Anglesey Ring of Fire Report by Chris Fitzpatrick

Hello all

CBH (or GBH as Phil calls him) has asked me to send something out about our boys weekend away doing the “Epic” Ring Of Fire 135 Ultra race where you circumnavigate around the beautiful Island of Anglesey.  CBH rants on a little doesn’t he so I will try and keep this short as possible (very hard).  First of all, before we even got to the start line last Friday, the amount of well-wishers, and good luck message from everyone, especially the Helsby RC posse was nothing short of amazing and gave us all the boost we needed.

We arrived at Hollyhead Breakwater Park all a little nervous and were praying for good weather, strong winds and a cloudy sky greeted us but thankfully the rain stayed off until later that night so we touched lucky. CBH went off like he was a Gazelle being chased by a Lion, (he was the Gazelle I was the Lion) and if it wasn’t for his constant “selfies” he might have had a good chance of finishing 1st on that day, endless climbs up and down beautiful countryside summed up day 1 and over 6500ft of the total weekends 13000ft ascent/descent was on this first day. I eventually caught up with him and we managed to finish Day 1 together after taking a wrong turn after some great advice from Boydy. Phil came in a few hours later and we were all wondering where Ste Wiggo was and getting a little worried, for him to stroll in to our digs for the night at a leisure centre with a big smile on his face around 10.30pm that night, as only Wiggo could! Showers, food and a little sleep all put us in good spirits for day 2, which was the one I certainly feared the most.

To run 65 miles in a day is a massive effort, to run it, after having very little sleep and after being woken up at 4.45am (by CBH’s trombone like bum) is pretty hard. We all took off from the Leisure centre we had stayed at, no injuries, just tired legs and frazzled brains from day 1, the only way personally I could see myself getting around today was to break the day up into little chunks, so hour by hour, we kept ticking off the miles, coming into the checkpoints to a lot of smiling faces, especially from Jackie and Bill, I for one, cannot thank the you enough if you took the time to come and cheer us on at some point, you really were inspiring me to keep on going, even though my face didn’t look like I appreciated it at times, hearing “green army” chants was just what I needed to hear. Again myself and CBH spent a lot of time together day 2 (this has led to rumours I know!) meeting new friends along the way, sharing stories, and really looking forward to our Ice Cream at Beaumaris and seeing CBH’s family who had travelled down for the day to cheer him on, whilst I was having some food, his 2 little lads chatted away to me, and it took all the pain away from my tiring legs, we came through the half-way point, changed clothes, and foolishly for me changed socks, which is where it all started to go downhill for me personally. Blisters! If you’ve had them before then you will know what I’m talking about, but I had blisters on blisters, and for the last 35 miles of day 2 felt like I was running on pins, it really was excruciating pain. Our aim was to get in before the dark, which we managed to do, just, 6am – 8.15pm, over 14 hours running/walking and we had finished day 2. This is where I have total respect for Phil Roberts and Ste Wiggins, for Phil to navigate at night, and also to come in at 3.05am, have 1 hours sleep, and then get up and go again on the last day amazes me, I think I would have given up, and although Ste got pulled up at 4am and 60 miles into the 65 he needed to complete, which was the cut-off point, he would have no doubt continued to run and probably would have gone into day 3 without any sleep if he would have been allowed to.

I was that tired that next morning, that day 3 was all about just finishing, whether I ran or walked. We got to the start line at 6am that Sunday morning, only 60 ish people had now managed to make this point out of 131 starters, and everyone shuffled out of Almwch down onto the beach for the last 33.6 miles. Straight away, every step hurt my blisters, but I’d come this far so wasn’t giving up now, we seen Phil just before the race started and he looked in good spirits even with 1 hours sleep. We came into one of the check points to find bacon and sausage butties were on offer which cheered me right up, although I was now struggling to eat anything and drink anything. Another day of plodding and ticking off miles on what was a cracking day weather-wise, although this did lead to sunburnt Calves, neck and ears!! Forgot the Factor Fitzy. My only regret from the last day was I could not keep up with CBH, when you do something like this you don’t want to slow people down, or be the one who has to leave someone behind, so we had agreed all weekend we will do our own thing, only think there was 25 mins difference in the end, plenty of smiling Helsby faces at all the checkpoints again, especially, Jackie, Bill and Laura. I really did think I would get lost a lot more than I did on this course, but I had to finish in style didn’t I, taking a slightly wrong turn which meant I came across the finish line backwards! The event photographer made me run over the finish line the correct way, and this just finished me off.

Have spoken to all the lads since, we are have a lot more stories we can tell you all, we were all down and out for a few days after, some calling in sick, some with temperatures, some with rock like calves, and if your out for drinks on Friday, I will be sure to tell you all about them. Last mention must go to Gareth Boyd, who was like a personal maid, most of the weekend, running to get us coffee, helping with our bags etc, I really do appreciate it and can’t wait to see you run this next year, I will be supporting you mate!

Was that short enough 🙂

Chris F

Helsby weekly round-up 30th August – 1st September 2014

Hi all

Still waiting on results for the Crowden Horseshoe and the Ring of Fire…but for now

Delamere Park Run 5k number 75 on Saturday August 30th saw a good podium finish for Colin Bishop who was 2nd overall in 17.31. Janet Robertson was first Helsby lady home for 67th overall in 24.16. Well done to Alex and Claire who both recorded PB’s on the day. Nine out for Helsby in total.

