On the morning of Sunday 14 December 2014, eight runners and two supporters from Arup, York Potash and Jacobs Engineering braved a cold windy hilltop above the village of Castleton in the heart of the UK’s North York Moors. They were there to run the 15km Eskdale Eureka fell race in aid of local charities.
The team endured frozen ground, biting wind and steep hills for between one and two hours to complete the race. Their efforts raised enough money to fund a wheelchair-accessible tricycle for the Hob Moor Oaks special needs school in York and to donate £1,250 to respite home Martin House.
Arup engineering geologist Tom Berry, whose daughter attends Hob Moor Oaks, commented: “The difficulties we faced on the race were insignificant compared to the difficulties the children we were running for face every day. The generosity of our supporters has been overwhelming, unexpected and wonderful. A special mention should go to Hertz (Arup’s hire car provider in York) who had a whip-round that raised over £100.”
Tom reports that the race started easily enough, downhill into Westerdale Valley, before the hundred or so runners began to spread out. “By the time we started the first ascent on to Westerdale Moor I am sorry to say that, with the exception of two runners, everyone else was just a hi-vis dot disappearing across the moor ahead of me,” he says.
The runners pressed on through snow and ice across Westerdale Moor, Little Hograh Moor and Great Hograh Moor before descending into Baysdale Beck only to have to climb again, this time to Kildale Moor. After crossing back over Baysdale Beck and Westerdale Moor, the retraced their steps to the finish.
“The last half-mile was a hideous uphill struggle to the finish line,” says Tom. “But the relief of crossing the line was palpable – we had survived!”
The team members were: Asher Haynes (York Potash), Lorenzo Allievi (Arup), Graham Berry (Tom’s dad), Heather Beaumont (Arup), Tristan Pottas (York Potash), Richard Smart (Jacobs Engineering), and Phil Johnson (York Potash). Hazel Short and Daphne Sun from Arup provided the team with much-needed support, encouragement and drinks on a very cold day.