So you’ve done a marathon. It was way back in October 2019, but you promised yourself you would do one of those Hardmoors ultra marathon races.
A worldwide pandemic kinda stops you in your tracks for a bit, but one day someone is selling a place on the Farndale Hardmoors Marathon. It’s ONLY 29 miles….. Bah. Booked it anyway!
So August 1st 2021 is the date and I drive over to Hutton le Hole to the starting point for my kit check and my number. It’s just become very real! Bump into Sarah from club who’s also doing the run and we walk over to the start together, for what can only be described as the most fun warm up I’ve ever done! And then just like that – we are off!
The first half flashes by. Loads of uphill and downhill, with some of the prettiest countryside God’s own country has to offer….. And then I get to Cockayne. 20 miles in and I run out of steam. Can I bluff my way to the end? I press on. Sure I’m slower than I was and we still have some big hills to climb but I’m sure if I take it steady, I can make it to the finish. At every checkpoint I down half a pint of coke and eat a load of sweets just to keep my energy going.
The last few miles are either running through seven feet high bracken, or up and down hills which makes for an interesting finish. I climb the last of the hills. I’m practically dawdling at this point, but the downhill back into Hutton le Hole awaits me.
I use the very last of my energy to put in a respectable looking finish over the line and find a wall to go and collapse against and drink the last of my water! Very much needed.
I put on that Hardmoors top and medal with pride that day. It’s another box ticked off for my adventures in running. It was only 3 and a half years ago since I did my first 5k parkrun, and now I can say I’m an ultramarathon runner. That’s not bad really!