> 2009 race reports
07/08/09 Yetholm Hill Race - from Rob Stephens, photos from Pat & Rob

8 miles / 2900' (AM)

Cutting it a bit fine with about five minutes to go, Gary Jones arrived fresh from running the 1st leg of the winning relay team at Kielder Cross Border Challenge earlier in the day (see news page) and was hungry for more. But he was not the only NFR there with an insatiable appetite for races: Peter Reed and Paul Appleby ran Alwinton the day before. Peter (and Gary) also ran Blencathra midweek, and both Peter and Paul had run in the gruelling heat at Duddon the previous weekend. That's 4 races in 8 days for Peter!

An anti-clockwise run of the circuit again this year, which is good as it gets the lumpy bits out of the way first, leaving a good long and increasingly fast downhill return leg (apart from one last hill). But the other way works well too, with its rewarding view from Staerough Hill prior to the final exciting drop back down. Here are some photos from along the way.

warming up

climbing Staerough

leaving Staerough for Sunnyside Hill

looking back

Sunnyside Hill

coming off Wildgoose Hill

heading up Latchly Hill

still climbing Latchly

coming off Latchly Hill

climbing up the rush-clad slopes of The Curr

looking back from The Curr to Latchly

at last, the top of The Curr

Steer Rig on the Pennine Way

one last hill (White Law) ahead

dropping down with Green Humbleton ahead

the finish in sight

Paul at the finish

Gary had a good run (first time at this race) to come in 5th amidst quite a strong field of previous Yetholm winners, but the racing earlier in the day had inevitably taken its toll. Adam Ward (Carnethy) took the honours for the men, whilst Julia Connor (Moorfoot Runners) led the way for the ladies.

Paul and Peter both did well considering they both must have been running on empty. My running fortune changed halfway down Latchly Hill when I turned an ankle (the moment is captured on a short video on flickr). I had to virtually hop the last stretch down to the burn and debated whether to call it a day and head back down the valley or press on up The Curr. Judging by the swelling later, perhaps I should have headed back by the shortest route. Anyhow, it's amazing how far you can get running back largely using one leg to do most of the work!

Gary hoping there are no more hills

part run part hop for Rob

Paul still going strong

Peter running on empty wishing someone would put him out of his misery

Excellent low-key race from Les and friends at Norham RC. At the presentation, it turns out that all but the last three runners failed to round the northern-most flag on Staerough Hill, so technically most of us should be disqualified, but we were let off this time! Thanks Les, helpers and marshals (who this year were placed at most turn-offs throughout the race ... all apart from a grassy junction on the last descent - needless to say quite a few runners took the wrong turning and continued running up Green Humbleton before realising their error!).

£150 was raised from entry fees for the Border Search and Rescue Unit who, despite having a training exercise on that day, made it to the race too.

Les walks on water


Rob Stephens

> top