Helsby weekly round-up 6th-12th July 2015

Hi everyone

A very busy week of racing for the Green Army and lots to report. Thank you to everyone who has contributed with race reports and results, it is much appreciated. Remember all reports can be sent to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Before the news there are just a few reminders about some races and events on the horizon.

  • Druid fell race today (Wed). Lovely and friendly fell race, hilly but not technical – 5m and 1200′. Starts Druid inn on the Mold-Ruthin road after loggerheads.  7:30 start. So club meet 6:15 anyone that wants to lift share.
  • A reminder that our club presentation evening is this Friday 17th July. The plan is to start with a BBQ (fingers crossed for the weather), followed by the presentations, then end the evening dancing to the fabulous Chris Igoe disco with sounds of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s …… to the present day! The proceedings will start 7.30 ish (families are very welcome). The club will provide meat and veggie options but donations of salads/puddings are welcome please. Please can you let Lesley know if you will be attending and whether you can provide pudding/salad by Wed 15th July. davidfeakes1234@btinternet.com
  • Sunday 19th July 1pm Kentmere Horseshoe (fell club counter).

Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon

A missed report from last week, apologies Ed. Please find his fantastic report for the SLMM below:

“After having put my name down for the SLMM a couple of times in the past, only to later pull out through injury both times, 2015 was the year I actually made it to the start line. My son James is now a keen runner and so we went for the Bedafell class, which is for 14-18 year olds plus their parents. There was a bit of added spice as one of our friends and his daughter were also running, and he’s got a few MMs under his belt.

After travelling there in the morning, our Saturday run started at 9:17, four minutes behind our friends. With me being a Scout leader and James an Explorer Scout, we managed to overturn that four minute deficit by the time we’d finished map plotting at the start, so we headed off up the hill together and found the first control without too many problems. Shortly after that however we hit the clag, and I had a poor couple of controls navigation-wise as I can’t really judge distance up in the hills. Our friends were long gone by then, but the rest of the day went broadly better, apart from struggling to find the second-last control as I’d marked the obvious re-entrant on my map when it turned out to be another one. After wondering around in the mist for a while it was good to get a decent amount of running in.

James led the charge down the hill to the overnight camp, as his young knees are much better than my crocked ones. Of course our friends had their tent up and were relaxing by the time we made it down, having lost 32 minutes 26 seconds overall. Still, we were still doing OK overall in the top third, so were pretty pleased with our first attempt.

We were blessed with a lovely afternoon and evening at camp, with most people wandering round in bare feet. I’m sure in some Mountain Marathons the camp is hard work, but we chose the Saunders in the hope of good weather and got lucky, which makes the camp pretty pleasant (especially with being able to pre-order beer!).

Packing for a MM is clearly a balance between comfort and weight, and suffice to say we had plenty to eat and a good night’s sleep with the option we chose. Our friends started day 2 about 15 minutes before us as they were worried about the weather closing in. Day 2 is a bit of a procession at the start, as a lot of people are going the same way and starting close together, but after a while the route choices kick in and the field is more spread out. The main climb came fairly early in day 2 with the sun beating down on us, which made navigation for me a lot easier, as I was able to take lots of bearings and pick points on the horizon to aim out. James was also running well so it felt like we were having a very good day. Even contouring round the main hill through boggy ground felt good as we were running (and in the right direction!).

After one more big climb it was time for the big run downhill to the finish, about 2.5 miles with a couple of controls on the way. Again James led the way with me grimacing behind, and nearly falling just before hitting the finish field. It was all smiles from us at the finish as we felt we’d had a great day on the hills and make a good fist of day 2. Loads of decent food, included in the entry fee, was waiting at the finish.

We couldn’t see our friends at this stage, so presumed they were waiting by the car, but after 20 minutes we saw them arrive. Precise calculations weren’t possible with tired brains, but it looked like there might be less than a minute between us overall. Soon the latest version of the results went up, and we’d beat them on day 2 by 32:51, so after a total time of seven and a half hours we’d managed to beat them by 25 seconds!  If you’ve thought about a MM in the past like I have, then just go for it. James and I managed about half a dozen runs of up to an hour and a half before the event, you don’t need to be a full-on ultra runner to do it, and the memories will last a long time. Hopefully the sunburn will fade though!”

Fantastic running Ed, well done to you and James.

Fell Running

Our fell running stalwart Jim Jones has been in action again and has sent in two reports this week. Thanks Jim. First up is his Shepherds Stirton Fell Race report for Wednesday 8th July:

“On Wednesday night I did the Rob Shepherd’s Stirton Fell Race. Brilliantly hosted by Keighley & Craven AC, this local race of 5.5 miles and 1200ft of climb was just what I love a bout fell racing. Turned up at a grid reference and exchanged £3 for a number. Ran a great route and chatted with likeminded people while having the complimentary beer and chocolate bar at the end. I finished 31 out of 96.”

Full results here http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/results.php?id=2913

And not one to shy away from two fell races in two days he was at it again on Thursday. Over to you again Jim…

“On Thursday night I did the Bull Hill Fell Race. Another popular midweek race which must have been a local club counter as there was over 200 doing this race. The big turn out probably did me a favour in slowing the pace down by creating a few bottlenecks as I’d raced the night before and had a marathon coming up at the weekend. The route was more technically challenging than I’d anticipated for a BS category. Conditions were pretty good but I still saw 3 runners take a tumble around me – fortunately hurting nothing more than their pride as far as I know. Not seen the results yet but I’d be surprised if I even got in the first 100 on this one. A great job done by Radcliffe AC hosting this event.”


Road Running

Dearnford Relay

FB_IMG_1436917210612Thursday night 9th July was the Dearnford Lake Relay event with a huge turnout from the Helsby contingent. Each team consisted of 3 legs each of 2 miles as a relay. There were 36 out in the green vest and some fantastic performances too. There were over 110 teams out in total so it shows how well Helsby did on the night. Lots of stats to work through at the link below for the full results. Teams and placings are shown below with an individuals time next to their name. Helsby ladies had three of the top ten fastest lap times on the night with Jenny Illidge (fresh from her GB rowing excursion), June Swift and Alison Halsall all having an excellent run. The ladies also secured 2nd and 3rd team on the night! Colin Bishop was in the top ten for male lap times. Well done to everyone on the night and a fantastic event to highlight the current strength of Helsby RC.

Thank you to Carol for sorting the ladies teams and thanks to our support team on the night Joe and Mario. Also a big thank you to Jane Bishop for providing the flapjacks and cookies at the finish. It was great to see a lot of new faces too, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Mens Teams

4th Helsby Mens Team 1 33:09
…Colin Bishop (M) 10:50
…Chris Fitzpatrick (M) 11:06
…Colin Thompson (M) 11:13

11th Helsby Mens Team 2 37:51
…Ivan Davies (M) 12:06
…Dave Madders (M) 13:35
…Jim Higgins (M) 12:10

12th Helsby Mens Team 3 38:11
…Darren O’Connor (M) 12:27
…Neil Hughes (M) 12:53
…Tim Igoe (M) 12:51

15th Helsby Mens Team 5 40:05
…Ian Rutherford (M) 12:28
…Roy Gaskill (M) 14:27
…Ian Hamling (M) 13:10

17th Helsby Mens Team 4  43:41
…Chris Igoe (M) 15:43
…John Whitehead (M) 13:43
…Ste Wiggins (M) 14:15

Ladies Teams

2nd Helsby Ladies Team 1 37:55
…Jane Ashbrook (F) 13:12
…June Swift (F) 12:12
…Jenny Illidge (F) 12:31

3rd Helsby Ladies Team 2 41:17
…Joanne Lacking (F) 3 5 13:28
…Vanessa Griffiths (F) 4 3 14:47
…Alison Halsall (F) 3 6 13:02

8th Helsby Ladies Team 3 48:22
…Suzanne Fletcher (F) 15:13
…Nicola Cash (F) 17:00
…Gill Fitzparick (F) 16:09

9th Helsby Ladies Team 6 48:31
…Debbie Read (F) 14:18
…Alison Butler (F) 18:06
…Tanya Downes (F) 16:07

11th Helsby Ladies Team 7 49:07
…Lesley Feakes (F) 15:44
…Jenny O’Hare (F) 16:48
…Rhea Thomas (F) 16:35

16th Helsby Ladies Team 4 50:12
…Helen Owens (F) 14:55
…Rebecca Gibson (F) 17:51
…Emma Barnes (F) 17:26

17th Helsby Ladies Team 5 50:35
…Carol Shaw (F) 14:51
…Laura Broughton (F) 18:32
…Shan McCarthy (F) 17:12

Full results can be found at this link http://www.whitchurchwhippets.co.uk/Relay.aspx

Chirk Half Marathon

Sunday saw our 6th race in the road championships and 13 Helsby vests ventured to Chirk to do battle and fight it out for those valuable club points. Thank you to Jackie for sending a report and well done to everyone who participated in the event, some very impressive times in what looked like a tough and undulating course. It’s great to see some new names in the results too.

