Helsby Roundup 22-1-18 to 28-1-18

 

First up a couple of quick messages, the first from Paul Foster re the Cross Country

If anybody would like to run in the last Liverpool and District cross country at Clarke gardens on Sunday 11th February.
Race starts at 11 am. .
The race is pre entry so please send me your name to mooeyf@hotmail.com
No later than the 5th February
Thanks
Paul

and secondly, a reminder from Tim Palmer that the Chester Spring 5 race (Wednesday 11th April, 7pm), which is a club road counter this year is now taking entries

Also congratulations to Hannah Cowley for collecting her 1st Local Lady trophy from the 4 Villages Half Marathon.

hannah

Parkrun

In addition to the local runs, Helsby members were in action at parkruns as far apart as Edinburgh, Hanley and Stamford. Full results for the club are below
https://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Phil Tomkinson sent this from the Northern XC Champs in Liverpool

On Saturday, 8 members of the Green Army had a day out to Leeds for the Northern Cross Country Championships at Harewood House. It was a big event with almost 2400 competitors, across the 10 senior and junior races, including more than 400 in the senior women’s race and over 700 in the senior men’s race.

An early highlight for me was receiving a programme that contained full start lists for each race. It gave the names of all the Helsby team, our club colours and the starting pen we were allocated to. At this point I was beginning to feel like a proper athlete, although that feeling diminished somewhat as I found myself trailing behind several hundred of the best club runners in the North of England.

It was a challenging course consisting of two laps around the scenic Harewood House estate. There was plenty of mud and lots of hills, including a tough uphill start. Soon after crossing the finish line I declared it the toughest XC I’d ever done, but considering I seem to make a similar claim at the end of every cross country, that may not have been an accurate assessment. However, the consensus was that it had indeed been very testing, just as you would expect a regional championship to be.

The overall standard was excellent. There can’t be that many occasions all year where so many outstanding club runners are at the same event. In the men’s race none of us managed to break into the top 400! However, it was a great effort from all the Green Army runners, particularly the Helsby ladies who claimed 51st place in team competition. It was a brilliant event to be part of, at a really good venue, which is apparently being considered to host the National XC Championships next year.

xc

 

Also from the XC Champs, Col Bishop sent this report in.

On what felt like a lovely spring morning the green army headed off to Liverpool for XC. New course consisted off two and a half laps of the park. One of the flatest XC courses I’ve done for a while but certainly the wettest. Some puddles where deep enough to call plunge pools seeing some of us at least waist deep in dirty muddy cold smelly water twice. Each time it seemed to get deeper. Having said all of that a thoroughly enjoyable course. Cracking performances by all. Ladies team with a respectable 33 points. Men did not do too badly either with 518 points with four of the team in the top 100.
Thanks to Mario and Jane for support today and a warm welcome to Richard Piggott on his Helsby XC debut . As usual thanks to Mrs B for our post race cakes.

 

Chris BH sent in this report from the Marmot Dark Mountain event

Some events really grip you and have you returning every year. Marmot Dark Mountains is one of those. Max and I have been competing as a pair for several years now but this year I reluctantly gave up my place due to a stress fracture to my shin that needed to heal. Having successfully returned to running ½ a month earlier than expected and my replacement suffering with a similar condition, I was able to step back in and we were able to continue our MDM streak. Having been out for so long it was just fantastic to be out again in the hills with Max; we work really well together, never argue and rarely get grumpy despite the duration of these events… when we do get grumpy the other person fills them with sugar or insists they put on another layer, depending upon the source of the grump. Knowing your partner in these events in crucial… especially in an area like the Forest of Bowland where the tussocks are man eaters and the bogs and grips will have you up to your neck.

This year due to my return we changed to the short score class, a mere 8 hours long – the logic being that if there were any problems we could return to base or just walk our way around instead and temper our ambition. I certainly didn’t want to go back to square one with my shin. The last minute change meant we started last. Initial annoyance at this soon parted to delight as we realised we could turn up, register having eaten enough fish and chips to put ourselves in a food coma, and then go for a few hours sleep in the van. Thus we started with at least 2 hours sleep in the tank which was a huge luxury.

