> 2007 race reports
07/08/07 Gribdale Gallop - from Rob Stephens (+ photos)

7.5miles / 1400' ascent (BM)

summer's eve - photo: Rob
A bright and warm summer's evening made for very pleasant running

A warm, bright sunny evening and a spur of the moment decision, helped along by Dexter's account of last year's race in the NFR Newsletter (Autumn) had me motoring over to Great Ayton to try out NYM.AC's Gribdale Gallop.

As you would imagine, there were lots of local vests milling around Gribdale car park. Ken Maynard fresh from his tremendous Bob Graham Round was full of bounce and raring to go. If I was the only other NFR there, then it was a fairly safe bet that Will Horsley would lead the team ... but with just a couple of minutes to get registered, Gary Jones turned up (got a little lost in Great Ayton ... like I did) after a pretty long journey. So as for who would be first NFR ... game on!

It was a very casual and cheery atmosphere as race organiser Dave Parry sorted the registration from his mobile office (passenger seat of his car). All gathered for the start, then after a brief "brief", it was a relaxed "... away you go then!" that had folk fumbling about to start their watches.

A steady climb up to Captain Cook's monument soon warms you up, before the long descent to Lonsdale farm. Dexter has already described the route in the newsletter as being virtually the Gisborough Moors race in reverse, so I'll just add that the section from the Hanging Stone to Roseberry Topping seems now to be an established route, taped and guided by the marshal at Hanging Stone, so no problem navigating there. In fact this section was one of the best bits as far as I was concerned: swooping fast technical descent through the woods picking over roots and ruts, great stuff.

By the time I reached the foot of Roseberry Topping to go up, Gary was down and looking to Little Roseberry, and on the first few steps up to the top I met Will in hot pursuit of Gary. Climbing up the narrow stepped path, a little ducking and diving was necessary to let fast descenders past as they came hurtling down.

Once over Little Roseberry a good long flattish stretch to put the foot to the floor, and finally ending with a breakneck-speed drop down Gribdale Steps to the finish - brilliant!

Gary came an admirable 5th (not bad considering he came 11th at the Helensburgh Half Marathon race on Sunday), Will came an admirable 7th (not bad considering his niggling injuries), and I arrived back at the finish some time after those two (not bad considering ...).

It is a great race route and Gary thinks so too (I think he'll be back!) - well worth the trip down.

Results on the NYM.AC website.

Sunny summer's evening at Gribdale - photo: Rob lots of black and yellow! - photo: Rob Steady climb up the Monument - photo: Rob Around Captain Cook's Monument - photo: Rob
... and down through the woods to Lonsdale farm - photo: Rob starting to climb by Nab End - photo: Rob The rutted track - a familiar fast but tricky descent on the Gisbro Moors race - photo: Rob  ... over Hutton Moor - photo: Rob
leaving the open moors - photo: Rob ... is this sign language for get out of the way? - photo: Rob climbing Roseberry Topping - photo: Rob Gary Jones pleased with his run - photo: Rob

Rob Stephens

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