THE Fox and Hounds fell race marked the culmination of the winter fell race season - with Pickering Running Club’s Jayson Cavill picking up the men’s trophy for the series.
The nine-mile event, starting in Ainthorpe, was the final of the tough off-road series organised by Esk Valley Fell Club.
Although Cavill did not compete, having triumphed at the legendary Three Peaks race the previous day, he had scored enough points to take first position in the league.
Runners faced misty conditions over a course which, circling Fryup Dale, covers 1,500 feet of ascent and heather-lined paths. They also had to leap across streams and scramble on all fours up a couple of steep climbs.
Despite his navigational errors, PRC’s rising star, Russ Grayson, claimed a superb 10th position to scoop the Male 40 prize in a speedy 80 minutes 24 seconds.
Next home for the club was fell veteran Nick Cousins (86-55), who ranks the course as one of his favourites. Unable to keep pace, despite a strong start, was Paul Smith (88-20).
Putting in a spirited performance was first Pickering woman Lynn Humpleby, who was seventh lady overall in 96-52.
One of the runners to suffer a navigational nightmare was Russ Charlton (100-04). Simon Tyrrell (104-38) was next home ahead of wife Shirley (120.00), who picked up a category prize. Then followed Serena Partridge (128.10) and husband and wife Dean and Nicola Wise (151-00) – Nicola gaining a category win.
Meanwhile, a team of PRC members travelled to Scotland for the Highlander Mountain Marathon.
This event requires participants to plot their own checkpoints and navigate their course over two days.
Following their Brecon Beacons OMM success last October, Philly Hare and Sue Slack used the event to test their skills and mountain experience.
Despite picking up a string of time penalties through navigational blunders, the pair drove on to finish in a respectable third place in the veterans’ category.
Mountain veteran Mike Hetherton suffered similar mixed fortunes. His team-mate forgot his kit and they then lost each other in the Highlands, but their combined experience ensured they clawed it back to finish ninth in category.
Hare said: “Despite picking up substantial time penalties, we drew energy from the magnificent weather, sightings of wild deer and the glorious views across Mull and Skye. These views were an added bonus from our navigational errors as we scaled two peaks unnecessarily.”