In Bob Graham’s footsteps ……. a round of my own

P1000356Well not my own really, but I am ‘doing as I say’ by supporting a friend’s Bob Graham Round at the end of this month. Sadly, with the state of me, it will be road-side support rather than pacing or on the hill support, but I am looking forward to it massively nonetheless. I have been ‘advising’ my friend on his training buildup, which has been quite a change for a coach normally working with 800m to 10k runners, but fascinating to see this particular commitment developing and building, hopefully to a successfull completion. We hope to be using a tracking device (from the most excellent www.opentracking.co.uk/) so that interested parties can follow progress. At the moment the training and reccies are going well; and kit, food, and support logistics are being finalised. More details, including tracker URL, nearer the date,

IMG_0084Things are rolling along nicely with the Bob Graham book. I have just signed off the typeset proof of ‘The Round: In Bob Graham’s Footsteps. It now goes to the indexer for that work to be done, followed by a last proof check, and then printing. The book will be published on Thursday 17th September, and I am currently working on a book launch, which is planned for Saturday 19th September. Appropriately enough it is to be in the Moot Hall in Keswick, which is where the Bob Graham Round starts and finishes. I am also working with the publisher on the details of the dust jacket. We have three fantastic cover quotes to weave in somehow, two I am pleased to say from absolute fell legends.  I am also working with a prominent magazine to have an extract published in their next issue, which will conveniently be out just prior to the launch.

cloudsIn case you are thinking this writing lark is all sweetness and light, it doesn’t always work out as you might wish. I wrote ‘The Round’ quicker than ‘It’s a hill, get over it’, partly because I had increasing confidence and partly because my networking tentacles extended further and contacts and interviews seemed to come more easily. Whilst finishing the manuscript I had an idea for Book III, which I started working on. I pitched it to my publisher who was initially interested in the synopsis. But when I later asked about the timescale for my planning I got a sort of ‘whoah, slow down’ message, which I am not sure whether to take as ‘no’ or ‘maybe, but later’. So I am working on the manuscript, but more slowly now, having established really good relationships with the two main protagonists. And yes it is a third book about fell running!

BGmapsSo, to keep my creative juices flowing I have tried to write for other media. Having had an article on navigation published in The Fellrunner recently, I thought it would be a cinch to get stuff accepted elsewhere. Having talked to a friend who had his writing accepted for Like the Wind magazine and The Guardian Running Blog, I decided to write something specific for both to see if it would be accepted. I was not put off by some of the almost abusive comments that my friend got to his piece in the latter, Fartlek: Sweden’s gift to running. So, pieces loosely entitled ‘the dark art of coaching’ and ‘are you tough enough’ were sent to the respective editors. Time has passed and I have heard from neither. Frustrating, but will be thickening the skin as necessary as rejection seems more likely as time goes by.

Footnote: that weekend trip mentioned in the last blogpost resulted in 4 more Wainwrights – Barf, Lord’s Seat, Broom Fell and the lovely Walla Crag (from whence the photo at the top of the blogpost was taken). However, I am still not convinced I will actually chase completing the Wainwrights.

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