7 July 2018
37 miles (59.5 km); 5,600 feet (1,700 m) of ascent
First Man: Ken Sutor; Cheshire Hash House Harriers; 5:23:44
First Lady: 6th overall: Karen Nash; Team Krypton; 7:06:34
David Harrison: 9th; Dark Peak Fell Runners; 7:18:41
Cass Chisholm: 16th; Dark Peak Fell Runners; 7:47:33
Steven Jones: 25th; Dark Peak Fell Runners; 8:48:35
The event took place on a very hot day with runners exposed to the blazing sun in mostly clear blue skies. Although this improved the views it necessitated taking much more water than usual but for most runners even that was not enough.
The route follows the Pennine Way National Trail from near Bowlees which is itself a few miles northeast of Middleton-in-Teesdale to Alston. A coach usefully takes runners from Alston to Bowlees and from there a short walk to the start at the Wynch Bridge which spans the River Tees. The scenery conspires to mesmerise runners with features such as Low Force, High Force, Cauldron Snout, High Cup Nick, Great Dun Fell, Little Dun Fell, Cross Fell (the highest point on the Pennine Way), River South Tyne and various others. Initially the route is fairly flat enabling a fast start before gradually ascending before the descent to the approximate half way point at Dufton village. Thereafter the hills get steeper leading to the summit of Cross Fell and shortly after that past Greg's Hut. A long stony path leads downhill to Garrigill and the final checkpoint which was serving very welcome chilled drinks and a variety of snacks including melon, bananas and slices of orange. The route was fairly flat from there to the finish giving scope for more fast running for those with any energy left after the hills.
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