Hardmoors 110 – The Cleveland Way in One Go

Starting from Filey Brigg and finishing in Helmsley the Hardmoors 110 is a 112 mile continuous foot race, with 6000 metres of ascent, to be completed within 36 hours.

Neil Midgley and Peter Kidd toed the line at 8am Saturday 6th May looking forward to an epic day (and a half) out.

Plenty of training had taken place although Neil was concerned that he maybe hadn’t done enough long distance. A 3 day 85 mile training session had helped to build confidence.
The race can be broken down into 3 sections: the coastal path from Filey to Saltburn (54 Miles); Saltburn to Osmotherley (36 miles with most of the ascent); Osmotherley to Helmsley (22 miles).
The first section was fairly straightforward Neil completing that section in 12 hours and Peter in 12 hours 20 minutes. A planned stop for food, a change of clothes for the night section and then back on the trail.

A further 10 miles in Peter went hypothermic – disoriented and staggering and retired at Gribdale Terrace having completed 64 miles.
Neil got his race face on from Saltburn and started picking through the field. Having got through the worst section across Bloworth Crossing and with the sun starting to come up the determination to finish and get the best placing possible kicked in.
It was clear to Peter (now in a support role) & Valerie (Platinum Support Crew Leader) that Neil was getting serious and digging deep. At 91 miles he was continuing to move up through the field and was in sight of a sub 30 hour finish.
At the last support stop at Sutton Bank Neil polished off a Red Bull and pushed on through the cruel detour down to White Horse and back up the steep steps.
Onto the home stretch past Rievaulx Abbey, through Helmsley and out to the sports centre Neil ran into the finish in just over 29 hours (official times and places not yet out).

Congratulations Neil – an epic achievement perfectly executed.

Cross country and across countries…Beaconsfield and buenos dias

Ian Gilham recently raced in the Beaconsfield 5-mile Cross-Country on Easter Monday. Decent weather for a change and despite having a couple of weeks off running with an ankle injury Iain managed a time of 33.40.  Finishing over a minute and half faster than last year and coming in 40th overall and 3rd in the old boys age group. With a couple of days of rest and recuperation planned Ian’s next target is the Yokohama Tri next month this month.

A little further a field saw Gordon Kilroy compete in last weekend’s ETU European Duathlon Championship. Gordon reports

“As it should’ve been called the Anglo-Spanish Championship with a few guests(including Mexico?!?). Having seen snowy photos from the early arrivals, cold, wet and windy weather on race day was a slight improvement although still not for the faint hearted. The first 10k run was 4 laps through the park in Soria. In a stoke of luck i managed to time these perfectly by making it across the start line before the next wave started. I was also lucky enough to miss the barriers being blown across the course and being tangled up in the flying barrier tape which some poor athletes experienced.

Jackpot’s Gordon Kilroy finding his rhythm!

That lucky phase was short lived as I came into T1 only to find that the flags that I was using to help find my place had blown away. This completely threw me and for the life of me, I couldn’t find my bike! Even a race official started to come over to check it hadn’t been stolen. After what seemed an eternity, I realised I gone down the wrong row! It didn’t get much better out on the bike course.
It was a 3 lap undulating out and back. Out was into a strong headwind that whipped the rain/hail into us. The back was 5 minutes faster which took us onto a Spanish motorway! Fortunately, I’d not taken a wrong turn. T2 was thankfully disaster free and out onto the run I finally managed to drop the Spaniard who I’d been constantly swapping places with on the bike ascents/descents. 2 short laps later and the finish line was in sight. With a strong finish, it was time to sample some recovery beers and the local pork scratching”.

Welldone to Ian and Gordon.



Mat Pears – Back In Harness; Liuzhou, China 70.3

Having not donned the race belt for 18 months, it was nice to get back into action in Liuzhou, China for their first time hosting this 70.3 distance event.

My excitement was quickly shunned when I arrived the day before to bad weather, traffic all over the road making a spin out on the wheel’s nigh on impossible and pollution clouding the air.
But all impressions were quickly dispelled come race day as the there were clear skies, sun shining, clean, fast, flat roads, beautiful scenery and very good organisation, including 5000 police / officials that lined the whole of the bike course. Yes…. five thousand!

