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/


Hot foot up famau fell counter 3 results 20th June 2012

This week’s midweek sports special was at Moel Famau in the gorgeous Clwydians which was for our 3rd Fell Series Counter, the hotly anticipated Hotfoot up Famau.

Splendid turnout for Helsby, from the 96 runners in total, 16 wore the Green vest, although some Helsby runners were camouflaged in mud by the end of the race and were barely recognisable.

Tough race for such a short distance, with some steep descents through thistles (if you didn’t choose your line very well) and an early climb up Moel Y Gaer, contouring sheep trods and paths, steep descent to the valley floor, jumping over streams, running through ferns and then notorious stone gulley ascent, it’s enough to gurn even the most botoxed of faces. Hopefully there will be some photos from Mick Charman loitering with intent in the Gully (Cheers Mick!) and from Pete Douglas who was taking shots at the start and finish of the race. His photos should be available shortly here (although not at the time of writing ) http://www.prdouglas.co.uk/

Colin’s first foray onto the hills and he looked like he enjoyed the night, as did Helen Owens for a fantastic run for her first undulating outing. Will she talk to Paul again after this? With lots of individual battles going on it was definitely not a foregone conclusion for any position. Chris Baynham-Hughes has lost little speed even with his many ultra’s to keep the pressure on the men’s championship and we are all aware of Jimmy’s great potential so anything can still happen there.

Jayne Joy enjoying a steady run out in preparation for Friday’s Tough Team still managed her now traditional podium finish with 3rd lady overall and didn’t even choose any of the alcohol on offer, opting for kit instead. Tom de Jong did though, swooping on the four cans of premium lager taking the Under18 prize. Andy Smith took home a nice shiny bell for his bike whereas Andy Robinson had some perfumed soaps. The real Robbie Webster won his category prize with another stunning performance.

Joe was marshalling at the top of the gulley offering support as well as sending us the right way.

Helsby positions and times below but full results on attached spreadsheet. They should appear on the Welsh Fell Runners website soon along with a brief race report from organiser Martin so take a look here when possible http://www.wfra.org.uk


Adair Broughton



Chris BH



Jim O’Hara



Ian Landucci



Steve Riley



Jayne Joy



Andy Robinson



Paul Porter



Colin Thompson



David Feakes



Phil Gillard



Adrian Jackson



Tom de Jong



Helen Owens



Andy Smith



Robbie Webster


Please note our next fell counter is already upon us, Sunday’s longer Moel-y-Gamelin 11.00am

Details on the WFRA or look for race details on organisors website here http://www.wrexhamroadrunners.org.uk/

The race registration will be open from ten(ish) and is at the Ponderosa Café’ on the Horseshoe pass near Llangollen. Postcode for the café’ is LL20 8DR. Please note you will need kit for this race (camelbak or bumbag with waterproofs, whistle, compass as a minimum). This race is fairly tough at 9.5 miles and with 2380’ ascent in total.

As always, any questions just ask and most importantly enjoy your running



Green green grass of home fell counter results 27th july 2011

Hi all

‘The Green Green Grass of Home’, sounds like a pleasant evening run over the gentle rolling fields of Wales stated new fell runner Jayne before having a go at this popular midweek Moel Famau escapade.

Full commendation also goes to new Helsby member Adrian who only popped to the club to see if there was a vest for him and ended up being driven to his first fell race. Some people do jump right in! And what a night he had too heading home with a bottle of wine.

And how about this comment from Ed recently on our blog ‘There’s nothing more spiritually fulfilling than tanking it downhill only to have to turn around and trudge back up to the path you should have been on’.

So it wasn’t all plain sailing, there’s not much give in the course, running uphill, undulating paths, little time to enjoy the views, lots of ferns, tussocky undergrowth…..and some good downhills! But the one thing that was not lacking on the night were the smiles. Check this one out, looks like someone isn’t working hard enough! Good spot by Phil


Alistair took some great photos on the night, Joe mentioned the hazy golden sunset over Snowdonia as he marshalled and supported just below the summit of Moel Famau. After finishing the race, heartbeat slowing down, the warm evening air cooling down, you can really soak up the atmosphere of this location.


As well as Alistairs site, Pete Douglas was out taking photos and video also which should appear here shortly


However, star of the show and the night and now dominating the welsh fell runners website is Andy Smith wearing the Number 50 proudly signifying that he is now 18 years old with 32 years of experience. Race organiser had also brought along with him a cake for Andy and organised a fell running sing-a-long outside the Golden Lion. Great summary by Martin the race organiser on that site here. Full results will appear in time also.


Stunning performances on the night by all Helsby runners, which bodes well for our possible Helsby v Tattenhall v Spectrum Fell Challenge next year if it comes off. Jane was 5th lady overall and Jackie and Janet were age category winners, superb. (But Jane always appears to pick alcohol as her prize?) …. then again I guess the skateboarding gnome had already been taken. Albert showed his perpetual talent, an engine more powerful than his motorbikes that can push him to win on any terrain.

