It was nice being in Osmotherley as this is where I did my first ever marathon. However this time it was for a different event, the Hardmoors Half marathon, that had brought me back to this village. They were also offering a 10k and marathon option (you can probably guess which one Lisrun did).
We picked our numbers up at the village hall, then at 9am I went outside to wave off those who were doing the full marathon.
The half marathon started at 10am and begins with the first 1km on road. We then turned off on to the Cleveland way and the rest of the race was mainly on trails with a few pretty muddy sections and even bits of snow. I got to mile five where a marshal pointed out to me that I was currently the third lady, I knew there was still a fair bit to go yet but I hoped if I kept pushing myself I could maintain that position. The route then took us in down a one mile descent that zig zagged through Clain Wood, it was nice to actually be going downhill as up until this point I felt there had been quite a bit of up. As we came out of the woods it was the start of an out and back section and probably the hardest part of the course. After crossing the road it was just one long non stop ascent to Knolls End.
The out and back section was useful to gauge where other runners were. I saw the first and second lady coming back down the hill and knew they were way ahead of me so there was no point in trying to catch them. I got to the top, turned around and made my way back down. I passed the fourth lady who must only have been about a minute behind me so I knew the pressure was on. I took advantage of the rocky downhill by throwing caution to the wind and descending as fast as I could hoping to increase the gap between us. It was then back through the edge of Clain Wood but this is where it then went a bit wrong. I was too busy talking to another runner and managed to miss the direction sign and took the wrong path. I ran down a hill and other runners were following me :O, I only realised it was the wrong way when I got to the bottom. I turned around (apologising to those that had followed) and went back up the hill, kicking myself for wasting time, energy and probably my position, it was a silly mistake but I guess I was getting pretty tired by now. At this point I had lost about three minutes and had no idea what position I was now in.
Running most of the hills then the fast walk up Knolls End had really taken it out of me and by mile 10 all I wanted to do was walk. From then on I had to run/walk the hills, I didn’t know if there was any point of pushing myself since I had probably lost third lady position, however the slim possibility that I hadn’t kept me going. The last mile and a half were thankfully mainly downhill, I knew I was so close so put everything into the descent. I got to the village hall, they checked my position and I had come in third female 🙂 I was over the moon.
It was the first time Hardmoors had run this event, it was really good and we plan to do more in this series, it was well organised, the route well signed and manned checkpoints approx every two miles.
Dave finished his marathon a bit later with some impressive blisters on his heels to show for it, ouch.