Helsby weekly round-up 28th Jan to 3rd Feb 2019

Hello everyone

Sorry for the late blog this week, 3 superb reports in the inbox, two from Jake Holmes and one from Ed Halliwell. Thanks guys, very much appreciated! Don’t forget if you did a race and would like it to be included in the blog please fire it over to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com, even just a few words or a link to the results would be great and really helps us to compile the blog each week. If it’s not in the inbox we generally won’t know about it unless we were there!

First up are Jake’s two reports…

Dark mountains – Mountain Marathon

“A search back in November for upcoming ultra races introduced me to Marmot Dark Mountains. 7 course options? Score courses? Elite, A, B, C? 10pm start? There was a bit too much to work out so left it there and carried on looking for daytime events with sign posts! 

But I’d watched the promo video… and it had exciting music and everything… 

So I found myself back on the website working it all out. Linear course… navigate between predefined checkpoints and back to the start as quick as you can… simple enough. 

But it’s a pairs event. And you’ve hardly done any navigating in the daytime never mind at night. Ahh.. Steve Riley he’s said he’s done night stuff before. Quick message, and just short 6 weeks of him procrastinating later and he’s on board. 

So on the last Saturday of January we found ourselves in Lowther Castle in the lakes. We bumped in to Chris and Max, who went on to take 3rd spot in their course, great work! The hour before start consisted of double checking our kit, putting things in and taking them back out again.  You’ve got to carry quite a bit: waterproofs, sleeping bag, bivi, bothy bag (i hadn’t heard of one of these but I’ll be coming back to it later), stove, food – even a tent! So despite having to carry all that, the decision of whether to take 2 pairs of inner gloves or 3 seemed like a critical decision just 20 minutes before the start.

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10pm comes round we’re given a map each and on our way. It’s the first time you get to see the checkpoints and your route. The first stretch is signposted to get you up onto the fells from there you’re on your own. CP1 to 2: no obvious helpful footpaths, so took a bearing and headed straight for it. 20mins or so of seeing nothing but the 5 metres or so of moorland your head torch lights up and other pairs of head torches bobbing around the darkness, and then the shiny box of CP2 reflects back at you not far in front! Great feeling. A CP ticked off and you know exactly where you are on the map again. On to CP3.  

I’ll skip ahead now, as once you’ve described one stretch of pitch black mountain, you’ve described them all. The notable additions over the next hour or two were some serious ascents, the snow arriving, a highlight of the event for me when Steve splashed through a stream to get to cp3 and I took the bridge he’d missed 2 metres further up, and then the next ‘torrent’ of a stream that was unavoidable and we waded through up to our knees.

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We’d hit each checkpoint bang on so far and decided to continue with our winning ‘follow another bearing’ tactic to get to CP5. 45minutes later we got there, or we thought we had, but it wasn’t there. About 10mins earlier, the wind and snow had really picked up. We had Haweswater down in front of us so we hadn’t passed it but the snow was driving hard, we had very poor visibility and standing still we were both getting cold quickly. Steve was having problems with his jacket and my feet felt like they were about to drop off so we decided to drop down out of the wind a bit. It wasn’t enough though… we weren’t getting any warmer and needed some shelter to regroup… back to that Bothy bag I mentioned. 

5 minutes later me and Steve are cosying up in what was essentially a tent fly sheet about the size of a small arm chair but that two of you can fit in when you’re on the side of a mountain and needs must 🙂 An extra layer on for Steve, some dry gloves for me (I did take a pair) and moral started to improve. We even got the stove out for a bite of hot food and some calories not in gel or cereal bar form. 

A study of the map showed we had an easy escape down to the valley, or we head back into the moors again. It was about 3am ish. We’d been going 5 hours, and with about 7hours max left we weren’t going to be able to complete so we called it experience, cut our losses and headed down to do the the 7 miles back to the finish on the road. 

What a great event. Unfinished business this one. If I take one thing away, it’s that even if you do get your water boiling, you can’t rehydrate a dehydrated meal in minus whatever it was. Still it didn’t stop us finishing the crunchy luke-warm pasta 🙂 

Two days later Steve sent me this screenshot showing where we’d been sitting was about 10metres beneath CP5! I’ve struggled to sleep since.”

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Moel Famau Evening Race

“First of the Clwydian Mid Week series of 12 races – out and back to a different summits each time. 

So this one was Moel Famau – from the top car park, up through the woods, join the main path halfway and carry on up to the summit. A quick scan of your timing chip by the hardy marshal and straight back down to the car park. Rain, wind and heavy fog from the start to the finish added to the fun.

Very professional race for such a small one with splits so you can see how you compared to the field in climbing and descending. And I’ve found the trick to a higher finishing position (15th!)… do races that hardly anyone else enters! 

