Out On Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking: The World of Hundred-mile Walking Hardcover – 10 Sep 2009
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...this is her honest and highly entertaining account of the strange, obsessive world of challenge walking.
About the Author
Julie Welch is a highly regarded sports journalist, author and screenwriter who initially made her name by becoming the first female Fleet Street journalist to report on a game of football, after covering a match between Coventry City and Tottenham Hotspur for the Observer in 1969. Julie is also the author of a number of sports books, including Long Distance Information, the story of the author’s life-changing decision to take up running, and the journey of self-discovery that ensued; 26:2, a book about running the London Marathon, and The Ghost of White Hart Lane –a biography of ‘60s Tottenham Hotspur legend, John White, who died aged 27. She also edited the Long Distance Walkers Association magazine, and has participated in the annual "Hundred" – walking 100 miles non-stop over 48 hours. Her book about her experiences, Out on Your Feet: The Hallucinatory World of Hundred-Mile Walking, which was published by Aurum in 2009.
Top customer reviews
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!
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...)
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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