Fell Running

There are many fell-races held across Derbyshire (and further afield), throughout the year. 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 there is.

What could be better than running 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 (£3-£7). What’s not to like!

2017 Fell Racing Championship

It was decided that changes needed to be made from 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 for 2017, including; date, location and difficulty are as follows (click to enlarge).   Leader board accurate as @ 21st Oct:

Fell Champs Diary 21st Oct 17

If you are interested in taking a closer look at how this year’s champs are progressing, please feel free to download a copy of the spreadsheet: Sinfin Fell Champs 5Aug 2017

Note that points reduce very quickly during your first 10 races and then stay relatively static. So if you haven’t yet raced much, you can still catch up very quickly! Do as many races as you can and remember…“Points Means Prizes!”


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, 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 total ‘race value’. The 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, please see the Calculations tabs in the spreadsheet. For those who wish to scrutinise the race value calculations or the age/gender bonuses, go to the 2017 tab, unprotect the worksheet & have a look (Review -> Unprotect Sheet), then ‘unhide’ rows 6, 7 & 8, and columns J, K & L, where you will find the formulae.

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, terrain, weather on the day 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):


ID (use your Parkrun ID), Hat, Gloves, Compass, Map of route, Whistle, Full waterproof body cover (taped seams), with hood, plus food and drink for long distance races and any other equipment specified by the organiser.

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



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 2011

2009 Season Results: Fell Running Calendar 2009