Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fell running

My enjoyment of completing the Snowdonia Marathon have inspired me to consider the sport of fell running. I spoke recently with a veteran of the sport, who founded the Cnicht race in North Wales - it sounds like a great thing to try. New challenges, such as navigation and being safe in the mountains. And, to my mind, it all sounds so wonderfully amateurish. A huge contrast to some of the larger "corporate" running events that are becoming increasingly consumerist and trashy - very expensive to enter, yet increasingly cheap and nasty. An example of a lack of correlation between cost and value. Ultimately, running barefoot exemplifies this in that it is "free for those who are rich enough to afford it, and very very expensive to those that cannot", to quote from a favourite film of mine, Withnail and I.

Just to clarify: I do not mean "amateur" in the pejorative sense: a faker, a cack-handed dabbler (as opposed to a professional) - rather, in the sense of amatorem - a "lover of" something.

I look with interest as running barefoot movement makes baby steps in awakening a paradigm shift in the running world, following the publication of "Born to run" and the Nature article on running barefoot. But not holding my breath...