Hello Green Army,
Thanks everyone who has sent something to the inbox this week. It’s great to be able to put a few write-ups together and share what Helsby RC members have been competing in over the week.
First of all a brief reminder – and thanks to Tim Palmer for compiling this:
Upcoming races in Helsby RC championships
In the remainder of March and in April 2019, the following races count towards the club championships
- Sat 23 March – 9:30am – Cheshire 10K – Arley Hall & Gardens, Arley, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6NA – 2nd road counter – www.cheshire10k.com
- Sun 21 March – 11:00am – Borders League Race 6: Buckley RC, Hope / Caergwrle, Wrexham LL12, UK – www.bordersleague.org.uk
- Wed 10 April – 7:00pm – Chester Spring 5 – Parking: Upton School, Chester, CH2 1NN – 3rd road counter – https://www.niftyentries.com/Spring-5
- Wed 24 April – 7:30pm – Borders League Race 7 + Presentation Night : Prestatyn RC – Ffrith Beach – www.bordersleague.org.uk
- Fri 26 April – 7:00pm – Mid Cheshire – 5K Spring – Kingsley Cricket Club Kingsley Cheshire WA6 8HY – 4th road counter – https://cutefruitevents.niftyentries.com/Mid-Cheshire-5k-Spring-2019
- Sat 27 April – 1:00pm – Llangynhafal Loop (AS) 7.6km/4.7m 533m/1749ft – Golden Lion, Llangynhafal, LL16 4LN – 2nd fell counter – https://sites.google.com/site/welshfra/home/races/misc-1
UK Counties X-Country Championships – Loughborough – Saturday 9th March 2019
We kick-off the racing news with a report from Hannah Cowley who has again done Helsby RC proud, while representing Chesire in the Inter Counties X- Country Championships. Well done Hannah, and thanks for sending in the report:
“I was lucky enough to have been selected for this race from the Cheshire qualifiers back in January. Although this inter countries was my third ever XC race, you could east say the nerves and excitement were above anything Ive had before a race. I travelled down with my mum, dad and lucky charm (Libby the dog), my race wasn’t until 11:45am but I made sure I had plenty of time to walk a section of the course and soak up the atmosphere and see if I could spot a few famous runner faces who were running for national XC qualification.
Before the race I was hoping to come within the top 100 and try to be the first or second Cheshire vest over the line, this would be a huge achievement for a newby.
For the start of the race we all lined up in our pens. When the pistol sounded I managed to get a quick start. The weather was not ideal, strong headwinds for the majority of the undulating course making the flats a constant battle, with a mix of hail and sunshine changing throughout the race. As this was the first time women were completing the same distance as the men (10km) I thought this added distance would be an advantage for me as I prefer the longer distances. The mud on the course made my legs increasingly heavy as we continued round the course but as a helsby runner the hilly bits I was able to push myself up and climb a few potions. For the home straight I pushed and gave everything I could to make sure no one could take my position away.
Following all the support from the Green Army in the week, I managed to push myself to 37th place, and was the first Cheshire vest over the finish line. I was over the moon! Who would have thought 12 months ago I would be in that position. Hopefully with more preparation and more race experience under my belt, I can get back there next year and do even better.
I also wanted to throw into this report a massive THANK YOU to all the Green Army for your support and luck, you were defiantly there i spirit getting me around the course.”
Haworth Hobble – Saturday 9th March 2019
Next we have two reports from Jake Holmes and Benjamin Crossley about their valiant efforts on what is one of the toughest fell races. Firstly, over to Jake:
Howarth Hobble Race report – 32 miles of wind, rain, hail and hotdogs.
“6am and Mr Crosley arrives at mine to do the driving up to Yorkshire for the best value race I have ever done. £12 for 32 miles in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. When it comes to pounds per mile, thats a tough one to beat, but enough about me being tight.
We were cutting things fine, but arrived with 25 mins to the 8am start. No problem until Ben reaches into the back to get his pack only to realise it’s safe and sound at home where he left two hours earlier! Nightmare. The car park Marshall was quick to offer to help and started emptying his rucksack to lend him. A spare map, the odd cereal bar and a pair of gloves, and we’d put together a new pack (of sorts). A long way from ideal race prep but he’s on the start line. I think he’s sharing his own report so I’ll let him tell the rest of his story.
Being with Ben, who likes to hang out around at the business end of races these days, put me at the front on the start line again. Out of place, but it gave me 20 yards on some of the runners so I’ll take whatever I can get. Someone on the side of the road says… “ok, go.” and everyone starts running. I assume he was an official and not just a spectator having a laugh. I love a low key race.
I’ve got to talk about the weather… for about the first half of the race or so, it was proper. Serious head wind and rain. Amongst stronger runners I was slowly getting passed, but I was expecting it, and it was going to be a long day so I was conscious not to be daft trying to keep up. I don’t mind the bad weather, all part of it with hilly races this time of year, but your sense of humour does get tested when it starts giving you horizontal hail! At one point I had my hood that far over my head I could just see my feet, having to take a face full whenever I looked up to check I was still on the trail. Everyone’s in it though. Sooner or later it’s be on your back 🙂
The halfway point brought kinder weather, some good runnable stretches and out of no where… a checkpoint with hotdogs! All good for boosting moral and the miles started to tick away nicely.
While the route never got really high, there was plenty of climbing; lots of, not too technical, but not easy trail and it was just generally a big day out, so I was made up to make it back into Haworth, with a little bit left (a tiny bit). I finished in 6:17, 129th out of 295. I was quietly hoping to get to close to the top third, so not quite, but I got the impression there were some hardy runners out there, returning for their nth time, so I was happy with the result.
