The weekend before last - bank hol weekend - I headed up to Robin Hoods Bay for the Smugglers Trod. Another first time event for me and an enjoyable run out on a flatter, dryer and more runnable course than many LDWA challenges supply. This was not lost on the running crowd who were there in force and the leaders finished the 26 mile event in an impressive 3:40.
Highlights included generally dry trails over moorland, through fields and along river valleys - Littlebeck; the several mile long, wooded river valley section was very enjoyable. The middle miles varied from solid moorland trails to almost unfollowable trails through heather or long grass. thankfully no major detours or extensions. I was quite glad to get to the CP at the trig high above Ravenscar. After 20m and a long moorland slog with the hard trails no longer enjoyable on battered feet. All that remained was a few miles around the bay to RHB along the old railway line track - quite a nice smooth trail to run, bike, etc... Oh and a slightly sadistic right angle turn downhill to the coast and thus a climb up the 1:4 hill out of RHB back to the finish.
Hard work, but I could have pushed harder and been faster knowing the route. 4:41 for 26m does stand as my fastest off road 20 something though. Challenging enough as 26m always is, but a million miles away from the Sedbergh Hills race of previous weekend. Great hospitality from the Yorkshire Coast LDWA bunch, loved the efforts they'd gone to with the dressing up and some cracking baking. Yum yums will live long in the memory and I definitely want the recipe if I'm ever to sort myself out some high calorie and high sugar food for something like an Antarctic Expedition!
My good intentions for another 10m or so today were dashed by an unscheduled attempt to destroy my liver which didn't finish till roughly 5am. Up at ten I didn't do much all day accept eat. I tried to run at about 6pm. Drizzle had dampened my enthusiasm so I'd downsized plans to 5 or 6 miles. I ended up making decision to return home about 1.5m out, jiggling motion of run was making me feel sick, had to run and walk home very steadily, a very sorry site no doubt.
All that was bad was good again. I delayed my excursion till early afternoon but I was fresh, well fuelled and the weather was cloudy and a bit muggy. I ran from parents so lacked a water bottle but still managed a speedy 15m on roads and good trails, including a good number of the local short challenging climbs. I planned route to pass - what I hope was - a source of fresh running water at two parts of run, but was still dehydrated by the end. Also tried new shoes, F-lites, which proved, as I suspected to be great on East Yorkshires bone dry trails. Slight blister but 15m out of box isn't bad.
2 out of 3 ain't bad