Athletes get set for gruelling Chevy Chase

The runners set off on their 20 mile trek as the Chevy Chase gets underway from Wooler
The runners set off on their 20 mile trek as the Chevy Chase gets underway from Wooler

All roads will lead to Wooler on Saturday (July 5) for the 58th staging of the Chevy Chase.

This is a unique event, a 20-mile journey through some of the finest upland scenery in Northumberland, giving both walkers and runners the opportunity to channel their energies into a rewarding and demanding personal challenge.

All entrants will need to be fit and sure footed, determined, and prepared for all weathers. The route will take them deep into the heart of the ‘Land of the Far Horizon,’ climbing to the summit of both Cheviot 2676 feet / 815m and Hedgehope 2348 feet / 714m.

The event is organised by Wooler Running Club. The route is unmarked and competitors may choose their own path as long as the manned checkpoints are visited in the correct order. Only a short section is on road; the rest of the route follows tracks, footpaths, sheep paths and crosses rough fell.

The event centre and finish is at the Wooler Youth Hostel in Cheviot Street. All athletes, runners and walkersmust register at the hostel,where they will collect their race number and electronic dibber before having their kit checked.

Each competitor should be prepared to carry:

A full waterproof body-cover, hat, gloves and a fleece, whistle, compass, map (preferably waterproof) and emergency food and drink.

Registration times are: 8am to 8.45am for walkers and 9-10am for runners.

The walkers will set off at 9.30am, with the runners coming under starter’s orders at 10am.

The time limit allowed for the walk is eight hours, whilst runners have six hours to complete the course.

Last year’s race winner was Charles Hutchinson of Hunters Bog Trotters, who completed the course in 3 hours, six minutes and 4 seconds.

First walker home was Len Glen-Davison (unattached) in just over four and a half hours.

The Chevy Chase is supported by the Northumberland National Parks Search and Rescue Team. There will be communication between checkpoints to monitor competitors’ progress. The marshals are experienced volunteers who enjoying cheering everyone on and offering encouragement, will advise if they feel participants should not continue.

On finishing, walkers and runners will receive a print out of their split times at each checkpoint and total time for the course.

All competitors completing the course will receive a t-shirt and there is an extensive prize list for runners and walkers achieving in various categories as well as many spot prizes.

Showers and refreshments will also be available.