Running is an addictive pastime, so say our running experts, and if you need help and advice about the best running shoes or clothing for your chosen terrain, you'll find them eager to share their experience. Between them they've run up and down most of the hills and dales across the UK, taken part in marathons and even ultra marathons, so whatever running gear you're after, they'll be able to help.



  • Martin Bell - Store Manager

    Running Expert

    Store: AVIEMORE

    Martin started running 9 years ago. Since then he has completed various Ultra Marathons some of which include the CCC 100km from Courmayeur to Chamonix, The Wall 70 miles from Carlisle to Gateshead and The Great Glen 72 miles Fort William to Inverness.

    He has tested out equipment such as inov-8 and Salomon, giving them feedback. Many years’ experience selling running gear to customers and listening to what they want from a product which is then fed back to the companies themselves. He has attended running workshops from top athletes to improve his knowledge. And has also experienced a long term injury so can relate well to most runners!

    A moment that stands out for Martin would be getting to the top of the last hill on the CCC the ‘Tete aux Vents’ after a really low period on the climb, to witness the sunrise and get a new lease of life all the way to the finish!

    Next June Martin will be running the South Downs Way 100 (miles) and at the Beginning of September he will hopefully be running the ‘Ring of Fire’ 135 miles around Anglesey. During the rest of the year they’ll be a few Munros and Corbetts getting ticked off to keep him busy.

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    Chamonix. "Most of the time I’m in Scotland enjoying the trails and hills but I always love running anywhere new, Chamonix will always be a favourite though."

  • Des Rhule

    Running Expert


    A true running veteran, Des has competed at local, national and international levels. He participated in his first ultramarathon in 2005, tackling the Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc (UTMB). He has gone on to undertake another seven ultramarathons, and considers the 2012 UTMB to be a highlight.

    For all his own achievements, Des loves to help others reach their goals and ambitions, no matter what scale they’re on. In his spare time, he is a race performance trainer for King’s College London, and has helped countless people achieve their targets, making him a fantastic contact for any running advice you might have.

    This year Des will once again be taking the UTMB head-on, will be running The Fellsman ultramarathon in the Yorkshire Dales, and is determined to complete a marathon sub-three hours after his 50th birthday in April - a feat most younger athletes would shy away from!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Alps. "I'd like to run in North America and the Himalayas, but so far my favourite place to run is the European Alps."

  • Alan Riach

    Running Expert

    Store: Aviemore

    Alan started running in his schooldays taking part in X-Country runs and events. He ran his first marathon at 19, coming in at a spectacular 2hrs 40min!

    Nowadays Alan is still running and taking part in Triathlons and is also the head coach of the 'Cairngorm Runners', the local running club in Aviemore. He also has two events lined up for this year – the Salomon Kielder Marathon which he took part in last year, and the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon which is one of the toughest events on the Triathlon calender. Extensive knowledge of local trails and routes within the Cairngorm National Park and first hand experience with many models of running shoes makes Alan an ideal person to help you with all your running queries.

    Favourite Place/Resort:
    Glenmore Forest, Aviemore. "It has to be an early morning run from my house in the Abernethy Forest through the Ryvoan Pass to Glenmore. It's 11 miles with amazing views of the mountains and the fresh air sets you up for the rest of the day!"

  • Michael Shepherd

    Running Expert


    Michael has been running for six years now. But he doesn’t just enjoy running, he also enjoys kayaking, caving, climbing and mountaineering. Having a diploma in coaching, personal training and out outdoor adventure sports makes him far from a one trick pony…

    In the last 6 months Michael has taken up barefoot trail running and has even started his own running club, open to anyone who wishes improve their fitness and isn’t scared of a little hard work! Michael runs a half marathon (13.1 miles) every Sunday and gets out at least three times a week. With each run consisting of around 8-10 miles it’s not just a simple walk in the park. He does all this just to keep his fitness up.

    For this season Michael hopes to complete a trail marathon with his fiancée and also hopes to run a trail half marathon barefoot!

    Favourite Place/Resort:

    The Pennines. "The Pennines are my favourite place to run, there’s plenty of fresh air and hills to take in. There’s nothing better than a long uphill challenge to test the legs."