Helsby RC weekly round-up 5th – 11th November 2018

Hello all

Welcome to this week’s blog. Before we get to the racing news please find a few words from Betty below regarding the new club house.

“Helsby Community Sports Club relocating to a new home.

The club is delighted to report that our brand new club house will finally be going ahead. The final hurdle in the long negotiations has been crossed and developers have agreed purchase of the current dilapidated club premises. The deal will see a purpose built new building for the sports club in exchange for development of new homes on the existing Chester Road site.

It’s been a long time coming – the initial planning consent goes back nearly 10 years to 2009 – and many were sceptical the land swap would ever happen! Revised planning permission was submitted in 2015 and Trafford Housing Trust has now agreed to purchase the current site with outline consent for 120 new homes. The purchase is conditional on approval of Reserved Matters been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Trafford – a profit-for-purpose developer – reinvests profits in the provision of more new homes and wider social purpose initiatives.

The money from this sale provide the necessary funding to build phases 1 & 2 of the new sports club, to be overseen by the Brookhouse Group. The deal is for the new facility to be delivered before the house building can commence on the club’s existing site. So a good deal for the all the different groups making up the Sports Club.

A very happy bunch of people representing all the various sections of  the Club.”

Also a reminder from Fitzy about the Xmas knees up…

“Just a quick reminder that Friday 7th Dec is the date for the Christmas party, as per usual, drinks starting in Frodsham from 7.30pm onwards, a few of us might actually meet up a bit earlier i am told. Meet in Helter Skelter, everyone is welcome, they are pretty good nights out. Christmas jumpers are compulsory!” 

10k TT

First up is the belated report for the 10k time trial which took place on 31st October.

“Thank you to everyone who turned up and congrats to Nathan Woods for a fabulous win flying around in 39.06 on his debut (despite getting lost!) and Hayley Brooks and Trisha Van Rooyan, both also on their debut runs taking the chequered flag for the ladies in a joint time of 53.51! Superb ladies.

Graham Lloyd was the only runner to take part in the 6k and finished in 39.05, well done Graham!

Special thanks to Louise for working hard to organise it all this week and a big thank you to all the team – Tracy Woods (positions) Helen Gillard (tokens) Maz (marshalling) Joe (timing) and Jackie (tail running). The time trial wouldn’t be able to function without all of you!”

All results can be found below:

https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/10k-tt-31-10-18.pdf

Warrington Way 40

A few Helsby runners ventured over to Lymm on Saturday for the Warrington Way 40 mile ultra. Some ran solo and we had a few teams of relay runners too. The four reports below are from each leg of the relay team “Helsby Team A”. Get the popcorn out, it’s a long one!

Colin Thompson (Leg 1)

“It seems ages ago since Ian organised the teams for this but before I knew it race day had arrived and our team of 4 were heading to Lymm for the start of the Warrington Way 40 mile ultra relay. Each leg was 10 miles with the swap over at the 3 different check points. We arrived, picked up our numbers, met the other Helsby teams and solo runners, quick warm up and then I was on the start line ready to go for the first leg.

To cut a long story short I made a bit of a hash of it, I led the race multiple times but I kept going the wrong way, some of the markers had blown off the trees and I just wasn’t familiar with the route at all. With hindsight I should have reccied it but I am a road runner after all who’s used to marshals on every corner! 🙂 In the end I decided to stick with the leading group of 3 runners, one of which was Charlie Sharpe, a GB ultra runner who was going for the solo record. He also seemed to be the only one who knew the way!!

The course was a bit faster and flatter than I’d expected, bar a few muddy fields and some trail I was surprised at how much tarmac was on route. It was pretty undramatic for the main and hardly any elevation, I’d definitely picked the easier leg!

As we approached mile 8 Charlie mentioned that if I follow the road and take a left at the end the finish wasn’t too far and was well marked. I was feeling good so I used this opportunity to get my foot down and I pulled away from the group, after a few more turns I saw Fitzy up ahead on a bridge who was shouting that it was only 400m to the finish down a little trail path, I put a shift on and saw the check point, dibbed the dibber and Bish was off like a grey hound for the second leg…

I really enjoyed the race and was made up to finish the leg in first place (and eventual overall winners) but I’m sure I could have ran a few minutes quicker had I’d known the route. I could have kicked myself for being so unprepared and a bit gutted to find out we’d missed the course record by only two minutes. We have all agreed to return next year and have another crack at it and next time I’ll definitely be more prepared!”

Colin Bishop (Leg 2)

“Well El Capitano put in a belting performance on the first leg handing over to me for the second leg in first

place. My leg should have been 11.4 miles however due to some navigation difficulties it ended up nearer 13.4😣 Second leg started at The Plough in Winwick saw me heading off through a housing estate for a short while then into the fields with just the local wildlife for company😊plenty of twists and turns, mud and ditches. Handing over at check point 2 still in first position to Ian Rutherford who put in another cracking performance. Have to say a great team performance all around.”

Ian Rutherford (Leg 3)

“A very different event from anything a number of us had done before.  With lots of logistical challenges of transport and kit and refreshments to consider, but also lots of fun too.  As a team we decided to all support each other on each leg, so by way of example even though last man Fitz didn’t start running until gone ten past eleven he like the rest of us was in Lymm Village Hall at 6.45am to support our first man off “The Captain!”

I leave it to the others to describe their own experiences of their leg, so we fast forward to CP2, Curdley Rd in Widnes circa 9.30am.  Myself and Fitz arrived in good time, with Col T in transit in his car from CP1 having completed his leg and with Bish out on the course at leg 2, noteablly was the longest leg of the four at 11.5 miles.  Here at Curdley Rd, we met other members of the Helsby relay teams (Rachel & Ian H) to await the incoming runners. At a little after 10am a sprinting Bish could be seen coming over the adjacent fields and along the road toward the CP.  He was closely accompanied by solo race leader Charlie Sharpe which suggested some nav problems, he “dibbed’ in, handed over and off I went with no time for explanations as to how it went.

I had done a recce some weeks ago (in the dark), I also had run the entire course in the race of 2016 but the first few miles were always going to be a bit of a struggle and I was so desperate not to go wrong especially being the slowest runner of the four.

Knowing Charlie was 150m behind was a great comfort blanket for these unsure miles as I ran not at flat out pace and the large unmarked straight sections of the canal I could turn back and see him chasing.  I didn’t so much map read as read the instructions on the reverse of the map, following every word carefully, looking for the pink waymarkers at all times to validate I was on the right track.  Don’t think there’s much doubt, that leg 3 is the most scenic once you get across the ship canal and into Moore on the out-skirts of the nature reserve and it was here I was happy I knew the rest of my route.  I rolled the map up like a batton and really put my clog down; I was happy to know I wouldn’t be seeing Charlie again till I was safely at CP3.  I was basically on home turf now, almost FFC territory and was really running hard.  The Bridgewater canal section had a few spectators awaiting their friends and family and I was given a great reception as the first runner in the entire field they saw. Close to Hatton I arrived at Hurst Farm where a regular Saturday Shoot takes place each week from October to January.  I was greeted with a round 8 gentleman all dressed in tweeds with dogs and shotguns.  I shouted “there’s about 300 runners coming through behind me”.  I don’t think they were very happy.  I got about a hundred metres down the field and I heard the volley of guns, I was thinking to myself at that precise time “I do hope Charlie’s alright”.  Sprinting uphill to the CP, encouraged from spectators and the Helsby crew, I handed over to Fitz who I knew would never be caught… it was simply would we be able to take the course record.  Charlie indeed was alright and looking really strong came in around 7 mins afterwards, a very quick stop and he was off again.  His own solo course record was very much on too.

After a brief rest-bite and some refreshment from Jane who was an absolute star all day to us, we set off together – the four of us, back to Lymm to go and eat chilli-con-carne, drink tea and wait for Fitz to come home!”

Chris Fitzpatrick (Leg 4 – The Glory Leg 😉

So Ian hands over to myself in Hatton having given us a great lead over the 2nd placed relay team, possibly around 5-6 mins in the bag. As it was Borders league the next day i thought i’d take it easy, especially seeing that Ian had given me a great lead. I couldn’t do that though, we knew we had a half decent team out and we had talked about the course record beforehand. I quickly worked out the captains leg, Bish’s leg and Ian’s leg would put us in with a very good chance of beating it, so that was it, the race was on.

