'Rivington Pike Fell Race' route -Today's course.

Every Easter Saturday witnesses a special gathering of spectators and athletes in 'Crown Square', Horwich, all ready to either 'do battle' whilst racing to the Rivngton Pike's summit and back, or to merely cheer the 3 or 4 hundred hardy soles onto a faster time.

The course is now an established route after many changes over the races long history, the last being in 1986 when fencing was erected higher up on the course, thus adding vital seconds to competitors times since this adaptation. The runners limber up and start almost adjacent with the Lever Park gates on lever Park Avenue. Once the gun fires, they 'charge flat out' up the Avenue towards Rivington and Blackrod School, veering right just before the school to tackle the initial stages of the climb towards the pike tower. Any early over-exuberance will quickly be punished here as the course steepens up 'Old Will's Lane' and onto the ''concrete road'' towards the Pikes summit.

Here, competitors ''legs will be burning'', but somehow they manage to push through the pain barrier now with the Pike tower fully in view, and thoughts of pushing on as they negotiate the steep grassy bank before reaching 'George's Lane'. As the course crosses the cobbles of the lane and through the gate and fencing erected in 1986, the leading runners now only take a couple of minutes to reach the summit, and then gather themselves for a 'flat out dash back down' the course which returns by exactly the same route to the finish. The fastest descenders will cover the reputed 1.6 miles descent in a mere 6 minutes, after an ascent time of 10 minutes, which would equate to a very respectable 5k time were it run over a pan flat course...but with 700ft of climbing run over rough terrain, illustrates what a remarkable achievement John Wild's 1981 record of 15:53 is!

 

 Today's route

Today's Rivington Pike fell race route is shown (right) following the dotted line up and down the 'Pike'. This classic route represents the ultimate test of speed and stamina and is a true test to road, track, XC and fell runners alike.

 

 

 

 

 

 Defending Champions Number

The previous years race winner is awarded the 'number 1' to don the front of his racing vest, whilst aiming to retain the title of 'Pike champion'. It's a number many a proud 'Pike champion' has displayed across their vests over the years.


Above: we can see an 'illustrative' depiction of today's 'Rivington Pike Fell Race' route with Photo's (left) of the 'off road' cut from 'Lever Park Avenue' onto 'Old Will's Lane', (middle) the fences at 'George's Lane' crossing, and (right) the 'concrete road' section.