Autumn is upon us, and so too are The Great Outdoors awards – a chance for outdoor enthusiasts to vote for their favourite outdoor brand, retailer, pub, book accommodation and more. This year I find myself short-listed for the category of Outdoor Personality of the Year. It is of course an honour to be short-listed (thank you to whoever nominated me!) and I am chuffed to bits, although it is a bit surreal appearing on a list with such household names as Ed Bryne and Ray Mears (even my mum has heard of him!).
Of course being short-listed for this award is not really about me as such (what you mean it is not some kind of recognition for this occasionally updated blog or my rare tweets from the top of a hill!!?) but about Social Hiking (incidentally there is no category for outdoor website or app, which seems remiss).
Whilst it might be my name on the door, Social Hiking is the product of many – whether it is the people who followed the first live map (like @welshracer or @walkingbookscom), the people who pushed me to make it public (like @philoutdoors or @ukjeeper), the users who have shared tens of thousands of awesome maps, the supporters (who voluntarily financially donate towards the site), the people who have shared ideas (particularly singling out @stevenhorner), the people who have spread the word and sent me words of encouragement, or my long suffering partner. I am ultimately just the code monkey on a keyboard (with big colourful keys and everything), so it is kind of hard to take all the credit.
And to be honest any of my fellow nominees could win and I would not feel hard done by (just being short-listed is a win in my books!)
Still, that said, I obviously would like you to vote for me – voting is open now until 10 November 2013 (and, whilst I cannot take all the credit, in the unlikely event (last year it was won by Bear Grylls) I win, I am keeping the trophy! ;))
There is a glitzy award ceremony held in Kendal but, whilst I would love to attend to network with the movers and shakers in the outdoor industry (and drink beer with Terry), sadly I have to give it a miss as I cannot scrape together the funds to make it up there (running Social Hiking does not pay well!) [thanks to some last minute consultancy work, I am hoping to attend the awards now!]