Hangar 18 Ambassadors
I love the hills, and this adoration started as a child, being brought up in rural Northumberland and always being outside. I have been running competitively since the late 80’s, with both Tynedale Harriers and Northumberland Fell Runners. Some of my personal achievements have included wins at Duddon Fell Race, Fairfield Horseshoe, Chevy Chase, Blaydon Races, (yep, I was somewhat gannin) Allendale Challenge, and Isle of Man Marathon.
I don’t run on the roads anymore, my knees couldn’t take it and ofcourse I love our countryside too much. I still run cross-country but the fells are where I belong. The races are great and the fell running community equally so (I like to chat). Ooh and reigning North East Fell Running Champion.
Off the fells, I work as a Community Hospice Nurse and have 3 kids, a dog, chickens, a lizard and a tortoise.
I’m now getting a little slower but my passion for the hills, moors, woods and mud never dwindles. Bring it on….
Andy is reigning North East Champion fell runner, has won many races in the NE including the Hexham Hobble on multiple occasions. He completed a Bob Graham in 2012. Men’s captain of Durham Fell Runners. Rock and Ice Climbing. Cannot get enough of Mathematics and Iceland (not the shop)! Picture above centre is Andy at Esk Hause during his Bob Graham round, either side is Andy leading the Cronkley Fell Race.
Middle photo by Phillip Baxter, left and right by Ian Coreless.
Duncan has orienteered for many years at an elite level, including representing England in 2014, and Great Britain in the past. He is also a fell runner and mountain marathon competitor, winning the OMM Elite in 2011, and LAMM Elite in 2011, 2012 and 2014. A keen rock climber too. When not out in the hills he works for a software company, powering the transition of communications networks.
It is always a little weird talking about yourself, but here goes. I am a rock climber, I have indulged in this crazy passion for all things vertical since 1995 when I packed my bags and moved to university in Bangor, North Wales for the sole purpose of climbing. Living in Snowdonia ever since, I now work in the industry around the sport that consumes me.
Don’t be under any illusion that I am a top level climber, i am not. I prefer to see myself as what might be called a ‘lifer’ having over twenty years experience in rock climbing. In that time I have onsighted E6, bouldered V9, climbed all over the world and made some first ascents on remote big walls in Canada and Alaska. My work now includes coaching people to climb, instructing them in navigation and mountaineering skills as well as trying to capture the lifestyle in words and pictures. I guess I am the stereotypical jack of all trades master at none.
This year I turn 40, so I am no spring chicken and definitely feel like the top of the hill is in sight. In order to combat this and rather than getting divorced or a sports car, my midlife crisis has revolved around taking a year off my normal 9 to 5 and instead I am focused on producing a series of words pictures and videos of my journey round the world in 40 climbs.
Hangar 18 have been really supportive and got onboard at the start of this project by providing me with some of their excellent gear and helping me share the mini-series I am creating with you their customers. My initial leg to south america where I managed to get a few great routes in the bag, I then had my camera and computer stolen and was forced to cut the trip short. On my return Hangar 18 asked whether I would be an ambassador for them.
It seems like a great opportunity for me to work with them and help to promote not only there existing equipment but give them feedback on how it works in my world. In doing so I hope that together we can produce some really great kit for not only climbing but a multitude of outdoor pastimes.
I came fairly late into fell-running having been born and raised in the Midlands where cross-country is king. It was only since moving to Scotland some 12 years ago that I took to running amongst the hills, principally as a means of finding and exploring new places to go rock climbing and, frankly, because I find walking really boring!
After being in Scotland for 5 years I made the move down to the Lake District, finding work at a famous climbers pub down the Langdale valley; the perfect place for running and climbing. Under the tutelage of some Lakeland stalwarts I began to get more and more into the racing side of fell running to the point where I was toeing the line at the Langdale Horseshoe, the local race and my first one! A bit of baptism of fire as she's a gnarly old girl!
I joined the Army in Spring 2012, effectively putting an end to my climbing career, though the decline in time spent on a rope dovetailed nicely with time spent moving relatively fast on two feet - all part of the training in my new job!
The ability to train as part of work has meant that I'm slowly developing some competitiveness in my fell running with some fairly decent showings in some of the well established classics across the Home Nations. These longer classics (Wasdale, Ennerdale, Borrowdale, Langdale etc) are the reason that I got into fell running in such a big way; they're essence of the sport and define to me what 'it' is all about - toughness and beauty.
I'm very fortunate to be invited to work with such a forward thinking and ambitious group of people. The kit that Hangar 18 designs and develops is truly excellent. They're a proper company, producing equipment that works based on rigorous testing in partnership with honest feedback.