Race Date: Tuesday 1st January 2019
Report by Hal Roberts
What better way to bring in 2019 than a run on the beautiful Cleveland Way around Robin Hoods’ Bay and Whitby?
The route of the 30 mile race is essentially a figure of eight, with the first section to Whitby on cinder track, through the town centre (dodging disorientated tourists walking off hangovers), up 199 steps to the Abbey and a run back along the Cleveland Way over the clifftops back to race HQ at Robin Hood’s Bay. The 15 finishes at this point, with the 30 then continuing another section of cinder track down to Heyburn Wyke, before a return to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Cleveland Way.
Having run the 2017 version of the 30, I’d been having flashbacks of the mud on the clifftops which made for very slow and tiring going. I’d heard 2018 was just as bad. However, by virtue of the dry summer and dry-ish winter to date, this time ground conditions couldn’t have been much more different and at a push, you could have got away with cushioned road shoes (making my choice of Inov8 Mudclaws a painful mistake!)
The dry conditions made for a fast race, and I was pleased to take about 30 minutes off my 2017 time, although I just missed out on a top 10 finish.
Major kudos to Helen Burgess for finishing the 15 as 9th female in her comeback race, having had two and a half months out with a broken collarbone.
I’ve done a few of the Hardmoors races now, all round the North York Moors, and I don’t think they could be improved for route choices, value and friendliness (+ very well stocked race HQs for post-race feasting). You have to be quick off the mark to get an entry in, as most races sell out within minutes of opening, but this is definitely for good reason.
The winner of the 30 mile race was Philip Jones from the unaptly named Shropshire Shufflers in 4:04:30, first female was Hannah McMahon (unattached) in 4:58:46.
The winner of the 15 mile race was Luke Osborn from York Knavesmire Harriers in 1:55:40, first female was Clare Howard of Totley AC in 2:01:14.