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

Hello Green Army

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

Borders league Sun 9th Dec

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

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

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

Friday Fun Club 

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

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

Anyone up for the 6am pub crawl?

Xmas Party 

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

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

Little Stretton to Stiperstones Time Trial on Foot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Edward Halliwell

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

helsby 1.jpg

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

Consolidated Parkrun results

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

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

Happy Fitzmas

 

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

Hello Green Army,

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

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

Reminders:

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

Racing News

Conway Half Marathon – Sunday 18/11/2018

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

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

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

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

***

Conway Half Marathon – Sunday 18/11/2018

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

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

***

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

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

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

Parkrun

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

 

That’s it again for this week,

Cheers,

Jim

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

 

 

 

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

Hello all

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

“Helsby Community Sports Club relocating to a new home.

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

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

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

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

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

Also a reminder from Fitzy about the Xmas knees up…

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

10k TT

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

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

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

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

All results can be found below:

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

Warrington Way 40

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

Colin Thompson (Leg 1)

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

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

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

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

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

Colin Bishop (Leg 2)

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

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

Ian Rutherford (Leg 3)

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Fitzpatrick (Leg 4 – The Glory Leg 😉

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

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

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

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

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

Borders League (Chester)

Report by Colin Bishop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pen Llyn Winter Ultra – Pwllheli

Report by Jake Holmes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep on running…

Cheers
Col T

Weekly round-up 27-10 to 4-11

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

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

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

It is free to all Helsby first claim members.

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

Race Report – Lausanne Half Marathon by Geoff Collins

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

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

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

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

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

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

Results:
Winner  Alemayehu Wodajo 1h 06m

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

 

Fitzy send this is from Abergele 5 mile race

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Cheers
Gaz

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

Hello Green Army

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

Message from Foz re; upcoming XC

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

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

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

See you all next Sunday

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

 

Race report from myself

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

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

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

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

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

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Parkrun

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

That’s all folks

Fitzy

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

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the Helsby RC weekly round-up.

Reminders:

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

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

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

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thumbnail_20181021_171701

London Marathon entries

A message from our Jackie Keasley:

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

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

Code 2 London Marathon Places

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

Cheers in running

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

Racing News

Fell Relays – Saturday 20th October 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loggerheads Trail 10 mile – Saturday 21st October 2018

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

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Photo courtesy of SJ Photography

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

Clwydian Hills Fell Race – Sunday 21st October 2018

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

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

 

Winter Hill Mast Race – Sunday 21st October 2018

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

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

Parkrun

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

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

Happy Running,

Jim

 

Helsby weekly round-up 8th – 14th October 2018

Hello everyone

Welcome to this week’s round-up. Loads of ace reports have been sent in this week, thank you so much for these, makes our job so much easier! It’s great to see lots of new faces each week at training and at the Borders League on Sunday, hopefully you are all enjoying your time at Helsby RC!

Before we get to the news please see a flyer below for the Helsby Fireworks display on Friday 2nd November:

Firework Poster

Palma 10k

Bish and Jane flew over to sunny Palma at the weekend to take part in their annual 10k, a few other members and friends joined them and made a weekend of it, looked like a great laugh! read on for Bish’s report on the shenanigans…

“While many of the green army made a start on the Borders League some of us along with some ex Helsby club mates and a few Widnes Running club members followed the sun for the Palma 10k and half marathon. Don’t think there was any takers for the marathon. Apparently  there was over 10,000 runners across all 3 distances.

On a welcomed cloudy but very warm morning 26C we headed off from the start with lots of support from all nationalities.

Danielle Ryder headed off first for the half marathon, safe to say I think she welcomed all the shouts of encouragement from both the green army and the temporary green army members 😉 

The rest of us started the 10k glad to we completed the course maybe not in times we wanted. I am pleased to say I came in first for the team in 10th place retaining my V55 title for the third consecutive year.

Great to see Tanya Meredith there too.

Loud support from Chris Holden, Nicola Kozer and Jane Bishop 

Safe to sage the post race beers went down a treat 😎”

Team Helsby:

Colin Bishop
Ian Hamling
Rachael Holden
Danielle Ryder
Temporary Club Members 😉
Nikki Hamling
Will Kozer

Ullswater Trail Race

Richard Hankins is on a mission at the moment, he’s an ever present at the club counters / races and training nights and he slipped away to Ullswater at the weekend for the trail race! Nice result mate, please read on for his full report.

