Helsby RC weekly round-up from 4th to 10th March 2019

Hello Green Army,

Thanks everyone who has sent something to the inbox this week. It’s great to be able to put a few write-ups together and share what Helsby RC members have been competing in over the week.

First of all a brief reminder – and thanks to Tim Palmer for compiling this:

Upcoming races in Helsby RC championships

In the remainder of March and in April 2019, the following races count towards the club championships

Racing News

UK Counties X-Country Championships – Loughborough – Saturday 9th March 2019

We kick-off the racing news with a report from Hannah Cowley who has again done Helsby RC proud, while representing Chesire in the Inter Counties  X- Country Championships. Well done Hannah, and thanks for sending in the report:

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“I was lucky enough to have been selected for this race from the Cheshire qualifiers back in January. Although this inter countries was my third ever XC race, you could east say the nerves and excitement were above anything Ive had before a race. I travelled down with my mum, dad and lucky charm (Libby the dog), my race wasn’t until 11:45am but I made sure I had plenty of time to walk a section of the course and soak up the atmosphere and see if I could spot a few famous runner faces who were running for national XC qualification. 

Before the race I was hoping to come within the top 100 and try to be the first or second Cheshire vest over the line, this would be a huge achievement for a newby. 

For the start of the race we all lined up in our pens. When the pistol sounded I managed to get a quick start. The weather was not ideal, strong headwinds for the majority of the undulating course making the flats a constant battle, with a mix of hail and sunshine changing throughout the race. As this was the first time women were completing the same distance as the men (10km) I thought this added distance would be an advantage for me as I prefer the longer distances. The mud on the course made my legs increasingly heavy as we continued round the course but as a helsby runner the hilly bits I was able to push myself up and climb a few potions. For the home straight I pushed and gave everything I could to make sure no one could take my position away. 

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Following all the support from the Green Army in the week, I managed to push myself to 37th place, and was the first Cheshire vest over the finish line. I was over the moon! Who would have thought 12 months ago I would be in that position. Hopefully with more preparation and more race experience under my belt, I can get back there next year and do even better. 

I also wanted to throw into this report a massive THANK YOU to all the Green Army for your support and luck, you were defiantly there i spirit getting me around the course.”

Haworth Hobble – Saturday 9th March 2019

Next we have two reports from Jake Holmes and Benjamin Crossley about their valiant efforts on what is one of the toughest fell races. Firstly, over to Jake:

Howarth Hobble Race report – 32 miles of wind, rain, hail and hotdogs.

“6am and Mr Crosley arrives at mine to do the driving up to Yorkshire for the best value race I have ever done. £12 for 32 miles in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. When it comes to pounds per mile, thats a tough one to beat, but enough about me being tight.

We were cutting things fine, but arrived with 25 mins to the 8am start. No problem until Ben reaches into the back to get his pack only to realise it’s safe and sound at home where he left two hours earlier! Nightmare. The car park Marshall was quick to offer to help and started emptying his rucksack to lend him. A spare map, the odd cereal bar and a pair of gloves, and we’d put together a new pack (of sorts). A long way from ideal race prep but he’s on the start line. I think he’s sharing his own report so I’ll let him tell the rest of his story.

Being with Ben, who likes to hang out around at the business end of races these days, put me at the front on the start line again. Out of place, but it gave me 20 yards on some of the runners so I’ll take whatever I can get. Someone on the side of the road says… “ok, go.” and everyone starts running. I assume he was an official and not just a spectator having a laugh. I love a low key race.

I’ve got to talk about the weather… for about the first half of the race or so, it was proper. Serious head wind and rain. Amongst stronger runners I was slowly getting passed, but I was expecting it, and it was going to be a long day so I was conscious not to be daft trying to keep up. I don’t mind the bad weather, all part of it with hilly races this time of year, but your sense of humour does get tested when it starts giving you horizontal hail! At one point I had my hood that far over my head I could just see my feet, having to take a face full whenever I looked up to check I was still on the trail. Everyone’s in it though. Sooner or later it’s be on your back 🙂

The halfway point brought kinder weather, some good runnable stretches and out of no where… a checkpoint with hotdogs! All good for boosting moral and the miles started to tick away nicely. 

While the route never got really high, there was plenty of climbing; lots of, not too technical, but not easy trail and it was just generally a big day out, so I was made up to make it back into Haworth, with a little bit left (a tiny bit). I finished in 6:17, 129th out of 295. I was quietly hoping to get to close to the top third, so not quite, but I got the impression there were some hardy runners out there, returning for their nth time, so I was happy with the result.

Helpful marshalls, plenty of checkpoints for water and food refills and a bowl of stew for you at the finish line. If you fancy an early season test, put it on your list. Did I mention it was £12?”

