Sunday, 17 November 2013

No 57 Goathland a week late

The race was last weekend but we had promised our time to an orienteering event. This weekend however we were free. We visited Chris in Leeds on Saturday, plus Martin, Becky and Ruby so it wasn't such a long drive.
Great choice of poster!
We were parked up in the track at Eller Beck at a very reasonable hour. Sadly the heater was having what I hope are teething troubles so we went to bed early to read, always cozy in bed. Not long after 8am I was off and running. I had too many layers on and after about 500m when I crossed the railway line I was taking off hat, gloves and one layer. Fylingdales loomed on the horizon behind me but the moor was deserted.

I made good speed to the standing stone even though it was uphill. At this rate I would be back for a late lunch!

The track down to Goathland was fun and it wasn't so muddy that I got wet feet. The village was silent and the dining room of the hotel was full with people still eating breakfast. I found the turn off no trouble and there was yet more downhill (I was sure I would pay for this later) along what seemed to be an old railtrack, except it was quite steep. The cottage at the bottom confirmed it, Incline Cottage. The path then turned, uphill for a change and above the river back to the outskirts of Goathland. The paths across the moor were grassy and very runable and even the turn back up to the standing stone didn't seem too bad. I yomped through some heather to avoid a muddy patch and was relieved it was not knee deep like on Bowland. Here I met my first person to say hello to before I set off, downhill again, over Simon Howe Rigg. Climbing on a gap in the forest to Wardle Rigg I slowed a bit and ate the first of my food. The tracks at the top did not seem quite right but I chose the correct one and was even rewarded with a little yellow tag left over from the race. The descent to the track near the railway line was steep and I startled two deer.

At the bottom I hoped I might see the steam train close up but it waited until I was climbing out of the valley. The run around the foot of Levisham Moor was great- I am sure I run faster on mud than big forest tracks. Somehow I just feel happier. I made a slight detour to visit Skelton Tower before the climb to Dundale Pond. At first the path seemed to be taking me the wrong way here, and I even got my compass out, but once I had meandered my way through the highland cattle I realised there was another junction and I could go north. This was a lovely track, uphill but easy running and nice and grassy underfoot.

It was hard to imagine people living there almost 2000 years ago but there are all sorts of ditches, burial mounds and tumuli. This was the busiest section of my run but not at all crowded compared to the Lakes. I have childhood memories of kite flying somewhere near Hole of Horcum but today I was just pleased to leave the road and head downhill towards the farm. (and pleased that Jon's route did not take us to the bottom for a fierce climb back up)

The track seemed hard underfoot and the steep concrete road was thankfully short. I made my detour up Blakey Topping; a wierd little mound that had to be an out and back.

I started to flag a bit as I climbed up the edge of a felled area to another stone cross. Time for more food. The next section was muddy and for the first time in the day I got damp feet.

Fylingdales is a bit of an eyesore and the generators ? were noisy but it was soon past. I had anticiapted that the next section would be a continuation of the same muddy but pleasant little path and got a surprise when I hit a tarmac road. It soon petered out into a stoney track and stayed that way all the way to Lilla Cross. Good running but hard on my feet :(

Here I met the same walker I had met much earlier in the day. We had a brief chat and I stopped to take some photos and read about the cross.

All that was left was a 3km donwhill muddy yomp. I got rather wet and muddy, despite staying upright, but could not resist the steady downhill end to my day. I was back at the van in almost exactly 5 hours and had covered about 29.5 miles. There was no sign of Bob so I changed, made coffee, and another, read and had a nap. I was just starting to get mildly anxious about the fading light when he reappared. He too had enjoyed his day and had covered over 22 miles, not bad with a sore and swollen foot.

Empty moorland for miles, wonderful.

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