Fell running, also known as mountain running and hill running, is the sport of running and racing, off road, over upland country where the gradient climbed is a significant component of the difficulty. The name arises from the origins of the English sport on the fells of northern Britain, especially those in the Lake District.
Fell races are organized on the premise that contenders possess mountain navigation skills and carry adequate survival equipment as prescribed by the organizer.
The Fell Runners Association was inaugurated in April 1970 to organise the duplication of event Calendars for the amateur sport. It now administers the amateur fell running in England, in affiliation with UK athletics. Separate governing bodies exist for each country of the United Kingdom and each country has its own tradition of fell running, though the sport is largely the same. Among the most important races of the year are the Ben Nevis race in Scotland, run regularly since 1937, and the Snowdon Race in Wales.  Overlap with other sports
Modern fell running has common characteristics with cross country running. Courses are often longer, steeper, unmarked when out on the hills (with a few exceptions) and these longer races can demand mountain navigational techniques. Nevertheless, cross country seems fast and furious to many fell runners. Fell running also overlaps with orienteering. Courses are again longer but demand different techniques from orienteering. However, fell running does require navigational skills in a wild, mountainous environment, particularly in determining and choosing between routes. Category O events and Mountain Marathons (see also below), test navigational ability — attracting both orienteers and fell runners. Other multi-terrain events, such as the Cotswold Way Relay and the Longmynd hike for example, also qualify as fell races under Fell Runners Association rules
Fell running does not involve rock climbing. Races avoid rock climbs and are subject to change when any ground nearby becomes unstable. A small number of fell runners who are also rock climbers nevertheless do attempt records traversing ridges that allow running and involve scrambling and rock climbing — particularly where the record is 24 h or less. Foremost of these in the UK is probably the traverse of the Cuillin Main Ridge on Skye, and the Greater Traverse, including Blaven. Nor does fell running involve expeditions. Race records vary from minutes to, generally, a few hours. Some of the mountain marathons do call for pairs of runners to carry equipment and food for camping overnight. Even the most extreme fell runners will tend to ”bite” at a record that stands 24 h or less — often a "round" that ends at the start line. The exceptions to the extreme fell runner are attempts at a continuous round of Munros. Mountaineers who traverse light and fast over high Alpine, Himalayan or through other such continental, high altitudes are considered alpine style mountaineers.[by whom?]
The Fell Runners Association publishes a calendar of 400 to 500 races per year. Additional races, less publicised, are organised in UK regions. The British Open Fell Runners Association (BOFRA) publishes a smaller calendar of races - mostly derived from the professional guide races - in England and Scotland and organises a championship series. In Scotland, all known hill races (both professional and amateur) are listed in the annual calendar of Scottish Hill Runners. In Wales, the Welsh Fell Runners Association provides a similar service. Northern Ireland events are organised by Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association. Again, races are run on the premise that a contender possesses mountain navigational skills and carries carry adequate survival equipment. In Ireland events are organised by the Irish Mountain Running Association. The WMRA - World Mountain Running Association - is the governing body for Mountain Running and as such is sanctioned by and affiliated to the IAAF, the International Association of Athletics Federations. It organizes the World Mountain Running Championships. There are also the continental championships such as the African Mountain Running Championships and the European Mountain Running Championships, the South American Mountain Running Championships and the North American Central American and Caribbean Mountain Running Championships, the latter also known as NACAC Championships.
24 hour challenges
Fell runners have set many of the peak bagging records in the UK. In 1932 the Lakeland runner Bob Graham set a record of 42 Lakeland peaks in 24 hours. His feat, now known as the Bob Graham Round, was not repeated for many years (in 1960); by 2011, however, it had become a fell-runner's test-piece, and had been repeated by over 1610 people. Building on the basic 'Round' later runners such as Eric Beard (56 tops in 1963) and Joss Naylor (72 tops in 1975) have raised the 24 hour Lakeland record considerably. The present record is 77 peaks, and was set by Mark Hartell in 1997. The ladies record is 62 peaks, set in 1994 by Anne Stentiford.
Most fell running regions have their own challenges or "rounds":
- Lake District – The Bob Graham Round
- Scotland – The Ramsay Round
- North Wales – The Paddy Buckley Round
- South Wales - South Wales Traverse
- Ireland – The Wicklow Round
- WMRA World Mountain Running Association
- Fell Runners Association
- Map of hill race locations in Scotland
Wikipedia: Fell Running