UKC

/ Naylor, Bland, X?

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Bespoke by Nature - on 16 Sep 2013
Just finished watching 'Iron Man'-Joss Naylor running 35 miles at the age of 73 across the fells. In the film, Billy Bland talks about his (frankly insane) records and the fact that 'there were other lads out there who were better than me, or could have been, but I put the hours into training and got it done. That's what I admire about Joss-the only thing that'll keep him from finishing is if he dies!'. So in that vein, who it the training freak/hard b*astard de jour? Some suggestions to get us started-

Ricky Lightfoot-trains '3 hours a day, 7 days a week' according to his blog
Steve Birkinshaw-Dragon's Back winner. Says it all
Ian Holmes-fast as flip for ages now
Morgan Donnelly/Rob Baker/Jebby/Taggart-good solid results for a long time. Take your pick!
Iain Ridgeway-don't get too excited Iain! Winter, solo Paddy Buckley anyone?
Simon Bailey-general wiry, gnarliness

Women:
Helen Fines-super quick
Helene Whittaker-female Dragon's Back winner. Like Ian Holmes, moving into gnarly vet territory
Wendy Dodds-female Joss Naylor?

Any other suggestions?
Graeme on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock: Rob Hope, Joe Symonds, Ben Abdelnoor, Rhys Findlay Robinson, all out there racing.
Banned User 77 - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock: Ha many have.. not a chance anything like those guys. A winter paddy for me wasn't that much because its like walking around your local park, I knew almost every rock on the thing until the last night.

Colin Donelly. Greatest Eryri runner ever by a very long way, competed at all distances, terrains, events and won races across 5 decades.. still winning races in his 50's.

Steve B is a solid runner, has done well but certainly not in the class of the others either.

Women Nicky Spinks/Wendy Dodds.. but Angela Mudge is just a different class.

I'm a huge fan of CD just because he never gets the credit and acknowledgement he deserves, just quietly goes about winning races, setting records.

Its hard because you have the guys like Anderson who also competed on the roads.. then Kenny Stuart who gave it so much he basically wiped himself out, then the proper fells man.

I think Lightfoot is pretty special though. Again competes over all distances. Seeing him upclose at the worlds was impressive> he's just so stealy, so confident yet in the most modest way possible. He doesn't speak confidently, or make rash statements, but just runs with supreme confidence. He turns up to win, worlds or anything.
Bespoke by Nature - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK: ah yeah forgot about Colin D. Nicky Spinks very impressive, especially with having been ill and doing the Dragon's Belly thing. Angela Mudge a good shout.

Kenny Stuart a shocking omission!

Had Ricky done the BGR though? ;-)
Curry - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock:

In time Finlay Wild, Lochaber AC surely. Won 4 Ben Nevis races in a row, and the Cuillin Traverse record.
ablackett - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock: I might be wrong here, but I don't think any of the above names have ever taken a record off Joss or Billy. Therefore considering the improvements in nutrition, equipment, training you can't say any of them are the same league.

Mark Hartell - 24 hour Lake District record holder.
Nicky Spinks - 24 hour womens Lake District record holder.
Both must be pretty tough to get them records!

Lets not get mixed up between tough and fast - all your names are fast. I'm not sure if any of them are as tough as Billy or Joss.

Billy and Joss were tough and fast.
Banned User 77 - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to ablackett:
> (In reply to Days on Rock) I might be wrong here, but I don't think any of the above names have ever taken a record off Joss or Billy. Therefore considering the improvements in nutrition, equipment, training you can't say any of them are the same league.
>
>

This is something of an elephant in the room.. inov8.. Soloman invest loads to supposedly make us faster runners.. yet for all the supposed advances we've seen very very few improvements in UK distance running.. never mind fell running.. its why I gt so grumpy with the 'you must have x.. you must wear compression.. blah blah'..

I don't think training has come on much since the 70's and early 80's though, we're all going back to their sort of work, though Bland was famous for just running for hours a day.

mbh - on 16 Sep 2013

> I don't think training has come on much since the 70's and early 80's though, we're all going back to their sort of work, though Bland was famous for just running for hours a day.

