Final Road League Race A Great Success

Twenty five runners (9 Ladies and 16 Men) turned out on Sunday 19th November for the Pensby Road Race League 10 mile run.

The weather was kind to us, with hardly any wind and dry, and probably just the right temperature!

The course was well received by all, however the uphill section from the Caldy roundabout to the Mere Lane was described as “seeming to go on for ever”

Rob Grantham was first man home in a very impressive 61:07, Simon was second after a tussle all the way round with Liam who was third only 7 seconds behind. I think there had been a few mind games there!

Alistair had a great race and came in 4th, followed by Mark Smith.

This meant that Simon retains the League title for another year, well done Simon, and commiserations to Mark who has been leading the league all through the year, only to be pipped at the post.

Gary Parker was 6th, Ian Shorrock 7th, Des McIvor 8th

8 very quick runners there, well done all.

Then it was the Ladies turn….

First lady home, Lisa Grantham in 72.49 and picking up 15 league points and so wins the Ladies League, well done Lisa.

Then Jenny Sanderson was next in 10th place, terrific run, followed in by Ali Lewis and Stephanie Auge Loach in 12th

Andie Gow was 13th and was followed by more ladies, Wendy Lee, and Fiona McGivern (with her own personal moving Fan Club) in 15th place

Rob Chalmers was next with a sprint finish, followed by Adrian Mercer,John Suckley, Roy Fisher, Gordon Scholefield and Stephen McConville.

Victoria Ford was next which gives here the points required to stay in 2nd position in the league, congratulations Vicky

New Girl Helen Measures did well in her first race in the league as did Elizabeth Gartshore and Ian Chalmers completed the field over the line

Well Done all, great turnout and a great Pensby atmosphere as usual.

Now for some Great Big Thank You’s

To Gordon Scholefield for setting the course which I am sure will be used again

Jill and Mike for manning the Water Station

And of course all the cake bakers, I only got to taste a couple and they were gorgeous, Wendy Lee and Gordon Scholefield did a cracking job, I believe others did too so well done. They had been snaffled before I got there!

And of course to my wife Sue, who was on the stop watch.

And finally to all the runners taking part for making it all so enjoyable and worthwhile

Thank You


Final Road League Race 2017

Pensby Runners Road League 10 Mile Race

The final Road League race for 2017 will be on Sunday 19th November, starting at 9.30 a.m. As it is the final race of the series we thought it might be nice if runners brought coffee and cake to consume after the event. The club will be open for use of the toilets and shelter, if required, but unfortunately we are unable to use the upstairs area as there is a private function booked. We aim to present the Road League Trophy once everyone has finished. The event is not an official race and there is no need to pre-enter, but it would be useful to know how many are thinking of taking part. Please use either Facebook or email to confirm attendance. For insurance purposes the event is for members only and as there may well be no marshals it is reliant upon individual runners to familiarise themselves with the route, detailed below.

The route starts at the mobile phone mast close to the Shell Garage and then drops down to the Wirral Way, via Baskervyle and Station Road, joining the Wirral way at the end of Davenport Road. The Wirral Way is followed all the way to Croft Drive in Calday. Runners then need to turn right up Croft Drive and then turn right at the top along Croft Drive East. At the end of Croft Drive East, turn right along Calday Road to the roundabout at Calday crossroads. At the roundabout the route turns right, passing Calday Rugby Club on the left, up Thurstaston Hill and all the way back to Heswall following Telegraph Road. At Mere Lane runners should cross over and stay on the left through Heswall, turning left at the Glegg Arms roundabout and finishing at Chalkwell Drive. The Garmin route is a little over 10 miles but I have run the route a few times and have measured it as closer to 10 miles.

A link to the route can be found below.

Cross Country Season Kicks Off!


Twenty-three Pensby Runners turned up to welcome in the cross country season in muddy style, at a wetter than normal Clarke Gardens course last weekend.  As well as the great turn out, we welcomed two new runners, in Helen and Lucy, and were all pleased to see the return of the likes of Sarah, Alistair and Jeff, who have all had stretches out of competitive action.  Great running from all involved, and a big thank you to Penny Lane Striders for hosting.



