Tag Archives: Roseberry Romp

Roseberry Romp, Newton-under-Roseberry, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

BS/5 miles/320m

Nick Latham

Courtesy of Eric Green

What an absolutely brilliant race!  I loved it.

I often struggle to get to mid-week events but when this one popped up I realised I could make it and double my fell race experience in the process. I got there early, just after registration opened at 6pm. The car park was already pretty full but I managed to nab one of the last available spaces. I was shortly followed by Jan, Robin, Eric and Sarah who made up our full Striders contingent.

I have a mental image of fell races to be small affairs compared to road races with perhaps several 10s of people rather than the 100s or 1000s. It was obvious from the registration queue that this was going to be much more popular than I thought! In the end there were exactly 300 finishers, quite a turnout.

I was also intrigued by the composition of the field. My only previous fell race was Cronkley, where, in a field of around 30, I was firmly part of the tail and I can normally expect to be around the middle of the field in most other races. Without meaning to be judgemental, I could see this field was a much broader range of runners than Cronkley, from the hardened fell aficionados through to “regular” club runners (people who might run a mix of road, XC and trail on a normal day) to some who seemed quite inexperienced. The results seem to bear out that assessment with times ranging from 35 to 90 minutes. My point is that you don’t have to be put off thinking it’s just for faster runners, anyone can give this sort of event a go.

I wasn’t planning to race hard, I was treating it as a tempo-effort session and I lined up where I thought was about half way back in the field. With a short announcement about there being lots of runners, so fast finishers weren’t to eat all the cake, we were given a short “3, 2, 1, go” and we were off…

Steady up stony & dusty Roseberry Lane, there’ll be a bottleneck at the gate. Into the woods and a right turn along the surfaced track. Not many passing places, some undulations. Into a rhythm.

Courtesy of Eric Green

Left at the quarry and start climbing – a short steeper section to start with, then more gradual along the outside of the quarry. Single file most of the way. Sharp kick up to a kissing gate – “How British are we?” as we form an orderly queue – then make a quick pass up a short section to a stile (more recovery, I mean queueing). Brief flatter section before a left turn (marshal point) up a short and brutal final climb to the head of the quarry.

Flat along the cliff edge (fenced in), chance to get the legs moving again. Welcome downhill, pick up a few places barrelling past more tentative descents. Apologise to Darlington Harrier who I nearly wipe out in the process.

Onto the top woodland path, climb steadily to the gate onto the common. Past the shooting hut and start the rough path up the south side of the topping. Single-file procession again, hands on knees, no real swapping of places at this point. Alister Robson pops into view just behind me, I’m too out of breath to do more than wave.

Reach the rocks at the top, swing around the trig point and the fun (descent) starts. Why are these two picking their way tentatively over flat rock? Blast past.

Onto the “tourist path” – uneven stones, careful with foot placement – concentrate.

Reach the bottom, runners off to my left – how did they get there? Ignore them, direct route is straight ahead, stick to it.

Across the saddle at a decent pace, bear left to join the path up Little Roseberry. Two in sight ahead of me, can I close them down?  Swaledale vest pulls away, I’m right behind the other by the top of the climb and the next marshal point.

Chuckle at the “left turn” arrow in tape across the bilberries, into a narrow channel. Round the bend, what a view!  Stunning! No time for that, rough track, concentrate on foot placement. Path widens, chance to over-take, grab it.

Sweep down to the edge of the moor and another marshal point, gradually closing on the Swaledale vest. Easier gradient here, gradually reel him in and sit in behind for the last narrow section of path off the moor. Footsteps behind, someone’s closing in. Closed gate ahead so I’ll be with Swaledale and The Feet going into the last section.

Back onto Roseberry Lane again, 400m to the finish. 

Kick hard out of the corner – drop The Feet, close down Swaledale.

Reach the bend in the lane, I’m past him. Don’t look back.

Man ahead – I’m closing fast, I can get him…I’m past. 

Another – catch and pass. 

Woman from Stockton Striders, I might even get to her…

Dig in, gain one last place before the line.

Stop Garmin.  Gasp for air.

Eric and Robin had already finished (no surprise, really), so I was either third counter for the men’s team or last Striders bloke home, whichever way you want to look at it. Jan came in a little while later, clearly in some distress with an injury and Sarah wasn’t far behind to complete our turnout for the evening.

