> 2007 race reports
14/04/07 Allendale Challenge - from Old Cheviot

Old Cheviot stood on the startline with a certain amount of trepidation. He had been on holiday for a week, training on beer. He knew it worked for Alf Tupper, but would it work for him as well?

At the start, Steve Birkinshaw whizzed off and everyone else followed at a more sedate pace. Garry Owens and his fluorescent shorts led the chasing pack. Dave Hicklenton made a brief bid for glory on the descent to Ninebanks before settling into the main pack. It was incredibly dry underfoot and the Allendale bogs were a shadow of their former selves. This made for fast running, but it was tough in the heat. At Hard Rigg, numerous walkers were taking a breather in the sun. Eschewing the temptation to stop and sunbathe, Old Cheviot pressed on to Black Hill and the joys of the Killhope peat hags - these were dry but still steep and daunting.

The run down to the smelt mill has been rather spoilt by a stony track, and the grassy riverside run to Spartylea was a welcome relief. The climb up to Ladle Well was a long, long drag and OC felt his energy levels failing. However he could see the fluorescent shorts ahead, so he plodded onwards and even managed to perk up (slightly) on the ran back to Allendale.

At the finish, Steve Birkinshaw had won by a country mile with Garry Owens in second place. OC couldn't quite make it a 1 2 3 for NFR as he came in fourth. Behind him, Phil James and Geoff Davis arrived in quick succession. Further back, the Rothbury contingent (Paul Appleby and his dad) were swapping places and encouragement with John Telfer the first placed (and only) Keswick runner; Peter Reed was even talking about running Guisborough the next day.

So it would seem that training on beer works after all. Perhaps if OC could slip in a few fish suppers a la Alf Tupper, he might even crack the four hour barrier next year.

Old Cheviot

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