The Annual Rivington Pike Race 2014

Held every Easter Saturday, the Rivington Pike Race is one of the oldest and most historic Fell Races in the country. The first recorded event was held in the early 1880's and it has become one of the most prestigious races in the calendar.

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As we know, the Pike is our most prominent local landmark. It derives its name from the Old English hreof plus ing meaning the rough or rugged hill and pic, a pointed eminence. The hill was recorded as Rovyng in 1325 and Rivenpike in about 1540. Saxton records the name as Rivenpike Hill on his 1577 map.

Held every Easter Saturday, the Rivington Pike Race is one of the oldest and most historic Fell Races in the country. The first recorded event was held in the early 1880's and it has become one of the most prestigious races in the calendar.

Horwich Rotary Club Community Committee felt it would be a prestigious local event to support in 2014 and in the future. To that end we supplied 8 stewards for the event, contributed £400 to the cost of prizes and our Vice-President Paul Whitney started the race and later presented the prizes.

The race draws runners from all over the country, determined to break the race record. This year saw a near record entry of 356 runners of all ages, both male and female.

The course is 3+ miles and there is a 700 feet ascent. Registration is held in The Crown Hotel which enjoys a huge surge of customers (and trade!!) before, during and after the race. 356 thirsty runners helps!

The start and finish are close to the War Memorial where large crowds of friends and families support the runners.
The course was changed several years ago and the old record of 16 mins 13 secs by John Wild (Commonwealth Steeplechase Champion) still stands.

The link with Rotary was strengthened further this year with the race being won by Rob Hope, son-in-law of Bill Watkins in a fantastic time of 17 mins 18 secs. ( Photo of Rob crossing the line ). Best lady runner was Danielle Hodgkinson in 20 mins 31 secs.

Chris Farrell (nephew of 'Friend of Rotary' John Farrell ) was 4th in 17 mins 58 secs. (Apparently top runners take approx 11 mins for the ascent and just 6 mins to run down!!! )

That very famous runner Ron Hill, now 75 years old, raced again this year and recorded a very creditable time of 34mins 26 secs. (his best time was 47 years ago in 1967: 17 mins 12 secs.)

Soldier Robert Fisher dressed in full combat gear, standard issue backpack and (decommissioned) rifle, managed a time of 35 mins 41 secs. Well done Robert.

This is a popular and historic local event and we are delighted that Rotary can be involved now and in the future. - Rtn. Pat Byrne