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Fetch Fell Runners

149 watchers
14 Sep
8:53pm, 14 Sep 2021
2861 posts
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flyingfinn
Badger certainly for many of us (myself included) who have been running a long time the move up the distances and on to the trail is driven partly by the acceptance that we will never again get anywhere near our pbs on the road. Personally I've no interest in running 10ks a minute a km slower than I once did and finishing nowhere. Trail ultras offer me far more opportunity to race nearer the pointy end and therefore far more motivation. Sadly in my case I seriously doubt it will ever result in me going back to half marathons and setting new pbs!
14 Sep
9:17pm, 14 Sep 2021
19993 posts
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flanker
Our club is very much "fell first", much to the annoyance of some of the good road runners who feel marginalised and under-valued (which is probably the flip side), despite claiming to equally support fell, trail and road. As a result we have a strong and active junior fell contingent. However I think this is mainly down to the "old guard" in the club being long-term and relatively high profile fell runners, and as some of these slip away it will be interesting to see where the club goes. It will probably get a bit less cliquey*.

* not particularly in a bad way, but just a result of them all having been together for so long that their lives are intertwined.
14 Sep
9:26pm, 14 Sep 2021
19994 posts
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flanker
Back to XCs, I suspect that the reason that many people don't run them is that many are basically a road race on grass, rather than an offroad race, and therefore not very interesting. Too many are multiple laps around town parks with a bit of a lump in the middle called the hill. Yes, they give eyes-out racing with nowhere to hide, but unless that is what turns you on many would rather spend there limited cash on races they'd enjoy. And I guess that if that sort of thing does turn you on that might just do it on the roads where anyway.

Interestingly we are a member of two XC leagues - the Red Rose & the West Yorkshire. The RR is the traditional XC and I find it hard to get excited by. The WY to me are a must-run series of events. They are basically trail races with routes designed to include plenty of mud, water, up and down, but with the added "challenge" of being a club event where every runner counts (not just the first 3-4) and tending to have spectators around a lot of the course, which both tend to put people off slacking. They're only 5-7 miles but they tend to be some of my hardest-run and most competitive races of the year.
14 Sep
10:58pm, 14 Sep 2021
733 posts
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stilldreaming
Flanker - sounds a bit like the league our club runs in! We left a very large local league as men and women raced separately and often at different venues miles apart. In our new league, men and women run together on couses around the 10k mark ... and definitely not on flat, boring terrain 😁
15 Sep
9:34am, 15 Sep 2021
7955 posts
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Northern Exile
Really interesting stuff - particularly the prevalent attitude of clubs to different running disciplines. I suppose it all comes down to historical precedent and the geographical location of the majority of the membership and given that I think I ought to be a bit more philosophical, I still find it disappointing that what are to me very promising young runners are (without question) being discouraged from running on the fells.

DT - as it happens I had already made plans to look a bit further afield for a club that more aligns with my interests :-) The result was a very pleasant run around an ethereal Ilkley Moor last night :-)
15 Sep
11:30am, 15 Sep 2021
51807 posts
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Derby Tup
I noticed where you’d been and who with ;-)
15 Sep
3:03pm, 15 Sep 2021
8268 posts
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Mouseytongue
Gary Devine, the punk fell runner

theguardian.com
15 Sep
3:11pm, 15 Sep 2021
7956 posts
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Northern Exile
Brilliant, I must buy that. I used to get the occasional email from Gary asking me to promote his running retreat in France, but it was a bit on the expensive side so I never pursued it. I hope life is being kind to him out there.
16 Sep
12:04am, 16 Sep 2021
19996 posts
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flanker
sd - yep, in the Yorkshire Winter League we all run together over the same course.

It also cost something like a tenner for 8(?) races so is an absolute bargain. What's more, I seem to recall they apologised that they were having to put up the price post-covid!
18 Sep
4:38am, 18 Sep 2021
1800 posts
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Totriornottotri
On the demographic aspect - I imagine Fell clubs are very similar to Orienteering clubs which have school and to some extent universities driving participation then a massive drop off before higher rates at an older age. I wonder how many return or are a sign of higher rates of participation in years gone by.

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About This Thread

Maintained by Northern Exile
A place to discuss all aspects of running on the fells, from footwear to the best line off Scafell Pike :-) Beginners welcome!

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