Four Villages Half Marathon

The ESSAR Four Villages Half Marathon is a popular road race on rural roads around Helsby in Cheshire. Organised by Helsby Running Club, the race is in it’s 35th year. It is a great race to keep you training over the festive period and as preparation for the spring marathon season! All runners will receive a commemorative medal and goody bag.

Race 35th four villages half marathon – Sunday 21 January 2018
Course A scenic road race through rural countryside, passing through the Cheshire villages of Dunham on the Hill, Mouldsworth, Manley, Alvanley and Helsby. Accurately measured (certificate number 11/071, measured 2 January 2012), with 170m of climbing.
Records Male 1:04:36 (Carl Warren), Female 1:13:08 (Marian Sutton) both records 2002. These records are carried over from the similar course used until 2011 (minor difference in the way that Dunham on the Hill is approached from the A56).
Organiser Helsby Running Club under UKA rules.
Sponsors Essar UK, Asics, Running Bear.
Race Half Marathon under UK Athletic rules, starting and finishing in Helsby, Cheshire. Minimum age 17 on race day. Runners under 18 need parental permission. UKA licence: 2018-31787. Race limit 2250.
Location Helsby Community Sports Centre, very short walk to the start line. Start time 10:30am (slightly earlier than our traditional 11am start). Finishes at Hornsmill Primary School (300m walk back to start).
Transport & parking Limited free parking at Helsby Sports & Social Club for those who arrive early, WA6 0DL. Main parking at Helsby High School, WA6 0HY. Free shuttle bus to transport runners the 1.7 miles to the Helsby Community Sports Centre. Please use the official race parking in preference to using other areas of Helsby. Your co-operation is much appreciated, minimising car use and good control of parking is one of the conditions of the extra places we’ve negotiated, please don’t jeopardise this. The race leaflet will have final parking arrangements, so please read it before race day!

This year we are keen to promote car sharing and reduce our carbon footprint. We’ll supply details to help you find or offer a lift nearer the time. Car sharers will get priority parking.

Timing All competitors will be sent a race information leaflet, race number with timing chip. These will be posted together early in the new year. The timing chip will record individual start and finish times. The leaflet will also be available on the website nearer the time.
Medals Special cased commemorative medal to all finishers.
Prizes No runner will be awarded more than one individual prize. Trophies and prizes will be presented to the following:

  • Men – 1st 10 finishers plus 1st U/20, 1st three O/40, 1st three O/45, 1st two O/50, 1st two O/55, 1st O/60, 1st O/65, 1st O/70, 1st O/75, 1stO/80, 1st O/85, 1st local runner.
  • Women – 1st 5 finishers plus 1st U/20, 1st three O/35, 1st two O/40, 1st two O/45, 1st two O/50, 1st two O/55, 1st O/60, 1st O/65, 1st O/70, 1st O/75, 1st local runner.
  • Teams: 1st Male team (4 to count) and 1st Female team (3 to count). Teams will be entered automatically, must comprise of First Claim members only and satisfy UKA qualification rules. Scored on cumulative position and team members must wear club vests.
  • There will only be one prize per individual except for team prizes. In all cases the Race Director’s decisions are final.
  • Prize money – £500 to men’s and women’s winner. £250 each for new men’s and women’s course records.
Entry fees UKA club member:  £23        Non UKA club member:  £25
The race was started to raise money for local charities and good causes and this remains the case today. We are a community orgainsed and run event.
Race cancellation There is no return of entry fees on cancellation — this is a race in January and carries a risk of poor weather. If you are genuinely worried about the risk of cancellation, consider an alternative later in the year. We’d be delighted to have you and our position in the calendar is one the reasons people come to us. A January fixture was overwhelmingly supported in a large recent online poll.

We will do our very best to avoid cancelling the event and this year we run on closed roads.

Running tops Helsby Half running tops are available. These are quality, technical Ts and a great souvenir of the race. T-shirts should be ordered at the same time as making your entry. There may be some available on the day from the club tent, but you should order in advance to be sure of getting your choice of size.
Eligibility Minimum age 17 years on race day. By entering you agree to abide by all relevant UKA rules. Please note runners not past the 10 mile marker by 1:30 pm will not be given a time and marshals cannot be guaranteed to be on the course.
Entries Online only, via our race partners Nifty Entries from 1 October. Click here to enter.
Email We need a valid email address with your entry — we need this to contact you with any changes or late information. We will not pass this on without your permission.
Closing date When full. The race normally fills early.
Entry confirmation All entries will appear on the Start List. Your race number will be shown here, and will be confirmed when you receive your race pack.
Final race details Information packs with race details and running number with timing chip will be posted in early January.
Results Results will be available on the Nifty Entries website on the day and linked on our own results page. Rapid results are also available by SMS text — make sure you give us your mobile on the entry form. We will not pass this on without permission.
Headphones iPods and other personal music players are not welcome for safety reasons — please enjoy the course without! We may pull you out of the race.
Enquiries Email

But please try and answer your own question — many of the queries we get are routine and answered here. You might get a quicker answer yourself.

Club website
Club blog
Race web link
Facebook group Four Villages Facebook group
Twitter RunHelsby on twitter #4vhm
Flickr RunHelsby Flickr photo site

Thank you for supporting this great event. Enjoy your run!
Have you thought about joining our club? The little club that does big things! We are booming at the moment and have doubled membership in the last couple of years. We have a thriving beginner’s group and welcome runners of all standards, from fitness runner to race whippet. Come on down to any club night and give it a go with no obligation. You won’t get left behind.
Our friends at runABC North

Event Details

Venue: Helsby