Runners flock to city to take on legendary hills

Rob Little wins the 12.12mile Trails race at the Big Running Weekend at Whirlow Hall Farm
Rob Little wins the 12.12mile Trails race at the Big Running Weekend at Whirlow Hall Farm
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RUNNERS from across the UK are gathered in Sheffield to take on the city’s hilly terrain in a festival of running.

Whirlow Hall Farm’s inaugural Big Running Weekend - which continues today - has attracted more than 400 fitness fanatics for a three-day event.

Sula Gay, Female winner, of 12.12 mile Whirlow Hall Big Running Weekend Race, pictured at Burbage Bridge.

Sula Gay, Female winner, of 12.12 mile Whirlow Hall Big Running Weekend Race, pictured at Burbage Bridge.

Fifty extreme athletes set off yesterday morning on a 56.5-mile ultra tour of the Peak District.

They left Whirlow at 8am before heading across Hallam Moors, along Stanage Edge, up to the Kinder plateau and back through Edale, Castleton and Hathersage.

The first competitors were expected to cross the finish line last night, and others not until the early hours of this morning.

Around 150 runners took part in a shorter 12.12-mile race across Burbage Moor.

Rob Little, aged 27, from Crookes, Sheffield, led a tight sprint finish to come home in 1 hour, 23 minutes, 31 seconds.

The medical researcher, a member of the Dark Peak Fell Runners, said: “It was great fun, if a bit muddy. We were all pushing each other really hard.

“This is a great event to have in Sheffield, and I hope they do it again.

“There were some talented runners taking part which makes it really good, but there were also a lot of people doing it for the fun of it, which is great.”

Chris Shelton, 33, from Clay Cross, came in just four seconds behind Rob, and Stuart Bond, 35, of Chesterfield, five seconds later.

The first woman, Sula Gay, from Edinburgh, crossed the line in 1:38.08.

The event continues today with a 10k trail race and 3km children’s fun run, orienteering and family events.

Tony Pedder, chair of the Whirlow Hall Farm Trust, said the event would help raise the profile of the educational charity, which needs £300,000 a year to stay open.