When and why did you start running?
It’s always been about mountains for me really. It started as a bit of an added challenge to getting up some of the mountains in Scotland but quickly became something much more. I’m still new really, only having logged 1200 Strava miles in what is my first serious year of running (this year).
There isn’t a freer feeling than running in the mountains, nothing truly compares to being exposed to the clearest air and those incredible views. Everything else, for me anyway, is there to supplement that. To make me able to run long in the mountains.
Describe your ideal race or adventure challenge
Rugged, mountainous terrain. With steep, quad crushing ascents and exposed ridges that turn your legs to jelly! A race that is remote, one that boasts only the best terrain that particular part of the world has to offer.
Sunshine always helps too.
Tell us about your favourite trail
I run in so many places that I don’t really have a specific trail that I love. So I guess my favourite place to run is Glencoe. I’ve raced here and collected 5 of its munros across various different runs. The climbing and scrambling potential here is endless so it’s not a surprise it’s home to Scotland’s finest mountain Running challenge, the Salomon Glencoe Skyline.
There isn’t a freer feeling than running in the mountains, nothing truly compares to being exposed to the clearest air and those incredible views.
What has been your biggest running / adventure challenge to date?
Probably the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace. It’s to date my longest time spent in the mountains (5 hours 40) and most definitely the toughest day too!
Tell us about your greatest running fail, we’ve all had – or will have – them at some point!
I met Lochaber hill running buddy Stu for a recce of the Ring of Steall route back in July. Being Scotland it was a day of horrific weather so we ended up running the bad weather route. Still hit 2 munros and put a couple of hours in the legs but the first climb up to the Mamores ridge was testing and there was a few added river crossing in there for good measure!
To add to the misery I locked myself out the car when I was getting changed after the run and spent a couple of hours waiting on my saviour to come get the key from the front seat for me! (Looong story). Stu was so cool about it though and it gave us so much time to sit in the van, look at maps and talk about big hills.
What advice would you give to a new trail runner?
Be bold. Don’t take the easy route. Get off trail, cross a river, climb that bit of rock wall. Run in the rain, run when it’s snowing, run when you can’t see 5ft in front of you. Don’t be scared to try new things. Determination and mindset truly trump all else. Run slower, don’t get too excited. 1 high intense run a week and all other low intensity.
What is your favourite bit of running kit, and why?
My Suunto Ambit Vertical. Particularly love the ability to put the route on the watch, not so much so I know where I’m going but it gives me my elevation point on along the profile which is pretty cool.
Again, as I am relatively new to running the ability to track my heart rate and run in specific zones has made a dramatic difference to my recovery from long mountain days and my overall fitness and injury prevention.
Be bold. Don’t take the easy route. Get off trail, cross a river, climb that bit of rock wall. Run in the rain, run when it’s snowing, run when you can’t see 5ft in front of you.
What challenges / races / adventures are you planning for the coming year?
I will be racing at the Lakes Sky Ultra & hopefully the Salomon Glencoe Skyline. I’m also hoping to complete some personal challenges with friends. The Tranter round & all the Skye munros In a single day.
Whats your favourite running/adventure book, and which songs keep you going when things get tough?
If I’m honest, I don’t really read too many books. I read maps or cicerone books. My current go to is ‘Scotlands Mountain Ridges’. I also love to read the UKs Trail Running Mag!
Finally, What do you get up to when you’re not running or adventuring?
Spending time with my wife and thinking about mountains or the next big ridge/pinnacle I want to attempt!
Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed Brian. Happy Trails!
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Mentioned in this Interview and recommended by Brian:
Suunto Ambit 3 Vertical