Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 8th to 22nd December 2019

Merry Christmas everyone

It’s a double blog this week as there were nothing in the inbox last week, but doesn’t look like there is anything this week either! So all I have are the 10k time trial results from last month and parkrun results 😦

Firstly though just a quick announcement about the 4 Villages recce this weekend. It will take place on Sunday 29th December at 1pm.

There will be 3 groups:

1.30 to 1.45 – Col T
1.45 to 2.00 – Gaz Boyd
2.00 plus – Ben Crossley

I could do with some volunteers to lead the other two groups, if you could spare a couple of hours on Sunday to help out please let me know. You can contact me at col808@hotmail.com or 07872121898.

10k Time Trial

Please see the results from last months 10k time trial below. It was another victory for one of our newer members Mike Fryer who smashed it in 38.57 and a brilliant run by June Swift saw her first over the line for the ladies. Well done both! A big well done to everyone else who took part, we had a great turn out so long may it continue!

It wouldn’t be possible to put on the TT without the crew, so thank you to all the volunteers who were Louise Spruce (results), Tracy Woods (timing) and Jackie (tail runner).

We are having a break this month for Christmas so the next TT will be on Weds 29th January.



  1. Mike Fryer 38.57
  2. Ben Crossley 40.28
  3. Darren O’Connor 40.34
  4. Ed Halliwell 43.15
  5. June Swift 43.31 (1st lady)
  6. Ian Landucci 47.18
  7. Ben Tumilty 48.20
  8. Ste Wiggins 52.18
  9. Mike Barnard 53.26
  10. Neil Fergusson 55.33
  11. Lauren Cooke 1.01.15


  1. Chris Igoe 38.32
  2. Graham Lloyd 38.38

Northwest Sunday League XC (Arrowe Park)

The results don’t seem to have been uploaded to the website for this yet so I’ll try and include them next week if they are available.


Well done to everyone who has taken part in a parkrun these last two weekends, please see the consolidated Helsby results below:


That’s all this week, remember if you did a race and would like to send a report over for us to include in the blog please email the blogging team at helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Col T


Helsby RC weekly round-up 31st Dec to 6th Jan 2019

Hi all

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to this weeks blog, before we get to the race reports please find a quick message from Betty below regarding the new club house:

“Helsby Community Sports Club News
Exciting news about our new Club Development. Everything is now signed off for both the new club house build & the enabling housing scheme. In anticipation of this the an application for the Jan/Feb TESCO BAGS OF HELP APPEAL has been made for new furniture for the new club of £4K.


We are up against up against Alvanley CC and Kingsley community centre, so hoping for a win with your help!”

Wirral Way Half Marathon

Big thanks to Bish for the following report, it’s been a while since he’s done a half marathon and he had a superb run. Please read on….

“Sunday saw me heading off in the dark to Wirral Country Park to take part in Time2Run event – Wirral Way Half Marathon. Following registration and number collection buses shuttled us off to the start near Hooton station for a staggered start of just over 400 runners I believe.

Apart from a little drizzle early on weather conditions were perfect both temperature wise and under foot. The route saw us take a point to point for approximately 10 miles with a loop to the finish. Well stocked feed stations x3 plenty of company along the way from other runners, dog walkers and cyclists.

I finished 6th overall which was a little disappointing when I crossed the finish line in 4th place😔 however did get first V55 😊

A well organised event and would recommend this one for your diary.”

Church Stretton Fell Race

An excellent report has been sent in by Geoff Collins for this race…

“I decided to kick off my New Year with a £5 to enter race on New Year’s Day. This took me to Church Stretton in Shropshire. I found out about this from friends a couple of years ago. Its organised by the West Midlands Mercia Fell Running Club who wear yellow tops with a leaping stag logo! Fortunately there weren’t any (Stags) to be seen.

So with a favourable weather forecast I arrive in the very quant small town of Church Stretton. It looks like a something from bygone times with little shops, and friendly locals. Church Stretton sits nestling in a valley, with The Long Mynd hills rising to the West. It’s also known as little Switzerland because of the way the houses are slotted into the hillside. Further along the Long Mynd is the famous Midland Gliding Club, who launch their gliders using bungies that is worth seeing too!  

There is always something a bit random and causal about fell races. I arrive to register at the location stated on the website, only to find a closed social club. Hmm this is odd but I go for a wander, and spot a yellow sign near the church – registration this way, yes the race HQ had moved to the scout hut here…      

So with time to spare I go on a reccy. There are no maps of the course buts it’s about 5m, fully marked and marshalled, and no requirement to carry any kit. I meet Dave one of the organisers, originally a Tattenhall runner who now lives here. He kindly showed me the start and finish sections of the course. So it starts in the Vicarage field and climbs steeply up a wet slippery slope before reaching a footpath which winds up the side of the Carding Mill Valley. You head towards the highest point on the Long Mynd, Pole Bank at 1,693, but don’t go up it fortunately.                                    

It’s a mass start for the 5m race, there is a 3m option which includes walkers. The scramble round the trees to the left up that wet slippery grassy slope was tricky, because it was difficult to grip, but once the main path was reached everyone seemed to be in the right place. Having gone up a steep hill, then it’s down into the Carding Mill Valley along a short section of tarmac and back up the other side. In fact the scenery was quite good with the terrain constantly changing as you went along.

None of it was that technical, but nothing was flat, just a bit of tarmac here and there, and about 900 feet of climb in total. The finish was back in the Vicarage field with an annoying loop round three sides.

Afterwards soup and rolls were served in the scout hut. The lucky ones getting seconds too. There were a couple of Buckley runners from our area, Chris and Fenella Higgins, we all agreed running was better than a hangover on New Year’s Day! I expected the prizes to be random produce or maybe a bottle of wine, but no they had a few small trophies!

I finished in 90th place out of 153 runners in 49m 31s, male winner was Clive Morgan U/A 35m 30s, first lady Jules Toone 41m 56s U/A.”


Cheshire XC Champs (Birchwood)

What a fanatastic day last Saturday at the Cheshire Cross Country Championship Races was for Helsby.

Congratulations to Hannah Cowley who won the ladies Cheshire Cross Country Championship and Christina Roach for getting the V60 award. There was also a very nice mention in the Warrington news!





Please find the consolidated results from the Saturday parkruns, well done to everyone who took part.


That’s all this week folks, thank you for all the reports, please keep them coming, the Helsby inbox is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Col T

Helsby RC weekly round-up 1st to 7th Jan 2018

Hi everyone

Happy new year and welcome to this weeks blog, before we get started please see a few words below from Paul Foster regarding the Northern XC Champs:

This year’s Northern cross country championship will be held at Harewood house Leeds on Saturday 27th January. If anybody would like to run in this event please can you email me no later than the 10th January. Runners will be entered and paid by the club, but please check your dates before entering. If runners don’t turn up at this event after entering it is costly for the club. Injuries cannot be helped and you will not receive a public flogging!

Also please give a warm welcome to new member Rob Hough. I’m sure you will all make him feel welcome, he’s already been roped into doing the Borders on Sunday! Fitzy really has no shame 😉

And finally the belated results from the Xmas handicap can be found at the following link:


It opens on the handicap results and the previous sheet has the absolute results.

Smithhills 10k MT

Our top vet Col Bishop had another storming run at a 10k MT race at Smithhills in Bolton on Sunday, well done Bish! He has kindly sent over a few words for this race, please see below:

On a lovely crisp frosty morning with clear blue skies I headed off to Bolton Smithills country park for the monthly run organised by NMAC for a 10k multiterrain race. With a start on the grass half loop of the park before heading out of the park with a good mile or so uphill climb repeated twice. Happy to say I had podium position 1 .

Would love to say one I would recommend this one for any of our club members who are NMAC members but unfortunately it is the last one ever due to lack of interest.

Certainly blew the cobwebs away.

