Long Distance Guidelines


If you complete a long distance mountain challenge that you think would be of interest, please send a schedule and brief details of any record-breaking run to [email protected] so that others can be inspired to repeat or improve on your achievement. 

The Award is presented annually and is not restricted to FRA members, although the recipient must be resident in the UK.  It is for one or more long distance mountain achievements within a year and the majority of the journey/s should be on foot.  Performances in races are not considered.  The award year ends on 30th September and in the first part of October, Martin Stone canvasses a panel of about 25 long distance ‘enthusiasts’ and previous award winners.  They review the list of outstanding performances and a suitable recipient of the award is chosen.  The winner is usually presented with the award in November at the FRA Annual Dinner.

If we are to consider solo running achievements, they need to be independently verifiable and a good way to do this is to record your track on a GPS watch or carry a tracker that you can obtain from www.opentracking.co.uk.   As soon as possible after a record-breaking solo run, please email the track to me and I will add it to the archive. 

Clarification of the Guidelines for Long Distance Mountain Records

To be clear, record attempts by individuals should be without physical support provided by pacers while the contender is moving, unless the contender intends to retire.  Physical support to climb Broad Stand on the Bob Graham has traditionally been provided and this is the only exception!  GPS navigation devices and poles may be used except where specifically excluded.

Timing needs to be to the second from now on as we head into a world of marginal gains.  The support team should record the Start and Finish time of day to the second using a device such as a mobile phone with a clock that automatically synchronises during the attempt.  The time recorded should NOT rely on the contender starting and stopping a stopwatch as this is often poorly managed.

Modern Android and Apple phones do NOT come with a Clock App that displays seconds.  Please bear this in mind before the attempt and unless you have other options, download the lightdotnet.digitalclock app from the Google Play Store or My Digital Clock app from Apple App Store.

Long distance mountain running records can be achieved in various styles:  

Supported - You have pacers and supporters that meet you along the way.  It can be one person handing you water once, to an entire team that accompanies you the whole distance giving you everything except physical assistance.  Whether it’s just once or continuously, any support at all means it is a Supported journey.  Supported can enable the fastest journeys due to the ability to carry less weight and be ‘encouraged’ by your pacers.  For an achievement to be described as a Supported record you also have to beat the fastest Solo times.

Solo Supported - As for Supported but with no pacers at any point on the route.  For an achievement to be described as a Solo Supported record you also have to beat the fastest Solo Self-Supported and Unsupported times. 

Solo Self-Supported - You may have as much support as you can find along the way, but not from any pre-arranged people helping you. This can range from caching supplies in advance, purchasing supplies along the way, to finding or begging for food or water.  For an achievement to be described as a Solo Self-Supported record you also have to beat the fastest Solo Unsupported time. 

Solo Unsupported - Carry everything you need from start to finish except water from natural sources.   Public taps along the route are acceptable, but if you ask for water, that's Solo Self-Supported.  Do not pick up anything from a cache or leave anything for collection later.  Do not arrange to meet anyone en route.  Accept no external support of any kind, nor any contact where moral support is offered.