Feeling the pace on the initial run out it still took us 30 minutes to reach the terrain we were going to face for the evening. Difficult was a huge understatement. Tussocks, heather, bogs, random holes… you name it, it’s there! Our route took in three controls before heading East and, in hindsight, gave us the most practical view of how to run the terrain. In many of these events, the straight line is picked, but here we needed to be smart about using paths which were longer, but an order of magnitude quicker. One particular crossing stuck in my mind. Having crossed through into a complex area with defined fences and crossings we found ourselves shimmying across a well weathered board, holding onto a fence for hand holds to cross around 5 metres of a bog that probably would have been neck deep… thankfully after that there was a trod that was really quick and took us down to a manned check point.

chris and max

An event should be judged on the civility as well as the challenge, so being offered a shot of port at this check point by a very good friend of ours certainly ticked that box. It provided a warmth to our spirits and our bodies as we proceeded to hoover up points and be smart about leaving other points on the course as they would have eaten up huge amounts of time for little reward. We picked up a tale at this point and were followed for 3 check points. In a night event this is a hazard as your torches give you away. It’s really frustrating to be doing all the Nav. The clag came in and we made an error at one check point having headed off too far to the right to hit the check point. We realised this relatively quickly and lost probably 10-15 minutes overall, so not a huge problem. This error allowed us to confirm our tail though as they immediately turned around after asking us if we’d found the control. If they had continued looking for it then fair enough, but they literally followed us and pretended to adjust kit, look at the map, tie shoelaces, etc. Poor form. A little pat on the shoulder and a pointed comment to confirm that we knew what they were doing meant we were able to lose the tail on the next section and get on with finishing up the night.

chisandxx2

Coming into our final cluster of controls the weather got considerably worse. Based upon the map we expected pure hell, but were pleasantly surprised to hit the first control very quickly, then the second… three, possibly five to go! Alas the ground between us and the next control was just hellish. Knee to thigh high heather, random holes, tussocks, a serious side wind and the worst rain of the night, low energy and Max was getting dangerously cold due to an old (no longer) water proof. We fought our way around focused on finding shelter so Max could get his primaloft and water proof trousers on. Looking back now I realise that the point where I almost fell down the steep side we were contouring on (the ground gave way due to water and poor foot placement) was the re-entrant we were looking for, but it was far less pronounced than the map suggested. It was worth 25 points. As max put on his gear I re-assessed the map and we decided to keep going. We’d either hit the control or we’d hit the next control. We’d been 20 m too low and I’d simply not looked up.

We nailed the next control, dropped down to bag a 50 pointer and had started back hoping to bag a 20 pointer in the re-entrant between us and the finish. The run out on the road to the course had taken 30 minutes and we had the aim to hit the road with roughly 30 minutes to go to get back. Before we’d even got to the top of the hill we were at T-minus 30 and were clearly going to hit penalty points. Having dropped to pick up 50 points rather than play it safe, our mission now was to get back without losing more than 50…. But since it meant an easy 20 going begging we wanted to make that less than 30. In the end we lost 7. Job done.

All in all it was a fantastic and unexpected return to the hills. Once again, Max and I had worked really well as a team… and once again we’d ended up as the bridesmaid rather than the bride. Having made the 10 minute mistake we’d ended up just under 7 minutes over time and lost 7 points and probably the 20 pointer in the final re-entrant. The weather coming in on us and missing that 25 point control had also knocked points. We scored 463 points and the winning team was 495 – 463 + 7 + 25 equals…. Curses. Of course that’s not a fair reflection of the errors the other teams above us had made and what could have been for them. Whilst there were a number of other places we could have picked up the minutes we’d needed, there is no point in dwelling on what could have been. We‘d had a fantastic night out on the hills and have already entered our next mountain marathon (albeit a mini one – 4 hours long) which is on Sunday in Bethesda if anybody is interested. Come and have a go, it’s a fantastic escape.
Hope you are well,
Chris Baynham-Hughes

As usual please send race reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers

Gaz

 

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Helsby update 27-11 to 2-14

Very quiet week in the build up to Christmas. Just the parkrun results and a couple of notices, the first from Jackie K and the second from Paul Foster.

