Helsby RC News from 17th to 23rd April 2017

Welcome to the weekly round up and thanks to everyone who has sent reports to the inbox this week – there’s a good few this week. Please keep sending anything in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Firstly though, a couple of reminders:

Tomorrow – Wednesday 26/04/17 at 7.15pm – Borders League Race 7.

It’s the final race of the series tomorrow, to be staged at Wrexham AC with a presentation after the race. Let’s have another great turn-out to consolidate the hard work done so far!

Next Wednesday 03/05/17 at 7.15pm – Dinas Bran Fell Race

At Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen. This is our next Club Fell Counter and also a Mini Series Counter. I believe the Dina’s Bran and tomorrow’s Borders race are also included in the Helsby v Felsby series ( See Fitzy’s FB posts for more details).

Racing News:

Goldrush Trail Race – Saturday 22/04/2017.

We had two Helsby Trail runners over in Coed Y Brenin on Saturday. Danny and Danielle Ryder participated in the GoldRush Trail. Thanks for sending in the report guys:

“The Ryders made a day trip out to Coed y Brenin for the Goldrush Trail race on Saturday which is arguably the best waymarked running route at Coed y Brenin. A short 8.5mile route makes the most of the amazing singletrack on offer with some really technical climbs and descents, and amazing views. The race didn’t start until 1, so a leisurely drive including a stop for breakfast and cake still got us to the venue with time to have one of the cafes excellent flapjacks and for Danny to drag me on a really hilly warm up! As normal I said my good byes to Danny at the start line and left him at the front to find a space further down the field. It was an amazing run with some of the best weather we have ever had at Coed y Brenin with a remarkably dry trail – it was my first time running the entire route and keeping dry feet! Despite this Danny still managed a fall, but I suppose that’s excusable as he did finish 6th overall. I can definitely say the track sessions on a Monday night and the hill sprints have helped me this year as I overtook on the climbs, but I definitely need to work on my descents as they always catch me back up. Luckily for me the route finishes on a steady fireroad climb so I managed to overtake two females to come 9th female overall. It was a brilliantly organised race and we would recommend any of the races at Coed y Brenin. This is our third race at the venue having ran their winter half marathon route and their 3 hour night trail wales races. Definitely recommend a Helsby day trip if anyone fancies it – really good showers and a café J

Danielle and Danny”

Full result for the Goldrush Trail Race are HERE

 

‘Teenager with Attitude’ and the ‘Anniversary Waltz’ fell races – Saturday 22/04/2017

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We had a few of the Helsby crew up in The Lakes on Saturday for two fell races, one of which was another of our club counters. Thanks to Tim Palmer for sending in the report:

” Saturday saw a small team of Green Army runners heading for the Lakes for two ‘overlapping’ fell races – Jim O and Phil R for the monster Teenager with Altitude race (15.4 miles 7,600 ft ascent) aka Teenager aka TWA – as I didn’t run it, I can’t say much other than Jim was the first home and both Jim and Phil looked as though they had a challenging run.

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Suzanne, Laura, Phil G and I opted for the slightly lesser Anniversary Waltz race (11.5 miles 3,600 ft ascent) which shares it is the same last 7.5 miles with TWA. The Anniversary Waltz race is held each year to celebrate the marriage of Wynn and Steve Cliff, the race organisers, in 1996. The Pete Bland race map says it ‘has some of the worst and best of Lakeland fell racing. The worst – the 2.5miles of track and road out of Little Town. The very best – the final descent off Catbells, a downhill finish to the free beer in the Village Hall.’ I don’t fully agree with this – the worst is actually a nice warm-up for things to come and the best should include the amazing run from High Spy to Maiden Moor – lovely running, great views. I do agree with the ‘brutally direct’ comment about the climb up Robinson – mile 4 has ¼ mile of vertical ascent with bits at 1 in 2.81E43435-FFA8-4ADD-A0D8-35F5858810B5

Laura was first home for Helsby, followed by Tim, then Phil, and then, Suzanne who crossed the line with Sharon and Jen from Tattenhall (after possibly a more social race than the rest of us). A great day in lovely weather and terrain – a fell race to remember – brilliant day out.

Still waiting for results to be published online. The Anniversary Waltz is our 2nd fell counter with Phil and Jim’s times in TWA being multiplied by 0.63 to give them Anni Wa times.

Thanks to Ben, Andy, Sue, CBH and the mini BHs for support out on the course (and some managed a chat with Joss Naylor, a fell racing legend)”

Loads more pics are available HERE and HERE

London Marathon – Sunday 23/04/17

We had 5 Helsby members running in the London Marathon on Sunday and some fantastic times were had. Well done everyone!

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Park run – Saturday 22/04/17

Parkruns were busy this weekend with 18 Helsby athletes participating in 7 different events and as far afield as the USA, from where Ben Williams has sent a brilliant report (below). A couple of other notable finishers were a new PB’s for Colin Thompson (17:35 and 1st place) at Phoenix, and Jim Higgins (21:57) at Delamere.

Helsby’s consolidated parkrun results can be viewed HERE. Well done all park runners, and thanks to Ben for the report:

Roosevelt Island DC parkrun

“After booking our holiday to the US, I realised that with some careful planning I could run my 100th parkrun there. So after running my 99th a couple of weeks back, a couple of volunteering stints meant the plan was a goer.

Parkrun is still relatively new in the US, but there are three in the Washington DC area – I found myself heading for Roosevelt Island DC parkrun, the most central of the three. The venue is an island in the Potomac river which serves as a monument to Theodore Roosevelt. It’s a beautiful green oasis surrounded by the city, but with jets roaring overhead every few minutes to remind you you’re in the capital city.

The turnout was pretty small, with a lot of tourists. I met runners from Bristol, Hampshire, Dublin, as well as Australia and the US. I don’t know why numbers aren’t higher amongst Americans, I passed plenty of runners on the way there so it’s not that they don’t run. Prior to DC we’d been to Boston, which is a running-mad city and they don’t have a parkrun at all – I don’t get it.

The run itself was lovely, trail paths which reminded me of Delamere, and a long section across a raised boardwalk crossing a swamp. It was mostly flat with small undulations, including a tiny but nasty climb at about 4.5k just to turn legs to jelly at the end. I was hoping for a single-figures finish but got passed by two guys near the end, putting me 10th. A finish position I’m never likely to repeat in any race!

Because the field was so small, everyone stayed to watch the last runners come in, have a chat and sign the visitors book before heading our separate ways back to the city. It’s a brilliant, low-key, friendly event I would recommend to anyone who finds themselves over there.

Cheers
Ben”

Wirral Track Endurance Series 2017

Davyd Mitchell sent in this report which includes details of the Track Endurance Series. There are still 3 events that can be entered this year – details in Davyd’s report (thanks Davyd) :

“A couple of Wednesdays ago I attended the Wirral Endurance track series. This is a series of track races ranging from 3k 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 15 runners as we took the line, abilities were wide ranging which unfortunately meant I got lapped a bit, lapped a runner and spent 5k chasing 1 runner to no avail. This did have the benefit of me finishing 12th and being happy with my 19:54 for a PB.
This was the first in this years series of 4 races, the next is a 3k followed by 10k and then the final 5k. The great news is that its only a £2 to enter on the night, so would be great to see a few of us do this.

Results and details of the series can be found HERE

Davyd”

That’s it for this week folks. If I’ve missed anything let me know and I’ll update the blog. Keep the reports coming in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Hopefully see you all tomorrow at Wrexham for the Borders League,

Jim

Helsby RC News from 20th to 26th March 2017

Hello everyone, well its been a busy weekend for Helsby RC and there are some good write -ups in the inbox this week. Firstly though, just a reminder that its our next road counter this Sunday 2/04/17 – Darwen Heritage Half Marathon. Online entries close tonight 29/03/17 at 23:55. So still time to get your entry in HERE.

Helsby RC have another new member! A warm welcome to Susie Woodward-Moor who has recently joined the Green Army.

