Beautiful Madness

In a life that stretches to more than 13,000 days, I can boil my existence down to five truly momentous days. The day I got I married. The day my first daughter was born. The day my second daughter was born. The day I completed the Bob Graham Round. The day I completed Ramsay’s Round….

Running books – what’s in a name?

There is, it seems, a rule for anyone who wants to write a book about running. It must have the word ‘running’, ‘run’ or ‘ran’ in the title – just to leave the reader in no doubt about the subject matter. Eat and Run Running Hard Run Mummy Run Running High Run Wild Running for…

Running Hard blog tour

To mark the paperback release of Steve Chilton’s book Running Hard: the story of a rivalry on Thursday, I am hosting a guest post from the author as part of a three-day blog tour. Here Steve discusses the process of researching, interviewing and finding a voice. When I started thinking about my third book (Running Hard)…

The unpredictable art of running blogging

I have been blogging for some years. I was a writer and journalist first. My original purpose was to support the publication of my first book, Heights of Madness, and my second and third books thereafter. Over time, heightsofmadness.com graduated into a running blog – a blog that last week pleasingly surpassed 50,000 visits. Writing…

The madness of the ultra distance runner

‘Busy weekend?’ the Friday conversation goes. ‘I’m going to Jurassic Encounter Adventure Golf at New Malden on Saturday, then, on Sunday, I’ll run…’ ‘How far?’ Sharp intake of breath. ‘Forty…’ ‘Miles?’ ‘Yes.’ I’ve had this conversation many times over the years. Or certainly words to this effect, as this will be my first visit to Jurassic Encounter…

A ‘bad’ review and a right to reply

Reviews are important to writers. Although eagerly anticipated, they are feared. The views of a few – be they newspaper or magazine reviewers, or increasingly book sellers and book websites – guide the masses. Few outlets are as important as Amazon. I don’t know what percentage of my total book sales come from Amazon, but I imagine it’s a significant amount….

Heights of Madness: mapped, for the first time

I never got round to creating a map illustrating the route I travelled for Heights of Madness. The publisher didn’t require one; nor did I fancy the daunting task. Besides, I am no artist. Six years on, someone has done it for me. It is a work of art, I think. The yellow clouds are the…

How do you follow a man like Cameron McNeish?

Many ‘adventurers’ include the words ‘motivational speaker’ in their ‘job’ description. I am not a ‘motivational speaker’. Perhaps I lack essential ‘motivational’ qualities? Nevertheless, I’m making a rare foray into the world of public speaking next week. I will be at The Outdoors Show at Excel London on Saturday, January 14, when my subject will…

Guest columnist in Scottish Islands Explorer

Re-produced below is the text of a column I wrote for the now-available November/December 2011 edition of Scottish Islands Explorer. Written while travelling on the London Underground – the very antithesis of the Hebrides – the column discusses some of the island’s literal high points, from Conachair on Hirta and Skye’s Sgurr Alasdair to Clisham on Harris and Mull’s Ben More….

Reviews for The UK’s County Tops

Reviews continue to come in for The UK’s County Tops. Good ones, I hasten to add. The most noteable is from Grough‘s Bob Smith, who calls the guide a ‘fascinating little book’. Meanwhile, there is a write-up on a walking blog, My Pennines. And there’s also an extract of one of the featured walks (Cornwall’s Brown Willy)…

A 5-hammer review!

Another positive review for The UK’s County Tops, this time from GearWeAre.com, a relatively new site established ‘to tell people what’s good – and what’s rubbish – in the world of the outdoors’. Fortunately, the people there have deemed the book ‘good’ in this review. This lot don’t have a zero-to-five star system for books; they use…

‘Needs more pubs’

Another review, this time from The Travel Editor. The reviewer loved the book (apart from a lack of pubs, it seems); I loved the review. The UK’s County Tops Pros: delightfully daft idea Cons: needs more pubs Verdict: superb travelwriting project Ranging from the 80m Boring Field in Huntingdonshire to the 1344m Ben Nevis in…