Here are the consolidated club results from Delamere, Widnes, Newcastle, Ellesmere Port and Phoenix Park.

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

 

Jackies notice…

The draw for our single London Marathon club place took place before
training last Wed. Charlie Roberts was pulled out the hat first, we wish
Charlie all the best in training and on Aprils race day.

The next 10K & 6K Time Trial which is back along Greenway (from the
Guilden Sutton to Chester & back, torches & reflective gear essential)
was pencilled in for Dec 13th, in order to try and get a 3rd one in
before the end of the year. Captain Colin has suggested it may be more
popular and will avoid the Xmas rush up to Xmas, if we delay it and do
the time trial between Xmas & New Year. So please put December 27th in
your diaries for this.

Please remember its the Xmas Handicap Race on 20th December (a time to
break away from the Xmas rush and come and contest this annual (fancy
dress if you wish) gallop from Tesco to Godscroft Lane & back before
going back to the club house for a bite to eat & Secret Santa (please
bring along a wrapped £5 present). Dave & Lesley will be in touch soon
organising the food and asking for volunteers to bring along pans of hot
soup (that’s if we decide to do the same as the last few years, it just
hits the spot!).

That’s it for now

Jackie

….and Paul Fs…..

The Cheshire cross country championship is fast approaching us now. The venue this year is Delamere forest, January 6th 2018.

I will be entering Helsby runners before Xmas so I don’t get caught out in the festive spirit and forget. Please confirm your name before Thursday 21st December.

Entering all the names together saves on administration fees

So if any Helsby folk would like to run please email me at mooeyf@hotmail.com or respond on Facebook. I will post a Facebook page once the blog is out this week.

The club pays for all the fees for every runner so please check dates before entering to make sure that you can run.

Look forward to seeing an army of green vests around the forest.

Thanks,
Paul

 

All the best

Gaz

Helsby weekly update 30-09-17 to 5-11-17

Parkrun

Helsby runners were out at Widnes, Horton, York, Phoenix Park and Delamere. The undoubted highlight of the of the day was Ian Rutherfords well deserved first place at Phoenix.

Full results are below

https://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

 

Col Thompson sent in this report from Abergele 5.

I was lucky enough to get selected to run for Cheshire again at the Abergele 5 Inter-counties champs against North Wales so on Sunday I slipped into my Cheshire vest and made my way over there. The weather was pretty horrific, gale force winds, hail and rain so I spent most of the time sitting in my car trying to keep warm before the start. I’m definitely a fair weather runner! The course is very similar to the one used in the borders league so it’s an out and back along a coastal path with a small diversion around a caravan park. The wind was against us on the way out so it made for a slow and tactical first half with everyone trying to use each other as a wind break, but on the way back it was a case of eye balls out and hang on to the finish. I managed to get 29.06 , 15th overall and 4th Cheshire counter (6 per team), both the men’s and ladies teams won on the day so it was a great result for everyone!

It was also nice to see a few green vests there, Bish had a fantastic race to win the overall v55 category and the Wiggo’s had a great run too. Well done chaps!

Full results can be found here:

https://tinyurl.com/y8ax7du3

Cheers
Colin T

Fitzy, king of the uncapitalised personal pronoun, sent in this from Arley Hall

Saturday seen me head back to Arley Hall and compete again in the Cheshire 10k after winning my age category back in March, and also getting my 10k PB, so i fancied giving it another go on a really fast course. The weather was very different to March, heavy rain with a bit of wind, made for an absolutely brutal start, especially traipsing over the waterlogged muddy fields to pick up your race number and and go to the toilet. I was muddier by the start of this race than I was at the previous weekends XC at Arrowe Park, and it was a road race.

