Sunday, 28 February 2010

That was the Wheeldale Tandem that wasn't

Last Saturday, after a 4:30 start and a drive into increasingly wintry conditions, it struck the four of us in the car that this event may be in jeopardy as we turned off the main Whitby road onto the undulating, twisty and snow-covered road to Goathland. Rumours spread around the hall at the start that it would be cancelled - again. This was originally scheduled for mid-Jan, but the conditions at that time meant this was cancelled about 3 days in advance. This time there was less warning, the snow had fallen the previous evening and/or overnight. 15m away there was no sign of the stuff and the main roads were clear. However the marshalls were unable to get to all the CP's and one car had slipped into a ditch trying!

So at about 8:10 the event was cancelled. Many headed out and ran it anyway. A few from my club and I decided to get back on the main road in case the snow restarted and this wasn't possible later. We covered over a dozen miles from the Hole of Horcum - pic above - to Stape - being the first to break the news to the marshalls there the event was cancelled - then over moorland to Goathland. It was a wonderful run, crisp snow underfoot, clear, windless and sunny and good company. Pic right shows us crossing the North York moors Railway line - no danger in this as it doesn't run again till about April. Once back in Goathland there was the small matter of running back along roads to the car, including the main Whitby to Malton road. I'm not so keen on this and I reckon there would have been a cross country route, but in the event we all played safe.

All good fun and 18.5m covered. Must admit I didn't finish it feeling another 10m would be "coasting". Possibly the effect of the non-stop 5-6m of undulating road at the end, when my body was in stop/start off-road mode. But, the next day following a fish and chip feast I was up and at it again....

I woke to a thin carpet of unexpected, fresh, snow. I just had to leave a few tracks. 15.5m of edge of wolds. Big smile on my face. My estimation of distance from map was way off, looking beforehand I'd estimated 13-14. Quite tired by end as after the hills at start I hit the flat Humber-side path. Nice at first running on a low bank between river and a watersports lake. Then gets a bit grizzly and hard work on a section where the path has collapsed into the muddy beach getting my nice snow cleaned trainers very durty.

Pic above-left show whiteover on the edge of the Wolds - looking at this featureless section actually hurts the eyes a bit when there's snow on the ground and sun in the sky. Right, another pic of Welton dale, my spiritual home.

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