Helsby RC weekly round-up 5th to 11th March 2018

Welcome to this week’s round-up. It was a very busy weekend of racing for the Green Army, it’s great to see so many of you out and about racing. Before the news Jackie has sent in a quick reminder regarding the Sport Relief Fun Run…



It’s for all ages and abilities so come along and join the fun & raise money for Sport Relief & our nominated local charities (suggestions welcome). Have got a number of volunteers and helpers on the day but for the full set could do with 4 more, please let me know if you can help asap jackiekeasley@btinternet.com


Chester Ultra

Report by Gareth Boyd

Got up at silly o’clock last Saturday for a short drive to Waverton. Registered and was welcomed by a friendly ‘Green Army’ face – Mr Ben Williams (who was kindly volunteering throughout the day). No fancy dress this time – not for ultras 😉 but made sure that I appeared on the front of starting line for race pics 😎. 6am the race started and I made sure that I held an easy pace, not going off too quickly and dying half way around. The 1st 5/6 miles are run on road and then you join the canal – after this it was basically like playing ‘can you spot an area of ground which isn’t muddy! ‘ I kid you not – it was like cross country but approx 40 miles of it 😲😳.

At approx 25 miles we reached Helsby Hill and I was greeted by Betty and Steve (cheers guys) – great to see you guys. We then headed over to Frodsham Hill and then in Delamere.

The last 10k runs along yet another canal – a muddy canal of course.  At this stage most of us were keen to get the race over and done with – I managed to pass a number of runners and finish in position 57. I actually had to pass the finish line twice, as 1st time around, the official camera wasn’t around 🙄. The reward – ok, the usual t-shirt and a lovely burger and hot drink. Awaiting office results but think my finish time was 10.40 hours. Worth noting that Charlie Sharp smashed the course record by 20 mins – now 7.12 hours #wow . Unlikely Charlie, however, I didn’t fall during the race 😎


Gaz’s catalogue pose!

Knighton 20

Report by Fitzy

Sunday seen me travel down to Stafford to take part in my marathon warm up race, a 3 lap, 20 miler along the country lanes of Knighton. This race formerly known as the Stafford 20 attracts a lot of people like myself, who are looking for a long distance race which is ideal preparation for our spring marathons, mostly Manchester or London. It was pretty much near perfect running conditions, a bit overcast and nice and cool.

If you haven’t already heard , because I’ve not really talked about it much, I’ve given up drinking since new year, and I am following a 14 week plan and so far so good, not missing one session, and following the high mileage this plans sets you, and I’m reaping the rewards at present, although there are a few downsides but I’ll make up for that come April 8th.

I had heard from a few club members that the course had been moved to a new location but the country roads where pretty much the same and were undulating with some long climbs. The first mile and a half was all down hill, so I set off at my marathon race pace and was happy with the first 3 miles, until I hit the first hill which you could see the top of as well in the distance. It was nothing too bad but a long drawn out climb is in my opinion worse than a short steeper climb. Once over the top, it reminded me a lot of the 4VHM course, lots of ups and downs, but nothing too bad. My pace held on to my average needed and lap 1 ended with a big steep climb back up to the club house and past the car park, the very same car park that after 2 laps of it David Madders thought, nah, I’m going home after passing his car one too many times for his liking a few years back.

Lap 2, more of the same really, held onto the pace quite well, was starting to bank a few seconds on each mile, for them to be clawed back on the climbs, but all along I was thinking if I can do this on this course, then I should be able to hold out on marathon day, as Manchester only has 150ft of elevation on the whole 26.2 miles compared to 700ft on 20 for this course. The last lap seen me overtake 6th, and then 5th who had come to a stop with cramp, finding myself finishing in 4th but 1st MV40 home, earning a nice £25 voucher and a crisp £10 note. My finish time was 2 hours 3 mins and 25 secs. A very enjoyable day out and more importantly it’s now given me the confidence going into the marathon in just under 4 weeks time and I feel full of confidence. I cannot wait to crack open that first beer on 8th April, just hope it’s a PB victory beer.

Full results are here:

Loggerheads 10k

Report by Darren O’Connor

I attended the loggerheads 10k trail race on Saturday morning and it was good to see fellow Helsby runner Mike Barnard in attendance too. The 10k route was 2 x 5k laps around loggerheads Country Park which involved hills, technical descents and a quite large leg busting stair climb. I have to admit, I found the course challenging – particularly the stair climb which zapped my legs (queue laughs from the fell runners) However it was a lot of fun and catered for all abilities including the option to do a 5k loop and even run with your dog if you wanted. I finished in 17th place overall so could be worse. For me, this race really highlighted the difference in running on trails compared to roads and should serve as a wakeup call if I’m going to have any hope of getting round the Causeway Coast trail ultra in September!

The Howarth Hobble

Report by Ian Rutherford

1Sandwiched between two beautiful spring days, the unrelenting rain-spray of the M6, M65 en-route to West Yorkshire kind of set the tone for the what was in-store on this particular Saturday.  Observing the roadside snow drifts didn’t do much to uplift my cheer as we meandered through the hills towards the pretty village of Haworth.  In the car was the entire Greenarmy cast, hill runner extraordinaire Max Wainwright himself (asleep in the back of the car), driver Ben Crossley and googlemaps navigator my good-self.  That was as much navigation as I was prepared (or qualified) to do for the rest of the day I can assure you.  Arriving in good time for registration and set-up we made our way to the start line in the main street (note they made us start at the bottom of the steep hill).  Just shy of 400 runners (and probably a handful of hiker-walkers) assembled in the rain and heavily overcast conditions, though light winds and mild temperatures in truth didn’t make it feel too bad at all if I’m honest.

Max had already hooked up Buckley’s Jez Brown and Ben and myself wandered further back on the start line to do some last-minute faffing with our kit.  At around 8.10 we were off and the slow trot up the cobbled hill began.

The course is a 32-mile anti-clockwise loop from / to Haworth over the West Yorks and East Lancs hills taking in sizeable towns of Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.  Total elevation for the course is approx. 5000ft.

Things get interesting and picturesque quickly as we run alongside the vast reservoir at Stanbury.  The terrain is already demanding and within the first few miles everyone is already wet-footed and soaked through.  The slippy rock makes running at any speed difficult but given the number of already steep climbs this became less of an issue and some yomping had already begun.

