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The day before this year's Chevy was pretty bleak with torrential rain and poor visibility and we were preparing for an extremely damp day. Fortunately race day dawned dry and breezy, no chance of drying up those bogs, but at least the hilltops could be seen and everyone could go through their pre-race preparation outside. Apologies that we had to change the car parking arrangements at the last moment, our usual sheep field was very waterlogged and we worried that the cars would get stuck. We didn't have too many complaints about the extra hill to walk up to the hostel. We split the registration into two groups as we anticipated it might be busier with the amalgamation of the A and B runs, it seemed to be quicker and slicker this year. Kit checking also was a breeze, with the majority presenting all the right gear with good humour, thank you. Later competitors will have experienced the hailstones on the higher hills and seen how unpredictable the Cheviot weather can be.

99 walkers and 136 runners started the race this year. We will make sure we advertise in the LWDA Strider magazine next year to keep our walkers well informed about the event. Hopefully everyone was happy with the single start time for the run, it simplifies things for us, and it was great to see such a large field of runners heading off into the hills.

It was certainly cooler than last year, but underfoot conditions were the wettest we have experienced for some time and made it tough going. Many of you were glad of the extra water bottles supplied by Montane at the summit of Hedgehope, this was airlifted in by RAF Boulmer. Water levels in the burns were exceptionally high this year, but all survived the river crossing. The beauty of the falls along the Carey Burn proved a good excuse to stop and
admire. Feedback on the strange signs that appeared on Hell's Path was positive! Fortunately the climate at the hostel was fine in the afternoon and finishers could relax on the grass with their tea and cakes, and contemplate their bog-splattered legs.

The massages from the Scotia physios proved popular again.
Both races were very competitive and the places battled for. In the run David Kirkland of Alnwick Harriers skimmed across the bogs to take first place, retaining the cup he won last year in a time of 3:13:46. Gary Jones of Northumberland Fell Runners came in second 3:18:09 Third placed Alastair Horsefield of Gosforth Punters was delighted to move up the rankings from last year to take third place.3: 22:38. Once again the veterans ran extremely well with Garry Owens V50 NFR taking forth place and David Atkinson V40 NFR in fifth. Raymond Gray NFR won the V60 trophy again this year. It was no surprise that the team trophy went to NFR, to the two Gary's and David, with 11 points. Novice runner Rob Shepherd won first local prize in 4:13:07.

Louise Wilkinson NFR had a strong run and was first lady (and possibly muddiest) to finish in a time of 3:49:40. Steph Scott NFR took second place 4;06:45 and Katherine Land from Devon was third 4:17:10. Susan Davies NFR 4:23:58 took the V40 trophy and Kris Thompson of Wooler 4:52:51 was the first V50 and first local lady.

The finish of the walk was exciting this year with Angela Huddlestone of Wooler and Jim Scott of Norham approaching the hostel together. They crossed the finish line holding hands to take joint first place in 4:53:13. Angela broke the existing women's record by 3 minutes; she was also the first FV40 and first local lady, a determined effort in the energy sapping bogs. Second male home was David Fitzpatrick from North Shields Racing Snakes in a time of 5:10:32, Len Glen-Davison from Breamish Wanderers took third place in 5:16; 46. In the veteran categories Peter Webster retained his V40 trophy in time of 5:16:47. Jim Scott was first V50 and John Taylor of Ambleside AC won the V60 trophy with a time of 5:14:17. The first local home was Tim Matthewson in 5:28:22. the team trophy this year was won by a ladies team, JAFs, Angela H, Fiona Mckenzie and Joyce Guthrie with 24 points, the challenge is on lads!The Geordie Douglas Memorial Trophy is presented to the oldest competitor and was won by Frank Barker of LDWA a regular Chevy Chaser. Three friends of Geordie Douglas who competed this year made a special donation to the Search and Rescue Team, which was gratefully received.
The Alan Gardener Trophy; which celebrates the Spirit of the Chevy was presented to the last competitor to finish this year, John Abrehart of Breamish Wanderers. The Chevy Chase is about all who take part and meet the challenge, not just the winners. Congratulations must go to all who completed the course this year and braved the bogs.

We would like to thank all the volunteers who help at the Chevy Chase, through their hard work at the hostel or out in the hills. Thanks also to the landowners for supporting the event and to Lilburn Estates who provided a much needed new cup for the first lady walker. We are grateful to Northumberland National Parks Search and Rescue Team, who were kept busy on the day assisting those with injuries or navigational difficulties, to Raynet for providing communications and to The Red Cross for first aid at the hostel. Thanks to our sponsors Montane, Start Fitness, Gear For Girls and The Good Life Shop.

We hope to see you next year on July 5th for the 52nd Chevy Chase. Do let us know if you have any suggestions about the Chevy. We plan to have the 2008 entry form on the web site in January, otherwise it will be available at Start Fitness, Northern Runner or by post if requested.

Best Wishes,
Claire Bagness and Mary Logan
Wooler Running Club



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