Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: In Good Stead after Winning an Uphill Battle

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Athletics: In Good Stead after Winning an Uphill Battle

Article excerpt

Byline: BY BILL McGUIRK

CHARLES STEAD put in a classic performance to win the Horseshoe Mountain Race at the third time of asking.

Stead, who has competed on the roads and over the country in recent years running in Gateshead Harriers colours, is now concentrating on racing on the fells with Northumberland Fell Runners, and his recent outing in North Wales is his biggest success to date.

The Peris Horseshoe event is one of a series of eight Classic Fell Races on the calendar, covering 17 1/2 miles with an 8,000ft ascent which is second only to the Wasdale race in a one-day classic.

After starting off in Llanberis, Stead's route took him over the summits of Elidir Fawr, Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Y Lliwedd, Snowdon, and Moel Cynghorion, before returning back to base under three-and-a-half hours later.

Stead, now 35, started running as an eight-year-old with Thirsk Harriers, and it was while with the North Yorkshire club he first got a taste for running on the hills and fells.

He often contested local cross-country and road races after moving to the North East, where he works with sports outlet Northern Runner in Newcastle.

But his first love was fell running, where he has moved up to be one of the leading athletes in the North of England.

Stead was delighted to win the Horseshoe race, especially after finishing in fourth place in 2004 after twisting an ankle, and 15th last year when the race incorporated the British Championship.

"It was a really tough race to win in many respects and that's why it pleases me so much," said a delighted Stead.

"The race quickly turned into a two-man contest between myself and local boy Rob Greenwood, who was running for the Eryri club.

"Rob was much quicker on the descents than I was, but while he gained an advantage on the downhill sections, he wasn't as strong as I was when it came to the uphill parts of the course. …

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