Ben was finding the terrain much easier underfoot and made light-work of the climbs; he even had time to take some excellent pics.  We found ourselves chalking off the miles efficiently enough, going through the checkpoints and securing a quick biscuit. At roughly the half-way stage we observed some supporters/helpers one of which carrying a sign indicating hotdogs and sure enough around the bend, on top of the moor was Checkpoint 4 with tables laden with hotdogs (and veggie dogs), soup, tea etc.  Very welcome.  At this point mine and Ben’s elation was quickly curtailed, seeing Max, fully clothed and if honest looking somewhat off-colour.  It was obvious his race had finished.  After ensuring he was okay and that his lift back to Haworth was happening, Ben and myself plodded onwards.

We were both moving well and constantly picking up people, taking comfort that we were definitely going the right way.  On one of the faster downhill sections, I had my customary fall and with Ben’s first-aid help managed to bandage my knee up sufficiently.  We lost around 10 mins in doing so.

The most significant elevation is ‘backended’ on this course, with two huge moorland hills, Stoodley Pike being one of them with its ghostly monument poking through the mist and lots of cobbled-road coming in to Hebden climbing up to Heptonstall.  Ben took a shot of whiskey at the check-point just before this, the biggest climb, at roughly 20 miles, me, I went for a cheese and onion pasty.

Both tired now and hearing that the penultimate checkpoint had ran out of water didn’t go down well and Ben, now flagging a tad, demonstrated his resourcefulness in taking water from a trail-side spring.   Replenished and perked up, we tried upping our pace with minute on, minute off running / walking these final very steep climbs.  The most significant snow drifts were evident on these final moors just before re-entering Haworth, knee-deep in places.

A final push, both running well, we made it back to the finish clocking an unremarkable 6hours 48m finishing in joint 167th but it was chalked off and with huge grins we got some refreshment and joined a snoozing Max in the car.

For the record this year’s winning time is an amazing 4hours 33m by Ken Sutor of Cheshire Hash and Buckley’s Jez Brown (who a lot of us know at the club) was a brilliant 8th in 4hours 59m.




Please find a link to the Saturday parkruns below. Well done to everyone who ran, especially our Bish with a brilliant win at Phoenix Park!


That’s all this week folks, thank you so much for all the brilliant reports, it makes our job a lot easier and gives a bit of variety to the blog each week. Please keep them coming, the email address is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Keep on running!

Col T


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

Hi everyone

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

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

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

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


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

Smithhills 10k MT

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

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

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

Certainly blew the cobwebs away.

Cheshire XC Champs

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

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

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

Link to full results can be found here:


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


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

Col T

Helsby RC weekly round-up 11th to 17th September 2017

Hello Green Army

Welcome to this weeks round-up. A few of our members have been out and about on road, trail and fell so let’s get started…

Firstly it’s big congratulations to our top mountain and fell runner Max Wainwright for running the Glen Coe Skyline race, looking at the photos it looks totally bonkers! A top 50 finish is outstanding, hopefully Max will get a report over to us soon telling us all about his adventure.

Wirral Multi Terrain Race 2 – Thurstaston

Please find a link to last Tuesdays Wirral Multi Terrain results below:


A great turn out of the green vests saw 13 toeing the line, CC was first back for the Helsby men (7th overall) and Alison Halsall was first back for the ladies (9th overall). Well done both!

Debbie also won her age category and now sits at the top of her table. Well done to Deb and well done everyone else who turned out for the club, I had a hamstring niggle so decided to sit this one out and offer some support from the side lines, it was great seeing everyone putting in some serious effort, also nice to see everyone stay behind and cheer in Betty at the finish, that’s what teamwork is all about!

Thank you to Mario for sorting out the tags and thank you to the support from Louise, Jenny and Joanne Illidge and Leah. Don’t forget the final race is at Arrowe Park next Tuesday 26th Sept.

Sutton 6

Our penultimate road counter of the year saw 10 green vests at Guilden Sutton for the fabulous Sutton 6 race. Great low key event, cheap as chips to enter and a well organised and marshalled course. What more would you want?

I managed to fight off a challenge from Fitzy to take the full points for the men and Susie Woodward-Moor had a great run to take the chequered flag for the ladies. Well done everyone!

Helsby Results:

16           Colin Thompson                35:58
22           Chris Fitzpatrick               36:44
35           Ian Rutherford                  38:14
54           Richard Hankins               39:47
81           Peter Rodriguez                42:03
83           Jim Jones                            42:19
142         Geoff Shaw                        48:19
146         Susie Woodward-Moor   48:55
149         Geoff Collins                      49:03
226         Janet Shaw                         01:01:06


EHM 10k & Half Marathon

No reports for these 2 races in the inbox, if you did either the 10k or half please fire over a quick report so we can include it in the blog. I do know Colin Bishop managed to get a brilliant 3rd place and 1st in his age group in the 10k. Well done Bish!

Results here: http://ehm.contest-sports.com/results/

Wirral 10k

Debbie Read has sent over this fantastic report for the Wirral 10k. Over to Deb…

“Lucy is 9 years old and has an inoperable and terminal brain tumour. Her uncle, a runner from The Wirral, has started a fund raising page called Lucy’s Pineapple Fund. Lucy, who loves pineapples is now in Mexico receiving treatment.

BTRrunliverpool organise many races on Merseyside including The Whistle Stop Tour, Run the Tunnel and The Santa Dash. They hosted The Wirral 10k/half marathon at the weekend and had some goodies left over.

Using the power of social media a local running club on The Wirral arranged a “casual run”  open to all on their club night using the officially measured 10k route. Runners were asked to pay a £5 donation to Lucy’s Pineapple Fund (many gave more) and in return they got a technical T-shirt, a medal and a goody bag curtesy of BTR.

So, on a sunny but very windy evening I found myself, along with about 100 other runners, running along New Brighton Prom.

We started near the clown roundabout and ran along the pedestrianised promenade following the lead bike towards Seacombe. At the ferry terminal the lead bike became a human traffic cone and encouraged everyone on their return to the clown, and boy did we  need it! What was a tail wind on the way out made it a very challenging 5k return journey – the last 1k in particular as we turned the corner at the fort was brutal. At the finish line we were all given our goodies, along with lots of snacks, drinks and homemade cakes.
No marshals, no timing, no prize winners but what a fabulous event.

I believe nearly £1000 was raised.

(Jim, do I get a point? )”


Burton 10k

Betty has sent in a report for the Burton 10k, thank you Betty and well done.

“Sunday I ran the Burton 10k fun run, it was my first time at this event and it is a lovely course with good facilities and management.

