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Snowdon: with Kenny and John

As part of the 42nd International Snowdon Race I will be giving a talk, along with Kenny Stuart and John Wild, at the Electric Mountain. It is after the race at 3-30pm to 5pm on Saturday 15th July 2017. It is free to attend, with voluntary donations to Snowdon Giving.Snowdon talk iamge

Kenny, John and myself will all be sharing our fell running experiences, with particularly emphasis on the Snowdon race, which we have all competed in (OK, me rather less well than them, I will admit!).

There will be a Q&A session at the end of the talk, and a chance to purchase signed copies of all three of my books in the Fell Running Trilogy, all on offer at special prices for this event.

More reviews of Running Hard

It was pleasing to see Running Hard in a list of 8 ‘Top outdoors books for a great summer read’ published in Scotland’s Sunday Mail recently, along with Hamish Brown’s Walking the Song. The full list can be seen on the Fiona Outdoors blog.

The Fellrunner also carried a full page review in the issue just out, by someone (whom I didn’t know) who was at the book launch in Keswick. It included: “Steve Chilton has penned another masterpiece expounding a unique period of fell running history” and also “…. this is a thoroughly engaging read. It opens your eyes to just how good Kenny, John and many other runners of the day were, but also reveals their human qualities. You often feel as though you’re right there on their shoulders as they run up impossible inclines or fly fearlessly down treacherous descents.” As the Fellrunner is a subscription magazine (of the Fell Runners Association), and not available to all to read, the full review is available as a link from image to the right (click to enlarge).

The most recent review on Amazon concluded that it was NOT: “just a book for the Fell running purists it tells a story that crosses all disciplines of athletics Fell, Road, Track, and Cross Country. The book has been meticulously researched ………. get a copy of this book read and think about chapter 8. Having the guts to commit. I think it epitomises these ordinary men but extraordinary athletes. All runners of all abilities will benefit from reading this book. A truest inspirational read.” Nice to see, as would any more Amazon reviews – if anyone cares to add one. Authors always appreciate them, but do be honest.

[Other reviews of the book, and also The Round: in Bob Graham’s footsteps and It’s a hill, get over it are available on this blog’s Reviews page]

Running Hard in Sheffield

Really looking forward to the first ‘Running Hard’ book talk, at Ecclesall Library, Sheffield – tomorrow (Thu 6 April) at 7pm, as part of the Multi-Story Library Festival, with support from Rhyme and Reason bookshop.

I am now setting up further talks/events as follows: at the Snowdon International Race on Jul 12th; with The Little Bookshop in Ripon (TBC); in conjunction with Pete Bland Sports (TBC); and possibly with Abingdon AC. [Let me know if your running club, bookshop or organisation would like to host an event.]

Downhill from here

I have now been asked on two occasions to read an author’s manuscript, with a view to providing a cover or publicity quote. I don’t mind doing so, but also insist on my right to not do so if I don’t think the manuscript merits it. Recently I read Gavin Boyter’s Downhill from here: running from John O’Groat’s to Land’s End.

In the book Gavin admits to having had spells of deep depression, and also to suffering with hypermobility (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). He tells the story of seeking a major challenge and using his film-making skills to record it, and then write about it. Having made one (not especially successful) short film, he used an unlicenced quadcopter and a GoPro to make the film version of his JOGLE [see ‘The Long Run’ film trailer].  There are tales of some entertaining navigation errors, which are interspersed with good childhood memories. He also makes some personal points about running being ‘me time’ to him, and using it as a ‘brain reboot’, and his ‘life work’, as he approached his middle forties.

Reading another account of a JOGLE may not be to everyone’s taste, but I found it very entertaining. Gavin was not the first nor fastest (as he readily admits), but he did at least go down the Pennine Way and chose a pretty interesting route in many places. It is also very good on the problems faced by ultra running efforts such as this.

passport scans051Originally I provided two possible quote which were something like: “Good on the realities of running (and filming on the go) a JOGLE, and also the great de-stressing benefits of it”, and ” Entertaining navigation mishaps are interspersed with good childhood stories”.  They were combined in the one shown above (which is on the back cover), and also cut down to a single word quote on the book’s font cover. Happy to accept that the publicist knew best!

‘Downhill from here’ is published on 20 April. Info on the book launch at Waterstones.

Running Hard – London launch

The London launch for ‘Running Hard’ was held at Middlesex University on Mon 20 Feb. Highlights of proceedings are available on 4 short videos. Will ‘Critical Friend’ Morris introduces me wittily in the first clip.

There are then two clips of me rambling through two readings from the book.

Finally an interesting Q&A session ensued, wandering off topic sometimes maybe, but seemed to be enjoyed by most (and certainly was by me).

JohnWatlaunchDespite arriving late, John Wild then gave an informal chat to those present, and signing copies of the book for everyone, before some of us headed for The Greyhound to unwind.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening, which nicely complemented the Keswick launch two days beforehand. I am now off to consider what to write next! [Huge thanks to my friend Angus Macdonald for coming along to video the event, and for editing the resulting material]

All my books can be obtained from Amazon, and Running Hard and The Round can be found in all good book shops.

Videos from the Keswick launch

Here are a couple of short video clips from the Keswick book launch. The first is me reading a short extract from the book, describing the build-up to the last crucial race of the 1983 fell championship season.

In the second I am talking about and showing a clip of John Wild running at an IAC meeting at Crystal Palace in 1977, with some comments from John himself.

The third is winding up at the end of the event.
[Thanks to my friend Mike Cambray for shooting the videos on his iPhone]

I also showed a video clip from YouTube of Kenny Stuart running at the Kilnsey Crag fell race in 1980. It can be seen at this link. Definitely worth a look.

The Keswick Launch

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).

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A packed and enthralled crowd

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Being introduced by Mike Cambray, with a splash of Shakespeare

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A first reading from the book, on John and Kenny’s first race (Burnsall 1982)

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John Wild says a few words, with a younger version of himself on screen

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Kenny Stuart saying a few words

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A second reading from the book (on the 1983 fell champonship final race)

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Networking time after the formal launch event

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The author with two absolute running legends (John left, Kenny right)

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Relaxing in The Packhorse with family and friends after the event

NB: There may be a short video clip to add later