Next race is on Tuesday 26th Feb if anyone fancies it £9 in advance of £10 on the night.”

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And now over to Ed…

Kong Mini Mountain Marathon – Round 1 – Capel Curig

“As I’m aiming to do the Saunders Mountain Marathon in summer, I decided I was going to do this as a ‘warm-up’ on Sunday. The format is a four-hour score event, which means that there isn’t a set course, it’s a case of getting as many points as possible for visiting controls in the time limit. This was a pretty new format for me, as my one previous MM (an ‘easy’ course with my son a few years ago) was a set course.

There were plenty of warnings about the conditions we’d be facing in the week up to the event, so the race vest was left in the cupboard and I went with rucksack complete with down jacket in. It looked like I was packing for a weekend camp away! The conditions meant a slightly reduced course, but given much slower going, this wasn’t an issue.

After a two-mile jog from Car Park to Registration to Start I was ready to go. Well, not quite, there was still time for more dire warnings from the lady at the start. Apparently someone had spent four hours putting controls out the previous day and only managed three or four. The someone in question was someone called ‘Max’ who apparently fancies himself as a bit of runner. The lady suggested I should put my over-trousers on from the start as I’d be needing them pretty soon anyway. I happily took the advice, and away I went, wearing more clothes than I’d ever imagined running in – two merino tops, waterproof, leggings, over-trousers, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves.

I had a vague idea at the start of a possible route, and wanted to start with an easy control to settle in. This first control was at a low level, and running was OK then, but as soon as I was moving uphill to my second control it was snow halfway up my shins. The third control was up at 2500 feet. This was a real slog in knee deep and above snow, with strong winds at the top, but was feeling like a real adventure. Certainly happy to have full waterproofs on.

After the top, it was time to descend, and it was good to be running, but only briefly before I managed to get trapped by a crag and had to pick my way round. I was then into the rocks, which was a nightmare as you couldn’t tell what your feet were going to land on in the snow. At one point my foot went between two rocks and I fell. I could easily have broken my leg, but I ended up stuck in a ‘127 hours’ scenario unable to extract myself, as my weight was pulling me forwards, and I couldn’t push back or up in the snow and my calf wouldn’t fit through the gap. After some digging with my hands in the snow I only found more rocks locking me in, so I just had to really force my calf through the gap in the end to escape.

Off and running again, the next two controls were OK. On my way down to the valley after those, I panicked a bit about running out of time, so decided to abridge my loop and play safe to make sure I didn’t run out of time. Whilst these thoughts were going through my head, I failed to notice the big flat rock coated in ice, until my feet disappeared and my shoulder followed by my head hit it. Fortunately I didn’t lose consciousness, but my vision was blurred for a good 15-30 minutes afterwards, so I took it easy to the next control, and was anticipating a trip to hospital that evening. Sometime after the control after that I realised with relief I could see clearly again.

After that, it was another two controls along a bridleway, before a mile or so run into the finish, only just over three and a half hours.

Result – 77th out of 151

Summary – A great adventure. Not a particularly outstanding result for me, but it was my first attempt at one of these. Another couple of controls would have been just inside the top 50. Could’ve been a bit braver with route maybe, or could have chose a different route which would have yielded more points, but glad to be round in one piece!”

Northwest Sunday League XC – Croxteth Park

No reports in the inbox for this sadly, looked like a great race though in some quite challenging conditions. Quotes from Steve Riley and Davyd about the race:

Steve: “Croxteth XC: Good course, frosty, icy puddles, no falls. Average run, above average cakes. Thanks Jane.”

Davyd: “Croxteth XC: Good course, frosty, cold icy puddles, fell over 3 times due to stupid choice of spike length. Decent run, top cakes. Thanks Jane.”

Unfortunately Steve Saunders website seems to be down so I am unable to extract the Helsby results, once it’s back up and running I’ll update the blog. In the mean time keep an eye out here http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk/

Don’t forget the last and final race of the NWSLXC season is at Birchwood park on 24th Feb, would be nice to get a good turn out from the Green Army for that one!

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Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns, we had a lot of cancellations last week due to the weather so it was great to see so many people finding alternative parkruns. Well done to everyone who took part!

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

That’s all folks, if you got this far thanks for reading and see you all soon. Keep on running…

Cheers
Col T

 

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Weekly blog 20-1-18 to 27-1-18

Firstly a request from Tim of Delamere Spartans asking if Helsby could help them out with some marshalling at a race they’ve been asked to organise as part of Manley Spring Fair on May Day Bank Holiday.

The race will be a 10k race from Manley Village Hall on Bank holiday Monday the 6th May 2019. It will go out to  the Forest via Manley Common, around the Kingsley area of the Forest and back. We are looking for volunteers to help on the day with Marshalling. We are having a child’s race at 11:30 around Manley Common and an adult race at 12:30. We require Marshall’s for both so any that are in the Forest will need to be available for a few hours.

