Todays Hardmoors 55 mile race broke the norm of previous years snow and blizzards, providing todays competitors with fantastic conditions. Dry solid ground and even a tail wind blowing down most of the Clevland way from Guisborough to Helmsley were a great platform for a hard and fast race: the athletes toeing the line did not disappoint. I was lucky enough to support Kim and catch the top 15 through most places; here is how it unfolded;
In the Men`s race Kim Collison hit the start keen. The 2014 UK Ultra trail champion was eager to test his form prior to representing Team GB in the World Champs later this year. Paul Nelson was hot on his heels from the start and a chasing group formed behind these two. As the race evolved Kim continued to look smooth and consistent pulling a good gap out in front, flying through the check points on for a good race, Paul continued to push still striving for a good time.The chasing group started to spread out and it wasn’t until after Osmotherly, 30 odd miles in, that Dave Troman managed to make a small break to third.
By Sutton Bank and with 10 miles remaining, Kim had set down a fantastic pace and was now a good 30 minutes ahead of Paul Nelson, now being closed down by Dave. The last push into Helmsley saw Kim set down a new course record of 7:39 – 30 minutes faster than the previous CR. Coming in a fantastic second place was Paul in 8:15 (only 6 minutes off the previous CR), with Dave Troman looking strong for 3rd in 8:24, more than 30 minutes faster than his time last year
The ladies’ race was chalk and cheese from the men’s. The first four ladies were only separated by 5 minutes up to Clay Bank, with Shelli Gordon and Heather Mochrie having fun out in front with Kim England and Charmaine Horsfall not far behind. Coming into Lord Stones around 25 miles all four had grouped together, from here it looked wide open. Kim was surprised that she was in such a good position and feeling good but the race didn’t really develop until Osmotherley with the ladies staying close together and working well as a group. Unfortunately, Heather had been suffering from stomach problems and had to pull out at Osmotherley. Charmaine looked keen to make a move and pushed hard out of Square corner up onto the long climb towards High Paradise farm – though a long way from actual paradise – and Kim and Shelli remained close behind.
By Sutton Bank Charmaine had surged ahead, cutting through the men’s field too and going up to 7th overall. Shelli and Kim were now 30 minutes back but smiling and looking good as if they were only 10 miles in not 45! Into Helmsley and Charmaine finshed in a superp time taking down her own course record by 10 minutes for a finish time of 8:39 and overall place of 7th (TBC). Ultra Runner Store Trail Team mates Kim and Shelli finished in a cracking time of 9:04. Kim was over the moon as she was aiming for 10 hours and finished running with her hero Shelli.
It was not just the front 3 putting down solid runs, there were some amazing performances throughout the night as people came in. Jason Ellis had a cracking second half race and closed some serious ground on the front groups; John Kynaston`s discipline in running to heart rate throughout paid off as he finished very happy and relaxed; Simon Ridey and Bob Horsman both got in under 11 hours. Shelli and Nikki completing 1000 hardmoors miles! So many other friends and faces looked really chuffed and sorry, I can’t remember everyones’ names, but you all looked great and thanks for smilling as I kept popping up in random car parks. Well done all: Jon and Shirley you have put on a blindingly great event yet again – roll on the 110!!