2020: the year running records were rewritten
- ISBN: 9781839810404160 pages
- Ally Beaven
- Publication date
- 3 Dec 2020
As featured in The Sunday Times
'It is probably the running book I have most enjoyed.’ – Steve Birkinshaw
‘The emotional pain of failing just felt like it was going to be a bit worse than the physical pain of carrying on … ’
Attempting to break long-distance running records used to be an underground endeavour, until the virus-stricken summer of 2020 came along. Only a few, such as the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District, had ever broken into mainstream consciousness. But an absence of running races thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented rise in the popularity of attempts at breaking these records.
In Broken, Ally Beaven takes an entertaining look at just why 2020 was so unusual for long-distance running. With his interest in Fastest Known Times (FKTs) piqued, Beaven immerses himself in the scene. His summer becomes one of spending hours in the hills feeding, cajoling and generally trying to keep safe the runners he is supporting, as well as following the dots of live trackers in the middle of the night and endlessly refreshing his Twitter feed as records tumble around the country.
Through the stories of John Kelly’s epic Grand Round, Beth Pascall’s record-shattering Bob Graham Round, Donnie Campbell’s mind-bending new mark for bagging all 282 Munros, Jo Meek’s new overall record for the Nigel Jenkins Dartmoor Round and many others, Beaven brings us an inside look at the incredible FKT machine.
Broken is the story of the summer of 2020, a historic time for running in the UK.
Ally Beaven is a part-time barman and hill runner who lives in the Scottish Highlands and enjoys the long stuff. He’s run races in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Appalachians and even England. As well as a marathon PB of 2.12 (set at the Berlin Marathon on rollerblades), he holds the bad weather course record at the An Teallach Hill Race and has failed at both the Paddy Buckley and Bob Graham rounds. He lost his much-loved Cairngorm 4,000s record to Finlay Wild and is counting the days until his FKT for the Big 6, set in the summer of 2020, is similarly snatched from his grasp. Broken is his first book.
- Title: Broken
- Subtitle: 2020: the year running records were rewritten
- Author: Ally Beaven
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-83981-040-4
- Rights: World
- Publication date: 3 December 2020
- Edition: First
- Size: 234mm x 156mm
- Extent: 160 pages, with one 8pp colour plate
- Cover: Paperback (flaps)
- Weight: 300g
- Retail price: £12.99
Also available as an ebook:
- Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-83981-041-1
- Publication Date: 3 December 2020
- Price: £12.99
'Ally brings to life the stories of records set in the Cairngorms, Dartmoor and Land's End to John o'Groats alongside other long-distance feats. He has a great way of telling a story and scratching beneath the surface to see what made 2020 such a record-breaking year.' – Dave Littler, The Fellrunner
‘Ally has brought together the stories of record-breaking hill, fell and ultra runners into a great book. What he does brilliantly is he manages to pick out the important and amusing details and tell them in light-hearted, down to earth style. There are fascinating accounts of the different motivations for breaking the records and the effort and commitment needed for the runners to fulfil their goals. He has produced a really enjoyable read. It is probably the running book I have most enjoyed.’ – Steve Birkinshaw, record-breaking fell runner and author of There is No Map in Hell
'Not only does Ally write about these inspiring adventures in a knowledgeable and enjoyable way, he was often in the midst of them, helping his fellow athletes achieve some truly remarkable records in a really special summer of adventure.' – Robbie Britton, GB 24-hour runner, coach and former FKT holder
‘This is a great book, not just about some extraordinary athletes, but also those who support them, with some really interesting history about the records mixed in. With no races on the horizon these athletes showed their positivity by attempting these incredible challenges, and in doing so brought the whole running community together.’ – Mimi Anderson, endurance athlete, coach, author and Guinness World Record holder
'You might expect an anthology of ultrarunning struggles to be a bit dry, but Broken is an understated and (seemingly) effortless stroke of genius.' – Keri Wallace, UKHillwalking.com
'Beaven writes about what has been an extraordinary running year with no small degree of humour and an eye for detail, which comes from having shared at first hand the feelings experienced by those who set the FKTs.' – Fraser Clyne, The Press and Journal