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And now over to Ben:

“Myself and Jake hit the road to take on the Hobble, first year for Jake, second year for me. I’ll tell the race from my point, I’m sure Jake will tell you his story. 

The race that got the better of me. Firstly let me start with forgetting my kit bag, which I didn’t notice until we pulled up in the carpark 2hr away from home 🤦‍♀️not s great start and to be honest I think the race was done from there, after scrambling and scrounging around I managed to pull together the bear essentials. But it was MY kit, which I think played on my mind more than it should have. 

Then the weather, I mean it wasn’t just raining, it’s was PISSING it down, super strong headwinds that if you weren’t leaning into them you were either getting blown back or to the side. This made it impossible to keep a good form/posture which then lead on to knee, groin and hamstring pain. Then the cold. My baby maker was done in, it stung so much by the hard hitting freezing rain and had shrank to the size of a button mushroom. 

So I decided around the 18mile mark that I should probably call it a day before i do any serious damage. My hips, knees and ankles are misaligned as it is ( currently arranging an assessment with a body mechanic to fix me up) So with running awkwardly battling the gods it wasn’t going to end well. Then the added mind games of this isn’t my kit. My race was done. 

I turned back to head to the last checkpoint I passed, not really realising how far back it was, 45 minutes hobbling (no pun intended… the race name) by this point I was so cold I could barely speak. Hyperthermia was setting in. 

I was soon scooped up into the back of a camper van by one of the race assistants (thank you lovely lady) who wrapped me up in a massive sleep bag, three felt blankets and her coat. The van was apparently waaarm, but I was uncontrollably shivering for about an hour. 

The lovely tea, soup and veggie dogs soon brought me back to life and I was escorted back to race HQ on a shuttle bus. There I got changed in to dry, clean clothes, ate lots and drank lots of coffee. I’m now back home in the bath and I’m in good health. 

Massive Thanks to everyone who stopped, checked I was ok and helped a fellow runner out. It’s appreciated. Sometimes we gotta make these decisions, I could have carried on, but it also could have ended very badly. 

I was actually on track for completing the race 2hrs or so faster than last year, around the 5hr 15min mark, but there’s a fine line between being a ‘hero’ and just being a dick. 

Today wasn’t my race. There will always be other races.

Benjamin.”

Well done guys that is truly a tough day out.

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This was after my first Haworth Hobble!

Knighton 20 – Sunday 10th March 2019

And now, over to Fitzy who has been flying the flag for the Green Army with a fantastic result over in Stafford:

Knighton 20 with my cheating shoes

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“So i used the Knighton 20 last year in the build up to my spring marathon, so i thought i would enter it again after recording a pretty decent time last time around. I was in two minds as to race this or use it as a training run, but once you get to the start line there was never any way i was going to do the latter.
It’s a 3 lap course with plenty of climbing to be done, but for everything you have to climb up, you have to come down it, so the plan was to race hard on the up’s and recover on the way down. This year though i have a new pair of road shoes, some say they are cheating shoes 🙂 After seeing everyone who finished in front of me at the Village bakery half marathon in a pair of these cheating shoes, i decided to buy myself some to see how they performed. A park run and borders league later, i thought they were well worth the investment, having a cracking race at the borders. So could they do the same in a 20 miler?
Stafford seemed to miss all the rain, hail and snow whilst i was out doing the race, but a big downpour before the race meant a lot of the country lanes were flooded, however the wind was still pretty bad, it never seemed to be in your face or behind you, but was always trying to push you over from the sides for the full 20 miles.
Lap 1 went well, felt pretty good, after trying to stay with 1st and 2nd place for all of a mile, i got into a consistent pace and concentrated on my own race, on lap 2 i was caught up by 4th place runner, we had a little chat, found out he had broken 2 world records recently at London, dressed as a bride and a flower. I pulled away from the record holder on the steep climb on lap 2, and managed to get around lap 3 really starting to enjoy myself as I got a lot of encouragement from some of the runners i was passing, me shouting back to them and also giving them support. It’s a really friendly race, quite low key, but a good one to attend if you need a good event to attend before you marathon.
I finished the race in 2hrs 2mins, knocking about 55 secs of my PB, and coming 3rd place thanks to my new cheating shoes.
Full results”

Pipe Dream Fell Race – Saturday 9th March 2019

Thanks to Tim Palmer for sending in a report on one of my favourite races, and which always has me reminiscing about the 80’s and the Super Mario Brothers games:

Pipe Dream fell race (4.2 miles and 1280 feet of climb)

