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04/02/2012 at 15:58

So, as i'm now venturing into the world of ultra running, and trail running, and running in the hills (when I can get to them!) i'm wondering if there's any benefit to joining either the LDWA or FRA?

I'm already a member of my local running club, and I joined the Trail Running Association (although I'm not sure i'll renew my membership). I've read Feet In The Clouds and Out On Your Feet and I'm not sure I fit either of the categories! I know I like running in the hills, but there's no way i'm a fellrunner in terms of speed or descending ability, whereas with long distance walking/running - i'm just not sure how welcome runners are in the events?

Any members of either here who can give me any pointers?


04/02/2012 at 16:06
You don't need to be a member of either to take part in their events. I'm a fell runner - the good points about being in the FRA is the information you receive. But all the info is on their website anyway. The LDWA is a brilliant association and their challenge events are legendary in terms of soup and cake at checkpoints and the after-event feed!! Again, all the information is on their website. And runners are more than welcome at their challenge events if they're not - the website will tell you. The thing I love about them is the non-competitive nature of the events - the day is a really pleasant day out with like-minded people in the hills. I've made some great friends there. FRA events are obviously "races"... but you get all abilities there as well. Very friendly and encouraging and minimalist in terms of facilities. Just the way it should be!
04/02/2012 at 16:44

rocker, LDWA are fab chances to use the challenge events as training runs without time pressure and you get to practise things for ultra events such as pacing, fuelling, what you may need to carry etc but in a non competitive atmosphere...im planning on doing some in the next few months to get me used to off-road running for NDW  very cheap days out!

04/02/2012 at 17:32

Rocker - Ecoing everyone elses points really - Both of these organisations are really worth joining.  The FRA is great value for money with a years events booklet and quaterly mags with loads of info/ pics, results and useful advice in, with discounts off nav courses, etc.

The LDWA gives you money off events and the Strider booklet full of info on very well organised events.

FRA - great for racing and LDWA - for events and easy going challenges.

04/02/2012 at 20:29

Thanks all - so, basically both of them then LOL!!!

Oh well, it's only money!

04/02/2012 at 20:56
rocker where are you based? ive forgotten all thats been said on the ultra thread cant keep up lately. im Oxfordshire and there are some good LDWA around Thames valley if you are near tht area. im def going to use them as i hardly ever get to run on rough terrain and i think my legs will really take a hammering at NDW50 if i dnt get  quite a bit of udulating/rough ground to train on. at least with LDWA i will be able to take the pace easy and practise fuelling on long long runs. 26/30 miles isnt too tricky but 50 is another story
04/02/2012 at 21:34

I'm in the bit where Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk all meet - also known as a dump called Wisbech.

I've signed up for the LDWA now, FRA will have to wait as you have to print stuff and send a cheque lol. Already found a couple of possibilities locally (ish!). I have the advantage of a few weekend passes from the current Mrs. Rocker to go up to the Peak District for training. Did it last weekend, can't wait for the next one!

04/02/2012 at 21:42
you are privileedged to be allowed weekend passes to the peak district-im lucky if i get out anywhere !! Gloucester mara was a daytrip for me!!
05/02/2012 at 17:06

Did my first LDWA Challenge event in January (Stansted Stagger), really enjoyed it, awesome value for money, everyone was very friendly and welcoming of runners. Althugh you can run the events as a non-member I joined because it's only £13 for the year and it would feel rude not to!

I'm also using these events as training for venturing into the ultra world

05/02/2012 at 18:25
liz, me too!.....whats your first ultra going to be?
05/02/2012 at 18:41

Hi Loulabell

My first booked ultra is Fairlands in July  - probably a bit lightweight for some as it is 30 miles. This year is my preparation year and I am looking to do a few marathon distance or slightly longer events which is why I am taking on a few LDWA Challenges. 

I ran my first road marathon last October and although I'm pretty new to running I seem to have gravitated to the longer runs which I really, really enjoy. My long term goal is to take part in a 200km 5 day stage race that I have found in Turkey.

