As someone with little knowledge of the fell running scene, I’ve just finished reading “Broken 2020…The Year Running Records Were Rewritten” by Ally Beaven and I am now fully conversant with phrases like “dot watching”, “FKTs”, “LEJOG”, “JOGLE” and a host of runners names that will now stick in my mind for their significant achievements on old haunts that gave gone unnoticed my the mainstream media.
If every cloud does indeed have a silver lining, then the restrictions we have been living under in 2020 and the racing calendar it decimated, have brought about a renewed interest in the fell running challenges that lie on our on British Isles doorstep, the men and women who set previous records and the men and women have have taken newly found time in 2020 to challenge them.
Ally Beaven’s fantastic book gives an in-depth insight into the mindset of some very tough mountain ultra runners and also exposes the length support runners and crew go to, to help create a host of fastest known times and records set in the wind and rain. The sleep-deprived brilliance of a select hardy group of individuals, such as James Elson, Beth Pascall, Donnie Campbell and others is laid bare.
Ally follows these ultra machines around the hills, dales and Munros telling the story of each record attempt in detail. One line sticks with me..”There’s something about being around someone who is doing something extraordinary”.
From Scottish Munros to Dartmoor, from Land’s End to John O’Groats “Broken” is a great read.
Available at Vertebrate Publishing.