Loxley 5 Trigs

The Loxley 5 trigs is a route I’d been looking at running for a while, a Dark Peak classic that is very local. The rules are quite simple, just visit Loxley, Rod Moor, Back Tor, Emlin and Ones Moor trigs in any order and make sure you start and finish in the same spot. There is definitely an optimum order! The question is, clockwise or anticlockwise?

I finally bit the bullet and after looking at a map of the route for quite a while decided the conditions at the moment were ideal. I have also been running alright and didn’t have much on so thought I might as well have a crack. I did have my eye on Neil Northrop’s record but did think 2 hours 38 minutes was a tall order. Neil’s running also provided the optimum route, which I nearly got right. Just a slight deviation around Agden Reservoir, but likely no slower. I also decided to start at the main road a bit further back from the car park near Loxley trig where Neil started, as I would rather not raz it across the main road right at the end and instead just start when there was a gap in the traffic. I did start and finish the same side of the road though, every meter counts! 

My chosen start point…

6:35 pm and I was off. Straight out to Loxley trig, one down four to go… Next stop Rod Moor. This involved a lot of twists and turns up sneaky paths, a drawn out road section and a final overgrown slog up to the trig. I realised about half way to Rod Moor that I had somehow already lost my map so would have to try and run the route from memory. As I’d decided on my route before I started and knew the area well-ish this wasn’t a massive issue but did annoy me a bit as I couldn’t check I was on the best line. This was more critical running across the moor from Back Tor to Emlin trig but luckily I managed to get a nice direct line. Maybe because it was so dry and clear, but also maybe because I wasn’t stopping and looking at a map every 2 seconds like I probably would have done it I had a map. I was also pretty pleased with myself to find possibly the only knee deep bog of the heatwave about 100 metres after leaving the main path. Refreshing! 

Whilst on my way round I thought it might be a good idea to take a selfie at each trig as proof of visiting. Neil and Stuart Walker both took a picture of each trig on there running of the route so I was unsure whether this was a rule or something that was just done as proof of completion. I decided to be on the safe side. These selfies gradually deteriorated as the run progressed, although they were never great to start.

A series of deteriorating selfies. Clockwise from top left: Rod moor, Back Tor, Emlin and Onsemoor.

The second part of the run from Emlin was generally a struggle. I was feeling the heat and was starting to pay the price for the high pace. Just one more climb up to the last trig. Onesmoor trig involves a short trespass past the Sheffield University Bradfield Environmental Laboratory, which evven has security cameras and on this occasion a single guard sheep. Proper SAS stuff…

Anyway, from here is was just holding it together on the road and tracks back towards Loxley. I thought I was about 10 minutes up on Neil’s time at Agden Reservoir but felt I had lost quite a bit on the climb and was unsure how far it was back to where I had started. Had I lost 10 minutes? Probably not, but with twinges of cramp climbing stiles on the way back there was potential too! Also, with no map there was potential for me to end up anywhere from Malin Bridge to Oughtibridge. Fortunately, the lunch break frowning at google maps payed off and I managed to get the turns right though the fields back to where I started. As I neared the finish I couldn’t help a few glances at my watch. I think I’ve got it here, then, maybe I can go sub 2:30…

Final push through the golf course and home. 

2:29:45

A lean against the gate, a sit on the floor and a wobble to the car. I was a pretty chuffed with that. Will my route choice get criticism? Probably. Can it be run faster? Definitely.

Here is my Strava route: https://www.strava.com/activities/1694170133
Neil Northrop’s Strava route: https://www.strava.com/activities/329385055
And Stuart Walkers questionable route within his blog post: http://challengestu.blogspot.com/2013/04/dinner-out-and-loxley-5-trigs.html

The summer evening view of Loxley Common from home.

Final big thank you for Issy for dropping me off at the start, picking me up (literally) at the finish and dropping me some water off at a couple of road crossings. You da best! 🙂

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