Howard Chambers, is a keen runner, adventurer, and general life 'go getter'. Through supporting him through our imminent adventure to the Atlas Mountains for our running training trip, I have got to know Howard, his wife Jo, why he goes exploring mountains...and just generally, why he loves running a lot.
I asked Howard a few questions about his love of running, and how it became such a big deal for him. From running across the Peaks, being in the leadership of a significant Northern running club, to organising adventure trips across the world - Howard is a very proficient, yet extremely humble, runner.
M:How did running become a passion for you?
H: I always loved the outdoors, and got into running through the Boys Brigade XC at the age of 11, but only every trained for the short season. I didn't join a running club till around the age of 17: Oldham and Royton Harriers. The BB took us out walking and camping in the Lakes at Easter, and I was blown away with the beauty and one day knew I would run in the fells.
2) Have you got a favourite place to run?
There are no bad places to run - I have found so many lovely places travelling extensively in UK and in Europe especially. The Picos in Northern Spain is a stunning area and one often missed by the mass tourism market. Closer to home I love the Lakes and Scotland. But I'm so lucky living so close to the Pennines; such beauty on our doorstep.
3)What is it like being part of the leadership of a running club?
I've always been an organiser, I just love putting something back into a sport I have got so much out of. Although I have now moved away from the Exec side of things, I am part of the coaching team at Saddleworth which gives me so much pleasure.
4) How did The Right Altitude become to be?
I had been asked to recce a trek for a hospice I help out at, so I went over to Morocco to test things for myself and was absolutely blown away by the place. It's not just the stunning location that makes it special, but the Berber people are so lovely and nothing is ever a problem. Working with Discover Ltd who own the Kasbah and provide our guides means we have something very unique to offer I feel.
5) Why the Atlas Mountains?
It sounds a bit naff, but I feel at home there! The peace and tranquillity have to be experienced to be fully understood. There are numerous paths and tracks taking mules over 2400m passes into green valleys beyond; it's just a magical place.
6) What trips , adventures have you got lined up in the near future?
I hear concerns about the safety of Morocco, which is just so very wrong, but I do know people are worried, so to accomodate for this, I'm also looking at possibilities with Discover in the Massive Central, Southern France. I also operate a more traditional holiday company: The Right Balance, which takes clients over to Crete. Personally, I am just happy to be still getting out running whenever I can, be it this country or abroad.
After reccing the Atlas Mountains with Howard, and Nikki Barnard recently, to prep us for our upcoming trip ,I could not agree more about the beauty and tranquility of that part of the world, and I am excited to be soon returning and training at altitude. For any more info on future trips, do get in contact via my facebook page or The Right Altitude.