Ultra 8 was a return to my old training ground and top mate Steve walker. Steve was my Sunday morning partner in crime. When I used to live in Seaton ( nr Hornsea on the East Yorkshire coast) we would meet up at 0530 and run a 20 miler every Sunday morning, through sand along cliff tops and occasionally sea :0)
Steve and I needed a catch up and what better way to have one while running a 30 miler!. I drove over to his house the night before ready for yes! Another 0530 start. A tooth abscess derived me of anything more than three hours sleep. The time came, Steve drove to the seafront at Skipsea sands and we started running, Steve chatted, I grunted. The lack of sleep, darkness and diclofenic sodium ( NSAID ) I had taken for the abscess made me feel very drowsy and all I wanted was my bed, I knew though as soon as daylight came I'd be ok. We ran along the sandy beaches to the holiday resort of Bridlington. Brid was just beginning to wake up. We passed by fisherman lobster cages and locked up fairground rides a lull before the storm of summer.
We headed up onto the cliffs and ran by Sewerby hall heading towards Danes Dyke. Steve slowed down and then stopped in his tracks, a couple of seconds later he started to walk like John Wayne ( he needed the toilet really bad!! ;0))) but of course his bowels had waited until the whole of Brid was out walking their dogs! He staggered out towards some bushes. The way he was walking looked like it was already too late ( hasten to add it wasn't ) We ran down Danes Dyke and back up my pet hate 'steps' half way up these steps they become quite steep and lactic acid flows through my quads to make running impossible and I spend a few moments gasping my last. Steve makes light work of the steps. He always used to. It used to frustrate me that I would incorporate hill work etc into my training but the steps always did this to me in fact the stronger I became the more my legs would blow up. Id always call Steve a few choice names under my breath as he would fly up past me! We ran along narrow footpaths looking out to the sea and the cliffs ahead. After a few more descents and steps!! Flamborough lighthouse was in our view, we passed by South landing and headed over the extra mile to the North landing .
The views along this coastline have their own beauty just as good as anywhere in the world. Blue sky, deep blue sea and the White cliffs of Bempton. We headed inland briefly to come to the top of Flamborough head. Flamborough head north landing is a small inlet ( cove) surrounded by caves and cliffs. In summer it can be packed out and was a place I used to come with parents in my early years on holiday when I lived in Chesterfield (Derbyshire). The route down to the cove follows a lifeboat launch track The track and the climb afterwards up to the cliff path was Steve's and my hill training for a past Bob Graham round attempt, we would park up down the coast and run 8 miles here and rep out 20 hillreps and then run back.
We dropped down to the cove to do a rep of the slope before turning round at the 16 mile point, the climb was just as steep as I remembered and we returned back on the path we had come along. At the side of the clifftop path along the banks of a bungalow there used to be dozens of stones and signs covered with funny anecdotes . The owner of the garden had also put a pot out to raise money for charity. All that was left now was a few broken signs and a small memorial to the man who had spent so much hard work entertaining passers by. Another sign had been written quite a bit more upsetting than the first one. The pot where charity money had been thrown in by passers by had been stolen. This wasn't the centre of a town but a clifftop path. Well by posting this on this blog his memory may live a little longer.
We continued along the clifftop path with views of Bridlington to distract our attention from tired legs. Arriving at Bridlington I diverted off the route to get some more food and drink before 8 miles of sand running along the beach back to Skipsea. The sand felt tougher than I remembered it. After what seemed an eternity we ran back onto the cliffs and cut through a couple of caravan parks. A house which had been there last time I had run on this route was now gone. A victim to the severe Coastal erosion this part of the uk's coastline gets I doubt if the road I was running on would still be there in 10 years time. Eventually we reached the car in 5 hours 50 mins. We had completed 32 miles. The second half had been into very strong winds proving to be a battle all the way. Well I had a great run with a brilliant mate on tired legs.( 3 days before I had ran up and down Roseberry Topping 10 times, a total ascent of 10,400ft in 2hrs 40mins )
What more could I ask? Oh yeh a bottle of diet coke and some sleep!!!
Ultra 9 was the first running of the Golden Fleece circuit an ldwa event organised by the South Cave scouts group. The event was 26.5 miles, I ran with David Cremmins and completed unintentionally 29.5 miles. It felt a bit of a mix between the other ldwa events 'the Rudolphs romp' and the 'Woldsman'( the original route before it moved to Driffield ) the event was well organised, pretty countryside and a reasonable size field didn't stop the event being painful and hardwork for me. A fast start ( should know better) = blowing up at the 20 mile stage and resulted in walking for several miles. Daniel Aldus and Mark Dalton flew by and no way did I have it in myself to catch them up. I finished the race with trashed legs and 3 days of doms afterwards. Was it the pace? No. The doms where the result from not wearing my compression shorts for the first time in ages. This has certainly convinced me they work ! Before I was sceptical, now I'm convinced, they work. We finished the event in just under 5 hours. Good event but my heart or legs weren't there.