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The only way is up: Alistair takes on Duddon Valley

Billed as a ‘classic Fell race’, Duddon Valley Fell Race, held on the 3rd June, covers 18 miles and includes around 6000 ft (or around 1800m if you have a metric-head) of climbing. Starting at 11am, middle-of-the-day heat can also add to the level of challenge the race provides.

Preston Harrier Alistair Palmer however was not to be deterred by the distance, elevation or weather as he completed the event for the second time. Alistair first ran this event two years ago and wanted to come back again as a more experienced runner to take in the scenery as well as improve on his time, which he did by a remarkable 6 minutes.

Alistair hadn’t trained specifically for this event but he has been trying to include more uphill running in recent training, which seems to be paying off overall. Taking part in this event has also been good practice and preparation for two longer fell events he has planned for July, the Kentmere Horseshoe and Wasdale Fell races.

Alistair explained how the stunning panoramic views on show were able to relieve some of the pain from climbing: there is a notorious section which includes about 1300ft of incline in less than a single mile! A race like this is undoubtedly tough however Alistair persevered, and a handful of sweets from a friendly face as helped to keep him going through the last few checkpoints: he still found the energy to smile for the camera!

As for the best way to recover? A magnum ice-cream and a quick ‘dunk’ in the river sorted Alistair out. These are the kind or recovery tips we like…

If you are interested in trying out some fell running yourself, you can visit for information on current training sessions taking place, or email the fell co-ordinator directly on

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