“Sunday morning saw a Green Army contingent line up for attack at the top of a steep hill outside the portcullis castle entrance; a great vantage point with with clear sunny views east to our home territory of the Sandstone edge.  The inaugural Chirk Castle Half organised by RunWales was a gem; the road equivalent of the Wobbler, with plenty of unrelenting hills. A great course through the picturesque grounds of Chirk Castle, shady lanes, sheep dodging, some off road, before the big descent down into Chirk village itself. Past the parish church with the bells ringing out and cheers from Joe and Mario before entering another picturesque private estate of Brinkinalt. Back through the village and more encouragement from our cheer leader twins before the long hot haul back up the hill and  into the castle grounds. Still not quite half marathon distance yet, so an extra up then down before the grand finale. Through the main lower gates and up the 1 km main drive with an 80 m steadily rising climb thrown in. Plenty of green army encouragement from the Helsby brigade plus the commentator, who by this time had taken our side. Then the final crawl over the finish in front of the castle gates. Only 309 finishers but a great race which hopefully will be on again next year and well worth supporting.

Helsby men were defeated narrowly with the men’s team prize going to local boys Wrexham AC. Vannessa  got the V50 ladies prize and Jane, Vanessa and Jackie the ladies’ team prize. Victory medals were awarded to all foot soldiers.

A special mention to Steve who did the weekend double, running Pen-Y-Fan the previous day and a big welcome and well done to Michael and Gillian for their first outing wearing their Helsby uniform!

10th Chris Fitzpatrick 01:28:06
14th Neil Finegan 01:29:17 (2nd in age cat)
16th Adam Gordon 01:31:59
32nd Ian Rutherford 01:38:41
53rd Jane Ashbrook 01:44:08
72nd Vanessa Griffiths 01:47:53 (1st in age cat)
75th Christopher Murray 01:48:04
86th Ben Williams 01:50:23
122nd Michael Williams 01:55:48
165th Jackie Keasley 02:03:44 (3rd in age cat)
185th Carol Shaw 02:07:06
207th Stephen Wiggins 02:10:32
228th Gillian Fitzpatrick 02:13:52

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Lions Bridge Marathon

It’s great to see Gareth Boyd back doing what he does best and running marathons again after being out of action for a while following an operation. Please see his report from the Lions Bridge Marathon below:

Yesterday, Jim and Gareth headed off to Astley to take part in the Lions Bridge Marathon. The course was most off road (with only a little road to cover) and involved a 6 lap un-inspiring course – no offence Astley, but your never win Travel/Trip Advisor awards!

Jim sped off at the start – Gareth never saw him again, until the finish! 45 runners completed the event – and with these low key events – the banter was great. Full results link below:

18th   Jim       4:09:23
23rd  Gareth  4.13.25

Jim (slightly disappointed with his time) is now off to seek out his next challenge. Gareth meanwhile will be doing John Wayne impressions for a few weeks – lesson to all ‘its not big and clever not to train properly for a marathon.


Tour of Merseyside

Carl Pratt has written an excellent blog about his adventures at the “Tour of Merseyside” organised by BTR. For those who haven’t heard of this event it’s a 52-mile challenge which covers six races over seven days ranging from 5 mile trail races to half marathon distance. A very popular event and I believe next years event has already sold out! Please find a link to Carls blog here http://carlpratt.wix.com/tom2015

We Love Manchester 10k

Both Roy Gaskill and James Bessant ran the “We Love Manchester 10k” on Sunday. Please find a short report from Roy and link to the results below:

“Myself and Jay Bessant went to Manchester today to do the We Love Manchester 10k (fourth one for me) as you know I’ve not run any road races since last year due to a breathing problem, as for Jay he has overcome an injury and as he’s new to this did pretty well.”

374th      Roy Gaskill          47.23
716th         James Bessant   51.46


Well done chaps.


And last (but not least) please find a link to the consolidated park run stats for Saturday. Some notable performances were Colin Bishop comfortably winning at Widnes and a new PB for Ian Hamling. Well done gents. http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

That’s all this week, please get in touch if I have missed anything.

Happy running all!



Helsby RC Racings News 22nd – 28th June 2015

Welcome to this week’s racing news. Please remember to send your race reports to:


otherwise we don’t know about them. If you’re at a race/ event then please decide amongst you who will put together the report as if we’re not there then we won’t know 🙂 There wasn’t much in the post bag this week and I’m pretty sure more has been going on. If it is missed then please let us know and we’ll either update the blog or we’ll include it in the next racing newsletter.


Fells This weekend sees the SLMM (Saunders Lakeland Mountain marathon), Moel Siabod (one for Fitzy?) Skiddaw and the Langdale Gala Next weekend boasts Wasdale, Tal y Fan (NW Counter) and the Bollington Nostalgia.

Road: This weekend – Frodsham Downhill race (I think Colin T is the defending champion having beaten my sons)

Next week – Thurs = Gro Continental relays Nantwich (speak to Captains Colin T/ Jane A),

Sunday = Road Counter – Chirk Castle Half Marathon. Monday 6th = Border League Planning – 7:30-8:30 with Vanessa and Chris Fitzpatrick

Fell Running  Ras Pedol Cwm Pennant

Technically last week, but I’ve been away 🙂 This race has only been going three years, yet it was a Welsh championship counter last year and will be a British Championships counter next year; I think that tells you how special this race really is.

Max had a hangover and Phil R was working his way up to one so just two Helsby vests toed the line. The run out to Moel Hebog and the slog to the summit quickly turned into 20m visibility at best and some rather inefficient lines to the top. I packed in with some Eryri runners, one of whom lived just 10 miles away from the start. It added a good 25 minutes to my summit time from the previous year due to none of us knowing where we were going. Jackie had similar luck.

The running was still spectacular and particularly dramatic when the cloud lifted to reveal the most beautiful of landscapes. Jackie packed in with two other runners and thoroughly enjoyed her trip around. Arriving at the 3-4k road section at the end I was still grinning from ear to ear despite being 35 minutes behind my previous time. Cakes, showers and a cystal clear view of the mountains awaited us at the finish – one I’ll certainly be back for next year.

CBH – 17th – 3:47:54
Jackie – 27th – 5:22:50

Foel Fras

Tim Palmer clearly not content with his exertions in Kentmere decided to take in Foel Fras too. A lovely little race and easy to get to. Tim takes up the story: Jim Jones and I were the Green Army representatives for the Foel Fras fell race on Saturday. This was 12 miles and 3000ft of climb if you believe the fell race calendars although my Garmin suggests 12.8 miles and 3200 feet. Excellent race with all you expect from a fell race: long climbs, stunning views, path less terrain, navigation issues, friendly atmosphere, lots of tea and flapjacks, … The race results are awaited; the Helsby times are: Jim Jones 2:18 Tim Palmer 2:32 Excellent work Fellsby! Trails & Ultras Kentmere Trail race (10K) Tim and Jenny Palmer have been at it again in the Lakes. Sounds like a cracking series and maybe one even our tarmac lovers could enjoy! Well done to both of you. Here’s Tim with the details:

Jenny and I did yet another Lakeland Trails race this weekend. As usual lovely scenery and atmosphere, quite fast as the major ascents were on tarmac – country lanes. A big plus as far as Jenny and I were concerned is that it starts and finishes with a few hundred metres if Wilfs – excellent for pre race brews and post race lunch. As usual for these races, 10k turns into 11.5k…

Tim – 17th (2nd Vet 50) – 59:32
Jenny – 158th – 1:19:50

Lakes 10 Peaks

Ahh, too many races and not enough body… this is one I’m pretty keen on taking on but couldn’t be in two places at once. Here’s our resident Ultra lover Andy Robinson with details of his exploits:

The Clif Bar Lakes 10 Peaks race on Saturday.  45 miles, 18000 feet of climbing, including the 10 highest peaks in the Lakes.

Just over 100 runners started the “Long” race, including me.  65 finished.  The winner was Ross Litherland of Pennine Fell Runners, in 10:46:17, & I came in 18th in 15:14:35.  I was first MV60 – actually I was the only MV60 to finish.  I’m still absolutely knackered 2 days after finishing, but I’ll get a race report up on Runfurther.com in the next day or two.

Pretty outstanding running there Andy!

The Dragon’s Back Race

Ok, so I wasn’t racing it this time, but I was marshaling; specifically on the control team thus I got to run my own mini dragon in order to put out the dibber boxes (controls) for the competitors.