So now on with the racing news:

Llantysilio Fell Race – Saturday 25/03/17

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Thanks Laura for sending in this report:

“Saturday saw the first race in the club’s Fell series, the Llantysilio fell race, with 10 green vests hitting the hills on an absolute cracker of a day. Contrary to popular belief it is possible to have a fell race with glorious sunshine and no need for the normally required kit of full body waterproofs! Starting at the Sun Inn in Rhewl (near Llangollen) the route starts with a nice ascent up on to an undulating ridge (okay quite a few big ups and downs), before the descent down to the finish 6 miles and 2100ft of climb later. It is a lovely route, lots of running to be had and some stunning views. Big thanks to Joe and Mario for support – Joe was perched on the side of a mountain for the first big climb taking photos – all that was missing was his picnic. Thanks also to Andy Smith for support and photos and Tattenhall club for putting on a great race again. Official results not out yet, but from memory the Helsby team order was:

Jim O’Hara 2nd
Neil Finegan 7th
Phil Roberts
Laura Baynham-Hughes (3rd lady)
Phil Gillard
Steve Riley
Janet Robertson
Rachel Arnold
Sue Buck
Charlie Roberts”

Cheshire 10k (Arley Hall) – Sunday 26/03/17

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A report from Colin Thompson on our second club road counter of the season:

“There was a modest turn out of green vests at our second road counter at the Cheshire 10k, a shame because this is one of the flattest 10k’s around and with perfect running conditions it was a great opportunity to hunt down a PB. To be fair it did fall on a weekend of ultras and fell races, hopefully we won’t get any more clashes this year.

On to the race and it was excellent running by the troops and loads of new PB’s too, congratulations to Kate Mann who raced a stormer to take first Helsby lady home and big kudos to Fitzy for winning his age category and bagging a new PB! Well done to everyone else and big thank you to Wiggo (our support crew).

Please find all Helsby results below:

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Full results

It’s also worth a look on the Cheshire 10k FB page as there are loads of photo’s which are free to download.

Cheers
Col T”

Chester Ultra Marathon – Saturday 25/03/17

Five of us ran the Ultra on Saturday and Helsby won a trophy for 2nd Team. In such a long race  we probably had our highs and lows at different stages. For me the low was the last 20 miles! The high was the support along the way and at the finish, particularly from the Helsby gang -Boydy, Frodders, Phil, Charlie, Jim, Sharon – thanks guys!

Thanks Degsy and Ben for sending in their accounts below:

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Not much movement here, but still won 2nd Team Prize!

“Chester ultra My first “one off” 52 mile run. Up at 4am,what’s all that about? thought only CBH and Fitzy done that! Kit check before the race to check I had my map and compass which in my hands may aswell be a chocolate fire guard. Great to see gaz, Jim, wiggo and Ben from the green army at check in. 6am race start just as it got light. Having no idea how to pace one of these things I was made up to run with gaz who does this crazy sh!t for fun. 1st 13 miles across fields and along the river dee were great for passing the miles away. Great to to see boydy at the 1st 2 check points screaming the famous “Green army”. Then next 10 miles were pretty tough along a canal section and into dunham on the hill. At this stage I thought there is no way I’m gonna do another 28 miles. Next up onto helsby hill, frodsham hill and then onto the sandstone trail, by far the best 20 miles of the race and we even got a cry of “Green army” off some random fella in the middle of the sandstone trail haha. Great to see frodders at around mile 32 (he’s much better at running than working the camera on his phone) after waiting 3 hours for frodders to take our photo we plodded on missing a gate at mile 42 (gaz should of been looking out better 😉) after ducking under electric fences and climbing barbed wire ones we realised maybe we had veered off course. Phones out to find the route and we were back on track for the last section along a canal back into Waverton. Really tough last 6 miles into the finish. Absolutely loved it. Brilliant weather, organisation, checkpoints, volunteers, marshals…. can’t wait to sign up again

Sorry for the long report (my usual reports couldn’t do this event justice)
Degsy”

Another view from the Chester Ultra from Ben:

“Well, what a brilliant event! I took part in this ultra on Saturday, along with Degs, Jim, Gaz and Ste. I was nervous about entering this event, as it’s the first ‘running’ ultra I’ve entered (as opposed to LDWA events) and I was worried it might be a bit ‘elite’ for me, but there was no need to worry. As part of the event build-up, the organisers ran organised recces of the route, in manageable sections. I only made the first of these, but it was good to meet other runners, and it meant there were a few familiar faces around on the day.

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The event briefing took place just as dawn broke, without a cloud in the skies. The ground was frozen, but things warmed up as soon as the sun came up, and by the time we reached Chester city centre it was getting hot. I’d set off to run with Ste, but he was struggling with a cold and so in true Top Gear style, I dropped him at the first checkpoint (sorry mate). I felt I ran well for the whole first half of the run, and reached halfway in around 4 and a half hours. However, the first half was mostly flat and paved – all of the hills and muddy trails came in the second half. After climbing Helsby Hill the next part of the route to Frodsham covered our Wednesday run, and it was nice to be on familiar ground. The climb up Frodsham Hill took it out of me, and I struggled from then on, running down any hills but pretty much walking the rest. Then the sting in the tail came at Beeston, where we turned off the Sandstone Trail and on to a long, 6-mile drag along the canal to the finish. I was broken by then, I could only shuffle a few hundred yards at a time before having to walk, and in the end I couldn’t even shuffle. I don’t think I cried but I felt like it, and that canal towpath goes on forever. I was overjoyed to see the finish, and to run the final few yards with my nephew.

Overall it’s a lovely route, passing a lot of familiar places. The whole event was made even better by the camaraderie between the runners, the support of the checkpoints and the fantastic weather. Thanks to the Helsby members who were out and about supporting too – cheers Gareth, Betty and Paul. It’s great to see familiar faces when you need a boost.

cheers
Ben”

Helsby finishers were:

Derek Morris, 23rd, 09:14 / Gaz O’Connor, 30th, 09:26 / Jim Jones, 80th, 10:57 / Ben Williams, 115th, 12:06 / Steve Wiggins, 157th, 13:48

Full results for Chester Ultra are HERE

Coniston 14 – Saturday 25/03/17

Jackie Keasley and Jane Ashbrook were up in the Lakes on Saturday enjoying the views around Coniston. Thanks Jackie for sending in the report and pics:

“Jane and I ran the Coniston 14 race on Saturday in glorious conditions. Not as hilly as Lantisillio and not as long as the Chester UItra but very picturesque with snow on the summits and warm sunshine.

Jane in London Marathon training ran to and from the race from her campervan spot in Hawkshead. Bill drove me leisurely to the start line ready for my 22nd running of the Coniston 14 race, it’s one I’ll never tire of, especially when you turn around at the far end of the lake and get this view.

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Well done to Jane who finished 133rd overall, 14th lady (in a field of over 1100,), 3rd in her age category in 1:41:58. I took it steadily, took in the views and took longer than ever before 2:15:25, 721st. One to saviour.

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PS It’s the Darwen Heritage Half Marathon club road counter next Sunday, 2nd April. An excellent hilly half around the Lancashire Moors organised by Darwen Dashers. On-line entries close on Wednesday 29th March at 23:55 http://dashers.org.uk/events/half
I have an entry that unfortunately I cannot use so if anyone wants it and can swap the name they are welcome. darwenhalf@gmail.com Please let me know 

Cheers
Jackie”

 

Parkrun – Saturday 25/03/17

We had 8 Helsby runners participating across 5 different Parkruns on Saturday. Well done Debbie Read who finished as 2nd lady at Delamere. Our club consolidated results are HERE

Think that’s it for this week folks. Let me know if I have missed anything and I’ll update the blog.

Thanks,

Jim

 

 

 

Helsby RC News from 20th to 26th February 2017

Welcome to the weekly round-up, starting with  couple of dates for your diaries.

Sunday 05/03/17 11am Start – Manley Mere Borders League

First of all a message and reminder from Chris Patrick that we are hosting the next fixture of the Borders League:

“Borders league comes home this weekend, yes it’s our turn to host it. By now, all marshalls should know their positions, and what times they need to be there for. Any problems please let me know. Marshalls vests can be picked up from the club, there are some behind the reception desk.

Also, for anyone not volunteering, we need you to race, the more the merrier. It would be great to see a load of us there, remember, it’s not just the counters that count, even if you finish outside of them, you are stopping the other clubs finishing higher up the places, so it really does help. I’m hoping for good weather, and remember to get into Manley Mere you need 2 x £1 coins for the gate.

See you all on Sunday

Fitzy”

I think we may also still be looking for a couple of people to help supervise the parking for an hour before the race. So if you can help please give Fitzy a shout.

Other Races this coming weekend that may be of interest:

Saturday 04/03/17 – 10am – Halewood 5k www.knowsleyharriers.com/alder-hey-5k/

Sunday 06/03/17 – 11am – Cloud Nine (BM) fell race www.congleton-harriers.co.uk/clud9.htm

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Also, don’t forget the Helsby RC Presentation Evening on Friday 10/03/17 at 7.30pm – you should have already received a separtate  email about it . Please remember to let David or Lesley know by  8th March if you’ll be attending so they have an idea of how many to cater for.

