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Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession: A Story of Fell Running and Obsession Paperback – 1 Apr 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Apr 2005
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; Reprint edition (5 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845130820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845130824
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


‘A minor masterpiece.’ Sports Book of the Week



(Frank Graham The Sunday Times )

‘A rousingly readable chronicle... The book wants for nothing in terms of rhythm and drama and tug.’

(Christopher Bray The Sunday Times, Culture )

‘Sports book of the season - a terrific story of fell-running and obsession.’

(Blake Morrison Guardian )

‘[An] excellent book.’

(James Eve The Times )

‘One of the most effervescent books about anything - never mind fell-running - that I have ever read.’

(Dave Jones The Fellrunner )

'Imagine how strange it feels not only to have read a book about fell-running, but to have enjoyed it so much that I am now contemplating trying the sport myself...a lovely little book'. Annalisa Barbieri, New Statesman

(Annalisa Barbieri New Statesman )

A beautifully written, potted history of fell-running and famouse fell-runners. Definitely worth a peep!

(Country Walking )


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 - 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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