The weather was really kind to me, i believe this is the hardest of the 4 legs, but i personally think it’s only the hardest if the weather has been poor and the numerous farmers fields i crossed would have been so much more difficult if it had been raining lots, like the previous year. There was lots of trails to run on and a bit of tarmac, where i could really get some speed up. There was also numerous farmers fields full of cows, bulls (charging me) and styals to climb over, but i was pretty happy with how i felt and how quickly i was covering the ground. To be on for the course record i thought I would need to be finishing in around 1hr. To do a 9 mile run on tarmac in that time is doable, just, but i knew it was going to be hard to do it on this race having done a recce of it, but i did give it my all.

Having started my leg in Hatton, the Warrington way takes you through Lower Stretton, hugging the M56 motorway to Appleton, heading towards High Legh before crossing the motorway and heading back on yourself for a mile or so, before hitting the fields and heading towards Leigh Dam, which is a great place to run. It’s at this point Ian had come out to meet me with about 3/4 of a mile to go, screaming at me “it’s on it’s on, the record is on”. I picked up the pace then as if my life depended on it, next stop a road crossing where the captain and Bish were stood, also shouting encouragement, before heading back up into Lymm town centre and back to the finish line.

I’m sorry to report we missed out on the course record by approx 2 mins, although we will be back next year for another crack it. I have to say i was really impressed at the organisation of the whole event, especially the chilli, cakes and cups of tea at the end. We had 3 teams in it this year, i reckon we could get 5-6 teams for it next year, it’s an excellent event. 

Well done Lymm runners, and well done to the real #greenarmy and all the teams involved. Special mention to Jane who followed us around each checkpoint making sure Bish could dress himself and genuinely looking after us all.”

Borders League (Chester)

Report by Colin Bishop

Big thanks to Bish for our Borders report this week and a big well done to all members who took part and kudos to everyone who did the double over the weekend.

“A record number of #Green Army turning out for for the 2nd race of the season. Have to say there was quite a few tired legs out there with previous day races/runs in them. However great to see everyone.

We saw Hannah come home first for Helsby ladies with a 20 second gap ahead of second lady. This gives he 2 wins a row. Great performances from all our ladies on Sunday which have contributed to Ladies being second overall in the league just 12points behind the leaders.

Fitzy was first home for Helsby followed by a great performance from Neil Finegan and the rest of the men. Then Men are currently in 6th place overall 64 points behind 5th place.

Thanks as ever to everyone who turned out, there is strength in numbers. Thanks to our support team Mario, Ian especially for the cracking team photo and Jane for her belting cakes as ever.

Speedy recover to our club members who are injured hopefully see you all at next Borders League.”

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Pen Llyn Winter Ultra – Pwllheli

Report by Jake Holmes

We weren’t the only ones running the long stuff over the weekend, Jake also ran an Ultra in Pwllehli, please read on for his fab report…

“Excited to be on the start line of my first Ultra. Huw, jolly race organiser chap in the orange jump suit, said something about a high tide, lit a flare, counted down from 10 and we were off!

I’d traced the route on the OS map a couple of times so had an idea of what to expect. Start off with a flat two or three miles, then up and over the first bump and along to Abersoch. Nothing too complicated, except that at about mile 3 the high tide comment came to life as we’re wading to the start of the bump with the sea pretty much up to our shorts. Love it. Out of the water and up the short but steep climb to the top and it felt like the event had properly started with some great trail running, a bit technical but still quick and I was looking forward to how much more was to come before we’d be back at the clubhouse.

Get to Abersoch and head inland to start over to Nefyn in what feels like the second ‘leg’ (from the south coast to the north). Mix of fields some rolling hilly stuff and a chunk of road. I had entered with a mate from work with the idea we’d run together for a bit and see how it goes. We thought it made sense that we split up about now but checkpoint 3 was a pub… so mile 19 ticked over and two halves at Ty Coch went down very easily.

Third leg was back up the north coastline, longest stretch between checkpoints at 11miles. We split up and I headed off for about 6miles of not seeing anyone except the odd glimpse every now and then of a group of about 4 runners that maybe I was catching, but not particularly quickly. Taking it easy from the start had meant I wasn’t too beaten up yet and I could really enjoy this bit… the scenery was fantastic. There was a single track descent at about 25miles where you lost about 400 ft in about a mile or something (is that a lot? well it felt it anyway). Narrow path and dramatic coastline dropping away on your left but still really runnable.

Getting down to the beach meant the biggest climb of the day next though with 1300 ft ascent in about 2.5miles. I still felt ok ish and managed to catch the next group of runners before the top which ended in a set of concrete steps that you have to climb just for the sake of it, turn around and head half a mile back down the way you came. Good to see my mate for the first time in an hour on his way up looking in great shape.

Check point 4 (another pub, no chance of a beer this time though) started the last leg back across to Pwllheli. Nearly all road and feet were definitely starting to hurt. I passed a group of three chatty runners and quickly thought better of it and dropped back again to run with them.  Best decision as it kept me going and it added another aspect to the race which was having people to chat to about how ridiculous it was that we were almost done.

Back on the coast path around the golf course and to the welcoming party at the finish line with the watch saying 39miles.

Really great event… scenery… plenty of different sections to keep it interesting and very friendly bunch of organisers and marshals. I could do this one again.”

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A big well done to everyone who took part in a parkrun on Saturday, the Helsby consolidated results can be found in the link below:

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

That’s all this week folks, if you made it this far thank you for reading! We always appreciated reports each week as it really helps us compile the blog and adds variety. If you would like your report to be included please fire it over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Keep on running…

Cheers
Col T

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Weekly round-up 27-10 to 4-11

Firstly a message from Paul Foster regarding the upcoming XC fixture.
Hi all
The second fixture in the Liverpool & District cross country will be held at Sefton Park on 24th November 2018

This event is pre entry, so if any Helsby runners would like to run in this.
Please email me on mooeyf@hotmail.com

No later than Monday 5th November to confirm your entry.
This is a great event in the xc calendar

It is free to all Helsby first claim members.

So to all the regulars and new members Best of Luck but please check your diary before entering.
Cheers
Paul

Race Report – Lausanne Half Marathon by Geoff Collins

Richard Hankins & I took a trip to Switzerland last weekend to run the Lausanne half marathon, together with Richard’s brother Mark, a Swiss resident.  I’d seen this race advertised while on holiday earlier in the year and decided to give it a go.  A nice t-shirt and medal are included.  In fact this was my third visit to Switzerland this year.

The half was one of several races on the day, there is a marathon option, a 10k, a walking race and even a Nordic walking race!

Pre-race preparations included the usual carb loading session on Saturday night. This was at the excellent Va Piano Pasta restaurant in Lausanne.  Together with the extended Hankins family, the venue certainly proved quite an experience.
The half marathon starts in La Tour-de-Peilz near Vevey and follows the smooth well maintained closed main road in a westerly direction.  This took us back to Lausanne along the banks of Lake Geneva to finish in front of the Olympic Museum.  Lausanne is where the International Olympic Committee HQ is based.  Race entry gives you free travel on the train to La Tour.

The race unusually didn’t start till the afternoon.  This was a bit of a pain because of waiting around in the cold, but at least the rain had stopped by then.  The afternoon start is because the half follows the marathon runners along the same route.  The organisation of this race was excellent, the route is very scenic, with views across Lake Geneva towards France and the Alps.  There are many vineyards along the steep south facing slopes on our right most of the way.

The road sweeps round a lot of gentle curves, with dips and rises giving the impression it was rarely flat.   We both thought the course seemed harder than we were expecting.  It was also very cold on the day, I struggled to stay warm which wasn’t made any easier with a noticeable headwind at times.
The half marathon wasn’t a mega huge race either, just 4,328 finishers so it never felt very crowded on the course.  There was a penned start to segregate the runners, some being held back for quite a while to create more space.

It was a lovely weekend with lots to see in Lausanne, the Olympic museum being outstanding and well worth a visit, admission 18f.  Everything the Swiss do, they seem to do very well.

Results:
Winner  Alemayehu Wodajo 1h 06m

Richard Hankins 1hr 29m
(Mark Hankins 1hr 44m)
Geoff Collins 1hr 52m.

