Tag Archive | The life of Billy Bland

Billy biography is in paperback

It was great to open the first box of paperback copies of ‘All or nothing at all’ recently. It looks absolutely grand, and will be published on 15th July 2021.

It is now available to pre-order. Please use your local independent bookseller, who should be able to arrange a pre-order for you. It is already available to re-order directly from Sam Read Bookseller, with the added bonus of them all being signed copies, by my own hand. The pre-order page is at: https://www.samreadbooks.co.uk/product/AllOrNothing/1015

For more information about the book, click the image above (for some cover quotes), or go to my Sandstone Press page.

NB: Hardback copies are likely to be increasingly difficult to get hold of, but a quick check shows several shops and online services still having copies (eg The Big A). I have 5 hardback copies which I am happy to post out (signed if required).

Yay! Bookshops re-opening

With the next stage of relaxing the Covid lockdown (in England) most bookshops will be re-opening to customers on Monday 12 April. One thing this does mean is that if you haven’t had a chance to have a look at our photographic book ‘Fell and mountain running: through the eye of a lens’ then you can if you visit one of these four brilliant shops:

Bookends (Keswick and Carlisle), Sam Read Bookseller (Grasmere), Fred Holdsworth (Ambleside) and Pete Bland Sports (Kendal).

Do take a look at the book if you get a chance. I am sure you will be delighted with the range and quality of Pete Hartley’s mountain photography. The book can be bought in any of those shops, and can be ordered online from them all, or direct from this link (which has more details of the book itself, plus a review of it from Athletics Weekly).

You can, of course, also get any of my other four fell running books at any of those shops, and also many other good bookshops.

Interviewed on Radio Cumbria

It was great to be on BBC Radio Cumbria last week. Being interviewed by Helen Millican on her show gave me the chance to talk about my Billy Bland book. Her deft prompting allowed me to waffle on about the gestation of the book, the research, and the writing of it.

Presenting Billy with a copy of the book recently

Just before I was on, Helen played a short clip of a conversation with Billy Bland she had that week up in Borrowdale, in which he was as entertaining as usual. He explained how he didn’t want to do the book, but never quite got round to saying ‘no’ to the idea, being convinced by wife Ann to go with it.
You can listen to that Billy Bland interview here: https://youtu.be/h000OUx9yw4

I was on after Helen had played ‘Born to Run’ by Bruce Springsteen. I didn’t realise at the time how appropriate a track it was – as ‘All or nothing at all’ (the title of the book) is a classic Springsteen track. Furthermore all the chapter titles in the book are Springsteen song titles too. In the interview I hope I was able to put Billy’s running in context with the rest of his life, all lived in the Borrowdale valley.
You can listen to the interview with me here: https://youtu.be/W_bsTru8POk

For more info on my biography of Billy see this previous blog (inc the Zoom launch), and for more on all my books see my Sandstone Press page.

BLOG TOUR for ‘All or nothing at all: the life of Billy Bland’

Over the three days before the book’s publication there is an ‘All or nothing at all’ Blog Tour. Visit the blogs via the links below to find out more about the book and it’s author, and also more about it’s subject and the content of the book. Two blogs will be released on each day of the tour.

On Mon 17 August there are two stops on the tour:

Having seen an advance copy, Paul Foster [@longrunuk] takes us through the process, asking me about the idea, research and writing, and then publication and promotion. It gives a unique insight the stages that I went through to produce this book. See: https://www.longrun.co.uk/articles/all-or-nothing-at-all

Dave Middlemas [@meanwoodrambler] has lived in Borrowdale and takes a look at the changes that in the book Billy Bland highlights that have happened in Borrowdale during his life, which has all been spent living in that valley. See: https://meanwoodrambler.com/?p=4242

On Tue 18 August there are two stops on the tour:

In an instructive piece on his blog, Ed Price highlights what a critical friend is, how important they can be, and how he reacted to being asked to be my critical friend for this book. See: https://medium.com/@edprice/learning-how-to-read-the-trail-8e43431d27dd

Runner and blogger Jeff McCarthy did a probing interview with me, in question and answer format, about: myself, Billy Bland and some of the things that are in the book. See: http://runeatrepeat.co.uk/steve-chilton-interview-on-billy-bland-book-and-bob-graham-round/

On Wed 19 August there are two stops on the tour:

I turned the tables on Boff Whalley and interviewed him, about: getting into fell running, discovering the BGR, and how he suddenly had Billy Bland pacing him on the last leg of his own round. See: http://boffwhalley.com/blog.php

Finally, Ben Mounsey’s blog carries a short edited extract from the book on Billy Bland’s training, what he did, and didn’t do, and some reflections from Ben. See: https://benmounsey.net/2020/08/19/all-or-nothing-at-all/

All or nothing at all’ will be published on Thursday 20th August and can be obtained from all good bookshops and online at Amazon. Look out for the live and interactive book launch, on Thursday 20 Aug at 6-30pm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVbuEUURETE&feature=youtu.be

About the book

All or nothing at all: the life of Billy Bland. Sandstone Press. Format: Hardback. ISBN: 9781913207229. Publication Date: 20/08/2020 RRP: £19.99

All or Nothing At All is the life story of Billy Bland, fellrunner extraordinaire and holder of many records including that of the Bob Graham Round until it was broken by the foreword author of this book, Kilian Jornet. It is also the story of Borrowdale in the English Lake District, describing its people, their character and their lifestyle, into which fellrunning is unmistakably woven.

About the author

Steve Chilton is a runner and 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 as Lead Academic Developer. He has written three other books: It’s a Hill, Get Over It; The Round: In Bob Graham’s footsteps; and Running Hard: the story of a rivalry. He has written for The Fellrunner, Compass Sport, Like the Wind and Cumbria magazines.