Eight Point Two

4th (and final) Leg notes for the New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District
June 26, 2012, 2:32 pm
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As it looked like the sun was going to come out at last today I joined up with local fell runner Dave Taylor to run the last leg of the Ultra. Dave happens to be a rather handy fell runner but also has a good knowledge of the Peak District. Dave can also talk when running up hills which is a skill Im  still to master myself…

Leg 4 starts from Bradwell sports ground (which is slightly different to the notes listed on the UK hillwalking site) where there will be a changeover sttaion on the day of the race. The actual route finding through Bradwell is a little confusing and both Dave and I followed different lines through the village and ended up in the same place – the only difference being that Dave had got stung by nettles and had to wade through mud. I followed the roads and avoided the experience!









Once out of Bradwell its uphill to the ridge where there will be a checkpoint before turning back down hill toward the village of Shatton.

Its then a very pretty, and mercifully flat, few miles along the river before reaching the start of the (almost) final climb up to Carls Wark. The climb is defintely the last significant one of the race and Dave and I both agreed that it will be tough with 40 + miles in your legs.

The added ‘excitement’ will be crossing the railway line half way up the climb. The picture below shows Dave contemplating crossing it after having run nearly 50 miles (either that or there was a train behind me!!).

The checkpoint at Carls Wark is then followed by a short descent in to the Burbage Valley followed by a short uphill section on good paths before heading back to Lady Cannings Plantation.

Its good paths downhill all the way back and you will also be able to put away the maps as the final section of the route will be signposted!

The story of the last leg will be the two significant climbs i.e. out of Bradwell and Hathersage. Apart from that there is lots of good running on good surfaces.

Rain, rain and then some really heavy rain!!
June 25, 2012, 1:08 pm
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For all those of you who live anywhere near North Yorkshire and Cumbria you wont need to be told about the horrendous weather on Friday evening and Saturday.

The rain fell hard enough on Friday evening that the Marie Curie 5 Peaks Challenge in the Lake District had to be abandoned because the roads to Seathwaite, the event start area, was completely flooded. Although we had developed a plan B route for the walkers the fact that we couldnt actally get anyone to the start brought about the need to cancel. It was obviously dissapointing for the walkers but a new date will be available in the Summer/Autumn!

The other wet and windy event was the Yorkshire Three Peaks on behalf of the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation. Of the 33 who started less than half finished the day but considering how difficult the conditions were it was a good effort just to step out of the car!!

Its better weather at the moment but looking to deteriorate towards the weekend! Must be another Yorkshire Three Peaks this weekend then….

From Inverness to Eastbourne!
June 18, 2012, 10:01 am
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We had 3 events on this weekend.

First off was a small Open National Three Peaks Challenge attempt. Whilst the forecast wasnt exactly welcoming as we stepped out of the Glen Nevis Youth Hostel to start the challenge on Saturday morning I was most impressed by the attitude of the team who had decided that not only would they toast each summit with a small whisky –  they would start with one too! Now, usually I wouldnt reccommend such activities, but it was raining – so I turned a blind eye and then drank mine too…

The weather on Ben Nevis wasnt actually too bad but Scafell was dismal. Snowden was slightly better and the sun actually came out on the descent. The team managed just under 26 hours which considering the weather and the teams relaxed approach to the challenge it was pretty impressive. Oh, for those interested, the whisky toasts stopped after Ben Nevis…




Next up was the MET Life South Downs Way Challenge walk. Met Life are a London based finance company who wanted a Southern based challenge walk. In the end we decided that the South Downs would fit their plans best and we put on a 20, 10 and 5 mile option for their interpid (and sun baked) walkers.

There were one or two who had underestimated the number of hills along the walk (and the number of pubs) but, to their credit, everyone made it back to Eastbourne!








Finally, we had our Open Leeds Met Universty abseil on Sunday. Leeds Met Uni is a good sized abseil and produced a worthy challenge for the participants. Luckily the weather was fairly kind for the abseilers so it all went without a hitch!

New Balance Sponsorship
June 13, 2012, 1:34 pm
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Great news! New Balance are now the official sponsors for the Ultra Tour of the Peak District!!

With plenty of prizes, and technical t shirts for every competitor, theres now even more reason to enter one of the races over the weekend!

Visit www.bigrunningweekend.co.uk for more details.

Abseil at Leasowe Lighthouse
June 13, 2012, 1:30 pm
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It was a windy day at the weekend for those abseiling on our open abseil event at Leasowe Lighthouse – however, it didnt deter them from doing what is a great abseil!

Iron Mag Challenge
June 6, 2012, 8:42 am
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Sunday in Coniston (Lake District) started off wet but ended up just being very cold. Coniston was the venue for the Mines Advisory Groups Iron Mag Challenge; a 3 stage race which entailed a 5 mile canoe around lake Coniston, a 25 mile mile mountain bike ride through Grizedale and finally a walk (some ran) up and down the Old Man of Coniston.

The winning team manged the whole challenge in just over 8 hours which was a fine effort! Other teams took a more leisurely pace though the runners up had a team member wearing a mankini for the whole challenge (ouch!!) which must have slowed them down. Heres a link to more pictures from the event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mag-photos/sets/72157630065683576/

The picture above shows the first few teams setting off on a cold and wet morning on lake Coniston.