We’ve been a bit quiet in January, not that we haven’t been busy. In truth the Fellsman Committee has been a bit swan-like; calm and serene on the surface… and paddling like mad under the water. In fact there has been a lot going on, hence this months bumper update
New sponsor for the Fellsman
Those of you who have been associated with the event for a few years now will know of our great links with The North Face. The UK team have been fervent advocates of the event, even entering it on a few occasions, and have gone above and beyond in their support, particularly with regard to prizes and committee ‘uniform’. Whilst their love of the event continues, as with all good things, they must come to an end and, with the global market constantly changing, the UK team have been asked to take a change of direction thus forcing them to pull back on their support. The staff themselves are really disappointed but obviously cannot do much about it; rather than severing their link however, they will be coming along to participate and work on the event in future years and we look forward to them being around, even though the official support may have come to an and.
However, we are thrilled to let you all know that we have secured a support package with another well-known outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia. As their website states: ‘(Our) love of wild and beautiful places demands participation in the fight to save them, and to help reverse the steep decline in the overall environmental health of our planet. We donate our time, services and at least 1% for our sales to hundreds of grassroots environmental groups all over the world who work to help reverse the tide… At Patagonia, we work hard to make high quality, responsibly sourced clothing that lasts for years and can be repaired – and we guarantee it for life’. Through talking with company representatives, it appears that the Fellsman and Patagonia have much in common; we’ve both been around for a while, we have striven to keep our event going through tricky times when other events were popping up all around, much like the ‘worn wear’ ethos. We support local businesses as much as possible and make donations to the Three Peaks Association who ensure parts of the land we cross are maintained for all to enjoy, just like Patagonia support environmental projects worldwide. And last but by no means least, the company have a love of the outdoors and all activities taking place in it which is the sole reason that hundreds of us descend on one of the most beautiful parts of the country every year to walk/run/staff our event.
Changes to kit list rules
Since the first Fellsman in 1962 the world of fell walking and fell running has changed almost out of all recognition. Advances in fabric technology have meant that outdoor clothing now has the ability to be thinner, lighter and warmer than it’s predecessors. The Fellsman has always had one of the more stringent kit lists and although we have tried to keep pace with new technologies we make no apologies for insisting that everyone carries a minimum level of kit to ensure that they are properly equipped to deal with the frankly unpredictable Yorkshire weather. In recent years the rules regarding what we describe as ‘upper body wear’ have confused many people as we tried to account for old and new equipment alike. This year we have revised the rules to, hopefully, clear up some of the confusion. Under the new rules:
A total of 5 long-sleeved tops must be worn or carried. These must comprise of: 1 fleece / down (or similar synthetic material) layer; 1 waterproof jacket with hood (preferably brightly coloured); 1 base layer and 2 tops of choice for further layering.
However, with the event moving even earlier in the year in 2016 it is anticipated that overnight temperatures may well be sub-zero, and we ask you not to skimp on carrying additional layers in an effort to save weight.
Another new kit rule introduced this year is the requirement to carry spare clothing in a drysac or equivalent waterproof bag. One of the safety issues on last year’s event were entrants coming into checkpoints soaked to the skin and very cold and finding that their spare clothing was also wet through. It is hoped that the drysac requirement will help with this problem.
Lift sharing opportunities
In recent years the Fellsman has become more popular than ever, which is fantastic. however with increased numbers of entrants there has been a less welcome side effect – a deluge of cars parking on the roads around Threshfield. Over the last couple of years we have become concerned with the number of cars parking on the verges down the road leading to Fellsman car park and also along the main road. This year we have made an effort to increase the available off-road parking but better still would be fewer cars altogether. To that end we have registered the event with RaceLifts.org, a free website that lets you contact runners in your locality who wish to share the travel costs of getting to a race. Why not see if there is anyone local to you?
Entries still available
There has a been a steady stream of entries since they opened on the 1st of January but if you are concerned that you have missed your opportunity don’t worry. We still have places available so get your entry in now!
Unable to enter but want to help?
If injury has taken you out of the running for the 2016 event but you would like to experience the Fellsman from the other side of the fence just let us know. We are always in need of volunteers out on the checkpoints, marshalling the Whernside path, or down at Threshfield HQ. Send us a message via the Contact Us page and see the a whole new side to the Fellsman!
Coming soon to a letterbox near you…
The handbooks are currently at the printers and will be sent out in the first week of March.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for more updates on this year’s event in the next few weeks. In the meantime the Fellsman would like to wish you the best of luck with your training.