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Peak District Challenge

Sat 21st Sep 2019
3 Oddfellows Rd, Hathersage, Hope Valley S32 1BN, UK
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Tickets £64–£169

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    Registration Perks
  • Best price guarantee
  • Free cancellation protection
  • 24/7 Support
  • Official booking partner of Peak District Challenge
  • Trails
  • Fell/Mountain
  • Mixed
  • Hilly
  • 450 participants

From the organizer

Organizer's website

Are you ready to take on the Peak District Challenge?; Choose from one of our amazing running challenges - Back Before Dark (10km), Copper (25km), Bronze (50km), Silver (75km) or Gold Ultra (100km) and test your endurance skills in the stunning Peak District National Park; It's a chance to trek or run through some breathtaking scenery, put yourself to the test and to raise money for good causes. You can choose to raise money for a charity of your choice or to not raise money but to give a small donation to the chosen charity of the event S.A.L.V.E. International. S.A.L.V.E. International is working to reduce the number of children living on the street of Uganda through education and care.

Distances in this event

  1. Silver 75K

    Run 75km
    9:00pm Sat 21st Sep 2019
    $64–$164
    Tickets available
  2. Gold Ultra 100K

    Run 100km
    9:00pm Sat 21st Sep 2019
    £69–£169
    Tickets available
Course Maps
1550498912715Peak dis map.png
What’s Included

Teams or Solo Entrants

The Peak District Challenge is a team event and you are encouraged to enter is a team of 3-5 people. Solo entrants are welcomed to the Back Before Dark 10km run. On the longer (25-100km) challenges, experienced and competent solo or duo competitors are allowed if they can show extensive walking and navigation experience at the time of registering. The event organiser, Wilderness Development regularly runs navigation training courses.

Entrants are encouraged to come in fancy dress, but it is not obligatory.

The 10km Back Before Dark route is flagged on the ground.

Your entry fee covers:

  • Fully qualified, professional Mountain Leaders supporting the event and your safety.
  • Water stations.
  • A pre-walk registration and briefing, along with the route guides that you need.
  • A goodie bag at the end including an event t-shirt.
  • Kit guidance and advice, a fundraising guide and sponsor forms if you choose to be sponsored.
  • A scenic and challenging route, and all pre-event planning.
  • Photos of you participating in the event.
  • A unique certificate to celebrate your achievement and your time.
  • A cash discount voucher to spend with the event organiser, Wilderness Development. This can even be redeemed in advance on any navigation training or walking courses that you take to prepare for the event.
Course Details

Back Before Dark

The 10km Back Before Dark run leaves Hathersage along the River Derwent and heads west over grassy fields and wide paths. The route is flagged throughout.

River crossings provide short leg-burning step climbs for minutes at a time; otherwise flat fields and riverside paths bring you to pretty Shatton. Grab some water from the drinks station, then the serious uphill starts around the 4.5km mark. The total ascent is 270m over the course.

Wide undulating tracks rise towards the edge of Offerton Moor and the high point of the circuit. Descend again down Dunge Brook before the final straight: flat and grassy back towards Hathersage through fields alongside the river Derwent.

Dusk on Saturday 21 September 2019 is at 7.07pm; Runners leave HQ at 6.07pm and have exactly one hour to be Back Before Dark, walkers will leave at 4.07pm.

Copper Route

25km (16 miles) in distance. If aiming to complete inside the 9 hour target you will need to maintain a relatively leisurely 3kph, starting at 9.30am or 10.30am on Sat 21 September 2019.

Leaving Hathersage following the Derwent Valley Heritage trail, you will follow the river south and wind your way past Grindleford, along the river and through woodland to Baslow.

From here you'll leave the valley and climb up to Curbar and Frogatt edges enjoying some lovely views down over the Derwent.

Next you will wander through idyllic Hay Wood and over the top of Millstone Edge before the final descent back down to Hathersage.

You'll need basic navigation skills for the Copper and Bronze Challenges, or you can join a led group.

Bronze Route

Follow the Bronze coloured lines on the map above, starting on Saturday morning, 21 September 2019. To complete the 50km (32 mile) route in your 12 hour target time means you need to be walking at just over 4kph. The walk has a total ascent of 1200m and has a maximum elevation of 462m. The Bronze challenge starts in two waves either at 7.30am or 8.30am depending on your speed confidence in making the time limit.

