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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > October 2018 > KING OF THE MOUNTAIN

KING OF THE MOUNTAIN

A NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE ENCOURAGED CERI REES TO TAKE A MOUNTAIN LEADER COURSE. HE SAYS YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME

TRAIL RUNNING SPECIAL/MOUNTAIN LEADER

EXPERT ADVICE

Ceri Rees is an ex-international athlete and trail running expert. He is the founder of Wild Running, offering trail running and mountaineering experiences for all abilities.

Cliff hanger: Rees learned the hard way to become self-reliant

I decided to sign up to a Mountain Leader course while hanging from a creaking glacier in the dead of night, 6000m up a mountain in Peru, watching my crampons slide down its near-vertical cliff face.

Strangely, it transpired, I was waving goodbye to a certain type of dependency. My local guide, who had replaced my ‘for hire’ crampons with the wrong sizes, had also invited along an assistant at the eleventh hour, who was still high from a party the previous night. Never again did I want to feel so at the mercy of someone who thought it routine to ascend a 6,200m mountain within 24 hours, with no acclimatisation.

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About Men's Running

When I first started running, venturing off-road was all about school cross-country races, generally around anodyne playing fields in heavy football boots. It wasn’t the kind of experience that books are written about. In fact, it was the kind of experience that scarred many would-be runners for life. But fast forward, cough cough, a few years and trail running is now big business. The clamour for places in the ‘big daddy’ of all trail race, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, is as fervent as the Virgin Money London Marathon and shoe companies now have entire ranges dedicated to trail and off-road. Why is it so popular? If you haven’t yet ventured off the beaten track, trail running is about being more in-tune with nature and taking stock of your surroundings. It’s not about times or even really distances; it’s about testing your body over different terrain with vistas to die-for! In this Men’s Running special, we talk about everything trail, from training to technique. We even cover a few races for good measure. We hope you enjoy!