Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 28th Oct to 3rd Nov 2019

Hi everyone

Not much in the inbox this week, just the one report and the 10k TT results. I’m sure more people have been out and about racing, if you did a race and would like to let us know about it please send a report over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com. Just a few words or a link to the results would be great, generally if the bloggers weren’t at the race we won’t know about it!

Before we get to the racing news Fitzy has sent over a rallying call for the Borders League on Sunday…

Borders league race 2 this Sunday in Deeside, it’s a 9.30am start so hopefully with it being local and early we can get a good turnout. Post code is CH5 4BR

Who’s playing out?
Fitzy

10k Time Trial

Please find last Wednesdays 10k TT results below. A fantastic run by one of our new members Mike Fryer saw him take the chequered flag and dip under 40 minutes, great stuff mate, there’s more to come for sure! Lauren Cooke was our first (and only) lady with a superb run in 1.07.58 Well done Lauren, and well done to everyone who took part, it’s great to see members turning out each month and supporting the event.

Big thanks to our volunteers who were Jake Holmes (timing), Richard Hankins (marshall) and Ben Tumilty (tail runner). We’re having a break over Christmas so our next event will take place on 29th January, hopefully see you all there!

Results:

  1. Mike Fryer 39.04
  2. Daz O’Connor 41.07
  3. Chris Lloyd 42.33
  4. Ian Llanducci 46.03
  5. Ben Williams 48.53
  6. Lauren Cooke 1.07.58 (1st lady)

Snowdonia Marathon

Rebecca Tate has sent in a brilliant report for the Snowdonia Marathon last month, well done Rebecca!

“Saturday 26th October dawned grey, cold and raining, ready for almost 3000 of us to run on the roads around Mount Snowdon. I kept warm in a cafe for 2 hours before the start, which involved drinking a lot of tea and coffee as etiquette requires, but then spent the following 4 hours wishing there weren’t quite so many waterfalls and streams around reminding me of how badly I needed the loo (of which there were none!). 

By the time we started the rain had almost eased off, and it soon became dry once we were going, turning into perfect cool running weather in the end. 

There is 3000 feet of elevation on this course, and Pen-Y-Pass was the first of the big hills, but strangely it wasn’t really noticeable [mantra “it’s not as steep as The Yeld” kept me going, though it must be said it was considerably longer!] and we were soon heading back downhill towards Beddgelert, which was packed with people cheering. There was plenty of support around the route, very regular drinks stops, and having found a new friend to run with, we chatted away and the miles passed quickly. I realised that – far from needing to panic about the cut-off time at mile 18 (which I ended up within by one and a half hours) I was actually on for a time here! 

My “walk 20 / run 20” method up the final massive hill worked a treat, I overtook a lot of people – though I knew at the time it was here that would cause me a lot of pain the next day. And I was right! At the top of that hill was a Mad Hatters Tea Party – the oddest sight in the middle of nowhere, somewhere on the slopes of Snowdon – “cup of tea?” asked a big flouncy dress, and I didn’t mind if I did. However, just a quick slurp then onwards as I wanted a decent time. 

The next part was all trail – which was good because I don’t get on with road running or road shoes, and had done all of this in my trail shoes as a result. Those in road shoes were now sliding about all over the place – it had rained so much, the path was a stream flowing over the stones, with the grass on each side turned to bog. I kept upright, but the steepness of the descent was very very painful bearing in mind this was now mile 24 or 25. But all that melted away when we got into Llanberis and the streets were lined with people cheering us on, there was the finish for a decent paced final run up, and I felt quite emotional about it all. I got a time of 4 hours 39 minutes which is a PB for me, and was delighted. 

I would happily do this race again, as the atmosphere, organisation, frequency of drinks stations and the views were outstanding. It’s going to become a ballot entry system next year, so it may be more difficult to get in. Onwards now to London 2020 where I understand it’s not quite so undulating  ;-)”

Parkrun

Please find a link below to the consolidated results from last Saturdays parkruns, well done to everyone who took part in one. The standout performance was from Darren Sankey who had a stormer to win Phoenix parkrun in 18.34 and attaining a new PB in the process, anyone who has ever ran Phoenix will appreciate how quick that is as it’s a very hilly challenging course. Well done Darren!

https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

That’s all folks, keep on running!

Cheers
Col T

Weekly Roundup from Monday 21st to Sunday 27th October

Not a huge amount in this week’s Halloween Blog – keep letting us know what you’ve been up to. Not everyone sees the facebook posts so its great to get your race reports sent through for everyone to see. Send them to Helsby-Race-reports@outlook.com

Remember, remember the 1st November…
 

Thanks very much to Jake Holmes for sending this report (it didn’t come in time for the week it took place but here it is a week or so late – well worth a read!) Well done Jake amazing job.. 100 miles!!!

Snowdon 100

People who’ve read my reports before will know they can go on… so for those in a hurry… “I completed Snowdon 100 Ultra on the weekend… it was great… a lot went on!”
There you go, no complaints please.   Now to return to form… and for those with some time.

There’s a 50 and a 100 mile race. Starting at 6am Saturday in Betws heads out to the hills and goes up Tryfan, Snowdon, the Glydwrs and Pen yr Olwen before heading back to Betws (finish for the 50 and half way for the 100) via a big divert to get some final ‘less hilly’ miles in. 
There were 40 or so of us on the 100 start line and when we set off I found it comfortable being up in the front group. I knew I wouldn’t be there all day but it was flat for a few miles so wanted to get those under my belt nice and quickly. The following few hours gave good climbs and pretty strong winds and rain. I’m gonna skip ahead to the last climb of the 50, Pen yr Olwen. It’s a tough one but the weather was fine and so when we (I was chatting to a couple of runners on the way up) got to the top to be told the route was being altered a bit to avoid a ridge because of the weather (it was still fine) I was pretty disappointed. 
Jump to about 45 miles and I’m running on my own back to Betws. It’s about 9pm and has been by head torch for a couple of hours. This was the hardest bit mentally… the altered course was bothering me…
‘So if we’ve just been diverted off Pen yr Olwen now, what are they going to do with the 100 route? I’ve seen the course before so what’s the point in heading out again to do what might end up only being 80miles or something? The kids are at home, you could just knock it on the head and have Sunday with them’. ‘Is this really how you want to spend your time?’ 
 
Yeh you see, bad times. 4 miles from the Betws though, a group of 5 or so head torches come bobbing along catching me. Just what was needed – a bit of chat and a good pace with some guys chuffed to be coming to the end of their race. I jumped on and picked up the pace to stay with them. Almost as soon as I did I knew I was carrying on regardless of the final distance. In Betws they crossed the line and I caught up with Wayne (Race Director) who said the weather hadn’t come in and it all looked good to do the full course. The change hadn’t reduced miles, just avoided a ridge. Great. 20 min sit down and faff and a cup of noodles and off back onto the course. 
 
Arrived at the next CP at around 1am Sunday to a sleeping marshal and to hear I was in 4th! Really?! That’s what he said so maybe but whatever I was happy I was going well and picturing maybe finishing in daylight!
 
3am and the first proper mistake: I’m on a moor and can’t find the footpath I need. It’s tiny, the bracken is big and my head torch gives me about 5metres of visibility. I give up and decide to take a bearing and just go for it. The next 40 mins is a battle of stomping through bracken scratching the hell out of my legs and making v slow progress down to the reservoir. I got there but it was not the smartest thing to do. I saw a head torch on the hill behind me. I’d lost a good half hour I reckon.
 
