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.


Helsby Weekly Update 31 Oct to 6 Nov

Firstly,  quick reminders from Paul Foster about the L&D cross country race at Sefton Park and Chris Fitz  about the upcoming Xmas do…

L&D Cross Country

The next Liverpool and district XC on Sat 26th November Sefton Park Liverpool at 2pm is a pre entry event.

All names have to be submitted a week on Wednesday 16th November so if anybody would like to run please send me your name and date of birth to:


So please don’t forget to email me with your details..

To all new runners this is still a free event for every Helsby runners as long as you are first claim and wear your Helsby vest..

Thanks Paul..

Christmas Do

Helsby Christmas night out will be on Saturday 10th Dec, usual set up, starting in Helter Skelter at 7.30pm, Christmas jumpers a must, greener the better


Border League Race 2 at Chester.

Fitzy sent in this report from the race.

There was a great turn out for the second Border League race at Chester on Sunday. A total of 36 runners helped give the Ladies team 2nd place and the Mens team 4th place on the day.

We had a very chilly start on Sunday morning at our second borders league race of the season in nearby Upton, which was being held by West Cheshire on the very fast Spring 5 course. This is a very popular race in April when it’s warmish, and Sunday seen a record number of runners turn up, 431 in total, which is a record by 61.  Another brilliant turn out by the green army seen 36 of us in total take counters.

Some great performances on the day seen Colin Thompson first home for the men, followed by myself and Bish, also a quick note to people turning up and helping us out after racing the night before, CC, take a bow son, and we even had local celebrity Fell Runners Ben Fletcher and Jim O’Hara helping the men’s team out coming in 4th on the day, and moving us up to 5th in the Division 1 table. 7 men ran subs 30 mins and top 10 counter all within 91st place, which just goes to show we have real strength in numbers now, exciting times ahead!

Alison Halsall, followed by Joanne Lacking, and Laura BH made up the top 3 for the women and a great performance to bring them in 2nd on the day, however they are still rooted to the bottom of the top division because of race 1’s penalty points. It wont be long before they are heading up that table if they continue to put in great performances like yesterday.

The next race is on Dec 4th and is at Birkenhead Park, would be great to get decent numbers to this one again, although it will clash with a cross country race so i will be in contact for a bit of careful planning so we don’t get any penalty points for either team.

Thanks again for the support of Jane, Mario and Joe out on the course as always


Individual race results:


Team race results


Overall team standing after Race 2


Dublin Marathon report by Jo Farwell.
This was my second dalliance with the Dublin Marathon, both as support entourage, but this time with the ‘Green Army Girls on Tour’

The group of 10 set off to the Emerald Isle at not even the crack of dawn on Saturday, yes there really are two 5 o’clocks in the day! All runners were very reserved on the flight out, lots of nervous giggles and alas no ‘flight juice’ for Nesta.

Upon arriving to our extremely sumptuous guest house and dumping our bags, we set off in search of the best Irish Breakfast in Dublin. All I can say is thank goodness we didn’t use the facilities before we’d ordered!!!

It was then off to the Expo and a mammoth 6 mile hike later the GAGs had registered, no turning back now, and we were back at our extremely sumptuous guest house to check in, and for room swaps, blimey, so soon, it was only early afternoon!

Once settled into our new rooms, air freshener and breakfast purchased for the morning, some Guinness and a bit of carbo loading were in order, not to mention a few more nervous giggles and a ‘bit of magic’! It was then back to our extremely sumptuous guest house for an early night and an extra hour in bed…. 

After a very noisy night, that’s those in the room without the air freshener, race day was upon us, and more nervous giggles on the way to the start, fortunately it wasn’t a 6mile hike to get there.
Now, I can’t tell you much about the race, but with the start and finish just outside the city centre, the course of one lap took the runners north of the river for the first half, around the zoo, (leave that monkeys banana alone now) and through the very scenic Phoenix Park, or so I’ve been told. It’s then back south over the river for the second half, around the University College Dublin with the final straight two mile run back to the finish.

Now the girlies did a ‘grand’ job, staying together until about mile 11, then finding their own pace…. results are

Jenny – debut marathon – 4.36.56
Louise – 4.36.56
Nesta’s first road marathon – 4.55.39
Donna’s second marathon in 6 mths – 5.05.09

Epic running from all 4 GAGs!!!


Have to say, the support entourage did a ‘grand’ job too, kept popping up like Fenella the Kettle Witch or rather Joe and Mario, when you least expect it! Walking near on 12 miles we managed to see the girls at 4 points throughout the race, all looking great throughout. Can’t say the same for the supporters mind, not even time for a pee stop, never mind coffee and cake!!

A well earned post race Guinness to celebrate was thoroughly deserved and enjoyed by all, no more nervous giggles, just lots of laughs and crazy statements like ‘I really enjoyed that’!!

The remainder of the weekend was spent re-hydrating and re-fuelling with good food, good drink, good friends and lots more laughs and of course a mandatory trip to the Guinness factory.
Well…. when in Dublin!

A great weekend was had by all, but last note has to go to Louise McEveley, who not only accepted her mission and carried it through not once, but twice…..!! 😉

Brilliant report, cheers Jo.

Ben Williams sent in this report from the Kilburn Kanter

I ran the LDWA Kilburn Kanter on Saturday. This is a great little event taking in footpaths and tracks in the countryside near Thirsk. The weather was grim, with persistent rain giving way to hail on the moors, and underfoot conditions were tough in places. The scenery and atmosphere were fantastic though, with plenty of banter between runners and lots of support from the checkpoints.

There are four big climbs on the 24-mileroute, and having done this event twice before I feel that I was better able to judge how much energy to put in on different sections.

I was in a cat-and-mouse battle with another runner over the last couple of stages, which helped keep my pace up on the sections where I normally tire. I completed the event in 4 hours 54, 27 minutes quicker than last year, so pleased with that. No pictures, I didn’t dare get my phone out of my pocket in the monsoon.

