Tuesday, 30 May 2017


It’s dark.
I’m alone and I’m tired.
I’m cold, wet and hungry.
I’m miles from home.
My body hurts.
I’m dreaming about food and the warmth of my bed.
I’m so tempted to quit right now.
It would be so easy to give up.
This is my choice.
Nobody is forcing me to do it.
I could stop right now and no-one would ever know.

Why am I doing this?

Why do I run?

I’m not afraid to admit that I’m obsessed with running. It’s an addiction that needs feeding but one that is easily satiated. I’m at my happiest when I’m
running, completely immersed in the sights, sounds and the smells of the outdoors.


I feel blessed that I can run. It makes me appreciate what I’m capable of and it gives me an enormous sense of freedom and well-being. Not all my runs are
fast or difficult. Most of the time I just like going slow so I can enjoy the views. No run is ever the same. No view is ever the same. My eyes have witnessed
some amazing sights. I’m constantly aware of what’s around me and I never take it for granted. More than anything, I love to run in the mountains. To climb high above the rest of the world and far away from the pressures of everyday life. I don’t need to listen to music for motivation, I prefer to lend an ear to nature, whose sounds are just as intriguing as her sights. It’s here, in this perfect wilderness, that I find my comfort and solace.

Pictured above: Val di Mello, Val Masino, Northern Italy

I run because it’s a release from the stresses and strains of everyday life. I can forget all my worries and just focus on the simplicity of putting one foot in
front of the other. When I’m out running I do most of my thinking with a clear head. I like to spend time planning and making decisions. Although admittedly, most of my time is spent thinking of an interesting name for my run on Strava, one that befits the effort I’ve made, or describes the experience I’ve just had.

Running gives me a purpose and a sense of belonging. If I’m running well and often, then I’m happy and content. It makes me feel good, both physically and mentally. It gives me the confidence and structure in my life that I need in order to be successful in everything that I do. 

Pictured above: Climbing high on Sentiero Spinotti, above Collina,
Northern Italy

I’m always looking for a new adventure. I like to explore my surroundings. There is nothing in the world that gives me greater pleasure than climbing a
mountain or finding a new trail. I’m usually without a plan. I like to make my own way, tread my own path. There are times when I don’t know where I’m going and I don't know where I am. I run where I want and where my feet take me. I’ve found that sometimes in life, the only way to really find yourself is by first getting lost.

Pictured above: Training on Sharphaw, North Yorkshire

Part of my addiction includes competing – I just love to race. I enjoy it because I like to test myself. Not just against others, but against the course, the terrain and the natural elements. I like to push my body to see how far I can go, how fast I can run and what I can achieve.

Racing has taken me to some amazing places, allowed me to enjoy new experiences and meet other like-minded people. I’m yet to meet a trail runner who doesn’t share my love and passion for the sport. Being a part of the off-road running community feels like being part of an extended family that stretches right across the globe.

Pictured above: Flying the flag for the GB team at the European
Mountain Running Championship 2016, in Arco, Italy.

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have competed for the three C’s – my club, county and country. The memories I have will last a lifetime and I’m always hungry to create more. I have hundreds of special moments to look back on and I dream about what I’ll achieve next if I keep working hard in training and during races. Whenever I need some extra motivation to get out of bed in a morning, or do an extra mile, or another hill rep in the rain, then I think back to these moments and I’m instantly reminded of why I’m doing it. I don’t want to have any regrets in life and I don’t want to look back and think about what I ‘could’ have achieved.

THAT’s why I run. 

You can read more of Ben Mounsey's adventures on his own blog. 

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