It’s no exaggeration to say that we’re living in troubled times. Less than two weeks ago Manchester suffered the worst terrorist atrocity on British soil in more than a decade. This horrific act of mass murder fell in the middle of an already fractious general election campaign, one which grew out of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit – probably the greatest constitutional change in living memory.
On a global scale, Europe is dealing with the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, thanks to brutal and seemingly unresolvable conflicts on its borders. Meanwhile the volatile occupant of the White House has just withdrawn from the Paris Climate Change accords – a move more ill-considered than even the most covfefe-y of his misspelled Twitter rants.
“He once ran for three and a half days non-stop, with no sleep, covering 350 miles in the process.”
Given the turbulent state of the country and indeed the planet, it might seem odd to produce a Peace Issue now, but perhaps it is exactly what’s needed. After all, there’s always been something inherently peaceful about getting away into the great outdoors. And when the rest of the world seems to be going to shit, it’s worth reminding ourselves that it’s still out there.
For our Great British Adventures series, associate editor Jack Clayton travelled to Snowdonia and enjoyed some supremely serene moments – at least when his “mate Dave” wasn’t terrifying him by taking a near-fatal wrong turn up Glyder Fach. Meanwhile Fergus Scholes headed to Portugal for an epic three-day trail run along the remote coastal paths of the Rota Vicentina – experiencing the peculiar inner peace that comes from pushing yourself physically, in one of the quietest places in Europe.
This month’s Big Interview features Dean Karnazes, arguably the world’s most famous ultra runner, and a man who knows a thing or two about pushing himself physically. Dean once ran for three and a half days non-stop, with no sleep, covering 350 miles in the process. But despite the fact it’s nearly killed him on more than one occasion, he’s surprisingly zen about the pain involved in ultra running and what it’s taught him.