Blackdown Hill Challenge is back!

Fernhurst Recreation Ground Trust is delighted to confirm the Blackdown Hill Challenge is back on September 4th as a fundraising event for Pavilion2022. After a successful return in 2019, the April 2020 event was looking even bigger and better – until the first Covid lockdown was announced. This will be the 30th Blackdown Hill Challenge and the aspiration is to establish it as a feature of the running scene in southern England.

Construction of Pavilion2022 is proceeding but so is the fundraising due to escalating costs in the building trade. The main part of the build is assured but there are ‘extras’ which FRGT is also keen to provide.

In 2019, 88 runners from far and wide were part of the challenge. Blackdown is the highest hill in the South Downs National Park (280m/920ft) 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 three years ago and just want to get it going again. We want to make the event a regular fixture in the running calendar. Along with district runners and villagers in 2019 we also had entries from much further, including one from Canada.”

Minimum age is 16 while the ‘Kids Blackdown Challenge’ is three laps of the Rec for all ages. Entries are open at and  but it will also be possible to enter on the day.