HUNDREDS of athletes competed in the 55th Chevy Chase on Saturday.
The race, a 20-mile journey through some of the finest upland scenery in Northumberland, was started by 165 runners and 104 walkers.
The gruelling event takes participants to the summit of both the Cheviot and Hedgehope and competitors had to battle temperatures that were higher than predicted on the day.
In what was a very strong field in the men’s race, Matthew Roberts and Ian Ridgway, both of Eryri Harriers, battled it out for first place, with Matthew coming just a second ahead to reclaim the winner’s trophy, with a time of 2:49:54.
Gary Jones, of NFR, took third spot in 2:52:32 while Phil Sanderson, of NFR, won the V40 trophy in 3:02:13.
Norham had a winner in the V50 category with Tim McCall finishing in 3:32:46 and Peter Reed, of NFR, finsihed in 3:59:49 to take the V60 trophy, while Eric Whittaker of Durham Fell Runners won the V70 category in 5:10:05.
First local runner was Rob Murray-John of Wooler Running Club in 3:47:03.
The team trophy headed to Wales this year as the Eryri lads – Matthew, Ian and Noel Craine – notched 14 points.
Sarah Lister, of Durham Fell Runners, was the first woman home in 3:33:07.
Victoria Smith, of Bearbrook Joggers, was second in 3:37:48 while club colleague Emma Curtis-Smith finished strongly to come third in 3:46:12.
Claire Bagness, of Wooler Running Club, was the first V40 in 4:51:34 and Debbie Thompson from Keswick again took the LV50 prize 4:23:41.
Pam Brown, of Wooler Running Club, was the winner of the first local lady trophy in 4:20:01.
Once again there were some excellent performances in the walk with competitors from Cheviot Angels and Breamish Wanderers taking the course in their stride.
Len Glen-Davison (V50), of Breamish Wanderers, won it again in a time of 4:36:28.
In second place was Glenn Davies in 4:43:06 while third place again went to Keith Davison of Breamish Wanderers in 4:58:20.
Dieter Hofmann walked well to claim the V60 trophy in a time of 5:12:10 – even faster than last year and he is now a V70. Andy Clarke was the first local man in 5:21:33.
The Ladies Cup was won by Fiona McKenzie, who was also the first V40 with a time of 4:49:50. Sharon Smith was second in 5:01:27 with Angela Huddleston only two seconds behind. Angela also won the V50 and local lady categories. Laura Brosnan walked away with the V60 trophy 6:50:40.
The Breamish Wanderers’ team of Glen, Keith and Timothy Matthewson took the team prize with 14 points.
The Geordie Douglas Memorial Trophy – presented to the oldest and boldest competitor – was won by Dieter Hofmann.
The Alan Gardener Trophy, which celebrates the Spirit of the Chevy was presented to Bernard and Ged Kivlehan who are two of the event’s dedicated marshals.
Thanks were given to the volunteers who helped on the day, the landowners for supporting the event and allowing access to the Cheviots, Dave Perkins and his Northumberland National Park Search and Rescue Team (NNPSRT) who were busy on the day assisting those with injuries or navigational difficulties, and Chevy Chasers for supporting the event.
Salomon, the mountain sports company, sponsored all the winners’ prizes again while spot prizes were donated by Gear For Girls, Start Fitness and The Good Life Shop. This year, organisers used SPORTident for online entries and the 300 places were filled within 10 days of going live.
Money raised from the event went to the NNPSRT.
Next year’s Chevy Chase takes place on Saturday, July 7, and online entries will be available from February 1, 2012.
For full race results, visit www.woolerrunningclub.co.uk