Dusk ’til Dawn Ultra
After the resounding success in 2012 and 2013, an event which participants described as “the best ultra they have ever entered”, The Grim Sweeper will be back to claim more souls in 2014.
The challenge sounds simple. You start at 17:49 (sunset), and run all night, but you must finish the course by 06:52 (sunrise). The course, however, is 50 miles long and rises and falls through the Peak District; accumulating over 9000ft of ascent. Of course you’re navigating by torchlight too. That sounds like quite a tall order right? Well, there’s a twist or two. The race takes place on the one night of the year when Time throws you a lifeline. At 2am, the clocks go back, giving you one more precious hour to finish the race. Nature may also lend you a helping hand that night, weather dependent, as the moon is 3/4 full.
You will be supplied with a custom Ordnance Survey map. You’ll need to bring your own compass and be confident to navigate at night. Some tricky parts of the course will be marked. An interactive online map, and a GPS/GPX download are both available. There are 4 manned checkpoints on the route, stocked with a variety of hot/cold drinks, and snacks. There are also interim self clip checkpoints, and some road marshals between various CPs. Waiting for you at the finish line is warm welcome and a cooked breakfast (cereals too, and vegetarian options available). You can also choose to take up the option of a bed; limited availability, and bookable in advance.
The race starts and at finishes in Buxton, Derbyshire, from where you have exactly 14 hours and 3 minutes (that’s 7 minutes less than last year!) to navigate a very challenging 50 mile Peak District course, that follows parts of the Limestone Way, and takes in well known peaks such as Shining Tor and Mam Tor.
Oh, just one more thing… It was all beginning to sound a little too cosy wasn’t it? There’s one character you need to keep looking over your shoulder for. Timing his progress along the whole course with the arrival of dawn, is the Grim Sweeper! If the Grim Sweeper catches you up, then you could be facing retirement for an early breakfast (we did ask if he’d leave his scythe at home but we’re not convinced he will…he brought it along in 2012!). All we can say, is don’t let him catch you up!