The Dalestrail Series is now in its second year 3 races of various distances 20k 30k and 40k of marked trails over the North Yorkshire Dales. The DT20 starts in a picturesque village of Reeth registration in the village hall serving tea and coffee for all. There was ample parking on the field where the start was only problem that vehicles needed 4 wheel drive to park. The weather had been a damp all week even with a bit snow thrown in luckily that had melted away but the grey skies still lurked around.
At 10.50am everyone was gathered at the start for safety brief by the race director “waterproof hackers a must, water half way round. And the retirement procedure – make it to the next marshal. If you want to retire before the top of the first hill, just come back down and get a coffee and report to me. There is a dry option a few hundred meters in and go round the puddle into the field”.
With that at 11 am on the dot, 206 runners set off over the first field to the option of wet or dry feet.
This is a trail race of mud and water and with the field out of the way the first sign BIG CLIMB AHEAD. Up to Freminton Edge, a steep climb of approximately 300 meters with various types of footing. Mud, stone, grass once at the top it was fairly flat but muddy.
Then you saw a sign STEEP TECHNICAL DESCENT, this wasn’t a take your brain out let arms and legs fling about, this had to be controlled as there was a sharp left turn or to carry straight on a steep drop. The rest of the run down to the valley floor was pretty easy through the Booze Wood along Arkle Beck to Arkle Down then sprouts another sign warning you what’s next, a great big climb for 3 miles of slippy mud path with a nice Sport Sunday photographer perched on the summit calling me Red Rose Rob (as I’ve got my name on my tee).
All down hill from there. Well – ish. Some undulations back to the field from where we started through the puddle of mud to the finish line and nearly 11 mins knocked off last years time.
I am a happy chappie.