Information for Junior Runners and their Parents/Guardians
As a serious running club, we encourage local youngsters to take up running as we believe that their participation in the sport helps with both their mental and physical development. Running is a mixed ability sport and children deveop at different rates and your child will be allowed to develop at their own rate. However, what we do ask in return is that your child takes their training seriously and that they take part in races. They will learn to socialise with their friends in the club, they will learn to work as a team for team races and they will learn that although they get support from their coaches, parents and friends, in running, you also have to draw upon your inner strengths to succeed. What great skills these are to take forward into life.
We hold regular training sessions on a Monday night and details can be found on the training pages of the junior web site. These session are structured with qualified coaches who have all been CRB checked. Whilst we want our juniors to do well, it is important they are not overstretched, particularly in their early years.
All sport is about competition and once that their coach has assessed their ability, we would like our Juniors to take part in races and to represent their club. Having a race to look forward to helps to focus training and it gives them an opportunity to run against juniors from other clubs of similar ages and ability. In addition, many fell races are run in conjunction with local shows, fetes or galas and their participation in a race can be combined with an enjoyable fun day out in the country for all the family.
We want our Junior Members to enter races once their coach has assessed their ability to compete in such events.
Race entries are generally no more than £2 or £3 and Junior Members will need to run in a Club Vest and appropriate footwear for the type of terrain.
Types of Races
The types of Races we would encourage our Junior Members to enter are Fell Races, Cross Country and Park Runs.
Fell Racing (also known as Hill or Mountain Racing) is the sport of racing, off road, over upland country where the gradient climbed is a significant component of the difficulty.
For the younger age groups the race terrain is usually over grass or defined tracks, with minimal uphill climb and descent. More often than not these are ‘out and back’ courses or a single loop. For older groups this may be similar but typically with rougher terrain, longer uphill climbs and steeper descents.
A typical example of age groups and distances for Junior fell races would be:
|Under 8 (Boys & Girls)||1 km distance with 15 mtrs climb|
|Under 10 (Boys & Girls)||1.9 km distance with 70 mtrs climb|
|Under 12 (Boys & Girls)||2.1 km distance with 110 mtrs climb|
|Under 14 (Boys & Girls)||2.7 km distance with 150 mtrs climb|
|Under 16 Girls||3.8 km distance with 220 mts climb|
|Under 16 Boys||5 km with 281 mtrs climb|
As with our Senior Runners, Junior Members are likely to enter events organised under the rules set out by the Fell Runners Association (FRA) or the British Open Fell Runners Association (BOFRA).
FRA and BOFRA, as governing bodies, apply sensible guidelines to ensure juniors are not competing in a race above and beyond what would be expected from a child of their age. Additionally measures are in place to ensure a child’s safety and welfare considerations are fully met.
The FRA was formed in 1970 to cater for the needs of fell runners. It has over 6,000 individual members from around 300 athletic clubs. The Association (which is affiliated to UK Athletics) was the first and is still the biggest athletics body which looks after fell runners' interests.
Take a look at the FRA website www.fellrunner.org It lists around 178 junior and 550 senior races affiliated to the association and is an excellent port of call for race related information.
The FRA organise a Junior Fell Running Championship, which consists of 6 top quality races throughout the year. The individual championship is open to all FRA members – if you complete 4 races you get a free T-shirt. Complete all 6 and you get a hoodie. None members can still compete in these races but they will not be included in the championship. Junior FRA membership is £8 per year.
BOFRA looks after a smaller number of races and like the FRA has a Junior Championship. For example, the 2015 BOFRA championship comprised of 15 junior races and 16 senior races. Please visit their website, www.bofra.org.uk for more details.
Cross country is the ultimate team sport in running. The runners are awarded point based on their finishing position. So, if a runner finishes the race in first place, he is awarded one point. The second one to finish is awarded two points and so on. The points for the first three runners from each cub to finish are added together and the club with the lowest number of points is the winner. At this point, you might be forgiven for thinking that only the first three runners matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. If other members of the team can beat a runner from the opposing club, then they are adding to the points of that opposing club and enhancing our chances of securing a victory. So, in cross country races, all runners matter and all contribute to the victory.
The club participates in the Mid Lancs Cross Country League. It is an Association of Athletics Clubs in the North West of England, set up to provide competition in Cross Country and Track & Field for athletes from the region. Please visit www.midlancs.org.uk, for more details.
All members of the club participate in this league, both senior men, senior women and juniors.
There are six Cross Country fixtures held at different venues each season from October to March.
Each fixture has a full programme for Junior Members:
|Under 11 (Boys & Girls)||2km distance|
|Under 13 Girls||2.5km distance|
Under 15 Girls & Under 13 Boys
|Under 15 Boys & Under 17 Girls||4km distance|
Parkrun is a series of 5k runs held on Saturday mornings in areas of open space around the UK. They are open to all and free and easy to take part in.
Parkruns closest to Barnoldswick are Aireville Park, Skipton, Alkincoates Park, Colne and Towneley Park, Burnley.
Check out their website for further information www.parkrun.org.uk.