Buxton Half Marathon 2023 report by Rich Jones

Race date: 28 May 2023

Race distance: half marathon

Race report by Rich Jones

On Sunday 28th May, 6 striders crossed the Peaks to run a race even Sheffielders may deem ‘a bit hilly’.

Pre-race, Buxton showed its spa-town fanciness, with the Race HQ within the Pavilion Hall having the upmost of luxury – flushing loos for any pre-race ablutions! The motley crew of Striders began to meet up – first myself and Kate found each other through the throngs of runners, followed by Karen, then Robert, and finally Harry. Ashley managed to sneak past us as a Strider in disguise!

The race starts outside the famous Buxton Opera House, but would the half-marathon be a thriller, or light relief? Well, it certainly didn’t ease us in slowly – the first 3 miles saw us climb 600ft up along the road to Axe Edge. But what comes up, must come down! Turning off the main road saw us running towards the Peak District. And if the fantastic views didn’t inspire us to run, the warning that the land to our left was owned by the HSE and may contain explosives certainly did! Heading along the road, we occasionally came to cattle grids – thankfully there would be no twisted ankles, as covers had been put on them to allow us to run, and Buxton Mountain Rescue volunteers were stationed at each grid in case they needed to be called upon.

The run took us gradually down Dowall Dale and out past the spines of Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill (two hills I always thought as a child were the backs of two sleeping dragons) before arriving at the half-way point. This was the fantastically named Glutton Bridge – we certainly were going to be gluttons for punishment, as we had another 6 ½ miles to go!

This is where my run took a bit of a sideways twist – after chomping down on some sweets handed out by kind locals, I lost a filling! It took me a while to work out if the dizziness and shortness of breath that I was feeling was a panic attack coming on, or because I was half-way through a half marathon!

Luckily for me I had an excuse to slow the pace down and walk for a bit whilst I collected my thoughts – we’d come to the second of the two main hill climbs of the day. A 350ft climb up to Hind Low, passing the Tarmac Quarries either side. Back down the other side we turned off just before the main road and Brierlow Bar Bookshop and were on the home stretch back into Buxton. The race became a bit more residential as we headed into Harpur Hill (yes, more hills!) before a weaving route through the streets of Buxton. Thankfully this section was especially well marshalled, with lots of volunteers, including a lot from Buxton Running Club, pointing us in the right direction.

The race ends with a bit of a zigzag route through the pavilion gardens, and as tempted as I was to cadge a lift on one of the rowing boats, or the miniature train, the end was in sight. Being one of the slower runners I was a bit worried that people may have packed up and gone home, but no need to worry. Turning towards the finishing straight to cheers and encouragement from fellow runners enjoying a post run ice cream, I found that final burst of energy to get a sprint across the line. There was definitely plenty on in the Pavilion Gardens to make a day of it, but I decided to toast the run with the second most famous beverage Buxton has to offer, a half pint from Buxton Brewery!

Emma Jolley of City of Portsmouth AC was the first woman across the line in 1:27:39, whilst Phil Hardman was first male with a time of 1:19:27. 392 finished.

Striders results

P Name Cat Chip Time Gen P Cat P
83 Robert Hale MSEN 01:42:41 01:43:02 72 31
123 Harry Browne MSEN 01:48:01 01:48:10 100 41
196 Kate Scott F55 01:59:03 01:59:10 39 4
253 Ashley Mellors M40 02:04:54 02:05:16 196 31
264 Karen Clark F55 02:06:26 02:06:34 63 5
373 Richard Bailey-Jones MSEN 02:33:15 02:33:36 261 92

Full result: https://my.raceresult.com/223004/

scroll to top