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Racing News

Stockport Trail Half Marathon 26/02/17

A big congratulations to Jane Ashbrook for her podium position at the Stockport Half Marathon on Sunday, and thanks for the following report Jane:

“I ran the Stockport Trail Half Marathon on Sunday. A well organised event from a pub in Marple. The route went along the Middlewood Way and back along the canal. On the advice of my professional running husband (who did the race last year) I wore road shoes, which after a week of torrential rain turned out not to be the best idea! I was sliding about like Colin Bishop and nearly fell in the canal a few times! Despite that I had a good run and was surprised to find out I finished 3rd lady in 1:36ish! Fairly reasonably priced for a half and lovely home made flap jacks and decent medal at the end made it worth the 45minute drive and a race I will definitely do again, particularly because part of my prize is a free entry to next years race!!”

Parkrun

Helsby RC had 17 athletes participating in 5 parkruns across the area on Saturday. There are a few notable performances in the consolidated results below. Neil Finnegan was first home at the Ellesmere Port parkrun in a time of 18:52,  and Debbie Read was 2nd lady with a PB. Over at the Phoenix parkrun Carl Pratt and Michael Williams also  achieved PBs while Suzanne Fletcher also ran Phoenix ,for the first time and finished 2nd lady.  Well done everyone, our club consolidated results are HERE.

Message from our Chair

A brief message from Jackie Keasley regarding recent committee role changes:

“Tim Palmer has taken some of the work load off our Treasurer Jo Farwell and is our new Membership Secretary.

Donna Geer & Jen O Hare are our new club kit co-ordinators looking after our supply of club vests, club training tops, hoodies and buffs etc.

Thanks to all and welcome to your new roles.

Cheers

Jackie”

And with TimPalmer keeping us updated, in his additional role as membership secretary, as new members join us, we’d like to welcome Dave Smith to the Green Army. Hoping to see you burning off some green energy soon Dave.

I think that’s it for this week.

Thanks, Jim.

Helsby RC News from 16th to 22nd January 2017

Welcome to the round-up of a yet another busy week for Helsby RC, and thanks to everyone who has sent in a report or contribution for the blog. There’s quite a bit in the inbox this week with people continuing to be busy following our  hosting of another successful 4VHM last weekend. Whether you’ve been racing in events or organising stuff on behalf of the club, its great to see so much activity going on around the club, and with so many different people getting involved – Well done Green Army!

Dates For Your Diary

Firstly a few reminders of what’s coming up:

Tomorrow – Wednesday 25th January 2017 – its the 10k time trial, meet at  club house for 6.30pm – full details are in email already sent out by Col & Louise. If you don’t fancy the TT  there’s always someone who’ll join you for an alternative run, so still turn up.

Tomorrow – Wednesday 25th January 2017 – a reminder that we will be meeting in the bar after the run tomorrow to decide our Fell and Road Race counters for the next 12 months, so do come along if you’d  like to contribute to the process.

Saturday 28th January 2017 – Tarren Hendre  – first race in the North Wales fell running series- 12pm from Abergynolwyn Village Hall, LL36 9UU

Sunday 5th February 2017 – Liverpool & District XC League – Clarke Gardens – a message from Paul Foster:

“Hi all,

If anybody would like to run in the l&d xc at clarkes gardens allerton liverpool on sunday 5th feb 11am start

Please email me your name and date of birth by friday 27th january
If you have already entered a xc this year
I have your date of birth so just send me a message
Thanks to everyone who has already messaged me on facebook
Paul
P.s this is the last xc of the year to pre enter”

Sunday 5th March 2017 – Borders League Race 5 – Manley Mere – a message from Chris Fitzpatrick:

“Hello all, as you may or may not know we are holding the next Borders League race 5 at Manley Mere on Sunday 5th March, 11am start. Preparation for this Helsby organised race has now started and we need the lovely people of Helsby RC who are not planning on running, to help out if at all possible and Marshall. You will probably be needed from 10am through to around 12pm approx, and we will position you out on the course somewhere, all to be figured out still.

We need 22 marshalls, 2 people on lead bike (1 position already filled hopefully) and a course sweeper. If you can volunteer or if you are planning on running could possibly get a friend or family member to Marshal then that would be very much appreciated. We cannot put on these events without you’re help. Anyone who can could you email fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com to let me know please.

We are also going to hold a recce of the course on Sunday 12th Feb, 11am start, I would suggest you get to Manley Mere around 10.45am, don’t forget to bring your £2 for parking.

Thanks and see you all soon

Fitzy”

Racing News

Sunday 22/01/17 Borders League Race 4 at Deeside

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Thanks to Colin Thompson for the report:

“Borders League race No.4 saw the Green Army toeing the line at a chilly Deeside sports centre, a fantastic showing of the green vest with no less than 28 of us! A huge thank you to everyone who turned out to support the club. The course is a relatively short one for a borders, just shy of 4.5 miles, but it has a sting in its tail as it takes you up and down the steep Kelsterton Lane, pretty tough going!

It’s a real shame there was a Borders and XC clash this season as I think the numbers at the XC suffered as a consequence but it’s important for us to get as many green vests to the borders as possible to avoid penalty points, our ladies team is still recovering from this from the first BL.

On to the race, a fabulous run was had by all on what was a fast but also challenging course, the start and finish on a running track is certainly a first for me! A few stand out performances belong to our BL debutants who were Danny Ryder (amazingly 20th on his first race for the club and 2nd home for Helsby – excellent stuff Danny!) Danielle Ryder also had a brilliant race and then decided to do a 13 mile cool down afterwards, that’s dedication! Matt Huntbach is flying at the moment and so is Paul Cunningham who seemed to enjoy every minute of it! Kate Mann is just getting better with each race and seemed to enjoy her first BL.

Too many other excellent individual performances to mention but it’s congratulations to Alison Halsall (also first Helsby lady home after a close battle with Jane Ashbrook) and Christina Roach who both won their respective age groups to help the ladies top the table on the day! Jane A was second in her age group also. Congrats ladies and if we can keep the momentum going we should be out of the relegation zone in the last few races.

The men came 4th team overall on the day to consolidate their 5th position in the league, great running chaps!

Thank you to Fitzy and Laura for rallying the troops before the race and also a big thank you to our support on the day – Mario and Joe!

The Helsby results can be found below:

14 Colin THOMPSON 24:27
20 Danny RYDER 24:51
30 Chris FITZPATRICK 25:16
36 Adam GORDON 25:26
49 Neil FINEGAN 25:54
63 Ian RUTHERFORD 26:41
75 Matthew HUNTBACH 26:55
84 Philip TOMKINSON 27:03
96 Jim O’HARA 27:31
104 Darren O’CONNOR 28:03
119 Richard HANKINS 28:37
125 Tim PALMER 28:45
142 Phillip ROBERTS 29:20
146 Alison HALSALL 29:26 (1st in age cat)
150 Jane ASHBROOK 29:29 (2nd in age cat)
160 Laura BAYNHAM HUGHES 29:51
184 James JONES 30:54
206 Danielle RYDER 31:40
221 Christina ROACH 32:19 (1st in age cat)
246 Stephen ROACH 33:40
256 Benjamin WILLIAMS 34:14
264 Paul CUNNINGHAM 34:36
274 Geoff COLLINS 35:12
292 Christopher IGOE 35:49
309 Kate MANN 36:45
310 Stephen WIGGINS 36:46
317 Chris MORGAN 37:08
345 David WIGGINS 40:00

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

The next race will be hosted by us at Manley Mere. It’s a brand new race so please come along to support the event whether marshalling or racing. Fitzy will send out all the details nearer the time.”

Also, thanks to Tim Palmer for also sending in a summary of the Borders League results.

