Winster Hill Race Report 2023

Report by Nicole Nield

Race Date: 29th June 2023

Left with the prospect of a run-free Thursday evening, it was suggested that there was a race in Winster, Derbyshire that would fill the gap.  The event is organized by Youlgreave Harriers as part of the Winster Wakes Week Festival.  The Wakes take place from the first Sunday on or after the Nativity of John the Baptist. Who knew?

The race is described as an ‘undulating’ 4 miles using the lanes, trails and fields around the village.  The route description talks of a fast opening mile followed by ‘the first bump of the day’. ‘A few rolling fields to recover and a drop back down before the bit mean Dudwood climb takes you back above the village. The final 800m is a mad dash downhill through the village and ending a few meters before the beer garden’ – the beer garden belonging to the Bowling Green Pub which had its barbecue primed ready for mass burger and hot dog production for the runners post-race.

Winster is a beautiful Derbyshire village, the main feature being its market hall dating from the late seventeenth century and now managed by the National Trust. It was the scene of a dual in 1821. However, all the natives were really friendly on the night, and with the weather being perfect for a jaunt round the Derbyshire countryside there was a really good atmosphere.

The race is a BS category fell race with no kit required.  The countdown to the start was performed by the Winster Rose Queen. (Who knew that role was part of the job description?). She was wearing a sash emblazoned with her title but otherwise passed for a regular teenager. The start was from the centre of the village and continued on road before a sharp right turn took you to the first of the two hills which between them made up 581’ of ascent.  I tried really hard to suppress my urge to walk up the hill as soon as I saw someone else stop running, but not entirely successfully. At the top of the hill there were lovely views of meadows and cows (safely in a distant field) and then came the steep descent down rooty, rocky narrow paths to before we encountered the start of the next hill which was much longer and uneven but somehow easier to run up.  The route was well marshalled throughout. Finally, you were rewarded with the 800 meter (think Meersbrook Park on a bigger scale) run back down to the village where you were greeted by a person with a clipboard (no chip timing) and water if you wanted it. All for a fiver.

Photograph courtesy of Andy Mutley-Photos

Unfortunately, the queue for the barbecue and the bar were so long by the time I finished that we decided to go to the Druid Inn instead, but apparently there is a pub quiz afterwards, so if you finish the race early enough you could make a really pleasant night out of it.

The race was won by Greg Hopkinson M Open, Matlock AC, in 24.38.

First lady was Charlotte Ward F Open, City of Hull AC, in 25.54, setting a new female course record by 6 seconds. One hundred and forty three runners completed the course.

I was the only Strider and came 123rd overall and 3rd F60.

Pos Name Time Cat Cat pos
123 Nicole Nield 44.08 FV60 3


Full results here.




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