I can’t promise any food or refreshments but am working on it and they will be allowed free entry into the Spring Fair that is taking place at the same time.
If anybody is interested please will they give me a call and email.
Regards
Tim
Tel 07970498263
timholloway92@gmail.co

Fitzy sent in this report from the Border League race at Tattenhall

Another great turn out for race 4 seen 38 Helsby runners make the short journey over to Tattenhall to race around their 6 mile undulating course on a very windy day which made the conditions pretty tough to race in, 372 runners in total battling the elements.

Hannah Cowley made it her 3rd win this season in the ladies competition, with Alison Halsall coming 1st in the FV45 category. The ladies were 3rd on the day and sit 3rd in the league table just 22 points behind 1st place with 3 races to go.

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Paul Frodsham turned back the clock with a run coming home 2nd in MV60 category for the men, which seen a best finish of the season so far on the day, also coming in 3rd, with some great performances all round. The men strengthening their position in the top flight now remaining in 5th but pulling away from the relegation zone, and just 101 points away from 4th place.

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A full month off now until the next one on March 3rd over in Birkenhead park.  

Full results below
http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/results/
Cheers
Fitzy

Steve Riley sent this in from Marmot Dark Mountains race

Two Helsby pairs met in the dark for this weekend’s Marmot Dark Mountains, based at the splendid Lowther Hall in the eastern Lakes. A race that bills itself as a 2-day mountain marathon squeezed into one night, this one seems to be as much about preparation and managing yourself as about speed.

Chris Baynham-Hughes and Max Wainwright came away with a podium position and in impressive 3rd place in the Short Score Class. They’d have bagged a few more points if their watches hadn’t been set to BST and they’d raced home an hour too early 🙂

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A slightly less glorious finish for Jake Holmes and Steve Riley in the B class, who struggled to find one of the cheekier checkpoints (hey, it was dark!) in the worst of the night’s weather. The wet snow and the search in the cold and dark started to bite home and the emergency bivvy sac was broken out to put every bit of clothing on and stuff some more food down. We cut our race short and dropped down to valley level to get back to safety, tails between legs. An adventure was had.

Finally,  club parkrun results from last week are below

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

Cheers
Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 14th to 20th January 2019

Hello Green Army

Most important news of the week. It’s Borders League race 4 on Sunday, and we need another good turnout please. It’s a local one as well over on the Tattenhall course, which is a cracker. Post code CH3 9QF, 11am start. For anyone that has not done one of these yet just turn up in your race vest, its free of charge, it’s as simple as that.

Message from our race director Laura Baynham-Hughes, after the successful weekend and running of the Four Villages Half Marathon. 

A huge thank you to everyone who helped on Sunday, Saturday and in the run up to the 4VHM. It really is a team effort and you are all amazing. It has been another successful race with 1636 runners taking part and overwhelmingly positive comments! We should all be very proud. Thank you. Well done to all the Green Army runners and I was extra delighted to present the local trophies to two Helsby members and see Hannah finish as second lady!

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Alison Halsall sent in a 4VM race report…thanks Alison.

After suffering from severe cold during the race last year, I found myself continually checking the weather reports for 4VHM day on Sunday which varied as the days went by from sunny to sleet and even snow. In the end it turned out to be near perfect race conditions, let’s face it, I was just pleased there was no ice or snow but that’s just a runners point of view! More importantly, it meant that all the effort and organisation put into this fantastic local race paid off. I jogged down to the start line from home to be met by a great ‘buzz’ at the club and the start line. It was great to talk to runners from other clubs who, despite also experiencing the conditions last year, had decided to come back again. I also noticed a lot of green 4VHM hats in the line up! Before long the race started and the support from the off was amazing. This support continued throughout the race and it was great to see familiar faces from local Helsby people, Helsby cubs who were enthusiastically handing out water, from the marshals and fellow runners from the club (Mario, Joe, Vanessa to name just a few).

 

After moaning about not feeling great and being a bit worried about the lack of serious training, I started to feel really good on the day and ran hard. Thanks to James Higgins who encouraged me and pulled me a along in the first half of the race before I found my rhythm. Once I realised that I could aim for a decent time, I just went for it and tried my best to get a category place too but was pipped in the last few hundred yards but my legs couldn’t go any faster. I was really pleased with my time (and the fact that I could feel my hands and feet this year!) and it was also great to hear that Hannah and Chris had done so well both overall and in winning the local trophies too. Well done to all the Helsby runners and everyone involved, what a great team effort which makes for a fantastic race. I may even do it all again next year! 

Alison

 

Totally agree about the support on course, it was brilliant this year.

