> 2009 race reports
20/06/09 Cheviot 2000 - from Gary Jones

Will Horsley, Scott Gibson and I entered this year’s Cheviot 2000 fell race as team ‘Cheviot Rovers’. The Cheviot 2000 is a 23 mile run that starts and ends in the Harthope Valley and takes in amongst others Cheviot, Hedgehope, Windy Gyle, Cushat Law and Bloodybush Edge.

Accommodation for the night before was Will’s cheap-as-chips Eldis Pamplonas caravan. Opinions varied on the caravan from Scott’s “Its like one of them caravans they smash up on Top Gear”, to mine being from High Pit in Cramlington who thought it was rather nice. That night we got battered from the heavy winds so sleep was minimal. Anyway we woke at 5 am not exactly raring to go but still confident of victory as we felt we had a strong team.

The race began heading straight up Cheviot which I’m told is the same as the Cheviot Summit race. Will did a great job to curb mine and Scott's instinct to attack the team that had edged ahead a little. CP1 Cheviot summit, pea soup and the fun began. Some unconvincing navigation and we had missed CP2 by some half mile but other teams had as well. Scott did a great job of getting us to the checkpoint and we were still in 1st position.

Rejuvenated, and some further good nav just to get us on the Pennine Way we hit CP3 heading for CP4 on the slippery rocks down to Windy Gyle (Will and I both fell) until halfway there “Houston we have a problem” we had mistaken CP4 for CP3 and had to head back uphill. This was very much soul destroying as around 20 teams were passing us and my temperamental side reared its ugly head as the willingness to continue drained out of me. Luckily having reached the missed checkpoint this was replaced by an almost scary determination to regain our position so off we went at a fast pace quickly getting back 10 positions whilst calculating we were some 15 mins behind the leaders but with a lot of miles to make up.

Unfortunately heading up Windy Gyle, Scott began to suffer from cramp. A good descent off Windy Gyle and we had got into 8th but shortly after Scott’s injury troubles continued as his Plantar Fasciitis kicked in badly so progress was slow. Morale was low at this stage but personally I realized that it wasn’t the end of the world and was enjoying being in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside in good company doing something we love. I also at this point was admiring Scott’s almost unbelievable refusal to give in despite the bad pain. Sensibly we retired at the official 18 mile stage (our 21 mile point) and made the vow that we would be back next year and win this great event.

Gary Jones

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