As the ‘mini Beast from the East’ hit the UK this weekend, many runners found races cancelled due to poor weather conditions. For those who did head out, conditions were far from what you’d normally expect in British Spring.
The dramatic wintery weather meant long distance runners had to be rescued on the North York Moors yesterday evening. 300 runners braved the snow and attempted to run the annual Hardmoors 55 race – a 55 mile run from Helmsley to Guisborough across the North York Moors.
The worsening weather promoted organised to close the event, and call the Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team to find and collect runners from the tops of the moors. Yorkshire Ambulance services were concerned that more than 30 runners were suffering from hypothermia.
Carl Faulkner, Cleveland Mountain Rescue Team Leader said: “The events last night show how important it is to be prepared when you head out into the hills or on the Moors; because each Hardmoors competitor was well equipped with appropriate winter clothing and knew how to read a map and use a compass, they were able to keep moving until they reached a place of safety.
“While the team helped move around 80 competitors last night, their resilience and determination was outstanding, and they can all come back and compete next year…hopefully when the sun is shining.”
A spokesperson from Yorkshire Ambulance Service also commented on how awful conditions were, with bad visibility thanks to swirling snow and ice underfoot.
It was reportedly in the last couple of hours of the race that the weather took a turn for the worse. Many runners shared their experiences on social media, thanking the rescue teams and praising the event organisers:
My 1st @HardmoorsUltras #hardmoors55 became #hardmoors42 when Mountain Rescue stopped the race due to the weather 5 mins b4 we were out of Kildale. Snow Blizzards 50mph winds, min visibility, awesome epic adventure. Fantastic race organisation, loved it! ��— Michelle Payne (@13_Dreamweaver) March 19, 2018