A Tale of 3 H’s – Haltemprice, Harrogate and Hardmoors
Way back in the early part of the year there was a lot of talk of runners entering the Hardmoors Goathland Marathon or Half Marathon. ‘That sounds a bit different’ I thought, so entered the half thinking I would be able to get loads of training in (ho ho!). Next, the Guy Fawkes Ten trip came up and it seemed a good idea to enter the race and therefore go on the trip. Even though I find it an incredibly hard ten miler, this is a great race with fantastic organisation whilst still retaining its low-key atmosphere.
Fast forward a few months and the usual year of bursts of training punctuated by frequent injuries was unfolding. Running in the Grimsby 10k and the Gilberdyke Ten Mile and recording ‘personal worst’ times didn’t help, so it was a case of train when possible and hope for the best. By this time I had an additional incentive for completing the Goathland event, in that we had built a family weekend in Whitby around the race….no pressure then!
The Haltemprice 10k was first and at the risk of repeating myself this has long been my favourite 10k, which I hope doesn’t lose its unique charm when taken over from the great Dave MacDonald next year. I had little expectation of a decent time so wasn’t too bothered by my 48:37 (another ‘PW’!), but wanted to ensure my ankle would stand up to the race.
Seven days later I was on the coach to Ripley Castle for the Guy Fawkes, part of me wondering what I was doing there given I was limping around the office all week long. I treated the race as a good way of getting a decent run in before Goathland and duly recorded another PW of 85 minutes+. Note to self – I must address this decline! We had another good afternoon in Harrogate, once again thanks to Alison and Matty for sorting the coach and Nippy for organising the meals.
On the Tuesday night I ran 8.5 miles then took it easy while my ankle returned to a ‘normal’ size. I wasn’t too worried about Goathland, having been running Half Marathons on and off since 1983.
So there I was on a cold Saturday morning driving the short distance from Whitby to Goathland and being grateful the weather was sunny, clear and with little wind so my ‘minimalist’ equipment would suffice. The faster trio of Martin Hardey, Alan Smith and Mike Petersen disappeared into the distance and I ran the first couple of miles with Nippy (and Rosie) until he also went off on his own, but looking at the results later, not too far away.
Fortunately the course was well-marked and I stuck reasonably close to other runners, some of whom occasionally spoke e.g. “It’s our mate from East Hull Harriers again”. Sorry to the Scarborough runners – I couldn’t resist going away from you in the last couple of miles.
This was a fantastic course with breath-taking scenery to admire on the ‘walking’ sections, hills, heather, peat bogs, jelly babies, stepping stones….you get the picture. I thoroughly enjoyed the race, especially in the last couple of miles when I could see the village and then my family armed with cameras on the last hill. Given my obvious lack of fitness I was pleased enough with my 2:22:27, 40 minutes behind the race winner. I think with more training I could get closer to 2:15 but the overall experience was great and is highly recommended.
The ankle was a sight to behold for a couple of days but apart from that I was OK, managing to make the pub in Whitby before great home-cooked tea (and wine anasthetic).
All in all a great three weeks, illustrating you shouldn’t get too hung up about your training, just go out and enjoy it. I’m not a good advert for that philosophy but it works, especially when you know PBs are a thing of the distant past!