Thursday, 11 November 2010

Dash, dawdle, dash.

The Dovedale Dash has been going in various forms since 1953. The Dash is a four and 3/4 mile cross country race. The course is set in one of the most famous and picturesque parts of the White Peak and recent winners have included Simon Bailey, Stuart Bond and Lloyd Taggart.  

Ray and I warmed up with an anxious run to the registration marquee. Dovedale is only a short drive for us but being complacent we hadn't allowed quite enough time. After signing on it was strait to the start line to join the 1477 other runners. Looking around, amongst the starters there were plenty of fast looking racers in club vests, a gorilla and a group of Smurfs.

The race started with nearly fifteen hundred of us funnelling downhill into Lin Dale. I had decided to go for it from the off, I love descending, the feeling of only just being in control, letting go and allowing gravity to do its thing, always puts a smile on my face. It wasn't a steep descent by fell race standards but with so many other runners about it was entertaining, with the mud and wet limestone catching a few out.

On to the bottom of Lin Dale and the much photographed Stepping Stones. Instead of using the stepping stones, the organisers gave us the chance to clean our shoes with a wade across the river Dove, Some chose to take a dive and wash all their kit. 

The next few miles, fairly steady, at least for me they were. I had slowed to a plod, hoping to save enough for the final climb, from the bottom of the small but perfectly formed Thorpe Cloud, back up Lin Dale. My pace or lack of it, meant I was passed by loads of faster runners but fortunately no gorillas and only one Smurf.

Stuart Bond was first home with a time of 26min 46seconds. I dawdled over the line 325th, 13 minutes later  and Ray came in not long after. What pleasantly surprised us was that we had beaten over 1000 other runners. I guess there must have been a lot more Smurfs than I first thought.


  1. Great account Steve, it's such a good race, maybe a little over crowded sometimes! didn't make it this year, first one i have missed in 6, family christening, shame they didn't check the date before planning it LOL!
    See you soon, Martin

  2. Tks Martin
    Shame you couldnt do the Dash this year it would have been good to catch up. Very inconsiderate of them. =)

  3. Smurf and turf... Sounds like you had a good race all round - great race account

  4. That's a nice acount, Steve. It made me think I should do more of these shorter races. You've sold me.

  5. Wow ! a popular race. Almost as popular as a road race, but with less muppets no doubt :)

    Well done both of you

  6. Matt
    Smurf & turf. Brilliant, I wish I could have thought of that one.

    They are good fun. No nav either, even I can't get lost.

    I still consider myself one of the muppets.

    Dove dale dash 1500 runners, the Chrome Hill race, just a few miles away only had 11 starters this year.
    Both good fun

  7. sounds like a blast must be getting quicker (to see off smurfs and the like) ;-)

  8. UC
    V good, ha ha!
    The smurfs must have had an off day.


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