Mark Gittens also sent in a short race report, cheers Mark 

I set off from the start. I soon realised that I was fat and heavy. So, I suffered around the course and finished in my slowest ever time. The end.

Spot on !!!

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Karen Horsley is trying to rally the troops and raise some funds for a great course

Please have a read of her blog and details to the fun run on 10th Feb

My Dad

https://www.facebook.com/events/1983160565108541/

 

We have the beer festival coming up soon at the club, would be good to see as many as possible support it, might be the last one in the lovely club house

2019

Parkrun

Our consolidated club report can be seen http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

That’s all for now, see you all soon

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 7th to13th January 2019

Four Villages Half Marathon – Sunday 20th  January

A big thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help out over the weekend. No doubt Helsby RC will again work had in hosting another great event. Good luck to to you all, whether you are running or helping out – and have fun!

Racing News

Nothing in the inbox this week, so I’ve cobbled together a few lines about the cross country on Sunday:

North West X-Country League – Race 4 Town Park, Runcorn, 13/01/2019

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It was a great turn out on Sunday for the Green Army at Runcorn Town Park for the 4th race in the North West X-Country League. There were some great results by Helsby49949250_10157062050528799_3640539959422615552_o individuals but the show was stolen on the day by the Helsby ladies team. Helsby’s
Hannah Cowley won the ladies race, but with Jenny Illidge (13th) Laura Baynham-Hughes (18th) and super running from the rest of the ladies, first place in the team race was also secured by Helsby ladies – Brilliant work! While in the mens race, Chris Fitzpatrick was first back for Helsby in 20th. Other good individual finishes in the mens race meant that Helsby men finished 12th from 23 on the day in 49238895_10157062065938799_4510967429018419200_owhat was a very competitive field. Well done everybody! It was also great to see a lot of support from Helsby non-runners around the course. Andy Smith was also out there with his camera again and took some great action pictures that can be seen HERE

With two more fixtures still to go in the series there is still everything to run for. Full results and details of the next two fixtures can be seen HERE 

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Some good results by Helsby RC across various parkruns on Saturday. Well done Jenny Illidge for being the first lady to finish at Phoenix. Our consolidated club report can be seen HERE

That’s it for this week but please keep sending any contributions to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Have a great week and once again, good luck for Sunday!

Jim

Xmas/ New Year round-up



Firstly, apologies for the missing/ late blogs over Christmas and New Year. Please contact Chris Fitzpatrick for further details.

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Here are the consolidated results for Helsby from New Years Day, also, the previous week Rebecca Tate won her age category at Delemere.
http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

Xmas Handicap results

Thanks to those who came along to the Xmas Handicap last Wednesday. Well done to Steve Wiggins who won the handicap cup & Kevin Smith  who ran the fastest time overall. . 
Name            Position  H/C  H/C    Run
                         Time                 Time
Steve Wiggins      1 29:38 01:30 28:08
Kate Mann            2 30:59 05:00 25:59
Jennie Illidge         3 31:55 08:00 23:55
Emily                     4 31:59 04:00 27:59
Ben Tumilty           5 32:03 09:00 23:03
Carol Shaw            6 32:10 07:30 24:40
Geoff Collins          7 32:13 06:00 26:13
Kevin Smith           8 32:14 11:30 20:44
Dave Jones           9 32:27 10:00 22:27
John Whitehead    10 32:42 08:30 24:12
Laura B-H              11 32:47 09:30 23:17
Hayley Brooks       12 32:55 07:00 25:55
Debbie Read         13 33:04 06:30 26:34
Roy Gaskill            14 33:01 08:30 24:31
Rachel Arnold        15 33:13 04:30 28:43
Tim Palmer             16 33:15 09:00 24:15
John Gallon            17 33:17 00:00 33:17
Janet Robinson      18 33:19 07:30 25:49
Mollie Stradling       19 33:08 03:30 29:38
Ivan Davies             20 33:57 11:30 22:27
Charlie Ashbrook    21 34:07 07:00 27:07
Jane Ashbrook       22 34:09 07:00 27:09
Neil Fergusson       23 34:17 07:00 27:17
Jackie Keasley       24 35:14 03:00 32:14
Trisha Van Rooyen 25 35:19 06:00 29:19
Colin Thompson      26 36:15 12:30 23:45
Anne Barnes           27 42:44 00:30 42:14
Betty Grieve            28 42:44 00:30 42:14

Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year to you all. See you in 2019

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 10th to 16th December 2018

Hi Folks,

Not a lot in the inbox this week so straight over to Laura with a reminder about our 4 Villages Half Marathon

4 Villages Half Marathon – We need you!

With just over a month to go to the Essar 4 Villages Half Marathon on Sunday 20th January, preparations are well under way.

