Weekly blog 20th May to 26th May

Notice: Please come along & support this “Keeping Well in the Community” event to be held at Helsby Community Centre between 10 & 2 on Sat 8th June.Betty will be there running a HRC stall telling folks about the benefits of running & HRC, Helens couch to 5K & Frodsham Joggers. Please pop in if you can to see what’s going on & support Betty spreading the running word!

CBH sent in this report from his Dragon’s Back/ Wales Coast to Coast attempt.

What a week – many of you will know I’ve been away racing down Wales in an attempt to raise as much money as possible for those with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI). I’ve been truly humbled by the response, support and generosity I received from my friends, colleagues and even some people I don’t know! It’s a very personal charity given that they helped me to get back on my feet so Thank you so very much for providing the fuel to the fire I needed to finish.If you missed out first time around and wish to contribute to this amazing cause please visit here, I’d love to burst £3k: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/cbh-dragon so if you’ve got a spare fiver or even more then please don’t be shy 😊

The race itself went even better than I predicted. Starting off I felt really under prepared due to a lack of mountain miles in my legs. Injuries have really taken their toll over the last 18 months and so to finish the incredible day 1 route within 20 minutes of my 2017 time was really surprising. A quick wash in the stream and plenty of food later I was starting to fear I’d gone too hard and would feel the impact the next day.

Day 2 is arguably the toughest due to the terrain; it’s certainly the roughest in Wales. Navigation was going well and there was more scope for good lines Vs the suggested route. The route gives loads of scope to play with the mountains; working with them more than trying to dominate and conquer them. Dropping off the first Rhinog I took a chance that I could find a good wide line and it paid off. I saved ~30 minutes and only had two 6ft drops to content with. The mental boost that a well navigated line gives is huge and I comfortably flew across the rest of the course despite the heat.

The heat played a huge part in the race, it wasn’t just hot, it was also close, meaning you simply don’t cool down as the sweat clings rather than evaporates. Combine that with the lack of streams around in both Northern and Southern Snowdonia and it’s a real problem.

Day 3 started well, but after a massive high in Machynlleth (due to a slush puppy machine, ice cream, bottle of coke and a trip to the chippy for a fish bap) I felt totally drained on the second half, plus my right knee was really hurting and would prove to be a problem going forward. Whilst I had fantastic company I just felt it was a roasting hot death march. I struggled to eat that evening and felt done.Sleep is a healer. I woke up positive and got going. I had soon caught up with my friends and we made reasonable time across to the half way drop bag. The second half of the day I got on it.

The Elan valley is covered in tussocks (baby’s heads) so it’s hard to move swiftly, but I managed to keep it moving and really put some time away. Maybe it was the promise of a hog roast at the pub next to Day 4 camp? Getting in I had a horrible wash in the lake (freezing and sharp rocks!) I tucked away 4 portions of lasagne and headed to the pub for the hog roast. Back in the game.

Day 5 I woke up with a really negative mind. Everything was wrong, but once I got going all that negativity disappeared. I was flying (relatively). The consequence of this was that I was in and out of the half way drop bag before Laura and the boys arrived… maybe I was just desperate to get on the stunning Fans of the Black Mountain. More great lines, shortcuts and sheep trods meant I hit the ice cream van with good time, only to make the amateur mistake of only ordering one cornetto!

Still, I cracked on and finished strongly. As I dropped down the final road section ignoring the pain in my knee I was put firmly in my place as I was passed by a young lady pushing a pram and walking her dog… okay, so that was Jasmin Paris, but it still tickled me. Hitting the final corner Laura I heard Laura and the body cheering. My beautiful boys grabbed my hands and ran across the final field and the line with me. Best finish ever!

Epilogue:This was my third Dragon’s Back, that puts me in excellent company – one of only five to have completed three. Those that have followed the others will know I’ve always had a dream to add day 6 on and run the additional 30 miles down to Mumbles Pier in Swansea, thus completing a coast to coast. To add the additional day once everybody else had gone home was mentally tough but so rewarding, especially given the quality of ice cream in the Mumbles! Hitting the beach two miles earlier than I had expected was sound tracked by Sunscream’s ‘I’m only chasing my dreams’. Apt.

Huge thanks to everyone that has supported me – you provided the fuel to keep me going

Gaz Boyd sent this in from his 24 hour charity run around Chester walls

Running Around The Bend

24 hours along Chester Walls-raising funds for Hospice of The Good ShepherdAt 9am Sunday 26th May, I left Chester Town Hall and started my Running challenge.
Just after 9am on Monday 27th May, I arrived back at my starting point – having covered 90 miles (over 47 laps of The Walls)Here’s my tale about the 90 mile journey.During the first 6 miles, I tried to get into a running rhythm (not going off too quick was key, as this ‘adventure’ was definitely going to be a ‘marathon’ rather then a sprint). The light initial rain showers were actually pleasant and I felt energised and excited.

Now, it’s probably no surprise that when one starts to run around The Walls at least 10 times or more, one starts to become recognised by individuals working along the route. This was certainly the case with 2 local artists by The Eastgate Clock and The Dee – both very friendly, encouraging and supportive.

After nearly 3 hours, the fundraising campaign stepped up a gear and I grabbed a quick ‘pitstop’ to change into my first fancy dress costume = Spider-Man. Despite being rather warm, it definitely generated a lot more interest and increased the support/cheers from passers by. Families asked for selfies in return for a donation – great fun.

Support throughout from family and friends was overwhelming and without them the 24 challenge would have been a lot tougher. Special thanks to Mike, Tim and Bex (with family), Natalie, Richard H (Green Army), Joanna, Lisa and Dale, Rob and Martin. Of course HUGE thanks to my wife Karen. Local businesses were also really supportive – special thanks goes to That Beer Place, Hypha and Chip’d – awesome chips!At about 3pm it was time to ‘switch’ into my 2nd fancy dress costume = Cheerleader.

Once again this helped generate more generous donation collections. It’s worth noting that Spider-Man is definitely a more popular costume with everyone.

As well as the fabulous support throughout, I was overwhelmed by the kind donations (both online and bucket collection). Amazing!The weather ‘gods’ were certainly looking after me during the 24 hours and I was fortunate to enjoy a beautiful sunset. Chester is a stunning city. At this stage my running had reduced to a walk/run strategy – my legs not surprisingly becoming increasingly tired/fatigued.

I was really disappointed with this but recognised that the key thing was just to keep moving forward.Between 11am to 4am, what could have been a tough period was actually quite good fun. As previously mentioned, the support from the running community (bringing food/snacks/water) was awesome and with chat/banter, the crazy scary black cat by Chester Castle and the entertainment provided by pub/club goers, time flew by!Sunrise was around 4.30am and with only hours to go, I marched (staggered) on.

I am embarrassed to say that at around 6.15am, myself, Martin and Rob stopped for a short ‘pitstop’ at a well known food retailer – here, I felt very faint, struggled to eat anything, was almost sick and had a ‘fight ‘ with a toilet role 🙄. Enough said about that……..At 9.02am, I arrived back at The Town Hall and to the theme of Rocky, hurled myself up the steps before celebrating!

Fundraising to date is around £1500. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN TO EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT. This is an experience I’ll never forget.To sponsor me go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GarethBoyd

Col Bishop was at Buxton Half and sent in this report

Bank holiday Monday saw me line up on a very wet and wimdy morning outside the Buxton Opera house heading off up Axe Hill for the start of the Buxton half marathon. With constant climbing i found myself that high up i was running in the clouds with my ears popping. The route took in Axe Hill, Dowel Dale, Chrome Hill, Park house Hill, Glutton Dale, Briarlow Bar and Harpur Hill finishing at the Pavilion Gardens.

The winner came home in 1hr 17min, I am pleased to say I came in 11th overall managing to win V50 category which isn’t too bad considering I am nearer 60 than 50 😊

Whilst I have said this is by far the toughest road race I have ever run I would certainly recommend this if anyone fancies a challenge with fabulous scenery

Cheers Bish

Full consolidated parkrun results are below
https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721

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Helsby RC weekly round-up from 13/05/2019 to 19/05/2019

Hello Green Army

It was the AGM last week, and lots of goings on, below are all the people elected at the 2019 Spring AGM and the people to go to if you need help with anything. Also, if you can spare any time to help out with the endless amount of tasks we have, please let one of us know. Many hands make light work. It would be great to see some new faces helping out.

