Pentland Skyline

report from John Tollitt

Pentland Skyline 8th October

photo courtesy of Carnethy HRC

photo courtesy of Carnethy HRC

7 NFR’s lined up at the start line adjacent to Hillend ski centre enjoying the stunning views over Edinburgh, for this penultimate NFR championship fixture. The Pentland Skyline is billed as a 16 mile (although I clocked 16.8 miles) AL race with 6,200ft of ascent over 14 peaks in the Pentland Hills just south of Edinburgh. We were greeted with fine weather ( if a bit chilly) despite Paul Hainsworth’s predictions of doom and gloom. Continue reading

Hodgson Relays

Hodgson Relays 2017

photo: John

photo: John

Poor weather conditions meant this year’s Hodgson Relay was over a shortened route.   It was essentially an out and back course from Patterdale to Kirkstone via Hartsop.  The high tops of High Street to the east and all the western route over Red Screes and Fairfield were omitted.   This was due to forecast low cloud, rain, and high winds.

NFR ran well with no mishaps or poor route choices.    John Tollitt and Matthew Briggs ran leg 1 from Patterdale to Hartsop via Angle Tarn.  There was a mere 38 years age difference, and they were soon handing over to Roger Sillito and Scott Gibson for leg 2.  Scott’s local knowledge was rewarded when they hit Caudale Moor Tarn spot on when others went walk-about.

Kirkstone Pass was a cloudy and dreich affair with runners appearing out of the mist without warning.   Mark Clarkson and Andy Higgins took over the baton for leg 3.  Despite no prior recce, they ran superbly and were soon running back into Hartsop having made up several places.  Steph Scott & I took over for the last leg back via Angle Tarn.    Even this leg was firmly in the clag.  As we emerged from the mist at Boredale Hause, the finish PA system was sounding eerily over the valley.

NFR finished 32nd overall.   Many thanks are due to the organisers/marshals for their sterling work  in putting the relay on in difficult conditions.   Also thanks to Jane & Mike Briggs who provided support and invaluable transport on the day when parking was difficult.

The Borrowdale hegemony has now been well and truly broken.  This year the relay was won by Keswick AC.  Their team included Chris Edis who ran for the north-east in the inter-counties, and Carl Bell.  One of Carl’s early races was at Lakeland Country Fair – click here if you want a walk down memory lane to see some youthful NFR faces – and he is now British Champion.  The ladies’ race was won by Ambleside.

Results are on the Sportident website

John Duff

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Ultra Trail Mont Blanc

Peter Moralee has this afternoon successfully completed the UTMB in 45h
07m after setting out from Chamonix at 6.30pm on friday evening.

This is Peter’s 2nd successful completion of the UTMB, his first being in
2010. This has to rank as one of Peter’s greatest successes of his many
challenges over recent years.” – Paul

Joss Naylor Challenge

Joss, Geoff and Susan

Joss, Geoff and Susan

“Congratulations to Geoff Davis who notched up another successful Joss Naylor Challenge completion on Saturday. Geoff finished in 14 hours 52 minutes, well inside his allotted V60 time. Conditions were ideal with high clouds, dry footing and a cooling breeze. Geoff made the most of
them, running strongly throughout including a quick descent from Middle Fell when a sub 15 hour finish beckoned. He was supported by a team from NFR, Elvet Striders and Durham City Harriers. Joss met him at the finish – here they are with Susan on Greendale Bridge in Wasdale.”

John D

Sedbergh Hills

“There was an excellent turnout of 14 folk from NFR for the championship race at Sedbergh Hills on Sunday. This tough 14 miler packs in 6,000 ft of climbing. Grassy running at the start and finish gives way to muddy contouring and climbing in the middle section. The route varied from a high-level contour with views over the M6, to a runnable path up to The Calf which is the highpoint of the Howgills. Apart from being greasy underfoot, conditions were excellent with high cloud cover and a cooling breeze.

NFR ladies stole the show, winning the team prize. The 3 counters were Karen Robertson, Joanna Smith, and Henrietta Bolton Carter. Jane Briggs was also there, finishing just behind Henrietta. For the men, Roger Sillito was first home in a creditable 13th place, with Matthew Briggs not far behind.

The tea and cake went down well in the Village Hall afterwards. Many thanks to Paul Brittleton and his team for the race. If you had pre-entered, it was only £6.50 – bargain!
Results are on the race website:

John Duff”

Beacon Hill Fell Race

Ideal conditions welcomed runners for this midweek race.
20 year old William Robson (NSP) was the victor closely followed by Matthew Hetherington (Heaton). 17 year old Matthew Briggs (NFR) had an excellent run finishing 3rd.
Dawn Cooper (Derwent Valley) brought the ladies home closely followed by Jane Briggs and Nina Cameron (both NFR). The drop down to the finish off Beacon Hill was diverted due to the ongoing footpath improvements and instead came down off Dove Crag.
This added half a mile onto the route but the general opinion was that it was a better descent and will likely become the permanent route.” – Paul Appleby


Chevy Chase: report and results

Chevy Chase 2017

NFR turned out in force for the 61st Chevy Chase on Saturday 2nd July. There were over 20 NFR club members in the large field of approx 200. Conditions for the race were pretty good. The recent rain had left the ground soft for running, and it was never too hot.

The run out to Cheviot was into the wind. Turning for Hedgehope, runners were greeted with a fine view of the Harthope Valley as they dropped swiftly to the burn before the climb to Northumberland’s second highest top. Various lines were taken to Langlee Crags through the recently cut heather – but none of the new lines seemed to be any quicker than the original track.

After rounding Brands Corner, the run up the Careyburn seemed to go on a bit – it is getting rougher and the bracken ever higher. At least the final run-in over Wooler Common was (mostly) downhill and with the wind. Back at the youth hostel, runners were greeted with a T-shirt and the usual delicious spread of tea, sandwiches and cake. After 20 tough miles and 4,000 ft of climbing, the refreshments were much appreciated.

John Butters vied with Will Robson (NSP) for the lead, before pulling clear at Langlee Crags to win handsomely in under 3 hours. Katherine Davis (NSP) won the ladies’ race with Karen Robertson close behind in second. There was a welcome return to form for Fred Smith (Saltwell) who won the V60 prize. NFR retained the men’s team prize (JB, myself and Scott Gibson). NFR packed the minor placings with 7 runners in the top 20. It was also good to see long-standing club members Louise Wilkinson and Jane Saul back in their club vests and completing the course.

As ever, The Chevy was superbly organised by Wooler Running Club to whom many thanks are due. It was indeed a grand day out.

John Duff

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Organiser’s report



Zermatt Marathon

Many congratulations to NFR stalwarts Paul Appleby and Peter Reed who completed the mainly uphill (or should that be up-mountain?) Zermatt Marathon out in the Swiss Alps earlier today (July 1). After a tough day I understand the traditional rehydration process will shortly be getting underway! Well done Peter & Paul” – John Telfer