This is the third running of the legendary Dragon’s back – a 5 day 200 mile race across the mountainous spine of God’s own country. 50,000ft of ascent is covered and the vast majority is rough going underfoot and pathless. If you know your way around, get lucky or think like a sheep then you can hit a trod, but if you don’t then places like the beautiful Rhinogs can be very unforgiving environments.

Having done the race in 2012 I very much wanted to support and enable others to take on this incredible challenge and route. For me this meant I had a day 0 and a day 6 in order to put out and take in the controls. Our control team included Wendy Dodds and Helen Whitaker (nee Diamantides) was there to narrate the video shorts that put this race out to the world. It was a truly slick event which included live GPS tracking and daily videos to keep facebook and twitter alive following the race Check out the videos here if you missed them: http://www.dragonsbackrace.com/news/  and here for me taking in the Crib Goch Control (before I got there I spotted either Chris Fitz or Jimmy out on the ridge, not sure which can you help?)

What an incredible week it was. All I saw were heroes, controls, bogs, tussocks, gnarly rocks, and unspoilt beauty in both human spirit and landscape. What a race this is, it strips every one of them down to their most raw self and shifts the horizons of all involved. To watch that unfold and be a part of it was amazing and so nice to give back to a sport I love. If any of you are thinking of marshaling then I thoroughly recommend you put yourself forward to help at the races you love, the organisers will always be grateful of help.

In the end Jim Mann took the win followed by the Jasmin Paris in second overall. Both were utterly formidable. I know Jim from various adventures; he’s a quiet hero and as close to selfless as it gets, I was over the moon to see the huge amount of effort he put into this race pay off with a win.

Park Run

dc5d115e-df2f-4dfa-939b-3346c85b1a0fNice to see plenty of Helsby vest out on the various park run courses. Fantastic little events that guarentee you improved times elsewhere. Why not put it into your weekly training plan?

Results here:


Summer Handicap

No report and I wasn’t there so sorry for the lack of detail, but from what I can see it is the biggest turn out ever for a summer handicap! Inspiring stuff! No doubt a good time was had by all. Well done to Neil as first male and Nikki as first female – of course this means that Phil will ensure you never win again unless you take a minute per mile off your current speed, but you enter the pantheons of Helsby RC and that my friends, lives with you forever! Thanks and a big well done to Phil Gillard for putting it on

Name Position
Neil Hughes 1
John Gallon 2
Nikki Cash 3
Chris Igoe 4
Graeme Lloyd 5
Michael Williams 6
Rachel Arnold 7
Ben Williams 8
Dave Wiggins 9
Gareth Boyd 10
Chirs Hatton 11
Emily Smith 12
Rachel Holden 13
Holly Taylor 14
Debbie Reed 15
Betty Greive 16
James Gray 17
Vanessa Griffiths 18
Steve Riley 19
Tim Palmer 20
Tanya Downes 21
Jenny O’Hare 22
Andy Robinson 23
James Horncatle 24
Laura BH 25
Dave Madders 26
Ste Wiggins 27
Ivan Davies 28
Ian Hamling 29
John Hardman 30
Neil Finnigan 31
Geoff Collins 32
Helen Owens 33
Donna Geer 34
Colin Tommo 35
Jo Lacking 36


Name Actual time  
  Mins Secs
Colin Tommo 18 45
Ivan Davies 19 19
Gareth Boyd 19 49
Neil Finnigan 19 49
Steve Riley 21 4
Tim Palmer 21 35
Neil Hughes 21 37
Andy Robinson 21 38
Laura BH 21 52
Ian Hamling 22 1
Michael Williams 22 18
James Gray 22 20
Dave Madders 22 26
James Horncatle 22 45
Jo Lacking 22 48
Vanessa Griffiths 22 54
Ben Williams 23 45
Debbie Reed 24 6
Rachel Arnold 24 26
Ste Wiggins 24 47
Geoff Collins 24 55
Helen Owens 25 28
Holly Taylor 26 5
Dave Wiggins 26 17
Chirs Hatton 26 26
John Gallon 26 29
Chris Igoe 26 42
Graeme Lloyd 27 0
Emily Smith 27 0
Nikki Cash 27 23
Rachel Holden 28 34
Jenny O’Hare 28 37
Tanya Downes 29 6
Betty Greive 29 17
Donna Geer 29 41
John Hardman 30 59


Helsby RC Racing News 15th – 21st June 2015

Good day to you all! Owens here. I shall get straight on to the juicy bits…

parkrun results

Delamere parkrun

Jim Jones: 20:52

Louise McEveley: 26:10

Mike Searle: 28:26

David Wiggins: 34:19

Paul Bulmer: 34:19

Stephen Wiggins: 34:19

Ellesmere Port parkrun

Ben Williams: 23:09

Warrington parkrun

Carl Pratt: 20:57

Widnes parkrun

Chris Hatton: 25:38


Hotfoot up Moel Famau

On to the “Fellsby” does Hotfoot up Moel Famau. This is a fantastic but pretty brutal short distance fell race, I first “ran” it 3 years ago as my first ever race for Helsby RC (had only ran off road with club once beforehand) and was convinced by one of the father’s from my girls school (Paul Porter, a great Geordie bloke who sadly, due to injury, no longer runs) that “aye lass, it’ll be fine. Road shooos?   Courrsseee yee’ll be alreet”. Suffice to say, the air was blue when I saw him at the finish! I had to toss myself down the first half of the race due to having no grip from my road shoes and then on a death wish up the stone gulley, to see Joe at the top shouting “WAYYY HEYYY!!” is one of my best memories of my Helsby RC racing “career”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t run it last week but there was a great turn out for the Green Army and Adam Gordon has provided a report along with the results…

“Wednesday evening saw a great turnout of fell veterans and newbies from Helsby for Race 3 of the club’s Fell Mini Series, and the second race in the Inter-Club Fell Championship.

At 3.5miles and 1,200 feet of ascent, the race might have been short but it certainly packed a punch (known as the “The Gully”).  A few Helsby contenders emerged a bit bruised and bloodied but generally with big smiles on their faces.  The award for the most spectacular tumble should probably go to Ian Rutherford for his impromptu double somersault on the descent to the finish line, which drew gasps and cheers from onlookers, as he continued virtually without breaking his stride.

This was certainly a challenging introduction to the fells for the newbies with reactions ranging from “absolutely loved it” to “horrid”.  It remains to be seen who is drawn back for the next race of the fell mini-series!

A strong performance by the Green Army on the night means that Helsby are now in a commanding position at the top of the Inter-Club Championship having won the first two races.”

Position Name Time Category
16 Adam Gordon 40.15 M40
20 Philip Roberts 41.06 SM
23 Neil Finegan 41.36 M40
35 Ian Houghton 44.21 M40
52 Steve Riley 47.58 M50
53 Andy Robinson 48.02 M60
56 Phil Gillard 48.18 M50
58 Tim Palmer 48.25 M50
67 Laura Baynham-Hughes 49.2 SF
79 James Gray 51.29 SM
82 Louise McEveley 51.47 F40
85 Ian Rutherford 52.08 M40
87 Neil Hughes 52.28 SM
90 Rachel Arnold 52.34 F50
95 Christopher Murray 53.37 SM
108 Suzanne Fletcher 58.14 SF
110 Jackie Keasley 59.55 F50

H1 H2 H3 H4 H5


Tattenhall Tough Challenge

On Friday was the annual Tattenhall Tough Team, a cracking event that is very popular. It consists of 3 members (can be mixed or same sex teams) who all have to complete the 9 mile route around the roads of Tattenhall, Burwardsley and then on to the Sandstone Trail and the shockingly steep old mining track.   Cracking results from Helsby RC, with Max, Chris Fitz and Colin T steaming in as first team! Well done lads! I bet Colin T still wore his bright orange racers too!   Then first ladies team for Helsby (2nd overall) was June Swift, Alison Halsall and Laura BH. Great running everyone and it is wonderful to see the growth of the club on events like these, as we cater for every speed and ability and support each other. Here is Chris Fitz’s wonderful report of the evening…

“Friday saw the much anticipated Tattenhall Tough Team race, which for those that don’t know is basically a grueling 9 miles on the road, on the trail and of course on “the railway” which is ridiculously steep and is also known for seeing the grim reaper at the top of it.

As we all know Helsby RC is going from strength to strength so seeing the amount of green vest’s take over the clubhouse before the race was amazing. So come race time you would have have chosen a team of similar ability so basically you don’t run off on your other team mates, what’s the point of that? Some teams do do it mind you. I was in a team with Max “downhill princess” Wainwright and Col “El Capitano” Thompson, I was fearing the worst and Max is a beast on the trails and Col, well he’s flying on the tarmac at present, but we decided or I decided to put my foot down and we ran at my pace, which for the first 3 miles on the tarmac was pretty quick, and I was regretting it slightly by the time we hit the trails.

