The compulsory kit check required a minimum of 500ml of water to be carried. There were orthodox ways in which other participants fulfilled this requirement. One man carried a pint of milk, dangling it from his pinkie, claiming he would carry it for 13 miles, sure! Another had a tea-cup tied to his bum bag: I dunno, maybe he was going to stop for tea halfway?
We started off from Guisborough and the first 15 minutes had plenty of climbing. I was stuck behind a long snake of lycra-clad bottoms. Fortunately, the view improved when we reached Highcliff Nab; stunning views of Teeside and the surrounding country below.
En route, I gave a wave to Melanie and Dave who were doing the full marathon. Later I heard that Dave had managed to get himself stuck in the loo. Was that his excuse for missing a “Pee B”? More details I’m sure from his report.
The next highlight was the climb up Roseberry Topping. I managed to pass several runners including Mr Tea-cup by power-walking. At the top, I was greeted by non other than Flip, braving the wind and marshalling. I paused at the top for a few photos. Mr Tea-cup passed me on the downhill. We exchanged positions everytime there was a change in elevation, even managing some banter as we passed each other. Eventually I left him as he stopped at a checkpoint.
Captain Cook Monument was next, followed by a run through the nearby woods then down into Lonsdale farm before ascending the moor again. I was getting tired at this point and pretty much on auto-pilot. Other runners were clearly flagging too giving me the chance to pick some off. I’m sure many of us started off way too fast at the beginning. The next I can remember was descending back into Guisborough through the woods. As always an exhilarating descent made more precarious by the slippery mud, ankle-twisting pot-holes and fallen trees. I labored back into the hall, my legs starting to cramping up. It was my hardest half-marathon since my first GNR (which I did with very little training). But its a breath of fresh air from road races and I’ll definitely be signing up for more of the Hardmoors series which next year will include 10K’s, halfs and full marathons.
I managed to take several photos during the race. I’ll put them all up online on my blog.