It is considered by the FRA and a large majority of Race Organisers that an overreliance on GPS is dangerous. Getting lost in a fell race should not in itself be considered an emergency – it is part and parcel of fell running and runners should possess sufficient mountain skills and awareness to address their situation without external assistance.

I felt this would be a good time to highlight those and my interpretation of some of the reasons behind them. However, I would add that I obviously don’t have the ear of the inner circle of fell running. So what’s behind this?

The FRA Principles of Fell Running now also enshrine the concept of self-sufficiency, self-navigation and non-commercialism.

FRA races are run in a “not for profit or charity basis”. The latter helps to keep entry fees down and relationships with in particularly with small land-owners/farmers. Many farmers and small land owners allow free access if no damage is caused (the FRA have over-arching agreements with the larger land-owners such as National Trust and Utility companies). The rise in commercially orientated events have however raised landowners’ awareness of the profits to be made using their land and many have adopted a broad brush approach to any organised activity.

I could go on for ages more, if you’d let me.

If you’d like any further deciphering please do contact me on

FRP Phil Robinson

Nidd Valley Runners – FRA Ambassador