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All the latest Helsby news on the blogLatest news

All the latest news and other good stuff is on the blog: Get involved! Join us for a club run every Wednesday, 6:30pm at the Helsby Community Sports Club, or Mondays for a quality session at the High School track (summer) or Castle Park (winter).

Essar four villages half marathon 2015 — 18 January 2015

Four Villages race start

23 March: Everyone will receive an email shortly from our race partners at Fabian, explaining the refund process or how to donate your entry surplus to charity. We surveyed everyone who took part shortly after the race and the clear majority voted to keep the race in its traditional January slot (with the attendant risk of poor weather). Naturally we'll be doing what we can to avoid a repeat of 2015.

Race cancelled, sorry. We were defeated by the weather. Helsby will be in touch soon about what happens next. I know you'll have questions but please be patient, we're on it. A full refund won't be happening. Any refund is likely to be less than last time we were forced to cancel. Almost all of our costs have been incurred, many upfront. Last time we had 24h notice and many suppliers were superbly generous waiving or reducing invoices. We can't expect the same.

The weather that doomed us only came in around 10pm the night before and worse than forecast. We gritted the course during the night and on race morning. It didn't work. To a degree this is the deal you buy into when entering a rural half marathon in January. We're looking at options and looking for views on whether to move the date or keep it as the traditional start to the road season and a reason to stay fit over Xmas.

[Feb 6] Race entrants were invited to vote on keeping the date or moving to later in the year — results were strongly in favour of keeping the January date. Thanks for your input!

Many thanks for your understanding and kind comments. We spoke to numerous people who'd been on the course, all were supportive and most said 'fine for a run, but absolutely not for a race'. Right call from the police. Sorry!

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Sandstone trail 2015

The 2015 results are now up. The lost property is listed in the results too. I've written a short report about the event with a few photos in it. There are more photos on the web, and we'll add the rest soon. There are some blogs and photos up on the Delamere Spartans website too. Steve Roberts' blog - he had a hard time of it and didn't finish, but we hope he'll be back for another go next year. Nick Wishart's blog - Nick finished 5th this year. John Kleiser took some photos and a short video as well. More here.

2014 half marathon

Thanks all for coming! Thanks to all our racers, runners, joggers, supporters and organisers (sorry if you had to wait for your bag at the end!). Thanks for generally sharing a great day with us!

<< 2014 race results >>

Loads of photos of the day up on our flickr site. Don't forget to check Mick Hall's official race photo site too!

You can use these 2014 instructions for general information — there will be some updates for 2015. Entry details.

Download the 2014 race booklet [PDF, 579KB] with updated map for the 2012 minor route change at Dunham-on-the-hill.

Full 2014 parking instructions [PDF, 733KB] with updated map and parking instructions.

Essar four villages half marathon 2013 — the race that wasn't

Halton Haven charity runFor 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.

Read more about the massive £20,000 our runners donated and the 'Hospice Half' where we delivered the cheque >>

Pictures from the course of the aborted 2013 race on our flickr site.

Sandstone trail challenge 2013

Another great success on 11 May 2013  with 187 walker and runners completing the event between 4h51 and 12h3. More on the 2013 Sandstone Trail Challenge event page with links to the results, race report and event pictures.


2012 was another fabulous event. Thank you all for turning out and walking or running the entire Sandstone Challenge. With a great atmosphere out on the trail — and a lovely supportive atmosphere at the finish — we're lucky to have such high quality entrants. You traversed an entire county and travelled the length of a complete OS 1:50,000 sheet!

Last year we had stunning new male and female records from Duncan Harris and Caroline Hall, but of course it's not all about speed, as our happy walkers will attest. We're keen to keep this inclusive for anyone who can complete this challenging distance over the day and we split the entries evenly between runners and walkers. Full results for 2011 and 2012 on the event pages.

Pictures :: Lots of great pictures from the day: (Larkton Hill) (Delamere Forest)
Thanks to all our photographers for sharing.

2012 half marathon...

Well that was good, wasn't it? Thanks for everyone's kind comments, looks like many of you enjoyed the day despite the wind! There's a race report over onthe blog here.


Video from Mick Hall. Gobuy a photo if you want to support him!

<< 2012 results >> There's also a great drill-down resource on the Power of Ten, where you can compare performances of club runners.

If enjoyed the run and you're local why not join us in training on Mondays and Wednesdays. We're not all fast!

2011 half marathon — round-up

Our race report is on the blog at Please add your comments! Half marathon pages here.

Posing for the Chester Chronicle!

Positive PR :: Other good press is coming in at the Chester Chronicle, Northern Running Guide, Run 247, Runners World and others. More at Rhyl Journal, Liverpool Echo,, Ellesmere Port Pioneer, Halifax Evening Courier, This is Staffordshire. Lee Riley's remarkable world record running with the 40lb pack is covered in the Crewe Chronicle. Personal stories at Cumbrian Runner, Furious Cycling, Beginner Triathlete and a great insight to life at the front of the pack from 3rd place Dave Norman.   Let us know your own stories...

<< 2011 results >>

Photos :: As well as the official Mick Hall photos, photographerSteve Angus was on hand snapping away ...immediately after a Top 100 finish. Nice one! Watch those two sites for photos as they appear and we'll let you know if we hear of any others. Mick Charman also has a nice collection on Flickr.

2010 race

After the uncertainty of the bad weather, this turned out to be another great day for running. If you enjoyed the race, have you thought about joining Helsby Running Club? We're open for all abilities. Race pictures: Mick Hall's 2010 event photos are here. Faster folk on the earlier pages, slower later. 2010 race results

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