Sunday 22/01/17 North West XC League Race 5 – Town Park, Runcorn

Thanks to Colin Bishop for sending in this race report:

“Hi
short and sweet race report for this weeks XC as the team was small and sweet, only 4 men and 1 lady which was a pity as the collective points from the turn out was not that high, 305 for the men and 38 for the ladies unfortunately there will be penalties, anyway……
a cold wintery start to the race, if we had not already woken up, the start certainly got our attention with a dash through a cold watering hole lots of splashing and squealing to be heard, (think there will be some good photo’s) then on to the mud the glorious mud, two laps including a running up the side of the ski slope and two slides down it!! Glad to say all home in one piece, valiant effort from the team well deserved chocolate flapjacks afterwards,
thanks to Jane for support, flapjacks and token collection
cheers Colin B”

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More pictures courtesy of Andy Smith available HERE

Results from Town Park XC are now available HERE

Parkrun

It was great to get a report sent in about a Parkrun this week. Over to Davyd Mitchell:

Parkrun tourist report

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Unfortunately due to visiting family I was unable to take part in the Borders race, however I did manage to find a local parkrun to be a tourist at. The nearest parkrun was located in Nonsuch park, the course was 3 laps with a mixture of paths and grass, but was pretty flat. I’d underestimated the weather and Saturday morning arrived and it was –5!. The good news was the ground was hard and the grass section which looked like it could have been a bit boggy was frozen solid. 483 people toed the line and off we set, 3 cold laps later we were done. I managed a good time for me, I think this might have had something to to with trying to avoid frostbite, coming home in 19:58 for 35th. It was the usual well organized friendly event and nice to run on a different course. David”

Thanks for the report Davyd. Well, Helsby Parkrunners are certainly improving my knowledge of geography week on week! From Davyd in Nonsuch to Mark Gittins in Hervey Bay, whose been showing the Aussies how its done. Mark finished first in his Parkrun down-under in 18:47 – Well done Mark! While nearer to home Colin Bishop stayed true to form by finishing third at Widnes in 17:53. Our club’s consolidated results can be viewed HERE

Fitzy’s Caption Competition

I know you’ve all been squirming with anticipation, waiting for the winner of Fitzy’s caption competition to be announced. Well, after much deliberation the prize of a pair of 4VHM socks goes to Gareth Boyd for his brilliant entry (now captioned below).

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Tim is saying “that’s for not shouting Greeeeeeeen Armmmmmy, at the start line! “

Well done Gareth, you can collect your prize from the Quartermaster next time your at the clubhouse.

I think that’s it for this week. Hope I’ve not missed anything.

Jim

Helsby RC News from 19th to 25th December 2016

Hi everyone, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic Christmas and still managed to get out and do a bit of running – the Parkruns have certainly been busy! It’s been a bit of an odd week for the race calendar. There’s nothing in the inbox but I know quite a few people have been taking part in races the past few days. To avoid any confusion I’ve only included events from the Monday to Sunday, as we usually do. So there’s still plenty of time to send in reports from the past few days, and they’ll be picked up in the next blog. We did of course have the Xmas Handicap on Wednesday, which has already been covered in a separate update.

Parkrun

On Christmas Eve we had a fantastic turn out of 12 runners from Helsby at Delamere, and a total of 19 Helsby members across all Parkruns. The results were pretty awesome too. Neil Finnegan finished 3rd at the Chester Parkrun, while Darren O’Connor and David Wiggins both set new PBs. Delamere runners were not to be outdone though! New PB’s were set at Delamere by Colin Thompson, Davyd Mitchell and Tim Palmer. Meanwhile …… up in Keswick, there was a new PB by Alfie Grady.

There was an additional Parkrun on Christmas day at Delamere and we had a further 7 people participate there. Parkrun’s consolidated weekly results finish on the Saturday so hopefully any Parkruns’ hosted on Christmas Day will be included in next weeks consolidated report.

This is probably a good point to acknowledge all the time given up by Parkrun volunteers throughout the year. I know that Helsby RC members have been key to organising and marshalling some of the local Parkruns for some time now. Well done and thanks to all the volunteers.

Consolidated Parkrun results Helsby RC

Dates For Your Diary

So I think that all remains for this week’s blog is a few reminders, and dates for your diaries.

New Years Eve -31st December 2016

4 Villages Half Marathon Recce – You should have already received a detailed email about this from Colin Thompson. Meet at the club at 10.30 and there will be different paced groups to cater for all abilities so that nobody is left behind.

Also please remember that we are still looking for people to help out with the 4VHM on 15/01/17. Please contact Laura Baynham-Hughes if you haven’t already offered your services, or if you know someone else who wants to help.

New Year’s Day – 1st January 2017

I’m not aware of any road races over the next week, but there are two races in the Welsh Fell Running Calendar on New Year’s Day; the appropriately named ‘Morning After’ in Church Stretton, and ‘Tour de Lyn Lydaw’ in Snowdonia:

The Morning After – BS category race – 8km/275m 5miles/900ft – 11am, £5 on the day – Church Stretton Social Club, Essex Road, Church Stretton.

Tour de Lyn Lydaw – CS category race – 8km/181m 5miles/594ft – 10.30am, £2 on the day – Pen-y-Pass Youth Hostel, Snowdonia.

Saturday  – 7th January 2017

X-Country Cheshire Championships – Birchwood Forest Park, Warrington – time TBC

*****

And something to chew on:  according to Runners World – 3 Quality Street = 122 calories = 1 mile.

Best Wishes for 2017, from the Helsby RC Bloggers.

Jim

 

 

Helsby RC News from 14th to 20th November 2016.

Thanks everyone who has sent something to the inbox this week. There’s been loads of good stuff going on with Helsby RC. If anything there anything that needs adding please still send in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com and we’ll add it to the blog and or the next round-up.

Dates For Your Diary

After-run talks and London Marathon draw  – A brief reminder from Jackie:

“This Wed after training it’s meant to be Chris BH talking on his Mont Blanc Ultra plus our London Marathon Draw. Unfortunately Chris has been called away with work. BUT Dave Feakes has kindly stepped in at the last minute to talk again on his cross channel swimming exploits. A lot of folks missed Dave’s amazing talk and have asked for a repeat so here’s your chance. Please let Lesley know  if you are coming along then we can order the right number of chips.

Thanks to those who have already let me have their London rejection slips. If you have not already let me know please bring slip on evening or email me. 

Hope to see you there!

Cheers

Jackie”

Sandstone Trail Challenge 2017

The 2017 Sandstone Trail Challenge is on Saturday 6th May. Entries open on 1st December, and the link to enter is HERE. Its expected to fill up very quickly so be sure to set yourself a reminder if you want to secure a place.  We’ll need plenty of volunteers on the day, and if you can help you’re welcome to run the Marshal’s Event which will probably be on 1st May.

Liverpool & District XC Fixture 2

This coming Saturday 26/11/16 at 2pm – 2nd Race in the Liverpool & District XC League at Sefton Park

Racing News

Penmaenmawr Fell Race

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Thanks to Tim Palmer for sending in the Penmaenmawr report:

“Due to liberal use of Helsby RC excuse book (including: I would prefer to run 90+ miles in 24 hours as the crow flies much it along the A41 and I have a sore ankle so I will go and set a PB and win a Parkrun instead), the eight Green Army runners who turned up for the Penmaenmawr Fell Race was fewer than those who entered. The race takes its place as the finale of the North Wales fell season; although a BM, it has a bit of everything – steep climb to start, a bog halfway round, a lovely runnable section looking over the Conwy valley and a steep single track finish; and then free soup and a bottle of beer. The weather was kind (sunny intervals).

The Helsby results were:
10th – Jim O’Hara – M Open – 1:21:21

27th – Phillip Roberts – M V40 – 1:30:30

35th – Tim Palmer – M V50 – 1:33:55 – 6th V50

45th – Laura Baynham-Hughes – F V40 – 1:37:09 – 5th Lady; 1st V40

54th – Jane Ashbrook – F V40 – 1:40:13 – 8th Lady; 2nd V40

95th – David Feakes – M V50 – 1:52:10

119th – Lesley Feakes – F V50 – 2:02:32

120th – Debbie Read – F V50 – 2:02:48
Thanks to Vanessa, Joe and Mario for their welcome support half-way. An excellent race – I would recommend it to everyone.

Tim”

Escape from Meriden

Thanks to Chris Baynham-Hughes for sending in a great write up on his awseome antics over the weekend:

“Escape from Meriden
It was a simple but cracking concept. Start in Meriden (centre of England), wearing a tracker you have to escape as far away as you can (as the crow flies: @Jim Higgins – that’s the shortest distance between the start point and the end point :D) and it’s all tracked by Live GPS updates. No support thumbnail_15135928_10154831326098933_344765914849607950_n-1from the organisers, no set route but that’s what made it more interesting for spectators. Competitors would earn different rewards based upon how far away they got:

  • 0-30 miles = Paper
  • 30-60 miles = Silver
  • 60-90 miles = Gold
  • 26 leagues (90 miles) or above = Black

I ran my first ultra with Tin Wilcock back in 2011 and we’ve had so many adventures together since. This seemed a good excuse to have a good catch up and thus we put in an entry and took a typically disorganised approach to the event. We had two choices, either go for the 90 miles, or draw something rude on the tracker with our GPS trace (we imagined people watching saying, “where are they going!!! Then slowly realising as our juvenile activity became clear).

