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Dark Peak Fell Runners would like to say a great big massive humongous ginormous ‘Thank You’ to everybody who came along to the British Fell and Hill Relay Championships at Fairholmes in the Peak District National Park.
You rose to the occasion and made it a thrilling and fulfilling day for us after the years of planning. From start to finish you wore smiles and created positive energy almost as powerful as the Derwent Dam overflow.
You put on a great display of club banners in the village of tents. You wore your vests with pride, gave your all on the hills and made it a race to remember. You were lovely to our marshals, and to everybody else who asked you to do so many things to make the event run smoothly.
You came in full cars, rode almost 200 bikes to the cycle park, and delighted our Runners Against Rubbish colleagues by leaving behind only muddy footprints and precious memories.
You bowled us over with the scores of kind comments that you sent our way on social media after the event. Please forgive us if we didn’t reply to each one, but we’ve read them all and you’ve made us feel humbled and proud to be part of such a generous UK fell running community. Thank you so much!
The people who helped us to do it
There are so many people who played a huge part in making this happen. British Athletics asked us to do it and had faith in us. Severn Trent Water and the National Trust trusted us to run over their sensitive land. The Peak District National Park were supportive throughout.
And we don’t just mean the top brass in these organisations. The rangers on the ground were brilliant from start to finish, right down to the night before the event when a National Trust ranger worked well over her shift to find us some rubber matting to cope with the mud that was gobbling our traders’ wheels.
Despite a few initial misgivings, local people were friendly, kind and tolerant. They’ll no doubt look forward now to being left in peace! We’re pleased to say that the full entries left us with a modest financial surplus that will now be donated to local organisations and community groups.
The image you see at the top of this page was taken by Dark Peak club member Mark Harvey, otherwise known as iD8 Photography. Mark worked free of charge from dawn to dusk on the day of the event, combining his professional flair with the eye of an experienced fell runner.
He’s produced an exclusive set of photographs that we think really capture the spirit of the day, including many revealing behind-the-scenes insights. He’s now very generously sharing his copyright licence with everyone who took part, so that you can download and share the images to help keep your memories alive.
You can access them through a photo gallery that Mark has set up. If you would like higher resolution copies, or photo-quality prints, Mark will produce these for a modest fee with any surplus going into the ‘community pot’. You can order them by emailing Mark on his website. To access the images, use the link that follows here and enter the password fellrelays when prompted: Fell Relays photo gallery
As an added bonus, if you’d like to experience the Relays again, we can now offer you an exclusive video that Mark created from a time-lapse camera that he secretly clamped to a tree. Just click on the clip below to watch the whole event unfold before your eyes from the moment we first set up the marquees…
A huge final ‘Thank you’ to the army of Dark Peak members who turned up on the day to make it all happen. On top of the organising committee, we had almost 200 volunteers at the event, some of them working until long after nightfall to bring things to a close. You know who you are, and you worked wonders.
Many of our volunteers took their phones and cameras onto the race routes, resulting in a great range of shots from the race controls. Look out for them on our social media feeds, including the Facebook and Instagram stories that we had running throughout the event.
See you all next year, and good luck to our colleagues at Helm Hill Runners who now take the reins.