Osmotherley Phoenix: report from Lisa Taylor

Osmotherley Phoenix 17 mile

I ran this race in 2010 and a few years of injuries made me think I’d never run this kind of distance again. But Saturday 6th July found me on the start line ready to run it again. A super hot day was forecast and the weather Gods didn’t disappoint. I was to run the first 7 miles or so to the second Checkpoint with Jason (who was running the 26 miler) and then I was on my own navigation wise, so was feeling a little apprehensive but hopeful that I could rely on my own map reading skills!

9am sharp and we were off! There was a mad scramble at the start with people tripping over kerbs, bumping into each other & running into cars and then we spread out a little up the first hill. The heat took a bit to get accustomed to but we were eventually up onto the open hillside where there was a slightly cooling breeze. A nice runable section took us along and then down into & through the woods, across a grassy field then a little climb up a hill to the first checkpoint. A handful of sweets then we were up a path to be met with a nice vertical ascent through the woods. A gentle climb up to the glider club had me at a virtual standstill as the heat really started to get to me. I felt I was holding Jason up as he kept stopping for me to catch up as I bimbled up the hill. Then a nice steep downhill to the second checkpoint where we said our goodbyes!

Now on my own, I started back up the track. A brief chat with a fellow runner saw me lose a bit of concentration and tripping over a stone, I went flying into the dirt & heather. Pride bruised more than my body, I picked myself up & carried on slightly more grubby then when I’d started. More climbing and then finally we reached a bit of a downhill which was a welcome relief. A bit more downhill, a brief check of the map & discussion about directions with a lovely French lady, another little steep climb and we were at the third checkpoint.

I remembered there was a bit more uphill to the road then it was largely downhill to the finish, with just a few steep steps into the village. I walked most of the uphill, then ran across the boggy rough ground to the road. It was lovely to reach a bit of solid tarmac and I picked the pace up hopeful that I’d be able to reach the finish line in under 4 hours. I found the end a little confusing though & couldn’t make a lot of sense of my map or the written (very confusing) instructions as my brain was becoming increasingly frazzled. Two ladies helped me back on the right track and I reached the final self clip. A climb up some horrible steep steps into the village and finally the finish line was in sight!!!! I crossed the line in 4 hrs & 3 mins. Just outside my target but still 13 minutes faster than last time I ran it. I knew the race was over distance last time I ran it and it measured in at just under 18.5 miles on my garmin. At least I was prepared for the extra distance this year!

I was happy with my run considering the heat and was over the moon I had navigated my way round the route with only a few pointers from other people! The race has renewed my interest in running longer distances and I’m sure I’ll be back in the future.

Photos & youtube video here: http://osmotherleyphoenix.wikidot.com/home. Results should be available later this week.

Lisa Taylor

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