Getting caught up, didn't realise how behind I am!!
High winds and freezing rain were the order of the day for this years running of the Guisborough Woods Fell Race.
I collected Hils and her lad, Ryan nice and early to make sure we got a car parking space and found Coach Rob, David R and stalwart Alan W already there!
After getting ourselves registered, quick chat and hug with Flip we hung about til it was time to warm up a bit with a jog to the start. I'm not very good at warming up, I know I should but I can never be arsed, then 10 mins after the gun I think, I wish I'd warmed up properly...
Anyway, the start/finish area was wind swept with rain blowing in, it was too cold to stand about so we joined everyone else jogging up and down the first hill to keep from freezing.
At last Dave arrived and set us off!
Straight into the first climb, this wasn't too bad and sheltered from the wind. Along tracks I've never been on before in Guisborough Woods, past a disused quarry, to meet the foot of a stiff climb. Oh my, it was really muddy, but not too slippy and went straight up for probably best part of 100m. No-one ran up that! (Well, maybe the fast ones at the front did ;-) )
Gasping for breath we continued climbing, less severely and on good track but exposed to a head wind that at times stopped us in our tracks.
Hilary and I were catching up with Ryan (who was doing the under 12's route) this only meant one thing, we'd set off too fast! As we wound through the forest tracks, the juniors turned off, and we carried on a bit further before doing a hairpin back on ourselves and down a horribly steep tarmac path, I'm glad it wasn't frosty like it was the day before!
We ran through the start/finish area- Hilary Hi-fived Ryan on the way past and we dug into the climb once more, a little more slowly this time!
After climbing the muddy bank, we turned off the main path and headed out onto the moor. We were only just outside the shelter of the trees but oh my goodness it was wild! The first bit of path was wet and boggy underfoot, then as it improved the rain came in. Blown in sideways on 30-40mph winds, everyone was hunched up trying to shelter our faces from the icy blasting, at times it took my breath away. Horrible, I'm glad that 80% of the route was sheltered! As we got back into the forest, I started getting stitch, it got worse on the downhill and when we had rejoined the previous track and were on the steepest tarmac bit, I had doubled over completely to try and get rid of it. Two male runners over took me here, one of whom said 'You must be Fran, I'm Andy, I Love a Challenge too!!' Bit cryptic and I wondered how he recognised me from my backside in the air!?! (He's a member of the FB excercise group...) The stitch eased a bit and I ran on, realising I wasn't far from the finish.
Over the line! Normally we'd wait for everyone to get in, but it was just too cold and windy and horrid so we jogged down to the rugby club for dry clothes and a hot drink.
Dave did the presentation for the summer series, lots of our ladies won age category prizes and Alan W won his category too. When he did the prizes for today's race, Coach Rob won his category too. So overall a successful day!
This race was also the final fixture in the Four Seasons Trophy Series, we'll have to wait for official results, but I have come third in this.