It was a fairly mild morning in Durham when we set off – 4 of us: Jan, Barbara, Laura and myself (enough women for a team! Bit of a rarity apparently for fell races!). When we arrived at Clay bank and there was a decent covering of snow (and ice) on the ground, I realised how little I had thought this through – of course the high ground in the North York Moors was going to be colder than Durham city centre – and I felt a little under-dressed. But not to worry, I soon warmed up nicely once we started running and maybe it was even an incentive to run faster.
There were knee-deep snow drifts in some places, but snow was not covering the ground everywhere; where there wasn’t snow there was plenty of mud! There were also some track and paved sections, so there were some nice breaks in the tough terrain and decent chances to stretch your legs out. And whilst the ascents are always hard work, they were nicely spaced out and not super-steep so they were perfectly manageable. It did, however, feel like the longest 7.5 km (or was it 8.5 km? anyone’s guess …) I’ve ever run. But very enjoyable indeed and nice views.
It turned out to be a fairly eventful race … Barbara got lost (standard), but managed to find the rest of the runners and finished well (even if she managed to miss out part of the route … cunning!) Laura, in her debut race for the club, also got a little bit lost, but managed to cling onto other lost runners through swamp and all to return safely. Dave’s shoe fell apart so he did excellently considering!
And the highlight? I beat Shaun – which I think we can safely say was due to his drinking and dancing antics at the Christmas party the night before, but still, I’ll claim it as a victory – thanks Shaun, it made my day!
[ No problem, Rachel … any time! Any time the morning after I’ve had a skinful, anyway … Ed.]
|1||Ewan Brown||York Knavesmire||M||42:14|
|26||Kay Neesam||New Marske Harriers||FV45||1||50:18|