6:30am: through the next checkpoint, where they were reviewing incoming weather, and I was half way up Pen yr Olwen again before they decided.. I saw the head torch behind me again and so when I got to the face of bouldery rocky type terrain near the top, I just took up it scrambling without much planning. This was the second mistake. I did well and got high then looked up to think… well I can’t go up that bit… then turned to see.. well I can’t go back down the way I’ve just come. Oh bugger. 
 
I then spent what felt like an hour of traversing, going up a bit, down a bit, kept coming to dead ends. Cloud came in, visibility dropped and the rock and moss got soaking wet. I’d spend 10minutes getting to a spot to then think… ‘woh…. can I do that… but there’s nothing to hold and that’s too far down. Dammit..’ and I’d have to turn around. I genuinely felt stuck there for a minute. Had a word with myself and managed to get back down. Took a closer look at the gpx and found the path which was further round, still steep, but all doable. When I got to the top the relief was pretty big but I knew I’d just lost an hour and that head torch guy must have passed me. Still, it was done. 33 to go.
 

A couple hours of running through the weather the marshals had been expecting (70mph wind and rain had arrived on the Carneddau and they’d stopped other runners coming up) and I see someone running towards me!? It’s Paul Cunningham! Came along at just the right time… it had been pretty hard since about 2am and I reckon it was on its way to 11am now so a smiley face (I don’t think he has any other type) was just the ticket.
The other thing that happened about now was I started getting pains up my right ankle. I don’t remember a specific moment but it quickly had me walking. I thought it’d be something to run off but for now it was fairly slow progress – Paul kept the pace up, pointing the way… and mostly in the right direction 🙂 . 
The stretch from the next CP was along the valley on a good path. John (head torch guy) and I were there at the same time but he set off running 5mins before me and I knew I had a walk ahead so let him go. Lots going on in my head now, mostly along the lines of ’30 miles is a long way to walk… so you’re not going to do that’. After a few miles of hiking at a decent pace, with the poles being invaluable, I gave myself targets of hobble/running to the next tree… and then I’d get there and change the tree I was aiming for. Quite soon I was running again (with a bit of pain) and when I caught John before the next CP I was mentally back in a great place.
 
85mile CP marshal: “How are you feeling?”
Me: “Yeh great thanks”
Marshal: “Good, ok so we’ve changed the route because of the weather and everyone’s going down the valley”
 
There was only one mountain left! And the weather wasn’t bad. I was ready to have a moment after going through all this to get this close and potentially not do the full course. The CP manager was switched on though and when she realised me and John were two of 6 who’d so far done the full course, she let us go up. John had been suffering on the last leg though and he didn’t want to so off I headed while the rest of the field stayed low toward Betws.
It was great to know there were no more chances of route alterations and I had the full course in the bag. It was windy again up top but dry and after what took longer than expected, I followed a ridge down back to the valley at Capel Curig as it turned dark.
Ok now it started to get a bit weird. 90 miles done I’d been going for about 38 hours so was pretty tired. Hadn’t seen anyone for 3 hours and now all I can see is the bit of trail lit by the head torch surrounded by dark. Running water had been the constant sound for a lot of the race and even more here where most of the paths were streams. I suppose your mind just starts to create things for you to think about other than the cycle of ‘where’s your next step’, ‘is this the right way’, ‘is your ankle still ok’. That’s when in the corner of my eye I saw a guy in a white hoody standing about 10metres away. It didn’t immediately freak me out. I knew there was no-one there. I’d heard about lack of sleep and extended running causing hallucinations so thought maybe this is where we are then… though I definitely wasn’t looking for one! I stopped and turned to look straight at it, and at that point he turned away so I could see his back. I mean what the f*@k. I looked back at the trail and he turned back to face me again. Ok now I was freaked out. I looked back at it and it turned again. It was obviously a tree, or a rock or something, but no matter how much I knew that… I could not stop it looking like a guy standing there. 
 
I ran on. I was ok with it at the time… partly because I knew it wasn’t there… and partly I think cause I was knackered and didn’t have the energy to let it bother me. Thinking about it freaks me out more now than it did at the time. Soon after this though I started seeing things in everything. It was a bit like when a cloud looks like something, but I didn’t need to think about it… it just was something the second I looked at it. A bush would be a deer… over here something would look two rabbits playing chess… leaves on the floor would have smiley faces on them, there’s be a doll lying in the path up ahead etc. I’d have to get on top of them before they turned back to the leaves or rocks or whatever they were. I knew it was just something to do to break up the hours so again I was kind of ok with it but it was a bit much at times. The only times it did make my hairs stand on end were the couple of other times I saw a person. Always just a dark shape in the trees or down by the river or something, but again, once I thought I’d seen it, I couldn’t make it look like anything else. Lack of things to think about for so long… mixed in with the tiredness and the dim light from the head torch. Whatever – very weird!
 
Into the last 2 or 3 miles… ‘thank god’ I hear you say… I was saying something similar. It went on for longer than I thought it would. Misty so you still couldn’t see much but it was a decent path just following the river in. I started to question whether I’d passed Betws. Now for anyone who hasn’t been, Betws y Coed is a town with shops, hotels, pubs, a train station… you can’t miss it. Check of the phone and the watch and I could see I was on track, but I still wasn’t convinced. There was a footpath about 5m down to the right… “maybe I should be on that?” It would make no difference at all but this is what I was what was going through my head. I looked back at the path I was on and there was an inflatable penguin lying on its side.
 
OH FOR GOD SAKE!…. I JUST WANNA FINISH.
 
There was no penguin. A second after and it had turned back to the boulder it always was.
10 mins later and I’m running across the green and under the finish line banners (to take 6th place!) 41 hours after I started. My wife and a mate had come down to pick me up. It was great to see people I knew, but also I might have still been asleep in my car now if they hadn’t! I’d been hobbling quite a bit for the last few hours but straightened up for the finish of course. Soon after I couldn’t put any weight on my ankle. Next day it was worse. Sprain. Ice and crutches for a bit then.
 
Finished it though… and overall… loved it. This time last year a 15 miles was the furthest I’d run off road… now there’s a 100 miler ticked off  

Clwydian Hills Fell Race 

I am attaching a couple of photos of Sundays Clwydian Hills Fell Race that Andy Smith posted on Facebook – I was due to do it too but was struck down with a horrible bug. It looked absolutely beautiful. Well done everyone! Very jealous.

That’s all folks.. keep em coming in please..

BYE

Weekly blog 14 Oct to 20th Oct

 

Just a couple of notices this week, the first from Jackie and the second from Fitzy.

Next Saturday 26th October, 10-2,  at Elton Community Centre there is a KWIC Pop-in. Keeping Well In the Community. 
If you can spare half an hour or please pop down and support me running a HRC stand to promote the benefits of running to Physical & Mental Health  for all.

thumbnail_20191020_112155
Thanks
Jackie

Christmas party time, what date is best for people, will go with the most popular? Usual night, Helter Skelter for 7.30pm then onto wherever the night takes us, normally wherever Karaoke is on.

Fri 29th Nov
Fri 6th Dec
Sat 7th Dec
Fri 13th Dec

Please email me with your choice if you are looking to attend. Sat 7th is the popular option at the minute

<fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com

Thanks
Fitzy

parkrun

Full results for Helsby members can be found at the link below. This week’s highlight was a win for Darren Sankey at Knowsley parkrun

https://tinyurl.com/y2lncx2p

Cheers
Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up. Monday 7/10/19 to Sunday 13/10/19

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to those of you who have sent something to the inbox. Please remember to send any contributions to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Upcoming Events

A reminder that the next 4VHM meeting will be on Wednesday 23/10/19 at 8pm at the clubhouse.

