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Bob Graham at Wilf’s

Having had a really good ‘Conversation with Billy Bland’ in Keswick last week*, I am now prepping another talk in Cumbria next month. This is part of the ‘Slide and Supper Evenings’ at Wilfs, in Staveley, on 8 March.

slidesupperThe illustrated talk is at 7pm on Thurs 8 March, and will be entitled ‘The Round: in Bob Graham’s footsteps’ and will:

detail the history of the Bob Graham Round & explore the what, why and how of this classic fell endurance challenge. It will cover its development from a more or less idle challenge to its present status as a rite of passage for endurance runners. Interspersed with this detail of the round are snapshots of many of the event’s most significant individuals: innovators, record setters, recorders and supporters. Finally, some thoughts on why Billy Bland’s record time for the BGR has lasted since 1982, whether someone will soon beat it, and also concerns about the impact it’s challengers are having on the environment.

wilfsdatesDETAILS:

THURSDAY 8 March
Cost £8.50
• Starting with a light supper & brew at 7pm. Talk starts 7.45pm prompt
Booking with payment required
• Some tickets may be available on the night
• Email : food@wilfs-cafe.co.uk
• Credit / debit cards
Cafe: Staveley Mill Yard, Back Lane, Staveley, Nr. Kendal, Cumbria LA8 9LR. Tel: 01539 822329

The talk is based on my book of the same name, which was shortlisted for the TGO Awards Outdoor Book of the Year 2015 and the Lakeland Book of the Year Award 2016. A few signed copies of the book, and my other books (‘Its a hill, get over it’ and ‘Running Hard: the story of a rivalry’) will be available on the night.

there will be a short blog on last week’s Billy Bland evening (with great quotes) shortly, and news of a second Due North event with Billy.

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New Year, new book ventures

It’s a new year and fresh opportunities to share my love of fell running. I am involved in some talks throughout the year to which you are warmly invited. They include gigs with two of my absolute sports heroes – Joss Naylor and Billy Bland. I also have the germ of an idea for a fourth book, which I have started thinking seriously about starting work on.

With Billy BlandThe first of the gigs is ‘An evening with Billy Bland’, which is on Friday 9th February, at the Skiddaw Hotel in Keswick. Billy Bland is one of the most prominent fell runners in the history of the sport and is now into the 36th year as the holder of the Bob Graham Round record. He will join me for an evening to answer your questions. It will be unscripted, and a chance to interact with the Borrowdale fell legend. It will be introduced, and compered, by myself (and hosted by Due North Events). Billy has specifically asked for maximum audience participation. He is known for training and racing hard, and for having an opinion or two! So, think what you would like to ask him, and bring your questions along and be part of what should be a fascinating evening. You need to book in advance, and can obtain tickets here.

wilfsThe second is part of the marvellous Wilfs Café Slide and Supper series. I will be talking on ‘The Round: in Bob Graham’s footsteps’, on Thursday 8th March, in Staveley. This illustrated talk will detail the history of the Bob Graham Round & explore the what, why and how of this classic fell endurance challenge. It will cover its development from a more or less idle challenge to its present status as a rite of passage for endurance runners. Interspersed with this detail of the round are snapshots of many of the event’s most significant individuals: innovators, record setters, recorders and supporters. Finally, some thoughts on why Billy Bland’s record time for the BGR has lasted since 1982, whether someone will soon beat it, and also concerns about the impact it’s challengers are having on the environment. Details, and for booking a place.

josswithbookThirdly, I am excited to be sharing a stage at the Buxton Adventure Festival with Joss Naylor. For Joss it is ‘Life and times of a fell running legend’, and my contribution will be ‘an exploration of the what, why and how of the classic fell endurance challenge that is the Bob Graham Round’. It is on Tues 19 June, at the Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton.

Further details, and link for tickets. Don’t hesitate to book, as I understand that demand for all three gigs is high and all may well sell out. Bonus: my three fell running books will be available at each event, and there may even be some signing!

Finally, I have started on the background work for a potential new book. I am not able to say exactly what it is about as yet, and am at the moment working on securing the agreement and cooperation of one vital collaborator. That is all I can say just now. More will be revealed later, but suffice it to say I am very excited about the possibility of it coming to fruition.

Billy Bland: fell legend

Billy B at Moot Hall2Billy Bland, one of the most prominent fell runners in the history of the sport and now into the 36th year as the holder of the Bob Graham Round record, will join me for an evening to answer your questions. The evening will be unscripted, and a chance to interact with the Borrowdale fell legend. It will be introduced, and compered, by myself (and hosted by Due North Events). Billy has specifically asked for maximum audience participation. He is known for training and racing hard, and for having an opinion or two! So, think what you would like to ask him, and bring your questions along and be part of what should be a fascinating evening.

