Fell Running

(viewed best in landscape mode on mobile devices)

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 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, the villages picturesque and the local beer a welcome reward for the effort expended.

Mam Tor cropped           Mam Tor, Castleton, High Peak

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

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

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

2020 Final Positions

The 2020 season got off to a fantastic start and in the third race on the calendar, four Sinfin members went to Shropshire’s Carding Mill Valley to take part in a very challenging race.  Unfortunately that proved to be the last champs race of 2020 as COVID-19 scuppered the rest of the year.    Below were the standings at the middle of March, which turned out to be the standings at the end of December.

Click to enlarge:

2020 Final Positions

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

Fell Racing Championship

Changes to the championship format were agreed and put in place at the beginning of 2017 to keep things exciting and to encourage new members to give Fell Running a go.

So ‘our’ Trev and Graham worked up a revised system that rewards personal performance whilst automatically taking into account; age, gender & race difficulty, giving everyone a chance to do well.


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

Details of the races in this year’s calendar, including; date, location and difficulty are as follows (click to enlarge):

Points totals move very quickly during your first 10 races and then stay comparatively static.  So if you are behind and have done less than 10, don’t worry you still have a chance to close the gap!


How does the championship scoring work?

The championship runs January to December.  Every club member starts with the same points total; the aim is to reduce that total over the course of the year.  Runners are rewarded with points each time they run in a championship-designated race.

A set of 26 championship races are announced each year, each with 250 points assigned to it.  That number reduces according to the runner’s performance on the day, taking into account; race difficulty, age and gender.  The lower the points, the better the performance.  Of the 26 races, only a runner’s 10 best results count.  To reward commitment to the pursuit, any additional results outside of a runner’s 10 best are afforded a 15pt bonus per race, which is applied to the runner’s overall points total.

Performance guide: reducing a race’s 250 starting points to:

175pts = Ave    150pts = Good     125pts = Excellent     <100pts = Rarified

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

In other words:  A standardised ‘Race Difficulty’ is ascertained by dividing the race distance by the amount of climb (then adding 100).  From this, a calculated ‘Distance Bonus’ is subtracted (ensuring greater distances are afforded credit).  This decides a ‘Base Race Value’ to which the discretionary ‘Weather & Terrain Adjustment’ is applied.  That ‘Final Race Value’ is then multiplied by the runner’s time to determine the runner’s ‘Base Score’.  Age & Gender bonuses (which are calculated per-person and automatically update every year), are then subtracted.  This gives the final Race Points.

Note: In the event a runner’s calculated Race Points are lower than the ‘Minimum Race Reward’, they are instead awarded the Minimum Race Reward points for completing the course (see ‘Min. Race Reward Calcs’ tab in the spreadsheet).  The harder the course, the greater the minimum reward.

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 also rewards commitment (allowing less able runners to close the gap on those who are more capable but who turn up to fewer overall races)
  • 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.

Non-Champs Fell Running

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

Kit List

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

Previous Champs Results

2020 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2020

2019 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2019

2018 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2018

2017 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2017

2016 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2016

2015 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2015

2014 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2014

2013 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2013

2012 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2012

2011 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2011

2011 OG’s Summary: Fell Running Summary 2011

2010 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2010

2009 Season Results: Fell Running Champs 2009