According to Mike Hayes this race has the makings of a classic. The full route was conceived one cold dark wet and windy Wednesday night during a fell run in the winter of 85/86. The hardened stalwarts who keep the spirit of FELL running going on winter evenings felt that the softies who revert to road running once it gets dark, needed a shake up. At the time a few noble souls were pioneering a new route - a proper fell run over Rud Hill, Higger Tor, Callow Bank and Stanage, a route including
some very harsh terrain, steep climbs and few footpaths. The event was first staged in a somewhat abbreviated form one Wednesday evening in the summer of 86. The weather was fine, the route from the western corner of Lady Cannings plantation on Ringinglow road to the ruin on Rud Hill, thence to Burbage Bridge (either one), under the bridge and down the brook to below the summit of Higger, straight up onto Higger, over to Cowper Stone on Stanage and then directly back to Rud Hill and
the finish back on the road.Gerry Goldsmith retired at Burbage with the comment "God! I7m not going over that again, I came outfor a run!" Most of the field complained at the uncompromising awkwardness of Hallam Bog and so the race was considered a success. Karrimor survival kits (toilet roll plus an opal fruit) were presented to all competitors. Thanks to all the marshalIs who helped on the ni grit .
This year it was decided to run the full race the day after the Cut-Throat relay, the week before the Karrimor. It was a bleak and blistering windswept morning. The word had obviously got around as to the challenging nature of the course because the field was comfortably small at nine competitors. The full route was as before to Higger Tor, then down to Mitchell Farm, along the track and up Callow Bank, directly over to Cowper Stone, then direct to Stanage Pole, then the home straight direct to Rud Hill and the finish on the road as before.
Neil Goldsmith retired with a cold. Once more competitors were rewarded with a Karrimor survival kit (bog roll and muesli
It is hoped that fell runners (and any other idiots) will be able to enjoy this event regularly as we hope to hold the race annually on the day following the Cut.Throat relay.
Anyone wishing to recce the route is welcome to bring their head torch along any winter Wednesday evening and join Dark Peak FELL Runners.
Colin Hughes and Pete Collingwood
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