Author Topic: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk  (Read 6288 times)

joester

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[TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« on: 14:11:24, 02/08/10 »
The Dovedale Dipper is a 26.5 mile challenge walk/run that takes place in the Derbyshire Peak District, starting and ending in the village of Hartington.  The walk clocks up about 3200ft of ascent over the course.
 
Last Sunday myself, Abs and Radder took up the challenge.
Abs and I have never walked anything like that distance, the longest walk we have done together was 17 miles, so we were keen to push ourselves to see how we got on.
It was decidedly grueling!
 
Firstly I want to say thanks to Matlock Rotary Club who organise this walk, which is now in its 8th year.
The level of organisation was impeccable, as was the attention to detail, they are also a cheerful and friendly bunch.  All the proceeds from this year's walk are going to the Ashgate Hospice, which provides specialist palliative care in North Derbyshire.
Thanks very much MRC - we'll see you next year!
 
Abs and I found ourselves sitting in Hartington Village Hall at 8am, sipping drinks and nervously waiting the 9am start time.  Radder arrived at a slightly more sensible time, as we all began assembling at the starting line in the middle of the village:
 

 
There was something over 300 walkers setting out together by the time the 9am starting airhorn sounded, some of these were doing the alternative 15 mile 'Ramble', but the majority were going for the Challenge.  There were also more than 100 Challenge runners, who were to set out 1 hour later than us.
 
We left the village on a quiet lane, the field spreading out almost immediately.  Fumbling around with GPS' and cameras, we found ourselves near the back.  No matter - this was not a race, we were competing against ourselves:
 

 
The route climbed steadily above the Dove valley northeast of the village, and then cut across to the Tissington Trail, where we encountered our first checkpoint at Sparlow/Hurdlow, at just over the 5 mile mark:
 

 
We had made it in a little over 1 1/2 hours, and were just downing some squash when the first of the runners came past us, he must have ran the first 5.5 miles in 30 minutes - last years winner completed the course in 3 1/2 hours!
 
We head north on the Trail, and then cut west towards Longnor:
 

 
Here the views opened-up, with Parkhouse and Chrome Hill dominating the skyline to the north:
 

 
Being greeted at the second checkpoint in Longnor, about 9 miles in:
 

 
From here there was a long flat plod south down the valley towards the county border, the Staffordshire moorlands and our next checkpoint rising in the distance.  We began a long and steady ascent to the third checkpoint at roughly the halfway-point - Revidge.  The views from up here were magnificent, and we enjoyed them and several more cups of the complementary squash (and plenty of the biscuits too):
 

 
GPS showed a 3.3 mph average up to this point.  I was feeling good, so I decided to up the pace a bit and see what I could do.  We left Revidge's stunning views amongst purple heather:
 

 
Descending through the village of Warslow.  Here 'the widow-maker' of Ecton Hill, which our route ploughed straight up, came into view.  You can just about make out a couple of dots that are other entrants making the ascent:
 

 
Top of Ecton:
 

 
The route next climbed up the side of Wetton Hill and over into Wetton where the 4th checkpoint lay.  I had a change of heart on making a fast completion, thinking it would be nicer to complete the walk with Abs.  I gave her a ring and found out she wasn't too far behind (having already dispensed Ecton and Wetton hills), so I sat for a while to wait for her.  She jogged to catch up with me, bless 'er, and we set off together on the short 2.5 mile blast to the next checkpoint at Castern.
There was more great Derbyshire scenery as we traversed above Castern Wood (still smiling too!):
 

 
Castern checkpoint - that's right - more squash and biccies!:
 

 
We were tiring by now.  Things were starting to hurt.  Fortunately it was only another 3 miles to the next checkpoint in Milldale.  The steep, stony descent into Milldale was agonising, but we met the valley bottom with relief, thinking that now it was a nice, flat 4.5 miles back to Hartington and the finish line.
 
Ouch! - but what a painful 4.5 miles! - The monotony of the flat slog was excrutiating.  There were a few things in Wolfescote Dale that lifted our spirits, such as these calves in the river:
 

 
And this heron:
 

 
It was actually a relief to me to reach Beresford Dale for the last climb out to the hillside above Hartington.  My legs were cramping up in various places and the short, steep climb up the old track got them stretched-out a bit.   Even so, the last mile on the quiet lanes were most painful indeed!  It was great relief and some elation that we crested the hill above the village - we had made it! :
 

 
Forcing a smile before we get our last card-stamp of the day, Abs and I got in at 5:36 - 8 hours 36 minutes after setting out:
 

 
We were joined by Radder 8 minutes later.  His boots had been playing him up, poor lad.
We went home for some well-earned recuperation:
 

