It’s not often you have an actual author as part of the Fast10, but Ally does do some fast running too, if you count the roller-skating. Just kidding, he’s quick downhill too.

Ally Beaven is a friend to Fast Running and has written for us before, on topics based around the fells, hills, mountains and fastest known times. Author of celebrated book Broken, about the summer of records last year, if you haven’t had the chance to read it yet, it’s highly recommended.

Normally found on the mountains of his base in Aviemore, Beaven also travels overseas to events like the super tough Tor 130, sister race o the iconic Tor des Geants in the Aosta valley, Italy and the Berlin marathon… on roller skates (hence the 2:12 marathon PB).

Hopefully he has some races and long, sunny uphill tempos to tell us about in 2021.


Name: Ally Beaven

Age: 32

Hometown: Speyside.

Club: Highland Hill Runners

Main discipline: When I run hill races I’m an ultrarunner, when I run ultras I’m a hill runner.

Other disciplines: I’d been really looking forward to the cross country season. Getting the legs run off me by a variety of vets last winter was a real joy.

Work: Part time barman, one time writer.

Goals or targets for 2021: Train better than I did last year (this pretty much means more). I’ve also recently become aware that it’s a few years since I did Something Interesting, I’m like to put that right. Exatly how I’m not yet sure, probably something really long and obscure.

Past Running highlights: I’m quite proud of being the most short-lived holder of the Cairngorm 4000s record.

This is a picture of Dan Lawson and James Stewart, but Ally ran on the section preceding with the Dan the night before so it could be Ally for all anyone else knows.  Photo: Dave MacFarlane

Interesting or fun fact: I’d mention my marathon PB but Robbie doesn’t like it when I bring that up. [Too late, I already did – Robbie]

I run because: There’s nowhere near my house that’s good for rollerblading. [Surely the A9 is perfect? – Robbie]


Favourite training session: Staring out the window at the snow, ice and slush, I have a real yearning for a long, sunny uphill tempo.

Least favourite training session: Long, flat and fast. I’d claim that my training history and race goals put me at a disadvantage with these kinds of sessions but really I think I’m just a wimp.

Favourite pre-race food: Porridge.

Favourite post-race food: Pizza

Favourite running shoes: Altras. I don’t really have much choice, my feet are almost as wide as they are long.

Brands or organisations that support me: Haha.

Ally’s book Broken really is a good read, so if you’d like to support a young writer in our sport, please do consider buying a copy. Maybe as a belated Valentine’s present for that special someone?