The Axe

Right, here we go then. Apologies if this all gets a bit deep and meaningful. What do you write about winning a race you've dreamed of winning since you started running?

The first time I finished the Fellsman was in 2008. It took over 18 hours. I'd retired the year before - my only memory of that is four of us sitting around a Camping Gaz lantern in a stinking wet tent and whining pathetically as we tried to get warm, then eventually being taken to the finish in a Land Rover. My first completion was with Wil Spain in completely different weather and was more successful, but still felt pretty tough. It broke me for weeks and was the hardest thing I'd done.

After finishing in the middle of the night we slept in a little tent in the car park till about lunchtime, then nearly pulled it down when we tried to stand up and get out.

2008 was actually a notable year in Fellsman history, being the last time that Mark Hartell won. That year I did the race as part of the "Grand S…

The BIG Running Weekend

Last weekend was a busy one - there was training to do, litterpicking, running with poles, running without poles, talking to people at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, watching films, watching people ride bikes down hills, watching people ride bikes up hills, and talking about rubbish, introducing other people to talk about other things, some cycling, and more litterpicking!

In a world first (for me), I'm going to try a two-part blog: Part of it will be on this blog, and part will be over on the Runners Against Rubbish blog. It may or may not work so bear with me, but it's a good way to fit everything in! Here we'll focus on the BIG Running Weekend, whereas over there it's all about ShAFF.

So, here goes... BIG Running Weekend. What a fantastic event. Accelerate are so much more than a running shop - there's Accelerate Trail Runners, WoodRun, Running Past 50, Accelerate Events, and some others I've forgotten. Once a year they all come together for a weeken…

Winter BG: Take two

After last year's attempt, it seemed inevitable that I would have another go at a winter BG. I'd rectify all the mistakes I made last year: I'd take a spare torch rather than just more batteries, I'd do some recceing to make sure I knew the way, and I'd wait for the weather to be good. Yeah?

Well at least I did the spare torch one.

The weather looked a bit grim, and I definitely hadn't recced other than supporting the Dark Peak attempt in the summer, but this time I wouldn't be alone... I'd recruited the ridiculously young and ridiculously speedy Tom Saville to join me.

After lots of thinking, planning, shopping, and having taken a couple of days off work, we debated calling it off any doing something else, but on Thursday morning we finally decided to go and have a look. We'd call it a recce and see how far we got... Besides, we had far too much food not to go.

We were to be generously accomodated by Tom Partington and arrived just in time to dump …

Not a review of the year

Apparently last year I wrote a long rambling "review of the year" type thing... I'm a bit disappointed in myself for doing that, so massive soz to any of you who may have read it. I feel I should close the year with some sort of blog though, so I am going to write something. It's called "Lots of hills and no hills at all", and it's about two bits of running I did recently.

Before I start, I would like to point out a couple of blogs vastly more worthy of your time. The first is Runners against Rubbish, a wonderful little charity aiming to... OK it's me again. But the posts are shorter.

The second is a genuine recommendation - Callum Rowlinson. I don't really know Callum, I beat him once and he has subsequently beaten me many more times, but his blog is great. It's mostly about dogs and slightly about running (which he mostly does fast). I enjoy it a lot:

So, lots of hills and no hills at all...

Lots of Hi…

Do not argue with coach!

Peakrunners Dark Peaks 30
Before I start... This is an awesome race! It wasn't really very well attended this year, but I'd urge anyone who wants to have a go at a well-organised, good value, tough, enjoyable and beautiful race to get over to the Peakrunners website and enter.

I wasn’t going to do the Dark Peaks 30 this year. In the week leading up to the race I had a cold and very twangy Achilles’, but it had always been there in the back of my mind. Despite telling lots of people I wasn’t going to do it, I couldn’t quite put it out of my mind, and on Thursday before the race I finally decided to go for it. If I didn’t race I’d sit at home and whinge about how I should’ve raced and would end up going for a long run anyway, so it seemed the best option. After all it is one of the finest long run routes in the Peak. I asked Dave Riley of Peakrunners if he would accept a late entry and he kindly did, so that was that.

2018 was the third edition of the race, and I’ve done both of…