2019/2019 Helsby Running Club Committee:

Chair Vacant; (Jackie to handover this Summer)
Secretary; Phil Gillard
Treasurer; Jo Farwell
Men’s Captain; Colin Thompson
Men’s Vice captain;Mario Foschi
Ladies’ Captain; June Swift
Ladies’ Vice Captain; Debbie Reed
Ladies’ Fell Captain; Laura Baynham-Hughes
Head Coach; Joe Beswick
Webmaster; Steve Riley
Press Officer; Carol Shaw
Social secretaries; Lou Spruce & Helen Gillard
Half Marathon Director; Laura Baynham-Hughes
Assistant Half Director; Michelle Hardwick
Sandstone Trail Director; Dave and Lesley Feakes
Sandstone Trail Assistants; tba
Wobbler Director; Chris Baynham-Hughes
HCSC Rep; Betty Grieve
HCSC New Build Reps; Phil Gillard, Tim Palmer
Border League Co-ordinators; Vanessa Griffiths, Chris Fitzpatrick
Cross Country Co-ordinators; Rachel Arnold & Janet Robertson
Membership Co-ordinator; Tim Palmer
Calendar Co-ordinator; Tim Palmer & Karen Horsley
Club Statisticians; Geoff Collins & John Whitehead
Welfare Officers; Jane Ashbrook, Lou Spruce, Geoff Collins
Vest Co-ordinator Sue Buck
Blog Editors; Jim Jones, Chris Fitzpatrick,
Gaz O’Connor, Colin T, Karen Horsley,
Susan Woodward-Moor

A message also from Jackie, who I’m sure you will agree has lived and breethed the running club for the past 7 years and is about to pass on her wealth of knowledge to the next chairperson.

AGM

A quick update of committee changes from this weeks AGM. Great to see some new faces (blue text) joining but we still need a ChairPerson. Phil will issue the minutes soon & come up with a phased change over of chair with the possibility of a few changes along the way to make the task more attarctive to someone! Any interest and offers please come & chat to us.

We have decided to keep Wednesday training on the hill at Helsby as it really is so pleasant at this time of the year. So its not Delamere this Wed (15th), it’s the usual meet up at the club and hill run. We will go to Delamere later on in the Summer when we will all be wanting a change & to avoid the nettles! Next weeks (22nd) it’s the Greenway Time Trial, please come and try it out in the light and support Col & Lou.

Frodsham Downhill Run 

On Sunday 7th July its the Frodsham Downhill Run, 12:30 start. Each year we help out at this race, If anyone can spare a few hours in the middle of the day to helpAndy Smith  at the finish and other tasks that would be great. A few fresh faces helping this year would be much appreciated!  Please let me or Andy know (adsmith600@btinternet.com)

Club Presentation Evening

Out club presentation evening is on Friday June 14th, 7pm. Please keep the date in your diary.

I need to collect the perpertual trophies in please. Calling Colin Thompson Adam Gordon Ian Rutherford Chris Collins Richard Hankins Rachel Holden, Emily Smith

Please can you pass them on to either Laura or Joe Beswick asap. Thanks

Cheers

Jackie

So who watched dots all weekend? I did, as i kept an eye on Paul Cunnigham’s and Ben Crossley’s super human attempt to complete the big one, the 100 mile Chester Ultra. Paul has sent us in a report.

Drop bags done  – full mandatory kit checked and packed – enough snacks to open a tuck shop and a nervous twitch started which showed  I was entering a race that I knew I may not finish.

Ben Crossley and myself stood at the start line listening to the race director give us our last instructions – I’d like to say we were calm and in a zen like state but personally I was bricking it.

The race takes you along the River Dee – The Old Dee Bridge along the North Cheshire Way eventually onto Helsby Hill –  Frodsham Hill –  Sandstone Trail through Delamere Forest – Beeston Peckforton and Bickerton out to Whitchurch return along the SST to Bickerton Hill then off out to Tilston before making your way back  to Farndon and picking up the canal at Chester back to Waverton – absolute gem of a route.

Race begins and after 1 mile Ben says only 99 to go – my response wasn’t the kindest – please don’t do that mate or words to that effect.

Heading to CP1  4 guys left us to make a claim on their hopeful prize – I decided to let them go.

5 miles into the race the same 4 guys came up behind us – yes they had come off course and had been running fast in the wrong direction – which meant for at least a very short time Ben and I were actually in the leading group.

CP1  and CP2 we run straight through – first 12 miles completed in under 2 hours – we are now into our running and I have totally relaxed looking forward to the next CP.

Looking at the full race counting down from 100 miles would have destroyed my mental state so I went into the race breaking it down into more comfortable figures – CP1 to CP2 7 miles – CP2 to CP3 5 miles which helped massively.

Between CP1 and 2 we met Jim O’Hara always full of positivity and smiles luckily he was on his bike scoping out the Chester Half happening the next morning.

Into CP3 Durham on the Hill and replenish drinks and take a few snacks – straight out the door.

Coming off Helsby Hill bump into CBH doing some late late micro managing as still undecided what shoes he’s going to wear for Dragons Back – going for the triple crown – mans on a totally different level – go smash it mate.

Up the stairs to Frodsham Hill and Steve “Come on legs Bellefonte” Riley was waiting to give us encouragement and run a section – very much appreciated mate – also informed that we approx.28-30 miles in and holding 16th position – well this information just made me that little bit more determined plus I

Gets a big cuddle off Jane Ashbrook – its turning into a perfect morning.

Since leaving the roads for the trails and fells I spend a fair amount of time on the SST considering im a Birkenhead lad and knew the next 40 miles.

Weather was perfect for running I was moving the best across the ground that I had for some time and all past injury/niggle doubts hadn’t even come into my head – yep I was totally in my element and really now enjoying the task at hand.

I kept waiting for a tap on my shoulder from Ben my running partner that’s now turned into a solid friendship he’s a  quality fella very strange and with plenty of issues – I love him like a brother –  the tap never arrived  – Im going to leave that there that’s Bens Story.

Meanwhile Im kicking his @rse lol

CP4  – CP5 completed onto CP6 first bag drop Beeston Village Hall – I had a full change of clothing – and changed into my trail shoes – first 48 miles completed in road shoes which had been a great decision – forced some noodles down and back out the door – my target now was to get to CP7 Whitchurch and get as close to CP8 before total darkness.

CP7 63 miles in grab a hot coffee and can’t believe how good I feel – although still almost 40 miles to go it’s the first time I actually knew for sure I was going to complete the race – another personal shot of adrenalin.

Started out of Whitchurch along the canal back onto the fields – it’s just a very slight but steady climb across the fields and by the time dusk was falling  I had managed to make it back to where we turn off the SST and head out to Tilston

Headlamp on the next 6 miles seem take forever and  noticed I wasn’t enjoying the styles anymore – this section that runs down sandy Lane up Hall lane to Bostock Hall across Wrexham Road and around Carden Park Golf Club is slightly overgrown and Im glad I completed my very last recce of this section just a few days earlier.

Gets into CP8 79 miles completed and the volunteer on the door gave me a message which was from Ben and Emma our coach – basically giving me another quality shot of adrenalin just at the time  when I needed it most – plus a bag full of Bens Goodies – he’s Vegan so some nuts and plants didn’t get me drooling I can tell you.

Wrapped up like a polar bear headlamp on I left with 3 other guys to trundle through the night  – cutting through fields and woodland in darkness with a few strange men on a Saturday night is a hobby of mine not a way of life – magical under torchlight crunching across the ground.

By the time we made it to CP9 there wasn’t much conversation going on and if honest I was starting to feel like when will this ever end.

Marshalls at CP9 couldn’t do enough these guys knew you were knackered informed us that only 10 miles to go – also if we wanted to break 24hrs we had 2 hrs 35 min to do it.

Slowly left CP9 knowing that the prize was in grasp – before leaving for the race I asked Gaz for some words of wisdom  – dig deep be stubborn those last miles hurt – well he wasn’t joking they did hurt – someone also told me that when dawn breaks you get another rush of energy – dawn chorus started I got ready for this rush of energy – well from experience I can now confirm that in my case it’s an old wives tale – didn’t happen.

The canal again seemed to go on forever but then we arrived at Egg bridge Rd the start of the race HQ – yes –  then in a cruel twist the organisers had made an out and back section on the canal to make sure the race was a minimum of 100miles – could see the finish line and had to walk to bridge 116 out n back 1.5 miles – these last miles felt harder than the whole race – turned off the canal onto the field and over the finish line – The first of many big races I hope – finished in 19th position 25hrs 11 min and got my Gold Buckle – What an experience.

Unbelievable achievement Paul to complete it, respect! I know after speaking to Ben he was a little down afterwards, but even completing what you did was amazing and i am sure you will smash it next year.

Jake Holmes has been pretty busy recently, a report on another jaunt of his

Fairfield Horseshoe Fell Race

After the usual midweek negotiation with the wife, a pass out on Saturday was granted. Adam Gordan was a step ahead in rallying support for a trip up to Ambleside and the Fairfield Horseshoe Fell Race and I don’t need much persuasion so we found ourselves on the start line.

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The course was pretty simple, up to the top of Fairfield via a couple of other checkpoints, round the top of the valley and back down the other side. I liked the idea of not having to worry about nav (you had to carry a map but it was a clear day and there was never any danger of needing it) and wondered if all this ultra-running would translate into fitness on a shorter race?

Errm… i think it probably did? What it didn’t do was suddenly make me able to cruise up the side of a mountain like it was nothing! Adam set off at a fair pace quicker than I was going to manage so I was soon just trying stick with the runner next to you. I think previously I’ve been guilty of being too cautious – that’s the ultra-running “hold on there’s another 10hours of this yet so take it easy” thought process – so i set off quick to get past the a load of runners and put myself further up the field from early on. I paid for that fairly quickly as it started climbing steeply and people were passing me more than I was anyone else.

