Fell running for juniors is all about enjoying being out in the hills, exploring new places, learning skills, getting fitter, having fun and meeting new people. Expect to find it hard, muddy and fun in equal measure!
Currently we are running training sessions on Tuesday evenings (different age groups from yr4 – yr11) and Sunday mornings (longer runs for more experienced runners). See the club Facebook page for the latest updates https://www.facebook.com/groups/37632801550 or contact Neal Hockley via Facebook. Before attending your first session, we ask that you complete a consent form (including consent for NHS test and trace).
If you want to see the kind of thing we get up to, watch these videos!
Neal Hockley organises the junior training sessions. He is a qualified Welsh Athletics Level 1 fell/trail running leader, REC emergency outdoor first aider, Summer and Winter Mountain Leader (and father of two Eryri junior runners). Several other parents also help with the training sessions, to ensure we have appropriate ratios.
What does it cost?
Training sessions are free to all club members. If you’re not yet a member, you are welcome to try it out for 3 sessions – if you want to keep coming after that, we ask that you join the club (junior membership is only £10/year including a free vest).
Who’s it for?
We welcome all juniors (school year 4+) who are keen to give fellrunning a go. Eryri Juniors have produced some champion fell runners over the years (like Bronwen Jenkinson, Welsh international and Snowdon Race Winner), but you don’t need to be the next Bronwen to enjoy Eryri Junior sessions. We have groups of all ages, all abilities and a good mix of boys and girls. The great thing about fell running is that every run, every session, is different, and everybody finds something they’re good at – some are fast uphill, but slow on the downs. Some are fast sprinters, some have the stamina, some are nimble over obstacles. But you don’t have to be fast at all, all we ask is that you try hard, listen to the coaches, respect each other and the environment (no dropping litter!)
What to bring/wear
Wear the grippiest running shoes you have. Unless the weather’s amazing it can be useful to bring an extra top (something lightweight you can tie round your waist). Don’t bring lots of other stuff – we don’t just stay in one place during training sessions, so don’t bring anything you can’t run with. That means no water bottles – have a big drink before and after the session, if you start well hydrated, nobody needs to drink during a 1-hour session in north Wales! If you get more experienced and start coming on our longer Sunday runs, you might need a simple bumbag and some extra kit (gloves etc).
Safety & adventure
The coach will adapt sessions to the conditions and group, but we will pretty much always get out whatever the weather. Fellrunners aren’t afraid of a bit of rain/wind/hail/snow! Fellrunning is all about running off-road, often completely off the path and on steep terrain. We jump over rocks, hurtle down slopes, leap over ditches. We can’t eliminate all risk, but we take safety seriously, and expect our junior runners to do the same. We aim to develop their skills and judgment (route choice, navigation, when to go fast, when to slow down) to ensure they develop into competent, independent fellrunners as they get older. Our philosophy is that juniors need to face challenges and difficulties, and benefit from learning how to overcome them, and we don’t wrap anyone in cotton wool. Fellrunning is a great way to explore new areas, learn about the environment and history, and we believe in minimising our environmental impact.
Junior Races and Championships
There are a large number of local junior races throughout the year, including:
Junior races at the Tuesday evening Series which runs from April to June at various locations around Conwy and Gwynedd
North Wales Junior Mountain Running Championships on the Great Orme every September.
Many races are listed in the WFRA calendar, you can join the WFRA for £10 and support grass roots fellracing in Wales.
Club Vests for Juniors
The club committee has agreed that all new junior members up to the age of 14 will receive a club vest free of charge.