St Helens Church, Carlin How was host to a new fell race to the North Yorkshire Moors race calendar ‘At the Double’, seventh counter in the Dave Parry Lets Run Winter Series.
The course devised by organiser Malcolm Peggs of Loftus and Whitby was a challenging FRA BM, 11km with 400m of ascent, runners were never able to settle on an undulating course taking in spectacular coastal outlooks as well as inland paths.
53 entrants were summoned to the start line by the chime of the church bells, with Father Adam on hand to set runners on their way.
A quick first kilometre largely of descent took runners into Skinningrove, with little time to settle a long ascent took runners to checkpoint three at around 5 kilometres and the high point of the race, taking in along the way the Warren, the Quarry and the Moon.
As the race entered its second half its shape was established, Dan Bateson Scarborough AC leading from Steven Donaldson of Esk Valley Fell Club and Wharfdale Harriers visitor Ali Burns in third.
In the womens race it was Rhona Marshal Scarborough AC who had eased out a decent lead from team mate and Under 23 runner Rebecca Dent followed by Donna Cartwright Radcliffe AC and home club runner Julia Jackson in 4th.
And oh the cruelty of fell racing, in the second 5 kilometres the height gained was lost and with the finish at St Helens clearly visible to runners, but kilometre eleven was to complete, an out and back loop to Cattersby Sands involving a testing ascent from the promenade at Skinningrove to the cliff top.
And so it was veteran 40 runner Dan Bateson who held out to lead home in a time of 50 minutes 10 seconds, followed in, less than a minute later by the now perennial podium finisher (but not quite champagne) Steven Donaldson of Esk Valley and Ali Burns third, best placed home club runner was Steve Hardy in fifth.
In the women’s race Rhona Marshal stretched her lead to an impressive near 10 minutes, finishing in 56.53, Rebecca kept her second place from a fast finishing Donna Cartwright in third with Julia Jackson close at hand in fourth and best home club finisher.
In the teams, it was Esk Valley Fell Club men and Scarborough AC women. A cake and drinks sale at the finish replenished lost energy with proceeds to the Ukraine appeal, the surplus from race entry fees was donated to the church, well done and thank you to all involved.