I can now reveal the cover for my new book: All or Nothing At All: The Life of Billy Bland (detail above). It has again been designed by Heather MacPherson (of Raspberry Creative Type). The cover image is of Billy Bland in dominant mode, as he leads the Ben Nevis race in 1981.
The Foreword to the book concludes with:
In this book, Steve continues to explore the history of fell running in the brilliant style of his previous books, his in-depth analysis leading us to understand Billy Bland, whilst highlighting his achievements.
Billy Bland is a legend, and he is a fine man. Steve takes us through Billy’s life, to meet and know the man behind the legend.
Fine words indeed from the current Bob Graham Round record holder.
I am so very pleased (and indeed honoured) to note that the Foreword has been written by surely the finest mountain runner of his era (Kilian Jornet); and that the two cover quotes are from: someone I think one of the finest writers on sport of running (Adharanand Finn), and the other arguably the greatest female fell runner of all time (Jasmin Paris).
A series of quotes by these latter two runners, together with four others (who all read advanced copies of the book), will adorn the back cover; and I can now reveal them to you.
Those six ‘quoters’, and Kilian, are the only people not involved in the direct publication process to have seen the full manuscript, so it was with some trepidation that I awaited their thoughts. I was not to be disappointed, as thankfully they all seemed to rate it.
‘A pacy jaunt along those muddy trails where Billy Bland set records few people have approached since. Anyone with a love of running will find this an engrossing and enjoyable read.’
Adharanand Finn, author of Rise of the Ultra Runners
‘Born in the Lake District and moulded by its hills, Billy Bland is a truly fascinating character’.
Jasmin Paris, record breaking ultra-runner
‘A detailed insight into the life of legendary fell runner Billy Bland, a straight talking Cumbrian who thinks as deeply about the environment as he does about running.’
Steve Birkinshaw, author of There Is No Map in Hell
‘This tale of fortitude and formidable athleticism transports readers to the heart of the fell running scene. Billy Bland is undisputed king of the fells.’
Rebecca Robinson, Consultant in sports and exercise medicine and mountain runner
‘An engaging look at the life of running legend Billy Bland of Borrowdale, encyclopaedic on his training, his character, and his wider contribution to life in the Lakes.’
Damian Hall, ultra-runner, author, and outdoor journalist
‘A truly inspirational book that highlights the importance of passion and hard work in achieving goals.’
Denise Park, Chartered Physiotherapist, internationally recognised for her work with fell/mountain runners
The book (ISBN 9781913207299, to be published in July by Sandstone Press) can be pre-ordered from all good bookshops (most of which are still offering mail order in these difficult times), where you can also order my three other running books.
Further book reveal blogs will include: the chapter that got dropped; other things that didn’t make it (inc some pics); an extract; and the story of the chapter illustrations.
I will be doing some book signing/talks when ‘All or nothing at all: the life of Billy Bland’ comes out (in July 2020), and they will be noted on the blog as they are arranged.
The first event arranged is 4 pm Sat 18 Jul 2020, nr Skipton. As part of the Yorkshire Dales Outdoors Festival (organised by Due North Events) I will be doing a talk entitled ‘It’s a hill, get over it’. It will cover everything from the early fell running events, to the dominance of Billy Bland. Full details, including booking link: http://outdoorsfestival.com/talks/ [all my books will be available for purchase at the event, including ‘All or nothing at all’] – Sadly this event is not able to take place now, due to coronavirus.
Meanwhile: the book is available to pre-order from all good bookshops.