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“A blustery morning saw a small Green Army contingent (Rachel Arnold, Phil Gilliard, Jim Jones and Tim Palmer) in Dolgarrog for our first fell counter of the 2019 championship. Pipe Dream is a classic short fell race (steep up and steep down) with a twist (the steepest ascent is on steps alongside two large hydro-electric pipes – hence the name). The advantage and disadvantage of a steep ascent is that you get all the major ascent out of way in the early part of the race – in this case, a 1000 foot of climb in the first mile. Overall, a great little race and a nice way to start the Fell Champs.thumbnail_Ascent_alongside_the_pipes

As a civil engineer working on flood risk, any visit to Dolgarrog is tinged with sadness, as in 1925, the Eigau and Coedty dams failed; creating catastrophic flooding in Dolgarrog killing 16 people. Many more could have been killed had they not been in the local theatre watching a film that night.  The race route passed near the Coedty dam and the descent followed roughly the path of the flooding.”

A copy of the results is available at: https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/pipe_dream_2019.xlsx

 

Parkrun – Saturday 9th March 2019

Well done everyone who participated in a Parkrun on Saturday. There were 17 Helsby members across various park runs. Our club consolidated report is HERE

That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to keep sending any contributions to helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Thanks,

Jim

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Helsby RC weekly round-up 25th Feb – 3rd Mar 2019

Hello all

A busy week of racing last week and some superb reports in the inbox so let’s get started!

Before the racing news please see a few messages below from Jackie and Fitzy:

Helsby Beer Festival

This weekend it’s the Helsby Community Sports Club 10th annual beer festival. Please support if you can.

Beer Festival

Monday Night Training

Thanks to Juni & John who have kindly stepped in to organise & lead our Monday night training sessions whilst Joe & Mario are unavailable.  Last Monday we tried using Helsbys new running track/path in the park by the Scout Hut on Lower Robin Hoods Lane. Feedback was very good &  with it being a tarmacked track it’s a great  option when Castle Park is wet/gloopy. The plan is to try a few new sessions & places/routes for the remainder of our Winter Mondays. Our Summer sessions at the High School will start after Easter.

Each weekend they will post on Facebook Helsby Running Club page the session plan for each Monday & where. If you are not on Facebook this is a problem.  As a temporary measure till we work out what’s the best way to spread the word each week to all. Juni can email you the session details each weekend if you let her know your email address.

swifty800@icloud.com

Thanks & hope to see you on a Monday soon.

London Marathon

I’m running the London Marathon this year for Team YHA. Today I’ve set up my just giving page which gives the full story of why I’m running a marathon once again; who for & why!  It really all means a lot to me.

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

It’s a great cause, changing young lives forever through outdoor adventure. Race day is April 28th, so training is well underway. Nearer race day, after training on a Wed, I plan on showing  some heartening videos of the rewards & reactions of young people experiencing a YHA adventure break for the first time. With free chips too of cause!

Please support, if you can, by donating to this great cause. Although it’s early days yet, as I prefer to get rewarded on completion, I’ll send out a reminder after race day too!

Cheers & thanks
Jackie

Helsby Vs Fellsby

Season 3 of the road runners v’s the fell crew is nearly here. The 2 races shall be Borders League Race 6 in Buckley on Sunday 31st March, and the Fell race will be at Dinas Bran on Weds 8th May 7.15pm.

For those who have not heard of this challenge before, we’ve done it for the past 2 years, and it’s to create a bit of banter between us road runners and the Felsby crew. Felsby have won it for the past 2 years, actually Helsby have never won it, but I reckon this year will be different.

All you need to do is choose a team you want to run for, so for example I would run for the road running Helsby team, and Chris Baynham-Hughes would run for Felsby. If however, you clearly are a road runner like Adam Gordon, but choose to bat for Felsby, I may unfriend you on Facebook.

Points are given for just turning up, which is why it’s important to get great numbers to both of these races, and points are also given for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on. Every point helps.

Email me fitzpatrick_chris@hotmail.com or message me on Facebook, and i’ll add you to the teams. You can also turn up on the day and I’ll allocate you a team. You don’t have to come to both races, but it would be better for your team if you did, and remember, it’s a bit of fun, and the main aim is to get more Fell runners to the road races and vice versa, us roadies to the Fells.

Any questions please let me know.

Cheers
Fitzy

Rhayader Round the Lakes

Report by Richard Hankins

I entered this race as prep for Edinburgh Marathon last year. However, it coincided with the Beast from the East and was cancelled. The organisers kindly transferred my entry to this year and so I went along on Saturday. In previous years it has been a 20 mile race, but the metric system has arrived in Wales and it is now a 30K. Organised by Rhayader Athletic Club it is a small local race based around the leisure centre in the middle of town. This years record entry saw 540 of us complete the course. Rhayader is in Powys and famed for its Red Kite population and they were out in force to watch the start.

