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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 Chris Steele. Based in Cumbria, Chris is a seasoned fell and mountain runner and has been in consistently fantastic form over the last twelve months. Since starting with VO2max Coaching he has produced some big PBs on the road and put in several record-breaking runs on the fells. He has also produced an outstanding debut performance at Thyon-Dixence in the Swiss Alps, and finished 7th in the British Mountain Running Championships in Wales. In recent seasons Chris has picked up PBs for 5km (14’55” at Armagh), 10km (31’03” at Telford), Half Marathon (68’29” at Blackpool), and Marathon (2hrs 32mins in Frankfurt). He has had similar success on the fells with wins at the Edale Skyline and Coledale Horseshoe, and a career best time of 2hrs 57mins in the Three Peaks Fell Race to give him 7th overall.
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. And for the rest of the year he will be competing in a number of increasingly long and tough ultra-trail competitions, beginning with the Highland Fling in April and culminating with the Cotswold Way 100 in September.
Athletes Peter Abraham. Altrincham A.C. athlete Peter Abraham has been running competitively for eight years. His attention has recently turned towards ultra-running, producing some very notable performances in the The Wall, Thames Trott, Canalathon, Adidas Thunder Run, and the Ultra Tour of Suffolk. The spring and summer of 2017 has been Peter’s finest ultra-running season to date, with a 3rd place finish in the British 50km road Championships, a nine hour Lakeland 50, and 2nd place in the Round Ripon Ultra. He capped this off with a marvellous 15hrs 58mins in his first ever 100 miler, The Autumn 100, where he finished 3rd overall.
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 Hannah Jarvis. A Welsh international mountain runner, Hannah has secured victories in many fell races in her home country, including the infamous Llanbedr To Blaenafon. She is an athlete who has built and maintained a strong reputation for pushing herself to the limit each and every time she takes to the start line. Hannah has recently set personal best times for 10km (36’59” at Swansea), Half-Marathon (79’34” at Getafe, Spain) and Marathon (2 hrs 52 mins in London). She also had an excellent 2016 season in the Alps, with a win in the Schilthorn Inferno, 2nd in the Glacier 3000 run, and 11th at the Jungfrau Marathon. Hannah will be spending the summer competing in road races in her build-up for an autumn marathon.
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 she took up ultra-running in 2013, she has made a pretty big impact on the British ultra-running scene. Beth is the current Lakeland 100 course record holder (21hrs 29minutes) and the winner of many other races including the Highland Fling and The Spine Race. She has also excelled internationally on the World Trail Tour, finishing 2nd in the Madeira Ultra Trail, 6th in Diagonale des Foux, and most recently 4th in Transgrancanaria. In 2018 she will be once more representing Great Britain at the World Trail Championships before turning her attention towards the epic that is the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. 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. So far in 2018 he has competed strongly in Zegama-Aizkorri and the Transvulcania marathon. However, 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!
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 races, and has recently performed well at Wasdale, Kentmere and Langdale, and at the Glencoe Skyline. In 2016 he also completed the Bob Graham Round. His big goals for 2017 focus on a mixture of European races (including the Dolomites Skyrace) and races in his home Lake District (most notably the inaugural Scafell Skyrace). George also has a great blog – – which documents his running and rock climbing.
Athletes Chris Richards. A member of Salford Harriers and sponsored by Salomon UK, Chris has been running for 6 years and has made steady progress on the fells and over cross-country, and has been a regular member of the England mountain running squad. With another year or so left in the Junior ranks, Chris remains focused on improving over the country and roads, and in the mountains. Things got off to an excellent start for Chris with a 10km PB in Telford of 31’48” (in the process of which he bettered his 5km PB twice!), and with wins in the both the British U20 European and World Mountain Running Championships Selection races to gain his first ever Great Britain vests.
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. 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 VO2max Coaching team, Stuart runs for legendary Scottish hill running club Lochaber A.C.. In the four or five years since he started running competitively he has competed in many of the north’s toughest hill races, including the Isle of Jura, Arrochar Alps and Ben Nevis. And in 2018 Stuart will be targeting more of the same. Stuart does not have a blog.