“As storm Callum passed I made my way to the Lake District to run the Ullswater Trail Race with a work colleague. A 14km route from Howtown to Glenridding facilitated by a ferry trip to the start. The roads were covered in gravel and stones from the previous days storm and the temperature had plunged to 8 degrees but looked ok for a trail run.

Upon arrival I found that Ullswater has risen sufficiently to stop all sailings and flood the car park of the cafe we were meeting in, and the car park of the ferry company. As a result an alternative wet weather route was in place. A quick internet search and it becomes apparent that the trail race route has not been run since 2014 with the alternative route used each year. The route started on the roads and then over a few rough fields before thumbnail_44106595_2190256894377730_4587895576099553280_oheading off onto the fells at the Patterdale end of the lake. There were a number of streams still running across the paths and a 15m stretch of ankle deep water within the first two miles. The route proceeded along the lake and then up onto Place Fell : a long and rocky ascent of approx 300m. This was followed by an immediate steep descent on a very wet and gravelly path that I found barely runable. The views were stunning but the route required careful attention to your feet and there was little time to enjoy it. The marshalling and general organisation was good and it is a race I wouldn’t mind doing again…especially if i actually got a ride on the steamer. Results haven’t been published yet, according to the website the ‘timing system is just drying out’!

Results are out, I finished 27th and my fellow runner Nick Barr 60th/292.

Hell Up North (Little Devils Fun Run)

Rebecca Tate has sent in two reports this week, great stuff Rebecca! First up is her take on Hell up North (Little Devils Fun Run) and the next one is her race at Anderton Boat Lift…

“Of course I wasn’t going to go swimming through mud for fun at the weekend, that’s not proper running! However I accompanied my daughter on the Little Devil’s fun run, which was two small laps of a bit of Eddisbury hill. The medal was fantastic. However the promised goody bag contained protein shake powder, a can of taurine/caffeine drink and a packet of men’s razor blades. I later emailed the organiser to ask who in their right mind thought that this was a good idea, and to suggest that if a balloon, a bit of chocolate and cheap pen would be too margin-busting then no goody bag at all would have been better, to avoid disappointment. In fairness, the organiser emailed back to admit it was his idea, and promise a little something in post to make up for the disappointment. I’m not sure whether to be excited or afraid.”

Anderton Boat Lift Half Marathon

“What a great venue! If you had people coming to support, or to mind children while you run or whatever, there’s plenty to look at with the boat lift, a nice cafe and lovely shop. There is loads of parking (pay and display, not a high charge – especially compared to £10 Delamere parking for Hell Up North!).

For people racing, there was a warm marquee with coffees, bag storage, and well organised race registration. Most astonishingly, there were no queues for the women’s toilets. It was chip timed, so no jostling at the start. If all this wasn’t enough already, there were 6 excellent drinks/food stations, with a choice of water or electrolyte drinks and jelly babies / jelly beans / flapjacks and other stuff that I didn’t notice because it was all about the jelly babies for me. If I wasn’t going for a sub-2-hour time I could have happily spent more time with the jelly babies.

But back to the race – it was 2 laps of a trail course that went through Marbury park, Neumann’s flashes and along the River Weaver. I’ve not done a laps race before, but this worked well and didn’t feel repetitive, with nice scenery and slightly undulating through the woods but otherwise flat, with the potential for fast times. Unfortunately the reason why lots of people smashed their PBs was because the course appears to have measured short, at around 12.5 miles!

The weather was chucking it down and quite cold, with a huge puddle that turned up a few miles from the end and there was no way round it so like any proper trail race we ended up splattered with mud with squelching shoes. That’s not the bit I remember though – the great organisation, venue, medal, marshalling and feed stations are what stick mostly in my mind. The medal is a picture of the boat lift which is awesome, and the goody back was full of nice snacks. There was a sports therapist on hand to offer free sessions which was a huge help for sorting out my recent piriformis issues.

Entries were limited to 500, but only 163 raced – this was the first time this event has been held but I hope it’s back again next year, with a course revision to make up the full distance. Despite glute and hamstring pain all the way round, I got in at 1 hour 52 and half, 21st woman home, and first out of the whole of Helsby Running Club (woohoo!) OK, in fact I was the only person from the whole of Helsby Running Club attending, but a win is a win 😉 Hopefully it won’t clash with other races next time and there’ll be loads of us there next year!”

Borders League #1 – New Brighton

Fitzy was a very happy bunny on Sunday, read on to find out why…

“One very happy Border’s League Coordinator (that’s my official title apparently).

