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KENT COUNTY - FELL RUNNING

Last amended at 10 October 2017

Contact is Ian Marshall  fellrunning@kcaa.org.uk 8-11-15

 

Isle of Wight Fell Running Championship Series
Incorporating the SEAA Fell Running Championships
16/17 September 2017, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

Another excellent weekend of fell racing on the Isle of Wight with dry but cool conditions ideal for running. A record number of entries this year (275). Notable now that London clubs are swelling the numbers each year, Serpentine had 53! Although there are 3 races you do not have to enter all three, only if you want to count in the SEAA Championship.

This year making the trip to the pleasant seaside town of Ventnor were Peter Hadley, Christian Poulton, Clem Dixon and Ian Marshall along with supporters Anne Hadley and Alison Marshall. All four completed the three races.

SEAA Championship
You must complete all 3 races to be included in the SEAA championship. Although these races arenít as tough as fell races in the North (though the road climb through the town is steep) the fact that you are running three races in a weekend makes it hard especially on Sunday. Out of the total entry of 275, 109 men and 46 women completed the three races.

In the V50 category we had 1st & 3rd, which is a great result. Christian Poulton continued his good form by winning all 3 races in the V50 category to come first. Clem was 3rd. Peter Hadley after losing 6 months running done exceptionally well to be 2nd V70. Also, because the2nd race had a course change Christian now holds the course record!

Joe Dale (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) won all three races so did Carla Molinaro (Victoria Park & TH) to win the individual titles. Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets won both the menís and womenís team events.

Race 1 - St Boniface Down (2.5miles/800í)
Only 2.5 miles but this is an 800í leg buster climb/descent from the seafront straight to the top of St Boniface Down, a loop around the radio tower and back down to finish at St Catherineís School. The first part of the course takes you up from the seafront up through the High St then onto Tulse Hill allegedly the steepest road on the island, a few more twists and turns before reaching a flatter section and a gallop trying to claim places before reaching the pinch point at a gate leading up to the fell, though this doesnít affect the fast boys/girls so much!

Due to the record number of runners the pinch point meant a 100yd queue for some, very frustrating! A short but very steep climb up the grassy fell and on towards the radio tower. Before I reached the loop around the tower the leaders were already flying back down. With peoples lungs and legs in various states of distress start the very fast descent, fantastic views up the coast and of the town. Down the grassy fell which plays havoc with the quads before out on the road again and a sprint to the finish at the school. Suddenly itís all over.

9th Christian 19:17 (1st V50)
67th Clem 24:02
119th Ian 27:56
132nd Peter 31:07

Joe Dale (Victoria Park) won the menís race in 18:02. Carla Molinaro (Clapham Chasers) won the ladies race in 20:54. Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets filled six out of the first seven places in the menís race.

Race 2 - The Ventnor Horseshoe (7.5miles/1450í)
You have about 3.5 hours before the 2nd race at 3pm. Back to the B&B to rest & refuel. This race also has a pinch point but at a different gate, there was an announcement before the start that to alleviate this problem the route is changed, it was changed to use the gate from the morning race so the same queuing problem occurred! This alteration meant route was approx. third mile longer.

The sky came over very dark at the start, first part of the race is the same as the morning one, through the gate, turn immediately left onto the new part of the route and then the heavens opened, torrential rain and hailstones but fortunately didnít last long. Climb steeply to re-join the old route. Once on the top itís basically a cross country run through some lovely country. The hard part starts after about 5 miles, turn off the railway track path and wind up a narrow path that gets ever steeper, over a stile then reach an incredibly steep set of steps. Legs are struggling now but luckily there is a handrail you can use to haul yourself up. Reach the top and onto a good wide stony path leading to the radio tower which you can see in the distance. Once the tower is reached itís the same descent to the finish as in the morning.

Phew! two races down, time to rest up for a couple of hours before meeting up with everyone for a meal and further post-race analysis. An early night was required!

Joe Dale (Victoria Park) won again in 54:17, Carla Molinaro (Clapham Chasers) won in 61:03.

