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Sandstone Trail Challenge 2019

Sandstone Trail Challenge 11 May 2019

This is the first time that Lesley and I have organised the event and, with the exception of the odd hick-up, everything seemed to go well.

Last year, the event was organised by Ben Williams and Andy Robinson and we were very grateful for the support and advice they gave us for this year’s event. Without their support, we would have found it much harder to make this event happen.

We had fantastic support from fellow members of Helsby Running Club and their families and so a big thank you to all who got involved. There are too many to mention individually in this report, but you know who you are.

I’d also like to thank the following Clubs and organisations who provided invaluable support for the event:

I've tried to capture everyone who helped out but if I’ve missed you off, please accept my apologies.

The weather leading up to the event was dreadful but mercifully, it was perfect on the day. Apart from the trail being a bit muddy due to the rainfall the previous week, the running conditions were ideal i.e., cool and dry.

The public toilets local to bus drop off point were due to open at 8.00am but unfortunately, they were still locked and so could not be used by the event participants. Fortunately, the local Tesco were very understanding and allowed us to use their toilets. This is a lesson learned for next year's event.

Apart from the Mayor of Whitchurch, everyone arrived safely at the car park at the bottom of Sherrymill Hill for the start of the event. Following a short briefing from myself, the event started at 8.35am.

The first runner to complete the 33 mile course was Daniel Weston in a fantastic time of 4 hours and 43 minutes. Lee Carrington then followed in a time of 4:58 followed closely by Kevin Smith, who was the first Helsby runner in 5:05. Leah Leonard managed to repeat her feat of last year by being the first lady home in 5:17 which improved on her time for last year by one minute. The joint second ladies home were Laura Baynham-Hughes and Alison Halsall from Helsby in a time of 5:48.

Our category winners were:

First male & overall   Daniel Weston   4:43

First Lady             Leah Leonard    5:17

First Male V50         Graham Bayliss  5:37

First Lady V50         Erika Lamb      6:52

First Male V70         John Bell       9:37

First Lady V70         Mieko Steward   9:50

First Male U18         Joseph Wilson   6:26

First Lady U18         Lily Moorhouse  6:59

A total of 193 people started the event with a total of 181 managing to complete the course. There were a couple of people who got lost which shows the importance having the navigational skills necessary to take part in such an event. Thankfully, there were no serious incidents and the first aiders from RTC Medical Solutions were only required to check on exhausted finishers.

Although exhausted, most of the finishers seemed to have enjoyed the event and the feedback we’ve received to date from both participants and volunteers has all been positive. If you have any thoughts on how we can improve the event for next year, please drop us an email with your feedback. We have already learned a number of lessons from organising the event for the first time this year which we will address for next year’s event. Finally, a huge thank you to all our runners and walkers. Although it was hard work organising the event, we had a great day and so we hope that you enjoyed the event.

The date for next year’s event is set for 9th May 2020 and so hopefully see you all then!

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