Sunday, 4 December 2011

Eskdale Eureka

The latest race in the Esk Valley Winter Series didn't, despite its name, require one to strip bare, run through town yelling 'Eureka' - not that it would have made much difference in Castleton (North Yorkshire, not the caverny one at the foot of Winnat's in the peak) early this Sunday morning as it appeared no-one was there at all. Anyway, what with it now no longer being November I didn't really have the facial hair to replicate Archimedes' streak (not that I did at the end of a month of facial folicular floundering).
Who's this unsavoury looking character at the end of November?
Anyway, I digress.
It was a chilly morning with the mercury (or whatever the car dashboard uses) hovering just above freezing. The 8-mile race route heads east out of Castleton over Westerdale Moor before a lap of Baysdale and a return over Westerdale before the uphill finish (argh!). It's all very runnable with 4 short but sharp climbs.
Something like this but with a different start/finish making the race a bit shorter than advertised (Esk Valley)

Climb 3 out of Hob Hole in Baysdale (Mick Garratt,
  Stuck in the kind of cold which isn't really vicious enough to use as an excuse but definitely knocks 10-20% off your performance rates I was hoping for a nice pack run out to the far end of the race then start winding it up on the track run to Hob Hole. Cameron, however, had a different idea and made it an honest race setting the pace from the off. I managed to mark him throughout and he didn't break the elastic.

At the Start (Clive from Esk Valley)

Cameron leads 2km in (Clive from Esk Valley). The gap stayed about this distance right until the end.

I took the lead with a better line to the Splash, but Cam got me on the climb out (see above picture). A few different lines on the way back across Westerdale didn't make much difference, but my new rubber told on the descent to the bottom of the final climb as we came together. However I knew what was going to happen and, sure enough, Cam pissed off up the hill and left me staggering up in his wake. Cam got a new record, about 30 seconds ahead of me. The boy's good!

New X-talons = can now run down hill like I want to!
An enjoyable day out, thanks to Dave for his usual organisational work. The weather turned just as the front-runners made it back so it was a bit grotty for those further back (some of whom were in vests only!)

More hill work needed!

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