You will leave Hathersage and walk up the Hope Valley on good paths past Hope and Bamford until you reach Castleton. From here, you will turn south to join the Limestone Way for your main hard climb past Peveril Castle and trek through the valley nature reserve of Hay Dale.

Leaving the Limestone way you will meander through idyllic White Peak villages and the Derbyshire Dales nature reserves on your way up to Middleton Moor. A tracked section through the Peak District's working landscape brings you to pretty Baslow and the turn north beneath the Eastern Edges.

Passing through iconic Curbar and Froggatt villages with views up to the iconic Peak District gritstone edges, you’ll eventually reach Grindleford, from where you will rejoin the Derwent Valley heritage trail, and follow the course of the river back home to Hathersage.

Silver Route

Take on 75km (47 miles) with a 24 hour target and 2,235m of ascent, the Silver Challenge starts at 9pm on Friday 20th September and is shown with silver lines. Not to be underestimated, this route follows the easiest and flattest routes between 8 refreshment checkpoints, but still covers a huge mileage. During the initial overnight leg, you can chose to join a led group walking with a guide or navigate yourself. During the daytime, you’ll navigate yourself.

Your Silver Challenge begins with a trek east up onto the Dark Peak moors. You will cross Stanage edge, site of Robin Hood’s cave, and Foulstone Moor to reach Back Tor. Next it's a descent to Ladybower Valley and an easy flat section around Ladybower reservoirs where the Dambusters trained for their bombing missions in WWII.

You will climb to the geological oddity of Alport Castle, before descending to the Vale of Edale through forests, Woodlands Valley and the route of the Roman road.

As dawn breaks you re-enter the western end of the Hope Valley and head to beautiful Castleton, before joining the Limestone Way past Peveril Castle and enjoying the valley nature reserves at Hay Dale.

Joining the Bronze route on the second half of their challenge, you'll leave the Limestone way and meander through idyllic White Peak villages and the Derbyshire Dales nature reserves on your way up to Middleton Moor. A tracked section through the Peak District's working landscape brings you to pretty Baslow.

The route home follows the river Derwent north along the Derwent Valley heritage trail through rolling fields and alongside the chattering river to Padley and Grindleford. Overnight Silver Challengers aim is to finish by 9pm on Saturday 21 September 2019.

Gold Ultra Route

Indicated by yellow lines on our map, the Gold Ultra Challenge is 100km (62 miles) and 3300m of ascent in total. You have a 24 hour target to be walked/run at an average of 4kph.

The Gold Ultra route is the ultimate Peak District Challenge, and should be attempted by teams of fit and experienced hillwalkers/fell runners who want to see the best that the Peak District has to offer. You'll visit high points and viewpoints on your way between checkpoints, and there is a lot of climbing involved. You'll leave Hathersage at 9pm on the night of Friday 20 September 2019. Night navigation experience is essential.

Your Challenge begins with a walk up on to the Dark Peak moors. You will cross Stanage edge, site of Robin Hood’s cave, and Foulstone Moor to reach Back Tor. Next it's a descent to Ladybower Valley and an easy flat section around Ladybower reservoirs where the Dambusters trained for their bombing missions in WWII. As dawn breaks, you will climb to the geological oddity of Alport Castle, before descending to a section of well-made tracks round to popular Castleton.

Turning back north, you’ll ascend to Hollins cross and continue to the head of the Vale of Edale and the next climb to Jacobs Ladder and stunning views over Hayfield. You are given a short break in navigational difficulty as tracks and lanes lead to Peak Forest in the White Peak and the valley nature reserve at Hay Dale. Your map will come out again as a mixture of paths and tracks lead between a string of pretty villages in the undulating limestone landscape, finally leading to Calver on the river Derwent.

The final section of the challenge takes you past popular climbing venues on the eastern gritstone edges above Curbar, Froggatt and Burbage. Your challenge draws to a close with dusky views over the river Derwent and a final climb over Owler Tor before the final grassy slope down home to Hathersage.

Raceday Logistics

All events start and finish at Hathersage at postcode S32 1DU.

