On Saturday 6th June, at ridiculous o'clock in the morning, a minibus and 2 cars full of intrepid ramblers set off from Nottingham, ready to face a massive challenge- the Dark Peak Marathon (DPM)! The 14 brave ramblers had a 24 or 37 mile walk around the wonderful Peak District ahead of them, with the first challenge of the day being Win Hill. The steepness took a few people by surprise and definitely woke everyone up for the day ahead!
Meanwhile, the marshals, not facing the same enormous challenge, made their way to their marshal points. I started the day with a lovely early morning stroll up Jacobs Ladder, followed by a very windy few hours sat at the Edale Cross checkpoint, behind the only 2 metres of wall that provided shelter from the rather gusty weather! Eventually walkers (and runners) started to appear, with tales to tell of the steep start and the dreaded Brown Knoll, described by one particularly incensed walker as “a new kind of hell!”- some tackled it with a little more success than others.
With our first job over and with the walkers, still mostly in very good spirits, well on their way over Kinder Scout and onto Snake Path, we found our way back down Jacobs Ladder to the car that was waiting for us, feeling like it was a lot further away than when we had left it at 8am. However, we couldn't really complain, we had walked a grand total of 7km!
As the day wore on the participants were starting to realise the enormity of the challenge, while the marshals enjoyed the day drinking enormous amounts of tea (or wishing they were because they didn't have any matches to light their stove!) But with a huge amount of will power and some encouragement and helpful biscuits from the marshals the walkers on the short(er) walk of 24 miles started to come into their finish point at Fairholmes, greeted by Andy Pickup, who was at this point very much in need of some company!
But the challenge had only really just began for the remaining brave walkers who were taking on the 37 miles, even though Callow and Adam made it all seem like a walk in the park and were back to the finish point in Hathersage in a ridiculously quick time, ready to enjoy a relaxing evening in the pub!
At the final checkpoint, with only 6 miles to go everyone mainly seemed in perfectly good spirits and were more awake than Richard and myself! Sitting in a car all afternoon eating biscuits, playing cards and watching BBC iplayer is exhausting work!
Eventually, after a very tough last 6 miles for some, everyone was reunited at the pub to enjoy some good food before the final, very tiring, journey back to Nottingham.
Ellie- Publicity Officer