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An Introduction to Fell Running

'Fells' are moor-covered hills and fell running simply means to run over such terrain. Along with the climbs and descents you can expect open moorland, rocky grass, bogs, tussocks, heather, boulder fields, all types of stiles, gates and stone squeezes, plus plenty of sheep along the way.  This short YouTube video, featuring Morgan Donelly, former British Champion, provides some great insight into what it’s all about: Fell Running: An Introductory Guide

Fell Racing in Derbyshire

There are many fell races held each year across the country but it is especially popular in Derbyshire thanks to the beautiful Peak District. Races are often associated with local events such as wakes weeks, village fetes or carnivals.  These occur at weekends throughout the year but also on mid-week evenings between April and September. The number of participants is usually less than 150 and entry costs are often very cheap (£2-£12). Distances range from as little as two miles and while many events are suitable for complete beginners, there are also plenty of more challenging races for those with experience. 

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.  The Chelmorton Chase is a prime example of a small, friendly village fell race and a great turnout by SRC in 2023 was captured in the event's official race video below:

Fell Runners Association logo
Fell Running at Sinfin RC

Sinfin Running Club has a thriving fell running community and benefits from a dedicated Fell WhatsApp group where race information, results and pictures are shared, as well as plenty of mutual encouragement.  Members who are interested in getting involved can request to be added to this group by speaking to any one of the club representatives.

The club offers an annual age & gender-graded Fell Championship, with a full calendar of races, all within 15 to 90 minutes travel from Derby City.  The championship aims to be inclusive, offering beginners ample opportunity for involvement as well as providing challenges for more experienced runners.  Please click on the button below for more information:

Club members also take part in non-championship races. There is an extensive fixture-list of fell races that are held year-round that can be found here: FRA Race Calendar.  For those who prefer not to compete, the club also organises occasional social runs.

Fell Support Crew

A small group of members work together to support the Championship and promote fell running within the club.  Whilst the group supports each other, each member has areas that they take the lead on:

Trevor - Fell Championship, Main committee representation for fell running
Iain F
 - Fell Merch, FRA-based club member onboarding, Annual Weekender, Whatsapp group lead moderator
Martin - Whatsapp Communities, Social Fell Runs, advertising of beginners/improvers races (& main committee member)
Lucy B - Club website fell pages, Fell email inbox administrator
Stephen J - Maps, Yearly fell calendar, Champs races results & picture links, race picture collation
Brendan - Post-race Socials (and Club kit man on main committee)
Jane W - FRA Ambassador, Fell email inbox administrator (and C
lub Treasurer)
Gary L - Newbie support (and Welfare Officer on main committee)
Matt Chat - Champs race details/RO engagement, Crew meeting minutes, fell document repository administrator
Simon B - Navigation skills lead, Weekly Reports, National Fell Relays

If you have any questions about fell running at Sinfin Running Club please contact the appropriate Fell Support Crew member either in person, via Whatsapp or by emailing

Sinfin Running Club members at a fell race
Sinfin Running Club member taking part in a fell race
Kit, Safety and Governance

Kit requirements for fell racing are often little more than a pair of off-road trainers, however some races will require you to carry specific kit for your own safety. Please click on the button below for further information about what you will need in order to take part.

Like most competitive outward-bound pursuits there is a governing body that oversees Fell Running in England, the Fell Runners Association (FRA): FRA Homepage.  Their primary goal is to provide fairness and safety.  To this end Sinfin Running Club has a designated FRA ambassador and encourages all interested members to join the FRA.

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