I had planned a marathon paced tempo run, but fortunately looked at the route profile the night before. The first 6 miles are uphill with 1200 feet of climb and a consistent pace was not realistic. Storm Freya also arrived making any consistent pacing a challenge with 40mph winds and driving rain. At times it felt like a challenge to stay on my feet never mind stay on pace. The race starts just outside the town centre and then passes down the high street before heading out into the Elan Valley. This was a new location to me and a real revelation. The valley is rugged and beautiful, possibly the most impressive countryside I have ever run a race through. The valley was flooded in the 1920s and provides the main water supply to Birmingham. It has a series of huge dams  linking three reservoirs. With the wind, however, at times it was a challenge to breath…my cheeks acting like a giant wind break and the rain stinging it was hitting so hard. At the worst point I ran with some lads from Todmorden taking it in turns to lead and break the wind. Fortunately, the last four miles were downhill with the wind on your back…a fantastic way to end a race of this length.

I finished 58th in 2:21 – just 6 second off my intended tempo which I was pretty happy with. The organisation was great…really low key but friendly and efficient. The tea and bara brith at the finish topped off a great experience. Its a race I’d like to do again…but hopefully with a little less weather.

Foel Fenlli

Report by Jake Holmes

The 2nd of the Clwydian Mid Week Series (a to a Clwydian summit and back). This one was Foel Fenlli, Moel Famau’s neighbour and a 3.5 mile loop.

It started with a long grassy descent from the car park on a narrow path to add a bit more ascending to the evening. I quite like the downs, and after being surprised with an ok finish place last time, I thought I’d be brave and put myself at the front. A little out of place, but it meant I’d avoid having to check my stride if anyone was taking it easier. It worked out well as I managed to make a place and get to the bottom in 3rd(!). I knew that’d be my high point though so as we started to climb the long path that wrapped around the back of the hill, I just tried to keep perspective (and count) as the quicker runners came past. The weather couldn’t have been more different to round one. That was driving rain and 5m visibility, this was really mild and a sky full of stars!  7th, 8th, 9th (and a dog). I lost count then but it didn’t get too much worse and a glance back as we reached the top showed a bit of a gap to the head torches behind so I was hopeful to better my 16th place from round one.

Scan of the wrist band as you go over the top and all the way down the other side. The field had spread a bit so there weren’t many runners in reach on the descent but I managed to regain a couple of the places I’d lost. The route drops down past the finish, along a straight fire track that gave me a glimpse of the next two runners in the distance. A u-turn at the bottom onto a path to come back up the 500metres to the finish. Each site of them showed them a fraction closer… maybe… but that’s where they stayed to the finish. Just close enough to give me hope, but all I actually got was a pretty painful last stretch trying to catch them! That, or good training, depending on how far after the effort you’re thinking about it.

A few fewer runners this time but I managed that higher finish – 13/39. If it carries on like this, by Christmas I could be on the podium out of a field of 4.

Next up – 7pm Tuesday 26th March Moel-Y-Parc. if you need any more incentive, the start/finish is at a pub. ⛰ 🍺

Borders League Race No.5 – Birkenhead Park

Another fantastic turn out from the Green Army at the Borders on Sunday, a big thank you to everyone who turned up to support the club on a cold and miserable day at Birkenhead Park.

The course is 4 full laps of the park with a slight detour around the lake and then the long slog up to the start/finish. Fitzy and Hannah lead the charge for the Helsby contingent with Fitzy having a storming run to take 12th place overall and first home for the club and Hannah showing her class once again to take the overall win by quite a big margin! Great stuff you two!

We had an array of age category wins and podiums with Colin Bishop, Alison Halsall, Laura Baynham Hughes and Debbie Read all coming in first and Jackie was second in her age group! Helsby really does have some super vets!!

Well done to everyone else who ran, we have a great strength in depth in our squad and it really paid off on the day and cemented the men’s team in 4th position in the league with the ladies in 3rd.

A big thank you to our support team on the day who were Mario, Leah Binns, Karen Horsley, Danielle Ryder and Jane Bishop (with her fantastic cakes!!). Sorry if I missed anyone else…

Don’t forget the penultimate race is on 31st March, this is a new race in Caergwrle hosted by Buckley RC, put it into your calendar folks! I’m sure Fitzy will be rallying the troops nearer the time.