This coming coming Sunday is the first race of the North West XC League at Beacon Park (snapshot below). But don’t forget that you can see all our local races on our race calendar:  https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/helsby_rc_calendar-31-07-2019.pdf

Screen Shot 2019-10-16 at 17.59.32

Racing News

Borders League – Race 1: Caernarfon – Sunday, 13th October 2019

Thanks to Richard Hankins for sending in a report on the 1st Borders League Fixture of the year:

Fitzy begged pleaded and eventually resorted to doughnuts to encourage the faithful down to Caernarfon. The furthest of the races in the Border League we always worry that we’ll struggle for numbers. Even Hannah Cowley joined in the pre-race encouragement via Facebook. On the day 18 Helsby men and 8 women turned out to endure the wonders of a British Autumn, despite numerous clashes, ill health etc.

It’s actually a really nice course. A couple of miles along the coast adjacent to the Menai Straits then inland and uphill for a couple of miles. There is a middle section along a relatively narrow open road with cars, vans and the odd lorry travelling in both directions. This section is a bit iffy as is the sharp and slippery left hand corner on a steep downhill at the end of it. At that point I thought I was about to start the descent and was more than a little disappointed to find another half a mile of uphill ahead of me. The finish is by the coast adjacent to the castle….a great location. That said with the driving rain it was easy to miss the views….especially if the rain had forced you to take your glasses off and you could no longer differentiate between the local PCSO and a runner for Chester Tri.

Hannah Cowley definitively demonstrated a return to form finishing a comfortable two minutes ahead of the second lady and achieving the course record. The rest of the ladies team ran admirably and they came third on the day. We’re looking forward to more success this year for the ladies…perhaps a team championship win is possible?

The men were led home by Mr Borders himself, Fitzy, in an impressive 35:52 followed by solid results for Nathan Woods and Kevin Smith. I knew the men’s team were in trouble when I came in 4th counter having proudly held P.11 for the team for the past four years. We did well for numbers and enthusiasm but the results show the speed wasn’t there across the men and we came last. But, we avoided any penalty points and we start the season in a challenging but recoverable position.

Overall, a great little event and I’d encourage anyone of any speed or level of experience to make these events. They’re free and friendly, real grassroots sport at a regional level.

Richard Hankins

Full results from Caernarfon are HERE

Palma Half Marathon – Sunday 13th October 2019

Thanks to Debbie Read for sending in a report from her race in Palma over the weekend:

Well I survived!
On what was an unseasonably hot Sunday I took part in the Palma half marathon.
A very well organised event, there was a choice of entering the 10k, half marathon or marathon, all starting in front of the iconic Palma Cathedral.
Having looked at the courses the 10k was a straight forward out and back along the seafront and marina.thumbnail_IMG_2219
The half marathon continued on into the historic part of the city and the marathon was 2 laps. I chose the half purely for the scenic old town.

Loving running on trails and woods, I was giving up the will to run after about 6k, what with the relentless tarmac/concrete but most of all the exposed sun and unforgiving heat.thumbnail_image1Despite taking full advantage of the sponges and water at every water station I was overheating and was truly regretting having entered, asking myself why I’d entered such a long road race. Heading back towards the cathedral and considering dropping out at the 10k mark I heard a “Green Army! Oh, it’s Debbie” shout from a runner heading their way out – it was ex Green Army member Tanya! Well that gave me the boost I needed.

At 12k we turned into the old town where the course zig zagged and meandered through a mixture of narrow cobbled alleys, wide boulevards and the ring road, however they were mostly in the shade and I got my mojo back and actually started to enjoy myself.
Although I’d trained for the race, given the conditions it was never going to be about the time, just to finish, which I’m pleased I did. 2:06

Palma is a lovely city and I’d recommend visiting it, just maybe not to run 13 miles on Tarmac, concrete and stone in a heatwave when you’re a forest trail lovin’ kind of gal.

Parkrun – Saturday 12th October 2019

Well done everyone who did a park run at the weekend. Our consolidated club results can be seen HERE

That’s all for this week. If anyone still has something to contribute from the weekend then please do still send it in and we will include it in the next round-up.

Cheers,

Jim

 

Weekly round-up 14th Sept to 20th Sept

 

Firstly some great news from 4 Villages Half Marathon race director, Laura Baynham-Hughes

Amazing news – the 4 Villages Half Marathon has been voted the best half marathon in the North! Thank you to everyone who helped get people voting – £1k prize and promo in Runners World is a great result! We open for entries on 1st October 2020 – online entry here https://helsbyrunningclub.niftyentries.com/Four-Villages-Half-Marathon-2020.

This year we are also the qualifying race for the England Athletics Masters Team – more info here https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/england-competitions/england-teams-and-selection/england-age-group-masters/half-marathon-masters-team-opportunities/

We are having a 4VHM Team meeting on Wednesday 16th October @8pm at the club. If you would like to get involved in this year’s race please come along or drop me an email https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721if you are interested but can’t make the meeting (Laura@baynham-hughes.com). The more people that help the better – we want to make sure we live up to our ‘Best Half Marathon’ accolade.

Paul Cunnigham sent this report on from his amazing adventure on Offas Dyke

Offas Dyke is a large linear earthwork that roughly follows the current border between England and Wales. The structure is named after Offa the Anglo-Saxon King of Mercia from 757 until 796AD who is traditionally believed to have ordered its construction.

The Dyke is approx. 181miles in length and roughly 80 km of the dyke can still be seen today – enough History.

The morning had arrived – four trains and 5 hours later myself and Gaz O Connor arrived in Chepstow meeting up with Dave Jones and Trisha Clements at registration – well this was  after we had taken a wrong turn out of the station and walked approx. 1.2 miles in the opposite direction carrying four days’ worth of kit – Gaz even managing to lose his waterproof jacket all before registration.

A short coach trip took us from registration to  a rock situated at the top of a small hill signalling the starting point of the Offas Dyke.

You receive a small coin at this point to carry with you along the Dyke and at the finish you give back your coin – if you don’t finish you have to keep hold of the coin and return two years later and try again – I liked this concept but definitely didn’t want to hold onto the coin for a few years.

The race started Friday 8pm and the four of us decided to run together for the first few miles – Gaz had completed the race two years previously so I was in good hands and we started at a nice comfortable pace – before I knew it we had run 19 miles and into our first CP Monmouth  – the facilities were good Hot and Cold food and drinks at hand – I think here we just replenished our drink containers picked up some food and out the door within 15 mins.

Headed out towards Pandy and here entered some woodland and under torchlight we seemed to move really well once more across the ground – running at night is a magical experience and something that I do enjoy – Dave and Trisha seemed to be in their element and were soon out of sight and running away from us quite easily.

Entered Pandy Village Hall 36 miles completed and starting to feel like the race is now underway.

Stayed here for a Mug Shot and a warm brew before leaving and out towards Hay on Wye

Out of Pandy is the first noticeable steady climb which takes you onto the Brecon Beacons The Black Mountains – this is the highest part of the course.

There is a harvest full moon in the night sky really bright and illuminating the surrounding area Im at peace with the world.

Dawn is approaching and the sun is ready to show itself from below the horizon – a splash of red covers the sky to our right yet the full moon is still on our left and doesn’t want to leave – a battle commences between both lunar objects fighting for the sky – we take a minute and say nothing just staring – how lucky I thought to be here right at this moment to witness this awesome spectacle  – the sun eventually wins and a large shadow is cast over  the mountains – The Black Mountains aptly named.

52 miles completed as we enter Hay on Wye Parish hall – this is a major CP so we have our drop bag with all our personal belongings – first thing I notice is some runners are sleeping taking a break – I suppose we have been up for more than 24 hrs but myself or Gaz are not ready for sleep.

