A few people asked me in the pub after our Wednesday night club run either if I knew the lad who’d passed away at the weekend in the Lake District at the Ian Hodgson Relays, or specifically if I’d known Darren Holloway from Pennine. I was and I am proud to say yes I did know Darren
Darren lived in Ilkeston, Derby less than ten miles from where I grew up and I first met him on a Bob Graham leg 2 recce / Christmas social run in 2007. We’d exchanged odd messages on the FRA Forums before we met but when I introduced myself Darren said, ‘I wondered if you were here. I’m really pleased you made it!’
For a long time Darren was a very solid ‘top end of mid-pack’ fell runner but a couple of years ago he decided to try to move up to a higher standard. He lost weight, started to train twice a day including a lot of road cycling (cycling was a real passion and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of continental racing in particular) and this made a real quantum leap in his performances. He had some really good runs at the Lakeland Classics and picked up many prizes in the Peak
Darren was an extremely thoughtful bloke; he always had time for other runners and was more than happy to help on friends’ Bob Grahams, with training advice, to share his experience in cycling and to watch runners slower than him him finish races long after he’d completed an event
Stef and I were in Wasdale the weekend of the Scafell Pike fell race and I bumped into Darren at the campsite before he did the race (he was first V40). He had on his Pennine vest and trade-mark cycling cap and looked as fit as fire. I’m so pleased I saw him then and I think that’s how I will remember him; happy, smiling and doing what he loved.