Fell running is the sport of running and racing, off road, over hills and mountains. The name comes from the origins of the English sport on the fells of northern Britain, especially those in the Lake District.

As the name 'fell' is actually very British, the same sport is known as trail running or mountain running generally in Europe.This

is a bit confusing as the name trail running in the UK implies short distance and generally flatter trails! To remove any doubt that 'trail running' is in fact in the mountains.... the ultimate 'trail race' in Europe is the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc which takes in a complete tour of the Mont Blanc Massif, passing through 3 countries: France, Switzerland and Italy.

It starts in Chamonix and is 166km with 9,500 metres of positive height gain. The maximum time to complete the race in is 46 hours with the first finishers doing it in 20 hours.This is obviously only for serious and keen fell or trail runners and to even qualify you have to gather 5 points by competing in several other long distance trail races. However, you don't have to be a mega runner to enjoy trail or fell running. You decide how long, how far and how high you want to go - there are no minimums and no maximums!

Running is a fantastic aerobic exercise. Couple it with being in the mountains, spectacular views, varied terrain and clean fresh air, and it's the ultimate feel good sensation! Beginners beware - it is very addictive!! You use different muscles for running up, running on the flat, going downhill, and negotiating rugged terrain so your body is continually adjusting and no one muscle gets overtired! Personally I think this makes it easier to do long distances than road running on the flat. And there is no monotony!