I complete some foot care and change into a new set of running attire – bacon sausage and egg batch hot brew and away we go.

It’s going to be a hot day – another really nice running section and we are soon into our stride – unfortunately after a few miles Gaz doesn’t seem to be moving as well as previously and takes a hard fall – I heard the thud and hoped he would be ok –  Gaz battled on for a few more miles but then insisted that I go ahead and run my own race as he was unsure how his was going to pan out – that’s Gazs story so I’ll leave that there.

I checked myself over and felt great – time to open up the legs and I really did enjoy the next few miles – in and out of CP4 Kington Markwick Hall 68 miles and onto Knighton – between these CPs I met up with 3 guys from Holland Maarten Martino and Franscio whom we had nicknamed The Euro Express earlier due to their effective strategy and how quickly they moved between Checkpoints – they allowed myself to run the next 15 miles with them into CP5 – now here is where you make your first real make or break decision – we are 82 miles in and extremely tired – do you push on through the night into Montgomery completing the hardest section of the race 18 miles roughly taking 7 hours or do you rest up and attack later.

My Plan A was always to try and get to Montgomery 100miles without any sleep – I decided to have 1 hrs rest at Knighton and kick on – leaving the checkpoint approx. 02.00am I was ready to see what I was made of – I soon found out – jelly that’s what I was made of the hills were relentless – not huge 1500ft climbs but continuance short steep 400 footers that really got you blowing out of your backside – the descents aren’t any easier and the burning through your quads as well as feet keeps you focused.

Also through lack of sleep the hallucinations started – I saw people – clowns – scare crows – monkeys – a bear – pythons a skeleton tried to give me flowers – nothing scary but if honest quite enjoyable and got me through the next long hours – I arrived in Montgomery shattered and ready for sleep.

Montgomery another major CP – CP6 so my drop bag was waiting – again change of clothing sorted feet out fed myself and hunkered down in a quite part of the Activity centre for 2 hrs rest – woke up more food replenished my own stocks and onto LLanymynech.

My reward for running through the night is I know the next 20 miles are quite flat apart from one or two climbs to Buttingham – I knew this section as Christine Roach had kindly showed us around a few weeks earlier as herself – Sue Buck – Danielle Ryder – Debbie Read and Jackie Kearsley had done most or all of the Offas Dyke over the previous months – when I was meant to leave the dyke to locate CP7 LLanymynech Village hall I somehow missed my exit and completed my first large navigational error – took me almost 5 miles and over and 80 minutes to put right – I was feeling punchy and decided that another sleep was definitely required.

Chippy tea provided wolfed down personal care taking care of and 90 minutes rest.

This next section onto Froncysyllte  – the rest has done me good and again im running really well and enjoying myself – here I meet up with a Becky Wightman whom had won the 100 miler two years previously – great girl really chatty and kept my spirits high – Becky was powering over the ground and was killing the navigation – I felt like a passenger – unfortunately Becky somehow had pulled a muscle behind her right knee and struggled instantly – the ultra-running community is a close one and ive quickly learnt that you stay and help out your fellow competitor as one day it could be you – Becky didn’t complain once and dug in – I was totally impressed and later found out that she works as a full time fireman – made of steely stuff that girl.

Froncysyllte is where the famous aqueduct is situated and is a marvel of engineering – it is now Monday morning and getting to close to 60 hours since we started this epic adventure.

Having plenty of time to think or not to think is a cracking way to find out alitle bit about yourself – your innerself and if honest I believe I am a decent person whom likes to treat people how I wish to be treated  – I like me –  life is for living – don’t get hung up on minor things or any things for that matter – enjoy what you have and show love and compassion to all.

Leaving CP8 138 miles in this is when I knew I was going to finish this race  – I powered into llandegla taking approx. 3.5 hrs to complete the 12 miles – I was on fire ha-ha – Llandegla last major checkpoint CP9 where we had access to our drop bags – beef stew and crusty bread for breakfast taking my footwear off I could see two large blood blisters that had appeared on the side of my feet – my feet started to feel really hot and I couldn’t sooth them – medic takes a quick look but wouldn’t allow me to burst blisters in fear of infection – more tape and plasters but knew the next 30 miles home maybe difficult – also this is where I also found out that Trisha had taken a heavy fall also a day or so ago and was no longer in the race – she was first lady at the time – Dave retired at same time I believe – devastating news and Im sure they will be back in two tears time.

Knew this next section between llandegla and Bodfari as only run  it a couple of weeks ago – I was moving slow and this was my lowest point – 150+ miles into a race and first low point – I’ll take that any race – anyone who’s run this part of the Offas dyke knows there are a few nice climbs and the views are spectacular – as I was climbing up to the fort top of Moel Famau I heard my named called  -it was Jackie – yes Jackie actually in this country I couldn’t believe it – I took a big hug and wiped the tears from my eyes – I was extremely emotional and was more than happy for the company – Jackie lifted my spirits no end and before I knew it we were at Moel Arthur where Becky was waiting at the bottom with refreshments and croissants – I had only left Becky less than 24 hrs ago as she dropped out of race and now she’s supporting instantly – what a girl – I started to tell Jackie a story about Becky when I had totally got Becky and Story mixed up and knew I was confused alitle more tired  than I thought.

Soon I was back on my own heading towards final CP when approx.. 4miles out another friendly face – Jake Holmes had decided I was moving too slowly and wanted to kick me in the backside – soon enough we were in the Bodfari CP and the heat from the log cabin was just lush – medic looks at my feet tells me I don’t have any more blisters and tapes up a few issues – I could of carried on through the night as only 12 miles remained but I wasn’t getting picked up until 10.00am Tuesday morning  – so I fed my face and bedded down for a solid 7 hours – 7 hours of the most wonderful sleep I have ever had – I left CP10 with a guy from the South – Ashley Ward and we shared our life stories to each other as if we had known each other for a lifetime – the coast was now in sight as light took over from the darkness – another beautiful morning without another sole in sight – we felt alive and so lucky – Ash and myself jogged into town to be met by friends – family – and the volunteers and crew who had made are dreams and ambitions possible.

We touch the finishing rock situated front of the Nova centre in a time which is totally irrelevant 84 hrs 22 minutes  and my first thought was………This wasn’t a race it was an adventure and I cannot wait for the next one

Full parkrun results for Helsby runners are below, including a Helsby 1-2-3 in the men’s race at Phoenix Park

https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

Cheers
Gaz

Weekly Roundup from Monday 9th to Sunday 15th September

Here’s the latest race reports from last week and reminder from Chris. Thanks to everyone who has sent one in. 

Please keep sending them to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Thanks.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Message from Chris Fitz

 

Less than a week to go before the DIRT relays in Delamere. They start at 4pm so if we could get to Delamere car park just past the visitors centre for no later than 3.30pm that would be great. £3 per person 

Confirmed so far

Jackie Keasley
Sue Buck
Mildred Thehen
Tracy Woods
Jane Ashbrook
Alison Halsall
Helen Owens
Christine Roach
Debbie Read
Lesley Feakes
Rachel Arnold

Laura Baynam Hughes

Myself
Stephen Wiggins
Davyd Michell
Paul Frodsham
Colin Thompson
Ian Rutherford
Richard Hankins
Benno Mace-Crossley
Ian Llanduci
Dave Feakes
Peter Rodriguez

One more please?

 

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!!

