Dark Side of the Combe – Black Combe Country Fair, Bootle

This is a race introduced in 2016, based loosely on a previous route that last ran about 10 years before. It is part of the Black Combe Country Fair on the showground in Bootle, this is a really popular show, often with more than 3000 attending (see link to show website below). It is always held on August Bank Holiday Monday. The route heads through farmland onto the fell, up and down Black Combe and back the same way. The downhill should be fast and great fun, possibly rivalling the last downhill of the March Black Combe race. The race is free entry, following the £5 entry on the day to the show.


From the showfield, there will be a road crossing out and back. Please follow marshals’ instructions.

The course is marked across farmland and all the way to checkpoint 1, this route is compulsory, please DON’T recce across the farmland as it is not a public right of way, access to the fell can be gained a little further south from Bootle village if you want to check the course beforehand.

Starting in 2023, there will be a cutoff time at checkpoint 1, the stream crossing, of 35 minutes. If you are timed out and asked to return (on the same route) by the marshalls, you must do so.


This is an FRA registered A-Medium race, so normal kit requirements apply, whatever the weather.  There will be kit checks. If the cloud is down you will need the map and compass…

  • Full waterproof body cover (top and bottom)
  • Hat and gloves
  • Map, compass and whistle
  • Emergency food.


  • M : 1:03:32 John Heneghan, 2018
  • F : 1:14:10 Hollie Orr, 2018