Blakey Blitz - 25/03/12
Another glorious day on the fells for the Blakey Blitz, although by the end it was more a case of Blachey Bitz! With quite a few runners involved in the Thirsk 10 there were only three Harriers, so no team points this week I’m afraid. Both the Male and Female records were smashed. Kay Neesam knocked 4 minutes off the time set last year by herself and Shelli Gordon, and finished over 10 minutes ahead of the next female runner. Kay finished 20th overall; possibly her highest ever finish? Cameron Taylor (Esk Valley) continuing to dominate the Men’s Series (and reduce the number of points we earned) by winning in another unbelievably quick time. I managed to finish 57th overall, and Mick McGurk was 85th out of the 122 runners. If my arithmetic is correct, Kay has now wrapped up the Women’s Winter Series, but I am sure she will want to finish in style in the final two races.
Glaisdale Rigg 11th March 2012
The 11th race of the NEHRA Winter Series took place on Sunday, and the weather couldn’t have been better. Brilliant sunshine and soaring temperatures (well, into the 20’s anyway). On the map this 8.5 mile race looked pretty straightforward (don’t they all!), but I had overlooked the amount of climb (over 1800ft). Combined with the fast, steep descents, this meant there was very little respite in between the climbs.
“Be my guest………”
Stephen pauses to do his Tommy Cooper impression while Kay dashes through on the inside
Photo courtesy Alli McDonald
Mike Smith continued his excellent run of form finishing 14th overall – at one stage he was in contention for a top 10 finish. Kay Neesam put in another fantastic run (26th overall) and was 1st lady home, helped along by Stephen Guest who ended up just behind in 28th. Ronnie Sherwood and Phil Miles took their usual 1st and 2nd places in the M70. I finished 69th overall, Mick McGurk was 90th and Martin White 109th.
After the race Kay grabbed her wine and dashed off with Ronnie and Mick (I think there was an important football match on?) while Phil and I replenished our protein stores with a bowl of special “runners” chilli.
As the Winter Series draws to an end, many runners have now completed their quota of 7 races and the leader boards are taking shape. Mike is 10th overall and is leading the M40 category. I am clinging onto 8th place in the M40, hoping that the turnout will be low in the final 3 races! Kay has virtually sealed both the F40 and the overall categories with Shelli Gordon currently 2nd overall and 1st in the Female Open category. Mick is 5th and Martin 7th in a very tight M55 category, while Ronnie and Phil have the M70 all sewn up.
In the team event, the Men are currently in 10th place and the women are 2nd.
Next up is the “Blakey Blitz” – 10.5 miles and 2600ft of ascent! Joy!
Commondale Clart 26/02/12
Picture Courtesy David Kirk
As some of the club headed down to Pocklington for the Snake Lane, others headed out to Commondale for the 8.7K Clart. By all accounts there was plenty of mud, but looking at the photos the weather looked fairly reasonable. At the front of the women's race there was another tussle between Nicola Kent of Loftus and Kay Neesam. Nicola managed to pull away in the later stages of the race to win by 30 seconds. Shelli Gordon finished 4th women with Anne Guthrie in 43rd. Mike Smith came home in 15th, 4th M40, Steve Guest 29th, David Heath 72nd, Mick McGurk 97th, Ronnie Sherwood 109th, 1st M70, Phil Miles 117th, Martin White 128th, Colin Scollay 148th and Jeff Moulder 149th.
Danby Beacon Fell Race 12/02/12
A new start point for The Beacon Race this year at Danby Lodge Visitor Centre. The route remained much the same to previous years just with a new wider uphill start and finish from the Visitor Centre. Most of the snow had disappeared, but some icy stretches remained and many runners had the odd fall two. Cameron Taylor from Esk Valley continued his good form to claim a 7 second victory. Mike Smith had a good run to finish 10th, 2nd V40 and win 2 bottles of wine. Caroline Lambert from Wetherby AC won the ladies race with a battle between Kay Neesam and Nicola Kent of Loftus for 2nd and 3rd. Nicola managed to overhaul Kay in the final quarter of the race to come 2nd. Steve Guest came home 1 second behind Kay in 33rd, David Heath 80th, Mick McGurk 87th and Phil Miles 99th, 1st M70 (more wine). With Kay and Mike absent from the presentation the Aspin garage is again stocked up with wine!
This race involves crossing a beck twice and depending on the conditions and route choice can provide and interesting spectacle. Not as much water this year but watch the video to see a few refusals and splashes at the water jump!
Danby Beacon 12/02/12