Dusk Till Dawn 50 mile ultra – 26/27th October 2019

I shall say nothing… too late, I just did. Over to Sam

A few months a go I was offered a place for this race by the organiser, due to me fundraising for The Brain Tumour Charity. The race doesn’t make any profit and for the last 3 years whatever money has been left over has gone to its nominated charity The Brain Tumour.
I deliberated over the offer for a few weeks, researched the race a little bit and then thought why not go for it – challenge myself.

Then a few weeks a go I heard Simon Bray from Sinfin Running club( fellow Derby club) was doing it.
This last week I have been very worried about taking this event on, have I bitten off more than I can chew here. I have a number of fears with running off road – navigation, falling over, going down hill. Dusk till Dawn has all the opportunity of the above and more, especially the fells but on a extreme level but add in the 50 mile distance.

I needed to reassure myself some how on my fears, I asked Simon for a lift but also tapped him up if I could run with him. He said yes but it will be slow, I didn’t mind that as my aim was to finish but we can support each other. Simon has done a few off road ultras and run on the fells plus did this race last year.
Simon picked me up at 2pm ish yesterday, only been driving 10 mins – I’ve forgot my compass (it’s kit requirement)Turn round back we go oh no I can’t find it, so borrowed one from my dad. We arrived around 3:30pm – kit check done, chip and tracker collected, race brief in 30 mins.
The race brief seemed to go on forever, but have to understand this is serious off road racing.
Main element of the race is set off at Dusk and attempt to finish at Dawn, but whilst running you are being chased by the Grim Sweeper who runs at 3.55 mph – if he catches you that’s it you are out of the race.

Steady start first couple of miles but then the hills started, weather forecast was cold night and no rain. I started with 3 layers on top and 2XU leggings, I’m keeping the cold out early on.

As the race went on, it showed the course was very wet – lots of flooding to contend with, one section was knee deep. This also made a lot of it soft under foot, flagstones slippy – oh here we go fall over no.1
Then the wind and rain started as we were heading to Shining Tor, it was proper gnarly as well – fall over no.2
Hills continued to come a lot, the technical bits were tough fall over 3,4,5 followed throughout the night. I could create a scrapbook of fall overs from last night.

As we approached Mam Tor it was proper gnarly again, but as we neared the top it showed we weren’t going to beat sunrise. But that didn’t matter especially with the sunrise that greeted us after 47 miles out on the Peak District – I won’t forget that.
The Grim Sweeper wasn’t going to catch us so it was a finish and a silver medal for Simon and me, he can put his scythe away now.

Unfortunately we did go wrong a couple of times or couldn’t find our way out of a field so total distance ran 53.53 miles in 15 hrs 22 mins

I enjoyed the savoury snacks at the CP, I now love pork pie

Over 15 hrs out on the Peak District last night/ this morning with the weather/ terrain playing against us. Was true character building, mental strength, madness, stubbornness and guess what this road runner can take on the fells and off road even if it means falling over a lot.
I feel like I conquered something massive last night.

Thank you so much to Simon Bray for his support, advice.

Sam Pearch