10th Christian 57:51 (1st V50)
56th Clem 69:20
116th Ian 81:49
132nd Peter 92:40

Race 3 Ė The Wroxhall Round (12miles/1600í)
Off at 10:30 nursing sore quads, it takes a while for the legs to start working properly again despite a warm up. This time the route is along the coastal path which is very undulating, very pleasant though running by the sea. After 3 miles or so turn away from the coast, some annoying drags take you eventually to a road, cross over and the long climb up past the rugby club, although long this hill is runnable if you are feeling good! After reaching the top once again it is like a long cross country run through more lovely countryside. Rain on Saturday night left one or two slightly muddy stretches. After about 8 miles take on some water at the one drink station and onto the railway track path again, a much longer stretch this time than Saturday pm race, then as yesterday up the dreaded hand railed steps out onto the top, the radio tower and down to the finish at St Catherines.

The runners tradition after the final race is to hobble down to the beach for a dip, credit to Clem going in for a swim, I just paddled.

Once again Joe Dale won in 83:54, Carla in 93:35.

10th Christian 89:58 (1st V50)
53rd Clem 107:33
114th Ian 133:10
123rd Peter 149:34

Ian Marshall


Ben Nevis Race 10 miles / 4450í
September 2nd 2017

Here is a link to a short video of this yearís race. Starting by initially showing Finlay Wild, the winner (yet again) on the climb from the path directly across the mountain to the halfway point, the Red Burn stream. Ben Nevis Race 2017

For the first time in years the weather was warm sunny and clear, wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. This year only 3 made it passed the new online entry procedure; Tarbo Fukuzawa, Ian Marshall and Alan Black. Tarbo & Alan running their first Ben.

By the way that is Tarboís bum bag giving the slight bulge! The walk to registration in the morning showed some first time nerves but it was a lovely day what was there to worry about! Before the race started at 1pm the 502 runners were walked around the stadium led by the local pipe band, there followed a random kit check before we were allowed into the start pen. Once away the traditional scramble along the mile of road with people chattering away, this soon dies down as we start the mountain path. Lots of support up the hill until we turned off directly across the mountain to the Red Burn halfway point. Most runners then decide to turn left and go straight up the mountain but I and few others stayed on the path which is longer but easier going and in some parts runnable, some think that it is a tad quicker.

Nearing the summit, as well as dodging walkers runners were also starting to hurtle down past us. At last the rocky summit plateau, handover the wrist band to prove you made it, turn round and do it all in reverse taking a few seconds to take in the breath-taking views itís not often the summit is clear.

The descent is very technical and it seems as if the ground is continually moving beneath your feet with rocks and loose scree all the way down to the Red Burn crossing, with tiring legs retrace your steps back down to the mountain track and then tackle as best you can the rocky steps, at least they were dry this year, down to the road this is the point where you discover if you have jelly legs! This last mile can be torture but eventually you approach the stadium hear your name called over the tannoy, round the field, finish and relax/collapse. Time then for tea and cake.

Tarbo did get jelly legs at the bottom but we all finished without incident. The amazing Finlay Wild won the race for the 8th successive year but still hasnít broken Kenny Stuartís record of 1hr 25mins set in 1985, an incredible time to climb 4400í and return. Diane Wilson, Dromore AC was first lady in 2:01:21.

Results
1st Finlay Wild 1:31:37
113 Tarbo 2:09:13
390 Alan 2:52:52
434 Ian 3:03:47

69 Diane Wilson Dromore AC 2:01:21

489 finished

Ian Marshall


42nd Jewson International Snowdon Race 2017
Sunday 30th July 2017

Llanberis, Wales Ė The highest mountain peak in Wales and England once again provided high drama on Saturday, as over 600 runners from across the world toed the line for the 42nd running of the Jewson International Snowdon Race. Read full report...


The Senior Inter Counties Championship for 2017 was held at Broughton in Scotland, on Saturday 13th May 2017.

The hills above Broughton make a superb mountain running location. Broughton Place Farm was ideally placed for access to the hills, and also provided a perfect race venue. Read full report...


UKA Inter Counties Fell Championships: Broughton Heights nr Edinburgh
Saturday 13th May
6 miles / 1800í

A long trek north for this yearís championship which was incorporated into the Broughton Heights fell race situated in the Scottish lowlands, very remote but a lovely area. The championship was last held there in 2011 but on a different course. The new course comprised two loops with long climbs at the start of each one and unusually for a fell race was mostly flagged which I assume was because it was a new course. The start of the second loop was just behind Christian on the left in the photo, very steep. Although the weather was windy and cool with clag on the tops this was a good course with plenty of good running and very few rocks.

The Kent team comprised five of which four were from Tonbridge AC and Christian Poulton from Cambridge Harriers. Clem Dixon from Cambridge was 1st reserve. The fact that we got a Kent team to travel that far for a 6 mile race was very pleasing.


