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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 13 September 2011
Loved this book. downloaded the sample first to my kindle and then had to buy the full version. It is an amazing story of gritty effort and never giving up. I am just getting into ultra running and found the book inspirational. As someone who has also struggled with navigational issues it is always good to read that they can be overcome and you can achieve such great things as Moire! Can definitely recommend this book to runners and non runners alike
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on 19 October 2012
This is a very honest account of how a "regular" runner built up her skills and talents from just a keep-fit level right up to endurance/mountain-running capability, and eventually deciding to tackle the "Wicklow round" mountain challenge.

Most of the other reviews here say it all, but one or two things might additionally be worthy of mention: the cover photo is not of the author nor is it taken in the Wicklow mountains, and the author seems to have had the resources to publish the book privately since there is no publisher mentioned on/in it anywhere. But these do not distract from a very honest and open account of how she arrived at her goals, and was methodical in listing each and every setback on the way, and thoroughly analysing the reasons for such glitches in order to prevent them happening again.

Anyone who has ever set off into the mist in the hills and has found themselves temporarily lost will identify with her setbacks as she meets them; as will anyone who has tripped in heather, fallen into bog-holes, set out too late or too early on a hike or a run, or pursued their particular outdoor passion to the degree where exhaustion makes you see and hear things that are not there.

Beware - when you put this book down you might well find yourself on the way to the nearest outdoor store to inquire about the right type of footwear for mountain running.
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on 3 July 2011
If you've ever wondered what drives someone to push their body and mind to their limits (and beyond) in an extreme sport, this book gives some insight into the phenomenon. Moire moved back to her native Ireland in 2006 and, in search of friendship and an adrenalin rush, she took up mountain racing. Over the course of a year she evolved from being a complete mountain running rookie to participating in 24 hour mountain marathons and navigation challenges. The Wicklow Round challenge, completing a ring of 26 peaks in the Wicklow Hills within 24 hours, soon becomes an obsession for Moire. This book is about the 3 years of her life that she gave over to that obsession and her progression from newbie to being the first person ever to complete the Wicklow Round challenge.

In the course of the book you are given an introduction to the quirky world of mountain running and the mind-bendingly strange one of ultra mountain racing and ultra orienteering. This is a world where people calmly, seemingly rationally, discuss the relative merits of having a sleep-break during a 24 hour race (the benefit being the rest you get of course) or to keep going through the night (so as not to get cold and stiff and not to have to carry a tent and sleeping bag on your run). A world where people will run multiple marathons up and down mountains over the course of 1, 2, 3 or more days.

But mostly this is a book about Moire's inner journey, about her failures and how she learned from each of them to come back stronger and smarter to overcome each challenge she faced, above all never giving up, never choosing the easy option but pushing herself unremittingly forward.

With a gift for descriptive prose, and a no holds barred honesty in her accounts of physical, emotional and mental struggles, Moire pulls you in and drags you along on her fascinating journey.
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on 10 January 2013
I read this in a couple of days and it was quite unputdownable. The penultimate chapter describes in great detail what Moire went through to become the runner she is today. However, one gets the sense that the last chapter was one that she struggled with or, could not be so bothered with as it reads rather flat and a little rushed. Shame then to finish on that note (I won't spoil the ending which incidentally could have been crafted a little better and in greater detail but is still good). I recommend that you buy it, but don't expect it to knock Feet in the Clouds off the book shelf.
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on 1 April 2013
A really inspirational book. Despite the 5 dozen typos, reading this book made me get off my arse and stop moaning about having to run 20k after a crap night's sleep - she puts things into perspective for me and that is exactly what I'm looking for when I look to read a motivational running book. I relate to a lot of things she talks about and her self effacing approach to her writing is quite humbling considering her amazing achievements. I would recommend this book, especially to women - inspirational, thanks Moire!
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on 21 April 2013
I picked this up in a hostel in the Mournes and was so compelled by it that I bought the book immediately on my return because I wanted to finish it. Even though I'm not a runner myself I found O'Sullivan's strength and determination inspirational and these sporting events which I didn't even know existed intriguing . A very enjoyable read.
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on 16 December 2012
Having read many many running books I am happy to declare that this is the best.

It has a very personal blog style to describe events and training sessions and entice you to read on.

Fascinating account of mountain running and the peculiar challenge of the Wicklow Round.

Highly recommended.
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on 5 April 2016
Moire O'Sullivan tells the story of how she became the first person to complete the Wicklow Round, a punishing 26-mountain circuit, within 24 hours. She describes how she started as a complete novice mountain runner and learned the hard way how to navigate, to deal with the boggy Irish terrain and to push herself beyond exhaustion. A great read.
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on 2 August 2015
Found this account of Moire's Wicklow Round compelling reading and hard to put down. It is written in an honest self critical manner describing her journey from greenhorn fell runner to one of Ireland's finest mountain runners. As a lover of the mountains and occasional hill runner myself I can only marvel at her dedication and courage to put herself through so much physical and mental pressure to achieve so much in so short a time.
Best running book I have read since Feet in the Clouds without a doubt.
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on 21 May 2016
Full of energy, Moira takes you up and down some of the most beautiful mountains in the UK and Ireland. The way she writes leaves you with a raw taste of the harsh environment. It also shows just what the human body is capable of achieving with courage and fortitude. Extremely well written.
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