A muddy, wet and hilly experience for Michael Coggins and Adelaide Williams who bravely took on the Dovedale Dash and it sounds like they will be going back for more next year. Here's their race report from last weekend...
The Dovedale Dash is a cross country race of 4.75 miles, around the picturesque village of Thorpe near Ashbourne and Dovedale in the south of the Derbyshire Peak District. The course is mainly along field paths and open ground in the valleys of the river Dove and Manifold. One of the excitements is the crossing of the rivers Dove at the well known Stepping Stones.
We arrived at the course at 9am when registration opened, which was nice as there were no queues for anything and we had time to enjoy tea and a bacon roll. The children's race started at 10am with the first finisher coming through the finish after just 11 minutes and all runners were back by 10:30am. A quick dash back to the van to get rid of our coats and shelter from the rain before heading to the start line.
The race started and 1200 people ran down a very wet and muddy hill and round the bottom of Thorpe Cloud, before hitting the stepping stones and river. After a brief moment contemplating going across the stones (and taking a quick photos), we decided to wade into the icy cold river. Feet felt numb on exit, so running was definitely needed to help warm them up.
Through the valley on a nice path before entering some hilly fields. How Michael only fell over once, is a miracle! Once we were through the fields, it was a short run through Ilam before back more fields, more muddy hills and an ambulance treating another runner who'd had a bad fall. We crossed over a bridge that led us to mud alley. Sensibly Michael went up on the bank, while I got stuck, having to pull out each shoe one at a time with my hands. After making it through the mud, we crossed a couple more fields and then back round the bottom of Thorpe Cloud, before the final climb to the finish.