Essar four villages half marathon on Facebook

facebook2The four villages half marathon now has its own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/FourVillagesHalfMarathon/

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Four villages half marathon

Four villages half marathon — now full

Online entry to the race is now closed as we’ve reached our license limit. A small number of cancellations will be available in late December, date to be announced. Transfers are still possible and arranged by the donating runner themselves.

The hospice half — 20,000 quid!

haltonhavenFor the first time in our 32 year history we had to cancel our January Half Marathon because of treacherous snow and ice conditions. Many of our suppliers were incredibly generous in waiving their fees with just 24 hours notice of the cancellation, for which we thank them. Just as significant though were the individual small acts of kindness of our runners who chose to donate their refunds to charity.

Particular mention to our headline sponsor Essar, for their continued support for the race that never was — great to rely on them in these changing times.

With some swift programming from fabian4 we were able to offer automated refunds for participants (after costs for things like traffic closures, race numbers, chips, etc) …but we also gave our runners the option to donate their entry fees, which they did overwhelmingly by two to one!

What all this adds up to is that we were able to make our usual contributions to the community groups that normally help us out on the day and make two very significant donations to our bigger causes — the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Backford, Chester and Halton Haven, Runcorn — both providing incredible support to people with some serious health problems. Many of us in the club have been touched by the services they offer whether directly to loved ones or further afield to friends, neighbours, etc.

The two major donations of just over £10,100 each should make things easier for the two hospice organisations for a short time at least. Both hospices rely on donations to keep the doors open and it is a continuing challenge just to keep running, so were very pleased to be able to do our little bit. Rather than just post a cheque we decided to get a run in anyway and deliver the two cheques by hand…

hospiceSo it was that we met in Backford early on Sunday morning, 2 June. The cheque handed over and a lovely reception from the staff there and we set off into the sunshine, stopping off at the club some 8 miles later to pick up a couple more recruits and refresh with juice and jelly babies. We continued on familiar ground through Frodsham and out the other side towards Runcorn, with just a final miserable hill at 13 miles between ourselves and our final destination at Halton Haven …they all seem big after 2 hours running! Thanks to the 20 or so club stalwarts for turning out on Sunday morning for the Hospice Half, and for our drivers, photographers and juice providers. 14.6 miles all in, so a Long Half really!

Many thanks again to our suppliers, our race entrants and our supporters for making it possible and for the two hospices for looking after us so well. If you’re looking to do a bit of fundraising yourself we can’t think of a finer cause.

Lots more pictures from the day at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2frzox4gzhq52bn/YdqZfF5FT_?n=156331975

Sandstone trail challenge

Sandstone trail challenge 2013Wow, what a day! Just a quick note to say thanks all for everyone that walked, ran, volunteered, photographed, cheered, baked and turned out. Andy Robinson and his team did a fantastic job and I’m sure you’d all join me in congratulating him on another superb event.

Loads of pictures from the day on http://www.flickr.com/photos/runhelsby

Go here for the results

Andy Robinson’s race report

Thanks to Ben for the picture

Leave a comment and let us know how your day went!

Moel y Gamelin

I think most who turned up here had done it before, which is curious really because you’d think knowing what was coming up would be a severe disincentive to coming back. Always a tough race with around 2400′ of climbing spread across 5 or more tops and 9.5 miles. The Llantysilio ridge is a real roller-coaster, no sooner is one climb over than you’re straight into a steep descent, and some of us at least found it hard to get into a rhythm.

The day was blessed with very warm weather, as it has been for the last few years, making the added water stops at the two road crossings very welcome. Helsby presences from Adair, Chris BH, Jim, Steve, Phil, Andy S & Jackie, with the usual high quality marshalling and vocal support from Joe. Good to see Robbie out as well doing his own thing earlier in the day, missing the worst of the heat.

13 1.25.58 Adair Broughton
21 1.32.00 Chris Baynham-Hughes
39 1.39.24 Jim O’Hara
56 1.46.00 Steve Riley
81 1.58.06 Phil Gillard
87 2.04.22 Andy Smith
91 2.11.07 Jackie Keasley

Full results over at wfra.co.uk

Put it in your diary for next year. And if I haven’t sold it you, put the date in anyway for a long weekend away elsewhere, for the guaranteed weather.

Sandstone trail 2011 — Deeside version

As if the excitement of last month’s Challenge event wasn’t enough, Geoff Shaw lets us know that entries for the splendidly enjoyable Deeside Orienteering version of this event open shortly…

Sandstone Trail races on 2nd October 2011 open on 1st July 2011. Details of the 17 mile A race from Duckington to Delamere and the 10.6 mile Beeston to Delamere can be found on the Deeside Orienteering website.

Sandstone trail challenge – marshall’s pre-run

Chris Baynham-Hughes writes:

Date: Wednesday 4th May.

For some of us the decision to run the trail goes back further than this, but for Ed the decision was made on the 4th. The evening started so innocently with Ed driving us to the Dinas Bran fell race, but during a discussion about the impending end to end trail attempt resulted in a slip of the tongue from Ed stating that he’d like to do it one day. Well, no time like the present, so by the time we got to the race we were telling everybody else that he was running it with us. By the time we were driving home the post race buzz has left Ed agreeing to run it with us. Result!

