Welcome to this week’s round-up. Loads of ace reports have been sent in this week, thank you so much for these, makes our job so much easier! It’s great to see lots of new faces each week at training and at the Borders League on Sunday, hopefully you are all enjoying your time at Helsby RC!
Before we get to the news please see a flyer below for the Helsby Fireworks display on Friday 2nd November:
Bish and Jane flew over to sunny Palma at the weekend to take part in their annual 10k, a few other members and friends joined them and made a weekend of it, looked like a great laugh! read on for Bish’s report on the shenanigans…
“While many of the green army made a start on the Borders League some of us along with some ex Helsby club mates and a few Widnes Running club members followed the sun for the Palma 10k and half marathon. Don’t think there was any takers for the marathon. Apparently there was over 10,000 runners across all 3 distances.
On a welcomed cloudy but very warm morning 26C we headed off from the start with lots of support from all nationalities.
Danielle Ryder headed off first for the half marathon, safe to say I think she welcomed all the shouts of encouragement from both the green army and the temporary green army members 😉
The rest of us started the 10k glad to we completed the course maybe not in times we wanted. I am pleased to say I came in first for the team in 10th place retaining my V55 title for the third consecutive year.
Great to see Tanya Meredith there too.
Loud support from Chris Holden, Nicola Kozer and Jane Bishop
Safe to sage the post race beers went down a treat 😎”
Temporary Club Members 😉
Ullswater Trail Race
Richard Hankins is on a mission at the moment, he’s an ever present at the club counters / races and training nights and he slipped away to Ullswater at the weekend for the trail race! Nice result mate, please read on for his full report.
“As storm Callum passed I made my way to the Lake District to run the Ullswater Trail Race with a work colleague. A 14km route from Howtown to Glenridding facilitated by a ferry trip to the start. The roads were covered in gravel and stones from the previous days storm and the temperature had plunged to 8 degrees but looked ok for a trail run.
Upon arrival I found that Ullswater has risen sufficiently to stop all sailings and flood the car park of the cafe we were meeting in, and the car park of the ferry company. As a result an alternative wet weather route was in place. A quick internet search and it becomes apparent that the trail race route has not been run since 2014 with the alternative route used each year. The route started on the roads and then over a few rough fields before heading off onto the fells at the Patterdale end of the lake. There were a number of streams still running across the paths and a 15m stretch of ankle deep water within the first two miles. The route proceeded along the lake and then up onto Place Fell : a long and rocky ascent of approx 300m. This was followed by an immediate steep descent on a very wet and gravelly path that I found barely runable. The views were stunning but the route required careful attention to your feet and there was little time to enjoy it. The marshalling and general organisation was good and it is a race I wouldn’t mind doing again…especially if i actually got a ride on the steamer. Results haven’t been published yet, according to the website the ‘timing system is just drying out’!
Results are out, I finished 27th and my fellow runner Nick Barr 60th/292.
Hell Up North (Little Devils Fun Run)
Rebecca Tate has sent in two reports this week, great stuff Rebecca! First up is her take on Hell up North (Little Devils Fun Run) and the next one is her race at Anderton Boat Lift…
“Of course I wasn’t going to go swimming through mud for fun at the weekend, that’s not proper running! However I accompanied my daughter on the Little Devil’s fun run, which was two small laps of a bit of Eddisbury hill. The medal was fantastic. However the promised goody bag contained protein shake powder, a can of taurine/caffeine drink and a packet of men’s razor blades. I later emailed the organiser to ask who in their right mind thought that this was a good idea, and to suggest that if a balloon, a bit of chocolate and cheap pen would be too margin-busting then no goody bag at all would have been better, to avoid disappointment. In fairness, the organiser emailed back to admit it was his idea, and promise a little something in post to make up for the disappointment. I’m not sure whether to be excited or afraid.”
Anderton Boat Lift Half Marathon
“What a great venue! If you had people coming to support, or to mind children while you run or whatever, there’s plenty to look at with the boat lift, a nice cafe and lovely shop. There is loads of parking (pay and display, not a high charge – especially compared to £10 Delamere parking for Hell Up North!).
For people racing, there was a warm marquee with coffees, bag storage, and well organised race registration. Most astonishingly, there were no queues for the women’s toilets. It was chip timed, so no jostling at the start. If all this wasn’t enough already, there were 6 excellent drinks/food stations, with a choice of water or electrolyte drinks and jelly babies / jelly beans / flapjacks and other stuff that I didn’t notice because it was all about the jelly babies for me. If I wasn’t going for a sub-2-hour time I could have happily spent more time with the jelly babies.