There are 5 and 10k routes, open to adults and children, plus a mini fun run on the field for tots aged under 5yrs.

It was great seeing club runners from the local area doing the 5k with their kids.
The course has full road closures and starts on roads heading toward Ness Gardens before turning down toward the Dee estuary with stunning views before continuing on the Dee cycle path and boardwalk.

The Course returns to the Galdstone community centre, for the finish, where the under 5’s egg and spoon race was underway. There is a family BAB, refreshments and Bar.
I would recommend this race for a fun family day out.”


King John’s Fell Race

Please find the results from King John’s fell race and our 11th counter below.


No reports for this so I can’t comment much about the race but looking at the results it appears Adam G had a stormer for a top 3 finish and first Helsby runner home! Well done mate. Also well done to Laura BH for first Helsby lady and age cat winner!


Please find a link to the consolidated results for the Saturday parkruns. Well done to Jane Ashbrook for an excellent first lady at Delamere!


That’s all this week folks, sorry about the delay this week. If I have missed anything please let me know so I can update the blog.

Happy running!



Helsby RC round-up 5th – 11th Sept. 2016

Hi everyone

The inbox is a little light this week, only one report so far. If you raced over the weekend and would like it included in the blog please fire in over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Before we get to the news please see some reminders of races and events coming up…

  • Kings John Castle fell race (last race in our mini fell series)
    Sat 17th Sept 2016 at 11:00, £4 on the day
    Country: Wales
    Category: BSDistance: 7.4km / 4.6m
    Venue: Raven Inn, Llanarmon-yn-lal. SJ190562
    Skills & experience: n/a
    Climb: 265m / 869ft
    Website: http://www.wfra.org.uk
    Region: North
  • Sutton 6 (11th road counter)
    Sunday 18th Sept at 11am
    Guilden Sutton
    £8 (affiliated) no entries on day http://www.westcheshireac.co.uk/roadracing/sutton6
  • Race #3 of the Wirral Multi Terrain series (8th race of the club mini trail series)
    Tuesday 20th Sept
    Harrison Drive, Wallasey
    18.30 start time
    £1 on the night (club vests must be worn) http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/openingframe.htm

Rotary ClubStatic Bike Fundraiser At Tesco’s Helsby – Sept 24th  6AM to Midnight Green Army time slot is 10:00 – 11:00 – all three bikes We can also raise more by having more than one person riding in the 1/2 hour – so instead of one rider at £40, 2 riders ar £80 Or spread out the cost by having multiple riders – invite friends and family There will be a kids bike as well!!!!


Wirral Multi Terrain #1 – Royden Park

Tuesday 6th September was race 1 of the September multi-terrain series and race 6 of the club mini trail series. The course was at Royden Park near Thurstaston and is a lovely route taking in fields, woods and a tricky climb over a sandstone ridge. 9 out for Helsby with myself first home for the men and Vanessa first home for the ladies. Well done everyone, some excellent running and extra kudos to Boydy for turning up despite running a 200 mile ultra the previous week, the man’s a machine! A cracking race and at £1 each these are a bargain, make sure you get to the next one – 20th Sept, Harrison Drive, North Wirral Coastal Park, Wallasey.

Still no results for this race but if you keep an eye on Steve Saunders website they should appear soon.


Northwest Road Relays

Saturday saw the Northwest road relays at Delamere and what a fantastic day we had. It was a very similar course to the Delamere parkrun only with a slightly different start/finish area and 2 laps instead of 1, 6.4km in total for each stage (although we all measured it around 0.5 miles longer than this!). The best of the best turned up and it was a bit intimidating at first seeing proper “afleets” doing their warm up drills, but I think we can hold our heads high as we mixed it with the some of the best running clubs in the NW and all had a great time. Well done Green Army! Also a big thank you to Joe, Mario, Andy Smith, Sue Buck, Nicki Hamling, Colin B and Jane B for their support on the day (and Jane baked some lovely cookies to replenish those carbs!!).

We had 18 runners out in total (2 ladies and 3 men’s teams) please see the Helsby results below:


24 Helsby Running Club ‘A’ 1:31:54
1 Joanne Lacking (25) 29:12 2 Vanessa Griffiths (27) 32:19

3 June Swift (24) 30:23

51 Helsby Running Club ‘B’ 1:40:45
1 Rachel Holden (59) 35:27 2 Debbie Read (56) 32:59

3 Carol Shaw (51) 32:19


35 Helsby Running Club ‘A’ 1:45:42
1 Colin Thompson (24) 24:14 2 Ian Rutherford (36) 27:34

3 Phil Tomkinson (38) 28:12 4 Neil Finegan (35) 25:42

59 Helsby Running Club ‘B’ 1:58:36
1 Gary O’connor (68) 28:45 2 Ian Hamling (63) 29:15

3 Roy Gaskill (65) 30:59 4 Christopher Murray (59) 29:37

67 Helsby Running Club ‘C’ 2:04:33
1 Phil Gillard (79) 31:07 2 Jamesdavid Jones (71) 30:15

3 James Gray (69) 31:44 4 Stephen Riley (67) 31:27 


Full results and more photos can be found here:

Andy Smith kindly took some photos too. These can be viewed here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/49120421@N08/albums/

Wirral Half Marathon & 10k

No reports for either of these races thus far so I can only show the results sorry. Having done the 10k myself a couple of years ago I can say it’s a fast course and very flat so there are some impressive times on display, especially as it was a hot day on Sunday. Well done all!


 106th Michael Williams 48:04

Half Marathon

108th Carl Pratt 1:35:55
312th Adele Croxton 1:45:43
327th Geoff Collins 1:49:00
769th Gillian Fitzpatrick 2:13:33

Full results here http://www.tdleventservices.co.uk/race-results.php

Whistle Stop Tour

An excellent report has been sent in by Carl Pratt who competed in the BTR “Whistle Stop Tour” last week.

“I took part in the BTR whistle stop tour of Wirral.  It is a challenging 3 day event covering 26 miles.

Friday: Arrowe Park 5 mile trail run – 00:36:07 Saturday: Thurstaston 8 mile beach, woods and nasty hills 01:00:30 Sunday: Wirral Half Marathon: 01:35:55 Total 03:12:32.

The Thurstaston race on the Saturday was very tough. A long stretch of beach followed by 2 monster hills over 8 miles. The Wirral  half we had really good conditions but unfortunately I was not in the best condition after 2 days of racing. Next personal target will be a sub 1:30 at Tatton Park Half Marathon in November.

