BATH long distance running star Damian Hall reckons he is enjoying the best year of his ultra running career.
That fulsome verdict follows a notable victory in the Lakeland Trails Ultimate 55k event on Sunday coming on top of his first overseas win in the Arctic Ice Ultra 230k at the start of the year and a second place in the Mozart 100k in Austria last month.
They are notable achievements for his burgeoning CV and is a big confidence boost for Hall ahead of his return to the Alps at the end of next month for the legendary Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc that attracts the top ultra runners in the world.
“To be honest it feels like I am enjoying my best year ever,” said Hall.
“Sunday was the first major ultra win in this country having also enjoyed my first overseas victory in the Arctic. Despite being 38 now I seem to be still on the up and improving and that is encouraging.”
Hall believes the introduction of regular track training sessions with Team Bath runners at the city’s university have given him an extra edge but there may also be another simpler explanation for the late-blooming of his career.
“I started my running later in life so perhaps I am not as burnt out as others who have been running all their lives,” added Hall.
“But I really feel the track work has helped me because it is something I have never done before.”
Hall survived a hot day in the Lakes on Sunday and at one stage feared the conditions might wreck his bid for victory.
“At the Mozart 100k in Austria I was winning when the heat derailed my effort and I started to suffer with severe cramp and was over-taken,” explained Hall.
“I thought it could be a case of deja-vu in the Lakeland event but I think I paced myself better and coped with the conditions so I ran out winner by around 35 minutes so that was very satisfying.”
Next up for Hall will be the Bath Running Festival Trail marathon on Sunday July 22nd.