As you might be able to tell, I’d blown all intent to hold back out of the water. It all started on the first climb between the gate and the stile when I found I was able to move past people but wasn’t flat out. I think that flicked the little “race” switch in my head and from then on, I was on the lookout for gaining places. I think the fact that I’d held back at the start helped and that I wasn’t concerned about walking the steeper climbs – steadier pacing in the first half left me able to capitalise on the downhill where I’m generally better.

I finished 143rd in 52:44. The Swaledale vest turned out to be M45 too, so I gained a bonus age-group place on the closing stretch! I later discovered I was nearly 3 minutes up on Katie Abel of Stockton Striders, who I’d just pipped at Vale of York half marathon last year. I also came in a minute and a half up on Alister, despite him catching me on the main climb.

The description said 5.1 miles and 320m climb. I clocked 4.65 miles and 362m climb, Robin and Eric’s watches gave them similar distances and other Strava results seem to confirm the climb. Looking back at my route, there was a split in the tourist path before the zig-zags started, which was probably an easier gradient and less rough underfoot, so I might have missed a small advantage there, but not a catastrophic nav error.

This would be a brilliant introduction for anyone interested in giving fell running a try. It would be quite hard to get lost, especially if you’ve walked or run in the area before; it was well marked and marshalled. The National Trust web page even carries the route and a description, so anyone could try the course throughout the year if they didn’t want to wait for the next race.

If you’re thinking about dipping your toe in the waters of fell running, there are much worse races to try it. Just make sure you get there as early as you can for a parking space!





PositionRace NoTimeNameClubCategory
140935:44Tim GrimwoodSwaledaleMSEN
599143:30Kirsty StruthersNYMACWSEN
7639345:13Robin ParsonsElvet StridersM40
10246848:26Eric GreenElvet StridersM50
14338952:44Nick LathamElvet StridersM45
19739257:33Jan YoungElvet StridersW65
238891:03:42Sarah FawcettElvet StridersW55
(Visited 127 times, 1 visits today)

Roseberry Romp, Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stephen Jackson

Walker is left mystified after Stephen advises him on best way to get down of the mountain I really enjoyed my first fell race, the Roseberry Romp, which is organised by the National Trust as a fund raiser. The weather was great, course well marked and the race itself was very well organised. Being used to the pricing structure of the more high profile road races, with medal and technical t-shirt etc., the entry fee seemed a bargain at four quid (with a bit of flapjack thrown in). I was pleased to see a couple of familiar faces in the car park before the race and had a chat with Kerry Lister and Helen Allen.

I planned to use the race as a training session with some hill work. I was, I must say, completely unprepared for the demanding nature of fell running and having led the race for the first mile really struggled with the ascents. I naively thought I’d be able to ‘run’ from start to finish – something I realised wouldn’t be possible during the first climb. Once I got used to this idea and felt the pressure was off a little bit as I’d been passed by a half-a-dozen or so runners I started to relax and enjoy the experience.

I remembered from a session with Geoff that he’d told me to ‘attack’ the downhill sections so I used this to my advantage for the last mile or so. I finished the race strongly, close to 5km pace, in eighth position.

The experience was useful if only for the fact that I now have the utmost respect for fell runners. I do see fell running as an important way of complimenting my training for races on the road and will most certainly give another race a go this year.


position name club cat time
1 Paul Crabtree Wharfedale Harriers Harriers MV45 35:49
8 Stephen Jackson SM 38:27
25 Kay Neesam New Marske Harriers LV45 40:33
88 Helen allen LV45 69:01
97 Kerry Lister LV40 73:20

102 finishers.

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Roseberry Romp, Thursday, May 29, 2014

BS / 5.1m / 1050ft

Danny Lim

“Its only 5 miles”. Yeah right! The first 2 miles, through the woods at the foot of Roseberry Topping was a real mud-fest. This was followed by a steep uphill climb to Roseberry’s lop-sided peak. Rachael Bullock and I had been exchanging positions a few times so far and I fell behind as she powered her way up. But I had run this peak before and on descending, I took a small grassy side path, instead of the tortuous, slippy-slidey stone steps which are a real bugger to run down in a hurry. This helped me get ahead. For added value, there was another climb to Little Roseberry, just the thing for already tired legs! Then, a brisk, slightly-loony exhilarating descent all the way back to the finish. I was glad to have finished without breaking something, perhaps I should have gone slower, but what’s the fun in that?

