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ORION HARRIERS
Founded 1911

NO parking at Clubhouse.
click address line below for location/directions/parking


The Lost Fell Race Marshal!
If you like Scottish hills, another place to lose him, is HERE!
Wow!  He's really lost this time! Madeira...

THE FELL RACE

Founded... 1996.
The report (below, left) followed the first running of the race.
Its writer followed lots of faster runners.

Course ascents and descents were gauged using OS 1:10000 maps,
which give 5 metre contours. Height gain was minimised.
Distances were measured using a wheel by a qualified course measurer.
It has been run every midsummer since then -
and there was wild talk of it being run on the morning of January 1, 2000.

But not by me.
Never where he should be...

Wadi Rum, Jordan.  Sick...

FELL RACE 2014 - FLYER

This year: registration/entries only on
the evening of the race.

Race entries close at 7.00pm SHARP.
to allow competitors (and officials) to reach the 8.00pm race start,
which is perhaps a mile away...
...over a big hill that will become very familiar within the next hour.

FELL RACE 2014

Friday June 20th
8.00pm
3.00 entry fee
Race entries close at 7.00pm sharp.

No parking at HQ. See big FREE marked car park on image below
which is situated between HQ and Race Start.

Orion Harriers Midsummer Fell Race. 21st June, 1996

It seems every time an idea like this surfaces, it surfaces in a pint of beer.

This one was McMullen's AK; a mild beer but the course isn't - it's tough;
tough enough to be a Grade "A" Fell Race, which, as Paul Filler
gleefully pointed out, "is quite unusual with views of central London
and including the 'flat' county of Essex".
To elevate (no pun intended) the course to "Grade A" took its architects quite some time.

The first sprawling efforts meandered as far as The Owl at Lippits Hill but that meant insufficient height was gained per mile covered,
thus losing the quality and intensity of elevation: we had to condense it, pack it into as compact an area as possible.

You can see from the accompanying route description that the final course centres on Pole Hill and Yardley Valley.

Pack runs for the weeks prior to the race veered towards that area, new loops were tested and discarded almost daily.
We gave up even trying to describe the "new" route there were so many variations.
However, the final new course does seem to have an elegance and natural flow to it.
A suggestion that would have made it slightly tougher was rejected on the purely aesthetic grounds (honest!)
that the view running down Yardley Meadow should somehow be retained.
Figures for ascent and descent were kept as ultra-conservative as possible to ensure that we really were going to make it to Grade "A".
The course is genuinely further to run up and run down than it reads.


Anyway, back to the 1996 race...
With weather like the Mediterranean and with 7 hills on the course like Rome,
a lot of blood, sweat and tears were spilled... like the Coliseum.
The race starts and ends with a ferocious climb up Pole Hill to the Greenwich Meridian Obelisk from the west,
which didn't worry Peter Tarrier, John Wallis and Quin Broadbent who charged away at the off.
My sole regret at running in the race is not seeing Peter boil over midway through.
"I saw steam coming out of his ears going down Yardley Meadow.
I think that's where he blew up!", said a friend...
Peter still finished miles ahead, even Pole's and Yardley's ahead, of your reporter.

Meanwhile, back at the sharp end, Paul Filler had steadily worked his way through the field -
"I definitely think course knowledge helped." -
which maybe explains why the real route was kept secret till Race Night.
Your reporter agrees: at a last vital downhill, I let two runners ahead of me
run just that little bit too far, before yelling they were off course, as I cut the corner.
Yes! Play up and play the game!

Paul won in an impressive 21.47, (STILL the course record) with John Wallis maintaining his early effort for 2nd.
Neil Pitcher surprised a lot of folk with his excellent 3rd,
and Tony Eccles (4th) was first Vet.
Tony and Kevin Cressy have been seen doing hill training sessions on Pole Hill,
so maybe course knowledge did play its part.

Midsummer madness for the 42 finishers was rounded off by
a PDQ OK BBQ back at HQ by P O'C: A1 even without AK.







Currently,
the course has changed slightly from the original outlined on the left.

For a couple of reasons...
1. Our beloved Epping Forest has reclaimed "Paradise Alley"
(You probably wouldn't want to run down that
overgrown nettle/bramble-packed alley in shorts and vest!)

2. The race is being opened to outsiders,
so the Hartford Road start becomes impractical,
due to the need to funnel through narrow hedge and
fence gaps into the Forest at Hartford Road end.


HERE'S THE REVISED COURSE FOR 2014
 THE ORIGINAL ORION FELL RACE STATISTICS:
H=Height, A=Ascent, D=Descent
Point H A/D(metres) START
- Hartford Road 25 Pole Hill - Obelisk 91 66A Golf Course Path 73 18D Point 76 (1k) 76 3A (Hawkwood Hill) Yardley Valley 30 46D Yardley Hill (2k) 67 37A Gilwell Lane Bottom 40 27D (ex-Paradise Alley) Gilwell Lane Top 68 28A Yardley Valley (3k) 30 38D Point 76 76 46A (Hawkwood Hill) Golf Course Path 73 3D Pole Hill 90 17A (Hell's Gate) Epping Glade 40 50D Pole Hill:FINISH 91 51A Total minimum Ascent=248 metres/814 feet Total descent=182 metres/597 feet Distance=5km/3.1miles
Richard Kingsnorth...
Richard Kingsnorth winning the Fell Race, in July 2006: time 22.07
The Orion Fifteen XC Results Chingford League Results results archive Orion Homepage Top of this Fell?

Racing in the Forest with the wind in my face,
I often find my nose runs faster than me.

There's a grand Fell Race from near this Webcam
at Sligachan, Isle of Skye
ch fe st