Hodder Valley Show

Saturday 14th September 2024

Newton in Bowland


Fell Race 2023 Report

Hodder Valley Show Fell Race 2023
8 miles 1400 feet
By R.O. Declan O’Duffy - Bowland Fell Runners
I won’t lie, organising the HV Show fell race is not straightforward. It alternates over three venues, each taking their turn annually. It helps very much that Julie Bennett, the Show Chair, and her team are all enormously helpful.
The Hodder Valley Show is an important event in the farming community of the Trough of Bowland. Farmers get to show the fruits of their husbandry as do local suppliers, cake makers, vegetable and flower growers. The latest machinery stands side by side with polished vintage tractors. My journey to the show was bedevilled by them chugging along the verdant lanes of Bowland. Actually, Pam and I were in plenty of time and enjoyed the smiling faces of their owners chugging along. You can keep your E-Types, your Astons and Ferraris; they only had eyes for their vintage Fergusons.
Lest I sidetrack too much before exceeding my word count, and also lest we forget, fell running is a part of the agricultural community where without their tending to the countryside where they make their living and without their permissions to run over their land, the sport would not exist. We’d all be running roads. Where’s the beauty in that?.
Underfoot the terrain is slow and ponderous. We have to go out with scythes to beat back the nettles and thistles in the days before. If you try to navigate as the crow flies you’ll quickly grind to an unrunable halt where the reeds are as high as your eye.
Flagging and marshals, lots of them (25 in all), did a marvellous job on a very hot day. Many thanks to all who helped.
We’ve had to pick out a circuitous route to the top of Easington Fell which opens out eventually to reveal some quad tracks which make a natural line.
There is no signal apart from Mountain Rescue and their 2-Way radios which proves invaluable. A few runners succumb to the heat but all recover well sitting in the shade and supping water and beer and taking a dip in the river Hodder.
BFR dominate the prizes unsurprisingly but the winner, Jake Collier, was a level above everyone else with a tremendous sub-hour round making light of the conditions.

Hodder Valley Show Fell Race 2023

It's Slaidburn's turn to host the HV fell race this year. As you might expect, it's a gnarly route that will test any fell runner. Organised by Bowland Fell Runners the route will be fully flagged and marshalled. BPMRT will be in attendance as usual.
The route takes the runner up over Easington Fell and on towards Newton Fell, does a small loop at the top and then back from whence tha' came. Not as high as most fell races but will tax the resolve of many.

Download route (pdf)

Distance 8.1 miles; Ascent 1,370 feet

Entry to the race is free once entrants have paid entrance to the unique and historic show itself. There are also Junior races for anyone of the requisite age to enter.
Full details are posted below.

• Date & time: Sat 9 Sep 2023 at 13:00
• Country: England
• Region: Bowland/NW Lancs.
• Category: BM
• Website: http://www.bowlandfellrunners.org.uk
• Distance:  8.1 miles
• Climb: 1370 ft
• Venue: Duckmire Farm, Chapel Street, Slaidburn, BB7 3ES
• Skills: ER, PM, LK
• Minimum age: 18


Please note that all runners will need to pay on the gate and when they register on the field they will be reimbursed at the pre order cost and not the cost of tickets on the day. Tickets can be bought on line up to midnight 7th Sept .

• Entry on day: Yes
• Entry on day fee: £15
• Pre-entry: Yes
• Pre-entry fee (members): £13.50
• Pre-entry fee (non-members): £15
• Pay entry to show and fell race entry is included. Discounted tickets for show at www.hoddervalleyshow.co.uk

• Declan O'Duffy
8 Redvers Street, Lancaster, LA1 5EA
07785 382809
• Race Organiser: Declan O'Duffy

• Teams allowed: Yes

• Male record: T Addison - 00:48:36 - 2009
• Female record: J Gourney - 01:02:12 - 2015

• Junior races: Yes
• Races dependent on numbers, usually U13, U15 & U17.

Age race distances:

U9- 1km

U11 - 2 km

U13 - 3km

U15 - 5 km

U17 - 7 km

• Permit / Insurance: Yes
• This race has a Permit and associated UK Athletics insurance from the FRA.

No recce-ing the route prior to race due to land permissions.
Course is flagged and marshalled on the day.
BPMRT will be in attendance.

