Cake Race

Great news….we raised £515 for the charity Shelterbox at the 2016 cake race. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

image for cake race

Cake race 2016 results

Date & Time : See this year’s Race Calendar

Location : Kiln Green Church, Diggle, OL3 5JY

Please allow enough time for car parking which may not be close to the church hall.

Entry : £5 EOD or free if you bring a home baked cake, Minimum age 18 years

Distance : 10 miles 1700ft

Kit Requirement : Be prepared to carry full body cover in bad weather, also map, compass and whistle and emergency food.

Kit requirements will be advised on the day. Kit check – no kit = no run.

Organiser : Tanya Haynes 07814 102318

Entry change to: £5 or free entry if you bring a home made cake, minimum age 18 years.

£2 donation requested for tea and cake after the race to Club Charity

Route Description :

An interesting moorland course with as much cake as you like to eat at the end. Who could ask for more? The course takes in open moorland scenery, industrial heritage, and Pennine farmland all in a hour or so. It is mainly on flagged paths, tracks and trails with the challenge of going over the Pennines and back.

The first mile or so is up hill onto the moors, which is very runnable, we call the path boat lane, since it was build to take the horses from the canal barges over the hills. Once up on the Moors you take the flagged path to Brun Cough Reservoir. The course is fast at this point, although care is needed as the flagstones can be slippy. The route splits the reservoirs at Wessenden Head and turns down toward Marsden where you can run fast down towards Marsden. The hardest part is yet to come as runners meet a long flight of stone steps that sweeps them down the side of the dam only to return them up a similar flight on the other side! Save a bit of energy for the climb back up onto the Moors, against the prevailing wind, you will be rewarded with stunning views across Marsden Moor.

The track brings runners back to the top of Boat lane and a good long run into the finish where cakes and tea await all finishers.

All Runners are invited to bring a cake which will be entered into the Cake contest. Prizes for best tasting and best decoration. This is a tough race and you’ll really feel like you’ve earned the cake afterwards.

Records :

Men 2006 P Green 0:59.23
Women 2006 A Lupton 1:11.25

Map : click to enlarge






cake race volunteers / helpers

29 Responses to Cake Race

  • david says:

    could you let me know if there is any need for navigation or is the course marked?? as im keen to do the race but not that good at navigation.

    • Stuart Hutchison says:

      Hi David,

      The course will be flagged in places, is on well defined paths and there will be some marshalls out on the route, so navigation shouldn’t be an issue. However, as per the kit requirements above you will need to carry a map, compass and whistle (and the additional specified kit) with you should they be needed in the case of bad weather, somehow going off route, injury etc.


        • Stuart Hutchison says:

          The route is mainly on the OS Explorer map OL1 but does cross over onto OL21 as well. However if click on the map link at the top of this page you will find a map with the route marked on it which you can print out and use instead.

  • Manhar says:

    Afternoon all

    Would like to offer my services as a marshall (You’ll know me when you see me as I have marshalled at 1 or 2 of your races over the last few years). Did the 3 peaks last Saturday so my legs are trashed & not up to even ambling round the route – do need to justify helping myself to 1 (or a few) slices of cake…. 😉



  • James says:

    I thought I’d share this lovely letter……

    Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say how much I enjoyed the race today. It was the first time I’d done this one and I really, really enjoyed it. The scenery was gorgeous, organisation fantastic, the course was really well marked and the marshals were so friendly and cheerful – despite the fact that some of them must have been freezing their bits off….

    I didn’t manage to bake a cake myself (it’s been a very hectic week!), but I will come back next year, complete with a cake! What made me really happy was that some other lovely soul had brought a delicious gluten-free cake, which meant I could join in with the cake scoffing afterwards too. I don’t know who brought it, but if I’d found out, I’d have hugged them!

    Thanks again for a cracking race – the Nidd Valley lot will be back again in force next year, I’ve no doubt!

  • Howard says:

    Saddleworth: highlights and sound bites. Fom West End Runners

    The Journey:
    The M1. An unremitting blur of crystalline greyness. Thick with traffic – the constitution of cold, salted porridge. Stuck on board the mini bus for 6 hours, Will reflected on the sensations of fasting and whether cannibalism would break club rules. Scott had not yet worked out the difference between magnetic north and signs pointing to the mythical land called, “The North”. After the nth round of the word game, name a country and an animal beginning with the same letter – Wales, whales, Yemen, yoghurt, Sam had become the beating soul of the party. Something had to happen to make the weekend start to happen. For it is said, Saddleworth is housed in the legendary annals of club history- equivalent to Beowulf, or George slaying a dragon.