Not for the life of me was my swim as fast as it suggests (21 minutes). It was a very very chilly (15 degrees) river swim from A-B from a self seeding swim start with a current very much in our favour. But 3rd in my AG and 13th overall at this stage.
T1 was probably the toughest part of the day, out of the cold water and straight into 74 brutal steps towards a long transition, and when the feet are close to frozen, this wasn’t easy.

A relatively smooth transition, after the stair climb, and onto the two loop bike course. The roads were wide, flat, and with the split recorded (2.19) ….very fast. The legs didn’t feel amazing but I was super happy at this stage with the overall time.

I came off the bike in 4th in my age group to start a run that wasn’t as flat as I thought with many false flats either up or down. I could tell from km 1 that the legs just weren’t there and for some reason the back was wanting to tighten up as well and by 7km I found myself walking slowly through the aid station to try and relieve the stiffness. I cracked on again battling thoughts of a potential DNF… I couldn’t have accepted that, so I got my legs going and eventually it started to ease and I found a little bit of rhythm, to finish the run in 1.33 and cross the finish line with a time of 4.20, 6th place in my age group and 43rd overall.

A slight bit of disappointment over my run performance but despite that, super happy with the time and an offer of a 70.3 World Championship slot in Tennessee ,USA in September. Sadly I didn’t accept due to work commitments but may shoot for it again next year in South Africa.

Onto the next one…. Vietnam 70.3 in May.

Recovery Run – Hardmoors White Horse Trail Marathon +

Toed the line at the White Horse Trail Marathon + (28 miles, 4000 feet elevation) at Sutton Bank on Sunday 9th April. I’m doing the double Grand Slam this year – 4 ultras (30, 55, 60 & 110 miles) and the 7 trail marathons. This was the 2nd of the 7.
It was a glorious day, sunshine all the way. Most people found it too hot but I thought the conditions were perfect, the ground had firmed up since I was last out on the moors the Wednesday before. I carried a litre of fluids and took advantage of water and Pepsi at all the aid stations.

The course was brilliant with some nice long runnable sections and fantastic views. There are some distinctive Hardmoors features though – the immediate descent off the moors to Gormire Lake, just so you have to climb all the way back up again. Also Hawnby Village where you climb out up Hawnby Hill to drop back down to the village so you can also climb Murton Bank (25%) – oh how we laughed and joked going up there.

My run was the best Hardmoors that I’ve ever done. I started a couple of years ago as a finisher but too close to the cutoffs for comfort. I finished this race 49th (of 133) and 7th (of 22) in age group.
Hardmoors 110 next – 110 miles (the whole of the Cleveland way, Filey to Helmsley), 6000metres of climbing, 36 hour cutoff.

Who fancies a bit or Hornblowing?

It’s the final weekend in March, Spring is underway and the weekend weather gleaming. The were no excuses for Jackpot competitors this weekend who remembered to change their clocks before Sunday’s action at the Ripon Hornblower Duathlon.

Chris Brown was also competing in the pool again. Chris said. “Another Sunday slogging up and down the pool.  Well, at least thrice in both directions.  The 50m went well despite a poor turn to record 31.75 closing-in on PB territory in another ‘slow’ pool for third in AG.The 100m we aren’t talking about.  Didn’t happen. Nothing to see.  Move on”

Well done and congrats on another podium Chris.

Emma Stoney with a steely look on course for a great finish

The Ripon Hornblower Duathlon race was a 5k run, followed by a 24k undualting bike course taking Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal followed by 3k run around the grammar school.

Tom Van Rossum and Emma Stoney were representing the team and did not disappoint Emma recorded times of 21:51 for the first 5k, 51:07 for the bike and 13:42 for the second run of 3k finishing Third in her age group and sixth female home in a time of 1:28:22.

Tom was in devastating form leading the race from start to finish, and recording the fatest 5k run split in 17:54 and the 24k KOM bike split of the day in 37:4. He paced him self round the final 3k run in 11:12 and an overall time of 1:07:43.

Tom Van Rossum easing to victory.

Tom Said “Cheers chaps. Really enjoyable race. This has taken over the slot that used to the the Stokesley duathlon. This is a much more interesting route (no industrial parks on course!) with a cracking bike route round the hills of Ripon and past Fountains Abbey.”

Welldone and congratulations to Emma and Tom on their great performances.