Helsby results:

12th Chris Fitzpatrick 30:00
26th Colin Thompson 30:58
31st Colin Bishop 31:07 (1st in age cat)
37th Mark Amphlett 31:23
43rd Neil Finegan 31:38
47th Danny Ryder 31:50
50th Chris Collins 31:55
53rd Hannah Cowley 32:04 (1st lady overall)
75th Mark Gittens 33:17
84th Matt Huntbach 33:49
86th Adam Gordon 33:52
99th Matthew Larkin 34:29
125th Ian Rutherford 36:37
134th Alison Halsall 37:12 (1st in age cat)
135th Davyd Michell 37:13
151st Laura Baynham Hughes 37:55 (1st in age cat)
157th Ian Landucci 38:10
177th Peter Rodriguez 39:17
181st Jane Ashbrook 39:42
184th Jim Jones 40:00
205th Roy Gaskill 40:52
232nd Helen Owens 42:19
235th Ben Williams 42:24
241st Florence Woodward-Moor 42:45
249th Geoff Collins 43:19
250th Debbie Read 43:21 (1st in age cat)
274th Susie Woodward-Moor 44:26
276th Neil Fergusson 44:37
296th Jackie Keasley 47:24 (2nd in age cat)
303rd Ste Wiggins 48:11
304th Kai Horsley 48:12
324th David Wiggins 52:07
338th Charlie Roberts 56:15

Full results can be found here http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/results/

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Parkrun

Please find the consolidated results from the Saturday parkruns, no magic pumps were worn by any members this week so no parkrun wins but some superb running as always 🙂

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

That’s all this week, thanks again for all the reports, please keep sending them in, the helsby inbox is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Cheers
Col T

 

Weekly round-up 18th Feb to 24th Feb

 

Firstly, a message from Jackie.

UKA All England Club Team Marathon Championships

How about HRC entering the inaugural UKA All England Marathon Club Team Championships? Giving club runners the opportunity to compete against one another as a single club unit at the popular MBNA Chester Marathon on 6 October. Club runners of all abilities will be able to contest for a national team title in a mixed team format. For our club size we need 4 men & 3 ladies. Who is up for this please, email jackiekeasley@btinternet if you are or reply to facebook feed.

More Info Here:- closing date for team entries 31July but you need to enter individually too.

https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/england-competitions/national-championships/champions-of-the-road/#clubteaminfo

Susie Woodwardmoor sent this in from the National XC Champs

Four of us took part in the Senior Womens race at the ECCA National Cross Country Championships, Harewood House on Sat 23rd Feb. A sparkling day, clear blue skies, colourful flags heralding the scores of clubs that take part, fluttering in the sunny breeze – it was like being at a festival (in stark contrast to last years grey chilly conditions). Hundreds of friends and families supporting the runners (many with dogs for those of us who like to bring them along). A happy and exciting atmosphere.

The race starts with an exhausting climb up clingy longish grass but evens off along a lovely smooth plateau dipping down then up again, meandering around the the rolling parkland with beautiful open views across the landscape to the house, it’s a wonderful venue, especially on a day like this. The senior women’s race is two laps long an 8km route.. long enough. Lovely as it is, it’s quite a tough course and we appreciated the support from Mario and Rachel’s son Paddy (who came 450th out of 2000 senior men representing his university) . The hills are not much fun and we are all a bright shade of pink at the end but we loved it and would recommend it as a great event, worth the travel. A mud free X country…

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Results  http://www.englishcrosscountry.co.uk/news/saucony-english-national-xc-results-2019Champs

Debbie Read sent this report in from Birchwood XC

Sunday saw the last cross country of the season at Birchwood, Warrington. Due to a mixture of it being half term and other races happening over the weekend a very depleted Green Army were in attendance-just 2 men and 3 women turned up.

Leaving Helsby in the fog, the race was run in beautiful spring sunshine and despite being told duff information that conditions underfoot were dry and firm we all had a good time.
My shoes are washed, drying ready for next season – can’t wait. 

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The end of season saw Helsby men finish 14th out of 24 clubs and the ladies 10th

parkrun

The full consolidated parkrun results for Helsby members are below.

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

Highlights would have normally included the 1st place for Chris Fitzpatrick at Phoenix Park. However, the shine was well and truly taken off the win when it came to light that Fitzy had resorted to wearing his expensive new cheating shoes at what is supposed to be a friendly timed run. Oh, the shame!

Cheers
Gaz

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 11th to 17th February 2019

Hello Green Army

Notice from Jackie.

