Junior and senior guide races plus the prestigious nine mile Rydal Round Fell Race.
In this section of the programme we have a senior guide race with prizes for male and female. The junior guide races are separate for boys and girls in the categories under 12’s, under 14’s and under 17’s.
The first event of the day is our fell race “The Heart of the Lakes” Rydal Round. This is a nine mile race around one of Lakeland’s best known walks known as the Fairfield Horseshoe. You have to be a pretty serious walker to even consider walking this magnificent route, never mind running it!
The Guides races are more easily viewed by spectators as they follow a direct course up and down the fell side. The Senior Guides race, another renowned event, which, in the post war era saw the legendary names of Bill Teasdale, Tommy Sedgewick and Fred Reeves and Reg Harrison competing.
A little history:
The roots of fell racing are to be found in the traditional rural sporting scene of the north of England, although a fell race was known to have taken place in Scotland at Braemar as early as the 11th century, where King Malcolm, endeavouring to find a messenger for royal dispatch, offered a purse full of money to the winner of an race up and down a local fell.
Today traditional fell races are usually held over a direct course across fields, over walls and streams and the general rough terrain of the fell to a specified marker on the skyline and straight back down again.
In the Lake District, the natural landscape provides a home to many fell races, but here they are often known as Guide Races. The name Guide is thought to stem from the 18th century, when tourists seeking to take exercise used the knowledge and skill of the local fellsmen to guide them over the mountain areas. One theory for the actual ‘Guide Race’ is that during their spare time, the guides held competitions amongst themselves racing to the top of the nearest fell and back.