Cheshire XC Champs

The Green Army came out in force for the Cheshire County XC Champs on Saturday, a big well done to all those who ran, some even doubled up with a parkrun first! Over to Captain June with this fab report…

On Saturday an army of green vests were seen racing around Delemere at the Cheshire Cross Country Championships. Fantastic running by everyone who took part. The conditions were very tough….a ‘proper’ cross country course! The support around course was brilliant and certainly helped push us through the gloopy mud! Lots of happy smiley faces albeit with very muddy spikes came through the finish line. Well done all! 

Post race there were lots of nominations for the ‘Lady of the League’ and I am delighted to announce that Janet is this week’s winner for her positive vibes and wonderful smile pre, during and post race! Well done! 

Link to full results can be found here:


Please find the consolidated results from the Saturday parkrun, well done to all who ran one!


That’s all this week folks, as usual please let me know if I have missed anything. All results and reports should be sent to the inbox helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Col T

Helsby RC weekly round-up 23rd to 29th Jan 2017

Hello all

Welcome to this weeks round-up. Thank you for all the reports this week, remember if you do a race and want to fire over a report please send to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Before the news please read a quick message from Fitzy regarding the Borders race at Manley Mere…

We are still looking for volunteers to help out with some marshalling duties on Sunday 5th March for our forthcoming Borders League race, we are especially keen to get 1 or 2 first aiders out on the course if at all possible. Can you let us know if you can help out, please email me fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com.

10k TT

Last Wednesday evening saw 14 runners lining up on the Greenway for the 10k time trial. A big thank you to everyone who braved the cold (the Greenway was like an ice rink!) Nice to see some new faces too.

First back was a tie between myself and Danny Ryder, first lady back was Laura BH with another fantastic run. Phil Tomkinson also broke the 40 minute barrier for the first time which shows how much he has improved and is a testament to his hard training, more to come from Phil this year I’m sure. Well done to everyone else!

Special thanks to our volunteers this week who were Louise (RD), Mario and Joe (results and timing), Tim Palmer (tail runner) and Richard Hankins (Marshall).


1  Danny Ryder  39.08
1  Colin Thompson  39.08
3  Phil Tomkinson  39.51
4  Daz O’Connor  40.46
5  George Highley  40.45
6  Davyd Michell  42.46
7  Laura Baynham-Hughes  44.01 (1st lady)
8  Jay Bradley  45.15
9  Danielle Ryder  46.02
10  Roy Gaskill  46.18
11  Ben Williams  48.33
12  Geoff Collins  51.45
13  Lesley Feakes  54.52
14  Dave Feakes  54.52

Northern XC Champs – Knowsley Safari Park

Report by Chris Fitzpatrick

Seeing i had the privilege to run around the muddiest of courses at Birchwood a few weeks back and got a bit of stick because i said mud a lot, thought i’d send in a quick report about the Northern XC Champs on Saturday, which was 100% the worst mud i have ever seen. Over the 12k course there was honestly not one bit of grass you could run on, and after the first lap i felt awful and had such heavy legs from trudging through “the mud” that i really just wanted to give up and go home. By the time i got to the 3rd lap i had to pause for a minute whilst i was a little bit ill on the side lines. What would have been a really good course to run became a mud bath, it was 12k of wading through and trying your best not to fall over.

Myself, Steve, Degsy and Davyd were the male representatives whilst Jane, Rachel and Lesley did the same course but 2 laps for the ladies 8k race. Knowsley safari park was a great location to race at, just a pity “the mud” for me spoiled it a little, yes i know it was a XC race and you expect mud.

Full results below


Tarren Hendre Fell Race

Report by Jim Jones

Three of us made the 4 hour round trip to Abergynolwyn Village in Gwynedd for the Tarren Hendre fell race. It was well worth the trip though for a tough but well hosted race by Meirionnydd Running Club. Nearly all the 2000ft of climb was in the first 3 of the 6 miles! As we descended from the clouds, the latter 3 miles was either boggy moorland or mud up to the knees as you descended through woodlands – great fun!. This was the first counter in the Welsh Fell Runners Association’s North Wales Series. Jim O’Hara was first back for Helsby in 25th place (he did have difficulty finding his way back to the car though!), followed by Phil Roberts 47th and then me, Jim Jones 75th.

Full results here: http://www.run-meirionnydd.co.uk/results/tarrenhendreresult2017.html#

Marmot Dark Mountains

Report by Chris Baynham-Hughes

Arriving at Dark mountains this year was rather strange. This is one of my favourite events as it is just so tough. The idea is to have a full mountain marathon in one night rather than two days. It’s in winter so the weather has been bonkers every year and that’s what was so strange. It was mild and my default winter waterproof was ditched in favour of an ultra-lightweight affair. What could go wrong?

href=”https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/wp_20170129_09_37_39_pro.jpg”>wp_20170129_09_37_39_proMax and I got off to a good start. Nailed check point 1, max retrieved me from an error (which I still can’t fathom) and back on track to CP2. Then the trouble began. Navigating at night is difficult at the best of times, but when there is a freezing mist around you reducing your visibility to 3-5 metres it’s just insanely hard. We for CP2 we were just 7 metres away from a 2.5m high cairn and we couldn’t see it, we turned and ran the other way. As always our Macro navigation was fine, but our micro just let us down.

It was really cold with sustained periods of hands fully numb to the wrists and feet to the ankles (I was running in a very warm long sleeve base layer, warm Windstopper top, primaloft jumper and waterproof jacket, full windstopper legs, two pairs of gloves… you get the picture.) We had a relatively light blizzard for most of the night, snow covered frozen peat hags and groughs underfoot, long bearing based navigation over a featureless landscape in thick clag. It’s to this end that we picked up the final 4 check points in the light of the next day, finishing in 4th overall… out of 4 finishers (everyone else gave up and the winner of our class is a GB team orienteer).

Fantastic night out, deeply frustrating but strangely rewarding. I love that the running club has introduced me to Max; we never gave up, never got angry with each other, cut from the same cloth. Can’t wait to take on the Dragon’s Back with the big man in May.

WRC 5 mile trail race

A big well done to our top vet Colin Bishop on an excellent victory at the WRC winter 5 mile trail race on Saturday. Quote from Col off Facebook: “Winter WRC trail race. Came first. Really pleased” He’s a man of few words but he lets his running do the talking!

Colin’s time was 29.43 which is a fantastic time for a trail race and he beat all the young whipper snappers too! More to come this year I’m sure Bish!


Phoenix parkrun

Report by Colin Thompson

Phoenix park is a little gem in the heart of Runcorn, built on the site of the old Norton Priory high school it has a skatepark, cafe, climbing boulder, childrens play area and a small reservoir. When I heard a parkrun was starting there I was very keen to try it out as it’s very local to us Runcorn members.

Myself and a few others from the club attended the trial run last week and it quickly became evident that it was going to be one of the more challenging parkruns. 2.5 laps and 3 times up a steep hill to the high point of the park, tight turns and muddy canal tow path, it wasn’t going to be a PB course that’s for sure!

The inaugural race arrived on Saturday and I ventured down, on arrival I was greeted by Jo Lacking, Phil Tomkinson, Mike Williams, Roy Gaskill and Fitzy (marshalling). The weather was awful, the course, as I expected, was quite challenging – hills, slippy mud and tight turns made it a tough and technical little course. It was thoroughly enjoyable though and a lovely little park with nice views and a fantastic team of marshalls. I’ll certainly be back for more and to help out with the marshalling in future.

Big thanks to Grant and his team for getting this up and running and all the marshalls who stood there and cheered us on in horrible wet weather. Myself and Jo Lacking were first male and female runners home making it a Green Army clean sweep! 201 runners in total toed the line which i was made up to see for the first run. Hopefully will see a few more of you there this year to support this event 🙂

Please find a link to the consolidated results from all the parkruns on Saturday. Well done to everyone else who raced!


