Principles of Fell Running

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2020 FRA AGM



The provisional minutes from the FRA's COVID-secure AGM for 2020 are now available on the AGM page. Many thanks to all FRA members that submitted a proxy voting form, which helped to ensure that the meeting was officially quorate. We hope to return to the normal AGM format next year.
 
Neil Talbott
FRA General Secretary


2020 'Do' cancellation



Inevitably we have had to make a decision to cancel the FRA do which was scheduled for November. Given that there have been no British or English Championships and therefore no awards and the fact that the usual entertainment and dancing (with or without shirts) will not be possible, we have little choice. Grateful thanks to Lesley Malarkey and her team from Keswick AC and we hope to join you in 2021.
 
Following all the remarkable long distance achievements since the end of lockdown, one trophy which will be fiercely contested is the FRA Long Distance Award. There is a possibility that this might be presented at the Kendal Mountain Festival.
 
Many thanks
Charmian Heaton
Chairman Fell Runners Association


FRA rule changes for 2021



The FRA's primary documentation for 2021 (comprising our rules, principles, mandatory requirements and entry forms) is now complete and available on the 'Documents' page. (Please note that there are no references to COVID-19 / social distancing; this topic is being handled separately.)

 

As a new initiative this year, we are publishing an annotated summary of the most significant amendments. Hopefully this will make it easier to assimilate the changes. This document is available here. (Race Organisers: this is identical to the version circulated earlier this month.)

 

The major changes (to come into force on 1st January 2021) include the following:

 

  • The use of GPS (and other electronic aids) for navigation or position-fixing will be prohibited in all FRA races. (The NG and G categories will therefore no longer be used.)
  • Race Organisers may apply dual pricing, with a lower entry fee for FRA members (up to a limit based on the race category).
  • The FRA's 'Principles of Fell Running' have been updated, in particular to include reference to non-commercialism, self-sufficiency and self-navigation.
  • A 'Race licensing guide' has been published for ROs, especially of new events, to outline the FRA's policy on registering races and emphasise that licensed races must align with FRA principles (e.g. non-commercialism).
  • All FRA Junior and Youth (e.g. U23) categories will use 'Age at end of year' in Championship races.
  • In paired mountain marathon events, Juniors may compete with an adult (over 21) other than a parent, with the permission of the RO.

 

In line with the above changes, our "absolute no-no" offences now include (i) using someone else's FRA membership or membership card (to gain cheaper or preferential entry) and (ii) using GPS (or equivalent) for navigation or positioning.

 

More details are available in the 'Summary of changes' (linked above) and in the full rules and requirements (under FRA => Documents).



COVID update



As social restrictions continue, with legal changes coming into force this week, we would like to update you on the situation with regard to fell running.

First, the new measures introduced today do not apply to recreational or competitive sport, which includes fell running. Therefore, the "rule of six" does not apply – but Race Organisers are still obliged to enforce social distancing as far as possible, and to implement appropriate measures (for example, staggered starts and strict timings for registration) – see below.

Second, we understand that the numerous regulations are extremely confusing. We have therefore established a small 'COVID working group' to try to distil all the information and present it to Race Organisers and runners. We hope to establish a page on the FRA website shortly to share guidance and resources.

Third, we are working on template documentation for Race Organisers (risk assessments, COVID-secure action plans etc). These will need to be tailored by ROs for individual races, but we hope to provide a framework so that ROs do not have to start from scratch. Active ROs should have received yesterday (by email) a copy of the report from the Lowther Fell Race.

Finally, we are liaising with major landowners (for example, the National Trust and water companies) to try to negotiate agreement for use of their land for fell racing. This is now the major obstacle for many races and unfortunately has already led to several cancellations.

Race Organisers are encouraged to organise races within the suggested framework, with particular attention to landowners, and to contact the FRA for support where required. Please be assured we are doing everything possible to facilitate a return to fell racing in some form as soon as possible.

