Race Report: Berghaus Trail Chase | Eclectic Cake: Race Report: Berghaus Trail Chase

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Race Report: Berghaus Trail Chase

WHAT:  Multi-day trail run. Day one = 25.3km, Day two = 17.4km
WHERE:  North Yorkshire Moors
WHEN: 16-17th August, 2014

I ran 28 miles (a couple of them by accident) over two days across the beautiful but unforgiving North Yorkshire Moors. It wasn't really an ultra, I barely smelt a proper long distance run, and I couldn't possibly claim it as a marathon because the mileage was split up. Instead, I shall refer to my adventure as an epic. After all, this was my hardest, furthest and longest run ever.

I signed up for a challenge and that's exactly what I got. Have you ever seen a small bird fly full speed, smack into a glass window? There’s a moment when you’re not quite sure it survived but then, very slowly, it shakes its feathers, figures out what the hell happened and, embarrassed and only slightly hurt, carries on its way. This was me at the end of day one of the Berghaus Trail Chase. After finally reaching that night’s camp and finish line, 3 hours and 27 minutes after starting, I was stunned, exhausted and sore. Pretty much like that little bird.

After a huge cooked meal and a small cider at camp, the ache in my knee became a little duller and fire in my belly a little warmer, I felt excited again and pretty lucky. I was adventuring in a beautiful national park carpeted in bright purple heather, the climbs were rewarded with amazing views and I was surrounded by the friendliest group of people I'd ever met.

The second day was to be a celebration. The course was hard, really hard – steep climbs, slippery descents and narrow trails covered in leg whipping bracken, all tackled whilst the strong winds punched you off course – but I was doing it! Each of the little course-marking red flags I passed signalled a mini achievement that added up to my biggest. Essentially I was running home – we'd been taken by coach to the start line and were travelling back to base – and the return journey was truly epic. And when I made it, I was welcomed back by my growing family of trail runners and the best chocolate brownie I've ever tasted.