This weekend is an important one for the Maverick Team with most of them out racing across the UK. Sarah and Paul are taking on the Race to the Stones 100km, Julia is taking the Snowdonia trails and the rest will be making tracks up to the Peak District for the Maverick X-Series event.
For the team success will come in a variety of forms; a win, a top 10, a new PB time, a new furthest distance or just to finally complete a race that has evaded them for a number of years. As always with Maverick racers and races victories and celebrations aren’t reserved just for those who cross the line in absolute poll position. Those included in this weekends Peak District Pilgrimage is our most capped Maverick, Chris Redtop, who is running proof that to be a king of the trails doesn’t mean having win after win under your belt. However, for Chris, the Peak district race is the kryptonite to this superman and holds extraordinary power over him. The long course distance, starting and finishing in Hope Valley, is the only X-Series Marathon he is yet to complete. The tale told here lets us all in on why it is such an important race for Chris and further optimises that success and being victorious looks different for everyone, but by no means does that make it any less valid or worthy of a big Maverick squad round of applause.
Chris Redtop running our Maverick Trails
Chris Redtops Story | Written by E
I first became aware of Chris Redtop (actually name 'Chris White… but that’s another story) at the 2017 X-Series event in the Yorkshire Dales. I was aware of ‘two slow guys’ at the back of the Marathon route. My first thought was ‘crikey, they have a long day ahead of them’. My second thought was ‘fair play, I couldn’t do that, those guys are epic!’. Little did I know but at that time Chris and his running wing-man Graham were completing a 1000 mile challenge for the year to fundraise for Cancer Research due to Chris’ father battling hard against the disease. These 1000 miles were to ideally include all 4 Maverick X-Series marathons.
Fast Forward a few Maverick events and we met properly at Mavericks original event in Devon, June 2017. This was an incredibly poignant event for Chris due to his father passing away just two days beforehand. This made Chris even more determined to smash his 1000 mile target AND those 4 Maverick X-Series marathons.
Chris amongst the snow at the Maverick Yorkshire Dales race, February 2017
Since that event I have got to know Chris and his amazing girlfriend Laura and am lucky to count them as close friends. In 2017 Chris did indeed make his 1000 mile target and exceeded his fundraising goal. He completed the Maverick X-Series; Yorkshire Dales, Yorkshire Moors and Snowdon Marathon but in the Peak District the time cut-offs meant he couldn't complete the race. Chris was furious. Absolutely furious. He felt he had failed; Himself, Graham, his challenge and most of all His Father. In 2018 Chris came back to the Peaks to try and complete the X-Series set from the year before. However this time due to injury he ended up on the Middle distance route. Once again Chris couldn't hide his frustration and all of us within the Maverick family felt his disappointment once again.
Chris has now run 42 Maverick races and whilst he may never finish in first place or run times that are record-breaking, he runs with such extraordinary grit, determination and passion that it is humbling to see what our sport of trail running means to him. The past couple of years have been extremely tough for him, something he would openly admit. The loss of his father, the loss of a job and home has meant many life changes. However, one thing that has remained constant throughout that time for Chris is trail running in general and Maverick Race in particular. It is a family that is so important to him and the Peak District event on Saturday really will be the case of laying down this demon to rest. The whole Maverick family will be rooting for him to finally settle the score with the challenge he set himself in 2017, we know he can do it and we can’t wait to greet him with open arms as he crosses the finish line.
The fact of the matter here is quite frankly on Saturday Chris will likely be the last runner to cross the line on the Marathon route. But also quite frankly, we couldn’t give two monkeys. As already said, success and being victorious looks different for everyone, and when Chris does complete this race and makes peace with having finally finished what he started he should be ready for one hell of a big Maverick squad round of applause.
Chris Redtop running some more stunning Maverick Trails
Chris Redtops story | A Few Words from Chris
In 2017 the Maverick X-series marathons were a crucial part of my 1000 mile challenge to spice it up all for Cancer Research as my Dad at the time was taken ill with this horrible disease!! Yorkshire Dales was first with it’s beautiful rolling hills, lakes and snow-capped peaks! Myself and my wingman Graham set off on our first adventure and still to date is my favourite Maverick Race. It was a tough day but...
… Knowing I was running this mad event for my Dad drove me on and we succeeded, it was a quite emotional finish line to say the least’
June 28th 2017 my beloved Dad lost his battle and my world crumbled! Two days later was Maverick Devon at Fingle Bridge where he was due to come and support me as it was local to him. Even though I was grieving and a complete mess I turned up to race and I was greeted by my Maverick family. Every one of them made sure I was OK and on the start line Ben paid tribute to my old man...
...It was at that moment I realised that here with the Mavericks was where I needed to be and where I would be able to cope with the situation.’
The Peak District race 2017 was the final X-Series Marathon and it was a toughie. I was having one of those bad running days and was unable to finish in time. I was very upset but vowed to complete it the following year. 2018 came around very quickly and with the Peak district race fast approaching disaster struck and I damaged the ligaments in my foot so had to drop to the middle distance!
So… it’s 2019 and I'm more focused than ever. I’m running well and have every confidence I will complete the event, something I largely put down to the amazing support I'm currently getting from the squad! As the most capped Maverick the Peaks 2019 will be number 43 for me and my god it means the world!
Our most capped Maverick. The smile says it all.