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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.
Photo credit Martin Bell
Broken is a witty and engaging book of broken records, or rather ‘Fastest Known Times’ achieved by elite ultra-runners who travel ridiculously long distances, often over unspeakably difficult terrain and in terrible weather, all for the honour of doing it in less time than anyone else ever has. In 2020 more new FKTs were set than ever before for the simple reason that with normal race fixtures cancelled, many athletes needed alternative targets and they had to be lone efforts. So how about 260 miles with little sleep along the Pennine Way in under 62 hours, for example? Or why not have a go at all 282 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000ft) in little more than a month, plus cycling and kayaking between them? Outside of the running bubble you may not have heard of Beth Pascall, John Kelly, Damian Hall, Donnie Campbell; but within it they are the stuff of living legend. Fell-running, ultra-running, mountain-running - pick your term - is increasing in popularity so much it’s in danger of going mainstream. Ally Beaven has written the book to get you hooked. I read it in 5 hours 40mins. Beat that! ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival