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About preparation and run of the Hardmoors 110 race in Yorkshire

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Monday, April 8 2013

Hardmoors 55 2013 - a run in the snow

The 21st March might be Spring Day, it was definitely still winter on the 23rd! Given the extended winter we're having this year, conditions on the moors were rather tough. And I was exposed to them even before the race. The fourth edition of Hardmoors 55 was run in reverse, from Guisborough to Helmsley. The football/cricket club at Helmsley was kind enough to let us camp there, which meant being 100m from the coach to the starting line, and again 100m away from the finish line. As I had packed my best sleeping bag and bought a better sleeping mat the day before (*), this was actually not a big deal, despite the high winds dropping the temperature inside the tent down to about 0°C. Other runners were not so lucky with their sleeping equipment, and ended up sheltering in the club house in the early morning. On the plus side, camping next to the race finish meant pub diner with fellow runners before the race, including usual suspect Dave Kamis.

Out of 200 registered runners, 130 turned up for the race on Saturday morning. Some prevented by the snow on the roads, others by the call of their warm duvets... The start was given at Guisborough, and although it was a bit cold and windy around Roseberry Topping, the conditions were not too bad until Kidale. A nice 20km warm up, catching up with fellow runners such as Henry Morris. Things changed dramatically as we approached Bloworth Crossing. A strong and cold side wind (probably 40 to 50km/h), combined with ankle-deep snow at least, and up to knee-deep when crossing omnipresent snowdrifts meant it was very difficult to run. But there was no other option. The desolated moorland offers no protection, you have to keep moving.

Things were slightly better on the ridges to Osmotherley, still with a lot of wind, some (avoidable) ice, but less snow. After Osmotherley, again strong winds and snowdrifts made progress difficult. Jon was kind enough to cut off the White Horse loop, saving 5km and a bit of ascent. So as the night set at Sutton Bank, I had only a relatively easy section to Helmsley left to run.

Although the route was slighlty shorter this year, you can see that the weather conditions compensated for that in the following graph showing the number of finishers per time slot. The 2012 curve is a typical Gaussian-like runner distribution, with the finisher's peak between 11 and 12 hours. The 2013 curve follows the same pattern until 11 hours, where it peaks first, before strangely dropping and peaking again in between 13 and 14 hours. This is rather odd. It looks like the typical first third of the pack didn't get affected too much by the conditions (or a least, this was compensated by the slightly shorter course), but the rest of the pack got delayed significantly for some reason. Maybe inappropriate equipment (I met a runner with road running shoes and a very weak head torch integrated in his cap, luckily someone lent him a better option on the way), or just not used to harsh conditions. Any thoughts?

Hardmoors 55 runners distribution

I'm rather happy with my race. Despite (or maybe due to) the conditions, I found the race rather enjoyable, both physically and mentally, without any major issues. Simply the perfect day out I'm looking for, just start running easy, and enjoy it until the end. And I'm still in the ever-shrinking club of runners who have completed all editions of the Hardmoors 55 :)

Ultra snow

(*) That is, the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XLite. Unbelievably small when packed, especially for someone who hasn't moved away from the old-school closed-cell foam mat!

Thursday, March 21 2013

Tough forecast

Weather forecast for the North Yorkshire Moors this Saturday is sub-zero temperatures, strong wind, and snow... Tough forecast for the first Hardmoors 55 reverse! I know someone who must be thinking hard about whether to let loose a 200 strong pack of runners.

And I'm camping before and after the race :)

Ultra decision time

Tuesday, November 13 2012

Hardmoors 26.2 Trail Series

Jon has just launched yet another series of 5 races in the North Yorkshire Moors, the Hardmoors 26.2 Trail Marathon Series. A trail marathon, half-marathon, and 10km will be organised at each of the events, so that is a total of 15 races. A bit of work ahead for your webmaster...

Ultra Softmoors

Tuesday, March 27 2012

Hardmoors 55 2012

The week-end before last, I was off to North Yorkshire again for the third edition of the Hardmoors 55.

