Edale Fell Race – run report by Richard Carter

9th June 2024

Edale fell race does what it says on the tin – a traditional up, along and down fell race starting in the Vale of Edale. It appears this was the first running of the race since 2019, making a welcome return to the summer calendar following the pandemic. The race is categorised as an AS event with 1319 ft of climb over 4.7 miles. Conditions this year were distinctly changeable which is not unheard of in these parts. It had rained overnight, and skies remained leaden with a wind blowing around the valley for good measure.
Registration was straight forward and it’s helpful to know the start line is then a further ¾ mile up into the village and over a footbridge into a field. You then get a good impression of what awaits you with a visible path making a steep ascent up towards The Nab. We were soon off and the tough climb formed the first part of the race and lasted maybe a mile and a half before reaching Nether Tor for the middle section.
I found this the most enjoyable part of the race; about 2 miles along a weaving trail with rocky gritstone sections, not too technical, allowing you to build up a bit of speed. It winds westerly along around the edge of the Kinder plateau, and you can bound through the rocks and boulders before reaching the cairn at Grindslow knoll. Mist was starting to become a factor at this stage and with the field thinning out I was glad to start the downhill section.
So began the trickiest section for me, initially a slippery, steep grassy section that led down to a wide rocky path. Overnight rainfall added some extra jeopardy underfoot and I was equally impressed/in awe/aggrieved at how quickly a couple of runners bounced past me as I kept applying the brakes. One runner who I had been running close to along the horizontal section took a sharp line off to the right disappearing out of view. I had half a mind to follow but decided against as I wasn’t sure whether it was genius or madness. After some steady descending and with ankles intact, the path finally delivered me to a wide rock free grassy expanse. My eyes widened and it became the runners equivalent of the scene in Empire strikes back when the weary, spluttering Millenium falcon struggles to engage hyperdrive. I finally did manage to take the brakes off and I tried, in vain, to catch a couple of runners from Sinfin and Dark peak as the path became a road into the village. The home straight beckoned and then a sharp left teleported us into the Edale Country show via the finish line. There was a game of tug of war going on as I arrived with tea and cake also on offer.
Edale fell race is organised by Dark peak fell runners and as part of the Country show is incredible value. It also forms part of the Accelerate Gritstone series. It packs a lot into 4.7 miles with more ascent than most other similar Peak fell races at this time of year. Hopefully it will be back again next year with the Country show also restored to the calendar. A great day out for friends/family to support you and help sample the cakes!
There were 118 finishers with first male finisher being Dan Haworth of Matlock AC in 34:50 and first female was Julie Emmerson of Coventry Godiva Harriers in 41:00.


Striders results

Position Name Category Time
15 Abbie Pearse WS 42:14:00
41 Richard Carter M45 48:16:00
49 Robert Hale MS 50:13:00
87 Sally Twigg W40 59:21:00

Full results


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