> 2011 race reports
04/12/11 Eskdale Eureka - from Phil Green

The prospect of doing a different fell race, had myself, Neil Gammack and Dave Johnson heading south again to the North York Moors. Joining us for his first ever fell race was Neil’s daughters Boyfriend Sam, having turned 18 a few days earlier. Charlie Stead was also racing, having just become a dad again ten days earlier, Morag and family watching from the warmth of the car. Congrats to you both again!

We were greeted in Castleton by near tropical weather compared with Allendale, blue skies and a barmy 4 celsius, for a while anyway. The race start had moved this year (from a snug warm pub to a cold car park just out of the village) and had shorted the race to around 8 miles. The start was literally over the edge of the car park, handy for Dave taking results at the finish from the warm of his car.

From the off the race involved a bit of tussock jumping prior to picking up a fairly decent trod. It then headed off towards Westerdale Moor and the first stiff but short climb. The race path followed a long stead climb over the grouse moors of Great Hograh before dropping down via a farm to cross Baysdale Beck. I had managed to keep the pace up and gradually took some places as we turned for home. The weather decided to change about this point with squalls of hail and snow battering out backs.

The race path climbed for about a mile then dropped back to the beck and Hob Hole, from there it was about quarter of a mile up hill and on road to regain the summit of Westerdale Moor.

Here there were two route choices either to regain the outward path and close the loop home or the more direct path over the heather. I followed a couple of locals over the heather , which had been burnt back last year by the looks of things, making easy and comfortable running. I went slightly wrong coming off the moor end allowing two runners whom i had previously passed to get by. I fortunately wound one of them in on the last mile of steady uphill to the finish.

Charlie finished in 5th place, I finished 20th , followed in by Dave Johnson. Neil and Sam had run together and finished with big smiles on their faces.

The next race is Guisborough Woods on the 27th

The Search for NYM series points continues.

Phil Green

results on Esk Valley Fell Club website | photos by Clive Thornton, Esk Valley Fell Club

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