I’ve never done this event, purely because it’s so local. I run these trails all the time, so it has always felt a bit pointless paying to run an event here. All the same, a few friends were running it, and I thought it would be nice to join them, so I signed up.
The event starts on the lane next to the Bowling Green, on Horribin Lane, in Rivington. We couldn’t get parked along the dam as it was already busy, but there is plenty of parking around Rivington, and we managed to park just a few minutes walk away. Registration, in the car park of the bowling green, was simple and quick, with no queues. We were handed a pack with our race number, timing chip to attach to our shoes, and safety pins. There were a few portable toilets at registration, and the start was a short walk away.
The name Rivington Challenge is a bit of a misnomer really as the route takes you north of Rivington, along the side of Anglezarke reservoir, up to beautiful White Coppice, onto the moor then virtually down into Brinscall, before heading back through the woods, along the Goit, and back along the same path by Anglezarke.
It’s a stunning route, which is indeed challenging, with mud, a few gates and stiles, and some undulations totalling around 1000ft of climbing. The terrain underfoot varies from rocky track, to moorland, to woodland trails and even a bit of road and pavement on the southeast corner of Anglezarke. The first 5 miles are pretty much constantly uphill until you reach a gate at the end of the moorland section, then take a left along a path down into Brinscall. The weather was beautiful the day I ran it, and I could see all the way out to Blackpool tower on the coast, and over to the Yorkshire 3 peaks in the dales.
There are two well placed water stations en route, both at White Coppice, one at around 4 mile in, and another at about 8 miles in. The event is chip timed, and offers a good quality medal as a memento.
A great morning out!!