I started the race really well and everything was going to plan up until a mile and a half out because as per usual i’d gone off far to fast yet again, when will i learn. With it being a very local race i was expecting to see a lot more from the green army there, but I only seen Carol Shaw, who ran a brilliant race to secure second in her age category. I managed to finish with my second fastest 10k, so i was more than happy with the end result. I would recommend this race to all you road loving tarmac slappers, hopefully we can get it as a road counter next year and get a few more down to a great race, even if the weather did spoil it a little.

The winner, Matt Clowes, all the way from Cardiff running club ran 29 mins 44 secs, and with the top ten all coming in under 34 mins, it was a very strong field

Fulls results

https://tinyurl.com/yar32ut2

As usual please send all reports to:

helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers

Gaz

 

 

Helsby round up 25-10-2017 to 1-10-2017

Firstly over to Fitzy for the Border League Race 1 report

30 Helsby Vests where out in force at the season opener in nearby Capenhurst for 2 laps of a measured 5 mile course. A record attendance for this race as well seen 386 runners rock up, with some real quality on show.

Buckley seem to have strengthened again and took the lead at the top of the mens division whilst Ellesmere Port took the lead in the womens race.

Due to there being a lot of clashes in the race calendar i was over the moon to see so many of the #greenarmy in attendance, and everyone including El Capitano brought their voices with them, we were by far the loudest and proudest on the day. It really is a sight for my sore eyes, and after months of gentle persuasion (nagging) i am ever so grateful for each and every one of you that turned up. A big mention to the usual support crew of Joe, Mario, Jane and Leah, oh and I saw Jo Farwell there as well, thanks for the support, and for the rugrats for minding the bags in our deluxe tent.

Col T came home first for the men and a good solid start seen us finish 5th on the day, not far behind West Cheshire, whilst Jane Ashbrook was first home for the ladies, and 6th place on the day for them. It’s not all about placings though, it’s about turning up and enjoying the banter we all seem to have, well I do so I hope you lot do as well.

group

There’s a lot more to come from us over the next 6 months, and I’m confident that both mens and ladies teams can push on up the league, which again seems like the quality has gone up another level yet again.

Full results below http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/results/

See you at the next

Richard Hankins sent in this from the Sandstone A race (won by Max Wainwright)

It was unfortunate that the Sandstone Trail Race clashed with Borders and Congleton this year. Regardless, there was a very strong showing from Helsby: especially in the 17.2 mile A race. The weather was far better on the day than the forecast, warm, still and dry. The previous days however, had seen a prolonged downpour of rain. I ran the route the preceding week and the deterioration in course conditions was marked. The hills were not too bad, but the fields were awful to run through, covered in slippery clay mud. Staying on your feet was at times a real challenge and not all of us managed to.

Seven of us took on the A race with Max Wainwright literally leading the field, his time of 01.59.29 would be impressive any year, but in these conditions it was stunning. Alison Halsall also had a really strong race coming home second lady. Alison and I traded positions several times over the first five miles and towards the end she had better speed than I could muster, almost beating me to the line (although my brain was too oxygen deprived to realise). Neil Finnegan finished well in the top 10 overall and Lesley Feakes also finished in the top 10 for her category with strong performances from David Smith and Gareth Boyd too.

dek

In the B race there was also numerous strong performances. Chrsitina Roach won her age category. Geoff Shaw took the chance to compete with Cute Fruits picking up the organising this year and came third in his category. Chris Morgan also put in an impressive display in the Vet 60 category

A Race Results

arace.PNG

B Race Results

brace

Geoff Collins sent this report in from Congleton Half.

On a very busy weekend for races Jim Jones & Geoff Collins headed off to run the Congleton Half Marathon. This was a difficult decision for me but felt duty bound to enter the race having nominated it as a club counter. Of course I didn’t know how many other races would be on that day!

Definitely cleaner than the Sandstone trail, the roads were still very wet and with plenty of farm muck and mud, clean legs were not the order of the day.