05/02/2012 at 21:15
So that's 3 of us all doing roughly the same thing then...although I'm definitely not signing up for a 5 day stage race in Turkey LOL
I know what you mean about feeling it would be rude not to join! I've already got a fairly full schedule up to September, so i'll look more seriously what's available later in the year, or even start planning next year.

Lou, that's the advantage of having a happily married stepson so no kids at home, and having been married over 13 years - breaks away are welcomed! LOL
05/02/2012 at 22:55

The Stansted Stagger was my first long distance off road (25 miles) and it has given me a healthy respect for how much more of a challenge it is compared to road running - but so much more enjoyable.

I need to get some training in on hills - quite hard when you live in Essex!

Rocker do you just go and run in the Peak District or have you been to an organised training event?

06/02/2012 at 01:03

If you're doing LDWA events don't treat them as races, especially in the way you finish!

A mistake I made in my first challenge event. Fiddling around taking my shoes off before entering the event HQ, the clock still ticking, and finally running into the hall in my socks, hands outstretched, as you do.  I was pretty certain I was the first back.

To be met by three very dour individuals behind a trestle table not at all impressed about my manner of entry, nor bothering about looking at their watches.  They first wanted to see what event I had done, the 32, 20, or 11.  Why ask me?  You can see my card's orange - that means the 32! STOP YOUR WATCH!!  They checked me against the entry list, looked at my card to check I had visited all the checkpoints, before one of them finally looked at his watch, saying, "Hmmm ... we'll call that ...".

I'd been leaning over their table for ages by this point, sweat dripping onto their paperwork.

I was also asking whether anyone else had come in before me.  A question they refused to answer.  A question clearly in very poor taste. "Tea and cake at the hatch".  Tea?  Cake??!  I'm used to a bottle of water thrust into my hand and a goody bag.  Not cups and saucers, slices of angel cake, and polite conversation.  Man, I haven't even cooled down yet.

I've learned a lot.   Now I'm fairly nonchalant when I finish an event, even if I know I've come in "first".  Position is not relevant (although I'm secretly pleased if I've managed to do well).

By all means sprint to the finish, but act casual as you enter the HQ.

06/02/2012 at 08:15

LMAO at T Rex!!! How to win friends and influence people LOL!!!

Liz - I just go up for the weekend, I know the area pretty well as I've been walking and camping there for years (and i'm fairly handy with a map). Found a lovely B&B to stop at....nice long run on Saturday, pub meal in the evening, shorter run on Sunday then head home...

06/02/2012 at 08:21

Would agree with Trex based on my one experience, LDWA events are about the 'taking part' but then there wasn't a snowballs chance in hell of me coming in first anyway

I'm viewing them as supported long training runs in places I wouldn't normally run.

Mind you I think more races should give you tea and swiss roll at the end instead of a bottle of water!

06/02/2012 at 08:34
Rocker666: If you want any company on your adventures into the peak District let me know, as I live within easy striking distance and head out there myself from time to time. There is a great Fell run starting from Langsett Barn car park I do a few times a year c14.3 miles with 1900ft of climb.

Liz Cooper: There are 20 or so routes published on the website at the end of this link to pick from should you take a trip to the Peak District http://peaktrailrunner.freehostia.com/mambo/ or if you wanted to speak to those in the know the chaps and chapesses from Dark Peak Fell Runners are probably the accepted experts http://www.dpfr.org.uk/
08/02/2012 at 09:15

As well as the organised Challenge walks the LDWA has lots of 'Anytime' Challenge walks, where you can get the route description from the recorder and do it in your own time.  We spent a happy week in the Peak District doing 6 or 7 of these walks (runs).  As a long standing member of the LDWA, and an event organiser, I would strongly recommend them for a fun day out with no pressure.  My cakes are also legendary!!

But T Rex is correct when he says that we don't take kindly to show-boating runners at the finish - cool and relaxed is the way to go

03/03/2012 at 16:23
old4speed..i will remember your words when i do a LDWA ...and if i happen to be at the same one as T-REX, i will hold the back of his top to slow him down on entry ro the HQ
04/03/2012 at 22:44

I'll be up for that.  Thanks!

The event I do is "Where Ravens Dare" (Torfaen), usually first Sat in Oct, now reduced to only about 27 miles.

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