 
We all found it very hard, but I'm so glad to have done it. 
Interestingly, my GPS showed a 'Time Stopped'  of 54 minutes (waiting for Abs, etc) and a 'Time Moving' of 7 hours 42.  I should have been able to get around in under 8 hours (or would the pace have broken me?!).
I'm looking for the next challenge now!
« Last Edit: 19:32:38, 02/08/10 by joester »
solvitur ambulando

TheGUYuk

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #1 on: 16:06:47, 02/08/10 »
Congratulations to all and a good write-up Joester :)

Dazza

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #2 on: 20:17:08, 02/08/10 »
Well done to everyone. Excellent report as well.
Dazza
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These boots were made for walking so that's just what I'll do. After I've re-proofed them of course...

dibble

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #3 on: 20:23:37, 02/08/10 »
I really really enjoyed reading this TR joester, thank you for sharing and well done to all of you. It took proper stamina to complete all that!   O0
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bricam2096

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #4 on: 21:09:08, 02/08/10 »
I don't know what it is but I get a buzz out of seeing these challenges and the photos and makes me usually wish I had done it.

Maybe next time  :)

well done to all.
LDWs done - 21 in total including 9 National Trails and 3 C2C

Wainwrights 169
www.brians-walks.co.uk

Exit5man

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #5 on: 15:26:52, 03/08/10 »
Well done Joe ,Abs and Radder.That's an incredible time considering you haven't done anywhere near that distance before .
Great report and photo's .I thought Radder had left the universe .Haven't seen him posting on here for ages and what happened to Granty . He started the thread .
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radder

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #6 on: 17:17:22, 03/08/10 »
Excellent write up and pictures Joe, What a great day and well done to you and Abi on completing the 26.5 miles  O0  Two days on and my legs are still hurting from Sunday  :(
Ok just a couple from Sunday's walk and I will stick the rest on FB later...
 

 
Joe and Abi at the start of the walk in Hartington.
 

 
The start of the walk in Hartington.
 

 
The fell runners soon caught up with us, here is a view towards Chrome Hill.
 

 
13 miles completed at Check point 3 and still going strong.
 

 
View down into the Manifold Valley.
 

 
After 26.5 miles and still smiling.....just  ;D
 
All in all a great day and company as usual and see you next August for the Dovedale Dipper 2011  :o
 
 
 

 
 

joester

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #7 on: 17:25:08, 03/08/10 »
Thanks Radder, I've been looking foward to seeing those.
My legs still know they did it also, although they wouldn't be too bad except I seem to have pulled something in my right calf.
 
We need to go and do something else now, there is the 'Chatsworth Challenge' on the 12th September, but that's our Poppy's birthday, so we can't make that!
 
Thanks to everyone else for your comments too!
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radder

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #8 on: 18:06:44, 03/08/10 »
We need to go and do something else now, there is the 'Chatsworth Challenge' on the 12th September, but that's our Poppy's birthday, so we can't make that!

Just had a quick look on LDWA and found these in and around the Peaks if you want another day of suffering  ;D
 
Belper Rugby Rover  Sat 15 August  19 miles starting from Belper  :o
 
http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/belper/
 
The Edges Challenge 21st August 27 miles starting from Dronfield
 
http://www.theedge.org.uk/
 
Marsden moors meander  21st August 22 miles starting from Marsden
 
http://www.theirregulars.org/
 
Hills and Dales Challenge 11th September 24 miles starting from Longnor.
 
http://www.andycrafts.co.uk/Walk.html
 
Or the Nine Edge Endurance  25th september 20 miles starting from fairholmes ( Derwent)
 
http://www.nineedges.co.uk/
 
If you fancy any of these Joe give us a shout and will join you  O0

Abs

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #9 on: 19:18:05, 03/08/10 »
Hmmmm
Are we there yet?!

joester

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #10 on: 10:26:42, 04/08/10 »
Hmmmm

What Abs is trying to say there, is that she would very much like to do the Nine Edges Endurance on the 25th September, if you would care to join us?!
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radder

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #11 on: 17:40:01, 04/08/10 »
What Abs is trying to say there, is that she would very much like to do the Nine Edges Endurance on the 25th September, if you would care to join us?!

Yeah I will join you both for this  O0   

joester

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #12 on: 17:45:00, 04/08/10 »

Yeah I will join you both for this  O0

PM Sent!
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redeye

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #13 on: 21:35:33, 04/08/10 »
Nice one.Good reports & photo's Well done to you three O0

amnesiacjimmy

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Re: [TR] - The Dovedale Dipper Challenge Walk
« Reply #14 on: 21:55:09, 04/08/10 »
Hey Joe

where you going with that gun in your oh sorry

great trip report, i felt like i was there but without getting the leg pains. It looked like  a special day, I hope the girls were ok on their own at home with the chemistry set and the barbecue  :o

Seriously though, you had the nice weather for it all too. Looking 4wd to meeting you again next April in Wales if not be4  O0 O0 O0 Maximum respect for doing 26. 5 miles  O0 O0 O0
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