1. You can’t EVER remember having a full set of clean, normal looking, non-fungal infected toenails (many thanks to Gavin Mulholland for the photo).
2. You’re the first to complain about a badly poured pint, but when needs must, you wouldn’t think twice about drinking from a stream, with a floating sheep carcass bobbing around only a few yards away.
3. Being able to distinguish how late you’ve arrived to a race, judging by the lack of toilet roll and level of aroma emanating from the Portaloos.
5. You think that any race costing more than £3 to enter is a ‘bloody rip off’. You air your views all over social media about having to re-mortgage and proclaim ‘it wasn’t this expensive back in the day’.
6. Your navigation plan consists of following anyone wearing a local vest*.
*With the exception of Steve Smithies (CVFR) and Tom Addison (Helm Hill) – you have all been warned!
Photo courtesy of Steve Frith
7. You’ve visited more service stations than a long distance lorry driver. So much so that you could list your top 10 based on the following criteria;
a) The quality and cleanliness of the toilets.
b) The standard and price of the coffee shop/s.
c) Cash machines offering ‘free withdrawals’.
d) The choice of post-race food (extra marks for a Greggs, KFC or somewhere with a meal deal)
e) The price of bottled water. Anything over a quid is simply offensive.
8. You have more Pete Bland vouchers than actual money. Post-Brexit, they’re now considered legal tender.
9. You’ve owned/handled millions of safety pins in your career. Yet when it comes to race day you can’t find a single one. They’re completely hidden in some parallel universe with all of your teaspoons and odd socks.
10. Anything with less than 1000ft of climbing is considered ‘flat’.
11. You’ve just climbed some of the most iconic peaks in the UK and someone asks you after the race what the views were like from the top. All you can remember is the sight of someone’s backside* for the entire duration of the climb.
*I could easily pick Simon Bailey’s bum cheeks out of a 1000 people in a police line up.
12. You will never EVER declare yourself fully fit before a race*. You have a list of excuses as long as your arm, consisting of all your injuries, niggles and ailments.
*Before proceeding to defy the laws of nature by going on to completely smash your PB and beating all the people you told about being injured/ill prior to the start.
13. Your car boot is littered with fell shoes and post-race kit, resulting in a fragrant scent that Dior would describe as stale cat piss, with a subtle hint of rotting corpse.
14. You’ve urinated against more trees than a Jack Russell and had more open-air dumps than Bear Grylls.
15. You consider age to be irrelevant. Beating someone who’s more than three decades older than you is just as satisfying as beating someone in your age category, regardless of gender*.
*90% of fell runners have been ‘Dodded’ at some point in their career and if you haven’t yet, then it’s only a matter of time.
16. Your top 3 greatest pleasures in life consist of;
a) Poring over a freshly printed map (despite 50% of us shamefully not knowing how to read one)
b) Wearing a new pair of fell shoes for the first time.
c) Destroying your fell running ‘nemesis’ in a race.
17. You realise that your best ever 10K minute mile pace and Parkrun PB mean absolutely nothing in fell races.
18. You accept the fact that it’s OK to go to bed without washing after a really, REALLY hard day on the fells #justsaying
19. Your ‘race nutrition’ is a flapjack wrapped up in your hanky. Ben Heathcote, Northumberland Fell Runners
20. You’ll do anything for a FREE t-shirt! Judy Howells, Wharfedale Harriers
21. You ‘shart’ mid-stride and don’t bat an eyelid. Just me then? James Williamson, Clayton Le Moors
22. You keep buying kit you don’t need … of course depends who’s asking, then you always need it!! Si Caton, Manchester Harriers
23. You know you have a race map somewhere and are determined to find it rather than pay £4 for another! Judy Howells, Wharfedale Harriers
24. You have experienced first hand falling and banging your noggin on sharp jagged rocks, bleeding to near death, but dusting yourself off wrapping a buff around your wounds and worrying more about the fact you forgot to pause your GPS watch. Damien Briscoe (A.K.A The Penistone Pantani) Calder Valley Fell Runners
25. You see a hill and “normal people” are calling it a mountain. Shaun Burgess
26. You ‘fell’ but still carried on running! Ross Hay
27. That ginger bloke is stood in all the difficult places on a course, just making sure you don’t quit 😉 Chris Barnes, Ribble Valley Harriers
28. You have a line of dried mud around your ankles and your co-worker asks if you have a tan line…. Fiona @Turtleslow16
29. When you include a hat fer a kit check and it stays in your bumbag. Buff can go on yer head, on yer wrist, round yer neck and is great as an emergency bandage. Pete Hill, Horwich
