FOUNDER / EVENT DIRECTOR: SIMON JAMES
In 2013, Simon founded one of the first dedicated trail running adventure companies - Run the Wild. He's an International Mountain Leader, mountain running guide and all round trail running addict! He spent his childhood growing up on Gower in south Wales where he gained a passion for the outdoors. He's climbed some of the tallest mountains in the world including Denali in Alaska as well as Manaslu in the Himalayas. As a runner he pushed his marathon time to around 2.5hrs, ran the Marathon des Sables in 55 degree heat and completed the UTMB. However, most of his adventures are far from the racing scene, with multi-day self supported trips. He shares his time between the Chilterns and the French Alps along with his wife and two German Short Haired Pointers.
He loves the outdoors and sharing his passion with others, whether it be guiding trips on Kilimanjaro and working on charity projects, to assessing Gold Duke of Edinburgh candidates. Despite major hip surgery a few years ago, he believes that life is all about your approach, and dedicates himself to encouraging others to realise their full potential and why his mantra is trail running is for ALL!
Simon is a qualified International Mountain Leader, Trail Running Guide and Leader in Running Fitness as well as a Member of the Explorers Club. Qualified Sports and Remedial Massage Therapist. LSSM Dip, IRSM, ITC Certificate in Outdoor First Aid, Expedition First Aid Qualified and Level 2 in Mental Health First Aid.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Simon!
LOGISTICS DIRECTOR / RUN LEADER: KARIN VOLLER
Karin Voller is an experienced ultra runner, frequently gaining podium positions in popular ultra runs and multi-day ultras in the UK. She was first GB female over the line on the longest stage of the Marathon Des Sables 2011 & 11th female overall. Her passion for running followed on from representing England in Lacrosse for several years. From there she completed numerous marathons including London, Berlin, and Stockholm, achieving a PB of 3hrs 20mins in Abingdon in 2019. She has run the length of Hadrians Wall unsupported, as well as the GR20 in Corsica and a number of other challenges in the Alps and the UK. Recently increasing her distance goals she was 3rd female in the Wendover Woods 50mile race in 2019 and is looking to complete her first 100k mountain race in Italy, and 100 mile race along the Thames Path in 2020. She is a stickler for organisation, a very experienced trail runner and a valued member of our team with a certificate in Outdoor First Aid and UKA Leadership in Running Fitness. She is also a Lead Runner.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Karin!
RUN LEADER (UK): LUCY HUME
Lucy has been a keen runner since 2010 completing several marathons she is now making her way into the world of ultra distances. Having travelled to New Zealand to complete her first 50k, Lucy is now setting her sights on events a bit closer to home and can regularly be found enjoying the Chiltern Hills and surrounding countryside with her dog Logan. Lucy has a passion for running and interest in all sports which has led her to qualify as a sports massage therapist. She loves talking to clients about their sport and helping them to avoid injury and achieve their goals. She believes that everyone should be able to enjoy the thrill and beauty of trail running whatever your ability, speed or running history and is looking forward to sharing her passion with the RtW community.
Lucy is first aid trained and a Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF).
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Lucy!
RUN LEADER (UK): KATIE VAN DE LINDE
Katie has a passion for running. After a brief spell as a County runner at junior level, her love affair with running really took off in the last 8 years. Over this time, Katie has competed in 6 marathons - in the UK and abroad (including London twice; finishing under 4 hours each time); as well as completing several local UK Ultras and middle-distance Triathlons. In 2019, Katie completed the 3-day 84 mile Druids Challenge along the Ridgeway; finishing as 10th female. Beyond distance running, Katie is equally fond of shorter distance events – both on-road and trail - as well as a Park Run most Saturday mornings. Katie is a Primary School teacher ... so when not having fun in the classroom, she is nurturing the next generation of running talent via a School running club she set up 3 years ago!
Katie is first aid trained.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Katie!
RUN LEADER (UK): SOPHIE DELDERFIELD
Sophie has always been interested and an active participant in sports. She has played for school teams, was captain of the Ladies Rowing team at University and has always run for fun, enjoyment and the social aspect but, since having her first child, she has taken running more seriously and competes regularly for a local club enjoying considerable success. She is often found taking part in track athletics, cross country and road racing, competing in
distances from 3k to marathon (8 in total in UK and abroad) gaining a time of 2.59 in London. Sophie has taken part in LAMM, Billy Bland round and is thinking of another challenge for her next significant birthday. Sophie is a PE teacher who has a passion for making sport exciting, enjoyable and accessible for all with a keen interest in health, fitness and nutrition.
Sophie holds a number of qualifications in a variety of sports as well as being a Level 3 Personal Trainer, Spinning Instructor, a qualified First Aider and holder of a Certificate of Achievement in Nutrition and Weight Management.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Sophie!
