A soar away success: Blackdown Hill Challenge report

Organisers of the Blackdown Hill Challenge say they are delighted by the response to its revival for the first time in ten years. There were 88 entries from far and wide and the winning time to the top and back broke the 35 minute barrier. Blackdown is the highest hill in Sussex and the 5 mile run from Fernhurst Rec to summit and back involves an elevation change of 657 feet.

Winning man was Duncan Hay with a time of 34 minutes and 4 seconds while Rachel Dekker (pictured) took the women’s title at 35:42. Fernhurst Parish honours went to Jonny Denham at 35:08 and Anita Haigh with 52:03. The run is the latest big fundraising event for the new Rec building project known as ‘Pavilion 2022’.

One of the organisers, and a previous winner, Mike Boyce said “We were overwhelmed by the response from the running and local communities in supporting the Blackdown Hill Challenge. The event has generated so much positive feedback from everyone verbally and on social media that next year will be even bigger and better. Our team of volunteers and sponsors made the event a success, helping mark the course, checking the runners in and out, timekeeping and running a café – the list is endless. We all extend our thanks to them. Without their support the event simply would not happen”.

Graham Heath of Fernhurst Recreation Ground Trust said “This is just one of several events we are putting on this year in support of Pavilion 2022. Watching the joy on the faces of the younger ones who were just running around the Rec made the effort worthwhile.”

The next ‘big weekend’ kicks off on Friday 19th July when Lashings XI, the Harlem Globetrotters of the cricket world, play a charity match at the Rec. Some big names will be turning out for Lashings with a distinctly Caribbean flavour: commentary will come from TMS legend Henry ‘Blowers’ Blofeld.

There will be a lunch, Q&A and auction beforehand so please get in touch through the cricket club website to book a spot.

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