As I arrived in Guisborough on Friday night, I went for a now ritual pre-race fish and chips. I ordered a "cod and chips and a coke", but my mumbling meant I ended up with a "cod and chips and a cod", ie. two cods and a bag of chips. Probably in the order of 1200-1500 KCal in a meal. Not too bad before an ultra, but technically just enough calories for a half-marathon.

The Fox Inn was actually being refurbished as I stayed there. The hotel rooms were open as usual, but the pub downstairs was closed. This meant that unlike the past two years, there was no disco night until 2am, and I could sleep a bit better!

An early coach took us to Helmsley, where the start was given by race director of the day Martin Dietrich at 9am. The runner field had increased again this year with 138 runners registered, served by a lot more volunteers.

As planned by the forecast, it started raining lightly an hour after the start. Nothing too serious, but enough to require a jacket and make the ground a bit slippery. At that point, I wished I had chosen the Inov-8 Flyroc rather than the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra, as the latter are a bit light on the grip when it comes to mud. Things went smoothly until Osmotherley nevertheless.

I didn't feel too powerful for the most of the race, and most particularly in the uphill sections between Osmotherley and Bloworth Crossing. I was hoping for better after my double portion of fish. Maybe I'm not eating enough during the races. I need to figure that out. Or maybe, as usual, I'm not training enough...

As I was approaching the remote and exposed checkpoint of Bloworth Crossing, some more serious rain started and did not stop until I left Kildale. I can't say it was the most pleasant experience, but when well equipped, I find it somewhat inspiring to battle the elements in the relative cosiness of a waterproof jacket. Just like last year, I started to play the yoyo with Andy C. from that point.

Past Kildale, Captain Cook monument, Roseberry Topping, and High Cliff Nab (lit by two powerful lanterns this year, making it a beacon visible from Roseberry Topping), the path becomes wider and more runnable again, and I left Andy C. slightly behind. I caught up with a runner who had overtaken us before the previous checkpoint as he took a wrong turn. The exact same I took 2 years ago and got lost. I shouted in his direction, and it was his turn to chase me again.

Once on the disused railway line, I felt a bit playful and decided to switch off my head torch, so that my chaser could not see me any more and might give up trying to reel me up. I knew the path was flat and mostly straight, so it felt OK to run in the dark. I just switched it on briefly a couple of times when approaching gates and other large obstacles. And indeed, my chaser's light rapidly disappeared... I kept pushing and looking back from time to time nevertheless. And suddenly, surprise, his light not that far off behind me! Just about to pass the gate I left behind a minute ago. How could he catch up so suddenly? Answer a few moments later as I turned around to judge his progress... but could not see him! I had been beaten at my own game, he too had clearly switched off his torch a while back. And since he was behind he could spot me effortlessly every time I switched mine on to pass a gate, whereas I only had been lucky to look behind as he was passing one.

I eventually finished in 11:16:36, a tad slower than last years, but fairly consistent otherwise!

Ultra training not required...

Monday, November 7 2011

Hardmoors for the lazy ...

... or the runners building up stamina.

Jon seems to become softer and softer, and has now opened the Hardmoors 55, 110, and 60 to relay teams. Between 2 and 4 runners who can split the course however they like, as long as they cover the entire race between them obviously. Interesting strategies in perspective.

Ultra relays

Wednesday, September 28 2011

Hardmoors 60: sea, run, and sun

On Saturday I was once more back in the North Yorkshire Moors, this time to run the first edition of the Hardmoors 60.

As you know, the Hardmoors 110 route is composed of two distinct sections: the first half in the moors (Helmsley to Saltburn) and second one following the coast (Saltburn to Filey). Last year Jon created the Hardmoors 55 on the first half of the course. This year he naturally added the Hardmoors 60 on the coastal section. Slight issue, the total distance was a bit under 60 miles, so a loop had been added at the end, forcing us to run an extra 10 miles after passing 100m from the finish line...

I pitched my tent in Filey on Friday night, and took the coach for Saltburn on Saturday morning, in which I met the usual suspects: Steve, Flip, ... and slept a bit. By the time we were greeted by Jon at Saltburn, the sun was up, and a gorgeous weather was waiting the 50 of us!

