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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Mar-17 > All in a day’s work

All in a day’s work

James Carnegie gets a morning flight to Northern Ireland, runs the country’s highest peak and is home before bedtime to prove that, with a little planning and a keen sense of adventure, a day is all you need for an epic running adventure

If you happen to find yourself sat in row 30 of an easyJet airbus sometime soon, you might find a folded OS Map of the Mourne Mountains in the seat pocket. If, like me, you’d previously never heard of them, you’re holding the key to a wonderful adventure. Admittedly, beginning a day trip to an unknown destination without the map you’ve marked a trail on isn’t the best start (especially when you have to be back at the airport eight hours later) but the outcome was a blank slate to run open trails with two good friends, seeing as much of this stunning Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as possible.

Matt Buck tests his balance on the Mourne Wall; a bemused hiker; Sean caught mid-snack; potato pancakes and Nutella – what more does a runner need? (Nutritional value not guaranteed); an ominous sign
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About Men's Running

When I first started at MR – a fresh-faced graduate with fully functioning knees – I ran to keep fit. Did I do it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? No. Fast-forward two years and things are a little different... 2016 saw me run my first marathon, my first ultra and – the natural progression – my first 24-hour track race. People talk of the running bug, but this was a full-scale pandemic. In the months that followed, though, I got lazy. The thought of running elicited a vacant stare, a memory of plodding round a 400m track at three in the morning, and the muttered words, “You weren’t there, man.” So, resolved to refind my running mojo in 2017, I signed up to a race, the Brixton 10K (p94), in the hope that it would spark me back to life. And, along with providing depressing confirmation of just how much slower I’ve got, it certainly did that; the post-race feeling reminding me just why I fell in love with running in the first place. For many, though, running’s true benefit lies not in racing but in the adventures it brings. In our lead feature this issue (p46), photographer James Carnegie leads us on a whistle-stop tour of Northern Ireland to prove that, with just a little planning, a day is all you need to run some of the finest routes the UK has to offer. You may not find me scrambling up the Mourne Mountains any time soon, but you will find me running again. Here’s to getting back on track in 2017.