roberts, 5:58
34th: Gaz O’Connor, 5:59
35th: Jim Jones, 6:00
39th: Gareth Boyd, 6:09
81st: Lesley Feakes, 7:06
84th: Roy Duffy, 7:16
Finally, the full results for Helsby runners at parkruns last weekend can be found below.




Helsby RC Weekly Update 2-4 to 9-4

Short and not so sweet this week, I’m afraid. No race reports sent in and due to an dodgy internet connection I’ve been unable to pester people to do any, So if you’ve got 20 seconds to spare, read on.

Border League Race 6: New Brighton – 9th Apr 2017

Warm spring sunshine on the seafront contrasted vividly with conditions for race 5. 316 runners lined up for the penultimate race of the season, to run a 5.15 mile course which followed the seafront pavement and coastal embankment for two miles, before turning inland, circling Wallasey Golf Club, coming back to the seafront, and returning along the pavement once more.

First home for Helsby men was Col Thompson while the clubs first lady was Alison Halsall.


Helsby men were 3rd overall on the day and the ladies 6th which left both teams 5th in respective divisions.

Full team and individual results are below.



Helsby runners were racing at Chester, Ellesmere Port, Delamere, Phoenix Park and Penrhyn parkruns including a 3rd place finish for Col Thompson at Delmere.

Full club results are below




Helsby RC round-up 6-3-2017 to 12-3-2017


Presentation Night

Friday Night was the club presentation night, a great time was had by all thanks to Jackie Keasley, Ian Landucci, Donna Geer and Chris Igoe for all the work setting the night up.


Helsby members were parkrunning throughout the North West and and also a guest appearance in London from a travelling Davyd Michell. Highlights include a first place for Col Thompson and a first lady for Jo Lacking both at Phoenix Park.

Full, consolidated results for the club are below.


On to the racing….

Shan McCarthy sent in this report from Bath Half Marathon.

I travelled down to beautiful Bath last weekend to run the ‘Bath Half’ with 12,700 other runners, and it lived up to be the brilliant event which I was expecting, a big-atmosphere half marathon, lined with literally constant support even at the parts furthest out from the Start/Finish.

The race starts and finishes on the stunning Great Pulteney Street, and straddles both sides of the River Avon. The course is, according to the IAAF course measurer, ‘Flat with three undulations’. For someone who doesn’t really ‘do’ hills, I was relieved that the undulations were fairly kind and lined with jelly babies and hundreds of enthusiastic supporters.

The first mile of gentle downhill from the Start makes you feel invincible and tempts you to go out way too fast, but later turns into a seemingly endless gradual crawl uphill to the Finish. I expected to need my playlist to get me through the tough times but thanks to the fantastic atmosphere, the Aftershokz were largely redundant though it seems I did accidentally ‘last number redial’ the dentist in Frodsham who thankfully didn’t answer with it being Sunday. I had thought it being a two-lap race would be a bit mentally challenging, but instead I was happy to revisit the 8 or so bands which added to the buzzing atmosphere, and the added bonus was seeing the Elite runners in action. Good to see the male winner was a Northern lad, Ben Fish (Blackburn Harriers – 1:05:16) Perfect running conditions despite incorrect forecast of hours of rain.


Nice medal, tech Tshirt, lots of goodies at the end… Shared a video on my FB wall for anyone considering taking part. Many inspiring and tearjerking causes being run for, and a fabulous £2.2 million plus raised for charities. Managed an 8 or 9 minute improvement on my last half with 2:13. If you do travel down to do this one day, don’t do what I did… miss the signs outside several of the pubs/bars close to the Abbey which offered a free drink to all Bath Half finishers

Danielle Ryder journeyed to Barcelona for the Marathon.

I ran the Barcelona Marathon on Sunday as part of a 30+ group from work, so unfortunately the Helsby vest did not make an appearance and instead we wore matching fluorescent yellow INEOS branding so that the film crew could spot us on the way round! It was my first major city marathon with 20k+ runners and I must admit I was impressed at how well organised it was. The route took you past some of the major sites of the city, but  I think I missed a few trying to not fall over the other runners. I can definitely say I am not used to running with so many other people.

So what about the race. I found myself in the queue for the toilets pre-race, and made the bad decision of losing my bottle with 5minutes before the start and leaving the queue! Not the best idea when the people who I was in the queue with walked past me before I had started! Lesson learnt! So with this in mind, I was stood the the start line dying for a wee. I lasted 2km before spotting a cafe with a toilet sign on the back wall and running in and shouting at the waitress asking if I could use the toilet, obviously with no intention of not using it if she had said no. So with these fun and games to start, I set off too quick and went against the advice I had given some of my work colleagues before the start who were running there first ever marathons, and for some mad reason thought, lets see how long I can hold the pace. The first half went brilliantly and even up to 30km I was feeling good but it was the last 12km I started to struggle and slow slightly. The support along the route was amazing with no empty roads and lots of bands and dancers regularly down the route.

