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RUNNING FREE

JONNY MUIR BUYS INTO THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT APPROACH ADOPTED BY A NUMBER OF EVENTS FLYING IN THE FACE OF INCREASING COMMERCIALISM

COMMERCIALISM IN RUNNING

Lewis Breen has been running for 23-and-a-half hours. He would like to stop, but as he looks back at the hill he has just run down, he knows he must keep going.

If he ascends Arthur’s Seat – the 251-metre hill that stands sentinel over Edinburgh – one more time, he will have summitted the rocky peak 48 times in 24 hours, and who can deny the beauty of those numbers?

Sustained by the carbs of a Lidl bakery aisle, the first eight hours passed uneventfully, with Breen reaching the top 20 times, each up-and-down leg comprising a distance of 2.2 kilometres and a height gain of 160 metres.

Night came; rain fell; the numerous stone steps to the summit became as treacherous as ice. Breen retreated into a surreal world of concentration and nauseous exhaustion. He pressed on, nonetheless – ascending, descending, ascending, descending…

How did he feel? Terrible. “I felt like taking my bag off and throwing it down the hill,” he said. What was it all for? Fame? Money? A shiny medal and goody bag groaning with things he had no use for?

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Men's Running - Nov-17
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