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FRA documents

As announced in the most recent Fell Runner the Committee are reviewing our current documents. Copies of the current drafts have been sent to all Race organisers and some other members for comment.
If any other members would like a copy please contact me on or 07956344174

Committee meeting 7th September 2014

The FRA committee meetings are open to members and we welcome members attending our meetings.
The next meeting is on 7 Sept. starting at 11.00 in the Pennines adjacent to the M62. Members wishing to attend are asked to contact me in advance so that I can send them an agenda and also ensure that we have enough refreshments
If there are particular issues that you would wish to raise I would be obliged if you could also let me know in advance.
Nick Harris

Fellrunner - picture research, copy editing, proof reading

If you have experience of working in these areas and would like to volunteer to help out with Fellrunner magazine, please contact the editor. He could do with some help! thanks, Ed.

English Championships

To see the results and read the report, after Kentmere, please click here

Rise Hill 23rd Aug - Cancelled

The Rise Hill race scheduled for Saturday 23rd August has unfortunately been cancelled.  It is hoped that the race will return in 2015.

Junior Home International, Glendalough, Ireland

Trial: Sedbergh, 31 August 2014

For the Trial Website click here

Fairfield race – 2014

I am still keen to obtain the contact details of a male and a female runner who were on the course, unregistered, at Fairfield.

I have two photos sent to me by the race organiser:

If you know them and their contact details could you please forward them to me.


Nick Harris





Fairfield Fell race 2014 – Unregistered runner

The FRA disciplinary committee has considered a allegation from the organiser of the Fairfield fell race that Philip Jamieson ran the race course whilst unregistered. The allegation was that this action put the safety of runners, who had entered the race, at potential risk. We have upheld the allegation and decided that Philip Jamieson should be banned from entering any races registered with the FRA for a period of 3 months, expiring on 27 Sept. I will also be sending a copy of this decision to all race organisers asking that they don’t let him enter any races during this period.

Nick Harris


Race Organisers - Documents

Click here to use Jim Godwin's race organiser program

Sandstone Trail Races - Change of date to Saturday 27th September

Please note that the date of the Sandstone Trail races has been changed to Saturday 27th September.

Ilkley Incline and Junior Fell Relays - Change of Date to Weds 3rd Sept

Please note that due to circumstances beyond the organiser's control the date for the Ilkley Incline Fell Race and the Junior Fell Relays has been changed from Wednesday 10 September to Wednesday 3 September. All other details of these events remains as published in the 2014 Fixtures Calendar.

Geoff Howard, Organiser of the Ilkley Incline

Legal advice and help with drafting a document for juniors.

The FRA Committee have been building up a reference group of members with specific expertise and who can help and advise us from time to time. To date we have input in relation to insurance; safety, both mountain rescue and health and safety; juniors/coaching and from some race organisers.
1.  Could you offer legal advice to the FRA Committee on draft documents etc?
2. We are putting together a leaflet for juniors and have text that would look very uninviting to any junior member. Could you offer help with an improved layout e.g. cartoons/photos? (Junior members putting themselves forward would be welcomed.)
Suitable payments will be made to those appointed, if required.
If you like to put yourself forward you are welcome to send me a brief resume to or phone me on 07956344174
Nick Harris, Secretary

Measgym Muddle

The final British Championship race, please note the start time is 11am not 1pm as stated in the handbook

Insurance - 'hazards'

British Athletics/UKA has a statement on ‘hazards’ on their website which has caused concerns to a number of race organisers:
“Hazardous Activities Exclusion – this policy does not apply to liability arising out of hazardous activities which increase the risk of bodily injury or damage to property. This includes but is not limited to amusement rides, bonfires, bouncy castles, fairground rides, fireworks, inflatables.”
We have been in correspondence with British Athletics/UKA on this and, a number of other issues in relation to insurance and further details will be sent to race organisers at a later date when this dialogue is finalised.  However we have been able to gain clarity that:
'The intention of this exclusion is to remove hazardous risks which are not part and parcel of the core activities of the insured parties.  It does not exclude any athletic activities that are approved by British Athletics, which do include fell running.'
I hope that will remove the anxiety I know some organisers have.
Nick Harris

Turbine Tangle - 20th September

The Turbine Tangle, scheduled for Saturday 20th September has been cancelled because of the further development of the wind farm.

