Hardmoors 55 W.N.S

Will Not Start. After completing the Hardmoors 60 in September clearly the obvious thing to do was to enter the Hardmoors 55 race in March.

The 60 covered the Cleveland Way from Guisborough (GB) to it’s end point in Filey. The 55 covers the start in Helmsley through to Guisborough.

So in effect, if you complete the 60 and the 55 you have ran all of the Cleveland Way – albeit in 2 sections.

You can do it in one go – the 110 – but let’s not get into that just yet!!!

Guisborough being only 5 miles away from my home meant from a logistical point of view it was much easier than the 60 which ended in Filey at 1am!

The plan was to get the bus from GB to Helmsley that the HM put on then I’m essentially running home. .. to my fridge / bed. If that’s not motivation to keep going I don’t know what is.

My entry went in in October.

Sadly, a few weeks later, my father in law was taken ill and given a terminal cancer diagnosis and I started to realise the 55 might be off the cards.

My wife’s parents live in Birmingham so all of our available time – midweek and weekends – was spent visiting them.

Those weekends were to be my long run weekends … the backbone of my training. Without those long runs I knew I’d struggle to complete the 55.

Sadly my FIL passed away last month. I guess we all know somebody, or know of somebody, who has been affected by cancer and after witnessing it at close hand I’ve seen just how devastating and cruel it can be.

With the funeral over we had a weekend at home this week so on Sunday I got my gear on and got my wife to drop me in Newton-under-Roseberry with a vague plan of climbing Roseberry Topping then making my way back home through GB Forest and over Eston Hills.

This really was a test to see what kind of shape I was in. The plan was to just stay out and to get some miles in the legs. I hadn’t done any trail running for months. Just road miles. No hills.

Leading up to the 60 in September I was climbing Roseberry without a second thought then running another 24 miles. Not this weekend.

It was 1pm and Roseberry was chocca with couples and kids all out for the day. I did my best to make it look like the pro I’m clearly not but it felt like a bit of a slog to the top.

Once at the top I descended and took the path into GB Forest rather than stay out on the moors. I figured I’d rather be closer to home if / when my legs completely gave in!

I made my way to Pinchinthorpe car park and headed down the old railway line where I crossed the dual carriageway (A171) at the Cross Keys pub and headed up the hillside of Eston Hills. I knew I wanted to get double figures in on this run so I headed right and ran along to Eston Nab before turning back on myself and making my way back down the hillside and the last mile to home. 10.20 miles registered. I couldn’t have imagined doing double that nevermind 55 miles with a shit load more ascen. With only 3 more weekends available I knew the 55 would have to wait until next year. The only bonus is that you get a partial refund for cancelling a month out so that’s £45 back in my pocket.

Next year then.

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