The conditions in the morning were perfect, and I kept running with my head looking left towards the sea :) The section on the beach at Runswick Bay was particularly nice. Much easier to enjoy than on the 110 after a night out in the moors...

Unfortunately, things started to change after Sandsend. I started to feel diarrhea looming. The whole section between Whitby and Ravenscar turned into a difficult moment. Aside from the pain and the technical challenges of the condition in the middle of a race, it left me relatively weak and probably dehydrated, since the weather was relatively warm.

Luckily, after a great deal of help from the marshal at the Ravenscar checkpoint (32 miles), who fed me with soup and rice pudding, I was back on track and enjoyed the rolling section to Scarborough, and even ran the whole promenade despite the hardness of the concrete and the density of pedestrians.

As I left Scarborough (43 miles), I thought I had only 7 miles to Filey Brigg, then 7 miles to Stocking Dale, and logically 3 miles to the finish line. As I asked for confirmation at Filey Brigg (50 miles), about the 10 miles left, I was told that it was actually 12... I know I was a bit confused after 11 hours on the trail, but was still fairly confident that 60-50=10. Then I started to think again about the map I had roughly memorised, and thought it would be strange for this loop to be about 6 miles on the way in, and only 3 on the way back. And indeed, the total distance happened to be 63.5 miles (102km)... Jon's such a joker ;)

After I passed next to the finish line and my tent, I switched on my head torch for the final 10 miles loop, where I didn't see a single runner, but a few animals a bit surprised to see me: a couple of kittens blinded by my head torch, an owl, a rabbit who didn't know where to run away and was just zig-zaging in front of me until I nearly stepped on him, and a few cows that didn't seem too bothered.

Not only animals were surprised. As I was close to finish, I got stopped by a farmer who was patrolling, a bit worried by all these lights in the fields in the middle of the night. He told me that he was concerned we were poachers or metal scrappers. I convinced him that after running 60 miles, the last thing we had in mind was to carry a metal gate or a sheep back home...

I pushed a bit to arrive 15th in just under 14 hours (13:58). Just in time to discuss a potential Hardmoors 160 and maybe even a Hardmoors 1000 :)

I have too say I was not too keen on this final loop, not only it doesn't bring much in terms of scenery, but it's not a natural ending after following the coast for 50 miles. And passing by the finish line 2 hours before finishing is a bit depressing. It might be scrapped next year.

As I came back to London, I was subject to a new form of craving: I was really keen on getting a dozen of oysters. Something to do with water and salt I guess. Or maybe the consequences of a run by the sea?

Ultra coast

Thursday, August 18 2011

Cheap Ultr4m4th0ns!

Jon has set the prices for next year's Hardmoors series, and all have gone down, against the trends! The 110 registration is now only £40 for early birds, against £60 last year. At 36p per mile, it's a real bargain. It's actually ten times cheaper than most big marathons that now cost around £80 (ie. £3.05 per mile).

Next year's Hardmoors 30 and 55 fees are currently £15 and £25, when this September's inaugural Hardmoors 60 late fee is a mere £35.

Ultra discount

Thursday, June 9 2011

Found dog and lost sweeper

Last week-end, I was honoured to serve as "race director" on the Hardmoors 110, since Jon has decided not only to organise a series of 4 races, but also to run some of them...

I was expecting this task to consist mainly in driving along the course, getting a few phone calls, making sure that the checkpoints were ready for the first runners, and that any runner pulling out would be picked up. However, given the shortage of available marshalls, this proved a bit more demanding: I was due to marshal at White Horse on Friday from 18:00 to 19:00, in Kildale from midnight to 5:00 on Saturday, then rush to Sandsend to open a checkpoint at 6:00 and leave it to David at 10:00 to finally man the finish checkpoint at Filey from 13:00, until 5:00 on Sunday.

White Horse
The new race date in June means much more daylight, and the start was given in a relatively hot and sunny weather. We then drove to White Horse to man the first checkpoint. Unfortunately that meant seeing friend Mark B. pulling out of the race early after having pulled a muscle.