Venue could be subject to change

FRA Requirements for Runners (the “Runners’ Rules”) :

The following Runners’ Rules apply to runners in FRA-registered races and events and you will be expected to have read them, and to agree to comply with the requirements, as a condition of entry.
1. Know what you are in for.
You must be confident you are capable of completing any race you enter.
2. Comply with the Race Rules.
Race Organisers may introduce special requirements to suit their particular race (for example additional equipment, time limits, previous experience criteria) and these must be obeyed.
3. Use appropriate kit for the course and conditions.
‘Best Practice Kit’ is the mandatory minimum for AL, AM and BL races, and Race
Organisers may require it to be carried at other categories of event.
‘Best Practice Kit’ comprises:-
•Waterproof whole body cover, hat, gloves, map of the route, compass, whistle, emergency food.
Your waterproof whole body cover must have taped seams and an attached hood. The Race Organiser may check your kit before you are allowed to register, or at any time during the race. If the kit list can be relaxed it will be, but don’t risk being turned away from the event. Runners often question whether this level of kit is necessary – the kit is not needed when you are running strongly, but for a runner stopped because of injury or tiredness it could be a life-saver, either for you or for someone else in difficulties.
4. RaceNumbers
Wear your race number on your chest and show it to marshals at check-points.
The race number is an essential part of running the race, to check that runners don’t skip a checkpoint and to keep track of runners who are lagging behind or have dropped out of the event. If you put on a cagoule over your number be prepared to uncover it to show to race officials at checkpoints, so that the number can be recorded. Don’t fold or cut down numbers as this makes them more difficult to read and also conceals the sponsor’s name. Only shout out your number if you are asked to do so.
5. Retirement
When you have registered for a race, you must inform the Race Organiser if you don’t complete it, for any reason.
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After you have registered with the race organisation (normally this means collecting your number before the start) you are officially ‘in the race’. You must report to the Race Organiser or an official at the finish if you drop out for any reason at any time – deploying Mountain Rescue to find someone who is safe at home will quickly exhaust the goodwill of the rescue organisations. Look out at the start for any specific retirement procedures introduced by the Race Organiser.
6. Juniors
A parent or legal guardian must consent to junior runners’ race entries and agree to the conditions of entry.
Juniors are those under 18 on the day of the race. Consent by parent or legal guardian can be given by a signature on the event entry form, or by bringing a completed and signed parental consent form to the event.
The distances for Junior Fell Races are limited according to the age of the runner (as given in the FRA Requirements and Rules for Race Organisers). Race Organisers will endeavour to match the difficulty of the course with what can reasonably be expected from fell runners of the relevant age, however runners and their parents must accept the inherent risks and be responsible for determining whether the junior has the skills fitness and equipment to participate.
Junior runners should bring a waterproof top and leggings to all races and should remember that when participating in a Senior race they may have to carry the full kit, as for the Senior runners.
7. PersonalConduct
Behave respectfully to other competitors, race officials and members of the public sharing the same area of countryside.
Fell runners should adhere to the Countryside Code, for example the need to shut gates which you opened. Do not climb dry-stone walls or wire fences, which can damage them and may be grounds for disqualification. Respect private property and other users of the fells.
8. Disciplinary Action
The Race Organiser can exclude you from the race if you do not observe their race requirements and these “Runners’ Rules”.
The FRA may take disciplinary action such as banning a competitor from future races, and your club may also impose sanctions if your actions reflect badly on them. Absolute’ no-nos’ are quitting a race without telling the Organiser, running in someone else’s vest number, or cheating on the kit requirements. Please ‘do your bit’ to make the race safe and enjoyable for all.
9. Hypothermia
You must be aware of the basics of hypothermia, the symptoms, treatments and how to avoid it.
Hypothermia is dangerous and has been the cause of several deaths in fell running. If injury or exhaustion causes you to stop or slow down, then body heat will be lost quickly in cold wet or windy weather and the onset of hypothermia can be very rapid unless sufficient clothing can be worn. You may also recognise hypothermia in other runners.
You should refer to the hypothermia section on the FRA web-site (or one of the many other sources of information) to become familiar with the symptoms and the actions to be taken.