 

 

Bacchus Half Marathon 8th Sept

 

I had heard of races set in vineyards in France, which sounds lovely but a bit of a trek to get there, so when I discovered that there are also such races in Surrey, I booked myself and Jason in straight away! This event was held at Denbies Vineyard, along with 10k or Marathon options, depending on your fitness / drinking propensity. With 5 wine-tasting drinks stations on offer, the Half seemed like a good distance to do. As we knew people locally, and were invited to dinner the night before, we ended up getting some practice in with a bottle of red between two of us. This kind of felt like training for this particular event. 

 

On the day, the weather was perfect – cool but sunny. The estate itself is stunning, really beautiful set in rolling countryside. We’d not factored in a lot of elevation – of course when you think about it vineyards tend to be set on slopes though – so this was a 1,500 feet of elevation race! Apart from all the wine on offer around the course, there is also a focus on fancy dress which we’d not really appreciated when booking, but will definitely go for it next year. There were people dressed as bunches of grapes, butterflies, a strawberry, a rhinoceros, various superheroes, the 118 runners, robbers, aliens and nuns, and a rather eccentric man who had an inflatable doll and was insistent that everyone high-five his blow-up lady friend 😮  Obviously everyone was terribly polite and obliged, then scarpered off quickly through the grapes. Here we are at the start looking quite sensible:

 

 

At each drinks station there were samples of the various wines produced by the estate, with a lovely sparkling wine at the first station. (Non-alcoholic was available, but we weren’t there for the water!). Jason and I asked a helpful volunteer to take a picture of us at each drinks station – and a friendly lobster took our picture at this one, then asked if we could return the favour as her pincers made taking selfies quite tricky. There was music playing, which you could hear along the course so far, all helping to create a very jovial atmosphere.

 

The first few miles were running up and down hills in grassy vineyards, then we started to move away from the main estate and into a forest, where drinks station number two was located, along with a tartan-clad gentleman playing some bagpipes. Here was some cheese and a still white wine on offer.

Out of the forest, the terrain became dry and chalky, along grassy tracks and stone paths through the top of a beautiful valley with gorgeous views, eventually to drinks station number 3, with another white, and various energy bars on offer. Whilst Jason used the portaloos, I made use of the wine tasting (amounts weren’t limited) and sampled a fair bit. There was a live band playing here too, and no-one was really hurrying to get on with the race. 

 

Not far along from here was drinks station number 4 with a lovely rose and more of a country-music type band. [Jason was actually wearing suncream, I think it’s just a dodgy picture. But look at those lovely tasting cups of rose!]

 

Through more forest, where munchies set in and I had to have some emergency jelly babies to keep me going, and eventually we came to the top of the estate, which was stunning, set high up overlooking the main buildings, and with the last mile entirely downhill. But before that was drinks station number 5 with a cheeky red and more sparking white, with all sorts of tasty samosa type snacks and another live rock band.

 

We lingered for a bit, then ran to the end, earning a disgraceful half marathon time (though actually our running time excluding the stops was around 2 hours 20 which isn’t too bad considering we were non-too sensible by the end!), a t-shirt, medal, hog roast and drinks voucher for… more wine! We basked in the sun for a bit then dragged ourselves off to start the trek home. 

 

If you want to do something a bit different, perhaps as a group, in fancy dress, as serious or not as you want to make it, and enjoy a trail race in a beautiful setting, this could be the race for you! It was one of the most fun running events we’ve been to, and despite the quite long travelling time, we definitely want to go back next year.

 

 

Essar Guilden Sutton 10k 15th September

 

Several of us gathered at the Essar Sutton 6 – a number of us regular participants in this speedy 10k. It was a bit damp when we set off but stayed dry. It’s a great easy to get to and cheap race. There’s two laps of a loop then a wider route along the roads around Guilden Sutton. I am always grateful for the gentle downhill on the 7th Kilometre but the last 2k are hilly..

 

 

Great result for Hannah who came first (of course!) and also achieved a PB. Many congratulations to her.

 

 

Although the course undulates it seems to yield really good results. We also achieved first place in the Ladies team. Great results for the fellas too.

 

Well done everyone.

 

 

THAT’S ALL FOR THIS WEEK – KEEP SENDING THOSE REPORT IN!

Helsby RC weekly round-up. Monday 2/9/19 to Sunday 8/9/19.

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to those of you who have sent something to the inbox. Please remember to send any contributions to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Firstly I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Karen Bell and Peter Causton who I understand have recently joined us. Looking forward to running with you both  sometime soon.

Upcoming Events

A reminder that there is loads coming up over the next week. See the snapshot of our club calendar below, or view the full calendar at: https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/helsby_rc_calendar-31-07-2019.pdf

Screen Shot 2019-09-11 at 19.56.13

Also thanks to Janet Robertson for sending in details of a new local race coming up in November:

Save the date … Weds 20th November

Marbury Night 5 

Northwich Running Club have come up with a great idea to give a bit back to the North West XC League running community.  They are planning a new 5 mile night race that has the feel of a Club XC with mud, hilly bits, woodland and a bit of water as well as team prizes. Headtorches will be essential.  The entry fee includes refreshments afterwards and is being offered at a discounted price of £6 to members of clubs that run in the NW XC league – so that includes Helsby!    Entries are not open quite yet but save the date.  Hope that lots of you are interested – it sounds like a fun event!

Racing News

Wirral 10k – Sunday 8th September 2019

Thanks to Karen Horsley for sending in a report from the Wirral 10k. Well done everyone who ran – some awesome results for Helsby!

“Pre-race nerves or excitement had me awake at 2.30am and I didn’t manage to achieve much sleep after that, however a hearty breakfast set me up for the race.

Wirral 10k (and half marathon) was blessed by the running gods today as the weather was perfect for racing. Early sunshine became grey skies as the start time approached and the majority of runners will have completed the 10k before the sun made a second appearance. The half marathon runners will have had more sunshine to contend with but at around 17 deg C at least it wasn’t too hot.

Logistically the race was great, with plenty of parking which was near the start line, a good number of portaloos, and the distances helpfully marked in both km and miles.

Knowing there was a real possibility that I might struggle to make the distance I began at a steady pace, however on reaching the 1km marker and feeling good I kept going to the 2 mile marker where I took a short walk break before running on to the half way point. The first 5k I completed in around 31 -32 minutes. A brief stop for water and I was off again. The second 5k was more difficult, but then I’d expected that it would be so was prepared to run/walk as I needed. By around 7k my leg was starting to ache more, but as it was an out and back course I had to make my way back to the start/finish line one way or another so carried on but at a slightly slower pace.

The half marathon route followed the same first six miles with the 10k runners taking a left at the clown roundabout to head to the finish. What a welcome sight it was to see the clown sculpture as I made my way along New Brighton promenade, and knowing that the end was close. I even had enough in my legs for a little sprint finish (albeit a slow sprint). I finished in an official time of 01:07:11 which was the sub-70 minutes I had hoped for and didn’t collapse with exhaustion on the finish line. All in all a good result!

The only downside to the race is that there wasn’t a great deal of spectators on route, I rather like being cheered on by random supporters and sadly there wasn’t much cheering happening.

But my first of three 10k races in September is now ticked off and I totally deserve a couple of days of rest.

Helsby Results

Well done everyone on some great running!

