What a difference a year makes. This time last year we had bright low sunshine, with superb views around the moors and crisp frost to run over. This time around was to be a much murkier, clartier affair. The route looks a bit intimidating at the start, as you look up to the edge of Urra Moor from Clay Bank … and yet, once up that steep slope, most of the rest is pretty runnable. Met Tom, Dave, Dave and Jan at the start … didn’t see Dougie then, though afterwards he says he heard me!
After a bit of a delay due to the good turnout, we were off, and funnelling towards a gate. We squeezed through this, and then I had a bit of luck. A little group ahead of me peeled off to the right, scrambling up the hill over grass, rather than sticking to the track, so I thought I’d follow them. Wasn’t sure whether this was a good idea until, reaching the top, faster runners went past, which is a sure sign that it was a good idea. Nice running now, along the edge of the hill, followed by a short steep bank before a long slightly uphill drag to the trig point. The conditions were getting really murky up here now … the excellent and atmospheric photos (link below) give a flavour of this. After a slightly annoying bit of two-way traffic along a sheep track, we now had a superb gently-sloping downhill section of about two miles, interrupted by a short uphill bit of forest track in the clartiest, and messiest of conditions. Great to hammer down to the finish after this bit.
Tom was already in, after a great run to get inside the top twenty. I was a tad disappointed to come in a fair bit slower than last year, but I was higher up the field ??? So perhaps some of that was due to the clartiness. Dave Selby wasn’t long after me, claiming ‘Won’t be long before I’m in front of you!’ We shall see. Dave Shipman enjoyed his run, as did Jan, once again completely outclassing her age-group competitors – sorry, competitor – to win even more wine. Sure she’s winning it faster than she can drink it. And Dougie was next in, still ahead of 25 others, and also enjoyed a lovely little fell race, which I can recommend to anyone. Note: This was the 8th race of the 14 in the NEHRA Winter Series, and Esk Valley have collated the latest positions … see link below. Still 6 more to go, and so all to play for, with 8 results counting. Next up the ‘Broughton Woods Wobble’ on the 3rd of Feb, also from Clay Bank, and also, it looks to me, ‘runnable’. Details here.
|1||Jayson Cavill||Pickering RC||M||37.00|
|39||Nicola Kent||Loftus & Whitby||FV40||1||45.14|