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Profiles - Hands For Feet

by Sam Downing on December 27, 2023

‘PROFILES’ is a chance for the Ponnek team to catch up with figures in the running community, both local to us and much further afield. These are the people that we find interesting (not just runners!) and hope you will find interesting too.

We recently had the privilege of sitting down with Hands For Feet (aka Ali!), over a alcohol-free Fungi beer, for a few quick fire questions. Ali is a Cornwall based illustrator and recently turned runner too! We wanted to speak with Ali about his relationship between running and getting creative, as well as asking him for some inside info on his now infamous 'Scarf Story'.


How long have you been running?I've only been running more 'seriously' a couple of months now. So very new to it!Welcome! Trail or road? If you had to choose, and why?Trail seems to be what I am enjoying the most mainly just being out in nature and seeing places I wouldn't usually go to.Do you think running/exercise ignites any creative spark for you?As long as I have skated and surfed it has always given me time to come up with ideas, so running similarly seems to do the same. It definitely helps me if I feel like I am in a rut or struggling to know what to do with myself that day. What do Donut Runs mean to you?The two I have joined you guys on have been a really fun way of meeting new people and enticing me to finish the race with some nice coffee and donuts...Are entering events? Or just running socially and solo for the joy?For the most part I have just been running on my own, apart from the donut runs! Which I think I really enjoy but I am looking into some events as it seems, like I said earlier, to be a nice way to meet people as well as pushing myself out of my comfort zone.Favourite post run grub?Weirdly I have found myself not being very hungry for a while after running but when the hunger comes back something bad for me feels like what I want, like chip shop chips or something.If you had to name the running sun, what would you name it? And why?Man, it's hard to name things seriously so I'd probably call it something really obvious like 'Sunny' because it is a sun... haha.Finally, tell us the scarf story in short…In a nut shell, me and my good friend Jordan, who is a really insane artist, have been going to the London Illustration Fair the last few years (alongside our friends Charlie and Mathilda) and wanted to make a scarf to sell there. So we made the design, looked for a manufacturer and they all had 8 weeks lead-time. This was fine, but when we contacted them, it was more like 12 weeks which we didn't have! Then Jordan found this German guy who said he could do it in time . So we were like 'yep lets go for it!'. Then he said he could only get it to a german address in time. Jordan's cousin happens to live in Berlin... so us being drunk idiots that night looked at flights, they were cheap, then decided to pull the trigger on the scarves and then ended up in Berlin a month later to pick up 50 scarves that say 'Pub Sports are Real Sports' on them. And we only sold 3 at the fair...


Ali telling the 'Scarf Story' over a 0% Pale Ale made from Fungi!