1/2 MARATHON INFO
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Fell & Trail Race
Guisborough Three Tops - 27.10.13
Last Sunday saw the 3rd event
in the NEHRA Winter Series, an excellent series of fell races throughout the
North York Moors. The Guisborough 3 Tops is one of the hillier races in the
series, with over 600m of ascent on the 8-9 mile route. The route itself starts
with a steady climb through Guisborough Woods to emerge on Highcliff Nab. It
then works its way westwards across the moors, descending to Roseberry Common
followed by a quick climb of Roseberry Topping. A high speed descent and another
short climb takes you to Hanging Stone, before a return across the moor and a
steep wooded descent to the finish.
started from a sheltered Guisborough Rugby Club, although it was
clear from the weather forecast that strong winds might be an
issue on the moors. The start of the race was fairly quick,
making sure you gained a good position for the narrow path that
climbed up through the woods. Highcliff Nab passed without any
drama, followed by a long section of the Cleveland Way to
Roseberry Common. The summit of Roseberry Topping was a battle
against the wind, as we fought our way up to the trig point
before dropping into shelter on the descent. We seemed to
provide an interesting spectacle for the walkers on the summit
out for a Sunday stroll!
section to Hanging Stone was fairly straightforward (much
sympathy for the marshal who stayed out in the wind and checked
off everyone’s numbers at the checkpoint!), before the return to
Highcliff – this time with a bit of wind assistance. A quick
detour to the final checkpoint (the trig point above Highcliff
Nab) preceded the winding descent to the finish. The navigation
here isn’t obvious, but luckily I’d found myself a local to
follow (women’s record holder Kay Neesam of New Marske
Harriers). However, steep descents aren’t really my forte, so
the muddy path saw me lose about 5 or 6 hard-earned places.
Having stayed remarkably upright for the rest of the race, I
also managed to go flying on the last bit of the descent, only
50 metres from the safety of easy ground!
4 Harriers entered the race – Chris
Roberts led the team home with 8th place
in a strong field, followed by myself in 19th,
Giles Hawking in 42nd and
Andrew Johnson in 75th.
With 12 races remaining in the series (every few weeks until April), there’s
plenty of chances for anyone who want try something different. The next races
are Clay Bank West on 10 November and Commondale Beacon (one of the less hilly
races) on 24 November.
Helvellyn Trail Race
On Saturday 3rd November I
completed my first Lakeland Trails Race. If you are getting a bit
bored of road running, enjoy trail races but aren't quite ready for
a fell race just yet I can definitely recommend this series if the
Helvellyn Race was anything to go by.
There were options for a 10km
run, 15km challenge or 15km race for the faster runners. 800 runners
finished over the 3 events. The route started in the field at
Glenridding on the banks of Ullswater before heading uphill for the
first 3km towards the snowy peak of Helvellyn. The route then turns
back downhill and skirts the slopes of the fells beneath Helvellyn
following Glenridding beck and Grisedale beck before a last
kilometre along the road from Patterdale and back to the finish.
Conditions were a mixture of sunny with occasional sleet and snow
showers and there was even a rainbow above Patterdale at the finish!
You need a proper pair of off
road shoes for this sort of thing and the organisers insisted on all
competitors carrying hat, gloves and waterproof and although it
wasn't a fell race there were some pretty 'technical' sections. But
if you like hopping from rock to rock, running through puddles,
getting covered in mud and generally behaving like a big kid, this
is for you. I may even of shouted 'whoo hooo' at one point as I
completely lost control coming down one very steep section of track.
The organisation and marshalling
are excellent, the scenery is breathtaking and there was kendal mint
cake and a singalong at the end with folk singer, Pete Lashley who
ran the race and then promptly put on a gig in the marquee. I was
only sorry that running the Guy Fawkes 10 the next day meant I
couldn't stay to do the 'Dirty Double' on Sunday and take the
steamer across the lake to run the Ullswater trail race. I did
however achieve a new high finishing as first (and coincidentally
also last) Knavesmire Harrier!
