PICKERING’S Jayson Cavill stormed to victory at the legendary Blakey Blitz fell race near Kirkbymoorside.
A pack of 16 Pickering Running Club (PRC) members gathered at the Lion Inn for the start of the gruelling 10-mile route.
Bathed in spring sunshine, the 95 runners dashed down to Rosedale towards Fryupdale before returning over open moor and enduring a lung-busting climb back to the famous travellers’ inn.
Runners towards the back of the pack fought their way to the top of the bank to be greeted by a snow shower and a harsh wind at the finish.
The pretty course takes in more than 2,800 feet of ascent and the ‘Blitz’ is easily the hardest race of the Esk Valley Fell Running Club’s winter calendar.
Despite a shaky start, tenacious Cavill kept his focus, battling through bouts of cramp and a stitch to finish comfortable ahead of 83 minutes 07 seconds.
Next home for PRC was local lad Mike Todd, who earned some off-road credentials by finishing in 21st position in 99-08.
Keen preparation for the demanding race secured Russ Grayson 47th position and a time of 110-43 – a hair's breadth ahead of club-mate Kim England, who clocked the same time in a keen battle between the two.
England led the Pickering ladies to team victory, along with Lynn Humpleby (107-02) and Tess Roebuck (133-00).
The next PRC man home was Mike Wilson, who knocked more than four minutes off his 2013 time in clocking 112-00.
Richard Todd made a determined effort and ran the course in 115-40, and was followed by an improving Simon Tyrrell, who put in an excellent performance to finish in 127-30.
Despite an early charge and a confident start, both Paul Smith and Peter Winter lost their pace to finish in 127-30 and 127-50 respectively.
An off-colour Mike Hetherton bravely ploughed through the race to finish in 139-48, two places ahead of club-mate Serena Partridge (149-12).
Philly Hare finished in 158-30 with the unofficial race sweepers, Nicola Wise and Hilary Turner, coming home in 171-30 and 193-00.
The Blakey Blitz is the third race of the PRC league competition. The next fixture in that league will be the Helmsley 10k on Easter Sunday.