2021 Race Report

The 2021 race report and results:

10am Saturday 27th November 2021 
Since its very successful inauguration in 2019 when 287 runners completed the course, the last two races in November 2020 and March 2021 had to be cancelled due to covid. Rescheduled for November 2021, everyone had their fingers crossed this time round!
Who would have guessed - the second ever Baslow Bolt coinciding with snow! Not since 2009 have we seen snow in Baslow in November! In the early hours of race day, Storm Arwen bought heavy snow and gusty winds to the Peak District. The Baslow Bolt team awoke to a “winter wonderland” (this is the polite description), and set to clearing paths ready to welcome runners in the sure knowledge that this was going to be a memorable event.

 


By 8.15 our race recce runner returned having completed the course. Looking elated, he recounted his experience. Whilst safe and runnable, this was sure to be a test for the hardy fell running community of Baslow Bolters. The snow was wet and so not too treacherous. A stiff northerly wind had blown snow into some deep drifts on Baslow Edge, but would lend a helping hand to runners with a gusty push in the right direction.

AV Timing arrived in plenty of time to set up the chip timing mats, including the KOM for the hill climb to Curbar gap, which necessitated a hazardous snowy drive in a 4x4. Road difficulties that morning did mean that many couldn’t reach the start line. In fact, of 350 entrants we had only 113 starters - all of whom finished in good cheer and without mishap. The adverse weather bought everyone together with a smile - runners and marshals alike.

By 9.30 it was clear that some runners were still on the road, and not going to make the starting gun of 10.00am. We were pleased to extend Registration until 10.30, allowing all those still travelling time to arrive. A fallen tree blocking the A619 from Chesterfield slowed, but didn’t stop, the arrival of some of our intrepid competitors.

 


After the race briefing, which rather emphasised the hazards left that morning by Storm Arwen, the race was started by Rev. Mike Gilbert, Rector of St Anne’s Church. On the count of three, the 113 runners chased through the churchyard and out of the lychgate, to cross the 1608 historic bridge and up through the snowy fields of Bubnell with cheery marshals clapping them on their way. The ridge of Bank and Bramley Woods was particularly beautiful that morning, with snow glazed trees and good visibility with views over to Baslow Edge which awaited. If feet weren’t wet by the time runners reached Bramley Farm pastureland, an unavoidable pool tested waterproof socks to the limit. The going was easy along the river, before hitting the hill climb up to Curbar Gap - a true test of lung capacity! The icing on the cake was the scene above Baslow Edge. Powder snow in drifts against the north side of rocks - pushed there by 50mph winds. The wind also lent a helping hand to runners, who hurtled past the Eaglestone (on a slightly altered route for 2021), before spilling down Baslow Bar to the finish at St Anne’s C of E Primary School.

 


After catching their breath, runners returned to the Church rooms for soup, tea and cake. Given that the team catered for 350 hungry runners, there was plenty to go round! A significant surplus of cake was later donated to staff working in the Emergency Department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital!

 


The overall winner this year was Joe Oldfield, who is the reigning champion from 2019. Unbelievably - Joe’s chip time this year was within 30 seconds of his 2019 time. It takes more than Storm Arwen to slow Joe down! Kate MacFarlane had a fantastic run to win the prize for first lady, and first locals (live in Baslow / Bubnell) were Michael Brown (M) and Cindy Woodhead (F). Many congratulations to the winners of all the category prizes! See the separate results list for all winners and finish positions. Joe Oldfield was also the winner of the new King of the Mountain segment climb.

 


The final contribution to the PTFA fund for the village primary school will be in excess of £3000. Headteacher Mrs Clark, has already made plans to use this funding to significantly improve the outdoor education and play area for the youngest children in the school.

 


And finally, the Baslow Bolt will be back next year with a likely date of Saturday 26th November. With nearly 100 on the waiting list this year demand is likely to be high! We wonder what surprises Mother Nature will bring next year!
 
 
 

 


Race report by Richard Conroy & David Elphick, co-race organisers.
Many thanks to all of the runners and our many amazing marshals that braved Storm Arwen. The results from this year's race are as follows:

Overall results:
 

 

 

Age group results: