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Athletes Robbie Simpson. With a 3rd place finish in Betws-y-Coed, Wales in 2015, Robbie won the first ever individual medal in a World Mountain Running Championships by a senior British man. He also finished 2nd and 4th in the 2014 and 2015 European Mountain Running Championships, and became Scotland’s (and Britain’s) fastest ever runner at Sierre-Zinal, the world’s most competitive mountain race, finishing 3rd in 2 hrs 33 mins. On the roads he has run 14’25” for 5km, 29’22” for 10km, 64’39” for the Half Marathon, and 2:15’04” for the Marathon. In 2016, in his best mountain running season to date, Robbie produced a 2nd place finish at Sierre-Zinal and a win in the Jungfrau Marathon.
Athletes Tim Campion-Smith. Based in Oxford, Tim is doctor and a seasoned road and mountain runner. Tim has a marathon best of 2hrs 39mins and in 2017 won the UK Skyrunning Series with a win in the Scafell Skyrace and 2nd place in the V3K Ultra. He has been in consistently excellent form over the last twelve months and has continued to improve on the Skyrunning world circuit. He finished 2nd in the Lakes Sky Ultra, 12th in the Hamperokken Skyrace in Tromso, 85th in Zegama-Aizkorri, and 15th in the Glen Coe Skyline. Next up: the Limone Skyrace and the O.M.M. and then a well-earned break!
Athletes Gary House. Hailing from North Wales, Gary is a self-employed Running Technique Specialist and Nutritionist at RunStrong. Gary’s passion is for ultra-running. A relative newcomer, he is already competing at the sharp end of the sport. He has won the Equinox 24-hour race twice (in 2015 and 2016), covering 200km non-stop, finished 2nd in the Liverpool to Leeds (135 miles in under 24 hours), and covered an excellent 200km in the Barcelona 24-hour track race. Gary started 2018 with an impressive 2:48 marathon debut in Malta. Since then he has been focusing on ultras and has finished 12th in the 50 mile Highland Fling Race and 3rd in the 75 mile Pen Llyn Ultra.
Athletes Peter Abraham. Altrincham A.C. athlete Peter Abraham has been running competitively for ten years. In 2016 his attention turned from the shorter distances towards ultra-running, and he produced some very notable performances in the The Wall, Thames Trott, Canalathon, Adidas Thunder Run, and the Ultra Tour of Suffolk. 2017 was a great ultra-running season for Peter and included a 3rd place finish in the British 50km Road Championships, a nine hour Lakeland 50, and a marvellous 15hrs 58mins in his first ever 100 miler, The Autumn 100, where he finished 3rd overall. In 2018 Peter has continued to improve in ultra-distance events with an outstanding win in the Connemara 39 mile road race and a 27hr 30min race at the Lakeland 100 for 21st position.
Athletes Matty Abel. A former elite-level kayaker, Matty is a performance running coach with the Nike+ Run Club and has his own coaching business, DBA Runners, based around Sydney’s Northern Beaches. He has been competing as a professional ultra-marathon runner since 2012, and has raced all over the world, from New Zealand to the French Alps. He has won the The Big Red Run 250km stage race and in 2016 represented Australia and New Zealand in the Sky Running World Championships. I first came across Matty at the brutal Northburn 100km Ultra, which he won, beating all but one of the 50km runners in the process. Matty is currently on hiatus from serious ultra-trail competition, and is building up for a road marathon in the spring of 2017.
Athletes Justin Maxwell. Although Justin will be spending the coming winter competing in road, fell and cross-country races, his long-term goals include several ultra-distance events, with UTMB being the highlight. Originally from a road-running background (with PBs of 15’54” for 5km and 2 hrs 38 mins for the Marathon), since 2012 he has ran in many of the world’s toughest mountain races – Transvulcania, Pikes Peak, Matterhorn Ultraks and CCC to name but a few. He has also represented Northern Ireland many times, most recently in the IAU Trail World Champs in Annecy. Moreover, Justin’s passion for ultra-running has seen him become one of the co-founders of the Garmin Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race, Northern Ireland’s toughest mountain race:
Athletes Beth Pascall. When Beth is not out running in her local Peak District hills, she works as junior doctor specialising in paediatrics. Since taking up ultra-running in 2013, she has made a big impact on the British ultra-running scene. Beth is the current Lakeland 100 course record holder (21hrs 29mins) and the winner of many other British races including the Highland Fling and The Spine. She has also excelled internationally on the World Trail Tour, finishing 2nd in the Madeira Ultra Trail, 6th in Diagonale des Foux, and 4th in Transgrancanaria. In 2018 she represented Great Britain at the World Trail Championships in Spain, finishing an excellent 11th, and later in the world’s most competitive trail race – the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – she finished 4th. Beth’s blog is well worth a read.