 

Fitzy send this is from Abergele 5 mile race

Myself, the captain and Hannah had been selected for “The Shire” for this one, this race being the opposite of the last one we did together in Meerbrook which was super hilly, this one being flat as a pancake apart from the caravan park hill for a few hundred metres around mile 3, but what goes up must come down, so it was super fast coming back down.

The weather forecast had been looking grim for this one, but once we got to Abergele the winds had died down and the rain had disappeared. The issue with this race is the first 2 miles are super flat and super boring, the course being an out and back along coastal path, up the steep hill and around the caravan park to come back on yourself. If you go out too fast on the first mile your screwed which is exactly what i did. The North Wales guys we were competing against where super quick, so me thinking i’m running pretty well at the minute decided to go with them, and got taught a bit of a running lesson, after the first few miles i wanted to give in.

I managed to secure a counter for Cheshire which helped us finish second (out of 2 teams ha ha) and Hannah Cowley again coming home in first place and a women’s course record. Well done Hannah. A mention also to Junior and Senior Wiggo, apparently they turn up to this one every year, I can only assume it’s because they own a caravan out here as it’s not the greatest road race i’ve ever done. Well done guys

Full results are below
https://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

 

Col Thompson sent in this report from Halewood 5K
Myself, Louise, Nathan Woods and Tracy Woods all ventured over to Halewood on Saturday for the monthly 5k. Excellent organisation as always and conditions were very good for fast times, I’d be rabbiting on about how fast this course was so I was a bit nervous that I’d oversold it but luckily Nathan and Tracy both smashed it with a PB each coming in at 17:22 and 25:54 respectively. Superb running guys! Thank you to Louise for the support and photos, the full results can be found at the link below.

http://knowsley-harriers.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Race-3-Nov-2018.pdf

Parkrun:
Helsby members were in action around the area, highlights included a first place for Col Bishop and a 2nd Lady for Rachel Arnold

Cheers
Gaz

Helsby weekly round-up from 22nd October to 28th October 2018

Hello Green Army

Please keep on sending your reports in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com, it makes us bloggers lives that little bit easier, as we can just cut and paste, we’re good at that, we’re not good at writing the reports each week.

Message from Foz re; upcoming XC

Hi all. The second fixture in the Liverpool & District cross country will be held at Sefton Park on 24th November 2018. This event is a pre-entry event, so if any Helsby runners would like to run in this please email me on mooeyf@hotmail.com no later than Monday 5th November to confirm your entry.
This is a great event in the XC calendar, it’s free to all Helsby first claim members, although the club do pay this for you so please double check your diaries for any clashes.
So to all the regulars and new members best of Luck.
Cheers
Paul
Message from myself

A week tomorrow (11th Nov) is race 2 in the borders league, and it’s a local one in Upton, by Chester, CH2 1NN. It’s a 9.30am start because of remembrance Sunday, and i think this is an ideal opportunity to smash our record of runners who have attended a borders league race. I think the record was 40 a few seasons back, we had 33 at the last one in New Brighton with quite a few of the regulars missing. It would also be great to see even more new faces as well.

So, could i please ask Felsby, Trailsby, second claim runners, and you regulars to turn up in your droves for this one. It’s a great 5 mile measured race around the Spring 5 route for anyone wanting an official PB. It’s free all you need to do is bring your club vest.

See you all next Sunday

http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/fixtures/

 

Race report from myself

Last Sunday seen the start of the Sunday XC season in Clarke Gardens, Liverpool. I believe this was a record turnout of over 500 runners for this extremely popular free club race, and the conditions were near perfect, lovely clear blue skies, a little chilly and plenty of incentive to hurry up and finish the race with dohnuts galore, cakes, and huge jammie dodgers for us Helsby runners.

First 3 in for the men were myself, the captain followed by the in form Phil Tomkinson. The mens team came in 6th overall out of 24.

First 3 in for the ladies were Laura BH, Christine Roach and Debbie read. The ladies finishing in 10th out of 24.

The next fixture is on 18th Nov, in Skelmersdale. Full results below

http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/xc/2018/race1_18.pdf

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Parkrun

We had runners at Pheonix, Chester, Delamere, Widnes, & Birkenhead. Well done to Roy Gaskill , 22nd at Widnes. Our consolidated club result are HERE

That’s all folks

Fitzy

Helsby weekly round-up from 15th to 21st October 2018

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the Helsby RC weekly round-up.

Reminders:

First of all a reminder of what’s coming up this weekend:

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If you haven’t already entered the Snowdonia Marathon then its too late now but you can still just turn up for the X-Country on Sunday. The North West Cross Country League is a series of 6 races on a Sunday morning. They are free to enter, just turn up in your club vest.  The first one is at Clarke Gardens.  Details can be found at www.stevesaunders.co.uk or ask around at the club.

Next, we have a couple of posters sent in by Betty to remind us of local Helsby Club events. Please attend and support the club if you can:

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London Marathon entries

A message from our Jackie Keasley:

“London Marathon Club Place. – it looks as if we will get 1 entry for our club for next years London Marathon.   Appplications for club places open Nov 5th, so we will not know for sure until after this date.

Anyway, to give us an indication of who is in the draw, please can you send me your rejection slip/email if you would like to be entered in the draw. Please note our club rule for this.

Code 2 London Marathon Places

Each year Helsby Running Club gets allocated some London Marathon places (currently 2). Club members who have entered the London Marathon but are unsuccessful in securing a place through the general ballot can be entered into the draw for these places. Those wishing to be entered into this draw must supply their rejection slips plus there is a further requirement that they must have competed in at least two Border League races in the previous 12 months before the draw (usually held in November).

Cheers in running

Jackie 
(email me or hand it to me or Joe or Phil on a Wed)”

Racing News

Fell Relays – Saturday 20th October 2018

Thanks Sue Buck for sending in a report regarding your leg of the British Fell Relays on Saturday, and well done to all who took part.

“What a fantastic event! This was my first time at the fell relays and I thoroughly enjoyed leg 4. We were greeted in Grasmere with drizzle and cloud. I was very nervous as it was team event (I didn’t want to let anyone down) and I knew that we would be competing against the top fell runners, despite Andy reassuring me that all abilities ran.

Luckily by the time leg 4 started, the weather had improved, with the only murky bit being during the ridge run after Heron Pike. The route was varied, starting with some tarmac, hundreds of steps, a ridge run, some contouring and then a mud slide down ‘THAT hill’ as it seems to be known as on the fell runner’s Facebook page. Apparently the commentator had said just before leg 4 started that he’d never seen such a steep descent in a fell race – good job I’d not heard that!!

I was lulled into a false sense of security coming off Stone Arthur as the first bit wasn’t that steep or slippery and I even overtook someone. However, suddenly it turned in to a mud slide. Even trying to get into the bracken didn’t help! I slipped down three times, before a woman behind me suggested that the 3 of us just got down on our backsides and slide down! It was hilarious, with cries of “rock” echoing up the hillside! It seems that I need to add sledging to my training!!

Eventually it became grass again and I was able to run.

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Well done to all the Helsby teams – we did ourselves proud. Special thanks to Phil, Laura and anyone else who was involved in the organization.”

Loggerheads Trail 10 mile – Saturday 21st October 2018

A bit closer to home on Saturday, three of us completed the Loggerheads 10 mile race. A great route that does a couple of laps of the 5 mile option available on the same day. There was also canine race option on the same day. There was plenty of ups and downs in the race and its one of a few low key events now hosted Outfit around the Clwydians.

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Photo courtesy of SJ Photography

Helsby finishers: Jim Jones 9th, Steve Wiggins 49th and Roy Duffy 50th.