What was it that they did, exactly, apart from running for hours a day, in Bland's case?

mbh - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to ablackett:

Can you clarify the meaning of being tough?

As I see it, if you are fit enough, you can go faster, and fitness comes from training. If skill is required, then that too must be acquired through training. The person who keeps going fastest for longest is the fittest and most skillful. Tough is just a way of describing being fit for fell running, no?

To suggest that being tough is something extra would suggest that there is away to circumvent training. That sounds like magic.
Banned User 77 - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to mbh: Distance. Lots of big miles.
Al Evans on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock: I actually took part in races with Joss in them, he was quite a gamesman, in a long distance race Joss would head off into the mist with loads following him because he knew the way to go like the back of his hand, then he would sprint away and leave them lost, off route and only with great difficulty finding their way back. I liked Joss a lot.
Banned User 77 - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Al Evans: Thats what CD does... he lost one guy for hours.. the guys race was over.. I tried to do it with some friends in the 1000m peaks race.. including Tim Davies, multiple times snowdon winner, but he was too quick and was running after me laughing knowing what my plan was...
The New NickB - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

I think the numbers of 'serious' runners was much greater in the 70s and 80s, as they weren't distracted by different sports in the same way. For example if Ali Brownlee had been born thirty years earlier, he probably would have been giving Bland a run for his money in the hill and winning national XC titles, not winning Olympic and World titles at Triathlon.

mbh - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to The New NickB:

really enjoyed watching Ali and his "tactical numpty" brother as latter lost World Title by agonising 1 s.
a lakeland climber on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock:

RL hasn't done the BGR - http://www.bobgrahamclub.co.uk/index.php?page=members.

On the male front: Joss Naylor; Billy Bland; Colin Donelly. For the women: Angela Mudge; Helene Diamtedes/Whittaker; Nicky Spinks.

Until he got in to his mid 40s, Ian Holmes was keeping the Brownlees in their place

ALC



ablackett - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to mbh:
> (In reply to ablackett)
>
> Can you clarify the meaning of being tough?
>

Nothing magic about being tough. Some of Joss' records are super long stuff. Wainwrights round, Lakes Meres and Waters round. If you read his account of the Wainwrights you will see that he was falling apart and kept going despite all the pain and suffering. Most people who aren't as tough would have stopped because they would have been in too much pain or got too many injuries.

I can match Joss' pace on the first half of day 1 of his round of the Wainwrights, but i'm not tough enough to keep going for 7 days!

It's like the difference between a Jeep and a Alfa Romeo, The Alfa is quick but the Jeep is tough.

Naylor and Bland were both quick and tough. I don't think we have ever seen a runner as tough as joss.
Bespoke by Nature - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to ablackett)
> [...]
>
> This is something of an elephant in the room.. inov8.. Soloman invest loads to supposedly make us faster runners.. yet for all the supposed advances we've seen very very few improvements in UK distance running.. never mind fell running.. its why I gt so grumpy with the 'you must have x.. you must wear compression.. blah blah'..
>
> I don't think training has come on much since the 70's and early 80's though, we're all going back to their sort of work, though Bland was famous for just running for hours a day.

Is that it then? Was it just genetic serendipity? The only person i can think of that has 'it' these days is kilian jornet who seems to have had the kind of exercise-as-a-way-of-life thing going on as the lakes farmers afore mentioned. He's super quick, has kicked ass at long stuff, buuuttt- he's not a fell runner! Iain i think you're right about the mix of bits and bobs that people do. My money's on Lightfoot kickin ass on the fells in the next few years.....
Banned User 77 - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock: But KJ isn't that good a runner.. as crazy as that sounds.. at the classic more runnable races, he's strong but nowhere near as dominant and I don't think he holds any of the classic runnable records, like Siere Zinal, Jungfrau, mountain routes which favour the pure runner. I suspect he'd not be much below 2:20 for a marathon.

But yes KJ is just so active its untrue and has been since day dot by all accounts.. and his huge VO2 max must be environmental to some degree.. he's never not at altitude. The amount he does is breathtaking, and maybe a reason why he struggles at races like Zinal, because he's climbing the eiger up to a day before..

