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Thread: Course descriptions

  1. #1

    Course descriptions

    Hi

    I'm new to fell running and have a question about course descriptions. I understand NS races are ones that require nav, and I understand PM races are partially marked (flagged but not continuously taped).

    If it's not a stupid question, what about races that are neither PM nor NS? Surely they have to be one or the other i.e. if not flagged you're going to need to navigate, surely?

    No specific race in mind, just spent too much time thinking. ☺

    Thanks for helping out a newbie!

  2. #2
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
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    Short races on clear paths do not need to be marked but will not need much navigation either.

  3. #3
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunnerBean View Post
    Hi

    I'm new to fell running and have a question about course descriptions. I understand NS races are ones that require nav, and I understand PM races are partially marked (flagged but not continuously taped).

    If it's not a stupid question, what about races that are neither PM nor NS? Surely they have to be one or the other i.e. if not flagged you're going to need to navigate, surely?

    No specific race in mind, just spent too much time thinking. ☺

    Thanks for helping out a newbie!
    Races that are NS require navigation skills that use a map and compass, such as dead reckoning and handrailing. Such races generally traverse pathless, open fells that are short on topographical features. NS also indicates that runners may be travelling at altitude, and that low cloud will reduce visibility so far that map and compass skills will become essential to reach checkpoints irrespective of topographical features. PM normally indicates that there is a flagged section of the race that must be followed, such as a run out to a fell gate over private pasture. PM and ER together will indicate that on unflagged sections, experience of moving safely at speed accross rough possibly pathless terrain is required and this is not too dissimilar to the NS requirement in terms of potential for getting geographically mislocated. Races vary, but if you are ever in doubt and need clarification phone the race organiser and ask for details of the course and the flagging. A lot of beginner friendly races will be well marked and marshalled, however a good sense of direction is required at all levels.
    Can't climb for toffee...

  4. #4
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr brightside View Post
    A lot of beginner friendly races will be well marked and marshalled, however a good sense of direction is required at all levels.
    although some of the top fell runners get by with very little!
    Nic Barber, Pennine. Downhill Dandy

  5. #5
    Master mapper's Avatar
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    Black Combe 2016 springs to mind. Although this time not all the top runners got away with it............
    See the light in the night

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mapper View Post
    Black Combe 2016 springs to mind. Although this time not all the top runners got away with it............
    Aye, Donard Challenge in 2014 too. It's nice to see them challenged a bit, they need the practice.
    Can't climb for toffee...

  8. #8
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunnerBean View Post
    Thanks!
    No problem, chances are the slower you are the better you can navigate!
    Can't climb for toffee...

  9. #9
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    Skiddaw is ER, PM, LK, NS, but in practice you'd struggle to go wrong at the middle of the field in anything except serious clag and paying no attention to where you were going. Borrowdale is the same skills, but a completely different kettle of fish. Bamford Sheepdog Trials lists no skills required, but is the only race where I've come close to going the wrong way - there was one flagged turn off which was a little bit of tape tied to the gate post that I nearly shot past - plus the shortcut that I took on a hunch which turned out to be correct.

  10. #10
    Master
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    Having become temporarily disoriented - lost - on the very top of Skiddaw in poor conditions, I can fully understand why a map and compass are obligatory. I was also very glad recently to have a compass on top of Blencathra. Those fells with relatively flat tops - add in Fairfield and Thunacar Knott - can be the trickiest.

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