Fell Race Kit Recommendations
We are often asked what counts as acceptable kit for the races, and for recommendations - so we've assembled a list of items that should not disappoint. Please see our Safety Guidelines for the framework within which we operate, and the individual race pages for specific requirements.
We've recommended items from Pete Bland Sports where possible - they cater specifically for fell runners, sponsor the Brecon Fans Races, and give a discount for FRA membership. Running Bear also feature - again catering for fell runners.
NB this a snapshot of kit available - we cannot be held responsible for what these stockists have available, or how you get on with your purchases. And please accept our apologies if any of the links are broken (perhaps you could help by letting us know) - they move their stuff around all the time.
Essential kit for fell races - you want as small and light as possible while large enough to carry jacket, trousers, compass, map, whistle, jelly babies, and perhaps balaclava and gloves. Here's the classic Pete Bland model:
Essential kit for every fell race. Don't buy cheap rubbish - this thing could save your life, so long as you learn how to use it.
Essential kit for every fell race. What to do with it? If you need help, blow six blasts, wait 1 minute, then repeat, until help arrives.
An essential minimum item for the Brecon Fans Races, though like the trousers this will not pass in a Mountain Marathon or any race that requires waterproof body cover. Where windproof cover is specified, and for general training purposes, this is the business. Also a great pre-race item to keep off the chill, then easily stuffed into the bumbag at the start.
The stock on Pete Bland's website changes fast in this area so it's hard to provide a stable link, but look in the "Showerproof running jackets" category, e.g. Ron Hill Windlite jacket.
A must for the bumbag. Like a windproof jacket, these will not pass in every race, because many will require real waterproofing. But you cannot go wrong with owning a pair of these - light as a feather, and providing some protection from the elements.
Running Bear overtrousers - all you ever need in this category, and cheap as chips - but seemingly no longer available in 2017!
I don't know of any good pertex trousers right now - please comment below if you do!
Properly waterproof while still light, the waterproof jackets is probably the single most important piece of kit you will use (apart from the compass and shoes!). A waterproof jacket with hood is essential for the kit check for longer races, relays, Mountain Marathons, etc. It is not compulsory at Pen y Fan and Fan y Big, but sensible competitors will carry one if the weather is anything other than delightful.
The stock on Pete Bland's website changes fast in this area so it's hard to provide a stable link, but look in the "Waterproof running jackets" category, for e.g. Montane Minimus Smock
Being properly waterproof, while still lightweight, these are good for longer races, Mountain Marathons, etc.
inov-8 ultra pant
Very personal and a lot to choose from, many pros and cons but let's face it they have to deliver a lot and stand up to a helluva beating. So this is just personal opinions from someone who has tried them all - take it or leave it!
Walsh PBs are the old classics - various models, reasonable prices, maximum grip but minimum structure:
Speedcross - super-comfy trail shoes with reasonable support, but rather high so not the best for fast rough footwork, and again the soles don't last long; also bit pricey, but lest this sounds too critical, I have two pairs and use them a lot! Now sort-of superseded by the Fellraiser, which are good but slippy on wet surfaces
Inov8... every model under the sun. Priced for millionaires, but enduringly popular and seemingly annihilating the competition; love 'em or hate 'em (I am in the latter camp, as they have no support, murder my Achilles tendons, and fall apart within 30 miles of racing in my experience, need I say more?). Superlative grip on some models, esp the Mudclaws. Possibly not for you if you have even a whiff of over-pronation, as they have zero support on the fell models. Here are some light grippy ones:
And my personal choices for the Brecon Fans Races?
Pen y Fan: if it's dry, any of the above - possibly even road racing flats; if damp or wet, then new Walshes or Mudclaw 265 (ultimate grip, light weight) + taped ankles!
Fan y Big Horseshoe: If really dry, you could get away with road/trail trainers; otherwise Salomon Fellraiser or grippy trail shoes.