This April is the 7th annual Derwent Dambuster Challenge, a popular charity event for runners and walkers in the heart of the Peak District.
The Dambuster, which started in 2006, raises money for and helps promote the work of Challenge Cancer Through Adventure (CCTA), a charity that helps people living in or around the Peak District, and diagnosed with cancer or a life-threatening illness, to undertake an adventure.
The route is a 10-mile lap of the Derwent and Howden reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley, following the unsurfaced tracks and quiet tarmac roads that circle the lakes. Three separate events run on the same course - the Challenge Walk, the Fun Run and the more competitive Trail Run. The running events prove particularly popular and have attracted a lot of praise on the Runner's World website.
'This is my favourite race of the year' said one participant in the 2010 event. 'Excellent organisation, fantastic scenery, beautiful weather and mouth watering cakes. What else can you ask for?!!!'
However this year organisers are keen to attract more walkers too.
'The event easily gets filled up by runners, but we don't get as many walkers as we'd like' race organiser and UKH-er Martyn Maltby tells us. 'We need more, and we would like to promote the social side of the event rather than the competitive one.'
'In 2006 I recall there were about 30 entrants, in the pouring rain. But we have managed exceptional weather each time since then. We are limited to 200 entrants by the Peak Park, but I'm sure we'd have double those entries if we were allowed, as it's grown into a very popular event. In the first 12 hours of online entry today we've had around 100 entries. Last year the event was full inside four days.'
Derwent Dambuster Challenge; 21 April 2012; Entry fee £12; for more info visit the website.
Challenge Cancer Through Adventure was established by seven Peak-based adventure activity enthusiasts together with their families and friends. All seven either have, or have had, cancer. They wanted to enable other people with cancer or a life threatening illness to 'live a dream' and also to challenge people's perceptions of illness. For some, Challenge Cancer may provide support for their first adventure experience, for example an abseil or a parachute jump; for others it might support one more great adventure - previous beneficiaries have done anything from kite surfing to Himalayan trekking peaks.