Date: Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7pm.
Venue: Skiddaw Hotel, 29 Main Street, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5BN

Tickets: https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?event_id=4186

Bonus: my three fell running books will be on sale on the night, including ‘The Round: in Bob Graham’s footsteps’. There may even be some signing by both of us!

In profile: Malcolm Patterson

I asked Patterson what his greatest feat/race on the fells was. He came back with a list and an interesting perspective. ‘One of my childhood idols was the late Billy Bremner, captain of Leeds United FC who was ‘ard as nails. His motto was “You get nowt for coming second”. So it is ironic that whilst I was pleased with my race wins – such as Ben Lomond in 1987, or Dollar (in Scotland) in 1989, where I set a new course record – my best races were when I didn’t win.

Malcom Patterson reflected on his career in the fifth article to appear in The Fellrunner under my byline. It resulted from an interview I conducted with him as part of my research for my most recent book, Running Hard: the story of a rivalry. In a long and fascinating discussion he gave me a window into his career and life, and with his approval I wrote a profile of him (with some great photos).

PattersonA copy of the full article (which was in the Spring 2017 issue of The Fellrunner) may be viewed here: [PDF of the article].

A future post will include a piece I wrote (with Steve Birkinshaw) on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which was also recently published in The Fellrunner.

The Running Hard Blog Tour

Steve Chilton blog tour banner twitterOver the three days before the book’s paperback publication there will be a Running Hard Blog Tour. Visit the blogs via the links below to find out more about the book, it’s author and how someone is planning on emulating Kenny and John’s training.

On Monday 16th October there will be three stops on the tour:

On Tuesday 17th October three further stops will be at:

  • Steve Birkinshaw’s blog, where I have written a guest post on hard training (one of the book’s themes)
  • The sabbatycle blog for a discussion between Dan Haw and I on Kenny Stuart and John Wild’s training methods and their applicability to a modern fell runner (Dan)
  • Running legend Nicky Spinks’ blog for her review of the book

Finally, on Wednesday 18th October the last three stops on the tour will be:

The paperback version of Running Hard will be published on Thursday 19th October and can be obtained from all good bookshops and online at Amazon.

running-hard-front-cover-proof-2016-oct-21About the book
Running Hard: the story of a rivalry. Sandstone Press. Format: Paperback. ISBN: 9781910985946. Publication Date: 19/10/2017. RRP: £9.99
For one brilliant season in 1983 the sport of fell running was dominated by the two huge talents of John Wild and Kenny Stuart. Wild was an incomer to the sport from road running and track. Stuart was born to the fells, but an outcast because of his move from professional to amateur. Together they destroyed the record book, only determining who was top by a few seconds in the last race of the season. Running Hard is the story of that season, and an inside, intimate look at the two men.

World Masters2005steveAbout the author
Steve Chilton is a committed runner and qualified athletics coach with considerable experience of fell running. He is a long-time member of the Fell Runners Association (FRA). He formerly worked at Middlesex University where he was Lead Academic Developer. He has written two other books: It’s a Hill, Get Over It won the Bill Rollinson Prize in 2014; The Round: In Bob Graham’s footsteps was shortlisted for the TGO Awards Outdoor Book of the Year 2015 and the Lakeland Book of the Year Award 2016.

The formal launch of the book is on Fri 27 October in Skipton, where I will be in discussion with Kenny Stuart and Ben Mounsey [more info].

Paperback launch: Running Hard

The paperback launch for Running Hard will take place at a talk with Kenny Stuart and Ben Mounsey in Skipton on 27 October. You can book a ticket here, which will include £4 off the book if bought at the event. The event is also raising money for two charities, the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, and Due North’s chosen charity The Brathay Trust.

duenortheventIt should be a brilliant evening as Kenny and Ben are giants in the sport. Kenny ruled fell running for a period in the 1980s, and Ben is one of the finest exponents currently.

Our theme will be: “Has the perception (and reality) of training/running hard changed over the years?”, with plenty of chance to ask questions of all of us.

You can find profiles of Kenny, Ben and myself here, together with more about the topics to be covered.

In profile: Hugh Symonds

I wanted to do the BGR, I would have really regretted it if I hadn’t. I had half thought of doing it on the way down through the Lakes on my continuous run over all the 3000 foot mountains of Britain and Ireland. Wouldn’t that have been cool?

Hugh Symonds reflected on his career in the fourth article to appear in the Fellrunner under my byline. It resulted from an interview I conducted with him as part of my research for my latest book, Running Hard: the story of a rivalry. After the long and fascinating interview I realised there was more info on Hugh than I needed on his background for the book, so I decided to write a profile of him as well (with his approval, and with some of his photos).

The full article (from the Winter 2016 issue) may be viewed here: [PDF of the article].

The next issue of The Fellrunner will include a piece I have written (with Steve Birkinshaw) on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.