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Roseberry Topping Half Marathon

20/12/2015

On Sunday 13th December Gemma Leadbetter travelled to The small town of Guisborough in North Yorkshire to take part in the Hardmoors Roseberry Topping Half Marathon.

Guisborough is a 40 minute drive from her home town of Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees and she entered this race as ascending Roseberry Topping had been on her "to do list" for 20 years since moving to the North East of England as a teenager. What a better opportunity to do this (and not get lost or stranded) than a well organised trail race? Hardmoors events, as the name might suggest, are challenging and definitely not to be underestimated. They are typically very hilly with a few extra miles thrown in for good measure; this one was no exception.  The wet and wintry weather which has characterised recent weeks added an extra complication with much of the course being boggy, wet and icy.  The race started at the Sea Cadets Hall in Guisborough and proceeded out of the town and up into Guisborough Woods. At this point I was lucky to be in the middle of the pack rather than the back as planned as the race ground to a halt within the first mile as we queued to make our way over the first stile. The run up through Guisborough was pretty steep with the added complication of the boggy and slippy conditions.    
One step forward was met with half a step worth of slide back down again but all good fun. From Guisborough woods we then made our way up to highcliffe nabb which was pretty steep and from there across undulating moorland to Roseberry topping. Here was a steep scramble up to the top, then a long slippy trek down the opposite side, back up and down again. Despite the exhaustion it was possible to enjoy some breathtaking views over the tees valley and beyond. After ascending and descending Roseberry Topping twice in short succession there were a couple of miles worth of easier trails before sharply ascending towards Captsin Cooks Monument but not before passing two Christmas trees laiden with decorations. The next few miles again were undulating and she was tired by this point remembering precious little of the details. The last few miles entailed another ascent up to highcliffe nabb then retracing the outward route to make the descent back to Guisborough. The return route through The woods was pretty treacherous and Gemma ended up on her bum more than one, which just added to the fun. All in all it was a challenging but enjoyable event. If there are any lessons to be learnt it is that Hardmoors events should not be taken lightly, they are as hard as the name might suggest. 15 miles and 2700 ft of elevation gain later i arrived back at the sea cadet hell exhausted and eagerly anticipating my Sunday lunch arrangements which I thoroughly enjoyed

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