That’s all this week folks. Please let me know if any results are missing and I’ll update the blog.

Col T

Helsby RC weekly round-up 18th to 24th January 2016


Borders League 2016. Race 4 at Abergele.

Borders League 2016, Race 4 – Abergele.

Welcome to the weekly round-up. The main event this past week was Race 4 of the Borders League with a fantastic turn out of green vests. So straight over to Chris Fitzpatrick, our Borders League Co-ordinator, for a race report:

30 of the green army travelled over to Abergele for the 4th borders league race of the season, and both men’s and women’s teams needed to put in a good performance so they could live to fight another day in the top division. Now unlike the freezing temperatures of the weekend before it was almost tropical down in Abergele although the wind which was right into our faces for the first 2 miles was hindering any PB’s, although because it’s and out and back course a lot of us thought the wind might carry us home, how wrong we were, as it decided to change to a side wind on the way back, you know us roadies don’t like wind and hills! After the first 2 miles you go up a steep hill and into a caravan park, which was proper weird, we did a few laps of a caravan or 2 and then decided to turn around and head home. It was a really strong field as always so competition right through the field was fierce all the way to the finish line with some really brilliant performances and a few PB’s to boot. Great to see Adrian back running as well welcome back mate and good also to see a few new faces running there first borders for Helsby, well done Mark and Adele

El Capitano was first home for the men and Flo Jo first for the ladies. Can I say a massive thank you to all the supporters out on the course as well, few injuries and people feeling under the weather did not stop them coming down and cheering us all on, it’s very much appreciated.”

Thanks for the report Chris, and your rallying of the troops. The results have now been released. Helsby’s current standings in the men’s and women’s 1st Division reflect a great team effort, and we also have a number of people really making a mark in the individual categories. Well done everyone.

Full provisional results are now available at: http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/results/


Despite the phenomenal turn out at the Borders League on Sunday, we had no less than 12 athletes participating in various Parkruns on the Saturday.

Widnes Parkrun was popular with Helsby this week where Colin Bishop finished 2nd overall – well done Colin. And congratulations to Rachael Holden on her new PB at Widnes. Whilst over at Delamere there was also some great running with PBs by Neil Hughes and Ryan Cash.

Helsby’s consolidated Parkrun results can be viewed at:



Four (or five!) of us did the Ashurst Beacon fell race on Saturday – just up from the Beacon Park xc course. Tim Palmer led home the charge (not counting Jamie Dowdall in his Darwen yellow) with Steve Riley, Janet Robertson and Chris Hatton braving the mud on a deceptively tough course. More trail race than out and out fell territory but lots of mud and a grinder of a 2 mile climb out from the valley to finish at the Beacon summit. Nice event.


Upcoming Events/Fixtures:

Wednesday 27th January 2016 Helsby RC 10k Time Trial – meet at Helsby Sports Club at 6.30pm – don’t forget to keep safe and wear your high-visibility vest if you have one.

Saturday 30th January 2016 Northern XC Championships at Witton Park Blackburn. Senior Women’s Race starts at 14:50 and the Senior Mens Race starts at 15:00. Full details can be viewed at:


Please keep the reports coming in to:




Helsby RC Xmas & New Year round-up 2015

Hi everyone

Happy new year to you all and welcome to the Xmas & New Year round-up. A few green vests were out and about racing over the festive period so let’s get started with an excellent report sent in by Ben Fletcher…

Auld Land Syne Fell race

untitled“The Auld Lang Syne fell race is traditionally known as the end of season fell finale and attracts a strong field of runners, most in fancy dress. It is so popular you have to get your entry in quick, all 420 places sold out in 2 days, luckily our cheque arrived in the post on time and we made the start list.

untitled3New Year’s Eve (race day) arrived and we were both full of colds, but we decided to go for it anyway and just enjoy it.

We arrived at Penistone Hill in West Yorkshire and it was a tad bit chilly, we registered and got ready mingling with everything from Stormtroopers to a weightlifter with his extra large Dumbbell!

The legendary Dave Woodhead started us off with a bagpiper playing as we left the quarry and headed into the hills.

untitled4The route was a out and back with a loop taking in Top Withens summit and had a nice slippy bit in the middle where you drop down into a beck where I was having a great battle with Tony the Tiger and Suzanne was battling it out with a Stormtrooper and a Sumo.

Really recommend this race, plus you get the bonus of a bottle of Old Leg Over beer at the end.”


Ben 113th 57.10

Suzanne 329th 72.29 

video of start https://youtu.be/qcmd0b4DRjA

Liverbirds (double marathon)


Ivan and Dave Madders ventured to Liverpool on new years eve to catch the first race of the Liverbirds double, over to Dave for his report….

“Each new years eve ( and new years day if you’re particularly keen ) there is a marathon along Otterspool promenade in Liverpool called the Liverbird marathon double. No frills, £20 entry, paid direct to a choice of 2 charities, supply your own drinks/supplies and you’re away.

Ivan davies and myself entered this year and duly arrived on the promenade with 200 or so other madmen for the 10am start.

The route goes alongside the Mersey from adjacent to the albert dock Travelodge up to the end of the prom at Aigburth and back with this 6.55 mile loop being ran 4 times.

Ivan being a 3 hour marathoner set off like a greyhound leaving me to shuffle along at 8.30 pace. After 2 laps the weather as forecast took a turn for the worst with strong winds and driving rain creating horrendous conditions for marathon running.

Ivan suffering with a pulled groin soldiered on for 3 laps ( in a very solid time of 2.25 ) whilst I shuffled my way to the finish in a time of around 4.24.

38 plucky souls did both days with elite runner Terry Forrest running an unbelievable 2.38/2.45 successive marathons.

Great Craic between runners made this event a worthy effort with great support from other runners plus Its not every race the winner high fives all the other competitors on his way to a 2.38!

Awful conditions but I’ll be back!”

NWSL XC Race #6 (Arrowe Park)


We had a good turn out of green vests for the penultimate cross country race in the Sunday League series and it was fantastic to get a full team out for both the men and ladies despite the appalling weather. The venue was at Arrowe Park (hosted by Pensby) and the course consisted of 2 laps of energy sapping gloopy mud around the park. Thank you to all who turned up and well done to Ben Fletcher who had a stormer to take the first Helsby home honours and top 20 finish  and Joanne Lacking for another fine display of running to take the chequered flag for the ladies. Also big kudos to Tanya Downes for her first foray into XC running on what was a tough course, she seemed to enjoy it and will hopefully be back for more pain! The next and final race is on Sunday 21st February at Birchwood Park – make a note in your diaries.

A big thank you to Joe, Mario, Suzanne Fletcher and Chris Collins for their support around the course, Mario also coordinated the tokens and race positions at the finish. Please find the Helsby results below:

19th Ben Fletcher
21st  Colin Thompson
61st  Phillip Roberts
67th  Derek Morris
96th  Paul Frodsham
108th  Ian Landucci
115th  Tim Palmer
143rd  David Feakes
202nd  Edward Roberts

15th  Joanne Lacking
17th  Jane Ashbrook
32nd  Vanessa Griffiths
68th  Rachael Holden
73rd Lesley Feakes

96th  Tanya Downes

The mens team were 5th on the day and the ladies 4th.

