The moors and woodlands of the Bovey Valley on Dartmoor provided the beautiful autumn backdrop for the Bovey Beauty, a 10 mile fell race over tough and hilly terrain. Athletes came from all corners of Devon and as far as Stroud and Ilkley to compete in the race as its reputation for a challenging route in spectacular scenery spreads. Starting at the Woodland Trust’s Pullabrook Woods the runners climbed 560m through the ancient woodlands of Lustleigh Cleave to Hunter’s Tor. After taking in the expansive view the route took them back through the Natural England reserve, following the tricky, boulder strewn path before navigating open moorland and returning along woodland tracks to the start point.
The runners enjoyed the challenge saying “terrific race” and “what a great route”. One runner plans to bring his whole family back next year to take part in the woodland volunteering activity. This year the theme was habitat improvement for the Pearl Bordered Fritillary and the volunteers enjoyed a camp fire with hot chocolate. Next time you will be able to help another important part of the local ecosystem. If you’d like to join the Bovey Beauty and race for nature, contact Dave Rickwood at the Woodland Trust by emailing DavidRickwood@woodlandtrust.org.uk . It’s fun for all ages and abilities and an excellent autumn day out.
Small but perfectly formed field…..
Perfectly formed landscape….
A welcome brew with volunteers at the end of the race.
A quote from one of our biggest fans……
Thank you for another memorable run in some beautiful surroundings !
Even after a night shift, and long drive down, it was well worth it for the Autumn colours, the tough route and the great atmosphere of this very special race. I’m so glad to be able to carry on the sequence, and to spend some time in those amazing little valleys. The section going steeply up through the trees (following red tape from tree to tree) is a classic piece of multi-terrain racing – a short sharp shock to the system, on a par with the best (and hardest) I have seen in Wales or the Alps.
There are races which I have been doing for 20 years – and enjoy every time. But already the Beauty has overtaken those in terms of ‘must do’ events ; I’ll definitely be back !
Thank you also to the helpers, marshals and well-wishers who gave vital encouragement and directions.