Results may appear here sometime –



Helsby members were in action at Delamere, Ellesmere Port and Widnes parkruns. Full, consolidated results are below.


Thats it for this week, as usual can you please send your race reports to:



Weekly Update 26th Sept to 2nd Oct

Border League

Firstly a reminder that the Border League season starts this coming Sunday. First race is in Caernarfon and starts, as usual at 11am. Lets have a great turn out from the Green Army.




Helsby members were in action at parkruns throughout the area. Notable performances include Colin Bishops 3rd place at Princes Park and Chris Morgans first run as a Helsby member at Birkenhead.

Full, consolidated Helsby results are below


Sunday was Chester marathon and metric with Derek Morris and Dave Madders doing the full


Tanya Downes sent in this report from the Metric.

Chester Metric Marathon
A beautiful October day, who could ask for better running conditions. Lone metric Helsby runner set out for a steady training run for my November marathon in Athens with the added bonus of a medal, t-shirt and goodies at the finish line. An undulating course reminded me of a baby grand national ride, very proud of myself running all the way back up sandy lane ( getting used to hills at last). Great support and such a lovely course. Would definitely recommend for next year for anyone wanting just a little extra to that half marathon distance. Took it steady at my marathon training pace and came home in 2 hours 50 with a little sprint finish. Paced my Chester road runner friend to a 1/2 marathon PB , which was fantastic. Felt fresh and no aching legs the next day…….. onwards to the next challenge.

Glencoe Marathon

Also on Sunday was the Glencoe marathon which was run my Adam Gordon, Ste Wiggins and Roy Duffy. The race unfortunately left all 3 runners too exhausted to write a report for the blog but full results are below, including an impressive top 30 finish for Adam.

Sandstone Trail Race – View from the Back!!

A wonderful Autumnal day yesterday for the 40th Sandstone Trail Race with a healthy Helsby turnout for the A and B races. A chilly start with the mist burning off first thing then sunshine and very clear views, for those going at a slow enough pace to look up!

My experience of the long race was quite different to previous years!!  Firstly I nearly did not start as despite entering early as usual I was on the waiting list until only last week.  In the A race I am normally soon running fairly alone in the peace & tranquillity at the back of the field, but this year I seemed to have company all the way.  Within the first few miles I was amazed to have runners moving slower than me in “packs” chatting away with conversations such as the latest episode of Emmerdale.


Then to my alarm/annoyance continual swearing at every slight incline and muddy patch. Surely I thought if you have entered a 17 mile race, in October along the Sandstone Trail, these are to be expected … and relished! I put on a spurt to get away from these noisy runners (some walking so early on) and eventually found myself at one with the surroundings; birds chirping away merrily with the odd heavy breathing from fellow individual runners disturbing the silence!


Soon the miles were steadily gobbled up and I passed through Beeston, which again was quiet as the B mass start occurred 15 mins earlier.  Then I started catching up with the B runners and again unlike other years lots of them. Most moving/walking in groups some even stopping along the way to take selfies!!!  Again a sight I have not witnessed on this race before!!

Most memorable along this section were several groups of backpackers merrily cheering and shouting “Come on Helsby”. I soon worked out that they were all from Helsby High and delighted to see their same Helsby vest being worn by us. Up the field they gave each Helsby runner a cheer too – a big thanks Helsby High!


Thanks to Geoff and Janet for organising this race over the many years and to all yesterday’s marshals with quite a number from Helsby. Next year this race will be organised by Cute Fruits – hope the same winning formula (and price!) continues.

Well done everyone and special mention to prize winners Jim,  3rd overall and Alison 3rd lady in the A race and 5th place to Ben in the B race.

A race
4th  Jim O-Hara       2:04:34
38th Alison Halsall 2:29:06
48th Laura Baynham-Hughes 2:33:07
59th Chris Murray 2:39:14
85th Andy Robinson 2:48:41
97th Dave Feakes 2:52:20
108th Lesley Feakes 2:56:45
118th Rachel Arnold 3:01:41
132nd Paul Foster 3:08:04
137th Jackie Keasley 3:15:27
171 finishers, 9dnf

Vanessa retired injured at Rock Farm – hope no long term damage done.

B race

5th Ben Fletcher 1:15:02
11th Richard Hankins 1:22:00
77th Michele Hardwick 1:44:57
80th Debbie Reed 1:45:14
91 Suzanne Fletcher 1:48:21
105 Sue Buck 1:50:52
184 finishers, 1 dnf


Also, congratulations to Heslby second claim Chris “The Machine” Collins for his second place in the B race.


Wirral Multi Terrain Series.

The final Wirral Multi terrain race at Arrowe park saw 12 green vests toeing the line. A pretty good turn out for the finale but overall attendance has been a bit poor this year, it’s a shame these races aren’t more popular with our members as it’s a fantastic series in some lovely locations and at £1 per race they are a bargain too! Maybe it’s the mid-week logistics and also September can be a bit difficult with holidays etc. Lots of other races around at the moment too.

Anyway on to the race, the course is 2 laps of Arrowe park through fields, woods and trail. We had some very impressive running on the night and over the whole series, well done to everyone who took part.

Helsby results below:


9th Colin Thompson 26:07
13th Adam Gordon 26:28
18th Neil Finegan Helsby 26:50
44th Ian Rutherford 28:19
74th Mark Gittins 29:37
75th Richard Hankins 29:40
152nd Dave Madders 33:59
167th Tim Igoe 35:09
186th Chris Igoe 36:47
187th Stephen Wiggins 37:09


36th Debbie Reid 35:22
67th Liz Dobson 39:29

Full results can be found here

Results overall for the series are here

Special congratulations to Adam and Debbie Read for their podium finishes over the series taking 3rd in their respective age categories. Well done both!  Also of note is the 7th place in the team rankings for Helsby Men.