Clwydian Hills Fell Race – Sunday 21st October 2018

Well done Rebecca for the super personal best, year on year in this race, and thanks for sending in the report:

“The optimistically named App “Accuweather” forecast the weather to start raining at 11am (precisely the race start time) and to finish raining at around 2pm – after the race stopped. Luckily, this app doesn’t always live up to the promise its name suggests and the beautiful Clwydian Hills were almost sunny the whole time. Locals were dressed in shorts and vests complaining of the unseasonal heat (10C), but for me it was perfect tights and long sleeve top weather, nice and soft underfoot and not too muddy. 
Last year I was around 10 months into my running comeback (after a break of many years), and after a few recces I was very daunted by this race and relieved to finish it though I came next to last with a time of 2 hours 44 minutes. So this time round, it felt like a good measure to see what improvement I’ve made over a year. 
For a start, being able to keep up with the mid-pack helped considerably with the navigation (ie not needing to do any!) up until the half way point, after which I started to slip behind but from there I remembered the route from last year. The miles fell away, and whilst the whole thing was as gruelling as ever with 9 miles of pain and 2,700 feet of elevation, it didn’t feel quite as difficult as last time. Even the gully didn’t seem to take so long. Well in fact it didn’t – last year that mile segment took 36 minutes whereas this year it was a mere 27! Overall I shaved 25 minutes off my time from last year and came 87th out of 101 starters, which felt like good progress. 
As usual, the people manning the checkpoints, handing out the soup, organising the event were all lovely and jolly, and did a sterling job. I really love this race and look forward to being back next year, 
thanks
Rebecca (Mildred The Hen)”

 

Winter Hill Mast Race – Sunday 21st October 2018

Richard Hankins has been about doing interesting races again. Thanks for the report Richard and well done:

I like races that are relatively flat with good underfoot conditions, so the last couple ofScreen Shot 2018-10-24 at 21.03.17weekends have been ‘off piste’ for me. This week I only travelled as far as Lancashire to run the Winter Hill Mast Blast. The race was run to celebrate 50 years of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team which I was a member of from 1990 to 1999. I love the West
Pennine Moors and the opportunity to spend the day up there was too appealing to miss. I prepared perfectly, attending a Billy Bragg gig the night before, completely losing count of the number of beers I’d drunk and waking up horribly Screen Shot 2018-10-24 at 21.03.47hungover. Like any sensible runner faced by an exposed hill race who was unwell and unable to keep down their breakfast I took precautions (a second banana). The profile of the race was somewhat hellish. Starting with a steep 150M climb along a rocky and gravelly track followed by an ascent of the Pike only to then run down the other side of the hill before working your way back up to the summit. Then followed a couple of kilometres of open moorland. Rivington Moor is particularly soggy and at one point I sank to my knees and only just escaped with both running shoes. I haven’t run that moor for 20 years and I delighted in being back out there. The last part of the race was through the Terraced Gardens on very uneven cobbled paths. I think you’d have to define it as a multi-terrain as it mixed trails, with fields, open moorland and the utility road to the mast. The organisation was fab, it was well marked and marshalled throughout. Difficult underfoot and it is a race that would be easy to pick up an injury at (as a few poor folks did). I came 15th overall and third Vet 45. Hopefully, it’ll become an annual event: I’d love another crack at it.

Parkrun

Well one to Colin Bishop for his finish in 1st place at Phoenix, and everyone else who took part in a Parkrun on Saturday. Our consolidated club result are HERE

That’s more or less it for this week, but I just wanted to mention Chris Igoe for being such a stalwart of the Wednesday night runs and an avid reader of the weekly blog – Cheers Chris!

Happy Running,

Jim

 

Weekly update 30-9 to 7-10

Firstly, a couple messages from Chris Fitz and Sue Buck

Fitzy:
Morning all, just a week to go before the Borders League season starts next Sunday. You all excited?
Race 1 is in New Brighton and it’s an out and back along the water front, 11am start, it’s free of charge, just turn up in your Helsby vest. Anyone wanting to race who doesn’t have a vest let me know, we can put you in contact with Sue Buck
There is also a Borders league taster session on Thursday 11th 6.30pm start from Tudor Road. WA7 1BD. We shall have 7,8,9 & 10 min pacers taking you around the 5 mile Norton 5 course. Would be great to see a fair few turn up to this
All details on the Borders league on the website below
http://www.bordersleague.org.uk

Sue:
I’m going to order some more hoodies as it seems winter is here. Unfortunately, the price has gone up, so the next lot will be £18.  Please let me Sue Buck know the size as well.

parkrun
Full results for Helsby members at last weeks parkruns are below, including a first place for Jenny Illidge at Phoenix Park

https://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Chester Marathon 2018 by Col Thompson

The last time I ran a marathon was in London 2013, over five years ago. At that particular time I was aiming for the coveted “sub 3” which I managed to get (just) and I swore I’d never do another one, the pain of that race is still etched into my mind to this day! I stuck to my guns on this until recently when Louise got sick and I wanted to do something to give back to the unit who cared for her last year.

I’d heard good things about the Chester Marathon, although not the flattest marathon around the organisation always gets great reviews and it’s right on our doorstep, so my place was duly booked and training started. I decided to follow a specific training plan this time from a book called “P&D Advanced Marathoning” I’ve never followed a plan before but seeing other runners I know successfully follow the plan and set themselves big PBs, it seemed like the logical thing to do.

So my 12 week training block started back in July and I had my ups and downs with it. We had one of the hottest summers on record so most of my training was done late at night, I also developed plantar fasciitis in the second week which I had to train through and I then hurt my achilles in the final week (on a treadmill in work for charity believe it or not!) but I managed to stick to the training sessions as best as I could and arrived on the start line relatively injury free. I think following an intense training plan with weekly mileage up to 70mpw was always going to be a challenge and I expected to pick up little niggles along the way.

So race day arrived, I had a target time of 2.45 in my mind but plan B was sub 2.50 if things didn’t go to plan as it would still be a big PB for me. I arrived at the race course and the weather was glorious, dry and sunny and cool with no wind, perfect! Chester race course was a great venue to host the start and finish, plenty of porta loos and everything was very easy to find, the organisation was top notch. I bumped into Spiderman AKA Gaz Boyd at one point who runs marathons for fun these days now he’s an ultra man! Great to see Gaz running well again. Race day nerves were starting to kick in and I did a short warm up and made my way over to the start line where I bumped into Fitzy who was pacing the sub 3 hour group, we shook hands and wished each other luck and then we were off…

The course takes you through Chester City centre, over the River Dee and out towards North Wales, then back to Chester with a finish at the race course. It was a nice route, gently undulating through country roads and it looped through some beautiful little villages where the locals came out to support which was nice to see. At the halfway mark everything was going to plan, I had stuck to the required pace and fuelling strategy I’d practiced in training (gel block and water every 4 miles) and was feeling great at this point, I breezed through at exactly 1.22.30. Things were pretty uneventful until I hit a hill at 16 miles and the pace dropped, I also started feeling some pain in my achilles which had been bothering me in the final week of training. After this point I just couldn’t maintain the required pace for target time and as the miles ticked by I could see the pace dropping further and further. Time for plan B! A quick mental calc and I realised if I could hang on I would still be in with a shout of sub 2.50, I then passed the 20 mile marker and I entered the dreaded final 6.2 miles! It doesn’t matter how much training you do, nothing can prepare you for those final 6 and a bit miles of hell in a marathon! It really becomes a mental and physical battle, I was desperately trying to keep the pace below 6.50 per mile and my achilles was getting worse and now the course was getting more hilly. I stopped looking at the watch and just concentrated on my gait and stride which I adjusted slightly and things settled down a little. 22, 23…then mile 24. I’d heard about the “huge hill” here and it didn’t disappoint, with 24 miles in the legs it felt like a mountain! It’s there that I heard a big cheer and someone shouting my name, I looked over and Gaz O’Connor and Helen Owens were at the top of the hill, I think I managed a small wave (sorry guys!) but it gave me the boost I needed and from there I managed to hang on in the last 2 miles and finish in 2:48:56, a ten minute PB! I was elated! My mum and Louise were there to greet me at the finish which was amazing!

image1

Fitzy managed to pace the sub 3 group perfectly finishing in just under 3 hours and we had some other fantastic results from the Green Army. Neil Finegan finished in 3:05:15 as he prepares for the Snowdonia Marathon and Spiderman finished in 3:54:51, well done mate. Ben Williams also had a strong run to finish in 4:12, not quite the sub 4 he was hoping for but I don’t think Chester is the best course to go for a PB and I’m sure he’ll achieve it on a flatter course.

So in summary it was one of my most memorable races, it’s always nice when you work hard for something with months of training and it pays off on race day. It also helps to have a very supportive and understanding partner, Louise has been my rock these last few months, even when I was nipping out at 10pm for a 20 mile run she never complained! The best result we got from the day was the amount of money we raised for CANtreat though, over £700! Thank you to all members who donated it really means a lot to us.

