Whether you want an experience day in the Peak District, a trail race in attractive Derbyshire settings, learn to navigate, or undertake a mountain skills course in order to fuel your own adventures, we’ve likely got something for you.
We pride ourselves on delivering a patient, friendly activity whilst never losing sight of the professionalism required to uphold the highest of standards. For the best of adventures, see the light, First Light. We are here to help you make the most of your time and create some great memories.
Following on from last year’s Black Moon Rising, this race covers the same trail with a slight change at the turnaround point to avoid a road crossing and bring the distance down to 13.1 miles. With a late start in the day, the race is timed to allow returning runners to see the best of the sunset from the great views on the trail. Tail enders may even see the full moon rising too though hopefully, we’ll all be around the firepit eating cake and drinking hot chocolate when the moon does rise.
What’s included? The race is under permit from the Association of Running Clubs. It’s a fully marked and marshaled course. Finishers receive a hot drink and cake and an optional bespoke Snow Moon medal (if the medal option was ticked at booking). Cheer in the remaining runners and socialize by the fire pit afterward.
Enter via Let’s Do This.
This is the rescheduled Amberaid after the Storm Babet deluge and floods prevented the race taking place on October 21st 2023. It is the same 31-mile trail run over undulating countryside paths and trails in the Amber Valley, Derbyshire, close to the eastern edge of the Peak District. Not up to an ultra? There's also the option of Petit Raid - the Northern Loop which offers 20 miles of quality trail, hills, and views.
Starting at High Ashes Rural Project, the full route scribes a figure of 8 through the rural splendour of the Amber Valley. Highlights aplenty will greet you on your way. There are punchy climbs and engaging descents, expansive views and some of the most pleasant woodland trails you’ll find anywhere in the UK. This event has the makings of becoming one of the best “small” ultra trail races in England. Note, the route is largely unmarked (we do mark out a couple of the trickier sections). We provide route notes and gpx file as downloads however you will have to bring your own map with the route marked on (map can be a photocopy / screen print etc - anything to help you "not get lost")
The event has a 9-hour time limit.
Checkpoints. Each checkpoint has water, and checkpoint 1 and 3 has food too (granola and flapjack bars, bananas, crisps, individually wrapped savouries, pizza, etc).
CP1 - Wessington 9 miles
CP2 - Fritchley 16 miles
CP3 - Wessington 21 miles
CP4 - Tupton 27 miles
Additionally, there are a number of self-clips to pass through.
Every finisher receives a medal. Winners' trophies for first M / F in each race.
Now in its 8th year, the Spire Ultra was our first event and has been a qualifying event for the Run Further Ultra Championships for the previous 5 years. The route largely follows the Chesterfield Round Walk – a waymarked route that circles the town famous for its Crooked Spire. The route has introduced many people to the undiscovered countryside in the area, from the high moorland, ancient woodland, and reservoirs on the western edges to the rolling farmland and restored former mining areas of the eastern fringes. This route packs a lot of variety into its 33 miles.
What’s included? The race is under permit from the Association of Running Clubs. There are 6 checkpoints en route (4 drinks only and 2 are food and drink – proper food too – sweet and savoury). The trickiest sections are marked with race signage although for the majority of the route you will rely on map / gps / route notes and the Chesterfield Round Waymarks.
The finishers are rewarded with a medal and light refreshments back at the community resource centre.
Free car parking is available at the centre and on the adjoining estate roads.
The race has a 9 hour time limit.
Enter via SiEntries.
I attended last year's inaugural navigation course run by Jamie at First Light Active. To say I am a novice is an understatement! I had a compass but had no idea what to do with it! After 4 or so hours of theory and then practice on the course around the footpaths and fields nearby, I can honestly say I was so enthused that I went out directly and bought my first OS map of the local area. Jamie made the subject interesting and he tailor made the course to the requirements of the attendees. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. Great value for money!
Recently attended a navigation course. Jamie delivers a very comprehensive and relevant, to running, course. Theory and practical followed by out in the field with excellent feedback.
I was lucky enough to be on the first navigation training back after lockdown and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Jamie's incredibly knowledgeable, approachable and packed a lot into the day. It was great! I now feel I won't struggle too much if Google Maps died on my phone!!
Attended the navigation course recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. Jamie was a font of knowledge and explained everything in a way that was easy to understand. I left feeling loads more confident in my map reading skills. Would definitely recommend this to anyone.
Absolutely loved the Amberaid Trail Ultra, highly recommend this race and anything that First Light organise.
Great organisation, friendly atmosphere, amazing route and people.
I have just done the Foundation Navigation course with First Light Active and can highly recommend them to anyone who likes to spend time outdoors. The course was well presented, very informative with lots of time (and patience) for questions, and very "hands on" with plenty of time to become familiar with maps and a compass. The course exceeded my expectations. In the past I have shied away from navigating but now I can't wait to put my new skills into practice. A huge thank you to Jamie and Claire for a wonderful experience.
Jenny and I did the Navigation Workshop this week and both got a lot from it. Jamie was very personable and quickly tailored the workshop to our abilities and knowledge level, covered the theory and then we went outside to put it into practise. It was a fun day out in nice countryside and we learned or were reminded of some basic and not-so-basic navigation techniques. Thanks!
I had the pleasure of attending a Navigation Skills course with First Light Active last weekend. Jamie is a great teacher, hugely knowledgeable and passionate about his subject and he really helped me build on the limited nav skills I already had. The split between classroom-based theory and then getting out into the beautiful countryside to put it all into practice was spot on. I learnt so much and I would highly recommend this to anyone whether a complete novice or looking to brush up on your skills. All in all a great fun day out with brilliant tuition in a friendly informal setting. Thank you!
