Jackie Keasley’s Dyffrn Conwy Mountain Triathlon 2013

Sunday 8th was the Dyffrn Conwy Mountain Triathlon – a brilliant race organised by a very enthusiastic team of dedicated kayakers, runners & mountain bikers.

http://www.map17events.org.uk/ The organiser, Ellie Salisbury who is part of Fabian and processes our Four Villages entries, encouraged me to take part despite me not having been in a kayak for 20 years. Ellie put me in touch with Chester & Conwy Canoe clubs and over the last month I have been encouraged all along the way by the most friendly club members who have taught me the basics over 6 sessions on the Dee (thanks to Jean & John et al), River Conwy (thanks to Penny & James et al) and Manley Mere (thanks to Dave Feakes for the loan of his 2.3m pyranha).

On Saturday tea time, Bill & I met up with Penny from Conwy Canoe club who had kindly arranged for us to pick up a 5.2m Kirton Tempest kayak. It didn’t fit in the camper van so 3 other competitors, who were also there picking up their kayaks, helped us attach it safely to the high roof of our camper van. We overnighted at the race base, Trefriw Rugby Club. Following a team brief at 9:30 there was a mad dash to the RSPB reserve at Conwy. After launching the kayaks we lined up on the start line at the bridge embankment with the iconic Conwy Castle looking down on us.

Weather was mixed with sunshine and showers with a southerly wind. The start was 1 hour before high tide. A 13K open water estuary paddle followed. I could not believe the different conditions met en-route; choppy wind blown waves, made worse by a passing motor boat, whirl pools, faster flowing currents, interspersed by tranquil patches. The notes said follow the scum for the best current! This was a good tactic but in that scum was a lot of debris including seaweed and floating logs, which caused a wobble when the paddle caught. All this was a bit nervy for me who was paranoid about capsizing – I have not got the greatest affinity for water ! Under the Tal y Cafn bridge for a photo shot and onto the finish at Dolgarrog. The river was quite narrow and it was the most amazing feeling paddling, alone by this time, but not quite at the rear. The silence was amazing, alongside the most gigantic reed beds (SSSI) wafting in the breeze. A muddy reception team dragged me up the slippery bank and took care of the kayak.

A quick stretch, then off on a 13K fell run. There was an early steep climb up to the Llyn Cowlyd Reservoir following the hydro pipeline (yes it’s got to be steep). Lots of encouraging marshals along the way, and the provision of drinks & jelly babies at the dam before a further climb to 500m (in heavy rain). Despite the rain and drinks I could not get rid of the dry salty taste from the kayaking. Bog and slippery paths down through bracken and bramble in parts followed. Yes summer is over and the ground is now back to normal after the dry spell! Finally crossed the Crafnant road for the final steep drop down to the Rugby Club.

A quick changeover, more jelly babies & a banana, and a thankful sit down on the bike. Then up the steep tarmac road to the Marin Trail Carpark for an 18K ride, dodging on and off the Marin Trail. A figure of 8 route around Lynn y Park. A mixture of forest tracks and narrow single track, current forestry operations making some of the wide tracks very muddy and hard work especially as by now it was pouring down. Managed to ride more of the Marin than I imagined, and have now got over my phobia of riding through deep puddles you can’t see the bottom of. An enforced rest to release a jammed chain, before a final series of slippery slate drops defeated me and I ran with the bike instead. A muddy track with fords and finally down to a waiting crowd at the muddy finish. A fabulous quick hot shower at the Rugby Club made me look more respectable; rugby showers are obviously designed for mud ! Into the bar, just in time for the presentation, a delicious veggie curry and cuppa + pint of shandy.

All in all a brilliant experience in an amazing location, just 1 hour from here. A very well organised complex event with a incredible number of marshals and helpers on the day + it must have taken many hours to plan. So a big thankyou to the Ellie and the organisers, marshalls & helpers at Map17 events + a very big thankyou to all those friendly paddlers at Chester & Conwy for all the encouragement and help along the way this last month.


Mens solo winner 3:28 Adam Norfolk London Fire Brigade Tri

Ladies solo winner 4:47 Caroline Dallimore Mynyddwyr De Cymru

Team winner 3:14 Team C T & C * There was also a team event with individuals competing each leg, to include one lady per team

My time 5:37 Kayak 1:34 Run 1:55 Bike 2:07

Only 4 solo ladies and 3 of those were V50+ !!!



bike kayak_finish run_start_2 start_1 start_2 start_3 tempest_1 tempest_2_in_the_middle tempest_3 tempest_4

Cheers and thanks again


P.S. Hope to be back next year with a bit more training and experience !

