Essar Four Villages Half Marathon

The first race of the club road race championships was a trip over the Pennines to the village of Helsby. With a few Harriers on the entry list the club minibus had its first outing of the year. Unfortunately, a few runners could not make it so 10 of us set off….after defrosting the bus.

We arrived and got to the race HQ and within a few minutes it began to snow. The race started at 10:30 from the Helsby Community Centre. Runners at the start were tentative and already looking forward to getting finished and having a hot drink.

The race course in on fully closed roads. The first few miles are predominantly flat with a few twists and turns around country lanes. The course was very wet. Not icy but the recent snowfall had turned into a slush on the road, making the ground slippery.

Four Villages Finish

At the finish (from left) Heidi, Damo and Debbie 

From about four miles onwards the course does slowly undulate upwards with the majority of the climb in miles 8 and 10. From 10 miles it is all downhill to the finish – ish, there are still a few ups and downs but the course does finish fast.

With less than ideal conditions the race goes through sheltered to exposed areas and around the halfway mark the wind was blowing and the snow/hail/rain was coming down. Making it tough going for a road race. There was one runner collapsed at the end of the race, fortunately no Harriers experienced any problems from the cold. At the finish line was your usual medal, goody bag and some kids giving out gingerbread.

Once we had all changed out of wet kit, dried off and warmed up in the race HQ we set off to the Hornsmill Pub around the corner from the community centre. 10 off us enjoyed a couple of drinks and some good pub grub. We learned the Spanish love gravy and runners love a pudding. The bus took some ‘manoeuvring’ to get out of the car park but we all made it back to Neiley safe and sound. 

13 Harriers completed the race, link to results below. Stu Sharp was first back, Debbie Beck running a PB and Rob Kersey was 3rd V65. Plenty of runners in the early stages of marathon training and look to be running well. Shaun Coggon was also out (but forgot to put his club on the entry!) .

essar meal2

Warmth, and a rewarding feast followed

Holmfirth results: Stuart Sharp 01:17:45; Clark Hind 01:24:50; Brandon Holroyd 01:26:01; Jonathan Burdon 1:32:34; Matthew Rose 01:39:01; Juan Biurrun 01:40:51; Rob Kersey 01:44:46 (3rd V65); Michael Shaun Coggon 01:48:57; Damian McQueen 01:51:47; Jason Haigh 01:51:59; Heidi King 01:52:16; Natasha Al-Egaily 01:54:49; Debbie Beck 01:54:04; Becky Burdon 02:00:47.

This is a well organised race on closed roads with plenty of support. A good course but in some harsh conditions today. With a nice woolly hat as a memento!

The next race on the road championships is the Dewsbury 10k on 4th February. Hopefully in better conditions. The race is full now but the following race in the 2018 Road Championships is the Salford 10K, so get involved, another race with plenty of PB potential!

Well done all.



Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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