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Fell Racing Information

Running and racing amongst the fells, hills, dales or mountains of our beautiful country is a liberating and hugely enjoyable experience. But it can also be risky, dangerous and bewildering, especially when the weather is against you.

This section explains the mandatory kit needed when racing to maximise safety should you encounter any issues, details the way fell races are categorised, and includes links to relevant site for further information.

Best Practice Kit

This is the mandatory minimum kit for all AL, AM and BL races and race organisers may require it to be carried at other categories of event – Waterproof whole body cover, hat (buff might be exceptable but take both), gloves, map of the route, compass, whistle, emergency food (waterproof whole body cover must have taped seams and the jacket an attached hood)

The race organiser may check your kit before you are allowed to register or at any time during the race. The kit list may be relaxed but do not risk being turned away from the event – always bring full kit with you – better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Runners often question whether this level of kit is necessary – the kit is not needed when you are running strongly, but for a runner stopped because of injury or tiredness it could be a life-saver, either for you or for someone else in difficulties.

Fell Racing Categories

Races are categorised as A (hardest) to C (milder) on the basis of the amount of climb, and either long, medium or short on the basis of distance, as per the following definitions...

Category "A"
a) Should average not less than 50 metres climb per kilometre
b) Should not have more than 20% of the race distance on road
c) Should be at least 1.5 kilometres in length

Category "B"
a) Should average not less than 25 metres climb per kilometre
b) Should not have more than 30% of the race distance on road

Category "C"
a) Should average not less than 20 metres climb per kilometre
b) Should not have more than 40% of the race distance on road
c) Should contain some genuine fell terrain

Race Length Categories
a) Category "L" (long) race is 20 kilometres or over
b) Category "M" (medium) race is over 10 kilometres but less than 20 kilometres
c) Category "S" (short) race is 10 kilometres or less

Further Information

The two main bodies governing fell running in England are the Fell Runners Association (FRA) and British Open Fell Runners Association (BOFRA) which list hundreds of races each year between them.

The very digestible FRA "Runner's Rules" are also cetainly worth reading through to make sure you're familiar with all the latest fell racing guidelines.

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