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Switch as Nick fell on his feet.

Byline: By Bill McGuirk

It's not often an athlete tries out a new event and immediately becomes hooked by it.

However, that's what happened to Rothbury teenager Nick Swinburne when he give the Alwinton Show Fell Race a go last year.

Swinburne, a member of Morpeth Harriers at the time, had competed in track events as well as cross-country, and had done quite well at both but when he got going on the fells he felt really at home.

"I really enjoyed that first fell race. I felt much more relaxed and under no pressure," said Swinburne, a pupil at King Edward VI School, Morpeth.

Whether there was pressure or not, that first fell race was the beginning of what looks set to be a highly promising career for the self-coached 17-year-old.

Already this year he has been crowned the British and Irish Hill Running Champion after tasting victory in Carlingford, Ireland, which led to him being included in the British under-18 team in an international in Italy where he finished in fifth place.

Swinburne landed the British title after winning three and finishing second in another in the six-series contest.

"I started off running with Blaydon Harriers before moving to Morpeth and in that time I raced over the country which is similar but at the same time very different to fell racing.

"The base was probably set and to become British Fell Running champion is such a short time is really exciting.

"The fell racing season is now coming to an end, so I'll probably do more cross-country events during the winter which will help to keep the momentum going."

Though Swinburne competes for Morpeth, his fell running competitions are in the Northumberland Fell Runners colours.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2005
Words:288
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