(56 miles in the glorious Peak District!)
The first full weekend in September

Starts on the first Saturday in September and is organised by the 3rd Hazel Grove Scout Group affiliated to the Long Distance Walkers' Association (LDWA) - Click to enter the Group's site


Now something of an Institution with walkers and ultra runners from the South Manchester and surrounding areas The Bullock Smithy goes from strength to strength. Entries topped the 300 mark for the first time since 1986 and a record number of 223 finishers made it back to Hazel Grove after the 56 mile tour of the Peak District. Things got underway at 12 noon in Devonshire Park with the traditional strike of the Smithy anvil. This year the starting ritual was bestowed upon the victorious 3rd Gee Cross Jaguar Venture Scout Unit team of 1985 comprising of Andrew Pottage, Tom Buttery, David Baines and Darren Palfreyman who were having a 25 year reunion of their Axe Edge and Bullock Smithy shield triumph. Their Scout team record from that year still stands and is the oldest on the books. The record number of finishers and ‘personal bests’ was no doubt attributed to the almost perfect weather and ground conditions during the previous week and throughout the event. The weather wasn’t quite as warm as it had been the previous few days but nevertheless sun screen and plenty of fluids were the order of the day for the daylight hours. The night stayed mainly fine and dry with just the occasional spot of rain here and there. Although we didn’t experience the moonlight to aid navigation as last year we really couldn’t have got much better. A fresher wind picked up at dawn for the later finishers but the temperature soon picked towards breakfast time.
As ever we are striving to improve the event year on year using newer technology and this time we finally went onto a computerised registration system which seemed to work reasonably well. We will try to get another terminal onboard next year to try and speed up this process further. We also hope to offer an on-line entry facility through the website for next year so look out for this on The event seems to be gaining popularity especially with the ultra runners and we are grateful to the tremendous and loyal support we get from local athletic and fell running clubs in particular from Stockport and Macclesfield Harriers who have an ongoing rivalry stretching back from almost the start of the event in 1975. Our most prolific participants Jerzy Matuszewski (35 completions) and Geoff Pettengell (23 completions) bear testimony to this. This year an unprecedented 30 finishers were home before midnight. Mark Ollerenshaw took the Bullock Smithy trophy for the second time in 3 years in a time of 9 hours 5 minutes, the second fastest ever for the ‘newer’ route. Ian Symington from Macclesfield Harriers made an impressive debut to finish second just nine minutes back and Steve ‘Statto’ Temple filled the third podium place. Sally Keigher from Stockport Harriers smashed her own ladies record from last year by fully 52 minutes to take the Chinley Trophy in a super time of 10 hours 35 minutes.
In a closely fought team competition Macclesfield Harriers again just came out victorious against Stockport. Paul Rushworth with a PB of 10 hours 2 minutes and Mark McDermott in 11:19 supported Ian Symington to lift the Windgather Trophy. Another trophy winner from last year, Gavin Oliver returned all the way from Gordano near Bristol to retain the Shining Tor Trophy as fastest Scout participant in a time of 16:59.
The fastest Scout, and only finisher from Hazel Grove district, was Neil Mycock from Bullock Smithy Explorer Unit who takes the Corfield Farrier and Bullock Smithy Cup. After two DNF’s in the previous two years Neil was determined to crack it this year. Of the 3rd Gee Cross silver jubilee team sadly only Andrew and Tom completed the full re-enactment. Thank you to everybody who helped with the running of this years’ record breaking event in whatever capacity. Thanks to the land and property owners that enable us to get some varied and interesting checkpoint headquarters and to Hazel Grove High School for the use of their minibus. Thank you also to our main event sponsor Ski Equip who are located almost next door to hike HQ on Marcliff Industrial Estate, Macclesfield Road. Finally, my thanks to the Edale, Buxton and Kinder Mountain Rescue Teams who successfully located a missing walker at Edale Cross. It is reassuring to know that these people are on hand day or night.
Next year's event will be on 3rd/4th September 2011. We hope to see there.

Steve Holt