The amount of people racing and pushing disabled people was amazing and made me man up on numerous occasions. This combined with Batman wearing all black and running in Crocs and a guy running with a huge Eiffel Tower frame on his shoulders made me think i had it easy just dragging myself around. The weather was in the high teens and definitely felt warmer than I was used to but we were defiantly lucky it was overcast. It was humid but at least I wasn’t getting sunburnt which had nearly happened on the Saturday. Flash back to Saturday afternoon while eating Paella and staring longingly at the people on the table next to me drinking Sangria! I somehow held strong and avoided the alcohol!


After running past quite a few people collapsed at the side of the road in the final few kms and managing to keep moving up the incline to the finish, I went for the sprint finish to find myself totally boxed in and not able to speed up. Saying this I crossed the line in 3:51:54 with a big PB, knocking 20 minutes off my previous time. I was aiming for 4hrs so I was happy I ran on feel and ignored the watch! Standing at the finish and meeting the others in the group finishing their first ever marathons was brilliant and I had a beaming smile for the next few hours. That was until I stepped on the plane and crammed my legs into the plane seat for an uncomfortable 2 hours.

Overall I think Barcelona Marathon was a brilliant, well organised event and I would recommend it if you like your city marathons. Personally I like the quieter races but I wouldn’t say no to running it again. Oh I forgot to say the course was undulating. . .
Debbie Reed sent in this report from Falesia, Portugal.

On our annual warm weather training at a little place called Falesia on The Algarve of very March, part of the program is a hilly, 3 lap, 5k road race.It attracts all types of runners ranging from high class international to slow plodders.



This years results were
142 starters
137 finishers
1st male (Hamburg) 15:02
1st Female (Russia) 16:01
Mike Gratton (Winner of London Marathon 1983) 18:??
Debbie Read 22:39

Lastly an offer from Bob Benson for anyone who fancies giving Race Directing a go

Race Organisation – Borders League


Borders League membership currently numbers 17. Given that 7 races are staged each season, member clubs can be expected to organise a League race every two or three …
To support this we have had an offer from Gavin Lightwood of UK Athletics to deliver a Race Directors Training Course. Please see the attached Course Program.
The cost of the course is £50 per candidate, but if we get 10 or more, then the fee will drop to £40. Maximum numbers per course is 30.
We Borders League Committee have also agreed that we will use money from our BL account to subsidise each candidate 50% of the cost i.e. reducing this fee to £20 for this course. (if we get more than 10)

At this stage we are sounding the interest.
We have no course dates, but assuming we get a positive “buy-in” the course is likely to be held at Trafford AC Clubhouse in Manchester and on a Saturday.

Please sound this proposal with your Club Officials/Helpers/Runners and only 1 Representative per club reply to me with the numbers that you would expect to “buy-in” with. To allow sufficient discussion I’ll close my survey on Sunday 19th March (- or earlier if all clubs have replied).

As the next couple of weeks go I’ll work towards screwing-down proposed dates and venue.


Helsby RC Weekly Update 30-1-2017 to 5-2-2017

Firsty, a few reminders from Fitzy and Jackie

Borders league recce this coming Sunday 12th at Manley Mere, would suggest we meet for 10.45am and offski at 11am, if there is enough of us will try and sort a few paced groups, nobody will be left behind so the more the merrier, we can muster if need be, £2 will be needed to get through the gates for parking so if possible car share or run down, hopefully see you there

The 2017 road, fell and trail counters have now been fixed and they are on the blog at:-


The list of Helsby Summer Club counters is attached (a version suitable for your desk or the home notice board!). It will be put on the blog too.

This year the mini fells have been incorporated into the main fells in order to reduce the total number of counters as last year we feel we had too many and sometimes were spread too thinly.

There’s a great selection of races to keep us fit and busy and turning the field green … & loud!

Another date is our own Wobbler that will be held on Wednesday June 28th.  We are still waiting to confirm that this will be in an Inter Club Fell race between Spectrum, Delamere and Warrington.

Mike from Cute Fruits says The Pie & Peas & Chester Spring 5 (both in the Cheshire Grand Prix Series) and the Mid Cheshire 5K (this year an English Athletics Counter) are filling up fast so please enter to avoid disappointment.

Some dates for your diary

It’s the 8th Helsby Beer Festival on the 3rd & 4th March with 20 ales, ciders and bands playing both days.  Please come along and support this club event and at the same time keep the place ticking over!

