Helsby Half Mara



  • well it could be seen as a contribution to the charity that you're runing for so i'm happy to help.

    I'll send you a message with my email address, and then you can email me your details so when i get the information through, i'll forward it on to your address.

  • Looking forward to the Helsby race. I did a short session (10km, 5km out and same route back) on the first bit of the course on Mondayimage. Will have to watch that I start slowly as the 'hill' is just after the first mile and as this will be my first 1/2 marathon I need to make sure I get round ok.

    Planning to run the whole course very slowly on 28/12.


  • Nathalie - been 4 years since I last did Helsby, but I don't recall the "hill" in the first couple of miles as being too bad a climb. "Dunham on the Hill" is a bit of a misnomer.

    The first significant climb starts after about 7.3 miles/just before 12K - not particularly steep, but it goes on for a while and takes you up about 30-40m.
    The steepest of the lot is just after 10 miles/16K, and for me that's the start of the "graveyard mile" where you're just hanging on waiting for the left turn into Towers Lane where you start the descent to the finish.

    If you're in a position to be able to recce the course by actually running it over the Xmas holidays that's brilliant - will be a huge help when it's time to do it for real.

  • Hi Mike

    I am a novice long distance runner and the climb at Dunham on the Hill is hard enough being at the beginning of the raceimage! Hope I do have some energy left for the long descent at the end of the raceimage.



  • I ran part of the course last Monday Nathalie as well - you didn't have a head torch on by any chance?

    I find the hill up to Dunham managable, but that's as far as I went on the route, I stayed on Chester Road to Bridge Trafford before turning back. Trying to take advantage of living within walking distance of the start...

  • Where exactly is the start these days ? The race headquarters used to be at the Shell sports & social club, and the start was in a road just opposite (Robin Hood Lane (?)). The website mentions Tesco, but there never used to be a Tesco in the area

    Is the start still in the same place ?

  • Tescos is a couple of hundred yards up the road from the sports club - back towards the centre of Helsby. It has only been there 2 or 3 years. First time I've done it but I assume that's where the race starts from. Opposite the little co-op shop, if that helps.
  • Yeah, it is a stone's throw from the Tesco.  The toilets were busy!
  • No Paul - no headtorch that Monday I'm afraid. Ran it in the morning as was off work.

    Just finished a 10mile training run. Not fun going out towards Airbus in Broughton: fight against a strong headwind. did 1'34"10". Nearly 8 minutes slower than the previous 2 sessions for that route, but than my brother gave me a talking to for running to fast in training.image. As I am a novice he tells me I should learn to run longer but slower.

    Need a bit of advice!! I am planning to run the entire Helsby course on 29th December. Is this a good idea or should I just stick with maximum training sessions of 10miles (have done 3 to date in preparation for Helsby)? My last 10miles will be on Monday 5th January.


  • Hi, Nathalie! Good mileage today and earlier - well done image

    I must say, I gave in to temptation before my first HM in 1987 and ran 13 miles but it didn't really have any greater effect than the 10s and 11s I was running confidently in training.

    So, imho, run to your plan and save the 4 Villages course until the big day. You'll be very close to breaking 2 hours if your run today is taken as a guide.

    Good training and good luck!!
  • If you've never run 13 miles before then I'd save it for the race, if you can run 10 miles then you can run 13. Just keep doing the 10 milers or even add a mile or two on. But save the magic distance for the race


  • Hi Nathalie, can only agree with swittle and WRW - if you can do 10 miles now, no need to worry about doing 13 in 4 weeks time. Maybe do an extra mile or so next weekend, or during the following week if you're off work (a good chance to get out in daylight). Then spend the rest of time consolidating what you've already done.

    10-miler on 4th Jan is probably OK, but no later than that. Apart from that, I'd start easing back in the New Year, doing no more than 7 & 8-milers. At this stage, if in doubt - do LESS

    Good luck

  • Thanks for all the advice! Also spoken with my brother, a long distance runner, and will be doing an 11mile run on 29th December. Maybe another 10miles on 5th January but might shorten that slightly.

    Did another 10miles yesterday but it was fighting against the wind for approx. 5miles. Took me 8 minutes longer than the previous 2 times on the same route.

    Do you think my aim (and schedule!) to run 1u50' in Helsby is crazyimage?!


  • Nathalie, I've just looked back to your original post. If you've got a 10k PB of 48 something, and regularly do around 50 min or less, then as long as you've done the extra mileage, and built up gradually with no probems, then I'd say 1:50 is a reasonable target - maybe even 1:45 if everything goes perfectly

    A couple of  provisos: everyone is different, so you may me more suited to shorter distances, or you may be perfectly suited to half-marathon and beyond - after 18th Jan, you'll have a better idea. From what I remember about the course, it's not easy to run steady pace all the way round, but be careful about setting off too fast - the last mile gives you every opportunity to make up any lost time.

    As it's your first half, it's going to be a PB, no matter what time you do, so don't get too hung up about the time - better to do 1:55 comfortably, than struggle for a faster time, and possibly be disappointed over a few seconds.

    So, in answer to your question - no it's not crazy. Good luck, but enjoy image !

  • Thanks for the positive feedback above. Yes, having seen the course, you're right it will be tricky keeping a steady pace. My brother's schedule for me for Helsby gives 8'23" miles all the way.

    Will know more on 29th when I will hopefully do 11miles on the course!image



  • Jay Snizzel wrote (see)

    Running4Rwanda.com, i have entered this race but now i've changed my mind and no longer will be running it, i dont think we can get a refund or what have you, so if you wish you may have my stuff when it comes through the post.

    let me know if you're interested, i dont think this is against any rules.. or is it?

