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Thread: Tracking devices in fell races

  1. #1

    Tracking devices in fell races

    Has the temporary use of live tracking devices in some of the larger fell races been considered, by any chance? I was thinking about this as I'm writing this with some of the long distance fell races coming round again, such as the Ennerdale Horseshoe for example. Any time I'm round by Crag fell I always think of what happened to Bob English (who I knew slightly) in the 1981 Ennerdale.

    I was thinking it might have been considered more as a safety measure where the race organisation at HQ could pinpoint the location of runners around the course? I know there is something along these lines for some ultra mountain and ultra trail events.

    If the equipment works, something like this could be useful in the event of a runner having an accident, going seriously off course and in trouble. Obviously there would be a cost to using this and probably bump up entry fees a little to pay for it.

    There are more safety measures in place from when I first started running on the fells, especially in fell races. Some runners might not want tracking in the long races as it might give away more of the best routes to take for subsequent years.


  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    NE Lakes/Coventry
    As you say, i've used them in longer fell ultras (the 10 Peaks race springs to mind).... some of my friends thought it was brilliant being able to watch me on a map.

    I'm pretty sure sientries (possibly the top name in fellrace entries/timing/results) loan them out for BG's and similar.

    I would imagine the cost for a fell race with 100+ entrants is prohibitive though.

  3. #3
    Thanks. I can see a company like Open Tracking hire out event trackers at something like £5 + VAT/runner, slightly more for premium, and some individuals hire them for challenges as well.

    Tracking down at this level wasn't even an option until recent times but I can see how useful it could be for the long distance fell races like Ennerdale or Wasdale if somebody goes seriously wrong or has an accident. The race organisation would then have a smaller area to cover if they needed to initiate a rescue search. That's when it would be most beneficial. Maybe it will be used more in future years as the sport evolves ...?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    I hope not, kinda goes against the whole self reliance fell running ethos for me.

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