What impressed me most about our Borders League team on Sunday was the amount of new faces that turned up. Yes I’ve been harassing you on social media for the past 2 months, yes I’ve been sending out loads of email reminders about our first race of the season, but everyone looked like they had a ball, and were enjoying being part of the green army. (once the pain of the race had subsided on an extremely fast course).

Job done if you ask me. That’s what it’s all about. Some people say it’s very elitist, but i disagree. Ian Rutherford pointed out his time was quicker than his last time he ran this course last year, but lost about 50 positions in the process. OK, the standard is very high right now, and it was the 2nd biggest turnout for a Borders League race, but for every 5 minute miler, there’s a 6, 7, 8, 9 ,10, 11, & 12 minute miler as well. This series of races caters for everyone.

I knew we would get a great turn out after doing our first Borders League taster session on the Thursday before the race, 16 of us turned up, in rotten weather, to run around an industrial estate in Runcorn. So i would like to thank each and everyone of you that turned up on Thursday and Sunday, and i’d like a shout out all the new members who raced their first Borders League race and i’m hoping you will all be back for many more.

Well done Nathan Woods, Kevin Smith, David Pearce, Florence Woodward-Moor, & Becky Pearce.

A couple of mentions for some great performances on the day. Hannah Cowley leading the way again, coming home 1st lady a whole minute ahead of her nearest challenger. Alison Halsall 1st in her age category, Christina Roch, 3rd in hers, Debbie Read doing what she does best and coming 1st in her age category. A great days running by Nathan, Kev and David, 3 of our newest members, and a shout out to the younger of the two Woodward-Moor’s, Flo making her debut beating Mum, which I believe she enjoyed a lot.

The ladies finished 3rd on the day, only 14 points off top spot. The men finished 6th with a decent score, but looking at other teams results, i think this year is going to be a really tough battle at the top, but loads more to come from the men I’m sure.

See you all in Upton on 11th Nov for the next one….9.30am start for that one”

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

Hellrunner up North – Delamere

Our hardy Chair Jackie showed them how’s it’s done, running Hell Runner with a fractured arm! Excellent running Jackie, and an age group win to boot! Read on for her full report…

“Well Fitzy has done this the last 9 years and chose chosen running buddy Peter to join him in the swamps this year. I did it 9 years ago & decided to give it a go before this sort of thing ceases to be fun any more!

Storm Callum shut Delamere to the public the previous day so the organisers did really well to put up the marquees & mark out the course, which covers every nook & cranny of Delamere there is on the west side of the B road. There was still the aftermath of the storm with gusting winds & rain in the morning. But there was so much to concentrate on and most was under the canopy of the trees, so the weather became insignificant compared to all the other natural forest elements! The sun did show it’s face for a short period in the afternoon. The really good news was that the air temperature was barmily warm for an October day which helped with the many immersed sections along the way; plus at the end that instant freezing, get me home & dry asap feeling didn’t happen. 

Chris & Peter were in the first earlier wave (the expensive one!) &  I was in the 3rd (“cheaper”) wave an hour or so later; might as well give it time to get tracked & even muddier. A fairly normal start up & down New Pale Heights & back past the start field to get warmed up. Then into the forest for a zig zag route, with very short spells on the wide tracks. Followed by dozens of sudden dodges to the side into the thick of the forest in search of obstacles; fallen trees, steep slippery banks, water slides, streams, bogs, swamps, drainage channels, & some very awkward sections through many of Delameres newly felled trees with all their jutting branches & trunks. The first major water feature was near Hatchmere, I don’t think it was part of Hatchmere but not far off it!  A recently flooded area that had been ploughed into furrowed lines. The route went along a long narrow muddy peaty ridge which you sank into up to your knees with deep water on each side. Several folks lost their shoes in this one & bravely continued having been unsuccessful in digging them out.  Another involved 400m across a lake of fairly open peaty water, with the bottom being ridged & full of the usual cut down trees; so you were at one stage balancing on a trunk or ridge with water upto your knees and the next stride out of depth so swimming was the best mode until you crunched into the next hidden obstacle. Chesire Search & Rescue did a brilliant job; balancing in wading wellies & full dry suits on exposed tree trunks in the middle of the water guiding & encouraging folks through, with a dinghy on standby for emergencies- surreal! The final famous Bog of Doom, I have to say was rather a disappointment and tame after all what had gone before, although the consistency was different to the rest, green & slimy smooth pea soup as as opposed to thick & brown lumpy gravy!.

