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53rd CHEVY CHASE RACE REPORT 4th July 2009

What a fine day we had for the Chevy this year, the weather was not as predicted with the expected cloud cover, showers and cooler temperatures not materialising. Instead the day was very warm with good visibility and a light breeze. Superb weather for our marshals, helpers, and supporters but rather tough in the heat for the competitors!

Our 300 places were filled even earlier than last year with many waiting for a place becoming available. Thank you to every one who told us they were unable to compete as we were able to assign their place to someone else; any entry money from this will go to the NNP Search and Rescue Team.

104 walkers and 171 runners finally started the race. Registration went very smoothly with only one person forgetting to collect their dibber. Thanks to the majority who complied with the kit check with good humour. A few still question the necessity of carrying the kit, but conditions are unpredictable in the hills; over the past two weeks we have had every type of weather possible. The main necessity this year was fluids with some competitors disappointed not to find more water at checkpoints. Sorry you do need to be
self-sufficient and getting water out to remote checkpoints is difficult.

Conditions underfoot were reasonable with a bit of good bog in keeping with the nature of the event. The heat was the toughest hurdle and times were generally a bit slower. Many finishers were very relieved to cross the line cool off and re-hydrate before tackling the tea buns and cake and analysing their split times. Photos of from the start and various points on the course were shown in the hostel and this year we also had up to the minute results screened; ah the wonders of modern technology! It was great to see people relaxing on the lawn, resting their tired legs and recounting their epic adventures in the hills. Congratulations to all who completed the course this year.

We were able to hold the prize giving outside. Josh representing our main sponsor Salomon presented the prizes and congratulated the winners on their inspiring performances.

In the run Joe Blackett of Dark Peak Fell Runners and Phil Sanderson of NFR were battling for firstplace; sadly Phil missed Langlee Crags checkpoint leaving Joe to take the victory in a time of 2:59:54. Alastair Horsefield of Gosforth Punters cruised in to take second place in a time of 3:02:55 and in third place was John Boyle also from Dark Peak FR in 03:07:49. Keith Mackay V50 had a fine run to win his category and take 5th place. Richard Clarke of North York Moors AC won the V60. First local prize went to a pleasantly surprised Rob Shepherd.


The team trophy was hotly contested between South Shields and NFR with Keith Mackay, Peter Rooney and Paul Bainbridge winning for South Shields by only 1 point. Many apologies to both teams for the error in calculating this initially.

Karen Robertson of NFR looked remarkably fresh as she crossed the line in a time of 3:41:33, this placed her 18th overall as well as first lady and LV40. Team mate Louise Wilkinson was second with a time of 4:00:43. A delighted Victoria Curtis-Smith of the Flying Ferrets took third place 4:05:23. Bridget Perbedy of Alnwick Harriers who has recently moved into this category took the LV50 prize.  Alison Wright from Wooler RC was first local lady.

Len Glen Davison of Breamish Wanderers V50 repeated last year’s victory, with an excellent time of 4:56:10. Two minutes behind Glen Cartner also V50 powered in. Local lad Tim Mathewson of Breamish Wanderers was third in a time of 5:16:22. first V40 was William Bolton in a time of 5:37:17. Dieter Hofmann took the V60 trophy 5:33:57. The Ladies cup was once again shared as Angela Huddleston V50 and Fiona Mckenzie V40 both Cheviot Angels amicably finished together in 4:58:06, this also placed them 2nd overall. In third place was Joyce Guthrie another Cheviot Angel in 5:21:50. Elizabeth Anderson of Breamish Wanderers took the V60 trophy and was delighted with her timeof 07.07.07. Angela Huddleston was the first local lady. There was only one point separating the top two teams with The Cheviot Angels, just snatching it from Breamish Wanderers.

The Geordie Douglas Memorial Trophy is presented to the oldest and boldest competitor and was won by Norman Dodd, who at 74 looked very comfortable finishing in a time of 7:18:24.

The Alan Gardener Trophy, which celebrates the Spirit of the Chevy was presented to Jamie Wilkinson of NFR. Jamie’s father
took part in the Chevy Chase over many years and loved the Cheviot hills. Jamie entered last year to run the Chevy as a celebration of his father’s life, but had to withdraw with an injury; this year he was delighted to complete the course.

The Chevy Chase of course would not be possible without all the volunteers who help. This year there were 30 people marshalling or assisting with safety in the hills, another 30 volunteers were busy at the hostel manning registration, the finish and preparing and serving the teas. I am sure all the competitors will join us in thanking them all for their hard work and unfailing cheerfulness.
Thanks also to the landowners for supporting our event and allowing us access to the Cheviots.

We are very grateful to Dave Perkins and his Northumberland National Parks Search and Rescue Team, who were busy on the day assisting those with injuries, heat stroke or navigational difficulties. Thanks also to St John’s Ambulance for first aid at the hostel.

We were delighted that Salomon the Mountain Sports Company generously agreed to sponsor all the winner’s prizes again. Spot prizes were kindly donated by Breeze, Start Fitness, Gear For Girls, Start Fitness, The Good Life Shop.

A final thanks to all the Chevy Chasers for supporting the event, we hope to see you next year on July 3rd for the 54th Chevy Chase. 

Best Wishes,
Claire Bagness and Mary Logan
and all at Wooler Running Club



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