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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
151
4.6 out of 5 stars
Feet in the Clouds: A Tale of Fell-Running and Obsession
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on 16 June 2004
My expectations for this book were quite low, anticipating yet another “unfit journalist tackles extreme sport/ epic adventure, suffers humiliation but finally emerges triumphant in the game of life” type yarn.
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 !
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on 10 April 2005
I am a keen reader and was brought up in the lakes and watched the fell races as a child.
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.
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on 28 August 2017
Having recently joined a running club I have heard the half whispered term Bob Graham Round and the name Joss Naylor, spoken with immeasurable respect and awe. Finally I understand why.
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on 28 November 2013
If you are a runner, fell or otherwise you need to read this book, not because it has lots of training tips or routines but because it totally encapsulates why we run. We do it because we love it and life would not be the same without it. If you are injured or lacking a bit of motivation read this book and you will not regret it.
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on 22 August 2017
Enjoyable review of a truly remarkable sport. Hard people on hard terrain makes our Lakeland walks and jogs seem very tame!
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on 20 March 2017
Cracking read
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on 17 March 2017
Wonderful evocation of what it is to run. If you run or are thinking about running buy this book now
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on 25 July 2017
Great read!
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on 13 July 2004
It was a real treat for me, a fell runner for over twenty years, to read about the runs and characters of the sport. But this book is beautifully written and will be enjoyed by those who previously had little knowledge of, or interest in, running over the wild places of Britain.
The best book I've read for ages - it should win prizes.
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on 10 May 2016
Richard Askwith introduces us to not only fell running, but also fell runners, fell races and long-distance challenges, and the remarkable story of fell-running history – all interwoven with details of the contemporary fell-running year as it passes month by month. Also interwoven is Askwith's struggle, to complete the 72-miles and 48-peaks of the Bob Graham Round (of Lakeland fells) in under 24h, much of which is in his head.

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.
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