Running the Bovey Beauty
A couple of weekends ago 65 brave runners tackled the Bovey Beauty 10-mile fell race that starts and finishes in the Woodland Trust’s Pullabrook Wood on Dartmoor.
Organised as part of the Moor than Meets the Eye partnership with Natural England and the Dartmoor National Parks Authority, the Bovey Beauty is becoming more popular by the year and, in September 2018, was fully subscribed a week before the event. Though the day started wet and breezy, the forecast predicted it would clear and, sure enough, the Dartmoor weather obliged.
The race is renowned for its technical difficulty with its hard climbs, steep descents and loose slippy terrain.
Following the Old Manaton Road and over the River Bovey at Hisley Bridge, the runners tackled the long, steady climb through Hisley Wood
Leaving the woods and striding out onto Lustleigh Cleave, the competitors enjoyed the view as the heavy, grey clouds cleared over Hunter’s Tor. After the panoramic views, the descent saw the runners winding their way down through Peck Farm and into the boulder strewn woods and the tricky path along the river Bovey.
Back in the bottom of the valley, the route continued on along the Old Manaton Road, following Becka Brook, before climbing Trendlebere Down
Weary legs carried the runners down through the heather and bracken, past the camp fire and up the last push through Pullabrook Woods.
Dave Rickwood, the race organiser reviewed the day, saying, “It was a new course record for the men, we had the largest field to-date and the new parking area worked well. It was a great success!”
Congratulations to all the runners who took part, one of whom you might recognise.
Words: Matt Parkins
Photography: Paul Moody, Matt Parkins and Rachel Harries