MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018

Nine Edges Outside Winter Run

It's an Outside tradition now; each year during the winter months we run the Nine Edges route after work.  The 21-mile route – which has over 600 metres of ascent – can be considered hard enough during the day, but to do it in the dark, after a day at work in winter must mean we all have a bit of a screw loose.

We all mustered at the Fairholmes car park at Ladybower reservoir. This year we had two teams taking on the challenge; the running team and the bike team were made up of Outside staff past and present, the guys from Alpkit up the road and representatives from our suppliers Lyon, Leki, UD and Silva. 

The Nine Edges: always cold, frequently snowing and

we can't see a thing beyond our headtorch beams. But fun!

Altogether there were 16 runners and 6 cyclists at the start, with arrangements made for friends to meet us along the way for a shorter challenge. Although the start and end points were the same, the planned routes were slightly different due to rules about bikes on footpaths and bridleways, plus the bike team rode from Hathersage to the start add to their mileage (all along the flat though!).

At 6pm we set off in the dark, heading up to the first of the edges, Derwent Edge.  The weather was cold, snowy and windy, but the sky did start to clear as the evening went on and thanks to the large moon reflecting off the snow it was fairly bright.  As we dropped down toward Moscar we could see the lights of the bike team approaching the ford at Cutthroat bridge, and we shouted encouragement (or was it abuse?!) Sadly, it was wasted as they couldn’t hear us! 

At the first checkpoint we met up with our trusty support man David Wing (a.k.a. Wingy) who greeted us with snacks and water.  After some banter we were back on our way up the muddy path along to Stanage.  We rock hopped our way along the snowy edge and eventually reached Burbage North. From there we blasted down the green drive to Burbage South which is just over half way.  Wingy popped up again here for a second re-supply, and a couple of the team peeled off for an early night. 

Bit fuzzy at the edges by now

The rest of us now tackled the next section through Longshaw to the Grouse Pub and on towards Froggatt Edge.  We met up with our friend Paul at the Grouse who was joining us for the last 5 miles, and we followed the bike tracks in the snow along Froggatt Edge (now a concessionary bridleway). 

There is always a bit more uphill than I remember on the Froggatt section and my pace certainly started to slow down. After a final meet up with Wingy at Curbar Gap we went on to Baslow Edge. For me this is the crux, as by now you are very close to the finish line but it seems to go on forever! 

The bike team sped along Baslow Edge and down to the crossroads which ended their off-road section, and were now blasting along the back roads that eventually took them to the finish at the Robin Hood pub.  Once we had run down past Willington’s monument we fought through one last uphill boggy section which took us past Gardoms and Birchen Edge and then down to the very welcome finish, where the bike team was waiting for us. 

The pub was closed even though it wasn't yet 10.30, but as always, our Wingman had come prepared and we pulled a celebratory beer out of his boot.  We didn’t stay for long though as we all chilled very quickly in the sub-zero temperatures.

As always, it is great to have such a good turn out and committed support.  Big thanks to John and Jon from Lyon/Petzl, Lee from Ultimate Direction, Gus from Silva and Simon from Leki for running with us and providing test gear and to our buddies up the road from Alpkit who didn’t hesitate to get stuck in. And a special thanks to our support man Wingy, for his continued enthusiasm for our silly challenge.



MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2018
By Rob Turnbull
Managing Director

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Rob Turnbull
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