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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware - Penguins in Road (and Pink Elephants in the Bushes), 11 Oct. 2009
By 
H. Southall (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out On Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking: The World of Hundred-mile Walking (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed reading this book, which does a brilliant job of portraying the eccentricity and absurdity - not to mention sheer heroic bloody-mindedness - which goes along with deciding to walk 100 miles over hills and moors all in one go, without sleep, but with plenty of tea, sympathy and home-made cake from the army of volunteer helpers along the way. Interwoven with the story of Julie's own journey from bemused observer to sideways-leaning, twaddle-talking, bleary-eyed participant, is the story of the event itself, from it's informal beginnings to the major annual event it is today.

The LDWA 100 is one of those great British sporting events that hardly anybody knows about, not least because the whole idea of walking that far in one go can seem so outlandish to anyone who's never been involved (and probably to quite a few who have as well). But this isn't just a book for the converted. It's serious where it needs to be, but for the most part I found myself at grinning, sniggering, laughing and howling as the characters and situations got more and more barmily heroic from one mile to the next.

If you enjoyed The Hike, Feet in the Clouds: A Story of Fell Running and Obsession, One Man and His Bog or Five Hundred Mile Walkies: One Man and a Dog Versus the South-west Peninsular Path, you'll enjoy this too. Highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mesmerising Read, 29 Sept. 2009
By 
Andreas Wilhelm (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out On Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking: The World of Hundred-mile Walking (Hardcover)
After "26.2" Julie Welch has produced another spellbinding book.
This time she writes about the history of the Long Distance Walkers Asociation (LDWA) and their annual flagship event, "The Hundred" (a 100-Mile challenge walk). Not only does she write about the illuminous characters (of which there are many) but she also takes part in the 2008 version of the event. And she is "Out on her Feet".
She writes very eloquently about the LDWA and its Members, and also provides descriptions and reports of other Challenge walk events all around the country.
In parts a LDWA history and in parts a personal account of her own challenge of walking a hundred miles non-stop, she captures the reader with humour and wit.
This book is very suitable for those intrepid souls who find Long Distance Walking exhilirating and also very suitable for those who don't know why people walk 100 miles non-stop (yes, why do we do this...)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling account of English eccentricity, 18 Mar. 2012
By 
J. H. Bateman "jembateman" (Lancaster, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Out On Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking: The World of Hundred-mile Walking (Hardcover)
I bought this book because my 79-year-old Dad's compulsive long distance walking ensured his prominence in it, including a victorious photo and a whole chapter.
The author joins the Long Distance Walks Association to investigate how and why a range of otherwise ordinary people commit themselves to Hundred Mile Walking, which events generally begin on a Saturday morning, require walking through the night supported by necessary breaks to crash out at co-operative refuges such as church halls and Youth Hostels, and sag to a close sometime on Sunday night on a heap of cruelly maimed feet.
She assumes the perspective of an outsider looking in at this diverse range of (mainly older, it has to be said) people, sympathetic and respectful. She also traces the history of the Long Distance Walks Association (yes, there is one!).
She spends a lot of time detailing the stages of the various walks she reaches. She quotes route guides whose language is frequently amusingly arcane. However, I did skip a fair amount of the OS map-type data, I feel the book, though worthy, stretches the material towards its limits; I'd like to read more on the subject through my personal connection (I write this hoping Dad's just finished this year's Norfolk 'Daffodil Dawdle'!), but think it's probably a better read if you're involved in this, or wish to be but don't have the time (like me!).
But if the idea does grab you, and enjoy orienteering or similar activities, you'll find it a good read.
Slight correction: Dad's VW Beetle was 35 years old when they met, not 25. And, like him, is still going strong!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out On Your Feet, 31 Dec. 2009
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This review is from: Out On Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking: The World of Hundred-mile Walking (Hardcover)
When reading the first chapter I laughed all the a way through, been there, done that. Long distance walkers, especially 100 milers must appear barmy to the rest of the world but the book gives an insight. On a personal note knowing the people who were in the gave it even more interest for me. The insight into the Long Distance Walkers Association is portrayed very well with its many events, publications and characters. I would recommend it to any walker, look at the personal challenge, look at the camaraderie, see how you can achieve something for your self but most of all don't take yourself too seriously. Read it and why not give the Long Distance Walkers a try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read It and Do It!, 5 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Out On Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking: The World of Hundred-mile Walking (Hardcover)
A very honest, helpful and vivid account of long distance walking. Thank you Julie for spreading the LDWA gospel and hopefully readers of this book will be inspired to be out on their feet too. Reading this simply makes me want to get even more involved in the world of long distance walking and tackle more challenge events - sore feet and creaking joints included. The only way to really taste the crazy mix up of suffering and jubilation of The Hundred is to literally walk the walk but this super book gives the reader a pretty good idea of what goes on and what's out there to be had in the walking world right now. Read it, have fun and get walking!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight to read, 31 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Out On Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking: The World of Hundred-mile Walking (Hardcover)
Beautifully written and very entertaining. I may be biased because I read it just when I was thinking about entering the 100 myself, but I couldn't put it down. It has spurred me on all the more to become a member of this crazy but determined band.
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