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Bullock Smithy Hike

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Date:  Saturday 7 September 2019

Distance:  56 miles (Long)

Ascent:  8095ft/2470m

2017 winning time:  8:58 (I can’t find the 2018 results online)

NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES

The Bullock Smithy Hike is another event making a welcome return to the Runfurther Champs. It is like the Fellsman in that it is organised by a scout group, you need to be able to navigate (in fact some reconnoitres are strongly recommended to get the distance down to as close as the advertised 56 miles as possible) and they have certain kit and grouping rules. However it’s unlike the Fellsman in that the route is less challenging,  at lower level and never very far from civilisation.
The start is at midday to ensure that all but the winner get to do some night running. The route takes us from Hazel Grove, Stockport in a big loop out beyond Buxton through the Dark and White Peak areas. There are plenty of ups and downs, more so in the first half. On the return leg you descend for almost 15 miles (with the odd minor climb) back to the finish, which is perfect for maintaining progress on tired legs.
Up to 1999 there were no route notes; the responsibility was on each ‘hiker’ to navigate personal routes between checkpoints. Then in 2000 the New Bullock Smithy Hike was born and for the first time, basic ‘suggested route’ instructions – i.e. not compulsory – were produced. The new route takes a longer, tougher and more interesting route from Earl Sterndale at the 35 mile point. It has to be said, however, that the suggested route comes in at well over 56 miles, hence the ongoing need for personal route choices.
The present route takes us through checkpoints at Bowstones, Chinley Churn, Edale Cross, Edale, Castleton, Peak Forest, Miller’s Dale, Chelmorton (near), Earl Sterndale, Brand Top, Cumberland Cottage, Walker Barn and Whiteley Green before returning back to Hazel Grove and the all-night breakfast. The frequent checkpoints, rarely more than 5 miles apart, offer the best possible support. In addition to the usual crisps, biscuits, cakes and orange segments, you will also find rice pudding and tinned fruit at Edale, jam sandwiches at Castleton, soup and bread at Miller’s Dale, jam doughnuts at Chelmorton and hot dogs at Brand Top. This friendly event is topped off by the presentation ceremony at 10am on Sunday and the excellent on-line results analysis provided by Steve Temple. When you’ve done it once done you’ll keep coming back.