The Back Before Dark 10km event takes place on Saturday evening. You will start running at 6.07pm and are aiming to finish before 7.07pm in order to be Back Before Dark. A stew supper is available at £4 for Back Before Dark 10km runners, alternatively Hathersage boasts several excellent eateries to refuel after your run. If you would like a more leisurely 10km walk you can start walking at 4.03pm on the Back Before Dark challenge.

Travel

If you want to take part in the event and use public transport, the last trains home from Hathersage on Saturday (in 2017, and we expect will probably be the same in 2018!) were at 22:41 to Manchester, 23.15 to Sheffield.

Participants and their supporters are also encouraged to spend the night in Hathersage at any of the local accommodation and take advantage of the local facilities and our celebration day on Sun 23 September 2018 before heading home the next day.

Kit List

Each participant must be equipped with:

  • Waterproof jackets with taped seams and hood. Softshell or “coated” products are not suitable.
  • Waterproof trousers with taped seams.
  • Walking boots or shoes with a good tread and ideally with high ankle support.
  • An extra, spare warm jumper/fleece/primaloft, not worn at the start (not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event.) Real down not sufficient
  • Any personal medication you need, eg Inhaler, Epipen.
  • A headtorch per person. A good quality headtorch will make a big difference to your speed and safety overnight, and we’d particularly recommend the Petzl Nao and Myo headtorches. Expensive, but really worth it. Sunset on 21 September 2019 is at 7.07pm. (Not compulsory for each Copper challenger, but one spare torch per copper team, including teams of one person for emergencies IS still required, for ALL challenges).
  • Adequate food and drink to last until the first “food” checkpoint. (Not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event)
  • Hat and gloves


Each self-navigating team (including teams of 1) must also carry:

  • Waterproofed physical maps of the Peak District eg British Mountaineering Council Dark Peak, or both Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Dark Peak (known as “OL1”) and White Peak (“OL24”). Electronic mapping and the route guide we provide are not sufficient on their own.
  • Minor first aid kit including blister and wound dressings. This can be self-assembled or shop-bought. These will be on sale for £5 at registration.
  • A spare headtorch and adequate spare batteries, including for Copper and solo challengers.
  • Separate, spare emergency food, not intended for consumption. (Not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event)
  • Whistle
  • Compass, for all teams except Copper Challengers. We strongly recommend a “reputable” brand of compass (eg Silva)– in our experience, with compasses, you really do get what you pay for.
  • Charged and waterproofed mobile phone (such as this 80g option). (Not compulsory for 10km Back Before Dark event)

Emergency shelter large enough for the whole team as below

Individual Entrants:

Back Before Dark 10km Challengers

  • Survival Bag or SOL Emergency Bivi are strongly recommended, but not compulsory

Bronze and Copper Challengers

  • Survival Bag or
  • SOL Emergency Bivi

Silver and Gold Challengers

  • Survival Bag with Sleeping Bag or
  • Emergency personal shelter providing significant thermal protection, eg Blizzard Bag, SOL Escape Bivvy, SOL Escape Lite Bivvy. (SOL Emergency Bivi or lightweight “2 layer” Blizzard Bags are not acceptable)

Teams of 2-5:

Back Before Dark 10km Challengers

  • Survival Bag or
    SOL Emergency Bivi
    are strongly recommended, but not compulsory

Bronze and Copper Challengers
Survival bag each or SOL Emergency Bivi each or Group bothy bag

Silver and Gold Challengers

  • Bothy bag AND
  • One emergency personal shelter providing significant thermal protection, eg Sleeping bag, Blizzard Bag, SOL Escape Bivvy, SOL Escape Lite Bivvy. (SOL Emergency Bivi or lightweight “2 layer” Blizzard Bags are not acceptable)
Spectators

Entrants are not permitted any additional external support, eg pace runners or additional personal crews.

The best way for your supporters to see and support you on the way round the course is by volunteering on the event…

Volunteers

The success of this event relies on recruiting some volunteers to help organise the event. We need people to:

  • Prepare food and hand it out at checkpoints or in our headquarters in Hathersage
  • Deliver equipment around the course and pick-up any retirees.
  • Other tasks, like taking photos or video and sweeping the floor.

In return you’ll get:

  • A competitors goody bag (subject to availability)
  • Heartfelt thanks
  • And you will be supporting a really great cause, without having to break too much of a sweat!
Just get in touch: [email protected] or 07941 645 520 to speak with Will Sheaff.
FAQs

Is Fundraising Compulsory?

