Hi Everyone, and thanks for the reports and contributions this week. Please keep sending them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frodsham Downhill Run 2017
Before the past week’s racing news we have a few reminders and a brief from Phil Gillard on our upcoming Summer Handicap:
Thursday 6th July 7.30pm – 2nd Fixture of Deestriders Off-Road Grand Prix – £5 on the night (if not already entered the series) at Tata (formerly Corus) Sports and Social Club, Rowleys Drive, Shotton
Sunday 9th July 9.30am – UKFast We Love Manchester 10k is our next Club Road Counter at Etihad Stadium, M11 3FF
Wednesday 12th July 7.30pm – The Druid is our next Club Fell and Mini Fell Counter at the Druid Inn, Llanferres.
“Ladies and gents,
The date for this years summer handicap is Wednesday 19th July. It is open to every club member and if you run on the hill on a Wednesday evening, you are more than qualified to enter.
For those of you who are not familiar with the event, we meet at the club at 18:30 as normal and then jog on mass through the quarry to the car park at the top of the quarry. Handicaps are then given out with the faster runners setting off after the slower runners, so that everybody should cross the finish line at the same time 😊
The route is straight up to the top of the hill, down the other side and then back to the quarry car park via Middle Walk, the joy of this route is that you get to do it twice with the finish being at the end of your second run along Middle Walk. Following everybody finishing, then we all toddle off back to the club for a BBQ organised by Dave and Lesley.
I can now envisage that you are all chomping at the bit to get involved, so this is what you need to do:
- If you want to run, send me your latest 5k or 10k time by 14th July –
- If you want to marshal / help out, please let me know and I will assign you a position / job
- If you want to come to the BBQ, please let Lesley and Dave know via email
If you have any questions, please let me know
Robbie Webster’s Wobbler – 28/06/2017
Thanks to Chris Baynham-Hughes for taking the lead on yet another successful Wobbler and sending in the following report:
“Despite the miserable conditions 100 wobblers turned out last Wednesday to take on the now infamous Robbie Webster’s Wobbler. Prior to the event I’d had a message from Robbie’s daughter saying how Robbie would be so proud of the race – made it a really special year to hear such kind words. Robbie’s nephew and his son also ran which was a fantastic honour to have them there.
The race doesn’t happen without the fantastic club support and marshals – thank you so much to all of you that came out to help and make the event so special… especially in that weather! Huge thank you to all the cake bakers too.. I’m not 100% sure on the end amount raised there, but I’m waiting to hear from Robbie’s daughter as to whether they have a chosen charity for the money to go to. We had fewer people back this year, no doubt as people wanted to get dry and warm!
The race itself was not without mishap and controversy this year. Despite the directions of “keep to the main path and go straight until you reach a marshall or clear signs” was mis-interpretted by a penny lane runner leading the race on the first ascent which resulted in him taking a 270 degree turn off the path. Our very own Steve Riley found himself as the “one time race leader” as a result! Thankfully there were no more mishaps and the end result was a fair one.
The results are up on the blog – 2017 RWW page. No team trophies for us this year… we need a full house next year!
Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, Loweswater – 1st & 2nd July 2017
We had a few Helsby ladies taking on the mountains over the weekend. Thanks to Janet Robertson for sending in this report:
“Three teams comprising of Rachel Arnold & Janet Robertson, Christine Roach & Danielle Ryder (Carrock Fell Course) and Sue Buck & friend (Wansfell Course) travelled to the Lake District to take part in the Saunders Mountain Marathon. This two day event involves navigating around the Lake District carrying camping kit, fuel, stove and food. It was very hilly. And very steep. And very long. Rachel once again demonstrated her superb skills as a navigator. Virtually none of the first day involved paths and we were treated to varied and ‘interesting’ terrain, including some entertaining river crossings. Conditions at the overnight camp were extremely wet, but despite the persistent rain, tents were pitched and we settled down to a delicious meal of beanfeast and noodles. After a surprisingly restful night sharing Rachel’s bed of wafer thin bubble wrap (having had some technical issues with my balloon bed) the four of us were off again, finishing the two days of the Carrock Fell course in a total of just over 12 hours. Now I will pass over to Sue for her perspective on her first mountain marathon….
This was my first mountain marathon and I decided to walk it , mainly because I wanted to practice some navigation skills and I didn’t want the pressure of running as well, so I asked my friend Lorna to partner me. Lorna isn’t a runner, but is ex-military so she can navigate.
We did Wansfell – the shortest of the classes. Still quite tough though in my opinion!
Weather was glorious until about mid-afternoon.
We didn’t get lost, we found all the controls and the routes we’d picked.
