Hi everybody, gonna keep it brief this week.
A quick reminder that Sunday 5th Nov at 11am is our next Borders League race at Birkenhead Park, we would love to see some of our new members there too it’s a great opportunity to meet up and get to know everyone. You must wear a club vest during the race and please bring your barcode from the Borders website. Thanks! See you there!
Please try and remember to send any race reports into firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Jim Jones for a race report from the British fell relays
British Fell Relays – Saturday 21st October
This year Helsby fielded two teams of six at the annual British Fell Relays, which was hosted in Braithwaite in the Lake District by Keswick Athletic Club.
Each year a fell running club volunteers to host the British Fell Relays, which is one of the biggest events in the fell running calendar. It is an event where clubs from across the country have the opportunity to come together and run as a team to test themselves against each other. Teams have 6 members running 4 legs; 2 individual and 2 paired, with one of the paired legs being a test of navigation (the others are usually well flagged). There were 248 teams included in this year’s event results. After the UK experienced torrential rain and storms for a few days before the event, on the day we were blessed with mud but no rain.
Helsby had an Open Ladies and an Open Men’s Teams who ran in the 4 Legs:
Leg 1: Kathryn Schofield and Nick Ryder set off on the their leg at 11am. Leg 1 was the shortest leg this year, of around 3 miles. All of the legs had something of ‘sting in the tail’ with a steep descent, almost to the event field before runners were sent back up for a final climb and descent in front of the cheering crowds.
Leg 2: Kevin Smith and Chris Murray – Laura Baynham-Hughes and Alison Halsall took up the baton from Leg 1 runners and set of on their leg of approximately 8 miles.
Leg 3: The navigation Leg! There was a mass start at 2pm for all Leg 3 runners who had not already set off on the return of their Leg 2 runners. David Feakes and Steve Riley – Rachel Arnold and Vanessa Griffiths undertook the navigation leg. They were only issued a map of the checkpoints at the starting line, so this was a true test of navigation and route choice. The mileage and time to complete the leg was very much dictated by navigation, route choices, and in some cases prior knowledge of the local area. Dave Feakes has written a brief account of his and Steve’s Leg and his thoughts on the whole day (see below).
Leg 4: I think the majority of teams took advantage of the Leg 4 mass start at 3.30pm as Leg 3 team members were still out on the course. Frank Fitzpatrick and Lucy Mills both had great runs on the final leg which was about 4 miles.
Dark Peak Fell Runners were the overall winning team this year. Helsby men finished in place 181 and Helsby women in place 235.
Dave Feakes’ report from the day:
It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the Fell Relay Champs and, based on my experience this year, it may be a while before I do it again.
Nick ran a fabulous first leg. It was difficult to tell whether or not he’d enjoyed it because he spent most of the time either eating or complaining after he’d finished.
Chris and Kev ran a great second leg handing over to Steve and myself to complete the third navigational leg. Steve did a fantastic job in navigating us successfully round the 11.8km course. The course involved either climbing, descending or traversing across steep slopes away from any defined paths or tracks. What I would have given for a flat section of path. I ran in my trail shoes which had served me well in the fell races I’ve done this year but proved to be a mistake for this event as I struggled for grip. I’ll have to dust off my fell shoes for future events. It took us approximately 2hrs 20mins to complete our leg which gives an indication of how tough it was (or how slow we are). The final leg was completed by Frank in a fantastic time. Running with Steve is always a joy and so I hope we get chance to do it again at some point in the near future.
The event was friendly, well organized and a joy to be part off. I would recommend it to Club members and hope we get more teams out for next year’s event. Seeing how easily the front runners appeared to tackle the course was both an education and very impressive.
Thanks for the write up Dave. All in all the feedback has been great from everyone who participated in the fell relays. Well done, Felsby!
Looking forward to next year,
And finally, this week’s parkrun results.
That’s all folks!!!