Safety Requirements and Race Organiser’s Guidelines. Update

Safety Requirements – recent race organiser events.

The 8 events for race organisers to discuss the implementation of the new safety requirements proved to be a very positive experience. Over half of the 300 plus race organisers attended events held from Telford to Chester- le-Street.

Race Organiser Guidelines, Fell Running Philosophy, Framework.

The Committee has informed race organisers of its plans to:

  • Produce an overall framework for documents produced by the FRA

  • Draw up a fell running ‘philosophy’ statement

  • Develop new Race Organiser Guidelines for the 2015 Handbook which will include aspects of the Access and Environmental Guidelines and some of the Safety Requirements. This will allow a shorter Safety Requirements document to be issued when this is next reviewed.

Safety Requirements

The Committee has concluded that race organisers now seek a period of stability to implement the current requirements and so it has no plans for any major review before 2016 at the earliest.


Race organisers have been reassured that they will be invited to play an active role in the various consultative processes planned to produce the documents indicated above.

Nick Harris  Secretary   18.2.2014

Runner Alert!

 When things go tragically wrong at a fell race the race organiser may be in difficulty -but the runner will be dead.
So What!
When runners are accused of breaches of safety requirements, they usually respond in one of three ways:
i) Sorry, I didn’t know
ii) Sorry, I knew, and I won’t do it again, or 
iii) Yeah? So what!
Response iii) recently earned a runner disqualification for not wearing a race number on his chest (Safety Requirement 8.2); but he could have received a lengthy ban from FRA races.
Education First, Discipline Last 
The FRA Committee are fell runners and they take no pleasure in disciplining their fellows. But they have responsibilities to the sport and will make “examples” of runners (or race organisers) to remind everyone that the FRA takes rules compliance seriously. Race Organisers at the recent workshops on the new safety requirements asked for runners to be reminded to read the Handbook and here is some of what runners will find there. It shouldn’t be news!
You The Runner
- are primarily responsible for your own safety on the fells.
- must comply with the requirements of the race organiser
- must read the “disclaimer” on the entry form before you sign. It matters.
- the Standard Equipment is printed on the back of the Membership Card. This is OBLIGATORY at every Long A, Medium A  and now Long B races. No exceptions-even if the sun is cracking the flags.
 -  the full kit must be carried at every race however short and gentle, UNLESS the Race Organiser relaxes some of the requirements.  
-  runners should take the full kit to every race and not try to guess what the race organiser will decide to relax on the day.
-  kit is carried to combat the weather when running but more importantly it’s for when you stop, tired, lost, maybe injured;  and your skinny body starts cooling on the way to hypothermia… and  death.
 - “waterproof” means sold as waterproof with taped seams. Good kit saves lives. 
- are worn to be seen, cag or no cag, by marshals (and anyone else, eg the landowner).
- must be worn on the chest.
- must not be cut down.
Helping The Organiser To Count The Runners
- you are responsible for HELPING the organiser and marshals. 
- you must not register, decide not to run and go home without telling the organiser.
- you must not go through the finish funnel twice (or not at all).
- you must not drop out and then fail to go back directly to the finish to report to the organiser.
- it’s only a fell race. If you see someone in distress then please stop and help.
- please don’t.
- please do what the Race Organiser asks. It is his/her race. He/she is always right and Sorry I didn’t know… will not work anymore.

2014 English Championships qualification

If you are not a first claim member of an English club and either registered with the appropriate part of British Athletics or a member of the FRA, please notify the FRA statistician by e-mail ( or by letter (see address on website) prior to the first race in the 2014 English Championship (Pendle - Sat. 5 April) to advise of your eligibility as follows:
  • born in England or resident in England for a minimum of twelve months prior to the date of the first race in the 2014 English Championship and;
  • a member of a club outside England which is affiliated to British Athletics or an unattached runner who is a member of the FRA.