  • Richard Hankins 00:39:37  – 9th male and 1st in age cat
  • Trevor Lewis 00:43:37  – 19th male and 2nd in age cat
  • Geoff Shaw 00:51:08  – 1st in age cat
  • Kai Horsley 00:54:42
  • Janet Shaw 01:04:02 – 2nd in age cat
  • Karen Horsley 01:07:11″

Northwest Road Relays – Sunday 8th September 2019

Thanks to June Swift for sending in a report on behalf of the Ladies Team at the Road Relays from Sunday:

“SILVER for the Ladies at the North West Relays
Sunday epitomised what running for Helsby RC is all about….working together as a team and encouraging each other to push outside our comfort zone and improve. We put on our green vests and ran our little legs off and were rewarded with a SECOND Cheshire team and NINTH team overall out of a field of 51 teams from across the North West.
Hannah led the charge with a storming run clocking up a new PB (17.37). Even after taking a tumble (due to Fitzy’s distracting Hannah on a hair pin bend – tut tut!!) Hannah showed true grit (pardon the pun!) and jumped back up to take third fastest lady overall – amazing! Tracy (aka the running machine) had a fantastic run showing her strength and determination to not let her nerves get the better of her and brought the team home in 14th place. I was on last leg and nearly missed Tracy’s handover as I was too busy nattering – some things never change! I managed to chase down a few teams (including my old club Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton AC) and crossed the line in 9th place overall.
I’m so proud of both Hannah and Tracy for putting on their green vests, fastening up their laces and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone.  We were all super nervous at the start line but together we supported one another and together we succeeded. The future is looking very bright for Helsby Ladies – together we can achieve great things!  
Let me know if you need any pictures and I can send them across.
Cheers,
June”

Parkrun

Well done all everyone who did a park run at the weekend. Our consolidated club results can be seen HERE

That’s all for this week. If anyone still has something to contribute from the weekend then please do still send it in and we will include it in the next round-up.

Cheers,

Jim

Helsby RC Weekly Round-up – Monday 5/8/19 to Sunday 18/8/19

Hello Green Army

Apologies for not sending out anything last week, I was too busy uploading photo’s to Facebook. So this week you have double the reports…..2 ha ha. Oh and Col’s TT results.

A notice from myself and Tim Palmer about the North West Road Relays. It would be great to get a few more runners so we can enter a couple of mens and ladies teams, but numbers really are low right now. This was a brilliant event last year.

The road relays are being held at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk on Sunday 8 September 2019. These were held last year in Delamere Forest; we hope for better weather.

Women’s team are made up of three runners each doing 5km. Men’s teams are made up of four runners each doing 5km. The start times are 13:00 (women) and 14:30 (men)

Tim and myself have volunteered to co-ordinate entries of teams for the club so please let me know by Thursday 29 August 2019 at the latest if you are interested. Please note this competition is only open to first claim runners (second claim runners should approach their first claim club).

http://merseysidecountyaa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/The-20-th-NORTH-WEST-COUNTIES-ROAD-RELAYS-2019.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2CStWypx-FqTJQZL2EuROSvX2kWY_M3FX1aEXfu0H7EgUdZ0PLKhNyaMo

Email tim@timjenny.me.uk or fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com

Or contact us on our Facebook page, you can look at my photos whilst your there.

Rebecca Tate has sent in a race report for the Cybi Coastal Marathon

This was only the second event here, around the coast of Holy Island off Anglesey. I expected a lot of dedicated expert marathoners here, but there were a number of first timers like myself, and surprisingly even though there was a limit of 200 people you were never alone, it felt like a bigger run – in a good way!
As my first marathon I’d followed the training schedule and trained up to 20 miles. The route map showed that 20 miles was undulating coastal trail, after which the elevation spiked up as the path went over the summit of Holyhead mountain (technically a hill, but the name is fairly intimidating!). So I was going to consider this as a 20 miler, then I’d enjoy the excuse of the hill to walk up it and run back down the last few miles.

Well, all was going to plan. We set off over the first few miles at a fairly brisk pace through the town of Holyhead, which took us past the station and some built up parts, which diverted into urban trail, and then to the coast. It became really pretty, with deserted white sand beaches, little rocky coves, patches of woodland, flowers and butterflies. At one point we crossed a road bridge, with millpool-like water on one side, and a hollow where the water was being sucked under the bridge. At another place we ran on the beach past some moored boats, then there were fields, sand, marsh (boarded, so we didn’t get wet), rocks, narrow tracks through heather, vast open grassland.

Marshalling was fairly scarce, but we’d all been  told to follow the coastal path signs, which was straightforward enough – but we had to be scanned at every checkpoint. The first checkpoint was on a pavement and they provided oranges, peanuts, crisps and sweets – all very welcome even though I’d come prepared with my own food and drink. It was fairly hot – at least 20C with only a mild breeze, and a thin layer of cloud keeping the worst of the sun off. I drank to thirst, which turned out to be quite a lot, filling up my bottles at every checkpoint, but I was glad of having trained in all weathers including the heatwave.

The second checkpoint at around 10 miles was on a beach, and was stunning. There was a bit of a queue for scanning here, but everyone was pretty jovial, and we didn’t seem to be feeling the miles yet. Towards CP 3 the miles started to grind – a dodgy piece of signposting meant that a group of people ahead went the wrong way, and despite our shouts didn’t hear and carried on. I heard they put in a few extra miles finding their way back to CP3, which seemed to take forever coming and made me panic in case it was our group that had gone wrong. It was on a beach front though, where people out to enjoy the sun and beach cheered us on.

We continued through tiny villages and some roads, cliffs, narrow trails, past gorgeous rocky coves with crystal clear water which was so tempting to pop in and have a quick dip, but I’d overtaken an Ironman, and various other people, and was feeling slightly competitive, so I carried on. The pace slowed down with some hills and tracks too narrow or rocky to run on easily. CP4 came up suddenly, which felt good, then we started the long slog upwards to South Stack lighthouse CP5, after which was Holyhead Mountain.

This didn’t turn out to be the doddle I’d imagined. “I run up Moel Famau loads, it’ll be OK” I’d assumed. Well, it was steep, rocky, tall steps, not as rough or long as The Gulley, but not far off in terms of effort which, after 21 miles, was actually quite tricky! The final CP was at the summit, where we got scanned then had to be like mountain goats to take a narrow and steep rocky path down again on our jelly legs. The tricky terrain continued, up and down on rocky paths that couldn’t be run on without fresh legs. This is where nausea set in – with my heart pounding, I started wretching, and decided to sit down for a bit to clear my head. I couldn’t face any more electrolyte drink or food, so hoped I’d clear up without it. With only 2 or 3 miles to go, there was no chance of stopping now!

After a minute, everything felt better so I carried on. My legs were hurting now, it was a case of hanging on in there until the end, wherever that was. With the nausea I’d lost a good number of places, which was disappointing, but eventually the mountain was done and we reached coastal grass tracks, some road, then the Lifeboat house was finally in view. Although my time was 6 hours – considerably longer than I’d expected – there were plenty of people cheering on finishers and a lovely atmosphere at the end. One of the Lifeboat guys was waiting with a hose to spray us to cool down, there was soup, bread, tea, flapjacks and more fruit. I came 92nd out of a starting list of 200 (though only around 150 made it to the start it seems), so whilst 6 hours is a long time, it seems like a reasonable one for this particular marathon, and 7th in my age group isn’t too bad (yes, there was plenty more than 7 in it!)

As we drove away, feeling broken (Jason ran this too, as I’d kindly entered him for it too!), I decided that I’d definitely done that bucket list item and wouldn’t be doing a marathon ever again. However, the next day with hardly any muscle stiffness and feeling remarkably perky, I’m eyeing the next one…!
Sounds like a tough day at the office, well done Rebecca
Jake has also sent us in an essay, sorry report, thank you Jake. 
Sorry… these reports aren’t getting any shorter 😬

Beacons 100 Ultra

This one hurts… not so much the event… although that did of course… but the punchline.

Paul Cunningham, still on his post Chester 100 high: “you free a couple of weeks on Saturday to do a 100 miler in the Brecon Beacons?” What? Of course not, who’d say yes to a question like that? But he’d planted the seed and we soon found the Beacons 100 a month later, which I could pretend was enough time to prepare.

