Fell running has a long tradition in this country. It emerged from competitions held alongside other sports and activities at annual games events in towns and villages which had conveniently placed hills, mountains or moorland for competitors to run up and down (sometimes repeatedly).
Fell running races can be held over a wide range of distances including ultra-distances. Courses are graded into categories with the grading determined by the race distance and severity of climb. In some races, rather than a set course, competitors can choose their own route between check points. Fell running can see runners tackling very tough terrain. They can be held over long distances and in potentially volatile difficult weather conditions. As such it is essential that competitors choose races appropriate to their ability and experience, adhere to all safety requirements stipulated by event organisers. As many A Category races may prove hazardous, they should only be attempted by those with the necessary experience to cope with the adverse conditions that may occur in remote mountain locations.
Mountain Running is recognised internationally by the IAAF. It takes place on primarily off-road terrain on well-defined routes, requiring no navigation or route choice.
In England the management of Fell, Hill and Mountain Running is delegated to the Fell Runners’ Association with competitions held under the UKA Rules of Competition.