Full results here http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/xc/2015/race5_15.pdf


A few more parkrun results than usual due to some extra events over Christmas. Please find all results below. Congrats to Colin Bishop on a double win at Widnes and well done to everyone else who took part. Helsby results below:



84th Phil GILLARD 00:24:50
94th Geoff COLLINS 00:25:18
101st Louise MCEVELEY 00:25:43
207th Anne BELL 00:30:58

Ellesmere Port

28th Benjamin John WILLIAMS 00:28:22 


1st Colin BISHOP 00:17:42
29th Michael WILLIAMS 00:23:15
47th Chris HATTON 00:25:26



2nd Colin BISHOP 17:41
72nd Rhea THOMAS 26:56


Gloucester North

35th Jackie KEASLEY 00:30:16 


22nd Gareth BOYD 00:20:32
55th David FEAKES 00:23:30
151st Lesley FEAKES 00:28:14
160th David WIGGINS 00:28:35
161st Stephen WIGGINS 00:28:36 


1st Colin BISHOP 00:17:46
15th Joanne LACKING 00:22:03
20th Michael WILLIAMS 00:23:02 


68th Geoff COLLINS 00:23:46

All results can be found here http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721


  • Wed 6 Jan4VHM medal making – we need lots of help to re-packing this years medals – please come along to the HCSC bar after our training run and help out as many hands make light work, chip barms provided.
  • Sat 30 Jan – Northern Cross Country Championships, Blackburn. Another good day out for runners & spectators! Must be 1st claim for Helsby to be eligible, born in Cheshire or have resided for last 9 months. Pre-entry, so if you wish to run please let Paul Foster know before 13th Jan mooeyf@hotmail.com

That’s all this week. If you got this far thank you for reading and please let me know if I have missed any races. Remember, all results and reports should be sent to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com otherwise we could easily miss something if posted on social media.

Keep on running!


Helsby weekly round-up 16th – 22nd November 2015

Hi everyone

Jackie has taken the reins of the blog this week, we also have a few reports too. Thank you for all these, remember all reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Saturday was the 41st Penmaenmawr Fell Race the last in our Fell club counter series,  10 miles and  600m of climbing.  From the small village of Capelulo with its village hall and Fairy Glen Pub and organised by local runner Chris Near.

The drive out there was spectacular marking the start of winter finally, cold, gale force winds but sunshine, blue sky and a considerable snow covering on the Carnedds. The sea along the A55 coast line wild and threatening.

The race was pre-entry with a limit of 250 due to the narrow lanes and limited parking. Just under 200 muffled up runners were on the start line at 10:30 am, the other 50 were probably sensibly still snuggled up at home!

The first incline warmed us up but most still chose to wear their waterproof tops all the way around.  The going was surprisingly pleasant with mainly wide sheep nibbled grassy paths to the first check point at the Penmaenmawr Quarry. Then down into the notoriously boggy area cutting across to high surfaced road above Rowen, where we were greeted by Joe and Mario and the usual loud cheers + a flask of hot coffee (which I didn’t stop for as by then I was running with a local lady who was keeping a steady pace and knew the way). A high level undulating traverse with lovely views down to the Conwy valley but straight into the jaws of the wind, before a final steep descent back into Capelulo.   A bottle of local beer for all finishers. Saddleworth Runners turn up every year to take part in this race and raise funds for charity. This year they had a large boiling urn full of hotdogs which at first seemed to be selling slowly. The tea and homemade biscuits in the village hall doing much better. Plus the pub was serving free soup and rolls and was cosy and warm and packed with thirsty beer drinkers. This race was getting better and better! We were all called out of the pub and back to the village hall by Chris for the lively presentation and suddenly the sale of hot dogs hit the roof – I wonder why!

A course record and lot’s of fast ladies from the Hunters Hill Boggers (HBT) who had travelled down all the way from Edinburgh for a girlie weekend in Wales!!  A good green vests turout and some good running by all!

1  Matt Roberts 1:08:38  Calder Valley who smashed the course record, previously held by Lloyd Taggart
3  Lloyd Taggert 1:15:19
20 Ben Fletcher 1:25:51
23 Briony Curtis  1:26:30 HBT 1st lady
27 Chris Baynham-Hughes 1:37:42
39 Phil Roberts  1:30:38
50 Ian Landucci 1:34:18
59 Steve Riley 1:36:48
72 Tim Palmer 1:39:53
73 Laura Baynham-Hughes 1:39:53
94 Andy Robinson 1:43:12
164 Chris Hatton 2:00:53
167 Jackie Keasley 2:04:11

Photos here






Steve and the winner Loving his matching gloves!

CBH has also sent in an excellent report for this race, please see below:

The overnight cold snap and fierce winds made for a great journey to the race – Snow covered peaks of the Carneddau and some serious 6 foot rollers out on the coast framed what was going to be a spectacular day. In a day that made even the most committed short wearer consider full length tights or pedal pushers for the ladies, there was a slightly more tense atmosphere than usual at the start. The best news of all though was that visibility was clear, so on a course which has so many dramatic vistas we knew we were in for a treat.

The race itself is starts with a tough ascent which then keeps on giving as it heads out to reveal the coast and Anglesey. As we started to level out Drum and Foel Fras came into view in all their splendid snow covered glory. I was not alone in my inadvertent out aloud “Wow” as we levelled out and I got a chance to look up. From the North West corner of the course the race turns south over the bogs which were remarkably kind this year, though energy sapping all the same. Coming back around to the finish there are several miles of undulating trails alongside a fantastic dry stone wall. There was snow cover in places and really gave a fantastic finish to the Felsby series. The view of the Clwydians turns into a the gentle sweeping blades of the offshore windfarm; something I always find relaxing. The descent proved as hairy as ever into the finish. Plenty of battles out there between the Felsby contingent, but none so close as Tim and Laura – Laura showing no mercy on the descent and almost snaking Tim on the line. The results show the same time, but after a photo finish the spoils were given to Tim.

In usual tradition of these reports I must just point out the cost vs reward equation: £6.50 bought every entrant a jaw dropping course, genuine personal challenge and a true sense of freedom; in addition we all got a bottle of real ale, soup and a roll. Pretty damn tough to beat I reckon.

Results wise it was Ben Fletcher put on a master class to be first home for Helsby in 1:21:51 and 20th place overall & 10th in age group. He was followed by CBH (1:27:42 – 27th) and Phil Roberts (1:30:38 – 39th). In the Ladies Laura B-H (1:39:53 – 11th lady in cat) was back first followed by Jackie Keasley (2:04:11 & 9th in Cat).

Pen_finish Pen1
Pos (age) Time Name
20th (10th) 01:25:51 Ben Fletcher
27th (12th) 1.27.42 Chris Baynham-Hughes
39th (16th) 1.30.38 Phillip Roberts
50th (7th) 1.34.18 Ian Landucci
59th (9th) 1.36.48 Steve Riley
72nd (12th) 1.39.53 Tim Palmer
73rd (11th) 1.39.53 Laura Baynham-Hughes
94th (7th) 1.43.12 Andy Robinson
164th (16th) 2.00.53 Chris Hatton
167th (9th) 2.04.11 Jackie Keasley

Full results here: pen results (1)

Then a hop skip and a jump followed via Llandudno for the evening to the final road race counter of the season in Conwy – the popular Conwy Half organised by Run Wales.

untitled5The 9:15 fun run for kids was ran in a deluge and would maybe have put kids off running for life.  However with 15mins to go the rain stopped and the sun started to come out. A number of starters were cold and drenched on the line but at least it cleared up for the start.

Starting under spectacular backdrop of the castle, across the bridge to Deganwy through some major puddles and onto the soggy beach path to West Beach LLandudno, across to East beach and the start ofthe long drag around the great Orme on the narrow road above the cliffs before returning from West Beach the same way.

untitled6Miles 7 to 9 along the Orme road with time to stop for a photo!    An impressive sub 1:30 for Neil and very close for Ian. Well done everyone and especially to David Wiggins on his comeback to halves after a 25 year break and to Chris who has been injured. A PB for Tanya and well done to Jo who though she would not do another half again!

The three of us ran around together and got plenty of come on Helsby cheers, but the best one was come on “3 peas in a pod”, as Shan says “if it had been raining we’d have been mushy peas”!


