AFTER defeating the infamous Three Sisters hills in the recent Hardmoors’ night race, Pickering Running Club battlers came back for more, lining up to take on the Hardmoors’ Wainstones marathon and half marathon - and smashing course records across the board.
Renowned for being the toughest of the Hardmoors 26.2 series, the marathon comprised more than 4,500 feet of ascent, with the half taking in almost 2,500.
The conditions, though, were perfect for such a technical route with clear skies and a light breeze for the majority of each race.
The constant climbing and descending suited PRC ace Jayson Cavill marvellously.
He stuck to his plan of a conservative start out of Chop Gate and it paid off later on when he left his main competitor far behind, winning the race outright in three hours 35 minutes 56 seconds.
This outstanding time was not only 16 minutes faster than second place, but also smashed the course record by well over an hour.
Cavill’s recent performances over this distance will give him confidence for the upcoming Yorkshire Three Peaks race.
Four PRC runners faced the half marathon, with three joining Cavill on the podium and all four finishing inside the top 20.
Half marathon expert Steve Watson and speedy Mike Todd thrashed it out from the start, with Watson’s knowledge of the route and consistent hill training proving decisive.
Watson came home first overall in another record breaking time of 1-59-03, with Todd not far behind, finishing second in 2-03-46 - a time which would have beaten last year’s winner by two minutes.
His older sibling, Richard Todd, completed in 2-23-51 on a course which will stand him in good stead for his first outing at the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
The final record of the day was broken by Kim England, taking the first lady title in 2-16, knocking almost six minutes off last year’s winning time. Meanwhile, adventurous PRC member Nick Cousins took part in the Cleveland Survival event run by the Cleveland Mountain Rescue.
Competitors are not told where the event will take place until a few days before and must navigate their way to checkpoints using their map reading skills alone.
This year, the 26-mile route began in Sneaton, weaving through the picturesque areas around Grosmont and Goathland.
Despite blithely running past checkpoint six and costing himself valuable time, Cousins finished seventh overall and first in his category in four hours 36 minutes.