Better last minute than not at all…

Five weeks to go until the Hardmoors 50. 👀 HOLY SHIT. How can these things sneak up on you so fast 😲 I got an entry in for the Hardmoors 50 way back in July. I got a friend to put it in because on the day it opened i was camping in a field in Derbyshire for the 24hr Thunder Run and feared I’d forget/have no phone signal.

Starting to wish I had forgotten now 😂

The (assumed by me) plan was that I’d continue some regular running after the October Marathon and start throwing more off road runs in and build up the longer weekend runs. That’s what should have happened. What actually happened was I finished the marathon (Which you can read about here) and in the main – sat on my arse. I’ve been running but it’s not been very consistent. My weekly mileages since November have been shite.

I’ve been spending more time thinking about Cambridge half marathon than anything else … and not even training for that!  Now that I’ve accepted I’m not going to be going for the sub 90 half at Cambridge my attention seems to have turned to the HM50 but with only 5 weeks to go it’s basically going to be an exercise in damage limitation. I’ve been far too casual about the 50 ….

The HM50 follows the Cleveland Way (CW) from Guisborough to Helmsley. The full Cleveland Way is a 109 mile path from Helmsley to Filey. It passes through two noticeably different types of landscape. Helmsley to Saltburn is typical North York Moors terrain – heathered moorland and forests. The other half of the route, which I ran in September 2016 (Hardmoors 60) follows the picturesque North-Eastern coastline from Saltburn, south along the coast to Filey.

You can run both sections separately with the Hardmoors races or if you are a complete nutter, they do a 110 option (how nice of them) where you can do the whole of the CW in a single weekend.

I’ve done the 60, I need to tick the 50 off.  The 110 … well I hope I’m never stupid enough to enter that 🙂

This year the 50 is slightly different to the norm in that it celebrates 50 years of the Cleveland Way. Normally this run is the Hardmoors 55 miles but for this year only its slightly shorter but includes more ascent. What a treat!

I’m running the 50 with a friend from work (Dave), the same guy i ran the HM 60 with in 2016. Neither of us are well prepared at this point. Assuming we make the start line the plan is to take it steady, walk the hills, eat, drink and make sure we stay ahead of the cut off times. We’ll be doing a fair amount of walking with the aim to just make sure we finish it.

We arranged to do a reccie of the start this morning. Due to the route change this year the opening section from Guisborough to Kildale takes in a double ascent of Roseberry Topping so we figured we’d do that then head over to Captain Cooks monument for good measure since it’d be god to get the climbing into our legs. It wouldn’t be a particularly long run in the scheme of things but the hills and time on the feet would be beneficial.

We set off at 8am from Hutton Village.  It’s been quite a while since i ran with Dave. Most of my running is with the club and whilst there were plenty of Sunday run options (We did bump into a group) I was looking forward to catching up with Dave and doing the reccie with him.

We made our way to the Tees Link path and up to Highcliffe Nab. This was a complete mud-fest pretty much all the way to the top. Fortunately the views at Highcliffe were much clearer than I expected so i grabbed a couple of photos and were were off on our way.

We took the path along Hutton Moor skirting past Highcliffe Farm before cutting across Newton Moor to join the CW to Roseberry Topping.

Up the steps and after a few minutes at the top to take in the view and get a few pictures (you can never have too many pictures from Roseberry Topping) we headed down the far side  … all the way to the gate near Newton-under-Roseberry car park where we did an about turn and climbed back up. Lovely!

Me and Dave – top of RT
We’d best get back up there…

Across Great Ayton moor on the CW to Gribdale then we walked up the path to Captain Cooks monument where we bumped into a group of club mates.

From there we headed East, dipped down past Lonsdale Farm and out of the other side up  to Percy Cross Rigg.  From there it was a straight run along the moor top to ‘the unsuitables’ path which drops straight back down to Hutton Village and the cars.

In all, we covered 12 miles. It wasn’t quick but there was 3000 ft ascent within that.

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