I am lucky enough to participate in a wide range of running events, including marathons, cross-country, fell races, track races, ultramarathons, and relays. But, without a doubt, my favourite runs are social, i.e. runs where I head out with like-minded people to run, enjoy the conversation, appreciate the scenery, and explore new areas.
Today was a great day; it was a social, fell run. Redhill Road Runner Pete Henley organised the day and was a recce of an upcoming fell race on the dark peak in Derbyshire.
Today’s group of social, fell runners was eight runners all linked to the Ranger Ultras Facebook group. We met at Hayfield in the Peaks just after 9am and spent next 5 hours 40 minutes running up hills, through bogs, and up and down cliffs. The pace was not fast, it never is on the fells, and because it is a social run, we travel as a group. Our moving time was 4 hours 50 mins (photos, snacking, chatting and regrouping), so we averaged about 6km an hour, much faster down the easier descents, much slower on the harder ascents and descents.
We had a great mix of weather, mist, and rain, but sections of clear sky and long views too. Everyone had the right kit, so the weather wasn’t an issue. As hikers and fell runners tend to say, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad kit.
Although there were eight of us, the chatting tended to be in pairs or threes. But the great thing about a social run is that the pairs and triples rotate during the day. This is a key part of the social fell run. In a race, you often don’t talk at all, but if you do, it is only with people who tend to run at the same speed.
I will post the route we took. During the run, we gained 1134 metres, and covered 31.27 km. Many of us will meet again in two weeks to run the Peak District South and North Ultra – 50km on Saturday and 43KM on Sunday. Today we recce’d about three-quarters of the second day. You can read more about this great event by clicking here. I will be running in this race for my third time.