A view from the Highlands


Here’s a nice wee write-up about Isles at the Edge of the Sea, as well as a short extract, on the website of Highland Hill Runners.

Extract from Isles at the Edge of the Sea by Jonny Muir:

‘Number 68.’ I was being summoned to the start line of the Goatfell hill race – eight miles of toil from sea level in Brodick to the 874 metre pinnacle of Arran, and back again: the sort of thing perfectly sane people do for amusement. ‘Yes, me,’ I muttered, reluctantly walking forward to join the other competitors, a throng of lithe, sinewy men and women wearing little more than club singlets and shorts. I stole an anxious upwards glance at the skyscraper we would soon be climbing. The imposing impression of Goatfell glowered back, turning my legs to lead. I dreaded the next minutes of my life; they would involve certain pain.
 
The Goatfell hill race and the Isle of Jura fell race feature prominently in Jonny Muir’s second travel book, Isles at the Edge of the Sea, which is published next week. The travelogue is an account of Jonny’s journey from Arran in the Firth of Clyde to St Kilda, the westernmost outpost of the UK, dubbed the ‘island at the edge at the world’.

On the way, he follows in the footsteps of Boswell and Johnson on Coll, describes the horrors of ‘the largest, most vicious midge population in the northern hemisphere’ on Rum, and attempts to find his inner peace on Holy Island.
 
Of interest to hill runners and walkers will not only be his exploits on Arran and Jura, but his ill-fated participation in the Harris half-marathon and his hill and mountain wanderings on Barra, Eigg, Harris, Rum and St Kilda. Topping the lot, however, is his determination to conquer the formidable Inaccessible Pinnacle on Skye’s Cuillin ridge.
 
Jonny, a former Press and Journal reporter and (one-time) member of Inverness Harriers, published his first book, Heights of Madness, in 2009. The book was an account of his 5000-mile cycling and walking odyssey between the highest points of the UK’s 92 historic counties.

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