For new members, this is our annual half marathon organised by the club. We normally have around 2000 entries and raise over £10,000 for local charities and groups. It also supports the club, helping to keep subs down. However a successful race is only possible with the support of all club members so we need your help!

How you can get involved

Sat 19th Jan – help out by packing goody bags and getting the club house ready for race day. (9.30am until approx midday) – email Laura Baynham-Hughes

Sunday 20th Jan – you can either volunteer to marshal on the route (please email
Richard Stradling or Rachel Arnold  if you can help) or help out at the start and finish areas (email Laura Baynham-Hughes).  Times vary depending on your role but you will be needed for some hours between 9-2pm

Please remember if you are planning on running the race then you need to provide a volunteer for the Sunday or to help out on the Saturday.

Many thanks
Laura

PS If you are going to a race in the next few weeks please take some flyers to hand out at the finish – there is a stack at the front desk at the sports club!

Racing News

NW Sunday XC League race 3 – Arrowe Park on Sunday 16/12/18

On Sunday we had a good turn out at Arrow Park for the 3rd race of the NW X-Country League. The Ladies finished 8th and the men 17th  out of a total 25 teams in the competition. This was a good result considering that our teams were mostly made up of vets on the day. The XC league website is down at the moment so I can’t see the individual standings but you should be able view all the results one the website’s back up  at: http://www.stevesaunders.co.uk

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Blast from the past! – Arrow Park December 2015

Parkrun – Saturday 15/12/18

Well done to everyone who ran in a parkrun on Saturday, the Helsby consolidated results can be found at the following link:

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

That’s it for this week.

Happy Christmas everyone 🙂

Jim

 

 

 

 

Weekly blog 26-11 to 1-12

Firstly a message from Paul Foster regarding the upcoming XC

Hi all,

The Cheshire champs xc is on Saturday 5th January 2019  at Birchwood Forest Park Warrington.  The club will be entering members for this race.
So if any of you would like to enter please respond on this page or send me a email to mooeyf@hotmail.com no later than Friday 21st December.
We will send a separate email this week.
Senior female race is 13.40 pm 8300 m
Senior male race is 14.45 pm  10400m
Thanks
Paul

Also a couple of repeat reminders about this week’s Xmas Drink on Friday at 7pm in Frodsham and Sundays Border League race in Angelsey at 11am

 
Rebecca Tate sent in this report from the Cardington Cracker

Being on my own, I took my old Saab for a good long drive down to Cardington. Even its rally heritage couldn’t deal with the field that was reserved for parking, as it promptly bottomed out on the huge muddy ruts in the gateway. This offered a taster of just how the day was going to progress. All fell races require a degree of navigation; and this one was no exception. Not the course – which was well marked and marshalled – it was finding the village hall to register – I didn’t know where I was going and like a silly sausage I followed signs that said “Start” which led me to a field.

Registration complete, the traditional pre-race toilet visit was necessary. This time I was definitely going to ensure correct navigation, and upon seeing a large queue of men, I assumed there was one single toilet, and asked if this was the case. Bizarrely, it was not and the adjacent room with virtually no queue was in fact the ladies’ loos. This caused much cackling as to the reasons why “Once the men are in there, they’re in for a good 30 minutes” giggled one lady; “Yes they’re probably reading the Sunday Times” cackled another. Quick registration, hardly any loo queuing – all odd but very welcome.

So, off to the start field, where groups of people who knew each other were shouting congratulations at each other for having won tons of other races. Not unnerving at all. And there were the usual sinewy blokes running about eagerly in the cold wearing next to nothing. I positioned myself next to an intriguing looking gentleman who was not only stretching but appeared to be adopting a variety of standing yoga poses, in his Inov8s, in a field. I never saw him after the start, so I guess it worked well for him. But then I’m also very slow.

There were 271 of us, and off we trotted across a field. What a waste of time that was – on the other side was a stile, which is worth getting there early for, because otherwise you politely queue assuming that you’ll go over the stile in order of arrival, but as is often the case a whole bunch of men who generally look like Jeremy Corbyn decide that having ambled slowly over the field, this is a great time to make up 50 places by sauntering right past everyone who got there first (by running quicker as in the spirit of a foot race), and brazenly pushing in at the front.

Thus seething, I carried on. There was next a “green lane” type of path, which was actually a muddy stream, to ensure that for the next 9 miles we’d have squelchy feet. Then through a bog and up a massive hill. It went on, and on, and on. Then came the slippery yellow moss. The best way was actually on hands and feet it was so steep and slippery. Here I observed the next source of annoyance: people who ignore the instructions and don’t carry any kit whatsoever. What a great weight advantage it must give them, and apparently without any consequences as I’ve never seen kit checks at any fell races I’ve been to.

