Fell Running

There are many fell-races held throughout the year across Derbyshire (and further afield).  Although it can be tough on the climbs and sometimes technical on the descents, many find it to be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding types of running.

What could be better than wending your way around some of the most beautiful parts of the country?  The views are stunning and the villages picturesque:

Mam Tor cropped           Pictured: Mam Tor, Castleton, High Peak

This short YouTube video, introduced by Morgan Donelly, former British Fell Running Champion, gives a great insight into what it’s all about: Introduction to Fell Running

Graham is our fell-race guru and has competed in them all over the years.  If you want any advice or encouragement, seek him out for some inside knowledge, especially if you have never taken part before.

It’s a very friendly and supportive atmosphere and race entry costs are usually very cheap (£2-£10). What’s not to like!

2017 Final Positions

  • 1st   Caroline – 901pts  – 25 races
  • 2nd    Trev    – 1045pts – 25 races
  • 3rd     Paul    – 1134pts – 19 races
  • 4th    Brian   – 1143pts – 13 races
  • 5th   Simon  – 1221pts – 15 races

If you are interested in taking a closer look at how the 2017 year’s champs unfolded, or want to look in more detail at 2018, please email Trevor for the latest copy of the championship spreadsheet: trevorsnake5gt@hotmail.com

2018 Fell Racing Championship

It was decided that changes needed to be made from the beginning of 2017 to keep the Fell Racing Championship fresh and exciting for all – including encouraging new members to give Fell Running a go for the first time.

So ‘our’ Trev and Graham worked up a revised format that rewards personal performance whilst automatically taking into account; age, gender & race difficulty.


  • 10 best results from 26 core races (diary below)
  • small bonus for each result outside of your 10 best (within the 26 specified races)
  • all members start with the same points, race points are deducted from this total, lowest points at the end of the year wins

Details of the 26 races in the 2018 calendar, including; date, location and difficulty are as follows (click to enlarge).

2018 Fell Calendar

Note that points totals move very quickly during your first 10 races and then stay comparatively static.  So if you have done less than 10, you can still catch the leaders very quickly!


How does the championship scoring work?

The aim is for runners to reduce their overall points total for the year.  Points start at 2500 and runners are rewarded with points each time they run, which is subtracted from their overall total.  A set of 26 core races has been designated, of which the 10 best results will count, with any lesser result (within the 26), affording a 15pt bonus, per race.  The system is designed to encourage participants to run as well as they can, not just as often as possible.  Whilst it favours performance it does still reward those who run on the fells regularly and throughout the year.

How are points for each run calculated?

(DISTANCE divided by CLIMB) +100, minus DISTANCE BONUS, + WEATHER & TERRAIN BONUS, multiplied by the RUNNERS TIME, minus AGE & GENDER BONUS = Race Points

Or in other words: A standardised ‘race difficulty’ is ascertained by dividing the race distance by the amount of climb (and then adding 100).  From this, a calculated ‘distance bonus’ is subtracted (ensuring greater distances are afforded due credit).  This decides the ‘par race value’ to which the discretionary ‘weather & terrain bonus’ is added.  This ‘total race value’ is then multiplied by the runner’s time.  Finally, age and gender bonuses (which are calculated per-person and automatically update every year), are subtracted.  This gives the final race points.

For those who wish to scrutinise how the Age and Gender or Distance bonuses are calculated, or how the race value calculations work, please email Trevor for the latest copy of the full spreadsheet: trevorsnake5gt@hotmail.com

What are the strengths of this system?

  • Standardised points system so that performance is comparative across ages & gender
  • Prioritises performance but still rewards commitment (allowing less able runners to close the gap on those who are more capable but less committed)
  • Runners don’t have to be on the fells all year to feature on the leader board
  • With 10 of 26 races counting, if a runner is injured for a time it won’t affect them unduly

What are the weaknesses of this system?

An attempt has been made to standardise the scoring, however there are elements that cannot be entirely accounted for such as; inaccurate race climb/distance figures and climb severity.  All of these can affect a runner’s time. This means that some races that may appear comparable can produce differing scores for a similar perceived effort/performance.  So the advice is to take part in as many of the scheduled races as possible to seek out the best rewards.



There is an extensive fixture-list of fell races that are held throughout the year.  If you enjoy the pursuit, there’s almost always a race to do:

www.fellrunner.org.uk – Race Calendar

Hayfield Fell Series – Race Calendar



All FRA Members will know and have this list of kit, which is mandatory for all; Class A Long and Class B Medium & Long races.  While most races in our area will not specify carrying all this equipment, particularly in summer, the organisers of all races reserve the right to mandate kit (and in some cases are forced to by changes in the weather).  So always take full kit with you to race venues.  Failure to do so may exclude you from racing and the organiser’s decision is final (click image to enlarge):


Full waterproof body cover (taped seams) with integrated hood, hat, gloves, food, drink, compass, whistle, a printed map of the route, some I.D. (use Parkrun) and any other equipment specified by the organiser (such as an extra base layer etc).

All these items can be found at very competitive prices at Go Outdoors on Ascot Drive or from Decathlon next to Ikea (nr Nottingham) or from their website: Decathlon

For example (prices as @ Dec 2016); Whistles from £2, Hats from £1, Gloves from £2, Pack/bum bags from £3, Compasses from £4, Waterproofs from £20.  If you need any help or advice, just ask any of the fell-running Sinfin Club members.

REMEMBER – Hypothermia can kill, please read the following:

FRA Hypothermia Advice Sheet: How to avoid it – and what to do if you get it



2017 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2017

2016 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2016

2015 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2015

2014 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2014

2013 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2013

2012 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2012

2011 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2011

Graham’s 2011 Summary: Fell Race Summary 2011

2010 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2010

2009 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2009