Athletes Evan Davies. At 22 years of age and a mountain runner for six years, Evan has already racked up an impressive series of ultra-trail finishes. These include the Highland Fling, the Brecon Beacons Ultra, the Andorra Ultra Trail, Transvulcania, and the Lake District 3 x 3000m Ultra. In 2018 he has competed strongly in Zegama-Aizkorri and the Transvulcania marathon. For the rest of the year Evan will be shifting his focus to far shorter road and trail races in order to develop that most important weapon in the runner’s armoury – speed! Since starting with VO2max Coaching he has produced a few PBs on the road and put in a number of great performances on the fells and in the Alps.
Athletes George Foster. George is a 31 year old mountain runner from North Yorkshire. A member of Keswick A.C., he has been running competitively for six years. His main interest lies on the fells and in longer mountain races, and has performed well at Wasdale, Kentmere and Langdale, and at the Glencoe Skyline. In 2016 he also completed the Bob Graham Round. Since joining the VO2max Coaching team in 2017, George has laid down a great season of cross country and road racing, along with an excellent summer of hill running. Highlights have included 4th in the Matterhorn Ultraks 30km Skyrace, 4th in the Scafell Skyrace, and a win in the Lairig Ghru Mountain Marathon. George also has a great blog – – which documents his running, rock climbing, and various other interests.
Athletes Chris Richards. A third year Sports & Exercise Science student at Bangor University, a Salford Harrier, and a Salomon UK sponsored athlete, Chris has been running for 6 years. He has made steady progress on the fells and over cross-country, and has been a regular member of the England mountain running squad. In his final year in the Junior ranks (2017), Chris won both the British U20 European and World Mountain Running Championships Trials to gain his first ever Great Britain vests, and finished a respectable 15th and 16th in the respective championships. In 2018 Chris came 7th in his first Senior GB Athletics World Mountain Running Championships Trials. He has also recently ran road PBs for 5km (15’04”) and 10km (31’48”).
Athletes Ally Beaven. Hailing from the Orkney Islands in the north of Scotland, it’s no surprise to find Ally most at home in the mountains. Ally has performed at a high level in many of the UK’s toughest mountain races, including the Dragon’s Back, Mourne Skyline Mountain Trail Race, Glen Coe Skyline, Lakes Sky Ultra, and the OMM. In the summer of 2017 Ally took his mountain running to another level when he completed the spectacular Euphoria Del Cims, a 233km ultra in the Principality of Andorra. In March 2018, along with every other athlete, Ally failed to complete the infamous Barkley Marathons. A little later in the year he finished 22nd in Trofeo Kima, the world’s toughest Skyrace. You can read all about these races (and more, including his sub-4 hour run around the Cairngorm 4000s) in his excellent blog.
Athletes James Callender. Based in Glasgow and running for Westerlands, James has been running competitively for about six years. For him the distance or the terrain or whatever doesn’t matter. The main thing is the running. This winter he has focused largely on road running and ran a Half Marathon PB in Strathaven (75’00”), before completing his first ever road marathon in Barcelona, posting an excellent time of 2hrs 40mins. James is perhaps better known as a hill runner though and runs anything up to 20 hill races each year. This year he finished in 42nd position in the Isle of Jura hill race in 4hrs 20mins, a personal best performance by 41 places and 19 minutes.
Athletes Stuart Crutchfield. A recent addition to the superb VO2max Coaching team, Stuart runs for legendary Scottish hill running club Lochaber A.C.. In the five years since he started running competitively in the mountains he has competed in many of the North’s toughest hill races, including the Isle of Jura, Arrochar Alps and Ben Nevis. Stuart has had a great season of racing in 2018 and shown considerable improvement in all of his race performances. His most impressive runs have come at Isle of Jura (11th), Scafell Skyrace (17th), The Ben (50th), Beinn Resipol (8th), Stuc a’ Chroin (10th), and Cioch Mhor (7th). Stuart does not have a blog.