Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

January 12, 2011

Feet In The Clouds (The suspense is building...)

So far in this blog, I've been limiting myself to race reviews and other writing-newsworthy events.  Since my training consists mostly of runs to work and back, plus some gym time, even I could run out of interesting things to say about seeing the same 3 miles over and over again.  Although I do still enjoy running them.

But enough about that.  This particular blog is supposed to a glorified book review, after all.  But it doesn't start quite yet.  I came home one evening from work to find a program called "Sand Marathon" on TV.   It followed a Brit as he attempted to complete the Marathon Des Sables in Morrocco.   I had heard about this race, but seeing the racers come over the Saharan sand dunes, blisters and all, was fascinating.  I immediately thought about doing it (the heat shimmering across the TV screen must have addled my brain), but found out 1) That it's really expensive to enter, 2) That there's a waiting list years long to get in !?!?, and 3) That you have to carry all your food, and water is rationed.   Ouch.  But it still sounds fun.  Definitely on the bucket list for me.

In the course of my research about the race, I came across a book about it.  I haven't read that one yet.  But, in the way of Amazon searches, that book led me to another, led me to another... and in a few days, 4 books on crazy running events showed up at my door. 

At about the same time, a few emails went floating around about a winter completion of the Bob Graham round.  For those of you outside the UK, the BG round, as it is known, is a circle of 42 peaks in the Lakes District of England, some 60ish miles with 27,000 feet of climbing.  First done by who else, Bob Graham, back in 1932, it must be completed in 24 hours or less.  It's big.  It's scary.  And for some reason, it also sounds appealing.   The appeal of a Bob Graham is that it can be done anytime, there is no entry fee, and the Lakes district is only two hours away.

So the first book I started reading was the one called Feet In The Clouds: A Tale Of Fell-Running And Obsession, by Richard Askwith.   It is somewhat about the Bob Graham, and mainly about Fell-Running.  By the first chapter, I was hooked.   The author has a wry, witty, cynical style that is exactly what I aspire to emulate (but often fall short of).    It was written just a few years ago, hence the main characters are, well, still out running!  The fell-running circuit is a small one, so I'm finding out, to my surprise, that some of my new friends are famous, and that there is a lot of history going around.

To be continued...(I need to finish reading the book first!)


  1. I feel a Bob Graham attempt coming soon.....

  2. Stu, congrats on your own BG round, and perhaps I will follow in your footsteps one of these years....