> 2007 race reports
15/07/07 Kentmere Horseshoe - two reports: from John Duff and from Will Horsley

group photo - photo: unknown
L-R (back): Louise Wilkinson; Peter Reed; Garry Owens; John Duff; Paul Appleby; Dave Armstrong
(front) Richard Cavner; Peter Moralee; Will Horsley

10 years ago NFR was born.  The purple and green vests made their debut appearance at the Kentmere Horseshoe.  Club runners that day included Peter Reed, Garry Owens and Ray Hayes – and Peter has the photo to prove it (photo below).  Time has been kind to the runners in the last 10 years (though Garry Owens no longer sports a 90’s bouffant), but what had happened to the trees and building in the photo?  The mystery was solved when Richard Cavner remembered that the race used to start in a different field.

Kentmere 1997 - photo: Peter Reed
Kentmere 1997 L-R: Richard Cavner, David Bell, Peter Reed, James Tomlin, Garry Owens and Ray Hayes
(photo courtesy of Peter Reed)

The race made its way up the Garburn Pass and around the shoulder of Yoke in warm sunshine.  Climbing Ill Bell, the clouds came over and a breeze got up, making for excellent running conditions.  After traversing Froswick, there was a slow grind to the half way point at High Street.  Turning at the summit, runners were met with a glorious panorama down the Kentmere Valley as they ran on springy turf around Mardale Ill Bell.  The climb and traverse around Harter Fell was tough, but from there it was only a short climb to Kentmere Pike.  And then it was all downhill…

And what a descent it was.  Fast running on the upper section gave way to technical descending through rocks and mud down to the valley floor.  After a final blast along the footpaths, the race finished with a downhill sprint to the finish. 

Will Horsley had a storming race coming home in the top 15.  He was followed by Garry Owens and David Armstrong.  Old Cheviot managed to hold off an early charge from Geoff Davis, who was tracked in turn by Paul Appleby.  Peter Reed was not far behind running the same time as 10 years ago.  Louise Wilkinson was first NFR lady and Susan Davis second. 

This was a fantastic race, and an excellent addition to the championship.

John Duff

... and from Will Horsley:

15th July 2007

Quite a number of NFRs turned up for this race, attracted by the fact that is was the 6th race in the 2007 club championship. Peter Reed unveiled a dusty old photo showing six youthful NFRs at the 1997 race, the significance of this being that it was the first occasion that the club vest had ever been worn in anger. Of those on the photo, Peter, Richard Cavner, and Garry Owens were the only ones who had returned in NFR vests on the day, Garry in the same one as in the photo – but this was still not enough to stop him stripping off as usual.

The weather was hot and sunny before the race and for the duration of most of the climbing (i.e. the first half). The ground was wet on the top in places, but in other parts it was hard and rocky. After about an hour the weather closed in and it even rained a little bit.

The route involves three checkpoints, one on either side of the valley and one at the head of it (High Street). Between those points the best route is more or less a direct line traversing the valley sides. The route home from the last checkpoint is a steep and rocky descent and then about 1¼ miles along a track. Fast and technically good descenders can make up quite a few positions here, something which helped Garry Owens reel in Dexter, and aided John Duff and Paul Appleby in picking off less capable runners.

Will Horsley was first in for NFR. Louise Wilkinson and Susan Davis were the club’s female representatives. NFR old boy Morgan Donnelly came second in a sprint finish for glory. Also there (if not already mentioned) were Peter Moralee, Ray Gray, Geoff Davis, and Dave Coxon.

Will Horsley


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