It’s put on by Congleton Harriers and had only 418 finishers. The race HQ is Congleton High School with the start and finish on Black Firs Lane a short distance away. It’s a rural undulating course around the country lanes of North West Congleton. Not unlike our own four villages course but a bit more hilly with over 500 feet of climb. The route is an out and back towards the settlement of Newsbank onto the villages of Marton up to Gleadsmoss, Kermincham Heath, and Swettenham. Oh they call the race Sting in the Tail and the eye catching yellow tee-shirts have a large scorpion on them. No there weren’t any predatory arachnids on the course but there are a significant series of climbs over the course, especially the last bit up Radnor Bank to the finish.

jim

We both thought this race seemed harder than we were expecting Jim was hopeful of a time similar to his impressive Macclesfield Half result the week before, I was just hoping for a better time than I got. But it’s a very well run event put on by a friendly local club. Very good support from the marshals on the course, cheap to enter just £18 and a nice goody bag, entries were possible on the day. It would be a good counter next year if the dates don’t clash!

1st Simon Myatt 1hr 14m Trentham Running Club.
Jim Jones 1hr 37m.
Geoff Collins 1hr 51m.

parkrun

Helsby runners were out at Ellesmere Port, Errdig, Phoenix, Chester and Delamere parkruns. Full results are below.

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

Cheers

Gaz

 

 

 

 

Weekly round up 21-8 to 28-8

With no birthdays, anniversaries or bar mitzvahs to announce this week we can get straight to the running. First off some club champs news and upcoming races.

2016/17 Borders League Championships –

Congratulations to last season Border League series Championship winners

Men
1st Colin Thompson
2nd Chris Fitzpatrick
3rd Ian Rutherford
4th Neil Finegan

Ladies
1st Laura Baynham-Hughes
2nd Alison Halsall
3rd Joanne Lacking
4th Jane Ashbrook

colmedal

Apologies I’ve been trying to give these awards out over the last month or so, the original plan was at the Summer Handicap but only Ian was there! Colin was presented his at Saturdays Phoenix Park (where Davyd celebreated his 50th parkrun & birthday). Will give the rest out as I see folks and if not at the 1st Borders League on 1st Oct.

 

Wirral September Multi-terrain Series

Tuesday evenings in Sept are nearly upon us! That means it’s the popular Wirral Multi-Terrain series of four races, these are also part of this years Trail club counters. Each of the 4 races is held over various terrain such as sand, rocks, mud and hills at distances between 7.5k and 10k. They are varied, competitive but great fun with no prior experience required! So why not give them a try?! Just turn up wearing your Helsby vest, give a £1 to Joe or Mario on the night and t…hen hand them your position tag after finishing.

That’s it, the rest is done by us submitting your club details. Either try an individual race or take part in the series.
Races are:-

5th Sept
Royden Park, Thurstaston – 1900
for lift sharing please meet at the club at 6pm.

12th Sept
Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston19:00

19th Sept
Harrison Drive, North Wirral Coastal Park, Wallasey
18:30

26th Sept
Toby Carvery, Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, CH49 5LW
18:30

 

Parkrun

Helsby runners were in action in Saturdays parkruns. Highlights include Colin Thompson and Ian Rutherford finishing first and third respectively at Phoenix park. Full results for club members can be found at the link below.

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

 

Jackie K sent this on from Harrock Hill Race

Last Wednesday there was a mad crawl (rather than dash, the traffic was horrendous ) along the M56 & M6 to get to the Farmers Arms at Bispham Green near Parbold for the 2nd race in the Inter Club Fell Relays between Spectrum, Warrington Road Runners, Delamere (no Spartans in sight) & Helsby. It was touch and go whether we made it for the 7pm start but thanks to phoning through to Chris & Debbie to get them to register us we just made it to the start line.

