News en route
Friends' Summer Newsletter 2021
The new Summer Newsletter of the Friends of A Dales High
Way is now available as a downloadable pdf file.
It's been a strange year, but thankfully we are beginning to
get back towards some sort of normality, and walkers are
returning to walk A Dales High Way
Julia Pearson, who chairs the Friends, considers what wild
treats can be found along the Way, as she bumps into some
walkers just setting out along the route for the second time.
There's an in-depth account of the very first Ultra-marathon
race along the trail, run by Punk Panther Marathons. Winner
Daniel Hendriksen completed the 90-mile run in under 21 hours!
The Friends' were on hand running the checkpoint at
Bradford Council has been busy with some important upgrades
to the route that falls in their patch, along with improvements
on Ingleborough courtesy of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
The return to full normality - expected on June 21st - has
been put on hold for at least a month, as there are worrying
signs of a further wave of infections. But hopefully the
roll-out of vaccinations will help us get there soon.
In the meantime, get back out on the Fells once more and
enjoy the summer!
19 June 2021
New footway alongside busy Otley Road section
A potentially dangerous short road section near the start of
A Dales High Way has been made safe, thanks to work by Bradford
Council's Highways department.
The 200 metre road section leads from Weecher Reservoir onto
Bingley Moor. Traffic along this stretch is very fast and the
only verge on one side was difficult on foot due to a drainage
ditch. This has now been stabilised and filled over with gravel,
and bollards have been erected to separate it from the traffic.
The improvement had been requested by walkers from the
local Walkers are Welcome groups and the Friends of A Dales
High Way. The section is used by other local trails, including
the Welcome Way and Bradford Millenium Way.
Originally it was anticipated that walkers' groups would raise
money towards the cost of the work, but in the end the council
received additional government funding to cover the full cost.
This means a much safer passage for walkers. Our thanks must
go to Kevin Whittaker of Bradford Highways in particular for
making this happen!
1 June 2021
Runners complete first Dales High Way Ultra
17 runners set off on the first Dales High Way Ultra,
organised by Punk Panther Ultra Marathons, with 12
finishing the gruelling race on Sunday morning.
Jason Millward set a blistering pace throughout the race, and
as he was tracked dropping from the Howgill Fells it looked
certain that he'd smash the record set only 2 days before. Alas,
Jason was forced to withdraw at the final stage.
First to finish was Daniel Hendriksen, in just 20 hours 56
minutes. Daniel then went on to complete the 100 mile circuit
taking in the additional High Cup Nick circular!
Second place on the Dales High Way went to Mark Kennedy, who
came in 2 hours later. Second spot on the long race went to
Andrew Merrick, who came in alongside
the first woman to finish, Jane McCarthy, who set a new woman's
record for the route at 23 hours and 2 minutes. Both also went on to
complete the 100 miles.
Javid Bhatti was the other runner to complete 100 miles, with
a further 8 runners completing the 90-mile Dales High Way.
Race organiser Ryk Downs said: "The race started in
torrential rain, which lasted until Settle, and the timing meant
everyone had to go through the Howgills in the dark, which was a
huge challenge. All runners thoroughly enjoyed themselves saying
that the route was stunning, yet brutal to run, especially in
the conditions. They all said they would be back next year,
several experienced runners saying it was the best race they had
The Friends of A Dales High Way ran the Settle
checkpoint and had a great time. The Friends received a generous
donation of £170 from the race organisers.
Photos: (top) Daniel Hendriksen presented with the Winner's
Trophy by Ryk and Beverley Downes. Jane McCarthy receives the
Women's Trophy and Andrew Merrick Runner-up Trophy from
organisers Ryk Downes and Steven Brown (bottom left) and David &
Bridget from the Friends at the Settle checkpoint (bottom
14 May 2021
New record set before race begins
A new Fastest Known Time record for running the route of
A Dales High Way has been set just
hours before the Punk Panther Ultra marathon set off.
The record - an incredible 20 hours 31 minutes 23 seconds was
set by Mark Kerry as he ran into Appleby at 7.45 pm on Friday
night. Mark, a "Montane Ambassador", had set off from Saltaire
in the dark at 11.13 pm on Thursday night, running with a
support crew including a rota of pace runners.
He was blessed with good weather conditions.
After Chris Grogan congratulated him on his achievement, Mark
replied "Had such a great day out. Fantastic route."
Meanwhile, the first Punk Panther runners left Saltaire just
after 6 am Saturday morning, as rain started to fall. Heavy rain
is forecast for the duration, making this a very tough
challenge, but the runners were all cheerful and in good
Photo shows Mark Kerry.
8 May 2012