30. You’ve bashed your knees at a race, can’t kneel down and therefore haven’t cleaned the mud off your feet properly. This irritates your girlfriend so much that she does it for you. Pat Wardle, Skipton AC/Horsforth Fellandale
31. You know you’re a fell runner when you’ve most of Inov-8’s back catalogue in your shoe stash. Kris Lee, Radcliffe AC
32. You know you’re a fell runner when having a pre-race wee between two open passenger car doors is considered private. Carolyn Shimwell, Calder Valley Fell Runners
33. You finish the Ben Nevis race, and moan about the hills on the road. Eugene McCann, Newcastle AC
34. You know that moss is definitely nature’s finest loo roll. Wayne McIntosh, Clayton Le Moors
35. You’re telling your date that “do you know I actually run up mountains” and asking her to feel your quads to try to impress her. But all she is interested in is the next glass of wine. Phil Moyles
36. When Joss Naylor is your hero, you hope he’s alive when you turn 50 so he’ll shake your hand, and you vow to put right anyone who claims not to know who he is. Paul Haigh, Calder Valley Fell Runners
37. When you do the 3 Peaks in just over 4 hours and your friends look at you in amazement and think you’re bonkers. But secretly deep down you’re gutted that you didn’t do it faster and vow to get your revenge the following year. Paul Haigh, Calder Valley Fell Runners
38. When 100m is too much tarmac. @Cooperjacobs
39. You will never ever admit to being lost. @Cooperjacobs
40. Rolling your ankle doesn’t mean breaking your stride. @Cooperjacobs
41. You know what ‘Fishwicking‘ is and have done it. @Cooperjacobs
42. You consider pork pies as sports nutrition. @Cooperjacobs
43. Bad weather is an excuse to stay out longer testing the limits of your kit. @Cooperjacobs
44. You get mad at the inov-8 ad “Mud washes off. Failure doesn’t”, cos you’ve washed your CVFR top a million times and the mud stains from Heptonstall are still there. In fact the mud stains are a badge of honour. And guess what? I’ve done a fell race so how have I failed. Ever? Paul Haigh, Calder Valley Fell Runners
45. Your bumbag with FRA kit is in the back of the car always ready to go! Clark Hind, Holmfirth Harriers
46. When you read “Barlick Fell Runners” each time you put your vest on for a road race…yep I’m one of Barlick’s ‘non Fell Running’ fell runners. Dan Balshaw, Barlick Fell Runners
47. You get a gob full of bog water and think nowt of it. Steven Pepper, Glossopdale Harriers
48. When it’s raining outside and all you can think YES! it’s going to be an ace muddy run. Luke Meleschko, Halifax Harriers
49. You run through freshly delivered cow s**t which splashes half way up your leg. You think nothing of it and carrying on running like it’s normal. Luke Meleschko, Halifax Harriers
50. When you have had to go to work in backless slippers for a week due to full thickness heel blisters. Nick Alan Hart
51. When your cat sits in your kit bag so you’ll know to feed him before you run off into the hills. Steve Jones, Keswick AC
52. When your cat lives in an inov-8 shoe box. Steve Jones, Keswick AC
53. When the post-race meal of pie, peas and gravy is considered the finest cuisine in your eyes! Steven Bark
54. When the wrong choice of shoe does this to your feet, but you carry on regardless to beat your team mate. Stephen Firth, Bingley Harriers
55. You silently congratulate yourself on taking a really good grassy ‘line’….. then remember that you’re actually just out for a stroll with your mum/school group/dog. Ali Richards
56. When tha nos difference between a hat and a buff …..rule 8 innit (Paul Haigh) Pete Hill, Horwich
57. When….you learn to put your brain in your pockets downhill….LET GO!!!! Fed Gibbons
58. When queueing for a stile and someone overtaking the queue makes your blood boil! Anna Aspinall, Goyt Valley Striders
59. When your hat, buff, vest, gloves, shorts and even watch and legs!!! are in your team colours Calvin Ferguson Paul Haigh, Calder Valley Fell Runners
60. When you take the straight course through the wettest, boggiest bit and curse everyone running faster around it are wimps. Mark Williams
61. When you recognise the onset of hypothermia is a sign to run faster. Mark Williams
62. When you read 599 blogs about the 3 Peaks. Chris Barnes, Ribble Valley Harriers
63. You know you is a fell runner when yer get a piccie of yer mug int’ fellrunner mag. Pete Hill, Horwich
64. When you stalk other runners on Strava to download GPX files for Champs’ races. Phil Winskill, Keswick AC
65. When you abuse printing facilities at work to provide every runner in your club with a map of an up and coming champs race. Phil Winskill, Keswick AC
66. When you’re mates with Darren Fishwick. Phil Winskill, Keswick AC
67. When Darren Fishwick asks where you are to others on the startline. Phil Winskill, Keswick AC
68. When you run straight through bogs instead of prodding them lightly by placing your forefoot on the bits that look firm to see if there’s any give. Damien Briscoe, Calder Valley Fell Runners
69. When your Strava runs are frequently titled “sheep/lamb rescue”. Carolyn Shimwell, Calder Valley Fell Runners
70. When you feel strangely aroused by a trig. Damien Briscoe, Calder Valley Fell Runners
71. You have enough Pete Bland race numbers to wallpaper your entire house from top to bottom. Rosie
72. When your “emergency food” went out of date 4 years ago. Wayne McIntosh, Clayton Le Moors
73. When you drive down the A66 without even looking at the road once. James Williamson, Clayton Le Moors
74. When you nip out for milk and come back 2 hours later covered in sheep turd without any milk. James Williamson, Clayton Le Moors
75. When you have more shoes than your wife! Adam Wallwork, Trawden AC
76. When you encourage your wife to keep an eye on the tracker you wear! Andrew Britton Rachel Britton
77. When even the sheep know you by your first name and most of them laugh at the fact you spend more time up on the hills than they do. David Anthony Davidson
78. When you always take the office stairs to get in some extra climb between meetings. Andrew Britton, Idle AC
79. When you have a big toenail that would rival Gavin Mulholland’s! Paul Scarisbrick
80. Mid-bonk, you’ll drop to your knees & frantically claw in a boggy puddle for a dropped jelly baby. Neil ‘Braveshorts’ Wallace
81. When u have to retrieve 30% of your shorts from up your bum after every descent. @TheOldMongoose
82. When the only flat thing in your life is your flat cap. Andrew Falkingbridge, Stainland Lions
83. When you go on a 9 day holiday to run in various locations around Europe. Daniel Green
84. When ‘a bit of clag’ is considered a favourable weather condition. Chris Usher
85. You’ve got a big pile of inov-8’s in various states of disrepair outside your door. RuslandSherperdess
86. You look forward to your significant birthdays so you can move up into the next vet cat, whilst forgetting your rivals are also getting older (but unfortunately not slower) at the same rate. Helen Elmore
87. When you are checking out the FRA website for racers and results whilst you should be working at your computer. Simon Taylor, Darwen Dashers
88. When the cleanest bit of kit you own are the waterproof pants in your bum bag – that have NEVER been worn. Colin Woolford
89. When you got seriously wound up that Nicky Spinks wasn’t even considered to win Sports Personality of the Year 2016. Danny Richardson
90. When the disappointment that the AL you trained for is actually a BM – hurts more than the actual run. Colin Woolford
91. When you force yourself to run past the photographer on the stupidly steep section. Simon Bayliss
92. When you look at your muddy black toenails and feel proud rather than disgusted. Charlotte Akam, Cumberland Fell Runners
93. When you moan about road running. Matthew Lawlor, Barlick Fell Runners
94. When the compass you got in year dot for Xmas has never been used. Nick Gaskell, Trawden AC
95. When you enter competitions to win stuff; because you’re too tight to buy it. Andrew Graham
96. When you call your dog ‘Fly’. Adrian Leigh
97. When your flailing snot on a descent can take out the runner behind. Martin Jones
98. When your essential race kit includes tupperware for the cake stall. James Edwards
99. When you want to save for a mortgage but you see a good deal on what will be your 15th pair of X-Talons or Mudclaws this year. Calvin Ferguson, Calder Valley Fell Runners/Darwen Dashers
100. When you have a photo of Darren Kay’s legs as your phone screensaver. Mark Burton, Pennine Fell Runners (But wishes he was Calder Valley)
101. When you’re on Facebook in your soaked Y-fronts trying to win a free T-shirt. Mark Burton, Pennine Fell Runners
102. You’re a road runner but try a fell run saying never again I HATE MUD”! Couple of years down the line you sack the road for fell due to loving the MUD and all the lovely people I have met and become friends with along the way. Diane ‘Maccers’ Macdonald, Keighley & Craven
103. When the only presents you ever ask for again are inov-8. David Cooper, Pudsey Pacers
104. You try & convince the Mrs that she should consider giving birth to your impending child in Fort William hospital so you can still run the Ben Nevis race. James Williamson, Clayton Le Moors
105. When you get aroused by your male teammates showering together after a race. Helen Buchan, Calder Valley Fell Runners
106. When u r forced 2 look at your team mate’s gollum feet, who then chases u around on said gollum feet! Helen Buchan, Calder Valley Fell Runners
107.When all this corporate **** **** that’s trying to worm it’s way in to fell running annoys you more than Corbyn V May. Now take your online entries and your inflatable finish lines and **** *** Chris Barnes, Ribble Valley Harriers
108. When Chris Barnes chases after you with a vest after meeting his “qualifying standard”. Bryan Searby, ‘future’ Ribble Valley Harrier?
109. When you choose to race in only a vest and it’s minus 10°C outside, it’s snowing and the wind is blowing at 100mph. Paul Haigh, Calder Valley Fell Runners
110. When you attempt your first dangerous downhill descent, your life flashes before your eyes and you realise how boring your life was before you were introduced to fell running. Steve Woods, South Leeds Lakers
111. When you recognise types of fell shoes just by their studmarks. Gavin Mulholland, Calder Valley Fell Runners
112. When you collect enough safety pins to organise your own fell race. Gavin Mulholland, Calder Valley Fell Runners
113. When beer is your recovery drink. Chris Jackson, Glossopdale Harriers
114. You have 4 different OS maps cut and stuck to make one big Bob Graham map on your living room wall, while surrounded by your pacing notes and a list of your actual times. All above 3 x pairs of inov-8 trainers you wore on various legs while completing said BG. Andrew Britton, Idle AC
115. When spending a night in the Priest’s hole is fun. James Williamson, Clayton Le Moors
116. When finding the best lines doesn’t involve cocaine. Matthew Lalor, Barlick Fell Runners
117. When you contemplate growing a beard and adding checked shirts to your wardrobe. Kris Lee, Radcliffe AC
118. When your mates ask you if you fancy doing Manchester 10k or a Tough Mudder and you look at them in utter disgust! Carolyn Shimwell, Calder Valley Fell Runners
119. When a car door is perfectly good cover for stripping off your freezing soggy kit. Zoe Barton, Glossopdale Harriers
120. When you try to convince your parents they want a short break in Llanberis in October, so that they can babysit during the FRA relays. Zoe Barton, Glossopdale Harriers
121. When you secretly check the date for next year’s race less than 30 days after firmly telling yourself and everyone around you unequivocally and without a single doubt that you will absolutely never ever under any circumstances put yourself through that again. Adam Oliver, Helm Hill
122. When you get upset after realising that the lovely bum you’ve been following for the past hour actually belongs to a bearded man. Jacob Daniel Tonkin, Keswick AC
123. When you have the legs of a warrior and the upper body of a chicken. Pete Nicholson, Asics Front Runner
124. When all that concerns you is where when and how far is the next race! Bill Beckett, Chorley AC
125. When you don’t mind being ‘man handled’ over a stile. Rachel Lowther, Barlick Fell Runners
126. When your partner suggests getting an early night and you think she’s just being considerate because you’ve got a long run tomorrow. Tom Thomas, Saddleworth Fell Runners
127. When the mid-race downpour at Weets champs race doubles up as your post race shower. John Millen
128. When a breath of fresh air turns in a marathon and imminent divorce as you keep adding on hill reps just to get that extra edge. Paul Haigh, Calder Valley Fell Runners
129. When you spend more time running through mud than running a bath. Andy Smith, Stainland Lions
130. When you walk the uphills in cross country and overtake people running. Arthur Raffle, Altrincham AC
131. You nickname your particularly dodgy toenail your ‘X-rated Talon’. Tamsin Cooke, Calder Valley Fell Runners
132. On a summer run, you seriously consider jumping from cowpat to cowpat cos the ground’s too hard! Tamsin Cooke, Calder Valley Fell Runners
133. You travel 40 miles just to run 4 miles an your run doesn’t end till you get to the pub for a cold beer and 5 packs of crisps. Alun Wood, Mynydd Du
134. You are pleased to win an electrical crimping kit and 1/2 a bunch of bananas (Blackstone Edge Fell Race) James Williams, Calder Valley Fell Runners
Congratulations to Tamsin Cooke (entry 131)!
You know you’re a fell runner when…you nickname your particularly dodgy toenail your ‘X-rated Talon’.
How to ENTER into the free inov-8 competition:
- Simply complete this phrase – ‘You know you’re a fell runner when…’ and submit your entry to me via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #GetAGrip (include your name and running club – if applicable).
- LIKE and SHARE this blog on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
- You may submit as many entries as you wish.
- The best (funniest!) entries will be posted on this blog (with credit to you)
- Entry into the competition closes on Wednesday 14th June 2017
- Entries will be judged by the inov-8 team and the winner will receive a free inov-8 tee in their choice of size and colour.