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Adventures in Mind

A Personal Obsession with the Mountains

Paperback (224pp)
  • Paperback £12.99
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‘The last descent and I can’t let myself think it’s in the bag. Anything could happen, take it easy, take no risks. Just get to the finish and win.

‘The challenge and anticipation that pushes me to try harder. The obsessive urge to achieve. It’s not all about winning. Why do I do it?’

Growing up in Bristol, Heather Dawe was 17 when she started running. Having fallen in to the teenage trap of smoking and drinking she resolved to do something about it, not knowing then where it would take her.

A climber since her youth, an obsession with wild places and the mountains was engrained in her DNA. Moving to Leeds to study, she began to compete in fell races and mountain marathons, joking in the pub one night that she could race at the highest level.

Being hit by a car doing over 40 miles-per-hour while cycling would have ended many athletes’ dreams, but Dawe’s drive pushed her even harder. Hard enough to make her pub joke a reality, hard enough to win Elite Mountain Marathons, to win the Three Peaks Cyclo-cross race and to complete the Bob Graham Round. Pushing harder still, she entered the Tour Divide – racing the 2,745-mile route of the Continental Divide in North America as she to sought to discover her physical – and emotional – limits.

Dawe writes of what it takes to compete in adventure races; the training, the sacrifice, the mistakes that must be made in order to learn and develop. An intensely deep and personal book, Adventures in Mind explores what drives a woman – living with her partner and their child, working 9 to 5 – to push so hard and so far; into herself, and into the wild.

Also available as an ebook:

Kindle (Amazon U.K. site)
Kindle (Amazon U.S. site)
Google Play

Introducing Heather Dawe, author of Adventures in Mind from Vertebrate Publishing on Vimeo.

Heather Dawe is one of the UK’s leading endurance athletes, having competed and won at Elite level in many mountain marathons, such as the LAMM and the OMM. She holds the female record for the Old County Tops fell race in the Lake District, won the Helvellyn triathlon in 2007, and has run the Bob Graham Round in under 22 hours. She has finished first female in the Fred Whitton Challenge twice, and in 2008 won the renowned Three Peaks Cyclo-cross. After growing up in Bristol, she has lived in West Yorkshire since she was 18. She spends her days working as a statistician and systems architect in Leeds and lives with her partner and their young daughter. She is also a talented artist – visit to see her artwork.

  • Title: Adventures in Mind
  • Sub-title: A personal obsession with the mountains
  • Author: Heather Dawe
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-906148-69-0
  • Rights: Worldwide
  • Publication date: 03 June 2013
  • Edition: First
  • Size: 234mm x 156mm
  • Extent: 245 pages; B&W text and images
  • Cover: Paperback with flaps
  • Weight: 370g
  • Retail price: £12.99

Also available as an e-book:

  • Imprint: Vertebrate Digital
  • ISBN: 978-1-906148-70-6
  • Publication Date: 23 May 2013
  • Price: £9.99

'In this inspirational book, Heather Dawe describes how she went from being a rock climbing student at Leeds University to one of the UK’s leading endurance athletes, winning some of the toughest events in the country. Subtitled ‘a personal obsession with the mountains,’ the question Heather asks throughout the book is why – why does she need to constantly push herself to the edge, and what happens when you fail? It’s introspective and honest, going so far as to wonder if she forces herself to ride her bike.'
Rosie Fuller, Adventure Travel Magazine

'Heather asks the eternal question "Why do we do it?" and, in search of the answer, takes us along a very personal journey from her beginnings in sport, through the highs and lows and ultimately to the place where she discovers where her limits might lie. A beautifully written and inspiring book that goes far beyond the physical aspects of endurance sports!'
Runner (The magazine of the FRA)

'Adventures in Mind is a very enjoyable book.  It's inspiring, in a very immediate sense.  Pick up a good book about epic feats of adventure in the Himalaya or at the Poles and no doubt you will feel inspired, but here we are reading about a normal woman living in a normal British town, with a job to hold down and the same day to day concerns and obligations as you or me.  Her achievements, of course, are anything but normal; she demonstrates that anyone can achieve things they might consider well beyond their perceived abilities if they put the effort in.'
Tony O'Donnell, The Outdoor Times

'Dawe’s stubborn determination will make even the most casual athlete want to up their game, but it’s her passion for the outdoors that will resonate, reminding the soul within that nature can heal on many levels.'
Jennifer Olson, Women's Adventure Magazine

'Heather’s debut book is a breath of fresh air.  She doesn’t slot neatly into any pigeon holes – she’s as passionate about running as she is about cycling and climbing.  She’s not a professional athlete - her day job is statistician and systems architect and she has recently become an artist as well as a mother.

For me it stood out because – unlike so many of the high octane adventure sports books and films that I read and watch – it wasn’t another ego-driven account of ‘living the dream’. It’s more about dealing with everyday reality – confronting the doubts and fears that everyone has.'

'Dawe’s prose is engaged, matter-of-fact and joyful, celebrating how a love of mountains can become a deep and engrained part of anyone’s everyday life.'
Helen Mort, Climb Magazine

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