Thank you to Joe and Mario for their support during each race, as always it’s much appreciated guys.


Also a quick note from Max Wainwright to say he ran Saddleworth Edges fell race on Saturday, his first ‘proper’ fell race since last November and came in 8th.
Well done, Max


Last weekend Gary O’Connor (me) ran the King Offas Ultra . I’ve tried to keep the report as short as you can keep a 3 and half day race report……
King Offas Dyke Race.

Last Friday evening I started the 186 mile, 4 day Offas Dyke race in Chepstow, South Wales heading towards the finish in Prestatyn on the North Wales coast.


The first 60 miles or so, run in one stint during Friday night and Saturday afternoon, went without too much drama until I left the Kington checkpoint for the 17 mile trip to the next CP where I intended to rest until Sunday morning. A predicted “short, rain shower” turned out to be an extended, torrential downpour that left me soaked through to the skin and making navigation errors that started putting me behind the schedule I’d set myself.

I finally got to the CP at 82 miles around 1am, about 4 hours hours behind where I’d hoped to be, with several blisters affecting my running, all my kit soaked and really demoralsed. I got a few hours sleep on a row of seats and set off around 5am for the 100 mile checkpoint at Montgomery, this 20 mile section turned out to be the low point of my weekend and the only period where I had serious doubts as to my ability to finish the race. The section was extremely hilly, I only made the time cut off for the checkpoint by an hour or so as I couldn’t put too much weight on my feet on the downhill parts and was (I think!) in last place.

The excellent medics at Montgomery burst and taped my blisters and I was at least able to maintain a pace that meant I could get to the next checkpoint without getting timed out. The next 50 miles were all done with the sole aim of holding this pace and finishing the race without getting DNF’d on time.

I got to the 150 mile checkpoint at Llandegla at around 7pm on Monday near the back of the pack, having had reasonably “easy” days on Sunday and Monday due to blistering. This meant my legs were relatively fresh and I decided to just have a quick sleep and eat before heading across the Clywdians to the finish in Prestatyn, 36 miles away at 10pm.

The last section went better than I could have possibly hoped for, I felt strong, positive and the miles just melted away until, before I knew it, I was standing on the trails above Prestatyn at 10am on Tuesday morning, roughly15 places higher than I’d been the morning before.


The run didn’t go exactly to plan, I’d hoped to approximately run 85 miles Friday/ Saturday, 65 miles Sunday and 40 miles Monday to finish late Monday evening but I ended up doing 80, 35 (slow) and 75 which left me finishing Tuesday morning but was more than happy with my time given the problems I’d had on the second day.


I finished the race 26th out of 45 finishers (85 starters), having done just under 200 miles due to various navigation errors and 29000 ft of elevaton in a time of 87 hours.

Helsby RC update 28 Aug to 4 Sept

Firstly a Fundraiser reminder from Betty.

Static Bike Fundraiser

At Tesco’s Helsby – Sept 24th 6AM to Midnight
It would be great if the green army could get a block of time
We can also raise more by having more than one person riding
in the 1/2 hour – so instead of one rider at £40, 2 riders ar £80
There will be a kids bike as well!!!!


Full, consolidated results for Helsby members at last weeks parkruns are below:



Colin Thompson sent in this report from a brutal sounding Halewood 5K on Saturday.

I was all on my lonesome for the Halewood 5k on Saturday but managed to put in pretty decent run in torrential conditions. The standard was very high, the top 3 all under 16 minutes, I managed to get my fastest time of the year with 17.18 in 12th place so very pleased with that one!

Full results can be found here


Neil Finegan sent in this report of his win at the Clwydian 15 trail race

Not so much a race report as a recommendation for next year.  The Clwydian series has been running for a few years offering 5, 15 or 30 mile options in this vertically challenging part of the world.   They are relatively small and low key events offering excellent value for money.

The start point is the Golden Lion Inn Llangynhafal,  familiar to anyone who has ran the green green grass fell race and the routes take in Penycloddiau, Offas Dyke path, Moel Arthur then Gronfoel .  The 15 mile route that I did had 1145 metres of climbing over its 24k.  The course was petty well marked (and a map was provided at the start) with feed points (cake, water and coke) and tag watches provided at the start allowed you to assess your splits after the race and let the organisers keep track of the runners. It was a real mix of terrain – from the typical fell running steep slopes to stone gully climbs, through to some decent farmers trails where you could pick up some speed. Some of the climbs were tough but the views at the top of Moel Arthur were amazing.

For someone like myself who has taken part in a lot of the shorter fell races the 15 gave the opportunity to push on a bit further and take in the stunning scenery.  I honestly can’t recommend it enough for anyone looking to push their limits.

As for the race itself,  well no one wanted to take the lead at the start faced with a near 300m climb in the first 3 kilometres, so after a few minutes of slow shuffling  I just went for it and spent the rest of the race thinking I was being chased down.  I struggled on to the end (extra km due to wrong turns) only to find that I was nearly 15 minutes ahead of the guy in second and set a new course record.


Neil also took the overall 1st prize in the Deeside Multi Terrain series earlier in the week so a cracking few days running from him.
Next up, 2 reports from Shelf Moor fell race. The first from Steve Riley, the second for Laura BH.


Fast becoming a favourite race, Shelf Moor saw a small but perfectly formed Helsby turnout with 5 green vests toeing the line near Glossop. The local rifle club was unable to to strike fear into the heart of our brave warriors …that came a mile in when the gentle incline of the stream valley abruptly swung left to take in the brutal climb of James Thorn. Topping out at just over 2000′ the climbing was all done in pretty much one big pull.

Ben was not to be seen after the start, coming home in a very respectable top 20 finish (always a stiffer standard in these Peak District races) and knocking a few mins off last year’s time. Laura and Steve swapped places for a close tussle to the end, Janet coming in soon after. Phil came in some time later with a smile on his face after some navigation practise. We ran a good mile or two in the mist and despite a well flagged route, it was easy to go off piste (note to curious fell runners – this hardly ever happens, we usually come back with the same number we set off with). Good work Phil pulling it back. Tea and cakes to finish naturally.

