Captain Cooks Fell Race, 1st January 2018

Esk Valley Fell Club hosted the annual Captain Cooks Fell Race on New Year’s Day.


Starting and finishing in the village of Great Ayton, the route has 1,234 feet of climbing.  Runners race out of the village and quickly meet the local farm track.  Here they start on a slight incline before a testing incline with mud, tree roots and holes to navigate their way through.  After almost two miles they begin a drastic climb to the top to Captain Cooks Monument.  Very few are actually able to run this, with many having to cling on to branches and rocks to clamber up.  Once at the top there is a reprieve over heathered ground before a drastic downhill where it is best to disengage legs and brain and let yourself go whilst maintaining balance as best you can.  


The remaining two miles of the five mile race is an undulating route through fields and country roads back to the finish and the local pub for a well-earned drink.  


Paul and Ian Wilson led the Hartlepool contingency around the course, with Paul edging forward to finish first Burn Road Harrier in a time of 36:43 in 20th position of 329 athletes.  Ian Wilson was next in 37:09 (25th).    Andrew Minister races this route every year and was the third Harrier home in 38:20 (41st).  


The ever-youthful Karl Edwards had a brilliant race, finishing in 38:59 and claiming the first Vet60 prize, almost five minutes ahead of his nearest age-graded competitor and streets ahead of many runners half his age.   Graham Jones was next home for the Harriers in 40:13.


The Wilson brothers were out in full force, with Gary Wilson having a cracking run to finish in 40:52.  Cole Baldham has progressed to the longer races with ease, finishing in 42:29 and claiming third Male Junior position in the race.


Dave Wallace was the next Harrier to return to the village, racing to the finish line strongly in 46:54.  Burn Road Harriers female team were well represented by Laura Jones who crossed the line in pole position in 50:03, with Lesley Strickland running well to finish in 52:38.  Peter Johnson always races well at Great Ayton, with another run under his belt of 55:18. This was his 10th Captain Cooks in a row, and his 20th in total.


Captain Cooks



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