Pensby Autumn Marathon Summary


I’m a bit tardy in putting together a quick report on the autumn marathons, and other exploits, that Pensby Runners members have been taking on this year. However, here goes!



It all kicked off in September, when Alex headed up north to complete the Loch Ness marathon. The same weekend, a whole bunch ‘o’ Pensby’s were running in the Hoylake 10k, back on home turf. Paul and Andy were completing a little mountain marathon, and Stephen, Gary, Victoria and Ben were in the Lake District taking part in the Kendal Sprint Triathlon.


At the beginning of October, three Pensbys – Rob, John and Andrew, completed the Chester Marathon, which over the last few years has become something of a staple fixture in the calendar for club members. Jayne was there on the day as well, completing the metric marathon, which seems an increasingly popular option – it’s a lovely distance.


Rob then gave his legs a good seven days to recover, before flying over, with three others of us, to Amsterdam. I can thoroughly recommend this race, which starts and finishes in the buzzing atmosphere of the Olympic stadium. The support the whole way around was amazing – not the intensity of London, but somehow more personal for it. Despite blowing up, and finishing with a personal worst for a flat marathon, I loved it and would certainly return. Mike, then Rob and Iain all sailed past me at around the half way point, and despite having racked up a healthy mileage exploring the city the day before, all finished with very impressive times.


Finally, two weekends ago a group of us braved the hills, and some inclement looking weather, and took on the Snowdonia marathon in North Wales. My fourth time running what was my first marathon, back in 2011, and I loved it. Much better paced this time, and with enough gas to steam up the final hill at Waunfawr. Iain, Ben, Dave and I watched Mike fly off from the top of Pen-y-Pass, early in the race, and he never looked back from that point on. Ben, guided by Iain did well to navigate the very slippery descent back into Llanberis, with only on knee scrape to show for it.   Andrew finished a breath behind Iain and Ben and I, going from strength to strength this year, and Dave had to admit that road marathons weren’t all that bad really, and actually looked quite happy at the end!



I’m sure I have missed one or two marathon exploits here (Rob). But I hope it’s a reasonable summary! Well done all!



Bright start to the winter fell season as Pensby take the Petzl Cup in Cilcain

A strong team of Pensby runners turned out for the Clwydian Hills race in Cilcain, on Sunday 22nd October, and walked away with the Petzl Cup (actually a helmet) team trophy at the end of a very enjoyable morning of fell racing.

The weather in the run up to the race had been somewhat ominous, with high winds and rain battering the North West.  On race morning however, the sun came out and the winds dropped, just in time for the start.  The Clwydian Hills race has a bit of everything – fast sections, steep bits, technical descents, navigation and lots and lots of gorse bushes.  Everyone on the team made it around safely, and arrived safely back in Cilcain, ahead of soup and tea at the village hall.  As well as some spot prizes, we were very pleased to bring the Petzl Cup home for the first time, after fielding the strongest team of the day.  Big thank you to the organisers and the NEWSAR for such a great event.  We’ll be back again next year!

Full Report: British Athletics Fell and Hill Relay Championships


After several weeks of organising and pulling the teams together we were nearly there.  We had been tantalisingly close to fielding a ladies’ team as the numbers of those available, uninjured and fit fluctuated up and down but alas it wasn’t to be.  So, with 2 teams firmed up; one male and one mixed we were ready to go.  Unfortunately, the last minute rejig of the teams had meant that I had had to place some runners on legs they would rather not have been on including myself but we took it for the team donned fell shoes and bum bags and proceeded to the holding pen.

Fell running is a unique sport to the British Isles due to the nature of our mountains.  In general our fells, hills, Bens and Bryns are a little too small to put roads and well-made paths up them so it’s not quite the same as European mountain running.  The routes are generally off path on sheep trods but have a lot of climb in a small distance with a bit of navigation so it’s not trail running but the navigation is not so refined as to make it orienteering.  It’s an odd sport much like the people who take part.  It’s cheap and grass roots.  The top athletes who take part would be Olympians if this was a good spectator sport that attracted big sponsorship deals.  In essence it’s like turning up to a pub car park and paying £3 to run against Mo Farah and if you win you get to choose your prize off and old pasting table with a selection of Aldi bought goodies on display.