    Sorry Jay - you can't just give (or sell) your number to someone else.
    UK Athletics rule 216(3) says "Numbers are issued to the individual athlete completing the application form and are non-transferable except with the specific authority of the Race Secretary."
    (see http://www.ukathletics.net/competitions/rules/).

    If (and I do mean if) the race organiser allows it, then you can officially transfer the number to someone else, otherwise you cannot do it.

  • OK Mr Rule book, i wont transfer the number image But someone with my name will be completing the race.

  • That's even worse Jay - so when that person collapses with a medical condition during the race, whose wife will be the one getting a knock on their door to say their husband has collapsed ?

    What I was trying to say was that - if the organiser allows (and not all do) - you should transfer it OFFICIALLY, and not just give it to someone else.

  • Hi!

    Thought I'd just report on how the training run in Helsby went today. Apart from Mark, co-runner (and ran the course several times!) sending us the wrong way up a much steeper hill (not included in the real course - glad to say!!), all went very well.

    Mike- don't mind the 'graveyard mile' too muchimage. We did 18km (11.25miles) in 1u40'52". Really happy with that. A bit too fast again for a training according to my brother but now I know the latter part of the course (bit we did correctly!) and feel happy with my target of 1u50image.

    cheers - Nat

  • nice one Nathalie - knowing what to expect as you go round the course makes a big difference, and you've got a decent quality outing in there today in unpleasant conditions - well done.
  • Well done, Nathalie. If those distances and times are accurate, then you can be confident of achieving your target of 1:50 without too much difficulty - let's just hope the weather is kind to us on the day

    Can I ask a favour ? Can I use some of your course photos to put on my blog ? I will only use 1 or 2, to contrast the roads/houses/terrain between North-West England with North-West Rwanda. I will give you credit for the photos, and if you want, I'll put a link to your blog as well


  • I got my number this morning but I can't run now.

    Never mind. Enjoy it everyone.

  • Hi!

     ok running4rwanda to use my photos and post a link to my blog!!

    Yes, hope the weather will be kind. Only 2 runs so far this week due to the ice earlier, Thursday 8.6km and yesterday 11.5. Hopefully tomorrow another 10km.

    What should I do during my last week?! Brother said I should do one session with 3 x 1000metres at Helsby race speed. Not sure if I should have the last run on Thursday or Friday.

    Hope my cold gets better too - right nuisance!!image

    Good luck to everyone!


  • thanks for use of photos.

    Hope yesterday's run was OK - mine was awful. Felt sluggish and heavy-legged from the start - intended to do about 80-90 mins steady, but knew very early on that I wouldn't manage, so ended up with 65 min slow, but an unpleasant slow. Didn't help that I was running into a headwind on Formby beach, and then had to slow to a walk to cross the dunes, but not much quicker on the road with the wind behind me. My own fault - hadn't had enough fluids Sat, so was dehydrated.

    I'd suggest easy runs most of the week, any efforts on Wed , easy on Thur (max 30 mins), easy run on Fri (max 20 mins), rest on Sat. If you don't get out Friday, possibly go out Saturday morning (but max 15 mins, very easy - no more than w/u & w/d)

    Above all - plenty of rest, plenty of sleep and plenty of fluids. And I hope the cold gets better

    Good luck all!

  • The signs have gone up in Helsby.

    For me that counts as exciting news, maybe I should get out more.

  • I did notice that the one coming into Helsby from Hapsford is upside down...... Running on your hands ?
  • Hi!

    Thanks for all the advice!!image Hum, strange but my run was sluggish and didn't feel good either yesterday. Did 10.3km @ 10.5km/h (sorry still can't get used to miles after 17 years in the UKimage) and it was a struggle! Two days previous, on Friday, did 11.5km at a faster speed than yesterday and felt great?!

    I've therefore not been out today and will wait until late tomorrow to have a run or even Wednesday evening. Will then also run with some others on Thursday (but taking it easy at the back!) and a short slow one on Friday.

     Looks like it might be mild weather on Sunday but my only worry is strong winds - am rubbish running in those! Rain funnily enough makes me run better.

    Off to bed now, will need a good rest with my cold.


  • swittleswittle ✭✭✭
    running4rwanda - wonder if I saw you at Formby Point yesterday? I'd decided to run north up the beach and with the wind, knowing that the dunes afford some shelter on the return through Ainsdale Dunes. Was on the beach around 3pm for 45 minutes or so before turning off.

    an indifferent run a week away from a HM isn't unusual and I advise you to enjoy the taper. I'm running the Brass Monkey HM in York same day as Helsby - it's billiard table flat all the way round, so any wind is unwelcome image

    Good luck to all 4 Villages competitors - only reason I'm not there again is I just fancied a return to Yorkshire.
  • swittle - possibly - but I was struggling so much, I can't remember seeing anyone else. If I blanked you, sorry image. I got on at the bottom of Fisherman's path, and went south, but came off quite early (Gypsy Path ?), but that ties in with the sort of time I was out.

    Good luck on Sunday - I've never done the Brass Monkey, but have done a few races in York, and elsewhere in Yorkshire. Used to live in Wakefield, so some of my PB's were set over there - including my marathon at Barnsley (which shows how long ago it was !), and 10m at Tadcaster

    Nathalie - I hate wind as well, but am not bothered by cold or rain. Must be because we're so light-weight, we get blown about so much !

    By the way, I've just used one of your photos on my blog - thanks

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