We're a Running Club and a Book Group

And so much more....

The journey of a runner is filled with twists and turns, peaks and valleys. For every runner’s high, there are days when your legs feel like lead. On the days when our morale is low, we find inspiration in runners' stories. From feats of superhuman determination and Olympic conquests, to the accidental athletes and Parkrun plodders. Connecting with the journeys of other runners, has helped to guide our own.

It’s true, we’re a little bit geeky about running. But mostly, we’re interested in people; in our global community of runners. Running is one of the most democratic sports on the planet, all you need is a pair of trainers and you’re off. So we’re here to showcase and introduce you to a diverse range of runners, from ultra champions to everyday heroes.

Let their stories inspire you, let your imagination run.

Our Team

Char Binns, Founder of Bookhounds

Char Binns she/her

Top Dog

Char is the Founder of Bookhounds. As a child, Char was mostly outdoors, climbing trees or playing sports. As a twenty-something, she was mostly in libraries or reading books. As a thirty-something Char finally found the best of both worlds! Whilst training for her first marathon and studying for the England Athletics ‘Coach in Running Fitness’ course, she stumbled upon ultra star Lizzy Hawker’s book ‘Runner’. Devouring it in days, Char felt refreshed and renewed in her approach to training. Runners stories became an essential part of her fitness regime.

Char set up Bookhounds to share this passion and to connect with other geeky runners.

Emma Nibbs, Deputy Dog at Bookhounds

Emma Nibbs she/her

Deputy Dog

Emma is not a fair weather runner. Actually, she prefers to run in the winter! As Char’s partner, Emma is by default the very first member of Bookhounds.

All or nothing, depending on whether there is a race on the horizon, Emma is ready to find regular inspiration through our monthly books. As a talented plant-based cook, Emma fuels the team with dishes from gluten-free chocolate Brownies to vegan macaroni cheese.

Her background is in community engagement, diversity and inclusion and she’ll be helping to ensure that Bookhounds is a club where everyone feels welcome and part of the team.

Jak Smithson they/them

Sound Hound

Jak and Char are longtime friends and running buddies. Somehow, Jak always ends up getting fully involved in Char’s wild and wonderful running adventures (most recently running 36 miles together to celebrate Char’s 36th birthday).

A creature of habit, Jak owns pretty much every ‘Local Legend’ Strava segment in their neighbourhood. Born in Yorkshire but having spent formative running years in the Middle East, Jak is ready to run whatever the weather.

As co-host of our monthly podcast, Jak is here for the chat.

Soph Welton

Leo Soph Welton they/them

Designer Pooch

Leo is at their happiest outdoors, especially if it involves getting muddy. Running has always played a part in Leo’s life in varying degrees, from a handful of Great North Runs to a now more modest amble around the countryside or local parks.

With their little dog Ruby at their side they hope to find their running ankles getting stronger after recovering from a nasty injury in 2020.

Once the muddy boots are off Leo can be found tinkering with our branding and illustrations. See more of their work at iamhuman design.

Toby Fells

Toby Fells he/him

In The Pack

Toby is a trail and ultra runner based in the Lake District with his three border collies.

Toby started running in his late teens but, struggling with his mental health, he had a period of five years unable to run due to regular hospital admissions and sedative medications.

Mad, suicidal and overweight he made one final attempt to find a life worth living away from the mental health system and moved to Yorkshire. Here, he fell in love with the moors, dog by his side and camera in hand and eventually returned to running, but this time, on the trails and fells.

He is Coach at Queer Runnings, an online run club for LGBTQIA+ people.

Tasha Thompson

Tasha Thompson she/her

In The Pack

Tasha lives in London with her 2 children and has been running for over 20 years. She is the founder of Black Girls Do Run UK and a #runsome Running Mayor.

She loves to race, is an avid bucket list creator and is always ploughing through an annual list of challenges and fun things to do. As well as loving all things running, she loves riding her bike and reading.

Char invited Tasha to appear as a guest on the April 2021 Bookhounds: The Run Down podcast and they had such a good time together, Bookhounds decided to keep her!

Penny-Flo the whippet

Penny-Flo she/her

Club Mascot

Cheeky long doggo Penny-Flo is the fastest runner on the team. She is also mostly likely to poop during the run.

An essential member of the Bookhounds team, Penny-Flo is responsible for mood boosting snuggles and ensuring that the team takes regular screen breaks for playtime.