We were neck and neck with another team made up of experienced runners who I recognised from the borders league races, and knowing I always got beat by them, didn’t fill me with confidence, but we were holding our own and got into the woods just ahead of our rivals. We were flying down hill until we came to the famous railway line, now how Thomas ever got his Tank Engine up that hill beats me. I think everyone has a go at trying to run up it but after about 20 steps you are dragging yourself up it whilst your calf’s and back scream out at you, it’s that long you can’t even see the top. Eventually you get to the top where a photographer takes probably what is a horrible photo of yourself blowing out your backside 🙂

Max looked like he had tip toed up to the top and was looking really fresh and ready to go, by now our rivals were flying down the hill and overtook us going into the green fields, where Joe met us with screams of “waaaaaaaaaaaa heyyyyyyyyyyyyy you can do it Helsby!”

I was really struggling to keep up with Max and Colin now and just thought if I could hang on to the back of them and get to the road section then I could possibly catch up, but our rivals were pulling away, luckily a few stile’s slowed them all down, unlike Max who hurdled them, whilst the rivals looked on in amazement at the “downhill princess”. It’s at this point I said to Col just stay with their front 2 runners as their 3rd placed guy was now slowing up, and for the next 2 miles I quietly snuck up on him, to reach about a mile from the finish to finally overtake him, and from then on, I knew we had done it, finally coming around to the finish line with Max and Colin just finishing and clapping me over the line, which for me was by far my proudest moment of my time at Helsby RC.

More green army members started to flood through the finish and big shout out to Laura, June and Alison for coming 2nd ladies team, and Chris “I’m really 45” Baynham-Hughes, Neil and Ivan for coming 1st Vets team. All in all, a good night out for the “Green Army”. Another massive shout out to the usual’s who are unsung heroes of our club, Joe, Nanny McSpruce, Jackie, Chris Igoe and even Adrian coming over from St Helens to cheer us all on, it doesn’t go un-noticed, and I even heard someone saying “you’re taking over the world” … that’s why it’s ace being part of the #greenarmy #fellsby”

Results are here:


Beacon Batch fell race

Jim Jones, who seems to race more fells around the Country than a mountain goat on illegal substances, sends us a report from his race at the Beacon Batch fell…

“I have been working in the South West so looked what was on the fell running calendar for midweek in the area. Found the Beacon Batch fell race starting from near to the village of Burrington on Tuesday night. A five mile race with a climb of only 1000ft to the highest point in the Mendips it was pretty much a sprint all the way round compared to my usual stomping ground of North Wales. Some great views though with the highlight being a herd of wild Exmoor Ponies that kept crossing our line. I finished 26th from 92”- results below:


A raw, alpha male bonding weekend in North Wales was enjoyed by Gaz, Chris BH, Chris Fitz, Max, Phil Roberts and his Dad, Charlie. I have seen many photographs of this weekend and I fear I am scarred for life by the topless sight of a number of them, bathing in a cold Welsh lake. Gaz has written a little report about their loved up Boys on Tour trip…

“Phil Roberts kindly organised a lads weekend away staying in a cabin at the foot of Moel Siabod, just outside Betws y Coed. The plan was for a run out in the morning followed by a BBQ and drinks in the evening.

Five intrepid souls, Phil, Col T, Fitzy, Gaz and Charlie, embarked on the run 2500 foot up Moel Siabod. Despite getting lost, taking an unneeded detour and having to listen to Fitzy do his best impression of a 6 year old on a car trip (“Are we nearly there yet?”) every 2 minutes, all 5 made the summit in one piece. Right on cue the weather picked up, the clouds cleared and we were rewarded with some amazing views of the surrounding parts of Snowdonia.

A quick run down the mountain, or slow run down in Gaz’s case, completed the 9 mile run and it was time for a bath in the local river before hitting the pub and then firing up the BBQ. We were joined later on by Chris Baynham-Hughes and Max Wainwright for a night of drinking and sing-a-long music, courtesy of Phil’s mate Mattie who was a whizz on the guitar….although the less said about the singing from the group, the better!!!


Upcoming events/races

A quick reminder that it is the Penny Lane Striders 10k race on Sunday 28 June, entries are still open.

The family friendly Frodsham Downhill race is on Sunday July 5th and it is great fun for all, a 1 mile downhill race which starts at top of Bellemonte Road and goes all the way down to Castle Park. Entries close on 27 June.

Club Force weekend

Also, this weekend is Club Force weekend again. Last year saw over 100 people volunteer some or all of their time over the weekend to help spruce up the clubhouse and surrounding areas and a fantastic job was done. It would be really great if we could see similar numbers come forward to help again. There are a number of tasks, from painting, joinery and tea making etc that are required and even if you can only offer a couple of hours, it would be appreciated. This is vital to the survival of the clubhouse.

Strimmers , paint brushes , spades , brushes ,buckets , sponges etc will all be helpful. If anyone has a specific job they’d like to see done or suggestions then please contact Stuart.Wilkinson@essar.com or Terenceoneil@aol.com.

Helsby RC Racing News 1st – 7th June 2015

Hello all

Thank you for all the race reports this week, if anyone has any other reports or races I have missed please send them over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com and I can include in the blog.

Firstly some reminders…

  • Tattenhall Tough Team on Friday 19th June & Grocontinental Relay on Thursday 9th July at Dearnford Lake.
    • Colin Thompson is coordinating the mens teams, if you wish to be involved in either of the events please email him col808@hotmail.com
    • Jane Ashbrook is coordinating the ladies teams janebetts@gmail.com

Joe has asked me to remind everyone of two fell races coming up:

And there is a road counter coming up at the end of June:

  • Penny Lane 10k (road counter) Sunday 28th June. Probably best to get entries in now although I believe you can enter on the day providing the limit isn’t reached.

Deestriders Off Road GP (4.5m) 

Thursday saw the first race in the Deestriders off road GP. This is a great little race series (4 to do) with a mix of flat grass, tarmac footpaths and trail so nothing too challenging with only a couple of sharp undulations. We had 3 runners out for the Green Army, Colin Thompson, Jim O’Hara and Dave Madders with Colin first back for Helsby.

Helsby results below:

3rd           Colin Thompson               27.05 (1st in age cat)
6th           Jim O’Hara                          28.29
41st         Dave Madders                  34.59

Full results here: http://www.deestridersrunningclub.net/Results/OFRJUNE2015.pdf

The next race is on 2nd July http://www.deestridersrunningclub.net/Forms/OffRoadEntryForm2015.pdf 

Halewood 5k

Dave Madders was our sole Helsby representative at the Halewood 5k. Fantastic running saw him belt out a 21.48 and 2nd in his age category. Well done Dave!

Full results here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxoYWxld29vZDVrcmVzdWx0c3NlcnZpY2V8Z3g6NDRiNDJiMDQ4ZThmNjE0Yw

For anyone who is unaware of this race series, they are monthly timed 5k races, Saturday 10am at the Halewood Environment Centre. The course is fast and traffic free and best of all they are totally free!

Mersey Tunnel 10k

Another big event from the BTR team on Sunday saw the annual Mersey Tunnel 10k which is a unique race in that it’s one of the few times you can traverse the tunnel on foot. The course is fairly straight forward, start is at Blackstock Street at the Wallasey tunnel entrance, through the tunnel and up onto Egremont promenade with the finish a few miles north at New Brighton Promenade. As always with BTR races the organisation was fantastic – like a well-oiled machine and with a lovely bit of bling at the finish, nice tech-tee-shirt & goody bag plus a unique racing experience I’d say it’s just about worth the entrance fee. The results? Only 2 Helsby runners out for this as far as I can tell, windy conditions on the prom scuppered any chances of a PB with myself managing 36.56 and Carl 43.59. A huge turn-out of runners saw over 2500 finishers so a good result for the Green Army. One of the highlights for me was finding myself detached from the lead group and running on my own only for a police motorbike to appear and pace me along the promenade! It felt like I was race leader!

13th         Colin Thompson               36.56
156th      Carl Pratt                             43.5


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Welsh 1000m Peaks

Chris Baynham-Hughes has sent in this fantastic race report for the Welsh 1000m. Over to you Chris…

“It was a tough day in the office on the awesome Welsh 1000m peaks race. Gusts of up to 45mph predicted, I reckon is was persistent and easily 60+ as it knocked me sideways plenty of times. I was convinced I had windburn on my tongue at one point! Three of the Fellsby regulars were there to take on this challenge which is at the more extreme end of fell racing.