Christian, Greg Cole, Jamie Bryant, Max Nicholls, Euan Nicholls

As we had at least one runner U23 (in fact we had 3) we could have five in the team with three to score. This was a high quality field, the start was on a narrow track and the narrow start line was crammed with the top runners all eager to get a good start. As well as the Inter Counties runners there was the open race for the rest of us.

The leaders set an incredible pace and were soon out of view up into the clag, reaching the top of the first loop the wind was now quite strong but soon you were hurtling back down out of the mist towards the start/finish area before going out on the second loop and back into the mist thrashing through heather in some parts. The last mile or so was fast downhill but on a very bumpy track.

Max Nicholls had a superb run finishing 3rd overall and winning the U23 race (again). Max beat some of the best fell runners in the UK. Christian also had another impressive run but all ran well on a course that seemed to have more than its 1800í of climb!

Kent finished a very creditable 7th out of 13 teams. Team numbers down this year (from 20 in 2016) possibly due to the travelling involved.

Inter Counties
Menís Results
Winner Andrew Douglas 40:24 Scotland East Inverclyde Athletics Club
3rd Max Nicholls 40:56 Tonbridge AC
23rd Jamie Bryant 44:53 Tonbridge AC
43rd Greg Cole 48:36 Tonbridge AC
47th Christian Poulton 49:40 Cambridge Harriers
54th Euan Nicholls 52:17 Tonbridge AC

Ladies
Winner Lizzie Brown 47:41 Cumbria Black Coombe Runners

Open Race Results
116th Clem Dixon 59:20 Cambridge Harriers
133rd Ian Marshall 71:03 Cambridge Harriers

Menís Team Results
Team Total
1 Lancashire 5, 7, 14, Total 26 Chris Arthur, Chris Holdsworth, Gary Priestley
7 Kent 3, 23, 44, Total 70 Maximilian Nicholls, Jamie Bryant, Greg Cole

Ian Marshall
24/05/17


The various UK wide Fell Championships for 2017 are being announced. Below are details of events that Kent can enter including the Fell Relays which are at club level which this year will be held at Llanberis. A short video is included showing clips from the 2014 English Championship.

Inter-Counties Senior Fell Championship 2017

This is an event Kent should enter, be aware though that compulsory kit must be carried.  If you are interested then please let me know, I can then forward names to the county for consideration.

The Inter-Counties Senior Fell Championship Senior event this year will be incorporated into the Broughton Hills race near Biggar on the Scottish borders.

Competitors for the Inter-Counties must be selected by the County, and the names of County athletes will sent to the FRA event coordinator Andy Watts. Selected athletes or team managers can then enter using the online entry system of the race, which provides an ĎInter-Countiesí or ĎOpení option. Any runners who enter as ĎInter-Countiesí but have not been nominated to Andy Watts by their County will be converted to ĎOpení category. The entry fee for selected athletes will be covered by KCAA..

Senior athletes must have been born in 1998 or before. (This equates to 19 or over). Awards will be presented to individual Senior athletes, to individual Under-23 athletes, and to male/female teams. Teams may comprise 4 athletes, or 5 athletes if one of the team is Under-23, with the first three finishers to count.

Inter-Counties Junior Fell Championship 2017

The Junior event will be held on Saturday 10th June, as part of the Rossendale Harriers 50th Anniversary Juniors race, in Rossendale. Entry details - Inter Counties Junior fell championship. Entry will be on the day only.

The Fell Runners Association contact for information on the event is Andy Watts (treasurer@fellrunner.org.uk or 01625 536896). Please donít hesitate to contact Andy Watts for more information on either event.

UKA Fell Relay Championship 2017

Being held at llanberis on 15th October. This is a club team event, a team comprises of 6 covering four legs:

1.      Short solo run
2.
      Longer leg for a pair
3.
      Navigation leg for a pair
4.
      Short solo leg

This is a cracking event lasting most of the day. Cambridge Harriers have taken part in previous years. Here is a report of the Fell Relay Championship 2015 from Steel City Striders. The 2016 championship will be hosted by Westerlands Club based near Glasgow

2016 Inter Counties Championships

Inter Counties Senior Fell Championship 2016

For information, here is a report from the championships held at Llanberis  in May. Also a short video of the start Ė Inter Counties start 2016. The dark blue Kent vest of Max Nicholls can be seen.

 Fell Inter Counties results and report 2016

Inter Counties Junior Fell Championship 2016

For information here is a report and results from the 2016 event.