Bespoke by Nature - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK: i'd love to see how he got on in the lakelands trophy races, drinking out pf streams and surviving on fig rolls and jelly babies. Do you reckon he's a guinness or a best bitter man? Haha!
thedatastream on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock:

Jez Bragg?

Te Araroa, UTMB, Fellsman, etc
Banned User 77 - on 16 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock: I'd love him to go for the BG and welsh 3000ers.
Moley on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock:
I would certainly second the Colin Donnely being up there, unlike many of the 'modern' runners he managed to mix race winning with long distance outings (plus - that record!), I think he was and still is a true 'mountain man' in the spirit of the greats.
Bespoke by Nature - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to Moley: that's why jez bragg isn't in the list-there are stacks of good ultrarunners, but not many that can hoof it quick as well.
Al Evans on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK: The only two fell running champions I know off to run for their country at Road Marathon level are John Wild (definitely) and Kenny Stuart (maybe).
Banned User 77 - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Days on Rock: Many ultra runners just cant do the fells. Allen Smalls is one, he does a fair few fell races, I think even the welsh 1000m and I always think 'shit'.. but he's never a contender yet one of the best ultra distance road runners in the UK.

Al: very few will run roads and fells.. because roads are more important, also more international opportunities, more competitive. The fells are for shit road runners or those at the end of their career.. when the road runners step over, say the intercounties, on the right terrain they win... hands down.

johncoxmysteriously - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

>when the road runners step over, say the intercounties, on the right terrain they win... hands down.

What do you mean, Iain? (sorry, I don't know what the inter-counties are. Say whoever Britain's best marathoner is ran the Ben Nevis race, are you saying they'd be better than the fell runners straight away?

jcm
jpicksley - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

The inter-counties is a high-quality cross-country race. I suspect that what Iain means is that when road-runners and fell runners meet on terrain that is between road and fell, e.g. cross-country, then road runners will tend to win.
Banned User 77 - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously: No, the Ben is different, but say Snowdon. The more runnable races. I always encourage younger runners away from fell running.. they can do that when they slow down but early on its better to push the more main stream running where the competition is. If you look at GB mountain running team for example they are largely very good road runners who occassionally run on the mountain, Andy Jones, Rob Samuel, Nathan Jones..

Andy Jones is not quite the best marathoner in Britain, not far off.. but is multiple times Snowdon race winner.
notaclue on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to IainRUK: some of the guys running the 100 mile ultras in the US would be up there. Hardrock looks mental

Two brits did the grandslam this year which is 4 100 mile races June - September - pretty impressive

Bespoke by Nature - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to notaclue: Without a doubt, some of the new breed of ultrarunners are super fit, and their achievements are outstanding in that field. What I meant by the original post was who could be classified as the new 'hard/fast' man or woman of the fells. Who's working full time, kicking ass in fell races AND bashing out super quick bob grahams/paddy buckleys/ramsay rounds/wainwright related challenges. Joss Naylor's 214 Wainwright summits in a week makes Hardrock look piss easy to be honest! Not only that, but he was kipping in a van, without $1000's of dollars worth of support, sponsorship etc. The US ultra runners/Jez Bragg etc are pretty much pro athletes, or at least receive a decent whack of cash for their running, so aren't really in the same mould as Kenny Stuart/Billy Brand/Joss Naylor etc.

I think Ian Sharman and Nick Clark were the Brits that did the Grandslam. Well done lads!
Jonathan Lagoe - UKC - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to IainRUK) The only two fell running champions I know off to run for their country at Road Marathon level are John Wild (definitely) and Kenny Stuart (maybe).

Keith Anderson British FellRunning Champ and subsequently 10th in the Commonwealth Games Marathon 1998.

Keith was the chef at the place I worked and I went running with him a lot. Right from the beginning when he was still around 14st, he was prepared to run hard enough to make himself physically sick again and again. Trained super-hard and was one of the first fellrunners to take a scientific approach to training- lactate tests etc.

Keith had amazing leg speed and was the fastest descender I have ever seen. I suspect he may still have the fastest ever Ben descent when he did 1.27.41 in 1989 - as he was much slower than Kenny S at climbing.

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