To give you a true image of this race you need a bit of history. It’s a highlight of my calendar and a race I’ve been doing for the past 5 years as it robbed me of all my dignity on my first outing and I vowed to get it back one year. Still not had the perfect race, but maybe next year! In the first year I spent 3 minutes sat on the Gribbin ridge wondering what to do, the race had totally put me on my backside and I genuinely didn’t know if I was going to complete it. 

Last year in-form Jimmy O’Hara arrived suitably nervous of just how enormous the task was. By his own admission, Jimmy learnt a lot that day, having been caught short on the Carneddau due to a freak beetroot shot type drink (something cyclists drink apparently) and also due to carrying about 6+ kg of excess baggage. This year he arrived lean and mean. For Max it was his first time on the course, so would he suffer the same fate? 

Personally I had a terrible first leg (over the Carneddau) but got stronger and finished just over the magic 5 hours, but given the ridiculous wind that I couldn’t even move forward against at more than one point, and my lack of mountain work recently I was very happy with that…. plus I only screamed out loud at the wind twice.

As always Snowdon was packed with tourists and 3 peaks challengers. Knowing there was a slight possibility I could dip under the 5 hours I gave it everything to get up there. Just as I was arriving at the fingerstone on the Snowdon ridge I heard, “Good afternoon Christopher” – I looked up to see Max. The conversation went like this:

“Hey, nice one, did you win it?”

“Did I **** I haven’t even finished yet!”

“What are you doing, you’re 2 minutes from the top!”

“Have you got any food?”

“I’ve got a gel if you want it?”

“Nah…… …….err…  Yes please”

(me 5 yards on from Max’s position) “I’ll chuck it down here, I can’t make it back down again!” 

We both finished completely spent, which would have been fine if the café had been open. Alas not. I was helped into my waterproofs by a Buckley runner (just spectating this time) and it wasn’t long before Max and I were helping another runner off the mountain as they were struggling with exposure. 

Do once again the Welsh 1000s had proved itself worth of turning even the most talented of fell runners to their knees on their first outing. I genuinely believe that this race can put you on your backside like no other, but then again, that’s part of the appeal. It’s a genuine test and a genuine adventure. I totally recommend it! That said, after 3 outings on this race it might just be time to retire these shoes.”


Jimmy O’Hara – 4:51:55 ish – 19th

CBH – 5:06:43 ish – 31st

Max – 5:15:37 ish – 35th 


Massive well done to Chris, Max and Jimmy, great going lads.

Lakeland Trail Coniston Marathon 

Lesley has sent in another excellent report. Seems she can’t stop racing at the moment!

“I completed the Lakeland Trail Coniston Marathon this weekend. The weather was ideal with cool temperatures and light drizzle for the first half of the race and warm sunshine for the last couple of hours. The course is marshalled and follows a mainly high level route around Lake Coniston taking in a circuit of Tarn Hows. The route is mainly on trails that are very runnable and the scenery is great. I was aiming for 5 hours and finished in 4 hours 55 mins, 138 out of 214 finishers. I would recommend this race but Lakeland Trails are not cheap at £44 and I have to say the feed stations do not compare to the LDWA events, a few crisps were all that was on offer by the time I got there, no t- shirts in my requested size and only 5 portaloos for hundreds of runners, not that I’m moaning! Locally organised events like the fells are much better  value and have a friendlier feel in my opinion.”

Well done Lesley on achieving your sub 5 hours!


Please find below the results from our weekly parkruns. Congratulations to Neil Finegan, Louise McEveley and Joanne Lacking for all getting on the podium at their respective parkruns and a new PB from David Wiggins at Delamere. Good stuff people!

Warrington parkrun

6              Michael WILLIAMS          00:23:49

Delamere parkrun

3              Neil FINEGAN                   00:18:30
23           Jim JONES                          00:20:36
35           Scot STEEL                          00:21:24
123         David WIGGINS                 00:25:46
170         Donna GEER                       00:28:08
239         Rachel ARNOLD                00:32:05
263         Paul BULMER                    00:34:25
264         Stephen WIGGINS            00:34:29
275         Ivor JOHNSTONE             00:35:16
288         Jen O’HARE                       00:37:42

Lyme Park parkrun

21           Louise MCEVELEY             00:24:42

Ellesmere Port parkrun

17           Benjamin John WILLIAMS    00:22:42

Widnes parkrun

13           Joanne LACKING              00:21:20
45           Chris HATTON                  00:26:06

That’s all this week, again if I have missed anything please let me know and I can always update the blog later on.

Happy running all!


Robbie Webster’s Wobbler 2015 – Race report

Thank you so much for all of you that took part in the wobbler, be that running, supporting or marshalling. It was testament to all of you that we experienced another fantastic race and saw so many of you back at the club. Thank you to those of you that filled out the questionnaire on the entry form – let’s just say there is clear demand for a race series, I hope we’ll be able to achieve that in 2016. For further details and to keep in touch please see details at the base of this post. I will also add those to the mailing list that wanted to be kept informed.

RD’s report:

Wednesday evening saw the third running of ‘Robbie Webster’s Wobbler’ memorial race. This year was tinged with sadness and shock at the passing of another Helsby club member Mike McShane who unexpectedly passed away the day before. A minutes silence was respected at the start of the race and our thoughts are with Mike’s family and friends during what must be a terribly shocking and sad period.

Spectacular weather blessed the 108 competitors that toed the line for the fiendish climbs and beautiful trails Frodsham hill has to offer. The race stats slightly extended to 5.3 miles and 1220ft of ascent due to the popularity of the event and the narrow first climb.

It was fantastic to see people from so many of the local clubs. We had runners from all of the following: Ambleside AC, Buckley Runners, Helsby RC, Penny Lane Striders, West Cheshire AC, Delamere Spartans, Spectrum Striders, Warrington AC, Tattenhall, Knutsford Tri and Northwich RC – simply fantastic and I saw more than a few inter club rivalries ignited J

Talented Helsby Fell runner Max Wainwright led from the start and held on to take the win and new course record despite relentless pursuit from the Buckley’s formidable Jez Brown (Vet 40 winner). Outstanding performances from veterans Tim knight (V50) and Andy Robinson (V60) saw them take the title – the V50 category appearing the hardest fought with just 9 seconds separating first and second and exactly 3 minutes separating the top 11.

The ladies title was equally hard fought with a superb run by Victoria Walls of Spectrum Striders, hotly pursued by Carolyn Stamper-Clark of Delamere Spartans and the formidable Karen Forster who took the Ladies Vet 50 category and overall Vets trophy. The Vet 40 title went to Suzanne Eccleston and Vet 60 to Steph Charman.

Helsby Men retained the team trophy but in a battle separated by just 7 seconds Spectrum snatch the spoils from Helsby in the Ladies team event.

Sadly we had a number of the markers removed/ taken down and some posts stolen. I marked the course three times with the last round being just two hours before the start of the race, yet a number of key markers were still removed. I’m afraid I don’t understand the mentality. I sincerely hope it didn’t impede your enjoyment of the race and nobody got lost so I was relieved!

Back at the club house Mike Searle gave a touching and humorous eulogy for Mike McShane before prize giving, the odd beer or two back and homemade cakes. The now famous Helsby RC cake bakers did us proud as did the generosity of the runners in donating over £120 to the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake appeal.

We would especially like to thank the Forest Hills Hotel for generously allowing use of their car park and facilities. This is a local, community run event and without support from Forest Hills, the marshals and the cake bakers, this race wouldn’t be a success and there certainly wouldn’t have been over 100 extra smiling faces in Frodsham that evening.


The full results are out: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/results-and-reports/


We’ll be putting up all photos we have on the run Helsby flickr stream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/runhelsby )  and Mick Charman has already got a set up here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/helsby/sets/72157653612534728  so if you have any from the event please contact Steve Riley or me to get details of how you can upload or pass them to us so we can.

See you next year for a wobble!



I always like to improve on things so I’d love to hear any feedback you have on the event, if anything doesn’t work, what really does, would you return, etc. Please do get in touch, it’s all appreciated (positive or negative). I had some great feedback from the registration team so we’ve got plans for a few changes there next year.

Keeping up to date:

I’ve set up a mailing list which can be joined from this page: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2015-robbie-websters-wobbler/ this will be used to keep people informed of the Wobbler and assuming I get it organised, the 2016 trail series which got a resounding ‘yes’ when I asked for interest on the entry forms – thank you very much for taking the time to answer that for me.

I’ll also keep the Blog page up to date just as soon as we set the dates. I’m thinking the first Wednesday of each month for the trail series starting in June, but watch this space.


Helsby RC Racing News 25th – 31st May 2015

It is with great sadness I send out this weeks results as we have just heard the devastating news regarding our long standing member Mike McShane who sadly passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Everybody will be advised further as more information is available.


