Report from Tamara Weatherhead
The Hardmoors didn’t cancel, so neither would I! The organisers, Jon and Shirley and their helpers, spent a lot of their Friday and Saturday re-planning, re-routing, re-taping and re-organising loads of extra marshals, a far tougher job than mine, i think! So, up at 5, left the house at 6, stopped off at the Saltburn Co-op at 7.30 to ask to use the facilities – and they made me a cup of tea for free – off to an excellent start!
This was my first Hardmoors event and I was in awe of all the proper ultra runners, for some of whom this will just be a training run for the 50 or 110 miler! It was hard and there were moors, too many of them and never my favourite. I genuinely enjoyed the first 20 miles along the coast, down to a sandy beach and back through plenty of muddy fields and tracks. I was being blown about all over the place, pelted by bullets of rain, but that just made me more determined to put one foot in front of the other and finish asap!! I had a lovely walk and nice chat with a guy in green from Staffordshire through Hutton Village, up the far end of Guisborough Woods and onto the moors. I hadn’t reccied at all, which was just as well, because I would have dreaded that endless slog once up on the moor, sloshing calf deep through bog after bog… it felt like that, but it was maybe 3 miles max. The aforementioned green man went chest deep into a stream – who knew? – about 50 metres ahead of me but waited to make sure I found a better way through. A couple of local guys in black pointed me straight on when I couldn’t see the next tape because I opted not to wear my glasses! And a guy from East Anglia pointed me right when there was no tape at one junction. Great to have such chatty, supportive and encouraging fellow runners. After the moor it was mostly down, with a sneaky up right near the end through Saltburn’s Valley Gardens. Heyho, it’s not meant to be easy. I clocked in 6th lady at 28.84 miles, 3843 feet in 6 hours and 2 minutes. I’m a little bit annoyed about the 2 minutes, but equally I was very grateful just to finish, and finish in one piece.
The race was won by Sam Dunwell in 4:06:20, first lady was Claire Howard, Totley AC, in 4:49:26. Incidentally, the second lady, Rachel Ross Russell was 1st FV50, in 5:11:09. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do there 😉 Full results at here
And what can I say about the marshals? The bravest people out there, who would far rather have been running, but remained fantastically stoical, cheery and helpful all the way round: amazing job, thank you! One guy had even pitched a tent up in the middle of the moor to make sure nobody was going to get lost in storm Ciara!
I’ll blame the drive back to Otley for my ITB seizing up, but, all in all, a fab day out and looking forward to the next 6 🙂