The Nine Edges Endurance, Saturday 8th September 2018
The Nine Edges is a 20 mile romp across nine gritstone edges in the Peak District. There is a fell race and walking event along the same route. Walkers can start from 7:30am and the mass start for runners is 10am. It is run by the Edale mountain rescue team to raise funds to support their services and is run to FRA regulations. This requires map/compass, waterproofs, survival bag and food/water to be carried. The event is limited to a total of 300 competitors (walkers/runners) and typically fills within 24 hours of going on line. It pulls in all the clubs around Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley and is always won by Steel City Striders. That said it is a very friendly event run through amazing scenery.
This was my seventh year; my first year I walked it, the second time I walked and jogged in boots and from then on I’ve taken part as a runner. I always go up on a Friday night and stay in a farmhouse B&B to ensure I’m parked and ready before 9am.
The start is at the Fairholme car park at the northern end of Ladybower Reservoir and from here the route climbs steeply up onto the moors and then tracks south across the nine edges:
It finishes at the Robin Hood pub near the gates to Chatsworth house. At the finish you get a voucher for a pint of beer in the pub and then get on a coach for the trip back to your car.
It is a very rocky route with a few boggy patches with a total of nearly 800m of climbing. There is no route marking and competitors only need to check in to six checkpoints. If you keep up with the pack this is OK but one year I ran the event in rain and very poor visibility so it can be challenging.
This year the route was changed due to access issues along Derwent Edge and again along Stanage Edge. It meant that we had to climb steeply up from the start then return back down to Ladybower to climb up again to cross the southern end of Derwent Moor to get to the normal Moscar Checkpoint on the Sheffield road. From here we followed the usual route up to Stanage End but then ran along beneath Stanage Edge until the Causeway where we were routed back on top of the edge. This lower route was very hard going, running through deep bracken along a narrow rocky track.