While the rest of the world was focused on some run in London, 5 hardy Harriers joined the start line on the 37th Guisborough Moors Fell Race.
I like this race, approx. 12.5 miles and it's a toughy. I thought I would try and run in a more relaxed fashion from the start, not powering up the hills early on and save some for the long drag across Hutton Moor at the end.
Off the start and straight into the climbing! I ran the first bit til we got to the woods, then walked up the muddy bank. A girl from Pickering took a tumble, doing a full on Superman dive into the brambles! She got up quick and seemed ok as we trudged up the hill.
It was breezy on the moor, but sort of sunny. The usual boggy path was pretty much dry just one or two puddles to jump. A rough track sweeps down, and another runner took a tumble, I nearly had to jump over him! He grazed his hands but was otherwise ok. We joined the moor road, missing out a big corner by hopping across a stream then the stiff climb out onto Percy Rigg. It's always windy up there, but at least today it was a cross wind so it didn't impede progress.
Next comes the big drop down a usually muddy, slippery lane (which was dry!) and straight back up a steep tarmac road. At the top we turned right and onto the Cleveland Way. The path undulates through trees on East Cote Moor before a final push up onto Captain Cooks Monument. Fast descent to the carpark at Gribdale, where I had a cup of water.
I'd been running well, steady pace, walking where needed. The climb out of Gribdale is a beast and I found it hard to get going again once it levelled out. I wasn't too worried, and conserved my energy for what was to come...
...Roseberry Topping. I hit the bottom hard, and it hit me harder. I honestly felt like I was going to pass out on the way up. Legs, lungs everything stopped working, my guts suddenly cramped hard and I thought this isn't good- for god's sake don't trump!! The final insult was to be overtaken by a Geordie carrying his picnic in a carrier bag. I think if he'd been wearing jeans I would have sat down and given up!! I've never been overtaken on the climb up Roseberry before. With heaving lungs and a reeling head I pushed through the throng at the summit to give the trig point a slap (you never know if a marshal is hiding among the day trippers) and staggered across the rocks and down the other side. I was even slower up Little Roseberry but made it without passing out! Once back on the level, I let my breathing recover and took some salt and sweeties on board before jogging on once more. I ran comfortably over the moor and along the narrow path, passing the Cleveland Way volunteers who were doing some path repairs; and onto the flagged crossing of Hutton Moor. This is a crucial section of the race. It is easy to think that once you've conquered Roseberry, you're on the home straight, but really there's another 4 miles to go!
I slowly jogged along the flags until I reached the gentle climb before Highcliff Nab. I had to have a walk. Once through the gate, another jog but walked the steps up the side of the Nab. Now you're almost home!
Steady run through the forest to begin the final descent! It's usually wet and muddy but today it was quite ok. I could hear a runner closing in on me, and being rubbish at descending I let them by, only to realise it was Colin! Either he was storming or I was having a terrible run! We leapfrogged a little as the descent eased and I thought he was going to race me home til he too took a tumble! He fell badly and bashed his head, cutting it open. Thankfully DCR had come up from the finish to greet me so he helped Colin up and I ran on. Now, normally the finish is just at the bottom of the hill, but today Dave was sat in the Rugby club carpark, adding about 0.2 of a mile! I'm pleased I wasn't having a sprint off with Colin as we'd have peaked too early!!
(Colin followed me in a few minutes later and wasn't too badly injured after all)
I was glad it was all over!
We waited for Alan to get in before getting changed and having a nice cup of tea in the club. We watched the presentations before coming home.