    Cue: an obscure Yorkshire village set deep in a valley of granite stone terraces, a wrong turn, a sat nav and the voice of a Siren telling us to ‘turn right’. Cliff Edge Road- the name tells you the type of terrain we were ascending towards, and the type of danger which lay ahead. Cliff Edge Road – it will go down in folklore memory, resonating in the depths of the psyche, like the torture chamber that is Hannah’s track sessions. Elaine looked up and saw a buzzard circling. Ann looked down and saw the edge of the unknown. Who in their right and proper mind would obey an automated computer voice, when all street signs stated otherwise: ‘Road Ahead Closed’. Sam uttered what he thought were his last words: ‘I was hoping to see my new born child’. Terry, as if commanding Black Hawk Down, inched and spun the mini bus forward between steep dry stone walls. Kaelin, Terry’s son, felt the thrill of Alton Towers. On one side, land subsidence had caused the wall to bulge. On the other side, Emmerdale zombies stirred and moved incrementally towards the bus. The advance search party tried to reason with the twitchy locals: we come in peace- we mean no harm. We are from Leicester, we are West End Runners. Next week’s centre spread pull out for the Parish News was going to antagonise further the north-south divide. For Terry, this had been a mere sideshow – ‘a short commercial, folks’. But for the petrified survivors, this signalled the start of the epic narrative that was to be: Saddleworth 2013!

    The Race:
    Pre-race edginess and nerves. Check kit: compass, map, whistle, water proof top, energy snack. Gary made a summary appearance following his victory at the Oldham Park Run and his stay at a Premier Hotel. Visibility was good and the rain storm had passed. Dynamic stretching and the group photo, yet our minds were on the display of luxurious cakes waiting for our return.

    We were off. One and a half miles up hill with no relief. If walking, you could chat or stare at the lamas or lambs to steady your nerves. The front runners could be seen at the top, when most of us were only half way up. Then a momentary sense of euphoria- time to open up across an expanse of exposed moor – with a rivulet of flag stones that made you feel special. At the 4 mile point, we hit a water precipice but the rugged path swung at 180 degrees and you could wave and shout to your comrades – both behind and in front. The marshals noted how many Westies there were and asked where we were from. Jo said, ‘Leicester’, but her accent was as obscure and dense as Manchester moss. Jules, carrying a thigh injury, charged pass – I felt a cocktail of delusional pride and buddy faith. Beer sweat percolated on my fore-head. At about five miles, the descent around a reservoir meant you could express those legs. A voice from the side: ‘nice and easy for one more mile and then the mighty ascent’. The steps reached infinitely to the sky – a stairway to heaven (and then O please a drop to ease the lower back muscles). Time to share the Haribo sweets or to console the dejected. The golf course next and stick to the left and afterwards you can feel the breeze of home, Ian said. It was, however, another exposed moor with a deceptive gradual climb, and the wind was that of a howling dog. This is where we all agreed your personal race was won or lost. The spirit deflates, the lungs collapse, the legs buckle.

    There is life after death: the course turns full circle and you arrive at the top of the Megalithic hill- and this time you are looking down, and you scream: “I am the Titan and not the bleating goat.” This is where the brave exact revenge on the smug. The legs wobble but you tank it. Block out the horror stories. Give voice to Hannah’s learnt techniques. Lean forward. 7 minutes per mile- and going faster. Don’t look at your watch – adrenaline overcomes fear. The finishing line, the adulation – keep your flat cap on and hide the pain….

    The sweet taste of home-made cake. ‘More tea, please’.