Welcome to this weeks racing news. Firstly some reminders:

  • Tattenhall Tough Team on Friday 19th June & Grocontinental Relay on Thursday 9th July at Dearnford Lake.
    • Colin Thompson is coordinating the mens teams, if you wish to be involved in either of the events please email him col808@hotmail.com
    • Jane Ashbrook is coordinating the ladies teams janebetts@gmail.com
  • Penny Lane 10k (road counter) Sunday 28th June.
  • Robbie Webster’s Wobbler Plenty of Marshals now, so thanks to every body that has volunteered!
    • Please see cake appeal mail sent earlier – all proceeds going to Nepal Earthquake victims



Excalibur Marathon

We had 3 green vests battling the epic Excalibur Marathon. This race is not for the faint hearted, with 26.2 miles and over 5500ft of climb it is a monster of a course, but that didn’t deter Roy Duffy and Louise McEvelely from travelling to the Clwydians to take it on. Fantastic running saw good results with Roy and Louise crossing the finish line together (Louise also a fabulous 3rd in her age category) Well done folks! It’s also great to see Roy come back in style after a recent injury.

Helsby results:

68th         Louise McEveley              6:08:09
69th         Roy Duffy                            6:08:10

All results here http://www.tdl.ltd.uk/race-results.php?event=1890

Roy & Louise with an interloper

Roy & Louise with an interloper



Only one report this week, Lesley and Dave Feakes competing in a LDWA event at Llongollen, over to Lesley with this fantastic report…

“I completed a LDWA event on Saturday as a walker just to try out the distance for an ultra later in the year. I completed the 35 mile Llangollen Round Challenge that basically covers all the hills/mountains around Llangollen including Moel y Gamlin and Ruabon mountain. Luckily the weather was dry and cool perfect running/walking conditions. There were about 10 runners competing and I would definitely recommend it as a short ultra. As per usual the checkpoints were manned by very helpful marshals with a range of goodies to feed on. The course was fully marked so I did not need to look at a map once! The course starts and finishes in the centre of Llangollen and you are greeted by the town crier as you near the finish line. The event runs every couple of years and I would definitely consider running it next time as I think it is probably easier than walking it and a bit quicker. I finished in 10 hours 30 mins, a bit longer than expected but came in about 15th behind the runners and a few walkers so not too bad a result. To reflect on the day David and I decided to venture into the Helter Skelter for a couple of drinks. Much to our surprise some of Helsby’s elite runners were there, almost unrecognisable in suits after a day at the races! (horses not fells) An entertaining end to a great day’s walking.”



Please find below the results from the Saturday parkruns. Stand out performance this week belongs to Neil Finegan for a brilliant win at Ellesmere Port! Well done Neil.

Warrington parkrun

A total of 314 runners took part.

View full results for Warrington parkrun event #73


Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
46 44 Michael WILLIAMS Helsby RC 00:22:58
129 23 Rhea THOMAS Helsby RC 00:26:34


Delamere parkrun

A total of 246 runners took part.

View full results for Delamere parkrun event #113


Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
35 4 Joanne LACKING Helsby RC 00:22:08
77 12 Helen OWENS Helsby RC 00:24:15
80 13 Rachel ARNOLD Helsby RC 00:24:37
83 14 Suzanne FLETCHER Helsby RC 00:24:43
214 144 Paul BULMER Helsby RC 00:33:48
215 71 Claire MORTON Helsby RC 00:33:50


Ellesmere Port parkrun

A total of 84 runners took part.

View full results for Ellesmere Port parkrun event #33


Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
1 1 Neil FINEGAN Helsby RC 00:18:48
22 19 Benjamin John WILLIAMS Helsby RC 00:23:42


Widnes parkrun

A total of 164 runners took part.

View full results for Widnes parkrun event #20


Position   Gender Position   parkrunner   Club   Run Time  
2 2 Colin BISHOP Helsby RC 00:17:24


That’s all this week, if there are any results or races I have missed please let me know col808@hotmail.com or helsby-race-reports@outlook.com


Wobbler Update

Just thought I’d drop out an update based upon course conditions last night for all you Wobblers.

I would have to describe the conditions as “Fun” and don’t expect to finish with clean legs.

For those of you wondering which shoes to wear, Trainers with good grip are advised!

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Race details

  • Wednesday 3rd June.
  • Registration from 6:15-7 pm
  • Race Starts @ 7:15pm
  • Parking at Forest Hills, Frodsham, WA6 6HH
  • Race entry = £5
  • Pay on the day
  • Cakes and prize giving back at the club house (Helsby Community Social Club) after the race

Full details: Here 



Helsby RC Racing News 18th-24th May 2015

It’s that exciting time of the week again!  I bet you all have been waiting with utter delight and excitement to see what the Green Army have been up to.

Track Running

On a May spring evening, Chris Fitzpatrick and Colin Thompson decided to turn pro athletes and rock up to a Trafford AC Grand Prix 5k race on a track in Stretford.  Only 6 others decided this was also a good idea and armed with their Garmins and 2 day hangovers, they ran 12 laps of the Stretford track.  Colin finished in 6th position in 17:19 with Chris finishing in 7th, not too far behind in 17:35.  (Gaz kindly informing him, this was second to last…).   There was much despair when Chris clocked his Garmin had 3.23 miles as the distance and thought the track was long…  A hilarious discussion on Facebook ensued with Chris coming out looking a right plonker.   However, well done lads.

The Most Excellent Fell Adventures of Max, Phil & Jim (and other fell racing adventures…)

Some brilliant fell running is happening at the moment at Fellsby RC.  Joe Beswick is positively 18 again with all the excitement of it all!

There is a wonderful bromance developing at Helsby RC, between Max Wainwright, Phil Roberts and Jimbo Jones (with the added delight of CBH at many of these shindigs).   They spend many a Spring weekend flouncing up fells, holding hands whilst discussing what is the best gear to look as feminine as possible, in.  Phil seems to be adept at picking the most girly of fell shoes.

They kicked the weekend off with a very tough race at Moel Eilio, 3000ft of climb in 9 miles and Max who is on fire at the moment, finished in a brilliant 2nd place in 1:11.  The most improved fell mincer has to be Phil Roberts though, he is a racing snake at the moment and all down to clean eating, not drinking like a Docker and consistent training, Phil finished in an impressive 20th place in 1:20 .  Chris Baynham-Hughes behind Phil in 1:24 (35th)  and finally Jim Jones in a not too shabby 1:33 and 56th place.

Report from Chris….

Warm, close weather and good visibility greeted four intrepid Fellsby runners on Saturday for what has to be one of the great fell race routes; Moel Eilio. A long steep start took us up to the top of Moel Eilio after which we were treated to fantastic undulating ridge running and utterly spectacular Snowdonia scenery to distract us from the effort to get to the top of Moel Cynghorion. Broadly it was the reverse of the 2013 fell relays leg 2 route (which borrows heavily from the magnificent Paddy Buckley route), this meant from the top of Cynghorion it was a bonkers descent back down to Llanberis.

Four very happy faces returned safe and well – despite Jim running backwards to play with his new toy (GoPro), Phil Roberts putting in a major shift to deliver a fantastic run (kicking my backside by about 5 minutes) and mighty Max proving he can’t be that much of a downhill Princess as he glided home to an absolutely stunning second place finish in a North Wales Counter. He’s reported to have had a look that casually said “Meh, I’ve got it covered” when he was informed about the runner behind him. Now I know Max is a class act, but he stretched even beyond my expectations of him on this one. Hat is tipped yet again! So the lesson I’m taking away is that three out of the four have been racing in the fell at every opportunity this year and give evidence to the theory of “the more you race the better you get”, whereas I need to get practicing in the hills if I’m going to get close to being competitive again.

Fantastic day that couldn’t even be marred by Max’s hair looking more and more like Bieber’s every time we see him.

Mynydd Myfyr Hill Run, Trefonen

The first of our “mini fell series” saw a superb turn out of green vests on Sunday. Even the organiser thanked us before the start which was replied with a resounding cry of “Green Army!” Around 20 vests lined up for the short undulating route around the hills of Trefonen. This course is a great introduction to fell/hill racing, challenging enough to make you work hard with the sharp hills but also short enough to not have you crawling over the finish line. A flat tarmac finish was a welcoming surprise and by the looks of things everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. An award ceremony in the village hall afterwards saw Max win a prize for a fantastic 2nd place overall and first home for the Helsby men whilst Joanne Lacking was first home for the Helsby ladies (and 1st in her age cat). Also a big congratulations to Janet Robertson for winning her age category on the day. A black Labrador called Eddie also tried to steal the limelight but they had no category for Canines 🙂 A huge congratulations to all our fell beginners, no results have been published so far so we are unable to determine the positions in the series but this will be updated in the blog once they become available.

