Competitors brave heavy rain in Chevy Chase event

Walkers set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase
Walkers set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

The weather was the big concern for the Chevy Chase this year as the forecast was for lightning storms.

Having witnessed a dramatic storm three nights previously, organisers were worried about people being out on high ground and marshals were briefed in lightning evasion tactics.

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

However, the main hindrance proved to be the torrential rain first thing in the morning.

This ensured everyone was soaked to the skin before the race even began.

The unlucky marshals particularly suffered, and the Cheviot team resorted to using their emergency safety shelter to keep themselves warm.

It was cold and windy, with very poor visibility on the high hills.

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

Thankfully, the rain stopped by late morning, and the sun came out in time for finishers to stretch out on the lawn at the hostel and replenish energy levels with copious amounts of tea, buns and cake.

A total of 50 walkers and 184 runners started the event, and, as always, there were many fine performances and interesting tales to tell.

Despite the early soaking and slippery conditions underfoot, there was plenty of laughter at the hostel.

It was an exciting dual for first place in the fell race, with Iain Twaddle, of South Shields Polytechnic, and Phil Sanderson battling it out through the hills. Iain finally managed to surge past Phil up Hell’s Path and held on to win in 3:02:56. He was also first V40. Phil’s time was 3:04:44.

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

Cameron Murray, of Carnethy Hill RC, was a delighted third in 3:18:27.

Local clubs were well represented in the veteran categories. Adam Fletcher, of Alnwick Harriers, was eighth and won the V50 trophy in 3:35:33.

Les Turnbull, of Norham RC, loped home in 14th place and won the V60 trophy in 3:50:59. The first V70 was Raymond Gray, of Northumberland Fell Runners (NFR).

The team trophy was won by the NFR team of John Duff (4th), Paul Appleby (9th) and John Tollitt (21st).

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

Runners set off on Wooler running clubs annual Chevy Chase

Henrietta Bolton Carter, of Wooler RC, finished strongly to win the ladies’ race in a time of 3:58.09, placing a commendable 24th overall and also claiming the V50 trophy.

Nina Cameron, of NFR, raced well for second place in a time of 4:02:06, and she was also the first FV40.

In third place was Georgia Campbell, of South Shields Harriers, in 4:03:22.

Shirley Cassidy finished fourth and again won the first local lady trophy in 4:12:17.

In the challenge walk, three competitors crossed the line together in 5:12:00. Fiona Regier, Glenn Cartner and Keith Murray were the victorious trio, all V50s.

The first MV40 walker was Kevin Thompson in 5:41:34.

John Callaghan, of De la Rue Runners, a regular Chevy Chaser won the V60 trophy.

Dieter Hofmann again strode round the course to win the V70 category. He was eighth overall.

Alan Urwin, also a V70, was placed 10th and once again took the first local trophy.

The second lady walker was Nicola Roper, of Heaton Harriers, in 5:21:27. In third place, first LV40 and first local lady walker was Joyce Guthrie in a time of 5:25:21.

The FV60 trophy was shared by Margaret Thompson and Christine Farnsworth, of Elvet Striders, who finished together in 7:53:19.

Full results are available at www.woolerrunningclub.co.uk

The Geordie Douglas Memorial Trophy is presented to the oldest and boldest competitor and was won by Dieter Hoffman.

The Alan Gardener Trophy, celebrating the spirit of the Chevy Chase, was awarded to Paul Doxford, of South Shields Harriers, who broke his ankle two years ago descending Hedgehope and was evacuated by helicopter.

He returned this year to race again and is raising money for the air ambulance.

The organisers would like to thank al volunteers and sponsors for their help.