Going Wild

Two new books from Wild Things Publishing have made my mouth water this month.

Wild Swimming Hidden Beaches is reviewed here but Wild Running, written by Jen and Sim Benson is a lovely book that almost takes the fear out of fell running. There are several previous books on fell races in Scotland and the UK  and if you’re looking for information on these, this is not the book you are looking for. However, standing with 3 kids at the bottom (or top) of a hill in the pouring rain or sizzling sunshine (just as uncomfortable in my opinion) waiting for my husband to come along has jaded my interest in hill running and the urgency of a race has always spoiled for me the joy of being in these wonderful places.

In Wild Running, the fact that you are not in a race and are allowed to stop and admire the views, turns it into a whole different game and a much more pleasant one at that. There’s no danger of being dropped at the back of the race and looking rubbish as this is all done in your own time and indeed, many of the runs outlined here could even be done as walks.

The writers are highly experienced – Jen Benson is a sports clinician whose research focuses on may aspects of long distance running and who has notched up a few marathons and ultra races herself. Sim Benson is a runner, mountaineer and environmentalist and they have run and competed both together and individually.

With 150 routes in 272 pages for the whole of the UK, there are going to be some omissions, though it does feel as though there has been a deliberate effort to cover every corner of the UK, including the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland. Some well known races are referred to in the introductions to each area, even if they are not detailed.

If you are one of those people who like to explore the outdoors, you will love this book. It’s easy to navigate and has some great ideas for places to stop off at as you pass by or places to tempt you into making a special trip. They aren’t all physically demanding either, as some can be walked in a day, or less if in a country park, though most will require a modicum of fitness and all will require some planning, most obviously the A to B routes.

The publishers have made it very easy for you with downloadable maps and GPX downloads for mobiles. Although this is a book which works well on a coffee table, I’m sure it will be much more than that. Wild Running: 150 Great Adventures on the Trails and Fells of Britain is available here on Amazon


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Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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