Swainby Sweep Fell Race, 11th April 2021
Three hardy Claremonters headed down to North Yorkshire to brave the weather for the Swainby Sweep Fell Race. A big well done to all 3 and congratulations to Kris Axon on winning the race. This report from Richard Slack:
“Great pleasure to again write a race report for the club! And what a delightful trail race it was too, superbly organized by Moors and Dales (MaD) Races. Well done them and all of the risk assessment and measures in place so the race could go ahead with a limit of 300 runners in total.
Dave L, Kris and Richard all entered the 16 mile race (540m ascent), the alternative was a 7 mile route. Arriving for registration, we were informed that due to overnight snow and ice on the higher moors the volunteers and emergency vehicles could not be on station for that part of the course out over Osmotherly Moor. Hence the long run was changed to two laps of the short course, around 14 miles (actual distance was around 13.4 miles) with around 560m ascent in total. Understandable and a sensible decision.
The race started in groups of six at one minute intervals, arranged by time with fastest first, with waiting groups held in corals on the start field. Thanks to Maddie to clapping us all off and photos. Surprisingly (sic) Kris set off before Dave and myself and we did wonder if on our first lap, Kris might come past us on his second lap – bit like cross country! However, we avoided that. Overall, the 7 mile route was very scenic with mixed terrain with some sweeping downhill sections on the Cleveland Way with fantastic views across the snowy moors and Cleveland Hills. Second time around it was a bit slippery in a few places as the top surface had been churned up, but no major mishaps to report. Dave and I ran the whole route together in our Sky Blue and it was just so good to be around other runners. A welcome return.
After taking Kris for an elite training day in the Cheviots during the week, I had high hopes of a strong performance from him. Sure enough he delivered and took first place. Tremendous Kris, well done in a time of 1 hour 28 minutes. Dave and I followed somewhat behind, but equally pleased with our effort in 2 hours 14 minutes. I plan to be back next year, when hopefully by April 2022 life will be much changed and the weather too will allow us to run the big route!”