The Fell Runners Association (FRA) governs fell racing in England and the Isle of Man. Some of the answers on this page may differ in other home nations; where relevant, please check with the Race Organiser or with the Welsh FRA (WFRA), Scottish Hill Runners (SHR) or Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA).
Whilst these FAQ pages are intended to provide informal guidance and extra context, they are not a “controlled document”. For any questions on rules and procedures, the latest FRA documentation remains the authority.
For questions relating to COVID-19, please see our dedicated page here.
Q: What are the minimum requirements for someone to be a Race Organiser (RO) for an FRA race?
Every RO must be an FRA member. There are no other mandatory requirements; in particular, it is not necessary for the RO to be a member of the hosting club.
Q: The UK Athletics rule book talks of the “Competition Provider”. What does this mean?
The Competition Provider is the RO. The FRA affiliates to England Athletics (EA), and therefore FRA ROs are considered as affiliated to EA for the purposes of being a Competition Provider (since FRA ROs must be members of the FRA).
Q: But aren’t some races run by clubs or companies?
A race might be organised under the auspices of a club or company and be promoted as such, but the RO is always an individual. Ultimately, it is the RO, not the club or company, that is responsible for ensuring the race adheres to FRA rules and the requirements for ROs.
Q: Is there specific guidance for organising Junior races?
Yes - go to the Juniors page and check the resources in the left-hand menu.
Q: Where can I find the UK Athletics insurance details?
Go to the Documentation page, scroll down to the ‘Organisers’ section and click ‘UKA Public Liability Insurance’.
Q: The UKA insurance certificate runs out on 15th March. My race is later than that but I need an insurance certificate for landowners – what should I do?
The new certificate is typically posted by UKA only a few days before expiry of the old one. The FRA can confirm this to landowners on your behalf if required.
If this isn’t deemed sufficient, please contact the FRA and we will request a ‘Subject to renewal’ letter from UKA Athletics.
Q: Can an RO run in his/her own race?
No, the official RO for a race may not run in that race. The RO must be present at the race to ensure the event takes place as planned and to respond rapidly and authoritatively to any incidents that arise.
Q: Do I need to ask applicants for my race to cite their previous experience?
Arguably the most important thing an RO must do is make sure that the participants in his/her race understand the nature of the race, the potential risks and how to mitigate those risks.
One method of ensuring runners are suitably prepared is to require prior experience from similar races. It is the RO’s decision how much prior experience is required and how to implement/vet any requirements.
Currently the FRA does not mandate that any ROs require previous experience from entrants. However, we have considered whether to stipulate this for certain races, for example AL/AM/BL races, or all M/L races in winter, and our position will be periodically reviewed.
Q: Must I have registered first-aiders present at race registration and/or checkpoints?
The FRA Requirements for Race Organisers (available here) require you to “…consider and take appropriate steps to minimise … foreseeable risks to all competitors…”. However, the FRA’s guidelines for ROs (also here) note that “…whilst some races may justify having mountain rescue or uniformed first aid support present, this will not be necessary in all cases”. All fell races are different, and it is up to you as the RO to make reasonable decisions as to what medical provision is appropriate.
Q: Can I apply to register my race with the FRA if it is outside England?
First, if your race is on the Isle of Man then the answer is yes. For fell running purposes, the Isle of Man is treated as a branch of the English Northern Counties. Isle of Man races may be registered with the FRA and (where suitable) may be used as 'counters' in the English Fell Running Championship.
It would be unusual for a race outside England and the Isle of Man to be registered with the FRA, but it is possible. An example might be where a race series were primarily, but not wholly, based in England: in this scenario, it would make sense for all race licences to be issued by the same governing body. This might also apply to, say, an annual race normally held in England but which occasionally visits another home country. All other usual criteria apply, so for example the RO must still be a member of the FRA. Additionally, the governing body or bodies of the home country in question (e.g. Welsh Athletics/WFRA, Scottish Athletics/SHR, etc) should be notified at an early stage, as a matter of courtesy. UK Athletics have confirmed that standard FRA race insurance would apply to any such races.
Q: Can I offer priority entry to FRA members?
If your race is an English Championship race, please see FAQs for ROs of English Championship races.
If your race is not a Championship race, priority entry is at your discretion. You may offer priority entry to FRA members if you wish, and if you do then there is no requirement to reserve any places for general sale (but you may do so if you wish).
Priority entry may not be offered for any Junior race.
Q: Something unusual happened in my race. Do I need to report it?
The FRA Requirements for ROs (available here) state that you must report to the FRA Secretary any incidents which:
In these scenarios, you must notify the FRA Secretary within seven days of the race (or of the incident coming to light). Depending on the nature of the incident, the FRA Secretary may be required to inform England Athletics. You should receive an acknowledgement confirming whether or not this was necessary.
It is also good practice to submit a report containing any learning points from the event which might help other ROs in similar circumstances.
We acknowledge that “require FRA action” is somewhat vague. The RO has some discretion here but should report any significant rule breaches, especially involving the “absolute no-nos” in the rules.
Q: I have a question that isn't covered here; whom should I ask?
For questions relating to your race registration or race licence, including change of RO or other race details, please contact the Fixtures Secretary. For most other questions about organisation, the first point of contact should be the Race Liaison Officer for your area (see here). If in doubt, please email the Secretary who will put you in touch with the correct person.