It is a really good event and places have opened for next year. It would be good to see some Helsby Runners there next year. It will sell out fairly quickly so you do have to sign up almost a year in advance.”



Please find a link to the consolidated parkrun results from Saturday. Well done to Fitzy who smashed Widnes for a 2nd place finish and new PB! Well done to everyone else who took park.


That’s all this week. Happy running folks!

Col T

Helsby weekly round-up 25th – 31st July 2016

Hi everyone

A diverse mix of events last week and weekend saw the Green Army undertake races ranging from parkruns, 10ks and fell races to epic 50/100 mile ultras. A huge congratulations to Graham Ireland and our second claim runner Chris Collins for tackling the 50 and 100 mile Lakeland ultra events respectively. More on that to follow with a fantastic report by our Graham.

Also, numbers seem to be on the up for our Monday night track sessions. Paul Frodsham (AKA The Frodfather) has been coaching a group with a bit more intensity added in to spice things up and it’s going very well. Paul’s session runs alongside Joe and Mario’s fantastic track session so there is something there for everyone, please come down and join us on Monday evenings at the high school, with the Borders League looming it’s a great time to add some speedwork to your training.

Before we get to the news please find a few reminders below for some up and coming events this week which may be of interest:


  • Ponderosa fell race BS 6.4km/289m 4miles/950ft
    Wednesday 3rd August, 7pm, £5
    Ponderosa café, Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen (GR 193481)
  • Deestriders Multi-terrain GP #3 (4th in mini trail series)
    Thursday 4th August, 7.30pm, £5
    Start and Finish at Tata (formerly Corus)
    Sports and Social Club
    Rowleys Drive, Shotton
    Deeside. Flintshire
    0.75m from Asda Store at Queensferry Traffic Lights heading towards Flint
  • Halewood 5k
    Saturday 6th August, 10am, free!
    The Environment Centre, Okell Drive
    Halewood, Merseyside L26 7XB

Green Green Grass Fell Race

Report by Laura B-H

“Green Green Grass fell race is a popular local race in the Clwydian hills. Not one of our counters this year, but 8 green vests still made the trip on a lovely Wednesday evening to represent Felsby. Some great running from the lads and ladies. Congratulations to Janet for winning the FV50 prize and having the biggest smile at the end of the race!”

Results for Helsby

7 Jim O’Hara M 42.06
10 Adam Gordon M40 42.56
13 Ben Fletcher M40 45.00
35 (4th) Laura Hughes F 51.24
59 (1st V50) Janet Robertson F50 56.07
67 Susanne Fletcher F 59.09
74 Ben Williams M 61.28
75 Rachel Arnold F50 62.12


North Wales Half Marathon

Our 9th road counter of the season (how time flies!) saw 10 green vests toeing the line in Conwy. Some excellent results on what I’m told was a tough course (beach and stiles in a road race, really??) and some Helsby runners were in the prizes too. Well done everyone! Jenny has sent in this excellent report, thanks Jen!

Report by Jenny O’Hare

“Ten of the Green Army turned out for this road counter on Saturday and results for Helsby can be viewed on this link below (thank you Ian Rutherford). https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=822141024588169&set=p.822141024588169&type=3&theater

Some notable results include Laura B-H who not only came  first in her age category but also was second lady overall!  For the men, Adam Gordon and Neil Finegan finished an incredible 9th and 10th respectively and every one of us survived to run another day  – definitely worth mentioning!

As a race, this half definitely had something for everyone… sand, sea air, fast flat road, undulating hills, really steep hills, off-road tracks and trails, steep down-hills (track and road), incredible fell-style terrain and beautiful views combined with a local village atmosphere and lots of local support.

The first and last mile were across the (energy-sapping but beautiful) beach followed by four miles of fast tarmac along the promenade towards Penmaenmawr village.  The climb begins from mile 5 and follows the Old Conway road up to the Mountain View pub.  With a total climb of 312 Metres this race is not the easiest half marathon but it is stunning – and memorable.  Travelling back down Conway Mountain from mile 9 was very tricky as it was hard not to be distracted by the incredible views but it was more fell/trail than road at this point and concentration was vital.  The last few miles bring you back down towards the beach and are a good opportunity to pick up the pace again (if your legs are not destroyed) on good old solid tarmac.  Then you only have one last mile of sand to deal with…

My own personal highlights include seeing Joe and Mario at the top of the Sychnant Pass (I nearly cried), and the views…Did I mention the views??  This is a fab race if you like a challenge, or if, like me you are just not sure whether you prefer, road, trail, fell, town, coast or country, this race has everything.   I absolutely loved it!”

Excellent results everyone. Congratulations to Laura and Adam for bagging the maximum points in the road counter series, great running on a tough course!

Helsby results:

9th  Adam Gordon  01:28:51
10th  Neil Finegan  01:30:18
26th Ian Rutherford  01:40:13
29th  Phil Tomkinson  01:42:24
45th  Laura Baynham-Hughes  01:45:14 (2nd lady overall!)
106th  David Feakes  01:56:51
150th  Paul Roberts  02:01:40
1720nd  Lesley Feaks  02:05:18
238th  Jennifer O’Hare  02:14:50
294th  Tanya Downes  02:25:54

Full results here:

Photos here:

Lakeland 50 (50 miles, 9,500ft climbing), Dalemain to Coniston

Report by Graham Ireland

“Leaving myself plenty of time, I set off on Friday towards Coniston to see the start of the 100 mile race, (a clockwise loop starting and finishing in Coniston), watch the token rendition of Nessun Dorma, and smugly sit back knowing I’d taken the “easy” 50 mile option. That and waving off our very own Chris Collins, who hadn’t taken the easy option! Friday M6 traffic however had other plans for me, and missing all the above I managed to get there at exactly the right time to register with everyone else who’d signed up, complete with children, grandparents, dogs and what seemed like the entire population of the Lake District! 

At the compulsory briefing the next morning I looked round to size up the competition, and to my great delight I was sat next to a guy who’d been weighed in at 120kg, (compulsory weigh in at registration), and looked like he’d never ran a day in his life… At least I wasn’t going to be last, but fair play to him all the same!  Brushing off the panther sighting a few days before as just the crazy ramblings of a man from St Helens, (organisers words, not mine), and the jokes about the 100 mile competitors all working in IT, (sorry Chris), we all headed off to Dalemain for the start. 

