Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Mike Cudahy - Inspirational Words

I have just finished reading Mike Cudahy's book Wild Trails to Far Horizons - again. For those who haven't heard of Mike, he is one of our greatest "Ultra" runners whose achievements include being the first person to complete the 270 mile Pennine Way in under 3 days (on his 7th attempt) and he completed the "Coast to Coast" in under 2 days.

His book, "Wild Trails to far Horizons" is a fantastic tale of his adventures and achievements and his talent for running is matched by his talent for words. It was after completing his sub 2 day Coast to Coast run in what were challenging conditions to say the least and overcoming the mental battle to retire on a number of occassions that he wrote the following words which I thought captured the emotion and sense of fulfillment that I have shared on completing the West Highland Way. I hope he doesn't mind me quoting from his book.

"Never have I felt such sheer and simle joy at the end of a run. Moments such as these not only provide the answer to why one does things like this but why we are alive at all. One moment of such joy is worth far more than countless years of steady rational living. To have encountered hardship, discomfort, to have experienced one's physical, mental and spiritual limitations and weaknesses, to have found a path beyond them, not conquering them but accepting and yet transcending them, to have been supported, guarded and guided lovingly by friends represents, for me, a joy both sublime and supreme. I ask for no more."

If you haven't read his book - I would urge you to do so and see what running really is about.


John Kynaston said...

Great quote!

I must add that book to my list of books to read! Thanks

uknick said...

Mike was my tutor and dare I say it mentor when studying at Birmingham University in the 1980's he was a lovely guy who really cared about people - in tough no nonsense way. I was studying PE and also training for running and triathlon - I got my degree (above expectation) and made it into the elite GB team and put this down in part to Mike's encouragement and support.

He gave me a copy of his book and it is an account that inspired me for the rest of my athletic life - hard work, graft and conmitment are at the heart of great endeavour.

My 15 year old son is now an aspiring distance runner and is interested in ultra running for me Mike is someone I would point to as a shining example of the essence of purity in distance running.

Thanks for the quote it really helped me to recall a special relationship.

Nick Ballard