My mother would never have forgiven me so we figured the canals would be good and running home would broadly do it. Our route broke down as:

  • 26 miles to the start of the Shropshire Union canal at Wolverhampton (mixture of road and canal)
  • 30 miles on Shropie to Market Drayton
  • 30 miles to Chester via roads including the A41 from near Bickerton
  • Parkgate road out to West Kirby

We arrived with 15 minutes to go before the start and many competitors in orange Tyvek jumpsuits. At first I thought it was a big fancy dress, then realised that they were giving them out to us ‘prisoners.’ As we congregated at the monument signifying the centre of England there was a real buzz about the place; wondering where everyone was going. It was at this point that Tin produced a couple of paper print outs for our maps – about 26 miles squeezed onto A5 and scant detail. 5 minutes down the road the buzz had gone, I felt for the people that had entered solo, this was thumbnail_15085647_10154831326153933_5217354026377493793_ndefinitely an adventure for two.

Troubles:
I’d not been able to load the .GPX file that Tin had sent me – not even to my computer, so there was something wrong with it. I wasn’t too concerned as Tin had got it onto his Garmin, but as we were about to start it hit me how ill prepared I was to navigate home. We did head off in the right direction, but following a breadcrumb on a garmin is not ideal. I managed to pull out some detail from the maps, but when the Garmin showed and critical error and then started making patterns on the screen it looked all over.

I’d already had a near miss having slipped off an icy wall, but this time I found myself approaching a hooded figure at 3 in the morning to ask for directions. Naturally I startled him, but in his words that was because he thought I was “some kinda Power Ranger!” We got our directions and thankfully my suggestion of taking the batteries out for a while to ensure there was no residual charge and getting away from the glitch in the track seemed to help and we were back in business on the GPS. In hindsight we simply would have had to have stopped without it.

Al Fresco
A 24 hour run requires certain bodily activity; so when Tin announced he needed to find a bush I helpfully pointed out some decent cover. He opted for an alternative and went about business. In the interest of efficiency I decided to find cover too and emerged only to find that the building next to the bushes I’d first suggested was actually the Police station. Good job it was about 2am!

Tow Path
I expected the route to be simple once on the canal, but not only were we cursing the ice, we almost went miles off course as the canal split. It looked like the only way was over the bridge, so that’s what we did, but luckily Tin caught that we were off the breadcrumb and thus saved us miles! From then on every bridge was treated with suspicion!
By the time we got to Market Drayton we were exhausted, blood sugar was low and we’d had enough. The mud on the tow path was more than we’d expected and we’d some how added an extra two miles so just when we thought we were there we found we were literally miles away. We talked about stopping because we were no longer enjoying it and I suggested we rewarded ourselves with a slap up Morrison’s breakfast – no expense spared!

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Shoes off:
Coke and a breakfast did the trick, but we got a few funny looks. Tin instantly took his shoes off to air his feet and I did the same. We looked so dishevelled that nobody dared to approach us. Refuelled and back on it we set off feeling nearly new. We knew we needed to keep our blood sugar up and that the coke would wear off quickly and we got our heads down to get through the miles. It was all road from here.

Working hard:
I’ll not lie, this was one of the hardest things I’ve done. We really worked at it, against the clock, breaking the adventure down into sections, concentrating on average pace, ensuring we fuelled well. After a 40 minute stop, refuel and change in Chester we dragged our aching corpses out the door and painfully started out for the final 20 miles. By this stage I couldn’t really eat, so when our awesome support crew appeared part way down Parkgate road with Pizza I was gutted I just couldn’t stomach it.

We battled through the miles, working together, pushing how long we ran for before rewarding ourselves with a walk. By this stage we’d had a few texts urging us on (thanks – you know who you are) and then one from Laura saying that team 89 had dropped out, so it was down to us. We didn’t give a monkeys about over all position, it’s not that kind of race, we just wanted to get the 90 miles… but as confirmation that we were going to win it filtered through I’d be lying if I said we weren’t chuffed. We’d worked incredibly hard as a team and physically supported each other throughout; it felt like we’d really earned this one so a trophy to add to the converted black medal was just the cherry on the top.
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Not finished yet:
We crossed the 90 mile mark and carried on to the beach at West Kirby. Our support crew for the final section had been Wallasey’s own Richie Webster who just happens to be a lifeguard in his spare time. He’d been responsible for Hilbre Island for some time and nipped back home to get into his Land Rover whilst we started out across the beach to the island. Don’t try this without back up in the dark! Befuddled Tin started drifting off course heading out towards Wales instead. Luckily Richie started flashing the full beams and beeping his horn and after a few minutes we finally caught on and turned to the island. Sadly the tide wasn’t far enough out for us to go beyond Little I, but mission accomplished, much confusion caused on social media and driving back across the sand to the marina was a pretty satisfying feeling!

The stats:
111 miles covered. 11 hours and 10 minutes. 1st place. Only team to get over 90 miles.

Learning points:
Coca Cola is your friend. Ensure you’ve got a backup GPS. Don’t even think about doing this one alone.”

Combe Crawler

From CBH’s 111 miles  to my 8! On Sunday 20/11/16 I ran in the  ‘Combe Crawler’ hosted by Ilfracombe Running Club in 15181512_731329050348533_9061065067655436711_nNorth Devon. The race starts and finishes at Marlborough Park, the ground of Ifracombe FC, and is eight and half miles with some tough climbs and stunning views of the 15170872_1152144251501246_2808751442595209276_n coast. With gales the day before and the day after the race, the weather gods smiled down on us for race day. Loads of water and mud on the ground, but no rain or wind for the race!  The route is mostly off road but there are a few bits of tarmac running and good runnable trails. It goes through the grounds of Watermouth Castle and along the coast of Watermouth Cove and into Hele Bay. There’s
then  a tough climb up Hillsboro and then back down into Ilfracombe before the final climb back up to the finish With 1700ft of climb its a tough, fast race. I finished 16th overall and won the Vet 50 category for a cracking trophy. Full results and more race info HERE

Athens Marathon

Helsby RC have been on tour again! Tanya Meredith sent in this fab sport after visiting Athens. Well done Tanya!

“Athens Marathon, The Authentic.

The marathon race was created in 1896 to honor the legendary run of Greek messenger Pheidippides from Marathon to Athens. On 13th November, remembrance Sunday, 18640 runners boarded buses at 0515 and we made our way up to Marathonas. From the journey up there I could see that is wasn’t going to be a race that was easy on the legs but one that would be easy on the eye.image1

On arrival at Maratonas we were directed into the small Olympic stadium to warm up. Sitting in the stands you had an amazing view over the mountains and looked down on runners from across the world all warming up. Amongst the masses were the elite runners doing laps of the field, intermingled with other runners, you got the feeling of inclusion and acceptance that everyone there was equal.

On talking to other runners old and young the consensus was that they were not there for a specific time but to become one more person in the history of the route, to be able to stand tall and say “I’ve run Marathon”. The sense of occasion was only heightened by the sight of the Olympic flame burning brightly from within the stadium, bringing it home as to where I actually was.image2The route itself is very kind on the legs for the first 10k, we ran around the mount where the torch lighting ceremony takes place before any Olympics and then head out on the road to Athens. From 11k to 32 K it was a strength sapping incline with a 20m down hill thrown in for good measure. I knew from this point that this race was not one for a PB but to soak up the occasion and significance of the route and the race. The support along the course was amazing, children handing out olive branches and high fives joined sounds of Bravo and Greek music blasting out along the way. The last 10k, thankfully, was downhill and I made the most of this by getting my fastest miles in to ensure a strong fast finish.

The last mile is solid with supporters, which makes for a very emotional finish; running into the Panathenaic Stadium was an unforgettable experience. To run in the footsteps of the great marathon runners and athletes of the Athens Olympics surrounded by cheers was breathtaking.

I am now amongst the finishers who can say that I have truly run in the footsteps of Pheidippides and completed the “authentic marathon” .”

Tatton Park half marathon!

Now over to Neil Finegan for his really interesting review on the inaugural Tatton Park Half:

“A new race comes with risks attached. You never know how good or bad it will be until you run it. Be prepared for the most negative race review ever (is there a prize for this?)

The only positive thing I can say about this race is that it made me realise what a fantastic and professional job we do with the 4 villages. Sundays run at at Tatton Park was a masterclass in how not to organise a race.

Firstly there was the parking chaos. At 8 in the morning I was 0.4 of a mile from the car park to start my race at 9:35. I eventually parked at just after 10! The problem seemed to be that the organisers tagged a 10k run onto the event (starting at 9) which overloaded the roads nearby. It was a real shambles with inexperienced Marshals not helping.

So I eventually started the race – 30 minutes late and having to battle through the crowds of headphone wearing runners. Then came the next issue – a poor course full of dog legs to stretch the distance out. Narrow paths with cones down the middle to separate the runners going in 2 directions, made over taking near impossible. Then the conditions underfoot would go from path to woodland trail, to roads full of potholes full of water. It’s such a beautiful park but about 1/3 of the race was spent running down a road near a housing estate instead of inside the grounds. And if you were running the half like me, you had the fun of 2 laps of this chaos.

