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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
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‘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 )
Top Customer Reviews
I was wrong! Firstly Richard Askwith is an exceptional writer (he’s a journalist on The Independent newspaper) with a beautifully vivid and entertaining style. Secondly he’s really done his research and backs this up with fifteen years involvement in the sport. Thirdly, and most importantly, he obviously loves this mad sport of fell running with a passion and this gives his book a depth and warmth and integrity. Sports writing at its best. Highly recommended !
This book grabs you and makes you want to be able to run these events.They show the side of sport that most never see,the sheer enjoyment of the elements and the respect shown for all competitors not just the winner.
Yet the tales of the elite should be read by all ,they are an example to all of what can be achieved.
Read it and you get hooked,I've done the auld land syne race he mentioned at the end and said never ,ever again,but the book inspires you to try again.
Read this book or you are missing out.
I am a keen walker, having completed 184 of the Lakeland peaks (only 30 to go). My most notable achievement is the Lakeland 3000s. I have enjoyed doing more than Wainwright advised.
At the age of 44 I was looking forward to a gentle wind down. Then a friend (?) got me this book for Christmas. It is gripping reading, but not just for the pleasure of the read itself. It has reminded me of the freedom of the fells and the points at which we are most alive. The Fells are not appreciated most for the pretty views, but by being immersed in them, and the way to do this is to run in them
And the sport of fell running has not been tainted by commercialism or competition. Just to finish a race is success. And no one has egos on the fells.
The most striking chapter concerned a race in which the weather was appalling. One competitor of 38 completed the course. But all had succeeded in making the right judgement to abort the race when they judged conditions were too severe for them. Fell running requires taking responsibility for yourself, which in this age of the Nanny-State is a refreshing change.
One final point. Richard is not a champion fell runner. He is in awe of the greats (like Joss Naylor and Billy Bland). But his achievements in middle age put most of us to shame. He puts this across with great modesty, and as I read I was willing him to succeed. But he is no elite athlete and what he has done I could do too.....
A must read for anyone who loves the hills and wants to understand the crazy individuals who run them
The best book I've read for ages - it should win prizes.
He tells us about Ernest Dalzell, whose 12m 59.8s record in the Burnsall race stood for 67 years (including the detail that Dalzell's 900' descent took only 2m 42s). He tells us about Kenny Stuart, Bill Teasdale, Billy Bland, and Joss Naylor, and a whole host of other remarkable people who consider themselves anything but remarkable. This includes Helen Diamantides who, together with Martin Stone, won the 5-day 220-mile Dragon's Back race in a running time of 38h 38m beating an elite field of other ultra long-distance teams (many of which dropped out). There are many more stories like this, astonishing and inspiring in equal measure.
The book is full times and records and placings, both contemporary and historical, but Askwith draws in his readers so deeply – enveloping us in the lives of these runners – that these are details you come to care about. But he also manages to impart fell runners' love of the mountains and their support of each other, as well as the sport's acknowledgement of danger (he talks a lot about pain), and the individual need to accept personal responsibility.
I loved this book – at times it brought goosebumps to my arms and tears to my eyes (and not because of cramp). An easy 5 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whilst I love fell running, Richard does half bang on about why fell running is 'so' tough. Well pardon me but anyone who's maxing out and a bit is considered tough. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jake Lawrance
A great book and goes through the highes and the low very inspirational for the road runner like me! Go for it l say!Published 5 months ago by Euryn Williams
I wouldn't class myself as a fell runner, but I love the Lakes, big days out in the hills and a little bit of running. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ms. O. L. Koepping
highly recommend this book very inspiring read, makes you just wanna get out there and run the hills.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic book, highly recommend it even if you've no intention ever of running in the fells.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I would go so far as to say that this book is a rarity. A piece of non-fiction that reads like a good novel!Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Makes you want to run and stop moaning. What more do you need?Published 8 months ago by Emptyvessal