If you haven’t read Richard Asquith’s classic please make it your business to do so. It is one man’s discovery of fell running and the characters that have shaped this unique branch of the sport. It will bring to you tales of endurance that makes pussies out of those of us that think running along a road is hard work.

I joined a little club run today at Howth. Four good hill runners, one experienced but a little slower and a couple of us newbies. We were checking out the route for the first league match of the mountain running season which starts next Sunday. And I suppose I survived the initiation – just. I kept up with Niamh and Geraldine whilst the better group jogged ahead but kept checking back to make sure we were OK. 4.3 miles in about an hour which included one particularly fierce climb that had me wondering what I was doing out there.

Now I must decide if I want to put myself through it again in the league, though I was assured I would be fine. I don’t know if I have the legs or (more importantly) the heart for it on a regular basis.

But it will have done me the power of good, sacrificing steady miles for the shorter, more intense stuff.

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