Gun Time Gun Position Mat Time Mat Position
Neil Finegan 01:28:57 111 01:28:42 114
Ian Rutherford 01:30:46 143 01:30:30 146
Jane Ashbrook 01:38:46 326 01:36:51 301
Jim Jones 01:45:37 557 01:44:56 611
Michael Williams 01:49:09 711 01:44:36 588
Tim Igoe 01:52:08 832 01:48:00 748
Geoff Collins 01:52:51 863 01:52:20 960
David Wiggins 02:09:22 1600 02:05:12 1565
Chris Igoe 02:09:22 1601 02:05:12 1564
Stephen Wiggins 02:09:22 1602 02:05:13 1568
Tanya Downes 02:19:49 1956 02:15:38 1942
Jackie Keasley 02:20:34 1965 02:16:23 1958
Jo Farwell 02:20:34 1966 02:16:23 1959


untitled4 untitled3

Start – note the two father and son combinations! Still smiling at the finish!

XC Sunday League Race #3 (Beacon Park)

Not got any reports from Sundays XC but the quote of the day has to be from Sue Buck “Very muddy!!In fact at the butties afterwards, the organiser apologised for the 10 yards of the race that had no mud”
Helsby results below:
18th Colin Bishop
36th Ben Fletcher
64th Gareth Boyd
96th Chris Murray
116th Darren O’Connor
129th Ian Hamling
151st David Feakes

20th Joanne Lacking
28th Vanessa Griffiths
41st Janet Robertson
45th Rachel Arnold
62nd Suzanne Fletcher
67th Lesley Feakes

The men were 6th on the day and the ladies 7th. The next race is at Town Park, Runcorn. As it’s local let’s try and get a good turn out for this!

Full results here http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/xc/2015/race3_15.pdf

Tim Palmer has sent in the following report for the Arnside Knott Fell Race, over to Tim….

As my part of the multitude of Helsby runners running two races in the weekend, Jenny and I were the Green Army representatives at the Arnside Knott Fell Race (BS). This is a lovely little fell race up Arnside Knott which overlooks the Kent estuary and Morecambe Way. It has a fairly unusual feature of a fell race; in that you go down almost to sea level (the wet-side of a seawall) twice in the race. The views were stunning across the estuary into the Lakes, the cakes were excellent (as usual), the weather was excellent,…what more can you want…?
Results awaited…
Worth saying that the prize for the best ‘double’ of the weekend must go to Jackie with Penmaenmawr Fell Race followed by Conwy Half Marathon (I make that 23.5 miles with 2,500 ft of climbing). Also, Ben did the double of Pen fell race followed by XC.

Forthcoming Xmas Events

There’s is a lot coming up over Xmas and into the New Year and I’ll send an email summarising it all soon. In the meantime advance plugs for:

Our next talk – Wed 2nd Dec – Tim Palmer on Orienteering – Chip Supper – Please see separate email from Lesley

HCSC’s Christmas Party on Saturday 5th December. Message from the club exec. Please note that this is TICKET ONLY and furthermore that numbers need to be confirmed with the outside caterer, no later than Tuesday 1st December.  Can I once again ask all sections to promote this to your members, via email, text and whatever Social Media groups that you utilise (poster attached for you to circulate and display in your own areas).  I’ll contact everyone again on Monday-week for final numbers so each sporting section please try to drum up some support please and confirm numbers?  Coming together socially to support the club on the 5th is surely a step in the right direction and avoid the threat of the club closing?

If folks can go please let me know, I know its between the clubs night out in Chester and a Border League race but if you can support it please let me know. jackiekeasley@btinternet.com Unfortunately I’m away on hols so can’t make it, if anyone can offer to co-ordinate tickets I would be very grateful.

The Sandstone Trail Challenge will open for entries on 1 December.  If you want to run 33 miles on Saturday 7 May 2016 then this is the event for you!  This year all the places for runners had gone by the end of December, so you need to get your entry in asap.

Any finally, in the running clubs attempt at using the club more we have decided to open up our Xmas Handicap on Wed 23rd Dec to all sections and hope to fill the lounge. Chris Igoe has kindly volunteered to follow it all up with a Xmas disco.  It’s the night before Xmas eve so hopefully you can make it.



Helsby weekly round-up 2nd to 8th November 2015

Hi everyone

Welcome to this weeks round-up. Thank you to everyone who sent a report in this week, as always it’s very much appreciated so please keep them coming. The email address is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Now on to the news. We had a borders and XC clash this weekend so it was great to see a full brace of mens and ladies teams at both races. Thanks once again to Chris Fitz and Vanessa for rallying the troops for the borders. We also had two of our runners competing in a new ultra in the racing calendar, the Warrington Way 40m. More info on those races below but first up we had the the intrepid Ben Williams partaking in the epic LDWA Kilburn Kanter on Saturday. Over to Ben for his report:

Just a quick report from the LDWA Kilburn Kanter event in North Yorkshire. 24 miles, 3850 foot of climb.

I woke on Saturday morning to the rain beating on the windows. As I drove from York to Kilburn (home of the famous White Horse) the rain got worse. The organisers had to abandon the plan to park on a field because we would never have got on, or off again afterwards. Tea and toast at the start, and then we were off. I had wanted to beat last year’s time of 5.48, but had to abandon any plans to run to a time as soon as we started – grassy paths were ankle deep in mud, stony paths had become streams and the roads were rivers. Last year was dry underfoot,  this year it felt like two steps forward and one slide backwards. At one point an uphill footpath was only passable by using the adjacent fence to pull myself up, my feet sliding along behind. As soon as we gained height the mist closed in, making navigation occasionally a challenge. The rain continued to come down as I passed through several cute villages, plenty of farms and the odd moor, until it suddenly cleared as I climbed up Sutton Bank to the last checkpoint. The last three miles was a warm and sunny delight, apart from the squelch of wet clothes and trainers. The food at the finish was as welcome as ever.

Numbers seemed a bit down this year, despite the event being sold out – LDWA events are ridiculously cheap, but I guess the downside of that is that entrants can easily decide not to bother if the weather’s bad.

Oh, and my time? 5.21. Smashed it.
No idea how.

Ed: great stuff Ben, you just keep getting better. Hard training is paying off this year!

Warrington Way 40m Ultra

safe_image2Also on Saturday was the inaugural Warrington Way 40m ultra excellently organised by Lymm Runners.  Helsby were represented by Jim and Jackie.
Over to Jackie …  As is usual with ultra events, a few months back it seemed a good idea to enter this race. As I’ve now completed 3 ultras this year each being just over 30 miles with hills, was a 40 flatish miles possible?  Also having lived in Warrington in the past it seemed a fitting  idea to run around it!  Bill and my friend Jennie who lives Lymm were recruited for support and B&B the night before and to supply the usual hot drinks and extra carbos along the way.
safe_image4The circular route certainly took in the ”sites” of Warrington; parts of the Trans Pennine Way, enough cow and crop fields for life, brown field sites, canal paths, cow slurry farm tracks, the humming of traffic alongside and across motorways and A roads plus even a power station (Fidders Ferry). Taking in Warburton, Birchwood, Croft, Burtonwood, Widnes, Sankey Valley, Moore, Walton, Hatton to name a few places en-route.
A 7am start in the dark and pouring rain with water running inches deep down the cobbles followed by a murky splash down the trans-pennine route started us off. It gradually lightened up by about 9 am, but the rain and heavy showers continued all morning before amazingly the sun came out early afternoon before the odd shower later on.
There were well organised check points after each 10 miles, with lots of support, drinks, jelly beans and other childhood favourite sweets and biscuits.safe_image    Support along the way from Warrington folks and runners was really good and encouraging. The solo entries were limited to about 100 but there were also 20 relay teams (4 legs of 10 miles) so it wasn’t too lonesome out on the course!. 4 waterproof maps with instructions were issued at the event, so you really had to navigate around, although green and white tape has been put at intervals along the route (but as usual there were many gaps so could not be relied on!).   I reccied the last 12 miles from Moore the week before in case I was too tired to read the instructions and map plus I though I could well be doing this section in the dark.
20151107_152324Surprise surprise, I managed to keep a steady pace up and keep running most of the way, apart from the really glooopy sticky parts!  In one way doing a flat race was more difficult, physically and certainly mentally, as there were less breaks and variations in stride, plus the mountainous views to take your mind off the running were certainly missing!   The continuous flat really does take it out of your legs, the loading on the hips and knees is much less than the fells but the intensity on your leg muscles is intense, so several days later I still have a swaggering walk!
Charlie Sharpe finished 1st in a staggering 4:51, 1st lady also from Spectrum Striders was Shirley Anderson in 6:23, Jim came in an excellent 36th in 7:47 and I game in mid afternoon (i.e. in daylight) in 45th in 8:19, so more than half way up the field which I was delighted about!
Full results and photos and a link to Charlies blog on http://lymmrunners.org.uk/warrington-way/
Arley 10k

