/ A year of classic fell races

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ablackett - on 14 Jan 2013
I plan to spend this year doing as many classic fell races as I can fit in. My only criteria is that I want to avoid anything that is above about 50km.

My primary motivation is to experience all the classic races that I have read about so in future I can look back and remember them rather than just read about them.

In addition to that I would like to try any races which are a bit odd, such as down hill only, sailing/running races, time trials, anything which stands out.

I have put together the following as a preliminary plan.

What have I missed? Which short races are 'must do' classics? Any donkeys in the list that are best avoided? Which are the classic scottish races I have missed out?

I am based NE england, but willing to travel for a good one.

24/03/13 Edale Skyline (LEC)
06/04/13 Coledale Horseshoe
13/04/13 Silent Valley (MBC)
20/04/13 Anniversary Waltz
27/04/13 3 Peaks Race
11/05/13 Fairfield Horseshoe (MEC)
18/05/13 Scottish Islands Peaks Race
19/05/13 Scottish Islands Peaks Race
25/05/13 Jura
01/06/13 Welsh 1000m peaks
02/06/13 Yetholm (MBC)
08/06/13 Ennerdale
15/06/13 Great lakes
19/06/13 Langstrath
29/06/13 Northumberland Castles and Islands?
07/07/13 Skiddaw
13/07/13 Wasdale (LEC)
27/07/13 Blisco Dash (SBC EC)
03/08/13 Borrowdale
10/08/13 Turner Landscape (MEC)
24/08/13 Burnsall Classic
07/09/13 Ben Nevis
11/09/13 Roseberry Topping
14/09/13 Peris Horseshoe (LBC)
21/09/13 Scafell Pike
12/10/13 Langdale Horseshoe
20/10/13 Relays
01/12/13 Hexhamshire Hobble

(S, M, L = Short, Medium, Long) (BC = British Chaps, EC = english champs)
tony on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

Scottish classics would include:
Stuc a'Chroin
Goatfell (but that coincides with the Island Peaks Race)
Isle of Jura
Glen Rosa Horseshoe
Slioch Horseshoe
Lairig Ghru
Glamaig
Meall a'Buchaille

You could also try to find a team that wants a runner for the Simon Wake Comrie Hills Relay the weekend before Ben Nevis. The other big relay is the Devil's Burdens, in February.

You can get a full list of Scottish races on the SHR website:
http://www.shr.uk.com/Home.aspx

a lakeland climber on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

How many ALs have you done in the last couple of years? A few of those have entry requirements.

I'd add the Full Tour of Pendle and the Duddon long

ALC
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to tony: I'd go Carnethy 5..

Entries open now..

Grasmere guides race.. absolute classic short..

Auld Lang syne.. new years eve race.. North Yorkshire

In the NE have you done Chevy Chase? Good race.. I was second.. by 1 second.. back in 2011?

Good list though.. lots of longs so careful on burnout..
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: Aye FTOP is a classic.. strangely as its the most convoluted race but it works..

Yorkshire 3 peaks as well for me..

I've still not done Old County Tops..
ablackett - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to ablackett)
>
A few of those have entry requirements.
>

Don't think I have done any AL's, but I did a Bob Graham last April and was second in OMM B class, so I was hoping that counted for something.

If not, then I won't be allowed into some of them and can save them for next year.
ablackett - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to tony: Thanks for the list of scottish races, I will add some of them in.
The New NickB - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

A bit lacking of Pennine races, Turnslack would be a good one to look at.
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: Aye.. the Peris has been strict.. which is a joke.. if the weathers cloudy its shortened anyway..

The organiser refused a mountain guide one year... lack of experience.. yet allowed others who had played follow the leader...
a lakeland climber on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

Don't think much of the 3peaks, too much like cross country.

OCT is a good 'un but you need to be a pair.

ALC
ablackett - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tony) I'd go Carnethy 5..
>
> Entries open now..
>
What is classic/special about Carnethy 5 - a long way to go for a short race I haven't heard of.


> Grasmere guides race.. absolute classic short..
>

Thanks - added in.

> Auld Lang syne.. new years eve race.. North Yorkshire
>
> In the NE have you done Chevy Chase? Good race.. I was second.. by 1 second.. back in 2011?

Put that one in also - thanks.
>
> Good list though.. lots of longs so careful on burnout..

Good point - that's why I am looking for some more short ones!

IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: I like the purity of the 3 peaks.. it's just a run.. its a classic mountain running I guess.. more than fell.. I see why people dislike it.. but I just liked its no nonsense style.. just run hard.. no nav.. no technical sections, just hills.
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

Carnethy is in the pentlands.. lovely fell running area, probably one of the highest quality fields there is. This year they are picking entries.. so its not so easy to get in, but means it will be true quality.

I've not actually done the race.. 2 failures.. once even got to the start line but was throwing up.. second time broke my arm just before, but my sister lives nearby so run there a lot. I just love the place.
a lakeland climber on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

The Chevy Chase is a lot harder than the 3 peaks.

Sedbergh Hills
Weasdale
Jack Bloor
Really Wild Boar
High Cup Nick

This list will keep you busy

ALC
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber: Chevy is more nav.. I think I was 2:48? 3:!5 in the 3 peaks..

But chevy was clear with locals to follow.. in clag I'd have struggled.. as the route isn't too logical.
Jim Hamilton - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

Snowdon not seen as a classic ? It clashes with Burnsall but for odd downhill races there is the Tryfan Downhill Dash - record from summit to road, 8 minutes !
andy - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: Kilnsey? Similar to Burnsall, but an experience.

And someone tell Iain Haworth's in West Yorkshire...
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton: Snowdon.. aye its a classic.. but its another classic mountain race.. rather than a fell race, so probably like the 3 peaks in that respect. If you appreciate those races for what they are, I think they are great.

8 minutes.. self timed.. and the record holder refused to ratify the record of someone who beat it due to questionable timing.. by himself..
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to andy: Never knew there was a west yorkshire..

dodfoster - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: good list that....i'd add the dunnerdale and the kentmere too....really good races
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IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: Aye there's so many.. I love the High peak marathon.. such a unique team event.. then the 3 peaks yacht race.. I won't do them too often, but classic experiences.

In Scotland Stuc a Chroin, Jura, Ben Nevis and goat fell were justifiable classics.

But years ago I did the two breweries and really enjoyed that.

In the peak I'm still to do (well finish edale skyline), but I really enjoyed kinder trog.. again a more traily fell race. But I like mixing it up, so also do the classic trail, mountain and road races..

Strangely Scafell pike never gets that strong a field, of the 3 highest peak races that's by far the smallest and low key. Nice race still.
climber34neil - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: tiggar tor, great race!
andy - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK: west yorkshire, north yorkshire, south yorkshire and erm...humberside...
The New NickB - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to andy) Never knew there was a west yorkshire..

You're not being serious surely!
Steve Perry - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: You could squeeze this one in easy enough, it's a local Pennine classic - http://www.todharriers.co.uk/stoodley_pike.htm
IainRUK - on 14 Jan 2013
In reply to The New NickB: I always get confused about which one doesn't exist...

TBH I just think of south yorkshire.. North Yorkshire..

I ignore Humberside for obvious reasons..
andy - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to The New NickB) I always get confused about which one doesn't exist...
>
> TBH I just think of south yorkshire.. North Yorkshire..

There's a very big difference when it comes to car insurance.


tony on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to tony) I'd go Carnethy 5..

Yeah, teh Carnethy 5 is a real classic. I didn't mention it yesterday because a) it's next weekend and b) it's really hard to get into.
steelbru - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:
Carnethy 5 is not next weekend, it's 16th February.

It is too late to get into though, applications closed Sunday night and invites are being sent out today.
Curry - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to tony:

Hi tony, the Carnethy 5 is on the 16th of February this year. Thought I'd shout up! Ballot selection started yesterday and today. Entry was through the Si Entry system. I was lucky to get a place in it, check out the Carnethy page for info

http://www.carnethy.com/ri_c5.htm
Curry - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Curry:

Sorry forgot to mention entries for this event closed on Sunday 13th January.
Mr Ed - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

I take a bit of issue with your criticism of race organisers Iain particularly your use of the word 'joke'. They're in a bit of a difficult position with a great deal of responsibility.

Several have been sued up in the lakes after the deaths of competitors and that is a situation I would never ever want to be faced with.

They give up a lot of time to put on these events and it takes far more effort than people give credit for, and the marshalling that goes on too.

If they feel that conditions may leave themselves or the competitors vulnerable then if they want to scale back the race that is their choice. If you don't like it you can run it anyway- just not in the race environment. I know this goes against the ethos of fell running being independent and taking responsibility for yourself but seemingly waivers or responsibility don't seem to count for much legally....