RUN LEADER (UK): MARK HADAWAY
Mark has always had a keen interest in sport having played football from an early age. He went on to play semi-professional football and won national club championships in the process. Cruciate ligament injury in 2005 put an end to his involvement in football, so instead he started training for triathlon. Already a competent runner having completed several marathons amongst other distance events, Mark spent much time learning to swim and improving his road bike skills prior to commencing competing in the sport at a variety of distances in 2006. In 2008 Mark completed Ironman UK in 11.50 finishing 56th in his age group in the process. In subsequent years, amongst ‘going travelling’ and now with a young family, Mark has continued to participate in a variety of endurance sports from mountain biking to obstacle course racing.
Mark holds numerous sports coaching qualifications including diplomas in personal trainer, sports massage therapy and sports psychology. He is currently studying for an MBA.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Mark!
RUN LEADER (UK): ANDY COLLINGS
Andy has been running for pleasure and to keep fit since school. Growing up in Cornwall has meant he has developed a passion for the outdoors. His first foray into long distance adventures began with the Idita Bike in Alaska. This was a self supported 130 cycle on the frozen river Yukon from Anchorage to Knit Lake. Over the last 5 years he has been running ultra distance races and has taken part in a number of events such as the Isle of Skye Ultra, Hardmoors 60 and the Classic Quarter. He has also taken part in a number of multi-day events such as the Atlantic Coastal Challenge and the Trans Britain Ultra. He enjoys the challenges of self navigation and regularly competes in the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM). He is a regular ultra runner but also enjoys shorter distances is a local RD for ParkRun.
Andy is a English Athletics Coach (CiRF) and holds an Outdoor First Aid Certificate.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Andy!
RUN LEADER (UK): PHIL ROBBINS
Phil is an ultra runner who is fond of a challenge and has a bit of a thing for maps! Having started out as a broke graduate he worked up to marathon distance in 2008 and then immediately signed up for the Marathon des Sables, which he completed in 2011. Since then, self-navigated and self-supported running has been his obsession, mainly in an urban setting, having criss-crossed London innumerable times linking airports, following tube lines and piecing together its many landmarks.
He continues to race from time to time, having finally broken the 3-hour marathon mark in 2016 and completing the South Downs Way 100 in 2018 in a shade over 20 hours. But his passion remains exploring places with his running. He loves getting out on the trails and sharing them with other runners. Phil is a Leader in Running Fitness (LiRF).
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Phil!
RUN LEADER (UK): SIMON HUME
Simon has a passion for sport and found his love for running in his early twenties after participating in a fun run for the opening of the Olympic stadium. He has since completed multiple marathons, the Artemis quadrathlon over 7 gruelling mountains in Scotland and cycled to Paris from London after buying a road bike only 2 weeks beforehand. When he is not running or cycling along the Chiltern Hills he can be found in the terraces at Watford FC, a lifelong Hornet!
Simon is passionate about encouraging everyone to give running a go, no matter their age or physical condition. With a degree in Psychology, Simon values the positive mental affect of running, escaping the pressures of working life and reaping both the physical and mental benefits of running in the stunning Hertfordshire country side. He also works in market research...so don’t be surprised if he asks a lot of questions!
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Simon!
RUN LEADER (UK): CHRIS
Chris lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and daughter. Whenever he gets the chance he is off out into the Chilterns canicrossing with Monty the Vizsla(the sport of cross country running with dogs. Originating in Europe as off-season training for the mushing community). Chris started the sport in 2013 and has competed across the region resulting in many achievements and podium finishes. Trail running forms an important part of Chris’ off season training.
Chris is trained in basic life support first aid and emergency first aid as well as being a England Athletics Leader in Running Fitness.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Chris!
RUN LEADER (UK): CELINE WILCOCK
Apart from a brief flirtation with track and cross country running as a junior, it wasn’t until 2008 that Celine discovered the pleasure of running. It was instant love and since then she has been running all sorts of distances on a multitude of terrains. An avid cross country and trail runner, Celine has enjoyed competing in local, county and national cross country events, even travelling to Stockholm to run the Lidingöloppet 30k XC race - billed as the largest XC race in the world. Celine has also completed 12 trail marathons and 3 road marathons including Brighton in 2019 where she achieved a GFA time.
Celine soon discovered that adventure running was her true love and with the encouragement of running friends, ventured into self-navigational events and ultimately onto the fells. Celine completed her first Cat AL fell race running over the Helvellyn range in 2018 and can’t wait to go back.
Celine has been a professional dog walker for many years and enjoys running in the hills with the dogs, much to the chagrin of her cats.
RUN LEADER (UK): NICK CROWTHER
Nick loves to run. Over the last 10 years, Nick has completed 16 marathons and ultra marathons both on road and on the trails. Included amongst these are two double marathons across the South Downs and traversing the full length of the Lake District in the Lakes in a Day 50 mile ultra race. On the speed front, Nick has twice finished the tough Beachy Head trail marathon in 3 hours 45 mins, came 12th in the Chiltern Ridge Ultra 50k race as well as achieving Good for Age status in the London Marathon. Nick's fastest road marathon is 3 hours and 3 minutes... which means he still needs to put in more work to join the sub 3 club!
