Faster Louder 978-1-912101-29-0_600px

Faster! Louder! (YP)

£9.99

How a punk rocker from Yorkshire became British Champion Fell Runner

by Boff Whalley

Author and Chumbawamba guitarist, Boff Whalley tells the true story of how a teenage punk from Yorkshire, seemingly existing on a diet of cider, parties and loud music, rose to the top in the toughest of sports.

“Faster! Louder! is a great combination of different mad energy – punk and fell running. I knew nothing about the cult of fell running. Now I want to know more. The story has a unique take on music and running as a life force and is also a love letter to the fell running landscape.”  Richard Jobson, The Skids

 “A stirringly evocative, riveting, hilarious, nostalgic, important book about two opposing worlds that aren’t so different after all.” Damian Hall, author and elite ultra-runner

A most enjoyable look at fell running with a punk soundtrack and attitude. At school I was the one at the back of the pack sneaking off for a cig. Reading this book has made me wish it had been different. The challenge and exhilaration of the love of running in itself; the weather; the fells and the personal challenge – it all makes for a great read and I’m happy that Killing Joke may have been along for the ride.”  Big Paul Ferguson, Killing Joke 

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Product Description

This is the fascinating story of how an unlikely and eccentric runner became, against all expectations, the British Champion. It’s a tale that focusses on the races that made up Gary Devine’s victorious 1990 season, while opening out to understand how the unruly, fearless ethos at the heart of punk could chime perfectly with the spirited, gutsy and dauntless root of mountain running; how the elements of surprise and daring are central to both. It’s a near-perfect underdog narrative, a drama that traces one boy’s life from ordinary schoolkid to extraordinary winner – all against a backdrop of alcohol, fights, arrests and extreme guitar noise.

Mountain running ranks up there as one of the toughest sports. Having the ability and athleticism to race up and down Britain’s highest peaks takes stamina, peak fitness and years of specialised training. So how did a teenage punk rocker from Yorkshire, seemingly existing on a diet of cider, parties and loud music, become the British Champion fell runner?

The history of mountain running is peppered with legendary feats and characters, ultra-hard men and women who can run seemingly non-stop over our highest and toughest peaks and skylines. Flicking through the black-and-white photographs telling the story of these past champions of the sport you’re struck by how wiry, super-fit and disciplined they look.

Then, from nowhere, along comes Gary Devine. A maverick who jogged onto the scene sporting spiky dyed pink hair and a tatty running vest, hungover from the previous night’s party, smiling and joking at the start line as he wiped the sleep out of his eyes – before showing everyone a muddy pair of heels and running off to win.

This is the fascinating story of how an unlikely and eccentric runner became, against all expectations, the British Champion. It’s a tale that focuses on the races that made up Devine’s victorious 1990 season, while opening out to understand how the unruly, fearless ethos at the heart of punk could chime perfectly with the spirited, gutsy and dauntless root of mountain running; how the elements of surprise and daring are central to both. It’s a near-perfect underdog narrative, a drama that traces one boy’s life from ordinary schoolkid to extraordinary winner – all against a backdrop of alcohol, fights, arrests and extreme guitar noise.

 Following Devine from his roots as a punk rock convert to his years racing alongside the world’s elite mountain runners, this is both a tale of implausible triumph to match that of comic book hero Alf Tupper and at the same time a compelling narrative of how running – like life – can be  a wonderful and unexpected adventure.

“With the lifestyle Gary led, it’s amazing how the hell he was able to run races – never mind win so many. A bit of a wayward lad but I’m full of admiration for him – he did it his way!”  Billy Bland, legendary fell runner

 A strange, exhilarating blast of a book, throbbing with energy and sweaty authenticity. FASTER! LOUDER! celebrates fell-running as it used to be, rough and untamed, through the story of a maverick hero whose remarkable athletic triumphs are achieved against a grubby backdrop of brawls and hangovers, squats and drug-busts, and very loud music.” Richard Askwith, author of ‘Feet In The Clouds’

About the author 

Boff Whalley was born in Lancashire, where he worked as a postman and supermarket shelf-stacker before starting a band with friends in the Thatcher era. After 25 years of recording and touring with Chumbawamba (co-writing their hit song Tubthumping), Boff started to write. He has written several touring plays and large-scale musicals, working as composer and writer for several theatre companies and at Tate Britain, Manchester Museum, and most recently with Welsh National Opera.

He has published two previous books (Footnote, an autobiography and Run Wild, a love-letter to the sport of fell running), and is currently touring a theatre show These Hills Are Ours, about running, land ownership and escape. He lives in Yorkshire and has been running on the fells for over thirty years, many of them as a team-mate and friend of Gary Devine.

Additional Information

Weight 451 g
ISBN

978-1-912101-29-0

Size

197 x 128mm.

No of Pages

240

Format

Paperback