Taking to the hills for tough challenge

Mountain Hardwear event at Bakewell
Mountain Hardwear event at Bakewell

race four of the Mountain Hardwear Open5 Adventure Race was staged in the countryside around Bakewell last weekend and attracted competitors from around the country. A total of 287 outdoor athletes showed up eager to explore the tracks and trails by foot and bike.

The event was the penultimate race in the Mountain Hardwear Open5 Winter series.

Open5 races are held at different locations right across the UK.

Competitors are given a map and five hours to visit as many of the marked control points as they can.

Some controls can only be collected by mountain bike and others only on foot.

It was a crisp, cold morning as the racers gathered at the Bakewell Agricultural Centre. Racers can opt to either bike or run first.

Which of them is tactically more beneficial is hard to judge but most competitors play to their strengths and choose the discipline they are most skilled in first.

The biking tracks and trails are considered ideal for this sort of contest and the bikers climbed from one escarpment to the next, collecting points en route.

Some of the trails got pretty muddy but that was half the fun.

Bikes were exchanged for running shoes or vice versa on completion of the first discipline.

The run was just as challenging following trails near the centre that ran alongside the river or along the railway line.

The event ran smoothly with great weather, a spectacular venue, amazing scenery and great tracks and trails.

A few of the competitors managed to clean up the entire course which is an incredible achievement and a credit to their swift navigational and route choices.

Event planner and adventure racer Ian Hughes said “You only had to see all the smiling faces to see what a great day everyone had in the Peak District national park!“