Charmian Heaton

FRA Chairman



Under-23s Fell Running Weekend



Rescheduled from the spring, our U23s training weekend is now due to be held on 16-18 October in Ambleside.
 
The weekend involves some social fell runs, nav training, a session on strength training for hill runners, and plenty of spare time to eat/relax/explore the pubs in Ambleside.  The event is subsidised so that the cost to participate is only £60 including two nights' accommodation, breakfast, dinner and all activities.
The event is open to all FRA members between 18 and 23 years of age.
 
If interested, contact Sarah McCormack at [email protected]


2020 FRA AGM



This week's changes to COVID-related laws and restrictions unfortunately mean that the FRA's 2020 AGM cannot proceed as planned.

We still intend to hold the AGM on the original date (Saturday 10th October) but with a minimal attendance to satisfy legal requirements and our Articles of Association. Unfortunately it will not be possible for ordinary FRA Members to attend in person.

All AGM-related material will be posted online as usual, including proxy voting forms, which FRA members are encouraged to submit. It will not be practicable to hold the usual 'general discussion about fell running' this year and so this will be removed from the agenda. Any members who were intending to raise issues during this discussion are asked instead to email the FRA Chairman or General Secretary, who will ensure a response in due course from an appropriate committee member.

These changes are far from ideal but we hope that FRA members will understand the need to proceed in this manner in these exceptional circumstances, to comply both with company law and the latest COVID restrictions.

An updated AGM notice is here.

 

Neil Talbott

FRA General Secretary



Junior Fell Running Championships for 2020



Despite being as creative as possible in exploring all available options, we have made the sad decision to cancel the Junior Fell Running Championships for 2020. This has meant leaving  this decision to the last possible moment, and for that we thank you for your patience and understanding.
 
Like you, I had hoped  that regulations and restrictions would  lift  sufficiently to allow children to race on the fells again. We have watched  the reintroduction of a couple of adult races with major changes to racing as we recognise it,  but the nature of Junior races is very different. We have to consider  accompanying adults, multiple races and issues regarding spectators. In addition the completely understandable reluctance of small villages and land owner’s to permit an influx of people from around England,  closed down the last of our options.
 
The currently unpredictable and rapidly changing state of play, with local lockdowns and returning holiday makers from hotspots abroad, have made it impossible to plan for any races. As schools return, and families continue to cope with vulnerable individuals in their family circles, we have had no choice but to cancel this years Championships.
 
If we are unable to make it fair for all, it would be an unfair to hold a championship. It will penalise those continuing to be careful for health reasons, those affected by local lockdowns and is unlikely to be a positive and sociable experience we know to be at the heart of our sport.
 
I can also confirm that The English Schools Championships been cancelled.
 
On a positive note, we have 6 fantastic races planned for a great 2021 Junior Championships and full information on these will be published in the next edition of the Fell runner.
 
Keep fit  and stay safe,
 
Helene Whitaker Junior fell running coordinator


Fellrunner magazine index now available



The FRA is indebted to Graham Breeze who has completed an astonishing piece of work to create an index of all the Fellrunner magazines from 1971 until December 2019.  This reference has been invaluable to me whilst looking back over the last 50 years and should whet the appetite of any members who fancy dipping into the history of fell running. So if you want to know which edition a particular article appeared in or you have an interest in a particular topic, you can find the index and a comprehensive introduction on the Fellrunner page.
So make a brew and settle down to enjoy some fascinating reading.
Charmian Heaton


Up and Down



Dales Active have recently digitised a full set of eleven editions of the Up and Running magazine which were published by Dave and Eileen Woodhead.  They make fascinating reading and can be found here



Coronavirus (COVID-19)



As restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic are eased, clubs are considering their options for a limited return to group activities. The FRA supports these initiatives and we have compiled the following list of points which we hope will help you to formulate a plan. Please consider local situations and sensitivities and stay safe.
  • Clubs should update their risk assessment to ensure that their planned activities are Covid-19 compliant.
  • Each group should nominate someone to carry a first aid kit and should consider any additional PPE which they may feel is relevant in case anyone should require first aid treatment at close quarters.  Government advice for first responders can be found here
  • It is strongly recommended that someone in each group should carry a mobile phone.
  • Consideration should be given to local mountain rescue advice.
  • Any meeting or parking location should be large enough to allow for social distancing and for participants to travel separately.
  • The planned route should avoid bottlenecks such as gates, stiles, narrow paths etc. to minimise conflict with anyone coming the other way.
  • The planned route should avoid honey pots where general members of the public could be made to feel uneasy or intimidated.
  • The planned route should be well within the capabilities of all participants.
  • Any group should be limited to no more than six persons.
  • Formal coaching can have a maximum ratio of 1 coach to 5 participants and simultaneous sessions are not allowed.
  • A second coaching session can take place once the first has concluded.
  • If anyone feels at all unwell or has been in contact with anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 they should not attend any group activities.

This relates to activities in England only at the current time



FRA Ambassadors



As mentioned in the recent Fellrunner the FRA is looking to recruit a number of ambassadors. The intention is to find an individual willing to represent each club. 
 
The focus of the role would be to act as a point of contact for the FRA and club members. In particular this might include;
  • Passing on key information sent out by the FRA. 
  • Advertising key FRA events within your club (Championship races, navigational courses etc). 
  • Encouraging membership of the FRA amongst Fell runners in your club. 
  • Reiterating safe practise and the key rules of racing. 
  • Answering queries and providing guidance for those new to the sport. 
The intention is that those taking on the role are passionate about the FRA and there is no criteria to be a committee member within a club. The role is intended to be extremely low maintenance with the main requirement being to pass on key communications made a few times a year. 
 
The list of ambassadors will be published on the FRA website and will need to include an email contact. This list will be reviewed once a year and individuals can withdraw from the role at any time. 
 
Those wishing to take on the role should comment below with their club or email Membership Representative James Lowe to express their interest.


Cancellation of the British Hill and Fell Running Championships 2020



Having left our options for a while, we regret to announce that the 2020 British Championships will not be completed. Due to the current pandemic we are unfortunately bound by ongoing restrictions and safety concerns.
 
Stay safe all.
 
Jude Jepson
On behalf of MRAG.


Mountain Navigation for Runners - Martin Bagness



The FRA are hugely indebted to Martin Bagness, Harvey Maps and the OS (HMSO) for their kind permission to publish an online copy of Martin's timeless navigational skills booklet, "Mountain Navigation for Runners", for all fell, hill and mountain runners, and coaches.

To read the full story and access the book, please click here



A message from inov-8:



We would love to help out our local community in the South Lakes at this challenging time.
 
We have our events van at the Staveley office and some very willing drivers at the ready. If you know of any families, individuals or organisations who could use a helping hand with collections/deliveries/shopping etc - we’d love to assist! Please email [email protected] so we can get the wheels rolling! 
 
Ps Just so you both don’t worry - I am not inflicting my driving on anyone! Two of my colleagues and our COO Michael Price, are going to be doing the driving.
 
Thanks so much,
 
Tory


World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships



UK Athletics have announced a change to the trial race for the 2020 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. Latest details are available here



Race postponements



The calendar is updated with races that I have been told are cancelled - too many to list here.
Please note that UK Athletics have stated that races which go ahead during the shutdown will not be insured

Heptonstall, 29 March - POSTPONED to unspecified date
Exe to Axe, 5 April - POSTPONED to 27 September
Kong MM, 5 April - POSTPONED to 4 October
Wardle Skyline - POSTPONED to unspecified date
Newlands Memorial, Teenager with Altitude - POSTPONED to 7 November
Herod Farm, 22 April - POSTPONED to unspecified date
3 Peaks, 25 April - POSTPONED to 26 September
U18 International Youth Cup Selection, 18 May - POSTPONED to 19 September
U18 International Mountain Running Youth Cup, 20 June - POSTPONED to 17 October
Kentmere, 26 July - POSTPONED to 1 November

Dave Bowen, Fixtures Secretary



Advice/plea to Fell Runners: tread carefully.



