Long trail series 2012

Sunday’s Sandstone Trail races marked the end of this year’s Long Trail Series races, so here’s a summary of the year’s events, and the results. I’ll soon be looking at what events to include in next year’s series, so if there are any you would like to run, just let me know. Any off-road timed event between 14 and 35 miles qualifies.

This may have been the best year in the club’s history for off-road endurance running. As far as I’m aware, nobody has ever matched Chris Baynham-Hughes’ achievement in completing the Dragon’s Back race. We also had two completions of the Bob Graham Round in the same year, again something that has never happened before. And once more we were well represented at the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon, with four members competing.

The Long Trail Series itself went well again, with four of the seven events having four or more club members running, and one or two more club members starting to try out some of these longer runs. Here’s a brief event by event summary:

Wuthering Hike, 33 miles, 10 March: Only me on this one, which was a pity as it’s a great event. It’s a bit of a long drive to get there, which may have put some off.

Edale Skyline, 21 miles, 25 March: Four of us ran this Peak fellracing classic, with good weather for the third year running – too warm if anything. The main highlight was Chris Baynham-Hughes’ performance, finishing in 44th place in what is always a top class field.

Sandstone Trail Marshals’ event, 33 miles, 5 May: This didn’t happen as I was ill!

Gritstone Tryal, 15 miles, 29 July: Only Jackie and me for this one, but I think we should try to get more out next year, as it’s a great local event and it needs support. We both had a great run on the Staffordshire gritstone, and the navigation was reasonably straightforward.

Race the Train, 14 miles, 18 August: It wasn’t a normal running of this event as it didn’t rain at all. Five HRC runners competed: none of them beat the train this year, but Jane Ashbrook came closest. Dave Feakes being the only man among them picked up 20 points, with Jane being first HRC lady home yet again.

Open To Offas, 30 miles, 15 September: This was a great LDWA event, crossing the tracks of a number of the short fell races we’ve had in the Clwydian Hills. Most of the participants are walkers but there are some runners too, and the organisers would be happy to have more. We had the first three finishers, with Adair setting a new course record of 5 hours 4 minutes, and Jackie finishing joint first lady.

Sandstone Trail A Race, 17 miles, 30 September: Five of us ran this year, on a day when we were expecting rain, but in the event it stayed dry. The conditions were pretty muddy, but not nearly as bad as it could have been, given the flooding there had been only days before. A great event as always, with Adair leading the club home in 11th place overall.

Overall, Jackie and I competed in five events each, and Adair and Ian Landucci ran two each. One was enough for everyone else! Full results to follow…

Andy Robinson

Helsby weekend round-up 11th-12th august 2012

It was a busy weekend for Helsby runners, a mixed bag of results and races for those out and about.

Jimmy and Phil had great runs in the tough North Wales fell race ‘Gladstone 9’ on Sunday. A much deserved top ten finish for Jimmy showing his continuing improvement on the hills. ‘Baking hot’ for them heading out and I believe a bit windy heading home but the rain did hold off thankfully.

Results and photographs of the day below. Once again we can thank Alistair for being out taking shots.

8th        Jim O’Hara     1.28.49
35th      Phil Gillard       1.52.11

Full results available on the WFRA www.wfra.org.uk


Also on Sunday was the Nike Challenge 10k, a 24 lap track race near Cheshire Oaks. I know of at least one PB from the ever improving and tenacious Tom, hitting 43.04. Not long till Tom heads towards the 40 minute barrier I bet. Colin had a stormer for another sub 40 and 6th place overall and Roy ran well too finishing in front of Tom.

6th        Colin Thompson          39.12
14th      Roy Gaskill                 41.48
15th      Tom De Jong              43.04

What’s great about this result is that Colin, Roy and Tom are newer members of Helsby all getting better each race and I think helps to show training with people does make a difference. Would love to have some feedback about how different racing on a track is for that distance compared to road so please let us know.

