Fran Racing – Ossy Oiks

Ossy Oiks, my fave race I think…………….

It had been 18 degrees at my house, but it was surprisingly chilly when we got to Ingleby Cross for the start of the race.
We’d arrived in plenty of time so went for a jog up the hill to find the scary descent. Last year, I took the ‘easy’ option of returning via the long bendy track down from Beacon Hill. This time I was determined to do it properly…
So we had a look, and had a go at running down it. Hmm, we’ll see.

We were too hot now, everyone else had made the same mistake and we left a good selection of tops and T-shirts on a fence at the start! 
The route starts on the track, gradually but consistently climbing up to check point 1 as we entered Arncliffe Wood. Then it turns uphill again on rougher ground. I kept on running, not very fast, but definitely running!
I was quite relieved when we finally reached the top! The path levels out a little as it passes the communications array on top of Beacon Hill and winds through silver birch trees before dropping slightly onto Scarth Nick Moor.
Here we travel on stone flags, gently downhill and on the Cleveland Way. Slightly steeper now, on track and we pop out onto tarmac on Quarry Bank Road, north of Osmotherly. As I approached the next climb, I could see the front runners on their third climb and on the way home.
For me though, the next challenge was to climb out of the Sheepwash, I didn’t think I was going to manage to run it, but the dry rocky riverbed scramble was over quite quickly and I was soon on soft grass rounding the forest boundary heading back towards Quarry Bank Road. 
I passed David R who was struggling with cramp. But, then he has just come back from a 600+ mile cycle ride…
Quick splish-splash through the Cod Beck and over the road before the third climb.
I’d lost control of my breathing now and had to give in and walk. I kept it brisk and was soon cresting the moor. I had time for a glance over my shoulder and could see several team mates on the hill, this spurred me on and I ran on hard up the moor and back through the silver birches to the communication array (past a photographer!).
Now, the descent… This year it was marked with tape which helped, a little. My goodness it was steep. Thankfully it was dry, albeit loose underfoot. I carefully inched my way down the near vertical bank, threading my way through the trees, trying not to trip on the roots and stones etc under my feet. Then it got even steeper! I passed the official camera man, swearing and muttering under my breath, my legs shaking by now. I was determined the Harriers behind me weren’t going to catch me up, which is what normally happens on descents like this…
I got to the third section of the descent which we’d already looked at so I knew I could run on a bit more now! I slithered and squelched my way through the ankle deep mud at the bottom and with a private celebration, I hit the track at the bottom!
And I hit it running.
I heard *something* behind and I was determined it wasn’t coming past me. I hammered it along the track and down the steep road into the village, Sonja would have been proud, 80% all the way!!
I still don’t know what I’d heard as the next runner was quite a while after me, still it had spurred me into a fast finish.

I was buzzing with my performance and the fact I’d done the decent, my downhilling is getting better…

Our ladies got first team, the chap with cramp made it to the finish and wasn’t last despite a long walk.
We had a great turn out with 7 ladies and 3 men.

I still love this race.

Fran