17 Aug

Stars Kick Off Big Running Weekend

Darryl Watton at the MDS

In what will be a fitting prelude to the first ever Big Weekend of Running, organisers have confirmed they will be hosting a series of running talks on the eve of the opening race on Saturday 25 August. Taking place at Whirlow Hall Farm, the evening will include talks by Stuart Walker, Darryl Watton and Nicky Spink.

Sheffield resident Stuart Walker will be speaking about his recent Big Alps Run, which saw him complete a 1000 mile journey over the Alps in 30 days. At just 26 years old he currently holds the record for running solo across Hadrian's Wall and is also leading the UK's Ultra Championship race series.

Darryl Watton will explain how he coped with the extreme heat and conditions in the notorious Marathon des Sables - a 151 mile race that takes place over six days in the Sahara Desert in which he finished 35th.

The most recent addition to the evening, Nicky Spinks, will be reflecting on how she broke the ladies Bob Graham record, which involved running over 74 miles with 42 peaks totalling 28,500 feet of ascent. The evening will also include talks by Marcus Scotney, Carl Thackery and Julian Lings.

Aptly named the Big Running Weekend, the festival has been coordinated by Sheffield-based retailers Accelerate and local charity Whirlow Hall Farm Trust. The festival, which takes place over 25 - 27 August, comprises a children's farm themed fun run, junior race, 10K, 12.12mile trail race and the 56.5mile New Balance Ultra Tour of the Peak District.

The Extreme Running Talks and In Conversation will start at 7pm on Santrday and is priced at £5, with free admission for race entrants. To book, call 0114 235 2678.