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Pendle Cloughs Fell Race

Saturday 6th May 2023 at 11.00 am. Category AL. 14 miles / 4100 ft.
Minimum age 18 years on race day.

2019 Results and report.

Entries on the day. £10 FRA members / £14 non FRA members. The entry fee includes a donation to the village for the use of facilities.

Registration is in Village Hall in the centre of Downham village, with car parking (BB7 4BP).

Held under UKA rules and registered with the FRA. This is an ‘AL’ category race and full FRA mandatory kit must be carried. Kit must be brought to registration for checking. NO KIT – NO RUN. Runners without kit at the finish will be disqualified.

Checkpoint cut-offs will be implemented at the points marked on the map below. Runners arriving at checkpoints after those times will be deemed ‘out of the race’ and asked to return to the finish.

Records: Men – Tom Brunt 2.04.20 (2012). Ladies – Jean Brown 2.31.00 (2013). Results for this year’s race will be published on this page. Results from previous years.

Pete Bland Sports vouchers will be awarded to:

1st Lady, 2nd Lady, 3rd Lady1st Man, 2nd Man, 3rd Man
1st LU231st MU23
1st LV401st MV40
1st LV501st MV50
1st LV601st MV60
1st LV701st MV70

The 1st Lady holds The Eagle Trophy. No team prizes.


The approach to CP3 in the 2016 race.
The approach to CP1 in the 2016 race.

Starting from the picturesque village of Downham the challenging route is flagged across fields to the fell. Once on the open fell runners can choose their own route to the nine checkpoints which they must visit in order. In doing so they will run through seven of Pendle’s Cloughs: Burst Clough, Mearley Clough, Ogden Clough, Deep Clough, Churn Clough, Ashendean Clough and Boar Clough.

The route covers sections of Pendle that are seldom visited and takes runners over some of the high, rough and in places trackless moorland terrain, with steep ascents and descents, including loose stones, mud, peat and rough grass / dead bracken. The crossing of Deep Clough beyond CP4 involves a traverse of steep and loose shale which can be avoided by ascending directly up from CP4 and across the top of the clough by Deep Clough spring

Martin Brady approaching the checkpoint at the bottom of Pendle's Big End in the 2016 race.
Martin Brady approaching the checkpoint at the bottom of Pendle’s Big End in the 2016 race.

After navigating round the hill for 12 miles the final two miles gives runners a chance to really ‘let go’ as it’s all downhill to the finish!

Overall, the position of the checkpoints offers some interesting route choices and certainly forms much of the discussion in the pub afterwards!

A map showing checkpoints and grid references and cut off times, to a scale of 1:25000, can be viewed / printed below.

StartDownham VillageSD785440 
CP1Stream crossing, bottom of Mearley CloughSD783411 
CP2Boundary stoneSD787404 
CP3South side of wall corner, bottom of Big EndSD809418Manned. Closes at 1225 hrs
CP4Knoll, north side of Deep CloughSD806405 
CP5Between track walls, StainscombSD796384Manned
CP6Knoll, bottom of Ashendean CloughSD777396Manned. Closes at 1415 hrs
CP7Top Pendle Way stone marker, Boar CloughSD798398 
CP8Robin Hood or Foxes WellSD804420 
CP9Road crossingSD798432Manned

Walls or fences must not be climbed, but crossed at appropriate points. Do not cross private land or the out of bounds area on Downham Moor as shown on the map. Follow the flags in the flagged sections.


The race was inaugurated in 2008 by Andy Hirst of (then) Wharfedale Harriers. The route was designed to take in parts of the routes of two defunct fell races: the Downham Fell race from Downham; and the Five Cloughs Fell Race from Sabden.

The first race attracted just 44 runners, including no less than 21 from Clayton-le-Moors Harriers. It was won by Alan Life of Clayton in a time of 2.34.28 and first lady back was Clayton’s Barbara Savage in 24th place and taking 3.36.38. The race has always been fairly low key and has not attracted too many runners, but as the course became more familiar to some runners it was Tom Brunt in 2012 (then of Holmfirth Harriers) who brought the winning time down to the current record of 2.04.20. Jean Brown (Clayton-le-Moors) holds the current ladies’ record of 2.31.00 in 2013.

In 2017 Andy Hirst passed the responsibility of organising the race to Mark Nutter of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers. Mark’s aim is to ensure the race is a success in the future by increasing competitor numbers whilst working closely with the Downham Estate to ensure there is minimum impact on the village and surroundings.