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Frostbite 30

Frostbite 30

Pictures used in this post are from Ann Brown and taken from the Frostbite Facebook page

This arguably was a stupid idea. I’d put this in the diary sometime ago and then when I looked a few weeks ago it was full. Forgot about it and then a few days before the event I popped an email to the RD seeing if there was spaces. There was.. darn why did I ask.

It was a 30 mile (now 34 mile) run from Pateley Bridge. It went on some trails I’d not been on before and on the whole it was relatively low level and not that far from roads. Yep I’m pretty twitchy about this cold thing now – it hits me like a stone so I wanted to be sure I could sort myself out if it goes wrong.

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The slight spanner was that on Sunday we had an event in the North York Moors so I was under strict instructions not to break myself. A couple of years ago I did something similar and got a bit cold, then spending a whole day following the event cowering in the village hall trying to warm up.

An early start leaving Cumbria soon after 5.30 only to find the A591 from Kendal to M6 closed. A few diversions back on track. Arriving at 7.30 in good time to put out some leaflets for the Lakes in a Day event.

Mellow registration process, there was about 200 runners with 1 male crapper (= not good, for a Race Directors reference 1:50+1). So aside from the sweet aroma of nervous runners it was a chilled out affair as 200 runner congregated outside for the start.,

It was an initial 10 mile loop back to the start via Guisecliff woods and then a long 24 mile loop up past Scar House Resevoir. We had been to Pateley Bridge many years ago (2007?) with an Open5 so I recognised Guisecliff Woods, and we had passed Scarhouse Resevoir on an Open24 in 2006.. so familiar if a little blury.


I had a few objectives – to finish, to make it to the bottom of the lollypop loop before the elite arrived and not to be overtaken by anyone wearing tracksters! (sorry Rob / Eddie – I know its racism of the worst kind). With that in mind I thought the best idea was to start at the back.. we ticked along the riverside path at a pretty slow rate and walked up through the woods.

The descent on this early crisp morning was bliss, enjoying overtaking plenty of runners – even had time to have a good chat with Shirley (Hardmoors fame). Then crossed the road for 4 miles of tarmac (website said max 2 miles tarmac – more like 6) and descended back to the start for the 1st CP.


I popped in to the village hall, stocked up on food and grabbed my walking poles. THere was a serious hill ahead and if I blew up I knew I’d go faster with poles.

I ticked along north along Gowthwaite Resevoir. With all the mud I was slightly regretting my choice of Hokas – how I stayed upright was slightly amazing. Coming the other was there was a good few retiring runners. One lady was pulling out because she got too cold on the moor.

It started to sprinkle with rain I looked up the valley to see a dark cloud over the moor. This was not my idea of fun! 15 miles up and 3 hours in I was feeling fresh and ready – but this dark clouds unerved me – guess I’ve had enough of getting cold. I’d pretty much found myself on my own so was not really up for taking risks (to put this in to context for those who don’t know me – my core temp is around 34C most of the time and i’ve often got hypothermia on events, once or twice to a very serious level).


Perhaps out of that nervousness I donned my waterproof and pulled out the poles before heading up to Middlesmoor. A runner popped out the ditch, all a bit wet and confused – was lost and needed pointing in the direction. Odd very odd.

I was slowing down, people passing me – it was not far to the top of the hill, but I’d properly run out of gas and too make matters worse I was getting cold. It started raining quite hard – just a few miles to the next CP at the bottom of the hill. Jon and Shirley passed me with kind words. An icy descent to the CP in the carpark.

I pretty much stripped off my top and added a merno wool top and put back on my clothes, added waterproof overtrousers / wool hat / gloves. Hot drinks here so I got the fella to fill my waterbottle with hot orange – too hot to drink so it was an impromtu hot water bottle down the jacket. Not time to hang around – stop too long and this would definately be the end of my day.


I remembered from the profile that it was a little more ascent, a few more people passed me. I must be near if not at the back now. The track was more of a big 4×4 track that went over the moorland – ┬áit started getting dark, was hoping to make it down off the moor before finding my torch. Could put it off no longer and eventually after nearly walking in to a fence I put the thing on.

I stopped for a moment at Bouthwaite to chat to the medic, the offer of a lift or a suggestion to run along the road. Not really an option it was only 4 miles from here and following the river down. I jogged most of it coming in just over 9 hours. As it turned out I was last – the guys behind me were pulled off the course.

Enjoyed the event – went a few places I’ve not been before, and whilst I quaff at the 9 hours – actually I’ve not run anything much further than 12 miles since the Lakeland 50 in July.. Just shows what a bit of stubbornness can do.

Good route, some clearer info on the website be handy. A few more toilets and some grub beyond 9 bars and hot cordial at the feed stations. Apparently there were pies at the finish – unfortunately they were decimated by the time I arrived.

As it was I decided I’d better make a quick turnaround. History tells me its when I stop that I get cold and it was still a good 500m to the car – and on to Carlton in Cleveland. Few hours later than I hoped.

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