    The Results:
    Out of a total of 213 runners, there were 23 Westies. Only Jeff sadly did not complete the course due to a biggish blister on his tiny pink toe. (Nevertheless, Jeff put on a show late into the night as the silky King of Karaoke in The Swan, pulling off robust and raucous renditions of the complete Meat Loaf catalogue.) The top three male performers were: Gary (more about him later), Ian who ran with a broken toe, and in third position, Terry – the mini bus saviour. For the ladies, Laura Davidson came first (is she related to our Just William? genetics can play funny tricks on siblings), then the admirable Lesley Booth, followed by Sarah Thorpe who apologised for spooking a diamond geezer running in a flat cap and Ray Charles shades. He nearly fell down a crevice: “Hello Scott. Way hey, where did you come from?!” Jo and Will made sure the rear guard was kept in order, whilst taking in ‘the lovely scenery’ – the best of which was captured on camera. Both were offered a sympathetic car lift by the marshals, who were particularly friendly en route. Paul was hoping that Scott would be given the chance to test out his luminous North Sea Rescue gear- but the weather made for a glorious day. The whistle pops were not required.

    In the cake stakes competition, a chocolate owl won. I cannot vouch for its credibility, because half of the blooming lot had gone by the time I arrived back. It does seem particularly unfair, I must say, that individuals who run for a longer time – and so do more running! (come on, I ran nearly fifty minutes extra than the race winner) – are deprived of the best cakes. In my book of ethics, this constitutes unsporting behaviour. That said, I enjoyed the beer cup cake that had an alcoholic kick, and Hannah’s vegan carrot cake which, along with Leon’s, arrived late (I spy a pattern)- having been given a special escort. Both seem to go for the grand entrance. Later at The Swan, we wondered whether Gary too had been given a special escort, one that took him back to his Five Star Premier Hotel. Ian thought perhaps the extra cash made from the weekend should go towards Gary’s extensive hotel bills, rather than putting the money behind the bar. Sam sternly objected to this proposal, and a potentially heated committee debate was soon abated. Nevertheless, we all roundly saluted our other captain, Jo, and sang her praises and sense of the big occasion – without the aid of a karaoke machine and to the tune of ‘Like a Bat out of Hell’: “Jo, Jo – you may be slow, but we love you wherever you go, go, go.”

    A Special Mention to:
    Ian for organising the accommodation. Terry for being a splendid driver and companion. Your speech at the Fresca restaurant was touching. Kaelin, who entertained us with his sharp questions on the way home. (The transformation from a shy boy to inquisitive maturity was remarkable.) Howard and his wife Jo who worked hard to make the event special and who also raised over £200 for a children’s hospice. We will miss you. Leon and Will who fought out a skilful table tennis final. An epic draw means a rematch is in order. Matt, the ghost, who slept ten hours and continued sleeping on the way home. We were worried. Crazy Jo who sang a blinding Meat Loaf song – and with the right moves too. Mark who uncannily realised Scott’s deepest nightmare, when the full moon was rising – the least said the better, hey. Everyone there, including John, Jane and Elaine for also making the weekend inclusive, friendly and fun.

    And finally, The Swan for supplying free afternoon chips and sandwiches, and for allowing for a ‘dry lock-in’. We may have driven out the regulars, but on the way home it was observed that the curtains of the premises were closed – could the landlord at last afford a day off, or were the pink Hawaii shirts too bright?

  • James says:

    The Diggle Hotel will be putting on hot food ‘fell racers fair’ after the race, please support this local business. They will also be happy for us to use their toilets! It all got a bit full in the church hall tast year so this should help.

  • Ali says:

    Thank you very much for such a nice race and good food.
    .i have really really enjoyed it .thank you to all Marshalls they were fantastic and very supportive .
    Many biggggggg thanks

    • Richard Pooley says:


      Thank you for organising such a good event. Please may I point out however that I think I have been put in the wrong category on the results? I am 24 so would probably go in the Snr category?

  • Jacqueline Crowther says:

    Brilliant race yet again and numbers seem to be growing which is a bonus for you 🙂
    I think you also have me in wrong age cat I am lv 50 it says lv66 in provisional results! made me smile though 🙂
    thanks all for a top time, hopefully see you next year 🙂

  • Lee Rawlinson says:

    Really interested in this great looking race but i have never run a fell race,although i have competed in lots of road races,do you think this could be a good icebreaker?Thanks,Lee.

    • Stuart Hutchison says:

      Hi Lee, apologies for the delayed response, I would say the Cake Race would be a great introduction into fell running, in fact that is exactly what it is designed to do, encourage those from a road running back ground to come along and give the fells a go.

  • Kevin Jones says:

    A really great race over a lovely scenic course and thanks to all organisers, marshals and other helpers. My first fell race over 7 miles and looking forward to more. The cake at the end was very welcome. Kevin

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