Events and competing in hill running

Events and competing in hill running

How to choose and prepare for your first fell race.

Fell races are usually categorised by two criteria:

1. Height gain:


Just ignore the finishing time record - it doesn't apply to normal humans and will only put you off trying!!

A = Steepest with a minimum of 250 feet climb per mile and least road allowed (under 20%)
B = Less climb with a minimum of 125 feet per miles and up to 30% road allowed
C = Minimum of 100 feet climb and a maximum of 40% on road

2. Distance:

L (long) is 12 miles or over
M (medium) is 6-12 miles
S (short) is 6 miles or under

Just ignore the finishing time record - it doesn't apply to normal humans and will only put you off trying!!

Competing

Fell racing is fun - honest!
Fell racing is fun!Getting lost isn't solely the prerogative of the novice, but it's more likely if you're not experienced. Hill runners believe in the premise that you take responsibility for your own actions. So if a race says navigational skills are required, do not underestimate the importance of this. 

If you join a club, you should be able to learn navigation skills there. If not, navigation courses are run by outdoor centres and specialist hill running navigation weekends are held by the Fell Runner's Association. Sometimes, in preparation for bigger events, the organisers have workshops building up to them so you can learn on the trot from other experienced runners.

Some races involve route choice decisions as well, and this can be a hard nut to crack. The choice is personal and down to experience. Don't ever feel silly about asking opinions, this is one excellent conversation starter and you will find as many opinions as there are hill runners in the bar with you.

There are a bewildering number of races each weekend - you can find details through the contacts given under Clubs or search under the Events tab. For your first race, pick one in an area you are already familiar with, or a local event where you could go and have a look at the route before hand.

Ask opinions, it's and excellent conversation starter and you will find as many opinions as there are hill runners

Race organisers will send out details of their event when you enter them, so you will be able to buy the relevant map and suss out the course in advance if you feel unsure of finding your way around it. Some races only have permission to cross private land for that day, so always check first before trespassing unwittingly.

When you come to race, start cautiously as the category of a race may not necessarily give a good indication of the difficulty. Remember, the terrain on some of the short ones can be tough underfoot.

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