The course was also poorly designed – having to cope with the 2 different events and now with the added pressure of lots of runners starting at random times. The majority of the Marshals were completely disinterested. I had a few occasions where I had to shout at them “which way?” Then there were the big cycling groups also using the narrow paths oblivious to the race going on around them.

So you finished in a muddy field with a nice shiny medal but thinking that there are much better ways to spend your £22 and time. The tannoy announced my “fantastic clock” time of 1:44 (versus my chip time of 1:23). Having spent the race weaving past runners, I was surprised by that at least.

Definitely would not recommend this one for next year.”

Thanks for the heads-up on that one Neil, it makes me feel like running in the hills!

Rachel Holden and Joanne Lacking also braved Tatton Park for the 10k event. Full results can be viewed HERE.

Conway Half Marathon

And now over to Geoff Collins who seems to have fared better with the organisation of the Conway Half:

Race Report Conwy Half Marathon 20th November 2016

This year was the eighth Conwy half marathon, seven of which I have run previously. Although this has been a club counter in the past it wasn’t this year, there were just two Helsby runners Paul Roberts & myself Geoff Collins. I think both of us were surprised to see each other there. Overall race numbers were slightly down this year with just 2,408 finishers.

Driving towards Conwy the weather conditions improved considerably leaving the rain and cloud behind for much dryer, warmer and brighter conditions on arrival. Ideal conditions for running really with little wind. The area does seem to have its own micro climate. Driving to and parking in Conwy was an absolute doddle unlike a certain place elsewhere. There are plenty of cafes and tea shops for a warm drink and a decent toilet before the race!

Voted as one of the top 5 most scenic half marathons in the UK by Runners World, I must admit this is one of my favourite races. But then I’m always happy at the seaside! There are fantastic views over the coastline, the Deganwy estuary, Anglesey and Snowdonia. The race starts and finishes on the Old Quay just below Conwy Castle. This year they altered the course keeping us off the flatter coastal footpath because of too much sand. Instead the route followed the road from Deganwy into Llandudno. This isn’t so flat but it’s not too hilly either!

From Llandudno the route heads past the pier up towards the Great Orme. There were a lot of spectators near the pier. One of the Warrington RC runners amused me as he turned to the crowd and said ‘its very quiet round here’! Which certainly provoked a lot of very loud cheering.

Then the hard bit starts, the climb round and up the Orme. The gradient does easy off a bit before the final slightly steeper bit before you reach the highest point after the Rest & Be Thankful Café. It’s always worth taking a look at the scenery, not just the tarmac in front of you.

Rounding the Orme views of Snowdonia open up as you start the steep descent back to Llandudno. At this point I’m joined by Val from Chester Tri Club, who lives close to me in Chester. It made the last part of the race more interesting as we pushed towards the finish. That was fourth race this year that’s happened on!

It would be good to have this race as a club counter next year!

Results

1st Russell Bentley Eryri Harriers 1hr 09m.

Paul Roberts Helsby 1hr 41m.

Geoff Collins Helsby 1hr 50m.

Geoff Collins”

Parkrun

Despite all the racing going on Helsby still managed field 12 athletes across five different Parkruns, and with some cracking results!  Well done to everyone but just a special mention for Colin Thompson and Phil Tomlinson placed 2nd and 4th respectively at Warrington. Consolidated results can be viewed HERE.

****

Well I think that’s all for this week folks. Hope I’ve not missed anything. Keep on running!

Jim

helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Helsby RC News from 17th to 23rd October 2016.

Hi everyone. Helsby RC  have been busy over the weekend with a great turn out at two local fixtures. If there’s any more that I’ve missed, please let me know and I’ll update the blog.

NW Sunday XC League – Race 1 at Clarke Gardens

Thanks to Chris Fitzpatrick for sending in the first of the race reports regarding the X-Country event on Sunday:

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“It was the first race of the cross country season on Sunday, and a whopping 27 of us turned out in what was a great morning in Liverpool to run a cross country, blue skies and lots of sun, not too cold, perfect racing conditions. It’s a good course as well for your first XC, it was great to see loads of new faces. It’s a pretty flat course with a few hills and a bit of mud thrown in to test you, and also a few bottle necks so you can catch your breath. Lots of good performance on the day, especially from Colin Bishop who is on the comeback trail from injury, finishing 11th, closely followed El Capitano, and first back for the ladies was Jenny Illidge, followed by Flo Jo.

 

The men’s team currently sit 6th out of 22 teams, which is a great start to the season with much more to come, and also a good start from the ladies sitting 8th out of 22 teams, and only 1 point29902754683_9ea5cdeedb_o separating them and local rivals Delamere

Next race is this coming Saturday 29th at Arrow Park in the Saturday league, the next Sunday league race is 13th November at Beacon Park, Skelmersdale, which is a slightly harder course, would be great to see even more at the next one.

Fulls results below

http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/xc/2016/race1_16.pdf

Clwydian Hills Fell Race

14725630_1166317700111763_1819940854038832344_n Also on Sunday, there was another event that has always been popular with Helsby RC. I’m sure it was a difficult choice  to make for many people on Sunday,  X-Country or Fell Race? Anyway, over, to Tim Palmer who sent in this report:
“Whilst nothing like the turn-out at the cross country at Clarke Gardens, five Helsby runners (Neil Finegan, Ben Fletcher, Jim O’Hara, Tim Palmer & Steve Riley) turned out for the Clwydian Hills Fell Race. By all reports the temperature was much lower than last year, the weather was perfect fell running weather – sunny and cool. The new course (revised for last year’s 14670621_10157492451920018_875652605279373390_nrace) is 8 ½ miles with about 2,700ft of climb (at least according my Garmin); it has a number of climbs culminating the ‘gully’ followed by a fast and furious descent from top of Moel Famau back down to Cilcain. Whilst Jim was chasing the leaders, Neil and Ben were having their own battle just a bit further back (finishing within 2 secs of each other). The Helsby results were:
10th Jim O’Hara 1:24:20.5
21st Neil Finegan 1:29:49.8
22nd Ben Fletcher 1:29:51.6
74th Tim Palmer 1:43:09.6
85th Steve Riley 1:46:41.5
Helsby RC were 5th placed in the team prize.

Tim”

There are lots more photos of the above two events, courtesy of Andy Smith, Dave Pinnington, and Phil Tugwell. (follow the  links on their names)

Parkrun

Helsby had no less than 12 athletes participating across 4 different Parkruns on Saturday morning. Helsby’s consolidated club results can be viewed HERE.

Dates For Your Diary

Firstly a reminder from Jackie Keasley:

Keeping Well in the Community

“This coming Saturday, 29th Oct, from 9:30 to 12:30 at Helsby Health Centre there is an event promoting “Keeping Well in the Community”. For the last few years Helsby Running Club have had a stand telling them about our club and more importantly promoting the benefits of running; from both a health and social/mental point of view. It’s always worthwhile attending and time well spent. Betty & I will be there for the full session but if any of you can pop down for say 30 mins or an hour to extol the virtues of running that would be great! How about popping in for a few minutes after your Park Run, sweat & mud acceptable! Please post if you think you can pop down.

Cheers & thanks

Jackie”

Liverpool & District X-Country League

Also this coming Saturday 29/10/16 is the first X-Country fixture in the Liverpool & District League. Hopefully we’ll have another great turn-out. This fixture starts a little later at 2pm and is at Arrowe Park – so you could even pop into the above event at the Health Centre beforehand.

Don’t forget that you can check out all the upcoming fixtures on Tim’s race calendar.

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I think thats it for this week. Please keep any reports or contributions coming in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Thanks,

Jim

Helsby RC News from 19th to 25th September 2016.

Hello everyone. Thanks to those of you who have already sent race reports in.  If anybody has any more updates from the past week then still please send to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com and we can update the blog with them.

Wirral Multi-Terrain Series – 20/09/16

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The third and penultimate race of the Summer Multi-Terrain League took place at Harrison Drive on Tuesday night. I haven’t seen a race report but I can see, from a scanning  of the results and  current standings, that Helsby were well represented on Tuesday. Current team standings  have Helsby Men in 7th place and Helsby Ladies in 21st place.

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More notable though, are the individual results and standings. Colin Thompson finished 5th overall on the night and 1st in his age category! Helen Owens was the first lady finisher for Helsby, closely followed by Debbie Reid who is currently placed 2nd in her age category for the series.  Colin Thompson stays at the top of his age category as we go into the final race next Tuesday and Adam Gordon is presently 3rd in his age category. Overall, some excellent performances by Helsby. Well done everyone and hopefully we will have another great turn-out at Arrowe Park on Tuesday 27th September for the final race of the series.

