Damian Hall is a British runner, journalist and author. He has set numerous race records and fastest known times on some of the UK’s toughest races and routes and written extensively about ultra-running and the environment.
He was a latecomer to running, completing his first half-marathon in 2011 at the age of 36. He admits he has always been an ‘outdoorsy’ person, but he quickly discovered a passion and penchant for running that far outweighed a normal hobby.
Damian Hall followed up his half-marathon with a full distance, before upgrading to an Ultra in 2012 when taking part in the ‘The Wall’, a two-day 70 mile race. By then he was hooked; he ran a 100k, 100mile and the 268-mile Spine Race shortly after and has competed ever since.
Beyond just his performances and record-breaking feats, Damian Hall has become more widely known for his vocal activism about ultra-running and its relationship with the environment.
He has called for more to be done by the industry to combat waste. He has written a book on that very subject called ‘We Can’t Run Away From This: Racing to improve running’s footprint in our climate emergency’ in which he encourages runners to cut down on their own carbon emissions but also to try and create wider change.
For his own part, Damian Hall has reduced the amount he races abroad, reduced the flights he takes and turned his family ‘carbon negative’. Damian has also become vegan, and co-founded ‘The Green Runners’.
Damian has also written more books other than ‘We Can’t Run Away From This’. They include: ‘In It for the Long Run: Breaking records and getting FKT’, ‘A Year on the Run: 365 stories from the world of running’, ‘A Race Through the Greatest Running Stories’ along with guides to the Pennine Way, the Cotswolds and the Somerset Coast Path.
Damian Hall Record and Results
Damian Hall has held several high-profile fastest known times, and he currently holds the records for the Cape Wrath trail (unsupported, 105:43), the Wainwright Coast to Coast (supported, 39:18:40) and the South Wales Traverse (supported, 14:13:18),
At various points, he has also held several highly sought after fastest known times, including records for the Paddy Buckley Round and the South West Coast Path.
In 2020, he also broke the 268-mile Pennine Way record as part of a back-and-forth with friend and rival John Kelly. Damian Hall broke Kelly’s first record-breaking run, although Kelly eventually took the record back.
He has competed in some of the world’s biggest races; among his most notable achievements is competing in the UTMB five times, in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021, only failing to finish once, in 2021, which was also his first ever DNF. In 2018 he finished fifth, his highest-ranking finish in the event.
His major victories in races have come at the Lakeland Trails Ultra 2019 in the Ultra 55K (05:39:12), the Swiss 170km Ultra Tour Monte Rosa 2019 and the 2018 230km Ice Ultra in Sweden, finishing 8 hours ahead of his nearest competitor.
In 2023 he won the Spine Race at the age of 47, setting a new men’s record by finishing the 268 mile course in a time of 84:36:24. A year earlier, a groin injury had forced to retire from a winning position in the 2022 race.
Later in 2023, Hall competed in his first ever Barkley Marathons and was among four runners to start the final lap of the infamous race, however he failed to finish.
His best UTMB finish came in 2018 when he finished fifth with a time of 22:35:13. He’s competed in the legendary race five times, most recently in 2021 which is the only time he failed to finish. His seventh place at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail in 2017 is also a notable accomplishment.
Damian Hall also had several impressive podium finishes. He came third in the 100mile Cotswold Way Century in 2013 and finished one better the following year, coming second. In 2016 he finished second in the 53-mile Highland Fling Race and also came second in the 2018 edition of Austria’s Mozart 100. He’s twice come second in the 50-mile Lakes in a Day race; 2019 and 2021.
In 2022, Damian led the Tor des Geants until around the 15-hour mark when he began to fall back, eventually finishing 12th.
Damian Hall is an Inov-8 athlete and wears their shoes when out on the trail. He uses Outdoor Provisions and Supernatural Fuel food when running. He is also an ambassador for Tomax Technology and Precision Hydration.
Damian Hall is 48 having been born in November 1975
Damian lives in Corsham, Wiltshire
Damian is an inov-8 ambassador and runs in their shoes. In the Spine Race he wore inov-8 Roclite G 275, in the Fellsman he wore inov-8 TRAILFLY G 270 and in the Tor des Geants he wore inov-8 TRAILFLY Ultra G 280.
Damian Hall has written ‘We Can’t Run Away From This’, ‘In It for the Long Run: Breaking records and getting FKT’, ‘A Year on the Run: 365 stories from the world of running’, ‘A Race Through the Greatest Running Stories’ along with guides to the Pennine Way, the Cotswolds and the Somerset Coast Path.
Yes, Damian Hall does coaching through Training Peaks. Here is a link to his page.
Damian Hall has competing in the UTMB five times, in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021. In 2018 he finished fifth, his highest-ranking at the event. In 2021 he was a DNF.
‘Underdog’ is a 2018 short film directed by Ellie Green about Damian Hall and his participation in the UTMB that year. It is available to watch on Amazon here.