I did navigate for at least half of it and helped with some of the rest 🙂
Cup-a-soup is just so good when you are wet and cold.
Weather turned just at the moment when the ground underneath got technical with a particularly nasty, steep and technical descent off Gale Fell. Best option was to slide down on your backside and try to avoid the rocks!!
Wearing walking boots and not fells shoes, particularly on a steep muddy, bracken path where studs would have just been great and where the water went over the top of my boots so I was walking in a puddle for about an hour.
Adventure food – who puts peas in spaghetti bolognese??
Not having dry socks – no idea why, but at least I had some plastic bags! It was irrelevant the next day as almost immediately my feet were wet as we had to ford a stream!
No camera – will try to remember that for next time!
Weather was mostly dry all day and therefore we had views 🙂
Finding control 6 a lot more quickly than we thought – Lorna was convinced that it was going to be difficult, but it wasn’t in the end down to her navigation skills.
Finishing it without missing any controls!
The food at the end!
I didn’t do much navigating and left it to Lorna.
Tiredness caused us to make at least 3 mistakes that probably cost us about 45 minutes.
We took forever to find control 4 – we both thought we were somewhere other than we were on the map, albeit on the same fence line, but luckily we found it eventually. Jackie’s words of wisdom about ‘knowing exactly where you are on the map at all times’ were ringing in my ears!
The last steep ascent through a muddy forest!
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I would like to do another one with the intention of running some of it
End of Day 1
Rachel’s delicious cooking yum! And so well presented …”
Chevy Chase Fell Race 01/07/2017
Geoff Collins sent in the following report about the Chevy Chase Fell Race – Thanks Geoff:
“Misadventure in the Cheviots – Race Report Chevy Chase Fell Race – Sat 1 July.
I almost didn’t write this report, nows a good time to take the dog out if you’re expecting another worthy tale of an epic PB. There isn’t one. But then I thought no it’s worth telling this story. Sometimes things don’t go to plan but it’s still worth having a go.
This year was the 61st Chevy Chase fell race. The Chevy Chase is a 20 mile race through some of the finest scenery in Northumberland giving runners the opportunity to ‘channel their energies into a rewarding and demanding personal challenge’ say the organisers. Finest scenery maybe, I would say more like 20 miles of hell in a peat bog! The route takes you deep into the heart of the land of the ‘far horizon’ which is code for you’re never going to get there!
You summit both Cheviot 2,676 feet and Hedgehope 2,348 feet. Total climb is 4,000 feet. Its organised by Wooler Running Club who take over the youth hostel as the race HQ.
I’m the first to admit I’m a road runner really not a fell runner. But I have always wanted to have another go at this having done it once 20 years ago.
The route is entirely unmarked you chose you own path and there are 7 check points. The weather up to two days before the race was very warm and dry, but 48 hours of rain soon changed all that. At least on the day it was dry and sunny with perfect visibility.
Armed with all the clutter you must carry for a fell race, I felt like I was embarking on some major expedition to a faraway land. Starting on the road to Wooler Common 227 runners set off immediately its uphill from the off. Soon you are on the fell which was indeed very wet and muddy.
I followed the runners towards the first checkpoint at Broadstruther so far so good. Then towards Cheviot Knee next check point. The climb is unrelenting towards Cheviot checkpoint 3, which seems to take forever to get to. All the runners are well, not running now everyone is walking. There is a fair headwind but the views are spectacular. I reach the summit in 1hr 51m. I’ve no idea if that’s good or bad but I’m there. So far so good no need to look at the map or the other clutter of paper I’ve got. Famous last words.
Now over the summit comes the first bit of descent. I follow the other runners over a stile and towards the edge of the summit. The view down into the heather covered valley was astonishing. Astonishingly steep that is. People hesitated at the edge there were cries of despair. Some were jumping down and falling over. A guy shouted ‘this is how you do it’ and promptly launched himself off like he was on a slide on his backside. Everyone followed, there was a mass of bouncing rolling and falling bodies’ down the hill, accompanied by screaming and howls from people in pain. So this is fell running eh? Eventually you try and regain your footing I kept falling over. The heather is soft I started not to care if I fell over anymore, I ‘got bits of vegetation inside my shorts. Bottom of the valley is Harthope Burn a watercourse in I go and scramble up the other side on all fours. A female runner tries to overtake me and loses her grip and careers back into me, so fell running is a contact sport then? We apologise smile and carry on. But then the climb starts for Hedgehope it’s a case of trying to find firm ground there isn’t any. It’s very wet on the ground I don’t care anymore. I reach Hedgehope after 2hr 54m. At this point I remember there are cut off times on check points. To my alarm I realise I’m only 16m ahead of the cut off at Hedgehope. That’s a bit tight really not much room for error.