For those interested there is a
Sticky Chocolate Trail race on the 15th December, a full programme
for next year and the Helvellyn race features in Open Country this
week on radio 4.
Filey Beach Club Run, 30 September
|Report by Liz
For those poor Harriers unable to attend this month's club run, take a
look at the picture and see what you missed - pristine sands, waves
gently lapping at the shore, clear blue skies and palm trees swaying in
the breeze. What a place for a run!
Unfortunately, this was Filey in the autumn and the reality was a bit
different - we were greeted by cold winds on the exposed cliff top
country park at the start, with most of us opting for an extra layer to
run in for warmth! But spirits among the 16 Harriers gathered there were
high, until the arrival of the Coastguard closely followed by the RNLI -
just what was in store for us?
The first kilometre was fast - steeply downhill to the cobble landing
where we joined the sands - the vision of an azure blue sea being
replaced by leaden skies, a grey sea and a strong sou'westerly wind in
our faces. The coastal scenery was lovely though, with far reaching
views across the bay to Flamborough Head. The rain held off, and the sun
was almost visible behind the clouds.
Running along the beach was certainly a pleasant change from pounding
over tarmac, with Oyster Catchers and Gulls lining the shore. The
rippled sand was firm and easy to run on, although very wet in places -
an autumn paddle resulting in very wet feet! Images of Chariots of Fire
flashed through some people's heads, and if you listened hard you could
hear Margaret Brown humming the tune as she ran!
It was an out and back course, so it was nice to hear team
mates shouting encouragement to each other as we passed. The
return leg was easier, with the wind behind us. Easier? I
must have forgotten about the horrendously steep climb back
up to the Country park.
Fortunately, it was short and sharp, with Kim Middleton strategically
placed to cheer us on just when we needed it, and we were
soon running the final lap around the park to the finish
I thought I'd heard the shout of "first one back buys the
ice-creams", but I must have been mistaken, and Martin
Parvin's suggestion of building a sandcastle at the turn
around point fell on deaf ears.
Simon Collins led our team home in a time of 39:56, followed
by Pete Downes in 42:25. A battle for third YKH ensued,
with David Darton just taking it from Pete Moss, with only 6
seconds separating them.
I came in first of the YKH ladies, just ahead of Viv
Fraser, Margaret Brown and Linda Moss.
Everyone seemed pleased with their times, but I think the
combination of a strong headwind and the final climb
scuppered any chance of a PB.
This was a really nice race and everyone was full of
positive comments at the end.
Tom's Bransdale Fell Run - 9th Aug.
|Report by Giles Hawking
Fantastic turnout from the Harriers for this race in memory of
one of our departed members Tom Watson.
The race began at a secluded water mill at the head of the Dale,
and goes straight up the big hill seen in the background of the
group photo (this does not include all YKH's present), then
levelling off to give some easier running and gorgeous views
over the moors.
A short descent to the stream and farm at Bonfield Ghyll is abruptly
followed by a slog uphill on road. Then back off road for
a little more climbing the reward for which is a seemingly never
ending downhill section, made a pleasure thanks to
the un-punishing springy ground beneath your feet, also
very exciting if done at full pelt.
The meander back up the valley seemed longer than you imagined
it should have been but never mind once at the finish you
received a hearty applause, some lovely homemade cake, and we
even won the
Men's team prize.
Thanks to Sue and Paul Adams for the pics and support on the
Alpine 2012 - 28th July.
Report by Sue Adams
This year Paul & I decided we were not fit enough to run the K42
over the mountains so opted to do the C42 low alpine marathon
+500m/-1550m for Paul this was a worry as he has no head for
heights and the course involves going over a very tall viaduct,
we made arrangements with the race officials for him to be met
and walked over the train track instead of the metal walkway –
he counted the 342 sleepers to keep his mind focussed away from
the depths below.
Our start was 7am from the stadium with music, helicopters and
lovely weather by 17 miles we got very heavy rain, thunder &
lightening with long stages of mud and tree roots eventually
finishing in sun at Tiefencastel.