That all meant I pushed hard getting up that hill.. and it’s a long 4 or 5 miles of climbing to get to the top. It eased every now and then for an odd 20 second break but then kicked up sharply again. Proper.

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I’d lost a few places on the steepest climbs but these runners weren’t getting far ahead and actually some of those that had past me at the beginning were still within reach so I started to feel I was holding my own… in my little section of runners… somewhere in the second half of the field 😂.

As we got onto a flatter section near the summit, everyone was bunched up heading single file along a sheep track so after the swamp filled 20 hours I’d put up with at the Fellsman, I happily skipped along the dry spongy tussocks to the side of the path and took back 10 or more places in one go. We’d done the hard climbing now… I was enjoying the runnable sections and looking forward to the downhill.

The downhill was a thing too… the other 4 or so miles of the race! Quick, technical, often a plenty of line choices so you could pass people. There was one steep stretch the size of a football field, of rocks the size of beach balls, just not as colourful or as comfy to land on. An old fella came past two of us at a pace and it showed what you could do if you were brave enough. I managed to keep with him on and then on then one of the next short ups, a guy chatted to me and then headed off as if he thought I wasn’t going to see him again. To be fair he was quick descending and stretched out a gap a couple of times but, again, it pushed me to keep up. With about 400 metres to go we’d caught 3 or 4 other people and I had a go and went passed them all ready to keep ahead to the finish. We were almost in the valley now and so it’s the end. I could see the car park coming quickly.

Ahh but hang on… we didn’t start at the car park… we’d had a 3/4 of a mile walk to the start! I turned right on to the slight incline of the track….

‘Ok, a road 1k time trial. Head up. Push on. They won’t be coming back at you, you’ll have broken their spirit with that impressive finish to the descent.’

‘But it’s still a long way to the finish… and after the effort you’ve just put on to get to the bottom first. The rain and cool hasn’t arrived either. You’re hot. Legs are heavy. Don’t be that guy to look behind. Someone’s there now though…’

I eased off a little as he was on my shoulder. I’ll catch my breath and as they push to go past, I’ll go again and cruise away from them.

They go… I go to go… but can’t go. Nothing left, they ease away and I take comfort out of the fact it wasn’t one of the runners I’d just past, but someone having a very strong finish and passing all of us. Another couple of hundred very heavy metres and across the finish line.

Dear me that was hard.

2h 3mins and 139th for me, from a field of 240ish (I think). It felt like I’d had a better run than that. Adam mentioned it was a strong field. He finished about 10 mins earlier and in the top 100 (again a bit lower than he’d normally be).

Maybe these lakes races are a high standard. I’ll take that as an excuse.

Sounds horrendous, but quality read as always, cheers Jake

Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns. Once again well done to all who took part, it’s great to fly the Helsby flag at these events.

https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721&eventdate=2019-04-20

Please keep sending in your race reports, I haven’t seen one for the Chester half which was a road counter so if anyone could put something together that would be appreciated. The email address in helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

See you all soon

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 29/04/2019 to 12/05/2019

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another round-up. I’ve left it a little late this week as there hasn’t been a lot in the inbox recenty. Please keep sending any contributions into helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Club Membership

First, a brief message from Tim Palmer:

“Thanks to all who have already paid your 2018/19 Helsby Running Club annual subscription . Those that haven’t, please can you pay as soon as possible. You should have an email from noreply@englandathletics.org.uk with a payment link for credit/debit card. If you don’t pay by 30 June, you will cease to be a Helsby RC member and an EA registered athlete on 1 July .

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me. Please note there is nothing to pay for honorary members and new members who joined since 1 Jan 2019.

If any non-members are interested in joining the club, please contact me for details and a form. We only need 13 more first claim members and we should get 2 London Marathon places rather than 1 .”

Moel Eilio fell race – Saturday 11/05/2019

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A view of Snowdon from Moel Cynghorion. Taken during the Moel Eilio fell race.

Four of us from Helsby RC ran in the Moel Eilio fell race on Saturday, Ben Fletcher was first home for Helsby, finishing in 28th place, followed by Jim Jones, Janet Robertson and Phil Gillard. This race affords some great views of Snowdon as you go over Moel Eilio, Foel Gron, Foel Goch, and Moel Cynghorion before a steep descent back to Llanberis form where the race started. With nearly 3,200ft of in just  under 8 miles it’s a tough fell race but not too technically challenging.

 

Sandstone Challenge – Saturday 11/05/2019

And another cracker it was too. Our directors will no doubt pen a few words of thanks when they’ve got their breath back – three cheers Dave and Leslie! But in the meantime thanks all for coming and making it happen, turning up to run and walk and for the countless small and not so small acts behind the scenes needed to get the show on the road. THANKS!

Provisional results for 2019 here. Lots of pics here on our Flickr site

 

Leeds Half Marathon – Sunday 12/05/2019

Well done to Susie and Flossy Woodward-Moor on completing the Leeds Half Marathon on Sunday. Thanks for sending in the pic and write-up Susie.

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“Flossy and Susie Woodward-Moor ran the Leeds Half Marathon together on Sunday 12th for the medical charity Doctors Without Borders. It was a beautiful sunny day and the whole route was pretty packed with people, dogs, kids, banners, sweets being handed out and people with hosepipes cooling us down. Choirs and bands serenaded us as we ran past. A really wonderful atmosphere. We raised about £600 which was fantastic. Definitely recommend it as a fun happy Half to do although pounding the tarmac on a hot day was tough for the last 2 miles.”

 

Mold Sprint Triathlon – Saturday 12/05/2019

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Congratulations to Kathryn Schofield for being the First Female Junior to finish in the Mould Sprint Triathlon last Saturday. Results are available HERE

 

Helsby RC rankings for 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon

Tim Palmer has sent this great snippet of info on our national rankings:

“Ever wondered how you compare with others in the club? The links below give you the all time list for men and women for 10k, half marathon and marathon and “stadium” track & field athletics events.

Looking at three of our hard working/running blog writers, we get rankings of 3rd, 5th, 32nd, 3rd, 4th, 43rd, 1st, 3rd and 19th across the three distances. Some really good performances.

Helsby RC – Women – 10k, HM and Mar list

Helsby RC – Men – 10k, HM and Mar list

A limitation of these lists are that they based on the Power of 10 and Run Britain Rankings data which is only been comprehensively collected from about 2010 (although a few earlier results are included). This means that it ignores some earlier results by Helsby runners eg 1hr 10m for a Four Villages Half Marathon, 2hr 57m by a Vet 50 man for a London Marathon.

As some will know via Facebook, I am working on a more comprehensive list.

Regards

Tim”

Parkrun

Here are our consolidated club park run reports from the past two weeks:

Saturday 12/05/19

Saturday 04/05/19

That’s it for now,

Cheers, Jim

 

 

Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 22nd to 28th April 2019

Hi everyone

Welcome to this week’s blog, sorry for the slight delay I was waiting on some key reports from last week. It was a bumper week with all types of races, London Marathon, ultra running, fell and the Borders League, so let’s get started…first up is Ed Halliwell…

Race Report – Shropshire Way Ultra (50 miles) – 27 April 2019

I signed up to do the Saunders Mountain Marathon in July this year after doing a couple of fell events towards the end of last year and remembering how much I enjoy them. I ended up watching a few fell running videos on Youtube over Christmas to get myself in the mood, drifted into Ultra videos, and somehow by Boxing Day I’d signed up to do this. Bearing in mind I was only running up to about 10 miles at the time, I suspect alcohol may have been involved, but my memory is hazy. Anyway, four months of somewhat accelerated distance training saw me up to regular 25 mile weekend runs and at 7am on Saturday I was at the start line, hoping that the other 25 miles would kind of just happen on the day.

The weekend before had been the heatwave, so I was praying that it wouldn’t be the same weather for Saturday. I certainly got my wish as it wasn’t a heatwave, but I must learn to be more specific with praying as the heatwave was replaced by gale force winds and rain. Not sure how many people had entered (it was the first year of the race, so maybe not many), but only 43 people were foolish enough to still actually turn up. Looking around, I got a sudden fear that everyone else looked like they knew what they were doing, and I was going to roll in last…

The race started with a 7 mile loop around the Ellesmere countryside, which involved a lot of long grass just to ensure our feet were properly drenched before the main 43 mile loop. I felt pretty comfortable after that, and was sitting in the top half of the field. The next section was one of the two long canal sections. This was around 15 miles to the next checkpoint in a village south of Oswestry. We came off the canals for a little while due to a closed towpath, but mostly it was quite dull, but got a lot of miles under the belt.

The next two sections contained the climb, around 750m in total I think the Race Director said, over around 17-18 miles to Chirk. I’d picked up some ultra running poles (“cheat sticks” as I believe they’re called!) cheaply a few weeks ago, and had one bit of climbing practice with them a couple of weeks beforehand. I was unsure whether or not to take them, but I had them attached to my pack and started using them. I have to say I don’t think I’d have finished without them, the extra help they gave on the climbs, and ultimately anywhere, was invaluable.