Thanks also to CBH, James and Rhys for high quality cheering at a couple of places on the course.



Sunday saw the next race in the Fell series and 5 green vests made the trip east to Old Glossop for the Shelf Moor fell race. This is a cracking race with a bit of everything. I have decided I need more practice running across bogs – was not very good at taking the racing line! No official results yet but Ben Fletcher was first home for Helsby men followed by Steve R. I finished first for the Helsby ladies (after Steve) and then Janet. Mr Gillard illustrated why they require you to carry a map and compass and was last back after a bit of a detour (it got a bit misty on the tops). Luckily unlike me he can actually use a map and compass! Great running everyone.

This race was also part of the interclub competition. There were a few out for Spectrum, not sure if final results are out yet – will post them once they have been announced!

Chris Bayham-Hughes’ report from the epic UTMB Trail Race including some absolutely amazing photographs.

It’s done. Mission accomplished. The iconic trail race that has captured my imagination for the past 4 years (and has beaten me once) has been completed. For those that don’t know of it, UTMB is to ultra distance trail running what London is to Marathons. Starting and finishing in Chamonix competitors run 105 miles through 3 countries with over 10k of ascent (and 10k of descent). It’s a beast.


I’ve just started writing a list of magic moments and I totalled over 20, they were generalised, long and spanned pages. So I realise I need to cut this down for consumption. I’ll post up a full blog with photos on my blog site: http://www.baynham-hughes.comn/Blog in due course and I’ll also continue to try to get this back on line and up to date…. My mum will want to read it at least ?

In short:
It was very hot again – 32 C @ 1000m
Incredible atmosphere throughout, from whole towns out with “allez, allez allez” & cow bells, to a young lady flasher, to getting to run with personal friends
I loved almost every inch of the course (the final descent is just cruel if your feet have gone)
I stuck to my race plan and cooled my entire body at every water source and aid station
I left Champex Lac with a smile on my face (I got the bus of shame back from here last year)
Totally shredded my feet – steamed them to trench foot and then the blistered everywhere; also a good 0.5 cm deep gashes through both of them due to the trench foot
Breath-taking views throughout
Incredible personal support and thanks for all the texts!
Amazing support for my fundraising – truly humbling!


One thing that left a lasting impression was the thunderstorm directly over head whilst I was on the climb out of Champex. I love a storm, but being on a mountain side next to people with poles and it literally feeling like the lightening was missing us by inches was a good lesson in how quick mountain weather can change. I developed a need to get off the mountain very quickly and was keen to stay clear of anybody with poles, a large number of fillings or that was unusually tall!

In the end I took just over 34 hours (I’d have broken 34 if my feet hadn’t been agony) and placed 184th out of 2300 runners (over 40% of the field dropped out). I thoroughly enjoyed it, but not sure staying 100 vertical metres was a great idea (it was as it was with friends, but it did take ~ an hour for Laura to push me up the hill as I kept losing my balance and falling backwards due to the pain in my feet).



Well worth the 4+ year obsession.
My webcams:

My own go pro footage to follow.


Lastly, Fitzy has turned to the darkside and tried his hand at a triathlon. Heres his report….

Ok so it’s not a report fully focusing on running, but thought I’d let you know how I got on in my first Triathlon.


8 weeks ago I decided to take the plunge, and enter a sprint distance, 400m pool swim, 20k bike and 5k run. I know it doesn’t sound a lot but for me who could not swim very well at all, the swim part of this was always my worry, but a few lessons off my daughters swimming teacher soon sorted out my breathing technique, and 8 weeks of a few hours in the pool each week, got me to the start line raring to go, and I’m glad to say I probably enjoyed the swim more than the bike and run.

There is definitely room for improvement on the swim, the bike was pretty good and I was 2nd fastest on the run, and came 9th overall which I was over the moon about.

70% of participants were first timers, so this created a really friendly atmosphere, the organisation and facilities was brilliant and the marshals were some of the best I’ve seen encouraging people all the time. For a starter event this was great value at £20. I need to now man up a bit and go for an open water Tri, although that won’t be until next spring as the winter approaches.

My message to you all, if you really don’t fancy doing something like I have for years with swimming, it’s always put me off, then have a go, you might just surprise yourself and get a proper good kick out of it just like I have this weekend.

Helsby Tri club anyone?

Full results below


Oh, and Ste Roach was there too.
Thanks for all the reports sent in. As usual please send them to



Weekly Update 30th July to 7th August


Helsby runners were out at Chester, Ellesmere Port, Croxteth and Widnes parkruns. Notable runs included a first placed female for Jenny Illidge and a second place overall for Neil Finegan at Chester.

Full Helsby results are below



Ponderosa Fell Race

A small band of dedicated fell runners arrived at the top of the Horseshoe pass for the Ponderosa Fell race on Wednesday 3rd, the 7th fell counter of the season. It was a bit blowy for August, but luckily the wind was behind us up the first climb. You then had to concentrate hard through a narrow and deep sheep trod to avoid losing your footing, but were then rewarded by a lovely grassy runnable path back down the valley. It was then a final push up hill to the finish – pleased I had been warned about this, not sure about uphill finishes though! Joe and Mario, our ever faithful marshal/cheering team were out on the course providing much needed encouragement and racing tips.

There was also an interesting approach to prize giving – you were basically given your prize as you crossed the line – full respect for working it out on the hop but slightly odd to be handed a bottle of wine as you cross the finish line!

9th Ben Fletcher 30:07 (1st V40)
34th Tim Palmer 33:25
39th Laura Baynham-Hughes 34:36 (2nd F)
71st Vanessa Griffiths 40:23
74th Rachel Arnold  40:50

Would be great to see a few more out for the next few counters which are coming up in August/Sept. The next race, the Darwen Gala Memorial, is also in the mini fell series so if you want to give the fells a go this would be a great choice.  Shelf Moor is also in the inter club competition so a good turnout is needed to give us the chance of retaining the trophy!