There has been a lot of speculation about what is allowed (or not) under the current Government regulations and there are no definitive answers. There will always be folk who try to bend the rules to suit themselves but I urge you all to limit your activities to minimise even socially distanced contact with other people and to avoid any physical contact with gates, stiles etc.
 
I am lucky enough to live within striking distance of the Lake District and there is nothing I love better than ticking off Birketts and other high fells. During my six decades, I have required rescue and hospitalisation twice and both were as as result of simple slips on easy ground. It can happen to YOU.
 
We all need to adjust our behaviours and attitudes.
Avoid ANY unnecessary travel. Run/walk from home.
 
Thank you
Charmian Heaton
FRA Chairman
 
Advice/plea to Fell Runners: tread carefully.
Now more than ever is the time to think about others and yourself. We can all help save lives by thinking and being considerate. Running is important for many of us, especially now the UK is in lock-down. This is our chance as a community to show leadership, compassion and maintain and build our reputation as responsible outdoor users.
Many of us are already working overtime in the NHS and other key roles across the country. We ask you please to read and follow this advice:
Run for sanity not peak performance - there are no races in the near future.
• Maintain base,
• Let those injuries recover,
• Do that strength and conditioning work you’ve always put off!
• Keep in touch! We’ll all miss seeing our club-mates, well most of them, social media makes keeping in touch easier than ever, but the phones still work and not everyone is online.
Don’t be a casualty - the NHS is busy and mountain rescue and other emergency services are too.
• Now more than ever – do not run if you feel at all unwell. Headache, sore throat, persistent dry cough, temperature of 38 or above and loss of smell/taste are all documented symptoms of C19.
• Don’t go for long and/or strenuous runs – injury or heart attacks are best avoided!
• Avoid running on terrain where you may injure yourself (think about walking it) – Mountain rescue may not be coming to get you!
Kit Check - You are on your own.
• Take full FRA kit as a minimum
• Take enough food and drink; the café is shut, the pub is too 
Infection – keep your distance, and keep your hands clean
• Avoid other people outdoors where possible, go early or late in the day to avoid the crowds
• Keep your distance if you meet others out there.
• Think about gates, styles and anything else that people had their hands on. Imagine everything you touch is covered in pink paint! How do you prevent transferring it to other surfaces and users? How do you keep it off the rest of your stuff – keys, jacket, shoes, front door – wear gloves you can throw away or wash when you get home.
Route planning
• We love running but its non-essential: run from home
• As always, let someone know your route and when to expect you back. By text/phone if you live alone.
We all love the fells but the current situation means we all need to act differently. Other European countries have banned mountain sports and imposed 2km limits for all activities. Please let’s all be sensible and keep the access we still have. One news story about a ‘reckless fell runner needing rescuing’ could be the end for now.
 
Nicky Spinks: FRA Access and Environment Officer
Ian Winterburn: FRA member rep and Woodhead MR team member
Jon Morgan: Anaesthetist and Mountain Guide
Ian Fitzpatrick: NHS Nurse and FRA race organiser
Sally Fawcett: Physiotherapist and Strength and Conditioning Coach
Dave Bowen: FRA Fixtures Sec. and Buxton MR team member
 
 
Charmian Heaton
Chairman Fell Runners Association


Senior English Championships 2020



To enable the race organisers to move on and make decisions without any undue pressure, the FRA have decided to cancel the Senior English Championships for 2020. We hope to be able to support the same races for 2021. The [email protected] race series is clearly suspended for the time being and may be extended into 2021 with scores accumulated to date still being counted going forward. Please look after yourselves and others in these challenging times. Thank you.



