Skyrunning UK announce the PEAKS SKYRACE

The-Roaches w: logo

Skyrunning UK is pleased to announce the first SkyRace for the Skyrunner® National Series UK calendar, the Peaks SkyRace located in the heart of the Pennines.

Covering a distance of 29.7-miles, with a total elevation gain and loss of 2012m, the Peaks SkyRace is the brainchild of experienced race director, Richard Weremiuk (Beyond Marathon), Anthony Bethell and Billy Craig. The Peaks SkyRace promises to be a great ‘opener’ for the 2014 Skyrunner® National Series calendar within the UK.

‘This course combines altitude with technical terrain and some superb views; a combination which should please the most discerning athlete,’ Craig explained, ‘A personal highlight on the course without a doubt is Ramshaw Rocks, it’s beautiful and rugged.’

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Weremiuk is no stranger to race direction and he brings all his experience from ‘Beyond Marathon’ for this new departure into the Skyrunning UK calendar. ‘Features on Talk Ultra podcast have raised the profile of Skyrunning to the point where virtually most ultra runners have heard of it and I’m sure many have aspirations to run in the mountains with the superstars of the World circuit. Skyrunning coming to the UK may well give them that opportunity.’

 Ramshaw-Rocks

Based on an old Peak District Challenge called the ‘Five Trigs Round’ for which there is no fixed course, just the requirement to visit five specific trig points. Weremiuk and the team have taken that concept and built a fixed course around it with Skyrunning in mind! The route takes in some of the best of the White Peak District as well as including the highlights of the traditional round.

‘The Peaks may not have the raw elevation of the Lakes or Snowdonia, but it has rugged technical terrain,’ said Weremiuk, ‘A highlight for me is the ascent of Daneblower Hollow. It is little known to most, but it’s a narrow trail alongside a brook and small waterfall, it really challenges your footwork.’

Bethell, who took part in the 2013 Skyrunner® World Series in 2013, gained a lot of experience from these events which has been invaluable in ensuring that Skyrunning principles are upheld for the Peaks SkyRace, ‘A long joyous descent on tricky terrain into Stake Clough after Shining Tor is one of those “Brakes off, Brain off” moments that one finds in all the classic Skyrunning races, UK Skyrunners® will love it,’ exclaimed Bethell.

‘It has been a priority from day one to ensure that Skyrunning UK provides courses of varying length, difficulty, elevation and terrain on some of the most iconic trails and areas of the UK,’ said Skyrunning UK Director, Ian Corless, ‘We have the V3K on the Welsh 3000’s and the 3×3 on an iconic Lakeland course. The Peaks SkyRace not only offers our first shorter ‘Sky’ race but it also offers an opportunity to race in the Pennines over technical ground. I’m really excited about this addition to the series.’

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Entries for the Peaks SkyRace are now open… put the date in your diary, August 3rd 2014 and we look forward to seeing you all for the UK’s very first SkyRace.

 

Course Description:

A short sharp shock to start with an ascent of Solomon’s Tower, then it’s back down to the outskirts of Buxton. Next you climb onto Axe Edge Moor, through Three Shires Head along the Ramshaw Rocks ridge and along to a Hen Cloud. The Roaches follow which will without doubt be the highlight for many.  Descend into Gradbach before soon after facing the Peak District Matterhorn, Shutlingsloe. Descend then begin the long climb up past The Cat and Fiddle to the summit Shining Tor. A fun descent to the Goyt valley floor is followed with a climb onto Burbage Edge and the finish in Buxton.

Bethell states as with all SkyRaces, ‘we offer a fully marked course with chip timing, awards medal for all finishers and a trophy for male and female winners. Hopefully, the ridge runs along Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches will live up to the Skyrunning Motto of ‘Less Cloud, More Sky’….’

Race Stats 

·      Distance: 29.7m

·      Elevation gain: 2012m

·      Elevation loss: 2012m

·      Checkpoints: Two with food/ liquid.

Facilities on offer at the race

·      On site car parking

·      Food and drink at 2-checkpoints

·      Insured race with medical support

·      Shower and changing facilities at the finish

·      Electronic Chip Timing from RaceTimerPro

·      Comprehensive participant guide, sent 1 month before the event

·      Experienced marshals and staff

Race dates and times.

3rd August, 8am start.

£45.00

Website:  http://www.peakskyrace.co.uk

Entry: http://www.peakskyrace.co.uk/enter

Skyrunning UK: http://www.skyrunninguk.com

The Twelve Labours of Hercules

Another publicity poster

Ultra running is growing and growing. As a race director do you follow a tried and tested formula and offer a race at one of the classic distances such as 50k, 50m, 100k or 100m or do you go off piste, have a random distance and shake things up a little.

Richard Weremiuk has done just this and then some with his new race ‘The 12 Labours of Hercules’.

Hercules Transparent

You are already interested aren’t you… what could this enticing name offer?