1. Saturday 20 August, 3pm  –  Darwen Gala Memorial (BS)

2. Monday 29 August, 1pm  –  ICC        Cilcain Show Mtn Race (AS)  –  ICC

3. Sunday 4 September, 11am  –  Shelf Moor (AS)  –  ICC


Deestriders Multi Terrain Grand Prix

The 3rd race in the Deestriders GP and 4th in our mini trail series, the course is roughly a 4.5m long multi-terrain that takes in some playing fields, track and woods. 7 Helsby men were showing the green vest at this one, no ladies present though!

Full results for the race should show here soon:


Next and last race in the series is Friday 2nd Sept 7pm.

Col T


Halewood 5K

The green army had a treble of 1st place Category wins at The Halewood 5k on Saturday morning, MV35 for myself and 2nd overall, FV50 for Carol Shaw and FV55 for Debbie Read.

Seeing that it was only the 3 of us doing it then we were all pretty happy with that on what was a lovely summers morning, this free event on the first Saturday of every month is another great way of Improving your speed, is a very flat course and has loads of PB potential and is something different to your park runs and is very local which makes it ideal. Would be great to see a few more new faces next month on 3rd September



Full Results



Results from Wednesdays Pie and Peas race.



Davyd Michell sent in a report from the mid week Endurance Series.

Wednesday saw the last in the Wirral Endurance track series. This is a series of track races ranging from 1 mile to 10K and a chance to run at the famous Bebbington oval, location of the Chariots of Fire film.

Tonight’s race was 5k and blustery conditions met the 25 runners, the race was split into two fields with the fast boys in race 1 and the remainder including myself in race 2. A good competitive race was had by all, and as the field was seeded this lead to some great close racing. I was happy with my 20:13 finish for 4th place.

This is unfortunately the last in this years series and I only found out about it a bit too late, but will keep an eye open for the series next year. The great news is that its only a £1 to enter on the night.

Full Results are here



Chris BH sent this report in from from Stavanger

Once again, not entirely running, but there was 35k of running so it may be worth including.

Rockman Swimrun.

Nice place to run
On Thursday I headed out to Stavanger, Norway to take part in Rockman. A swimRun in the Lysefjorden (home to Pulpit rock and the Kjerag). After not being able to help myself and doing 20 miles around the Fjord on the Thursday I still felt great going into the race. The start was unlike anything I have experienced. We were taken on fast ferries and then they got in as close as possible to the edge before slowly backing away as we all jumped in. So picture the scene, you’re heading towards the sheer cliff face, the hooter goes and the front pair look at each other, then eventually jump whilst we all shout stop to the pilot before they get run over! Next thing I know I’m on the edge ready to jump in, adrenaline through the roof as I hit the water (strapped by a leash to my partner) and then race to the first buoy. Anybody that has been in a race with an open water swim will know the chaos that goes on; add to that everybody is really two people joined by a bungee and it’s something you simply don’t forget.
That's me in the front
We struggled on the first swim as our bungee was too short so I was literally towing my mate for the best part of a KM as he couldn’t use his arms in any sort of rhythm. So climbing up the cliff side path to the next swim was spent trying to undo tight knots in our leash. Three swims later and we finally got the length right and were on our way to Pulpit rock. It seemed a terrible waste to spend just a few moments there scoffing salted liquorice and chocolate. From there on the course just kept on giving. Incredible views, sweet single track, rough technical terrain supported by fixed chains in places. More swims, more climbs and ultimately a swim across the Fjord to the south side to take on the longest wooden stair case in the world (4444 steps). Luckily the food at the aid stations was incredible (at one station the girls had cooked waffles on site thanks to a massive extension plug) Once at the top we had a short cold swim before getting onto possibly the nicest single track trail descent I have ever done; it went on forever!

Into the Fjord

I’ve tried to work out if it’s just the honeymoon period of finding a new sport that has me so hooked on SwimRun, but actually it’s just everything. The environments that these races are in, the opportunity to take on an incredible journey simply using your own power, the insanity of the swims, iconic locations… for Rockman to have been better it would have had to have been the same of everything, just staged on the moon.  was that good.

10 swims, 6 km in total
10 runs, 35 km in total
2500 m elevation gain

This probably explains it better: http://tinyurl.com/z88knrb We finished 17th in ~9 hours 23 minutes. I just hope I can get a place again next year.


Jackie Keasley sent in this report from the Round the Rock Ultra in Jersey.


A very hot day, 23C+, on Jersey yesterday for the 48 mile round the rock ultra. The route is a roller coaster around the whole island with narrow coastal paths and beaches – stunning views all day so extra stops to snap photos! Because the tide was out I cut/splashed across 3 beaches & probably cut 3 miles off. It was optional but allowed!! Great support with extra drinks stations provided by Bill & friends Andy & Sarah who hired a car & kept popping up all day with a picnic!! Time 11hrs 10 mins, 50 mins inside cut off! ! Can’t walk today but happy!


Finally, Ian L has published the latest road and fell standings on:


This shows that all are still close (except Ladies Fell). The summary is:

After 9 out of 13 races

Men’s Road
1. Adam Gordon
2. Col Thompson

Ladies Road
1. Jo Lacking
2. Tanya Downes

After 7 out of 13 races

Men’s Fell
1. Jim O’Hara
2. Chris BH

Ladies Fell
1. Laura BH
2. Rachel Arnold

Thanks for all the reports this week. As usual please send them to




Weekly update 3 July to 10 July

Firstly a poster from Betty regarding the club clean up operation this weekend.



Helsby members were in action at Widnes, Ellesmere Port, Delamere, Birkenhead park and Widness. Full results are below.


