'It's a hill, get over it!'
Books on fell running are a bit of a rarity. So, when one does come along it is sure to be under the scrutiny of all fell runners and those enthusiasts who take an interest in running on the mountains and hills of the UK (and beyond)…
That said, luckily for us, most of those authors that have taken the time and effort to write about the pastime have generally done a blinking good job – Stud marks on the Summit (Bill Smith) and Feet in the Clouds (Richard Askwith) to name but two.
So, when Steve Chilton decided to embark on It’s a hill, get over it (the title apparently inspired after he had seen it on the back of a t-shirt a runner was once wearing) he would have probably been aware of some of the high standards that had gone before him. Thankfully, this book doesn’t disappoint.
Over the course of 330+ pages, Chilton tips his cap to the history of fell running, and takes the reader on a chronological trip through much of the last 150 years of the sport. From the Grasmere Guides race, to the veritable classic of today, such as the Three Peaks Race. He intersperses the guide to some of these races with some excellent interviews, such as the one with Rob Jebb.
Steve goes on to examine the global scene of today, how some fell runners (such as Dave Cannon and Kenny Stuart) were able to translate their hill form to the roads of the Big City marathons, and even dedicates a whole chapter to the one he calls The greatest…, Joss Naylor, who the great Chris Brasher stated was “better than Zatopek, Kuts, Coe and Ovett…”.
The book also portrays the Bob Graham Round, has an amusing interview with Boff Whalley and dedicates another chapter to the “Ladies”- talking to Pauline Stuart, one of the trail blazers of women’s fell running, and profiling such greats as Carole Greenwood, Sarah Rowell and Angela Mudge.
All in all It’s a hill, get over it is a really good read, and something I found that I can dip in and out of over this last few months. A worthy addition to any fell runners’ bookshelf!
Title: ITS A HILL, GET OVER IT
Author: STEVE CHILTON
Publisher: SANDSTONE PRESS
Available to order here