The written route description from the site needs to be complimented with a map and some orienteering will be required (see image below)
Location: Osmotherly village, North Yorks national park
CPs: There are self CPs (clip yr own card + token into bucket) + regular CPs @ every 3-5 miles. Water, squash + snacks
Weather: @24 degs C; very sunny; very exposed.
Start Time: 09:00 for all runners
Finish: Ends at Osmotherly village
Post Runner Recovery: Certificate + badge + plenty of village pubs to down a pint or three.
Water + supplies carried: 2.5 litres of salty squash + 3 breakfast bars + 2 jam sandwiches + 2 sausages
Mandatory gear: Map, compass, waterproof trousers/jacket
Organisers: Hi TG – we think you are MAD! This qualifies you and your Tyre for a place in the Phoenix – no extra charge for the tyre!
...and like the merry dwarves..... "hi ho hi ho it's off to research I go...."
Here we met the lovely Jeremy who needed a ride over to the village. Uncle would drop us at the village and be checking into the local Parkrun at Ripon.
Jeremy would accompany me for the first couple of miles, before leaving me in his trail of dust along an ascent up a steep hill.
Later the route description referred to an alternate route:
"For those who prefer speed to the views, it is possible to contour round Cringle Moor to the North..."
Of course I am a purist, and was pretty sure there would be more purist. I mean what's a hill after having ascended 3 steep hills? A crow circled above and squawked out, "hills roll along this route".
In my head I heard Mohammed Ali say:
"If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain"
So Tyregirl must go up every mountain! The crow squawked "fool, fool" then drifted off over the moors.
I looked up and cried out: "Hills are fun, especially going down!"
...Not these ones! Most of them I had to carry Reu up due to kinks, ruts and rock protrusions along the route. Many of them I could not simply run down due to those same tyre grabbing rocks descending the hill. And then there were the Wain Stones - a bunch of large boulders thrown up on the top of a hill. Tourist sat out on the canter levers admiring the views below. We had to climb it....as in there was a "high" step and a narrow passage meant I had to lob Reu onto a boulder, which would enable me to step up and shimmy through. Perhaps there was an easier route....oh yes that's where everyone disappeared to.
I had blindly followed the Cleveland Way, and 10 miles in, the signage was not altogether clear as the sun baked upon my head. Thankfully, the map reassured me I was going along the correct route, warning me of more hills along the way......great. My initial enthusiasm of hills had waned away. Without being able to hurl myself down a hill, Reu was a drag (sorry Reu), often being tipped over and bouncing on bucket instead. This caused the tension in the rope to change and fray and would soon become an issue as further beatings upon bucket meant the rope would snap and threaten to let bucket loose. Time would have to be spent stopping to do bucket checks, attempting to keep the rest of the thinning rope intact.
As we headed off the Cleveland Way, I would take a wrong path searching for a hidden gate that headed towards Bilsdale Hall. I should have remembered the song by Freddy and the Dreamers in Oliver and the OverWorld "Oh you can't go wrong if you just go right 'cos rights the proper way." Here is a clip of a childhood memory that my brothers and I used to sing along to in the car.
Using the map to navigate the next part of the route, we ascended another steep hill. A passerby pitied me as I must have looked a tormented soul.
I might have felt lost momentarily, I meant have regretted going the hilly route, but the finish was fantastic. Made it within 10 hours to a heros welcome by the entire village and participants clapping every last person over the end line.
After 9 hours and 47 minutes playing with hills and open landscapes, my mind had to catch up, suddenly back in civility, soaking in images of kids playing in the street, people taking in laundry, pubs over flowing from walkers and participants, and people happy as the rain had held back and the sun had smiled throughout.
It was tough out there; apparently a number of people had to be pulled off the course with sunstroke! I sat in a pile in front of the end desk. My legs had made it, my arms and back had a tyre work out from lifting and carrying 10 kilos, and I was happy I had climbed every mountain. The positive reception at the end made the event worth doing.
So I leave you with another oldie song. The original on the left or on the right if you want to hear a more modern take.
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