Next up a couple of reports from Wednesdays Ladies 5K at Forest park, Warrington, the first from Debbie Read, the second from Tanya Downes.

This lovely little race, organised by Spectrum Striders is an ideal race for both experienced runners (course record: 16:59) and novices (last one home this year 41:15)

Starting and finishing on grass, the mainly flat course is a mixture of footpaths, woodland trails and pavements.
All runners get flowers at the finish and if you hang around at the prize giving there are 20 lucky dip prizes-usually running socks, to be won.

Forest Park ladies 5k

7 Helsby ladies and one spartan ran last wednesday at forest park 5k, hosted by spectum striders. Luckily the rain held off the 155 runners, although hot and humid it was good running weather. A multi terrain route took us through woodland paths with a tarmac middle section. Enjoyed by all, some good times gained and flowers at the end.
29th Debbie Read 23:19
38th Suzanne Fletcher 24:28
47th Leah Binns 25:14 ( helsby 2nd claim)
49th Tanya Downes 25:28
67th Jenny OHare 27:07
80th Emma Barnes 28:46
101st Donna Geer 30:36
105th Pamela Peake 31:09.


Thursday night saw a great turn out from Helsby for the 2nd Deestriders Multi Terrain Grand Prix with club captain Col Thompson again securing 2nd place overall. Well done, Col.

Tanya also sent in this report from the Surrey Badger Half Marathon on Sunday.

Surrey badger 1/2 marathon

One lone helsby runner set off for the hills of the south downes in surrey to participate in the surrey badger 1/2 marathon. A perfect day for running, slightly overcast but still warm. A very “undulating ” trail course with some wicked inclines and equally spectacular declines thrown in for good measure; beautiful views, supportive marshals and a vineyard start and finish. Knocked 19 minutes off my last visit there so very pleased with myself.
2:19, a lovely badger t-shirt and bottle of beer

If you fancy a race further a field, this, any many of the others in Dorking are well worth a weekend away for.
Tanya x

Carl Pratt ran the week long Tour of Merseyside, here’s his report.

Tour of Merseyside 2016 – 6 races in 7 days! 52 miles total. The aim was to beat last years time of 06h:10m:50s.

No detailed blog this year but here’s my summary….
Sunday – Race 1 – Southport half marathon.

New route this year with a section through the town. (last year was an out and back on a long boring B road so definitely an improvement).

Started off looking like it was going to be a sub 1:30 and a PB but got to 6 miles, hitting the prom and an almighty headwind hit taking away the dream of a PB.

2015 – 01h:33m:19s

2016 – 01h:33m:27s
8 seconds slower.

Monday – Race 2 – Thurstaston 6 mile multi terrain
Conditions much better than last year. Bit of a niggling blister on my toe but managed to forget about it and run a decent race. It starts on the beach, goes up hills and steps very similar to our summer route and ends on a flat trail for a couple of miles. Managed to keep up a nice pace up to the finish and gain a few seconds back from the total cumulative time.
2015 – 44m:08s
2016 – 43m:22s
46 seconds quicker

Tuesday – Race 3 – 10 mile Walton loop line cycle track
A very rare negative split race for me. First 5 miles were a struggle but managed to find something from somewhere for the last 5 miles. The results showed 10 places were made up in the 2nd half of the race from 49th to 39th place. Happy with that.
2015 – 01h:09m:33s
2016 – 01h:09m:54s
21 seconds slower

Thursday – Race 4 – 5 mile Otterspool (basically PLS 10k without going off the prom)
Tradition is fancy dress day on the Thursday . have taken it far too seriously in previous years and not done the fancy dress so got persuaded to join in this year. The spandex and 80s rock wig on the hottest race gives me the excuse for this one!
2015 – 34m:12s
2016 – 34m:52s
40 seconds slower

Friday – Race 5 – Stadt Moers XC
Legs decided to lock up on this one, maybe the laces were too tight. Didn’t enjoy this roller-coaster profile course this year but managed to hang in and avoid a total disaster.
2015 – 41m:44s
2016 – 42m:40s
56 seconds slower

Saturday – Race 6 – 12 mile costal – New Brighton to Hoylake and back
The final race left me 1min, 12 seconds behind last year with a time of 01:26:42 needed. I calculated that I could do this with 4m:25s/km on the Garmin. Not impossible but would require a very good race.

Up to 5 and a half miles it was paced perfectly, however the turnaround mile was on the beach which was very wet and sludgy. Managed to get off the beach still in contention with just over 5 miles to go but the extra weight in the soaked trainers took its toll and knocked me back to around 4m:50s/km so sadly no chance of the personal record.
38 seconds slower

Total Overall
2015 – 06h:10m:50s
2016 – 06h:12m:47s
1 minute 57 seconds slower

As always a really good event, already booked on for next year. The running is starting to feel good again after a frustrating Achilles injury. Sub 6 hour for 2017? Maybe!


Janet Robertson sent in a report from the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon,

Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon (SLMM) 2016

In January, with six months preparation time ahead, agreeing to enter the SLMM to mark my 50th birthday seemed a brilliant idea. In June, preparation began. I managed a few slightly longer than usual runs, blew the cobwebs off my compass and altimeter, and looked (unsuccessfully) for my copy of the book “Mountain Navigation for Runners”.
On 2nd July, when after five hours ‘running’ we found ourselves battling against severe wind, lashing rain and resultant cold on the high mountain ridge at High Street, I wondered whether for next year’s birthday I might just go to the pub.


These events require more than fitness. Jackie Keasley and Rachel Arnold have a long history of completing mountain marathons, including a recent win at the Highlander. It is this experience that enables them to find a small wrinkle in a contour line 2 km away across featureless moorland. I was partnered with Rachel for the weekend while Jackie opted for a weekend walking her course with non-Helsby member Georgina who had been knocked back by injury, and another non-Helsby team Sheila with son Adam. Rachel’s navigational skills were masterful and she patiently herded me in the right direction, even during her own personal battle when she lost all feeling in her feet due to the cold.

