Sunday 15 February 2009


I guess we all have a favorite training route, this week in a first of a new series we take a look at Jon's favorite training run.
started training and racing back in the running boom of the 80's completed over 30 Marathon's, many of which were under 3 hours,first Marathon THE LIVERPOOL CITY MARATHON.

Following tracks close to the picturesque and world famous Royal Birkdale Golf Club, and including the infamous Big Dipper [ a monstrous super big sandhill ] the tough climb brings rewarding panoramic views of not only two famous golf courses but also the splendid views of the north west coast, from the North wales mountains to Blackpool and on a really clear day the Lake District.

Jon says, "Have checked back in my diaries and it appears that I first ran the loop on 22nd May 1994. Previous to that date I used to do variations like from home to Hillside and back to Birkdale, or run to Ainsdale on the road and back down the sandhills.
I ran the Sandhills 6 nine times in the first year, but only twice in 95 and 96. I peaked last year with 47 runs, with an estimated total of 200 times.
I set a p.b. in August 94 of 44m 07s which I doubt I have bettered since, as I was getting slower year on year afterwards". Jon.
Start at corner of lancaster and selworthy rd, head west down the dirt path, head out onto the first part of selworthy rd past all the big posh houses to corner, turn left through gate posts at end of rd, now follow white posts over the sandhills to Ainsdale, keeping the coast rd on your right and the Royale Birkdale Golf Club on your left shoulder [ many years ago the now coast road used to be the Cheshire lines railway bringing in holiday makers from Liverpool and beyond.
400 m from the Ainsdale roundabout follow the white posts inland and through a small woods coming out at shore rd, turn left up shore rd for 150m then turn left through gate posts and follow path after about a minute take the path on the right, head for the houses, at fence turn left and follow path, past the boundary of the houses and out onto a large grass land, keep the sandhills on your left and houses on your right, aim for the last distant house, follow path past last house, ahead is the now abandoned Ainsdale high school playing fields, turn left and follow the school boundary fence, up the steep hill [ LOOK OUT FOR BRIAN THE DOG!], turn left along hillside golf club boundary fence 200m, turn right at corner of fence, keep golf club on your right and sandhills on your left, up the LITTLE DIPPER then downhill through the woods mind ' NIZ's overhang [ low tree branch] then 100 m on ' TRIPPERS TORMENT , next is the fearsome BIG DIPPER, no matter how fit you are it gets you every time! At the top, panoramic views of the two golf clubs, and the northwest coastline , follow the the fence, head downhill, then head left and back on to the white post route, up a short hill and down the other side, now follow the track on the left up THE CAMELS BACK and then onto a new tarmac stretch, through the gate, past the ROYAL BIRKDALE CLUB HOUSE, FOLLOW TARMAC PATH UNTILL IT MEETS THE golf club private rd, straight across onto the field, follow path, keep the grass mound on your right and golf club boundary fence on your left, after 1/2 mile follow narrow path through trees, emerge out onto selworthy rd, Finish!
Free guided tours available!

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