Fell running is a discipline that involves racing out on the moors and the mountains. Races vary in distance from short junior races of less than a mile, through to full off road ultra-marathon distances. If you like running off road, in natural and wild spaces, with stunning views as your reward for climbing to the summit, the fell running may be for you. Halifax Harriers have a dedicated fell running coach, Nick Small, who takes sessions on weekends at Ogden Water, and other lovely spots. He also organises club trips to fell races for juniors and seniors alike. Fell running is particularly beneficial to young athletes as a complement to their sessions at the track, promoting strength, balance, coordination, endurance, mental toughness, self-reliance and outdoor skills such as navigation. It is somewhat less formal than track and field, with a strong emphasis on the social side ... not to mention lots of prizes. It is noticeable at the major cross country and track endurance events in the Yorkshire area that the 12 to 20 age group races are usually dominated by athletes with a fell running background. If you or your child would like to give fell running a try contact Nick (firstname.lastname@example.org) or see him at the track at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Fell running can be as simple as "race you to the top of that hill". Runners of all abilities run together: usually men and women run in the same race. You might find yourself lining up on the start line with a national champion. There are dedicated race programmes for juniors too, right up to international level. In winter, runners are usually required to carry compulsory kit, such as hat, gloves, and full waterproof body cover. In some instances you may also have to carry a map, compass and whistle.
Halifax Harriers have had some very good fell runners in the past and now are building a very special group of runners who want to compete on the fells at the highest level, as well as encouraging those who just want to enjoy the running without any competitive pressures.
As a club, we organise the biggest fell running event in the country: The Calderdale Way Relay, which takes place in May . It's a favourite event for many of the country's top fell runners and a very important race for the club in terms of prestige and fund raising.
We also host the Norland Moor race and Ogden Midsummer Madness.
We have the Halifax Harriers Fell League: open to junior and senior runners, and details of qualifying races can be found on the Junior and Senior fell racing pages. Details of races can be found on the FRA website and we advise all our fell runners to join the excellent FRA, which provides you with the FRA Handbook detailing all races, and the superb Fellrunner Magazine.
In addition we run an annual Fell League for senior Halifax Harriers members regularly competing in fell running competitions.
Keep an eye out for the Senior Off Road runs which happen monthly throughout the year. See Ryan Barker, Andrea Ackroyd or Steve Sladdin at the club for details.