After an age, we got to the top and here the wind was crazy, and blew me sideways. Learning to run leaning into the wind along the ridge, I tried to admire the spectacular views whilst staying upright, and then down a sharp downhill towards another hill that was shaped like a traffic cone. Inevitably that was going to be next on the route. Up we went. Actually I don’t have much memory of this one. I think it’s buried deep in my subconscious and I might wake screaming tonight as it all comes flooding back in my nightmares.

Let’s just summarise the rest of it as bogs, muddy tracks (I’m talking shin deep)  with no way to avoid the stuff, a stream, woods, more hills that took a very very long time to go up, more slippery yellow moss. Just as I was thinking how good my fell shoes are on a downhill bit, my feet slid from under me and I went over backwards. To add insult to injury I actually bounced, and landed twice. Let’s put this down to the springy nature of moss; it couldn’t possibly be having a massive bottom – my glutes of iron could never have afforded a bounce like that. Surely.

Seven miles in the constant uphill was really hurting my right Achilles now. It was relentless. I just wasn’t feeling it today, having started out grumpy, what with the cheating queue jumpers and kit avoiders. I seriously considered finding a marshal and bailing, I’d had enough. But my Garmin beeped telling me it really wasn’t far now so I carried on, and the ground levelled out to be more undulating but still with standing mud pools and clay pools to run through. Although the same distance as Clywdian hills and slightly less elevation, this felt a lot tougher. The final field couldn’t come quick enough and there it was, all done. Looking back, the scenery was amazing and I’d love to go back and run it more casually, stop to take in the views, on a nice summer day. But today it was brutal.

Back to the village hall where they served lovely soup, tea and cakes. I came 242 out of 271, not a great result, especially when compared to the first lady who did it an hour quicker and was 9th overall, taking a new course record! Mercia Fell Runners put in a really strong performance, taking 7 of the top 10 places, with a huge turnout overall.
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Full consolidated parkrun results for Helsby members are at the link below, highlights include a first place for Col Bishop at Widnes and a first lady for Jenny Illedge at Phoenix
http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

Cheers
Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 19th to 25th November 2018

Hello Green Army

Happy December. Christmas is fast approaching, drink lots, eat lot, but make sure you still run lots. A few notices from myself to start off this week, especially about the Borders league.

Borders league Sun 9th Dec

Looks like us men have a bit of a fight on our hands to stay in the top division in the Borders this season. It’s vital we get lots of us over to Anglesey on 9th Dec, as I think a lot of teams will be put off by the journey. Yes I know it’s quite far away, but I think this will be a great race and good experience of doing a race that’s a bit different as it’s around the Trac Mon race circuit. 11am start, post code LL63 5TF. There’s showers as well so bring the family and have a day out around Anglesey. 👍 Who’s in?

Oh and let’s not forget about the ladies who are flying high right now, a good turnout will help keep you pushing for the division 1 title.

To cut down on the amount of drivers heading over, i would suggest everyone meet at the club at 8.45am ish. There’s already a few who will be heading over together.

Friday Fun Club 

After speaking to the FFC committee, we shall be taking FFC on tour next Friday 7th Dec, same day as the Christmas party. 6am from Netherton Arms Car Park, we will do doing a pub crawl.

We shall run down to the Cheshire cheese, go to the queens, bears paw, golden lion, kash, helter skelter, ring o bells, bulls head, bellmonte, and finally the Mersey view, then back down the hill again to Netherton arms, if time permits we shall do the route twice, I reckon it will be around 6 miles and two huge hills, so perfect training for the Xmas party later that day.

Anyone up for the 6am pub crawl?

Xmas Party 

Xmas Party next Friday 7th Dec, meeting at Helter Skelter at 7.30pm, Christmas Jumpers compulsory

Thanks to Ed Halliwell for sending in the only race report of the week. 

Little Stretton to Stiperstones Time Trial on Foot

Not the most snappily titled race ever, but one that certainly got me interested, as well as Rebecca/Mildredthehen. The concept is simple – get from Little Stretton to Stiperstones as quickly as you can. Any route is allowed along as it doesn’t cross private property (incl. farmers’ fields), and you set off at one-minute intervals. Distance was given as 9 to 10 miles depending on route. To me, it sounded like Orienteering, but without the troublesome problem of finding controls on the way, and you were allowed to fully plan your route beforehand – simple!

After a bit (OK, a lot) of looking at routes beforehand, two things were clear: going over Long Mynd was unavoidable; and a fair bit of running on road was likely to be involved. I decided to run in my road-to-trail shoes for speed/cushioning on the roads, but most people opted for fell shoes.

The run involved a fairly early start, as there is coach from finish to start, so you can park at the end. Rebecca and I left Kelsall around 7am, to get the coach at 8.30, which arrive at registration around 9.30, and following a fair bit of queuing for registration and (solitary) toilet, we had a start time slot of between 10.10 and 10.20, so over three hours after we left. This was a downside, but the upside was that a point-to-point run means you see more scenery than a circular one.

