Club Runs

Club runs aren't led; we're a group of friends going for a run together in the hills.

On a club run, we all look out for each other, but safety starts with each individual runner - if you take part in a club run, you are taking responsibility for your own safety, health, injury status, fitness level and kit.

The weather can, and often does, change very quickly in mountainous areas and weather forecasts can be notoriously unreliable! Please bring appropriate kit for the weather conditions to keep yourself safe. If you're unsure what you need, take a look at our list of typical fell running kit in the What Kit Should I Bring? section below and chat with our members!

Official safety advice is available on the Fell Runners Association website.

We meet every Tuesday at 6.30pm for a club run on the beautiful Western fells. Our usual haunts include the fells surrounding Buttermere (Grasmoor, High Stile, Melbreak) and the Western fells around Ennerdale and Cold Fell.

We run for 1-2 hours at a comfortable pace with frequent re-grouping and some runners incorporating hill reps. Sometimes a fast group will decide to go further or a slow group to stay lower: it varies each week with the terrain and the turnout.

If you're visiting the area or thinking of joining the club, we'd love to have you along, but please get in touch before the run.

Welcome to CFR Sunday Socials.

When and where do we meet?
We choose different locations each Sunday, meaning you get to run in different places, alongside meeting new running friends. We'll post the time and location on here and on the CFR Facebook page so don't forget to give us a Like. We also love to post photos from the runs on Facebook too.

Do I need to be able to run?
These sessions are for anyone who can comfortably run/jog 5km (a Parkrun for example). Sunday Social runs are to build up your running confidence, and get people out in the spectacular Cumbrian countryside, with a bunch of like-minded folks. It's good to remember these are not speed sessions. Each Sunday is based around running with a group of people and heading to a cafe post-run if one is near by.

We aim to make each run around 90 minutes and nobody gets left behind.

Do I need loads of expensive kit?
You do need a pair of trail / fell running shoes not road shoes. For safety and comfort, we suggest long running tights/leggings/shorts and weather dependant layers. You definitely need to come with a bumbag or run pack that fits comfortably and is big enough to put some essentials in (see below).

What do I need to bring?
You, a few bits and bobs for safety in your run pack, plus your sense of humour as you're likely to get muddy...and quite possibly a bit wet. You need to be prepared for a mixture of weather and terrain, your race pack or bumbag should include the following things. A waterproof jacket, if you're not already wearing it, that you can jog in. Preferably not the long heavier styles mostly used for walking. You'll also need a hat or Buff-style headwear, gloves, some water, snacks/emergency food and a few first aid essentials: blister plasters, tape etc. These are essential to keep you safe and warm in the case of an accident. We hope that doesn't happen but best to be prepared.

What if I'm at the back?
In all honesty...someone always needs to be at the back, in the middle and at the front. It's the most practical way to group run as we can't all run side by side. Sometimes people prefer to be at the back, with their own thoughts, enjoying some peace and quiet away from the everyday chaos of life. Some runners are strong uphill but slow on the down, so you'll see people chop and change along the trail. The important thing is no-one gets left behind, we want everyone to feel included, and finish the run feeling confident and wearing a smile.

What if it's raining?
We get wet. Each Sunday is about taking some exercise, getting some fresh air and feeling more confident off-road running.

How much does each session cost?
Nothing, they are completely free.

What's the catch?
Apart from possibly catching a running bug, there is no catch. If you decide during the sessions you'd like to know more about the club, (discounts, type of membership etc) or our Tuesday club runs, we can have a chat on the trail.

If you've got any questions, you can get in touch with Lisa Spratling at lisa@fell2.com.

SST is a weekly session (additional to the Tuesday social club run) designed specifically for those who want to improve their running. It's open to ALL club members who want to get faster and fitter; the sessions are designed so that no-one gets left behind and everyone improves, relative to their current fitness level.

Training is based on repeated hard efforts set at specific time or distance intervals; interval training.

Sessions are self-led i.e. not run by any one member; turn up and turn it on! If you know you're going, post on the Members Only Facebook page so others know too!

They usually last about an hour and run as follows:

1. Warm up jog
2. Interval session (see suggested sessions below)
3. Cool down jog back to start
4. Anyone for the pub?

Everyone has to start somewhere! If you're new to fell running, take a look at our list of kit that fell runners typically take with them on the fells.