Elvet Striders came out in force today, with newbies to fell running such as Vicki McLean and Lindsay Rodgers, welcome to the dark side guys! Will Horsley won 1st place and Rachael Bullock was 3rd lady. Camilla Lauren Maatta was 2nd in her category and with Helen Allen were 1st ladies team. A fun, no-frills (£4), evening race with lots of prizes. What’s there not to like?

Roseberry Topping.


Pos Name Club Cat Catpos Time
1 Will Horsley Northumberland Fell Runners SM 0:34’37
15 Kay Neesam New Marske Harriers LV45 0:42’00
38 Danny Lim SM 0:46’45
39 Aaron Gourley SM 0:47’27
40 Rachael Bullock SL 0:47’31
46 David Selby MV40 0:49’33
65 Camilla Lauren-Maatta LV45 0:53’15
75 Alister Robson MV40 0:59’01
84 Lindsay Rodgers MV45 1:11’08
85 Helen Allen LV40 1:13’21
87 Denise Benvin LV45 1:16’06
88 Kerry Lister LV40 1:28’48

89 finishers

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Roseberry Romp, North York Moors, Thursday, May 10, 2012

BS / 5M / 1050'

Phil Owen …

Jan’s e-mail alerted me to this race and at first I thought It was a new race in the Esk valley summer series that had not made it to the list. However that wasn’t the case as it is in fact a fund raiser for the National Trust.

After taking young Yusuf along to his first fell just last week, he was eager for more and at Monday night run he asked if I was going. He then asked how my legs were, saying with a big broad smile ‘I hope they are still tired because I going to beat you’! After a full night and day of heavy rain I was glad to see the rain stop a couple of hours before this race but I expected a mud fest. Picked Yusuf up and headed to the Cleveland hills. For those that know it, the race HQ is the same car park as the one for newton under Roseberry which as the name suggest is directly below Roseberry Topping, an iconic hill on the Cleveland way.

Very small field and we were off up the very muddy track. We turned right into 100 Aker wood and slipped our way through the mud gradually gaining height. Leaving the wood, a marshal guided us to the left and up a steeper climb to what looks like an old quarry climb. From her we wound round some more woods and up on a rear path to the Roseberry summit and another marshal.

All this time I had Yusuf in my sights as he bounced and bounded along like Tigger but he was too fast for me in the early stages. It did get me thinking if he is Tigger, who am I? Unfortunately only Pooh bear came to mind. Must be my round and stout exercises! Still in I knew we should have plenty of very muddy downhill to come and Pooh bears are built for rolling down hills. Up to the top of little Roseberry and then down a small track I’ve never noticed before. This is where Tigger was in trouble as tiggers are made for climbing not falling, stoutness out I simply rolled past him through the mud the couple of miles to the finish. Excellent new race, only ££4.00 to enter, on some trails I didn’t know existed. With it being fully marked marshalled it’s particularly brilliant race for the newbie fell or trail runners but tough enough for the experienced to get a good workout and enjoy. A Durham Uni student and friend of Yusuf ‘s need lift have won the race( he’s keen to do more but need lifts. I’ve invited him to join our FB group as I’m sure some of us can help out there ) with Hardmoors 110 ladies winner Shelly Gordon wining the ladies. Hillary, RD at Saltwell Park Parkrun after her clubs fell running was chuffed to bit to win her age category! The national trust has another of these although a quick Google search doesn’t reveal much information I managed to pick up a few flyers. Details: Bransdale Fell Race 7.5 mile 1400ft ascent, Thursday 9th August 2012 , Entries £4 ,Registration at Bransdale Mill, Postcode YO627JL , well marked route, all Profits to local National Trust.

Yusuf adds:

Yesterday’s race was fantastic. One of top crazy things I have ever done in my life. There was so much mud. Almost whole race. I wanted to race with Flip but he is so damn good at running hill down with that mud. He already had experienced a lot of crazyiness but I know I ve got a long life to live :)))) I really scared that I might tradigacelly break some parts of my body when I go down. It was even hard to stand or walk but bloody Flip is fearless. But it is a fantastic memory.Wonderful race.

My next challenge is to run YOMP 23 mile. Hope I can survive that.

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