YKH Weekly Round Up – w.e 30th July.

—ETU Cross Duathlon.

Nik Tarrega can proudly claim to be the European Cross Duathlon Age Group Champion after this event in Romania.

—Compedrosa Skyrace – Andorra  .           report by Thomas Ratcliffe

This year our Skyrunning adventures took a group of Knavesmires to the country of Andorra, a small principality sandwiched between Spain and France in the middle of the Pyrenees. As we drove through the twisty roads towards Arinsal, a ski resort where the race started, the mountains seemed more vertical than any other range I had come across and it became apparent why this Skyrunning race is labelled the very steepest in the Skyrunning series.

(spot the Knavesmire vest at 6:25 ( the drone shot before winner crosses the line)

Skyrace Comapedrosa – Teledeporte

T'has perdut el reportatge de lSkyrace Comapedrosa emès avui a Teledeporte? Aquí el tens! —¿Te has perdido el reportaje de la Skyrace Comapedrosa emitido hoy en Teledeporte? ¡Aquí lo tienes!—Have you missed the report of the Skyrace Comapedrosa broadcast today on Teledeporte? Here it is!Andorra | AndorraWorld | Comú de la Massana | VallnordFederació Andorrana de Muntanyisme (FAM) | Parc Natural del ComapedrosaTaymory | NutriSport | Noene_OficialSkyrunning | Fedme – Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada | Carreras por Montaña FEDME | Skyrunnerseries & CXMRevista Trail Run | Carreras por montaña | Nació Muntanya

Posted by Skyrace Comapedrosa on Friday, 4 August 2017

There were two races – a 15km with 1400 metres of elevation and a 21 km race with 2,300 metres of elevation. I took on the 15km race alongside my brother whilst Giles and Chris and former Knavesmire, Anwen Darlington raced the 21km course.

And so to the start of the race…the humming of a drone could just about be heard above the nattering of different languages from all over the world. Even without understanding what was being said, you could feel the nerves as we stared upwards towards the sun’s shadows on the mountain side pondering the unknown challenges which were yet to be unveiled. Then looking towards the hot sticky concrete floor where small geckos could be seen on the rocks, scuttling and also sunbathing…something which seemed extremely tempting in this soaring heat.

The race started – off on a road section which lasted a short while and it was upwards on to mountain bike type trails through the cool treelines which provided some protection from the sun…weaving…zigzagging….upwards and upwards. Encounters with bears and snakes were suddenly swept aside as the anxiety around the steep terrain took over. 

As we got higher, the strong smell of pine wood faded, the vegetation started to gradually disappear and wide, expansive vistas emerged across the whole of Andorra. Unused ski chairlifts swung in the breeze and the odd refuge hut could be spotted on the mountain side giving us some hope that humanity did venture this far up. Optimism then increased as the terrain slightly flattened across a ridge on the way to the summit of Pic de les Fonts and sanguinity reached even higher levels when a sign for a food station appeared.

And here there were muesli bars, energy gels, sweet thirst-quenching murky water (which on any other day you probably wouldn’t have touched due to its discolouration) and all kinds of fruit….melon, oranges, bananas…suddenly it was easy to forget that you were in a race and not shopping around the fruit section of the Shambles market.

View back down the valley

A rocky Lake District like downward slope from the summit (At the end of the race I would hear that Anwen and Chris were nip and tuck across this section) following the lines of other runners, we reached the point where the 21km race split from the 15km race. At this mark, I looked up towards the notoriously brutal vertical kilometre. Basically a wall of rock ‘reaching for the sky’ * and saw a line of people trying to get up in whatever miraculous way possible -crawling, climbing, hands, knees and poles. I started to think Chris, Giles and Anwen could only be suffering.

Rock field then screes before hitting the Col and then along the ridge to summit of Compedrosa


An hour of steepness for the 21km runners eventually took them to the top of the famous Comapedrosa, Andorra’s highest peak at 2942 metres. Then from the summit they had an extremely technical rocky descent along a narrow ridge, littered with boulders and sheer drops on either side. Using their descending skills honed across the British countryside they battled against the topography, passing a small lake / tarn – the real difficulty here being the resistance not to jump in it. Eventually after what seemed like an eternity of descending getting to the path where the 21km would meet the 15km race again.

On the way down

As the 15km runners made their final descent down the U shaped valley, the tranquil / constant siesta like ambience of this country which had been so prevalent on the race dissipated as the music from the finish in Arinsal started to get louder and louder. It was a trail and then a stony road and then a road and then a tunnel and then in typical Skyrunning style they decided to send us up a small but nasty grassy hill which no one was prepared for. 

And then into the ski resort town of Arinsal where ‘Vamos’ and ‘Venga’ could be heard on every street corner as the relieving sight of the finish line suddenly appeared. Once crossed the coldest Coca Cola was drunk at the fastest speed ever imagined, wide weary smiles were everywhere and I stumbled over towards my brother to acknowledge that he had beaten me.

Looking down at the rocks the small geckos were still there scuttling about and sunbathing in the soaring sun. This time it was our turn to collapse and do the same (without the scuttling!).

Compedrosa Results:

Anwen Darlington – 79th – 3 hours 49 mins (first UK runner)

Chris Roberts – 110th – 4 hours 7 mins

Giles Hawking – 211 – 5 hours 4 mins

Arinsal Results:

Sam Ratcliffe – 17th – 2 hours 13 mins (first UK runner)

Tom Ratcliffe – 45
th – 2 hours 35 mins

Other members of the party who successfully completed the 15km race included Kristian Bloomfield (74th – 3 hours 11 mins) and considering it was his first fell /mountain race made this achievement even more fantastic.

*Many thanks go out to a supporter en route to the Pic de les Fonts for this quotation.

—Swiss Alpine 36k.

Paul and Sue Adams took part in this event , part of the Swissalpine mountain running and ultra festival held at Davos.

Their race began at Bergun ( alt 1500m ) and traversed the Sertigpass ( alt 2+2939 m) to finish in Davos.

Sue Adams 8:57:17
Paul Adams 8:57.18

Videos of Sue and Paul during the race and the finish.

—Ryedale Running Festival 10km – Ampleforth College.

Knavesmire won the Male Team Prize

9th Mark Harney         44:11
17th Jonathon Boyle   48:18
29th Jane Nodder       50:29
40th John Nodder       53:37
63rd Martin Smith       59:33

—James Herriot Country Trail Race.

328th Zoe Pattinson 110:31

—Breca Buttermere Swim Run.


Petra and Andy Gibbs and  ran the Buttermere sprint swimrun race on Saturday as a pair ,  they were 23rd out of about 67 teams overall and 7th in mixed teams.
Really enjoyable event, conditions on Crummock Water and Buttermere were choppy to say the least!!
Mandy Clarke ran with York Tri’s Kerry Archer finishing the Sprint race in 40th place ( 5th Ladies team ) with a time of 3h:46.


—Grimsby 10k.

22nd Stephen Maddison 35:59

—Inclined to Madness.

Wednesday evening fell race on the North Yorkshire Moors, taking in the 1 mile long ascent of the old Ingleby Railway incline, before taking in the Moors highest point ( Round Hill) , then descending to the finish.

66th Ewan Kirk  63.38

88th Andrew Johnson 67.58


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