Yorkshire Trod 100k & leaderboard update

 

The Yorkshire Trod 100k was the last race of the RunFurther calendar for 2021. We had great weather for it, unfortunately it didn’t go entirely to plan for someof us.

Karen’s race report is below, mine is on this link.

Leaderboards are updated on the results page.

 

 


The Yorkshire Trod

 With no Fellsman this year we needed to find a replacement race- this ticked all the boxes as it was the right length, same area of Yorkshire and a new RO/Due North who welcomed the extra entries and publicity. It goes over fewer peaks and has more trails and so is overall more runnable for most people. Having said that the climb up Simons Seat was brutal.

As always we arrived early to put up flags and banners, drop off mint cake and prizes etc. I stayed and registered before we moved the van to the top of Yarnbury road to cook and spend the night. I slept well – it was proper dark and silent. It was the predictable early start but the forecast was good and it didn’t feel as cold as I had feared. I opted for one base layer and my cag- it stayed like that all day with the sleeves up, then down, with the front open and then closed. There were many DNSs so a small group of just over 30 lined up at the top of Grassington before a low key “Off you go”. I knew I was going too fast on the easy tarmac downhill when I found myself running with Phil Withnall who went on the win the race. I didn’t (couldn’t stay with him long. I managed without a torch on the lit streets and then on the big track heading west onto the moors. By then it was first light and Martin Terry had joined me along with a group of 4 guys who had receed the route. Their help at a couple of points was useful although it was me that pointed out we had nearly ignored the first self clip. At Winterburn Reservoir we turned north on the Dales High Way heading for Weets.

Not my photo

I though Weets was near Barnoldswick but there are two! We continued north to Mastiles Lane and then to Malham Tarn where John Bamber was sunning himself at the car park CP.

Again- a borrowed photo

We left Malham Tarn going NE to Arncliffe on the old Monks Road. This was lovely and grassy but my hip/groin were bothering me (not the right one as a fortnight ago but the other one!).  By Arncliffe I caught Martin and then grabbled pizza and cake before we set off along the river meadow path to Litton. This should have been beautifully runnable but I was struggling a bit. In Litton I caught Martin again as I called him back to the self clip and then the 4 guys caught us a we dithered at a path junction. It was a stiff climb over the moors before the drop to Buckden. So far almost all the route had been new to me except for a small section at Malham. The others had now pulled ahead although they were still in sight. I expected the next bit to be very easy as I knew the way but then I got distracted. There is an elderly man missing in the area and I spotted somebody sat high on the hill- all alone and not moving for some time. I felt I had to go and check. It took me off route and over some lovely bogs and tussocks. It was just a young guy resting, admiring the view and having a snack.

You couldn’t see that much today

I did eventually make it to the trig on Buckden Pike and amazingly had not lost much time on the 4 guys who were just leaving. It was shrouded in low cloud and not a place to loiter with no views. I then got carried away in Fellsman mode and am still not sure which path is best for descending to Starbotton. My route will not have been used by others as I took an off path sort of straight line as I wanted to be going downhill but to avoid the gnarly tracks. We had route choice from here to Kettlewell. I opted to stay east of the river but would be curious to know how many crossed to the Dales Way which is flatter but less grassy.

Having clipped at the maypole we had an ‘allowed’ section on road until shortly after Scargill House. The pull up from here was a low point (and it isn’t even very steep or long) but my hip was troubling me.  It was further than I had estimated form here to Grassington although it is a lovely path past Conistone Pie and other outcrops. Lovely that is except for the ankle break flap stiles!

At this point I was seriously questioning whether I should stop- I am doing the OMM next weekend and so do not need a dodgy hip. It seemed wise to sit, eat and think. I also found out that I was well over half way and there was only 25 miles to go… queue much amusement from the winners on the 50km ” Oh well, if there is only 25miles left that’s easy!” Before I could change my mind was off but just in time to hear Mel tell me that the next lady was about 2km behind. I set off anxious about her catching me.

Typical Dales Way path

The river path was lovely easy running once I fought my way through the tourists heading from the visitor centre to the river and back. My hip seemed slightly better and before long I was in Burnsall and clipping yet again. A short section by the river and then I turned onto a new to me path that would take me up to Appletreewick pasture and then Trollers Gill. I had actually been here once before but in a race where I had others to follow and so took little notice. From Skyreholme it was up and up on the least good path of the day. I have never been so pleased to meet flag-stones as I was here.

Simons Seat- not mine

The run down from Simons Seat was lovely and I was both enjoying myself and trying to get as far as I could before dark. Another short section on the riverside Dales Way led me to Barden Bridge and familiar ground again. I made good time up the road onto Barden Moor and even ran some of it. I should really have stopped to get my torch out but there were few cars and I could see fine. One benefit of a small race entry is CP marshalls who are delighted to see you and offer all sorts of services. I got my tally clipped, a cup of tea, a bowl of soup, my water topped up and the offer of having my groin checked out (thanks Stuart). It was now definitely dark and it was good to be on familiar ground and also a big easy track. I did nearly make one mistake but corrected it after 200m- mainly exuberant downhill running got me carried away.  The hip was no worse so I felt I was not adding harm and started to really enjoy myself. I scared loads of birds including a beautiful owl.

Then from the track gate I turned north to follow the wall over Rylestone fell- past Cracoe Cross and then up to the memorial obelisk. It was less steep than I feared and not as muddy as I expected until the slight descent after the memorial.

Borrowed from another day- it was very dark today

The boggy path then turns into a good track and turns east to the impressive shooting huts.  I turned to check for torch lights following me yet again but there were none. I did not know the path down to Thorpe but Bob had pushed his bike up it and was not happy. Without a bike and heading downhill it was a joy until it became a slightly greasy walled track closer to the village. It was now mostly downhill, first on tarmac and then across fields to reach the suspension bridge over the Wharfe. I knew that from here it should only be 40 minutes or so and trotted on just being wary of tree roots. The walled path from the river was now deserted as I headed up to the visitor centre. I opted for the village centre roads that were better lit as soon the Devonshire Institute was in sight. A final clip and I was done. Not quite as fast as I had hoped but 14hrs 40 was not so bad. I was lucky to be 1st F and 6th overall. Martin had finished about half an hour ahead of me. Bob had taken down all the flags and banners once it was dark so we didn’t have too much to take away with us. I was really hungry and knew I should eat but after a cup of tea and an enormous bowl of Joe’s soup I had to admit defeat. I washed most of the mud off my legs and the sweat from my face before heading downhill and to the van. It was too late to drive home now so we spent an extra night in Grassington disturbed only by a sheep bashing the back of the van at about 3am.

This is a wonderful route and should become a classic once more runners know of it. The tracks are runnable, the nav not too hard, the Dales Way is beautiful and so are the stone villages and typical Dales barns. Plus of course the team are lovely and you get amazing soup and cake! Good Luck Due North/ Mel and hopefully there will be bigger numbers next year.