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Thread: Getting experience

  1. #1

    Angry Getting experience

    Hello
    I have run fell races on holiday in France, winning the youth category in races such as Monte de l'Aubisque, Col de la Madeleine and coming 3rd in a similar night time fell race around the Col d'Ispeguy. I've also competed in the IoW fell races in the past 3 years and enjoyed and done well in them. I am fit, and a capable road and cross country runner too. I have been on my own hiking holidays too, using maps to navigate and I am confident in this.
    I would like to enter more fell races this summer, such as in the AS and AM category however a lot of them say I need experience of these races. How am I meant to get experience of these races if I can't enter them?

  2. #2
    Senior Member PeteS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthieu View Post
    Hello
    I have run fell races on holiday in France, winning the youth category in races such as Monte de l'Aubisque, Col de la Madeleine and coming 3rd in a similar night time fell race around the Col d'Ispeguy. I've also competed in the IoW fell races in the past 3 years and enjoyed and done well in them. I am fit, and a capable road and cross country runner too. I have been on my own hiking holidays too, using maps to navigate and I am confident in this.
    I would like to enter more fell races this summer, such as in the AS and AM category however a lot of them say I need experience of these races. How am I meant to get experience of these races if I can't enter them?
    ER is a recommendation that you are an experienced off-road runner which by the sounds of it, you already are. I would have thought you would be fine with most AS/BM races especially if you recce the course first. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to contact the RO. ALs and AMs may be a different story and I would recommend getting some shorter races under your belt first before entering any of those.
    ...
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  3. #3
    Thanks, I guess I'll have a go at entering some shorter races and see what happens. Good day.

  4. #4
    Senior Member drmorris's Avatar
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    Interesting; what does ER actually mean, for all practical purposes? How to show experience, when you have no specific experience? Everyone must have had a 'first' AL.

    This is how I've viewed it, as a slower runner but competent navigator. I've now completed AL races and the OMM(I'm not an RO for fell races, this is entirely my experienceof working my way up):

    It probably comes down to two things - from the RO's point of view -
    - will you be safe during the event?
    (experience of the hills, weather, terrain, time on your feet, including experience with your kit, yourself and your stamina) Critically, do you know what to do when visibility is poor?
    - will you finish in a reasonable time?
    (as we all know off-road miles take a LOT longer than road miles; nutrition, hydration and hypothermia all become factors)

    At the end of the day, you have to be honest with yourself.
    Sincerity and explanation of your training, conquests and recce will satisfy most RO's. Particularly if you can show the 'SMJ' (= sound mountain judgement) of knowing where the escape routes are around any particular course, and a FULL kitbag of all the FRA required kit and more, for the event.
    RO's will tolerate a newbie with a sincere attitude and a full kitbag, they won't tolerate a naive weekend warrior 'having a go' in road trainers and no kit because they once did a mud run in Surrey.

    Show that you won't be on their radar, even if you finish in the last 10%(look at last years results and compare with your recce pace).
    If you think you might struggle to demonstrate you could finish in the last 2%, the race is not for you, at the moment.

    For the 'L'(and some 'M') category races the game does change, as the field is spread out; navigation becomes an issue; and knowing your weaknesses(fuel, cold, mental strength) as 'time on your feet' increases becomes important.

    Proving that you can do 'time on your feet' to yourself and any RO is easier when doing navigationally-light trail races, especially around/ over half-marathon distance. Generally fell race organisers are not impressed by on-road race times unless you are one of the Brownlee brothers.
    Proving you can navigate is easier to do safely if you can get to any of the mini-mountain marathon type events(eg the Kong series this year) or entering orienteering events, or have attended a recognised course.

    I have had a lot of really good advice on these forums, about routes, hydration choices and pacing. Your presence here will be noted, especially if discussing a particular race in advance. You may even get the offer of a joint recce.

    These thoughts are my own entirely and I am happy to be advised if I am off in any way.
    Best Wishes

    David
    Cheshire Hash House Harriers http://www.cheshirehash.co.uk/cheshire/

  5. #5
    Senior Member wjb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmorris View Post
    Interesting; what does ER actually mean, for all practical purposes? How to show experience, when you have no specific experience? Everyone must have had a 'first' AL.