Gun went off at 11:30 and we started on the 4 mile loop of the estate before heading out onto the course proper.  Leaving the woman with a Husky harnessed to her chest for dust, (surely there should be a rule against that… Although she did look Russian!), I blitzed the first 10 miles.  Out of the first CP and up to the highest point on the course and my day started to go downhill, literally and figuratively.  Pretty sure the Husky woman had poisoned the jelly babies at the first CP the night before! After what seemed like forever I made it down to Haweswater and round to CP2 at Mardale Head where I was met by the friendly faces of the Delamere Spartans. Big thanks to them for sorting me out and sending me on my way, topped up on soup and a questionable selection of sandwiches, (I’m a ham and cheese man myself), I limped my way off round the rest of the course.

The biggest test of will came not with any climbing or running, but at CP5 Chapel Stile, (or CP13 for the 100 milers), where we were met with a fire pit and sofas…. Is it me or is that just cruel? I managed to drag myself away… just, head torch on, for the final 10 mile push.  Things got distinctly wet thereafter under foot, with blisters and pain management the name of the game. 

By the time I hit the last CP I was feeling terrible, but with just 3.5 miles and 1000ft of climbing to go I was nearly there.  Massive thanks again to the marshal who sorted me out with with a cup of tea and told me to man up and get on with it, both of which I needed. I set off up the Tilberthwaite steps and started to feel human again, (still not sure what he put in that tea!), and bombed it down the other side into Coniston and the finish in 13 hours 17 minutes and 260th overall, over 1 hr 30 mins better than 2014. 

Tough race, but great atmosphere, very well organised, and fantastic marshals.  Would recommend to anyone looking for that sort of distance. 

Final note and massive kudos to Chris Collins who arrived in Coniston less than 1 minute before me after completing the full 100 mile course, and with an amazing overall placing.  I’m sure he’ll have his own stories to tell, but hats off sir, a truly amazing achievement.”


Congratulations Graham and Chris, amazing achievement guys!

Helena Tipping 10k

FB_IMG_1470210867260_resizedAlso on Sunday was the Helena Tipping 10k which saw 3 Helsby vests pounding the roads of Wrexham Industrial Estate. The first 5k is pretty much downhill but you then need to claw back the lost elevation for the second half and if judged correctly can be a very fast course. Carol Shaw had an excellent race to win her age group and Gaz was very close to his PB, just missing out by a few seconds. I managed to achieve one of my fastest 10k times of the year so was very happy with the result. Well done everyone, a great day was had by all and thank you to Louise Spruce for her support and taking the photographs. Also a quick mention to RD Michael Harrington (cute fruits) for the flawless organisation and quick publishing of the results, I’d recommend any of his races as his team always delivers a fantastic event on the day.

Helsby results below:

12th Colin Thompson 35.34
45th Gaz O’Connor 39.04
122nd Carol Shaw 46.34 (1st in age cat)

Full results can be found here http://cutefruitevents.niftyentries.com/Results/helenatipping10k

Photos here:


An excellent weekend of parkruns saw Jenny Illidge storm around to take 1st lady at Chester parkrun and Widnes saw a podium finish for Fitzy who grabbed a brilliant 2nd place overall. Well done both and well done to everyone else who took part in a parkrun, please find the consolidated results for Helsby below:


That’s all this week. Please let me know if I have missed any races or results. All future race reports to the same email address – helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Col T

Helsby weekly round-up 11th-17th January 2016

Hello Green Army

WOW….What a weekend that was, I’m knackered. Not much to report on this week, only 1 race, only the BEST HALF MARATHON IN THE COUNTRY took place, on our doorstep, organised by us, you, Helsby Running Club,  and boy oh boy what an unbelievable weekend it was. So before I put in Degs’ mahoosive race report,, a few mentions and dates for your diary.

A note from Andy Robinson – Sandstone Trail Marshals’ Run on Monday 2 May – a message from Andy

Every year I run the Trail before the Challenge to check the route out.  This year I’ll be doing this on Monday 2 May (Bank Holiday) a few days before the main event.  I know some of the Green Army couldn’t get a place, and anyone’s welcome to join me on the 2nd instead – the price is to help out on the 7th (eg helping to man a CP).  If you’re interested let me know (andy@crewood.net).  I’m also looking for volunteers to provide support on the 2nd, who can drive us down to Whitchurch & then park up at the CPs to provide water etc……………..Sounds good this if you fancy a nice little 34 miler

Borders League Race 4 – Sunday 24th January –Abergele 11am Start

Caravan Park, Beech House Road Postcode LL22 7PP
Both the mens and ladies team are looking for a good turnout once again from the green army, any questions, contact me on social media or Fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com

Park Run – Bit of a quiet one this week for obvious reasons but for consolidated results see below

So onto the big one

Four Villages Half Marathon #4VHM Over to Degs for his race report

So where do I even start with this one? Gotta start with thanks to all involved in making the race happen and what an event you all created. Not seen a bad comment about it. It had everything, great support, dopes in last year’s numbers complaining of not being in the results (yes some people hey, surely not a member of the Green Army Gaz?) and of course the non-stop “it’s snowing will it be on” updates on social media. Onto the race, arrived early straight from nights (cue violins and sad music) to help with the car parking and what a job I did 😉 didn’t see any crashes at all. Great to see everything running so well in the baggage area, number transfers etc all being so professionally ran. Lined up at the start with some muppet wearing last year’s number and then we were off. Great support for green army members within the first 50m. The first few miles passed quite quickly, had a chat with a couple of other runners (all wearing this year’s number I might add) lovely countryside to run through and great to have full road closures. Miles 8-10 I found tough but was pleased to see the route changed slightly as I was waiting for the steep hill normally around mile 10. Once at mile 10 having taken Captain Cols advice and attacking the first 10 miles its great knowing you have the best 3 mile finish to any race I’ve done, mainly downhill and the only race I’ll ever clock sub 6 minute for miles 12 and 13. Coming down the last hill wow what support “Green Army” screems heard for miles (Gareth Boyd) and a nice shiny PB to start the year off for me. Brilliant to see and hear so much support for our home race definitely spurred me on for my pb. Well done all Runners great times by all, supporters and volunteers!