Tanya has sent in a great report for the Arley Hall 10k. Having done this one myself last year it’s a great course for having a stab at a PB and it looks like a fantastic run was had by all. Read on for Tanyas view on the race…

Four Helsby runners braved the elements on Saturday to participate in the Arley 10k. Wellingtons optional and a warning email the night before about the state of the registration and toilet area forewarned us it was going to be a wet one.

On the whole it was a warm but blustery race on the familiar, slight undulating roads around Arley. Always an enjoyable but hard race as everyone put everything they could muster into their run. A few pitstops for some added unintentional minutes to the final timings, but couldn’t be helped. An amazing run from Jo Lacking saw her finish 9th female. As always a very well organised race with fantastic marshals.

All did the green army proud.

JO LACKING 00:41.27 PB 2nd in age category
CAROL SHAW 00:44.26 2nd in age category
TANYA DOWNES 00:55.16 course PB

Borders League (Race #2 Birkenhead Park)

FB_IMG_1447232452959It was excellent to see a full team out for both the mens and ladies team for the borders league on Sunday, especially since we had a clash with an XC on the same day and a few injuries within the squad. Although both teams finished bottom of division 1 the important thing is to get a full team out as we are not too far behind at the moment so we can always claw back some points over the season. Fitzy lead the charge for the men storming around to finish first for the Helsby men and Jo Lacking is showing some superb form to take the chequered flag for the ladies. We also had a couple of category podiums which can be seen in the results below. Well done everyone! Lets hope we can keep getting a big turn out at each race as we have a great strength in numbers in our club which will pay off later in the season, I’m sure Fitzy and Vanessa will be rallying the troops soon for the next one. Also thank you to Joe and Mario for their support on the day, it really gives our runners a spring in their step when they hear Joe shouting his words of encouragement!

Helsby results below

35th Chris FITZPATRICK 32:57
50th Adam GORDON 33:34
57th Neil FINEGAN 33:47
84th Jim O’HARA 35:04
103rd Jim HIGGINS 35:51
119th Ian LANDUCCI 36:31
124th Ian RUTHERFORD 36:40
131st Ian HAMLING 36:54
132nd Joanne LACKING 36:57
151st Chris MURRAY 37:32
178th Neil HUGHES 39:10
180th John ROSSITER 39:17
187th Dave MADDERS 39:33
208th Roy GASKILL 40:20
212th Geoff READ 40:29
218th Stephen ROACH 40:37
229th Helen OWENS 41:05
239th Carol SHAW 41:24
240th Michael WILLIAMS 41:25
268th Geoff COLLINS 43:01
275th Geoff SHAW 43:25
280th Stephen WIGGINS 43:39
282nd Debbie READ 43:43 (2nd in age cat)
295th Jenn NAYLOR 44:46
299th Rachael HOLDEN 45:04
315th Ellie MCCARTHY 46:38
324th David WIGGINS 47:11
338th Gill FITZPATRICK 48:25
343rd Shan MCCARTHY 48:59
354th Nicola CASH 51:25
367th Janet SHAW 54:02 (2nd in age cat)

Full results here http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/results2015-16R2.html
Team results here http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/teamresults2015-16R2.html

XC Sunday League Race #2 (Stadt Moers Park)

We also had a good turn out at the XC Sunday League, the results still haven’t been published for this so I am unable to show the race positions but a big well done to all who took part and as soon as more info is available I will update the blog. In the meantime, keep an eye on this link for the results http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/openingframe.htm

Ed: results now in, please see Helsby results below:


16th Benjamin Fletcher
75th Gareth Boyd
136th Stephen Riley
143rd John Whitehead
179th  Paul Foster
193rd Chris Hatton


5th June Swift
8th Jenny Illidge
18th Laura Baynham-Hughes
30th Janet Robertson
53rd Suzanne Fletcher
59th Lesley Feakes

Great results which put the ladies team into 3rd place on the day and the men were 6th. Don’t forget the next one is on 22nd November at Beacon Park, Skelmersdale.




Please find the results for the Saturday parkruns. Well done to all who took part, some great results!


59th Geoff COLLINS 00:25:25
90th Jenny ILLIDGE 00:27:46


26th Michael WILLIAMS 00:25:27


Social planner Fitzy has asked me to send a reminder out for the Helsby RC Xmas do. Please see his message below:

Friday Dec 4th is the Christmas night out, I know I’ve seen a Helsby Community Sports Club night out advertised on the 5th with a meal and all that, but the official running club parrrrrrrrteeeeeeeee is the 4th, mind you show your support for the one on the 5th as well if you think your hard enough to handle 2 nights on the bounce, don’t go overboard though Borders league race on the 6th 🙂

7.30pm Helter Skelter, I’ll send a few more reminders nearer the time.

That’s all this week. Thanks once again for the reports and keep on running!


Club Captains Reports

Ladies captain report 2014/2015 by Jane Ashbrook

What a year the ladies have had! We have 11 new lady members (49) and are frequently getting bigger and bigger numbers attending training sessions on Monday morning, Monday evening and Wednesday evening. A number of new runners have competed in their first Parkruns, 10k’s, Borders Leagues, cross countries and fells this year. Hopefully with some encouragement and the introduction of the mini fells we’ll see even more ladies braving some races this year…it’s really not as scary as you think!

Massive thanks to Joe and Mario for their overwhelming support and encouragement, to Colin for the introduction of the Wednesday time trials and 20milers to test us out and to our fantastic chair Jackie and the rest of the committee for all their hard work this year!

Individual achievement of the year must go to Jayne Joy who achieved outstanding success on the fells last summer. Building on a great performance at the Inter counties cross countries in May last year she went on the win numerous fell races and earn herself an international vest coming 3rd in the Karimor Home Counties International in June and 7th in the European trials later in the same month. We are so proud of her amazing achievements and after a really tough end to the year including illness and injury we wish her our very best and a speedy recovery in time for some fells before the summer is out…I for one am missing her big smiley hugs at the end of the race!

Cross country: It was always going to be difficult to replicate the winning success of last year particularly with Tracy Entwhistle from Warrington injured and our own JJ out for most of the season. BUT the troops came good and came a brilliant 3rd team overall out of 13 teams and the top three teams were very close in the end. Each year the field gets bigger and stronger so I think we can be really proud of our performance.

Borders League: Thanks go to vice-captain Carol Shaw for co-ordinating teams for these races. Ladies came a respectable 4th in Div 1 with Joanne Lacking placing 3rd in the individual senior ladies and Carol Shaw winning a very closely fought V50 battle…fantastic stuff! Some other great results to mention are Emily Smith and Rhea Thomas were 13th and 16th respectively in the overall standings and Shan McCarthy 8th in the V40 and Vanessa Griffiths 5th in the V45.