Hodder Valley Show Fell Race 10th September 2022 Race Report

A special mention to outgoing Race Organiser, Steve Cox, for the past 22 years of great stewardship
and also to his trusted helper Ian Roberts who, again after 22 years, is calling time on his role as a
Thank you both for all those years of loyal, selfless service to fell running and the Hodder Valley
Show. The reins are now handed over to Declan O’Duffy and the BFR marshal section to continue
the good work.
Thanks also to OMM who sponsored the winners prizes in the form of vouchers to use in their shop.
Speculation that the show might be postponed because of the Queen’s death days earlier prove
unfounded as part of the course runs through Duchy land. Instead we have a minute’s silence to
respect her passing.
At £15 per adult ticket it’s actually a great bargain as you get the freedom of the show and a chance
to stretch some legs. However, tightly clamped purses feature heavily in the fell running world and
superfluous entertainment is great but only if it costs nowt.
Juniors from U8 up to U18 can take part as well at £5 ticket admission. You’d think with so many
youngsters running around that there’d be a greater uptake than the six that take part. The juniors is
an area of this show that could be developed nicely with a little more attention and promotion.
A nice touch comes from Gulliver Cox who arrives with drone and camera to film the race. His
subsequent video is beautiful, showing off our lush and breathtaking countryside at its best.
44 runners register in one of the blue ribband events of the show with surprisingly only three
females. After a professional instructor warms up the waiting runners, thank you Matt Donnelly, the
new Race Organiser sets them off from the show-ring with countdown help from the spectators.
The course is fast out for a mile and then a severe ramp up to Mellor Knoll to get the blood
pumping. Straight over the top, down and along the fields before the big ascent up to Totteridge trig,
famed for its proximity to the geographical centre of the United Kingdom. A loop around the trig
point at the top and then runners descend the way they come up. I make it sound very easy but the
verdict is that it’s a tough little nut and that first climb up Mellor Knoll is a shock to the system.
The race is hotly contested at the front and local BFR runner Oli Heaton hangs on in front of new
BFR member Sam Atkinson closely followed by Jos Addison of Helm Hill. Suzanne Budgett wins
the Female race. Two standout performances happen further back with startling finishes from M55
Glen Goodwin of Accrington in 6th and from M80 Norman Bush, U/A, in 30th.
Many thanks to BPMRT for supporting the race with a big presence. Fortunately their area of
expertise did not have to be called upon as everything went without incident. Their attendance
though is vital and never taken for granted as their services have been used in earnest on many
occasions for similar events throughout the north west.
The race is established as an integral part of the show and consequently has to run to the show’s
tight time constraints. The announcers play a pivotal part in mustering the runners and informing
spectators about the race itself.
It’s a great occasion where show and race organisers work well together to make it go without a
hitch. We have to, there’s a lot to do.

Race report 2022 (pdf)

Senior results (pdf)

Junior results (pdf)


The Hodder Valley Show has a long history of working successfully with the Bowland Fell Runners Club.

Bowland Fell Runners are a dedicated fell running club with about 100 members formed initially to promote fell running in the Forest of Bowland, for those who have an affinity with the area. Most live south, west or north of the Forest of Bowland and with weekly training activities in and around the fells near Chipping, Lancaster and further afield.
For further details: bowlandfellrunners.org.uk

Each year our race is well received by the all the runners, who enjoy the new routes as well as the tried and tested routes.

Bowland Fell Runners Club thank all seniors and juniors for competing and turning the fixture into two good races, to the land owners and tenant farmers for allowing us to cross their land, to the members of Bowland Fell Runners, their friends and families who turned out to assist with the organisation and marshalling of what is a “marshal intensive” course and also to members of the Hodder Valley Show committee for hosting our race within their day’s intensive programme.

Hodder Valley Show Fell Race 14th September 2019 Race Report

2019 Report and Results (pdf)

 2019 race route (pdf)

2018 Report and Results (pdf)

 2017 Race Report 

36 runners braved extreme mud and heavy showers to run the Hodder Valley Show race, this year held at Dunsop Bridge. Last year’s winner, Phil Marsden (Horwich) and Carl Bell (Keswick) reached the turn-around trig point on Totridge Fell, with its memorial plague to fell running legend Bill Smith, together, but Carl showed his downhill strength to win by over a minute. Jenn Mattison (Keswick) comfortably won the women’s race. Local lad Sean Grover of Newton-in-Bowland showed special grit to run as an U19. Clayton were the winning women’s team and Bowland won the men’s team prize.

All finishers received a bottle of Bowland Beer which appeared to be well received. Many favourable comments were received about the course, last run as an English championship race three years ago.

My thanks go to all the marshals from Bowland Fell Runners, to Bowland Mountain Rescue team, to Clayton-le-Moors Harriers who made the race a counter in their 2017 club championship, and to the usual Race Organiser, Steve Cox, who did all the preparatory work. 

2016 Race Results 

A strong field of 87 senior runners set off from a sunny show field in Newton-in-Bowland. As stalwarts of the race will be aware, the race route alternates as the Hodder Valley Show moves between the villages of Dunsop Bridge, Newton and Slaidburn. Furthermore, local shoots have also forced different courses to be run on some years!
This year saw the return to a fantastic route which was last run 6 years ago and saw runners ascending steep farmland with fast running over hill and dale to reach the fell. By the fell gate onto Beatrix Fell, Philip Marsden form Bolton Harriers had a modest lead. On the climb and return to the show field this was stretched to almost a 4 minutes lead over Matthew Cordus, with Philip winning in an impressive 51:31 minutes.
The first female was Helen Buchan from Calderdale Valley who had a comfortable lead over Amie McAvoy.
All finishers received a bottle of Bowland Beer or some Mrs Kirkham’s Farmhouse Cheese….guess which was more popular! 

2015 Race Results

Results 2015 (pdf)

2014 Race Results

Mens Results 2014 (pdf)

Womens Results 2014 (pdf)

Junior Results 2014 (pdf)





For further details contact Martyn tel 07817 445956