I shouldn’t really have set off as I am still suffering from a fall leaving me with a weak left left arm due to a chipped elbow, but the thought of not getting my £37+ worth hurt me. I escaped from home to cries of ……, & instead took a walking stick which was really helpful all the way around. Also I went around very steadily & gently not really racing. It was still amazing how many folk I overtook though, having started off at the very back of wave 3. There was also a shorter version Valhalla which I got muddled up with along the way so good or bad there was company and queuing all the way around. 

Some moments of the day the really made me chuckle along the way & on reflection afterwards; it’s always best to laugh rather than cry!

– The worst thing about the water features was getting out as this usually involved getting up a high slippy bank which with one good arm was a problem. One guy behind could see I was struggling & offered to help, the next thing I was given a two handed bum lift onto the bank for which I thanked him perfusively!

– Another water feature was waist deep with lots of logs above water level. Some folks (including me) straddled them, others balanced along connecting ones. Suddenly a lady balancing alongside me started to wobble & I came to her rescue by giving her my stick which she was extremely grateful for!

– Being in the 3rd wave there were quite long queues entering the water features & some folks going slower than me were starting to feel the chill both in & out of the water. Following the 400m dip which was at 10+ miles, a lot of folks started cramping up all at the same time. Particularly the burley chaps (sorry to be sexist but these were the ones I noticed!). With the silence of the woods interspersed by loud shouts, cries & swearing of broken men! At this stage also, despair, exhaustion & frustration was setting in & they hurled themselves helplessly into the tricky parts hoping to get over quickly, only to find themselves stuck in deep mud with little energy to extract themselves. In the meantime I made my way following my survival plan of quiet, steady & gentle concentration through the surrounding turmoil! 

– Towards the end many runners realised how useful my stick seemed at keeping going so were seen snapping away in the woods making their own walking aid!

– With a couple of miles to go, having just crossed the switch back road back to the Visitor Centre side, there was loud music & lights & a dark marquee to run through. This had a lot of folks, including me, thinking what next, “a pitch dark tunnel section” but surprise surprise it was the last drinks station serving flap jack too!

– Chris & Peter sampled the fire brigade’s fundraising hospitality at the end & were hosed down by them. By the time I got in they had ran out of water so I wandered back to the car at Barnesbridge & had a wash & change in a hidden bit of a cleanish pool neat the carpark.

All in all a “fun” character building day our in our Delamere!

Chris & Peter came in in 2:09, I took nearly twice as long 3:50 but was chuffed to be first in my new age category!”

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Please find the consolidated parkrun results from the weekend, some fabulous running from the green army which included a first lady for Jenny Illidge at Phoenix! Superb Jenny and a big well done to everyone else who took part.

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

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

Keep on running…

Cheers
Col T

 

 

Weekly update 30-9 to 7-10

Firstly, a couple messages from Chris Fitz and Sue Buck

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

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

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

https://tinyurl.com/kvq2x25

Chester Marathon 2018 by Col Thompson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hello Green Army

Message from Foz to start the news this week

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

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

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

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

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

Any questions feel free to contact myself or June

That’s all folks

Cheers
Fitzy

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

Hi Everyone,

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

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Wednesday night run on Dartmoor with pureTRAIL.uk

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

Upcoming Events:

A couple of worthwhile causes for mention this week

Fundraising for CANtreat

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

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

Thanks
Col T”

Halton Haven Santa Dash

 11am Sunday 2nd December 2018, Victoria Park Widnes

Santa Dash 2017

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

 

Racing News

Meerbrook 5k – Saturday 22nd September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Delamere Inter-club Relay Trail (DIRT)

Saturday 22nd September

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

Southport Seaside 10k – Sunday 23rd September

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

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

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

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

Helsby results:

Robert Hough 42:52

Stephen Wiggins 55:34

Karen Horsley 58:26

David Wiggins 01:02:52″

 

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

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

Helsby results:

Half:

Neil Finegan 01:21:36

Gareth Boyd 01:45:19

10k:

Ian Hamling 40:45

John Rossiter 43:35

Rachel Holden 47:33

Matt Willcott 53:33

Karen Horsley 01:02:25

Gill Fitzpatrick 01:03:48

5k:

Phil Tomkinson 18:41

Matt Willcott 27:31″

Parkrun – Saturday 22nd September 2018

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

New Club Member

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

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

Cheers,

Jim