Cockfield Chase

Fell Racing, But Different

This unique fell event is half race, half social run...

And now for something a little different... if you are looking for an introduction to fell running then Durham Fell Runners have come up with a fantastic taster event - the Cockfield Chase.

The race was first held back in 2019 with around 50 runners taking part and it has since grown with numbers in the 2023 race closer to 100. Organisers say: "Our race has been designed to attract more people to the sport of fell running. It can be quite intimidating if you’ve never done it before and more so if in remote mountainous parts of the country."

Taking place on 25 April on Cockfield Fell in the village of Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, the event involves two laps of the course. This is where things get a bit different. The first lap is a group run of 3.5K to see the route while the second lap is the race itself - another 3.5K starting as soon as the first runners finish the first loop.

Each year the race sees a real mix of ages and people from different running backgrounds taking part from road runners to athletic club members and fell runners too. All runners are welcome (age 14+), whatever their ability or experience, so long as they think they can safely get around the 7K off road route.

Another unique aspect of this event is the 'bring a prize, win a prize' format. Simply put, if you bring a prize (anything will do) you will win a prize. The race is also held to raise money for local charities, in 2023 a donation of £140 was made to Cockfield Primary School and another £140 went to Butterknowle Scouts.

In 2023 it was Durham Fell Runners very own Chris Alborough who won the race with a time of 12:37 while the first female was Claire Knox of Derwent Valley Running Club in 16:00.

If you'd like to know more, visit the Durham Fell Runners website.

Image: Durham Fell Runners/Darren Fairclough

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