Around half way through this section I started having serious problems with my right knee, so between about 30 and 35 miles I ceased being able to run downhill. This kind of helped me keep pace on the uphills, but it was disappointing to be hobbling down descents.

This hilly section was most exposed to the wind, especially along Offa’s Dyke, and I was nearly blow straight off it a couple of times, I reminded myself I’d chosen the hills for ‘interest’ and ploughed on. This section also started to throw up navigational issues, as the orange spray painted arrows seemed absent in places (possibly washed away) and sometimes just seemed plain wrong. Several runners reported going off course. I went off course at one point, but fortunately had my compass and could see a tree line to help with navigation, so got back on track. I switched to relying on my map for navigation.

By the end of the hills, my knee was hurting so much I couldn’t run much even on the flat. I was able to keep a good power hiking pace up, but the 10 mile ‘run-in’ along the canals was really frustrating, as I had the energy to run still, but couldn’t manage more than about 50 metres at a time at most. At the last checkpoint I was in 15th place, but took around two and half hours for the final ten miles and slipped back to 19th in the end, in 11 hours and 42 minutes, with 34 out of 43 finishing the run. It wasn’t the time I was looking for in the run-up to the race, but the combination of weather and my knee meant I was happy just to finish, and in mid-table respectability.

I’m sure the signposting issues will be much improved last year, and the countryside is nice, so hopefully this race will expand in future years. Not sure I’ll be putting my body through it again though…. 🙂

Shropshire Photos

 

Some inspirational running from club members at the London Marathon last Sunday, it was great being able to track everyone and watch the finish live on TV! A big well done to everyone who took part, some big PBs were seen on the day too. Over to Jackie with her superb report.

London Marathon

After battling to get to London, during Storm Hannah on Saturday, things settled down overnight. Runners made their way to Greenwich Park on a cloudy, quite cool morning, with occasional rays of sunshine, spots of rain & blasts of wind throughout the rest of the day .  Ideal cool running conditions made for an amazing race day.  Some great times by Helsby Running Club members.

Richard Hankins    3:21:52
Jane Ashbrook       3:34:01
Rachel Holden       3:42:19
Hayley Brooks        3:58:44
Jackie Keasley        4:04:52
Jason Tate               4:15:07

& the winnners times  …

Kipchoge                   2:02:37  1st man
Mo                             2:05:59  1st Brit
Kosgei                        2:18:20  1st lady
Perdue                       2:25:38   1st Brit

I was running in a charity place, for Team YHA, with a team of 15 including Alex Staniforth (of Everest & West Cheshire fame) who managed a great time of 3:14:19 wearing a quaility street YHA triangle.  He said he was more challenged by getting his costume across London in the wind on Saturday than by wearing it on Sunday!

I set off faster than I intended, taking over a minute off my ParkRun time these days. Feeling comfortable I thought I might as well carry on rather than slow down  & managed to keep going for the next 20  miles before dropping below my typical ParkRun pace!  Stopped at 11 & 17 miles for a quick chat, refuel & photos with Bill & co. At mile 17 I managed to stuff down a huge piece of granola flapjack & jelly babies which lifted my fading pace. The last 6 miles were tough but the sights & the amazing crowds all the way round keep cheering you on,  handing you sweets, drawing you to the finish.

Very pleased with a time of 4:04:52 as I was aiming for 4:30, which is my good for age time! 50th V60 lady out of 331.

It was great being part of team YHA. It added an extra dimension and being in the charity runner start was really humbling, with all the different causes with slogans and outfits about why folk were running.   I’m currently over 80% towards my target of £1500 so there is is still time for you to add to this great fund !

https://www.justgiving.com/fundr…/Jackie-Keasley-London-2019

Here’s some happy memories of the weekend.

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Steve Riley has been playing on the fells again, looked like a great race Steve! Please read on for his report…

Prestatyn to Meol Gyw

Dave Jones and me had a cracking day out on the new Sea to Summit event from Prestatyn to Moel Gyw in the Clwyds. The lowest key marathon ever – free jelly babies and no ballot! Dave played a blinder and came in 4th. Nice warm up for his hundred miler. Cough! Glad we had Sunday’s weather not Saturday’s 😀

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Jake Holmes has sent in an epic race report for an epic race! Thanks for sending in such a comprehensive report Jake, get the popcorn out folks it’s a great read.

Fellsman Race report – Saturday 27th (and a bit of Sunday 28th!) April

What a ridiculous event!

It’d been in my head since January as something I wouldn’t mind having a stab at and at and 3 weeks earlier I was chatting to a guys at a different race who’d done it twice, was in it again and in the same breath telling me how hard it was while trying to persuade my to sign up. A few days of back and forths later and I had!

From their website: “The Fellsman is a high level traverse covering more than 60 miles over very hard rugged moorland. The event climbs over 11,000 feet in its path from Ingleton to Threshfield in the Yorkshire Dales…. the route does not follow well defined footpaths, so the entrants’ skills with a map and compass are tested as well as their physical fitness.” I was after a challenge and reckoned this qualified.

Heading up the night before the weather was poor and getting worse… but that’s all part of it (I kept telling myself). Didn’t stop the butterflies from showing up! There were plenty of checkpoints to duck out at if things went wrong of course but no one wants to do that.

Saturday morning and after the most thorough kit check I’ve ever been through – first aid kit with various bandages, emergency bivvy, 5 long sleeve tops, 2 full length trousers, emergency food and, most importantly, 4 safety pins(??) –  we were bused the hour over to the start and come 8:30am we were off.

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Half a mile in and alongside me arrives they guy who persuaded me to sign up. He’d come with another mate and I thought I’d tag on to see if the pace worked as company for the day would make for a completely different event. It worked well and we were soon up and over the first mountain, Ingleborough, two checkpoints were ticked off and we were heading up Whernside.

Skip ahead a bit and Our first taste of heading straight up the face of a hill, off footpath, was to Gragareth summit. The wind picked up, hail started coming down the size of frozen peas and you realise a bit more of what you’re in for. It was that harsh it was funny and spirits were good as we approached the CP to see the commitment the Marshalls were putting in too!

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From the beginning, total miles and time were irrelevant. It was all about completing and whether it was 12noon or 2pm I couldn’t have told you. The race is broken down into 25 checkpoints and it was all about getting to the next one. They’re on tops, in valleys, at the end of footpaths or surrounded by bog. Some a mile apart, some 7 miles apart.

Over the next few hours, we got well acquainted with bog, more wind and rain (thankfully not too much more hail). The bigger targets became the catered checkpoints which came every so often… with different offerings: sausage rolls, pasta, beans, flapjack, biscuits. You had to carry a cup for hot drinks and my favourite was handing it over, to be given it back full of chilli! Finished that, handed in again for a quick wash before I got my cup of tea 🙂

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Come 7pm, and everyone is put into groups of at least 4 to run through the night. This made Fleet Moss CP17 our checkpoint we’d be grouped at. We decided it was the chance to reset things before heading into the night. Fresh/additional layers, gloves, hat, anything you needed. Because of that coming, I didn’t worry about how cold my hands were getting from the wind and rain and  by the time we got there, I couldn’t pinch the buckle on my bag to get it off… “err.. excuse me mate, do your hands work? any chance of a bit of help”. We’d been in and out of other checkpoints in 10mins top, but we knew to take our time here to get things right again.

We’d been running as a three all day and a girl had joined us a little earlier which meant we had an evenly paced 4 ready to go. Two other guys were waiting for a group though so they were added and became a 6. You’re not sure what you’ll get then, might be someone who’s struggling but not wanting to give up yet, which could make settling to a good pace tricky. Turns out we landed on our feet with a couple of hardy yorkshiremen who’d completed the race 12 times between them. This also meant that instead of having to check the map every time you started to doubt your nav, we had John who just led the way like he could have done it blind folded. Big plus!

The first CP of note after grouping and night arriving was Middle Tongue (great name). We found ourselves at the foot of a big ol’ climb. New guys were pushing the pace and Dave (the guy I knew from previous) was struggling which started to stretch our group out. It was a real of climb. Nature of it all being by head torch and about 5 or 10m visibility meant as the slopes steepened, you didn’t know what you were climbing in to. A steep moorland slope turned into a much steeper rocky face to negotiate round, before a 3m scramble to get over onto the tops. The little tent CP at the top was a very welcome site.

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The next CP, Cray, was a catered one.. a tent we could catch our breath in and have a cup of tea. I had a dry pair of socks in my bag I’d been thinking about most of the day and now was the time. All a bit pointless as I put my feet straight back into the sodden inov8’s but for 2 minutes it felt great :). Dave decided to call it a day here, to be fair, he didn’t look great and there was still another 17 miles to go or something. His pal gave him a suitable amount of stick but it all made sense as there were first aiders about and better to duck out here than have trouble on the tops somewhere.

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After another couple more hours of bog dodging, we got to the only part of the course I knew. I’d done my one recce the week before of the last climb and about 8 of the last 12miles. It was a good call as it meant getting to that had been my target, in my head shortening the route by 10 miles. Get there and I’m on the home straight. Turns out the home straight was about 3.5 hours but by that point no one was dropping out. (It was somewhere along here I started to lose my voice. Not through shouting or even talking that much, I guess it had just had enough of the whole thing and decided to take a break. Made for an interesting first day back at work but it’s pretty much back now).