The British Athletics Fell and Hill Relay Championships 2017 are the pinnacle of this eccentricity.  This year’s event was in Llanberis and again organised by Eryri Harriers.  There is a great atmosphere and all the big clubs, big names and record holders are there.  If you like off road running the atmosphere is great, the competition high and the courses tough and Pensby were there trying not to come last.

Good solid performances on the individual Leg 1 by Lisa Grantham for the mixed team and Zach Ryan for the men’s.  I didn’t get to see Lisa for the rest of the day after she set off from the start line but she set the mixed team up well for the day.  Zach who is new to fell running with just a handful of races under his belt put in a blinding performance finishing well up the field despite picking up a nasty gash to his wrist which required gluing due to awkwardness of its position.

Leg 2 was covered by myself and David Green for the men and Lucy Partridge and Julie Dala for the mixed.  Zach had set the men’s team up so well that whilst out on this 9 mile run with over 3000 foot of climb we were being overtaken by some of the most famous fell runners still active.  It was an absolute privilege to be overtaken by them and was a great reminder of how accessible this sport truly is.  I had a shocking run as like several of the teams’ members I was not on top form.  Apologies to Dave for holding him up as I just didn’t have it in me on the day.  Julie and Lucy overtook Dave and I about 6 miles into the run just below Hebron Station.  They looked really strong and continued to pull away over the last 3 miles of the race.  On the high tops of Foel Goch and Moel Cynghorion the clag came in with very strong winds which made me worry about our navigators on the forthcoming Leg 3.

Post-match analysis, fell running forums and the kangeroo court that is Facebook has shown Leg 3 to have been a bit of a disaster.  The fineries of orienteering map legends was lost on most of the fell runners on the leg and certain proscribed routes were ignored and compulsory crossing points on walls and fences ignored.  These deviations from the rules were meant to have been committed by even the best of teams there.  Despite this it was a challenging route in tough weather conditions which meant visibility was down to 5 – 10 metres and you struggled to stand in the wind our runners performed well.  Mixed team Andy and Fiona McGivern and men’s team Andrew Sumner and Roy Fisher managed to find all controls despite having to yomp up the tussock grass strewn rear face of Moel Eilio without being able to see many navigable features around them.  A huge well done and thanks to all 4 runners as this is the leg most difficult to fill when compiling the teams.

Our Leg 4 runners started in a mass start.  Mass starts are utilised at the relays for the teams that are lower down the results table.  This allows everyone to get back safely and in daylight including the marshals who will have been on the wind battered fellside for six to seven hours.  Alex Royden ran for the mixed and Anthony Dala for the men.  Both runners boxed off our teams’ efforts in fine style putting in performances that maintained our positions as the weather continued to deteriorate and kept the Pensby entries off the dreaded last place.

Thank you to all runners for throwing your hat into the ring and a big thanks to Lisa and the Dalas for agreeing to run at the last minute.  Also, thank you to Jeff Adams who was unable to run but still gave me background support both during the organisation of the teams and on the day.  Also thanks to Nigel and Pat for coming to support.

Paul Challender

New Cross-Country Season

Welcome to the Cross country season 2017/18 season.

The club needs runners to mix sweat with mud, laughs, a measure of team spirit and usually cake. The first race is Sunday 29th October and kicks off at 10am with the usual soft introduction at Clarkes Gardens, Allerton.

We need new runners to give this is a try and seasoned XC runners to return for another exciting season. If you’re new all you need is some off road trainers or spikes and you MUST wear club vest. No need to preregister just turn up at the start line for a 10am start. You will be handed a token when you cross the finish line which you will return to me on the day to record your token number. Results will then be posted later that week. Its FREE. No times are taken in XC, it’s all about the position against rival clubs. Many of whom you will have run against in the September MT series.