Will I do another one? If someone asked me that two days ago I’d have said double defo no, but now the pain has faded and I’ve analysed my race a bit more, I hear Manchester is one of the fastest courses in the UK…. ;-

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 24th to 30th September 2018

Hello Green Army

Message from Foz to start the news this week

Hi all
October has now arrived so it can only mean one thing mud. I know Fitzy is rallying the green army for the borders league. So now it’s time for the cross country troops to dust down the spikes.
Saturday 13th October is the start of the Liverpool and District XC at Arrowe park, please note there is a new start time of 11 am. This race is just turn up and run but I will be in touch for other races in this league that are pre entry.  The first borders league is the day before so make it a double header.
Sunday 28th October is the start of the north west XC at Clarke gardens Liverpool a 10am start.  All of these races are free to enter for all Helsby members who are First claim only and club vests must be worn.  So to all new members give XCa go and you will be hooked.
It would be great to see lots of green vests on the start line.
All XC fixtures can be found on the club’s race calendar.
Cheers
Paul
No race reports this week, so a quick one from me on the Multi Terrain Series that finished last Tuesday. It’s worthwhile to note as well that this might be the last time we see this race series, Steve Saunders is stepping down after 20 years of organising them. It’s a shame really as they are great value for money, and are very enjoyable races.
Full results for last Tuesday can be found here.
A big well done to Paul Frodsham, 2nd O60, Debbie Read 1st in her age cat, O60, and me 3rd O40
Not a race report but the captain sent this in from last Wednesday’s successful 10k time trial
A big thank you to everyone who attended the 10k time trial last Wednesday, we had a great turn out with 12 runners toeing the line and an excellent standard was set by everyone!
Congratulations to Fitzy who was first overall in 37:08 and Hannah who was second overall and first lady in 38:00. this is also a brand new female course record, great stuff Hannah!
A big thank you to Louise Spruce (timing & results), Jackie Keasley (timing & results), Joe Beswick (timing) and Mario Foschi (marshalling).
See you all at the end of October for the next time trial.
Cheers
Colin
Link to results here:
Well done to all Park run participants this weekend, consolidated results below
Please don’t forget we have our 1st Borders League race on 14th October, and I am organising a training run for all abilities, especially to new club members who haven’t done a race like this before……details below.

June has come up with a great idea of a little get together and training session for those thinking about or already planning to do the Borders League Race 1 on Sunday 14th October, or any of them over the course of the season. The main aim of this is for anyone who has not took part in a Borders league race before to come along to this session, as it will give you a good idea of what the courses are like, and what distance most races are (normally between 5-6 miles). This will be run around the Norton 5 route (Roy’s old training run).

We shall have pacers running the route at 7, 8, 9 & 10 minute miles. The majority is off road, but high viz vest’s are a must, and head torch (although not essential) would come in handy.

We shall meet on Thursday 11th October on Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn WA7 1BD for 6.25pm, and start the run at 6.30pm prompt.

We really want people to understand that Borders league races are not elitist, they are for everyone at the club, and the good thing is they are free of charge. It would be great to see some new faces, and also some of the Helsby and Frodsham crew head over to sunny runny for the evening.

Any questions feel free to contact myself or June

That’s all folks

Cheers
Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 17th to 23rd September 2018

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another Helsby RC weekly round-up. Apologies for it being a bit late this week but I was busy in Devon. I’ve been doing a bit of running on Dartmoor while working down there. As it was my last week, I had a couple of farewell events to attend, including another Wednesday night of stunning views with pureTRAIL.uk

IMG_5841

Wednesday night run on Dartmoor with pureTRAIL.uk

If you are ever in the vicinity of Dartmoor on Wednesday evening I would recommend meeting up with these guys at 6.30pm. They update there website with a new meeting place each week. No charge, just turn up in suitable gear (including a head torch) and run some great trails with  Pure Trail Running

Upcoming Events:

A couple of worthwhile causes for mention this week

Fundraising for CANtreat

A message from Colin T: “As some of you are aware I’m running the Chester marathon on 7th October to raise money for CANtreat, a charity very close to my heart as this is the unit where Louise was treated for breast cancer last year. Just my way of giving something back after the amazing care they gave her. No pressure at all to donate but any amount will be very much appreciated.

The link is here should you wish to donate:
https://www.justgiving.com/Colin-Thompson25

Thanks
Col T”

Halton Haven Santa Dash

 11am Sunday 2nd December 2018, Victoria Park Widnes

Santa Dash 2017

Laura  has asked that the Halton Haven Santa Dash be mentioned, as this is one of the charities which we support though our 4 Villages Half Marathon. So if you are free on 2nd December why not consider a fun day out while supporting the Haven at the same time. Full details are available HERE

 

Racing News

Meerbrook 5k – Saturday 22nd September 2018

Thanks to Colin Thompson for sending this report in, and very well done peeps. Fantastic to see so many Helsby members running at county level :

“Myself, Fitzy and Hannah were all picked to run for Cheshire at the Meerbrook 15k on Saturday, that’s 3 Helsby runners out of a team of 7! Not bad for a little running club like ours. I’ll be honest I didn’t know much about this race beforehand and hadn’t researched the route or past results but it’s a unique distance and it was always going to be a PB. As we approached Meerbrook it became evident it wasn’t going to be a flat course either, in fact there is over 1000ft of climb, it was going to be very interesting!

We met up with the other Cheshire runners and after the usual pre-race banter and photos we were on the start line and off. What followed was one of the most undulating and difficult road races I’ve ever done, the hills were relentless with no flat bits anywhere, as you climbed and descended one hill another one would follow! Me, Fitzy and Jez Brown (Buckley) pretty much stuck together and were like cat and mouse, Jez pulled away from us after the half way mark and Fitzy got the edge on me after pulling out a superb final mile (4.58!) and we took 14th and 15th respectively, 2nd & 3rd Cheshire counter. A cracking race which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The star of the day was Hannah though, she was first lady by a country mile and third fastest female ever in a time of 1:00:05. To put that into perspective only two women have ever ran faster, Gemma Steel and Olivia Walwyn, both GB internationals. The scary thing is there is a lot more to come!

Results on the day, Cheshire men were 3rd out of 4 counties (North Wales, Staffordshire & Shropshire) and ladies team 2nd. A big well done to all who took part. I think this could be one for a road counter in future, a unique race with some challenging hills to offer something a bit different.

Cheshire results:
Men:
2nd Jonathan Smith 55:31 (Lymm)
14th Chris Fitzpatrick 59:00 (Helsby)
15th Colin Thompson 59:05 (Helsby)
16th Gaz Davies 59:11 (Warrington)
Ladies:
23rd Hannah Cowley 1:00:05 (1st lady)(Helsby)
44th Gemma Barnett 1:06:24 (Vale Royal)
61st Carol Bird 1:10:09 (1st age cat)(Biddulph)

Delamere Inter-club Relay Trail (DIRT)

Saturday 22nd September

Thanks Jackie Keasley for sending in the DIRT  results. A great victory for Helby’s mens and Ladies teams. There’s also a video link of the event below the table, courtesy of Delamere Spartan’s Dave Douglas:
Screen Shot 2018-09-29 at 09.17.07

Southport Seaside 10k – Sunday 23rd September

Thank-you Karen Horsley for sending in a report on the Southport Seaside 10k:

“Mid-week the forecast for Southport was wet, persistent all-day long rain, however on the day the sun was shining and we were treated to a warm run with a gentle breeze. Great conditions for running a PB on this, two lap, almost entirely flat course. If you haven’t run Southport before each 5k lap circles the marine lake, it’s a beautiful place to run.

Pre-race warm-up completed I determinedly told hubby and kids “sub-60 here I come!” Despite my anxiety around crowds I positioned myself between the 55 and 60 minute pacers and completed my first 5k in a little over 28 minutes, tiring a little at this point my pace slowed and I had to take a few short walk breaks but (as I said) I was determined to get sub-60 and picked my pace back up from the 8k mark, sprint (ish) to the finish and a definite sub-60!

Well done to Robert, first Helsby vest home in 42:52, also to Stephen and David Wiggins for their great times.

