64th Dovedale dash
Report by: Hannah Wright
Date: 1st October 2023 Start time: 11am
The Dovedale Dash is a cross country race of 4 3/4 mile around the picturesque area around the village of Thorpe near Ashbourne and Dovedale in the south of the Derbyshire Peak District. The Dash has been going since 1953.
The surplus from the proceeds of the race go to local charitable causes and the upkeep of the Thorpe village hall.
1,200 runners took part this year in the Dovedale Dash with over 50 in the Mini Dash.
After a rainy scenic drive to Dovedale I arrive to the Pastures (main carpark) where the fun began. If you drive a Tesler or BMW park elsewhere. These were the cars that couldn’t cope with a muddy field and at the end of the race had to be towed out by farmers. It was great fun watching cars skidding around a muddy field.
Registration opens at 9am and you collect for race number on the day. Toilets were limited so be ready for a long wait.
The race starts from Thorpe pastures down a steep muddy hill. Imagine a mass start of runners slipping, sliding and falling down a hill. Once at the bottom of the hill is the river Dove crossing. It was funny to watch a group of runners in where’s Wally fancy dress cross the river. Due to rain over the week the water level was high and nearly reached my hips. The river Dove is one of the coldest rivers in the UK (according to the website).
Then off we go towards Ilam through the fields and of course mud. Over Ilam bridge alongside the Manifold river to Coldwall bridge. The over Coldwall bridge back through the mud along the other side of the river Dove.
This section on Strava is called ‘mud mud glorious mud’. It’s not wrong. The mud went up to my knees in sections.
Through all the mud we could see the stepping stones again which could mean only one thing… back up the hill to the finish line.
Overall winner was Daniel Haworth from Matlock Athletic Club in a time of 27:04. First lady home was Abbie Pearse from Steel City Striders RC in 32:19. Well done Abbie.
Link to results here.