Now the next two decisions I make would alter the whole outcome of my day. I need a toilet stop. Still runners in front so I wait until they are out of sight over a small hillock. Then I continue where are the runners in front now? Nowhere to be seen. Time to get the map out. Where’s the checkpoint? It’s not marked on the map, the point I’m at is just off the map copy. I fumble for the bit of paper with checkpoints on. Where exactly am I, the clocks ticking, must make a decision, quickly, cut off times. Harder to think when you’re getting tired. Head left its going down I speed up. A walker is coming towards me, ‘that’s an interesting route your taking he says’. Is he joking? Which way is Langlee Craggs I gasp? Up there he points back to where I’d come from. Then the awful realisation struck me I must be at least 400 feet lower and gone the wrong way. 10 minutes to go I retrace my steps it’s really hard work. I’m never to going to make it. So after a few expletives I contemplate what to do, retire? Carry on? Try to regain the route missing the check point out entirely? But of course I knew what the penalty would be. I turned my watch off.
I regain the route towards Brands Corner checkpoint, I pass it they don’t notice me. Then I head along a path close to another watercourse think it’s called Hell Path. It’s very rough and eroded and lots of overhanging vegetation, slip here and you’re in the fast flowing river nice. At this point I teamed up with a lady runner from Elvet Striders (from Durham) who looked like she needed a bit of encouragement. We ran together for the last 4.5 miles to the finish. This was probably the best part of the race for me. Partly because it was the end, and my companion was quite engaging and seemed to appreciate my sense of humour. We had a bit of a laugh. Jokingly I said I’ll chase you to the finish then, amazingly we both had enough energy to do that.
Interestingly there were 29 non finishers, who retired or missed checkpoints seemed a lot, out of 227 starters I though. Still I got the t-shirt and the cakes at the end.”
Frodsham Downhill Run 02/07/2017
A massive congratulations to Elliot Michell for completing the Frodsham Downhill Run, and well done to Dad Davyd for sending in this report:
“On Sunday I did my best run of the year, this wasn’t because it was the furthest or fastest, it was because it was my eldest sons first race. Elliott is 4 1/2 and has been asking to do the downhill run for at least 6 months, so much so that he’s been practicing on every bit of downhill pavement between home and school. So the big day came on Sunday and we duly arrived at Forest Hills for registration and picked up our numbers. It was great to see some familiar Green Army faces and have a chat even if pre race nerves seemed to have kicked in for Elliott. The race starts at the memorial on the top of Frodsham hill and at 12:30 we were off, we set off at a good pace but were being overtaken my loads of children sprinting past. Not panicking we kept moving well and we soon started to overtake people who had set of way too fast, Elliott was running really well and you could see the determination on his face to catch and overtake people. By the time we got to Howey Lane and a mile had gone past he was starting to get tired, but his determination kept him going, we entered castle park and again it was great to see the Green army marshals cheering everyone on. We rounded the corner and spotted the finish line and my wife Kate cheering and he put on a sprint finish and crossed the line ahead of me in a cracking time of 12:30. He looked shattered but the smile on his face was priceless, I was so proud of him to run the whole way without a break and was amazed at the the amount of competitiveness in him already.
Big thanks to everyone from the club who said well done and chatted to him, despite his shyness I know he was very happy.
Saturday saw 9 Helsby members participating across 5 different parkruns. The most notable results coming Phoenix parkrun where Colin Thompson and Ian Rutherford finished in 1st and 3rd places respectively. Well done Guys! Our Club’s consolidated results are available HERE
Turning Up Competition (TUC Cup)
Finally for this week, just a brief heads-up on a competition we are going to trial from 1st August to 31st December 2017 where you will be awarded points when you race for the club. I’ll be sending out an email in the next couple of weeks to let you know about it but here’s a summary.
The aim is simply to accrue as many points as possible which will be awarded as follows:
- 1 point awarded for any UKAA, FRA or WFRA recognised race.
- 1 point awarded for other ‘notable’ races
- 1 point awarded to members organising or marshalling at a Helsby RC event, and therefore unable to race.
- 1 point awarded for turning up and supporting Helsby RC at a race – even if you are not running yourself!
- 1 point for achieving a PB at a parkrun.
All you have to do to get credited points is make sure that we know you have ran (wearing a Helsby vest) or supported at a race. You can make sure we know by emailing email@example.com
Race reports will be very welcome but not obligatory for you to be credited points – we just need to know about the race you have completed or supported. Parkruns are not included but we will award a point for anyone getting a PB at a parkrun, if you let us know about the PB.
That’s it for this week. Thanks again for the reports that have been sent in.