(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


About once every 10 years we get a ‘bad’un’. The last one was 2006 before that it was 1997 and probably only Jerzy can remember much further back in time. So when he says that this was the wettest ever then you know that it probably was. It was truly remarkable then that of the 265 starters, 200 determined souls had nothing better to do on a Saturday night than trudge through the sodden paths of the Peak District in persistent rain for hours on end. A 75% completion rate is above the hike average so either; the Bullock Smithy entrants are getting tougher, waterproofs are getting better or just the thought of Ed Balls in Strictly Come Dancing or another X Factor series was sufficient motivation just to carry on regardless. It has to be said that the forecast wasn’t too promising. The heavy rain arrived earlier than expected at around 10am, 2 hours before the noon start, and the hope that this meant that it would clear up sooner than the anticipated 4pm proved to be wishful thinking. Before the striking of the customary anvil to get the event underway it was announced slightly tongue in cheek that the revised forecast was for it to stop raining at midday on the Sunday and this actually turned out to be closer to reality than the Met Office forecast.
As well as the competitors, checkpoint staff, particularly at the more exposed locations at Bowstones, Chinley, Edale, Castleton, Chelmorton and especially Edale Cross had a fairly miserable time of it as well and so special thanks to them in particular. At one point during the late evening it did threaten to clear up and some clear skies were briefly noted prior to Earl Sterndale but from there through to Brand Top and Cumberland Cottage it didn’t let up for the duration. Not surprisingly finishing times, with a few notable exceptions for people with webbed feet, were generally an hour or three slower than normal. It is not surprising then to learn that the fastest time was the slowest since 1978. Not that this should detract in any way from Julian Brown’s time of 10h 37m. Julian, a past winner of the Bullock Smithy in 2009 and with numerous second places used all his experience and route knowledge to eventually run and possibly swim down the quintet of Stockport Harriers who finished in his wake some 45 minutes later. Amongst them was Jayne Lawton who completed a trio of victories of the Chinley Trophy.
Not surprisingly the Stockport Harriers group comprising of Jayne, Stephen Jones, David Young, Gino Sassanelli and Rob Crawley secured the Windgather Team Trophy. In the Scouting section, the Axe Edge trophy, which is now awarded to the fastest member of the Scout Movement was won by Bernard Corfe who is a leader from nearby 1st Mile End Scout Group with a time of 14h 6m. The Smithy Cup and Corfield Farrier, which is awarded to the fastest Scout from the local Ladybrook Valley District and from 3rd Hazel Grove Scout Group respectively, was won by Bullock Smithy Explorer Scout Sam Howard. Well done Sam.
Congratulations to all finishers and we hope that you enjoyed your wet day out which made this years’ event quite a lot more challenging and memorable than it already is. Sadly though I have to report one rather depressing incident which marred the event in which a hiker was assaulted at 2am within a few hundred yards of finishing the event on Macclesfield Road. Fortunately the police were able to reprehend the individuals concerned. What a sad world we live in.
My thanks to the brilliant team of people who make this event happen, namely all the friendly checkpoint staff and to everybody else who helped in whatever capacity. Thank you to all the people who have got in touch through twitter or facebook to say thank you – it means a lot.

Finally I am pleased to report that you didn’t miss too much on ‘Strictly’ or ‘X Factor’ and apparently it is going to be dry on 2nd/3rd September 2017 so get your entries in at