Helsby results:

Robert Hough 42:52

Stephen Wiggins 55:34

Karen Horsley 58:26

David Wiggins 01:02:52″

 

English Half Marathon, 10k and 5k –  14-16th September at Warrington

Karen also sent in our results from the English Half Marathon, 10k and 5k last weekend, Thanks Karen

Helsby results:

Half:

Neil Finegan 01:21:36

Gareth Boyd 01:45:19

10k:

Ian Hamling 40:45

John Rossiter 43:35

Rachel Holden 47:33

Matt Willcott 53:33

Karen Horsley 01:02:25

Gill Fitzpatrick 01:03:48

5k:

Phil Tomkinson 18:41

Matt Willcott 27:31″

Parkrun – Saturday 22nd September 2018

Well done to Colin Bishop for finishing 1st at Phoenix and to Rachel Holden who was first lady to finish at Widnes. Our consolidated  club results for all park runs on Saturday can be seen HERE

New Club Member

A warm welcome to Becky Pearce who has just joined us. Hope to be able say hello on one of our club runs soon Becky.

I think that’s if for this week. Please keep sending any contributions in to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers,

Jim

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 27th August to 2nd September 2018

Hello Green Army

Quick message from Jackie about the road relays and inter club relays.

This Saturday, 8th it’s the Norrthern West Counties Road Relay Championships in Delamere Forest. We have 2 ladies & 2 mens teams entered. Good luck to all taking part.  

Then a couple of weeks later it’s the  

DELAMERE INTER CLUB RELAY TRAIL (DIRT) – Sat 22nd Sept

  • Time of first leg – 16:00
  • Location – the big expanse of grass near Delamere visitors centre
  • The event will be an interclub relay between ourselves, Delamere Spartans, Spectrum Striders, Pensby and Tattenhall
  • All legs will be within the forest with no road crossings
    • Leg 1 – single runner, 5K – set course
    • Leg 2 – pairs, 8K – set course
    • Leg 3- pairs, 9K – route choice
    • Leg  – single, 5K – set course
  • Categories will be Male, Female, Male vet, Female vet and mixed
  • The cost will be £2.50 per runner to cover the fee we are being charged by the Forestry Commission, including parking in the carpark close to the start of the Park Run where the concerts are held.   All entries on day.
  • Club vests need to be worn

The ethos of the event is low key and social, so we will put up gazebos and encourage runners to bring family and food for a picnic afterwards – no BBQs!

If you have not already done so please email Phil if you would like to take part (phil.gillard1@btinternet.com) and be matched into teams.
Or if you have already made up a team great & just turn up & enter on day but if you let us know you are a team already it will help us ensure we have enough team battens on the day!
Helsby Running Club are helping orgainsie legs 1 (Railway Slalom) & 4 (Park Run) by putting out the signs & marshalling.
I could do with 3 more course marshals + a couple of timing marshals kso if you now anyone or are not running but would like to join in then please let me know.jackiekeasley@btinternet.com 

This is a trial event (to possibly take the place of the interclub fell counters) and it would be great to see a healthy Green Army turnout to support this new event.

Cheers
Jackie

Ben Williams has sent in a report for the Firelighter

Just a short report from the Firelighter ultra on Anglesey, on Friday 31st August. This is the first day of the famous Ring O’Fire which for the second year was available as an ultra in its own right. The route follows the Anglesey Coastal Path around the western and northern coast, from Holyhead to Amlwch. The weather was perfect, almost too hot and it was quite a relief when sunset neared and things cooled down.
After a slow start caused by congestion on the narrow paths leaving the start area, I soon settled down to a slow plod, reassured that everyone around me was doing the same thing. There are three checkpoints, and the course gets progressively tougher after each one, the most difficult section being around Cemaes Bay. The checkpoints are a long way apart so I was lucky in having support from Serena and Dad who kept me supplied with water. Otherwise I would have struggled in the heat. A particular highlight was stopping for a rest on the clifftop near Ynys Y Fydlyn and seeing dolphins playing in the sea.
I finished in darkness, about 15 minutes up on last year’s time. Results are at https://ringofire.niftyentries.com/Results/Ring-O-Fire-2018?
Well done Ben, that first day is the best day on ROF, but probably one of the hardest as well. 
No more running reports i’m afraid….. that’s all folks!!! Hold on a minute, just found a Triathlon report i can throw in. Over to errrrrr me……
Sundowner 70.3

OK OK OK, it’s not just about run reports, others get away with sending in Swim Run reports, walking reports and they still get into the blog with no issues or moans, plus i’m doing the blog this week so here’s my take on my first 70.3 Middle Distance Triathlon. (Gaz will be deleting this right now i think).

Myself and Peter Rodriguez decided that if we ever grow a pair and want to do a full iron man, then we need to do a half iron man firstly, to dip our toes in the water a little before entering the biggy. Obviously you need to train for 3 disciplines, however, it’s pretty hard trying to fit them all into a 7 day week. Running, no problem, swimming, no problem, especially over the summer we’ve just had, but biking has been particularly hard, it takes up so much time, and neither of us have particularly enjoyed it.

A 70.3 triathlon consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run. We found the flattest race possible, no hills even in the water!!! We traveled up to Allerthorpe Lake, just outside of York last Saturday and set up camp. It was a great setting, the weather was superb and we just wanted it to all be over quickly so we could get into the after party tent, whilst watching the sun go down. It’s a midday start but myself and Peter put a realistic time down when entering, and found ourselves going off with the last wave and the fast guys. This was a mistake. The start of the swim was horrible, I actually thought i was being drowned, and was certainly not prepared for the amount of times i would be hit by someone, or barged out of the way, Peter even shouting at people under water, which made me laugh. 3 laps of the lake and we came out in a respectable 44 mins, both of us within 5-6 seconds of each other, straight into transition 1, chuck on all the bike gear and out onto the super flat and lovely roads for 2 laps of a 28 mile course.

Most of our training rides we have been averaging around 17.5-18mph, so it was good to see us both averaging 19.5mph for the full 56 miles, and seeing us make a little bit of ground up on some seriously expensive bikes, some people spend more on their bikes than they do on their cars. My back was not in a good place for the first 28 miles but as then pain went from my back into my thighs i got through it in 2hrs 55 with Peter coming in a few minutes ahead in around 2hrs 52.

Back into transition 2, throw your running shoes on, and out onto a multi terrain course for the first mile or so, then heading back out onto the roads for 3 laps of about 4 and a bit miles for the half marathon route. This was particular hard now, i thought i’d easy get in under 1hr 30, but after 56 miles on the bike your legs just don’t work, however with running being my strongest discipline, i overtook a lot competitors to come out with the 4th fastest time on the day for the half marathon, in 1hr 35, followed by Peter in 1hr 41.

I finished in 104th in 5hrs 20, Peter finished in 125th in 5hrs 26, out of about 500 starters. Both of us very pleased with our first 70.3, and the after party was pretty good as well. If anyone fancied doing this distance then this would be highly recommended, it was a superb event and looking back it really was a great weekend, once the pain had subsided.

Now, do we or do we not book the full iron man………….

104th 532 CHRIS Fitzpatrick M 92nd M 40-44 17th 05:20:33 +01:12:02
125th 535 Peter Rodriguez M 110th M 40-44 21st 05:26:58 +01:18:27

https://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/1QF

↑ top ©2018 Stuweb Race Management Services, StuWeb, 26 Cradley Road, Cradley Heath, B64 6AG ©2018 Stuweb Race Management Services, StuWeb, 26 Cradley Road, Cradley Heath, B64 6AG

CheersFitzy

Parkrun seen runners out and about in Pheonix, Warrington, Catterick, Chester, Delamere, Keswick, Ellesmere Port, Northwich and Street.
Full consolidated results below;
Last word from me, Christmas Party, Friday 30th November, or Friday 7th December? Drop me an email or message on Facebook, we shall go with the most popular option
See you all soon
Fitzy 

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 20th to 26th August 2018

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another Helsby RC weekly round-up.

Upcoming Events

Borders League and Cross Country Fixtures – Tim Palmer has recently updated the calendar to include all these fixtures which are free to enter for club members. Just turn up on the day in your club vest and run. You can view the calendar HERE

Request for Assistance – Next, we have a request for assistance at two County Events. Please let Jackie Keasley know if you are able to assist with either of the events in the email pasted below:

“Dear Cheshire Officials

I would be grateful if you let me know if you are available to assist at two endurance events being held in Cheshire this autumn. 

