2019 Road League Report and Four Villages 2020 Entries

Runners at the club ahead of the final race of the season, the Club 10 Mile

Thank you to all the runners who took part in the 2019 Pensby Road League. The whole season of road running, starting back in January with a huge turnout for the Four Villages Half Marathon, was a great success. People seemed to take to the addition of the parkrun this year, and thanks to Gordon and Mark, who put on another outstanding series of Wirral Seaside Runs, there was plenty of opportunity for ‘cross over’ between the league and other favourite local running events.

The final race of the league season was the Club 10 mile on September 23rd, which was very popular once again, with 27 runners taking part and many people coming back to the club afterward for drinks and cake. A huge thanks to everyone who helped to time, guide and marshal that event.

Tracy Pennington and myself took the two titles this year, and although we had a little breathing room by the final race, it was great to see proper competition for the top places throughout the year as well as some battles going on between rivals in the age groups.

The 2020 league will again start with the Four Village Half Marathon organised by Helsby running club. This is a very popular race, so do get your entries in here.

Great running everyone!

Ralph

Congratulations to our marathon runners

Well done to all the Pensby Runners who took on the London Marathon today. Helen, the two Robs, Alex, Jayne, Andie and Michael – congratulations to all of you. Fantastic running all round.

A big well done to Andy Sumner as well who knocked 24 minutes off his PB at the Three Peaks race, in what sounded like absolutely atrocious weather. That’s a very tough race on any day, but this weekend’s conditions sounded particularly trying!

Go Pensby!

Pensby women on Cloud 9

I imagine I’m not the first SM officer to make that terrible joke….but a big well done to Ruth, Ursula and Julie who in combination were the first women’s team at the Cloud 9 hill race. Ursula was 4th women overall, with Julie and Ruth both first in their vet categories. There were six Pensbys out in total, and the results saw shifts at the top of both the men’s and women’s fell leagues, with Nigel and Ruth leapfrogging their rivals.

Well done as well to Dan and Andy who ran the 50 mile Chester Ultra. Andy is an old hand at these super long distance events, but this was Dan’s first ultra, so a particularly big well done to him!

Finally, last weekend saw the final two events of the Cross Country League – the Nationals at Harewood House Leeds, and the local Birchwood race. Good turn outs a both, but particularly at the Nationals where 13 Pensbys took part. Rob Beech was victorious in the men’s league, taking part in all but the very final event, while Lucy Partridge continues her strong form, taking the women’s league and running all but two events. It was a really close on though, with Lucy pipping Alex Roydon by a single point right at the very last. A really competitive league throughout. Great work all season by Rob Chalmers who organised the best attended XC league in years!

Great running all!

Supercup is Go!

For anyone subscribing to this news feed, who is not a Facebook user and so will not have seen my post on the group page, the Supercup is soon to start for 2019.

 

The first race in the series will be at Birchwood Cross Country on Sunday 24th Feb, and the full list of fixtures can be found on the Supercup page here:  http://www.pensbyrunners.co.uk/races-leagues/pensby-supercup/?preview_id=610&preview_nonce=ac57f89642&_thumbnail_id=-1&preview=true 

 

This year I’ve incorporated two Seaside Runs – please see therefore the slightly amended rules on bonus points!

 

Ralph

January News Roundup

Pensby Runners set off at a trot into 2019, so I’m playing catch up somewhat in rounding up the news for January.

Obviously, the weather took something of a turn toward the end or the month and we had some of our first snowing training sessions.  It’s quite magical to start a session on a chilly but otherwise average night, and to end it running home along pristine white streets, leaving the first footprints in the snow.  We also had a successful AGM, kept to time by chairman Roy.  At that event Ian Chalmers began a collection of race tops, which were donated to a local charity that helps the Wirrals homeless – something that made it into the news pages of the Wirral Globe website.