The run can be done as solos or pairs, and you are set off at 1-minute intervals. On the face of it, this sounds like you would be running alone, but actually there ends up being more passing, as you catch slower runners who start before you, and get caught by faster runners who started later (or who got lost!).

Navigation I think was fairly straightforward, as long as you kept attention to your map. The first section up the stream to Long Mynd was very scenic. I took a different route to the top than pretty much everyone else, which was partly driven by my footwear meaning I wanted to minimise the off path part, so went straight up an earlier hillside on a bearing. Pretty soon we were up into dense fog, which added to the navigation challenge, which I was happy with.

After the top of the Mynd, it was generally road, interrupted by a bit of bridleway, until we entered the Stiperstones Nature Reserve. The road section was surprisingly taxing, as it was a gentle uphill, but with tired legs if felt more. Was glad I was in the road-to-trail shoes at this point, and passed quite a few people. In the nature reserve it was back onto paths, with a bit more climbing before it was time to descend.

The initial part of the descent was quite technical, and I had to slow down in my footwear and was passed by 3 or 4 guys in lugged soles, but the second part of the descent round Green Hill was more runnable.

Finish was by a pub, thus clearly qualifying as a fell run, but was quite unusual in that the spread of starts obviously also meant a spread of finishes, so people would arrive over a 3-hourish window.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. The navigational element was right up my street, and it was interesting passing people who started before you, and vice-versa, plus the point-to-point nature was good and the countryside great. Downsides could be seen as the time involved to get to the start and the amount of road running in the middle, but that’s just part of the unique nature of the event. One of the highlights of the year for me.

Results (171 runners) – Edward, 1h 24m 25s, 39th – Rebecca, 1h 55m 03s, 115th

Edward Halliwell

No race reports from last weekends Cross Country at Sefton Park, but some results from the day below. Well done to all. Picture sent in from Jane Bishop

helsby 1.jpg

https://www.uka.org.uk/competitions/the-british-athletics-cross-challenge/

Consolidated Parkrun results

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

That’s it for this week, see you all next Friday morning, Friday night and Sunday morning

Happy Fitzmas

 

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 12th to 18th November 2018

Hello Green Army,

Welcome to another Helsby RC weekly round-up. We have a couple of reports from the   Conway Half Marathon this week and a report from the Radcliffe 13 Arches Half Marathon. If there was anything else going on over the weekend please let us know and we’ll update the blog or include it in next week’s write up.

Send any contributions to: helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Reminders:

The second fixture in the Liverpool & District cross country will be held at Sefton Park on this Saturday 24th November 2018. This is a pre-entry race which is now closed but anybody entered will already know about it. There’ll still be plenty of space for supporters if you fancy going along and shouting “Green Army!”

Racing News

Conway Half Marathon – Sunday 18/11/2018

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The first of two reports from the Conway Half has been sent in by Richard Hankins:

“On Sunday 12 of us ventured over the border for the 10th edition of the Conwy Half Marathon. It was a glorious day, if a little chilly. The race had sold out in advance and the quayside was throbbing…perhaps a little too much so. The queue for the loos was 20 minutes long and it was very hard to find anybody else from the club. The route is essentially 5 miles of fairly undulating road over the bridge and through Deganwy to pastedImage-2Llandudno. This is followed by two miles of gruelling uphill as you take the road around the Orme. Then 2 miles downhill and back along the same undulating roads. The start is in a glorious location at the foot of the castle and the views from the Orme are spectacular if the weather is good, which it was. I wouldn’t say, however, that it is a fast course and it is one that is unforgiving if you go off too fast. This year there was a 15mph Easterly wind which strangely made the descent really difficult.”

Some impressive times were achieved with Chris Fitz first home in 1:22:20, I was second in 1:28:19, and an unhappy Peter Rodriguez third in 1:36:30. David Pearce came in at 1:36:56, Tim Igoe 1:43:01, Laura Sayer-Hall 1:49:24 (first Helsby lady), Michael Williams 1:50:51, Geoff Collins 1:51:13, Sandy Williams 1:56:52, Matt Willcott 1:59:43, Chris Igoe 2:21:27 & Steve Wiggins 2:39:13

It was absolutely Fab out there…lets hope form similar weather in 2019!”

