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Supporting the:
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Registered charity 1182136
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*** LATEST NEWS: Sadly the Dipper has been cancelled again in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will be back strong in 2022.  ***



The Dovedale Dipper is a challenging trail event for runners and walkers in the Peak District National Park. Based in the picturesque village of Hartington, there is a choice of distances on two great routes which explore a wonderful part of the white peak area. 
The Dipper is a popular fixture with both runners and hikers, who travel from far and wide to take part. It was organised by the Matlock Rotary Club from 2003 until the 2019 event, which they announced would be the last. However, as the Dipper had been one of our favourite events, which we'd enjoyed taking part in for many years, we couldn't let it die. So we're delighted that the team at Matlock Rotary agreed to hand over the reins to Peak Running for us to continue organising from 2020 onwards. 
Both the long and short routes take participants on a challenging but extremely scenic journey through the hills, valleys and villages on the Derbyshire-Staffordshire border. 
The Big Dipper
Our long route is comfortably a marathon distance (some may even claim it's an ultra as it's closer to 27-miles than 26!). It's an anticlockwise route exploring both the Dove and Manifold valleys, sometimes weaving around the hills and sometimes going over them to provide some spectacular views. 
The Little Dipper
The shorter route provides a great options for those who aren't up for a full marathon distance, or would like a more leisurely day out in the Peaks. It's not to be underestimated though, as you don't get to avoid the best hills.

Event Information


Entries will go on sale on Saturday 1st February 2020 at 11am and close at midnight on 26th July 2020 or earlier if the capacity is reached. The price for entry is £20, plus a £2 supplement for participants who are not affiliated to UK Athletics or members of the Trail Runnings Association. If any entries remain, these will be made available on the day with a late entry supplement of £5. Up to 400 places are available, which will be distributed across the four start times. The exact allocation to each start will be adjusted as necessary depending on the popularity of each category. By purchasing an entry you agree to the terms on conditions specified below in the 'Taking Part' section of this website.

What's Included?

  • Participation in a run/hike on a spectacular route in the Peak District National Park

  • Full results

  • A certificate for all finishers

  • Comprehensive event guide

  • Access to a detailed route description

  • GPX file of the route

  • Refreshments at aid stations

  • Hot meal at the finish

  • Support from an highly experienced and enthusiastic event team

  • Professional medical support

  • Option to purchase a high quality event technical t-shirt (order when entering)


The event in based in the heart of the picturesque village of Hartington. The village is situated in the Dove valley and is surrounded by beautiful countryside.

The base for the race and event HQ is Hartington Village Hall which is on Hide Lane close to the centre of the village.

The address is:

Hartington Village Hall

Hide Lane



SK17 0AW

Race Ethos

Our ethos for the event is aligned with our ethos for Peak Running as a whole. We want it to be an event that is capable of challenging even the most experienced runners and hikers, while also being accessible to a wide range of people who want to challenge themselves in a wonderful environment. We want there to be some tough competition at the front of the fields in each distance. But we also recognise that, for the majority, simply taking part and finishing is winning for them. So even if you're not a fast runner, or you'd prefer to hike, it's designed to accommodate you. From a broader perspective, we want to make it an event that has a positive impact on the Peak District, its communities and the local environment. An event that residents, local businesses, and those that look after the delicate landscapes within the park, support and look foward to. Our commitments to this fundamental aim for the event include:

  • Donating a proportion of the profits to the Peak District National Park Foundation charity to help them protect this wonderful park, for everyone, forever.
  • Building strong relationships with the park authorities and land managers, their rangers and other stakeholders.
  • Organising conservation days for runners to help carry out important conservation and restoration work on the trails within the park.
  • Using the event as a vehicle to help promote and educate people on the work and behaviours necessary to maintain the beauty of the park for future generations.
  • Using community facilities for event HQ and checkpoints wherever possible.
  • Using local independant and community buinesses for supplies, such as race mementos, t-shirts etc.
  • Ensuring there will be no trace of the event by the time it is wrapped up on the Sunday.
In addition the event will support the annual charity of its founders, the Matlock Rotary Club. In 2020 this will be Edale Mountain Rescue.


The Dipper will take place on Sunday 2nd August 2020.