I echo what Degs has said, I think all the positive comments on social media and there has been tons of it, really tells you how well Laura and her team have done putting on for me the best half marathon I have ever ran in (and also helped out in). Every single one of you who has been involved over the past 6 months right through to race day,  the race could not go ahead without this fantastic support.  Seeing we have only 1 race report come in from the day, I’ve put a comment from a mate myself and CBH know from when we ran Ring Of Fire a few years back….Adam has summed it up perfectly

Joining the ranks to thank the Helsby team for a great event. In order of my day I was impressed by the weather updates, ease of parking, catching up with old and meeting new Green Army friends, the fact that you were able to support some number transfers on the day, MOTD on TV in the clubhouse to watch pre race, great route with support plus helpful & encouraging marshals everywhere they were needed, downhill finish, reflective memento vest, massage, loads of food options post race and a PB to cap it all off. If I lived closer I’d love to join the team……..See you at the next one.

I think there are too many great stories and PB’s galore to put a mention in for all of you, but well done to Colin Thompson and June Swift for being 1st male and female home. One of my highlights was seeing a picture of Charlie getting chased by a few chickens, and the other was the fantastic support out on the course from loads of you, again too many to mention. Our “GreenArmy” chant really was being shouted very loudly throughout the whole 13.1 miles.

Full list of results below



That’s all folks…Happy running green army!

Llandegla forest – new route and new race

Anyone that’s done a bit of mountain biking will be familiar with the built trails at Llandegla, so the announcement of two new dedicated running trails and a new race are welcome news…


The Clwydian Range Runners are pleased to announce that a brand new, permanent, fully waymarked running route has been installed at Llandegla forest. There are two 10km routes (red & blue) and although parts of them are the same they differ in terms of the experience and ability required of the runner.

The Range Runners have been working on this for just over 12 months now and as a way of thanking the people involved we are hosting an opening race around the course.

The date is Saturday 20th February 2016
Registration between 09:30 – 10:30 for an 11am race start
Cost will be £5

Kit: due to us not being able to forecast the weather in February, which can be hit and miss from year to year, we will be expecting runners to have waterproof or windproof jacket, hat & gloves.

There will be the usual prize giving and thank you’s afterwards and the centre, as many of you know, serves great hot and cold drinks, cakes and light meals.

Llandegla_Running [route map and other information]
dash in the daylight v6 [race info, same as the graphic above]

Helsby weekly round-up 21st – 27th September

Hi everyone

Apologies for the brief round-up this week, it was a bit of a rush job this morning. Thank you for the race reports, please keep sending them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com if you wish for them to be included in the round-up each week. 

Wirral Multi Terrain (Arrowe Park) 

It was the season finale of the multi terrain race series on Tuesday. Great to see lots of green vests out and getting involved in this race series and nice to see a few new faces in the mix too. Neil Finegan has sent in a report from the final race at Arrowe Park.

One of the best things about running for Helsby has been the introduction to some superb races that I’d never have considered (or heard of) before.  The Multi Terrain series (I’ve ran 3 of the 4 races) have all been superb – well organised, great atmosphere and all for £1 per race.  And there was of course a big Helsby turnout.

Last weeks event was the last of the series at Arrowe park and was again a real treat.  Starting with a lap of the field it then went into a mixture of woodland trail, undulating grassed fields and just when you thought it was over – another lap.  A great run, going from the open fields into the forest at dusk was a challenge, as was dealing with the crowds at the start.  But the popularity of these events (all with over 300 runners) is understandable – They are top races and at a bargain price. One runner described it as a cross country course but without the mud which sounds about right.

The results are here:

First Male for Helsby was Chris Collins and Jo Lacking was the first Helsby Lady home. 

Sandstone Trail race

Our very own Geoff Shaw organises this race so a big thank you to him for staging another successful event. Well done to all who participated and fantastic to see a few green vests in the prizes too. Please see a brief race report from Tim Palmer below:

Here are a few jottings on the Sandstone Trail Races today (Sun 27th Sept)
Good Helsby turn-out Results at: http://deeside-orienteering-club.org.uk/sstrail/results.htm

Helsby prize-winners:
Vanessa Griffiths – B Race – Ladies’ 50 winner
Alison Halsall – A Race – 3rd lady
Andy Robinson – A Race – Mens’ 60 winner
Prize for not running as Helsby RC – Tim Palmer (running for Deeside Orienteering Club) – A Race – 1st Orienteer

Worth saying that the first three finishers get their ‘place’ prizes and not their age category prizes – this rule affects both Alison and Vanessa. Great to see lots of support from other Helsby members.

Also this excellent report has been sent in by Jackie.

Yesterday was a splendid Indian Summer day for the 39th Sandstone Trail Race.

The A Race is 27.5km (17.1 miles) with 655m climb starting from Duckington and the B Race is 17.0km (10.6 miles) with 288m of climb starting from Beeston, both finishing at Barnesbridge in Delamere.

A great turnout from Helsby with plenty making the journey south to Duckington for the long race. A crowded start up through the trees on a tranquil dewy morning and onto the open edge of Maiden Moor with misty clearing views out towards Wales. An ideal temperature for running (to start with before it got rather hot) and great under foot, dry but soft and bouncy! Onto Raw Head and then towards Tough Team Challenge territory and Beeston Castle. The quick ones get through before the B race starts giving a less hindered run through the many flat stiled fields (planted with a lot more giant sweet corn than in previous years) before finally reaching the double pull up to Rock Farm and Primrose Hill. Finally the diversion from the trail up the Yeld to avoid the main A road crossing, over the shoulder of Eddisbury Hill and the drop into familiar Delamere for the final push dodging the many early afternoon visitors.

Well done to Helsby runner Geoff Shaw for organising a great well marshalled and signed race which takes some doing over 17 linear miles! Thanks to Mario for supplying the extra lucozade sport needy refreshments along the course and to Joe’s vocal cheers, plus a special mention to Helsby members who helped marshal.

Congratulations to Vanessa, Alison, Andy and Tim for getting individual category prizes, see Tim’s report.

A Race
4      Jim O’Hara            2:03:31
35    Ian Rutherford      2:24:13
41    Phil Roberts          2:26:36
56    Alison Halsall       2:32:21
62    Jim Jones              2:34:03
69    Andy Robinson     2:35:32
70    Tim Palmer           2:35:39
71    Chris Murray         2:36:21
72    Laura B-H              2:36:32
80    Louise McEverley  2:38:31
92    Dave Feakes          2:45:19
109  Lesley Feakes        2:49:57
128  Rachel Arnold        2:57:03
165  Jackie Keasley       3:19:19
176  Steve Wiggins       3:56:00
PS Going by the times and positions there must have been many green vests jostling for positions!   Steve and I were oblivious to all this bringing up the rear, me nursing a cold and Steve a hangover!
B Race
8   Ben Fletcher               1:15:41
45  Vanessa Griffiths      1:33:07
141 Jen O’Hare                1:55:31
187 Betty Grieve              2:14:14 


3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross

What? A cycling race you ask? Well we don’t discriminate here at Helsby RC so anything on 2 wheels is good in our book. Steve Riley was at the 3 peaks cylco-cross on Sunday which is billed as the “toughest cyclocross in the world”. Sounds interesting and slightly bonkers, please read on for Steve’s take on the race.

