The Harrogate Haverah Trail Race – Event Review

Neil Jones

I saw this race advertised through social media in late July and after reading the race description I thought it would be ideal for me as I live a few miles away from the start. What I didn’t realise is that the race would eventually fall the day after a week in the Algarve, eating ice cream and laying in the sun – oh well at least I would be well rested!


Following a week relaxing… and drinking – I was excited about the race and felt confident I would enjoy it, and maybe even put in a decent time, it was a trail race and I knew it would be a lumpy course. On arrival at Beckwithshaw Cricket Club the weather could not have been better: clear and sunny, no wind and dry underfoot. Car parking was easy and Harrogate Harriers had provided pre-race refreshments in the pavilion.


The race started at 10am and I have to say what a stunning route it was, which was made all the more enjoyable by the friendly marshals that guided us along the way. As ever I went off too fast (I’m a repeat offender) but I soon settled into a nice rhythm with a group of runners that included the top lady athletes.


The course was what I would call rolling and undulating, no huge hills but quite technical in places. We descended on the main road then made a sharp left to join a rural track, crossing lots of fields, passing through stiles and gates with plenty of chances to pause and take in the views across North Yorkshire towards Ripon and Ripley.


I had a time in my race plan for half way and I arrived a minute or so over which forced me to re-evaluate my overall finish time.


At about 6 miles I started to hurt a little and my pace slacked off a touch but this was rectified by some fluids and a gel. It was really quite warm by now. Approaching 7 miles my mind started to focus on pushing on to the finish and if I could pick up any places along the way. I was successful in picking up a few as some people had gone off to fast and a mixture of the terrain and heat had clearly started to get to them.


It’s very difficult to race plan when it’s a new course and you have no real idea of the elevation or technical difficulty.


With a mile or so to go we left the fields and low trail paths to join a wider track heading back towards the Beckwithshaw Cricket Club and the finish. I was now in tight race with 4 other athletes, with good fortune and the strength of recent longer races in my legs I pushed on and broke away from the group.


Overall, it was a fantastic race, well organised and one I would certainly recommend to the Run Leeds community for 2017. It isn’t the cheapest off road race I have done at £16 but the price included a sandwich, drink and chocolate bar at the finish; it’s been years since I’ve had a Double Decker!


On the beach in the Algarve I predicted between 1hr 15mins and 1hr 20mins. My official finish time was 1hr 19mins not my quickest 10 mile race but one of the most enjoyable I have completed. My thoughts now move on to the Round Rotherham 50 mile trail race in a matter of weeks.



The Haverah Trail Race is coordinated by Harrogate Harriers A.C, find out more here:


Follow Neil Jones on Twitter @jonah1975


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