Return of Fernhurst running challenge raises funds for Pavilion 2022

Winner, Duncan Hay, receiving his trophy from the Fernhurst Blackdown Hill Challenge organisers
Winner, Duncan Hay, receiving his trophy from the Fernhurst Blackdown Hill Challenge organisers

Challengers have taken on a intense Fernhurst running challenge to raise funds for a key community project.

On Sunday, April 28, residents and athletes from all over West Sussex put their best trainers on to tackle the Fernhurst Blackdown Hill Challenge in support of the ‘Pavilion 2022’ project.

3rd place male , Ben Pohill, with ladies Champion Rachel Dekker

3rd place male , Ben Pohill, with ladies Champion Rachel Dekker

The event involved a five mile run to the highest point in the South Downs National Park from Fernhurst Recreation Ground and an ascent of 657ft.

A total of 88 people entered in a bid to break the challenge’s 35 minute barrier and whilst runner Duncan Hay won the mens title with a time of 34 minutes and 43 seconds, athlete Rachel Dekker took the women’s title with a time of 35 minutes 42 seconds.

Members of the Fernhurst Recreation Ground Trust, who organised the Blackdown Hill Challenge, said they were delighted by the response to its revival for the first time in ten years.

Organiser 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.

“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.”

This is just one of the many sporting events being held to raise funds for the project to extend and refurbish Fernhurst Pavilion by 2022.

For more on the project and upcoming fundraisers visit http://www.pavilion2022.org.uk.