Peaklife Sport sort of came to mind during a quiet moment admiring the Peak District scenery and wondering why no-one had ever thought about putting on a duathlon in the Upper Derwent Valley. One which was a bit different, perhaps so the brain cogs then began to turn and I thought that it was not beyond my capabilities to organise one myself, so that was that and in 2012 the first Peaklife Sport event was rolled out. And we still keep doing it each year.
I have always been a staunch supporter of local clubs and have spent many years being involved in race organisation on their behalves and believe that is where the heart of sport really lies. As a former county standard runner with Matlock AC I remain a keen competitor on my feet and also in the saddle and in the water as a member of Matlock’s cycling and swimming clubs. Various combinations of these sports have led to me racing all over the country and in Europe representing his clubs, Derbyshire Police and the national Police Sport UK team and, alongside this, I have often brought various groups together to host events such as the Matlock Triathlon since 2003 (to raise money towards the town’s new leisure centre and for charity since it was built in 2011), the British Police Fell Race in 2003, 2010 and 2015 and in 2012 inaugurated the River Derwent swim series on behalf of Matlock and District Swimming Club. I enjoy a bit of everything, though, and I simultaneously held the police national marathon, triathlon and orienteering championship titles back in 2003 and I can proudly say that I have been a member of the winning team in the Great Kinder Beer Barrel Race four times (according to those who take part, it's one of the toughest team events in the Peak District - the race itself, not the aftermath!) and a some-time penny-farthing racer with varying degrees of success...and failure.
My considerably-better-half Christine Howard is a well-known athlete who has competed in England and GB colours in the World Mountain Running Championships and the age-group World Duathlon Champioships where she won and then retained the 40-44 title in 2010 and 2011. Numerous wins in a variety of races over many years have earned her great respect as an athlete and she even gets a mention in Richard Asquith's book Feet In The Clouds for giving the author a sound thrashing whilst seven months pregnant!
More recently we have teamed up with others to compete in adventure races, these being multi-day, multi-discipline races in various part of the world.
You'll see that the race reports on this website are not just about the ones we've organised but about other unusual events we've been involved in. There's a whole host of crazy things to do out there and I've done my best to share our experiences with you.
Club events are great and are what keep the sport going but, due to everyone’s commitments and shortage of that most precious of commodities – time – clubs tend to reach a saturation point which is a shame when there is so much more which could be organised to offer competitive multisport opportunities locally. So, here’s Peaklife Sport.
Seeking out the area’s loveliest pockets through the eyes of a racer, and looking to add that bit of something unique, it is hoped that Peaklife Sport will continue providing memorable occasions for all who take up the challenge.
All our races are races: not too big that wave starts are required and the racing sensation is blurred. That old fashioned sense of coming together to share a race is important to us, and making a profit, although nice if it happens, is not our main motivation. We're all friends and rivals for the day, looking to satisfy our need for that special racing experience. And the race venue should speak for itself without the need to spoil it with music, loudspeakers and gaudy banners. We inhabit a beautiful environment and we would like to leave it unspoilt by our presence.
Wishing you all the best in your sporting endeavours.