Sunday, 23 March 2014

Hardmoors 55

This was to be the second race in the Run Further series this year. It would also only be the second time I have run it as I usually manage to double book the weekend with DoE activities. Back in 2010 we ran clockwise and the weather was foul with strong winds and rain causing dnf for some with hypothermia.
cheat- as ths photo is not mine. Bus queue.

 All Hardmoors events are friendly and I was looking forward to the race. The linear route causes some complications and an early get up. Andy Splatcher collected me from work and drove to Helmsley.
Having taken me to the Youth Hostel he went to stay with his mum in Scarborough. I got organised, ate and then walked into town for chips and a pint. Mick C appeared- he was staying in a tent at the sports ground, which had been my original plan. I thought 5am was early enough but some blokes decided on very early showers so I was wide awake when my alarm went. I had assumed bus at 6 and then race at 8 so was shocked to find we were not running until 9. Less daylight at the end of the race was my first thought. However by the time I got off the coach I felt queazy and was glad of the extra time. I checked out Tony Hollands shop but could see no poles- I was hoping to check sizes and think about some for the UTMB. I chatted to Tim from Chia foods and he hopes to sponsor us next year. It was good to meet up with people and I had a long chat with Alison B.
 I helped Andy put up the RF flags in the freezing cold and still had time to chat. It was clearly going to be a day of very mixed weather. The start line was dry and sunny but on the lane up to the woods a ferocious shower hit and people were scrabbling for waterproofs. I was plodding steadily here and not getting too stressed at being overtaken, after all there are hours to go yet. By High Cliff Nab I had settled into a reasonable pace and was happy admiring the views north to the wind farm in the North Sea. Soon Rosebury Topping came into sight- and testing little out and back.
Guisborough Woods
At this stage all was well and although the final climb is stiff I enjoyed it and was soon heading for the car park below Newton Moor.
Had to buy ths one- Thanks guys, helps me to remember the bits I really did enjoy!
 The path upto Captain Cook monument was not as steep or rutted as I remembered and the path through the woods was a joy. The steep road down to Kildale was a bit of a jolt to the legs and I must have pushed the early pace too hard because I arrived at Kildale a bit sore and 3rd Lady. Andy was there with his camera and Sarah and Andy were ruuning an efficient CP. I was not looking forward to the next section as it would be a long slow upward plod on tarmac. I ran with another lady (must find out her name) and tried to use this to keep the pace reasonable.
A little out and back up Rosebury Topping
Somewhere on this section my right foot started to be painful. I had worried about my achilles and my quad but not my toes! The stoney tracks were not helping and I ran on grass verge when ever I could and swallowed the first of my painkillers. It sort of worked and I headed off over the moor. I like the next section- true it has more than its share of ups and downs but it is varied and fun. Somewhere around Hasty Bank the weather horizon started to change and banks of dark cloud appeared.
Cook monument
 I had wondered how I would find doing this run 'backwards' but the navigation was easy and I cannot figure out how Colm and I got so confused around Lord Stones back in 2010. On Carlton Bank the wind got up and the first of the hail/sleet arrived. By Live Moor I was coated white and my legs were soaked. Thank goodness we were descending and into woodland. I was lucky to catch some men and this made sure I turned at the correct point after the ford. Here I momentarily caught 3rd lady- not for long though. It seemed to shock her and she disappeared fast, whereas I ambled towards Osmotherly. I had been eating a bit but had promised myself that I would stop and eat here. Plus I had to wish Jon's dad Happy Birthday. A cup of tea, peaches, rice pud.... stopping was not good for my foot. The pain got much worse like a very intense version of feeling arriving back after numbness. I grabbed some food from my drop bag and was just saying bye to Andy and Sarah when Emma and Helen arrived. I had been wondering when they would catch me as they are never far behind.
Sunshine before the hailstorms
I set off on the long ascent to Sqaure Corner eating a wrap and taking more painkillers. I had been looking forward to the track across Black Hambleton and on to paradise farm but today despite trying to use some men ahead to 'tow' me I was starting to struggle. It was warm and sunny and I had totally dried out- I even considered shedding my waterproof. After Sneck Yate all but one of the men got away. The views off the edge of the escarpment were wonderful and I couldn't help but enjoy it despite finding it such tough going. There had been much debate about the steps or diagonal path down to the White Horse car park. The sloping decsent was harder than we expected and the climb up the steps left my legs protesting. Emma and Helen caught me up again and seemed turbo charged. I clung onback past the glider field and out to the main road but they were pulling away. By Cold Kirby I knew I had lost them even though I could still see them up ahead. The road section along the Rye valley seemed interminable and I fought to keep the man ahead in sight. We climbed into the last wood together and consoled each other that it could not be far now. The light was rapidly failing but I did not want to stop to dig out my torch. Fortunatley the path was big and apart from one section of steps fairly level. Somewhere above Duncombe Park I nearly went splat in the mud but a torch may not have helped as the guy behind fell anyway.
Clay bank? one of the big downs and ups
 The last kilometer was thankfully downhill  and I could see the lights and chucrh tower. Andy had put flags at the end of the track and another on the Town Hall. Suddenly the market square was there and it was over. I must have looked a sorry sight because Jon was so concerned he came and took my shoes off for me! Upstairs we were treated to drinks and food- waitress service courtesy of Kelly and a young lady. Shame I felt so ill and could barely eat. Normally once I have had a couple of cups of tea I am ravenous but not today. I managed to hold it toegther until the prize giving and was able to clap more finishers in. After half and hour of trying to feel better and failing I curled up on the floor in the corner and waited. An hour later I still felt dreadful and knew there was nothing for it but to retire for a shower and bed. The shame was the pub next door had an extension until 1am and I had run with my wallet. Andy very kindly drove me back to the youth hostel. After a wonderful hot shower I fell into bed and slept until about 11pm. I did feel slightly better then but could not face a walk back to the market square. Thank God I was not in a tent at the sports ground as per my original plan. I still cannot decide whether this race is a continuation of my hopeless start to the season. A PW at Haworth and a tough time today. It was faster than in 2010 when I took 11.09 but that was in dreadful weather and I lost 20 minutes in a car trying to warm up. Still I did get a trophy as first V50 lady and it is good for the RF series to have some other ladies competing for places at the top of the leaderboard and getting good points. I might be able to add more photos once I see what Andy took.
Smiles at the start- I was in no state to take photos at the end.


  1. Stirring Stuff Karen! ... If it was like that for you then heaven help me if I'd have made it to the start line ... I must do this event soon but it seems to clash for me every year. Many congrats on the silverware and good luck for the remainder of the season.

  2. Thanks. I was a woos Mike. Think I need to MTFU. Was determined to keep going but what I blinkin effort.
    See you at Calderdale.