Please heed the Safety Note section above - you are personally responsible for being appropriately equipped when you're on the fells with us. Bring appropriate kit for the weather conditions and to keep yourself safe.

Note that CFR don't officially recommend any brands or models. We've listed some that are popular with the fell running community, but kit is very personal and everyone has their own favourite gear. There's a wealth of knowledge and opinion in the club; have a chat with other members about what works well for them and ask at your local fell running shop for their advice too!

Kit you might consider:

Fell Shoes

On the fells, we need aggressive tread depth to avoid slipping! Popular choices include:

  • Inov8 Mudclaw or X-Talon
  • La Sportiva
  • Salomon S/LAB
  • Walsh
  • Waterproof Cagoule

    Weight, waterproofing, fit and effective breathability are all important considerations.

    Note that if you want to use your top for races, they will need to have taped seams to pass kit checks.

    Popular brands (in no particular order) include:

  • Inov8
  • OMM
  • Paramo
  • Raidlight
  • Salomon
  • Waterproof Trousers

    All the same considerations (including taped seams) go for pants too.

  • Inov8
  • OMM
  • Raidlight
  • Salomon
  • Hat

    Critical safety kit.

    Wind-resistant, breathable skull caps are effective in a huge range of conditions.

    Gloves

    Normal gloves most of the time, though mitt style is warmer in cold and windy conditions.

  • Thermal effectiveness
  • Water-resistance
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Dexterity
  • Additional Base-Layer

    Synthetic or merino based products wick moisture well and add warmth. Popular brands (in no particular order) include:

  • Helly Hanson
  • Inov8
  • OMM
  • Paramo
  • Salomon
  • Map / Compass / Whistle

    Accurate map-reading using map and compass are essential skills on the fells and a simple whistle can save your life.

    Ask club members for navigation tips - we have a number of highly experienced mountain navigators!

    OS Exporer (waterproof) 1:25k OL4 and OL6 cover all our area.

    To save weight and bulk (especially for races), runners often print a map of their route and the surrounding area instead of taking a full OS map.

    Viewranger App

    Very popular for accurate mountain navigation. The app is free, then 1:25k map tiles are bought (very cheaply) and downloaded as needed prior to going out on the fell.

    Brilliant for fast re-location and route-finding, though digital devices should not be relied upon alone as batteries can fail (especially in the cold). Map and compass skills remain essential.

    Available on:

    Bivvy Bag
    Sol emergency bivvy is small (about a pair of socks size!), lightweight and very effective in emergency conditions.
    2-Person Shelter

    A number of club members carry these on the fell. If someone injures themselves, they provide a more stable environment for the casualty. Even a turned ankle can become a serious issue on a cold fell-side.

    There are lightweight options (in no particular order) available from:

  • LifeSystems
  • Rab
  • Terra-Nova
  • Head Torch

    One of the most discussed items of kit, especially in the Autumn-Spring seasons! Irrespective of the season, you should always carry a torch on a club run. Remember to ensure batteries are fully charged before you head out. If you're on your own, take a spare torch & batteries.

    Considerations when choosing a torch:

  • Light output
  • Water-resistance - minimum IPX3 - Petzl IP rating
  • Burn time - will it last the full run?
  • Weight/balance/top strap to keep it in place
  • Can normal batteries replace the power-pack?
  • Popular brands that work well on the fells include:

  • LedLenser
  • Petzl
  • Food / Water

    Soft flasks fit easily into your pack and get less bulky as you drink. They often come included with race vests.
    7th January - Kinniside Stone Circle - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 060 137

    Start the new year with the first full moon of the year (moon forecasts now sponsored by Anita).

    A circuit involving Blakeley, Burn Edge, Swarth Fell, through the woods and back along Nannycatch valley. Final fling involves us zooming on over Flat Fell. Route is about 7.3km with around 350m of climb. Should take us just under 90 minutes.

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.

    14th January - Ennerdale Show Field - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 087 182
    Gavel and Blake with the possible extension up Knock Murton. Route without the latter is about 10km and takes around an hour and a half. Expect to achieve about 400m of climb - unless you come back over Knock Murton, where you can put another 130m of climb in 400m of horizontal distance - which is actually only an 18 degree incline...

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    21st January - Sale Fell - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 192 302
    Over and round Sale Fell in some combination. Hopefully the gorse path has been cut back or we might even avoid it.