In Greek mythology, the twelve Labours of Hercules (Greek: δωδέκαθλον, dodekathlon) were a series of episodes carried out as a penance… oh dear, penance, what did Hercules do?

Hera, the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus, apparently drove Hercules mad. So mad, poor old Hercules killed his own six sons! She really must have driven him mad! Somewhat drastic eh. With a lack of a decent judicial system, Hercules pulled himself together and sought purification from King Thespius. To atone his actions he was asked to reside with King Eurystheus for 12 years and to complete 12 Labours. In return he would be rewarded with immortality.

So there you have it. But what on earth could the race entail…. 12 years running with 12 tasks? Of course not!

The Race

On July 20th / 21st 2013, participants in ‘The Twelve Labours of Hercules’ will have just 24 hours to cover between 1 and 78 miles, tackling as many ‘Labours’ as you can. The race offers 3 UTMB points for solo finishers of the full distance.

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It’s a great concept and the format makes the race inclusive for all abilities.

A ’labour’ will be completed by visiting one of twelve chosen control locations in the Peak District and then returning to HQ at the Victorian Gothic Mansion Losehill Hall, Derbyshire.

All Labours will be different. For example, some Labours may require the collection of a small item, which will then need to be returned to Losehill Hall.

Other Labours will only be revealed upon visiting the control point where participation in a task may be required!

Race director, Richard Weremiuk says “If you know us, then you know you should be prepared for anything when you arrive at a location. Be prepared for a few surprises.  All 12 locations within the Peak District have been carefully chosen. The name, or location is specifically or critically tied to one of the mythical Labours.”

The Route

To add spice, the route for the race is under wraps and being kept secret.

Richard says;

“Giving out the route would give away some of the surprises. All we will say is that the route will be held within the borders of Hope Valley in Derbyshire and cover 96 square miles”

Hercules Location

HQ for the 24 hours event is the Victorian gothic mansion, Losehill Hall in Castleton, Derbyshire. This location does offer overnight accommodation too.

Image YHA.org.uk - Andrew Bingham

Image YHA.org.uk – Andrew Bingham

Participants will be issued with a map of the area at ‘check-in’, which will show the 12 suggested routes to the ‘Labour’ locations.

It’s possible to take part as a solo, pair or team (up to 6) and you will be issued with one electronic timing chip supplied by Sportident to track your individual or team progress.

It’s an interesting format and as an alternative to ‘just’ running an element of tactics will come into play. Participants decide which control to visit and in which order. When at a CP they either dib in, perform a task (Labour) or retrieve an object. Each time your return to ‘Olympus’ (or as is most commonly known, HQ). Zeus will be waiting!

In contrast to solo competitors, pairs or teams can pass on the ‘timing chip’ when they have returned to Olympus and then a teammate can complete the next labour and so on.

Sounds simple eh! Well not quite as simple as you think, you see, certain ‘Labours’ must be completed within certain hours, so, this will need to be factored into your planning.

Ultimately, you decide how many Labours you go for BUT you must finish within 24 hours.

Outside the time limit? Every minute incurs a stiff penalty!

The Challenge

Unlike any other race, the twelve Labours of Hercules offers a new exciting perspective to the ultra running format.

As Richard says:

“It is as tough as you want to make it. Complete just one labour or you can choose to complete all twelve which will ultimately mean approximately 80 miles”

The format of solo, pair or team does mean that if you are new to ultra running or basically if you are just after something different, this race may very well tick all the boxes.

Taking place over 24 hours it does mean that night running will be involved. So be prepared.

The race route is by no means easy. It does have plenty of ascent and one control point is underground.

The Hades Cave Control

One area that may worry many is navigation. I asked Richard what skills are required to participate:

“Runners are supplied with an OS map on which will be suggested routes to each CP. CP’s can be reached by road, footpath but others by just footpath. The course is not marked because part of the challenge is choosing how to get to the CP’s in the quickest way possible.”

Richard continued:

“Although expert map reading may not be required it certainly would be prudent to be confident with some elements of map reading in particular identifying your location on a map and being able to take a bearing from a compass. Remember, some of this event will be in the dark”

Participants are allowed to GPS but as Richard says, “this should not be because you don’t know how to map read. A GPS is really a back-up device”.

So, all in all, a tough challenge and not one for the feint hearted. But Hercules wouldn’t want it any other way, so why would you?

Grab your sword and shield…. Sorry, I mean your shoes and backpack and test your self against ‘The Twelve Labours of Hercules.’

Special Offers:

  • A 10% discount is offered on race entry if you contact Richard directly by emailing: info@beyondmarathon.com
  • In addition, the first 10 entries to mention ‘Talk Ultra’ will get a ‘Beyond Marathon’ technical T shirt

Info & Links

  • Official race website is HERE
  • Facebook page is HERE
  • If you are interested in the history of the Twelve Labours, the images below contain a link to inform you of what Hercules endured.