Macclesfield Half Marathon on 25/09/16img_0843

Helsby leads the pack at Macclesfield.

We had four of the Helsby team take part in the Macclesfield Half Marathon on Saturday. Thanks to Neil Finnegan and Jackie Keasley who have both sent in  race report – see below.  Also below are a few more photos, courtesy of Bryan Dale of Racephotos.org.uk

Over to Neil:

“The Macclesfield half on Sunday was an excellent race – a small scale running event organised by runners for runners and as such it is an event which clubs like ours should be actively supporting. 563 runners took part in the half and over 200 in the 5k event held while we were out on the course.

Starting on the running track, which was possibly the only flat part of the entire route, the course is challenging (950ft climb) but a real pleasure to run. Most of the route was through the outlying “desirable” villages home to various premiership footballers and the tree lined country lanes offered a real feel of autumn with the leaves changing colour, but also offered welcome shelter from the rain which unfortunately hit us that day – ranging from drizzle to torrential downpours. The course is famous for its 2 big climbs – not especially steep hills, more long slow grinds. From a runners perspective that makes it very difficult to pace yourself on the course as the constantly undulating roads hit your rhythm and left your Garmin stats all over the place. So it was a case of plod up the hills and try to take advantage of gravity on the other side.

The support on the course was superb even in the remotest points – the locals seem to have really embraced the race which has been going for 15 years. Knowing that it wasn’t a PB course I went out with the mindset to enjoy the race and scenery – high fiving the kids and thanking the marshalls. It was only when I got to mile 9 and I was told I was 20th that I kicked on for the finish. The long climb from mile 10 to 12 was tough but the encouragement from the locals despite the bad weather was brilliant.

For the finish you were back on the track – a really nice touch as there were lots of spectators and people who had taken part in the 5k race, and full commentary on the finish was provided over the speaker system. A great value for money race and really enjoyable event. Well organised from start to finish and a really good atmosphere.

4 Helsby runners – and special congratulations to Richard Hankins for getting a half marathon PB on a really tough course – 1:32 despite the climbs.

14 Neil Finegan M40 01:23:52
58 Richard Hankins M40 01:32:37
175 David Feakes M50 01:45:14
404 Jackie Keasley F55 02:01:02″

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img_0625      img_0760

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now over to Jackie for her report:

“Just a few words on yesterdays penultimate club road counter.

Despite being a well established club organised Cheshire race I have not done the Macclesfield Half Marathon before. A tough treat was in store!

A well organised race by Macclesfield Harriers, who use it to raise all monies for their 3 nominated charities, local hospice, autism and the Rossendale Trust who house adults with learning and physical disabilities in local apartments and houses, some of whom clapped and cheered us along the way as we ran through the outskirts of town, a really humbling experience . img_0114
It’s described as a challenging and rewarding route through the leafy back roads of East Cheshire. Apart from the laps around the very posh running track at the start it was most definitely undulating. The biggest hill being Hare Hill, a name causing much amusement as I ran up feeling like a tortoise. However Neil. Richard and Dave must have sprinted it like Hares to record the times they did! The finish was back onto the running track, but surprise surprise it’s located in a fairly elevated position at the back of the sports centre, so there was even a sting in the tail at the very end before the 100m sprint to the finish on the bouncy track. Sunshine and showers prevailed; the overnight heavy rain stopped and the sunshine came out just in time for the start, giving cool fresh ideal running conditions, two very short sharp downpours during the race tested us out but then the sun shone for the finish.

Brilliant running race after race by Neil to claim 14th place overall and well done to Richard for getting a PB on such a tough course.”

Windsor Half Marathon – 25/09/2016

Geoff Collins sent in the following race report from the Windsor Half Marathon:

“An invite to a friend’s birthday party gave me the chance to run the Windsor Half Marathon. This year being the 34th race with sunny and warm conditions. I really wanted to do this race because I lived around this area as a child and it thought it would be a bit nostalgic. Mind you, moderation was called for on the alcohol consumption stakes, for a sporting chance to make it to the start line!

The race is set within the 5,000 acre estate of Windsor Great Park in Berkshire. The location is absolutely stunning with fantastic views of an undulating and varied country landscape. It has sweeping deer lawns, small woods, coverts and lots of huge old oak trees. Yes you could actually see the Deer. You also get a good view of the planes taking off from Heathrow 6 miles away! The course is totally car, bike and pedestrian free!

But the course is very undulating. Basically two different loops with a small section repeated. My friends had warned me this isn’t a PB course. Hardly any of it level, you either go up or go down. The race starts and finishes on the Long Walk, the wide tree lined avenue which links Windsor Castle at one end with the dramatic statue (known as the Copper Horse) which is George III on his horse at the top of the hill. The race starts off uphill towards the Copper Horse for the first mile. Then you head along the well maintained wide park road way towards The Royal Lodge, now the official residence of Prince Andrew.

Then you head towards the quaint Royal School, where some members of the Royal Family have been educated. Then back to the Copper Horse repeating part of the first loop, before heading down on a longer loop towards Cumberland Lodge, Smith’s Lawn and the Prince Consort Statue. Smith’s Lawn is where the famous Guards Polo club is. Now Polo is not a game for the faint hearted. Sitting on a galloping horse swinging a mallet with a long handle, trying to hit a small wooden ball without clouting your horses legs or the other players! But today there is no Polo on. Suddenly I’m transported back to my 11 year old self, remembering running with the family dog, over Smiths Lawn!

Then the course drops down to the Valley Gardens and Virginia Water Lake, passing a sign saying no public access. This bit the public cannot normally access. Then a steepish climb away from the water, past one of the farms within the park up to Dukes Lane and Sandpit Gate.

The best bit of the race was the final mile from the Copper Horse back to the finish! All downhill, which made for a super quick fast finish!

I would recommend this race, for the unusual stunning park location, for the views, the best maintained tarmac roads I’ve ever raced on. Good crowd support. Not the flattest of courses with 630 feet of climb, (similar to Conwy half) Not the cheapest entry fees, but I suspect the Crown Estate take a fair chunk of that. Just a medal, water bottle, Mars Bar and a nut bar from Meridian the sponsors at the end.

Results:
4,396 finishers
1st Kojo Kyereme 1hr 07mins Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers
1018th Geoff Collins. 1hr 51mins Helsby RC (6th/out of 50 in age category)

Geoff Collins”

Well done Geoff, and thanks for sending in the report.

Parkrun 24/09/16

We had 8 Helsby members participating across 4 different Parkruns on Saturday. Consolidated club results can be viewed HERE. Colin Bishop finished 2nd place in his first run at Ellesmere Port – well done Colin, and hopefully well be seeing you at number 1 there soon.

King Offa’s Dyke Race

At the time of writing, Gaz O’Conner is still going strong (so it appears on his tracker) on the epic Offa’s Dyke Race. With just 185 miles over  4 days, from Chepstow to Prestatyn, I’m sure Gaz will be checking his cellphone for this bulletin- so best of luck in the final stages Gaz, and I’m  looking  forward to hearing about it in the blog next week.

Dates For Your Diary

Tim Palmer continues to do a great job updating our race calendar which can be viewed here and I’ve put a screenshot of the calendar showing the next few events below:

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Essar Four Villages Half Marathon

Entries for the ESSAR 4 Villages Half Marathon open this Saturday 1st October. As usual, we need as many volunteers as possible to continue making this event successful. So any club members who are entering the race do please try and bring a friend or family member who can help out on the day.

 

 

That’s it for now.

Remember to stay safe and start wearing those high visibility vests as the nights draw in.

Thanks,

Jim

 

Helsby RC News from 15th to 21st August 2016.

Welome to the weekly round-up. First of all a quick reminder that we have the Cilcain Show Mountain Race coming up on the Bank Holiday Monday of 29/08/16. It’s one of our club counters and there will be a whole programme of events at the Cilcain show so why not make it a family day out. At a distance of only 4 miles its a great introduction to fell running. The race starts in Cilcain village center at 1pm and registration is from 11.am to 12.20pm.  You can see full details of the day and also a watch film of last years race by following this LINK

Catherine Dowdall Memorial Fell Race

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Only one report in the mailbox this week. Thanks to Tim Palmer for pulling  this report together:

“Saturday saw 8 Helsby runners (plus Jamie Dowdall (running in his 1st claim Darwen Dashers) and Helen in support) at the Darwen Gala Catherine Dowdall Memorial Race in Darwen, Lancashire . This race is run in memory of Jamie’s late wife. As the British weather had resumed its normal summer service, the race was run in strong winds and showers. Whilst short (4.7 miles), the race has a bit of everything in it: nearly 600ft of climb in the first mile only to lose ½ of it almost immediately, couple of miles over the moor (some on fast single track) with a fast and furious descent in the last mile first off the moor and then within the park.

