Wildcat Aquathlon

Wildcat Aquathlon

Starting on July 23, 2017 10:00 Save to calendar

At Derwent Gardens, Matlock Bath Derby Road, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4, UK


Categories: Events

Register for the Wildcat Aquathlon

Click here to register by post

1500m swim & 9k run for individuals and relay teams (minimum age 16)

and a 500m swim & 4.5k run for individuals and relay teams (minimum age 12)

10am start

The Wildcat Crags look down on the gorge carved out by the River Derwent at Matlock Bath and provide the venue for this swim and run event. Better known for its high grade rock climbs, illuminated boats, cable cars, canoe slalom course, Grand Pavilion, a motorcyclist’s Mecca and an ample supply of fish and chips, the village will now be able to add an aquathlon to its long list of attributes.

The 1500m swim will be in the open water and the 9k run is off-road and includes meandering climbs and descents around the crags and a sylvanian picturesque loop around the grounds of Willersley Castle.



Pre-entry is required online or by post by following the links. Entries on the day will also be available.
The entry fee will be £20 for individuals, £25 for teams. Minimum age on the day for the long course is 16. 

Entries for the short race will be £15 for individuals, £20 for teams. All under 16s will be £5 cheaper per individual or per pair even if only one of the team is under 16.


Getting there

Matlock Bath lies on the A6 between Matlock and Cromford. The event will be based in the Derwent Gardens which is at the south (Derby direction) end of the village, postcode DE4 3PG.

There will be no parking in the gardens but there is lots of car parking in the various council-run car parks in the village, the closest being the one on Temple Walk on the opposite side on the A6. These are pay and display. Street parking is limited to 1 hour.

Registration desk

This will be in the gardens by the band stand. A numbered swim hat and a race number for the run will be collected at the registration desk. The run number must be visible from the front.

The swim

Please note first of all that Derbyshire Dales District Council is allowing us to use the stretch of river running through the gardens on the understanding that swimming is only allowed there for the duration of the event. Please do not use it at any other times

Don’t be put off by the fact that this is in the river. The Environment Agency gives it a grade A and, as long as the seasonal rainfall is something like normal, this stretch of the river is like a millpond with a virtually unnoticeable current.
The water will be cool (usually 13-16 degrees in the summer) so wetsuits will be compulsory.


The main race course will be up one side of the river and down the other side three times, effectively 3 laps. It will be a mass start at 10.00am for all.

The centre line of the river will have a string of buoys measuring 250m with a larger one at each end to identify the top and bottom of the course. Safety cover will be in place with land based lifeguards. However, you will never be more than about 5 metres from the river bank and the river is mostly around chest depth so, should you find yourself in any difficulty, swim to the closest bank and someone will be able to help you.


This will be on the grass above the boat launch area at the point you exit the water.
Individuals, please place your wetsuit reasonably neatly in place of your running shoes.
Teams, a touch handover is required.
Exit the transition area into the gardens.


The run

This is an interesting and rugged route 2-lap route (1 lap for the short course) around the crags, through the gardens, along the riverside and into the private grounds of the adjacent Willersley Castle. Some nimble footwork will be required on the descents from the crags but it is on all on hard paths with some tight bends and steps.

The finish will be back in Derwent Gardens.

Please note that the route does go out of sight of marshals, a point raised when it was BTF sanctioned event last year. As this is contrary to the BTF's rules for races involving juniors things have had to change. It is not a BTF event this year even though everything will remain the same.

Team entries

Teams of two may be made up however you like: one to swim; the other to run. For the long course both team members must be 16 or over. 


There will be some useable (and maybe drinkable!) goodies at the finish line.

A presentation will take place about 11.30 by the bandstand where prizes will be awarded as follows:


1st, 2nd and 3rd men
1st, 2nd and 3rd ladies
1st men over 40, 50 and 60
1st ladies over 40, 50 and 60
1st under 20 man
1st under 20 lady

Teams (depending on numbers of entries).

1st, 2nd and 3rd overall
1st ladies’ team
1st 80-plus (combined age)
1st 100-plus
1st under 50 (combined age)
1st under 40 (        “             )

Short course prizes will be decided depending on the number of entries but will at least be for the first boys', girls' and mixed teams.


Other general information

Derwent Gardens are owned by Derbyshire Dales District Council and we are grateful for the permission they have granted us to use this ideal venue. For those with young families there is plenty of space for kids to burn off some energy including 2 playgrounds. Gulliver’s Kingdom in Matlock Bath makes for a good family day out and there are the cable cars which are part of the Heights of Abraham attraction.

It is also a superb venue from a spectator’s point of view. The whole swim course can be seen from the bridge and the run route will pass close by the gardens around its quarter, half and three-quarterway point.

It will be around lunch time by the end of the race and Matlock Bath has no shortage of eateries. The village is used to filling the bellies of the hairy bikers who flock to compare chrome-work and horsepower so a few athletes should have no problem finding an abundance of nosh.

For any male competitors wishing to cure their wives of expensive shopping habits, Masson Mill shopping complex is just along the road. Send them there and it will put them off shopping for ever! (disclaimer: my personal opinion only.)

For the historians among you Cromford and its Canal is the place for a post-race stroll. The end of the canal is a few minutes walk from the race venue and is worth a look if you’re after a bit of tranquillity.


Register for the Wildcat Aquathlon

Click here to register by post





2017-07-23 10:00:00
2017-07-23 12:00:00