    This is how I've viewed it, as a slower runner but competent navigator. I've now completed AL races and the OMM(I'm not an RO for fell races, this is entirely my experienceof working my way up):

    It probably comes down to two things - from the RO's point of view -
    - will you be safe during the event?
    (experience of the hills, weather, terrain, time on your feet, including experience with your kit, yourself and your stamina) Critically, do you know what to do when visibility is poor?
    - will you finish in a reasonable time?
    (as we all know off-road miles take a LOT longer than road miles; nutrition, hydration and hypothermia all become factors)

    At the end of the day, you have to be honest with yourself.
    Sincerity and explanation of your training, conquests and recce will satisfy most RO's. Particularly if you can show the 'SMJ' (= sound mountain judgement) of knowing where the escape routes are around any particular course, and a FULL kitbag of all the FRA required kit and more, for the event.
    RO's will tolerate a newbie with a sincere attitude and a full kitbag, they won't tolerate a naive weekend warrior 'having a go' in road trainers and no kit because they once did a mud run in Surrey.

    Show that you won't be on their radar, even if you finish in the last 10%(look at last years results and compare with your recce pace).
    If you think you might struggle to demonstrate you could finish in the last 2%, the race is not for you, at the moment.

    For the 'L'(and some 'M') category races the game does change, as the field is spread out; navigation becomes an issue; and knowing your weaknesses(fuel, cold, mental strength) as 'time on your feet' increases becomes important.

    Proving that you can do 'time on your feet' to yourself and any RO is easier when doing navigationally-light trail races, especially around/ over half-marathon distance. Generally fell race organisers are not impressed by on-road race times unless you are one of the Brownlee brothers.
    Proving you can navigate is easier to do safely if you can get to any of the mini-mountain marathon type events(eg the Kong series this year) or entering orienteering events, or have attended a recognised course.

    I have had a lot of really good advice on these forums, about routes, hydration choices and pacing. Your presence here will be noted, especially if discussing a particular race in advance. You may even get the offer of a joint recce.

    These thoughts are my own entirely and I am happy to be advised if I am off in any way.

    'ER' (experience required) usually means nothing when it comes to allowing you to enter. Most races don't check for experience, even Ennerdale and Wasdale. Three Peaks and Edale ask for details of experience when entering but not many other races do.

    Theoretically you could turn up to Ennerdale or Wasdale having never set foot on the fells as long as you have full kit. My first Ennerdale race in 2012 was the first time I had ever ran in the Lake District! Although I did have (some) experience of walking on the Lakeland fells. Great Lakes 2012 was my second Lake District race!

    'ER' usually means that experience will be required to get you round the course rather than allowing you to enter.

    Hope this helps OP.
    Last edited by wjb; 28-04-2017 at 02:50 AM.

  6. #6
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    Talk about in at the deep end!! :-) ^^

  7. #7
    I have always wanted to run The Three Peaks Race. Annoying I didn't have the experience, so couldn't they couldn't accept my entry - I'm one race from being able to entering the UTMB ballot, I think it's my nav experience that let me down. I have a few 8 Ultras under my belt - just annoying I do not have enough Fell experience.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wjb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by granty View Post
    Talk about in at the deep end!! :-) ^^
    If you are referring to Great Lakes 2012 then yes it was literally in at the deep end! Nearly got swept away in a river!

  9. #9
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    You've got roughly 52 weeks to get some suitable experience for the 2018 Three Peaks Race then!
    Quote Originally Posted by rileforce View Post
    I have always wanted to run The Three Peaks Race. Annoying I didn't have the experience, so couldn't they couldn't accept my entry - I'm one race from being able to entering the UTMB ballot, I think it's my nav experience that let me down. I have a few 8 Ultras under my belt - just annoying I do not have enough Fell experience.

  10. #10
    Senior Member wjb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rileforce View Post
    I have always wanted to run The Three Peaks Race. Annoying I didn't have the experience, so couldn't they couldn't accept my entry - I'm one race from being able to entering the UTMB ballot, I think it's my nav experience that let me down. I have a few 8 Ultras under my belt - just annoying I do not have enough Fell experience.
    Did you tell the Three Peaks organisers about your ultra experience? The 3ps website says if you don't meet the entry requirements you can submit details of other endurance running experience. They don't ask for details of navigation experience.

    As Ben says you've got a year to get your two qualifying races in for the 2018 3 peaks.

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