In It for the Long Run

Breaking records and getting FKT

by Damian Hall
£12.99 GBP
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‘This slam-dunk, must-read of a book captures everything that is so incredible about ultrarunning and a life lived to the absolute fullest.’– Chrissie Wellington OBE

In It for the Long Run is ultrarunner Damian Hall’s story of his Pennine Way record attempt in July 2020. With dry wit and humour, Hall tells of his nine-year preparation for his attempt, and of the run itself. He also gives us an autobiographical insight into the deranged world of midlife crisis ultramarathon running and record attempts.

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In It for the Long Run is ultrarunner Damian Hall’s story of running a first marathon aged thirty-six, dressed as a toilet, and representing Great Britain four years later. His midlife-crisis running problem escalated to 100-mile ultramarathons and record-breaking bimbles, culminating in his 261-mile Pennine Way run in July 2020.

In 1989, Mike Hartley set a record/Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Pennine Way, running Britain’s oldest National Trail in two days and seventeen hours, without stopping for sleep. Hartley’s record stood for thirty-one years, until two attempts were made on it in two weeks in the summer of 2020.

First, American John Kelly broke Hartley’s record by thirty-four minutes. Then Hall knocked another three hours off Kelly’s time. Hall used his record-bothering run to highlight concerns for our climate and ecological emergency: his attempt was carbon negative, he created no plastic waste, and he and his pacing runners collected litter as they went, while also raising money for Greenpeace.

A vegan, Hall used no animal products on his attempt. Scrawled on his arm in permanent marker was ‘F F F’, standing for Family, Friends, Future. Packed with dry wit and humour, In It for the Long Run tells of Hall’s nine-year preparation for his attempt, and of the run itself. He also gives us an autobiographical insight into the deranged, custard-splattered, hedgehog-dodging world of ultramarathon running and record attempts.


Damian Hall is a parent, accidental activist and record-breaking ultrarunner who has represented Great Britain and competed in some of the world’s toughest races.

His attempt to break into the top ten at the 105-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc was made into an award-winning film, Underdog; and the documentary Totally FKT followed him and John Kelly as they raced to break the Pennine Way record in 2020. Damian has also set records on the Paddy Buckley Round, the South West Coast Path, the Cape Wrath Trail, and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast.

He is a UK Athletics running coach and a widely published journalist who has made regular contributions to Runner’s WorldWomen’s Running and Trail Running. His previous books include In It for the Long RunA Year on the Run and the official National Trail guide to the Pennine Way.

He is a founding member of The Green Runners (, a community of runners working towards a fitter planet. He is a big fan of midlife-crisis haircuts and tea.

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