Rules and Safety Documentation

Statement from the FRA committee about the implementation of the new rules and safety documentation.
Following the tragic death of Brian Belfield in the 2012 Buttermere Sailbeck race it was clear that the suite of fell race safety and approval documentation would need to be reviewed.  A lot of effort was put in to re-drafting the key Safety Requirements, including extensive consultation with clubs and race organisers.  However the new ‘rules’ had to be kept on hold until the inquest had been completed and the verdict of the Coroner was known.
After the inquest the precise wording of the new ‘rules’ had to comply with the Coroner’s requirements, and also with the advice given by our lawyer, who also acts for the insurance company.  It was necessary to take the Coroner’s advice on how we organise our sport, and also be certain that organisers will get full legal and insurance support.  This was achieved for the ‘Safety Requirements’ and it was possible – just – to get the new version to race organisers and into the 2014 Handbook before the end of the year.
The suite of documentation still needs work, but the organisers of races with FRA permits (of which there are almost 500) must have a clear set of requirements to work with this year.  
We don’t intend to ‘meddle’ with the wording during the year, as this would be confusing and not helpful.  We are assured by our lawyer, who is a specialist in the field of inquests, including deaths in athletics events that the current set of words is adequate.  But the FRA Committee will continue to work on the ‘rules’, with a view to having an improved version, after full consultation with the membership and legal and safety experts in time for future Handbooks.
No set of rules will satisfy everyone, but we will try very hard to meet the requirements of a broad consensus of race organisers and members.  The Committee is currently running race organisers’ meetings both to explain and clarify the new wording, and also to get ideas on implementation.  These have produced some excellent input, which will be published.  We will also seek input from across the FRA on any proposed changes.
As always, members of the Committee make themselves available to any FRA members with genuine questions or concerns about the sport, and our contact details are in the Handbook.
The Committee

FRA Hypothermia Leaflet

Can be downloaded here

England Athletics registration

Following a change of management at England Athletics they have advised us that they are no longer able to continue the arrangement whereby members of the FRA can obtain free registration with EA.
If you have obtained EA registration via the FRA it will lapse from April 2014.  EA registration does not affect access to fell races in any way, but it will mean you have to enter as ‘unattached’ for other England Athletics events, notably road races that you may wish to compete in.
Should you wish to continue to be registered with England Athletics you should go through an EA affiliated club, and pay the £10 EA fee via them. At the moment there is no arrangement for athletes to register direct with EA.

2014 FRA Safety Requirements For Fell Races and Rules for Competition

The FRA Committee has revised its Safety Requirements and the current draft (1st September) underpinned documentation sent to potential 2014 Race Organisers to enable work to start to ensure the 2014 FRA Handbook/Calendar appears on time.

The draft document was well received at the recent Inquest but the FRA cannot issue the final version until it addresses the broader views of the Coroner, which are still awaited. The final version will be included in the 2014 Handbook/Calendar (and here).

The FRA Committee believes that the Safety Requirements should continue to be written in everyday language and not become overly legalised.  However, the finalversion will be subjected to legal scrutiny to ensure that the new Safety Requirements protect runners, Race Organisers and the FRA within a sport which, by its nature, is recognised as hazardous and which will always involve accidents.

Fell runners have primary responsibility for their own safety.

Race Organisers have broader responsibilities-a “duty of care” for competitors; and the benefit of insurance via their FRA Registration (although liability for causing death or personal injury by negligence cannot be excluded).

Safety Requirements first appeared in the 1992 Calendar when, eg, there was no mandatory kit requirement. The 2014 draft includes changes in standards, clarifications…but nothing that changes the essence of the sport.

By placing greater emphasis on the competitor to recognise their responsibilities in fell races the new document may be welcomed by Race Organisers on whom the sport depends; as it has since 1970 when the FRA was created, based on the good will of the race organisers of that time.

FRA Radios

Monitoring runners is a vital aspect of the safe conduct of fell races and so the FRA has long had a set (6) of Motorola radios available for free loan to race organisers.
The FRA has now purchased three further sets (of 6) of a more powerful Motorola model which have much improved radio coverage.
These are available on free loan from Jon Broxap via Pete Bland Sports where they are stored.
Race organisers are urged to make use of this facility.
The FRA is committed to do all it can to ensure safety in fell races and if future demand for radios from race organisers exceeds supply then the FRA will purchase additional sets to safeguard the future of the sport.