The course


Race details

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Essar four villages half marathon

Essar logo      Running Bear      Asics

Thanks also to supporting friends and sponsors Mick Hall Photos, Northern Running Guide.


33rd four villages half marathon – Sunday 17 January 2016


A scenic road race through rural countryside, passing through the Cheshire villages of Dunham on the Hill, Mouldsworth, Manley, Alvanley and Helsby. Accurately measured (certificate number 11/071, measured 2 January 2012), with 170m of climbing.  


Male 1:04:36 (Carl Warren), Female 1:13:08 (Marian Sutton) both records 2002. These records are carried over from the similar course used until 2011 (minor difference in the way that Dunham on the Hill is approached from the A56).  


Helsby Running Club under UKA rules.


Essar Oil Uk, Asics, Running Bear.  


Half Marathon under UK Athletic rules, starting and finishing in Helsby, Cheshire. Minimum age 17 on race day. Runners under 18 need parental permission. UKA licence: 2016-22528. Race limit 2250.


Helsby Community Sports Centre, very short walk to the start line. Start time 10:30am (slightly earlier than our traditional 11am start). Finishes at Hornsmill Primary School (300m walk back to start).

Transport & parking

Limited free parking at Helsby Sports & Social Club for those who arrive early, WA6 0DL. Main parking at Helsby High School, WA6 0HY. Free shuttle bus to transport runners the 1.7 miles to the Helsby Community Sports Centre. Please use the official race parking in preference to using other areas of Helsby. Your co-operation is much appreciated, minimising car use and good control of parking is one of the conditions of the extra places we've negotiated, please don't jeopardise this. The race leaflet will have final parking arrangements, so please read it before race day!

This year we are keen to promote car sharing and reduce our carbon footprint. We'll supply details to help you find or offer a lift nearer the time. Car sharers will get priority parking.


All competitors will be sent a race information leaflet, race number with timing chip. These will be posted together early in the new year. The timing chip will record individual start and finish times. The leaflet will also be available on the website nearer the time.


Special cased commemorative medal to all finishers.


No runner will be awarded more than one individual prize. Trophies and prizes will be presented to the following:

  • Men — 1st 10 finishers, 1st 3 Vet 40, V45 finishers, 1st 2 V50, V55 finishers, 1st V60, V65, V70 finishers, 1st junior, 1st local — Mike Frane Trophy
  • Women — 1st 5 finishers, 1st 3 Vet 35 finishers, 1st 2 V40, V45, V50, V55 finishers, 1st V60, V65 finisher, 1st junior, 1st local
  • First Men's Team — 4 to count (club vests must be worn)
  • First Women's Team — 3 to count (club vests must be worn)
  • £500 to winner, men's & women's
  • £125 to winner, men's & women's veterans category
  • £250 each for new men's and women's course records.

All prizes are awarded at the organisers' discretion, whose decision is final.  

Entry fees

UKA club member:  £20.00        Non UKA club member:  £22.00
We believe the race is good value compared to similar events. One of our aims has always been to raise money for local charities and good causes and this remains the case. 



There is no return of entry fees on cancellation — this is a race in January and carries a risk of poor weather. If you are genuinely worried about the risk of cancellation, consider an alternative later in the year. We'd be delighted to have you and our position in the calendar is one the reasons people come to us. The date was overwhelmingly supported in a vote earlier this year.

We will do our very best to avoid cancelling the event and this year for the first time we run on closed roads.


Running tops

Helsby Half running tops are available. These are quality, technical Ts and a great souvenir of the race. T-shirts should be ordered from Fabian at the same time as making your entry. There may be some available on the day from the club tent, but you should order in advance to be sure of getting your choice of size.


Minimum age 17 years on race day. By entering you agree to abide by all relevant UKA rules. Please note runners not past the 10 mile marker by 1:30 pm will not be given a time and marshals cannot be guaranteed to be on the course.  


Online only, via our race partners Fabian from 1 October. Click here to enter.


We need a valid email address with your entry — we need this to contact you with any changes or late information. We will not pass this on without your permission.

Closing date

1 January or when full. The race normally fills early in around 6 weeks.

Entry confirmation

All entries will appear on the Start List on www.fabian4.co.uk. Your race number will be shown here, and will be confirmed when you receive your race pack.

Final race details

Information packs with race details and running number with timing chip will be posted in early January.  


Results will be available on the RaceAhead website on the day and linked on our own results page. Rapid results are also available by SMS text — make sure you give us your mobile on the entry form. We will not pass this on without permission.


Contact support@fabian4.co.uk by 22 December to cancel. If you can't make the race please give up your place to someone that can — thanks! Cancellations are subject to an admin fee.


To transfer, use View/Amend Entry at www.fabian4.co.uk before end of 4 January. You'll need access to the email you used to register. Transfers are free.

Waiting list

This year there is a race waiting list for the first time, handled by Fabian. As places become available you will be invited to accept a place depending on your place in the queue.


iPods and other personal music players are not welcome for safety reasons — please enjoy the course without! We may pull you out of the race.


Email runners@helsbyrunningclub.org.uk

But please try and answer your own question — many of the queries we get are routine and answered here. You might get a quicker answer yourself.

Club website


Club blog


Race web link


Facebook group

Four Villages Facebook group  


RunHelsby on twitter #4vhm  


RunHelsby Flickr photo site

Thank you for supporting this great event. Enjoy your run!
Have you thought about joining our club? The little club that does big things! We are booming at the moment and have doubled membership in the last couple of years. We have a thriving beginner's group and welcome runners of all standards, from fitness runner to race whippet. Come on down to any club night and give it a go with no obligation.

Our friends at Northern Running Guide

Certified accurate course
   Run Britain - huge running community 

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