“The first is the North West Counties Road Relays, which is being held at Delamere Forest on Saturday 8th September 2018, first race at 10.10am. The North West Road Relays were due to be hosted by Greater Manchester this year, but they were unable to provide a suitable venue so Cheshire has stepped in at the last minute to ensure the event goes ahead. There are more details on the attached prospectus. We am looking for officials to help at the start, finish and take-overs. Please let me know as soon as possible if are available.

Secondly, the Cheshire Schools Athletic Association is hosting the Dave Sunderland Inter County Schools Cross Country event on Saturday 8th December 2018 at Knights Grange, Winsford. This annual event will involve teams from up to 10 counties. Cheshire County AA have agreed to assist Cheshire Schools at this event and again we are looking for officials to work at the start and finish. Please let me know if you are available. 

Finally, please note that the Cheshire County Cross Country Championships are being held at Birchwood on Saturday 5th January 2019. I will be in touch again nearer the time to ask for availkabilities for this event.

Regards
Alan Morris
Cheshire County Officials’ Secretary”

Helsby Sports Club Event – Betty Grieve has sent in a reminder of an opportunity to support Helsby Sports Club and have a good night out on Friday 7th September:

giggle shack

 

Racing News

The Race Across Scotland – Saturday 18th August 2018

Our first report this week is from Gareth Boyd about his amazing crossing of Scotland. Thanks for sending in the report Gareth – and well done mate! I thought the crossing of Dartmoor was epic (see below) but you’ve trumped me 😉

IMG_3260

“The Race Across Scotland – commenced 6.10am 18th Aug. It covers the breadth of Scotland on terrain best used for sheep grazing and hiding bodies 

The route covers at least 212 miles and over 29,000 feet. It’s far more scenic than the Transpennine Trail but for at least 70% of the course, terribly terribly boggy/wet 

Originally there were 200 entrants, of which 130 made it to the start line. 68 runners had to retire during the event, leaving 62 who finished within the 100 hours time limit.

I finished in 90 hours 58 mins. Position 38.

It was great to finish another 200 mile + race but I’m disappointed that I walked much of the course. 

The winning time was 65.03

Worth noticing that Delamere Spartans own Becky Wightman had a superb race and finished joint 2nd lady” 

 

The Crossing of Dartmoor – Saturday 25th August 2018

IMG_5177
Those of you who view my Strava feed will have noticed I’ve been running on Dartmoor quite a bit over this summer. While working in the area I have been meeting up with a group of off-road runners each Wednesday night at a different location somewhere on Dartmoor for a 6ish mile run. The Wednesday night runs are hosted by puretrail.uk and are free for anybody to attend. Just check their website on the Wednesday morning for that day’s meeting point and turn up in suitable off-road gear at 6.30pm. So if you are anywhere near Dartmoor I would highly recommend looking them up.
Puretrail also organise a lot of off-road races in the southwest region. On Saturday I completed The Crossing of Dartmoor – a 34 mile race from the picturesque village of Belstone at the northern edge of Dartmoor to South Brent on the southern edge of the national park. After a heavy downpour on the Friday it was pretty boggy underfoot but we were blessed with a window of good weather all day Saturday. Had the weather closed in, as it often does on Dartmoor, it would have been a completely different kind of race. As it turned out we had pretty good running conditions and a chance to take in the views, which included lots of Dartmoor ponies along the way. We had an unfortunate encounter with a hornets nest at mile 32 and I was stung on the back of the head! It hurt a lot! Other than that, it was a fantastic day out. I finished the race 32nd of 86 in 7hrs 1min.
Puretrail have a Facebook page dedicated to the weekly Wednesday night runs.

 

Barrow Summer Saunter Half Marathon – Sunday 26th August 2018

Most people train for a half marathon but Colin Thompson just throws half marathons into his training plan! Well done Colin on a  great run, and thanks for sending in the report:

“I’m currently into the 7th week of the P&D marathon training plan and some of the quality training runs are long runs at marathon pace. Sunday was due to be the longest and final one of the plan, 18 miles with 12 at MP and rather than run around a deserted industrial estate on my own like I’d done with the previous runs I thought I’d find a local half marathon so I’d have some company and it’s always easier running fast in race conditions. Local half marathons on the date were pretty thin on the ground but one which stood out was a fairly low key race in Barrow in Furness, a race series called “Summer Saunter” which comprised a 5k, 10k, HM and marathon on a lapped coastal course all on the same day. Perfect! We decided to make a weekend of it so B&B was booked and off we went.

On race day the weather was pretty horrendous, there were strong winds and heavy rain, not ideal for a fast run! We arrived a little late so I didn’t have time to warm up so my plan was to run the first mile “easy” and then pick up the pace and run the final 12 miles at the required pace. Looking around I was surprised how few had turned out, there were 50 runner max, the weather must have put off a few people!

The race started and I stuck to the plan, ran the first mile easy then settled into a fast but controlled pace, after the third mile I noticed I’d worked my way into second place and was gaining on the race leader, a local runner who was doing the 10k. This is where things started to go a bit wrong. I hadn’t planned to lead the race at all and didn’t want to overtake him as the course was a bit confusing, I didn’t know the area and there were no marshals anywhere, only a few signs and bits of tape. I didn’t want to get lost so I decided to track him thinking I’d run the first lap with him and then I’d know the route for the second lap, he was doing a good pace so seemed like a sensible move. Foolishly I stopped taking any notice of the signs too! As we approached mile 4 he stopped and threw his hands up and announced that we’d gone wrong somewhere, we’d actually ran a mile past a “turn here” sign so by the time we’d figured this out and tracked back we had ran 2 miles the wrong way and lost a load of time! It’s ok I thought it’s just a training run so I tried to settle back into the required pace but I was really battling the elements, then the course went into fell mode and meandered over some steep slag banks, trail, wooden steps and a twisty slippery dock. I decided at that point to forget about pace and just concentrate on running a good race and see if I could maybe catch the leaders on the second lap. Unfortunately first place was just too far ahead but I did manage to get second place somehow, not bad considering I’d lost so much time!

It was a shame it went wrong, I probably would have been upset if I was properly racing it and lost out on a win due to a navigation error, they should at least have had a marshall at the turn around point as the sign wasn’t very clear. The guy who was running the 10k was very upset and actually demanded his money back! I was a little more diplomatic and explained that for future events they should have more marshals out on course but this race series is in it’s infancy so hopefully they will address this for future events. On a nicer sunnier day it would be a good little event to have a go at if you are in the area, just remember to read the signs!

Cheers
Col T”

Ras y Cnicht – Sunday 26th August 2018

It was great to see Adam Gordon’s name in the results of yet another fell race over the weekend. In a very respectable finish position too! Nice work Adam!

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“A short report on a very short race!
A weekend camping in Beddgellert with the family gave me the perfect opportunity to take on the 9th fell counter of the year. A bit of research promised a short race of just over 6km and 560m of ascent, steep rocky terrain, a scramble to the summit and some of the best views in Snowdonia. It was not to be!
The weather was awful. Strong winds and torrential driving rain meant that it was considered too dangerous to race to the top, so the race was cut short and we were turned around before the final scramble to the summit.  There would have no views to be had anyway. The weather also meant that only about half the usual number of runners turned up, and I was the only Helsby vest (hidden under my waterproofs) on the start line. I wouldn’t have been there either if I hadn’t been staying so close.
The race itself was an exercise in getting up and down without doing myself and injury. I made it to the top in 4th place but lost a few places on the way down because I just wasn’t brave or mad enough to let go on the wet, rocky slopes.
In the end, I managed to stay on my feet and hang on for 7th place. All good fun but I’m glad I hadn’t made the 4 hour round trip for it.  If the race had been on Saturday? which was a beautiful day, it would have been a cracker!
Full result HERE
Cheers
Adam”

Parkrun – Saturday 25th August 2018

Well done to Chris Fitzpatrick and Peter Rodriguez who finished 1st and 2nd respectively at Phoenix on Saturday. Our consolidated club results for all parkruns on Saturday can be seen HERE

 

That’s it for this week folks. If I’ve missed anything please let me know and I’ll update the blog.

