Sunday, 29 April 2018

Yetholm to Wooler Half 2018

On a decent day to be charging around the Cheviots, Andy and Alan took themselves to Wooler for the Yetholm to Wooler half (ish - depending on where you guessed the trail may be)  - with around 2200 feet of climb.

After a 7.30 start, we arrive in good time for registration and were whisked off, at 10.00 on a coach, to the start in Yetholm. Around 100 runners gathered on the village green for the brief safety talk.

No compulsory kit – ‘just wear what you are comfortable in,’ was the call!

So with a two jackets, a gel and a bag full of sugary objects between us - we were off.

The initial section involves running up the road to the car park of the Yetholm Hill Race and then up the side of Green Humbleton (first hill on the clockwise version of Yetholm Hill Race.

Andy is up front and making great progress on the uphill. By the time I reach the border into England, my calves seem to have been set alight and it isn’t until entering the wood at the bottom of Tom’s Knowe, that the fire cools enough for me to pick up the pace a little.

By Ell’s Knowe, Andy has turned on the rockets and is a now a good distance in front of the second placed runner. But – being in front means that you have no one to follow and a couple of ‘navigational issues’ crop up and the pack closes in a little on the way to Hethpool.

Around Hethpool, I make my own error in judgement and follow (against instincts, a group of 4 runners who were a few hundred meters in front of me.) I have an unnecessary 1km of ‘out and back – losing 5 or 6 minutes as a result. It is then a slog up the side of Tom Tallon’s Crag to try to keep the runners who overtook me, in sight.

From Gain’s Law to Brown Law, Andy opens up the gap on the other runners again. This is a fantastic downhill stretch and I manage to push on along this section too and by the time I reach the wood on Kenterdale Hill, I have caught a number of runners and manage to ‘out –downhill’ (possibly due to my abnormally high sugar content) 5 other participants before the finish.

Andy romped round for 1st prize in 1h 43m – ish.
I managed 21st in 2h 05m – ish.

Pizza matched Merlot, Chocolate and Cookies - Mmmmmm...

Many places to go wrong on the route –and many did! Two in particular reinvented the last 3 or 4 km by visiting the villages of Humbleton and Gallowlaw en route to Wooler.

A good feed at the Bloo Coo on the way home – and asking Andy for a comment on his win. He was humbly more concerned that his Smoked Coo Burger contained one beef patty – rather than his preferred two!

Would certainly run this one again.

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