I’ve lived in the Lake District since 2001. My girlfriend had a job here and it was the perfect place to come to develop my fell running. There are so many great hills, like Great Gable and Scafell, and quieter places like Kentmere valley.
My favourite view in the Lakes is from Brunt Knott. It’s near where I live, and on a beautiful day there’s nothing better than getting up there where you can see over all the fells in the Lakes, the Three Peaks in Yorkshire, and out to sea.
Fell running gives you an amazing sense of freedom. The equipment and technology are part of what makes cyclo-cross so much fun, but with running you have nothing to worry about – all you need is a pair of shoes and you can go anywhere.
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If I had to give up cyclo-cross or fell running, it would have to be the cycling, sorry! It would be an awful decision to have to make but I’ve got three kids now, and running is less hassle and much less time-consuming. You can’t compare an hour on the bike to an hour’s run.
I don’t have any spare time. I have a full-time job and then it’s home to play with the kids. I’ll go out for a training ride or run, have tea, watch an hour of TV, then go to bed. Cycling and running are my hobbies and I don’t really have time for others.
No cyclo-cross event compares to the Three Peaks. You don’t get that level of variety in any other event – you have to contend with so many elements and such a wide range of terrain. The history of the event is special and the mix of fell runners and cyclists coming together makes for a brilliant atmosphere.
I always aim to get ahead early in a race. What’s the point going along at someone else’s pace? You have to make use of the parts of the course that suit you. When I hit the steep climbs, I give it everything.
My favourite beer is Ingleborough Gold. It’s from the Three Peaks Brewery, fittingly enough. I suppose I’m meant to say I hate lager, aren’t I! But I’m not that fussy really. You can’t beat a good pale ale, though.
I don’t see myself packing in the cyclo-cross any time soon. I’ll always do it as long as I’m enjoying it. I’d love it if one of my kids would take it up – not that I’m putting any pressure on them!
This article was first published in the October 10 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!