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.