Walkers and runners step up to new Peak District Challenge

In perfect autumnal weather last weekend, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust teamed up with runners from the inov-8 Bakewell store and SUMMAT coffee shop for the launch of the Wild Peak Rounds.
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The rounds are newly devised routes that link up to 17 Derbyshire Wildlife Trust nature reserves. They provide a year-round challenge for walkers and runners to tackle.

There are three distances to choose from – 15km (mini round), 50km (half round) and 120km (full round). Each starts and finishes at the inov-8 Bakewell store in King Street.

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Saturday October 28 saw two groups of walkers and runners become the first to tackle the 15km mini round. The running group, led by run leaders from SUMMAT Run Club, included inov-8 athlete Jack Scott, who has won several high-profile ultramarathons in the UK.

Runners about to start the Wild Peak Rounds 15km routeRunners about to start the Wild Peak Rounds 15km route
Runners about to start the Wild Peak Rounds 15km route

The following day, Jack – along with Sam Willis from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Nick Jones, one of their volunteers – ran the 50km half round. Chris Andrade, one of the inov-8 Bakewell staff team, went even further, completing the 120km full round, supported by colleague, Lauren Wilson.

The Wild Peak Rounds are now open to all runners and walkers, with full details on the website.

All finishers earn a free coffee from SUMMAT, a limited-edition Wild Peak Ale from Peak Ales and a custom wooden coaster courtesy of inov-8. There will also be leader-boards for the half and full rounds.

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Sam Willis, Living Landscape Officer at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said: “The rounds take in some of the most stunning scenery in the Peak District. You’ll be taken to areas of the National Park that many wouldn’t normally see and up to 17 of Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s fabulous nature reserves.

Runners during the Wild Peak Rounds 25km routeRunners during the Wild Peak Rounds 25km route
Runners during the Wild Peak Rounds 25km route

“The routes taken by participants highlight the isolated and fragmented nature of our reserves within the broader landscape. Our hope is that this experience will raise awareness and garner support for our Wild Peak initiative, which aims to create more wild landscapes and connectivity across the Peak District.”

Matt Sherwood, inov-8 Bakewell Store Manager, added: “We’re thrilled that the store, only a few weeks after launch, has become a community hub for like-minded people to get together, head out on adventures and share their memories afterwards over a coffee.

“This Friday (November 3) sees the launch of our first film night, together with Kendal Mountain Festival, and it’s already a sell out. Pop into store or follow us on Instagram at @inov8bakewell for details of what’s on next!”