As well as the issues of navigation and the effects of the cold, the serious nature of travelling over mountainous terrain was highlighted by two incidents which led to competitors having to be helicoptered off the final descent on day one. Happily, both were reported to be OK.

Spirits were high at the overnight campsite. One unique feature of the SLMM is that you can order beer to collect on your arrival! After a delicious evening meal of beanfeast and noodles, rated by Rachel as looking “disgusting”, we settled down for the night on bubble wrap (Rachel) and a bed made of balloons (me) in a miniscule tent.



Day two started with an epic wait in the toilet queue, to be met with an organiser who had the glamorous job of handing out rations of toilet paper. After that, a pleasant if tiring day followed, with nice weather, stunning views, and a flatter course.

Results: who cares, we got back in one piece and had an amazing time …
Rachel Arnold & Janet Robertson (Carrock Fell). Total time 12:04:18. 51st. 1st VF.
Jackie Keasley & Georgina (Wansfell). Total time 09:54:05. 61st. 3rd VF.

The results from Wednesdays Summer Handicap.

By handicap position

Jamie Kong 1
Graham Ireland 2
Dave Wiggins 3
Dave Feakes 4
Andy Robinson 5
Tom de Jong 6
Phil Gillard 7
Ben Williams 8
Adam Gordon 9
Vanessa Griffiths 10
Tim Igoe 11
June Swift 12
Dave Goodier 13
Chris Igoe 14
Ste Wiggins 15
Phil Roberts 16
Laura BH 17
Charlie Roberts 18
Geoff Collins 19
Kate Mann 20
Nick Ryder 21
Helen Owens 22

and by finishing time

Adam Gordon  17 56
Phil Roberts  19 17
June Swift  20 25
Graham Ireland  20 35
Laura BH 21 27
Phil Gillard 22 2
Andy Robinson 22 4
Dave Feakes 22 25
Jamie Kong 22 49
Nick Ryder 22 52
Vanessa Griffiths 23 1
Tim Igoe 23 10
Dave Goodier 23 55
Ben Williams 24 16
Tom de Jong 24 18
Helen Owens 25 39
Dave Wiggins 25 42
Geoff Collins 25 50
Kate Mann 26 1
Ste Wiggins 26 7
Chris Igoe 27 36

Charlie Roberts 28 8

Lastly a quick picture from Friday nights BBQ, many thanks to all that attended and helped in the organisation.



Thanks for all the reports, please send to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Helsby RC Weekly Update.

Upcoming events.

Tattenhall Tough Team

A quick message from Fitzy regarding the above.

Going to sort the teams out this week for team on Friday 17th, if you want to be part of this event send me a quick email Fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com

Entries for the September 26th road club counter Macclesfield Half entries are now
open at http://www.macc-half.co.uk.

Robbie Webster’s wobbler – 29th June

Chris BH sent in this request….

I’ll be sending out an official mail, but just a quick note to ask for volunteers for the wobbler at the end of the month please. The wobbler goes ahead and has a great feel to it because of the fantastic support from the Helsby marshals. As has been custom for a few years now, the wobbler also features as one of our inter-club counters so if we are to win again then we need all hands to the pump (all toes to the line). Remember, Spectrum took home the ladies team prize on the night so we need to win that back! If you can do any of the following please let me know:
1.       Help marshal on the night.
2.       Bake cakes for the post race knees up at the club (we raised over £150 for the Nepal earthquake last time)

NOTE: As per the notes from Jackie and the AGM, there is an expectation that everybody in the club pitches in to help in AT LEAST ONE of these events or gets a substitute to do so whilst they race. These events help ensure our fees stay low, so if you’re thinking of running the 4VHM, SST or the wobbler then please consider putting yourself or somebody else forward in your place. Please don’t let this put you off racing.
If you can help please mail



Helsby runners were in action at a host of parkruns this Saturday. Highlights were second places for Colin Bishop and Neil Finegan at Princes Park and Ellesmere Port respectively.

Full parkrun results for Helsby runners can be found below.


Colin Thomspon was at both the Deeside Multi Terrain and Halewood 5K races, he’s sent in reports from both.

Deestriders Off Road GP

The second race of our mini trail championships and race #1 in the series, this course is a 5 mile long (approx) multi-terrain that takes in some fields, track and woodland. 8 Helsby runners were showing the green vest at this and we had some good battles out on the course in lovely sunshine. A no show from the ladies so would be nice to see some at the next one on 7th July.


Results below:

2nd Colin Thompson 26.39
12th Jim Higgins 30.12
13th Ian Rutherford 30.14
17th Paul Frodsham 30.44
22nd Richard Hankins 31.29
25th Davyd Mitchell 32.30
59th Geoff Collins 37.02
71st Ste Wiggins 38.31

Halewood 5k

Saturday saw myself, Helen Owens, Jo Lacking, Carol Shaw & Davyd Mitchell all lining up for the Halewood 5k on a hot and humid morning. A good day at the office for the Green Army saw myself 3rdoverall, Jo Lacking 2nd lady overall and course PB and Helen & Carol both 1st in their respective age groups! Well done gang.

Results here:

3rd Colin Thompson 17.28 (1st in age cat)
20th Jo Lacking 19.54 (2nd lady overall, 1st in age cat)
24th Davyd Mitchell 20.44
29th Carol Shaw 21.13 (1st in age cat)
36th Helen Owens 22.17 (1st in age cat)


Chris BH sent in the following report from the Welsh 1000n Peaks race

Welsh 1000m Peaks

A scorching day saw four Helsby members (3 Helsby vests as I was in civvies) toe the line for the monstrous Welsh 1000m peaks race. It’s a true long distance fell running test. The route starts at sea level a mile from the car parks for Aber falls, and goes via the summits of Carnedd Llewelyn, Carnedd Dafydd and Glyder Fawr,  Pen- y- Pass Youth Hostel, the summit of Garnedd Ugain to finish on the summit of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) – that’s a whopping 31.86 km (19.80 miles), 2678m (8785ft) of ascent. To say that the views were magnificent would be a total understatement… although it’s difficult to see them through the sweat and tears.

