Fell Running / Racing is defined as: the sport of running and racing, off-road, over upland country where the gradient climbed is a significant component of the difficulty.
A full breakdown of all the FRA Races can be found here.
In order to give potential runners an understanding of the undertaking that a race may entail the Fell Runner’s Association (“FRA”) categorises races primarily by length and severity but also as to whether you are allowed to use GPS devices for navigational purposes or not. The categories can be broken down as follows:
There are also a number of further abbreviations that you may find in the FRA race listings:
ER - Experience required
NS - Navigational Skills Required
LK - Local Knowledge an advantage
PM - Course Partially Marked
Most races will require you to carry some kit whilst running, this is for your own safety, if something untoward should happen whilst out on the fells (a dramatic change in weather conditions or an accident for example) then you need to ensure you have the appropriate kit with you to look after yourself whilst out on the hill. The FRA provides the following kit requirement guidance to race organisers:
Safety and respect to race organisers:
Some of the above may seem like over kill but please remember that the race categories and kit requirements are in place to try and minimise the risks to runners, please do not flout rules and recommendations put in place by race organisers who only have your best interests at heart, without them we wouldn’t have any races to go and test ourselves over.
With that in mind the FRA have come up with this handy infographic: