The Emotional Runner
Edward Price

Very interesting, Ed. Love your take on the emotion involved. I have not read Running Free (yet) so am not familiar with the Ages of which Askwith talks. What I do remember about my (now distant) peak years was that I always enjoyed the racing challenge, both against the clock and also against others (particularly clubmates, whom I ALWAYS wanted to beat). I also recall never noticing the point when no further improvements came. It happened at some point, but one kept hoping, and indeed believing, that more PBs were yet to be achieved. I can understand Askwith’s 4th age manifesto — the childlike enjoyment — which also comes out in Boff Whalley’s excellent Run Wild. Having said that I used to get that feeling of absolute joy on the infrequent occasions when a training run was so good that one believed that anything was possible. There was sometimes a wish that you were racing at right that moment — and often faced disappointment a few days later when you did race! But equally those moments were jewels in of themselves. I can even now recall freewheeling training runs, particularly when out among or atop the Lakeland fells, when just being there and being able to run in that way was the only ‘high’ that I required.

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