Eight Point Two

Dig Deep 2014
November 7, 2013, 11:37 am
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In the past week we have had the first frost of the Winter and the 2013 Dig Deep race now seems a long time ago!

For those of you already signed up for the 2014 Dig Deep the excellent blog by Jez ( buyer from Outside), who was practicing what he preaches by running the Intro Ultra, is below as a reminder of what a great day we had in 2013!

Outside are once again the retail partner for the event and are providing an excellent range of equipment to kit you out for the Winter. Whilst the heat of the Summer will soon be long forgotten nobody should be heading in to the hills without decent windproof/waterproof layers and even a head torch??!! Check out the link below for Outside’s range:

OUTSIDE-DD-LOGO-WEBSITE (612x500) (300x245)

Jez’s blog:

Jez Portman digs deep for a scorching summer fell race

After 7 months of planning and preparations, the weekend of Dig Deep 2013 had arrived, right in the middle of a heatwave. No one dared to complain about the weather but Phil and I knew that it was going to be hard work finishing a long race, never mind posting a good time. We watched the hardy souls leave on the 60-mile Mammut UTPD (Ultra Trail of the Peak District) at 8am and began to make final preparations for our departure on the 30-mile OMM Intro Ultra at 10am.

Outside's store the Dig Deep event

Outside’s store at the Dig Deep event

I was helping set up our Outside bargain store at the event and suddenly it was 9.50am and we were being summoned to the start line. All my preparations suddenly seemed very inadequate, especially as a ‘tweaky’ knee had reduced my mileage in the last couple of weeks (get your excuses in early).  As no-one wanted to start at the front, Phil and I stepped up; and then we were off in a cloud of dust.

The start of the Berghaus 12.12 race at Dig Deep

The start of the Berghaus 12.12 race at Dig Deep

The first couple of miles saw us down in the Porter Clough valley and as the more experienced were already walking on the uphills, I gladly took my cue from them and concentrated on sipping water and keeping my pace steady. By the time we emerged onto the moors above Ringinglow I was hot, wet from sweat and seriously wondering if I could finish.  Running past the Ox Stones, over Houndkirk Moor and up the Green Drive past Burbage North helped me get into a slower, more sustainable pace and I thought about the streams where I could pour the cool water over my head.

Running over Stanage to the Causeway made me re-focus on the ground under my feet and I lost a few more places. The long road section under Bamford Edge went quickly and allowed me to eat for the first time (not enough though) and I gratefully refilled my water bottles at Yorkshire Bridge.

The infamous 300m climb up Parkin Clough was even harder than I’d expected and I crept up it, feeling rather dispirited at the summit, while the next 4 miles through Hope and the cement works to the feed station in Bradwell were slow to say the least. I ate and drank ‘properly’ and took 15 minutes until I felt slightly more normal.  This paid dividends immediately, as my pace on the short steep climb to Bradwell Edge was much better and I ran more comfortably to Shatton.

Feeling the heat (with thanks to Summit Fever)

I slowed again along the river to Hathersage – it must have been 30 degrees in the sun, and I took 10 minutes to drink and stuff a Clif Bar in my mouth before the steep ascent from the river up to Millstone Edge. Other runners were suffering a lot by this point and I passed 2 who were close to calling it a day. A welcome breeze at Carl Wark made me stop there longer than I should have, but i least I felt fairly sure now that I would finish.

The final climb from Burbage Brook over to the Houndkirk Road was bearable and I started to feel able to run again. The last 3 miles were almost pleasurable and I passed 7 other runners before the finish. My time of 7 hrs 25 mins was of little consequence (mid table mediocrity and 30 mins behind Phil) but I was really pleased to finish and finish reasonably strongly.

Jez cruising the final 10 yards to the finish line

Jez cruising the final 10 yards to the finish line

The next day, I did give some thought to the kit I’d been using. Luckily, I didn’t encounter any problems but, as your feet are the potential weak link in these events, my choices worked particularly well this time. My Inov-8 Trailroc 255’s were superb – they had enough room for my hot feet, gripped well, gave enough cushioning for road sections and left my feet as perfect as they could be after 30 hot miles. I suspect that my Injinji Performance 2.0 Run Original Weight socks contributed to my lack of foot issues and kept my feet dry and free from rubs and blisters. Both products highly recommended!

After a couple of day’s reflection, I think that this is a great race and ideal for those like myself, who are wanting to dip their toe in the Ultra ‘water’. I’ve got the ‘Lakes 50’ in 8 days time; I’m almost looking forward to it…..

Jez is a buyer for Outside