Hot on the heels of my outing at the Turnpike Trot 10K last weekend I was back out in a race again. Races are like buses, you wait months for one then two come along in quick succession. Anyway, today I was at the Fadmoor 10K, a multi-terrain race on the very edge of the North York Moors national park.
Why this race?
The fact it’s a 5-minute drive from home to Fadmoor was purely a happy coincidence. In fact, this is the closest race to home I could do except for the Kirkbymoorside 10K. However, I am the current Race Director for that one so I can’t actually run it.
Fadmoor is a small village about 8 miles from Pickering. There’s not much there other than farms, houses and the village hall – where this race is based.
The name Fadmoor comes from old English (Anglo-Saxon) and means moor of a man called Fadda.
Parking is all road-side. This is not a big race so I had no problem parking, and I arrived only 45 minutes from the start time.
Pre-registration is £12.50 and entry on the day is £15.
On the day, registration is in the village hall. Very simple and straight forward.
Toilets are available in the village hall and you would have to use these for changing if required.
The course, oh the course! Well, let me start with the fact it is a single lap, circular route.
It’s about 50% road and 50% off-road. The off-road sections are a mixture of farm tracks and fields. Given the fact it was raining hard and had rained most of the week it was a bit slippy in places. But, I was surprised it wasn’t worse if I am honest.
I know the chap who set this course a couple of years ago and he’d told me the last 2km are up a long drag of a hill. He wasn’t kidding! Oh, the burn!
But, there is a great downhill section not long after the start so you are very much led into a false sense of security.
So we started in Fadmoor and ran along the, mostly flat, road into neighbouring Gillamoor. It was then down a good hill, at the bottom of which we took to a far track. From then it was up a hill across a field before more track.
The course was well marked, but I would say it was a bare minimum. There are marshals at all the key points and water about halfway around.
After that uphill ending, the biggest reward was the finish line!
I received a medal and there was some lovely food to purchase in the village hall. I went for a big slice of fruit cake and a sweet, black coffee.
Despite committing to running this race the week before, and making it official by marking myself as “going” on the Facebook event, I was still not 100% sure even 24 beforehand.
I had not pre-entered so would be entering on the day, and the forecast for Sunday was terrible. On the morning of the race, the weather was dry as we walked to the local town band concert hall. We were there to watch Delilah and Verity in the open rehearsal. However, while in there the heavens opened – and they stayed open.
Running in the rain
I actually like running in the rain. In my last race though, I made the mistake of setting off in a waterproof jacket and I was not going to do that again – not for a 10K. I wore my base-layer vest with my black Karrimor vest over the top. Up top I opted for a cap, rather than the running beanie, mainly to keep the rain off my face. I went for arm warmers, somewhat inspired by Eliud Kipchoge from his sub-2 hour marathon, that I could whip off if the mood took me. I went for shorts (it’s still too early for leggins), but the 2-in-1 kind with lycra under pair with a loose outer pair. Just a note about the shorts, these are Primark and I have a few pairs no – it just goes to show you don’t need to spend a fortune on running gear. I finished off my outfit with a pair of gloves.
Leading the pack
As the runners were assembled on the start line I realised that there weren’t may in the race. I estimated about 50 people, however on seeing the result there were actually only 20. A shame really, as it’s a cracking course and deserves a far better turn out. I do think that a better marketing strategy would help them in that department.
Nobody wanted to be at the front for some reason, so myself and a friend of mine, Kevin, led off. For a very brief second, I was leading the pack. It was very brief as Kevin was off ahead in no time and that was the last I saw of him until the end. Kevin had actually helped set this course when the race started a couple of years ago so he’d given me a heads up about it beforehand. I was still in 2nd place after about 800m, but I was quickly passed by a few runners and I settled into 5th place.
The downhill from Gillamoor to Lowna is fantastic. I decided to let gravity do the work and almost through myself down there. But once on the track at the bottom and going back up I realised my fitness just wasn’t there. I was blowing! A short while later, I was passed by another couple of runners, but I wasn’t overly bothered.
I settled into a rhythm and got my head down and just ran.
Am I going the right way
As I mentioned, route markers were at a minimum. There was one section across some field where I went through a gate, thank the marshal, and then wondered if I’d missed a turn. I couldn’t see the runner ahead of me anymore, though I was aware of one behind me.
A young lad appeared on a crest in the undulating field, I took that as a sign I was going the right way. Sure enough, as I passed him, I saw another marshal at the next gate.
After this gate, it was slightly uphill through the dying bracken. The “path” was slippy and I could sense the runner behind me was closing in. I decided to move aside and let her past as I didn’t want to hold her up. I’m still coming back from a 3-month lay-off so the only person I am racing is myself.
The long, slow drag
I had been warned about the climb towards the end. It’s at about 7.5km when it really starts to climb. My quads were burning and I knew I was labouring. I could see the runner ahead of me walking and I resolved to not walk. I may have been running but it was a tough, slow drag up that hill for about 2km. Maybe a fast walk would actually have been as effective?
Once back on the flat I tried to up my pace and get a rhythm going again. Slowing down on hills like that can really affect you once it levels out and a bit of mental resilience is required to let your body know it’s okay to run normally again.
Across the line for coffee and cake
Approaching the finish line the runners that had finished and the helpers were on the road clapping people across. I love this. Running is very often a solitary sport and to have the camaraderie is a great feeling.
Once back in the dry of the village hall I purchased a coffee and some homemade fruit cake as a reward to myself. The real reward, a medal, came after the presentations.
All in all, I really enjoyed the challenge this race posed. I am not training for speed, or hills, or anything for that matter at the moment – I am just enjoying running.
I think I’ll make the Fadmoor 10K an annual race for me. The combination of a great course, it being a small event and the fact it’s so close to home makes it a winner in my eyes.
Thanks for reading