> 2007 race reports
18/08/07 The Falstone Falcon - from John Telfer

5 miles 500 feet of ascent

Whilst the sheep may have been imitation (brought about by the F&M regulations), there was no doubting the genuine pedigree of the 19 hardy souls who took part in this deceptively tough dander into and out of Kielder Forest. NFR were represented by Will Horsley, Roy Dawson, Sally Welsh, Peter Scott, Matt Simms, Stewart Beaty and Keith Cooper, with other local clubs being represented plus Keswick’s most prestigious (and only) Scottish based runner making his seventh appearance at a Northumberland based race in five months (transfer window doesn’t close until August 31st!!).

Will Horsley led the pack off across a nettle and thistle strewn field, before some fast running along the old railway line, before we got down to the business of some serious climbing amongst some very tussocky and uneven moorland, which made hitting any type of rhythm nigh on impossible.

The route then meandered through a mixture of undulating dark forest, firebreak, tracks and, worst of all, de-forested areas where if the slippy old tree stumps didn’t half kill you then all the old branches cunningly disguised under the grass did. A few have the wounds to prove it.

By the time we entered the forest the first five were out of sight, but Roy and I were in the chasing (?) group with two other runners who, until a mile from the finish, took turns to (a) fall over, (b) take the lead, and (c) having taken the lead then manage to go astray.

Drama awaited the returning masses when it appeared that Will had been beaten by nearly five minutes. The drama was based on the fact that nobody had overtaken Will throughout the race. After much consultation the “winning” runner agreed that he had not followed the designated course, a very easy mistake to make (ask any Keswick runner who ran at Alwinton). Will was declared winner with Sally getting second lady.

Everybody got back in one piece and a good time was had by one and all, for which much thanks to Mike Sanderson and his helpers (just make sure he sends in the results to the Fellrunner because it is the only time I’ll ever get a top ten finish and my name in print!).

John Telfer

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