What is a hill

Out of interest, what does everyone count as a hill? What gradient and indeed length of said gradient? I know when I was in the C25K programme that some pavements which had previously appeared to be relatively flat felt like hills :) and there are now some sections of roads which I had previously considered to be climbing up which I don't really notice nowadays :)

11 Replies

  • If it goes uphill it's a hill! Some are long. Some are steep. All are hills.

    Not that I have issues with hills you understand! :-)

  • In my book, even a speed bump counts as a hill... ;-)

  • There are two possible answers to this:

    1) All hills are just a figment of your imagination - or -

    2) All hills are downhill (you just need to occasionally run them in the wrong direction)

    Seriously though, what merits being called an "upwardly inclined slope of note" depends on what you are used to. I live in a moderately lumpy area of the country. Most of my runs will record some elevation increase in the stats. Today's, for example was 136m of elevation gain. Because of that, my classification system has probably been desensitised.

    I regard my local parkrun as "frying pan flat" because it only has 30m of elevation gain. Some people class it as a hilly. I classed Hampstead Heath parkrun as "undulating" with 76m gain when I ran it. In my opinion, it has several bumps in it, but no real hills. Yet I'm told that Hampstead Heath is the hilliest parkrun in London (I can't confirm that - just what the organiser told me).

    My definition of an upwardly inclined slope is one where I have to dig deep to maintain my pace. My definition of a hill is a slope on which I did dig deep but I still couldn't maintain my pace.

  • I'm surprised this has to be asked RS! lol

    A hill is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain. It often has a distinct summit, although in areas with scarp/dip topography a hill may refer to a particular section of flat terrain without a massive summit (e.g. Box Hill, Surrey).

  • What about - The Englishman Who Went up a Hill but Came down a Mountain.??

  • Terrible film!!

  • Hills make us faster and better and at times it feels like they are there to kill us :)

    Happy hill running!!!

  • I have a hill: 19 metres of it. It kills me.

  • Didn't Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water? Therefore a hill would be downhill, right?

  • I'd like to know how you work out the gradient of a hill. There's a beast near me (well, I live in Derbyshire so it's full of the wretched things) and I know that Garmin can tell me the elevation and the distance I ran, but I have no clue how to work out how steep the rotter is. I'm not quite sure why it matters either, but for some reason it does.

    The good news is, though, that I recently went back to where I started C25K and the North face of the Eiger turned out to be a very small incline indeed :)

  • When I download my TomTom watch, it gives me a graph shoving the exact height for every inches of my run. My hill is from the beach to the road up then the second sand dune and is a total of 19 metres. It feels like climbing the Mont Blanc.

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