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The Berghaus Trail Chase - or the five stages of navigational grief

by kirsty
Monday 18th August 2014
Tags  Berghaus Trail Chase   |   Berghaus   |   Trail Chase   |   Shane Ohly   |   Ourea Events   |   Trail Team 2014   |   Kirsty Reade
 
 

Race report: Run247 columnist and Berghaus Trail Team member Kirsty Reade reports from the Berghaus Trail Chase - August 16-17, 2014

Do you enjoy running in beautiful locations? Are you a fan of hills? Do you like the idea of doing a mountain marathon but don’t want to carry a tent or do any tricky navigation? Is your idea of a Saturday night out sitting in a village hall with lots of other unwashed runners eating stew and drinking beer? Congratulations! You might just be an ideal candidate for next year’s Berghaus Trail Chase.

This was the first ever Berghaus Trail Chase and it really offered something different. It was organised by Shane Ohly of Ourea Events, the man behind the Dragon’s Back race and many other mountain and trail events (www.oureaevents.com), so you knew that a) it wasn’t going to be boring and b) it wasn’t going to be easy.

The race was held over two days and there was a choice of three different courses: blue (15k on day one, 10k on day two), red (25k/15k) and black (35k/20k). On the second day the runners went out in the order they came in on day one (ie. the winner of day one set off at 8am and if you finished 17 minutes behind them, you went out at 8.17am) – hence the chase! It added a different dimension to the race and it was great to try something a bit different.

The routes were marked, our camping equipment was transported to the overnight camp and we were taken to the three starts on buses. There really was a lot of organisation involved and it was all pretty seamless.

The routes were a mix of moorland (with beautiful purple heather), trails, farm tracks and a tiny bit of road. Being up in North Yorkshire (around Osmotherley) there were stunning views all around you and the routes really offered something for everybody. They were pretty well marked and I didn’t need to consult my map at all on the first day (lulling me into an ominous false sense of security – see day two). The finish was at the overnight camp and before long the tent was up, I was if not clean then at least wearing clean clothes and we sat down with stew, local beer, live music and good company.

This race was an opportunity to get together with some other members of the Trail Team (www.trailrunningteam.com) which Berghaus is sponsoring (along with LED Lenser and TORQ nutrition). Graham, Martin, James and the team organisers, Julie and Simon, were all running and it was great to be there as part of a team. Unfortunately the other members, Kirstie and Danny, weren’t able to make it but there are plenty more team adventures planned.

I really enjoyed the start on day two. It was slightly nerve-wracking standing in the village hall waiting for the clock to get to 8.17.47, my allotted start time, but it was nice not to have a mass start and I enjoyed the feeling that you had to chase people down and try not to be overtaken. The start was up a 250m climb that we’d come down in the final stretch on day one so that was pretty interesting (and it made a good case for doing a warm-up). The route was even nicer on day two and there was a nice climb up to the Cleveland Way, then I knew there would only be a few miles to the finish. But then I went through the 5 stages of navigational grief:

  1. I haven’t seen a marker for a little while. Oh well, I’m sure it’ll be fine.
  2. It really has been ages since I saw a marker. I’m now officially worried.
  3. Somebody runs past and says ‘it’s definitely this way’ in utter confidence. Phew, saved!
  4. Sinking feeling. I’m getting my map out.
  5. Swallowing pride, turning round and retracing my steps.

Once I’d managed to locate where we were on a map I was fairly confident that I could find my way back on course and lots of other runners seemed to be following our diversion so I encouraged them to turn round (keeping my fingers crossed that I was right). It turned out that the markers had been removed through no fault of the organisers. Even though they had permission from the land owners to mark the route, that communication hadn’t reached a game keeper who took it upon himself to remove the flags! The organisers quickly re-marked the route and soon enough we’d found our way back on track.

The finish was back where we’d parked our cars and registered on day one, which was handy, and there was free tea and coffee and a hot meal (chilli, which felt like a brilliant indulgence at 11am on a Sunday). The logistics of the race were pretty tricky but the organisers did a fantastic job and I thought they put on a unique event. They took the best elements of fell running, mountain marathons and trail running and packaged them up into a fun weekend of running and camping. And just as I was leaving, having finished, changed, eaten a meal and chatted to people for a couple of hours, one of the runners I was with when we went off-course came in. He and a couple of others had pressed on, remaining in stage 1 of navigational grief (denial) and running an extra 10 miles. He looked entirely broken. I thanked my lucky stars that I did that map reading course.  

Find out more about the Berghaus Trail Chase at: www.berghaustrailchase.com

Find out more about the Ourea Events at: www.oureaevents.com

Results

Black Course (Day One = 32.8km / 1,012m. Day Two = 21.3km / 814m. Total 54.1km / 1,826m)

Men's solo results

1 Duncan Archer 02:44:31 (1) 01:52:23 (1) 04:36:54
2 Charlie Sharpe 02:54:29 (2) 01:53:13 (2) 04:47:42
3 Steve Coates 03:08:24 (3) 01:59:10 (3) 05:07:34

 

Women's solo results

1 Stephanie Kitchen 03:44:35 (9) 02:21:57 (9) 06:06:32
2 Michelle Hetherington 03:42:52 (7) 02:24:50 (11) 06:07:42
3 Hannah Beaumont 04:00:24 (18) 02:28:57 (15) 06:29:21

 

Red Course (Day One = 25.3km / 801m. Day Two = 17.4km / 582m. Total 42.7km / 1,383m)

Men's red course solo results

1 Simon Jones 02:14:06 (1) 01:33:45 (1) 03:47:51
2 Chris Tomlinson 02:26:40 (5) 01:54:48 (4) 04:21:28
3 Chris McCaw 02:50:03 (15) 01:56:33 (9) 04:46:36

 

Women's red course solo results

1 Madeline Robinson 02:16:19 (3) 01:40:24 (2) 03:56:43
2 Kirsty Reade 02:31:53 (7) 02:22:43 (36) 04:54:36
3 Lenka Istvanova 02:55:48 (25) 02:10:14 (12) 05:06:02

 

Blue Course (Day One = 16.6km / 326m. Day Two = 10.1km / 291m. Total 26.7km / 617m)

Men's blue course solo results

1 Christian McGill 01:32:12 (3) 01:00:23 (4) 02:32:35
2 Peter Downes 01:35:12 (5) 00:58:10 (1) 02:33:22
3 Martin Done 01:35:38 (6) 00:59:53 (3) 02:35:31

 

Women's blue course solo results

1 Caitlin Pearson 01:32:53 (4) 01:05:38 (9) 02:38:31
2 Catherine Speakman 01:42:20 (9) 01:03:51 (8) 02:46:11
3 Lianne Young 01:46:08 (15) 01:07:18 (10) 02:53:26

 

Click here for full (provisional) results

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

About The Author

Kirsty Reade

I’d describe myself as borderline obsessed with running, racing, reading about running, and watching others run so hopefully I’m fairly typical of Run247’s visitors. I tend to do longer races, particularly off-road marathons and ultras, but am pretty much a fan of any distance. I'm passionate about helping runners of all levels to improve through running communities I'm involved in, such as Underground Ultra and Free Range Runners. 

 
 
 
 
 

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