I’m not bragging or anything but would just like to mention ‘the hardest cyclocross race in the world’. For anyone not familiar with The Peaks, the race makes little sense. It makes little sense to those that are. It goes back to 1961, long before mountain bikes were a twinkle in the eye. Cyclocross bikes: they’re a bit like road bikes with chunkier tyres, slightly beefier frames and lower gears. They are an utterly unsuitable vehicle for travelling the slopes of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent.

whernside climb 800pxIn recent years runner Rob Jebb has made it his own, winning 11 of the last 16 events. It’s a ride that suits fell runners – several of the elite of English champs were on the start-line, together with ex World Champ MTBer Tim Gould …and me. No fear of troubling the leader board, but it’s an absolute treat just to turn up and ride. I say ‘ride’ because there’s a lot of carrying.

So anyways, Ingleborough is mostly a brutal and steep climb via Simon Fell, suited to knotty runner’s calfs, followed by a moorland traverse to the top. Dib in, turn around and after a tricky running section through the rocks to leave the summit and then a fast and rutted grassy descent (wrong bike) to Cold Cotes and the first of the road sections (wrong bike again) through to the next climb of Whernside. This is mostly rocky steps and the reverse of the descent on the fell race. Dib on the top and then the trickiest section of the whole race, down to the iconic Ribblehead viaduct familiar to all steam enthusiasts. Flags, drainage bars, rutted moorland tussocks and lots of rocks doing their best to attract punctures (wrong bike).

whernsideMore road down to Horton and the out and back climb of Pen-y-ghent. A bent rear mech by now making a nuisance of itself all the way down the road, the final hill taking a long time to draw close. Tired now and even the tiny road climbs are tempting cramp.

Because this last hill is out and back you get the extra pleasure of seeing the fast folk flying down towards you as you’re suffering like a dog on the way up. Cowbells, whistles simon fellshouts of ‘rider up, keep left!’ raise your game …it was a lot quieter when I came down and the support had mostly gone home. Hit the road for the final couple of miles into the finish and both legs lock solid with cramp. Stretch, no that doesn’t work. Pedal, no that hurts. Soft pedal, sort of works. It passes and eventually, I’m back just sneaking under 5h for a pretty mediocre performance. Still, top 500 In The World!

38 miles (4 classed as unrideable, I’m asking for a recount) 5000′ of climbing. 2 litres, 4 gels, a 9-bar and half a squashed banana. An utterly, utterly unique event.

Ed – Big contgrats Steve!


Please find the results from the Satuday parkruns. Well done to all who took part.

Warrington parkrun

27th Ian HAMLING 00:20:37
30th Joanne LACKING 00:20:59
81st Michael WILLIAMS 00:24:35
107th Rachael HOLDEN 00:26:00

Delamere parkrun

40th Janet ROBERTSON 00:23:21
52nd Geoff COLLINS 00:23:56
137th Stephen WIGGINS 00:28:28
138th David WIGGINS 00:28:28
228th Jen O’HARE 00:35:15

Ellesmere Port parkrun

12th Benjamin John WILLIAMS 00:22:53

That’s all this week. Again, apologies for the lack of content this week, if I have missed anything please let me know and I can update the blog later on.

Happy running!


Helsby weekly round-up 31st August – 4th September 2015

Hello everyone

A very busy week of racing for the green army so lots to report! Thank you for all the race reports, if there are any more then please send to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com and I can always update the blog at a later date.

Firstly some reminders of races and events coming up soon:

  • Don’t forget it’s multi-terrain race #2 tonight. Ladies are doing well in 3rd place,  men 17th, 5 men and 3 ladies to count. A great set of 5-6 mile fairly local races at £1 each so a bargain! 7pm start at Royden Park http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/mterrain.htm
  • Mini Fell Counter – Saturday 19th September –  11am – St Johns Castle –  A 4.6 mile race starting in Lanarmon yn Ial with 865ft of climbing. A good introduction to fell running out near the Clwydian Hills with a lovely village pub at the end! Entries on the day and only a few pounds!
  • Road Counter – Sunday 20th September – 11am Sutton 6 – A local 10K race just up the road at Guilden Sutton. A pleasant flat course along mainly quite country lane. Entries online or by post and on day subject to 400 limit.   http://www.westcheshireac.co.uk/roadracing/sutton6/
  • A link to Tim Palmers comprehensive race calendar can be found here https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2015-event-listing/
  • Xmas party – Friday 4th Decemeber. More details to follow from Fitzy but get it down in your diaries asap (or he will be very disappointed!)



Our weekly parkrun stats are below. Some good performances this week with a podium position for Janet and a new PB for Rachael! Well done all.


45th      Janet ROBERTSON  00:23:47 (2nd lady)
47th      Geoff COLLINS         00:23:52
66th     Carol SHAW               00:24:50


63rd     Rachael HOLDEN     00:26:25 (new PB!)


The first of the muti-terrain races saw 12 helsby runners toeing the line in Thurstaston. A beautiful evening and perfect race conditions saw some excellent running from the Green Army. Congratulations to Max Wainwright who was first home for Helsby in 15th place overall and Jo Lacking who was first home for the ladies. The ladies are currently 3rd in the league and men are 17th. Nice to see some new faces on the night too, well done everyone.

Helsby results here:

15th      Max Wainwright      29:46
79th      Jim Jones                  33:47
84th     Jim Higgins               34:04
120th    Jamie Dowdall         35:14
174th    Geoff Collins             39:10
194th    Paul Foster                41:02

9th        Jo Lacking                 36:10
13th      Vanessa Griffiths      36:32
27th      Louise McEvely        38:14
91st       Donna Geer               47:51
92nd     Pam Hankinson        47:53
98th     Janet Shaw                 48:21

Full results can be found here http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/mt/2015/mtrace1_15.pdf


Halewood 5k

Ian Hamling was our sole Helsby representative at the HW5k this month and ran a stormer to break the 20 minute barrier for the first time. Well done! Ian is one of our newer members and has been training hard at the track each week which is starting to pay dividends in his race times. Quality training really does work so if you would like to get some speed into your training then join us at 6.30pm each Monday at Helsby High School.

