Guy Fawkes 10 2015
The Guy Fawkes 10 is organised by Nidd Valley Road Runners and is a 10 mile road race starting and finishing from Ripley Castle, North Yorkshire and a race I first did last year, when I thought it was 10K, not a lot of difference!
Having enjoyed it so much and knowing what to expect; the punishing steep hills and the great downhill’s in which to recuperate and recover some of the ground lost going up from, here I was again. I must admit, it was the lure of the goody bag that, which was the decider.
The race itself is an exceptionally well organised and marshalled event with ample parking, efficient race number collection and two drinks stations. The start of the event is alongside Ripley Castle with the finish in the courtyard and the village offers spectators a chance to wander around a small number of shops, as well as a café and pub to buy breakfast/coffee/cakes, if you/they not out on the course.
Having travelled in fog all the way to the event, the sun was finally out and a warm day was forecast. The start is a tight squeeze as we pull away from the castle for the first mile and half, after that the race opens out to tarmac road.
A few gentle undulations takes you to the first of the three main climbs the “Birstwith Brute” and this year they extended it – Yeah!! Not being a seasoned or regular runner, I make a point of running until I can no more before walking, which is not that far to be honest. Once past last year’s turn off and up a bit more, you saw RAF Menwith Hill Golf Balls in the distance, with that in mind you knew you was about to be rewarded with a great view at the top and what a view. Missed it, there’s always next year!
A short run at the top of the road and the first of the drinks stations. Having stopped taken a couple of cups of water on board, off I set again and within a short skip and jump, on the start of a long steady descent, with a chance to recuperate and catch up with a few of those who passed me on the way up. There is something freeing about just letting go and letting gravity take over, down a hill.
The respite is short lived but, having maintained my breathing and pace, I’m feeling good, ahead of the second of the climbs the “Swincliffe Swine”. This is not a lengthy climb but biting and it is not long before it has taken my breath and I’m walking, another chance for me to meet up with those who I’ve just passed and cheer them on, as they impressively continue running up the hill. Total admiration for them and the effort they put into their training, which lets them go up seemingly effortless, as Katie Seddon and Linda Huart demonstrated.
Swincliffe climb over and another time to recover, as we run down through into Hampsthwaite, towards the river and the second of the drinks stations. The day is warm and the marshals’ were actively encouraging participants to take plenty of water on board, I needed no encouragement to stop, what was to come was all too familiar by now.
Refreshed, off I popped straight into the final climb “For Fawkes Sake”. By now I’m remembering it from last year and pushed myself to keep running as far as I could and a bit more, before taking a brisk walk up the remainder of the climb. Going up is tough, very tough for me and it is great to have so many people running up it.
After conquering the final climb, it is time to let go again and let your legs take you down. Coming down fast, I could see Rob Wells in the distance but, knew one last challenge lay ahead, a sharp climb to the castle and the finishing line. Drawing level on the final bend before the last climb with Rob, he kicked into gear and shot up the hill, determined to put a strong finish in and boy did he go. This race gets you like that, you have some ups and downs and bits when you think you cannot give anymore but, you surprise yourself. After all, we’re runners and that’s what we do, take on the challenge
Having caught my breath a little, my mind was on the goody bag, only to be deflated as the rumors turned to the truth, Nestles were not the sponsor and the brilliant bag of chocolate received last year, was no more. Still, happy with 4 bars of chocolate, a t-shirt, great run and a PB of 1:29.
Congratulations to all 37 runners from the club who completed the course, especially Chris Adams, Nigel Sisson and Darren White who took third place in the men’s team category. A special mention also to Dan Jones, who having run two back to back marathons in Telford the previous day coming first and third in them, came back up north for the day and completed it in 1:33.
The race was over but, the day continued with a trip into Harrogate for something to eat, a few flagons of ale and tales of the day before heading back home. Thanks to those who arranged the coach and the day, without you great days like this would not happen.
Images courtesy of Kristina Gadie with plenty more here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.10153216913718587&type=1. Full Results: http://www.ukresults.net/2015/fawkes.html