Famau’s five challenge

Steve took the day off work and ran up and down Moel Famau. And then again. And three more times. Famau’s Five, geddit? The idiot. Read the full horror here… https://helsbyrunningclub.wordpress.com/famaus-five-challenge/


Helsby 3 Peaks Challenge

Having been tied up most weekends this summer with a major DIY project my running had to take a bit of a back seat. So with the prospects of the first free weekend for sometime coming up I decided to make the most of the opportunity and get some training in ready for the Sandstone Trail Race.

For some time I had been pondering over the idea of doing the 3 peaks. However I didn’t want to spend 10 hours in a car travelling the length of the country to visit the three highest points in Scotland, England and Wales. I didn’t either want to wait until next April for the slightly more local Yorkshire version.  No my version was far more convenient.

So it was on a fine Sunday morning that I set off to jog the 3 miles up to the top of Eddisbury Hill. My starting point for this challenge was the central stone of the stone circle overlooking Delamere Forest. From here the plan was to run to the trig point on Helsby Hill and then to the Memorial on the top of Frodsham Hill. To complete the course the plan was to then return back to the starting point on Eddisbury Hill.

Given that my longest run over the previous 2 months was only a little over an hour I headed off towards Helsby at a steady pace. Following mainly footpaths but with some roads to keep a fairly direct route I reached the trig point on the top of Helsby Hill in a little over 53 minutes. The second stage of the route was probably the most familiar as a lot of it followed the normal summer time Wednesday club run route until it joined the Sandstone trail which I joined to head up to the Frodsham Hill memorial. This leg the shortest of the three saw me reach the railings at the memorial 32 minutes. Now all that remained was to get back to Eddisbury. Keeping a fairly direct route and sticking mainly to the trails, though some road couldn’t be avoided I returned to my starting point in almost exactly 1 hour.

After a few well earned minutes admiring the views and trying to identify the distant geographic features that are commemorated by metal plaques arranged round the centre stone circle I slowly jogged the last 3 miles home.

My total time for the Helsby 3 peaks route was 2 hours 26 minutes and 9 seconds. The total distance covered was 15.4 miles and I can safely say it made for a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday morning run.

The Challenge

So now that I’ve set a time for the route it seemed a good idea to throw open the “Helsby 3 Peaks Challenge” to everyone else at the club.

The rules of the challenge are pretty straight forward.

To run between the three peaks listed below following a circular route which must start and finish at one of the 3 summits.

  • The central stone of the Eddisbury Hill stone circle
  • The Trig point on Helsby Hill
  • The railings surrounding Frodsham Hill memorial


Sandstone trail challenge — ready for take off!

Well the planning is in its final stages, the water jugs ready and the coach is warming up. 127 runners and walkers are thinking about which t-shirt to wear, whether and where to vaseline, which shoes to use and how many packets of jelly babies they need to buy.

After a lot of hard graft from a few people we’re pretty much ready to relaunch this fondly-remembered event. Several members of Helsby RC have had a bit of a thing for this route, both recently and further back. Indeed we’ve had quite a few completions in respectable times (records here) over the last weeks and months. It’ll be great to get the event back on.

See you on Saturday!

Sandstone trail challenge Sat 21 May – help needed!

We need volunteers to help us on the day of the Sandstone Trail Challenge event that we’re organising in May.

We need around 20 people, the majority to man the checkpoints between Whitchurch and Frodsham, but also we’ll need help in other areas, such as ferrying retired participants back to Frodsham Community Centre, and help at the Community Centre.

The event will be low-key compared to the 4 Villages, but will go on all day. I expect to be at the Community Centre at about 5am and not to get home until 11 at night, but apart from the core team we’ll schedule everyone else who helps for reasonable shifts.

Please let me know if you can help out – we need you to make the event a success.


Andy Robinson

Sandstone trail challenge 2011

We’re relaunching the much loved Sandstone Trail Challenge for 2011. A formidable challenge for runners and walkers alike, this event has a long history of involvement from Helsby RC and we’re relaunching it as an LDWA event for the current year.