After a quick stoppover at Osmotherley where John V. was marshalling, we went to setup the checkpoint in Kildale village hall at 10pm. It was rather difficult to run operations from Kildale, due to the sparse mobile phone coverage. From the broken phone conversations slowly emerged that Ann the sweeper had been lost in the moors. This started to worry me, although I knew she was very experienced and well equipped. I was also mentally getting ready to sweep myself if any one was missing. First relief came with the last runners arriving at Kildale an hour ahead of the cut-off time. As we left the checkpoint and managed to get a few phone calls through, Ann had been recovered by Pat, and all the runners were reported at the next checkpoint, Roseberry Topping. But it's only at 10am, with the Saltburn checkpoint closing with all runners in, that I regained my peace of mind. Pat would sweep the second half of the course from there on. No sleep that night.

A few hours of marshalling on a coastal car park at Sandsend show little happening, if talking to fishermen, until Greg arrived. Greg was part of a support crew and had already recovered two runners who had pulled out in his van. But this time he'd recovered a dog, which he believed belonged to another support crew! Since we did not know where this crew was at the time, there was not much we could do, and Greg kept the dog in his van.

We finally got to Filey to open the hall hosting the finish checkpoint. As I was trying to get a bit of sleep before a long night, the door slammed open. It was Neil Ridsdale, the first runner, breaking his own race record in 20:58. He actually believed he was chased by Scott Bradley who had been leading a significant length of the race, when in fact Scott had pulled out 11 miles earlier. Runners arrived little by little, with Jon in 4th place. A bit later, we managed to locate the crew missing its dog and after exchanging a few phone numbers via the marshalls, the dog was finally given back to its rightful owners :) .
Saturday afternoon was depressing at times, receiving runner pull-out calls one after another. The weather started to worsen, with a cold and mind-sapping mist building up. At midnight, with four runners still on their way, I decided to get a bit of sleep, as I needed to drive the next day and Shirley kindly offered to replace me. 36 hours and 50 phone calls later, 12 runners had finished the race out of 26 starters.

Well done to all of you, starters, finishers, crews, and marshalls who made this race alive! I wish everyone a prompt and full recovery, and see you on the 60 in September!

Ultra logistics

Thursday, March 31 2011

Hardmoors 55 - a jog in the moors

Two weeks ago, I was back in the North Yorkshire Moors once more for the Hardmoors 55. Just like last year, I stayed at the Fox Inn in Guisborough, and just like last year, the music downstairs made the walls vibrate until midnight.

More than 100 runners were registered, so it was quite packed at Helmsley, and I caught up once more with the Hardmoors community. Jon himself had risen to the challenge of organising and running. Top man! I was given the number 72, the same as the PTL last year.

The start was given under a glorious sun and the day was generally sunny, but the air was not particularly warm. The water puddles were actually frozen in the morning, and the wind was a bit chilly on the ridges.

I was not feeling super confident at the beginning, with an achy right knee, and every tiny climb sending me out of breath. But I spent a lot of time chatting around with runners, and everything cleared up before Osmotherley.

First serious outing for my altimeter.

Shortly after the checkpoint, a great scenery on the Moors was offered as far as Roseberry Topping. The characteristic shape of the summit looked rather distant when thinking we had to run over it towards the end of the race!

Being immersed in the Moors landscape at last (after the Hardmoors 110 2008 by night, and the Hardmoors 55 2010 in the hill fog) gave me a great psychological boost. I managed to push a bit between Bloworth Crossing and Kildale encouraged by the "singing" grouse, whereas I was bored and tired last year. This time, I played the yoyo with Andy C. But overall, my split times were very similar to last year's!


Just past Roseberry Topping, a massive amber moon (it was indeed at its nearest from the Earth in nearly 20 years) welcomed us. I managed not to get lost in the woods and finished with Pat and Paul, 4 minutes faster than last year.

I spent a bit more time at the finish line, catching up with Steve and Co before dragging myself to bed, knackered enough not to mind the music!

Ultra like last year, but better :)

Monday, October 11 2010

Hardmoors 30 and 60!

