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Helsby Running Club

Joe Beswick sandstone trail challenge

Next event – 12 May 2024
More details soon, but for now entries are open on Nifty Events.

Sandstone 2023

Thank you to everyone who helped out in any way to support the Challenge, without the time and support of our volunteers we could not stage this event. 2023 race directors report here.

Tony Schofield’s event pics here

Event results here

The event is the Joe Beswick Sandstone Trail Challenge in honour of a dear friend and club stalwart. I’m sure he’d be chuffed. Next event is already booked in: 12 May 2024. Entries 1 Feb 2024, via Nifty.

General event information here – Sandstone Trail Details.

About the event

In 2011 Helsby Running Club revived the Sandstone Trail Challenge event that until 2006 was organised by the Fire Service in Frodsham. The event has continued to be popular with both runners and walkers. In 2020 and 2021 the event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Last year the event was renamed in memory of Joe Beswick. Joe sadly died in December 2020 at the age of 89. Joe was a talented runner who competed successfully well into his seventies. He was also an inspirational coach for Helsby and other local clubs. In most recent years he volunteered at and supported a variety of running events including the Sandstone Trail Challenge. I am sure participants will remember his “wahh hay” as they approached Manley Common, his favoured check point. Joe’s family have kindly donated two perpetual trophies to the event, one for the first male home and one for the first female. 

The event follows the 33 miles of the way-marked Sandstone Trail from beginning to end, apart from a minor variation at the end to finish at the Community Centre in Frodsham. The Sandstone Trail follows a sandstone ridge through the Cheshire plain, with some of the best walking in the county.

This is an LDWA-style challenge walk that also supports runners. Note that it is not a race. It is open to everyone aged 14 or over who’s fit enough and experienced enough to do it (no runners under 18 though).

Contact us (David and Lesley Feakes):  sandstonetrailchallenge@hotmail.com

Here’s to a great race tradition, celebrating local terrain.

2022 results and pics

In 2022 we had just 164 starters. The winning male, Lawrence Eccles, completed the course in 4 hours and 38 minutes.  Claire Farrell was first woman to finish in a time of 6 hours and 8 minutes.

Thanks so much to everyone that made it happen before and on the day and everyone that turned up to take part. We’re proud of our little trail and love to share it. Sorry about the heat! It’s not about the results but I know you want to know anyway…

Drop us a line if you spot any discrepancies in the results. There’s a big pile of pics on our Flickr site here: 2022 sandstone trail challenge. Apologies for any duplicates, blurred shots and for missing anyone – we tried to get everyone but might not have managed it!

Race director’s report

And finally, the Race Director’s ‘wash up’ report is here. We’re always keen to improve so if there’s anything we could do better: drop us a line.

See you next year!

Drop in our Facebook page for all things Sandstone https://www.facebook.com/groups/sandstonetrail/

Happy trails,
Dave, Lesley and all at Helsby RC.

GPX file

Matt Larkin has kindly provided a GPX of the route. South to north as per the event and finishing at our race finish at the community centre (rather than the regular trail finish at the Bear’s Paw nearby). If you’re using this for navigation outside the event, remember to adjust the last few hundred metres and head straight down into the village to finish.

More details and grid references for the five intermediate checkpoints, roughly every 5-6 miles.

2020 and 2021 – events did not take place

Sandstone Trail Challenge 2019

And another cracker it was too. Our race directors report for 2019 is here.

And thanks from us all to Dave and Leslie for making it happen! Thanks also to all for coming and making it happen, turning up to run and walk and for the countless small and not so small acts behind the scenes needed to get the show on the road. THANKS!

Results for 2019 here. Lots of pics here on our Flickr site. Please help yourself to any image downloads and if you’re feeling particularly pleased bung a couple of quid to your favourite charity. Halton Haven can always use a hand for one. Another brilliant event!

In 2011 Helsby Running Club revived the Sandstone Trail Challenge, previously organised by the Fire Service in Frodsham until 2006. A good time was had by all. Each year since then we’ve built upon our experience running the event and always seem to get good feedback from our (sometimes exhausted) participants. We’re planning to keep it that way!

The event follows 33 miles of the waymarked Sandstone Trail from beginning to end, apart from a minor variation at the end to finish at the Community Centre in Frodsham. The Sandstone Trail follows a sandstone ridge through the Cheshire plain, with some of the best walking in the county. This is an LDWA-style challenge walk that also supports runners. Note that it is not a race. It is open to everyone aged 14 or over fit and experienced enough to do it. Runners must be over 18

Contact us (David and Lesley Feakes) with any queries: sandstonetrailchallenge@hotmail.com