Fell relays: In October we joined the mens and mixed teams to compete in the British Fell relays championships. Jayne, Vanessa, Laura, Jenny, Rachel and I battled the wind and rain to secure a very respectable 27th out of 45 female teams.

Other achievements: There have been many other fantastic achievements this year, sorry if I’ve missed any off but here’s a little list of my favourites from early 2015!

Joanne Lacking: VLM 3:18:25…just brilliant!

Donna Geer: HM 2:01:59 (that’s a whole 20min faster than 2014!!)

Shan McCarthy: HM 1:58:58 (10mins quicker than 2014)

Jo Farwell: 10k 51:05 (an impressive PB after a long lay off with injury)

Emma Barnes: 5k 26:52 (over 30secs faster than 2014)

June Swift: 5th Lady in her first Borders League appearance, looking forward to next season!

It has been an absolute pleasure to captain such an amazing group of ladies this year and I am so proud of all of your personal achievements over the season. Thanks for your continued support of my endurance sessions and beginners groups and helping to ensure that Helsby remains a friendly and inclusive club with something for everyone.


Mens captain report 2014/2015 by Colin Thompson


My first year as Captain (or Captain Marvel as Phil R calls me 🙂 and what an honour it has been, I hope I have done a reasonable job since taking over the reins last year. I had some big shoes to fill when Adair stepped down (size 12’s I believe) but I have tried to carry on the good work he did for the club over his 8 year reign – and I seem to have come in just at the right time! Helsby has done fantastically well in all disciplines of racing this year. This success is all down to you guys who turn up to training each week, enter the races and put in maximum effort.

A fantastic year and with more runners and increasing enthusiasm really highlights the current success of Helsby Running Club. Great to see an array of new faces and the energy they have given to the club as well as the fast times that are now being produced. Helsby are definitely on the map and a force to be reckoned with!

Increased numbers at track on Monday nights, with different training plans and similar to last year we have had a consistent winter training session on Monday nights at Castle Park. Thanks to Head Coach Joe and Vice-Captain Mario as always for committing their time, knowledge and support at training and races. They are always on hand to answer any running related questions and their knowledge is invaluable.

Thanks also goes to Jane Ashbrook for offering alternative sessions on a Monday to offer members a variety of training options.


What an amazing year we have had on the road. With some fast new members joining this year they have really injected an energy into the team and as a result the more established members have had to up their game which is really starting to show with some superb PBs on display from everybody.

We’ve had a magnificent 10k time of 34:20 ran by our top vet Colin Bishop (which is still the fastest in the UK this year by far for his age group) which also must be one of the quickest 10k times by a Helsby runner for many years. Further up the field we’ve had an array of sub 20 5k and sub 40 10k times which is the bench mark for most club runners.

More and more members are using parkruns each week as part of their training and rightly so. Look after those 5k and 10k times and the rest will follow. A lot of success here with many Helsby wins, 1-2 finishes and lots of PBs. Keep it up chaps!

Also a very successful spring marathon season with a few of our runners breaking that much sought after sub 3 hour target time. One of the most astonishing things here was the ease CBH went from fell runner to road geek, even resorting to posting Garmin splits on social network sites! Chris Fitzpatrick led the charge with a 2.50 time at Manchester, a big PB for him and 12th fastest time in Cheshire this year. Well done guys.

The men’s team also won the recent Mid-Cheshire 5k event which was a great triumph and shows the strength and depth in talent we have in the club currently. I must add that this race had some of the best clubs in the North West present (Liverpool Harriers, Knowsley Harriers etc.) which makes this achievement even more remarkable!


Great work from Andy Robinson revitalising and continuing with the Sandstone Challenge and seeing it develop each year in an event that gets consistent good praise. Some excellent running from Helsby this year saw a number of new PBs. Well done to all who took part and thank you to all the volunteers who gave up their free time to help the event run smoothly.

Borders League

Great news this year, if you haven’t already heard the Helsby men were 2nd in Division 2 after a closely fought battle with West Cheshire AC all season. A massive well done to all the guys who turned up to the races and fought hard for those valuable points.

This means the men will be promoted to Division 1 which (I have been reliably informed) hasn’t happened for around 15 years, so a huge well done chaps, let’s keep the momentum going into next season where I strongly believe we can compete with the best teams in the top Division.

Well done to Colin Bishop for 1st in his age category this season, he finished well ahead of 2nd place this year.

Thank you to BL Co-ordinator Adrian Jackson for his hard work and rallying the troops for each race. Sadly he’s standing down this year so a role is up for grabs.

Cross Country

Helsby men’s team were once again running as partners with Lymm and Warrington. Some good efforts saw us finish 4th from 14 teams. Great result and I’m sure it’s something we can improve on next season but we need the runners. We also had some participation in the L&D league which was good to see. Well done to Adrian for finishing top of the Helsby XC championships, one of the most improved runners this year I think you will agree.


The fells have always been very popular with Helsby RC and we still get a big turn out at the races. Hopefully this will continue with more runners trying something new out of their comfort zone. Jimmy O’Hara pretty much dominated last season but with Mighty Max now in the mix and Phil Roberts improving rapidly it’s going to be an exciting season. Also with the addition of the “Mini-Series” (new this season) we are hoping for some of the newer runners to try their hand at the hilly stuff.

Last year saw our third inter-club fell championship which overall went down well. The races for the inter-club trophy are suitable for anyone who does the normal summer hill run. Congratulations to Helsby for their second successive series win.

British fell relays was another success in October with some strong running from everyone involved. Helsby men’s team finished a brilliant 83rd from the 187 open teams in the event. Thanks once again to Phil Gillard for his team selection and continued organisation of this event.

Thank you to CBH for organising the Wobbler again which is gaining in popularity each year. This year promises to be even bigger so we need a good turn out and members to offer their help and support. Helsby won the team award again last year, well done to all those who took part.

Tattenhall Tough Team

It’s on again in June. (Teams of three). Helsby always do well at this. Worth thinking about teams now. I know a few teams have entered already so let’s get it sorted.


These September races are popular with the club and are a nice warm up gig for the XC season. Helsby Men’s ‘A’ team were 13th last season which is an improvement on the previous year but hopefully we can improve more on that this year if we get the numbers.

There is also a four race multi-terrain summer series at Shotton, Deeside. Just ask if you want any more info on this although I don’t think this has team results.


We also had a few members embarking on some epic ultra races. The Ring of Fire took place last September and we had 4 Helsby runners (Fitzy, CBH, Ste Wiggins, Phil Roberts) crazy enough to take on the challenge. For those who are unaware of this race, it’s a 135 mile coastal ultra marathon around the perimeter of Anglesey, not for the faint hearted! I believe Ste Wiggins is returning this year for another go, he must be a glutton for punishment!

Other notable races have been Gaz O’Connor embarking on the epic Centurion ultra race (100 miles) and had a fantastic first foray into the ultra long stuff and also new member Chris Murray completing the Continental 12 hour relay solo. Andy Robinson seems to be at an ultra every week too. Well done guys!

Race reports

A lot more people are writing race reports which is great to see. It adds a bit more variety to the blog each week and it’s nice to get a personal perspective from the race. So thank you to all those who contributed this year and hopefully this will continue.

Blog & Media

A big loss last year when Adair stepped down from doing the round-up each week, it left a daunting task for his successor! It was suggested we do a share of the news each week so the onus wasn’t on the one person, therefore Gaz O’Connor, Chris Baynham-Hughes and Helen Owens all came on board which I think you will agree has worked well and gives the news much more variety each week. More use of Mail-Chimp too which gives the news a more professional look. Thank you Chris for suggesting this.

