Fell Running

What's the difference between fell running and mountain running?


  • Depends

    Fell running has an element of navigational skills in its ethos - although these dont necessarily come into play in every race its accepted that a fell runner should be able to navigate his way between two points across open terrain. Its actually one of the rules for entry into any fell race.

    Mountain running often involves simply running on paths in the mountains. Courses are marked and no navigation is required.

    There's obviously a fair amount of overlap, especially at the top level. Most of the top fell runners in this country run in mountain running championships on the continent.

    There's a big debate going on in the fell running community at the moment as the world mountain running championships are coming to the UK and the overseas bodies are insisting that all the courses are staked and marked and theres no running over those nasty rocks and bogs and things. Much "Pshawing" from the purists !!
  • Thats his or her in the first para, before I get lynched by the ladies !!
  • Thanks for that fell running. Seems like a cross between orienteering and mountain running then.
  • You've got to be mad to be a fellrunner - I think that's the major qualifier!!
  • Which is why I'm sitting here with my underpants on my head and two pencils stuck up my nose.

  • You gotta love the classics....:)
  • Mountain running tends to be on fairly well trodden paths or tracks with a decent surface as well. Not the kind of trouser browning rockstrewn descents that make fell running such fun.

    OK, call me a purist.....
  • No No SB far from it.

    I used "Purist" as a complimentary term. I can't see how you can run in the mountains without running on the mountains so to speak. As you say takes all the fun out of it....
  • No offence taken FR, just didn't want to cause any either.

    (Puts underpants back on head, inserts pencils up nostrils)

    A large part of the fun of running in the mountains is when the clag comes down and you don't know when you're going to run off the endge of the mountains...
  • Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Its all downhill from here"

  • Anyone else read "Feet in the Clouds"? I'm about halfway through at the moment and it's both funny and fascinating - lots about the history of fell running...
  • I always find the problem with having to navigate is that the locals all know the way in the first place, and therefore don't have to navigate. Hence they can do better than people who might be better runners. Of course, there are those who simply follow the leaders and outsprint them, but still, local knowledge is a massive advantage.
  • I did the Edale Skyline recently, 21 miles, well prob more given the navigation difficulties. Most of the time in cloud with my glasses fogged up, cold, wet often up to my knees in bog, a fair bit of ascent.

    4 hours 40 mins

    Great race, felt far better at the end than after my marathons, recommend it highly.

    I guess this is fell running by the above definitions.


    P.S I'm a psychiatrist so I know I'm not mad, personality disordered is another matter.
  • Fishy - I'm about half way through it at the moment. I'm usually a slow reader but this book is such good a good read isn't it? I suspect you're right though: you have to be a bit mad - and a lot fit!
  • A Trick Cyclist doing the Edale Skline Eh?? definitely a case of mind over matter !!

    Well done Roger - thats a good time. The Skyline is a tough race - its one of the few that the Cumbrian clubs bother with down here.
  • I ran my 1st fell last sunday @ Edale 4.6 mile (I feal ashamed for being so tired) that last hill was fair good too steap to run down so I did a superman!!! (slid down on my belly - 'tis like flying, right)
    Fell is proper Bo!
  • Fishy/ValP - I'm about two thirds of the way through it. I'd agree that its well worth a read - both for 'hardened' fell runners as an affirmation of what its all about and for us road running softies who can't quite bring ourselves to take on the navigational challenges.
  • I was training  Wednesday ,for cross country (mountain) half marathon in Whatipu on Sat, and ' fell' down into the Pararaha valley!image.
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