Blackdown Hill Challenge is back

Rachel on her way to the top

The Blackdown Hill Challenge is back on April 5th, bigger and better. Well, Blackdown is still the same height (280m/920ft) but this year’s event is going to be even better following on from the success of last year.

88 runners from far and wide were part of the challenge which had been revived for the first time in ten years. Blackdown is the highest hill in the South Downs National Park and the 5 mile trail run from Fernhurst Rec to summit and back involves an elevation change of 657 feet. Winning man in 2019 was Duncan Hay with a time of 34:04, while Rachel Dekker took the women’s title at 35:42. Fernhurst Parish honours went to Jonny Denham at 35:08 and Anita Haigh with 52:03.

Organiser Mike Boyce said “We were delighted by the turn-out last year and our aim is to build on last year’s success – we want to make the event a regular fixture in the local running calendar. Along with district runners and villagers we also had entries from much further, including one from Canada.”

The run is part of fundraising for the new Rec building project known as ‘Pavilion 2022’. Graham Heath of Fernhurst Recreation Ground Trust said “We’ve added a team award this year along with a veterans category. Another change is the age limit which has been reduced to 14 as long as there is parental consent.”

While the main run heads for Blackdown Hill, the popular kids’ challenge is back with a ‘Run around the Rec’.

Entrance costs £22 for the big one :

£5 for the kids’ challenge :

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