New year, new challenge in Peak District 70th Birthday Bash

Are you ready for a new challenge – taking in some of the Peak District’s most spectacular landscapes while raising money for the National Park’s Foundation?

Runners and long-distance hikers are invited to stride out on Saturday 9th April in the Peak District 70th Birthday Bash, with a choice of distances – 70k or 35k.

The event is organised by social enterprise Peak Running in partnership with the Peak District National Park Foundation.

The Birthday Bash is being held to celebrate the Peak District’s 70th anniversary as the UK’s first national park, while also supporting and promoting the work of the Foundation.

Peak Running is one of the Foundation’s Peak Partners and all proceeds from the event will support conservation and engagement projects in the National Park.

Peak Running founder Andy Brooks says: “The full 70k route is a spectacular tour of some of the best scenery the Peak District has to offer. With around 2600 metres of elevation gain, it is a challenging route but the multitude of breath-taking views make the effort worthwhile.

“The half distance of 35k covers the first half of the longer route but, with over 1300 metres of elevation gain, it is still a challenge that will gain you kudos.”

He adds: “We originally hoped to stage the Birthday Bash in early summer 2021, but it was pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The new date of 9th April means the event can still happen within the Peak District’s 70th anniversary year, which runs from 17th April 2021 to 16th April 2022.

The Peak District National Park Foundation was established to mark 70 years of the UK’s first National Park so celebrating this anniversary and raising vital funds is really important to us. Our runners care passionately about the areas they enjoy and this is our way of making sure we all explore, enjoy and support our National Park to ensure it continues to be a place where we can connect to nature and do our bit to restore the natural world too.

Both routes begin in Castleton and take in the Great Ridge, Lord’s Seat, Hayfield – the gathering point for the 1932 Mass Trespass – Kinder Scout, Jacob’s Ladder and Edale.

Half distance participants will return to Castleton via the Great Ridge while those tackling the full 70k will continue via Hope Cross, Win Hill, Bamford, Stanage Edge, Hathersage and lesser known trails towards Bradwell and back to Castleton.

Foundation fundraising manager Sarah Slowther said: “We’re delighted to be working with Peak Running on this event. A 70k loop showcasing the very best of our varied National Park landscapes is the perfect way to celebrate the Park’s 70th anniversary while raising funds for the future. Our natural world has never been more important for wildlife, wellbeing and climate and the proceeds from this event will support a range of nature recovery projects – including tree planting and moorland restoration – plus projects like Ambassador schools, which connect young people to nature.”

Prices for entry are £50 for the 70k route and £35 for the 35k route. Entries will close at midnight on Sunday 27th March.

For more details visit the website here.