Cheers

Mr Ed
tony on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Ed:
> (In reply to IainRUK)
>
> I take a bit of issue with your criticism of race organisers Iain particularly your use of the word 'joke'.

Iain will speak for himself, but I thought he was referring specifically to the Nant Peris Horseshoe race, and not generally about all race organisers.
jjmacewan - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

Stuc a' chroin, as already mentioned by tony, is a true Scottish classic race:

http://www.stucachroin5000.org.uk/

Another long one to consider would be the Ochil 2000s:

http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceDetails.aspx?RaceID=RA-0203

jjmacewan - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Ed:

"Several have been sued up in the lakes after the deaths of competitors and that is a situation I would never ever want to be faced with. "

This has never actually happened, has it?

I have been a race organiser in Scotland and to my understanding it would not be likely for this to ever happen to an organiser in Scotland. The law might work differently in England but I am not aware of an actual case against a race organiser.
a lakeland climber on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Ed:

Several ROs have been sued?

To the best of my knowledge there have, sadly, been only three deaths in Lakeland fell races in the last 25 years. The first was on the Kentmere Horsehoe when it was run much earlier in the year and in the opposite direction to the current race - the changes were made following the inquest. In this instance, the deceased's husband offered his support for the RO, there were no legal proceedings. See pages 204 & 205 in Feet in the Clouds.

The second was last year on the Buttermere Sail Beck race when an elderly competitor died. The circumstances haven't been determined yet, I don't think the inquest has concluded.

The third was again last year on the Ian Hodgson relays when a competitor, Darren Holloway, suffered a cardiac arrest and despite the best efforts of other competitors and passers by died. (I think it was the same condition suffered by Fabrice Muamba)

ROs are in a difficult position, they send a group of scantily clad runners off on a course and hope that they all return. Invariably they do, whether by luck or judgement is hard to tell. It's not helped where runners turn up with no safety kit even though it's stipulated in the race notes and for longer races in the FRA rules.

ALC
Mr Ed - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to jjmacewan:

Good overview here:

http://fellrunner.org.uk/articles/insurance.htm

I'm not happy to discuss specific cases on an open forum as i'm not in posession of all the facts- much of what i've heard has been through the grapevine.

Regardless my original point still stands. Race organisers need support and should be supported by the fell running community and if they decide due to conditions that a race should be shortened or cancelled I support them and their decision.

jjmacewan - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Ed:

I totally agree with what you are saying that race organisers need support and having carried the role out know that it often feels like a very thankless and unappreciated task.

I am aware of the cases above but to my knowledge no race organiser has been sued as a result. To say so is not going to help ease the mind of current organisers and future organisers when considering what decisions to take in race management and organisation.
Mr Ed - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to jjmacewan:

Apologies if i've alarmed you. I haven't heard directly of any race organisers being sued but i'm aware that certainly in my fell running community the threat of such action against race organisers has been discussed or mentioned as a possibility- I mistakenly thought that it had actually occured so as a result my original comment was somewhat alarmist and I retract that statement.

The link I posted above seemed to give a very good overview of the current situation in my mind though. Maybe worthy of a wider debate in the fell running community?





Mehmet Karatay - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett:

What about the Pentland Skyline Race, 13/10/13: http://www.carnethy.com/ri_skyline.htm

Mehmet
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tony on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to jjmacewan:
>
> Another long one to consider would be the Ochil 2000s:
>
> http://www.scottishhillracing.co.uk/RaceDetails.aspx?RaceID=RA-0203

That's on my list this year. In fact, it was on my list last year until my leg decided against it.
ablackett - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: Wow, lots to consider, thanks all.

Better rest up, i'm going to need all my energy if I am going to do half of the list I have ended up with!
IainRUK - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Ed: Eh,,

The course was ran in wet cloudy weather.. most front runners were dissapointed. As winner I said.. 'I understood the decision, it was the organisers to make, I just disagreed'..

I used my name.. no hiding.. no attacks..

Re the wild use of abbreviations.. it makes it more dangerous.. as does shortening races prematurely.. runners can start to think that if a full course is run its safe.. the runner should take responsibility..

Re the abbreviations.. if a runner starts to think 'well NS doesn't actually mean anything' when they see NS when its actually needed they could be in the shit..

I was out today near glen clova, A classic race, cancelled, it was very serious, in cloud you could end up in a number of different glens.. that was NS..

