Following the plea two days ago for someone to take on the organisation of the Middlefell race on Saturday 15th March, I’m very pleased to be able to announce that Adrian Hope has agreed to take it on and he has lined up a strong team to support him. Amongst other prizes he has also been able to arrange a pair of Inov-8 shoes for the first man and first woman. There is already a very competitive field lined up to take part, so I’m sure it will be a great race. Proceeds will go to the local mountain rescue team. Other details of the race can be found here. Thank you to everyone who has made it possible for this race to go ahead.
Andy Butler, Fixtures Secretary
The past organiser of these races, Steve Ashall is unable to organise them any more, although he will continue to organise the Eskdale Show race. Middlefell and the Screes were registered in the expectation that he would be handing over to the new organiser before the races came around. Unfortunately this has fallen through so both races are looking for a new organiser. Time is very short for Middlefell (15th March), but Steve is willing to provide a handover. If anyone can take either race on so that they aren’t lost from the calendar, please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07837 099525.
The Wharfedale Off-Road Marathon on Saturday 7th June has been cancelled, however the Wharfedale Off-Road 1/2 Marathon will go ahead on the same date as planned.
Safety Requirements – recent race organiser events.
The 8 events for race organisers to discuss the implementation of the new safety requirements proved to be a very positive experience. Over half of the 300 plus race organisers attended events held from Telford to Chester- le-Street.
Race Organiser Guidelines, Fell Running Philosophy, Framework.
The Committee has informed race organisers of its plans to:
Produce an overall framework for documents produced by the FRA
Draw up a fell running ‘philosophy’ statement
Develop new Race Organiser Guidelines for the 2015 Handbook which will include aspects of the Access and Environmental Guidelines and some of the Safety Requirements. This will allow a shorter Safety Requirements document to be issued when this is next reviewed.
The Committee has concluded that race organisers now seek a period of stability to implement the current requirements and so it has no plans for any major review before 2016 at the earliest.
Race organisers have been reassured that they will be invited to play an active role in the various consultative processes planned to produce the documents indicated above.
Nick Harris Secretary 18.2.2014
The date of Lad's Leap was changed after the handbook went to press, so for the avoidance of doubt, it is now taking place on Sunday 30th March.
Races come and go, and I thought it might be helpful to list the races that have been added to the calendar and those cancelled since the 2014 FRA Handbook went to press. You can see all races where there has been some sort of update (including these) by clicking on the “Race updates” link on the events page of the website. Andy Butler, Fixtures Secretary.
1st January – Giant’s Tooth
19th January – Lamb’s Longer Leg
2nd March – Ilkley Moor
8th March – Jarrett Jaunt
10th May – Buttermere Sailbeck
16th May – May Queen
21st May – Coombes Tor
4th June – Blencathra
6th June – Castleton
14th June – Howtown
19th June – Grindleford
27th June – Tideswell
9th July – Askham
31st July – Cock Hill Wood
13th August – Eccles Pike
21st September – Pendle Memorial
21st September – Utterley Butterley
During the 2014 race registration process last year, a race permit was refused by the FRA due to concerns the FRA had over the organiser’s commitment to comply with the new safety requirements. Following appropriate assurances from the organiser that he will fully apply the requirements, a permit has now been granted. The FRA are totally committed to upholding the standards they have set and will have no hesitation in withholding permits in the future if they believe that those standards are not being applied.
Ambleside AC have reluctantly decided that they are no longer able to host the Great Lakes race. It is usually held in June, but isn't in the calendar for 2014 (yet). We hope another club might be interested in taking it on. It's a tough race to organise, but it would be a shame if it disappeared.
Club Secretary AAC, contact via Ambleside AC website
Can be downloaded here
The FRA Committee has revised its Safety Requirements and the current draft (1st September) underpinned documentation sent to potential 2014 Race Organisers to enable work to start to ensure the 2014 FRA Handbook/Calendar appears on time.
The draft document was well received at the recent Inquest but the FRA cannot issue the final version until it addresses the broader views of the Coroner, which are still awaited. The final version will be included in the 2014 Handbook/Calendar (and here).
The FRA Committee believes that the Safety Requirements should continue to be written in everyday language and not become overly legalised. However, the finalversion will be subjected to legal scrutiny to ensure that the new Safety Requirements protect runners, Race Organisers and the FRA within a sport which, by its nature, is recognised as hazardous and which will always involve accidents.
Fell runners have primary responsibility for their own safety.
Race Organisers have broader responsibilities-a “duty of care” for competitors; and the benefit of insurance via their FRA Registration (although liability for causing death or personal injury by negligence cannot be excluded).
Safety Requirements first appeared in the 1992 Calendar when, eg, there was no mandatory kit requirement. The 2014 draft includes changes in standards, clarifications…but nothing that changes the essence of the sport.
By placing greater emphasis on the competitor to recognise their responsibilities in fell races the new document may be welcomed by Race Organisers on whom the sport depends; as it has since 1970 when the FRA was created, based on the good will of the race organisers of that time.