Lift share from the club leaving at 0840.

Multi Terrain Series Update


Belatedly, a report on the September Multi-terrain Series!


A huge thanks to Steve Saunders for another really enjoyable series of Tuesday night MT races this year.  We really appreciate the hard work he puts in to organising these events.  And thank you to all the Pensbys and other clubs runners who volunteered to marshal, help with timing, and collect finishing tokens and entry fees. A great effort all around.


Team Pensby put in a very respectable showing again this year – perhaps not quite the heights of previous seasons in terms of team positions, but a large number of team members who can be very proud of their category positions.  Special mentions to Ruth and Zach who were first and second respectively in their categories.  Overall, our  highest women’s team finish a very respectable fourth and our men’s eleventh.  Most importantly though, more than forty Pensbys turned out to run over the course of the series, and had a brilliant time doing so.  We won’t forget the day someone parked a boat in the way of the race, for a while…

Muddy Fun at the Fell Relays

On Sunday an intrepid team of Pensby Runners headed west to Llanberis to take part in the British Athletics Fell and Hill Relay Championships.  Their aim, not to finish last in a field featuring the likes of Nicky Spinks… mission accomplished

On what turned out to be a rather windy day, we fielded a mens team and a mixed team, both of whom performed admirably, finishing 163rd and 176th respectively, which was not last!  (I believe some review might be underway with the time keepers as well).

Zach continued his strong form, putting in a stonking first leg for the men’s team, passing over to Dave and Paul, who battled strong winds over Foel Goch, and my least favourite, Moel Cynghorion.  Anthony put in a strong finish after Roy and Andy had completed the navigation leg, only managing to lose each other a couple of times in the process.

In the mixed team, Lisa also blasted Pensby into a great position in the first leg (although it was noted by some, that she was not as fast as Zach was…), before Lucy and Julie stormed around leg 2, handing over to Andy and Fiona McG, who were noted as managing not to lose one another on the way round.  Alex, who’s having an impressive start to the winter season, put in an incredibly strong finish at the end.

There was a lot of mud! Unfortunately no Pensby Runners fell in it! So no faceplant photos!  But a huge well done to everyone who took part, and a big thanks to Paul C for pulling the teams together and doing so much organisation.  Thanks as well to those who went to support and provided photos, and sorry to anyone I’ve missed out!!


Well done team Pensby!

Super Sunday for Pensby Runners

What a busy weekend it was for our multi-talented Pensby Runners!

Saturday morning saw at least 10 Pensbys up early for various park runs, mainly in Merseyside, but as far afield as Inverness, where Alex was warming up ahead of the Loch Ness marathon.

A lot of carbs will have been devoured on Saturday night because come Sunday morning there were Pensbys running marathons, mini-mountain marathons, sprint triathlons, 10 Ks and family runs.


Alex knocked eight and half minutes off her marathon PB at Loch Ness, finishing in 3:42:26, and putting herself in the good for age category for many marathons, London included.

Paul and Andy were in Lancashire running the Capricorn mini-mountain-marathon.  Three hours of tough fell running and navigation, which judging by Paul’s comments afterwards, appears to just a little warm up for events to come!!



Vicci, Gary, Steve and Ben were in Cumbria completing the Kendal Sprint Triathlon – Ben commented afterwards on how great it was to have so many visually impaired competitors, that they made up an entire wave in the pool.

Finally, back on home turf, eleven (or so) Pensbys were down on the prom at Hoylake, to support the WSNC Hoylake (not quite) 10K.  Zach’s performances go from strength to strength, as do his mid-race facial expressions.  Finally down at Thurstaston there was the September Family Fun Run going strong once again for another consecutive month.

Phew – so quite a busy weekend all round.  You’d imagine everyone would feel like a rest, but I have feeling come Tuesday they’ll all be out at Arrowe Park for the last Wirral Multi Terrain, telling a few stories about their exploits on Sunday.  Tired legs all round!