I saw a local race in North Wales.. NS.. its a trail race..
IainRUK - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Ed:
> (In reply to jjmacewan)
>
> Good overview here:
>
> http://fellrunner.org.uk/articles/insurance.htm
>
> I'm not happy to discuss specific cases on an open forum as i'm not in posession of all the facts- much of what i've heard has been through the grapevine.
>
> Regardless my original point still stands. Race organisers need support and should be supported by the fell running community and if they decide due to conditions that a race should be shortened or cancelled I support them and their decision.

I think they should.. but runners should feel free to say what they think.. the organiser made the call from the valley floor.. as a runner up top I was in a t shirt all day.. never cold at all..

Yeah the nav would have been hard.. as the organiser said 'winds were 35-40 mph'.. so strongish.. nout more.. 10 C.. so not cold.. so I thinkits fair enough for runners to say 'no we want to run in those conditions'


Fell running isn't mountain running, its the whole package, nav, mountain sense, ability, fitness.. so let runners run in the clag..

At the moment there is too little focus on runners.. their ability to nav, the gear they have, and the trust the place in marshalls and organisers..
IainRUK - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Mr Ed: Ed also.. in Trail running last month was a post from a reader about 2012 highlights..

'Running the pedol Peris.. I'd never ran that far even in a whole weekend'

So a MIC doesn't get in.. lack of experience.. yet someone who has done follow the leader (I know the person who posted), very inexperienced.. got in..

It's partly why I'm opposed to fell running taking its own lead in guiding initiatives.. to be a fell running guide you now need to do a 2 day course... no assessment.. no requirements to be first aid qualified..

To be a walking guide over the same terrain its a tried and tested ML training and assessment.. plus first aid..

One ticks boxes.. one is fit for purpose.. which one is a threat to the sport?
ablackett - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

>
> It's partly why I'm opposed to fell running taking its own lead in guiding initiatives.. to be a fell running guide you now need to do a 2 day course... no assessment.. no requirements to be first aid qualified..
>
> To be a walking guide over the same terrain its a tried and tested ML training and assessment.. plus first aid..
>
> One ticks boxes.. one is fit for purpose.. which one is a threat to the sport?

OK, i'm going to bite. This thread was about me asking about beautiful, classic fell races and has turned into an argument based on one decision to not let a mountain guide enter a race. That's how this forum works, fair enough.

But - I don't understand how an apparently unsuitable fell running guiding qualification is a threat to the sport? Please explain.

IainRUK - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: Its organised by the FRA..

I know commercial guides who list this as their qualification.. it makes a joke of the FRA's ability to 'manage' the sport safely, which they generally do an excellent job of.. but adding this then brings it all into doubt.

It also threatens the development of the sport.. the requirement for qualified runners to lead club runs.. which I think we'll see more from. even if that qual is a joke.. Strangely due to the litigious society we live in people are scared of being sued so would rather have the protection of unfit pieces of paper than nothing.. removing common sense and personal responsibility..

The moment someone goes out with a 'leader', I think the psychology changes, they are being lead, and trust that person.. the old informal way was far safer.. the new 'leader' way can only work if appropriate training and assessment is given.

How can it take 10 days or training and assessment and log book experience to lead a walk over the same terrain that you could lead a run with a 2 day non-assessed course?

Sarah did start the qualification and was distinctly unimpressed, it basically went on about drills and stretching.. so its a coaching qualification.. not a leadership qualification, but the UKA/FRA have decided that this is suitable for commercial guides (in the words of the guy responsible)..

I think we will see more deaths in fell running.. especially the winter side.. people running in just microspikes.. no axe.. no actual winter mountaineering experience.. lack of nav.. to make it worse a fell running leader has no remit.. they can guide a run in burbage or over the munros in torridon in winter and be covered by the insurance provided by that course..

So what if an accident happens.. they then test the qualification.. we all know its poorly lacking..

Sorry for the hijack, just explaining my point why some issues are a joke..

Like the LiFR course, the overuse of abbreviations and shortening any race in cloud..
IainRUK - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to ablackett: Anyway enjoy the year.. I like keeping my racing varied.. I tried one year to do as much as possible.. did 50 races but died towards the end. I found I was turning up to races just going through the motions and not mentally prepared to race hard. for me, I reckon I have 10-15 hard races a year and maybe double that as training events.. before I get too stagnant.. others far far more (Carl Bell) others less..
SteveRi - on 16 Jan 2013
Novelty races: Moel Famau Jubilee Plunge. Cat and Fiddle up and downhill relay http://noels-training.blogspot.co.uk/p/relay.html
Neither qualify as long :)

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