Unless I'm very much mistaken, I think I was the only YPH in race action on Sunday. Sorry as always if I've missed yours but I've done a trawl of the usual results sites and had a quick scroll through Strava and apart from one or two of you running off the after effects of Sat night there is nothing 'official' to report.
I guess that leaves me then. Hardmoors in December can only mean one thing. Usually. Shit weather. Yesterday was the exception to the rule. Driving up the A19, the thermometer was ticking upwards and it was a balmy 8.5 degrees (anyone know where the little circle degrees symbol is on a keyboard? No, me neither) as we arrived in Guisborough ready for a 9am start.
There was no wind, there was definitely no snow and there was definitely no rain. What's going on? Shorts weather then.
174 of us set off and my plan for the day was to get round in sub 3 hours. You tarmac folk will be thinking sub 3 for a half, that's positively pedestrian. And indeed it would be around the flatlands of the Brass Monkey next month. Chuck in an ascent of the Tees Link to Highcliff Nab, 2 climbs of Roseberry Topping, the climb to Captain Cook's monument from Gribdale car park plus a few other little ones then you've got 3500 ft of climbing and 14 1/2 miles. How does that sub 3 feel now?
I've always been a pretty poor climber and rely on catching everyone up on the downhill and flat. We were about 3K in when we got to the first 'proper' climb up the Tees Link. For those who know it, it's chuffing steep and gets steeper as you cross the track nearer the top and head up the last section to the Nab. Chuck in the fact that several hundred before us on other Hardmoors events had churned it up and it was a mud fest. Not too bad going up but would be interesting when we descended it later on.
Nothing like a climb to get the lungs going so from there it was over the moor to Roseberry and how lovely it was looking in the morning Sun. We climbed it from what I always think is the easier side via Little Roseberry. Easier in the sense that it's still steep but definitely feels shorter. We had Santa and his Elf waiting for us at the top before we descended the other side all the way down to the gate that leads to the car park before a quick about turn and back up from whence we had come.
Back to the top we go and it was a fine sight to see Santa again at the top. Didn't have any presents for me though. From there it was a very runnable section across to Gribdale where I managed to get in a few 5min ish K's. The last big climb of the day was up to Captain Cook's followed by a left turn across in the direction of Kildale but us half marathoners didn't quite go that far.
There were some cracking downhill tarmac sections that followed and I was able to catch a few other runners up as we headed deep into the last 10K. One almost final climb up to Percy Rigg before another stretch of tarmac and we were heading back across the moor towards Highcliff Nab once again.
I wished my companions all the best as we made the descent of the Tees Link. It would have been great in the dry and I'm just glad I made the right shoe choice with plenty of grip in the slime but still sliding around like Bambi on ice. One of the other runners I saw earlier on had chosen Nike road shoes for her day out. Not sure what the logic was there, quick as anything on the track but no chance of staying upright elsewhere. I'm guessing she's not still coming down Tees Link and made it back home in one piece.
The success of the day was getting down Tees Link and remaining clean with no Jim like fall to report. The stopwatch was ticking ever close to 3 hours at that point and I had about 2K to go with 14 mins to beat my target, knowing the last K is all downhill and on road.
2:58:53 was my final time so expertly judged! 36th out of 174 with the winner being a mind blowing 2:08.
I'd love to tell you I ran all the way up this climb from Gribdale to Captain Cook's but there's nothing like the sight of a photographer to make you run for about 10 yards. The camera never lies!
Onto parkrun from Saturday when 15 of us took part including a B course on the grass at the Mire due to the ice.
Fountains Abbey - Kev Armstrong 25.07
Hes - Jordan Howe 17.50, Phil Raddall 29.12
Millfield - Patrick Hough 25.04
New Earswick - Alex Davis 19.50, Marc Pearson 21.02, Ben Briffaud 21.52
Temple Newsam - Danny Clayton 22.36, Jamie Butler 23.53
York - Dom Carter 17.55, Elliot Cole 17.58, Jim Carter 19.38, Simon Middleton 25.28, Jenna Pengilley 33.09, Lucy Turner 33.23
That's all for this week folks. Have a great week.