Traversing 268 miles through northern England in brutal mid-winter. Circling 105 miles around Mont Blanc to place 11th in one of the most competitive 100-mile races in the world. Battling through temperatures of nearly -40 in Arctic Sweden. This week I talk to Damian Hall, an elite-level endurance runner, outdoor journalist and writer as well as a husband and Dad to two little ones. Damian has certainly tested his endurance, and has some honest stories and insights to share.
He was challenged to run his first ultra-marathon through his job as a freelance outdoor journalist which sparked a talent and a love for lumpy and lengthy trail races. His approach to exploring his own potential in racing is inspiring. Since taking on the notoriously unforgiving Spine Race – an ultra running the entire 268 miles of the Pennine Way trail in January - for the first time, he made it his purpose to become somewhat of an expert in what it takes to do well. He's since run the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc a handful of times, set a fastest known time on the South West Coastal Path and a stack of other challenges around the world. He's also no slouch at road running, testing his speed at the Manchester marathon earlier in 2018 and running a PB of 2:38.
In our conversation we delve into the struggles of striking the right balance between family commitments and ultra training and racing; Damian’s journey to competing at such a high level; his lowest lows on the trail; and the changing realities of a career in adventure journalism.
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Check out the episode RIGHT HERE and the show notes below.