Eight Point Two

0 to 30 in 10 months
December 10, 2014, 12:34 pm
Filed under: Dig Deep Races, Eight Point Two News, Ultra running

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0 to 30 in 10 months.

An idea is born.

Earlier in the year we launched a competition related to our Dig Deep races www.digdeepraces.co.uk . The idea seemed a good one over coffee (as they always do) and “nought to thirty in ten months” was born.

The idea was to take a man and a woman with limited, or no, running experience and prepare them to race in our Dig Deep Peak District ‘Intro Ultra’ – a 30 mile foot race through the beautiful (but hilly) Peak District in August 2015.

The competition was launched and the prize was free entry in to the race along with free running kit supplied by race sponsor MAMMUT and free coaching plans and advice from Dave Taylor at Fell Running Guide – www.fellrunningguide.co.uk. The winners would also have their progress followed in Trail Running Magazine – the Dig Deep media partner.

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We had a great response and Dave Taylor and I sat down to pick the winners. On the face of it we thought that this would be an easy task but in the end it wasn’t… Dave and I ‘ummed and ahhhd’ and eventually we had a short list which was then (like a good shoe shop) whittled down to 2! Tonya and James were picked. This is what they had to say about themselves:


I’m 41 and I work as a Fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital Charity, which supports the Children’s Hospital here in Sheffield.

My running experience is extremely limited to the point where I only run for a bus if I really, really have to. I did try running once, think I ran as far as 2km in one go and was pooped haha! Being inspired by the people who fundraise for us and hitting 40 last year I decided it was time I took on a challenge so I did the 100km Trans Pennine walk from Manchester to Sheffield (go big or go home as they say) and was very pleased to have completed it in under 24hrs.

I work 9-5, some evenings and some weekends, depending on what’s happening at work at the time.

I guess my hopes & fears about entering the race at the moment is that I hope to complete it, without coming last and still being able to breathe at the end of it and my fear is the training programme set for me – I think it’s going to be a shock to the system haha!


I started trail running in 2011 a few years after hanging my boots up from many years of playing rugby. I had got somewhat unfit and a good friend of mine who has been trail/fell running for many years took me out on our local trails in Sutton Coldfield, in Sutton Park.

Since I took up trail running I have competed in a few events including the first 12.12 race which was tough! I think it took me 2hrs 30mins or there about.  I work for a large bakery manufacturing group, selling our product range to food wholesalers across the central belt of the UK. This involves a reasonable amount of travel throughout the week. It’s a really enjoyable job, I just need to make sure I don’t eat to many cakes that I have in plentiful supply at home due to sampling with customers!

I have 2 children and as with most runners I juggle family life. The amount of training time I have available does vary week by week depending on my appointments at work.

The mental challenge is intimidating for me and an area that I want to ensure I can be as strong as possible in. Having never had any professional advice on my running/pacing/race plan I am hopeful that I can learn a great deal right up to the race day for all aspects of ultra-running. Anticipating crossing the finish line already, but a little wary of the path that lays ahead!

First meetings…

In mid-November Dave and I met Tonya and James for the first time and we had some pictures taken out in the Peak District for Trail Running Magazine. We had an opportunity to see them on the trails and hills which would, in 10 months’ time, be their nemesis.

What then followed was a period of getting to know them. Firstly, Dave asked them to fill in a questionnaire – getting to know their work/life habits and past training experience and we also asked them to start a diary of their current training. We reviewed them 2 weeks and Tonya and James then started their first monthly training programme at the beginning of December. Both James and Tonya have started to realise the enormity of the task ahead, fitting in the training, and coping with the demands of preparing for a 30 mile run. However, like all big challenges in life, the key is to break it down in to smaller bite size chunks.

James and Tonya are both upbeat and keen to learn and train. Tonya has found her biggest challenge is fitting in the training around her work life whilst James has been hampered with a niggling injury. Welcome to the World of Ultra running!!!

The end of December will mark the end of their first period of training culminating in them both entering the Resolution Run at Rother Valley Country Park – an ideal introductory Trail race ( www.eightpointtwo.co.uk for race details).

We will be following their progress with regular blogs. Trail Running Magazine are also following their progress throughout the build up to next year’s race.

If you’re interested in entering the 2015 Dig Deep Races please look at www.digdeepraces.co.uk or contact me, the race director, at ian@eightpointtwo.co.uk

If you are interested in individual running training programmes or coaching please contact Dave Taylor at www.fellrunningguide.co.uk


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