Monday, 15 November 2010

Six Dales Circuit 25mi. 13/11/2010.

The weekend after Snowdonia I ran my first 5k Woodbank Parkrun since 26th June. It was a struggle but at least my 24:08 wasn't a Personal Worst for this hilly course.

Moving on another week, Six Dales Circuit is one of my old favourites. The limestone countryside of Derbyshire is truly beautiful. I first did this event in 1999 (two months after the moon was blown out of Earth orbit, for those who used to watch Space 1999 - remember September 13th 1999?). I felt as though I was making a comeback; after a solid run through to 2007, other events (really the Runfurther end-of-year parties) meant that I could not do this in 2008 and 2009, so 2010 felt like a comeback year as I reacquainted myself with Biggin Village Hall once more. Furthermore, this was the first Long Distance Walkers Association event I had done since Elsecar Skelter on the 14th August. I was amazed at the turn-out of walkers on the early start. The LDWA is alive and well. It was good to be back to a no-pressure outing in the countryside and to meet so many old flames.

This year the route returned to my preferred clockwise route after changing to anticlockwise in 2005. It took us through Biggin Dale, Wolfscote Dale, Beresford Dale, Lathkill Dale (see picture above), Bradford Dale and Long Dale via checkpoints at Hartington, Monyash and Middleton. Somehow the ascents always seemed less onerous in this direction, but that perception was no aid to me this year. Poor preparation in the preceding week, culminating in a pre-race evening dinner of prawn salad, did not provide the optimum conditions or fuelling for a decent performance. The body was weak and the legs were clumsy, so I enjoyed the scenery and the checkpoint food (cheese oatcakes at Monyash Village Hall), chatted to fellow shufflers and took more pictures than of late along the way. Unusually for this event, the sun shone throughout, so I didn't mind being out for longer than usual. The catching-up afterwards in the village hall lasted for nearly three hours and it was nearly dark by the time I left. I don't ever remember staying for so long after this event. It was good to be back. Allow me to leave you with this gem from Bradford Dale.

For the record, my times over the years for this event are:
1999 - 5:59
2001 - 6:17
2002 - 5:17
2003 - 5:47
2004 - 4:36
2005 - 4:27
2006 - 4:26
2007 - 4:23
2010 - 5:06

As you can see, I've gone downhill a little. I hope it was worthwhile because here are the pictures.

Next weekend is Wensleydale Wedge from Askrigg - another old favourite of mine.


  1. or look positively..nearly an hour quicker than your very first time ;-)

  2. Was a great day, nice photo's. I was wondering what kind of sheep those were. And now I know!

  3. Good point UC. Best to look on the positive side ;-)

    Roger, you crease me up :-)

  4. Hi Nick

    Did you visit the cheese shop in Hartington to make up for the prawn salad?

  5. A time of sub 5 for 25 miles in hilly country sounds good to me in November.
    What (big) targets have you got for 2011?

  6. Steve, I did have a chunk of cheddar on my salad. I am very partial. I should have paid a visit to said emporium to restock.

    Nigel, I'll be doing the LDWA Housman 100, Lakeland 100 and as many of the Runfurther races as I can squeeze in, body permitting. Nothing planned abroad (yet).

  7. Hi Nick - that's so funny - I am the girl on the right...looking very muddy after a quick slip in the mud

    Amazing race though and loved it but found it hard as had ran PCC the week before. Well done though and looking forward to it next year.

  8. Great stuff, Claire! You must have bounced well because you look none the worse for wear. Might see you next year.