Martin Indge and I had done the Castles and Islands race on the Saturday (13 June) and Osmotherley was on the route south (that doesn't happen very much for a Bristolian!); it was a beautiful day and a little recce of the hard section of the Osmotherley Phoenix seemed to be in order.
The good news is that Osmotherley is already preparing itself for the Phoenix: the Summer Games advertising is up all over the place and it looks like party time. It's a beautiful village and will provide a great place to hang out for anyone coming to support the race.
The south eastern section of the phoenix is pretty desperate to navigate. While the rest of the course is along great swathing tracks, the SE section is across an intricate section of paths across farmland. I'd taken a pretty wayward route through here in 2007, ending up in a pheasant coop and am aiming to navigate better in 2009. Anyway, we were out to recce this section, to practice our navigation and to loosen off after the Castles and Islands race. All objectives were met. I think I've committed the route to memory and what a great little route it is too! We were so enthused at New Hall (the very SE-most point of the route) that we continued along to the west and up to the Hambleton Hills where we were greeted by great long views across the Vale of York to the Yorkshire Dales and an immense sky full of fluffy white clouds.
Martin did some navigation training on Locker Low Moor as we headed back to the car (parked at Locker Low Wood). I found a beautiful "single track" path through the heather down here. It was gently downhill and on the most beautiful springy dry peat: I forgot all my aches and pains here and just pelted it back to the car for the shear joy of it. It would be nice if I ran like that in the race itself. It was just a 2 hour, 10 mile recce, but it was great to get out and I'm looking forward to the race now (hopefully the Three Peaks Yacht Race won't do me in in 2009 like it did in 2008).