The key elements of the programme for the day are as follows:

07:30 Registration Opens

09:00 Walkers Start - The Big Dipper (26-miles)

09:30 Walkers Start - The Little Dipper (15-miles)

10:00 Runners Start - The Big Dipper (26-miles)

10:30 Runners Start - The Little Dipper (15-miles)

20:00 Deadline to complete both courses.

Interim cut-off times will also be applied at checkpoints for participants who are not on schedule to reach the finish by 20:00..

Event Team

Our event team are renowned for their enthusiasm and ability to bring a sense of fun to an event, while maintaining the professional standards needed to ensure a smooth and safe event for all involved.

Many of them have supported the Dipper for years and/or are runners or hikers themselves, so they know what it’s all about and know what you need, maybe even before you do. If you are interested in joining the team please contact us.

Car Parking

Details of event car parking are currently being finalised.

Full details of the arrangements will be provided here and in the Event Guide prior the event.

Local Accommodation

There are various accommodation options in the area. Locally there is a Youth Hostel (Hartington Hall) on the edge of the village and a number of camp sites in the area. There are also various pubs with accommodation, B&Bs and holiday cottages.

See the village website for more information

The nearest towns with greater accommodation options are Ashbourne (12 miles), Buxton (12 miles) and Leek (10-miles).


Taking Part

Experience Required

Although there is no formal qualifying criteria for taking part in the Dipper, we recommend that you do have some prior experience of long distance hiking or running over strenuous terrain. Also, that you have at least a basic level of map reading / navigation skills. See the 'Navigation' section below for more information on this.


The courses have been designed to make them relatively straight forward to follow, using well-trodden trails so far as possible. However, other than signs provided by the authorities to highlight rights of way, there will only be limited course markings and these will be in areas we believe may be confusing or a footpath is difficult to find (e.g. through a farm yard). Also, there is always a risk of outside interference/removal of these by persons not conntecte with the event. You are therefore ultimately responsible for your own route finding around the course.

Clear step by step route instructions will be made available to participants on each course, together with gpx files that can be loaded into GPS enabled watches, smartphone apps or other devices. These will be provided well in advance of the race so you can familiarise yourself with them.

You will, however, be expected bring and carry a printed map of the route. This should ideally be an Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale map, or equivalent. 1:50,000 scale is the minimum standard.

Permission for the event from the National Park Authority and landowners is based on participants using the designated route, which minimises the impact on the delicate landscapes in the area.

You must follow the designated route for your event throughout the event. Deliberate deviations from the route will result in disqualification and will also put the future editions of the Dipper in jeopardy.

Kit Requirements

Weather conditions can be unpredictable in the Peak District at any time of year, and poor conditions will affect you more when you are tired. The mandatory kit requirements should therefore be considered to be the minimum that you should carry, not the maximum.

Mandatory requirements are:

  • Whistle

  • Emergency bivi bag or space blanket

  • Magnetic compass

  • Map(s) covering the whole area of the route (Ordnance Survey or Harvey 1:25k scale preferred, 1:50k is the minimum requirement)

  • Appropriate clothing for the challenge and weather conditions

  • Appropriate footwear (trail shoes recommended, or walking boots for hikers)

  • Waterproof jacket, with hood and taped seams

  • Emergency food (at least 400 calories)

  • Drinks bottles and/or hydration pack to carry a minimum of 0.5 litre of fluid

  • Fully charged mobile phone (with waterproof cover or bag)

Highly Recommended:

  • Basic first aid kit, including foot care items

  • Hat and gloves

  • Waterproof trousers

  • GPS device for backup navigation

  • Route description

  • Mug or cup for drinks at checkpoints

  • Spare socks

  • Mobile charger/power-pack

  • Buff

Time Limits & Cut-Offs

The deadlime to finish for all participants is 20:00.

In addition, strict interim cut-off times will be applied at each checkpoint. If you do not DEPART a checkpoint by its cut-off time, you will not be allowed to continue.

An overview of proposed cut-off times at specific check points will be available shortly. These are currently subject to confirmation.


We have assessed the health and safety risks associated with the event and have put in place measures to manage these so far as reasonably practicable. However, the nature of long distance running or hiking on trails, means that participants have a higher level of responsibility for their own personal safety and that of others, than they would in a more controlled environment.

