Jake Littehales

Runner - Track, Road, Trail

We are providing Jake’s bio without significant editing or adjustment for your reading pleasure. We hope you enjoy learning more about this talented athlete as we did. Jake has a unique ability beyond running: a creative uniqueness with the ability to illustrate and tell a story with words.

“My running career, or for use of a better word, to stay in line with the sporting amateur laws of the 60s and 70s, Australian tennis player Rod Laver’s success as an amateur and Bjorn Borg’s underwear collection post Pro tennis career, “my passion for running”, first began as a 20-year-old when I joined the Stockport Harriers. This running club is located in the town of Stockport, found within the City of Manchester, England. Which is, to run along (mind the pun) with my tennis themed-opening, home to tennis legend Fred Perry (Wimbledon Champ, 1934, 35, 36).

I began running seriously in 2012 in place of soccer, known as football since 1863. Exactly 115 years before Robin William’s Mork landed in Boulder, Colorado. I did improve steadily as one does when they train more frequently and with educated guidance. It was 18 months after this decision when I started to run times across all events that truly reflected my structured and consistent training. I won my first ever 10k in 32:30. It was on the hilly roads of St Helens, off no more than 40 miles a week at most.  I went on to run 1:52 for the 800 meters and placed 3rd at the North of England championships. This was just 2 hours after running 1:54 in the heats. Not a bad year as a whole, and things were for sure moving in the right direction.

Then suddenly, my running progression halted. My running journey evolved into what can only be compared to a Stephen King Novel.

Not The Shining, as I hear more than one voice.  Not quite Pet Sematary until my puppy takes me for walks along the tracks or adjusts my collar to be too tight.  I’m talking about the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger starring, campy futuristic film, “The Running Man”, based on the 1982 novel of the same name.

I make this comparison not because I’m a man who runs, but because I’m a runner who was a man.  I suffered from sickness or injury for the next three years, on and off, but mostly on.
After anemia ruined my 2015 season, which still saw me run an 8:30 3000m, in my first and only attempt at the distance, and a 4th place finish at the Manchester 10k, the season of 2016 was washed away by my decision to take a 6-month-long break from running. That year began strong. Even without training over Christmas break, I won my first trail race. A 5-miler in swamp-like conditions with non-trail shoes and curls in my hair. I followed this up my winning my first and only trail half marathon in 74 minutes and coming first one week later in my return to the St Helens 10k.

One day later, I chose to stop running.

During my long break in 2016, I was offered a scholarship to attend Adams State University. A team recognized as the most accomplished sports team in collegiate sport, regardless of division.  I enrolled in August that year. The same month I started training, as my desire to run fast slowly came back. Less than a month after arriving in Alamosa, a town Stephen King took inspiration from to write his 1982 novel, “The Shawshank Redemption”, I again became victim to injuries.
Almost 2 years later I am healthy and in a position to race and race well at that.
My targets are to run personal bests on the track, then move onto the roads and the trails come summer time.”