Gavin Bland

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Gavin Bland (born 1971 [1] ) is a fell runner who was a British and English champion and represented his country at the World Mountain Running Trophy.

Gavin is a nephew of Billy Bland and several members of his family were active in fell running. As a youth, Gavin took part in races with significant success. Perhaps the most notable performance in the early part of his running career was a second place in the junior race at the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1990. [2] He also represented England in senior races at the World Mountain Running Trophy in 1991 [3] and 1992. [4]

In 1991, Bland won the English Fell Running Championships and was second to Keith Anderson in the British Championships. In 1999, he won both the British and English Championships. This was despite being a self-acknowledged “lazy trainer”, though his work as a shepherd meant that he spent a lot of time on the fells in addition to his specific training. [5]

Throughout the 1990s, Bland was particularly successful at the most prestigious or “classic” long fell races. His wins included the Ben Nevis Race, Borrowdale, the Ennerdale Horseshoe, the Peris Horseshoe, the Three Peaks, Wasdale, the Welsh 1000m Peaks, the Edale Skyline, Duddon Valley, Holme Moss, the Three Shires and the Langdale Horseshoe. [6]

After the interruption of fell running by the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak, Bland featured less prominently in races but had occasional returns to good form, winning counters in the English or British Championships series at Langdale in 2003 [7] and Silent Valley in 2013. [8] He still holds the race records for the Three Shires, [9] Langstrath, [10] Peris Horseshoe [11] and the Carnethy 5. [12]

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References

  1. Bill Smith, “Profile: Gavin and Jonathan Bland”, The Fellrunner, Feb 1993, 14-15.
  2. Bill Smith, “Profile: Gavin and Jonathan Bland”, The Fellrunner, Feb 1993, 14-15.
  3. WMRA: World Mountain Running Trophy 1991.
  4. WMRA: World Mountain Running Trophy 1992.
  5. Steve Chilton, It's a Hill, Get Over It (Dingwall, 2013), 165-66, 329-32.
  6. Graham Breeze, “Classic Fell Races Part 1: Il Campionissimo”, The Fellrunner Magazine, Jun 2001, 8-11; Graham Breeze, “Equi ad Circos (Classic Fell Races Part 3)”, The Fellrunner Magazine, Feb 2003, 24-26.
  7. The Fellrunner Magazine, Feb 2004, 42, 70.
  8. NIMRA: Silent Valley.
  9. Three Shires Race.
  10. Langstrath.
  11. Peris Horseshoe.
  12. Carnethy 5 Hill Race.