The Mountains Are Calling Review

Last updated: 24-Oct-18

By Alice Morrison

I notice the silence first. There is sound – the rising of my own breath and the gurgle of feet on wet grass– but no noise. The suffering comes next: a trickle, then a seep, then a torrent. I do not fight it. It is why we are here.

Jonny Muir is a runner and a writer and captures the poetic and heroic nature of ultra running with skill and artistry. This is his fourth book and it is about running in the high places of Scotland.

It’s a big beast of a book with a mix of personal experience, anecdote, history and information. His love for Scotland and for the sport shines through. His love for the mountains sometimes gives way to hate, but his obsession with them continues.

He introduces us not only to the runs that Scotland has to offer but to the great characters that have undertaken them over the past decades, and his tales of heroism are theirs as well as his own.

His own heroics are pretty impressive. He takes on Ramsay’s Round, often called Scotland’s ultimate challenge. It’s a 60-mile circuit of twenty-four mountains ending (of course!) on Ben Nevis and by the end of which you will have climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest – arguably with worse weather.

The cut off time is 24hours and the joy of the round is its simplicity – human v mountains – and also its challenges. The Highlands throw everything at him as he makes the attempt.

What happens? No, I’m not going to spoil it… buy the book and find out.

This book is a great read, full of fabulous facts; true, tall tales; lashings of courage and all of it wrapped in excellent story telling. It will be my go-to birthday and Christmas present for quite some time.

But be prepared, once you read it, if you’re not already lucky enough to live there, you’ll be heading to Scotland.

OUR RATING:
4/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"It’s a big beast of a book with a mix of personal experience, anecdote, history and information. His love for Scotland and for the sport shines through"

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Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.