Winter Half Tour of Bradwell

10th Feb 2024

Report by Jim Rangeley

The Winter Half Tour of Bradwell is a 17.5 mile semi navigation race setting off from near Bradwell Sports Club, taking in Shatton Moor, a contour of Win Hill, a full summit of Lose Hill and a gross slog out of Castleton up Cavedale before the final scenic plunge back to Bradwell through a disused quarry and a delightful cement works.

I say a semi nav race as a map is provided with helpful little hints, but at a level of fidelity that takes a lot of squinting and on the move proves almost as challenging as the running.

For me the first 11km or so was pretty runnable, other than the initial steep field over private land before hitting the path up to Shatton Moor. Climbing up the field brought us into the murk of inverted cloud and not long after we came out of it we hit the first dibber point. The plunge down into Shatton is knee clatteringly steep but largely uneventful, as is the churn along the Thornhill trail although here came the realisation that I’d set off too fast.

You’ll be pleased to hear there isn’t a full summit of Win Hill needed, just a contour around Parkin Clough and a little bit of navigation required to get the correct route. I had pored over the map and notes a few times ahead of the race and felt comfortable on the ground, so I ended up shepherding a few people down into Aston where the quicker runners promptly passed me before the climb up Lose Hill.

The climb was long and muddy, with far more walkers than anywhere else on the route so far. It became quite congested at times with walkers, dogs, runners and people who insist on making those stupid little stone stacks so that they can have a cute little Instagram story glorifying habitat destruction.

Down the steep rock steps of Back Tor, then off the ridge and into Castleton via a mudslide. I had started to trudge now, the second half of the race was certainly tougher than the first and the pull up Cavedale was torturous, basically through a river on the bottom section of limestone stones and then energy sucking mud over the top half. I had slowed to basically a walk at this point but with the final checkpoint dibbed it was almost all down hill back into Bradwell.

As I hit the disused quarry, the paths seemed to multiply, off either side of the main thoroughfare, so a little bit of stopping, looking at the map, then feeling none the wiser and carrying on anyway was in order. Eventually reaching the track that led us through the delightful cement works.

I know this category of run isn’t for everyone, but if you need a Fell Runner Association approved AL (long and hilly) race with some navigation then this will suit, especially as it’s over paths and areas you’ll probably know, it’s well worth checking out.

The Woman’s race was won by Tanya Raab (Dark Peak Fell Runners) in 2:50:03 very closely followed by Holly Clifford (also Dark Peak Fell Runners) in 2:50:05, the men’s race was won by Joe Oldfield (Matlock AC) 2:12:36 who was about 14 mins ahead of second place Matthew Noble (HRRC) 2:26:23.

There were 191 finishers.

Striders results
Position Name Category Time
47 Jim Rangeley Male Open 03:13:07
99 Giulia Neri V40 03:35:15
107 Pippa Powell V40 03:37:55
108 Sally Twigg V40 03:39:11
124 John Rawlinson V50 03:45:41
191 Hannah Wright Female Open 06:31:29
Full results


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