Fell Inter Counties Junior 2016

English Fell Championship 2014

A 7 minute video covering the various races of the English Championships in 2014 - English Champs 2014 Trailer DVD

 


UKA Inter- Counties  Fell  Championship  (7.75 miles/3000í)
lanberis, North Wales  14th May 2016


The various summits on the race route

For the first time in many years Kent entered a team in this championship. The team of five was a combination of runners from Cambridge Harriers and Tonbridge AC. The team:-

Max Nichols (Tonbridge AC,  U23), Julian Rendall (Tonbridge AC), Clem Dixon (Cambridge H)
Christian Poulton (Cambridge H) and Steve Hodges (Cambridge H).

 
Max     Clem   Christian  Steve     Julian

The Inter Counties event was incorporated into the Moel Eilio annual race. Saturday dawned with a cloudless sky but a tad chilly, perfect running conditions. People had made their own way up to Llanberis on the Friday and we all finally met up at race registration.  

The start was on a narrow lane at the back of the town and vests were spotted from all over the UK inc Northern Ireland and various parts of Scotland. About 300 runners were crammed into the start area including some of the best fell runners in the UK, 1pm and we were off and immediately started climbing steeply, initially on tarmac then tracks and finally onto the open fell. This climb lasted the best part of 2.5 miles until we reached  Moel Eilio summit, on the way up many false summits were encountered which didnít help morale or the legs! The weather was perfectly clear and the views from the tops were fantastic. Underfoot was mainly short grass and the course from Moel Eilio onwards was a switchback of steep longish descents followed by equally steep longish climbs, not a flat section on the whole course. At about 5 miles the final descent on large clumps of tufty grass with Llanberis and Lake Padarn far below, the last two miles were on tracks/tarmac and was a fast run down and finish at the Youth Hostel. Everyone finished ok with no incidents to report. A brilliant day on the fells in perfect weather.

Kent came a very creditable 9th out of 20 county teams. Max Nichols was  4th overall and 1st U23 a great achievement, Christian was 1st V50.

Yorkshire won the menís event with a total of 18pts

Cumbria won the ladies event with a total of 6pts

 

Kent County Team Result (First 3 to count)

Max (U23)              Julian               Christian            Steve           Clem

County Place      4th/1st U23           25th                   61st                   76th             77th
Race Place          4th                     26th                   77th               131st           154th 
Time                 61:05                  66:06                74:09             82:53           85:27

9th Kent (90pts)

The event was a success and it was good to see a Kent team compete again. Hopefully we can now enter a county team on an annual basis.


Previous Championships

Inter Counties Fell Championship 2015

For information, here is a report from the championships held at Betws-y-Coed in May.

Inter Counties Fell Championship 2015

UKA Fell Relay Championship 2015

This is a cracking event lasting most of the day. Cambridge Harriers have taken part in previous years. Here is a report of the Fell Relay Championship 2015 from Steel City Striders. The 2016 championship will be hosted by Westerlands Club based near Glasgow.

English Fell Championship 2014

A 7 minute video covering the various races of the English Championships in 2014 - English Champs 2014 Trailer DVD


Welcome to the Fell Running page.

 There is nothing like being out on the fells, great scenic locations and sometimes challenging running (cross country with hills!).  I have been running the fells with my fellow Cambridge Harriers for well over 23 years travelling all over the UK. As you can probably guess there are not many fell races in Kent, Box Hill in Surrey being our nearest one. However, there are races all over the UK.  

The intention on this page is to provide information and news on fell running and events. If you or your club are interested or you would like more information then please mail me at the above address. Perhaps you would like to join Cambridge on one of their fell racing weekends. The sport is all the year round and there are over 600 races in the FRA Fixture calendar

If you are new to fell running here is a short video of running in Yorkshire to give a flavour of this great sport - Fell Racing 

The sport is governed by the Fell Runners Association (FRA) and was formed in 1970. The FRA also encourages youngsters and there is an U20 championship. There are many championships throughout the year e.g.

British Championships
English Championships
Relay Championship
Inter Counties
U20 Championships 

If you are interested in trying fell running it is important that you are aware of the compulsory kit requirements and when in an event you MUST report to a checkpoint marshal or at the finish if you drop out. Kit is normally carried in a bum bag - Runners Requirements

There are specialist fell shoes mainly the sole for exceptional grip. Follow the link for some examples. 

Will update this page with news and future event information/results/photos.


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