According to wikipedia a fell “(from Old Norse fell, fjall, “mountain”) is a high and barren landscape feature, such as a mountain range or moor-covered hills. The term is most often employed in Fennoscandia, the Isle of Man, parts of Northern England, and Scotland”. But fell running doesn’t exaclty correspond to mountain running or trail running.
In fact, in fell running races contenders are not strictly bound to follow a trail, but they have to be able to navigate themselves across mountains. Basically, it’s all about going on the top of a hill and back again as fast as possible. Fell running seems to have an ancient tradition that started in 1040 in Braemar, Scotland. A tradition that was brought on across centuries as a part of community fairs and games.
Fell running never spread around the world, being a very particular cultural phenomenon that is mostly practiced in northern Britain.
Even though I live on dry land, I’d love to take part to a fell running event and I am thinking to plan a go for next summer. If you are interested, visit http://www.fellrunner.org.uk/races.php , where many events are listed.
Remember some equipment is required for racing, such as a map of the route, a waterproof jacket, a compass, and a whistle.
What I find really intriguing in fell running is in the words of Morgan Donnely, English Champion in 2011, interviewed by the Guardian (see full interview here https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/video/2013/jun/11/fell-running-introduction-guide-video).
When asked how to start he said: “Probably, the easiest way to find your feet is to go into a race. Choose a short race without too much high gain. You’re going to be running with people, you’ll find somebody that set your pace. There are all abilities, there are all ages. And are so friendly the races that you can literally just rock up, pay four or five pounds, run up and down a hill for half an hour, get a free pint of beer and make some friends”.
Well, this is all Movimentore is about!