Why the hell are they called the South Downs anyway? It was as my lungs were bursting on today’s run (definitely more ups than downs) that I remembered reading somewhere or other that ‘downs’ meant chalk uplands in ancient English. For some reason our modern ancestors borrowed it when they were looking for a snappier way of saying ‘descending.’ So, by my reckoning, when we say ‘down’ these days we really mean ‘up’… or something like that. One thing’s for sure: I didn’t know whether I was coming up or down by the end of my 80 minute slog today. The beautiful views are the only thing that kept me going.