Text from the dust jacket of the book

Billy Bland set fell running records in the ’80s and ’90s while working at quarrying, building and stonewalling in his native Borrowdale. His 1982 Bob Graham Round record stood until 2018 when it was, at last, surpassed by the phenomenal Catalan, Kilian Jornet. All or Nothing at All, as well as describing Billy’s unparalleled career as a runner, includes his telling reflections on Cumbrian life and the changes he has seen.

Books from Scotland did a short piece on the book, which includes the text of the Foreward, which I was so pleased to have written for me by Kilian Jornet. Link to the full text from Kilian:

running-hard-front-cover-proof-2016-oct-21Text from the dust jacket of the book:

Running Hard: the story of a rivalry 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.

‘a classic fell running masterpiece’
Nicky Spinks

The championship at that time was much tougher than it is now. After fifteen races the title was decided by just twenty seconds at the final race. Though their running careers would then begin to diverge, Stuart becoming a 2-11 marathon runner, they remained firm friends. The events are illuminated by interviews and analysis from several of their main contemporaries.

‘compelling and fascinating’
Steve Birkinshaw

Contents of ‘Running Hard: the story of a rivalry’
Chapter 1 – Gotta keep it loose
Chapter 2 – A good constitution for a small fella
Chapter 3 – Laidback about training
Chapter 4 – Consistency is everything
Chapter 5 – One serious regret
Chapter 6 – Run lighter, run faster
Chapter 7 – Good at climbing, good at descending, and good at training
Chapter 8 – Having the guts to commit
Chapter 9 – An idol and an inspiration
Chapter 10 – Young, lean and hungry
Chapter 11 – He came to beat me that day
Chapter 12 – Too frightened to go on
Chapter 13 – Nothing to do with fitness
Chapter 14 – Drinks had been taken
Chapter 15 – One of us had to come second
Chapter 16 – Trying to follow white flags in a snowstorm
Chapter 17 – Ripe for a fast time
Chapter 18 – Never an easy run with him
Chapter 19 – Like winning the FA Cup
Chapter 20 – He’ll run a good bit faster in the future
Chapter 21 – Really treat winners well on the continent
Chapter 22 – Finished as firm friends

The Round front coverText from the dust jacket about the book:

The Round: in Bob Graham’s footsteps is not only a history of the Bob Graham Round, but also an exploration of the what, why and how of this classic fell endurance challenge. After covering the genesis of the BGR in detail, it documents 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 extensive profiles of many of the event’s most significant individuals: innovators, record setters, recorders and supporters. These include Billy Bland, Steve Birkinshaw, Martin Stone, Jim Mann, Helene Diamantides, and Nicky Spinks. The Round is emphatically NOT a ‘how to’ guide, but it IS a terrific follow up to Steve Chilton’s hugely popular first book, It’s a hill, get over it.

[Get a feel for the book from an extract that was published in Trail Running Magazine’s Oct/Nov issue – PDF]

Contents of ‘The Round: in Bob Graham’s footsteps’:
Chapter 1 – Origins of the challenge
Chapter 2 – Bob Graham and the 1932 Round
Chapter 3 – The Round
Chapter 4 – First challengers
Chapter 5 – Male record setters
Chapter 6 – Billy Bland
Chapter 7 – Female record setters
Chapter 8 – Nicky Spinks
Chapter 9 – Some fast ‘near records’
Chapter 10 – Mark Palmer
Chapter 11 – Winter rounds
Chapter 12 – Jim Mann
Chapter 13 – Impressions
Chapter 14 – Pacers: the Unsung Heroes
Chapter 15 – The Bob Graham network
Chapter 16 – Not all who try succeed

9781908737571Text from the dust jacket about the book:

It’s a Hill – Get over It offers a detailed history of the sport of fell running and tells the stories of some of the great exponents of the sport through the ages. Many of these fell runners achieved greatness whilst still working full time in traditional jobs, a million miles away from the professionalism of other branches of athletics nowadays.

The book spans the whole history of fell running -­ from the early days of the sport, right through to it going global with the World Championships. Influential athletes such as Bill Teasdale, Fred Reeves, Joss Naylor, and Billy and Gavin Bland are profiled in depth and their lives and extraordinary achievements explored.

The development of the race calendar and the organisation behind the sport are documented as well as the stories behind the development of the classic challenges, such as the Bob Graham Round and the Cuillin Ridge Traverse.

In addition, It’s a Hill contains in-depth conversations with some of the greats including Tommy Sedgwick, Jeff Norman, Pauline and Kenny Stuart, Helene Whitaker and Rob Jebb.

 A mix of history and personal stories makes for an informative and inspiring read for those with a love of this unique and wonderful British sport. One which will spur you to get back out there.

Sarah Rowell, former British and English fell
running champion, Olympic marathon runner

Contents of ‘It’s a hill, get over it’:
Chapter 1 – Early Days
Chapter 2 – Professional v Amateur
Chapter 3 – The Early Races – the 1800s
Chapter 4 – Development of a Race Calendar – the Early 1900s
Chapter 5 – Expansion of the Calendar – the 1960s Onwards
Chapter 6 – Multi-day events
Chapter 7 – Some Early Giants
Chapter 8 – Administering the Sport
Chapter 9 – Ladies
Chapter 10 – Record Breakers and Champions
Chapter 11 – The Greatest – Joss Naylor
Chapter 12 – Two More Greats – Billy Bland and Kenny Stuart
Chapter 13 – Death on the Fells
Chapter 14 – Coming off the Fells
Chapter 15 – The Bob Graham Round
Chapter 16 – Some other Fell Challenges
Chapter 17 – Going Global
Chapter 18 – Crossing Sports
Chapter 19 – Reporting the Sport

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