Hutton Roof fell race

Over to Phil Gillard for report on the Hutton Roof…

Bank holiday races are great; normally based around a village fete, not too taxing so the locals can join in and loads and loads of brilliant cakes – the Hutton Roof race is no exception. Just on the cusp of North Yorkshire and South Cumbria; a picturesque little village with lovely people who bake brilliant cakes (have I mentioned that before?).

The one disadvantage of Bank holiday races is the traffic, Saturday brought lots of slowing moving traffic in abundance and so the Helsby runners who set off to run the race found getting there on time the most challenging part of the day (but once you got there the cakes were brilliant). The one exception being Jane who was staying close by anyway (Jane enjoyed the cakes too). Mario, Jane and Phil made it, although Mario was just on time, Steve Riley made it but not in time to race (despite not being able to race, he got the opportunity to try the cakes)

The race itself starts from the fete and then takes you on a climb similar in height and gradient to Helsby hill, things then level out onto a single track through some woods and then out onto the limestone ridge with fantastic views – good fast running on grass, the temptation here is to go fast and not save enough for the major climb of Farleton Knott – about 400m of hands on knees work which is rewarded by a traverse of some gnarly bit of rocks and then a fast return over grassland and back through the woods with a nice downhill finish. Seven miles of sheer unadulterated joy, a race anybody who is used to our hill run would find really rewarding.

One piece of advice I would give to the organisers is perhaps to have cake stops rather than water stops, we had to wait until we finished and fortunately there were loads left despite Helen running amok with cake tokens from my wallet.

All three Helsby runners came in pretty close succession and were then able to enjoy the cakes along with Joe who earned his reward (of cake) as a result of his fantastic support.

Ox Ultra, Oxfordshire

Then we had our ultra fell runner stalwart, Andy Robinson complete the Ox Ultra, which in his words he describes as “36 miles of fast trail running, but in my case, not so fast”.  Ha!  Well 26th out of 158 finishers seems very fast to me and a huge well done to you, Andy.  Very inspirational to many.


Delamere parkrun results:

Louise McElveley: 22:49
Janet Robinson: 22:49
Rhea Thomas: 27:13
Claire Morton: 33:09
Paul Bulmer: 33:09
Steven Wiggins: 33:09

Warrington parkrun results:

Joanne Lacking: 21:33 (3rd female)

Widnes parkrun results:

Colin Thompson:  17:43 (3rd male)
Derek Morris: 25:43

Special mention to Jane Ashbrook and Louise McEveley who this weekend, are both running marathons.  Jane is running Edinburgh and Louise is a maniac and has chosen the Excalibur in Wales, for her first 26.2 miler!  Good luck ladies!  Go smash it!


Helsby RC Racing News 11th-17th May 2015


Apologies for the delay to the delivery of your weekly news, entirely my fault as I thought I was doing it next week! Right, on with the News, I won’t lie, it’s massive! It also has details of a new County level runner to join the few that have swapped their green vest for a black Cheshire one. I’ll leave you to find out all about it below.

Couple of events to point out (full details at the bottom of this mail):

  • Club night out in Frodsham – Fitzy is organising so you know it’ll be good!
    • ‘Hola Green Army So the planned night out is still going ahead, usual routine, Sunday 24th May, 7.30pm, Helter skelter, and then on to a few other boozers nothing too heavy, hopefully see you there 🙂  Fitzy ‘
  • Road: Grocontinental relay on Thursday 9th July at Dearnford Lake
    • Colin Thompson is coordinating the mens teams, if you wish to be involved please email him col808@hotmail.com
    • Jane Ashbrook is coordinating the ladies teams janebetts@gmail.com
  • Fell Counter – Hutton Roof Crags #Fellsby
  • North Wales Fell counter – Moel Eilio #Fellsby
  • NEW to Fells Mini Series #Fellsby
    • Mynydd Myfyr
    • Robbie Webster’s Wobbler
      • I’ve got plenty of Marshals now, so thanks to every body that has volunteered!
      • Please see cake appeal mail sent earlier – all proceeds going to Nepal Earthquake victims

Have a great half term and enjoy your running wherever you are and whatever you’re doing!


Road Running

Windermere Marathon

The Marathon results continue to fly in for the Helsby road runners. Given the location and course profile I think that Darran O’Connor needs to make the most of his form and training by getting out with the Fellsby contingent, but let’s not detract from the story in hand – over to you Darran on what was a clearly stunning performance!

“All the months of long runs and hill sprints boiled down to this. The course profile and message boards all warned of the hills but a quick course reccy on Saturday had me worried I’d get round in one piece. My original goal of beating my only previous marathon time of 3:26:00 was really looking doubtful. The morning of the race lifted my spirits as the conditions were perfect for running. Walking to start line I was full of nerves – luckily I met Helen Owens just before we set of and she was in her usual good spirits. We set of to the sound of a local drum band which gave me a boost. 

I had a pacing plan in mind and my hand was covered in biro to remind me of the worst hills! The hills started almost right away – the steepest of all was at mile 7 which reduced most people to walking (not me!!) randomly there were 2 guys playing bag pipes half way up the killer hill! I stuck to my plan through out until I got to mile 20 where there was another 1 mile of horrible hills. I was hoping to up the pace in the last 4 miles but my legs were spent by that time and these ended up being my slowest miles in the race.

Finished in 51st place with a new pb of 3:19:14. Over the moon with that! Saw Helen cross the line and she looked really strong finishing with a big smile! I would recommend this race to anyone – the atmosphere, scenery and organisation were great. Definitely the hardest race I have ever done – I think a flat one is on the menu for my next one!”

Fantastic performance Darran. And yet another marathon for Helen.. how many this year already? Helen beat the efforts of Ivan and me to come as close to a major time milestone as possible in a time of 3:59:59! Kudos.

Christleton 5K

Won in a stunning 14:31 you know a race has attracted a top field when Colin is not even in the top 50 despite an incredible PB of 16:27!!!!

Amazing runs across the board with PBs all over the place. Unfortunately apart from Colin, Fitzy and Laura BH I don’t know who else PB’ed as I’ve not got a report or a list of everybody’s previous PBs! Congratulations to all runners flying the #GreenArmy flag!

 Pos First name Last name Club Chip Time Chip Pos Category Pos
57 Colin Thompson Helsby RC 16:27 58 Senior 37
86 Chris Fitzpatrick Helsby RC 17:07 85 Senior 54
123 Adam Gordon Helsby RC 17:38 119 Over 40 22
132 Neil Finegan Helsby RC 17:47 129 Over 40 23
166 Ian Rutherford Helsby RC 18:41 166 Over 40 28
195 Ian Landucci Helsby RC 19:33 197 Over 50 8
203 Christopher Murray Helsby RC 19:45 202 Senior 97
209 Tim Igoe Helsby RC 19:58 208 Senior 101
215 Joanne Lacking Helsby RC 20:07 213 Over 35 3
248 Laura Baynham-Hughes Helsby RC 21:10 247 Over 35 5
266 Geoff Shaw Helsby RC 22:16 267 Over 60 9
298 Jo Farwell Helsby RC 24:45:00 299 Over 45 6
309 Donna Geer Helsby RC 25:39:00 309 Over 45 8
311 Mike Searle Helsby RC 25:55:00 311 Over 50 15
319 Janet Shaw Helsby RC 28:10:00 320 Over 60 1

Results are here: http://chestertri.niftyentries.com/Results/Christleton-5K-2015

Chester Half Marathon
With a predominantly flat course Chester is a favorite within the tarmac lovers of the club. This course has a sting in the tail as the finish is up the hill past Telfords Warehouse and through the Northgate.

A new course record was set in 1:02 and change – phew!

First home for Helsby was Degs in a cracking 1:25 followed by Alison Halsall in a superb 1:30! Well done to all that took to the line. Full Results below:


Pos Fname Surname Club Cat Cat Pos Gun Time Chip Time Chip Pos
138 Derek Morris Helsby RC MV40 23 01:25:57 01:25:46 140
313 Alison Halsall Helsby RC FV45 2 01:31:01 01:30:39 316
368 Adrian Jackson Helsby RC MV40 62 01:32:25 01:31:54 368
507 Scot Steel Helsby RC MV40 91 01:34:45 01:34:32 525
748 Louise Mceveley Helsby RC FV45 7 01:38:59 01:38:17 773
1059 David Madders Helsby RC MV40 161 01:43:06 01:42:28 1134
1095 Paul Roberts Helsby RC MSEN 585 01:43:36 01:42:30 1137
1639 Lesley Feakes Helsby RC FV50 16 01:49:29 01:48:24 1746
3441 Donna Geer Helsby RC FV45 103 02:07:25 02:03:17 3471

If there are any race reports for either of the two races above then send them in and they will be added to the blog pages.

