> 2010 race reports
25/09/10 Upper Redesdale Show Fell Race - from Mike Telfer

Saturday saw the rebirth of the Upper Redesdale Show (Rochester) Fell race. I was brought up north of the village but have not been to the Show in a long time. It's moved up to High Rochester now (apparently about 10-15 years ago) which is a far better venue and provides an excellent show ground with fantastic views up and down the Rede valley.

I last raced in Rochester in about 1979 and only did so as I was press ganged by my Middle School’ PE teacher. This year I returned voluntarily with my family to see how things had changed!!

The race started on the green at about noon and despite a howling gale it was a beautiful day. The seven (yes, a slightly larger race sucked most of the usual competitors over the Border!) of us quickly removed outer layers on the start line and we were off. It was a fast race from beginning to end, the course climbed out past the Hillock Farm and steeply up the forest track to Ridley Crag, we then had a fast descent over the fell back towards the show field. My lungs bursting I looked down at my watch to realise we still had a fair way to go and it wasn’t quite over yet! Lawrence Johnson and a fast lad from Tynedale were out front when we were directed back up the fell to another trig point. Fortunately at this point the ‘fast lad’ went the wrong way and our ‘feeble’ attempts to call him back went unheard. After the second ascent we had another speedy run down to Dykehead and then back to the show field to finish. Lawrence took first place to the applause of a small but enthusiastic crowd!

The Juniors set off next (about seven also) for a shortened one mile course observed by parents from the Green and the back of the field. They all ran well and I think managed to share all the various category medals between them!!

It turned out to be an excellent ‘fast’ course over mixed runnable terrain with all the competitors enjoying the  ‘low key’ friendliness of the event., definitely worth a trip back next year.

We had a great time at the Show and thought it was fantastic how they’ve managed to resist the more commercial elements that have crept onto the show fields over recent years.

Mike Telfer

> top