WEST international ultra runner Damian Hall has outlined his three major goals for 2020.
Hall, who lives near Bath, admitted that 2019 didn’t quite match the heights of 2018 but now working with a new coach Hall is relishing new goals for a new year.
“I have three big events for 2020 starting with the Paddy Buckley Round at the end of January,” said Hall.
“The summer record is the big one for this but I really wanted to have a go at running it during the winter, which covers December, January and February.”
Hall, who is sponsored by trail running company Inov-8, broke a 10-year-old record last summer when he completed the 61 miles circuit across some of Wales’ most remote mountain tops, climbing 47 peaks and ascending 28,000 feet (equivalent to climbing Mt Everest) in 17hrs 31mins.
“Obviously it will be colder and darker than in the summer but actually the underfoot conditions may be better as the ground will be firmer, though if it is icy that will be a different challenge altogether,” added Hall.
But the trip to north Wales is just a gentle warm-up before Hall tackles an exciting new challenge which attracts some of the best ultra trail runners in the world.
“In April I have been invited to race the Ultra Trail Mt Fuji (UTMF), which is a 100 miles race around the mountain,” explained Hall.
“Because my sponsor Inov-8 is owned by a Japanese company I managed to get an invite to the event which is really exciting and a great challenge.
“Finally, in August I will be returning to the Alps for the UTMB (Ultra Trail Mont Blanc). The reality is that I am unlikely to ever better my fifth place in 2018 but I still think I can finish in the top ten. That would be brilliant.
“Also, the UTMB is still the biggest ultra race in the sport for me and the ultimate test to pit myself against the very best guys in the world.
“I am looking forward to going back.”
In-between these three major goals there were will be plenty of other smaller races, including a first visit to the popular Grizzly 21 miles off-road challenge in east Devon.
Hall has also tweaked his training regime deciding that after two years of being self-coached he would benefit from linking up with top American coach David Roche.
“In those two years I had one very good one in 2018 while 2019 was not so good so I decided to try something new,” added Hall.
“David Roche has lots of clients who have won lots of ultra races and are doing well on the circuit so I have been keeping an eye on him.
“It is all about bringing a fresh perspective and trying different things and having recently turned 44 I thought that might benefit me.
“I want to make sure I am covering all the bases and I am always keen to learn more and try different things. It all adds up to an exciting new year and I am really looking forward to 2020.”