27-Sept > 04-Oct 2016
I will start this week with the Chester metric (26.2km) and Chester marathon. We had a good turnout of green vests for the metric marathon, which is in its second year. A nice distance to get your teeth into but I think it is definitely one that many can underestimate when racing it! I shall pass you over to Chris for his race report…
So this was the penultimate race for Road Championships for Helsby RC, and it seen a few of the Green Army tarmac slappers, oh and Jim Jones, head down to Chester racecourse for a lovely little 26.2km Metric Marathon. Speaking to most runners after the race I think we all underestimated this one and thought we could get away with training to 10-13 miles and we would be ok, but the 16.3 miles for those that don’t like km’s had a bit of a shock, and especially myself who found the undulating country lanes spectacular and beautiful but also tough on the legs in the latter stages. More training is advisable next time.
I’m not entirely sure of the route but you come out of the racecourse, through the town centre where lots of crowds gather, and then out into the countryside passing through some lovely little “typically English” villages and the Queen (not CBH by the way but a cardboard cut out of her majesty), before turning around and meeting up with the marathon runners for 6 or so miles back home, high fiving the #greenarmy on the way back (I know Degs really enjoyed this part whilst he was skipping along).
PS; Did everyone see the Chester chronicle on Monday? There’s a famous new boy band by the name of #greenarmy, check out my FB picture if you haven’t, we’ve finally made it!!!
Mile 14 greets you with a few big hills (well for us road runners anyway) and then you descend back through the town centre and along the cobbled streets next to the River Dee before reaching the racecourse and back down to the finish line, where one side is for the “real” marathon runners and one side for the lazy gits!
Not sure if anyone got PB’s or not but I know there was a lot of people pretty happy with their times me included, there were a few walking wounded, Emily and Donna, and one in particular having ran the furthest she ever has done, well done Mrs Fitz (that didn’t stop her talking at the end though whilst I was trying to hurry her to get home for the derby though, did it?). Also a mention to Rhea Thomas, sure I speak for everyone at the club to say we are really proud of you and running in memory of your Dad was truly inspirational to see, think we may have even high fived Degs styleeeee, nice one Rhea!
First home for the men, meeeeeeeeee, first home for the ladies, Joanne Lacking, but a big congrats to all, a thoroughly good day out and although a bit pricey, one I would do again.
Results are here but Joanne doesn’t show up unfortunately under Helsby RC. Her finish time was 2:03:27 and a very respectable 13th lady and second in age category.
Surprisingly, only two vests for our local Marathon but the boys did good! We had Darren O’Connor and Jim O’Hara tarmac slapping around the villages of Chester and Wales and they both did great times, not much between them at the finish line! Little report from our Irish correspondent, Darren…
“Fantastically organised race. Lots of hydration stations and facilities. The set up for the last mile along the river was amazing with lots of support lining the home stretch! I even heard a few shouts of ‘green army’ during the run! Course was tougher than expected with quite a few long drags up hills.
As for me – coasted the first 16/17 miles easy enough. Had a shocker from then up until 24 – a combination of trying not to throw up and a stitch slowed me down terribly! Luckily I found a bit of form at the end to enjoy the last couple of miles and finish with a new PB of 3:14. Happy to have ticked my local marathon off the list and join the sub 3:15 club (just).”
Jim finished in 3:12:32 with Darren slightly behind in 3:14:06. Huge well done!
Skyrunning Lakes 3*3 Ultra
Chris B-H in his usual role of tackling the hardest races he can find, reports on what sounds like a stunningly hard 50 miler…
I took part in the Lakes 3*3 ultra on the weekend as a ghost runner reporting in my role as Skyrunning UK Ambassador and what a great day it was too!
A chilly 5am start on Sunday 4th October saw the second running of the Lakes 3*3000 race get underway. Two main differences characterised the start this year:
- The start was at the iconic Moot hall in the centre of Keswick (the traditional starting point for long distances Lakeland challenges such as the Bob Graham Round)
- There wasn’t a biblical-esq rainstorm in progress!
Last year’s winner Donny Campbell was joined by course designer Ricky Lightfoot in a quite stunning turn of pace for the start of any 50 mile race; I’d guess they were going at roughly 5 minute mile pace which say them out of sight within five hundred metres of the start. Bold when there is 50 miles and 12,500 ft of climb to go.
Weather conditions turned out to be perfect for the task in hand. Single figure temperatures and an overcast day did not prevent heavy sweating on the climbs though as competitors headed up to Scafell Pike and the first control point. An absence of any wind chill was welcome as the course unfolded, as was the legacy of such a dry year making ‘The Bog’ (seriously, that is what it is called on the map, so you know what you’re getting!) nice and runnable.
Sadly, exception had been taken to the placement of the markers for the event and thus a great number had been removed. Whilst this did cause some confusion on the course and the odd “inefficient line” it certainly didn’t impact on my enjoyment too much as despite the odd, “which way now!” moment.
The course is made up of woodland trails, classic Lakeland fell climbs and traverses, fantastic ridge running, classic trail racing and a climb at the end that just keeps on giving (thankfully followed by a descent which keeps on giving too!)