In the most part this simply means applying common sense and good judgement. However, when fatigued, extra care must be taken to ensure you do not inadvertently put yourself in danger.

Details of specific requirements relating to your safety and hazards to be mindful of will be provided in the Event Guide, which will issued to participants prior to the event.

Checkpoints and Aid Stations

There are checkpoints/aid stations on each route as below.

Please note checkpoint cut-off times are currently being finalised but will be based on participants being on schedule to complete the event by 20:00.

As well as being points where your progress will be recorded, these locations will also act as aid stations. They will have drinks and snacks. Please note that this is a ‘cup free’ events. We will not provide any drinking vessels. You must therefore bring your own, i.e. bottles or a hydration pack to top up at checkpoints .

Medical Support

Medical support will be available throughout the event. Their role will be to provide advice and deal with the more significant issues. Minor issues, such as general footcare, dealing with blisters etc., will be your own responsibility, utilising your own first aid kit.

Support Crews

You are allowed to have friends and family supporting you around the course, except at certain locations where there is restricted access. Full details of any restrictions will be provided in the Event Handbook.

Support Runners (Pacers)

Participants are not permitted to have anyone who is not a fellow participant run/walk with them to act as a support runner.

Prizes & Finishers Awards

Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd fastest male and female participants on each course, plus the winner of each veteran category subject to their being at least 3 participants in the category. To be eligible for prizes participants must start with the runners' start.

All other finishers will receive a finisher's certificate.

Training & Preparation (inc Organised Recce Runs)

We plan to organise some guided recce runs on the route of the Dipper. Details of these are currently being finalised.

Permit & Rules

The event will operate in accordance with UK Athletics Rules under a permit issued by the Trail Running Association. Permit number [applied for]

Terms and Conditions

Our general terms and conditions for our events, can be found at the link at the bottom of this page.

These are supplemented by the following event specific terms for the Dovedale Dipper:

The refund available is 50% of the entry fee received by Peak Running.

The deadline for cancelling your place and receiving a refund is 2nd June 2020.

The deadline for transferring your place to another participant is 26th July 2020. This must be done by the original entrant editing their entry on SiEntries.

You may transfer between the long and short courses. This can be done on-line by editing your entry on SiEntries (preferred) by 26th July 2020, or at registration on the day.


Route Details


The Big Dipper is anti-clowise loop of just under 27 miles, with around 4000 feet of elevation gain.

The Little Dipper is also an anti-clockwise loop. It is appoximately 15 miles, with around 2700 feet of elevation gain.

The shorter route takes short-cuts between the start and the checkpoint at Revidge and between Wetton and Milldale. Between Revidge and Wetton, and between Milldale and the end, participants share the same route.


The distances for an event of this nature cannot be measured completely accurately due to the nature of the terrain and the obstacles that you will encounter.

We have measured them using a combination of mapping software and gps enabled devices and taken care to ensure that they are at least the advertised distance; as we know most participants would be disappointed to be short changed with the distance.

You can therefore expect a variation of up to around 5% above the advertised distances.

Long Route - The Big Dipper

Shorter Route - The Little Dipper

The Limestone 50

Frequency Asked Questions

What is the qualifying criteria

See the 'Experienced Required' entry in the 'Taking Part' section of this website.

Are there any age limits?

Participants must be at least 18 years old to take part.

Can I run/walk with a dog?

Sorry, no. This is not allowed due to the conditions of the permit / insurance under UKA Rules.

Can I use trekking pole?


What happens if I retire?

If you decide to retire you must do so at a checkpoint if at all possible and inform the event crew of your decision. We will provide somewhere warm and dry for you to wait (likely to be in a vehicle if an outdoor checkpoint) until we can transport you back the event HQ in Hartington. This will be considered a lower priority than the operation of the checkpoint to support those still participating, so may not be until the checkpoint closes.

You can, of course, make your own arrangement for transport back to Hartington or elsewhere. However, it is essential that you inform a race official before leaving the event.

Are ITRA / UTMB points available?

The event is currently under evaluation for points.




Results will appear here shortly after the event.

We are in the process of collating results from previous years and will make them available here in due course. 



Images from previous years will be uploaded here shortly.