During the winter, on a Wednesday there are regular runs from the rudimentary club hut, behind Tha Sportsman, on Redmires Road..
There are usually a number of groups, of different speeds taking to either a road run, or an off-road run; with the occasional race thrown in for good measure. Usually, the runs alternate week on week between road runs and off-road runs.
Newcomers should make themselves known on arrival; particularly to the person announcing the route.
The runs are followed by a sociable drink in the pub next to the club hut.
Whatever the calendar may say, a flexible approach is never bad thing. It’s a wise precaution to have both types of shoes and a head torch with you, just in you find there is a tempting alternative when you arrive.
Road Runs (from Tha Sportsman)
The road runs follow one of a number of set routes*. The plan is to spend about 90 minutes out on the road. The defined routes have a number of stops where everyone waits to regroup. At these stops there are usually options to take known short cuts, for those that want to.
These club nights are good quality training runs with mixed ability. The stopping points provide an opportunity to take a quicker / shorter / slower route home. Head torches aren't essential, but some of the routes do take in some roads that are more country than city. Some light coloured or high visibility clothing is recommended. As ever with winter runs you should also consider a light windproof or waterproof, hat and gloves when conditions dictate.
* A typical longer version of a road run is the "Full Dungworth", 10.3 miles, 1700ft climb.to view it on a map.
Off-road Runs (From Tha Sportsman)
As an alternative to road runs there is an off-road run (aka trail). Also starting from the Club Hut. Usually the route is published in the calendar and on Facebook in the days before the run. The route will follow trails and paths, with the occasional trod for good measure. Venturing into the undergrowth more often occurs by accident, rather than design. The general format is largely the same as the road runs. Although the routes are rarely far from a road, a good head torch is a necessity, as are off-road shoes.
Winter Wednesday runs away from Tha Sportsman head out on the fells, meeting at a variety of venues. All details can be found on the Calendar page. Occasional short notice alternatives are advertised on the Warts Blog. There are no facilities at meeting points. These runs usually take to rough terrain and frequently eschew the well-trodden path. Good running fitness and high moorland experience is a must. They usually in excess two hours.
GPS tracks of couple of typical runs are here:
The club expects runners to wear suitable footwear and carry the following kit:
It is also highly desirable if at least one member of the group has a light bivvy bag or 1-2 man emergency shelter and first aid kit.
Warm dry clothes to change into after running are also essential. A de-brief in a local hostelry is the norm. The Club’s safety expectations and further information and advice can be found here.
New Runners and Personal Responsibility!
Prospective members are welcome on both Sportsman and Warts runs. It is important that you make yourself known to club members before the start of the run, particularly to the person announcing the route. Before considering these runs you should undertake an assessment of your fitness and mountain craft. Whilst runs from Tha Sportsman are on the margins of the city, good judgement must be exercised about conditions and equipment.
Warts runs can be a substantial undertaking in winter weather and on remote terrain. Personal safety is of the utmost importance. First and foremost, this is the responsibility of the individual. It is essential to be able to make your own decisions about navigation, safe lines of travel, places of safety in the dark, and subsequent communication with the group in the event of becoming separated.
Regular Monday races or hill rep sessions are organised from Bolsterstone church at SK270968. More details of time, place and route are in the calendar. These sessions are on dimly lit country roads or good tracks and high-viz kit and a torch are needed. There are no facilities at the meeting point. Note that races are primarily organised for the benefit of members and are not normally open to non-members. Runners attending for the first time should make themselves known to the organiser on arrival.
In summer all club runs are off road starting from a variety of locations throughout the High Peak , including the Sportsman. Meeting times are 6.30 or 6.45 and all details of where and when can be found on the Calendar page. Occasional extra alternative meeting points may be advertised at short notice on the Warts Blog.
Runs are 90 mins - 2 hrs on local moorland and often on rough pathless terrain. A shorter option is usually offered from the first scheduled regrouping point. A typical route can be viewed here.
The club expects runners to wear suitable footwear and carry kit according to the mountain weather conditions. A minimum would be:
Also bring warm dry clothes to put on afterwards.
Extra kit should be taken if bad weather is forecast, for example full waterproofs and bivvy bag or survival blanket. Weather conditions on the high tops are frequently foul even in an English summer and hypothermia can strike. Please inform yourself about hypothermia at the FRA website and read the club's Safety page.
New Runners and Personal Responsibility
Prospective members are welcome. You should make yourself known to club members before the start of the run, particularly to the person announcing the route. Weather and terrain can be severe even in summer and personal safety is of utmost importance. First and foremost this is the responsibility of the individual. Ideally you should maintain contact with the group but in the unlikely event of becoming detached from the group you should be able to look after yourself and make your way safely back to the transport. It helps to be familiar with the area the run covers and you should at least have the navigation skills to get safely off the fell in an emergency.
Tuesday's coaching session is your chance to add some "quality" to your training. It involves warm ups and stretching, strength exercises, drills to improve technique and then a hard 30 minute training session: either fartlek, speed intervals or hill repetitions.
Trail shoes are advised along with a headtorch after September. Check calendar for details of next session.
The coaching sessions will take place on Tuesday nights at 6.30pm from Millhouses Park unless otherwise stated (check calendar for details).
For more details contact:
Dave Taylor 07806386949 email
Video showing various Dynamic Stretches: dynamic stretches
Video showing various Warm Up Drills: drills
Photos showing various Static Stretches: static stretches
There are a variety of club races both on Wednesday evenings and at other times, including the annual club championship race.
In summer there are regular races on Monday nights organised by Nicky Spinks. Details of these appear on the Calendar and are linked to Nicky's website. The routes are relatively short but cover rough terrain and require navigation skills.
Note that races are primarily organised for the benefit of members and are not normally open to non-members. It is recommended that non-members who are interested in joining Dark Peak come along to one of our club runs in the first instance.
Note also that dogs cannot be accommodated on club races.
Runners should equip themselves according to the guidelines on the Safety page.
© Dark Peak Fell Runners 2020
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