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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-​  thankfully​ ​ the​ ​ army​ ​ were​ ​ not​ ​ on​ exercises ​ today!​ ​ We​ ​ were​ ​ both​ ​ enjoying​ ​ the​ ​ ​views ​  and​ ​ felt​ ​ good​ ​ overall.​ ​ The​ ​ drinks​ ​ station​ after ​ Row​ ​ Tor​ ​ was​ ​ very​ ​ welcome​ ​ and​ ​ well​ ​ stocked​ ​ ​with​  fluid​ ​ and​ ​ food​ ​ and​ ​ the​ ​ marshalls​ were ​ wonderfully​ ​ encouraging.​ ​ We​ ​ left​ ​ the​ ​ station​ ​ and​ ​ there​ ​ ​was​  West​ ​ Mill​ ​ Tor​ ​ in​ ​ front​ ​ of​ us. ​ Soon​ ​ we​ ​ were​ ​ at​ ​ the​ ​ ​top ​ ​amid ​ the​ ​ ​cheers ​ of​​  ​our ​ supporters​ ​ Rob,​ ​ ​ Harry ​ and​ ​ Marley.​ ​ The​ sun ​ was​ ​ relentless​ ​ at​ ​ this​ ​ ​point ​ and​​  our​ ​ calves​ ​ and​ ​ thighs​ ​ were​ ​ burning.

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-west. If you're lucky the wind won't be blowing, or maybe coming from the west to blow you along. If you're not so lucky you'll hit an easterly.
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.

 

FULFORD FIVE

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 - not especially pleased with my time but I'm afraid the GNR seems to have become a victim of its own success. There were nearly 48,000 runners, so at times the pack was so dense you could not run! Taking into account the heat of the day (20c), runners started collaping at 4 miles out - this meant abulances coming down the course and runners obviously having to give way for the emergency.’

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 -5 and running into it was quite an effort .

 

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-rays later one broken arm diagnosed.....what a legend!

 

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.