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The sun started to come up, the birds started singing and we started dropping down off the last fell and back to Threshfield and the finish at 6am Sunday.

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I’d only gone and completed it!

Official results aren’t in yet, but from the tracker.. 330ish started… 100 dropped out (higher than usual due to the weather) and I finished about 135th (which is pretty irrelevant, but top half is always nice).

What a mad event. It’s fair to say I’m still sleeping pretty heavily.

 

Over to Fitzy for a report on the final Borders League at Prestatyn. Congratulations on a superb season in such a tough league, the standard was very high this year so to be battling it out in the top league is testament to the quality runners we have. Huge big thanks to Fitzy for rallying the troops and making sure we have full teams each week!

Borders League Race No. 7

Weds 24th April seen the green army travel over to Prestatyn for the season finale, already in the knowledge that Hannah Cowley had secured 1st lady, but hoping the ladies could put another great performance in and somehow finish champions. Even if the the injured Hannah would have run, I think the Buckley team overall were just a little bit too strong finishing 51 points ahead in the final standings.

There has been some great performances from the ladies this season, but what has most impressed me is the number of ladies now turning up to race these month after month. There have been years gone by were we always struggled for the 4 counters, and have even incurred penalty points in past seasons. It’s not just Hannah who has stolen the headlines this season, Laura BH coming in a very good 2nd place in the FV40, Alison Halsall 1st place in FV45, and Debbie Read 1st in FV60.

I’m not sure if the ladies have ever won the Borders league before, maybe someone can correct me if i’m wrong, but i think the strength and depth now of this team of ladies can definitely go one better next season.

After a difficult start to the season the mens team have got bigger, and stronger each race. I think we all agree that we have never seen such a competitive borders league like this since the days of Froddy back in the 1980’s/90’s. Our bacon was probably saved from relegation when loads of of turned up and showed our commitment over in Anglesey, other teams in the league just could not compete with our numbers that day.

There’s been some fantastic performances from lots of the men this season, but Colin Bishop yet again is my stand out performance winning the MV55 category. I know how much Bish loves this club, even though he’s always moaning, as Jane says “if he’s not moaning he”s not well”

Another 4th place finish 2 seasons running for the men, above teams with quality runners like Prestatyn and Wirral. I think it’s my aim to push us to 3rd next year but with EPRC and Wrexham coming up from Div 2, i think it’s going to be more competitive than ever.

Next season will see us host a race, we are working hard right now to organise this and i cannot wait for October and the season to start all over again. Thank you to each and every one of you who have turned up in your droves month after month, my highlight being the Chester Spring 5 course race, us getting a photo outside the club house and then all walking down to the start. It was like a scene out of Braveheart and us going into battle.

Pre-season training starts in August, rule 4.3 is not in place right now so make the most of it.

See you all soon

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

Tim Palmer has sent over some interesting stats about the borders league, please see below:

This is an analysis of the winning times at Birkenhead Park over the seasons – which shows that these are becoming faster by perhaps a minute over the last 10 seasons or so.

Borders League

 

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Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns. Once again well done to all who took part, it’s great to fly the Helsby flag at these events.

https://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=1721&eventdate=2019-04-20

Phew! That’s all folks, thanks if you got this far. It’s great to see so many reports in the inbox, please keep the coming each week, the email address in helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Keep on running…

Cheers
Col T

Weekly blog 15-4-2019 to 21-4-2019

Firstly a message from Tim Palmer

Hopefully all members should have received an email about updating your emergency contact details. We would be grateful if you could update or add these to your profile on England Athletics on myAthletics Portal.

If you haven’t had this email, a copy is available at:

https://mailchi.mp/1687e8c9a36d/helsby-rc-emergency-contact-details

Thanks

Tim Palmer

 

Karen Horsley sent in this report from Bodelwyddan parkrun

One of mine and Kai’s running goals for the year is to run 10 different parkrun courses. Last week we’d planned to do Bodelwyddan Castle parkrun but as I was unwell we delayed it until this week.

Saturday morning: the sun was bright, the temperature was high – 20 degC at 9am in North Wales in April… what is going on with the weather?!

I’d read that Bodelwyddan parkrun was a mainly trail course including woodland, so I’d imagined jogging serenely through dappled shade etc. In reality there was a long uphill section in full sun before getting to the shady woodland, and as a two lap course we had to do it twice. It was so hot!

As I’m still on the comeback from injury (how long can I get away with saying that?) I’d set myself a reasonable target of 33 minutes, but with the hill times two, a photo stop and a shoelace that needed retying I was happy to finish at just over 34 minutes and six minutes behind my speedy son!

Bodelwyddan Castle is a new parkrun, yesterday was event 28 and coincidentally my 28th parkrun. It is a beautiful course, with great marshals and fabulous views. Definitely worth the drive out.

 

 

Helsby runners were in action throughout the area, full consolidated results are below

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

Cheers
Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 8th to 14th April 2019

Hello Green Army

A little bit behind with the blog from last week, apologies, it’s still the weekend in theory so you can forgive me. Gaz will update you with another one in a few days i’m sure.

A few notices first of all, it’s Border League race 7 on Weds. It’s a 4 mile race so it’ll be a quick one and the presentation is afterwards with hopefully some coming home to Helsby. Would be great to finish off the season with another great turnout. Details below

Race 7 19:30 Wed 24 Apr 2019: staged by Prestatyn RC, Ffrith, post code LL19 7AR.

We are having our annual curry night this Friday 26th, after the Mid Cheshire 5k, let me know if you want to join in, plenty of time to get home, and get showered and changed and back out again. Booking the table for 9.30pm at India Garden. Contact me on social media or fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com

Thanks for Richard Hankins sending in a report. 

I love the Lakes and will generally take opportunities to get out there for a day. A friend of mine suggested we meet up for this race: we’ve done two other races in the series over the last couple of years and I liked them both. The weather was cold but clear so I took the opportunity to get the motorbike out and travelled the scenic route via the ferry to Hawkshead. There are a series of races on the day with the 10K trail race the best attended. A small event site was established on the recreational fields with a range of traders, food stall, loos etc. Inov8 were there selling their shoes and if you wanted to try them out you could wear a pair in the race and return them after.
The route is hilly, to say the least, rising from Hawkshead up to Claife Heights and then down onto the banks of Windermere. It was at times very rocky underfoot and only two weeks before London Marathon I was nervous of injury and really took it easy in some sections. There were a few fallers who were quickly picked up by Coniston MRT who were out on the course. The initial section was paths but later opened up to wide runnable forest trails. At 13km there is a long (approx 1m) very steep incline. The organisers call this the coffin trail and it was adorned with rather naff skeletons and images of coffins. After that the last 3K are fast, fun downhill.
This is one of the races I’ve most enjoyed. The views were glorious, the weather perfect an the atmosphere was good. I wasn’t particularly fast at 1:28:45 and 46th out of 150. But for once, the point wasn’t to be quick…it was to enjoy the run and come back in one piece. I reckon I might be back for this race next year.
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Would be good if a few of us could get back to this one, sounds great
Wed 10th April see a huge turnout for the Chester Spring 5 which was the 3rd road counter of the season. 
Colin Bishop ran a great race finishing 1st from the Helsby contingent, but is not on the results below, i think due to being 2nd claim, still a quality performance, i believe one of the fastest in the country in his age group this year. Hannah Cowley finishing 1st lady, another excellent performance on the night. Janet Robertson came 3rd FV50, Debbie Read came 2nd FV60, and Jackie Keasley came in 3rd FV60. Well done tyo call that ran greats races.
26 28:03 312 chris fitzpatrick Helsby Running Club 28:02 26 Male 26 Male Vet 40 8
27 28:12 300 Hannah Cowley Helsby Running Club 28:12 27 Female 1 Senior Female 1
87 32:29 305 Richard Hankins Helsby Running Club 32:19 87 Male 81 Male Vet 45 12
107 33:12 319 James O’Hara Helsby Running Club 33:08 110 Male 100 Senior Male 40
121 33:41 50 Davyd Michell Helsby Running Club 33:35 120 Male 113 Male Vet 40 25
132 34:19 332 June Whitehead Helsby Running Club 34:13 131 Female 11 Senior Female 5
150 35:05 267 Ian Landucci Helsby Running Club 34:55 147 Male 134 Male Vet 55 7
168 36:16 401 Benjamin Tumilty Helsby Running Club 35:51 163 Male 147 Senior Male 50
183 37:28 299 Helen Owens Helsby Running Club 37:04 181 Female 26 Female Vet 40 4
184 37:31 218 Rachael Holden Helsby Running Club 37:06 182 Female 27 Female Vet 35 5
198 38:02 301 Gary O’Connor Helsby Running Club 37:37 194 Male 167 Male Vet 50 22
203 38:12 77 Roy Gaskill Helsby Running Club 38:04 204 Male 172 Male Vet 50 23
219 38:40 395 Janet Robertson Helsby Running Club 38:30 219 Female 36 Female Vet 50 3
227 38:59 17 Mike Barnard Helsby Running Club 38:48 229 Male 187 Male Vet 45 26
234 39:18 91 Carol Shaw Helsby Running Club 39:09 238 Female 42 Female Vet 55 4
241 39:29 167 Geoff Collins Helsby Running Club 39:18 242 Male 196 Male Vet 60 14
242 39:29 47 Kai Horsley Helsby Running Club 39:00 234 Male 197 Under 20 Male 10
244 39:30 89 Debbie Read Helsby Running Club 39:21 245 Female 47 Female Vet 60 2
299 42:39 333 Stephen Wiggins Helsby Running Club 42:10 296 Male 228 Senior Male 68
307 43:14 412 Geoff Shaw Helsby Running Club 43:02 308 Male 230 Male Vet 65 13
316 43:45 334 Christopher Igoe Helsby Running Club 43:15 312 Male 236 Male Vet 55 18
347 46:26 221 Jackie Keasley Helsby Running Club 46:04 349 Female 95 Female Vet 60 3
363 47:36 160 David Wiggins Helsby Running Club 47:05 360 Male 259 Male Vet 60 21
406 51:07 413 Janet Shaw Helsby Running Club 50:55 408 Female 137 Female Vet 65 4
408 51:14 46 Karen Horsley Helsby Running Club 50:39 406 Female 138 Female Vet 45 20
John Whitehead and Geoff Collins are updating the club counters as well now so these will get sent out every month now with the blog.