The Helsby contingent (helped by being more than 10% of the runners) walked away with 5 individual prizes (6 if you count the one that Jamie won) plus both men’s and ladies’ team prizes.
Pos, Name, Time
3 Jim O’Hara 00:36:39 3rd man
15 Tim Palmer 00:42:05 1st M50
19 Jim Jones 00:43:56 2nd M50
22 Phil Gillard 00:45:45 1st M55
34 Suzanne Fletcher 00:50:07 3rd lady
40 Paul Foster 00:53:12
44 Debbie Read 00:54:36
55 Jackie Keasley 01:00:12

Debbie commented on Facebook: “Tough but great fun – great value too £5 and you get a half of real ale, bottle of water, hot dog, banana and apple!” ‘’

Ellesmere Port RC 5k

I haven’t seen a report but their was nearly a whole army of green vests at the Ellesmere Port 5k on the evening of Wednesday 17th August. Colin Thompson and Joanne Lacking were first home for Helsby, in admiral times, in the respective mens and ladies races. Well done everyone who took part. If anyone has completed a race report please forward it to the inbox and Ill update the blog.

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Birchwood 10k

We had one Helsby athlete at the Birchwood 10k on Sunday. Neil Finegan clearly had something left in the tank after his 17:31 5k finish on the Saturday and managed a brilliant 37:14 10k the day after. Well done Neil.

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Parkrun

Green vests were again far and wide this weekend. We had five members at five different Parkruns! Well done guys. Our club consolidated results can be viewed by following this  LINK

Well I think that’s it for this week. Please keep sending any reports into: helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

If you don’t have time to write a report just send in an email with details of the race and maybe a link to the results. It all helps to pull the bog together.

Thanks and keep on running :-),

Jim

Helsby RC News for week ending 24/07/16

Welcome to the weekly round up, starting with a reminder of what’s coming up over the next week:

Wednesday 27th July 2016 – The Green Green Grass of Home – a great little fell race of 5 miles and 1500ft of climb which has been well attended by Helsby in the past – 7.30 pm £4.00 on day only. Allow 15mins to get to start – Venue: Golden Lion Inn, Llangynhafal, near Denbigh (GR 129633).

“Saturday 30th July 2016 – North Wales Half Marathon – Our next club road counter. I did this a few years ago before word got out about what a good race it is. It’s a bit hilly and has ‘a bit’ of off road too! If the weather’s good you’ll get a great view of the castle before you drop back into Conwy for the home run. Hopefully anybody wanting to do it will have already entered as, looking at their website, it may now be full.

Saturday 30th July 2016, 2pm –Push up the Pincyn Another cracking fell race that is also a good family day out. The race is integrated into the annual village show at Clawddnewydd, Denbighshire.  It’s  6.2miles with 1300ft of climb  but quite a good introduction to fell running. Be prepared to climb over the bale of hay on the way out and then again on the home run!

Sunday 31st July 2016 , 10am – Helena Tipping Wrexham 10K 10:00 The Clubhouse, Wrexham Industrial The Clubhouse, Wrexham Industrial Estate, LL13 9RG

Sunday 31st July 2016 – Arenig Fawr Fell Race – One I haven’t done yet but looks a toughie – AM 13km/1000m 8miles/3300ft PM/LK/NS/ER, Details: 1.00 pm £4.00 on day only, Venue: Parking and registration near Arenig quarry (GR SH 830392).

Hopefully we’ll have some reports from the above races for the blog next week. Remember to send any contributions to: helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

News

Mystery 5k

It was great to hear from Tom De Jong again who has submitted a race report from the Mystery 5k on Tuesday last week:

“Tuesday saw the mystery 5k event, Colin Thompson and myself took part in this monthly event and it is a reasonably fast course. There was a really strong field and Colin Thompson ran a superb time getting into the top 10 of a high standard race. I ran myself as I’m trying to get my 5k times down which seems to be working, it’s a great race if anyone is interested doing the next 1. here are the results.

7th Colin Thompson 17.17
80th Tom De Jong 22.25

http://www.liverpoolharriers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Mystery-5K-Race-3-ProvisionalV1.pdf

Holme Moss Fell Race

Holme Moss FR was on Sunday. Still awaiting the results but thanks to Ben Fletcher for sending in the report:

“Me, Jim and Phil decided to tackle the Holme Moss fell race, now there is some confusion over what the distance is of this race, the website says 15.9m but people who have ran it before say 18m, well it was 18m.

The start of the race is at Cartworth Moor Cricket Club which is the 2nd highest in the country. We were blessed with almost ideal running conditions both underfoot and climate wise, I say almost as it was a little humid. The forecast had predicted dark clouds and heavy rain from midday, the worst we got was light rain for all of 5 minutes, which was a welcome relief in the humid air.

The race started and after a short bit on a track we plunged down onto the lower slopes of the moors and bogs.

Holme Moss lays claims to be one of the best climbs on the fell scene. After descending Bareholme Moss and crossing the brook you’re ‘treated’ to a tough scramble up through rocks and bracken before the imposing Laddow Rocks come into view. Whilst standing at the foot of Laddow it looks almost impossible to ascend, especially when rock climbers are spotted roped up onto its rock face, after a short scramble we were up onto the top.

For many the race really starts once Laddow is climbed and the Pennine Way is reached, places and time can really be picked up whilst running up the slabs towards Black Hill.

The final climb up from Riding Wood is only short, but blimey it’s steep. Holding the undergrowth for leverage!!

The Cricket Club was a welcome sight after 18miles of tough running.”

The results should be published at: http://www.holmfirthharriers.com/club-events-a-results

Raes Y Cae 10K Fun Run

Gaz O’Connor won the Raes Y Cae 10K Fun Run over the weekend. Well done Gaz!  He did send in a race report but I censored 25% of it and that only left three words. Still- a valiant effort 😉 well done mate.

Snowdonia Trail Marathon

The marathon with a sting in the tail! Sunday saw the second hosting of this race which is now definitely on my list of favourite races. This year I again clocked well over 28 miles despite it being a prescribed route. Difference being I knew what to expect this year and ran it 28 minutes faster, finishing 75th from 414. Conditions were similar to last year – very wet and slippy but the wind and rain wasn’t quite as persistent. The route starts in Llanberis and takes in Rhydd du, Beddgelert, Nant Gwynant, and Pen y Pass before Snowdon and then taking you on a long fast descent back to Llanberis. The last few miles being the ‘sting’ for those expecting to find the finish at around 26 miles. Its a trail race that does seem to be popular with a lot of runners used to the road and quite a few people seemed to be struggling because of their choice of footwear. I know I’m not as fit as I was when I ran this race last year and therefore reckon my improvement on last year is simply down to shoes that I was comfy in (mudclaws) and 12 more months experience of mountain running.

Parkrun

We had 9 people out at various parkruns on Saturday. Consolidated club results can be viewed by following this link, but congratulations to Colin Thompson who finished first at Widnes in 18:02

Marshalling at The Lakes Skyrunning Event

Chris Baynham-Hughes queried whether this was appropriate for the blog. Well I think it is, so it’s in the blog. Cheers Chris.

“This weekend I was out on duty in my role for SkyRunningUK. This took the form of marking out ~ ¼ of the course (Ambleside up Fairfield, down to Grisdale tarn, up Dollywaggon Pike to Helvellyn then across Swirral edge to Catstycam and down to the dam wall) looking after competitors, registration, carrying a full sized video tripod up St Sundays Crag, marshalling on the top of Pinnacle ridge and finally getting to run out ~1/2 the course chatting to competitors so I can write up some sort of report. For those of you that have ever thought about marshalling at an event like this, I thoroughly recommend it. It was a terrifically rewarding experience to give back to the sport that we love and the competitors appreciation really shines through.

The event organiser had employed a team of 5 camera men including a drone pilot to capture some footage of the race. They have already put out a teaser which can be found at the link below. Let’s just say that the weather was a little different from when Max and Phil had a run at this last year (here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLbzEuO6eWY ) This year’s race: https://www.facebook.com/LakesSkyUltra/videos/1780773285469621/ “

I think that’s all the racing news for this week. Please do keep sending any reports in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com. Even a couple of lines, and maybe a link to the results,  all helps to pull the blog together.

Club Constitution update

Just to finish, you may well have already received an separate email about this – after last Wednesday’s club run, the Club adopted a new constitution (and supported the HCSC bar takings) – see: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/constitution/ for the details.

Happy Running,

Jim