Turning 30 and being overweight Nick needed a challenge. This took the form of the Three Peaks Challenge, which meant scaling Great Britain's three highest mountains - Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis within 24 hours ... including driving between them. It was during the training for this event that Nick was bitten by the running bug and has been hooked ever since, trying whenever possible to combine this with his other two loves - his family (wife, daughter + Ruby the Cockapoo) and travelling. Highlight of this was the 2017 City to Surf race in Sydney which the whole family ran.
RUN LEADER (ALPS): ALISTER BIGNELL
Al has devoted much of his life to the outdoors, and is particularly fond of adventures in the mountains. Having discovered the joys of running as more than just training for mountaineering several years ago, he has turned running and being healthy into a way of life since moving out to the Alps in 2006. An avid racer of both short and long distances on road and trail, Al is as motivated by the training required as the actual competition. He has completed ultra races such as the Trail VSB, Trail des Dents du Midi, Eiger Trail, PTL, UTMB, CCC and shorter races including Sierre Zinal, Glacier 3000 and Les Rochers de Naye. Despite finishing well in most of his races, Al is continuing to learn from every race experience and embrace both the joy and suffering that comes from exploring his limits. In 2017 he completed the TDS in an impressive 15hrs 50mins earning him 12th place overall and 1st British athlete over the finishing line. Alister's most recent sucess was finishing the Tor des Geants (320km race) in 17th place in 2019!
He has several years experience guiding day trips and multi day excursions as an International Mountain Leader, including the full suite of the North Face Ultratrail races (UTMB, CCC and TDS). Whatever your level or ambitions, Al’s enthusiasm and experience will ensure you are well supported to enjoy your trip and come away stronger and wiser.
Check out the Guide Spotlight on Alister!
LEAD RUNNER (ALPS): EMILY GELDARD
Emily has been leading Alpine running trips for Run the Wild since 2014. She has many years of experience leading groups in Europe, Alaska, Norway, Africa, India and Nepal. Living in Chamonix, she speaks French and can often be found running around the local mountain trails. Emily has run all her life, (unlike everyone else, she actually enjoyed cross-country running at school!), and got into adventure racing before leaving the UK. She's now completed several Ultramarathons, including the 101km CCC. She also plans to do several races a bit further away from home; the next one on the list is in Iceland.
Emily also works as an English and Geography teacher, but manages to get outside whenever is possible. She feels that running is the most accessible and enjoyable way to discover the Alps. Each summer Emily plans a self-sufficient multi-day trail run with friends, enjoying the simplicity of running through beautiful and wild places with everything you need on your back. She also enjoys climbing, ski-touring and cycling.
Emily is a qualified International Mountain Leader.
RUN LEADER (UK): KAT SIZER
Kat is a local trail runner who loves exploring the wonderful delights that the Chilterns have to offer.
Although Kat has been running for a number of years, as a keen climber and mountaineer she started running in the hills more recently as something to pass the time on a day of mizzle in the UK mountains. She then caught the bug and started sky running in North Wales, the Lakes and Scotland. Kat has dipped her toe in some sky races and some ultra trail runs, including the classic Ridgeway route. She most enjoys the technical terrain and getting off the beaten track where possible.
Outside of running she works as a physio specialising in major trauma rehab and her day to day work involves teaching amputees to walk, run and play again.
PHOTOGRAPHER / RUN LEADER: CLEMENT HODGKINSON
As a passionate runner, skier and climber, Clement has built up the skills to both move and shoot in unique environments whilst staying safe and efficient. His unrelenting desire for adventure and creative eye enabled him to shoot unique assignments around the world including; photographing a 9 day ultramarathon crossing Iceland, filming in the fjords of Western Norway for clients such as Ford Europe and Sidetracked and trail running assignments in the Chamonix valley in particular for Run the Wild.
When Clement isn’t taking photographs he is most likely putting in miles on his road bike, running alpine trails or heading off climbing. The Chamonix massif is a valley where he can do all of these sports making it a ideal valley to spend lots of time in. His work focuses on projects whose stories touch on aspects of adventure sports and the environment. He hopes that his work will allow people to engage with our wild places and learn to value and protect them.
Clement’s work has been the face of numerous outdoor campaigns and he shoots the Run the Wild imagery from our runs in the Chamonix valley.
TEAM MASCOTS: LOTTIE AND BAILEY
Lottie and Bailey are sometimes seen on Run the Wild adventures. Lottie (brown and white) is an excellent runner frequently reaching speeds over 30mph (48kph) and is an adept climber. Bailey (black) is more of the endurance hound and has already taken to canicross. Both particularly love trails and trail runners. Lottie likes chasing butterflies and Bailey has an unquenchable passion for tennis balls.