Platypus – The Grindleford Junior Fell Race

<< 2020 Junior Virtual Fell Race Results >>

The Grindleford Platypus is a new race on the calendar which will raise money for the amazing village primary school. We felt that there weren’t many proper junior fell races locally that really tackle any of our hills so we thought we’d invent one! Hay Wood will be familiar to anybody who has run the senior fell race on the third Thursday in June, or the Grindleford Gallop every March. We’ve created three great short and sharp routes in the woods for kids up to the age of 16. We had planned and hoped for this to be a chance for the local kids and their parents to get together after a summer off for a blast around the woods, but sadly we’re not able to gather together in numbers so we’ve decided to do it as a virtual race. Starting from Wed 9th Sep you will be able to run the race as many times as you like for a calendar month (ending Oct 11th). Details of how to do this are below.

Date: Wed 9th Sep – Sun 11th Oct (inclusive) – 2020

Timings: you can run at whatever time you like, but please bear in mind that the start and finish of the routes is in a residential area to we ask that you keep to daylight hours and don’t start before 9am. Also bear in mind that sunset in Grindleford will be 19:36 on 9th Sep and 18:26 by 8th Oct; the routes are under the trees so it will be feeling pretty dark in there if you leave it too late in the day.

Junior categories: U8, U10, U12, U14, U16

Based on your age on Sep 9th.


Each of the routes has its own Strava segment as shown below.

U8 – 0.96km, 73m height gain. aka Duckling

Starts at the top of lane and heads up through the woods as far as the end of the stone wall on the left. At the end of the wall it turns left and climbs a little more to the path at the junction with the end of Tedgeness Road. There is turns right and climbs a little until it hits the main path down through the woods where it again turns right and finishes back at the top of the lane.

U10 – 1.43km, 77m height gain. aka DuckboardsD

It starts at the top of the lane but heads in the opposite direction, down towards the church for 50m or so before it turns left to a gate and a stone bridge over the stream. It then cuts diagonally up through the meadow in front of the house and into the woods, through a gate and onto a plastic walkway. Shortly after the end of the boards it takes a left turn through and open gateway with an old rusty gate (usually on the floor) steeply up underneath a big beech tree and into an open field. At the top of the field it turns left and goes pretty much level, through a gate, until it crosses the stream, where it again turns left and follows the path down alongside the stream until it converges with the main path down through the woods to finish at the top of the lane.

U12, U14, U16 – 2.56km, 158m height gain. aka Duck Billed Platypus

Starts at the same place at the top of the lane and follows the adult fell race all the way to Jubilee Rocks (essentially straight on at every turn until a sharp left hand turn back on yourself at the end of the muddy gully). There it contuinues over the other side as far as the wall on the edge of the field before turning back right and reversing the route up for a few metres. It then bears left and enters the birch wood and tracks along to the right of the wall towards a car park in the woods. Just before the car park it takes the right hand turn to join the Gallop route through the narrow wooden gateway and into the quarry (Pooh’s Place). Here, just before the large beech tree on the left it takes an abrupt left turn down a very steep section to join the path by the stream (dogleg left just before the stream). It then follows the same route as for the Under 10s, following the stream down until it joins the main path down through the woods, to finish at the top of the lane.

Entry Fees:

As it is a virtual event we are asking people to make a voluntary contribution. All proceeds will go towards Grindleford Primary School.


Please park courteously on the road in the village by St Helen’s Church. The routes start about 400m up the lane between the church and the river Derwent. Please do not drive up this lane, but walk or jog to the start.

How To Enter:

  1. Sign up with SiEntries here ; enter your age; make a donation. You will be sent a 4-digit PIN number.
  2. Download MapRunF on a mobile phone. You can find more info about the app on the Explorer Events website.
  3. Each participating runner needs a mobile phone with MapRunF installed. When you are ready to start, navigate to the correct route (UK/Derbyshire/Peak Raid/Grindleford Junior Fell Race/…). Select your course, enter the 4-digit PIN and press ‘Go To Start’. As soon as you enter a 30m zone around the start point your phone will alert you that the course is activated. Start running! Note that if you are at the start when you press ‘Go To Start’ – the timer will start immediately. Conversely, if you press it when you are not at the start, and are casually approaching the start, the timer will start as soon as you come within 30m of the start so don’t be caught napping (if this happens, quit the course, get yourself ready, and then press ‘Go To Start’ and run!).
  4. Each route has a number of ‘control points’. As you run past these points your phone will alert you. This is our way of a) verifying that you have run the correct route, and b) logging your time on our leader board. The routes will not be marked with tape or flags as we don’t want to leave them in the woods for a month. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the route, perhaps by walking it first. And don’t forget, you can run it as many times as you like over the month and keep improving your time.
  5. Currently MapRunF doesn’t differentiate between U8-U16s so we will manually create and update a leaderboard on this website at the end of the month. By all means drop us a line if you don’t think we’ve registered the correct time for you. We’d also like to hear from you with any general comments or feedback.


All three routes are steep and rocky, with tree roots and mud. They are genuinely rough under foot. Running shoes with a good tread will be essential, as will an ability to run both up and down hill on rough ground. Don’t leave it too late in the day when it can get dark in the woods, and perhaps have a walk or jog around first to familiarise yourself with the route and the terrain. We have checked the trees above the routes for dead branches and will do so regularly during the race window, but we would advise against running in high winds when an amber weather warning is in place.

Participation Statement:

The Fell Runners Association  have confirmed that their insurance policies do not cover individuals who are out for a run in their own time.
Therefore anyone undertaking MapRun is doing so in their own time, run at their own risk and we take no responsibility for any damage or injury whilst participating.

To ensure that all participants remain safe users downloading the MapRun course acknowledge, accept and understand the following:
• This is an unsupported activity and you understand that you are responsible for your own safety and determining whether you have the skills, equipment and fitness to participate.
• You are entering and running this activity at your own risk and we shall not be liable for any injury, loss or damage of any nature to you or your property arising out of  participation in this activity.
• You accept the hazards inherent in fell running and understand that this is an unsupported activity where you must be self sufficient and responsible for your safety at all times.
• You will ensure that your phone is fully charged and register for the 999-text service. To register, text ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply – then follow the instructions you are sent. (For use in an emergency when there is no phone signal).
• You will not climb over stone walls or fences.
• Parental permission is given when entering through SiEnteries.
• We strongly recommend that all juniors under the age of 16 should be accompanied or closely followed by an adult.
• You have read and understood the MapRun Event Terms and Conditions.


Thanks very much to Explorer Events for helping to set up the routes on MapRunF, and to the National Trust for permission to run on their land.

Why Platypus?

We thought the Strava trace of the original route looked vaguely like a duck billed platypus so the name stuck.