Club Championships Competition & Training

Our list of Summer 2019 Championship races has been updated – please see: https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/2019-road-and-fell…/

There is a pdf poster version attached and at  https://helsbyrunningclub.files.wordpress.com/…/helsby_summ…

The key update is the Mini-Trail Championship 🙂

There’s plenty to do with a varied selection of road, fell, trails, & mini-fells (to encourage newcomers to the fells). The attached gives the rules for each and how many count etc in each competition. The annual Helsby versus Felsby races are highlighted as are the Inter Club Fell Championship Counters.  Our annual awards ceremony takes place in May/June to issue awards for both the Summer & Winter (Cross Country & Border League) Championships.  We will be announcing the date soon, in the meantime hope to see you at one of these races very soon!  

Here’s a list of the remaining Wednesday Winter Training Sessions, please meet at the club at 6:30 except for Delamere. Phil has kindly compiled a similar enticing list for the Summer, to be announced soon!

 Feb

20

Manley Mere

Steady run

27

Mickle Trafford

Time trial

March

6

Frodsham

Fartleks

13

Delamere

Lake run – meet time tba

20

Manley Mere

Steady run

27

Mickle Trafford

Time trial

Also, please see Jackies race report from the Village Bakery half marathon.

Yesterday was our first race kicking off this “Summers” 2019 club championship.

13 Helsby runners made the journey to Wrexham Industrial Estate on quite a warm sunny morning for February.  I last did this race many years ago & still have memories of a nightmare race for the organisers; Within 100m of the start there was a T junction with no sign & no marshal, the front runners turned left (the wrong shorter way) & those in the know turned right (the correct way!). Each race eventually merged & finished at the same finish line. Not sure the results meant much though as some very good times were recorded by the faster runners but not over the full distance!  The race has grown in popularity since being taken over by Mike Harrington at Cute Fruits & this year a record 2373 runners crossed the line at exactly 13miles  192½ yds.

It’s a surprisingly good course considering it starts & finishes in an Industrial Estate!  After a 5 mile loop thats very similar to the Border League course, firstly going by the factory units, then off into the countryside before passing more units on the way back.  Then a much bigger loop down fairly narrow, some wet & muddy country lanes towards the Dee (without actually seeing it) before heading back steadily uphill & into a strong head wind back into the estate for the final couple of miles.   For a big race it was good because it starts on wide roads & enters the narrow ones when everyone is more spreadout, so no holdups.

Chris was going for a PB but the winds made it impossible for that, still a brillant time in 1:16. Sub 1:30’s for Richard & Degsy.  Well done to Jane who smashed 1:40, Trevor who was close on her tail, Helen loking good for the Mancheter Marathon & to everyone else who ran. I was chuffed with sub 2 hours having not ran a half for a while.

Memories of the day were, hearing & seeing first lambs of the year as we ran down the farm lanes.  Just as hunger set it, the overwhelming baking smell of baking at 12 miles which turned out to be the Kellogs factory & everyone getting a pack of Village Bakery Welsh Cakes & a Welsh Dragon gong at the end.  The one downside was the finish was quite a long way from the start & parking, the whole estate looks the same & there were no signs. At the end of the race the whole estate was full of lost tired runners staggering around in circles. I added on an extra couple of miles trying to find Trevors car, didn’t know there was more than one Village Bakery on that maze of an industrial estate. Thanks to Neil Furgasson who drove me & an Oswestry Olympian from the full fat to the gluten free one!!

Position Finish time First name Last name Net time Net position Club Position Gender Gender position Category Category position
42 01:16:33 Chris Fitzpatrick 01:16:28 41 1 Male 42 Vet 40 11
236 01:28:07 Richard Hankins 01:27:52 238 2 Male 225 Vet 45 32
318 01:30:03 Derek Morris 01:29:48 318 3 Male 290 Vet 40 55
594 01:40:10 Robert Hough 01:39:34 605 4 Male 500 Senior Male 239
626 01:41:11 Jane Ashbrook 01:40:38 638 5 Female 100 Vet 40 19
644 01:41:47 Trevor Lewis 01:41:14 665 6 Male 541 Vet 50 57
761 01:44:45 Jim Jones 01:43:04 734 7 Male 628 Vet 50 67
810 01:46:04 Helen Owens 01:45:34 829 8 Female 145 Vet 40 26
1051 01:51:54 Geoff Collins 01:49:35 1010 9 Male 831 Vet 60 21
1263 01:57:37 Jackie Keasley 01:57:01 1316 10 Female 311 Vet 60 3
1282 01:58:07 Neil Fergusson 01:56:57 1309 11 Male 965 Vet 65 9
1885 02:16:41 Matt Willcott 02:15:31 1934 12 Male 1236 Vet 40 221
1885 02:16:41 Stephen Wiggins 02:13:39 1881 12 Male 1236 Senior Male 532

It was a tough last few miles thats for sure Jackie

Richard Hankins has also sent in a report for this race as well

The Village Bakery was the first half marathon I ever ran back in 2016. It has, therefore, a special place in my heart. It isn’t the most glamorous event, starting and finishing in the Wrexham Industrial Estate, but most of the course is on country lanes heading out towards the Dee. It is always well organised, cheap to enter and just 20 minute drive away. For me it is the start of the running season and my first measure of how fit I am this year.

