Ferriby 10 Miles, 26 January 2014

By Stephen Robson

When I entered this race at the end of last year I was expecting a chilly but enjoyable race to blow off those post Christmas cobwebs. How wrong I was! Neither chilly nor enjoyable were accurate for this year’s race as it seems that someone ordered near apocalyptic weather conditions for the day, and boy did we suffer.

The one mile walk from the carpark to the start line was enough to nearly finish us off. Runners were huddled together in groups trying to stay warm as they slowly trudged up the hill. A vicious and biting wind beat back anyone who dared to show a little flesh, and the race line-up was a sea of bin bags with heads sticking out of the top of them.

Surely once the race started we’d warm up? Nope, the weather had other ideas for the brave 615 runners who made it to the start line. The wind brought with it rain, and the roads we were supposed to be running on had torrents of water flowing down them. The runners who smugly claimed to still have dry socks were punished by unavoidable puddles and the relentless spray from oncoming vehicles.

As the race climbed towards its highest altitude the rain had given way to sleet and hail. Those who’d brought balaclavas with them proudly covered their heads, whereas the rest of us endured the agonizing sensation of high speed little balls of ice smashing into our already cold faces. The sleet even became snow at one point, providing something of a respite from the pain.

This barrage of weather continued for the entirety of the race, so much so that it was the least social run I’ve ever taken part in. The usual camaraderie in races was not to be found here, each runner instead keeping their head down, teeth gritted, and safe in the knowledge that the people next to them were suffering just as much.

The uphill finish didn’t matter, we were already cold, wet and tired, and even a vertical ascent couldn’t have made us any more miserable. At the finish line we quickly grabbed a souvenir t-shirt (which was already soaked through) and dashed for the nearest cover.

Despite the conditions the marshalls were out in force and in good spirits. There were also photographers on the route and they managed to snap some decent pictures. In better weather conditions the organisation would make this a superb race, and maybe I’ll come back next year to find out.

There were eight runners from York Knavesmire Harriers, and some of them (myself included) even set PBs. The only explanation is that the cold numbed the pain of pushing so hard.

51st – Ste Robson 01:06:13
86th – Ewan Cochrane 01:08:27
162nd – Sarah Attwood 01:13:12
206th – Daniel Sturgeon 01:15:03
272nd – Mike Smith 01:19:01
383rd – Ian Bithell 01:24:34
442nd – Clare Moffatt 01:28:18
593rd – Charlotte Harrison 01:47:16

The full results are here

Well done to everyone!

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