Report from Matt Podd
18 miles and 1373m of ascent, AL
It’s a long time since I’ve done a race in the Peak District (and an AL race) and I’ve always fancied this one. This is a very old and historic race, though the course was changed this year to add another hill climb to compensate for the flagging of a couple of miles of previously energy sapping bog.
So whilst most were cavorting on the East Coast I did the 2hr drive to this race on a gorgeous day. Fortunately the clocks had changed so I lost an hour in bed, but got to see a lovely dawn. Based at Edale village hall and well organised;even chip timing.
So off we set for the first climb to the edge of the Kinder plateau, and hot work it was too, I left a t shirt at the first (and also last) checkpoint. Note to self and top tip: taking a T shirt off mid race is much easier if you haven’t pinned your vest to it.
Lovely running along the edge led down to Ladybower Reservoir (think dam busters) and then a tough climb up to Win hill and very steep descent into Hope, followed immediately by the crawl up Loose hill which leads to wonderful running along the ridge passing Mam Tor and Rushup Edge. You are doing a clockwise circuit above the valley with very fine view of the whole course and beyond. There is a bit of a drawback that this area is very popular with walkers and the public so there was a fair amount of dog hurdling and tourist slaloming.
The route now goes north around the head of the dale, in an area that is a notorious energy sapping bog. However this has been flagged and is a fast motorway now. Some are unhappy with this, but not me. You have to be pragmatic about paths given the amount of users. Much better than a 5 yard trench across the moor. So on to Edale Cross and back along the edge of Kinder passing the most wonderfully sculptural gritstone boulders, and on a proper fell path with bog and plenty of hazards. I was pleased to feel OK at this point and picked of a few folk on this section, which crosses the Pennine way. A fine descent lead to the finish in a field. After a miserable winter of hypothermic wet races this was a delight, run in perfect conditions.
I had heard a rumour during the race that there was pie at the end and I wasn’t disappointed, unlimited tea and cakes to follow and met a couple of DPFR friends that I hadn’t seen for years.
Chris Steele, Borrowdale, 2.47.45, had a major tussle with Jack Wood of Ilkley beating him by 12 seconds Sally Fawcett DPFR was 35th and first woman, 3.32.35
I was 226th out of 293 starters in 4.45.37
Full results here