This year the old headquarters on Oak Road had closed and so the parking arrangements were very different. There was also a larger entry with 3000 enrolled. There was plenty of warnings to arrive early and plan your parking. Geoff and I did and had no problems, but the traffic looked pretty poor later on and there were big queues for the loos. Approaching from the opposite side of the start line due to the new parking arrangements made the start a little chaotic. But, once off, everything was well organised on what felt like a mid-Spring day.

The first 10 miles of the race were fab: I felt full of energy and able to stick to my plan….in fact, I made up time. I began to dream of finally getting a 1:25 but sadly the last three miles were a nightmare. I think of this race as flat, but Strava shows that miles 10 – 13 are consistently uphill. Not by a great margin, the climb is only 120 feet, but enough for you to feel it. This year that coincided with a 15mph headwind. I just wasn’t fit enough to fight it and lost 2 minutes finishing 20 seconds slower than last year. A lot of people found the same…the last third of the race was a challenge (fell runners snigger away…).

Fabulous Fitzy led the Helsby field home in 41st with a 1:16 run…mightily impressive stuff! I lolloped home in 1:27 with Degsy making a valiant return in 1:29. Rob Hough came in at 1:39 and Jane Ashbrook was first lady home for the club in 1:40. There was then a wave of Helsby finishers: Trevor Lewis (01:41), Jim Jones (01:43), Helen Owens (01:45), Geoff Collins (01:49), Jackie Keasley (01:57), Neil Ferguson (01:56), Steve Wiggins (02:13) and Matt Wilcott (02:15).

A decent turn out for the first counter of 2019…see you at the next.

Richard

Talking about Fell runners, over to John to tell us about a steeplechase race

So after being volunteered by your wife to take Debbie Reeds place in this race I thought I better give it a good old shot. Having done the mid week Harrock Hill series I had a little bit of an idea what I was letting myself in for…. well so I thought.

This was the 49th Parbold Hill Race organised by Skelmersdale Boundary Harriers is 6.7 miles of mixed terrain including roads paths and farmers fields and what a little cracker with the start and finish at a proper country boozer! Helsby had 3 runners out myself Janet and Nesta helping make up a field of close to 600.

After a short road section to start a sharp left turn took you on the a quarry track and up you climbed. The next few miles was a mix of fields and tracks, the road running clubs stood out a mile as their runners gingerly edged around the mud while my route choice was through the middle! At just over half way my race fell apart with a long road section with a climb up Parbold Hill, at this point I realised racing with a cracked rib wasn’t my brightest move, however at the top and into the next field I was greeted with a small queue at the next stile a great opportunity for a breather and to take in the amazing views and countryside, you don’t get these on an industrial estate! The next few miles past and then a nice downhill section got my legs turning over, just before you arrived in the final field you are greeted with a horse jump a crowd of people and a number of cameras all waiting for that unsuspecting faller!

All in all a great little race and if you don’t want to wait for next year to try out the course look out for the Harrock Hill Series starting late spring!

Cheers
John

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Cracking photo

Also a little blog from one of our new ish member Hayley Brooks, about her journey to the London marathon. Good luck with the training

The Highs and Lows

Last but not least 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

 

Thanks, see you all soon

Fitzy

Helsby RC weekly round-up from 4th to 10th February 2019

Hi folks,

short and sweet this week, with just the one report which has been sent in by Colin Bishop. Thanks Bish –  and well done on the medals guys:

Northern Masters XC Championships 2019 – Saturday 9th February 2019

“Saturday saw Knights Grange in Winsford host Northern Masters XC championships. It was 3 large loops of a slightly undulating course which in places had the residual winds of storm Eric gusting in your face draining your breath, and in parts once you got your breath back your legs were zapped by the mud. Cheered on by Mario, Joe, Bobby and Jane, Davyd successfully represented Helsby achieving a silver medal in MV40 category. He won’t mind me saying he also successfully managed to stay upright…..Maybe the thought of cake at the finish line. I myself managed an individual silver but was in my red vest so won’t go on too much.

