The Running Hard Blog Tour: author Q&A

The Running Hard Blog Tour - feel free to check out the other posts shown above
I recently met Steve Chilton at one of his book talks (at the Snowdon International Race this year), and fell into conversation with him as we were staying at the same hotel. This has developed into a (mostly social media) friendship since then. So, recently I got a chance to have a chat with him about his own running and also writing the book, Running Hard: the story of a rivalry. Before I could ask him any questions though he threw a few at me, which I enjoyed answering:
Cal, when did you start fell running and who encouraged you to give the sport a go?
I did some fell races when I was very young, I have results from Woodentops quarry runs from 1997 & 1998, but, I have a results sheet from Shooters fell race in 1995, so I was either 4 or 5! I then basically played football 6 to 7 days a week along with a bit of rugby union until I was about 24. My fell running return, I suppose, was the David Staff mem…

Fell Running Q & A with Limitless Pursuits

I recently received a message from the team at Limitless Pursuits, a website dedicated to delivering stories of men and women from around the world who show great spirit and strength to achieve things they never thought would be possible.  Sounded good to me!  They asked if they could interview me in the form of a Q and A.  I'd never answered one myself before but once I saw the questions I was immediately intrigued and went ahead.  I've copied the conversation below with the images used on their website.  The link to the official posting is here;
The interview took place in September 2017 and was published in October 2017.
Traversing Lords Rake, Lake District, while supporting a Bob Graham Round attempt (pic by Ross Spalding)
CALVIN JAKE FERGUSON took part in some fell running when he was just five years old, back in 1995.  He played and compe…

Science in Sport - Overnight Protein & Caffeine Shots - Fuelled by Science

Science in Sport.  Science in general.  A very interesting subject that helps us to get to grips with the human body, how it works, how it performs and why it does what it does in given situations.  In recent years, science has become integral in sport performance, especially at an elite and professional level.  Marginal gains.  Something you may have heard of.  It's basically the art of doing lots of little things that will add up to bettering yourself.
In 1992, Science in Sport was founded in London.  SiS, as they are known, are now one of the worlds leading sports nutrition brands.  They have a manufacturing facility in Nelson, Lancashire (wonderful county!) and they currently have three main product ranges; SiS GO, SiS REGO and PROTEIN.
The Caffeine shots are under the SiS GO bracket, while the overnight protein, as you might have guessed, is under the PROTEIN product range.
First of all, protein.  I've tried the odd protein supplement in the past, many years ago, they…

Nine Standards fell race - 2017

The Nine Standards Rigg.  A unique set up on the summit of Hartley fell near the boundary between Cumbria and North Yorkshire, just a few miles from Kirkby Stephen, which is where the race starts from.  The race is always on New Years Day and from my own knowledge, has always been the same 8 mile course.

Nine Standards - 9 cairns atop of Hartley fell (photo credit Kreuzschnabel, Wikipedia)
In it's 28th year, after being established in 1989, the race records are held by Carl Bell, 51:44 in 2013 and Victoria Wilkinson, 58:48 in 2016 and the race is currently organised by Howgill Harriers.
It is a race I've wanted to do since I began fell running around 2 years ago after hearing about it so fondly from both my Grandad & Uncle.  I didn't really have it planned in my race calendar as my lack of driving license doesn't give me the most flexible of options, especially on New Years Day, but, I got a text from Bill Beckett on New Years Eve, asking if I fancied another race,…

Inov-8 X-Talon 225 review

Usually I don't review my running shoes as I tend to buy them in cycles i.e. when my old ones are ready to be retired, so I often end up with shoes half way through or towards the end of their seasonal cycle and by that time, the shoes have already been reviewed time and time again.  For a change I've got a pair of the X-Talon 225's from release and with them being so new, thought I would take a bit of time to review them, or at least give people an overview on the new model of fell shoes and rather than just looking at certain aspects of the shoe, I'm going to honestly look at them from my own experiences of actually running in them, rather than a typical "shoe review" post.
If I'm honest, the first thing that made me take a closer look at them was their actual appearance.  Now you're probably thinking why are you bothered about what they look like when they'll be several foot deep in bogs, splashing through mud and scraping on rocks for most of…

The Ben Nevis Race 2016

The Ben race.  One of the most famous in the fell/hill running calendar, steeped in history and steep in height.  At 4,414 feet, it is Britain's highest mountain and one of only nine mountains in Britain (although all are in Scotland), over the height of 4,000 feet.
Me & my regular race buddy, Simon Taylor, made our way up on Friday afternoon and arrived to check in at the hotel just after 6pm.  In to the room, kit bag thrown down and a nice leg stretch out to check the facilities.  We'd booked in the Ben Nevis hotel & leisure club so we had a pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room to make the most of over the weekend.  From our room the hills were visible, just across the road from us.  When I say visible, it was rare that we could actually see them, the weather on Friday was murky and on Saturday morning, pre-race, it was terrible.  The rain came down no end and the clag covered the hills and Meall an t-Suidhe (the mountain) which was towering high.
Prior to arriving i…