I attended the Navigation Course. Jamie went through everything inside, then we took it outside to practice. I learnt a lot more than I was expecting. I feel a lot more confident about going out in the Peaks walking/running now. Thanks Jamie.
A great event we’ll organised and marshalled throughout the day. We’ll done everyone involved and thank you.
Attended the foundation navigation course run by Jamie at first light active. Excellent mix of theory and practical exercises. Left with more confidence using map and compass. Highly recommended.
The HALO is a fantastic looped course race, covering a 4 mile loop of the local countryside. Well organised, fully marshalled, and a fully stocked aid station makes this race excellent value. HARP (High Ashes Rural Project) is the race HQ - a beautiful farm just down the road from Ashover (which features wonderful accommodation if you need to stay pre-/post-race). I cannot recommend First Light enough - if you're looking for a race with a genuine community feel and a challenge for all abilities, look no further.
Fantastic, grass roots events run by great people. Homemade cakes at checkpoints and soup at the end. Can't recommend enough!
I took part in a foundation navigation course for runners/walkers on 11th December 2021 with Jamie. I'd been excited about this course for a while and the chance to tap into Jamie's wealth of knowledge on navigation for ultra running. Having not used a paper map and compass for years, it was great to be reintroduced to 'real' navigation. Jamie was great at explaining things in simple terms and I certainly had a few light bulb moments along the way. Not yet put it into practice (need santa to deliver my compass) but look forward to getting outside and trying out my new skills. Highly recommend this friendly and useful course. Can't wait to sign up for another course or race with First Light Active. Thanks Jamie & Clare.
On Saturday 11th December 2021, I attended ‘Navigation Foundation – Runners / Walkers’ that was facilitated by Jamie. I really did get a huge amount out of the session. Jamie made me (and the others) feel very comfortable and relaxed from the outset by establishing what we wanted to get out of the day. I loved the mix of introducing us all to the features of OS Maps (how they are built on the contours followed by added layers, folding the map appropriately, orientating the map, explaining the horizontal and vertical axes etc.) plus all the compass guidance (that started with an overview of the elements and then training on how to use it). This was followed by spending valuable time putting the learning into practice and for me, this was a wonderful way of structuring the day which Jamie delivered with great passion. We were all encouraged to ask any questions and also ‘tested’ to assess whether or not we had understood Jamie’s guidance. All-in-all, a great day. I will put this into practice straight away and I am very happy to recommend this course. Thanks again Jamie.
I completed the Halo on Saturday - this is the second event I have attended which has been organised by First Light Active and it was another Great experience. The Halo is a 4 mile (mostly off road) loop and basically you just complete it as many times as you want within the time available. There was absolutely no pressure to complete a set number of laps but equally the encouragement to do just one more lap was there when I needed it. The route was great, it was really well marshalled and signposted and we were lucky with the weather - Completing this event has given me the courage to try other longer events now I’ve tested my legs and feet. There’s parking and toilets and somewhere to leave your stuff which just makes things nice and easy. If your not sure just go for it - money raised goes to High Ashes Rural Project. Jamie and Clare clearly know the area well and know how to plan a good running route, hope to see you at another event soon.
A really enjoyable morning despite the cold and wind. Jamie was professional, knowledgeable, extremely patient and made the morning interesting.
My first ultra after being recommended the event. It was tough and challenging, with a beautiful route and surroundings. Great organisation and support team, making it a personal not just "a run number". I loved it and highly recommend it. I will be back, but currently on day 3 DOMS, oohhhh those stairs down! lol. Get signed up, you won't regret it!
Totally loved Amberaid 30 by First Light Active yesterday. Their low environmental impact ethos, with eco toilets, no plastic cups, no plastic navigation markers or unnecessary bling shows their absolute respect for the beautiful area the race covers. A tough but enjoyable challenge with amazing and enthusiastic marshalls throughout. Looking forward to next year!
First Light run two great ultras, Spire and Amberaid. I'm reluctantly sharing how awesome they are because whilst I'd love to keep quiet about such gems it's always good to grow things too. Great routes, great weather, great marshalls and planning!
Ran the Amberaid 30 last week. Fantastic course with great views. Really well managed event with excellent aid stations and lovely volunteers. Will definitely be running more of their races next year.
Amberaid 30 - Can’t recommend this race highly enough. Super friendly, great course, quality feed station and plenty of support around the course. Thanks to Jamie and the first light active team for a great day and to Jamie’s mum for the fantastic pumpkin soup at the finish.
I attended the Navigation Foundation course last week and can highly recommend it. I was looking for a course that would go over skills that I had forgotten over the years but I also learned lots of new tips and techniques to give me renewed confidence in navigating using OS maps when running and walking. I'll definitely be getting out and about now with my map and compass to practise. Thanks Jamie.
I just wanted to thank you for an absolutely brilliant day yesterday. It was my first proper endurance event and I was pretty nervous but from the moment I arrived you were all so welcoming and friendly that it put me straight at ease. The course was beautiful and great to run (until the hills at the end! The marshals were just so encouraging and cheerful, even when they had already seen us lots of times already. The snacks at the checkpoint were perfect for keeping me going and the welcome I got each lap was what helped me keep running even when I was exhausted. It was a brilliantly organised event and I hope to sign up for more races with First Light Active again in the future. Thank you so much for a fantastic day.