A big thanks to Steve Riley as he does a lot of work behind the scenes with the blog, Helsby website, Twitter and flickr too. Steve also answers many of the clubs emails and is always encouraging everyone, a great asset to the club. Also the Facebook page is getting a lot of use now and is good for information to be quickly posted out to members.

Thanks to Ian Landucci for maintaining details of all runners at our club counters and keeping a points record which is vital for the awards ceremony we can enjoy.

Thank you to CBH for taking the time to co-ordinate the electronic race calendars this season which makes it much easier to load the club counters onto your phone/tablet or computer calendars.


An idea is to have a Sunday training run, maybe 10am each Sunday. The 20 mile time trial went down well not long ago so maybe we could use the Greenway. This could just be an informal run and the beauty is you can turn back at any point along the route depending on how far you would like to run. Something we can discuss.

The 10k TT was introduced last year and has had a steady following since. I am happy to continue with this over the summer, or maybe we could have a break and use it as part of our winter training program? Another one to discuss.

Club records would be good to have on the blog but would take some time to find and collate all the data. Any volunteers?

Any other ideas, thoughts or issues then please let us know and send me an email or please bring comments to the AGM.

That’s all folks, hope you have enjoyed reading. Once again thank you for all your hard work this year and long may it continue! Any questions then please email or ask at the AGM.


Helsby Race News 19-25th Jan 2015

Unusually we start off with a few notices this week:

Race reports
Please keep your race reports coming, we love ’em! Send them here please – no matter how big or small – helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Club Counters
Yes it’s that time of the year where we have decided the club championship races for the year. I will be sending out a separate email to all club members today along with links to the pre-populated race calendar links. If you’ve already got the ones from last year then you won’t need to do a thing as they will be automatically updated. We’ve got some real crackers in the diary and some exciting new developments for 2015 which will hopefully see even more of you toeing the line for the green army.

Fell Running 

Ashurst beacon race
Phil Gillard reports:
Saturday was my first fell race for a good number of weeks, I chose the Ashurst Beacon event from Dalton in Lancashire; those of you familiar with the Beacon Park XC course will know the area; Dalton is a few hundred yards from the park and is home to the beacon after which the park is named.

On the face of it a race of 6 miles with only 290m of climb is a gentle way to break the season in, especially when the route contains Parbold hill and when I think of Parbold I think of cooking and I think of Parboiled – “the food items are cooked until they start to soften, then removed before they are fully cooked”.  How very appropriate I thought – soften me up but not fully cooked. How wrong I was

It’s the kind of race of that lures you in; treats you gently to start with, feeds you nice terrain and indulgent descents down from the start line for 1.5 miles, gives you some nice gradual climbs as you summit Parbold hill, cossets you with wide descending paths allowing you to take advantage and pass some of those glass ankled road runners. It invites you to extend yourself more than you really should, much like a pay day lender………and much like a contract from Wonga the sting is in the tail.

That indulgent 1.5 mile descent is returned with interest as you grind you way back up to the beacon but satisfying once it is all paid off.

So, softened yes, not fully cooked but more well done than I really wanted.Details

Marmot Dark Mountains
Last year I took on the Marmot Dark Mountains (MDM) race and it was easily the best race I did all year. A full mountain marathon squeezed into 1 night, in winter…. What could go wrong? We had every type of weather except sun, I was out for 15.5 hours on the most challenging of events, so when the entries opened I was first on the list. This year my partner had to drop out due to a hernia so I was stuck until Max ‘up for any adventure’ Wainwright stepped up – a quick pre-race photo and the Helsby duo were ready to go!

This year the event was in the Howgills and straight out the gate it was clear that the skills required to do well at these events were a little rusty. Firstly questioned and questioned our path and which of the 4 it was, then once happy and convinced we were on the right path I spotted a quicker line that we’d missed. Still, we were off and the rust blew off quickly. Four things are required to do well in a mountain marathon:

  1. Quick, confident and good decision making about route choice
  2. Commit to that route choice and Nav’ it well to nail the controls
  3. All round mountain fitness
  4. An understanding partnership that focuses on the result (getting to the check point) rather than any mistakes

We managed 1,2 and 4 but 3 was lacking for me. My lack of fitness meant I struggled to get into a running rhythm on the second half of the night. That didn’t stop us having a great night out as we worked well together, but it did mean our result suffered from where it could have been.

The second thing I learned from this was that the event itself was so epic the previous year because the weather made it so extreme. Since I wasn’t fit enough to push it all event, as we slowed the terrain became all too familiar and lacked variety to keep even my childlike enjoyment on the boil – although we did managed some great synchronised falls/ twists on the large patches of sheet ice whilst been blown away by a gale force wind.

In the end we finished in 3rd place in 10:51:05, just over an hour behind the winners (who won the A class last year too). We did a lot of walking in the second half so if my fitness had been in a different place then I’m confident we would have been significantly quicker and would certainly troubled the reigning champions…. Maybe next year!

Click here for the race planner’s write up

Team Helsby arriving at Control 10
Photo by Ian Corless – find his round up and more photos here

Cross Country

Northern XC Champs – Pontefract
3 Helsby runners made it across the Pennines to Pontefract Race course on Saturday afternoon for the Northern Cross Country Championships, together with 2600 other runners competing in races catering for U13 to seniors.  We

parked up in a retail park on the far side of the M62, then cantered through a foot tunnel under the M62 before doing a steady warm up gallop across the whole length of the racecourse to the starting blocks at the top of a hill in font of the race pavilion.

The ladies race started at 1pm and consisted of two laps and the men’s race an hour later covering 3 laps. The excellent course was a mixture of rough grassland and short good quality parkland turf, a fast gradual descent on good quality mud, weaving in  and out of racecourse water features (permanent lakes, brooks and temporary puddles of mud)  with the return being a gradual uphill slope with some rougher grassland areas.

Stockport’s Elle Vernon produced a measured performance to take the senior women’s title with an 11 second winning margin over Leeds City’s Emma Clayton. Rotherham who have a good record at this event took the team title with Liverpool Harriers second and Leeds City matching their men with bronze medals in third.

The finale senior men’s race was a spectacle to watch where everyone was battling it out with Alistair Brownlee. With less than 500m to go Alistair came through just holding Stockport’s Andrew Davies off, but amazingly on the final hill, Andrew got the better of him and pulled away to put a few muddy metres between them on the final straight. Morpeth were first team in followed by Stockport Harriers and Leeds City.


1.     Andrew Davies         Stockport Harriers   37:44
2.     Alistair Brownlee      Bingley Harriers    37:50
483. Gareth Boyd              Helsby RC             54:53
697 in total

1.     Elle Vernon                   Stockport Harriers    28:22
2.     Emma Clayton              Leeds City                 28:33
111. Jane Ashbrook              Helsby RC                36:27
260. Jackie Keasley              Helsby RC                44:19
342 in total

We all finished the day off dancing the night away at the Xmas Party, after having scrubbed off the mud! All in all an excellent day all round!

Wow, thanks Jackie, sounds like it was a fantastic day out. Incredible to think that the finish was so tight and a field so packed it could put Gareth into 483rd place – must have been truly stacked! Sadly the mail was forwarded to the helsby-race-reports@outlook.com address rather than sent and thus the photos didn’t come through – I’m sure we can get them on the blog though!

Park Run

This week it would be wrong to start anywhere other than Widnes on the Park run front. With an overall win for Joanne Lacking and a 1, 2 in the men’s from the Colins with Mr. Bishop taking the win over Mr. Thompson by just 6 seconds. Not only that, Helsby favorite glove wearing member Roy Gaskill chose the occasion to signal a return to racing – the start of many more to come I suspect!

A further 9 green vests were out this week at the Parkrun, do you want to know who they were? Results for all races can be found found here

Upcoming races and reminders


For those interested and old enough , the Northern Vets Cross Country Championships are being held at Victoria Park Warrington on Sunday Mar 1st.
See attached for details or go to the link:-