FAQs for New Tuesday/Friday Members
FAQs for new members and runners who would like to join Tuesday and Friday runs.
We are a fell running club, and we are happy to welcome visitors and potential new members. We want everyone to enjoy their run, so here is some key information and some FAQs which will hopefully help you to decide if we, and our Tuesday / Friday runs, are right for you. Read the notes below to see if we you would fit in with the group.
“Fell” is just another word for a hill or mountain, and fell running is a type of hill or mountain running. Fell running is an all-terrain sport and often involves routes with no paths and mountain summits: depending on the area you should expect open moorland, rocky grass, bogs, tussocks, heather, boulder fields and some very steep climbs and descents which may not be runnable. It is quite different from trail running, which generally involves running at lower/valley level on good footpaths and bridleways. As such, some new members find that fell running requires a higher level of base fitness than road / trail running, and a certain level of mountain awareness.
On Tuesday and Friday morning the group meets for a 10:00am start. This group is generally made up of this who are retired or have time during the working week to get out on the fells during the day. Generally we run as one group, but sometimes there are splinter groups who decide they want a short/longer run. Sometimes there is also a small group who jog and walk to build up their running ability. There is also a walking group for those who need a day off from running or just enjoy a social walk and chat.
In summer, this is usually a run or about 10k/12k for about 1 ½ to 2 hours on the fells (more likely on trails in the winter). It is important to say that this is not a guided or led run; it is a group of runners who wish to run together at a steady pace. Although there will usually be somebody who decides on the route and helps on navigation, you will be responsible for yourself in terms of carrying appropriate kit (read below) and your ability to read a map, know where you are and how to get back to where you started. Throughout the year the group is always aware of the weather conditions and routes selected will always take the weather conditions into consideration.
You’ll already be a reasonably capable trail, fell or road runner who can comfortably run approx 8-12min / Kilometre pace on hilly trails (or 30-35 minute park run), be happy to walk/jog up, and definitely run down, steeper climbs. It’s not a group suitable for those completely new to off-terrain running, or who have never spent time in the mountains. If this is you, then consider building up endurance and fitness at local park runs which provide a wonderful community for new runners, or by joining the walking / jogging group if they are out on the day. If you live in Ambleside, a good guide is you would be capable of getting to the summit of Loughrigg from the Rothay Park Bridge in around 30-40 mins.
Nobody will ever be left behind in this group, but for everybody’s safety and enjoyment you should ensure these Club runs are right for you. Contact John Gomersall : email@example.com if in any doubt.
Summer runs on the fells (or winter trail runs)
Regardless of the group, nearly all of our summer runs are higher fell runs and often over mountain summits so you will need to carry appropriate kit. This will mean fell shoes, full waterproofs (with taped seams), hat and gloves, a map of the area, a compass, a whistle and some food. Consider: an emergency “bivvy bag”, extra thermal top, tiny first aid kit, mobile phone. This equipment is for your safety: the weather in the hills can change rapidly, and it is vital that you are properly prepared for a situation in which you become lost, heavily fatigued or incapacitated owing to illness or injury. This suggested kit is the bare minimum, and you should carry additional kit depending upon the conditions.
Winter runs on the fells
Add more layers, consider a heavier duty jacket and trousers, waterproof mittens/gloves, more food, a decent head torch with spare batteries or back up head torch.
Many runners choose not to take water on the shorter/medium summer runs. On longer runs you may choose to either carry a little water and/or refill/drink from mountain streams on the route (potentially several times on long routes). However, some routes are almost or completely dry, so check the route and weather forecast and ensure you start with sufficient water. If intending to refill on the route, consider the water quality and whether to use water purification tablets or a filter bottle.
No. If you require any form of personal insurance you must organise this yourself.