Fell Running

Now to the main event – I’m not bias at all 🙂

47ef16cb-371d-4aba-914d-882ce12e4b72Cader Idris is a classic style fell race, run to the top and back down again. It’s a real cracker with some serious huffing and puffing on the way up, ankle challenging terrain across to the summit (which you feel like  kissing by the time you get there!) and an insanely steep downhill section on the return which has spectators gasping!

This year The #Fellsby contingent were slighltly lower in numbers due to various commitments, but Jimmy, Jim Jones, Phil Roberts and friend of the club Jeff McQueen all took to the start line for a breathless adventure. Sadly the results are still not out yet, but it’s clear from the photos that the boys had a great time out there!

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Under the radar at the Inter County Fell Running Championships

Max thought he could get away with it but social media has uncovered that he ran in a Cheshire vest at the Inter Country fell running championships!!!

No surprise to those of us that have seen him run uphill – “Glides” is the word I use! Over to Max for details (which I had to prize out of his modest self!

‘A 7 ish mile fell race in betws y coed. Two laps of a very fast course with lots of twists and turns one big ascent. Nice and sunny day bit too fast for me though. Think I did fairly well but not sure what position I came in as I haven’t checked – second out of the Cheshire vests though’.

Well Max, I finally found the results and here are the cut down version with a few people in for context. Tom Addison was 8th in 48:27! Awesome run Max, especially considering the course didn’t play to your strengths. Maybe it was the Alan Partridge super short shorts? (Context: see this link from 2:52 – http://tinyurl.com/ooas8xg ) I’m sure the rest of the club will join me in congratulating you!

Pos   Num  Name  Club Time
1 367   Andrew Douglas Scotland West 45:26
2 341   Chris Smith Middlesex 46:15
3 385   Tom Adams Yorkshire 47:14
29 308   Andrew Lamont Cheshire 52:03
38 336   Rob Grantham Merseyside 53:50
47 350   Jez Brown North Wales 54:41
49 305   Max Wainwright Cheshire 55:11
67 307   Tom McGaff Cheshire 58:12
71 309   Karl Steinegger Cheshire 58:36


Long Distance Trail & Ultras

Helsby has a few long distance fans – completing challenges from the Bob Graham and the Ring o’Fire to our very own Sandstone trail Race Challenge.

Until now we only had one centurion, but it would appear that number has now doubled! Over to Andy for the details!

Apocalypse 100
‘This weekend I ran the Apocalypse 100 in Shropshire, 100 miles, including 3 ascents of the Long Mynd.

It was an awesome event! Great weather, brilliant views across Shropshire & the Welsh hills. We didn’t have time to stop for picnics though. Best bit: hammering down off the Long Mynd to the finish. Worst bit: offroute in the middle of a rape field at 1am in pitch dark.

I ran the first half with Nigel Aston, then the 2nd half on my own, through the night. Good to see Nigel, & he helped me through a rough patch at around miles 35 to 45. Good to see Charlie Sharpe, Carmine de Grandis & Alison Brind too – all doing the 50-mile option (which was just the first half of the 100).

I must have paced it about right, since I finished 4th in about 24:09:14. Daniel Hendrikson won in 20:15:14, Paul Collier 2nd in 20:56:00. The full results are here, & I’ve written a race report and posted it toRunfurther.com. Charlie Sharpe won the 50-mile race.’

Huge Kudos Mr. Robinson – a top 5 finish to boot! Clearly a great way to relax after putting on an excellent race the week before. Here are the belated details from the other side of an ultra event.

Sandstone Trail Challenge

I’ve now put a report up on the club website here, and I’ve attached a few of the best photos of club members.

We had 198 finishers, half walkers, half runners as usual.   The results are out, and you can find them here.  We had a great day on Saturday, with fine performances from the Helsby runners.  First home was Charlie Sharpe in 4:33, first woman was Tracy Entwistle in 5:23.  Helsby runners were:

7th Chris Fitzpatrick, 5:05
35th Jim Jones, 6:08
46th Jane Ashbrook, 6:29 (7th woman)
49th Derek Morris, 6:42
85th & 86th Ste Wiggins & Ben Williams, 7:43
110th Ian Hilditch, 8:52

I hope I haven’t missed anyone out there, but it’s possible!

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Trail running

Found this in the junk mail box… no idea why it got redirected, but as a result it got missed from previous reace news – time to rectify that!

http://www.lakelandtrails.org/staveley/results.php Jenny and I (Tim) did yet another Lakeland Trails race this weekend. As usual lovely scenery and atmosphere, quite fast as the major ascents were on tarmac – country lanes. A big plus as far as Jenny and I were concerned is that it starts and finishes with a few hundred metres if Wilfs – excellent for pre race brews and post race lunch. As usual for these races, 10k turns into 11.5k…

Park Run

Great to see green vests still making an appearance on the Park run scene. If you’re new to the club and haven’t been out racing yet then the Park run is a perfect start. Really relaxed, great atmosphere and ALL abilities.

Cheeky first place for the evergreen Mr. Colin Bishop and great to see Louise S, Rhea, Andy Smith, Rachel, Jenny O’Hare and Paul Bulmer being guided around by Louise M and Claire Morton.

Well done all!

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

Upcoming races and reminders


Date: Sat 23rd May

Fell Counter: 
Hutton Roof Crags (BM) 11.3km/ 397m
When: 14:30
Where: Hutton Roof Village Hall, nr Kirkby Lonsdale, LA6 2PG
Further Details: www.huttonroof.org.uk
Includes Country Fair so bring the family!

For those of you looking for a PDF version of the calendars, please click this link.


If you have any events to add to it then please contact Tim Palmer

PS – You’ll notice some of the events are in several times, that is because they are in multiple calendars which is better for those that use the electronic calendars. For the PDF users it’ll be an annoyance, but just scroll on by! 🙂

Date: Sat 23rd May
Moel Eilio (AM) 12.9km/ 915m (NW Counter)
When: 13:00
Where: Outside Plas Garnedd , Llanberis, LL55 4LF
Calendar: North Wales Fell Counters

Date: Sun 24 May 2015
Mynydd Myfyr (BS) 6.5km/ 150m – £4-5
Where: Trefonen Village Hall, approx. 2 miles SW of Oswestry. SY10 9DY
Calendar: New to Fells (Mini Series)
A great introduction to off-road running and racing. Approximately 6.5 Kilometres (4 miles) of mixed terrain on trail paths, through farmland and wooded areas and country lanes including climbs totaling 150 metres plus (500ft). Supporting the delightful Trefonen Hill Walk Weekend, which raises funds for various charities. Prizes for first 3 Men and Women plus age group prizes 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+ Venue is SY10 9DA.
Entries are taken on the day. More details can be found at oswestryolympians.com

Wed 27 May 2015
19:30 – 20:30 Batch Bash (AS) 4.8km/ 305m
Where: Yew Tree Inn, All Stretton, SY6 6HG
Calendar: NCC – Fell
Description: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=3880

Sat 30 May 2015
08:00 – 12:30 Excalibur (BL) 42.2km/ 1676m
Where: Moel Famau Car Park GR173612
Calendar: NCC – Fell
Description: http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=3607

11:00 – 12:00 Duddon (AL) 29km/ 1830m
Where: Newfield Inn, Seathwaite, Duddon Valley, Cumbria.
Calendar: NCC – Fell
Description: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=3665

Sun 31 May 2015
Snowdon HM £23
Calendar: NCC – Road

10:30 – 11:30 Edenfield (BM) 10.3km/ 477m
Where: Edenfield Cricket Club, Gincroft Lane, BL0 0JW
Calendar: NCC – Fell
Description: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=3705

12:30 – 13:30 Saddleworth (AS) 4.8km/ 290m
Where: Tanners Waterside Mill, Greenfield, Saddleworth, OL3 7NH.
Calendar: NCC – Fell
Description: http://fellrunner.org.uk/races.php?id=3671

Wed 3 Jun 2015
Robbie Webster’s Wobbler (AS)
When: Registration from 6:15-7pm. Race start 7:15
Where: Best Western Forest Hills Hotel, Overton Dr, Frodsham, WA6 6HH
Description: A fantastic little race run by Helsby RC with cakes. Want more? See: http://tinyurl.com/pv2njjn
Calendar: New to Fells (Mini Series)

Thursday 9 Jul 2015
Grocontinental Relay
Dearnford Lake.
Description: We had a good attendance from the Green Army last year so we are putting together teams again. Teams of 3 each do a 2 mile leg. All good fun! Please find a link here to the event flier with all the details http://www.whitchurchwhippets.co.uk/DLR/DLR_Entry.pdf

  • Colin Thompson is coordinating the mens teams, if you wish to be involved please email him col808@hotmail.com
  • Jane Ashbrook is coordinating the ladies teams janebetts@gmail.com

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.