ULTRA distance trail star Damian Hall is used to seeing gold from his many record-breaking exploits – but now he is determined to go green in the pursuit of success, writes Kevin Fahey.

As a man who loves running and racing in the mountains, hills and countryside, Box-based Hall is well aware of the increasing pressure being placed upon the natural environment, but he knows his love of the sport comes with a carbon footprint cost.

But rather than turning a blind eye to the issues and jump in his car to head to another race, Hall is tackling them head on – and it is certainly not all talk.

“I am trying to become a low carbon athlete,” said Hall.

“I am not saving the planet on my own but it is about your own conscience and doing something yourself to start with.

“When I did the Paddy Buckley Winter Round record recently I didn’t use my car and got to Llanberis by bus and train. On the way home it took two buses and three trains before I finally made it back to Box.

“I also fell asleep and missed a connection but that probably proves a point that I was better not driving as well.”

Hall is an ambassador to Inov-8 running shoes and clothing and as a company they are also investing heavily into using recycled materials in their products.

“They are not perfect by any means but they are trying to do the right thing and I am very pleased to be associated with them,” added Hall.

International invites, of which Hall receives many, are clearly a problem so he has made a conscious decision to restrict his overseas competitions to just two this year.

“I have two major races overseas, the Ultra-Trail Mt Fuji race, in Japan (UTMF) and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) in the French Alps,” explained Hall.

“Obviously getting to Japan you need to travel by plane so for that I plan to off-set my journey by paying towards a tree-planting scheme.

“You can go on-line and use calculators that will tell you how much you need to spend to off-set your carbon footprint for a journey and the trip to Japan will cost me £100.

“For the UTMB plan I have planned my journey using trains and buses again so that should work okay.”

Hall would be the first to admit there is always more to be done but by taking this first step he is hoping more runners will follow and the moment will spread.

“I think there is a moment growing among runners who realise that their lifestyle are not sustainable or ethical any longer,” said Hall.

“I am into running in beautiful places and fully appreciate that I am very fortunate to do so.

“I also know I want those places to stay around for future generations.

“I guess trail running is more of a ‘hippy’ type of sport for lovers of the outdoors who love their running as well and, as such, there is an appreciation of the environment.

“I certainly don’t want my kids to grow up thinking why didn’t their dad do something to help with this environmental crisis.”