Dig Deep Peak District 2015

2015 turned out to be a corking year for the Peak District races with some great races and weather. There were just under 600 runners in total racing through the Peak District over 4 courses ranging in distance from 60 miles to 6 miles. The weather was kind enough to give us beautiful blue skies and cool running conditions and, as the Summit Fever photographs show, the Peak District shew us its best side!

Friday evening kicked off with the usual mix of runners registering for the Ultras, pitching tents and generally dodging the grim weather (yes, it does rain in the Peak!). The Whirlow Hall Farm kitchen kicked in to life and there was some giant portions of Lasagne being dished up when the talks started. Milly Voice, Shelli Gordon, Sally Fawcett and Nikki Spinks provided the talks and had slightly different takes on Ultra distance running. Sometimes, when listening to these talks, it’s easy to forget exactly what they put themselves through to achieve the things they do. Thanks ladies – truly inspirational stuff!

Fortunately the rain stopped on Friday evening and Saturday dawned cool and sunny. At 6am the Ultra Tour of The Peak District started closely followed by the Peak Trails intro Ultra at 8am. The races were on!

There were some great battles going on throughout the day and we were over the moon when Ian Gower and Caitlin Rice crossed the line to take joint overall 1st (Ian was 1st V40 and Cailtin was 1st F) and winners of the Ultra Tour of the Peak District. The pair ran together pretty much from the start and proved a powerful combination.

The intro was also closely fought with Matty Brennan, Charlie Sharp and Lee Kemp battling it out throughout the race. Lee eventually opened up enough of a gap winning with 4 minutes between him and Charlie Sharp and then just under 3 minutes back to Matty. Kate Hasting won the Female race with Liz Lewin taking 2 nd place overall in the female category and 1st in the FV40 category. There was just 4 minutes separating the first 3 females so, again, an excellent race.

It was a blurry eyed start to the Sundays racing following a late finish for 1 or 2 individuals on the UTPD (2.30am) but a sunny day and the smell of the Whirlow Hall BBQ and fresh coffee soon got the juices going.

The 12.12 and the Whirlow Hall Trail 10K are both fast races with a decent amount of ascent in both of them. Again, there were some great battles with Julian Lings winning the 12.12 race in 1:21:37, 5 minutes in front of second place Steve franklin. Sally Fawcett took first place in 1:41:06 proving that she can run fast as well as long! 2nd place female went to Hanna Gilman who also won 1st place female V40.

The 10k is a fundraising event for the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, this year raising just over £2000,00 for the charity. However, this doesn’t deter it from being a competitive race and it was closely fought. The men’s race was won by Adam Dunasko narrowly beating male V50 runner Simon Pyke by 3 seconds. The ladies race was won by Alex baker, 2nd place going to Judith Jepson who won her V40 category.

Full weekend’s race results are below:

Ultra Splits


Special Mention

As some of you may be aware back in October 2014 we ran a competition called 0 – 30 in 10 months. The idea was to get 2 individuals with limited or no running experience and to provide them with the necessary tools (training plans, kit etc) to complete the 30 miler. We were very proud when both James and Tonya crossed the line on Saturday. They had both witnessed the ups and downs of ultra training and had come through with smiles on their faces and the obligatory aches and pains. Well done guys!


Dig Deep takes an enormous amount of work to put together and there are so many people and organisations involved that it’s hard to give them all justice. All I can say is that without them all Dig Deep wouldn’t be the race that it is. Thanks, in no particular order, to Mammut, Clif, Ultimate Directon, Injinji, Outside, Trail Running Magazine, Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, Summit Fever, Fell Running Guide (Dave Taylor) and the Eight Point Two team.


It was a great weekend of racing and we feel the races showcase some of the best of Peak District trail running. We were delighted to see so many old faces returning and to hear their stories. The good news was that the early starts seemed to work with significantly less people struggling in the dark on the final sections back over the Burbage Valley. The move away from providing maps also seemed to help focus people on the actual route. Again, this seemed to result in less navigational errors.

We recognised there was some confusion with the maps so we will look in to how we can resolve this for 2016. We are also going to look in to the dibber penalties. Historically we have penalised missed dibbing quite highly giving 1 hour penalties on all missed checkpoints. We have done this largely because of the safety factor surrounding dibbing – i.e. we are able to track a runner’s movement around the course by their dibbing. However, from a racing perspective, we have realised that some of these penalties are very high and we will review this for 2016.

Dig Deep 2016

The Peak event is booked in for the 20th and 21st August 2016 so we hope to see you all back again next year!!