But remember the next day, 5th March,  it’s our turn to organise and run the Border League at Manley Mere. Vanessa & Chris are busy organising this and your support in putting this event on, both marshalling and/or running in it is requested and much appreciated.

Others dates are our club Presentation Evening on Friday March 10th, 7:30, with supper and music by our own Chris Igoe. As this is before the end of the Borders League season these results will be presented at the AGM together with the club champions unless there are out & out winners before adding the Border League points!?

Our club AGM will be on Wednesday May 24th at 8:30pm in the clubhouse.
Finally we have finally issued our club Codes of Practise. These are on the blog at:-


Wadsworth Trog

Jim O’Hara and Jim Jones did the Wadsworth Trog long fell race on Saturday. The Wadsworth Trog, which starts and finishes in Hebden Bridge, is classed as a BL and covers approx 19 miles and over 3650ft of climbing over a lot of boggy moorland. Jim O’Hara had a great race, finishing 17th in 3:05 from 186 starters, and Jim Jones finished 116th in 3:58.


Full results are available at


Helsby runners were out in force in the areas parkruns on Saturdays, including a 3rd place for Ian Rutherford at Phoenix Park. Full result below.


Lastly, the results from the Cross Country on Saturday at Clarke Gardens can be found at



Helsby Weekly Update 1 Jan – 8 Jan


Helsby runners were in action at Chester, Telford, Delamere, Ellesmere Port, Widnes. Highlights included a first place for Colin Bishop and a Ladies 3rd place for Adele Croxton, both at Widnes. Well done.

Full, consolidated results are at the link below.


Saturday was the Cheshire XC Championships. Chris Fitzpatrick, who was sporting a rather fetching side parting for the occasion, sent in this report.

Birchwood Forest Park was the venue again for the Cheshire championships and due to the lack of rain over the previous few days the 4-5 lap course was by the time we got out on it extremely muddy, probably the muddiest course I have ever taken part in, and it was the thick gloopy mud that made running extremely hard and really did make you work very hard to get any speed up at all.

The ladies race set off with 7 green vests for 4 laps of the field with Jane Ashbrook, Laura BH and Christine Roach making it the 1,2,3 and the team 9th out of 18 on the day.

The men’s race had 10 green vests for 5 laps of the field with Neil Finegan continuing his excellent form coming home first and also picking up a spot on the Cheshire reserve team, having chased him for a few laps I know how well he is running, brilliant yet again Neil. He was followed by myself and Ian Rutherford close behind for the 1,2,3. The men’s overall team came 5th out of 15 teams which is a great position considering some of the bigger clubs we beat, and the old boy vets claimed 3rd place beating teams like Vale Royal and getting themselves a nice Bronze Medal. Well done Neil, myself, Ian and CBH, make sure you wear them all the time and everywhere you go.

All in all a fun but very muddy day out, big thanks to the support on the day from Foz, Mario and Joe and also the club chauffeur Davyd who’s new name is Captain Picard for his ability to get us from 0 to warp speed so quickly

Full results are below.


Also on Saturday was the Halewood 5K with Colin Thompson finishing in 2nd place overall and Jo Lacking getting 2nd Lady. Great running guys.


Helsby RC update 4th Dec to 11th Dec


Sun 18th December – 4th Sunday League XC Club Counter – Arrow Park – 10am – For those who want to lift share please meet at the club at 9am.

Wed 21st Dec – Xmas Handicap followed by a homemade soup & mince pie supper.  Meet at the club at 6:30 pm (Xmas dress optional!). We will have a warm up, then gather at the start near Tesco for our 3.3 mile dash to Godscroft Lane and back with staggered starts. Please bring a wrapped Xmas present to the value of £5 for the secret Santa prize giving in the bar afterwards.

For the supper Lesley & Dave will email soon asking for a number of volunteers to bring big pans of soup to warm us all up. I’m currently compiling the handicaps and plan to use your latest Border League Results, if you’ve not run one then firstly why (!?!?) & secondly please let me have your latest 5K/10K times.


Message from Lesley – We are looking for volunteers to provide a pan of home made soup, please let me know if you are able to help out


Many thanks, Lesley

Xmas Day –  Delamere Park Run 9 am, to work up an appetite for your turkey dinner! Xmas costumes welcome!  It has now been confirmed that this ParkRun is definitely on so get your presents unwrapped early and aim for Delamere!

Helsby runners were out at Delamere, Widnes and Bramley parkruns. Highlights included a first place for Colin Thompson at Delamere and 2nd place for Colin Bishop at Widnes. Full results are below.



There were no reports submitted this week. Helsby runners were at the cross country at Beacon Park on Saturday the 10th and the results are supposed to be at the link below, unfortunately at the time of writing the link appears to be dead.


Not one of my better blogs, sorry.