    Shorter run than normal, will be out for about an hour, covering about 8km. Then it's off to the Swan Inn for a members meeting where we discuss the running of the club - tonight will include agreeing the proposals for this year's club championships.
    28th January - Kirkstile - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 141 209
    Mmmmm...pies - for just about everyone.

    Traditional new year treat, annual "Pie Night". In order to keep it easy for the pub (all 30 of us arrive at once) we all have pie - unless you have a dietary requirement. All pies come with chips and vegetables.

    Maximum of 30 places. Please email me at andyandmel@btinternet.com with your name and whether you want a large pie (£13.50) or a small pie (£10) or you are vegetarian/coeliac - in which case I will send you the menu and you can then choose something.

    The run beforehand...up over Melbreak and off the back, return via Mosedale. Takes about an hour and a half for the 8km run with 400m of climb.

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    4th February - Lowther Park - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 016 119
    Lank Rigg calls. With river crossings and bogs a-plenty, tonight is a good night for waterproof socks or thigh length waders. We will return via either Whoap or Whoap beck.

    Quite a long run this one - a classic in the mist. Just under 10km, with 400m of climb taking just under the two hour mark.

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    11th February - Greendale (Wasdale) - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 144 056
    A real navigation test...let's hope that the full-ish moon is playing out.

    Hoping to find our way up towards Glade How, Cat Bields and onto Seatallan. Coming down by Greendale Tarn - which we will be very disappointed to not find. Just under 8km with just over 600m of climb. Should take us about an hour and a half.

    For those travelling from the North, note the early leaving time - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:40, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 17:45.
    18th February - Buttermere - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 177 171
    Parking at the bottom of Newlands Pass. Knott Rigg and Ard Crags - with a long run back down to Buttermere. Quite a long run tonight - just over 9km with 600m of climb. Likely to be out in excess of 90 minutes.

    If the Fish/Bridge is/are open, we will adjourn for crisps and something to wash them down with.

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    25th February - Fangs Brow - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 105 226
    A committee will form and decide which way Blake Fell will be approached. Usually out for about 8km, with 400m of climb, taking about 90 minutes.

    Virtually no moon to help tonight, 'twill be dark.

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    3rd March - Kirkstile - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 141 209
    Winter League Presentation night. Jane Mottram is co-ordinating the food orders. Email your choice of steak pie and chips, fish and chips or a vegetarian option. Limited places as we are squeezing into "The barn" room. Her email address is janemottram@outlook.com

    Run will be up Hen Comb, 6.5km-ish with 400m of steep climb. Usually takes us just under an hour and a half.

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    10th March - Lanthwaite Green - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 159 208
    Whiteside and Hopegill Head. Back down Liza Beck. Took us nearly 2 hours for this last time. 8.5km with 650m of climb. Some people might take in Crag Hill too?

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    17th March - Loweswater - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 118 225
    Darling Fell, Low Fell and Fellbarrow. Took us an hour and three quarters last year - in the glorious snow. Just over 9km with 450m of climb.

    For those travelling from the North - meet at Mitchell's Auction Market on the outskirts of Cockermouth at 17:50, ready to reduce the number of cars. Leaving at 18:00.
    23rd February - Sale Fell - 10.00

    Sale Away - a Wainwright (or maybe even two) in the bag!
    Directions


    NY 192 302
    It may be one of Wainwright's smaller tops but Sale Fell offers superb views and heaps of running trails. If weathers on our side and we've packed plenty of enthusiasm, we may even trot across to neighbouring Ling (another Wainwright), for a roller coaster of a fun run. High on Sale the talk will definitely turn to buying shoes in future Sales. What's the difference between trail shoes and fell shoes? What is the great Salomon v Innov8 debate? Has anyone ever fell off their Ronald McDonald-style Hoka shoes? How important is colour? Why are runners so obsessed with shoes?
    Thursdays - Sale Fell - 18:30
    Directions


    NY 191 301
    Short, steep reps
    10 x 1min steep ascent e.g. Lothwaite or Ling Fell
    Descend easily to bottom, rest 1 min between each rep

    Long, medium gradient reps
    4 x 5min medium gradient ascent e.g. Kelswick Farm ascent
    Descend easily to bottom, rest 2 mins between each rep