Yes Tor Hill Race Organised by Freedom Racing
At the top of Yes Tor, the smiles say it all!
Saturday morning saw a beautiful sunny day for our trip to Okehampton and my first ever trail run.
We met at Okehampton Pavilion. The race was well organised and we checked in and had a briefing
15 mins before the start. The field was fairly small we took our starting places towards
the back. The start took us across a field and through
a gate and soon we were running along a tricky underfoot
section of undulating path alongside the river Okement. The
scenery was beautiful. We started to climb slowly at first across rough terrain of wet rocks and tree roots
under the shade of the woodland. Suddenly we crossed a stream and were out on the
open moor of ferns and grassland. This is where the climb really started. Underfoot was wet
and boggy, not helped by the detour we inadvertently took up a waterfall. Eventually with
relief we found the orange flags and were back on a track
which wound its way up and over the moor. This area is the military firing range-
West Mill Tor with Yes Tor behind us
Over and onward saw us dip into the valley beyond and through the “Bog of Doom” where shoes were nearly lost amid knee deep smelly water. Now with our shoes weighed down with wet plant life, we faced the agonising climb up Yes Tor. We made it! The second highest point in the South West conquered.
At the summit we couldn't resist the opportunity of a picture. A quick turnaround saw us head down the treacherous, rocky, knee pounding descent before ploughing once again through the middle of the bog where we laughed and screeched with our competitors. We were soon back on the track which seemed more rocky than on the ascent and running more freely. The sun had lost its midday intensity and before long we were back in the shade of the woods running alongside the beautiful river. Many walkers were on the route and it was lovely to hear their encouragement and clapping. The finish line was soon in view and so many cheers and congratulations boosted a final burst across the line.
Yay, made it!
Wow we had done it. What an achievement. We stayed and cheered on the next few home and felt a real sense of camaraderie. There were drinks and snacks afterwards and a very welcome hot shower. What an amazing experience and one, that we, hope to repeat soon.
EXE TO AXE
The Exe to Axe race is one of the more challenging off road runs in the south-
This year, five Harriers and some other running friends met at Seaton on a bright if a little breezy April morning to catch the coach to the start of the race at Exmouth. It took around an hour to drive the route, so that should have told us how long we might be out running!
Not to be taken lightly, this race has in excess of 4,000 feet of climbing over the full distance of over 21 miles. The race starts at the Exmouth sea front and follows the breathtaking East Devon Coastal Path to the finish on the Esplanade at Seaton.
If your are looking to make the transition from a 5k Parkrun to a 10k event, then a 5 mile race is a great in between distance. Both physically and psychologically it helps, as you can keep to just a slightly slower pace than your 5k, but in your mind know it is less than two miles further.
Simon and Nikki did just that last Sunday, running in the Fulford 5 mile race in Exmouth. A two lap mostly flat course with two small inclines it has accurate mile markers to help with your pacing. Despite a chill wind, most of the route was fairly well protected.
Simon came 66th in a time of 34:39 and Nikki came 187th in 45:42. There were a total of 239 finishers.
Great North Run
On Sunday 9th September I completed the Great North run in 2:24 -
THE OMM Simon R
Back from the OMM....where do I start? The snow, windchill, sub zero camping, the climbs, the podium or the trip to A&E?!
Well for those who don't know this race (Original Mountain Marathon), it's a self supported, two day, multi class running/orienteering event.....held this year in the Welsh Black Mountains. Nikki and I entered the Short Score, which gives us five hours out on the Saturday and four on the Sunday, to get to as many checkpoints with differing point values and then onto the overnight camp. Winner scores the most points....simples.
The weather, was actually almost perfect! Clear with good long visibility, making
for pretty straightforward navigation. There was one snow 'blizzard' for about fifteen
minutes, but even that didn't drop the visibility much. The wind was probably the
biggest challenge, making it feel about -
Unlike the 'elites' us 'olduns' like a bit of comfort, so between us we were carrying 17kg of kit....twice what the elite teams carry, but it did make for a much more pleasant overnight camp, with plenty of hot food and really warm sleeping bags.
At the end of day one, we were fifth mixed vet team and by the end we managed to climb a place to fourth.
So what about the trip to A&E? Well on the final km or so of day one, Nikki took
a nasty tumble, picked herself up and sprinted in to come in only twenty seconds
under our time limit (you lose a lot of points for coming in late!). All next day
she was running with her arm bent and close to her body. I have to say, I thought
she'd probably just bruised it, and she wouldn't hear of cutting short and heading
back. Unusually for her, she did ask me for some extra pain relief.....so I thought
it must be bad....anyway on the way home, she says it'd better be checked out at
A&E.....a few X-
Oh, and the podium? Well that went to Mike and Scott who came overall third in their class....so proud parents/in laws too!
If you fancy a challenge then this is probably one of the most accessible things you can do.