A handful of Acorns headed for Gisborough Moors to work off Easter excesses and take part in the final Dave Parry, North Yorkshire Moors Winter Series Fell race. Read Carol’s report here:
Gisborough Moors, 11 out of 11 races of the NEHRA Winter Fell Series starting at Guisborough Rugby Club.
Distance: 12.5 miles climb: 2500 foot.
Results: Michael Hetherton 64th in 109:20; followed by Pete Atkinson 90th in 114:36; Carol Dixon-Yeung 92nd in 114:44 (who won her age category and the series); Paul Lewis 118th in 119:59 and Pete Murray in 151st in 129:05. Matt Speake from Dark Peak was first home in an amazing 79:09 – a new record time.
Weather conditions: Beautiful spring day – so much so I decided to discard my running tights, don my shorts and bare my bruised and battered legs to Jo Public (not a pretty sight).
Race report: I did not recce this race, but it was all familiar territory as it was a mixture of Guisborough Three Tops, Gribdale Gallup and the Guisborough Grunt. I was upset that my friends who I have run with throughout the series could not be there and that was a bit of a downer (Jo Ellerton, Martin Perry and Matthew Driscoll), but they all sent me encouraging texts.
We set off up the hill and I regretted not having sufficiently warmed up as we headed up, up and up. We ascended through the wood and the track soon turned to muddy sludge which made it even harder as you dodged the tree roots and slithered our way up. As the wood opened up into the moor I soon got into my stride and we headed towards Captain Cooks. As I picked up the pace I passed Pete Atkinson and could see Michael Hetherton a little in front of me – then suddenly two mountain bikers appeared behind me and that was scary as we hurtled down the uneven ground trying to dodge big rocks on the descent. I had a new top on that kept creeping up and I spent the entire race trying to drag it down and tuck it into my shorts. I also had a new bottle belt, but had swapped the big cumbersome bottle for a smaller one that kept falling out which was a bit of a pain. The lesson is don’t try out new gear on a tough race, test it on a training run first! It was a beautiful morning and the crowds were out in force, so much so that at times it almost felt like a road race! There was even a water stop at Little Roseberry Gate, which is something that you do not see very often in fell races, and lots more support from well wishers. Roseberry Topping was tough, but little Roseberry was even tougher as you struggled to find strength in your legs to get up the steep incline. Then we headed back onto Gisborough Moor for the final stretch back towards Highcliff Nab and this was tough going as my legs tired. I got a sudden wake up call as Pete Atkinson passed me as we turned back into the woods on the road to home and this helped me get a second wind and pass a female competitor who I had been unable to catch throughout the race.
I finished fifth lady and this meant that I won my age category for this race and put me in first position for the entire series. I cannot tell you how pleased I am because six months ago I avoided the hills like the plague and used to go and watch Acorn compete in the 2009 Summer Series, but I never dared to take part until Michael Hetherton offered to run with me in the last two races. I will definitely be back for the 2010 Summer Series (in a couple of weeks, on Tuesday evenings) and would really encourage anyone in the club sat on the sidelines about the trails/fells to ‘give it a go’ – it is like ‘being a kid’ all over again
flying down the steep descents – I have never had so much fun!
Rating out of 5: 5 out of 5 plus… I have enjoyed the entire series. It is so laid back and you will not meet a nicer bunch of people. Then there is the M&S wine that you win by the bucket load after each race which is the icing on the cake!
Report by Carol Dixon-Yeung
Pictures courtesy of Dave Aspin (thanks Dave)