An 8pm Friday start meant a drive down that afternoon and half an hours kip for us in the car as the last sleep we’ll get till Sunday. The weather on a reccy a couple of weeks earlier had been baking hot with water shortage a problem. This was not going to be a worry this weekend with heavy rain and high winds promised for most of the 48 hour maximum allowed time. I don’t mind the bad weather but we’d signed up to a summer ultra so the nerves were definitely there as we ate our pre race lasagne in a pub down the road waiting for the start.

The route is a tour of the Brecon Beacons: Starting in Chrickhowell in the east, heading to the far west and back, taking any opportunity to go over a bump and back to the valley it can. Paul and I had decided to stick together, the company over two nights of it would be very welcome.

About 45 of us on the start line and the race got going. it stayed dry for 20 minutes and then the weather started to deliver what it had promised. It heads straight up to 2500ft and we were on the first ridge around 9:30pm or something, head torches were turning on and Paul asked another runner we’d been keeping with (Bev) if she fancied sticking together through the night which she liked the sound of so we became a three. 

(It’s already a long writeup and we’re on mile 5 or something so lets crack on)

The first 20 miles consisted of getting used to the terrain and conditions…. 5 metre visibility by head torch, very wet – running in streams that previous weeks had been bone dry paths, getting battered by the winds and realising Bev was a good runner. We encouraged her to head off if she wanted a couple of times but she was happy to stay together (a long way still to go).

CP2 was in the valley and at the start of 8K along a canal to get us to the next big haul. We took it in turns leading and it was good to be able to run at a better pace and get some miles behind you without the ‘stubbing your toe on a rock / heart in mouth as you catch yourself from falling’ type thing that’s never far away running on the tops. We knew what was next though as we’d done it on our only reccy: a straight line 600 metre ascent in about 2.5 kilometres. On our reccy, it took forever, and that’s when we could see. The climb was exposed too so as soon as we got going we’d be in the weather again. We decided we’d regroup every 100 metres or so as stopping for 30 seconds or whether every now and then would be better than being further apart and waiting for longer at the top.

It was crazy. Genuinely never seen weather like it. Easy as much energy being spent staying on the path (stream) as it was moving forward. Regrouping would involve crouching, hands on the ground to keep steady with your back to the weather and your hood as far over as you could pull it. Bev’s head torch got blown off at one point!

The summit was very welcome. No more climbing now tonight, we just need to get on the right path down to Brecon and start (in my head) leg 2 of 3 – ‘Saturday Day’. It was about a 6K descent that we all just got on and did without much in the way of chat, just get it done and get out of the weather which wasn’t easing as things got lighter or even lower really.

In the valley at CP3 finally the wind has eased and you realise how noisy it’s been for the last 7 hours as you’re able to talk to each other without shouting. A couple of guys who’d been catching us arrived 5 mins after and promptly handed in their trackers (the wind wasn’t for them) and they dropped out of the race. Talking to a marshal, they weren’t the first. 

We had another 8K valley stretch now heading into Brecon (thankfully before any cafes had opened as the draw might have been a bit much) before starting to head back up to the tops with the third, ‘big haul’ out of a valley to a summit. By far the hardest ascents were in the first half of the course and all three of us were in great shape, all smiles, moving well and plenty of chat. I don’t think anyone actually said it, but we were enjoying the extra challenge of the weather and it was doing us a favour in that others weren’t enjoying it so much.

“We’re going up into the weather again, has everyone eaten? … Same again in regroup regularly on the way up…” 

We were heading to the top of Cribyn. We’d seen it from the other side on our reccy and it looked a big thing then. This climb from the valley though went on and on, just didn’t stop. The wind was as bad as ever and the rain (or hail?) was hitting you like you were standing behind a gritter lorry. It was motivation to keep going to get it done but you were going up into it for a long time before there’d be any relief. Every brow I was trying to picture… ‘is this it? I thought it was steeper?’. And then there it was 100yards in front we saw the ridge you needed to take heading straight up to the summit… nice and dramatic with the rain whipping over it. Bev said “other races would have had diverts by now you know…” i checked my phone but no messages from the safety team so carry on it is.

About 10metres onto the ridge and a gust pushes me off balance. Admittedly it wasn’t far to go as it was almost hands on scrambling anyway, but Bev almost went straight after the combo led her to say out loud what we were probably all thinking… “this isn’t safe”. Either side of the ridge (which i think was only a couple of metres wide) the mountain dropped steeply away so the wrong gust of wind could have been dangerous. We sat down and made a plan to come off route and drop onto a path which avoided the summit but took us back to the route shortly after, adding a kilometre or something. The decision wasn’t taken lightly. None of us wanted to miss any part of the route but Cribyn will be there another day and so lets make sure we all are! The organisers had made it clear that if anything felt unsafe, don’t do it. This qualified.

We set off and called it in so they knew what were were doing, they completely agreed and actually thought we’d called to drop out. “No we’re having a great day… we just aint going up there!”.

Another summit (Pen-y-Fan – highest of the route) and into the valley again for CP4. A cup of tea… banana and anti chafe stick where needed! We’ve been in the top 10 the entire race and now we find out there have been more dropouts – we’re up to 6th overall (with 4th and 5th heading off just 5 mins ahead of us) and Bev has gone from 3rd woman to 1st! It was a great checkpoint and we set off raring to get to CP 5 and over half way. Only 8 miles this stretch. 

It went on for ever (spotting a theme here)… it had a good climb at the start but then over that it was an undulating expanse of Brecon Beacons moors. My watch was in my bag charging so I didn’t have a gauge on time or distance. Every hill we headed over, I was convinced we should be seeing CP5 and it wasn’t there. CP5 meant drop bags which meant dry clothes, restock of food and the start of the ‘last stretch’ into the finish: A ridge I’d been looking forward to since I first saw the route, then another 10miles to put us into the night again before 15miles of the route we reccyed. After that was the final 10miles down hill and flat to the finish. We were all still in great shape and, although it sounds early with 40 something miles to go, we knew we were going to finish and Bev had a great chance for the win. 

There it was, an A-road which meant the checkpoint. Painfully steep descent as a last test but it didn’t matter… we’d were there. Bev had her fella and a mate crewing for her who we’d met at earlier checkpoints and as I got to them I said “that was a hard stretch” but only got half a smile back. Seemed odd but they knew what we were about to hear a second later from the marshal: “Sorry guys, the race has been cancelled due to the weather. We’re pulling everyone off the mountain.”

Absolutely gutted. You don’t know what you’re putting in until you hear it’s all over out of your control. Paul said he understood and how dangerous it was up there. He was was completely right of course and he looked to me to back it up but I couldn’t get my head round it. I managed to say I understood but it didn’t stop it being very painful. We were managing the weather… we had dry kit, plenty of food, moving in a group etc etc we were fine! But another night of it with people tired cold and wet and scattered about remote parts of the mountains on their own… it would have been too easy for someone to get in trouble. Bev pulled us in for a hug. It had been quite a thing.

So that was the Beacons 100 (or half of it). 20 hours, 60miles and 17000ft gets you pretty focused and with the rest of the route well visualised… it’d take a few days to stop replaying it. Which, as you can maybe tell from the write-up, I’ve not quite done yet 🙂

Same time next year then.

Sensible decision by the organisers by the sounds of it, but well done, really great efforts by both of you.

 

No report as yet but another big well done to Danny Ryder, the Captain and Bish, coming 3rd at the Chirk Castle Relays last Thursday. There is a you tube clip that has appeared of the event, have a watch, it might just persuade you to do it next year, it’s a cracking event.