Fundraising is not obligatory. We organise the event to raise as much money as possible for charity so we love it when people choose to fundraise. If you chose not to commit to fundraising we apply a one-off surcharge that is given in it’s entirety as a one-off donation to S.A.L.V.E International (min £10).
A discount on the entry fee is offered to those able to commit to fundraising a minimum of £100 for the Peak District Challenge’s chosen charity, SALVE International.

Do I need to provide my own support team?

We ask that you do not bring a personal support team, but instead your supporters are asked to volunteer to assist with the running of the event. This may also keep them entertained whilst you are on the furthest summits and out of sight! We are looking for friendly volunteer marshals to provide encouragement, drinks and snacks. Safety and navigation advice will be managed by mountain leaders from Wilderness Development. If you do bring supporters and friends with you, we ask that they do not shadow you or provide additional personal support.

What level of navigation or map reading ability do I need?

Only the Back Before Dark 10km is flagged, on longer challenges (25-100km) you’ll be met by volunteers only at checkpoints. If taking on the Copper or Bronze Challenge, we would expect you to be honestly able to state: “I can make sense of a normal ordnance survey map to find my way around, even if I don’t use the compass”. This is the minimum level of navigational ability required to take part in the Copper or Bronze Challenge. If this isn’t you, we ask you to book a beginners (Level 1) navigation course with Wilderness Development or a different organisation, or join a led team around the Peak District Challenge.

Guides on the Silver challenge are available only overnight, and during hours of daylight all Silver challengers will need to self-navigate, to the standards outlined above.


If taking on the Silver challlenge as a self-navigator, or the Gold Ultra (no guides are available on the Gold Ultra), the route involves some navigational challenge, including night time navigation, and we would expect you to:


Have successfully completed comparable navigationally challenging walks or runs, including night-time navigation. These do not necessarily need to be part of an organised event. Or

Have completed the NNAS Silver award and have experience navigating at night. Or

Have completed a level 2 navigation course with Wilderness Development or a different organisation

Self-navigating Solo and Duo Teams have higher navigational and experience requirements

Additional entry criteria for self-navigating Solo and Duo teams

The Peak District Challenge is a team event, however Solo and duo entries on the 25-100km routes are permitted from runners with extensive comparable experience. This is not the place to try your hand at your first solo or duo Ultra Marathon. Solo entries are accepted on the Back Before Dark 10km.

To enter the 25-100km Peak District Challenges as a solo or duo team, you must have successfully completed a comparable “qualifying” walk or run in the 18 months prior to the Peak District Challenge. Your qualifying walk/run does not necessarily need to be part of an organised event. Qualifying events must be:


completed as a solo or duo entrant (matching your entry to the Peak District Challenge!)

of 50km or longer (25km or longer if entering the copper challenge)

require navigation and not follow a way-marked route

include a section at night, (for all levels except copper)

not be all on paved roads.

We will ask for a brief description of your qualifying event on your registration form and will take your word – we do not require proof. A sentence along the lines of “In 2017 we completed the 56 miles Bullock Smithy challenge in 20 hours” or “In July 2017, we navigated the whole route of the Pennine way from Kirk Yetholme to Edale (270 miles) including sections at night” will suffice.

What is the route between checkpoints?

You should use the shortest route between checkpoints, while avoiding major roads. The Back Before Dark 10km route is flagged and marshalled. On 25-100km challenges, a route guidance booklet with grid references and highlighting areas of danger is provided on the day of the event. In a few areas there is a specified compulsory route, in most (more than 80% of) areas you are encouraged to chose your own route between checkpoints. GPX waypoint files will be available for download from this website from 7 days before the event for use with GPS devices or mapping software. The routes only follow good, obvious paths, and are generally waymarked national routes and easy to spot. If you find yourself on a small, overgrown, dangerous or unmarked path, you may have veered off track! The routes stay off roads as much as possible, so where there is a choice between a road or a path, we have almost always indicated a suitable path. There are extra checkpoints for the longer challenges, so if you go through all the checkpoints for your challenge and take the shortest-cut you can find between them, then you have completed the challenge!

What are the grid references for the checkpoints?

