Anniversary Waltz / Teenager With Altitude

Tremendous performances from John Butters and Emma Bain and quite a few others …

photo: Andy

Report from John Duff:

Mark Smith climbing Robinson – photo: John D

There was a good turnout from NFR for the Waltz races in the Lake District on Saturday.  The weather was first class – with wall to wall sunshine, but a cooling breeze on the summits.

In the classic Anniversary Waltz race, John Butters had a tremendous run to finish third overall.  Behind him Mark Clarkson ran well.  After that, NFR had a good number of finishers mid-pack, with myself, Mark Smith, Gary Clarkson, Billy Lawrence, James Charlton and Jason Taylor.  Andy Russell was our official photographer and [Trevor Wakenshaw was] anchor man.  Support en-route came from Rob Salter and Lisa Taylor.

In the longer Teenager with Altitude race, Emma Bain was 18th overall and first lady – notching up her first Lakeland win.  Scott Gibson finished 10th overall.  Paul Appleby also had a solid run, continuing his recent good form.

Emma Bain striding across Hindscarth – photo: Andy

A hot meal and free beer (really!) at the end rounded off a good day.  Many thanks to the organisers Steve & Wynn for these excellent races.

Full results and more details are available at:

John Duff

Cheviot Horseshoe

Jonny Malley and Emma Bain take the honours for first man and woman back at this inaugural race.

We thank you all for participating and helping to raise almost £300 for the Northumberland Mountain Rescue Team. Feedback up to now has been fantastic so we hope to continue with this race and let it grow into a great event. We hope to see you at further events in Northumberland this year.

Many thanks, Jack and Glen McWilliams

photo: Andy

A snow storm greets the runners along the tops …

Marathon Des Sables

NFR successes: the next generation! This from NFR Ed Watson:

We are amazed and delighted to let you know that Anna-Marie, our daughter, recently finished second female and 47th overall in this epic endurance event.
There are five stages, with the first three of about 35 km, a monster stage of 92km, and finally a marathon of 42 km. She was second finisher in the long stage and marathon, and second overall.
She blames her success upon her genes and upbringing – she spent many weekends in the Lakes when I was running in fell races.
I think we are the only family that has had three finishers in the Jura Fell Race.

Guisborough Three Tops

Report from Andy Russell:

Photo: Andy

Phil Green, Jason Taylor and myself ran in the Guisborough Three Tops race this Easter Sunday.  The race was run on the revised route which will be used for the forthcoming English Championship
race in September.  Running conditions were excellent and generally dry under foot with the exception of the usually muddy ascent/descent through the woods which featured twice (for some!) on the revised race route.  Phil was first home for NFR followed by Jason and myself. I managed to get my first sunburn of the year when the sun came out half way round the route.. Thanks to Dave Parry for organising a very enjoyable race.
Andy Russell

Highland Boundary Races

Birnam Hill and Deuchary Hill Canter : Andy Russell

Deuchary Hill Canter – photo: Andy

This year I successfully managed to coordinate a visit to my parents in Perthshire with running in two of the three Highland Boundary Races held in Birnam and Dunkeld on over the weekend of March 28th & 29th.
On the Saturday I lined-up behind 200+ runners for the start of the Birnam Hill Race (6.5km, 535m), the first Scottish Hill Runners Championship race of the year.  After the first 500m on the road, the route took us straight on to the stiff climb through the woods. As the gradient eased I tried to coax my legs back into action for the run across the top of Birnam hill which comprised a series of small rocky, steps, tree roots and bogs. The main descent to the old quarry was mainly via a gravelly-trail after which a series of short sharp hills remained before the final steady run down to the finish line.
On the Sunday I joined about 60 runners at the Dunkeld Hilton Hotel for the start of the Deuchary Hill Canter (19km, 700m).  After an initial stiff climb up to and around the foot of Crag a Barns the route formed a figure of eight along a series of well-defined tracks and trails taking in some excellent views of Strath Tay and the higher snow capped mountains.  By the time I’d reached the steep final climb on to Deuchary Hill (509m) and my legs were starting to feel it.  The route back made for some nice running along grass and mud covered trails with only one small hill to stagger across before the final descent to the finish at the car park near the Cally Sawmill.
All in all a very enjoyable weekend of hill running with surprisingly good conditions for the time of year.  Many thanks to Adrian Davis and his team for organising two very enjoyable races.
Video of the Birnam Hill Race:
Organiser’s report and results here:
Andy Russell

Cleveland Survival

Report from Old Cheviot:

Cleveland Survival 2015

photo: Paul Hainsworth

11 folk from NFR ventured down to the North Yorkshire Moors for the first race in the club championship.   The Cleveland Survival lived up to its name – with 26 miles of undulating running up and down dale.  With 2 hours of rain and a strong wind, most of the field were wearing waterproofs throughout.

The event was held at Ingleby Greenhow, which is south-east of Stokesley.  The route was roughly an anticlockwise circle, taking in Bransdale and Farndale.  One of the toughest sections was towards the end along the old railway line to Bloworth Crossing – straight into the teeth of the westerly wind.  Some folks obviously thought the event was not tough enough, as they opted for the odd extra mile or two due to overlooking checkpoints.  Old Cheviot was an early leader in the extra miles group, while others favoured the last checkpoint as a popular one to go back for.

But despite all this, a good time was most definitely had by all.  Mark Clarkson and Frank Shillitoe vied for the lead honours, with Frank narrowly winning the day.   Mark Smith and Paul Hainsworth both had solid runs.  Steph Scott, Peter Hayle, Allon Welsh, and Peter Reed ran round together as a cheery group.  Emma Bain paced Old Cheviot when he started to flag on the old railway line.  Paul Appleby was also there.

Afterwards in the village hall, tea and a hot meal were much appreciated.  This was a most enjoyable event and a worthy addition to the championship.  Many thanks are due to Cleveland Mountain Rescue for putting on this excellent event, and to Frank & Paul for selecting it as the first race in the championship.  Roll on the forthcoming championship races!


Old Cheviot

(Cleveland MRT website)