The ‘Peak Raid 3’ series of events have been held each autumn/winter for the past 4 years and over that time they have grown in popularity. The events follow a simple format of a 3-hour score format with 15 controls totalling 500 points, which has enabled all abilities to enjoy the challenge of testing themselves technically and physically in some of the wildest and remotest parts of the Peak District.
One of the events unique selling points (USP’s) are the specially produced maps which are made by award-winning mappers Peel Land Surveys. The maps follow a ‘standard’ mountain marathon format familiar with people who have taken part in Karrimor International Mountain Marathons (now the OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) but as they are a large scale at 1:25,000 they contain the type of detail you might expect on an orienteering map. This has enabled the planners to fairly position controls off trail in more complex terrain and has been greatly enjoyed by seasoned orienteers and fell runners alike.
It’s this unique combination of quality mapping and planning, set in a wonderful Peak District setting, which has made them popular not only with fell runners and orienteers but also triathletes, mountaineers, traditional runners and complete novices.
The course planning has also been a critical part of the events appeal with control points carefully positioned across the terrain to provide a rewarding challenge to both elite competitors and those of a more average ability.
The score format enables people of all abilities to do as much or as little as they like and this coupled with the fact that people can take part in pairs, has made them appealing to people wishing to take up navigation events. So much so that there is an increasing number of our competitors who have enjoyed Peak Raid 3 trying out traditional orienteering.
Sue Richmond’s Peak Raid story is a great example of their appeal.
Sue Richmond is now one of the most successful competitors having won the overall women’s title in 2017 and now also appears at mainstream orienteering events.
The men’s competition has been dominated by former international orienteer Richard Robinson from Nottinghamshire Orienteering Club (NOC), who over the seasons has been the only person to gain maximum 500 points at an event. 2017 proved a different script with Philip Vokes from Loughborough University Orienteering Club (LUOC) providing stiff competition and eventually coming out on top to take the 2017 title.
One final piece of the jigsaw for the success of Peak Raid 3 has been the small group of volunteers and sponsors who as a team have delivered quality and friendly events. The same group, of about half a dozen, volunteer at all the events, which builds comradery and leads to a sense of ownership in the ‘product’.
Photo (above left): Anna Darlington and Helena Burrows finishing strongly.
Photo (above right): Map sample.
Photo above (left): Snowy conditions at the final event.
Photo above (right): Taking time to plan your route is time well spent .
Photo above: Series winner Philip Vokes (centre) with sponsors Jim Moseley, Cargo2go (left) and Debbie Smith, Accelerate (right).
The 2018 season kicks off in September.
For more information visit here.