For those of you that don’t know every year we run Club Championships with various disciplines to compete in from ROAD / FELL / MINI FELL / TRAIL/ CROSS COUNTRY AND BORDERS LEAGUE. Myself and Geoff Collins are stato and collate the results for every race. There are certain Races that count towards each championship all of which are on the Helsby page (LINK:https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2019-road-and-fell-champs/) and prizes for overall winners and various Category prizes.

Everyone who takes part in one of these events gets points, 1st for Helsby gets 30 pts, 2nd 29 pts etc and points are allocated by Gender so the more events you enter the better chance you have in the championships. In the Fell and Road Championships where there are 10 race’s we’ll only take your best 7 results.

In the past we’ve never really shouted about the results until presentation night but to help increase a little competition and increase the Helsby presence at some of these events we thought we’d try and do a monthly update until we only have a few events left in each championships.

Road:

In the Road Championships so far we have had 3 events and the leaders for both the men and ladies are the only Helsby vests to compete in all 3 events, the on fire Chris Fitzpatrick lead the men while the unicorn that is Helen Owns leads the Ladies

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 Next Race is the Spring 5k in Kingsley on the 26th April with the dry weather continuing extra places are being made available!!

Fell:

As for the Fell’s we are only one race in so plenty of time to get involved and most races start and finish at a Pub too! Pipe Dream was the first Race with only 4 Helsby vests out, Rachel Arnold took the only Ladies Points on Offer while Tim Palmer claimed the victory for the Helsby men bagging himself 30 points.

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 Next Race is the Llangynhafal Loop on the 27/04/2019 this is 7.6KM in length and classified as an AS race (Basically short in distance with S**t loads of accent, but don’t let that put you off)

Best Regards
John

Well done all who took part in a park run Our consolidated club results can be seen HERE

That’s it for now, Remember to keep sending any reports or other stuff you want including to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

 

Cheers

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 1st to 7th April 2019

Hello Green Army,

I’m a little late with the round-up for the week ending 7th April, but we do have a couple of cracking write-ups about the Manchester Marathon and the Lakes Mountain 42 from the week before last.

Manchester Marathon – Sunday 7th April 2019

So first, it’s over to Chris Fitzpatrick for his report on the Manchester Marathon:

“5 green vests turned up to Manchester on Sunday for what can only be described as perfect running conditions, 11c, cloudy, and no wind. I somehow still managed to get tan lines though…ginger skin eh!
As you all know very well, my sole purpose of this race last year was to get a championship entry time for London, which is sub 2.45, and i missed out by 2 seconds. I may joke about it but it seriously annoyed me that i got so close but missed out. So this year, instead of a 14 week training plan, i started on Dec 3rd, and an 18 week plan, and rather than giving up the Guinness, i decided not to abstain and continue to enjoy myself. I’m not going to lie, the last few months have been pretty difficult for me, but the one thing that’s kept me going is being focused on this marathon, and the training has really helped me get through it.
Last year i trained harder, this year it was about slowing my recovery runs down and training smarter, and it’s really helped. The plan for the day was to do the first 10k in around 6-6.10 min miles, then for the next 13-14 hit 6.10-6.15 mins miles. My target was 6.17, and the first half of the race went by and i hit 1.21 for 13 miles feeling really good. This is when the going starts to get tough, but not this year, i got to 17 miles and felt really good still, 18 came and went and 19 as well, so i was then preparing myself for the dreaded 20 mile point, where the wall normally hits you. I hit 20 miles, but nothing, i even went a little faster. The next 4 miles i was expecting my legs to go, but nothing, i was really enjoying this now, passing a lot of tired legs in the process.
The last 2 miles i started to feel it but i knew i was on the home straight, but knowing i had the sub 2.45 well within my grasp i really pushed on and came home in 2hr24m26s. I was over the moon, very emotional, but loved every minute of it, which is the first time i’ve ever said that on a marathon.
Great to hear everyone finished, and some good performances on the day from the rest of the green army, Ian, Rob, Matt and Wiggo.
Good luck to everyone doing London in a few weeks, i hope you all enjoy it as much as i enjoyed Manchester. It may be a very expensive race, but it’s very well organised now, and it’s got the big city marathon feel to it, and is getting more and more popular each year.
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Cheers
Fitzy”
So well done everyone who completed the Manchester Marathon and thanks for sending in the report Fitzy. With my preference being for off-road running I usually switch off when people start talking  about road training plans, but your hard work and success even captivated me this time. Well done mate!

Lakelands Mountain 42 – Saturday 30th March 2019

Now over to Jake Holmes and his epic run in the mountains:
image004“A 6am start meant I headed up the night before. Space to sleep on the floor of the village hall/Race HQ didn’t sound the best way to start any race but I figured it was better than a 2:45 get up at home and I’d have ticked off all the pre-race faff the night before. Best guess, I had three hours of broken sleep but the deal did include a tasty bowl of pre-race porridge.image001

There was a great atmosphere at the Race HQ the next morning… 5am or whatever so it was like everyone was in “it’s early so keep it down” mode, but with a real buzz about what was coming up. We headed outside to the start in the middle of Askham, and the surreal quietness of it all continued as Joe (race organiser) stood on a box and quietly said “go… shhh…”. 170 odd runners set off in silence.

Of course, everyone set off too quickly. Or I did anyway. It’s hard not to. How do you start a race with at whatever your ’hilly 42 mile run’ pace is? What even is that? Still, it was too quick.. I’m sure I’ll learn at some point.

The route split nicely into four sections…

Seriously, look at that view…

Leg one was Fantastic, lovely being out so early, perfect weather, gentle climb past the first check point at Load Pot Hill and not technical which let you look up and appreciate where you actually were. Heading up to High Street summit took us close to the edge dropping away down to Haweswater and the most jaw dropping view… it was like being in the Alps! Tourist mode took full hold and I had to stop and take a picture. Combo of the weather, winter sun, feeling good… whatever… I was loving it…

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High Street Summit gave the second stamp on the card and head off down to Patterdale and the first big tick. Wasn’t as smooth down as I’d have liked though. It was a long descent and I was trying to keep with the runners around me. The last stretch, a steep, broken rocky path, really beat up the legs and we were only 15 or so miles in. Mmmm…

I’d recced the next section, so it was good to know what was coming. Left the checkpoint with some chatty runners but another sign I might be a bit too high up the field came when a couple of them started talking about attempting the Bob Graham this summer. Right… maybe I drop back a bit? I didn’t have to think about it long before they’d made the decision for me and I had no problem watching them head off.

The grumpy bit…

This was my first stretch of the day on my own… Carry on up just above Grizdale Tarn and at the end, follow the steep rocky path down to Thirlmere and a checkpoint at the foot of Helvellyn. Easy enough… until the fog came in. A couple of minutes earlier, I’d seen a runner ahead take the lower of two paths. I was sure I’d done the higher one on my recce but for some reason followed like a sheep. It put me hitting the tarn square on… I was almost in it before I saw it the visibility had dropped that much! No biggy I thought, follow it to the right and you’re pretty much where you should be… just with wet feet. The thing with Grizdale Tarn, is it’s kind of round, so when you can’t see anything, you’re never quite sure if you’re at the end, or still on the side or what. Talking to one local runner a bit later, he’d managed to walk right round it twice before he found his way off! Anyway, just as I decided now was the moment, the mist cleared and I saw I was right, but in quite a bowl that I had to climb up out of. I could hear runners, that had been a long way behind, high up on the other path and obviously having more fun. Sigh. Climb up out of here then.