But there was some sad news, Paul Porter didn’t win a spot prize! However, looks like his luck rubbed off on Colin who picks up a technical training top instead.

123 runners in total, 15 of them Helsby, it’s a good number of Green shirts out on the fells this year and great to see. Thanks also to Mario who ran the course with Jayne. Helsby positions and places as below:

14th Adair Broughton 44.51
18th Jim O’Hara 46.21
38th Jane Ashbrook 54.19
44th Paul Porter 54.56
49th Phil Gillard 55.23
50th Janet Robertson 55.31
60th Edward Halliwell 56.13
73rd Jayne Joy 57.39
79th Albert Berry 58.49
85th Andy Smith 59.42
87th Colin Scarisbrook 60.52
89th Rachel Arnold 61.09
93rd Adrian Jackson 61.43
99th Jackie Keasley 64.03
119th Robbie Webster 74.01

It’s the Gyrn Gallop on Saturday but the Wednesday following the Pie and Peas will see the Ponderosa, another popular event for Helsby hitting the fells, so details to follow on that one



Cilcain mountain race

Must be 6 or 7 years since I last competed on the hills so pleased to finish first V70 at Cilcain in a time of 48.29, 117th out of 179.

Other Helsby results:

Daniel Chan 8th in 36.09
Jane Ashbrook 73rd in 43.42

Full results here, picture from www.cilcainshow.org.uk

Roy Tunstall

Comedy evening on the fells

Green green grass of homeLast week’s Green Grass of Home race provided a hugely entertaining finish for bewildered border runners. A popular mid-week race, the Green Grass keeps everyone on their toes (with consequent aching calves) by changing the route every year. This year was a tough one.

Hardened fell runners and experienced mountain folk that we are meant that few had bothered to memorise the map beforehand, preferring the normally reliable strategy of “it’ll all work out somehow”, with a small side order of “there’s always someone to follow”, for those of us accustomed to the more sedate end of the field. Thus we set off.

There was some climbing, some more climbing, a bit of traversing (some friendly marshalling from stalwarts Joe and Mario), a bit of descending, a bit of godawful flogging through featureless gorse, bracken and tussocky grass. Even the sheep had more sense than to provide us with a trod to follow here.

The blessed relief of the end of this section saw more open ground and wishful thinking led to many runners seeing what they wanted to see and following a path leading gently over the brow and hence down to the finish. Those of a more pessimistic nature glanced up the steep and unpleasant hillside to see the telltale sign of a flash of marker tape. We accepted our fate and turned up the climb.

We climbed and climbed some more. Eventually there was a narrow singletrack path leading almost levelly up and across the hill. Away from the finish. We were almost too tired to run on level ground here. Eventually we found Joe. Again. Nice that someone from the club was enjoying himself. More climbing. More pathless featureless difficult ground. Then a descent. A steep one at that, lots of ankle snaffling vegetation to worry about, or not, depending on your descending prowess. Eventually we popped out on the stony track we’d left some 45 minutes earlier on the ascent and a fast drop to the finish. Where we found the slack group looking remarkably fresh having been back for some time. The realisation began to hit as it became clear what had happened. Most people were remarkably relaxed about the confusion, I only heard a couple of cross voices. Everyone had a nice run after all. Just some people chose to cut the race a bit shorter.

Martin took the sage decision to swiftly reclassify the race into ‘short’ and ‘long’ versions, generously giving two sets of his always-amusing prizes.

The moral of the story is to never, never underestimate the hills. They can be cruel and unforgiving. Always be prepared for the worst and follow someone who know where they are going.

Helsby long (5m/1800′):
16 Steve Riley 53.01
29 Phil Gillard 59.15
30 Alec Robertson 59.27

Helsby short (4m/1400′):
9 Adair Broughton 37.04
15 Jim O’Hara 39.56

Nice try lads 🙂

Results and pics on the wfra site.
Thanks to Al Tye for the pic of Phil and Alec above and for Martin Cortvriend for taking it all on the chin.

Hotfoot up Moel Famau

Last Wednesday saw another outing on this friendly mid-week race, the first of the ‘Clwydian Summer Trots’ series. It goes a little something like this: up, down, up, down, uu-up, doWN. That big up is the horrendous stone gully leading almost to the top of Famau. Really we’ve run up there sufficient times to know better by now. It’s not a fit place to walk, let alone attempt to race. Nevertheless several Helsby vests were out for this great little race.

Some characteristically bonkers prizes from organiser Martin – a water pistol, chocolate, watering can and sleeping mat, amongst the usual beer and wine.

Helsby positions:

8 Adair Broughton Helsby 40.17

17 Jim O’Hara Helsby 43.38

23 Steve Riley Helsby 45.37

29 Jane Ashbrook Helsby 47.13

50 Chris Hatton Helsby 53.05

62 Robbie Webster Helsby 61.11

Jane came away with 2nd female prize and Jim took a spot prize for ‘most creative final descent’. Well done both! Full results from WFRA. and pics from www.prdouglas.co.uk