Northern Traverse: The Tuesday evening news
Author : Carrick Armer
PhotoCredit : Pyro
And now for the Tuesday evening Ultra news.
Things are going steady at the end of the Northern Traverse. A good percentage of the field are in and finishing, with Eoin Keith taking the win in a flying 51:26, just 12 minutes faster than his 2016 time, arriving Monday lunchtime. Karen Nash took the First Lady honours, placing fourth overall in 63:18. Only six competitors made it in under the three day mark, with Mark Lattanzi the last, but also the first to arrive at Robin Hood's Bay in daylight on Tuesday, Mark Lattanzi was the first to arrive at Robin Hood's Bay having left the Lion Inn at 11pm-ish and made it to Robin Hood's Bay for 8:15am. He admitted he would have liked to have been faster on final leg but trail finding and foot placement was much harder in the dark. He had arrived at the Lion in daylight, while the pitched competitor tents were still warm from the sunny day, so getting to sleep was easy. He also set the best time for the 'race within a race' hill sprint from the finish line back to Fylingdales Village Hall where the kit drop and food are. He laid down a phenomenal 4:49, despite saying he wasn't going to run. The presence of his wife Lora goading him on obvioiusly spurred him into it!
Second Lady Jen Scotney came through stongly at the end, having had a slightly longer stop at the Lion, only sleeping for an hour but spending nearly 4hrs stopped, sorting out her foot care and gear, with watchful checkpoint staff being "great at making sure you weren't just faffing". She was trying to maintain her lead over Hisayo Kawahara behind her, but was feeling stronger, amazed at "how the body can have two not so great days and then run nearly pain-free when required". Hisayo herself was trotting along steadily, pleased that she was feeling stronger late in the race this year than she had in 2016. "The body learns" was her own way of putting it, and given her performance I'd have to agree.
Andy Hewat came through feeling strong and passing people. He'd had a 40min sleep, and was enjoying the daylight and loving being out on the trail. He was just ahead of Ian Smith-Ward who shuffled in with major feet problems (no photos, fortunately). His indication of severity was "you know you're in a state when Joe Faulkner looks at your feet and there's a sharp intake of breath..." He arrived at last light to the Lion Inn but has resolved that he 'needs to learn to say 'no' more. At least we think it was 'saying "no" more', rather that 'saying "no more" ') He caught up with Alan Jackson who was suffering onwards, swaying slightly. He made a minor nav mistake coming past Falling Foss, taking the wrong track away from the tearoom and having to take a tarmac diversion, but managed quickly got himself back on route.
The flow of competitors has been steady all day, with Russ Platt and Robert Hopkins coming in later on, Robert admitting he'd only done it for the fish and chips at the finish (said as he tucked in to a large portion). A while behind them was a seized up and footsore Mark Saunders shuffled into town, having stuggled round the coastal path.
The leaderboard for the hill sprint is starting to fill up as well, Mark L's 4:49 still topping the list, with Richard Gover second in 5:07, Jim Tinnion third in 5:52 and a just-arrived John Steele taking fourth place in 6:07.
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