The High Peak 40 Mile Challenge (HP40) was first started in 1986 by a Buxton company called Otter Controls Ltd. as a one-off event to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary. It proved so popular that “Otters” continued to sponsor the event until 1997. From 1998 to 2004 the event was hosted by Buxton Community School and organised by one of the staff, Jim Collis. Jim was assisted by a small committee and most of the volunteers who had been involved in the previous incarnation.
The 2004 race was part of the Trail Running Association’s championship. 2005 saw a further change for the HP40 in that it became a joint venture between Buxton and District Lions Club, Buxton Community School and the Trail Running Association. Things move on and after the 2006 race links with the Trail Running Association were severed. The 2006 HP40 had also featured in what was the Montrail Ultra Running Championships which became the UK Ultra Running Championships. This association continued until 2014 but, after a gap, was resurrected for 2016.
However 2016 was the last time the race was run. This was due to a number of reasons, there was a path closure on the way up to Rushup Edge which the team were unable to arrange a suitable diversion around. This path closure wasn’t resolved until the end of 2019, which took us into 2020 and the COVID pandemic. As things opened up during 2022 the current race director, Chris Billingham (a previous competitor from 2016), began to reach out to Bill Allan to enquire about whether the race was starting back up again. Due to a number of reasons, Bill wasn’t in a position to continue to organsation, so not wanting a race with such a rich history to fall by the wayside, Chris took up the baton. Which brings us to today!