Not just for runners! We’re a running club, but this an event for walkers and runners. Indeed half the places will be reserved for walkers, so there’s no danger of them being outnumbered. There’s an interesting round-up from Andy Robinson here.

Find out more on the Helsby website. Any questions, ask at the club  or email andy@crewood.net. See you on May 21! Be warned, it’s likely to sell out, we’re already half full, primarily from word of mouth.

Langdale skyline challenge

Jackie writes: Having read Andy’s Sandstone Trail challenge, I feel the need to put pen to paper to share my recent day out!

For a number of years now I’ve contemplated attempting the Langdale Skyline round. Last month I finally completed it; it was such an excellent day out I feel it is worth sharing and laying down the challenge for anyone else who fancies an excellent high level day out on the Lakeland Fells.

The round was put to me a number of years ago now by 94 year Jack Emery who lives in Chapel Stile. Jack made it up and completed it in his late 70s. Early one clear summer morning he left his house by the back door, climbed up Silver Howe and did the high level traverse of the whole Langdale valley taking in Blea Rigg, Sergeant Man, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag, Pike O Stickle, Rossett Pike, Esk Pike, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags, Pike O Blisco, Side Pike, Lingmoor down to the Chapel Stile and in through the front door to an awaiting beer and sustenance! That’s 30k and 8000′ climbing. Jack tells me he walked in in 9 hours.

A little bit more about Jack first. Born in the early 1900s, he was a mile sprinter in the days of Eric Lidell and Sydney Wooderson. In 1939 he held the English 2 mile and 3 miles records of 9:03:4 and 14:08:0 (see attached); records which are still very impressive today! I’m sure we would have heard the name if it wasn’t for the 2nd World War which put an end to Olympic and Commonweath games in 1940 and 1944, when he was running at his peak. Since then he has had an active live running, walking and climbing; he completed the Annapurna Circuit in his 80th year!

Having done all the mountain training for the 3 Peaks Yacht Race earlier this summer, I knew this was my best chance of completing and enjoying the round. The forecast for last Sunday was fine, warm and sunny (for a change) and we were up in the south lakes anyway. So Sunday saw me slogging up to Silver Howe in sweltering heat even at 9:30 in the morning. It was so hot I wondered whether it was a wise thing to attempt; however once on the ridge there was a slight breeze which made life a little easier and the streams I crossed were flowing with clean water for cooling (buffs are brilliant) and drinking, all essential. I took it easy on the ups (i.e. walked) and jogged the flats and downs. Once on Sergeant Man, its fairly high level and the tops are picked up fairly quickly. Its a long stretch down to Stake Pass and a flog up litle visited Rossett Pike. Down to Angle Tarn and then I took a short cut, going straight up to Ore Gap, from where I went out and back up Esk Pike. Then onto Bowfell where Bill met me with food and drink.

A luxury 10 minute break before the rocky path down to Three Tarns and onto the Crinkles. Avoided the Bad Step (did not fancy it alone when tiring) and then enjoyed a long grassish run down to Red Tarn. Short sharp up to Pike O Blisco. Took another breather helping a couple with a crag fast black labrador all of whom were panicking. Crossed the tarmac (first of the day) at Blea Tarn and on up Side Pike, through Fat Man’s Agony finally onto Lingmoor. Fortunately its a lovely grassy run off (if you take the miners’ track). Finally the drop off to the main valley to meet up with Bill sat waiting in the camp site. He was sitting in the van for shade as it was so hot! Back at 6 pm, so an 8 1/2 hours round. Drank tons of liquid (orange) and then tea before heading home via the Sun Inn in Windermere to celebrate a brilliant dayout!

So if any of you want a good day out in the Lakeland hills, either running, walking, or a mixture, I can throughly recommend this round on a fine sunny, but not too hot, day. If you need more details just ask and let me know so I can keep a list of completers!


Jack Emery’s records, alongside other fascinating detail: 1950-extract.pdf (177k).