Pain behind my left knee made the descent a slow process. I moved my arms purposefully and made sure I frowned to make it look like I was descending quickly but it didn’t help. A couple more runners came past. As I got to the bottom I looked back to see a train of runners taking a route that cut a big corner… that I hadn’t! Wow, this was really a section to forget.

All good again…

I took my time to sort myself out at Thirlmere checkpoint. Reset things, restocked pockets with sweet things and started a fresh up Helvellyn for section three. I remembered on the recce easily passing day walkers on the way up but for some reason today’s walkers were more sprightly. With my new found positivity, I stopped singing ‘the greatest showman’ to myself and pointed out that my 23 miles and a few thousand feet so far, gave them an advantage. That recce knowledge of the path helped loads and I was actually enjoying the ups and caught a couple of the places I’d lost. The summit was a good moment! Highest point of the day. Only one more big climb to go. And that’s on the last leg. However you said it sounded good.  Steep decent initially (ouch) and then easy running into the Patterdale finish of section three. One to go.

The home straight…

The lump in the last leg comes straight away in the shape of Place Fell. Not as high as Helvellyn but by this point it doesn’t need to be! Trig point at the top won the award for ‘gnarliest checkpoint of the day’.image003

I’d been chopping and changing with three other runners over the last hour or so, so ended up sticking with them from here. Random conversations about cheese (we were pretty sick of sweet stuff) and National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation helped past the last few miles back over Askham Fell and into the village hall in 11hours 58mins to a free mug and very welcome bowl of Carrot and Coriander soup.

It’s funny how quickly after the race you start to forget the pain and long drags! I’m sure there was a stretch in the last 6 miles when I was asking myself “is this really how I want to spend my time?” …. “Don’t forget at the end, you might not want to do this stuff.”

image005

It was pretty though…

Last night I signed up to the 62 mile Fellsman in two weeks time.

 

Parkrun

Well done all who took part in a park run on Saturday. Great to see Bish in pole position at Phoenix again. Our consolidated club results can be seen HERE

That’s it for now, Remember to keep sending any reports or other stuff you want including to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers,

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helsby RC Weekly Round-up 25th to 31st March 2019

Hi everyone

Two reports in the inbox this week, a big thank you to Geoff Collins and Hannah Cowley for their contributions this week. First up is Geoff…

The Joe Shellhorn Falesia 5k – Tuesday 19th March.  (Aka the big Algarve Adventure)

“This is a bit more than just a race report.  It’s more of a story about a big week long adventure to Falesia in the Algarve Portugal.  I think in my case, it was a step into the unknown too.  It certainly proved to be an experience like no other for me, but absolutely fantastic. Lots of eating nice food, as much drinking as you want, and being able to talk running, and do it for hours on end.    

This is an annual event which has been taking place for around 30 years.  It all started with a few people coming out on a training camp run by 2:09 Events, the company set up by the athlete Mike Gratton in the 80’s.  Mike won the London Marathon in 1983 with a time of 2hrs 09mins, he is also a Commonwealth Games medal holder.  This company with Mike Gratton, still runs the training camp here, happily taking lots of cash from aspiring young athletes. 

A few people got together after that to organise their own annual ‘training camp’ in Falesia, FB Tours was born.  This breakaway group had a more laid back interpretation of the words ‘training camp’, maybe less structured than the 2.09 Events one.  Your experience ranges between having a bit of a workout to I’m just having a laid back holiday pretty much covers it.  

So there was a training plan with two runs a day on it together with three races, and… um some social activities, the Neptuno Bar featuring as the meeting point, and the grand finale the presentation night, and fancy dress competition.  The training plan was a bit indicative of what might happen, it often did, but I soon learnt not to trust it implicitly!    

Debbie & Geoff Reid have been coming here for some time and extended the invitation to Helsby Running Club this year.  This year I came for the first time, and Sue Buck who has been before.  In total there were around 56 people whose ages ranged from 8 months to 70+ participating. 

Our event organiser/coordinator is Fred Aird from Deestriders Running club.  Spectrum Striders were quite well represented, and a few from various other clubs in the North West.  Many of the participants I knew, or recognised from races.  

There was a choice of places to stay, ranging from the incredibly luxurious Epic Sana, where Debbie & Geoff stayed with its private access to the beach and gated driveway to more modest apartments nearby.  They kindly allowed us in for a brief viewing of their private steps and a walk through the hotel and grounds!  

Sue & I independently both chose the Victoria Sport Hotel with very spacious apartments with kitchens and a balcony.  This still had a 4* rating I liked it because it had a running track guests could use.  The 2.09 training camp also stayed at the Victoria.  I had the breakfast option which was very good too. 

The weather was glorious all week, sunny around 20C, but a bit breezy at times.  Debbie did say the weather was the best ever, sometimes there isn’t so much sun, but it’s always warmer than the UK. 

There were plenty of other activities other than running to enjoy in this beautiful area, with its stunning beaches and crumbling cliff’s, eaten away by erosion and terrific views.  We got to run on the beach, over the cliffs, along tracks paths, through the nature reserve with Turtles and other wild life.  The morning runs were generally around 5-6miles but it was possible to do more.          

Cycling is a good way to explore the wider area.  Sue and I both hired bikes and went off on rides, to the nearby areas of Vilamoura, Quarteria, Loula and Paderne.  Navigation could be little challenging at times especially on the minor roads, but on the whole was a safe experience.  Just one moment we hesitated and avoided turning onto a motorway!  A sketch map given to us by another cyclist/runner was very useful.  I think if I’m honest the cycling was definitely a highlight for me, being able to explore quite a lot of interesting places, eat ice-cream and find cafes, one where they didn’t speak any English.  I had to ask Mike Gratton to move out of the way so we could pass him on our bikes!  That’s the first time I’ve overtaken a London Marathon winner!   

Mustn’t forget the Races; race 1 was the Falesia 5k on Tuesday at 10am.  I’ve never done a race on a Tuesday morning at 10am, but it beats working.  It cost 4 Euros to enter, was 3 laps on the road and went past the Victoria Hotel.  But the course wasn’t flat, and it was quite hot.  Debbie & I were the only Helsby runners, Sue was marshalling outside the Victoria.  I decided to run with Debbie trusting her judgement on how to pace this race in the heat, amazingly we stayed together for the whole race, and it made life easier for the photographers!  On the approach to the finish Debbie got slightly ahead, I closed the gap and just got past her to the finish by 1sec. This was an amazingly close race and to all intents a draw between us.  The results aren’t yet on Run Britain.   

Race 2 was the Cross Country Relay team race, on the course under the trees next to the Victoria Hotel.  There is plenty of loose sand tree roots and it goes uphill too.  3 Runners do two 1k laps and one 2k lap.  Debbie & I were chosen to be in the same team with one other runner.  Our team was not first or last but finished somewhere in the middle. 

Race 3 was the Cross Country Handicap. 3 laps of the course with staggered start times based on power of 10 best 5k times.  This gave Debbie a 15 sec start ahead of me, Sue getting a bit more time ahead of us both.  Running earlier in the day, cycling and the heat took its toll on me, I couldn’t close that 15 sec gap on Debbie, by the third lap the gap got even bigger.  The race was won by one of the slower runners who started well before most of us did.   

The dates for the 2020 adventure will be 14-22 March. Basically you book your own flights and accommodation between those dates.  Look for the FB Tours Facebook page, transfers between Faro airport and the resort can also be arranged.  Fred Aird from Deestriders RC is the point of contact.”

And now over to our newly crowned Borders League champion!

Borders League Race 6 – Hope

“It was a lovely cool morning in hope and the excitement of another boarders race was in the air. Despite it being Mother’s Day, I was over the moon with a strong number of the green army rolling up, especially for the ladies team! As always I had my lucky charm with me and the parents cheering the green army on!

With the start of the race being delayed, this wasn’t ideal especially for my pre race nerves! However I knew that by winning this race I would secure my women’s champion title so I couldn’t help but turn the nerves into excitement. I wanted to win the race but try and race my strongest to show I was deserving of the title.

As we queued up on the start like sardines, The race was finally underway.  A quick first mile, I began to panic that I may have gone off to fast. I steadied myself down and managed to keep a good pace. I knew that as o passed the mile 2 mark  there  was a long drag of a hill approaching, although being from helsby I knew this wouldn’t phase the green army!

As I approached the bottom of the hill the sun came out and I managed to start picking off the men one by one. I kept pushing through the rest of the hill and pushed myself back down and along the undulating course.

As we approached mile 4 I could see Fitzy in my sights, I pushed as much as I could to keep up with him and his 4%’s. As the finish line was in sight, a little ‘go on hannah’ came from Fitzy and I pushed as much as I could until I crossed the finish line. As I finished 2 green army vests came racing past me and just pipping me to the finish to make it a 24th, 25th and 26th place finish (how’s that for team work!).

Overall for me it was an amazing course, the most controlled, enjoyable borders race this season and possibly my favourite 5 mile race. All the hard work and training/ speed sessions especially at the park with June and John have definitely been paying off! What made the day even better was my ladies championship sealed with a race to spare and the helsby ladies team finishing 1st on the day and 2nd on the overall standings.

