Featuring 3300m of ascent, the 100km Gold Ultra route is the ultimate Peak District Challenge, and should be attempted by teams of fit and experienced trekkers or runners who want to see the best that the Peak District has to offer. You’ll visit high points and viewpoints on your way between checkpoints, and there is a lot of climbing involved. You’ll leave Hathersage at 9pm on the night of Friday 17 September 2021. Night navigation experience is essential.
Cutoffs and pace
To be successful, you’ll need to maintain over 4kph to complete the Gold Challenge inside your 24 hour target. If you fail to meet a cutoff on the Gold challenge, you will be able to continue on the 75km Silver route, which follows the shortest, flattest distance between checkpoints.
Detailed route information is be provided to entrants seven days before the event, but a broad overview of the provisional route is below. The terrain is a mixture of trails, grassy footpaths and under 15% tarmac minor roads.
Your challenge begins with a walk up on to the Dark Peak moors. You will cross Stanage edge, site of Robin Hood’s cave, and Moscar Cross Road to reach and start your climb over Derwent Moors. Next it’s a descent to Ladybower Valley and an easy flat section around Ladybower reservoirs where the Dambusters trained for their bombing missions in WWII.
As dawn breaks, you will climb to the geological oddity of Alport Castle, before descending to a section of well-made tracks round to popular Castleton.
Turning back north, you’ll ascend to Hollins cross and continue to the head of the Vale of Edale and the next climb to Jacobs Ladder and stunning views over Hayfield. You are given a short break in navigational difficulty as tracks and lanes lead to Peak Forest in the white Peak and the valley nature reserve at Hay Dale. Your map will come out again as a mixture of paths and tracks lead between a string of pretty villages in the undulating limestone landscape, finally leading to Calver on the river Derwent.
The final section of the challenge takes you past popular climbing venues on the eastern gritstone edges above Curbar, Froggatt and Burbage. Your challenge draws to a close with dusky views over the river Derwent and a final climb over Owler Tor before the final grassy slope down home to Hathersage.
ITRA and UTMB (r) points
The Gold Ultra 100K is worth 4 ITRA points (https://itra.run)
It was a 2020 UTMB (r) qualifying race.