Racing the fells
Training is all very well and good but to test yourself you need to race. Below are a list of some of the races favoured by Saddleworth Runners over the years. This is by no means a bucket list or even a complete list…….just a place to praise the best races in the calender.
race listings can be found on the Fellrunner website
Many longer races on the fells require good navigational technique this is of course part of what makes fell running so pleasurable. A runner may be tremendously fit but if that effort is expended in the wrong direction……you can find yourself a long way away from where you like to be very quickly. The FRA run mountain navigation courses, these are a splendid way to gain confidence for longer races or those in poor weather. There is also the possibility of teaming up with a more experienced runner to gain experience.
There are many short races that are suitable for runners new to the fells. (If the race featured is suitable for a beginner then please make this plain in the text.)
The New Chew
A Saddleworth runners hosted event in late Feb. The New Chew is one of the original single day navigational events. Choose from three different courses. If you are a local runner the terrain will prove strangely unfamiliar when someone places a map in your hand and starts a clock running. The longest course is 4.5 hours and competitors will try and collect as many of the checkpoints as possible. The advantage of it being a score event is that you don’t need to use all the time available. The number of points you collect still guarantees you a finish even if you only run an hour. As runners can compete in pairs this is a good race to gain experience of navigation on. Just find yourself an experience runner and convince them you can keep up.
The Borrowdale Fell Race
Classic lakeland fellrace from Seathwaite in early August.
Old County Tops
A really spectacular run over 37 miles in May over the best Lakeland terrain. Taking in the summits of Helvellyn, Scafell Pike and Coniston Old Man. It’s a Pairs event. Runs from the Old Dungeon Ghyll in Langdale. Like the Borrowdale this race is a real distillation of what fell running feels like. There is nothing to beat the feeling of lying on the grass at the finish.
Trigger (formerly Tanky’s Trog)
Tour of Tameside
Rab Mountain Marathon
The Fellsman Hike