I didn’t manage my food and fluids very well again and certainly paid for that later on, losing a lot of time on the final section. I also made a really foolish decision as I came up Skiddaw in that I chose not to put on my gloves or a jacket thinking; “I’ll be heading down in a minute and will warm up”. The combination of food and lack of water saw me with blurred vision and lightheaded enough to genuinely be on the verge of collapse and desperate enough to stop some tourists who were fantastic at helping me with some spare water. Two gels and three quarters of a litre of water later and I was flying high all the way into the finish still in the top ten. I finished in ~11:10 which really should have been a sub 11 finish.
Superb race, fantastic mixture of all the lakes has to offer, great weather, fantastic company, I still hate Skiddaw.
Isle of Man Ultra
This weekend was the Isle of Man Mountain Ultra Race, one of the shorter races in the Run Further race series.
Organised by the Manx Fell Runners, with lots of friendly marshals and friendly encouraging local folks along the way and sponsored by the local brewers Okells with bottles of beer for everyone at the finish! Oh yes and two not three legs allowed!
As the logo says it covers 50k, 12 summits and 2,500m of climbing along the spine of the Isle of Man from Ramsey in the North to Port Erin in the South. There was the option of an early start for the slower runners (including me) at 7:30 with the main field starting at 8:30. Plus a “half” version which set off from the middle point of St Johns (where the Tyndrum meet) at 1pm. This made for a wonderful run as for the first half I knew there were lots of folks behind me and had the awesome sight of the fast ones sprinting past. Then as they gradually all disappeared, I was through St Johns 30 mins before the halfers set off, so then had them for company! Many highlights of the day but the main two were running with and overtaking the local lady who then went on to win the race! Yes for about 5k we ran along together (chatting!); down off Greeba through the prickly gorse bushes and onto the only flat of the race, a 3k section of a disused railway line. Because I had my trail shows on rather than fell shoes, they came into there own and I sprinted past the winner before taking 10 minutes out to recover with Bill who supplied hot tea and biscuits!
– onwards and again in splendid isolation having dropped a huge distance down into a wooded glade. I was just beginning to think I had lost the trail when the leading halfer came though, assured me I was going the right way and told me at the top of the next long drag there would be drinks and crowds to cheer us on so keep going– the winner was Lloyd Taggert no less – wow!
The last few miles of the race hugged the spectacular western coast line, but as coastal paths do they included a couple of sharp final ups.
1st male: Tom Crinkle 5:18:24
1st female: Rosy Craine 6:47:51
51st: Andy Robinson 8:06:48
68th: Jackie Keasley 8:48:21
Lakeland Trails Coniston 10k trail race
Suzanne Fletcher, Jenny Palmer and Tim Palmer represented the Green Army in the Lakes on Saturday at the Lakeland Trails Coniston 10k Race with Ben Fletcher supporting after a run up the Old Man of Coniston. The results are at:
The race is very scenic starting on the shores of Coniston Water with the first two miles and a bit steeply uphill, then a fast descent with the final stretch back along the lake shore. The weather was kind to us; starting in the mist at the lake but soon into the sunshine.
Merseyvend 5k Halewood
Colin Thompson sent in the following report.
My first race after being out of action for a while through injury saw myself and Ian Hamling lining up at Halewood Park for the Merseyvend 5k. A 5k race on a flat, arrow straight course may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s the perfect course to see where you are fitness wise. I wasn’t sure how fast I could go as I’ve barely ran more than a few miles in 8 weeks so was more than happy with a 19.35 finish time. Ian had a cracker chasing me down in the second half of the race and found himself just shy of a sub 20. All results here:
Good to see you back, Colin!
Janet Robertson: 23:10
Jane Ashbrook: 28:06
Chris Hatton: 25:21
Rachael Holden: 25:40 PB!
Well done Rachael!!
The Borders League
A note from Chris regarding the Borders League races.
This is going out to mainly the new members of the #greenarmy as the folk who have been here a while know all about it already. Just giving you all a heads up that Sunday see’s the start of the Borders league, and it’s the first time both the Men & Ladies teams have had both teams in the 1st Division (I think I’m correct in saying that?) It also goes to show how strong this club is at present and what a great position we are in for this forthcoming season.
For those that haven’t heard of it before it’s basically 17 local clubs dotted roughly along the Welsh Border, competing in 7 races with varying distances of approx. 8-10k. All you have to do is turn up in your green vest, run as fast as you can, and collect a disc at the end of the race and hand it to our club co-coordinator (normally, Joe/Mario/Jane Bishop/or now myself). Oh and it’s FREE
The club had really good numbers last year, and I expect with lots of new members this year it will grow in popularity even more, and the #greenarmy is by far the best represented club at these events, and it’s great to see. Below is the link to the borders league website, have a look, it will include in this coming week the directions, but I will send out another email and also post on FB and twitter for all to see when it does
|You have less than 2 weeks to register for the picturesque Farndon 10k on the outskirts of Chester on the border with North Wales.
The UKA licenced course is closed to traffic, chip-timed and lends itself to fast times for those prepared to give it a go. Starting half a mile from Farndon Sports & Social Club the race visits the villages of Stretton and Tilston before returning back to Farndon.
Cash prizes in male and female categories are
1st – £100
2nd – £50
All vet category winners will receive a prize and there are medals and goodies for all finishers.
Pre and post race massage provided by the fantastic www.hannasbeautyandholistictherapy.co.uk and we will have an onsite sports retailer.
Click the link to go straight to on-line registration