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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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

Of course being in Exmouth you can also have a lovely cool down walk along the sandy beach and enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes.