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Live More, Run More: Celebrating Fell Running in the Dales

Fell runner

Heather Lambert credit Stephen Garnett Photography

A brand new website, Run the Dales, is shining a light on one of the most accessible and traditional sports of all – Fell Running – the original sport of the Yorkshire Dales.  

Sponsored by the Yorkshire Dales National Park and us, Run the Dales and its accompanying photographic exhibition celebrates one of oldest but most invigorating sports of the Yorkshire Dales. Over 50 fell running events are held across the region throughout the year and not only are they are a great test of endurance but they support our local economy.

Featuring the award winning photography of Stephen Garnett, along with contributions from many current and past fell racing champions, including Rob Jebb and Bill Teasdale MBE, www.runthedales.org.uk is a comprehensive ‘one stop site’ of everything you need to know about fell running, from how to get started in the sport including training tips through to finding races and progression routes.

The website’s Heritage section also uniquely brings to life the history of the sport, with engaging insights and stories about its most iconic races. Audio story contributions from former international athletes, Victoria Wilkinson, Michael Hawkins and Stephen Hawkins showcase the Three Peaks Race, Burnsall Classic and Kilnsey Crag race events, with a further audio story contribution from the well-known fell runner and two times Kilnsey Crag race winner, Ted Mason.

Supporting the launch of the website is the Run the Dales photographic exhibition which opens at the Grade I listed The Folly Museum in Settle in May, before travelling to the acclaimed Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, with a smaller version simultaneously featuring at the redeveloped Skipton Town Hall. Through the breath-taking and charismatic imagery of Stephen Garnett, this exhibition will bring to life the sport and the Yorkshire Dales like never before. The exhibition at The Folly will also incorporate a retrospective of fell running shoes ‘through the ages’ donated by the legendary fell runner Tommy Sedgewick and well-known athlete, coach and commentator, Roger Ingham along with other historic artefacts from the sport. Legends of the future also feature – the sport has grown among the under 30s over the years.

Tom Marsh at Malham Show credit Stephen Garnett Photography

Tom Marsh, a keen fell runner, aged 27 said:

“What is not to like about the Yorkshire Dales, the scenery is amazing, some of the best walking and running routes going. The best thing however are the people. The most genuine down to earth people you will ever meet, I am very proud in particular to be part of the Malhamdale community.
Other than the all of the above, perhaps the best thing (and I don’t think I’ll be alone on this) are the great selection of pubs. Pre Covid of course!”

The Run the Dales website and exhibition has been created and curated by the writer Victoria Benn, author of new book Peak Performance which chronicles the great sporting legacy of Ingleborough and the Yorkshire Dales’ Three Peaks.

A runner in 2019 Stephen Garnett Photography

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