Fancy trying fell running? Ask Thirza Hyde

Fell Running

We asked Thirza Hyde from Mytholmroyd based Calder Valley Fell Runners a few questions about taking your first small step into the world of fell running. 

What’s the attraction in fell running? 

If you have a love for the great outdoors and if you don’t want to be pounding the roads with the added problem of pollution, then fell running is for you. Lots of our members are allergic to Tarmac! 

Do you have to be slightly mad to do it? 

No but it does help! Only joking. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can do it but there is a certain type of person who can disengage their brain to run as fast as they can downhill and almost out of control. Anyone with a little practice can improve both their climbing skills and also their downhilling.

What makes Calderdale a good place to run? 

The absolute gems of Calderdale are the lovely footpaths, ancient tracks and bridle paths giving access to open moorland. They crisscross all over the place giving fell runners a wealth of fabulous scenic running. 

What do I need to start fell running? 

You need good shoes with plenty of grip for the mud and grassy slopes that you will most likely encounter. Carry warm kit in the winter months like hat, gloves and a waterproof is essential. For the dark nights if you are off-road a good a head torch is a must. Advice on suitable kit can be obtained from your local fell club. 

Do I need to join a club? 

You don’t need to join a club but it is much more enjoyable going out with like minded people and you get to know our delightful local area. Also, at the end of the run you can join the others for a beer in one of pubs – all to support the local economy of course! 

If I come along will you leave me behind? 

We have various level of groups to suit most runners so a new person can join in and we run as a group looking out for each other. We do a six week course for novice fell runners to encourage them to come and have a go so they don’t feel intimidated by running for the first time off-road. This usually happens after the clock changes at the end of March and it is free. 

I like the idea of running but I’m not sure about racing, is that OK? 

This is perfectly ok as we have members in our club who do fell running for the sheer enjoyment of being outside in the fresh air and to keep fit. 

Where can I find out more? 

You can find us on We are one of the few clubs in the country who specialise in fell running so why not come and give it go? You’ll love it! 

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