On Saturday 18th February we held the book launch for ‘Running Hard’ in the Greta Suite at the Skiddaw Hotel, Keswick. There was a crowd of over 50 in attendance, including some fell running royalty. We sold out of books (with thanks to Bookends shop in Keswick). The following is a sort of picture record of the event (huge thanks to my friend Mike Cambray for the photos).
NB: There may be a short video clip to add later
So, what exactly is the story of ‘Running Hard’. Well, it is subtitled: ‘the story of a rivalry’, and the main characters are running legends Kenny Stuart and John Wild. But it is more than a fell running book. They were both exceptional runners in other branches of athletics, both in cross country and road running (Kenny running a 2-11 marathon), and John also at steeplechase (being a Commonwealth Games finalist). The book also tells the parallel stories of the lives with their different backgrounds, and is informed by insights from their contemporaries, such as Billy Bland, Joss Naylor, Jack Maitland, Hugh Symonds, and Malcolm Patterson.
We had a very successful book launch for ‘Running Hard’ in the Skiddaw Hotel (Keswick) on Saturday, with over 50 in attendance and the books (from Bookends) being sold out.
If you are in, or near, North London on Monday 20th Feb, there is a second event at Middlesex University (in the Boardroom) from 6-7pm, with John Wild in attendance. Come along to hear some stories. No ticket required, entry is free – just rock up.
More photos and stories from both launch events shortly.
I am pleased to announce that ‘Running Hard: the story of a rivalry’ is published today. It is the parallel stories of two running greats – Kenny Stuart and John Wild. It describes the lives of two very different athletes and covers in depth the 1983 Fell Running Championship season, when they were the two top runners battling to win the championship. John Wild was an international steeplechaser from the Midlands who had moved to the fells to go head-to-head with the Cumbrian born fell runner Kenny Stuart.
The seven quotes on the ‘Running Hard’ cover are from some absolutely top runners. These are the full versions of what they all said on reading a preview copy of the book. The book is published Thu 16 Feb, with two book launches on 18 and 20 Feb.
‘Kenny Stuart and John Wild are two of the greatest ever fell runners, with records that still stand today. This meticulously researched book is a compelling and fascinating account of their lives, and their rivalry and friendship.’
Steve Birkinshaw, fastest person to complete the 214 Wainwrights in one round
‘Recollections of races and post-race celebrations by such top fell runners as Jos Naylor, Billy Bland, Hugh Symonds, Jack Maitland and Malcolm Patterson are filled with insight and humour, and demonstrate the unique blend of intense rivalry and friendship that typifies fell running.’
Jeff Norman, Olympic marathoner and former Fell Runner of the Year
‘An in-depth and inspirational account of the fierce rivalry between John Wild and Kenny Stuart, two of mountain running’s finest-ever exponents. Steve Chilton explores the background, the characters and the head-to-head battle for the title of 1983 British Champion between these two ultra-hard men of the fells, and captures the unique spirit of running in its purest and most extreme form.’
Julian Goater, author of The Art of Running Faster
‘Running Hard is a funny, in depth insight into well-known and not so well known champions but, cleverly and importantly, also the characters behind these champions. It’s these characters that bring the book alive and make you wish you were stood on the fells watching their battles in real life and then listening to their post-race banter afterwards.’
Nicky Spinks, double Bob Graham Round record holder
‘A fascinating book that paints a captivating picture of an exciting head to head race for the ultimate championship title. Steve’s race reports are as edge-of-your-seat as a car-chase in a film; you’ll be devouring the words and turning the pages fast. He brings to life a whole new world of fell-running history – a must–read for every off–road runner.’
Claire Maxted, editor of Trail Running magazine
‘There is something primeval about hill running: a simple test of man versus mountain. The sport is a modern-day survival of the fittest and in the 1983 hill running season, two men literally seemed to be running for their lives.’
Jonny Muir, author of Heights of Madness
‘Two great athletes changed the face of fell running forever. Picture John Wild, road racing professional and international track and cross country champion, and Kenny Stuart, champion fell runner and winner of many classic mountain races, duelling over the toughest of terrains and weather conditions. Read of their courage, mental toughness and strategies in a modern, but almost Boys Own, battle and decide for yourself who is Wilson of the Wizard and who the Tough of the Track.’
Steve Jones, former holder of World Best time for marathon