English Championship Format

Senior English Fell Running Championship

The Senior English Fell Running Championship is a season-long series of fell races spread over, primarily, the north of England running approximately from March to October each year. It aims to find the best individual fell runner of the season in a range of age categories. There is also a very competitive team competition.

There are six Championship races annually: two short, two medium and two long. All selected races will be category 'A' races (the most challenging category).

For most age groups the Championship format is "four races to count", and these four must include a short, a medium and a long, plus any one other race. This applies to both individual and team competition. The format for Under-23 and older age categories is slightly different; see 'Ranking' below.


The following categories exist, with the number of runners scoring Championship points shown in brackets. The numbers of runners scoring points in each category is roughly proportional to historical numbers participating in these categories. See ’Scoring’ below for more details.

Open (up to 50 runners score points)
Under-23 (up to 10 runners score points)
Veteran over 40 (V40); V45 (both up to 40)
V50; V55 (both 30)
V60; V65 (both 20)
V70; V75*/V80* (all 10)


Open (up to 30 runners score points)
Under-23 (up to 10 runners score points)
Veteran over 40 (V40); V45 (both up to 20)
V50; V55; V60; V65; V70*/V75*/V80* (all 10)


Men's teams: Open; V40; V50 (all up to 10 teams to score points)
Women's teams: Open; V40; V50* (all up to 10 teams to score points)

* Asterisked categories will be included and medals awarded if they are deemed competitive:-

However, all individuals participating in these categories will be recognised in the results tables.

Age category eligibility is determined using age on the day of the race, except for the Under-23 category which uses age on 31st December at the end of the Championship year (to align with Junior eligibility rules).

This means that (for example) a runner who turns 40 on 1st July will be eligible to score points in that year's V40 Championship category (as well as the Open category) in races from 1st July onwards; any previous races will count only towards his/her Open category rankings.

Race Entry

English Championship races are ordinary category 'A' fell races open to all runners regardless of whether they expect to be competitive in the Championship. However, because of high demand these races are often oversubscribed.

To protect the integrity of the Championships, a Guaranteed Entry List system is operated. Each season, this list comprises up to 75 individuals who, owing to previous performances, are expected to be competitive in their category. These individuals will have one week to enter each Championship race before entries are opened more widely. Applications for the Guaranteed Entry List will be invited well in advance of the start of the racing season, usually towards the end of the previous year, and details will be announced on the FRA website.

After the Guaranteed Entry window, but before entries are opened generally, FRA members will have one further week to enter each Championship race (up to 80% of the race's capacity).

Please note that some Championship races may require applicants to demonstrate suitable prior experience of similar races in order to be granted a race entry. This is primarily for safety reasons.


For each category, as explained above, a fixed number of runners score points. For example, for the Men's Open category, (up to) 50 runners score; the Men's V40 category, 40 runners; etc.

The first scoring runner (or team) in each category scores a number of points equivalent to the maximum number of scoring runners (plus two bonus points for winning), so for example the first Open Male runner scores 50 + 2 = 52. Each subsequent runner scores one point fewer (49 downwards) and so on until the 50th scoring runner (if present) who scores one point. In team categories the winning team scores 12 points (10 plus 2 bonus points), then 9, 8, 7, …, 3, 2 and 1.

In both the individual and team championships, runners are automatically counted as scoring in the Open event and in any veteran categories for which they are eligible. For example, it is possible for a V40 runner to win both the Open and V40 categories.


Individual Championships

Rankings in most categories (except U23, MV70, WV65 and any newly created higher age categories) are calculated on points scored in up to four of the races which must include one race from each distance.

Rankings in the categories MV70, WV65 and any newly created higher age categories are calculated on points scored in up to three of the races from the short and medium distances.

U23 runners are required to include one short, one medium and one other of any distance which may include long.

Team Championships

Open Men 5 runners to count
Men’s Vets Over 40 4 runners to count
Men’s Vets Over 50 3 runners to count
Open Women 3 runners to count
Women’s Vets Over 40 3 runners to count
Any newly created higher age categories   3 runners to count

Club vests must be worn for runners to score team points. Different runners may constitute a team at each race.

Team rankings are calculated on points scored in up to four of the races. If points from more than three races are counted, they must include one race from each distance. In the event of a tie on points in the team competition, the positions will be resolved as follows:-


Eligibility qualifications for the English Championships are as follows:

Individual Eligibility

Individuals are eligible to compete if they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They are a member of an English club affiliated to England Athletics and currently registered (paid up for the year) with England Athletics.
  2. They are a member of a club affiliated to another National Association, are currently registered with the National Association, and meet England eligibility criteria (either born in England or resident in England for a minimum of 12 months before the first Championship race).
  3. They are members of the FRA and meet England eligibility criteria (either born in England or resident in England for a minimum of 12 months before the first Championship race).

These requirements apply to the Championship as a whole, not individual races which are open to anyone meeting the appropriate criteria and any requirements for prior experience.

Team Eligibility

Runners may count for a team for their first claim fell running Club only. This Club must be affiliated to England Athletics or other National Association. For runners who are simultaneously members of two clubs, in the event of ambiguity over which club has ‘first claim’ status an appeal should be made to the Chairman or Membership Secretary at the start of the season.

Runners may change clubs during the season and will become eligible to count for their new club when the UKA/IAAF ‘Transfer from one club to another’ process has been completed. This applies both to individuals registered with a National Association and to FRA members.

More information is available in the FRA Rules for Competition and on our FAQ about eligibility page.


Awards will be made to the first three in each individual and team category.

For teams, medals will be awarded to runners who count in those races which count towards the team prize only, as decided by the statistician. No additional medals may be purchased.

Further questions

Please see our dedicated page for FAQ about the Championships.

For further information about the English Championships please contact the FRA Championship Co-ordinator, on [email protected]. /images/email.gif