TT Results from a week or 2 back
Please find the (very) belated results from the 10k TT on 31st July. Sorry for the delay!
A big well done to our Bish for the win, smashing it in 35.56 and running one of the fastest ever times on the course, well done mate, you are on fire at the moment! Congratulations to Jane Ashbrook for a quality run to take the chequered flag for the ladies and also big kudos to Lauren Cooke who I believe ran her furthest ever distance to complete the course in 1.00.47, great stuff! Well done to everyone else, it was great to see some quality running and close battles and thank you for supporting the event, the feedback seems really positive and I’m glad everyone enjoyed it.
Thank you to the volunteers who gave up their time to ensure the event ran smoothly, they are Louise Spruce (RD & results), Helen Gillard (results), Debbie Read (timing) and Ben Tumilty (tail runner).
Results:
  1. Colin Bishop  35.53
  2. Richard Hankins  41.56
  3. Peter Rodriguez  43.12
  4. Chris Lloyd  43.14
  5. Jane Ashbrook  45.51 (1st lady)
  6. Tracy Woods  51.13
  7. Neil Fergusson  53.16
  8. Lauren Cooke  1.00.47
See you at the next one!
Cheers
Colin

Parkrun

 

Well done everyone who took part in a park run last week. Our consolidated club results are available HERE

Please keep sending contributions into:  helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

 

See you all soon

Fitzy

 

 

 

Helsby RC Weekly Round-up – Monday 29/7/19 to Sunday 4/8/19

Another fairly quiet week this week but we have a few notices and race reports. Please keep sending in your reports to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

 

 

Notice from Laura Baynham-Hughes

 

Calling all Fell Runners! The British Fell Relays 2019 will be taking place in the Peak District National Park on Saturday, October 19th. We have entered three teams (Open Men’s, Open Ladies and Men’s Vets). Please can you let me know via email (laura@baynham-hughes.com) if you would like to be in a team.

 

For those who haven’t competed before each team is 6 people. Leg 1 – solo leg, Leg 2 – pairs, Leg 3 – pairs with navigation, Leg 4 – solo. It is great fun and a brilliant end to the fell running season. Some fell running experience is required but if you are interested then please let me know as there are plenty of races before the event for you to give fell racing a try! For more info on the relays please visit https://britishfellrelays2019.org.uk/

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Colin Bishop for this report .. well done everyone great results. Congratulations Colin and John! 

 

Helena Tipping 10K Wrexham – 28th July 

 

Well British Summer didn’t disappoint last weekend as several of us headed off to Wrexham for Helena Tipping 10K. Yes it was tipping down. We were wet through before we even started. 

 

One loop around the open roads of the industrial estate, fairly flat with occasional undulation.

 

Charlie Hulson of Liverpool Harriers came in first place with a blistering time of 29.59 

 

Results for Helsby

Colin Bishop 35.23 ….V55 1st

Ian Hamling  42.28

John Rossiter 45.01….V65 1st

Rachael Holden 46.07

Mike Barnard 50.08

Stacey Andrew 1.09.45

Well done everyone

 

Cheers Bish 

 

 

 

 

 

North Wales Half Marathon Conwy – Sunday 4th August

 

This is the first time I’ve run this race, an unlikely roads counter. I’ve not run a race like it before: it starts and finishes on a beach and goes over Conwy Mountain at around mile 10. It is a true multi-terrain, it is neither a road, trail, hill or beach race, it is one on its own.

 

Due to starting on the beach it is tide dependent. So the start was at 09:00: which is at least an hour earlier than my body is happy with. Jim Jones, Trevor Lewis and I made the early morning cross border journey. The event HQ is in the Mulberry Pub at Mulberry Marina just outside Conwy. A fab setting and the organisers has laid on plenty of accessible parking. With a field of only 400 it had the feel of a small event, but with a big event organiser.

 

The race departs on the beach and then heads South approximately 1.5 miles along the sand. The direct route that most runners took went through a number of rock pools and across uneven sands. I opted for drier, flatter, longer route (us roadies don’t like wet trainers). With 1.5 miles of squidgy sand this really is a race to start slowly. After the sand comes approximately five miles of road which is predominantly level following the coast. There is then a sharp turn left and up through Penmaenmawr on pavements. Notably, no roads were closed, but the locals were very obliging and there were plenty of marshals. After a long uphill drag on roads we went off onto the trails. This was approximately a three mile section. The sea was shimmering and the views fantastic: some of the most enjoyable running I’ve done this year took us over the summit of Conwy Mountain. We then returned via roads to Mulberry Marina with one mile of sand at the finish. I must say the last mile on the beach was hard….

 

We were all happy with our results: I came in first for Helsby in 27th (1:38:26), Trevor was second home in 82nd (1:51:40) with Jim Jones just behind in 88th (1:52:57).

 

Definitely a race I’d like to run again next year. Be nice to get a bigger turnout and maybe even a few ladies?!

 

Richard Hankins

 

 

Thanks Richard for that report – Well done everyone. I did that race a couple of years ago and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes fell or road running.. which covers everyone I think..

 

Cheers

Helsby RC weekly round-up. Monday 22/07/19 to Sunday 28/07/19

Hello Green Army,

It’s a short round-up this week with just the one race report sent in by Debbie Read. If there are any other reports to come in from last week please still send them and they can be included in the next round-up.

I’ve put a snapshot of what’s coming up over the next week below. We have two club counters coming up – North Wales Half Marathon on Sunday and the Pie and Peas on Wednesday. You’re probably a bit late for the Pie and Peas if you haven’t already entered as there is a waiting list. The North Wales Half Marathon is closed to online entries but their website says that there will be a limited number of entries on the day. I’ll be doing the North Wales Half so I’m hoping I’ll see a few green vests there.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 18.36.53

Don’t forget you can view the full calendar at: https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2019/07/helsby_rc_calendar-31-07-2019.pdf

Now over to Debbie:

Gyrn Gallop Fell Race – Saturday 27/07/2019

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On Saturday Vanessa and I (and the ever welcome supporters Joe, Mario and Bobby) drove out Oswestry way to take part in the Gyrn Gallop fell race.

I’d never done this race before though Vanessa had and she encouraged me to have a go saying I’d enjoy it, and enjoy it I did!

Held in conjunction with the small fair inside the village hall it’s just over 6 miles long with 350 metres of ascent and with running surfaces of tarmac, farmer’s track, packed earth and grass it’s more of a multi terrain than a typical fell race.
The route is a straight forward out and back, no technical bits, and 100% runnable – well apart from the couple of fences you have to clamber over near the top.
Starting with a mile or so downhill on road, followed by a steady, relentless, gentle off road climb right up to the summit, a u-turn around a marshal then a glorious 2 miles+ of grassy, downhill running before the dreaded mile of uphill road  back to the finish. It’s possibly my favourite race to date.

Back at the village hall £3 got you a cup of tea and as much cake and sandwiches you could fit on your plate.

34 runners (25 male, 9 female)
1st male 00:44:51
1st female 00:54:26
Vanessa 01:03:53
Debbie 01:07:09
Last finisher 01:19:36

Being such a small field and being 5th and 6th females home, I suppose it was not surprising that Vanessa and I would win age category prizes – having won several disappointing bottles of wine in the past I chose chocolates this time and Vanessa chose the more practical box of SIS energy gels.

A lovely event, fantastic organisation and marshalling by Oswestry Olympians.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it for next year.

***

Parkrun

Well done everyone who took part in a park run last week. Our consolidated club results are available HERE

Please keep sending contributions into:  helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers,

Jim