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Hardmoors 55 Ultra

21/03/2015

Saturday 21st March saw the 6th running of the Hardmoors 55 Trail race and as in the previous two years the course was run from Guisborough to Helmsley, following the Cleveland Way, a distance of 55 miles mostly on trail, with a total climb and descent of 2,700 metres. Seb Pflanz took part for the second time, having previously had a good run in the event in 2014...

This year race had a record field, with 269 starters, up from around 200 last year. In keeping with other Ultra series such as the West Highland Way events, the Hardmoors races are enjoying ever increasing popularity. Conditions were generally good, with the course very dry and virtually no rain all day. There was however a strong north wind, which proved a bit challenging particularly on the exposed sections of the North York Moors – Seb couldn’t believe that the most uncomfortable part of his body after the race were his dry eyes!

Seb had been concerned about his relatively light preparation for the event and settled into a comfortable pace in the middle of the field. He soon started up a conversation with a runner doing his first ultra, and the two ran together at a pace aiming for a sub-12 hour finish. Seb was surprised by how well he was going, not hitting any of the low points one would expect in an ultra. Leaving Osmotherly, at around 37 miles into the race, and with his companion now confident that he would definitely complete the race, Seb decided to push. A marked step up in pace saw him overtake more than 40 runners, and leaving White Horse and Sutton Bank at dusk he realised that an 11 hour finish was feasible. With a big effort over the last 9 miles he finished in 85 place, 13th Vet 50, in a time of 10 hrs 54 min. The most satisfying aspect of the race for him was how strong he felt at the finish – a great confidence boost for the forthcoming Hardmoors 110 in late May.

The 2015 running of the Hardmoors 55 saw a new record time of 7 hrs 39 min set by Kim Collison, taking 30 minutes off the record. Equally the female winner Charmaine Horsfall took 20 minutes off the previous female record set by herself last year.

Seb.

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