> 2012 race reports
12/08/12 Forest Burn Fell Race - from Will Horsley

The 18th Forest Burn fell race saw a last minute course change due to a large number of cattle and calves on part of the course. Maybe I was being a bit overcautious but I had visions of my runners being trampled by these half-ton beasts. The race was reduced to a 2 mile (100m ascent) out-and-back but still involved crossing the Forest Burn (twice) and a lung-bursting climb up Ward's hill. Again we had runners from afar joining us (Mercia and Harrogate to mention two) and something of a celebrity in the fell running world with Andrew Schofield from Borrowdale FR. One advantage of the route change meant that most of the race was visible from the show field and it was terrific to see just how quick the runners got to the top of Ward's Hill (approx 8 mins for the leaders) and how much quicker they were on the descent. Scoffer won in a quick 13m25 but he was run close by the ever-improving Bruce Crombie of Alnwick Harriers who was oblivious to the pedigree of the man he was chasing. Sue Mitchell showed her class by winning the ladies race without the assistance of her wolf pack today. Our only junior, Lewis (NFR), held his ground for a great result against older and more experienced runners. Despite being a clearly marked out-and-back a few runners still managed to go wrong on the return leg. A stray terrier from the show ring nearly took out three of my runners right on the finishing line but some swift footwork ensured all stayed on their feet, including the dog. A big thank you once again to my helpers, Casper, Kayden and Terry, and also to Pat Dunn for some great pictures on the NFR website.

Will Horsley

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