Yorkshire Wolds Ultra 2023 report by Hannah Murton

Hannah Murton posing with race medal

Race date: 29 July 2023

Race distance: 50km

Race report by Hannah Murton

On Saturday 29th July 2023, Ultra Trails hosted the inaugural Yorkshire Wolds Ultra, a 50 km circular route, starting and ending on the edge of Pocklington. Participants also visit the picturesque villages of Givendale, Bishop Wilton, Kirby Underdale, Thixendale and Fridaythorpe.

The route takes you through some of the less-trodden trails in the Yorkshire Wolds, climbing up hidden valleys that reward you with incredible views, and through fields and wild grass meadows. The undulating course is challenging, with over 3,500ft of elevation and you always seemed to be going either up or down, keeping it interesting from start to finish. The only uninteresting part was the final mile, which was a loop of a nearby golf course, before heading back to the local rugby club that acted as Race HQ.

If I’m honest, my heart wasn’t really in this race when I set-off. I’d signed up not long after completing the NDW50 in May and was hungry for another ultra, but since then I’d done shorter races including the Loxley Lash and 4 x 1km relays, and had enjoyed getting some speed back in my legs. The thought of another slog around the countryside wasn’t as appealing anymore, particularly when my alarm went off at 4:30am on Saturday morning! I found the first few miles really hard-going, particularly as the route went through woods that were super muddy from the weeks of rain leading up to the race causing everyone to slip and slide everywhere, and some tough climbs that really tested the legs. When the heavens opened as I got to the first checkpoint, my heart sank, and I could have dropped out there and then. However, I’m so pleased that I persevered as the rain didn’t last for more than a few minutes and the weather improved after that, along with my mood. In fact, I really started to enjoy it after around 20 miles (file that under “Things Only Ultra-Runners Say”!). All in all in was a fab day out.

The final 3 miles were pretty much all downhill, and I picked the pace up a bit, clocking my fastest mile for the final mile! My efforts were rewarded with a lovely wooden medal, and a mini bottle of Prosecco that my husband John presented me with once I crossed the finish line.

Hannah Murton with race flag

I really cannot say enough good things about Ultra Trails. Their aim is to open up their events to as many people as possible, and want to actively encourage women to take part, and have committed to follow SheRACES guidelines. I definitely noticed many more women on the start line compared to other ultras I have done, and I assume this must be down to the company’s inclusivity policy. All the food and fuel at their aid stations were also vegan and gluten free, again in a bid to cater to as many people as possible.  The cut off was also a generous 12 hours, ensuring as many people as possible had a chance to complete the course.

Post-race they have already made changes to next year’s event based on feedback, including introducing a fourth aid station, and removing the golf course loop at the end as it didn’t prove to be that popular. For 2024 you will be able to choose a tshirt only if you want one, reducing the entry fee to only £42 if you decide not to take one, which is an absolute bargain price for an ultra! If you’re thinking of entering your first ultra, you couldn’t go wrong by booking onto one of Ultra Trail’s events.

Anna Klucnika, who finished a whopping 9 minutes ahead of the next competitor in 04:23:57, won the race (in her first ultra, nonetheless!), and the first male finisher was David Morrison in 04:32:21. I was the only Strider to take part, finishing in 07:01:33.

Striders result

P Name Cat Cat P Time
64 Hannah Murton F 25 7:01:33

Full results can be found here: http://results.opentracking.co.uk/event/ywu2023

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