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Broken 2020: the year running records were rewritten

by Ally Beaven

Biography / Autobiography Lifestyle and Health Sport

LoveReading View on Broken 2020: the year running records were rewritten

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


Broken 2020: the year running records were rewritten Synopsis

'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.

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 2020: the year running records were rewritten Press Reviews

'It is probably the running book I have most enjoyed.’ – Steve Birkinshaw

'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,

'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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781839810404
Publication date: 03/12/2020
Publisher: Vertebrate Publishing
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781839810404
Publication date: 3rd December 2020
Author: Ally Beaven
Publisher: Vertebrate Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 160 pages
Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Lifestyle & Health, Sport,
Categories: Marathon & cross-country running, Biography: sport, True stories of heroism, endurance & survival,

About Ally Beaven

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 ...

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