Though separated from it by so many years that route is etched onto my memory I run it in my sleep now following my recollected path with trenchant mindset breathing deeply whilst with vigorous tread pressing onwards
The massed start then across the school playing field right turn out of the gate onto the sea road past the police station the nurse’s home on to the cemetery the very edge of town up that tricky slope still on metalled road avoiding the light traffic before the turn right off the main road into Mucky Lane aptly named plough on with uncertain foothold through the rutted cart tracks muddy lane until eventually the Whitby road left towards the moors a few hundred yards then leaving the road right and through the farmyard annoying the sheepdog avoiding its belligerence quickly over the stile up the narrow path hedge-hugging onto the foothills the Cleveland scarp all is yellow and green steep climb through the gorse hard going here wet but springy turf short-cropped by the sheep and all is now green still climbing straining through the encroaching undergrowth brushing bracken avoiding the sheep droppings past the wreck of the old iron mine the landscape now pink and brown circle the next shale heap slag and spoil underfoot the air shafts wired off now as far as the rifle range out of bounds sharply right and down now Butt Lane and more mud until back on the Whitby road right again following the stickleback stream along the metalled paving until on the flat picking up my pace I turn left into the Hall grounds now the copse quickly through negotiating the kissing gate and into the Applegarth the finishing straight arrows ahead short sharp uphill sprint and then heart racing to keep up with legs pounding the ground grasping the air gasping for breath until at last the tape
beaten only just into second place
the story of my life
The views in the Photo Gallery below and in the top photograph are all from the actual area of the RUN which was on the scarp slope of the Cleveland Hills which form the Northern border of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Some of them are more recent photographs of the actual places through which the cross-country course originally passed. The photographs were culled from various internet sources covering this area.
Cleveland pathway leading through colourful yellow gorse bushes as it wends its way along the Yorkshire coastline