> 2009 race reports
01/01/09 Hill Forts and Headaches - from Paul Appleby (photos: Pat & Rob)

spirits are high at the start

A wonderful, clear dry winters morning greeted the record turnout of 62 runners (including 7 juniors which was encouraging to see) for this mainly uphill race which finishes on top of Beacon Hill.
Phil Green got the race underway and soon everyone was climbing out of Rothbury on the track up to Whitton Farm.

a welcome level stretch to stride out

... but most of it is an uphill struggle

the cairns of Simonside from the Hill Fort at Lordenshaws

The route levels out for a bit with the front runners setting a cracking pace in the good underfoot conditions,before crossing the field to Whitton Burn and the long pull up to Lordenshaws. Philip Sanderson had a good lead at Lordenshaws with Will Horsley closing the gap on the final climb to The Beacon but Phil managed to hold him off for a fine win in 22m 32s and only 27 seconds outside the course record. Tim Edward was third with Adam Fletcher fourth and first junior James Knox of Helm Hill coming in 5th place in the great time of 24m 16s.

Katherine Davis of NFR was first lady home, followed by Claire Bruce of Morpeth and Sarah Henry of Alnwick in a good field of 15 lady's.

Philip Sanderson steaming along

Katherine Davis heading for 1st lady

Casper sticks with Will but later makes a surge and finishes just ahead of him

good to see Dexter back

Karen and Fin Robertson team up

a rare treat to have it so warm and sunny at the finish on Beacon Hill

Thanks to George and staff at The Newcastle Hotel for use of facilities and refreshments, also to all marshalls and helpers and finally a big thank you to Ray and Marylin Hayes from Morpeth who with their team of helpers have organised this race for the past 10 years or so.

Monies raised from recent races will be donated between The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and The Great North Air Ambulance Appeal.


Paul Appleby

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