Anna Paxton, Film Festival Director and Ultra Runner

“Sheffield has given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had in any other city.”

I didn’t plan to have a career based around ‘adventure’; in fact, I didn’t even know it could be possible. I’m a trail runner. I run off-road on footpaths, fells and mountains – everything else came from that.

Living in Sheffield, my first runs were around Graves Park, and I remember 12 minutes up that steep hill felt like a long run. Later I ran from Endcliffe Park around the Porter Valley; it was a big achievement for me to make it up Porter Clough without stopping. I’ve taken part in iconic races around the city: the Percy Pud, Sheffield Half, Round Sheffield Run and fell races like the Trunce, Blacka Moor Chase and Burbage Skyline. I’ve finished last, and I’ve finished in the top 10. Running in Sheffield and the Peaks gave me a strong foundation to go to higher, hillier places.

Anna Paxton

Running might be the only thing I do purely for myself. When I run, I feel strong, I feel capable and I carry that confidence into my work – whether that’s writing, planning an event or producing a film. I’m co-director of Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), producer at adventure filmmakers Salt Street Productions and I also write about the outdoors.

Sheffield has given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had in any other city. I’m proud of us, and it means a lot to me that I’m able to capture a bit of that character in Salt Street’s films, and bring communities together at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. I find people here to be resilient, honest and humorous: qualities that set us up well for a life of adventure, whatever that means to you. // @sheffieldadventure // @saltstreetpro

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