Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Before the Race Was Run


We are rocked by disbelief, shocked and desperately sad to hear that Mr Uphilldowndales running partner and  our dear friend Daz H, also know as Darren Holloway, collapsed and died during the  Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay event in Cumbria yesterday. Daz was 42.

Daz 2

Daz was a gifted runner, he could power up a mountain as though jet propelled, and most importantly for a fell runner, he could drop off the other side like a stone, taking the boldest, quickest route down. But that is just part of Daz, he was a competitive cyclist to boot, and some readers will know him as the blogger ‘Laidbackrunner’ but most of all he was a husband, dad and son, it is for his family and their loss that we feel the most.

Daz was a kind, compassionate person, his encouragement of other runners and his sportsmanship are legendary. 

Daz and Mr UHDD ran the Bob Graham Round together in 2008, they spent so much time together training, planning, racing, here they are at the finish, at the Moot Hall (some may also remember Daz’s  rather special tattoo, to mark the occasion?)

Daz H 2

I’ll leave you with the comment Daz made on my post about the Bob Graham, as always with Daz, it was about others, not himself.

Our lives have changed forever for sure. The photos are great, recording a special time in myself and Mr Uhdd’s lives.
The memory of me touching the moot hall and then being told not long after by your youngest son that

‘MY DAD WONT BE LONG’ , had me in tears. I couldn’t hold them back and the lump in my throat as Mr Uhdd ran to the finish was unforgettable.

Daz, dear Daz,  for us, you are unforgettable too, nor can we hold back the tears. And if there could be any doubt about what running meant to you, this post says it all.

I’m sure in years to come I’ll be able to think of how you died doing what you loved so much, in the Autumn sunshine  on the glorious Cumbrian fells; but for the moment I can’t get past the fact that you’ve gone, gone before your race was run, that and the heart ache of those who loved you.

21:59 Edit… I should have included our heartfelt thanks to the emergency services and mountain rescue, and especially those of you who  immediately stepped forward to help Daz, fellow runners, people out on the hill for the day, you stepped forward just as Daz would have done for someone else in need. You are special… you did your best, no one could ask for more. Remember that. Take comfort in that.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

23 thoughts on “Before the Race Was Run

  1. I am so, so very sorry. So much loss and sadness. Every day we are reminded to live for now.

  2. I have just looked through the Flickr album and his sheer love of life his vitality and good health shine through. Very very sad. RIP.

  3. It is particularly shocking when people who are so fit die suddenly. It doesn’t seem fair at all.

  4. Thank you for the kinds word, myself and Josh have been reading all the fell runner forum comments and links, blogs and it is so heartwarming how much he was respected. RIP my laid back fell runner x

  5. So sorry to hear about your dear friend.

  6. What a terrible loss. I’m so very sorry. If it’s any consolation, your lovely tribute speaks volumes about what a special guy he was.

  7. I am very sorry for your loss, and for his family’s pain. I remember your Bob Graham post and the emotional finish at the Moot Hall very well. It’s a great gift, a passion like that – particularly when it lives in such a deeply decent human being.

  8. My sympathies for this sad, unexpected loss. You’ve certainly had more than your share of tragedies to cope with lately.
    This post is a fitting tribute, and I’m sure that you’ll remember him with much fondness and a smile. xx

  9. Sorry to hear so many losses in such a short period of time. My condolences. RIP.

  10. Mr Uhdd, you’ve had a sad time lately and I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had another loss. It sounds like Daz will be a great loss to many other people too. I’ve read many of his comments on this blog and feel almost like I know him myself. I was actually thinking of you on Sunday: we were driving through Buxton and saw signs for a fell race there. It was a beautiful day and I wondered if you were running. Out on the hills in the magnificent autumn sunshine is a good way to go, I suppose. Just not yet.

  11. I’m so sorry. I’m quite stunned and don’t really know what to say.

    I’m thinking of the way he descended the Ben. Something special to see.

  12. I too am sorry for your (collective) loss and for the difficulties that have landed too close to home for you recently. Holding you in the Light.

  13. I am so very sorry to read of this sad and tragic event. He sounds like such a wonderful man in so many respects. You must be just reeling from the news, and like the others, feel a deep sense of loss. He was one of those bright stars that lighted the way. My thoughts are with you and his dear family.

  14. My condolences for the sudden loss of your dear friend, and for the pain Daz’s family is suffering. I am so sorry.

  15. At a loss for words… so many kind and moving comments.

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  17. Very moved to here this sad news. My thoughts are with all concerned.

  18. I am so, so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and his family. 42! That’s almost shocking. Yet almost envious in that he died doing something he loved. We should all be so lucky, although it’s hard to think of it as “luck.”

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