The weather gods were less than kind at Sunday’s (29 July) Three Peaks of Chinley. Torrential rain and strong winds battered runners, walkers and marshals but they kept smiling throughout.
Stormy conditions marked an end to the heatwave, pushing everyone to their limits as they tackled South Head, Chinley Churn and Eccles Pike in the High Peak area of Derbyshire. The village of Chinley is situated on the edge of the Peak District so the entrants knew what to expect in terms of elevation, terrain, weather etc.
It was organised by Crazy Legs Events and open to walkers as well as runners, individuals, teams and family groups who armed with maps, navigated their way over one, two or all three summits. The total distance was 9.5 miles depending upon the route chosen with checkpoints at each summit. These could be visited in any order.
Walkers could set off any time between 8.00am and 9.15am; runners had to start before 10am. Foul weather up top made it heavy going for the entrants not to mention the marshals who tried to shelter from the worst of it behind rocks. There was no such relief for those volunteers manning the checkpoint on South Head which was exposed to the elements.
James Aird was the first runner to complete all three peaks in 1:30:39. Katy Thornhill was the first lady in 1:31:56. The Fell Devils were the winning team.
There was a ‘never say die’ attitude on display from everyone involved, from the walkers and runners to the marshals and organisers. Soaked to the skin yet happy they enjoyed a post-event hot meal and the chance to dry out at the Paper Mill Inn in Whitehough, Chinley.
Image courtesy of Matt Shone.