 

The Road League began at the Four Villages Half Marathon at Helsby, and we had a very healthy turnout of 30 runners at what has been a traditional curtain raiser for the road season for quite a few years now.  This year the snow and ice held off, and despite a little rain early on, the conditions were perfect throughout the race.

 

 

As the road season starts, the cross country nears an end.  Twelve Pensbys attended the Northern Championships in Pontefract last weekend.  Often these bigger events are an absolute mudbath, with hundreds and hundreds of pairs of feet churning up the course over the day’s races.  However, this year was an exception (as has been the case at many of the local races as well), and the going was firm, with just a couple of quaggy spots.  We may not have been the fastest team on the day (although we certainly held our own), but we probably had the best tent!  There was also a pre-race presentation to ‘Rocket’ Rob Beech, to mark is 100 marathon achievement in late 2018.  The penultimate XC race of the merseyside league is tomorrow at Croxteth, with the nationals coming up in Leeds on Feb 23rd.

Cross Country – Medals Galore

Several cross country events to round up this week, after the country champs last weekend and the Runcorn league race this weekend.

 

The Merseyside country championships were held at Sherdley Park in St Helens. The going was rather good to be honest – very little in the way of mud, asides from two rather pathetic patches that you would have had to have tried very hard to have run through. What the course lacked in the way of quagmires, it made up for in hills.  There was barely time to get your breath back after each ascent before the next one kicked in.  The fellrunners in the club I’m sure would claim that they were but pimples, but then the XC crew would probably counter that such things become more of a challenge when you actually run up them.  Anyway, the whole day was a great success, because as well as putting out 22 runners overall, we also picked up some medals!!  Carole Morrison, Simon Rogers, Gordon Scholefield and Roy Fisher all going home with age category prizes.  And we had, hands down, the best gazebo.

Gordon and Roy bring home some metalwork for Pensby!

 

But wait, there were more medals to come, over in Birchwood where the Cheshire country champs were taking place.  We don’t know much about the weather conditions or the state of the course underfoot, but Rob Grantham was quoted as saying that five laps of the park were ’emotional’.  Enough said.  Rob picked up a medal, as did Nigel Pratten.  Paul Alexander made it home!

So overall a pretty successful weekend for the travelling Pensbys.  Kudos to both Mr Chalmers junior and senior.  Rob has really been driving the cross country league this year, and should take a big chunk of the credit for the continuing strength of the turnouts of jade vests.  Ian, may or may not have been robbed of a vet 70s medal at Sherdley park, having either finished fourth, or finished at an age for which there was not a category, or both – anyway, he was robbed.  He should at least have been given a wooden spoon for finishing in the auspicious last position.  Ian remarked that by completing a county champs cross country race, he’d ticked something off his bucket list.  Having three laps of a chilly Sherdley park on your bucket list is the sign of a true runner.  All hail Ian C!

 

Moving on to this weekend, even with a few regulars elsewhere, we had 15 runners in Runcorn for what sounded like a windy, rather than overly muddy event at Town Park.  Rob Grantham was 4th male overall, Lucy Partridge 23rd female.  Everyone else made it to the end (OK, there were probably some great finishing positions, but I’m just being too lazy to check), and by all accounts Emma Grantham saved her dad with some cracking baking, play sous chef, to Helen Measures, who has really upped the catering game this season.

Team Pensby at Town Park, Runcorn this weekend

Next up, a little jolly to West Yorkshire for the North of England Champs.

 

 

Cross Country Update and Jubilee Plunge!