For those who are eligible to run as a Vet these races are really something to be considered.
Once again well done Davyd
Cheers Bish”

Upcoming Events

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Parkrun

The Helsby RC consolidated Parkrun results for Saturday 9th February are HERE

Please keep sending any contributions for the blog to: helsby-race-reports@outlook.com

Cheers,

Jim

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

 

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 

Parkrun

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

Helsby RC weekly round-up 31st Dec to 6th Jan 2019

Hi all

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to this weeks blog, before we get to the race reports please find a quick message from Betty below regarding the new club house:

“Helsby Community Sports Club News
Exciting news about our new Club Development. Everything is now signed off for both the new club house build & the enabling housing scheme. In anticipation of this the an application for the Jan/Feb TESCO BAGS OF HELP APPEAL has been made for new furniture for the new club of £4K.

PLEASE VOTE !! AS MANY TIMES AS YOU CAN !!

We are up against up against Alvanley CC and Kingsley community centre, so hoping for a win with your help!”

Wirral Way Half Marathon

Big thanks to Bish for the following report, it’s been a while since he’s done a half marathon and he had a superb run. Please read on….

“Sunday saw me heading off in the dark to Wirral Country Park to take part in Time2Run event – Wirral Way Half Marathon. Following registration and number collection buses shuttled us off to the start near Hooton station for a staggered start of just over 400 runners I believe.

Apart from a little drizzle early on weather conditions were perfect both temperature wise and under foot. The route saw us take a point to point for approximately 10 miles with a loop to the finish. Well stocked feed stations x3 plenty of company along the way from other runners, dog walkers and cyclists.

I finished 6th overall which was a little disappointing when I crossed the finish line in 4th place😔 however did get first V55 😊

A well organised event and would recommend this one for your diary.”

Church Stretton Fell Race

An excellent report has been sent in by Geoff Collins for this race…

“I decided to kick off my New Year with a £5 to enter race on New Year’s Day. This took me to Church Stretton in Shropshire. I found out about this from friends a couple of years ago. Its organised by the West Midlands Mercia Fell Running Club who wear yellow tops with a leaping stag logo! Fortunately there weren’t any (Stags) to be seen.

So with a favourable weather forecast I arrive in the very quant small town of Church Stretton. It looks like a something from bygone times with little shops, and friendly locals. Church Stretton sits nestling in a valley, with The Long Mynd hills rising to the West. It’s also known as little Switzerland because of the way the houses are slotted into the hillside. Further along the Long Mynd is the famous Midland Gliding Club, who launch their gliders using bungies that is worth seeing too!  

There is always something a bit random and causal about fell races. I arrive to register at the location stated on the website, only to find a closed social club. Hmm this is odd but I go for a wander, and spot a yellow sign near the church – registration this way, yes the race HQ had moved to the scout hut here…      

So with time to spare I go on a reccy. There are no maps of the course buts it’s about 5m, fully marked and marshalled, and no requirement to carry any kit. I meet Dave one of the organisers, originally a Tattenhall runner who now lives here. He kindly showed me the start and finish sections of the course. So it starts in the Vicarage field and climbs steeply up a wet slippery slope before reaching a footpath which winds up the side of the Carding Mill Valley. You head towards the highest point on the Long Mynd, Pole Bank at 1,693, but don’t go up it fortunately.                                    

It’s a mass start for the 5m race, there is a 3m option which includes walkers. The scramble round the trees to the left up that wet slippery grassy slope was tricky, because it was difficult to grip, but once the main path was reached everyone seemed to be in the right place. Having gone up a steep hill, then it’s down into the Carding Mill Valley along a short section of tarmac and back up the other side. In fact the scenery was quite good with the terrain constantly changing as you went along.

None of it was that technical, but nothing was flat, just a bit of tarmac here and there, and about 900 feet of climb in total. The finish was back in the Vicarage field with an annoying loop round three sides.

Afterwards soup and rolls were served in the scout hut. The lucky ones getting seconds too. There were a couple of Buckley runners from our area, Chris and Fenella Higgins, we all agreed running was better than a hangover on New Year’s Day! I expected the prizes to be random produce or maybe a bottle of wine, but no they had a few small trophies!

I finished in 90th place out of 153 runners in 49m 31s, male winner was Clive Morgan U/A 35m 30s, first lady Jules Toone 41m 56s U/A.”

 

Cheshire XC Champs (Birchwood)

What a fanatastic day last Saturday at the Cheshire Cross Country Championship Races was for Helsby.

Congratulations to Hannah Cowley who won the ladies Cheshire Cross Country Championship and Christina Roach for getting the V60 award. There was also a very nice mention in the Warrington news!

https://www.warringtonguardian.co.uk/sport/17339130.hannah-cowley-wins-cheshire-cross-country-championships-womens-race/

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parkrun

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

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

That’s all this week folks, thank you for all the reports, please keep them coming, the Helsby inbox is helsby-race-reports@outlook.com.

Cheers
Col T