Every once in a while, you pick up a book that you just can’t put down. On even rarer occasions, you get hold of a book that proves to be a truly inspirational read. ‘Mud, Sweat and Tears’ fits into both these categories.
Quite simply, this book is a must-read for anyone with even a remote interest in trail running or adventure sports and it sits alongside the other classic of this genre, Richard Askwith’s ‘Feet In The Clouds’.
The book starts with the author’s first foray into the minority sport of Mountain Running and traces her journey from beginner to seasoned mountain runner. The account of the journey in between is remarkably honest with Moire intimately conveying her sense of self-doubt as she takes each step up the Mountain Running ladder. Indeed, it is this brutal honesty that helps to make for such an enthralling and enjoyable read.
Having dabbled with Adventure Racing, Moire becomes obsessed with the still unconquered Wicklow Round. The round consists of running over 26 of Ireland’s remotest Mountains in a distance spanning 100 kilometres, all within a seemingly impossible 24 hours. The last few chapters chart this obsession which becomes intensely all-consuming as Moire faces a race against time to attempt the round before work takes her away from her beloved mountains.
Amongst all the tales of pain, torture and suffering and the familiar descriptions of wind, rain and mist that the Irish Mountains can throw at you, Moire’s love of the sport as well as her passion, admiration and respect for these same Mountains shines through. Moire also successfully conveys the fleeting moments of beauty that only these high places can serve up and which make all the hard work and dedication worthwhile.
Probably the biggest compliment I can pay the book is that having read it, both myself and a friend have spent the last few Saturday mornings running up our local mountain. If you haven’t yet dabbled in the sport, there is every possibility that this book will also give you the inspiration to do so. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
Paperbacks can be bought from Basecamp, Great Outdoors, Amazon.co.uk, and from Moire’s blog directly. The book can also be bought for Kindles from Amazon.com and for other e-readers from Smashwords. All details can be found at: http://moireosullivan.com/buy-the-book-mud-sweat-and-tears/
The Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA) are the governing body of the sport of Mountain Running in Ireland. They have an excellent website which contains details of all events taking place throughout the year.
We recently caught up with Moire and chatted about Mountain Running, the Wicklow Round and her experiences of running on Foreign shores. Watch this space to read the full interview.