Eight Pensby Runners attended the Jubilee plunge today at the Golden Lion, Llangynhafal.  The weather was almost balmy compared to last year’s icy descent, with decent enough grip underfoot.  Everyone made it up to the summit in time (just), and safely back down to the pub again.  A special mention going to Andrew S and Paul C, who were not only festively outfitted, but also ran the whole way with a deceptively heavy (and decorated) Christmas tree carried between them.  Good work!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new year is nearly upon us, so it’s time for a very quick update on the cross country championships as we transition from the 2018 section into 2019.  So far 38 Pensby Runners have competed over the course of the opening three fixtures, Clarke Gardens, Beacon Park and Arrowe Park.  We had a particularly strong showing at our home fixture, Arrowe Park, with 30 runners competing, despite heavy marshalling and organising responsibilities for the club.  Next up it’s the Northern Championships on January 5th in St Helens.  Roll on 2019, and Happy New Year to all!

Arrowe Park Cross-Country

Many thanks to Gordon, John and all of the marshals for organising Sunday’s Cross -Country Race in Arrowe Park and to our master bakers Rob Beech and Paul Alexander for providing the post-race cakes.

We had 30 runners out, too. Fantastic! Great running everyone, especially those taking part in their first XC race of the season: Wendy Lee, Ali Lewis, Tracy Pennington, Simon Rogers, Nigel Crompton, Jeff Adams, Mark Ezard, Nikos Giotakis, Steve McConville and Steve Ellis. Hope to see you again soon.

Here is the provisional league table following Sunday’s race. Congratulations to Ali Lewis, first Pensby home in the Women’s race (16th overall) and to our first man Rob Grantham who was 4th overall. Lucy Partridge and Rob Beech retain top spots in the league.

The next race is the County Championships on 5th Jan, which you need to sign up for in advance. You can race in the County of your birth or the one in which you live and I’m sending the entries off for Cheshire and Merseyside in the next ten days. Please contact Rob Chalmers if you’d like to participate. Every Pensby runner will be awarded 10 points in the league for this one, regardless of finishing position.

Beacon Park Cross-Country Race

Fine weather again for the second Cross Country race of the season at Beacon Park this morning. Skelmersdale has never looked so good and what better destination for Ralph (3rd Pensby male) and Felicity (running for Penny Lane) to spend their honeymoon after getting married last weekend.

Congratulations to debutant Gary Johnstone (9th Pensby), running his first Cross Country race since he was at school 40 years ago and welcome to the team for their first race of the season: Chairman Roy (11th), Claudia (3rd Pensby female) and Rob Grantham who popped in on his way to work to collect 4th place overall and 1st Pensby home.

The early league positions are taking shape with Rob Beech, Ralph and Alistair Malpas heading the men’s table and Lucy Partridge, Alex Royden and Angela Peerless the women’s. Great running everyone!

Today’s cakes were a Dorest Apple by Richard Shayle (7th) and a last-minute Chocolate Tiffin by me (8th). Do join us at the next race in Arrowe Park on December 16th when Rob Beech and Paul Alexander will supply your post-race sugar fix.

One of those weekends…

Sometimes we have something of a ‘Super Sunday’ weekend at Pensby Runners, when everybody seems to be out running and racing.   This weekend was precisely in that mould, with at least 11 of the club travelling to Amsterdam to take part in either the half or full marathon there.  Rob Beech was running what must have been marathon 101 (which answers the question of whether or not he was going to run any more), and a special mention of Michael Green who broke the three hour mark for the first time (convincingly too in 2:58:28).   The usual Sunday Run also drew in a fair crowd, given the other commitments people had, and on Sunday morning a group of us headed out to Cilcain for the first race of the Winter Fell League – Clwydian Hills.  With over 3000ft of climb and at around 9 miles long, this is a pretty demanding race.  Rob Grantham did brilliantly to take first place overall, despite going wrong early on when he and several other lead runners followed the markers for the u16 route!!  In total 10 Pensby’s took part, slightly down on last year, and we therefore relinquished the Petzel Trophy team prize (we’ll be back!), but as usual everyone really enjoyed the race, and the soup, tea and cake in the village hall afterwards.  Thanks for Pat for supporting and taking photos!

 

The team prior to start of the race, and Alex, Sam and Paul taking on a brackeny bit!!