2 Colin BISHOP 17:31 VM50-54 86.96 % M 2 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:17:15 39
16 Alex FITZMAURICE 20:16 SM25-29 63.65 % M 16 Helsby RC New PB! 3
34 David FEAKES 21:59 VM50-54 68.16 % M 33 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:37 22
45 Jim JONES 22:46 VM45-49 64.28 % M 42 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:16 15
67 Janet ROBERTSON 24:16 VW45-49 67.45 % F 7 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:36 18
87 Lesley FEAKES 25:25 VW45-49 65.18 % F 12 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:24:15 25
106 David WIGGINS 26:16 VM55-59 58.50 % M 90 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:26:08 6
117 Claire MORTON 27:05 VW55-59 65.97 % F 21 Helsby RC New PB! 12
206 Ivor JOHNSTONE 33:03 VM45-49 43.57 % M 146 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:28:04 13

Full results for the Delamere Park run as below

Also on Saturday was the Warrington Park Run 5k number 32 which saw Tom DeJong inside the top ten for 6th overall in 19.23 and first Helsby man home followed by Joanne Lacking who was first Helsby lady and a brilliant 2nd lady overall for 29th in 22.05 followed by 4th lady overall Helen Owens in 37th in 23.29

6 Tom DE JONG 19:23 SM20-24 67.24 % M 6 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:19:08 10
29 Joanne LACKING 22:05 SW30-34 67.47 % F 2 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:21:48 8
37 Helen OWENS 23:29 VW35-39 64.73 % F 4 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:23:20 10

Full results for Warrington Park run as below

Saturday was the Maesgwm Muddle a new race for Snowdonia and not one for the faint hearted weighing in at 8.7miles with 2789ft climb. A good description of the route is included in Phil Gillard’s great race report below

“Shall we have starter and pudding?

One of my favourite training runs in Snowdonia starts in Llanberis, goes south down the Snowdon valley with a climb up to Foel Goch, along the ridge to Foel Gron and onto Moel Ellio, from there it is a grassy descent back down to Llanberis. It is homely run which leaves you very satisfied afterwards, much like steak and ale pie, chips and peas in your favourite pub.

I was delighted to learn that Mike Blake had created a new race called the Maesgwm Muddle which used this route as its core, I was even more delighted to learn that it had been chosen as one of the rounds of the British Fell Championship. So on Friday, Helen and I set off to camp in Llanberis with the anticipation of a nice walk on the Friday, do the race on the Saturday and a few beers to celebrate on the Saturday evening. What a great way to spend a weekend, enhanced by the site of Jimmy and Sharon who also ran

The start and finish of the race was right next to our campsite, so a quality field runners set off in full view of Helen, sat in her camp chair, drinking a Costa.

So, back to that steak and ale pie; steak and ale pie is a great main course and is a good wholesome meal in its own right, our starter prior to the main course was a hands and knees climb up Moel Cynghorion (much like climbing the stairs when you were two years old) followed by a steep descent back into the Snowdon valley. This ascent / descent was in the third mile of the race which I recorded as a 29 minute mile!

Ok the starter was a bit filling but I am sure I will enjoy the pie and chips and I did; a mile or so up a gradual track followed by a few hundred meters of climb up to the Foel Goch and then the ridge which was fantastic despite the swirling mist. The grassy descent was equally as good.

You know that feeling when you feel full but everybody else orders a pudding and you feel obliged to join in, well it was a bit like that the pudding was a steady, muddy climb through some beautifully coloured heater and then retrace your steps back to onto my normal route back to Llanberis.

A real tough race in some fantastic company and by the way we ate out that night and I did have starter, main and pudding”

40th         Jim O’Hara                          1.44.02
137th      Phil Gillard                           2.14.16

Full results are available on the Welsh Fell Runners website

And photos here

And here

Sunday 31st August was the Crowdon Horseshoe. This is a race of 8 miles and 1699ft ascent. Race report by Jim Jones

“I did the Crowden Horsehoe today. It was a great route but a tough 8 mile course. The sheer drops along some of the paths are not for the faint hearted! There were also some really rocky paths with several streams to negotiate on the way out, and an uneven rocky descent on the way back. The peat bogs across the top were a challenge in themselves with no way of knowing if they would be ankle or waist high until you went through them. The weather was good today but it’s a course where you could easily go astray (as has apparently happened with some runners on previous years) if the weather closes in. It was good to see the hosts doing random kit checks. This is a popular race and the big turn out today caused quite a bottleneck at the first style, so anyone wanting to get ahead will have needed to fly off the start.”

Route below:

Not seen the results yet but I think they’ll appear here:

As hopefully many of you are aware it was the Anglesey Ring of Fire this weekend, amounting to about 33 Park Runs over three days! Among the many were four intrepid Helsby adventurers. We have no results as yet but photos are courtesy of Jackie have now been uploaded to our flickr account as below

I’ve also had some information from Jackie as attached

To be going on with, From their Facebook page:-

And the Ring O’ Fire 2014 winner is John Knapp #71 in a time of 23:25

Second is Val Swinger #128 in a time of 23:44

Third is Dion Leonard #43 in a time of 24:56

135 signed up. 106 started. 56 finished. The stats tell a story. It’s a tough but beautiful race. Well done to everyone who tried and a huge congratulations to those hardy 56 who finished. Thanks to everyone who made it so special. A massive thanks to our army of marshals who sacrifice a lot to support us. So long as the demand is there Bing, Q, Rich and team will keep the fire burning. Hope to see you back in 2015. We’ll be launching next year’s event in the next few weeks. Results will also be uploaded in next day or two. Sleep first!

Good luck to everyone running in the September Multi-Terrain series this month, a fabulous set of races to be part of!

Keep on running