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Feet in the Clouds: A Story of Fell Running and Obsession

posted 1 Feb 2012, 12:59 by Tim Hadfield   [ updated 1 Feb 2012, 13:01 ]
The concept of fell running is simple: a long-distance race that includes running up and down several tall mountains. Though rarely making the sports pages, it is a mass-participation sport in areas like the Lake District and Snowdonia - indeed, race organisers turn competitors away so that fragile mountain uplands are not irrevocably damaged by thundering feet. Fixtures like the annual Ben Nevis and Snowdon races, or the Borrowdale and Wasdale fell runs in the Lakeland valleys (20-mile-plus marathons), have remained local events attended by the whole community - the runners back at work the next day shearing sheep. Now, Richard Askwith explores the world of fell-running in the only legitimate way: by donning his Ron Hill vest and studded shoes and spending a season running as many of the great fell races as he can, from Borrowdale to Ben Nevis: an arduous schedule that tests the very limits of one's stamina and courage. Along the way he also meets the greats of fell-running - like the remarkable Joss Naylor, who to celebrate his sixtieth birthday ran the Lakeland fells non-stop for a week, and Kenny Stuart, the wiry Keswick man whose astounding records still stand for many of the top races, and Bill Teasdale, one of the sport's pioneers, still living in the same tiny cottage in the northern Lakes. And ultimately Askwith's obsession drove him to attempt the ultimate challenge: a circuit of the Lake District peaks within 24 hours. This is a portrait of one of the few sports to have remained implacably amateur, and utterly true to its roots .

I found this book by accident whilst flicking through various sports books at lunch. It is brilliant and I highly recommend it!