Fell run­ning club says GPS guides should get lost

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Daily Tele­graph Re­porter

A FELL-RUN­NING club has banned GPS de­vices amid com­plaints that the tech­nol­ogy is re­mov­ing the skill from the sport.

Am­ble­side Ath­letic Club was formed in 1983 by a group of fell run­ners who were keen to race over the Lake Dis­trict’s moun­tains us­ing sur­vival skills, as well as maps and com­passes, to traverse each unique moun­tain route.

How­ever, Am­ble­side AC has banned all GPS de­vices be­cause they are now so ac­cu­rate that run­ners can sprint with­out stopping to nav­i­gate on even the most com­pli­cated routes.

The club, which or­gan­ises the Fair­field Horse­shoe, Great Lakes and Three Shires races, said that the qual­ity of Gps-en­abled de­vices had im­proved to such an ex­tent “it is now pos­si­ble to nav­i­gate a route ‘on sight’ with­out ever de­vi­at­ing more than a few me­tres and, cru­cially, with­out any abil­ity to read a map or com­pass”.

“Am­ble­side AC be­lieve that the abil­ity to nav­i­gate us­ing a map and com­pass is a cen­tral part of the sport of fell run­ning,” it said.

“This ap­plies to all de­vices in­clud­ing hand-held GPS de­vices, GPS watches and mo­bile phones.”

Ben Ab­del­noor, the club chair­man, stressed the decision had been made only to ban de­vices be­ing used for nav­i­ga­tion. Run­ners will still be able to carry them for log­ging their own runs, just not for di­rec­tional as­sis­tance.

He also said it had been made with the back­ing of the Fell Run­ning As­so­ci­a­tion, other or­gan­is­ers and key fig­ures in­clud­ing cel­e­brated fell run­ner Joss Naylor. Mr Ab­del­noor said: “Fell run­ning is, and al­ways has been, about run­ning on the fells and us­ing your moun­tain craft skills.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.