Helsby weekly round-up 3rd – 8th September 2013

Hi all

Tuesday night saw the first Multi-terrain of September at Royden Park. This race is similar in ways to Helsby, with wooded sandstone trails and some nice views over the Dee Estuary and North wales. There were less Helsby runners out than previous years, but undoubtedly that was something to do with the brilliant Robbie Webster race on the subsequent night. Results for males and females are taken separately. It is also a team event

This is the route


18th      Adair Broughton          30.09 (2nd in age cat)
      Colin Thompson          30.29
      Geoff Shaw                37.13
   Stephen Wiggins         39.53

22nd     Vanessa Griffiths        37.58
     Louise McEvely          43.36
      Alison Meakin             44.11
th      Janet Shaw                 46.16 (1st
in age cat)
th      Betty Grieve                46.20

This made Helsby men’s team 19th on the night and Helsby ladies A team 12th and B team 27th. Hopefully we can improve on that in the subsequent races!

For full results and information on the remaining races please visit www.stevesaunders.co.uk

Wednesday night was our final Inter-club fell counter and the highly anticipated Robbie Webster Wobbler. With some brilliant planning and organisation from Chris Baynham-Hughes and his team of helpers (proper thanks will be in the full race report!) the night was definitely a success.

We’ll add a separate blog report of the race but one thing we should make known is that after some fantastic support from club members in this series Helsby managed to win the much coveted and highly prized Inter-Club trophy. This definitely highlights the current strength in depth at Helsby and something I’m sure that would have made Robbie Webster very proud.

For a quick look at results and team points and summary please visit Spectrums website here


Friday night was the final race in the Multi-terrain series at Deeside. Brilliant running from Colin Bishop saw him claim 1st in his age category over the four runs and 7th on the night. Looked like we were going to get very wet but the skies actually lightened a little and the race was in near perfect conditions. Thanks to Jane for support on the night.

7th        Colin Bishop                27.32
        Adair Broughton          27.48  

Please see here for full results


Saturday was Delamere Park run with 5 Helsby green

41 Janet ROBERTSON 22:57 VW45-49 70.59 % F 4 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:36 5  
43 Carol SHAW 23:15 VW50-54 72.97 % F 5 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:22:22 13  
51 Louise MCEVELEY 24:11 VW45-49 66.99 % F 9 Helsby RC New PB! 7  
64 Kevin SMALLWOOD 25:15 VM40-44 54.85 % M 54 Helsby RC New PB! 2  
66 Ian HILDITCH 25:34 VM70-74 70.73 % M 56 Helsby RC PB stays at 00:25:32 13

Saturday was also the ‘Across Wales Walk’ with a  race report from Andy Robinson.

“  I ran the Across Wales Walk again on Saturday (my 7th consecutive year).  45 miles from Anchor Bridge near Clun in Shropshire to the seaside at Clarach Bay near Aberystwyth, taking in Plynlymon on the way.  First in was John Parry in 8:27 & I was second in 8:35.  I won’t be running fast on Wednesday night!  The weather wasn’t too bad considering how awful the forecast was, & we got good views from Plynlymon.  Head wind the whole way, but it was a great event.  Results probably won’t be posted for weeks yet..” Well done to Andy on another fabulous long distance achievement.

It was the Spire Healthcare English Half Marathon in Warrington yesterday, some good results once again for team Helsby on a hilly and windy course! Please find the results below and a link to the full results also.

(Some superb times there and well done to all who ran. This was also a club road counter.)

13th                 Colin Thompson                      80.15
27th                 Chris Fitzpatrick                      83.29
111th               Roy Gaskill                             90.56
140th               Gareth Boyd                           92.18
186th               Tom DeJong                           95.40 
282nd              Dave Feakes                          99.49
323rd               Adrian Jackson                       1.41.56
347th                Stephen Wiggins                     1.41.48
423rd               Laura Baynam Hughes           1.44.51
472nd              Lesley Feakes                         1.47.03
517th               Jason Ollier                             1.48.23
1025th             Emily Smith                            2.03.50


Sunday was also the Dyffrn Conwy Mountain Triathlon – a brilliant race organised by a very enthusiastic team of dedicated kayakers, runners & mountain bikers, which Jackie Keasley had entered. I’ve received a fantastic race report from Jackie so will add this to the blog as a separate article with photos so be sure you take a look at the blog!

Event details here http://www.map17events.org.uk/

As you can see a busy week was had by all at Helsby so make sure you come back to the Helsby blog to read more about the Robbie Webster Wobbler and Jackie’s Kayaking Triathlon.

Keep on running