365 Days of Hill Running Wisdom – March

Day 61: An insight into the High Peak Marathon: ‘The descent off Lose Hill was something to behold – a frantic, impossibly slippy, muddy, vertical drop. Most logical humans would take their time to pick a good footing and a safe line off such a death trap – not so fell runners.’ Day 62: The…

Ultra running: the art of futility

On a particularly hot day in the summer of 2014, I ran between the summits of London’s 12 Inner London boroughs. Starting from Hammersmith and Fulham, moving clockwise to the Isle of Dogs, going as far east as Greenwich, and then west to Wimbledon Common, I travelled 41 miles, venturing no higher than 134 metres…

365 days of hill running wisdom – February

Day 32: ‘Fell running – the key to women’s lib’: ‘They achieve equality in running the same courses as men, getting equally wet and muddy as men, and running faster than men.’ Up and Down magazine, 1990. Day 33: ‘What is it about grassy knolls, viewpoints, or even Munros, that makes people instantly want to…

Why running is the ultimate adventure

It is 5am in the Scottish Highlands. The darkness is total; the temperature a few degrees above freezing. On this late-November morning, it will be three hours before dawn breaks. The silence is vast, only interrupted by the clacking of studded shoes on a single-track road. Suddenly, the clack is no more. The runner has…

What is it about the Carnethy 5?

The field lies open and exposed, looking up to Scald Law and Carnethy, the highest points of the brown and grey Pentland Hills. Above a saturated bog is a hummock of low grass, decorated by clumps of scruffy gorse. Runners cower in the vegetation, squatting on ground littered with sheep droppings, pinning numbers on vests,…

The race should be on the fells, not the web

Entry for the Ben Nevis Race opened on Sunday. Runners were told they had three days, until midday on Wednesday, to add their name to a pre-selection ballot. Hundreds signed up, enticed by the increased hype around this year’s race, partly due to its selection as a British championship event. I was among them. I…

365 days of hill running wisdom: January

Day 1: A rousing start to 2018 from @boffwhalley: ‘I found my feet again, tripping easily across loose rock 3,000 feet high, feeling closer to sky than sea. This body wasn’t stretching and pulling any more, it was singing its place on earth. Look at me, Ma! On top of the world!’ Day 2:@moireosullivan epitomises…

365 days of hill running – the first week

I am posting a daily quote in 2018, celebrating the brilliance, toughness and eccentricity of hill and fell running. The messages are posted each morning on Twitter at @MuirJonny. These are the quotes from the first week. Day 1: A rousing start to 2018 from @boffwhalley: ‘I found my feet again, tripping easily across loose…

Run Free

Think of it like this: imagine running starting again, every race beginning from scratch. How would we want the sport to be? Ian Campbell has a vision: ‘The revolution won’t have an online entry fee, plastic medal or pointless goodie bag.’ Lewis Breen has been running for 23-and-a-half hours. He would like to stop, but…

What to read when you read about hill running

WHAT TO READ WHEN YOU READ ABOUT HILL RUNNING Writing and running are activities connected by extended metaphor: while running is prose, hill (or fell) running is poetry. This sport, therefore, demands writing of the highest ilk. In the course of research for my own book on hill running, The Mountains Are Calling, I have…

Running Hard blog tour

To mark the paperback release of Steve Chilton’s book Running Hard: the story of a rivalry on Thursday, I am hosting a guest post from the author as part of a three-day blog tour. Here Steve discusses the process of researching, interviewing and finding a voice. When I started thinking about my third book (Running Hard)…