Chapelfell Top

Race Report 2022

Once again the weather gods were kind and after an overcast day were treated to a glorious,  sunny summer’s evening – even if the headwind was perhaps a little impeding further up the hill towards the summit. 

This year we had 58 people gather at the start line ready for the short blast up to an elevation of 700m before turning back and hurtling back to the village of St John’s Chapel. At the finish I enjoyed a conversation with a runner who had taken on the race for the first time. When I had announced the cut offs for the summit as one hour from the race start time he had been puzzled. It is only 3.5 kilometres. He said it soon became clear to him as the race progressed and he hit the rough ground with another 300m of elevation to gain! Chapefell Top is a special kind of fun.

The race was led early on by Durham Fell Runners’ Chris Alborough and Harry Cowling of Howgill Harriers. Once through the gate, past the wall and out on to the open fell, Chris took the lead. He was not to suffer the same misfortune as last year’s leader who took a wrong turn on the descent. Chris lives in the village and has spent the last year training on this hill. It would be fair to say he was confident of his lines! I believe Chris was aiming for a time around 35 minutes, he finished in an impressive 33:56 just 44 seconds off the long-standing course record that was set in 1999 by Joe Blackett. First lady home was Emily Cowper-Coles who also had an impressive run and finished 10th overall in a time of 39:22.

In the team prizes, Howgill Harriers took the male prize and Northumberland Fell Runners took the ladies prize. 

Wasdale fell race is always on the Saturday before Chapelfell Top.  We had three tough DFR members completing this impressive double last night. Chapeau Paul Hodgson, Michael Sturla and Andrew Stimpson. Incredible efforts.

Huge thanks to all of our club members who volunteered to take on marshalling roles and to Dougie Nisbet for again capturing some incredible shots of fell runners out enjoying the joys of running in the North Pennines of County Durham (see the link lower down to his Flickr album). 

Fran Blackett (RO) 

2022 Results

PositionGender positionAge cat positionNameClubTimeCategory
111Chris AlboroughDurham Fell Runners33:56MSEN
222Harry CowlingHowgill Harriers34:48MSEN
333Dave CopeHowgill Harriers37:10MSEN
441Mick Jones37:28M40
554Jack RavenscroftHowgill Harriers38:04MSEN
665Daniel O’Boyle38:49MSEN
776Hamish Carrick39:11MSEN
887Joseph AddisonHunwick Harriers39:15MSEN
992Andy BlackettDurham Fell Runners39:19M40
1011Emily Cowper-Coles39:22WSEN
11103Richard BatesonNorthumberland Fell Runners39:37M40
12118Nicholas BarberHelm Hill Runners39:43MSEN
13129Andrew ArminSaltwell Harriers40:19MSEN
141310Joe StringerNorthumberland Fell Runners40:34MSEN
151411Will LloydTynedale Harriers & AC41:16MSEN
16154Roger SilitoeNorthumberland Fell Runners41:20M40
17165Graeme WattElvet Striders41:28M40
18176Paul HodgsonDurham Fell Runners42:42M40
191812Keith Melvin42:44MSEN
20191Joseph GreenTynedale Harriers & AC42:48MU21
21201Andy GreenTynedale Harriers & AC42:50M50
22217Stephen Ireland42:58M40
232213Stephen RidleyDerwent Valley Trail Runners43:05MSEN
24231Steve EverettDurham City Harriers & AC43:19M60
25242John RipponNorthumberland Fell Runners43:32M50
26253Toby GibsonPonteland Runners43:52M50
27268Simon LongSaltwell Harriers44:29M40
282714Michael SturlaDurham Fell Runners44:34MSEN
29289Phil TicknerDurham City Harriers & AC44:38M40
302910Ian HutchinsonDurham Fell Runners45:10M40
31302Graham BradshawHunwick Harriers45:30M60
323111Sean RobinsonHowgill Harriers45:51M40
333212Andrew StimsonDurham Fell Runners46:57M40
3421Karen RobertsonNorthumberland Fell Runners47:25W50
353315Dave FieldenNorthumberland Fell Runners47:44MSEN
363413Ian HaydenLow Fell RC48:00M40
373516Steven AireyElvet Striders48:05MSEN
38364Digby HarrisPennine Fell Runners48:58M50
393717Tim FeatherstoneDUTR49:09MSEN
403814Ross RobertsonVegan Runners UK50:49M40
413918Dan CookeSouth Shields Tri50:53MSEN
42405Paul DelaneyDurham City Harriers & AC51:20M50
43416Paul StephensonDerwent Valley Running Club51:49M50
444219Iain GibsonElvet Striders52:17MSEN
454315William PowisNorth Shields Polytechnic Club52:33M40
4632Susan FawkesDH Runners52:33WSEN
47443Bernard KivlehanNorthumberland Fell Runners54:32M60
4843Alex FiddesRed Kite Runners54:49WSEN
4952Nina CameronNorthumberland Fell Runners55:10W50
50457Paul EdwinTynedale Harriers & AC56:10M50
51464John PunshonNorthumberland Fell Runners56:25M60
5263Denise TunstallDurham Fell Runners59:29W50
53478Keith Stoker01:01:29M50
5471Claire CalverleyNorthumberland Fell Runners01:05:54W40
55485Jim Lloyd01:06:30M60
5684Laura BartleHunwick Harriers01:07:12WSEN
574920Ed Lloyd01:11:04MSEN
58506Ian Horn01:12:14M60

2023 Event – Date and time to be announced.

Profits from Chapelfell Top have been donated to local charities in Weardale, Barrington Lunch Club, Wheels To Meals (Weardale Community Transport) & The Dave Nelson Memorial Fund all received £50 donations in 2022. We plan to make further donations to local charities from the profits of the 2023 event.

A summer evening blast on an out and back route which has a bit of everything: tough fell ground, a big climb (to the summit of Chapelfell Top at an elevation of 700m) and a fantastic quick descent.

Chapelfell Top is an AS race; 7km with 400m ascent. It starts in St John’s Chapel at 7.30pm and heads straight up Chapelfell Top, initially on a track and then out on to the open fell, reaching the summit before turning around and heading back down by the same route.

This is a race for people with fell running experience. Participants must be confident in running across rough terrain and have competent navigation skills as there are no paths on the fell section and none of the route is flagged.

Registration will be open from 5:30pm where you will collect your number and a map of the route (which is also available to download on the link below). Please ensure that you park considerately in the village. Refreshments will be available to buy from the Chatterbox Cafe before and after the race.

This race is organised by Durham Fell Runners and is licensed and supported by the FRA. Please consider joining the FRA to support the organisation and receive a discount on future race entries visit the Fell Runners Association (FRA) website.

Parking & registration

 Chatterbox Cafe, 11 Market Place, St. Johns Chapel, Weardale, DL13 1QF.

  • Map (some will be available on the day but it can also be downloaded on the link above)
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Waterproof top with integral hood and taped seems
  • Waterproof bottoms with taped seems
  • Emergency food
  • Water
  • You must bring to the event and be prepared to carry:
    • Hat 
    • Gloves

photos from 2021 race

Chapelfell Top fell race - 13 July 2021

photos from 2020 race

Chapelfell Top fell race - 10 Oct 2020