Cheers,

Jim

 

Helsby RC weekly round-up 13th to 19th August 2018

Hello all

Welcome to this weeks blog, we had three brilliant reports in the inbox this week, thank you so much to those who contributed, it makes our job so much easier.

Before we get to the racing news please find a message below from Janet with the confirmed dates for this seasons NWSL cross country champs.

For new members or those who have not done these yet, this is a great series of races which are free to enter, just turn up in your club vest. Each race is followed by a social get together with tea and sandwiches.

28 October Clarke Gardens
18 November Beacon Park
16 December Arrowe Park
13 January Runcorn Town Park
3 February Croxteth Park
24 February Birchwood

A big thanks to the organisers for trying hard to avoid clashes with other races. Other cross country events are:

Nationals, Harewood House, Leeds, 23 February Northerns, Pontefract Racecourse, 26 January Cheshires, Birchwood, 5 January

Liverpool and District Cross Country Races are already included in Tim Palmer’s amazing race calendar.

Chirk Relays

Report by Colin Bishop

Thursday evening saw several of the Green Army head over Chirk for 3 leg multi-terrain relay 2miles each. Helsby put up 4 teams 2 Male and 2 Female.

The 3 Cs first home for Helsby 4th place overall but 3rd in senior  mens category

Greenwithenvy …Ian, Davyd and Peter home in 12th place.

Helsbellies1…Christina, Laura and Carol home 2nd  in senior ladies category with Helsbellies2 …Debbie, Jackie and Vanessa 5th for ladies senior category

The course had a downhill start with few climbs and downhill finish over multi-terrain.

The relay also involved us carrying a baton which included our chip 😲 wish I could spell that the way Michael Johnson pronounces it. 😄😄😄 Fabulous scenery. Well worth putting in the diary for next year.

Results can be found here:

http://www.ticktiming.com/page3.html

Race the Train

Report by Sue Buck

I’d last done this race in 2015 when a few of camped to celebrate Jane’s birthday. I can’t remember whose idea it was to camp and run it again, but as I’d particularly enjoyed the event party afterwards, I decided to join in the fun and camp for the weekend.

Jackie and I had a relaxing morning before setting off to cheer Janet on as she ran the 10k.

Janet looked strong and happy as she came past us and beat the train!! Well done Janet!

The 14km is very much a race of 2 halves. The first 7 miles are on tarmac (first mile), followed by good farm tracks and footpaths, so it’s possible to run quite hard. The route then turns round and follows a muddy single track on the side of a hill, through some forest, the ‘bog of doom’ and a short traverse before rejoining the route from the 1st half for about 3.5 miles back to Tywyn.

The race is very well-organized, with water stations at a lot of the farms, well-marshaled, loads of support and has the feel of a big road race with a lot of cheering and high-fiving in the town. One for the diary for next year, although as lovely as the 14 miler is, the 10k covers the best part of the course!

I’ve not had a race go quite this well in a very long time and to be honest, I was not expecting it either as I was convinced that I wasn’t very fit for various reasons. I was worrying during the first half that I’d gone out a bit quick, but felt OK, so kept trying to ignore that nagging doubt. Just after the turn round, something weird happened and the endorphins really kicked in and I felt great – I clearly need a 7 mile warm up!! This feeling kept with me for the rest of the race!!! Was this down to the half a malt loaf I’d eaten pre-race???

Imagine my surprise at the after show party when I discovered I was first FV50!!! Jackie said she’d never seen me move so fast when I ran up to get my prize!!!

Well done to all the Helsby vests that ran. Richard Hankins was first home for the men and narrowly missed beating the train and Chris was first home for the women.

Full results here: http://www.racethetrain.com/results-for-2018/

Ellesmere Port 5k

Report by Richard Hankins

The Ellesmere Port 5K was the 9th of our 12 road counters for this year. A local club race around Capenhurst it has been on the calendar for some years. Last year number collection was an issue and the race started late, but the use of i-pad check in removed those issues. The race starts on the main road which isn’t closed before the runners line up and this makes the event chaotic at this stage. Once off it is a largely flat single loop finishing at Urenco, but very congensted for the first 500 metres if the start line melee leaves you out of place. Ten Helsby runners turned out, one of the best turn outs for a road event this year. The weather was fine with a bit of a headwind but times were not stunning with only one runner below 16 minutes. Chris Fitz led the team home in 20th place at 17:41. Notable performances also from Ian and Peter and a new PB for Rachael.

Overall, a convenient local race. But, never seems that fast and would definitely benefit from more loos!

 

Position Finish time Number First name Last name Net time Net position Club Club Position Gender Gender position Category Category position
20 00:17:41 230 Chris Fitzpatrick 00:17:37 20 Helsby Running Club 1 Male 19 Vet 40 5
48 00:18:41 267 Ian Hamling 00:18:37 50 Helsby Running Club 2 Male 45 Senior Male 29
58 00:19:08 233 Peter Rodriguez 00:19:03 58 Helsby Running Club 3 Male 54 Vet 40 11
81 00:20:01 156 Richard Hankins 00:19:53 79 Helsby Running Club 4 Male 73 Vet 45 12
97 00:20:33 106 James Higgins 00:20:28 99 Helsby Running Club 5 Male 87 Senior Male 39
111 00:21:02 270 Robert Hough 00:20:57 114 Helsby Running Club 6 Male 99 Senior Male 41
143 00:22:02 142 Trevor Lewis 00:21:53 143 Helsby Running Club 7 Male 119 Vet 45 17
148 00:22:23 268 Rachael Holden 00:22:18 151 Helsby Running Club 8 Female 26 Senior Female 8
155 00:22:32 39 Roy Gaskill 00:22:25 157 Helsby Running Club 9 Male 128 Vet 50 16
198 00:24:18 265 Geoff Collins 00:24:09 199 Helsby Running Club 10 Male 151 Vet 60 9
213 00:24:49 1 Chris Morgan 00:24:39 216 Helsby Running Club 11 Male 159 Vet 65 5
268 00:28:30 226 Gillian Fitzpatrick 00:28:16 268 Helsby Running Club 12 Female 80 Vet 35 13
283 00:30:18 228 Janet Shaw 00:30:07 283 Helsby Running Club 13 Female 93 Vet 65 2
305 00:35:49 11 Stephanie Charman 00:35:37 305 Helsby Running Club 14 Female 108 Vet 65 4

 

Birchwood 10K

And last (but by no means least 😉 please find a report from Fitzy below for the Birchwood 10k, his first outing in a Cheshire vest and well deserved! Over to Fitzy….

A handful of the green army headed over to the Birchwood 10k on a wet but warm Sunday morning. I had found out 3 weeks ago that this race was an Inter Counties race, and I had been selected for the mighty Cheshire. I think I had been picked maybe due to a few people being away, but was still over the moon to have been selected. Maybe they looked at my spring running times and hadn’t taken into account that all I have done for the past 3 months is eat and drink over our glorious summer.

Anyway, out of the 6 runners for Cheshire, I managed to break into the top 4 counters which would go towards us scoring. That was all i wanted to do, make sure I wasn’t last home, and make sure I got a counter. I loved the experience, but I said yes thinking i would get a free race entry and free Cheshire vest, I was wrong, I paid for the entry, and paid for the vest. I have since found out the fell lads got the vest for free and race entry….whats going on, I need to change over to Felsby no doubt.

Anyway we came 3rd, out of 3 counties ha ha, coming in behind Staffs and North Wales, with some really strong runners at the top end of the list, the Cheshire ladies however had a great run and came first, so well done to them.

Also well done to Peter, Ian, John and Karen, full results below.

http://www.spectrumstriders.org.uk/images/stories/striders_downloads/results/striders_races/10k2018/10k2018individualresults.pdf

Helsby men also came 6th out of 38 teams with a total time of 2:41:23

Chris Fitzpatrick 36:32

Peter Rodriguez 39:58

Ian Hamling 40:39

John Rossiter 44:14

http://www.spectrumstriders.org.uk/images/stories/striders_downloads/results/striders_races/10k2018/10k2018maleclub_v2.pdf

 

Parkrun

Please find the consolidated parkrun results below. Well done to all the Green Army members who took part in one.

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

That’s all this week folks, thanks again for all the fab reports, please keep them coming – helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Cheers
Colin T