For full results see http://my3.raceresult.com/details/index.php?eventid=12323&lang=es

Or to go straight to the pdf document


The ever energetic Jackie has sent a couple of race reports as below. After running a trail half marathon on Sunday she was still zooming round track doing sprint relays on Monday night!

Words from Jackie……..A few races to report… 

Firstly somewhat belated, the Trail counter, The Gritstone Tryal on July 29th was a 13 mileish orienteeringish event around the Staffordshire borders, taking in parts of the Gritstone Trail, The Dane Valley and the tussocky Roaches. A map was given out to study an hour before the start for us to work out the fastest route linking 5 well spread out check points. Most runners went the same way to check point 1, but various routes to checkpoint 2 about 7K away were taken. A number of the faster runners re-traced their footsteps (as I was still slowly approaching checkpoint 1) to go a longer but “faster” way along the river Dane. I took the more direct hilly route and was only overtaken by them close to checkpoint 2!  So speed is not everything in these races!  On towards the Roaches where a short cut I took resulted in a mix of bracken & bramble & cut legs to tell the story. Finally a tussocky pull up to the top of the Roaches. Thanks Andy (Robinson) for telling me beforehand that it was better to stay on the road as long as possible as the tussocky terrain was impossible to make good progress on. A really good race with a difference. Shame only 30 runners in total entered, a good one to support with Helsby runners next year? 

12th      Andy Robinson           2:47:33
27th      Jackie Keasley           3:09:28 

Yesterday, Sunday 12th August, the tides were set right for the Cross Bay Challenge Half Marathon across Morecambe Bay from Flookborough near Grange over Sands to Hest Bank near Morecombe. Note: The only known race in the world to cross a tidal bay! Historically the quickest route from Cumbria to Lancashire at low tide, the bay crossing dates back to the 13th century when monks from the local abbeys served as guides to travellers. Direct it’s only 9 miles so to make it a half the route took us on a tour of the bay, winding and splashing in and out across the sands past Grange towards Silverdale before turning and heading in a huge loop out towards the main channel and finally back to Hest Bank. High winds and a spell of heavy rain in the middle of the bay, which was ankle deep in water anyway, with no land visible on either side was quite exhilarating to say the least! Then followed the crossing of the river Kent channel which was thigh deep and fast flowing involved quite a bit of concentration. At one point Nesta pointed out a boat that separated us from visible land, an eerie experience!  After 8 miles we turned downwind, the sun came out and we were running on dry solid sand so the pace picked up. One of the slowest yet totally flat races you will ever do. Its in Nesta’s 100 races to do before you die book and well worth a try!

365th    Jackie Keasley    2:17             (62ndlady)
378th    Nesta Hawker    2:23              (88th lady)

out of                           561        193  finishers

Runners World Votes Cross Bay Challenge 4th best Trial Race 2011



2012 long trail series

Andy Robinson has been consulting interested runners and has proposed the following dates and events for the 2012 long trail series…

  1. Wuthering Hike (Haworth Hobble), Sat 10 March. 33 miles, 4400 ft of climbing. This is a great race.
  2. Edale Skyline, Sun 25 March. 21 miles, 4500 ft. Testing AL fell race. Fills up quickly, so enter early in the new year.
  3. Sandstone Trail Challenge Marshals’ event, Sat 5 May. 33 miles, 3700 ft.
  4. Gritstone Tryal, Sun 29 July, 15 miles, 2000 ft. This is a navigational event, so map & compass work will be needed. I’ve never done it, but it looks interesting!
  5. Race the Train, Sat 18 August, 14 miles. The only one for which entries are already open.
  6. Open to Offas, date not set yet, but probably Sat 15 September. 30 miles, 7000 ft(?). An LDWA classic in the Clwydian hills.
  7. Sandstone Trail A Race, date not set yet: either Sun 30 September or Sun 14 October. 17 miles, 655m of climbing.
Let us have your thoughts in the Comments box below!

Andy Robinson