A Brief History 1946-2011

65 years young!. The first Hope Wakes Fell Race was run in 1946, and it is one of the oldest races in North Derbyshire.
The first winner was Bob Randles, who still lives in Hope. In the early days most runners were from Hope & the Hope Valley. Entries were in the order of 10 to 20 runners. The start was on Edale Rd near the Church Shop. The exact course is unknown, but was probably the “ Brinks route”, and the finish was on what is now Eccles Close. We do not know who the original organiser/s were.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s the race did not take place.
In about 1974, Martin Ashmore, a local resident, resurrected the event. He worked hard on re-establishing the race, including being interviewed by Radio Sheffield on Race Day. He continued to organise the race for approximately 6 years, during which the nature of the race changed from being a “local’s” only race to attracting runners from further afiel.d. This included runners from Sheffield, Barnsley, Derby, Altringham and even one German runner. The size of the fields increased over the period of Martin’s tenure.
In 1980, Derick Jewell took over the organisation of the race, which he continued to do for the next 25 years. The fields steadily increased, 1982 =102, 1986 = 206 peaking at 267 in 1991. The Course Record was set in 1985 by Mike Bishop (Staffordshire Moorlands), in a time of 23.46 minutes, which has never been beaten. A Junior Race was introduced at some point, and this took place for a number of years. Sadly it was dropped when the FRA/ UKA rules became more stringent for Junior races. It was replaced by a smaller race around Hope Sports Field.
Derick retired as organiser in 2005. No one came forward at that time to take on the mantle.
There was no race in 2006. At the start of the following year Steve Green & David Wing decided to resurrect the race. That first year they had 80 competitors. A Ladies Cup was introduced for the first time, this was named the Michael Coates Memorial Cup, in remembrance of Mike Coates, who organised the marshals for many years.
The Junior Race & the Children’s Fun Run were re-introduced in 2008. There were 9 entries in the Junior Race, 29 in the Fun Run & the Senior race had 140 entrants.
In 2009, after discussions with the competitors of the previous year, the route was changed to make it more demanding. 5.9 miles with 1483 feet of ascent. The new route was well received. Refreshments were also introduced for the competitors.
In 2010 a computerised Registration and Results Programme was introduced. The numbers were, Senior Race 223, Junior Race 29 & Fun Run 56.
Since 2007, £900 has been raised for local charities. Approximately £1500 profit has been donated to Hope Sports Club, to help with the cost of Wakes Week. From 2007 the Fell Race has been totally self-funding.
Hope Wakes Fell Race Organising Team

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