Chevy Chase 2013
What a difference 12 months can have. Last year this event was shortened and nearly cancelled due to awful weather and low visibility. This year I arrived at Wooler with 22°C on the thermometer – and it was only 9 a.m. First decision was to remove the fleece jumper, wouldn’t need that, but left the hat and gloves ‘just in case’. Kit check, cup of tea and by 10:30 assembling near the start line, trying to stay in the shade as it was warming up by then.
For those not familiar with this event, it is a 20 mile trail race that involves going up the Cheviot (2861’ of climbing), plunge down to Harthope Burn (-1400’) before climbing back up to the summit of Hedgehope (+1053’). It’s then an 8 mile trek back via Langlee Crags and the appropriately named Hell Path. We were faced with a strong headwind on the way up the Cheviot, this helped keep the temperature down but made a hard climb a bit tougher. Once we turned round to have the wind at our backs, it got really hot and water became a worry (none at the checkpoints as they can’t get it up the hill). The main attraction to slower runners like me is the chance to admire the scenery and today, with clear blue skies, the view was stunning. It is easy to see why this is the most beautiful county (didn’t say that last year!)
By the time Langlee Crags had been ‘seen off’ I was beginning to feel the effects of doing this only a week after the Hadrian's Wall event. The legs were definitely protesting. Back down to Harthope Burn but this time a quick stop for a paddle and to throw cold water over myself. By the time I got to the finish 5 hours after starting, I was also rueing the fact I’d forgotten to take the sun cream!
Apart from the exhaustion and the tired legs and the dehydration and the sun burn, it was a great day out in the hills on a gloriously sunny day.
Full results can be found on the Chevy Chase web site by clicking HERE.