Jon seems to be trying very hard to please the maximum number of runners. Three major news came out in the last couple of days. A new Hardmoors 30 has been announced on New Year Day. In order to get more daylight, the original Hardmoors 110 will now be run in June. And to complement the Hardmoors 55, a new Hardmoors 60 will be organised on the week-end left by the Hardmoors 110 on the coastal section of the Cleveland way! The energy Jon is putting into the races leaves me speechless.

In less than 4 years, the Hardmoors have moved from a single event to a race series... Which leaves us with this choice for 2011:
  • Hardmoors 30 1st January (circular around Whitby)
  • Hardmoors 55 19th March (Helmsley to Guisborough)
  • Hardmoors 110 3-5th June (Helmsley to Filey)
  • Hardmoors 60 24-25th September (Saltburn to Filey)
Who's up to the challenge of running all 4 of them in the same year?

Ultra moors

Thursday, March 25 2010

Tales from the road

Quite a few race reports from runners and marshals at Hardmoors 55 are available on-line:

John K's race report, lessons, and video diary.

Lee's witty report and pictures. In particular this section made me smile:
The Drop bag facility worked very well here. Some runners were uber professional and had laminated cards with their particulars detailed precisely. Others scrawled their name and number with a biro.
Example of the former: John K. Example of the latter: your writer, who hadn't really thought about this beforehand, and used cereal bar packaging for the purpose.

Dave's, Andy C's, Tim's, and Brian MC's tales.

Karen's pictures.

Let me know if I missed anyone. I'll probably only update the lists on the official website: race reports and photos & videos.

Ultra tales.

Tuesday, March 23 2010

Inaugural Hardmoors 55

Updated 25/03/2010: speeds and graph.

Last week-end, I went to the North Yorkshire Moors once more to run the inaugural Hardmoors 55 race, from Helmsley to Guisborough on the Cleveland Way. I know I'm late, John K has already posted his full race report on Sunday!

After an uneventful journey to Guisborough I was happy to find a small, yet cosy room at the Fox Inn. Unfortunately, my opinion changed quickly when the live music downstairs started at 9pm to last until midnight. I eventually fell asleep for a few hours and got up at 4:15 to tick off runners on the coach to the starting line at Helmsley. I caught up with the Hardmoors community, Jon (obviously), John K who had just recovered from his chest infection*, Steve, Mark B (sweeping), Shirley, John V, Dave, Flip, ...

I started the race easily, chatting away with Steve. I didn't feel amazing at first, but that didn't seem to have any impact on my speed (see graph below).

The weather was not great to say the least. For the first 7 hours, ie. until Bloworth Crossing, it was windy and drizzling. High on the moors, the wind was particularly strong, and even if it was not raining hard, after a few hours everything starts to get damp. I was wearing shorts, a long sleeve T-shirt, a waterproof jacket and my Hardmoors 110 Buff. I put on a fleece at the road crossing between Wainstones and Bloworth as I started to feel uncomfortable. Although I got commented on quite often for wearing only shorts, my legs were fine. My hands were numb, though. According to John K, at least two runners dropped out because of mild hypothermia.

My hopes to see more of the moors than during the Hardmoors 110 night didn't get fully realised, as the fog was sometimes so dense you couldn't see much more than 50 meters away. It was rather grim at times. Everything went rather well for me though, despite the wind draining mental and physical energy. I was expecting to hit some kind of marathon wall at some point after 4 of 5 hours but that didn't actually happen.

After Bloworth Crossing, the drizzle stopped. But the dirt track/road between Bloworth and Kildale is so boring (especially when you can't see anything) that I didn't feel so much better. Two runners I was with (including the first female) left me behind at that point and I didn't get a chance to catch up later.

At Kildale, the legendary Mike M (always marshalling at the cosiest checkpoints) was fulfilling every needs, topping up my water, providing tea and coffee, ... Nice to see a friendly face at that point of the race!

