Initially, the idea of running two miles up hill to the summit of a bleak moorland does not seem like the most attractive prospect, but this is what I and several Harriers attempted on Tuesday evening. The location was Silton Forest a few miles north of Thirsk, and the target was the summit of Black Hambleton, at 400m the highest of the Hambleton Hills and one of the highest tops in the North York Moors national park.
The run began in the forest car park where runners were heavily outnumbered by flies. The route set off on a level track but soon began rising with varying degrees of steepness through the trees, with a good display of common spotted orchids on the verges. Emerging from the forest, there was another flatish section before passing through a gate and heading towards the summit on a rocky track with heather flowers to either side, with some really testing hills and a brief rain shower. I had adopted a strategy of walking 20 paces then running 30, but even that was hard to maintain on the steeper sections. With lungs bursting, a turn off the main track led to a short path across the open moor and the summit finish.
After a few moments of recovery it was time to look at the fantastic views, across the plain of York to the Pennines and north to Urra Moor and the Cleveland Hills. Although not a huge climb there was a sense of satisfaction at reaching the top.
The way down was easier, a gentle jog back down the moorland track and through the woods to the car park, and a stretch in the company of our fellow summiteers and many more flies.
Thanks go to Bryan and Claire for devising the route and organising the runs. I would certainly be keen for another go before too long.
Results as follows:
|Name||Time on 24th of July||Time on 4th of August||Best Time|