Turnpike Trot 10k, Whitby, Sunday, October 23, 2016

Steve Ellis

Set in the tranquil North Yorkshire moors, a mile or two off the main Whitby road this trot was advertised as a 10k (or thereabouts) event organised by the now burgeoning brand that is Hardmoors.

We arrived in plenty of time to get our numbers and ponder the relative merits of various clothing/ footwear combos. Malcolm had chosen his normal minimalist approach as can be seen on the photos! Hardmoors..phaa. I shall bear my chest and stride them tha hills! the rest of us choosing warmer garb. Each to their own . After registration the throng began to move out of the village and up a wooded path to the starting place where the finishing tent was also placed. After the now mandatory health and safety briefing we were off! The “trot” quickly turned into a pell-mell ,helter skelter pelt down a wet and slippery bumpy grassy slope. At the bottom the path became more narrow and muddy and eventually , after crossing a heavily saw dusted wooden bridge and some likewise saw dusted wooden platforms we began the 800 meter or so climb. Now we were back to trotting. The path was very narrow and hidden gullies and pot holes were waiting to catch the unwary. Progress was slow but steady to the top where a sharp left turn took us out onto the now flat moor. The paths were grassy and full of puddles which were circumnavigated by most and gave us the chance to now turn this trot into a run. The river crossing caused a bottleneck as runners found various ways to get across. Scampering down the little ravine most hopped over on the rocks. Some just plodged through….very hardmoors! After this brief hazard we resumed our grassy zig zag puddle avoiding run. At last a sharp downhill stretch loomed into view which was very rocky and very slippery. Not for the feint hearted as a wanton approach here could prove to be painful. At the bottom a sharp left-hand turn and the path began to climb again. It dragged on for a few hundred metres then crested to reveal a long grassy slalom back to the start line. And so the second lap began. We were now joined by the 5k Rabbit runners who had just set off and the trot continued much like the first lap. The moorlands here were reflecting the changeable nature of the weather. As we looked west across the bleak hills they were at once all monochrome greys and next greens and purple as the sun broke through. Wherever you looked the cloud bursts could be seen in the distance and we knew our turn would come! Mercifully short and light downpours.

At the finish a gathering purple phalanx continued to cheer all comers to the finish tent, admirably marshalled by our own Anna Seeley. A special cheer was saved for finishing striders. Once through the tent the chat turned to the rather lovely medal we’d earned. It looked like it was made of brass inviting one particular comment, proving once again the very sage Yorkshire life view, that were there’s muck there’s brass!

Malcolm was first strider home followed by Vicky. He was still resplendent in vest and shorts and showing true Yorkshire grit. On the way back to the cars I could swear I heard him turn to Katherine and say” eee lass it were greet o’nt top of them hills today tha nos, and me barr tat an all”….well maybe not The general consensus was a good day all round and to cap it off on the way home the rain really started . Sometimes our timing is just right..

Group Photo

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