Date: Saturday 14th May.

Not content with the planned 33/34 mile run from Whitchurch to Frodsham, I decided that a run to the meeting point was in order… ok, I was late to the rendezvous, but good spirits were maintained. Ed, Steve Riley and myself were all set and Adair had a car packed with our food, his magazines, music and a tub of Vaseline – the mind boggles!

We picked up Andy Robinson and headed out to the start, checking a few final elements in advance of the challenge event on Saturday. The toilets were indeed open and the route to the start simple to follow so all was set. A brief photo call for the intrepid four followed by a minor delay to find satellite signal for my watch and we were off.

The weather was reasonable good for running, no sun to speak off, but it was easily warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt (although Ed did provide us with a strip tease along the way and a number of outfit combinations), rain threatened, but never really got in the way, but the wind did provide a degree of challenge in places.

The opening three miles are thoroughly pleasant and easy to navigate (although I managed to go wrong within 300 yards of the start), but it is deceptive as it is easy to get drawn into going out too quickly down the tow paths… which I did banging out sub 7 minute miles not really in the plan, but they felt slow. Even at this early stage any thoughts of running together have gone out of the window and our competitive edges have come out.

Within a few hundred metres of leaving the path I made my first “inefficient route choice”, back on track I cracked on to the first check point. Adair had agreed to crew for us so with five check points to man he had his work cut out – often supporting can be more difficult than running it; but we’ll get into that later.

Shoe issues fixed and muffin on board I made my next interesting navigational choice and which trying to correct it I spotted Ed behind me. Back on track I waited for Ed to run together and Andy appeared with Steve not far behind so we’d bunched well. I pushed on only to take my most impressive inefficient route choice just past Michael Owen’s race course, but Ed did too so a quick check of the map and a few minutes lost we cracked on.

Adair met us with our food and water and I made the mistake of downing a full sports drink which was to play on my stomach for a good few miles. I managed to leave as Andy came in and cracked on for what turned out to be a bit of a long haul!

It turned out I wasn’t the only one to experience navigational difficulties. I’d built up a head of steam and came into Beeston expecting to see Adair. Nothing. I figured he must be a bit further on due to the parking charges at Beeston, but every possible point I found there was no sight of him. I was really struggling with stomach cramps and didn’t fancy taking anything else on. By the hill just before rock farm I was starting to bonk and seemingly out of nowhere Ed and Andy appeared behind me. Even the stunning view over the Cheshire plains didn’t help as I pushed on.

It was not long before experience trumped youth and Andy took the lead. For those that know the trail it was on the climb over the sandstone which you wonder whether to run it or not. I was walking! A ridiculously apologetic Adair greeted us at Gresty’s waste. I was just behind Andy, but he was off quickly whereas I spent just over 8 minutes refuelling during which time Ed came in. Throughout the entire 8 minutes Adair made excuses for not being at check point 3 or 4… he laid it on so thick and we were so exhausted that we even started to feel sorry for him!

For me, the highlight of the run came just as I was about to leave Delemere forest near Manley common. A lone figure appeared with a dog which as I got closer turned out to be Mario, “you’re going well lad, do you want some water? I’ve got a Milky way in my bag if you want it!” A superb boost just as I was really starting to feel human again. He also informed me that Andy had put almost 8 minutes on me since Gresty’s which put him out of sight. I now had a new goal; maintaining sub 10 minute miles to beat my previous best of 5:29:30. I had my work cut out.

I pushed hard, played all the mind games with myself that I could. The Baker’s dozen was cruel and I didn’t have the time to enjoy the fantastically clear views from the war memorial. A hard final push lead me to arrive at the finish in 5:26:42 just over two minutes behind Andy who made it in 5:24:31. Both my arms were tingling as if I they were about to go into pins and needles. Andy came to the rescue with some magic Kendal mint cake which had me right within a couple of minutes. It seemed refusing the kind offer of a milky way would have been a mistake if it had been any further!

A well deserved pint was ordered for the pair of us whilst we waited for Ed and Steve to arrive. Ed came in next with a superb time of 5:42:55 and Helsby uber supporter Joe arrived just in time to cheer Steve in with an excellent 6:06:50 much to the extreme delight and hero worship of his wife and daughters. A truly fitting end to an excellent morning run!

Final border league race wed 27th april – wrexham ind estate 7pm

Hi all

Wednesday 27th April sees the final Border League Race of the 2010/2011 season.

This is a shorter and flatter course than the other Border League races at just over 6km

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/32594708

Please note the assumed start time is 7.00pm so for those wishing to car share I’d suggest meeting at the club at 6pm

Further (although not much) information can be found on the Border League website here

http://www.bordersleague.org.uk/

POSTCODE for directions is given as LL13 9RG but parking, start and finish is where the Half Marathon, or Helena Tipping 10ks go from, at the Clubhouse. There will be drinks and prizegiving available after the race for those that wish to stay.

Directions to the Clubhouse/Parking are here:

http://randombunny.net/clubhouse/info.html

Will be great to see as many of you as can make it

Regards

Adair

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