Hardmoors 15

I started 2013 in style with Hardmoors’ 30 miler, my first ever ultra, and decided to see in the new year with another Hardmoors event. I thought I would take it a bit easier today though, and I settled for the 15 mile race.

This also resulted in a far more reasonable race start time of 10:30. I was there well in advance of this to try and park and I struggled a little and had to park on the bank up the hill and walk down to the village hall.

Kit check was quick, and I got my number quickly, before I sat down and looked like an advertising hoarding for Salomon.

As soon as the briefing was done we headed outside into the cold ready for departure. The day was cold, but not overly icy, and it was forecast to be dry all day. I decided to go with long tights and and long sleeve top over a running vest. At the last minute I thought it wise to keep my head warm with a buff, but opted to leave the gloves in my bag for later if needed.

We set off and the leaders disappeared quickly into the distance. The route drops south for a brief two mile loop along first the trainline then across to the Cleveland Way back up through Robin Hood’s Bay. At least that meant the steepest climb of the day was over and done with quickly.

Back at the start point we then headed North along the trainline. I settled into a steady but comfortable pace – always heeding Race Director Jon’s wise words not to hit this section too hard and waste the legs before the mud. Well, I thought about it at least, but probably did not quite put the appropriate effort into conserving my pace. This section climbs slowly for quite a long way before finally dropping after Hawsker and heading over the viaduct in Whitby.

Battling the New Years’ Day crowds in Whitby done with, we headed up the 199 steps to the abbey.

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The view of the town from the Abbey

From here, the route gets considerably muddier, far more undulating, and a little more chilly in the wind that was starting to pick up. My pace dropped, but my enjoyment hardly waned at all.

Somewhat randomly I had hoped for about a 2:20 finish, but perfectly happy to just nudge in under 2:30. I had a brilliant day out on some incredible trails, on a race that was superbly well organised.

I hope that you like the video that I created this evening – this was a key goal of the race to focus on enjoying myself by taking the time to stop and admire the view.

With my sister, her husband, and my niece having relocated up to Whitby in the last few weeks I decided to pay a visit to see their new home (and to make use of their shower facilities.) I only saw them recently, but it was nice to see my cheeky niece again. Oh and to get lots of love from Beano the dog.

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