Giles Running on The Pennine Way

Welcome to my new website, where I plan to chart my exploits as an ultra runner, trail runner and multi-sport athlete and coach.

Before we start, it would be rude not to introduce myself and provide a little background on who I am and how I ended up in this sport, so here goes!

My name is Giles Thurston, I am based in Ely, Cambridgeshire UK and am married with two young boys.  I was never a keen or successful sportsman while at school but thankfully things improved a little during my twenties. My first love was always mountains and so it was natural for my initial obsession to be in mountaineering, rock and alpine climbing. From here I developed an interest in rugby and mountain biking before finally ending up in Triathlon and multi-sport.

While I have raced in and enjoyed big races such as half marathons and triathlons over the years, I have found the high numbers of athletes involved make these events feel a little claustrophobic, taking the edge off the overall experience for me. Over time this, combined with my love of both mountains and running in general, has slowly drawn me towards trail running and finally ultra running.

I’ve found that with ultra and trail running you typically race in some beautiful and remote locations, experience these environments up close and personal, generally with a small friendly group of athletes. Trail and ultra running has felt like such a great fit for me, my personality and ambitions and while I will continue to race triathlon and multi-sport, its in these areas I would really like to focus my efforts on in the coming years.

Now before I go any further I should point out that my ultimate ambition, as I write this, is to take part in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. I accept this is totally at odds with what I wrote a moment ago about mass crowds but having climbed in that area regularly, the opportunity to return and race the trails would be amazing, almost like closing the loop of my sporting career.

That said there are many other races out there and I am still developing as an athlete. So far I have only taken part in one ultra marathon and while I did OK (coming 7th), at 40 miles its a little short of the 100 miles needed for UTMB.

Note: I’ll write up a full race report and publish it here very soon!

And that is partly the reason for this site. For me to document my progress through this sport and what will surely be both the highs and lows of that journey. Hopefully at some point in the not to distant future I will get to write a race report about UTMB but until then there are a mountain (no pun intended) of races to enjoy and I very much hope that through this site you can enjoy the journey with me.