Race Date: Saturday 21st September
Dig Deep 30
Report from Fran Cummins
This had been the race I had been looking forward to all year – my first ever official ultra. I had done a couple of the LDWA longer events this year but had never run this distance before.
The Dig Deep Running weekend has been running for a few years, but this the first time Acclerate Events have organised it. The main change is that all the events are now all run on the Saturday ( 60, 30 and 12.12 mile options ) Event HQ is at Whirlow Farm with the races all having staggered starts throughout the morning so there were always people milling around eating, drinking coffee or beer post race.
After a mountain of pasta and an early night, a beautiful sunrise greeted me as I drove to Whirlow Farm for 7am. A very relaxed race briefing with a few kit spot checks and then we were off. The first few miles flew by chatting to some other runners and enjoying the view of the mist over Burbage. Friendly strider marshals at checkpoints 1 and 2 helped to keep moral, although to be honest I haven’t enjoyed a race for so long – the weather was perfect and the views amazing.
Even the climb up Parkin Clough didn’t wipe the smile off my face. By this point, I was running on my own, but luckily had receed the route so didn’t need to worry about navigation. Another friendly face appeared in the form of Caroline Brock and Tim at Hope – and they then popped up again at Bradwell.
I wish I had taken a tupperware for the Bradwell feed station – the selection of hot and cold food was amazing, although with the heat I could only stomach a couple of flapjack pieces. A steep climb up Bradwell edge and then a portion of the Hathersage Hurtle route took us to my least favourite part of the race – the 2-3 miles of fields along the river to Hathersage from Shatton. Although it was flat, the fields were endless with numerous stiles and bridges to stop the momentum.
The climb from Hathersage up to Carl Walk was tough, and a route change from previous years took you up to the top of Carl Walk with a steep scramble down the side, which after 26 miles was very tough on the legs! Then it was the final few miles along Houndkirk road and Limb Valley with an uphill push to the finish line back at Whirlow Farm.
A plate of chilli, a chat with fellow runners and a post race massage made me feel a bit more normal before driving home!
If anyone is considering an ultra, I would thoroughly recommend this one. It is tough – has nearly 5000ft of climb over the 30miles but the route is fantastic, feed stations very well stocked and everyone who I saw was friendly and had a great time. Next year, I may even be tempted by the 60 miler!
There were 117 finishers in the 30 mile race. First male was Marcin Zaleski in 4:34:20. I was first lady in 5:04:03. Jennie Stephens was also in the top 10 ladies, coming 8th and Pippa Powell 11th lady.
Name Position Time
Fran Cummins 7th 5:04:03
Chris Walker 26th 06:03:42
Jennie Stephens 29th 6:13:13
Pippa Powell 35th 6:29:13