Friday, January 15, 2010

Wild Trails to Far Horizons: An Ultra-distrance Runner

Just reading this little beaut! and having problems putting it down

If you need any motivation read this book,

Day 1 - 145 miles
Day 2 - 96 miles
Day 3 - 79 miles

Mike Cudahy is one of the foremost ultra fell runners in the country and now something of a fitness legend. In the course of decades of running he has covered distances from 70 to 270 miles, finding inspiration in challenges such as the West Highland Way, the Scottish 4,000 foot peaks and the Coast-to-Coast. In 1984 he achieved the ultra runner's equivalent of the four minute mile, the first under three day completion of the 270 mile Pennine Way.

The semi-autobiographical account of his ultra career constitutes the first part of this book.
'The Kingfisher's Wing' both continues and develops the theme of endeavour and inspiration. Included in this set of essays are three episodes from Mike's record traverse of the Munros, his 500 mile, ten day run through the Scottish Highlands, a 120 mile winter walk and a solo winter traverse of the 4,000 foot peaks shortly before a hip transplant. These tales of endeavour are seeded with essays of a more whimsical nature.

Throughout, Mike describes the inspiration which motivates and supports his challenges, in particular, the power and beauty of nature, the love and support of friends and the almost self-destructive will to succeed; this latter never more strikingly presented than in the final essay by fellow ultra runner, Mike Hartley.

The book contains guidance and advice for those who may aspire to emulate the achievements described. Above all, however, is Mike's observation that, 'the human condition is an amalgam of beauty, joy, sorrow and striving. Human frailty is not so important as how that frailty is embraced. Only endeavour which fails to enrich the spirit truly fails.'

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