For my first race outside Scotland our journey started 9am on Tuesday Hogmanay, our destination for the Race was Whitby, which should of been a 5hrs drive, however driving 50 miles past our turn off and then having a detour through the North Yorkshire Moors, which I may add was a fantastic drive and worth the 1.5hrs detour.
Come Race morning we arrived in ravenscar to a very busy Hall and rather Damp and cold conditions, Once Jon Steele gave us our Brief we lined up and to his count from 4 were off. First I had no idea of the Route so the plan was always follow some one and hope they knew the route, Although there was no fears as the Route was well marked and I even managed to stay on Course ;-)
The first few miles we Ran on top of the cliffs and this was fantastic just looking out over the sea, although you couldn't look to long as it was super muddy and slippy and you had to watch your Foot plant. After this we came out onto a cinder track which we would follow out to whitby, where we turn back and come along the Cleveland way and on the Cliff tops all the way back to Ravenscar.
I had been running well for the first 18-20 miles and holding around a 7.15 pace On nearing Whitby my pace was dropping naturally and then the conditions dropped it dramatically Once up the steps and out onto the Cliff Tops we had around 9 miles of slipping and sliding in a mud Fest, I wouldn't say you Could Run more jog with some Split positions thrown in.
The Wind and Rain had started to come on Hard and straight at us, However it was still Rather Fun in a sadistic way. Having passed through the last checkpoint and knowing there was around 4.5 miles left it did become a Fight to get to the Finish asap. I was starting to struggle badly with the cold and being soaked through. I had seen my target time vanish however I knew if i kept moving I would still be happy with my Run, I could see Ravenscar up in the distance yes I say Up right in the last mile there is a nasty wet muddy climb, I knew warmth and shelter was at the top, I had only one option it was way to wet and cold to contemplate walking, so with some shouting cursing and almost tears I moved up the climb then up the road and into the Hall and Safe but broken from that last effort.
What can I say Wow what a Race and Route, It has to be one off the most enjoyable Races to date, You finished knowing you had been in a Race and it had everything that could be thrown at you, I must say well done to the Hardmoors 30 Team, all your marshals, Summit Fever and all the other Runners who toed the start line I hope you got what you wanted out of your Race in some Lovely Conditions. I will make the not So long Journey next year for sure :-)
Next week also brings another wee special Birthday run, which is another coastline Run hope the weather is a little Kinder.
500ml of High Five Endurance
4 High Five Gels
4hrs 53mins :-)