This is the first time I have entered this unique race, and it’s already up there as one of my favourites. With a good variety of fell, rock and trail, the route is a perfect showcase for running in the Peak District. From the start at Fairholmes at Derwent reservoir you can run, walk, and/or climb your way around an epic nine gritstone Edges before ending at the Robin Hood pub in Baslow.
The race profile appears deceptively easy – there’s 650m of ascent over 21 miles, and 250m of that is in the first few kilometers, but it’s a devious route that somehow manages to feel like it’s almost always slightly uphill.
The steepest section is at the start, with a short sharp climb to Derwent Edge, followed by a fun dash along the flagged section and a speedy descent over the moor to the A57. From here the route takes in the entire length of Stanage Edge and at the half way point only two edges have been ticked!
From here though the route flies through the Burbage Valley ticking Burbage North and South, then up through Longshaw to emerge by the Grouse pub leading to Froggatt Edge, Curbar, and Baslow. Drop down at Curbar Gap to a boggy field and small uphill past Gardoms Edge and a final sprint underneath Birchen Edge to the finish.
The race is organised by Edale Mountain Rescue, which operates in the Peak District and is one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK. The team is made up entirely of volunteers, and is a charitable trust. It has no central government funding and relies on donations to cover operating costs of around £50,000 a year. They do fantastic work and you can find out more about them and donate via the Edale MRT website.
This route is a perfect day out any time of year, you don’t have to wait until next year’s race. The Nine Edges routecard is available on the UK Hillwalking website.