Castle Eden 17 Hill Challenge

Castle Eden 17 Hills Challenge Route Devised by Gary McBean and Karl Edwards circa 1995


Castle Eden Dene has long been a favourite training venue for Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers.  Ken Maughan and Phil Gorman first introduced me to this spectacular nature reserve back in 1984 when I joined the club.  It was a regular Thursday night training session throughout the summer months when we all used to meet at the now defunct Grayfields track.  I have trained in there with lots of people ever since although not as much as I would like, now that I live out of town.


 Many club runners have benefited from the hill sessions that are available, you can go in for 30 minutes or up to 3 hrs without covering too much of the same ground.  It is invaluable training for cross-country races, 10k, up to the marathon distance.


One particular competitive training partner a certain Gary McBean suggested about 15 years ago that we should see how many hills we could do in one session.  We then did a few recces of this, that and the other and came up with approx 15/ 16 hills.  The Dene’s paths have changed over the years due to erosion and the loss of some wooden bridges so the original route is no longer an option.  The good thing about this, it means we get to add an extra hill that we somehow missed out the first time, there are now 17 hills to contend with.


This is purely a Hill session and it means that you run up and back down most of the hills, due to the geography within the Dene.  The challenge is mentally demanding as well as physically, but mainly character building, you can attempt this on your own, in twos or a group. I hope some of you will want to do it again to improve on your times.


I would suggest you recce the route in two halves to make yourself familiar with it before your attempt.  I envisage the challenge to take between 2 and 3 hours depending on how fit the contender is, your name and time will be recorded on a list on the website.


All you need to do for your attempt to be recorded is to send name, date and time completed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Good luck, enjoy the hills

Yours in running

Karl Edwards

Link to Karl's map / directions

Link to OS OpenSpace map and route set up by Peter Johnson

 Andrew Minister




 Simon Bennett




 Kevan Stephenson




 Karl Edwards




 Peter Johnson



 John Newman







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