It's looking like a LERC team for the relays is unlikely in 2018 but hopefully this thread might serve to generate some interest and forward planning to compete in 2019.
One thing to bear in mind and mentioned in this year's information about the relays is the level of skill required for the event. This year at Grasmere the routes are all true mountain terrain with very steep ascents and descents, rocky paths and some off-piste lines contrasting with other years where conditions are less demanding underfoot and navigation-wise.
Runners are expected to have completed 2 recent A category races and be competent in the rigours of all weather fell running and the team captain has to be confident in the abilities of those that take part. In this year's info there is a note about time expectations for the running of the legs. It doesn't actually say slow runners shouldn't take part (but some might construe what is mentioned as being elite but the truth probably lies closest to pragmatic considerations) but the organisers have a duty of care to the marshalls (in addition to the runners) on the hill checkpoints that will be out in all conditions for many (possibly up to 7 or more ) hours. There is a time limit for leg 3 navigation pairs and below this time leg 4 runners tag and complete the relay in real time; after this time all leg 4 runners are then sent off on a mass start and so potentially a team's leg 4 runner is on the course while their team mates on leg 3 are also still running and team times are then calculated on cumulative leg 3 and 4 times. The winning teams are back in extraordinary times and even with presentations late in the day, in 2011 it was moved back twice because teams were still out on the course long after the winner's race had finished. This is all generally taken in good humour and spirits on the day but if it occurred in very poor weather conditions and in the event of a team being out on the fells for a long time posing a risk to themselves and others and if it was found to be as a result of lack of ability and skills, this could reflect badly on a club and a dim view might be taken of this by the championships organisers. But things go wrong for even the best prepared - in 2009 at Ennerdale and in poor conditions, the first 3 finishing teams of some of the best fell runners around were all disqualified along with many other teams, including a LERC team, because controls couldn't be found on a tough course in wild weather.
These comments aren't meant to put a LERC team off but merely to set out requirements and galvanise interest and to make preparations for taking part in the fell relays in 2019. A year to prepare starts now by a show of who within the club might want to take part next year to see if it's feasible to get teams for the men, women or a mixed team and then set out a proper plan in place and to be in the best position to enter the relays next year.
Please could you register an interest for the 2019 relays (not on Facebook but here and please direct any interested others to this page) by posting in this thread.
Yours in sport, Dicky Wilkinson