These are emailed to participants 7 days before the event takes place. 7 days before the event has been chosen to make it long enough to copy it on to your own maps, but deliberately not long enough to give you time to recce the whole route in advance! Navigating yourself between checkpoints is a key part of the challenge.

What is provided at checkpoints?

Water bottle refills

On 25-100km challenges, light snacks like

sandwiches,

savoury pastries

cold pizza

sweets, cake and flapjack

fruit

cereal and energy bars

pasta pots

At many checkpoints, a member of the volunteering team to cheer you on and give you any help you need.

At some checkpoints, hot squash to drink

There is no full meal provided on the way around, so if you have special dietary requirements or will want to eat more than “grazing” food it’s advisable to carry additional food yourself.

Can I have a bag meet me halfway around the challenge?

Yes, for Gold, Silver and Bronze challengers, we will bring a “halfway” bag to meet you approximately half way around the challenge. To take advantage of this, please label a suitably non-valuable and waterproof bag and drop it off in the “bag drop off” area at HQ. We will return your halfway bag to HQ for you after you have had a chance to go through it. Whilst we will do our best, please be aware this is a public event and your bag will be brought to meet you in a public car park which is not lockable. We advise against bringing valuables.

It is not possible for 10km and Copper Challengers to have a bag meet them half way.

Can I leave my bag in Hathersage HQ whilst I'm taking part?

Yes, we are happy to store labelled (non valuable!) bags in HQ for you whilst you are taking part in the Peak District Challenge. No valuables please, and whilst we will do our best, please be aware this is a public event and our storage facilities are not lockable.

What if I struggle to maintain the target pace?

Whilst we’ll do all we can to help you achieve your challenge, the volunteers crewing the checkpoints can’t stay in place indefinitely. If you are up to one hour behind the target pace we will warn you. If you are one hour or more behind target pace, we will leap-frog you forward on your route by car, allowing you to finish the route by foot within your challenge’s target time.

On some challenges, there is scope to drop down to a shorter route – for example Gold Ultra entrants can drop down on to the Silver route.

Can I bring my dog?

As a result of different distances of the challenge being overseen by different national governing bodies, we can accept dogs on some distances of the Peak District Challenge but not others. Well behaved dogs on leads accompanied by responsible owners are welcome on the…
Back Before Dark 10k

Bronze 50km

Silver 75km

(Dogs are not permitted on Copper or Gold Challenges)


We aren’t able to accommodate hounds within the event venue, but if he’s happy waiting for you in your car before and after the run then a well behaved pooch accompanying you out on the hill will be welcome on Silver, Bronze or Back Before Dark 10km routes. We’re not able to put in additional canine support I’m afraid, so you will need to be able to look after him yourself – we haven’t got a doggy-drop-out bus.

How do I get to Hathersage? What is the postcode for the venue? Is it easy to park?

By train! There is a train station five minutes walk from the event base, and the event has been specifically timed so that you can travel to the event from Manchester or Sheffield by train.

There is limited pay and display parking in the village, and more P&D parking available at a distance from the event base at postcode S32 1DU. Maps of parking locations will be provided in your 7-days-to-go event briefing email.

What time must I register on the day of the event?

Please help us keep the event running smoothly be registering on the day of your challenge

Between 7-8pm for Silver and Gold Ultra challenges.

Between 6-7am if you want to start your Bronze challenge at 7.30am

Between 7-8am if you want to start your Bronze challenge at 8.30am.

Between 8-9am if you want to start your Copper challenge at 9.30am

Between 9-10am if you want to start your Copper challenge at 10.30am

Between 2.30-3.30pm if you want to walk the Back Before Dark 10k, departing at 4pm.

Between 4.30-5.30pm if you want to run the Back Before Dark 10k, departing at 6.07pm.

You can chose your own start time and wave at any time up to the day of the event, there’s no need to let us know in advance which wave time you’d prefer.

Is there any accommodation available?

Yes, there is lots of good B&B style accommodation in Hathersage. If your supporters volunteer to help organise the event, they will also be welcome to camp in the event base on the Friday night while the race is ongoing. You could check out the local Youth hostel. There is also camping at North Lees (about 1.5 miles away).

More questions?

Just get in touch: [email protected] or 07941 645 520 to speak with Will Sheaff.

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