THE seasonal moorland hues signalled a ‘purple patch’ for Pickering Running Club who have enjoyed success at different race events on the North York Moors.
Fifteen members took part in Tom’s Fell Race in Bransdale - held in memory of Tom Watson, a surveyor for the National Trust who organised the event.
The fifth annual event took place in overcast and unseasonably cool temperatures – making for good conditions for the challenging 7.5-mile route.
Leading the PRC team home was Simon Jones, whose recent foray into off-road running has proven successful, clinching 10th position in a time of 60 minutes 28 seconds.
Next home was Russ Grayson (64-55) pushing hard round the tricky course ahead of off-road stalwart Nick Cousins (67-50). Hot on their heels was Russ Charlton (69-40) followed by club coach Graham Harrison (72-17) in a rare race appearance.
Following a wrong turn two miles from home, a frustrated Mike Wilson lost places and time to finish in 75-36.
Taking it easy ahead of the club championship race that week were team-mates Ian Farrer (76-53), Richard Todd (77-27), Peter Winter (77-27), Mike Hetherton and Peter Clisby (84-12).
First lady home for the club was Serena Partridge whose preference for off-road racing saw her clock an impressive 89-25, while, in his first outing for the club, Mike Punchard (95-57) put in a solid performance.
The following week saw the start of the inaugural Berghaus Trail Chase – a unique race event held over two days on the North York Moors.
Competitors could choose from different routes of varying distance starting from different locations all racing to the village hall in Chop Yat near Bilsdale.
After an overnight camping stay, runners were set off at intervals according to their time recorded the previous day, with the aim of chasing down their rivals to the finish in Osmotherly.
The PRC contingent all opted for the ‘red’ route covering 17 miles on day one and 11 miles on the gallop home.
Despite some formidable opposition, the in-form Jones made it home in first position on the first leg and kept his lead on day two to ensure a thumping victory in a total time of three hours 47 minutes 51 seconds.
Running as a team, Winter and Tess Roebuck kept a well-measured pace to finish in 5-11-10 – ahead of teammate Lynn Humpleby (5-15-10).
Hetherton took a more leisurely approach and also aided of an injured competitor who struggled to complete the tough course.
Three days later saw the annual Guisborough Grunt Fell Race organised by Esk Valley Fell Club, in which three PRC members took part.
The six-mile dash heads through the woods towards Highcliff Nab on a near vertical ascent before heading onto Gisborough Moor and descending back to the woods and the finish.
First back for the club was Grayson who slowed at the steep climb and struggled to find his pace, finishing in 52 minutes flat.
Suffering from tired legs after the Berghaus Trail Race, Humpleby, laboured up the ascent before relaxing into a comfortable pace finishing in 67-17. Serena Partridge also enjoyed the picturesque run to finish in 69-20.
The next fixture of the summer fell series will be the ‘Inclined to Madness’ race based at Clay Bank Car Park near Stokesley today (Wednesday).