But back to the race – it was 2 laps of a trail course that went through Marbury park, Neumann’s flashes and along the River Weaver. I’ve not done a laps race before, but this worked well and didn’t feel repetitive, with nice scenery and slightly undulating through the woods but otherwise flat, with the potential for fast times. Unfortunately the reason why lots of people smashed their PBs was because the course appears to have measured short, at around 12.5 miles!
The weather was chucking it down and quite cold, with a huge puddle that turned up a few miles from the end and there was no way round it so like any proper trail race we ended up splattered with mud with squelching shoes. That’s not the bit I remember though – the great organisation, venue, medal, marshalling and feed stations are what stick mostly in my mind. The medal is a picture of the boat lift which is awesome, and the goody back was full of nice snacks. There was a sports therapist on hand to offer free sessions which was a huge help for sorting out my recent piriformis issues.
Entries were limited to 500, but only 163 raced – this was the first time this event has been held but I hope it’s back again next year, with a course revision to make up the full distance. Despite glute and hamstring pain all the way round, I got in at 1 hour 52 and half, 21st woman home, and first out of the whole of Helsby Running Club (woohoo!) OK, in fact I was the only person from the whole of Helsby Running Club attending, but a win is a win 😉 Hopefully it won’t clash with other races next time and there’ll be loads of us there next year!”
Borders League #1 – New Brighton
Fitzy was a very happy bunny on Sunday, read on to find out why…
“One very happy Border’s League Coordinator (that’s my official title apparently).
What impressed me most about our Borders League team on Sunday was the amount of new faces that turned up. Yes I’ve been harassing you on social media for the past 2 months, yes I’ve been sending out loads of email reminders about our first race of the season, but everyone looked like they had a ball, and were enjoying being part of the green army. (once the pain of the race had subsided on an extremely fast course).
Job done if you ask me. That’s what it’s all about. Some people say it’s very elitist, but i disagree. Ian Rutherford pointed out his time was quicker than his last time he ran this course last year, but lost about 50 positions in the process. OK, the standard is very high right now, and it was the 2nd biggest turnout for a Borders League race, but for every 5 minute miler, there’s a 6, 7, 8, 9 ,10, 11, & 12 minute miler as well. This series of races caters for everyone.
I knew we would get a great turn out after doing our first Borders League taster session on the Thursday before the race, 16 of us turned up, in rotten weather, to run around an industrial estate in Runcorn. So i would like to thank each and everyone of you that turned up on Thursday and Sunday, and i’d like a shout out all the new members who raced their first Borders League race and i’m hoping you will all be back for many more.
Well done Nathan Woods, Kevin Smith, David Pearce, Florence Woodward-Moor, & Becky Pearce.
A couple of mentions for some great performances on the day. Hannah Cowley leading the way again, coming home 1st lady a whole minute ahead of her nearest challenger. Alison Halsall 1st in her age category, Christina Roch, 3rd in hers, Debbie Read doing what she does best and coming 1st in her age category. A great days running by Nathan, Kev and David, 3 of our newest members, and a shout out to the younger of the two Woodward-Moor’s, Flo making her debut beating Mum, which I believe she enjoyed a lot.
The ladies finished 3rd on the day, only 14 points off top spot. The men finished 6th with a decent score, but looking at other teams results, i think this year is going to be a really tough battle at the top, but loads more to come from the men I’m sure.
See you all in Upton on 11th Nov for the next one….9.30am start for that one”
Hellrunner up North – Delamere
Our hardy Chair Jackie showed them how’s it’s done, running Hell Runner with a fractured arm! Excellent running Jackie, and an age group win to boot! Read on for her full report…
“Well Fitzy has done this the last 9 years and chose chosen running buddy Peter to join him in the swamps this year. I did it 9 years ago & decided to give it a go before this sort of thing ceases to be fun any more!
Storm Callum shut Delamere to the public the previous day so the organisers did really well to put up the marquees & mark out the course, which covers every nook & cranny of Delamere there is on the west side of the B road. There was still the aftermath of the storm with gusting winds & rain in the morning. But there was so much to concentrate on and most was under the canopy of the trees, so the weather became insignificant compared to all the other natural forest elements! The sun did show it’s face for a short period in the afternoon. The really good news was that the air temperature was barmily warm for an October day which helped with the many immersed sections along the way; plus at the end that instant freezing, get me home & dry asap feeling didn’t happen.
