The brief version—54m (after a late course adjustment). Started at 8.00 finished 23.55. 65 starters, 45 finishers, so 20 dropped out because of the bad weather and two of them had suspected hypothermia. Weather was light rain initially, then heavy rain and strong winds. The weather became much better after 10 hours and then got frosty as the night went on. Lots of hills and muddy
I was concerned about doing a race which would be 21m longer than I have ever done before. Doing a gentle marathon six days before was also worrying me, would it have any effect ? It turned out it didn’t which was a relief. I was also worrying about running on my own in the bad weather that was forecast, I find it helps to have company when the weather is bad. Luckily, I joined up with another runner at 22m and ran the next 32m with her. I don’t think I would have completed it on my own.
The other crucial thing for me in this race was car support. This wasn’t required as there was a drop bag system, but having much more frequent access to equipment and food made a vital difference. My friend spent her longest time in her car—almost 20 hours—much more than she has ever done before—thank you. She has never been involved with a long race before and her greetings at some points – ‘You are mental’ made me smile in a sort of mad way 😉
My equipment worked very well. Ran in Helly Hensen base layer, OMM Kamleiker waterproof top, Gore tights, Inov-8 roclites and a Raidlight Endurace back pack. I made a basic error at the start by running in road shoes. It is said you can do the Cleveland Way in road shoes and that might be okay in a dry conditions, but they weren’t that today as I discovered pretty quickly :-O. Luckily the first car access point was at 5m so I changed into the Roclites then. I also started with gloves that were way too thin for the conditions on the tops. My worst time was when it was sheeting down with rain and my hands got cold. Again a car access point saved me and I changed into fleece gloves. However, in the final stages in the frosty conditions, my hands were getting very cold even with those gloves.
Refueling strategy. Took stop blocks (had about 8 of them), S!cap tablets (used all 8 of them). Had a couple of Cliff bars that were give out on the way round (nice, never had them before). Made sure I had a quarter of a sandwich at every car access point. I had some cashew nuts as well. I also drank Asda’s isotonic berry sports drink all the way round, drinking when thirsty. I learnt all this from supporting Phil on the Hardmoors 110 last year and reading Clare’s experiences at the Glasgow to Edinburgh, so thanks to those two. The result was I got no cramp, no nausea and my legs felt very good all the way round. I also able to walk down the stairs this morning :-O
The route was basically along the Cleveland Way from Helmsley to Guisborough woods where it then cut back to Guisborough. There are moors, woods, lots of hills, some of some big long climbs, all of which I walked up. Had to walk some the descents too because of the steepness and rocky paths. Two out and back sections at the White Horse and at Roseberry Topping. Because it’s a route for walkers mainly and to save it becoming a quagmire, the park authority have put in a lot of large rock slabs which can be slippery and lots of assorted rocks on the ascents and descents. I could not find anyway of running down these safely. I felt I would cause serious damage if I fell on to those rocks. The uneven rocks in the path up and down Roseberry Topping were particularly tough especially with a head torch. There were sometimes fell runner alternatives to these paths, but they were often slippery.