Not everyone is familiar with the term, and with the rise of ‘trail’ running to cover all manner of off road running pursuits it can often be an overlooked and missed word, but as a proud Northerner we’re here specifically to talk about Fells today. The term ‘Fell’ describes a typically barren type of upland, mountain, or moor covered-hill. I know you can picture it as you’re reading this. It’s the type of landscape I fell most at home in, and the type of landscape moi outside was born to celebrate. Today it’s a mainly used Northern England expression, and being a Northerner I can also almost 100% guarantee that this phrase came about from someone taking the piss out of his mate as he tumbled ass f’tit down one of those aforementioned hills…Lol, Robert fell down a fell lad. Or it originally comes from the old Norse ‘Fjall’. One of those is true. The reader can decide which.
It’s fairly widely accepted that working Shepherds were the first ever Fell Runners, with the earliest documented accounts of running in the fells dating back to the 11th Century….pesky those sheep when they want to make a wooly break for freedom.
By the 19th century organised Fell Runs began taking place in Cumbria in the United Kingdom. Locals raced each other up and down hills and a truly special sport, culture, and community was properly born.
This short film from Salomon takes a beautiful (if edited) look at this gruelling but rewarding splinter of running culture that has rightly become more and more accessible as people from all walks of life look to find the edges of what they’re capable of, and enjoy some time alone (and with others) in those beautiful hills.
Take a peep below.
In other news, I hope I’m as rad as Joss Naylor when I grow up…