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There is probably no one better suited to teach free running – aka, the art of running over obstacles and up walls – than Sébastien Foucan.

If you don’t know his name, you’d recognise him from the opening sequence of Casino Royale, in which he engages Daniel Craig’s James Bond in a spectacular on-foot chase in Madagascar.

He is sharing his art at Westway Sports Centre, and I joined a class to see how achievable free running is to a total novice. The class quickly divides in two, the first being those who’ve mastered the basics (precision jumping, rolling into a ball and quickly standing up, as well as some incredibly high leaps).

This group proceeds to scramble around a playground, jump over tall obstacles and monkey up pillars. The rest of us practice the basics.

After a few scrapes, I jump over a wall fairly swiftly. Oddly, jumping on tall objects seems to fill me with fear. I manage to leap, and land on one foot, but getting both feet up at the same time remains a challenge. It is a difficult (and bruising) art.

Judging by the regulars, who are loving it, I get the sense that the sport really opens itself up after a few sessions.

Costs £15 for one hour. 

Westway Sports Centre, 
1 Crowthorne Rd, W10 6RP  
westwaysportscentre.org.uk

Photo: Getty


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