Coledale Horseshoe, 28th March - POSTPONED to 24th October



Due to concerns over Covid19 the Coledale Horseshoe is postponed until 24 October. Entries have been closed, but those entered who can't make the substituted date will be given full refunds. Please bear with us as this may take a little time. Nick Ray



Middlefell race, 14th March - POSTPONED to 5th December



Concerns over Covid-19 virus have caused the postponement of the Middle Fell race, which was due to be held on 14th March 2020.
We have held discussions and this decision has not been taken lightly and the race is now being rearranged for Saturday 5th December 2020
Our main concern over the infection risk was the start and finish area for registration and the prize giving. All those who have already entered will be transferred to the new date. Anybody who is unable to compete on December 5th will be eligible for a refund of their Entry Fee. I would ask that people pass on this news onto anyone who may have intended racing. Please try to make the December date, and make it a real Winter Warmer.

Carol



8000th Member



As we approach the significant milestone of 8000 members of the FRA, we are delighted to announce that one lucky new member will be awarded a commemorative 50th anniversary glass plus a £100 inov-8 voucher to be redeemed at: www.inov-8.com
 
Many thanks to inov-8 who are one of our headline senior sponsors along with Pete Bland Sports.


FRA 50 @ 50 Race Series to celebrate the 50th Anniversary 1970 – 2020





Fell Runners Association 2020 - Senior English Championship Entries



Entries for the first English Championship race at Guisborough Three Tops on Saturday 4th April will open on SiEntries on 1st February. Those who are on the Guaranteed Entry list (here) will then have until 10am on Friday 7th February to take advantage of their opportunity for prioritised entry.
 
Entries will then be opened up to FRA members only up to a total limit of 300 entries.
 
Entries for all remaining places up to an event limit of 400 will then open at 10am on Friday 14th February and a waiting list will be used if the event fills up.


Race Poster



The FRA have been considering how we can better educate all runners about the absolute no-no rules of fell running. Massive thanks to Jim Tyson from Ambleside who has come up with this poster which will be displayed at all fell races in the near future. Please take a moment to read and comply and help to keep this great sport safe and enjoyable for everone.



GPS devices for navigation



At a meeting in September, the FRA Executive Committee voted to introduce a new race category relating to the use of GPS devices for navigation.
 
This is not a cut and dried subject and throughout our discussions, the principles of fellrunning have been at the forefront of our thoughts. We have consulted extensively with our membership base and Race Organisers to arrive at the following position, which will form part of the FRA Requirements for Runners 2018 (the ‘Runners’ Rules’):
“If a race is classified ‘non-GPS’ (NG) then the use of any electronic device to delineate a route, to display current position on a map, or as a compass, will be prohibited. The use of such a device to display distance travelled, time, speed or altitude will be allowed, as will recording of an actual route for post-race analysis. If such a device is used in an emergency situation then that competitor should retire from the race and declare themselves non-competitive.”
 
For the avoidance of doubt, GPS is not allowed in FRA registered races in England unless the race is categorised as "G"; by the race organiser.
 
The Kit Requirements for FRA Races are further clarified in respect of the fact that maps must be on paper. A conventional compass must be carried in addition to this.
 
Happy running!
The FRA Committee


First on the Scene



What to do if you are First on the Scene of an incident on the fells -
essential reading here.


Welfare policy - Transgender and Anti Doping



The Committee have agreed that the FRA will be following the UKA policies on Transgender - http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/media/news/2016-news-page/august-2016/03-08-16-transgender-policy/ and Anti Doping - http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/cleanathletics/rules/
 
This replaces the item in the 2017 Handbook on P 24 Apps 3 and 4 and as previously set out in the Welfare policy - http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/documents.php The policy will be updated.


Welfare



Following the FRA committee meeting on 4/12/16 and in light of recent publicity surrounding historical sexual abuse at football clubs, the committee clarified that any allegations of a similar nature within the sport of fell running will be taken extremely seriously and investigated appropriately.

We have already liaised with UKA and an update and explanation of his role will be provided by the newly appointed Welfare Officer in the Spring Fellrunner.

Any enquiries should be directed to Ed Gamble ([email protected])