Welcome to the junior section of NIMRA. Here you will find  information for juniors who are interested in mountain running and information for their parents.

Mountain running, also known as ‘hill running’ or ‘fell running’ is a sport which keeps growing every year. It caters for every type of runner from fun runner to dedicated international athletes. Races can vary from 3 km to 128 km and are run over a variety of terrains from forest tracks to rough open mountain-sides but all include a large element of climbing. Most races, but not all, involve running up and down. Improvement and confidence comes from experience and training. Hazards include slips, trips and falls on the rough terrain with potential steep sections, rocks, tufts of vegetation and holes. Junior courses are selected to minimise these risks.

The season generally runs from March to September with local, national and international races to compete in.

Juniors races are generally shorter and less exposed than senior races so similar kit to XC races would be adequate. Shoes should have a good grip and it would be worthwhile investing a dedicated pair of ‘fell’ running shoes. You should also bring a lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers, a compass, map of the course and whistle in case the race requires some safety kit. This won’t usually be a requirement for most junior races but always bring to races in case it is required. A bumbag or similar to carry these items in would also be useful.  

Races for juniors are limited for distance depending on age, in order to protect younger athletes developing bodies. UK Athletics has specified the maximum length of course that juniors can race.

U13 – 3km

U14 – 5km

U16 – 7km

U18 – 10km 

Additionally race organisers may impose more restrictive age limits depending on the nature of the race.

Senior races are split into the following categories:

Short – 10km or less, over 16’s may participate if course director allows.

Medium – over 10km but les than 20km. Juniors not allowed to enter.

Long – over 20km in length. Juniors are not allowed to enter.

Current races for 2022

Juniors are allowed to participate in the following races. Please see notes for individual races for age restrictions. ‘C’ denotes a NIMRA Junior Championship race, details below.

RaceAgeDateOrganisersDistance / climbGeneral Information
Trial Race on Slieve CroobU18 (born in 2005 or 2006)2nd April 2022NIMRA
2.9 km / 163 metres
Short race from close to carpark to summit and back down.
U18 International
Saluzzo, Italy
U18 (born in 2005 or 2006)24th-26th June 2022WMRATBCTBC
British & Irish Champs Trials U17 – born 2006, 2007.
U20 – born 2003, 2004, 2005.
Mid summerNIMRA
British & Irish Champs – AmblesideU17 – born 2006, 2007.
U20 – born 2003, 2004, 2005.
3rd Sept, 2022England AthleticsTBCU17 and U20 Squads

League Series and Championships

Juniors have access to Newcastle AC (NAC) Hill and Dale Series and the NIMRA Junior Championship. 

NAC Hill and Dale series takes place over 10 races. Anyone over the age of 16 can enter all the races and compete for the U18 title. However within the series are 4 junior races for 14 -15 year olds with the overall winner gaining the U16 title. These races run alongside the senior races and give a great insight into the skill of mountain running. Please see NAC’s website for more information

NIMRA Championship

Some of the shorter races are open to athletes born in 2005 or earlier – check out the online entries on the NIMRA website

International Races

U18 International

Any athlete wishing to be selected, but who cannot attend the trial, should contact Phil Hodge by Saturday 2nd April, providing a reason for missing the trial and a selection of results for the last 12 months that they wish to be used in consideration.

It is advisable to include Mountain/Fell or trail races where possible, but times and results from XC, road, Endurance Track events and Orienteering may also be submitted.

Any questions can be directed to Phil Hodge, Junior Development Officer –