It’s fair to say that this race has seen it’s casualities from the club over the years. This was my 5th running of the race having first done it in 2011. The conditions this time were similar to that first year where I ended up sitting down for 5 minutes wondering if I could continue. I’ve returned every year since to try and get my dignity back after that day. Both Jimmy and Max have also both had their quarrels with the course over the years, but it’s addicitive and it’ll be interesting to see if Ben and Phil (debutants this year) will be back for more punishment in 2017. I think it’s fair to say that this race puts you on your backside. It’s not the distance as such, it’s just the constant long climbs followed by long descents and no ridges to run to catch your legs back.

Persistence pays off in this race though. Jimmy arrived at the finish in a magnificent third place! Seriously remarkable run in the conditions. Sadly Jimmy has been given a time penalty which puts him down to 7th in the overall standings. To the letter of the law this is a fair penalty to give as Jimmy ran with a photocopy of the map rather than an officially printed bought one, but for me this is totally bogus. Firstly the difference in weight of an official version vs the one that Jimmy carried is negligible and would have had no bearing on the speed he covered the course. I realise it’s a safety issue, but he’s run the course 3 times in this race alone, it was also perfect conditions. As fell runners we’re bound by the rules (quite rightly) to carry a map, Jimmy did that, it’s simply a technicallity that has led to this 10 minute penalty. Secondly, the scrutiny placed on the map is due to his position, so I’d question whether everybody else that came after Jimmy had the same scrutiny. I’ve no doubt 4th (now third) did, but 5th and 6th and beyond? In my eyes Jimmy flew the flag for the club and came up trumps with a magnificent run; the final standings on paper take nothing away from this.

Ben finished with a smile on his face as did Phil. Both put in fantastic performances given the heat and the crowds on Snowdon. Fantastic work boys!

Heading back down the mountain the classic question was posed though and had unsurprising results:
Ben: “Did you enjoy that Phil?”
Phil: “No!”
I wouldn’t’ bet against them being back for more!

Jim O’Hara – 7th (3rd) – 4:53:19 (4:43:19 – 10 minute penalty for map, see above)
Chris B-H – 19th – 5:30:29
Phil Roberts – 20th – 5:31:11
Ben Fletcher – 36th – 5:57:58


Jackie Keasley sent in this report from the Highlander Mountain Marathon.

Rachel & Jackie had a very hot, sunny and exhausting couple of days running around Glen Cannich amongst the Affric, Mullardoch & Strathfarrer high mountains. In their first and last Highlander Mountain Marathon; the race has been going for 10 years but the organisers have decided that this will be the final one which is a great shame. Its had a great following as it has the attraction of dancing on the Saturday evening with food and drink available for purchase throughout the evening .. or until they run out of beer!!!  The last couple of years both the LAMM and Highlander have competed against each other at similar times of the year and the organisers have decided to focus on one and guarantee it happening and being full. There is also an issue with the land owners as its harder and harder each year to get permissions so hopefully focusing on one will give these events a better chance.

We competed in the C class which covered about 25K each day and 1200+m climbing (if you followed the planners routes) and involved finding 10 well scattered check points.  As in any mountain marathon you very rarely follow paths (and in this part od Scotland there are not many) and spend most of the time going up, down or contouring along ankle twisting rough slopes. Each morning started misty but then we climbed above the clouds (watching deer scatter having suddenly lost their hiding places) to see the still snow covered mountain tops appear above a sea of cloud. It then didn’t take long for the hot sun to burn off everything and blast out it’s heat. We had 7 hours plus of very tough going each day. Normally on these events we have a good natter and catch up for at least some of the time but I could honestly say it was so tough to go keep going in the heat and terrain that all energy was preserved and the odd conversation about navigation, discomfort and wow that’s a fantastic view was all that was said throughout!

Saturdays campsite in Strath Farrer was beautiful located, the stream was deep and icy cold and we joined a lot of runners standing in it to thigh level for 15 minutes to help recovery. It made them numb so it worked for me but it didn’t settle Rachel’s huge blisters and mega underlying aches and pains.  A meal was provided as soon as we finished on Saturday, we ate it them cooked ourselves another 2 course one (plus chocolate) to refuel and hydrate for the next day.  The ceilidh band struck up and it was mazing how many managed to join in energetically! We didn’t think we would have the energy but then were asked to dance and managed to enjoy a  rather long rendition of the Dashing White Seargent – in running shoes and on grass of course!  This guaranteed (along with a couple of drinks) a good nights sleep!


More of the same the next day but Sunday mentally if not physically always seems easier because its the final push.  We finished on a high having just made it back (from 15 hours of what we thought was slow tussock shuffling!) in time for the presentation to hear our names called our for 1st lady vets in C class. We were presented with trophies that thoroughly reminded us (see photo) of our couple of days in the Scottish Hills!  Then it was over to Bill for the endurance part as he drove us home in the camper van with the odd comfort, tea and burger (yes that’s all you can get on the M74 on a Sunday evening) break to get back at 2am. A great memorable weekends running!

Andy Robinson ran the Northhants Ultra and sent in this brief report

Northants Ultra

35 miles in the Northamptonshire countryside, and a bit too flat and fast for me!  Mind you, I’m going well at the moment and took 2 minutes off my PB and (I think) about 40 minutes off the MV60 course record.  I’ve got a trophy and prize to prove it.  I’ve posted a full race report at Runfurther.com, full race results at


1st:  Stephen Marks, Rugby & Northants AC, 4:12:29 (course record)
30th:  Andy Robinson, Helsby RC, 5:34:21
171 finishers

As usual all reports to