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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Some much needed stimulus

I joined The Fell Runners Association some years ago. I was motivated by meeting a number of members, and being impressed by their individuality and decency. If I had my life over I would be tempted to take fell running as my prime leisure activity.
The quarterly magazine arrived three days ago. This is a quality production in presentation and content, and reminds me of Melvyn Bragg’s South Bank Show: you think the subject may seem outside your interest, but start watching, and within minutes your attention is grabbed by a friendly iron fist.

Much of the mag. contains race results, and race reports, which are understandably interesting to the majority of members who run competitively, but there are many, well written articles. The overriding benefit for me is massive inspiration.
In this issue there is a story by a guy who fell in a race “417 days ago” and broke his fibula in ten places. He writes a thoughtful, and instructive account of how he first of all returned to fell running by marshalling, and describes how this has shown him the sport from an angle he was hardly aware of before. He goes on to describe how he had to accept pragmatic advice and a realistically devised training programme to achieve his objective of running again. After the “417 days” he was able to take part in the The Tour of Pendle fell race ( 16.8 miles, 4830ft of ascent).
After reading this two days ago, I got off my backside, kicked cabin fever in the teeth and went swimming, and today I have done a sixteen mile cycle ride from Kendal to Bannisdale Head and back. Being out in the wilds again was like having gas and air. I think the bike is going to feature for a while.



Katie update:

Emailed to me by Jill - caption: "Katie tried some porridge this morning"



The Crow said...

Congrats on getting back out again. Cabin fever is a real drag on one's spirit, for certain.

I've a question about fell runner. I know what runner means, but I don't know fell or fells. Is that a particular type of geography (or topography), such as meadow or foothills (hill and dale comes to mind)? Or, does it describe what happens to a lot of runners, such as the fellow who fell "417 days ago?"

Miss Katie seems to have enjoyed the porridge experience. Soon she will be painting her highchair tray with it, thus enjoying it even more!

Sir Hugh said...

The Crow - Fells are hills or mountains, strictly speaking, located in our Lake District. This is a national park in the northwest of England and I live on the southern edge. The word "fell" is of Danish origin I think. Fell running has become the name for the sport which involves racing over these hills, but the activity now spreads to all parts of the UK. The FRA has 7,000 members. In other countries this sport is called mountain running. Apart from racing there are many different individual long distance challenges involving the completion of a specific number of fells in a specific time, or to beat the existing record. The most well known one in the Lake District is the Bob Graham Round involving running over 42 peaks with total ascent of 28,800 feet, and a distance of 74 miles within 24 hours. Your query has put me in mind to write a post about the definition of a "mountain" which has been a well debated open question over many years.

Yes, the subject of my post was a fellow who fell on a fell.

The Crow said...

Thank you for the explanation, Conrad...especially your closing sentence. I will smile every time I think of that today. I didn't catch that pun when I wrote it, and I do love puns. I just didn't want to write "the guy..."