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The Dovedale Dash is a 4¾ mile cross-country running race held annually along the banks of the River Dove, along Dovedale, and between the villages of Ilam and Thorpe in the Peak District, England.
First organised in 1953, the Dash takes place on the first Sunday of November, although previously it was held on the closest Sunday to Guy Fawkes Night. The Dash was cancelled in 1998, 2000 and 2004, when bad weather and a waterlogged parking area forced the event to be cancelled.
The Dash is intended for amateur runners, although in the past some competitors have used bicycles. Entrants pay GB£5 to join the race, and must register on the day of the race. There is no pre-registration. Car parking is free. The proceeds are given to charitable causes, and used in the villages of Thorpe, Ilam and Fenny Bentley. The event is organised by volunteers who live in Thorpe, which is the start and finish of the course.
The route runs from the Thorpe Pastures north of the village of Thorpe, at the foot of Thorpe Cloud, about the eastern base of which competitors race down to the notoriously slippery Stepping Stones across the River Dove. The route continues along the western side of the Cloud, across the ridge above the Izaak Walton Hotel, down into Ilam, where the course doubles back along the southern bank of the Dove, down to Coldwall Bridge. Across the Bridge, runners follow the valley through Thorpe Mill Farm, back to the Cloud, where they retrace their path to the Stepping Stones and back to the starting position on Thorpe Pastures.
The Dash has no overall official results. The first ten finishers and all the prize winners are published at the start-finish and on the organisers’ website. Local newspapers such as the Ashbourne News Telegraph usually print a report and details of the winners and local entrants. All the finishers receive certificates with their positions except on rare occasions when more people run than was expected. Race time is displayed on a large digital clock mounted on top of the loudspeaker van near t