The Smuggler’s Trod in Robin Hood’s Bay, was my first chance to visit the East coast of England. The drive over the North Yorkshire Moors was lovely, as the heather was in full bloom at sunrise as we arrived for the start of the race.
We had a lovely day for it, and the course wasn't too hilly, or too wet. I got around in 5 hours flat, with the requisite heather scratches on my legs and wet feet from the bogs. In a few places, the trail went through ferns that were taller than my head, and growing over the narrow path. I felt for a few minutes, as if I had been transported to the Amazon jungle. It was very dry from what it could have been, as the locals I chatted with along the course shared stories of knee-deep bog-slogging in previous years.
The final few miles were a beautiful downhill section, all the way from the tall radio tower hill heading north along the coast, then all the way down into Robin Hood’s Bay. Sadistically, it was then a very steep climb up through town to the final checkpoint. There were plenty of visitors shopping the streets, so as I was forced to walk the last section, at least I had people to watch. Amazingly enough, a couple of friends from the Reservoir Runners had finished the shorter version course much earlier, and had walked back down the hill for a drink. They cheered me on to the finish, while drinking a beer outside a pub!
I had pushed my pace all through the race, and felt very vindicated for doing so, when the skies opened just 5 minutes after I finished. I got to watch everyone finished after me coming in soaking wet, while feasting on pork pie and mashed peas in the start hall.