This Saturday (15th) two Southampton teams competed in The Chase Walk, a 38.2 mile walking competition, taking home a trophy with both teams finishing in podium positions.

The walk is the main event in the Southampton University Hillwalking Club (SUHC) competitive calendar. Southampton Speeders recorded the 2nd fastest time overall and picking up the trophy in the 18-25 age category. Southampton Sloths also made a valiant effort finishing 2nd in the mixed team category and 3rd in the 25+ age category with a time good enough for 4th overall.

chase team

Completing the event, at almost one and a half marathons, is itself an achievement; each year the event has a retirement rate of around 30%, yet for the past three years Southampton has had a 100% finish rate.

The event tests endurance and navigation. Teams must find their way between 16 checkpoints along a route in and around Cannock Chase in Staffordshire.

The 85 teams were given a staggered start with the 6 Sloths setting off at 07:10 followed by the 5 Speeders 16 minutes later. Both teams maintained a strong pace for the first 20 miles passing most of the competition, only allowing rivals Kizmiaz to jog past. As the teams reached the half way mark however injuries began to take their toll on the Sloths, allowing the Speeders to overtake and pull ahead.

The Speeders crossed the line in a time of 9 hours 53 minutes, with the Sloths finishing after 10 hours 44 minutes making the exclusive list of just a few teams that finished by sunset.

The Crutch Trophy was awarded to teams with one member aged over 25, Southampton Sloths fell in this category and took 3rd place only 2 minutes behind 2nd place. Southampton Speeders, all being under 25, were placed in the Boot Trophy category for which they claimed 1st place by almost 1 hour. The third trophy available to Southampton was the Compass trophy for mixed teams for which Southampton Sloths took 2nd.

SUHC President Peter Forrest added “This year’s teams performed excellently, living up to the reputation that Southampton University has gained over the last few years. The teams conducted themselves very well during the event; working together to make sure everybody completed the event and encouraging their fellow teams.”

For more information about SUHC and how to get involved, go to www.facebook.com/groups/SotonHillwalking/ or email walking@soton.ac.uk

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