PICKERING Running Club aces went the distance last week with two much loved challenge events on the same day - capped by a victory for Kim England.
The Osmotherley Pheonix is a cheap and cheerful self-navigation event that has been running for 16 years as part of the Osmotherley Summer Games. There are three distances to choose from – 18, 26 and 33 miles.
The biggest challenge on the day came from the heat and a blazing sun on the exposed moors and hills, many runners choosing to switch courses and take a shorter option.
PRC's England was not one of them, though, putting some demons to rest on the 33-mile route where, last year, she went off course and added time and climb to finish as sixth lady. This year, despite suffering in the heat, England came in as first lady and seventh overall, in a blistering time of five hours 46 minutes, knocking 23 minutes off last year.
The other PRC members opted for the 18-miler, and Steve Watson continued his excellent form to pace the race perfectly and finish third – 26 places higher than last year and almost an hour faster - in a fantastic time of two hours 34 minutes.
Despite not having any food to fuel such an intense run, and being more used to fast road running, Simon Jones completed in 2-49 minutes for eighth overall. Bob Horsman took 22 minutes and 16 places off his previous effort as he clocked 3-08.
Completing the team, Lynn Humpleby came home in 3-47, within the top third of the field and enjoying the beautiful scenery too boot.
Starting in the same area just a couple of hours earlier was the Lyke Wake Race, celebrating its Golden Jubilee but, sadly, its final outing.
Navigation is also necessary on this route, and follows 42 miles of varied terrain including parts of the Cleveland Way all the way to Ravenscar.
A handicap system is operated to enable competitors to finish at a similar time, so faster runners get a later start.
Lorraine Laycock and Nick Cousins represented PRC, and, like their club-mates not far away, both struggled in the ferocious sunshine, even having to take a dip in streams along the way to cool down.
Still feeling the 110-mile Hardmoors event, Laycock completed in eight hours and one minute for 10th place overall, with Cousins only three minutes and one place behind her.
Cousins said: “It’s a real shame this is the final Lyke Wake Race as it’s very well supported. This Golden Jubilee event was a fantastic day out.”