A glorious sunny evening with the sun setting as we ran a very undulating course over, around and back over Parbold Hill with a lovely section through the private estate of  up Harrock Hall. Lots of mud particularly at the many cow field gates plus quite a bit of single file running. Not really a fell race but a very good trail race.  A great pub to end up in for the prize giving that was a gem. Splendid boxes of vegetables, fresh from the nearby fields of the Fylde were presented to all prize winners plus series winners as this was the last of 4 races throughout the Summer. Janet was was 2nd lady V50 and made this arty vegetable arrangement with her prize.  Will update you with the Inter Club competition results so far when they are calculated by Spectrum. This was race 2 of 3, the 3rd and final race in this mini-series being our fell club counter King Johns Castle on Sept 16th. We have the interclub championship trophy to retain so a good turnout will hopefully bring it home again!
1
Steve Riley
M50
Helsby
00:45:24
2
Phil Gillard
M55
Helsby
00:48:58
3
Christina Roach
L55
Helsby
00:49:06
4
Janet Robertson
L50
Helsby
00:49:16
5
John Whitehead
M
Helsby
00:49:24
6
Debbie Read
L60
Helsby
00:50:27
7
Rachel Arnold
L55
Helsby
00:52:41
8
Chris Hatton
M65
Helsby
00:54:35
9
Jackie Keasley
L55
Helsby
01:01:37

Ian Rutherford was at the Mid Cheshire 5k in mid week.

This race has quickly established as a must do race for anyone looking to secure a fast time or even PB. As such it attracts a very high-quality field. As most people remember it secured the England Champs status at the Spring running of this event with the top 50 all running inside 16 mins.

There were 17 green vests on display last Thursday for what turned out to be ideal running conditions in an otherwise disappointing August.

Full Helsby RC results are as follows, however to comment upon a few noticeable performances:

Watching Mark Gittins gliding past, very smooth action and completed a fantastic 17’11. As we know Mark is capable of some genuinely quick running and it looks like he is getting right back to his potential once again. Great to see with the Borders on the horizon. Well done June Swift, Helsby first lady and 8th overall in her cat. Very good to see Phil Tomkinson back racing and considering his length of lay off a decent 20’08 I’d say.

There were PB’s for Mike Williams, Ben Crossley & myself…finally  (apols if I have missed anyone else).

Other well-placed category finishers worth note are Vanessa Griffiths 8th and Chris Morgan 7th. Fantastic.

Last and by no means least, we’re very proud in as stated a massively competitive race to have a green-army clad category winner – very well done to Carol Shaw; a very decent 21’55.

 

Ste Wiggins sent in this report from Giberdyke 10 milers

As I am not cool enough to go to festivals like some of our other members I was tasked with taking my younger brother to Leeds festival, my plan was to stay down the road and pick him up in 4 days time. Once I had actually dropped him off I thought it would be a good idea to a final race as a last prep for the Ring O Fire and to give me something to do. I scoured runners world and eventually found the Giberdyke 10 miler. I managed to get a last minute place and settled down on Saturday night for an early night with the disco lights and rave music from the punters coming back from Leeds Fest. The Mayweather McGregor fight was on that night and at 4:13 am (or whatever time the other tents started shouting) I was awoken. I put my coat on and went back to sleep (yes it was that cold in the van or the ‘Villa de T5 Transporter’).

I arrived at Giberdyke in good time and got my race number, I sat in the van trying to stay awake and contemplated a warm up. Eventually I figured I should, from jogging up and down the road I knew this would be a slow run. Whether it was the lack of sleep, half cooked mushroom pasta (Mushroom for improvement . . .) or the two weeks in Portugal but I opted to plod round and use it as prep for the ROF.

We joined the start line and the sun was starting to beat down on our backs, I had my last yawn and got ready for the off. The route consisted of farmers fields and an industrial estate, nice enough for the first 0.2 of a mile but a bit boring otherwise . .

My plan was to stick to 9 – 10 minute miles and take it easy, the first 5 miles went perfectly to plan but my emporium of excuses was catching up with me and in the next 5 miles I needed a wee, felt incredibly sleepy and had a sore stomach. Fortunately the route being flat meant I could just toddle along but unfortunately I had no shade to hide in. I pushed on with the industrial estate coming into view and knew I was nearly home. It was now a race between the clock and my stomach. Fortunately enough I hung onto the stomach aspect. I did the 10 miler in 1:39:xx not a great time but not bad after 14 days of Lager.

All in all a great race, for £14 I got a T shirt, some cracking chaffed bits and a look at some caravans. Champion!

To keep the swimmers happy I got back had a shower and dived into some lager.

Thats it for this week. As usual please sent race reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers

Gaz