Fran Racing – Hardmoors Osmotherly Trail Half Marathon

What a lovely route on what turned out to be a lovely day!

I had an early start as race registration started at 7.30am with the race itself starting at 8.30am, very pleased I only live a 20min drive away from Osmotherly!

When I arrived, the designated parking area was already full, but I managed to find a spot on the road side. Took my gear to the hall and got registered. Said hi to Jen from club, Shirley and Dave R who were all busy on the registration desk. 

Peter from club had already set off on the marathon route, along with a few of my We Love a Challenge team mates. I found Pat and Carol who were also taking part in the half, and Carol’s friend who had come up from the South to have a play in the hills.

We set off from the village centre and soon hit black ice! It made for a few comedy moments on the steep road. Thankfully, we quickly left the tarmac behind and the rougher tracks were a lot better. Down past the farm house near Oakdale Reservoir and sweeping back up onto the moor. Cross the road (more ice) at Chequers then we picked up the track which runs above the tree line at Cod Beck Reservoir. The Sheepwash was free of ice, but is still a tricky descent then another short stretch of icy road to the cattle grid at Scarth Nick then right onto the Cleveland Way and into Clain Wood for the start of the out and back section.

The route undulates through the trees, and I ran with Pat and Carol, down the incline, through more trees, across a very wet field, over the double fords and into Scugdale. Dave R was co-manning the check point here and I stopped for water and Jaffa cakes before pressing on towards the big climb that is Live Moor Plantation.

It never gets the sun under the trees, and the rocks are permanently greasy, although thankfully free of ice. 
We were making good time so, we stopped for a quick pic and jogged along the flag stones to the turnaround point just after Gold Hill. 

We were a bit quicker coming back as it was downhill! The descent of Live Moor is worse than the climb up, so once this was out of the way we could relax a little, safe in the knowledge there were only two more big climbs to come.

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Back past Dave R, the two fords and the wet field, into the wood and now to tackle the incline. I didn’t see anyone run up this at all. It’s a real leg sapper this climb! 

Soon we were crossing the road at the cattle grid again and into the last climb, up onto Scarth Nick Moor. It’s a deceptively steep climb, then you think it’s levelled out, but really it’s a very gradual uphill all the way to the top of Beacon Hill.

It was very muddy on top of Beacon Hill. Then the fast descent on the far side, then the last little bit of tarmac into the village and into the hall to get our times recorded. Right at the monument in the middle of Osmotherly, I heard a guy catching up with me and there was no way I could muster a sprint, but he was the complete gentleman and didn’t overtake. I feel quite guilty I didn’t thank him as I was in desperate need of a cup of tea…

I had my tea, had a chat with Jen, then Tim from Running Food came to see me about flapjacks for the Thirsk 10. I had contacted him a while ago and he said he could supply some of his fabulous flapjacks for use as spot prizes at the race. After getting changed and sorted out, I took charge of two boxes of flapjacks and a load of Buffs, big thanks to Tim for these.

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Overall a fab day out. Really pleased with my time, around 2hrs 40-something. Bit stiff this morning, but I wouldn’t expect anything different.

Fran