Before the race, Jon said the weather might clear up later, which made everyone laugh. It seemed quite obvious that the day was definitely doomed. But shortly after the Captain Cook monument, the clouds magically cleared up, and the sun even came out at Roseberry Topping for literally 10 minutes before sunset. It was really beautiful at last, the moors in all shades of red, orange and yellow, and the sea in the background. Well predicted Jon! You should write the weather forecast!

The uphill sections were quite hard for me, and I even started cramping up at some point. I think I really need to improve that point. Quite a few runners said that the inclement weather have slowed them down. I think this doesn't really apply to me. For sure, I had to take it easy on the stony downhill sections (well, kind of...) and the wind in the face doesn't really speed you up, but it also forced me to keep a decent pace to stay warm :) . Overall, it was hard physically, but my mental was strong and held it all together until the end.

As I passed the unofficial checkpoint at Highcliff Nab, I still hadn't checked my maps a single time. I was already thinking about the e-mail I was to send to Murdo: "Navigation is easy, getting lost is for newbies"... Alas, as the night started to fall in Guisborough Woods, I followed a random bridle way instead of the Cleveland Way at some point at got a bit lost... The situation forced me to take out my head torch to read the map, I could have finished without it otherwise. I finally ended up on the disused railway line halfway between the last checkpoint and the finish line, so I had to run to the checkpoint and double back to the finish. Looking at the maps on Sunday I don't think it made any difference in terms of ascent or distance, but it's a bit frustrating.

I finally arrived at Guisborough shortly after 8pm, finishing in 11:16, 17th out of about 50 on the starting line. I got congratulated by Jon, got a pint of black stuff and a massage. I then manned the finish checkpoint, marking down the times of the last runners. These guys were incredible - to find some energy in the night after a day like that... Well done to everyone!

Overall, the race appeared to me slightly more "professionally organised" than the previous Hardmoors 110 editions. Jon is probably getting the hang of his race director role :) . Nevertheless, the race kept its usual friendly atmosphere. I also met quite a few runners I didn't know before that seemed to read my blog on a regular basis. Hi guys!

Here are my recorded split times. Wainstones is incorrect, as I marked it at the road crossing.

Checkpoint Distance km**TimeSpeed
TotalSplitPlannedArriveDepartDiff minkm/h
Start Helmsley 0.0 08:00 08:04
CP1 White Horse (Sutton Bank)14.514.509:3509:33 -69.78
Sneck Yate Bank 22.6 8.110:3010:24 -109.53
CP2 Osmotherley Village Hall 35.512.912:0511:4811:59-109.21
CP4 Wainstones 52.016.514:15(14:27)
CP5 Bloworth Crossing 58.9 6.915:2615:11 -197.31
CP6 Kildale Village Hall 68.5 9.616:4016:2516:42 -27.78
CP7 Roseberry Topping 75.5 7.018:1717:45 -346.67
CP8 Disused railway 84.5 9.019:37
FinishGuisborough Cricket Club 86.6 2.120:0019:20 -447.01
(speeds are calculated on the moving time only)

It's quite clear that I followed my plan fairly well until Kildale and then managed to keep the pace up more than expected. This is confirmed by this graph comparing Hardmoors 110 and 55 speeds.

Speed v. distance on Hardmoors 110 and 55.
Speed (km/h) against distance (km) on Hardmoors 110 and 55.

The adverse weather raised a question amongst many runners: "What if that happens on the Hardmoors 110?". Getting cold and wet for 12 hours is one thing. Spending 30 hours out (including a night) is a completely different story, especially with the decrease in pace. I also thought that it could have been much worse. Indeed, it was probably around 5°C and only drizzling. What about 0°C with heavy sleet?

Ultra cold.

* And who was celebrating his birthday on the race day, event which I was unaware of at the time, so Happy Birthday John! And sorry for being late.
** You'll notice some minor differences in the distances as compared to my plans. These ones are based on John K's data (corrected for his meanders) which I believe is a bit more accurate.

Friday, March 19 2010


In less than 21 hours I'll be on the starting line of the inaugural Hardmoors 55, my first ultra of the year. It's also the first time I run an ultra at such a time of the year, so I'm not sure about my fitness level.