Helpful marshalls, plenty of checkpoints for water and food refills and a bowl of stew for you at the finish line. If you fancy an early season test, put it on your list. Did I mention it was £12?”
And now over to Ben:
“Myself and Jake hit the road to take on the Hobble, first year for Jake, second year for me. I’ll tell the race from my point, I’m sure Jake will tell you his story.
The race that got the better of me. Firstly let me start with forgetting my kit bag, which I didn’t notice until we pulled up in the carpark 2hr away from home 🤦♀️not s great start and to be honest I think the race was done from there, after scrambling and scrounging around I managed to pull together the bear essentials. But it was MY kit, which I think played on my mind more than it should have.
Then the weather, I mean it wasn’t just raining, it’s was PISSING it down, super strong headwinds that if you weren’t leaning into them you were either getting blown back or to the side. This made it impossible to keep a good form/posture which then lead on to knee, groin and hamstring pain. Then the cold. My baby maker was done in, it stung so much by the hard hitting freezing rain and had shrank to the size of a button mushroom.
So I decided around the 18mile mark that I should probably call it a day before i do any serious damage. My hips, knees and ankles are misaligned as it is ( currently arranging an assessment with a body mechanic to fix me up) So with running awkwardly battling the gods it wasn’t going to end well. Then the added mind games of this isn’t my kit. My race was done.
I turned back to head to the last checkpoint I passed, not really realising how far back it was, 45 minutes hobbling (no pun intended… the race name) by this point I was so cold I could barely speak. Hyperthermia was setting in.
I was soon scooped up into the back of a camper van by one of the race assistants (thank you lovely lady) who wrapped me up in a massive sleep bag, three felt blankets and her coat. The van was apparently waaarm, but I was uncontrollably shivering for about an hour.
The lovely tea, soup and veggie dogs soon brought me back to life and I was escorted back to race HQ on a shuttle bus. There I got changed in to dry, clean clothes, ate lots and drank lots of coffee. I’m now back home in the bath and I’m in good health.
Massive Thanks to everyone who stopped, checked I was ok and helped a fellow runner out. It’s appreciated. Sometimes we gotta make these decisions, I could have carried on, but it also could have ended very badly.
I was actually on track for completing the race 2hrs or so faster than last year, around the 5hr 15min mark, but there’s a fine line between being a ‘hero’ and just being a dick.
Today wasn’t my race. There will always be other races.
Well done guys that is truly a tough day out.
This was after my first Haworth Hobble!
Knighton 20 – Sunday 10th March 2019
And now, over to Fitzy who has been flying the flag for the Green Army with a fantastic result over in Stafford:
Knighton 20 with my cheating shoes
“So i used the Knighton 20 last year in the build up to my spring marathon, so i thought i would enter it again after recording a pretty decent time last time around. I was in two minds as to race this or use it as a training run, but once you get to the start line there was never any way i was going to do the latter.
It’s a 3 lap course with plenty of climbing to be done, but for everything you have to climb up, you have to come down it, so the plan was to race hard on the up’s and recover on the way down. This year though i have a new pair of road shoes, some say they are cheating shoes 🙂 After seeing everyone who finished in front of me at the Village bakery half marathon in a pair of these cheating shoes, i decided to buy myself some to see how they performed. A park run and borders league later, i thought they were well worth the investment, having a cracking race at the borders. So could they do the same in a 20 miler?
Stafford seemed to miss all the rain, hail and snow whilst i was out doing the race, but a big downpour before the race meant a lot of the country lanes were flooded, however the wind was still pretty bad, it never seemed to be in your face or behind you, but was always trying to push you over from the sides for the full 20 miles.
Lap 1 went well, felt pretty good, after trying to stay with 1st and 2nd place for all of a mile, i got into a consistent pace and concentrated on my own race, on lap 2 i was caught up by 4th place runner, we had a little chat, found out he had broken 2 world records recently at London, dressed as a bride and a flower. I pulled away from the record holder on the steep climb on lap 2, and managed to get around lap 3 really starting to enjoy myself as I got a lot of encouragement from some of the runners i was passing, me shouting back to them and also giving them support. It’s a really friendly race, quite low key, but a good one to attend if you need a good event to attend before you marathon.
I finished the race in 2hrs 2mins, knocking about 55 secs of my PB, and coming 3rd place thanks to my new cheating shoes.
Pipe Dream Fell Race – Saturday 9th March 2019
Thanks to Tim Palmer for sending in a report on one of my favourite races, and which always has me reminiscing about the 80’s and the Super Mario Brothers games:
Pipe Dream fell race (4.2 miles and 1280 feet of climb)
“A blustery morning saw a small Green Army contingent (Rachel Arnold, Phil Gilliard, Jim Jones and Tim Palmer) in Dolgarrog for our first fell counter of the 2019 championship. Pipe Dream is a classic short fell race (steep up and steep down) with a twist (the steepest ascent is on steps alongside two large hydro-electric pipes – hence the name). The advantage and disadvantage of a steep ascent is that you get all the major ascent out of way in the early part of the race – in this case, a 1000 foot of climb in the first mile. Overall, a great little race and a nice way to start the Fell Champs.
As a civil engineer working on flood risk, any visit to Dolgarrog is tinged with sadness, as in 1925, the Eigau and Coedty dams failed; creating catastrophic flooding in Dolgarrog killing 16 people. Many more could have been killed had they not been in the local theatre watching a film that night. The race route passed near the Coedty dam and the descent followed roughly the path of the flooding.”
A copy of the results is available at: https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/pipe_dream_2019.xlsx
Parkrun – Saturday 9th March 2019
Well done everyone who participated in a Parkrun on Saturday. There were 17 Helsby members across various park runs. Our club consolidated report is HERE
That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to keep sending any contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org