Full results for the race can be found here https://sites.google.com/site/halewood5kresultsservice/


Brenig Trail

Ben Williams has kindly sent in a race report for the Brenig Trail race on Saturday. Over to you Ben…

Dave Wiggins and I took on the Brenig Trail race on Saturday – nine miles around Llyn Brenig reservoir on the Denbigh Moors.  The scenic course was mainly on stony or paved tracks, with a stretch of wet muddy footpath at the top end of the lake. Road shoes were the order of the day, and many people were cursing their way through the muddy stretch. The course was ‘undulating’ rather than hilly, but there was very little of it on the level apart from the heartbreaking last half mile along the dam where the finish never seemed to get any closer. The weather was fantastic, almost too hot at one point and I was grateful for a bit of shade when the trail disappeared into the forest.

The race was nice and low-key, very well organised by Denbigh Harriers and marshalled by local cadets. The turnout was boosted by Wilmslow, who I assume were using it as a club counter and who made up almost a third of the field. It deserves support and it would be good to see a few more of the Green Army there next year.

Special mention goes to Steve Wiggins who dropped (well, hobbled) in to support on his way back from the ROF, and bought the coffees as well.

Results at http://www.denbighharriers.com/downloads/Brenig_Results_2015.pdf

Montaine Trail 10k/HM (Delamere)

Sunday saw the Montaine Trail event which has proved popular with Helsby runners in the past (anything hilly and muddy seems to be a magnet for the green vest!) A tough course with a run up Old Pale is certainly not for the faint hearted but that didn’t deter the 4 runners from the Helsby contingent. Two reports have been sent in for this, thanks guys. First up is Darren:

Not really a big fan of the trails but thought I’d give this a go being so close to home. Tough route – very hilly and muddy in parts. Shoe came off going through a particularly boggy patch and going up old pale at the end was a killer! I would have said definitely not a pb course but Chris somehow managed to get one!

Well organised and enjoyable race. Really good training run for me but I’ll stick to the roads I think…..

And over to Neil Finegan for the next report…

In its second year of running, The Montane trail 26 events at Delamere on Sunday had a choice of 2 routes looping through the central part of the forest and familiar to those who have run the parkrun there.  A 10k and a half marathon choice,  both run on trails finishing together with a  final slog up the old pale – a 200 ft steep climb to take in the views before the downhill to the finish. 

The half route which I completed was a mixture of the main paths around the forest,  combined with some real “off road”  trails.  The amount of rain last week made this a tricky and mucky experience but thankfully the knee deep puddle towards the end cleaned my legs at least.   It was a tough route – only a 750ft climb in the course but the twists and turns made it difficult with the bad conditions under foot.  Every time you started to get a  rhythm and a bit of speed going you were diverted off again through the trees,  dodging the swamps,  tree roots and dog walkers. It was a beautiful September morning and the scenery made the race pass very quickly – but the popularity of the forest on a nice day with non runners added to the difficulty.  

It was a well organised event,  the kids trail event at the start (complete with off road Hill climbs) was particularly good.  A few more stewards and markers would have been appreciated in places but the race kept a nice small scale community atmosphere with 200 runners in the half and 148 in the 10k.  The winner of the half set a new course record of just under 1h 18m.  For Helsby Chris Murray knocked 5 minutes off his previous half marathon PB which is brilliant on a tough course like this.

There was 1 Helsby runner in the 10k and 3 in the half all finishing very well.

Helsby results below:


31st       Stephen Roach          00:51:55

Half Marathon

11th       Neil Finegan              01:29:28
24th       Darren O’Connor       01:36:02
32nd     Christopher Murray   01:40:13

Full results here http://www.trail26.com/events-results.html

FB_IMG_1441709678745_resized FB_IMG_1441709697701_resized






Tim Palmer has kindly sent in the following report for Cilcain, thanks Tim.

The Cilcain Mountain Race saw a good Helsby turn-out – well a good turnout from the Men Vet 50s with Jim Jones, Phil Gillard, Ian Landucci and me. Chris Hatton and Andy Robinson were there representing the more mature members and Ben Fletcher representing others. The race itself is up to top of Moel Famau and back via a slightly different route.

There is some excellent drone footage of the race – see: https://youtube/MEPXLN4ibDo – the drone did lead to some confusion with the Green Army; initial suggestions suggest the drone was…a swarm of bees, flies round the runners, a strimmer…

Unfortunately the results on the WFRA website have an Excel bug in them. From those and the info on the WFRA North Wales series, the following can be de-ciphered….

Helsby results:

31st         FLETCHER, BEN      39:45
45th        JONES, JIM               41:40
53th        GILLARD, PHIL        42:57
54th        PALMER, TIM           42:58
61st        LANDUCCI, IAN        43:55
75th        ROBINSON, ANDY   44:50 or 44:48
115th       HATTON,CHRIS       52:15

Shelf Moor

No reports for our 11th fell counter but I have found the results. Well done to Jimmy O’Hara on another strong run to take maximum points and Laura Baynham Hughes who was first lady home. Well done to everyone else who participated.

Helsby results below:

14th      Jim O’Hara                            00:50:34
38th      Ben Fletcher                         00:58:41
40th     Jim Jones                               00:59:17
54th      Paul Gilliard                          01:00:48
56th      Steve Riley                             01:01:26
71st       Laura Baynham-Hughes    01:06:29
83rd     Rachel Arnold                       01:10:38
85th      Paul Foster                            01:12:48
88th     Chris Hatton                          01:15:03
92nd     Jackie Keasley                       01:18:18

Full results here https://glossopdaleharriers.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/shelfmoor2015results1.pdf

And some photos can found here http://www.overyonderphotography.com/2015/09/06/shelf-moor-fell-race-2015-photos/

Ring O’ Fire

ring-o-fire-routeFinally a massive shout out to Gareth Boyd who completed the epic Ring O’ Fire race over the weekend. Ring O’ Fire is a 135 mile coastal ultra marathon circumnavigating the Isle of Anglesey over 3 days and is one of the toughest trail races in the UK. Well done from all at Helsby RC! Also commiserations to Ste Wiggins who had to pull out of the race due to injury, I’m sure he will be back to fight another day. We will be pestering Gareth and Ste for a full report when they have both recovered but in the meantime all results can be found here http://www.ringofire.co.uk/.


That’s all this week, please let me know if I have missed any races or if you have any more reports please send them over and I can update the blog.

Keep on running!



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!