Unfortunately, I haven't finished my real-time tracking system. It's really nearly there, but a few unexpected glitches during the first live trial convinced me to wait before the general release. In particular, the SPT 100 hasn't sent any SMS during the first half of my run (probably due to its location in the bag affecting the GPS signal), and the 3G modem can apparently store only 25 SMS, which means I'll have to add persistent storage for the raw SMS in the database and delete them as they're received. Not a big deal, but I had no time for that recently.

I'm leaving today after lunch for Middlesborough then Guisborough. Coach to Helmsley at 5am tomorrow morning.

Ultra ready?

Monday, March 8 2010

Pre-Hardmoors 55 thoughts

There are 80 runners registered so far, and my race number will be 37. The field will probably be fairly competitive, as the race is part of the Runfurther Vasque Ultrarunning series.

1. Route

I've received the official route for the first edition of the Hardmoors 55 last week. A few changes to the route as compared to the Hardmoors110. Checkpoint 1 is at the tip of Sutton Bank (White Horse), which brings a few extra kilometres. It follows the Cleveland Way after Osmotherley, instead of short-cutting by Cod Beck reservoir. And finally, the race passes through Slapewath for the last checkpoint before finishing at Guisborough

2. Mapping

Before the inaugural Hardmoors 110, I was wondering what kind of mapping solution would be appropriate, and went for the full 1:25,000 laminated OS maps. This has been proved not ideal, as folded maps are cumbersome on the run, and not suitable for the occasional peak.

This time I've made some small laminated route cards bound with a key-ring. The easiest way I found to build them is simply to slice my laminated OL26 map. I have to admit that cutting a map into pieces made me feel a bit awkard, as if that was a sacrilege. The map is double-sided and the route crosses the whole map, but rather luckily the route doesn't overlap across both sides. The advantages are two-fold: first it'll reduce the weight by about 60% from 200g to 80g, and secondly it will be much easier to keep in hand and follow the route card by card. The drawback is obviously that if I get seriously lost or need to withdraw, I will lack of an overview.

Hardmoors 55 OL26 map slicing.
The card sizes and placements are accurate, but the route is approximate.

3. Objective

In 2008, I took 14 hours to reach Saltburn on the Hardmoors 110. Completing the Hardmoors 55 in 12 hours seems like an achievable goal, but it's not going to be easy! Here are my expected split times (slightly updated on 12/03/2010), based on speeds measured on the Hardmoors 110, and hoping to slow down a bit less in the second half on the Hardmoors 55.

Split Total Limit Speed
km time km clock clock km/h
Start Helmsley 0 00:00 0 08:00 08:00
CP1 White Horse (Sutton Bank) w 14.5 01:33 14.5 09:33 10:00 9.30
CP2 Osmotherley Village Hall DB 20.9 02:31 35.4 12:05 13:00 8.28

Lords cafe 12.1 01:34 47.5 13:39 7.69
CP4 Wainstones 4 00:32 51.5 14:11 7.50
CP5 Bloworth Crossing 8.1 01:08 59.6 15:19 7.11
CP6 Kildale Village Hall DB 8 01:11 67.6 16:31 20:00 6.72
CP7 Roseberry Topping 9.7 01:33 77.3 18:04 6.25
CP8 Slapewath w 7.2 01:13 84.5 19:17 5.90
CP9 Guisborough Cricket Club 4.1 00:43 88.6 20:00 23:00 5.70

Ultra mapping

Monday, January 4 2010

Winter conditions on the Hardmoors

Check out Tomo's report and advice. Looks really promising to me!

Ultra winter.

Monday, November 2 2009

New race: Hardmoors 55

Jon announced he will organise a new race, the Hardmoors 55, following roughly the first half of the Hardmoors 110 from Helmsley to Guisborough. That's a good opportunity to run the moorland part of the Hardmoors 110 by daylight. It will take place in March, and the prospect of a snow cover isn't totally excluded... Which would certainly make the race rather interesting :)

For more information, please check the Hardmoors 110 and 55 new website I've helped putting together. It should be frequently updated with news.

Ultra new race.

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