Race Date 12 May 2019
This was the 4th edition of this popular longer trail running event on the footpaths, tracks and trails within the spectacular surroundings of the Southern Peak District including Thorpe, Dovedale, Milldale plus the Tissington Trail. Choice of 25.7 km/16 miles or 10.5 km/ 6.5 miles.
From the start close to Ashbourne Leisure Centre both routes initially pass through the old Ashbourne railway tunnel (which is tarmaced, lit and approx 350m long) before emerging into open White Peak countryside – the route then follows the flat and easy Tissington Trail (an old railway line converted into a cycleway/footpath) for approximately 4km where it turns left towards the village of Thorpe. After passing The Old Dog pub a short drop down the road brings you to the Peveril of the Peak hotel – this is where the routes split.
The long route goes behind the Peveril hotel onto open land and eventually drop down Lindale into the spectacular setting of Dovedale – look out for the famous stepping stones when you get to the river – now follow a superb hardcore riverside path through the limestone dale/gorge for around 4km, there are one or two ‘undulations’ but this is trail running par excellence! Arriving at the hamlet of Milldale (a very scenic spot indeed) you now have to make some height and a path heads quite steeply up the fields to start with before evening out for some delightful higher level trail running – don’t forget to look at the view behind you. A slight dogleg is required when you reach the road and then it’s only a short distance on the lane to the feed station at the A515 crossing.
You’re then on the Tissington Trail again and heading south with more fast, easy running and the trail is slightly downhill here with some stunning views either side of the track for you to enjoy. After 5km or so you pass the delightful Peakland village of Tissington but unfortunately you won’t be able to see all of it from the trail (but you should definitely make a note to come back some time and a have a look round) and then it’s a short hop back to the Thorpe turn again (turning right off the trail). This time you follow the lane all the way into the village of Thorpe and eventually pick up a footpath which drops down to a riverside path (more sublime running) before crossing a few fields and arriving in the small village of Mapleton. From here it’s only a couple of kms to the finish but first you’ve got a short, sharp little climb on a footpath through some fields to get there! Once you reach the large caravan park all the uphill is done for the day and it’s a short grassy descent then a quick blast down the trail and through the tunnel to the finish.
For the short course after the split point follow the lane into the village of Thorpe and eventually pick up a footpath which drops down to a riverside path (some sublime running) before crossing a few fields and arriving in the village of Mapleton. From here it’s only a couple of kms to the finish but first you’ve got a short, sharp little climb on a footpath through some fields to get there! Once you reach the large caravan park all the uphill is done for the day and it’s a short grassy descent then a quick blast down the trail and through the tunnel to the finish.
There were 225 finishers of the long course, first of whom was James Read in a time of 1:51:00. First lady was Hayley Gill in 2:03:50. Adrian Moss was the only Strider, finishing in a time of 2:43:01 and 112th position.
There were 99 finishers of the short course, Andy Tarry in first place with a time of 45:51, Louise Read taking the spoils for the ladies in 54:07 Pippa Moorhead was the lone Strider in the short course event, finishing in a time of 1:22:42 and 86th place.