Success for Inaugural Berghaus Trail Chase

20th Aug 2014

The inaugural Berghaus Trail Chase™ took place this weekend in the North York Moors National Park and judging by the flurry of social media comment since then, it was big success!

Shane Ohly, the Race Director for Berghaus Trail Chase™ had this to say, “The Berghaus Trail Chase™ concept is innovative and looks to bridge the gap between trail races, multi-day races and navigational events. First, competitors are issued with a map but the routes are fully marked; this enables competitors to make the step towards navigational racing without it being a requirement. Secondly, the competitors are eased into the two-day format as we transport up to 15kg of camping and overnight kit for each of them; this means that the runners remain fast and light for maximum trail running enjoyment. Third, and most importantly, is the concept of the ‘Chase’ itself – by starting the competitors on the second day, in the exact order and time difference that they finished the first day, we create an exciting and exhilarating finale to the weekend”.

Above: Sam Scott (118) leads a group of ladies on the Black course © Ian Corless


Competitors could choose between three different courses, which were colour coded like ski pistes. On the first day the Black course was 32.8km, the Red Course was 25.3km and the Blue course was 16.6km, with all three courses starting from different locations and converging on the same Overnight Camp at Chop Gate. On day two the Black and Red courses set off from Chop Gate with 21.3km and 17.4km to complete respectively. The Blue course competitors had a short bus ride and then a lovely 10.1km run into the Event Centre finish near Osmotherley, where the Black and Red courses also finished.

Above: Steve Coates (30) finished in 3rd place on the Black course. © Ian Corless


The race logistics for Berghaus Trail Chase™ are complex with a combination of five different start locations, five separate bus transportations, one Event Centre, one Overnight Night camp, food for everyone, 110km of fully flagged trails and all this compressed into 24 hours of racing. We asked Ohly how this played out over the weekend, “It was challenging! We wanted to ‘hide’ the logistical challenges from the competitors as best we could so that they could focus on the fantastic trail running on offer in the North York Moors National Park.”

Above: Despina Berdeni (12), Michael Priestman (102) and Lenka Istvanova appaorach the finish of the Red course on day two having obviously enjoyed themselves! © Ian Corless


Renowned Ultra Running photojournalist Ian Corless from TalkUltra was at the event and commented, “Vibrant heather, lush green fields, dense bracken and rugged trails along with lush green forests and bridle paths provided a stunning backdrop to all 3 races. Despite heavy rain during the overnight camp, the weather gods played ball providing everyone with a couple of excellent days running. Add to this live music, flowing beer and some excellent food in the Chop Gate village hall and Ohly and the Ourea Events team have the makings of a great event.”

After two days of fantastic racing the leading runners for each course were:

Black - Overall
1st Duncan Archer 4:36:54
2nd Charlie Sharpe 4:47:42
3rd Steve Coates 5:07:34

Black - Female
1st Stephanie Kitchen 6:06:32
2nd Michelle Hetherington 6:07:42
3rd Sam Scott 6:23:34

Full BLACK results HERE

Red - Overall
1st Simon Jones 3:47:51
2nd Madeleine Robinson 3:56:43
3rd Alistair Nash 3:57:29

Red – Female
1st Madeleine Robinson 3:56:43
2nd Liz Smith 04:50:47
3rd Kirsty Reade 04:54:36

Full RED results HERE

Blue - Overall
1st Christian McGill 2:32:25
2nd Peter Downes 2:33:22
3rd Martin Done 2:35:31

Blue – Female
1st Caitlin Pearson 02:38:31
2nd Terrie Walmsley 02:39:52
3rd Catherine Speakman 02:46:11

Full BLUE results HERE

Above: Competitor 153 ‘Hannah Beaumont’ collects her race number and map from registration on Saturday morning. © Ian Corless


Duncan Archer, one the UK’s leading mountain marathoners and an elite orienteer, took the honors on the Black course with a comfortable winning margin of 11 minutes. He said, “I really enjoyed taking part in the inaugural Berghaus Trail Chase.  The unique format presented a fantastic experience for all competitors.  I come from an orienteering and two-day mountain marathon background, and grew up on the edge of the North York Moors, so relished following well-marked routes (what an fine effort putting out all those flags!), and enjoying the excellent trails and views that planner Charlie Sproson had found for us.  Others from a straight trail- or road-running background will have found something new in the fun of a two-day competition with a relaxed overnight camp, and the thrill of the chase on day 2.  This event really has something for everyone, and I look forward to seeing it return in future years, under the relaxed but smooth management of Shane Ohly and Ourea Events.”

Above: Duncan Archer. Black Course Winner. © Ian Corless


Caroline Smith, head of marketing at Berghaus, adds: “It’s a big thumbs up to Shane Ohly and his team for staging such a great event.  Berghaus was delighted to help make it all possible, but the plaudits must go to the race director and his enthusiastic support crew who made sure that everything ran so smoothly.  We had runners in the Berghaus Trail Chase on each course and they all thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere throughout and the overall experience.  The chase format worked very well and the North York Moors proved to be an excellent setting.  We really hope that word of this successful first event spreads, establishing the Trail Chase on the adventure racing calendar and allowing it to grow in the future.”