To give your early training a boost why not try this ten mile route which gives you plenty of technical ascents and descents; combined with very runnable sections and fantastic views, day or night!
Start off at the car park at Clay Bank which is on the Helmsley TT road just above Great Broughton grid reference NZ57200357.
From the car park run up the road and join the Cleveland Way as it climbs up onto Carr Ridge and Urra Moor. Keep ascending until you reach the wall line with the bench and gate at the top of the bank, grid reference NZ57880307. Once you've caught your breath and admired the view run back down to the road.
At the road cross over and follow the steps up to start the climb onto White Hill and Hasty Bank along the Cleveland Way. Ensure you go through the kissing gate near the bench and follow the path up the hillside to Hasty Bank and the Wain Stones.
As you approach this ancient sandstone buttress, listen out for the wailing shade of a Danish Lord , who was reputedly killed there, his plaintiff lament swirling around the rocks on a North wind. Wainan is believed to be the old Norse or Saxon word for lament or grieve...
Once you have threaded your way through the stones continue to follow the Cleveland Way as it descends towards Garfit Gap.
The second sister , Cold Moor, is your next ascent taking you up to a height of 402 metres or 1318 feet 10.772 inches...
At the summit there are fine views towards the Bronze Age burial mounds of Three Howes to the South. The barrows are believed to have been created around 3,000 years ago, in human terms they are ancient; but compared to the age of Cold Moor and most of the North Yorkshire Moors which were formed in the Jurassic Period 200 million years ago, they are neoteric additions to its landscape.
After dropping down from Cold Moor the route takes you up the side of Kirby Bank onto Cringle Moor. Before you begin to drop down to Lordstones you will come to the viewing point and Falconers Seat, which is dedicated to Alec Falconer who was a founder member of what would become the Middlesbrough Rambling Club. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Cleveland Way, sadly he did not see its opening in 1969 as he passed away in1968.
From Lordstones follow the Cleveland Way as it crosses Raisdale Road and starts to ascend Carlton Bank. When you reach a fork in the tracks take the left path which leads you through a five bar gate , grid reference NZ52240286, onto the gravel track that meanders it's way up to where the old Glider Station used to be. The track eventually curves to the right and you will come back onto the Cleveland Way at the summit of Carlton Moor where there is a standing stone and triangulation pillar.
On a clear day the views stretch to the horizon in all directions. It is hard to imagine as you look towards the Tees Valley below you that the whole are was once a tropical sea...
To start the return part of the run follow the Cleveland Way back down to Lordstones going through the kissing gate to reach Raisdale Road.
Apparently Sir Tony Robinson of Black Adder and Time Team fame, had a hand in putting this gate in place, originally a little wonky it must have been " a cunning plan" to slow your passage through it.
After crossing the road retrace your steps along the Cleveland Way over the Three Sisters back to the start point.
Once back at the car park the fun doesn't have to end, you could go back up onto Carr Ridge and finish off with a quick up and down. Or you could turn around and do them all again...
Whatever you decide you will have a wonderful few hours of running on some of the most enigmatic hills of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.
The run is a mixture of technical ascents and descents interspersed with some very runnable sections. Underfoot , the tracks are made up of rock slabs and dolomite gravel and in general are firm, though the slabs can get snowbound and icy in the winter months. As for navigating the route it is pretty straightforward even in bad conditions or at night. The only bit that can be tricky is the path through the Wain Stones, however the combination of a previous recce and the lamenting Lord will keep you on the right path past the Sphinx Stone.
In all this route covers circa 10 miles with 3000ft of elevation and descent.
Parking either end gives you an option to start from Carlton Bank or Clay Bank, there is also the cafe at Lordstones for refreshments, depending on the time of day you do it
Trot on ...💪🦍
P.S could this be a future Revenge Route ...