This was Paul’s 250th marathon
– much to his delight as he has not been able to run marathon
distance easily for the last two years.
the K42 +1720m/-1550m at 11.30 in the horrendous weather at
Bergun fortunately for him the weather cleared as he climbed
with some lovely clear views at the higher points of Keschhutte
and Sertig Pass he ran a fantastic event, finishing in a time
6hrs10mins before the torrential storm, thunder & lightening
started up again.
Olu exceeded our expectations; we stood for an hour in the
storms waiting for him, to find via a text from Abby & Stuart
that he had finished, it was good to know he was safe but we
were disappointed to miss him finish as we were the only three
from York there this year. Hopefully there will be a good
Yorkshire contingence there next year.
Howard Club Run
|Sunday 17 June
Report by Liz Matthews and Pete Downes
This is always a popular event for families - there was a 6 k race and
kiddies fun run taking place before the main event. It is a beautiful
setting for a race, with the start and finish on the sweeping lawn
between the house and the Great Lake. The route took us out into the
beautiful countryside of the Howardian Hills, along rough bridle tracks
and undulating estate roads. Heading up the hill at the 3k mark we were
rewarded by views of the Pyramid and fields full of red poppies. The
short but sharp climb over a pretty stone bridge gave yet more views of
the Mausoleum and Temple. There was another testing climb across a field
before repeating it all again on the second lap. Cheering crowds lined
the final 400 metre dash to the finish line.
There was a fantastic turn out of 25 Harriers, who performed well as
always – Chris Roberts ran well to finish in ninth place overall ,
having already raced, and won, the RUTTP earlier in the day. Emma Yates
was once again the first lady home in 41.56mins finishing in an amazing
19th place overall.
to Simon Collins on his 13th place overall and 1st local runner home,
also well done to team YKH for winning
in both the
ladies and men's
categories, the ladies (team of 3) where led home by Emma Yates, Liz
Matthews and Gillan Barker. and the men's (team of 4 ) led home by Chris
Roberts, Simon Collins, Sam Ellis and Pete Downes .well done to all YKH
runners who took part, great running at a great venue.
Family battles continued in the Moss family, and
also between Liz Matthews and her daughter Abbi. Youth proved to be the winner in
Lakelands Trails Race at Staveley.
|A resurgent Barry Atkinson won the vet 50 age group at the
Lakelands Trails race at Staveley, and finished 14th
overall in the main race.
This tough 17.4km trail race, which took place in 25 degree temperatures,
took place mainly off road, with three long climbs and sharp
rocky descents, over the lower fells in the Kentmere Valley.
Barry had a strong start, applied his fell running abilities and
maintained his pace, overtaking others runners around the course
as the high temperatures took their toll.
The race involved a ‘sting in the tail’,
taking in a further short climb near the finish to the sounds of
cowbells, a trig point erected by the race sponsors Puma and
‘high fives’ from spectators.
The third photograph shows Barry receiving
his prize from a representative from Puma.
Darren Hendley also competed in the main
race, with Liz Matthews competing in the challenge race which
tackled the same course.
Baildon Boundary Way -
On a sunny April Fools day, two Harriers ventured over to Baildon for
the Baildon Boundary Way Half marathon, a race that used to be a regular
fixture on the race calendar for Knavesmire Harriers.
This is a great off road half marathon, well organised and friendly.
However, a few flat miles in the middle of the race along the canal
lull you in to a false sense of security, before you climb on to Baildon
Moor at about mile 9. Just when you are really starting to feel the
miles anyway. And your race face is turning quickly to your pain face.
The weather was kind to us and underfoot conditions were good. Both of
us recorded faster times than for our previous efforts in this event
thanks to Pete's track sessions on a Thursday, Mark Dye coming in in
1.41.21 and myself in 1.42.54 (3rd LV 35-45).
This event takes place near to the course of the John Carr 5k series,
the first race of which is Yorks vet 5k champs on May 2nd. I hope to do
this event and would be good if we could field a few other vets. Link
to the Esholt 5k series is below.
Following on from this, the vets Grand Prix series re-commences, with
Kirkstall on May the 22nd. Details on vets section of Knavesmire