***

Conway Half Marathon – Sunday 18/11/2018

And thanks to Chris Fitzpatrick for also sending in a report:

“This was the last road counter of the season, but also clashed with the Cross Country at Skem, so didn’t think that many would turn up but was surprised to see plenty of the green army had ventured over to this beautiful part of North Wales. I haven’t been to Conwy since i was a kid. I have drove past it numerous times but what a great venue to hold a half marathon. Ok, so there was not enough parking, there was not enough toilets and it was really busy at the start/finish line, plus it wasn’t the cheapest event, so I was already having second thoughts about coming back again.
I soon forgot about that though on the start line as i looked back to see a line of runners as far as the eye could see, it was quite some sight. The start is right next to the castle, and you head out over the water, take a sharp left turn into Deganwy, hug Llandundo golf course, then head over to the pier before starting climb up the Great Orme. I’m not actually sure why it’s called the Conwy half? Ok, it starts and finishes in Conwy, but only about 0.20 of a mile is actually in Conwy isn’t it? Strange!
A fairly fast start for the first 4 miles, you start to hit the undulating roads taking you out towards Llandundo Pier. Once arriving here you are greeted by some great views, which just get better and better as you start the long slow climb to the top of the Great Orme for the next 3 miles or so. It was a cracking day for racing, clear blue skies with a bit of a chilly wind which certainly helped push us up the Orme, but frustratingly hindered us coming down it with a full on head wind whilst trying to run as fast as you possibly could, this really took it out of me. Actually i think going up the Orme seemed easier than coming down it as once your at the bottom again trying to get the legs going just seemed impossible the last 3 miles were a real struggle which takes you back along the route you had come out on heading back towards the castle.
Some enthusiastic crowds greeted us back over the water, i reckon i lost a few few seconds high fiving folk along the bridge. I certainly underestimated just how hard a half marathon this one is, but still pretty pleased with the end result. I managed to have a catch up with most of the helsby contingent throughout the morning apart from wiggo who arrived pretty late, but well done to all who completed it, it’s one of the tougher half marathons I’ve run, if not the toughest to date. 
Hope i haven’t missed anyone out but well done to Peter, Mark, Richard, Matt, Mike, Wiggo, The Igoe’s, Laura, Geoff and anyone else who did it, it was quite an enjoyable morning.
I shall be back next year and hope it’s still in the road counters for next season 
Full results below”

***

13 Arches Trail Half Marathon – Sunday 18/11/2018

Thanks to Rebecca aka Mildred for sending in this write up. A trail race previously unknown to me that I might take a look at next year 🙂

“Hi
Here’s a report of the Radcliffe 13 Arches half marathon:
Jason Tate and I went this Sunday to Radcliffe to do a race that Jason had done last year, but it was the first time here for me. He said it was a bit hilly at first, but assured me that the last 5 miles are flat alongside a canal. With Jason having comfortably beaten me over the Sandstone trail 17 a few months ago, the race was on. 
Off we trotted down quite muddy narrow paths of urban trail, with a fast first few miles, the top of Jason’s head visible a little way ahead of me and pulling away – ah well, I’ll just do my best. Mile 3 or 4 some bloke came charging past in the wrong direction through the mud – a bit odd, but nothing to see here, move along please. Mile 6 or 7 I’d completely lost Jason, he must have put in a blinder and was steaming ahead, no surprises there. The trail became more pretty with Autumnal woods and then we started heading homeward. There were some junior marshals doing incredibly well offering tubs of jelly babies and apparently not eating any. Not me, I couldn’t resist a jelly baby or two. 
My piriformis issue started nagging a lot, but the thought of a trail (muddy and undulating) sub 2 hour time spurred me on. Also I was looking forward to those last 5 miles of flat canal running. I was still wondering about this on mile 9 as I climbed an enormous hill. In fact the canal never materialised! 
I’d been warned the run comes up a bit short of a proper half marathon so I carried on for a lap of the playing field after going through the finish and got a 1 hour 57 time, really happy with that. I went back to claim my medal, and strangely, there was Jason only just finishing. It turned out, he’d been that bloke who’d gone running past in the wrong direction at the start – having dropped his hat! (You know when I say I struggle recognising people?…) So I’m not sure exactly which of us won, but we both came back in sub 2 hours which was our best trail halves to date.
I’m doing the Trail Running Magazine “Run 1000 miles” challenge this year, which was forced me to increase my mileage consistently and it’s really reaped results. I need to do more speedwork I know, but the endurance I’ve got now from the miles is paying dividends as I’m climbing up the rankings these days, from just around midfield last year to 8th out of 43 in my age category today, and 35th woman overall out of 169 which I’m very pleased with. Next year I’ll really try to do more track sessions!
Thanks
Rebecca 
(Mildred Thehen)”
***

Parkrun

Another great performance from Colin Bishop for his finish in 1st place at Phoenix again on Saturday. Well done to everyone else who took part in a Parkrun on Saturday. Our consolidated club results are HERE

 

That’s it again for this week,

Cheers,

Jim

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Thought I’d finish by sharing a picture I took from Snowdon on Monday morning 🙂

 

 

 

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.”

9E99AB95-6754-4810-9881-B707910807A2

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