Let’s all give it one last big effort for the last race of the series! Come on green army!”

Amazing Hannah, the first Helsby Borders winner for a very long time and well deserved too! Be sure to congratulate Hannah on her achievement all!

We had some other fantastic running from the troops too. Congratulations to Danny Ryder on a superb run to power through the field to take the chequered flag for first Helsby runner home in 28:29 and a new PB, just pipping Neil Finegan and Hannah who were seconds behind and who also got big PBs. Brilliant running!

The vets were also flying with Colin Bishop (MV55), Paul Frodsham (MV60), Alison Halsall (FV45) and Debbie Read (FV60) all winning their respective age categorys. Great running all!

The full results can be found here:

http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/results2018-19R6-2.html

And my pick of the best race picture:

58AB54A9-4333-41E2-820F-590D311AD645

Let’s get a massive turn out for the last borders and end the season in style, the final one is on Weds 24th April in Prestatyn. Start time is 7.30pm, put it in your diary folks!

Parkrun

Please find the consolidated results from last Saturday’s parkruns, well done to everyone who took part.

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

That’s all this week folks, thanks again for the reports and please keep sending them in, it makes our job easier each week as well as giving the blog more variety. The Helsby RC inbox is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Cheers
Col

 

10k TT Results 27-03-19

Thank you to everyone who turned up for the 10k TT on Wednesday evening, nine of you in total. Congratulations to Ed Halliwell who stormed around in 41:31 to take the chequered flag and Graham Lloyd was our only runner in the 6k so therefore gets the kudos of a win!

Also a huge big thank you to the 10k TT team on the night who were Louise Spruce (results), Jackie Keasley and Tracy Woods (timing and tags) and John Whitehead (marshalling).

We have finished our winter program now but we will be hosting a few 10k TT events over the summer, details will be announced soon!

Results:

10k
1st  Ed Halliwell  41.31
2nd  Chris Lloyd  43.00
3rd  Richard Hankins  43.01
4th  Ian Llanducci  44.10
5th  Chris Dodd  44.37
6th  Trevor Lewis  45.45
7th  Ben Tumilty  47.46
8th  Ste Wiggins  55.54

6k
1st  Graham Lloyd  38.28

Thanks
Colin

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 11th to 25th March 2019

Hello Green Army

2 weeks for the price of 1 this week, luckily for you all you didn’t miss anything last week as there was nothing to report on. Few notices to start of with.

Club counter season is well under way, so Tim has reminded us whats coming up over the next month or so

  • Borders League Race 6: Buckley RC Sun 31/03/2019 11:00
  • Chester Spring 5 Wed 10/04/2019 19:00
  • Borders League Race 7 + Presentation Night : Prestatyn RC Wed 24/04/2019 19:30
  • Mid Cheshire – 5K Spring Fri 26/04/2019 19:00
  • Llangynhafal Loop (AS) 7.6km/4.7m 533m/1749ft Sat 27/04/2019 13:00
  • Ysgol Dinas Bran (AS) 6.9k/4.3M 350m/1150ft Wed 08/05/2019 19:15
  • Fairfield Horseshoe (AM) 14.5km/9M 914m/2999ft Sat 18/05/2019 12:00
  • Chester Half Marathon Sun 19/05/2019 09:00

A quick message from myself about this Sundays Border League race 6 in Buckley

A rally cry to all, it’s mothers day this Sunday and i’m expecting numbers to be affected but if you can, please please come and race. We have had some cracking turn outs this season and it’s got the mens and ladies teams into the position they are in now because of these fantastic turn outs. I would hate to see any of our teams get penalty points at this late stage.

It’s also Helsby V’s Felsby leg 1, so i’m expecting as per usual a great turn out from the Felsby crew. Hopefully see you all on Sunday.

Thanks ….Fitzy

Over to the Captain for our first report – Cheshire 10k – Arley Hall

Our second road counter of the year and we had 12 Helsby vests toeing the line at Arley Hall ready to do battle on a cool but still morning, race conditions were perfect. The Cheshire 10k is one of the flattest and fastest 10k races in the Northwest and is a good gauge of your fitness early on in the year before the summer racing season begins.

We had some fantastic running on the day and its congratulations once again to Fitzy who is in the form of his life taking a whopping 1.30 minutes off his PB coming home in 33.55 and first back for Helsby. Months of hard marathon training has certainly paid off and he set one of the fastest 10k times by a Helsby runner for quite some time so be sure to congratulate Fitzy when you next see him.

Coming home first for the ladies with an outstanding run was Carol Shaw who is one of the most consistent runners in the club, well done Carol! Helen Owens was close on her heels and scored a new PB with a superb run and is getting back to her best after months of consistent training and mileage. It’s also congratulations to Janet Shaw who won her age group and we had some fantastic results from the rest of the troops who all put in a fine display of running. Well done everyone!

Please see the Helsby results below:

helsby 2

Trevor Lewis is next up  

“I had heard a little about Wrexham‘s Run festival from a friend who runs for Mersey-Tri. I normally run Wilmslow half marathon in late March but am unable to do so this year so I decided to try to find a fairly local half marathon earlier on in the month .

Wrexham Run Festival appears to have been running since 2015. It combines a full marathon, a 20–mile race and, in addition to these, a half marathon. There is also a short fun run for children & families.

The Full marathon and 20-mile runners set off at 9am; the fun-run at 9.30 and the half marathon 10:30am all from the same point which stands opposite Wrexham’s Waterworld Centre. The three competitive groups run three diverging courses and then all merge and run together for the final 5 miles.

When I initially read the description of how the race was organised my immediate thought was “That sounds like total carnage” and pictured some poor fun runner taking a wrong turn and ending up having to run 26.2 miles.

As it transpired there was nothing at all to worry about; it was all very well-organised and the marshals were absolutely brilliant in not only cheering you on but also maintaining that you ran in the correct direction. The course website suggested that personal bests were achievable so, I thought “Ok, great, it must be a flat course then”

Well, it’s not.

After a mile of running through a residential area you enter mainly rural settings. For anyone who knows Wrexham the route took in Clays golf course, Wrexham Industrial Estate, Bowling Bank and Marchwiel as a loop that takes you back through to finish at the start point at Waterworld.

There’s a beast of a hill at around mile 5-6 and lots of undulations after that.

Very much like Helsby’s Four Villages Half Marathon there is a lengthy downhill stretch at mile 11-12 that gives your legs a breather and allows you to pick up some time before the final push. The final mile is similar to that of Chester Half Marathon i.e. mostly a moderate uphill with crowds & Sunday shoppers cheering you on.

The weather conditions were not ideal; there was a really strong, swirling wind, some hail and a lot of standing water (or small lakes – whichever description you prefer) on the country roads.

Helen Owen ran the 20-mile race and we agreed that there was so much water on the course it was a fair shout to classify the race as a run/swim biathlon.

Having said that; that’s winter running for you and the weather won’t be that challenging every year.

I noticed that a lot of us half-marathon runners did pass the full marathoners during the final 5 miles some of whom were, understandably, struggling.

I offered encouragement to those that I passed but I couldn’t help thinking it could be a bit demoralising being overtaken by runners that were only completing half of your distance. Under those circumstances it wouldn’t be my personal choice for a marathon though you could spin the argument it on its head and assert that the half marathon group could potentially pace the other runners along in those final miles.

The half-Marathon field amounted to only about 200 runners so there was little or no jostling for position and it was easy to get into your stride and even when the 3 races converged it didn’t feel particularly congested. There were, however, a number of sharp turns on the course where you lost a little bit of momentum.

Parking at Waterworld amounted to a few hundred spaces which filled up by about 8am due to the influx of runners competing over the longer distances. I arrived early and nabbed a space but I did see half-marathoners, who arrived later, circling around trying to find somewhere to park. The Sunday parking rate at Waterworld was only £2:00 for 24hrs and it was very easy to get off the car park at the end.

I managed to shave a few minutes off my PB which seems to justify the organiser’s claims of it being a fast course. Another positive for Helsby runners is it is only a 30 minute drive from the club.

There were no Welsh cakes handed-out at the finish as was the case at the Wrexham Village Bakery Half last month – but I suppose you could always buy some locally!

In summary- a decent Half Marathon race either for the first of the year or as a follow on from The Four Villages or Village Bakery runs. The 20-mile race could potentially be used as a competitive run in training for the London or other April Marathons.

I would definitely consider running this half marathon again in the future.

Trevor Lewis”

Cheers Trevor, i’ve seen the pictures and it looked more like a swim run event than half marathon.

After Hayley’s successful bingo night down at the sports club (i’ve seen a different side to Chris “two little ducks quack quack Igoe), she’s back to the serious business of training for the London Marathon, have a read of her blog.

Pick Yourself Up & Start Again

Parkrun

Well done everyone who participated in a Parkrun see our full consolidated report is HERE

Last but not least on Friday 26th April, after the mid Cheshire 5k which is a club counter, we are going for the annual curry in Frodsham and a pint or 5. Approx 9pm start, email me if you want to come along or let me know on social media

That’s all for this week

Fitzy

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