Chris & Peter were in the first earlier wave (the expensive one!) & I was in the 3rd (“cheaper”) wave an hour or so later; might as well give it time to get tracked & even muddier. A fairly normal start up & down New Pale Heights & back past the start field to get warmed up. Then into the forest for a zig zag route, with very short spells on the wide tracks. Followed by dozens of sudden dodges to the side into the thick of the forest in search of obstacles; fallen trees, steep slippery banks, water slides, streams, bogs, swamps, drainage channels, & some very awkward sections through many of Delameres newly felled trees with all their jutting branches & trunks. The first major water feature was near Hatchmere, I don’t think it was part of Hatchmere but not far off it! A recently flooded area that had been ploughed into furrowed lines. The route went along a long narrow muddy peaty ridge which you sank into up to your knees with deep water on each side. Several folks lost their shoes in this one & bravely continued having been unsuccessful in digging them out. Another involved 400m across a lake of fairly open peaty water, with the bottom being ridged & full of the usual cut down trees; so you were at one stage balancing on a trunk or ridge with water upto your knees and the next stride out of depth so swimming was the best mode until you crunched into the next hidden obstacle. Chesire Search & Rescue did a brilliant job; balancing in wading wellies & full dry suits on exposed tree trunks in the middle of the water guiding & encouraging folks through, with a dinghy on standby for emergencies- surreal! The final famous Bog of Doom, I have to say was rather a disappointment and tame after all what had gone before, although the consistency was different to the rest, green & slimy smooth pea soup as as opposed to thick & brown lumpy gravy!.
I shouldn’t really have set off as I am still suffering from a fall leaving me with a weak left left arm due to a chipped elbow, but the thought of not getting my £37+ worth hurt me. I escaped from home to cries of ……, & instead took a walking stick which was really helpful all the way around. Also I went around very steadily & gently not really racing. It was still amazing how many folk I overtook though, having started off at the very back of wave 3. There was also a shorter version Valhalla which I got muddled up with along the way so good or bad there was company and queuing all the way around.
Some moments of the day the really made me chuckle along the way & on reflection afterwards; it’s always best to laugh rather than cry!
– The worst thing about the water features was getting out as this usually involved getting up a high slippy bank which with one good arm was a problem. One guy behind could see I was struggling & offered to help, the next thing I was given a two handed bum lift onto the bank for which I thanked him perfusively!
– Another water feature was waist deep with lots of logs above water level. Some folks (including me) straddled them, others balanced along connecting ones. Suddenly a lady balancing alongside me started to wobble & I came to her rescue by giving her my stick which she was extremely grateful for!
– Being in the 3rd wave there were quite long queues entering the water features & some folks going slower than me were starting to feel the chill both in & out of the water. Following the 400m dip which was at 10+ miles, a lot of folks started cramping up all at the same time. Particularly the burley chaps (sorry to be sexist but these were the ones I noticed!). With the silence of the woods interspersed by loud shouts, cries & swearing of broken men! At this stage also, despair, exhaustion & frustration was setting in & they hurled themselves helplessly into the tricky parts hoping to get over quickly, only to find themselves stuck in deep mud with little energy to extract themselves. In the meantime I made my way following my survival plan of quiet, steady & gentle concentration through the surrounding turmoil!
– Towards the end many runners realised how useful my stick seemed at keeping going so were seen snapping away in the woods making their own walking aid!
– With a couple of miles to go, having just crossed the switch back road back to the Visitor Centre side, there was loud music & lights & a dark marquee to run through. This had a lot of folks, including me, thinking what next, “a pitch dark tunnel section” but surprise surprise it was the last drinks station serving flap jack too!
– Chris & Peter sampled the fire brigade’s fundraising hospitality at the end & were hosed down by them. By the time I got in they had ran out of water so I wandered back to the car at Barnesbridge & had a wash & change in a hidden bit of a cleanish pool neat the carpark.
All in all a “fun” character building day our in our Delamere!
Chris & Peter came in in 2:09, I took nearly twice as long 3:50 but was chuffed to be first in my new age category!”
Please find the consolidated parkrun results from the weekend, some fabulous running from the green army which included a first lady for Jenny Illidge at Phoenix! Superb Jenny and a big well done to everyone else who took part.
That’s all this week, thank you again for all the excellent reports, please keep them coming, the Helsby inbox is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep on running…