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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 2014 — 19 January 2014

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! Some people missed collecting a race medal at the finish, if you would still like your medal get in touch with your entry details and remind us of your address by February 19. We also have a number of T-shirts still to be collected. You're welcome to join us for a run on a Wednesday from the club for a 6:30pm start, or we can post for a small fee. Email:


<< 2014 race results >>

2014 race photos

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


Welcome to the 32nd Essar Four Villages Half Marathon. We had hoped to be celebrating the 33rd event but as you'll remember the extreme winter weather was against us (and most other running events that weekend), so 32nd it is! Onwards and upwards …another year on preparations mount and we're looking forward to an exciting race on 19 January 2014.

We think our race has a winning formula, shown by its popularity and the large number of you who regularly return to enjoy it. The motivation behind the race has always been the support of local good causes and last year, despite the fact the race had to be cancelled, the fantastic generosity of the running community choosing to donate their entry refunds meant that over £20,000 was donated to our main charities (see the story below) so once again A BIG THANK YOU.

Unlike a lot of events, with increasingly high entry costs, we've managed to keep our fee the same for another year (and here we should thank our sponsors Essar, Asics and Running Bear). We look forward to seeing you in January and wish you a successful and enjoyable race. We'll keep you informed on developments over the coming months. Here’s to a great training build!
Jackie Keasley (Chair) and Gareth Boyd (Race Director).

<< Entry details >> if you need to check anything (race full).

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.


2014 Sandstone Trail Challenge

The 2014 event is Saturday 7 June 2014, entries opened 1 December 2013. More here.


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

For 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 aboutjoining 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

A member of Helsby Community Sports Club