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Feet in the clouds : a tale of fell-running…
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Feet in the clouds : a tale of fell-running and obsession (2004. Auflage)

von Richard Askwith

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1265176,231 (4.04)8
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. 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 - in which the whole point, indeed, is to run the ancient, wild landscape, and stay a hero within one's own valley. A chronicle of a masochistic but admirable sporting obsession, a touching exploration of one of the last genuinely sporting communities, and an insight into one of the oldest extreme sports, Feet in the Clouds is a unique sports book to rival a William Hill winner like Angry White Pyjamas.… (mehr)
Mitglied:Katzenjammer
Titel:Feet in the clouds : a tale of fell-running and obsession
Autoren:Richard Askwith
Info:London : Aurum, 2004
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession von Richard Askwith

Kürzlich hinzugefügt vonclawton, Walnuttree, pgildea, SnufkinWynn, pstobbs, mjhunt
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I am still very slow at reading non fiction. And I did find there were a lot of fell runners, all of whom ran across the pages briefly for their time in the spotlight. But that aside, this book was a great overview of fell running. The perserverance of him finally managing a Bob Graham round. And the love of the hills. ( )
  atreic | Jan 24, 2018 |
This book was badly edited: it should have been shorter, more succinct, less repetitive. I found the insight into the history of the sport its most useful and entertaining aspect. However, there was so much detail about sides in an ongoing feud between professional and amateur bodies that you couldn't help thinking that the author was writing with a grudge. ( )
  AwberyWhite | Sep 28, 2010 |
Like one of the many fell runs it describes, 'Feet in the Clouds' starts out slowly. In the middle it's exhilarating. But I feel better now it's over.

Richard Askwith is a fell-runner and his book is a homage to the sport and its heroes written from the middle of the pack, for though he's no slouch he's no contender either. It catalogues a fell-running season, punctuating the year with tales from the long and parochial history of the sport.

It's a history of quiet heroism because fell running is a sport that tests the individual to his limits. Distances, gradients, terrain, weather, and remoteness vary from the merely challenging to the extreme and life threatening. Yet the glory and riches that reward round the world boat racers, say, is absent from fell-running. Theirs is a story of passion, commitment and obsession just like any other, but until a film about Joss Naylor, and now 'Feet in the Clouds' it was largely unreported outside valleys in the remoter parts of England, Scotland and Wales.

Mr Askwith's a "Southern Yuppie" adopted into the fell-running family. He lionises its heroes; Joss Naylor, Eddie Campbell, Helene Diamantedes, vividly portraying the mental and physical torment of the fell run. But in his enthusiasm he underplays the privations that underpin it; the training, the exhaustion that can stay with a runner for a lifetime, the crippling injuries, and what it must feel like being the spouse, or child of a dedicated fell runner. This is the story of the winners, not those who fell by the fell side.

He also underplays his own achievement in completing the Bob Graham Round. An arbitrary challenge to climb 42 Lake District peaks separated by 74 miles in 24 hours. Barely more than a thousand people have completed a Bob Graham Round yet he is so in thrall to the greats (the record is just shy of 13 hours) that he describes his victory at the fourth attempt (in 23 and a half hours) apologetically.

It's a shame, because by the latter stages of the book I was flagging. There's only so many times you can read about lost, fog-bound, famished runners, their backsides gouged on sharp Snowdownia scree without anticipating what happens next.

If you've ever pushed yourself to the limit and aren't in a hurry to do it again, this is a painless way to relive the experience. If you're seeking inspiration, you'll find it. But towards the end 'Feet in the Clouds' was, appropriately in a way, relentless. ( )
4 abstimmen m8eyboy | Dec 26, 2006 |
Fell-running: a very British sport, where the pleasure is in taking part, not necessarily winning. Where the ability to punish yourself, through choice, is one of the motivations. The need to have that stiff upper lip, the hardness of mind over matter and the sheer determination not to yield to almost anything nature can throw at you. These are just some of the attributes fell runners need, and the best bits in this book, which is mostly about the sport and those who have thrived in it, are when the author tells about his own experiences of competing against the elements and himself. It is insane. Running in the dark over hills at three in the morning. Running in weather that can, and does, kill the participants. Careening down hills at speeds that mean control is handed to your Maker. Running until you lose voluntary control of your bowels, vomiting all over your shirt and shorts, but running on anyway. Running until you literally drop. Unfortunately, the book is about a hundred pages too long, but is worth a read despite the slog through some chapters. ( )
  uryjm | Sep 4, 2006 |
Hugely entertaining account of the strange sport of fellrunning, its obsessions, legends and characters. An account of a true sport; little known outside its heartlands ( )
1 abstimmen Simes | Aug 29, 2006 |
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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. 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 - in which the whole point, indeed, is to run the ancient, wild landscape, and stay a hero within one's own valley. A chronicle of a masochistic but admirable sporting obsession, a touching exploration of one of the last genuinely sporting communities, and an insight into one of the oldest extreme sports, Feet in the Clouds is a unique sports book to rival a William Hill winner like Angry White Pyjamas.

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