Cock Howe and Beyond, Chop Gate, North York Moors, Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BM / 7M / 1500'

Dave Selby

Starring Rachael Bullock, Nigel Heppell and Dave Selby

Before... a non-plussed DaveMonday evening I was still on the fence about this event. Then Rachael (aka Fatty) said that she was keen to run up a steep hill and get wet and muddy. So lured in by camaraderie and the false sense of security given by the positively tropical conditions of Durham we set off to Chop Gate. Within ten miles of Chop Gate the cloud was low, it was cool (but pleasantly so) and those all too familiar water droplets were falling from the sky. Not quite the conditions we were expecting. The hill we were about to ascend was encapsulated in cloud. I suppose what you don’t know (see) cannot hurt you?

All signed in and dressed ready for action I observed the field while Fatty filled herself with banana(s). I find it unnerving that I have more fat in my big toe than some of the runners. I’m sure it is not healthy to have so little body fat. They must get very cold in the winter.

We met Nigel who had brought along his support and cheering team. Nice idea. With the race announcement over with we were off. The initial path up the hill is relatively narrow, so to thin out the crowd the run starts with a lap of the car park. Then upwards the run begins. The first hurdle was a farm gate as there was too much of a queue for the stile. Shortly over the gate I made a mistake in following a group of runners up a very narrow path that then decided to walk. Slowly getting past them I rejoined the main route to see Fatty had taken the correct route and was a good distance in front. Here the fun really began; a 534 to 1310ft climb over ~1.2m to the summit (see route profile generated by Fatty’s fancy watch) – good and overall runnable climb. A small exposure of shale made the path lovely and greasy over a steep section for about 10m. Watching those in front slip was quite amusing. Before we got to the summit the juniors were making their way down. And by the time we got to summit the cloud had cleared and the rain had all but stopped. From the top there was a blissful 1m of downhill only be to greeted by another climb from 987 to 1240ft over ~0.75m. The next ~1.5m only had a slight incline and took us full circle back to the summit, along the way giving us beautiful views and a wee glimmer of red sky from the setting sun in the west. From the summit more fun, down the hill we came up at the start. After... a happy Dave, proving once and for all that fell racing makes people happy.This part was awesome. One final obstacle before the finish line, the farm gate, over the top I went and the last few hundred yards to the finish line where Nigel and his support crew were already waiting. Moments later Fatty came sprinting across the line with a huge smile across her face.
🙂

There were plenty of prizes to go round at the end – we took a bottle of wine and two boxes of Marks and Spencers three pack of Walnut Whips (which apparent contain more calories in total than we burnt during the run – so disappointing. The only downside to the long prize ceremony was the innumerable midgies that thought Fatty tasted quite good. Apparently she is really itchy at the moment. It must be the young blood. We then headed to the Buck Inn for refreshments and nibbles that were well deserved by all.

The End…

The ups and downs

Results

Pos Name Club Cat Pos Time
1 Matthew Hammerton Romsey RR M 41.43
14 Catherine Williamson Loftus & Whitby F 48.38
28 Nigel Heppell M55 3 54.50
53 David Selby M40 60.42
65 Rachael Bullock M60 65.35

78 finishers.

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