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Just a Little Run Around the World: 5 Years, 3 Packs of Wolves and 53 Pairs of Shoes: 5 Years, 29 Marriage Proposals and 53 Pairs of Shoes [Paperback]

Rosie Swale Pope
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 May 2009

After her husband died of cancer, 57-year-old Rosie set off to run around the world, raising money in memory of the man she loved. Followed by wolves, knocked down by a bus, confronted by bears, chased by a naked man with a gun and stranded with severe frostbite, Rosie's breathtaking 20,000-mile solo journey is as gripping as it is inspiring.

Rosie's solo run around the world started out of sorrow and heartache and a wish to turn something around.

Heartbroken when she lost her husband to cancer, Rosie set off from Wales with nothing but a small backpack of food and equipment, and funded by the rent from her little cottage. So began her epic 5-year journey that would take her 20,000 miles around the world, crossing Europe, Russia, Asia, Alaska, North America, Greenland, Iceland, and back into the UK.

On a good day she'd run 30 miles, on a bad day she'd only manage 500 yards, digging herself out of the snow at -62 degrees C, moving her cart inches at a time. Every inch, every mile, was a triumph, a celebration of life, and 53 pairs of shoes later Rosie arrived home to jubilant crowds in Tenby, Wales.

Rosie's incredible story is a mesmerizing page-turner of the run of her life. It will wake up the sleeping adventurer in you; it will inspire hope, courage and determination in you; but most of all it will convince you to live your life to the full and make every day count.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTrue (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007306202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007306206
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


‘Somewhere between Jilly Cooper and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Rosie Swale-Pope is an archetypal British survivor, the sort of woman to break both legs, think, “Bugger this”, and carry on marching.’ Sunday Times

About the Author

Rosie Swale Pope took up marathon running when she was 48 and has run across Cuba and Romania and even done the gruelling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara. In the 1970s she sailed to Australia and back with her husband and young daughter, giving birth to her son on board. Rosie’s run around the world in memory of her husband was followed on her blog www.rosiearoundtheworld.co.uk. Rosie is already planning her next adventure: a trip across the Bering Straits! When she is not on her adventures, Rosie lives in Tenby, Wales. She was awarded an MBE in 2009 for bravery and services to charity.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
By Bic
ROSIE SWALE POPE's remarkable achievement is admirable.

The fundamental purpose of Rosie's trip, together with her almost incredible endurance, an eternal optimism, and her own unswerving faith in the goodness of all and everything - human, animal and spiritual - keeps her going. As it does the reader too, actually.

But what a disappointing effort has been presented us by the publisher. Rosie's trip ended in late-August 2008; her story is published just the following May - and it shows. The proof-reading is excruciating; the editing shameful: could she not have been advised professionally to ease up a little on the Thank you everyones and persuaded to include more practical interest and detail?

And where are the MAPS? For goodness' sake: this is essentially a TRAVEL account!

Let us hope the title wins a reprint. A considered reprint.

Verdict: Five out of five for Rosie; one out of five the publisher.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
This is a brilliant story of how determination can get you what you want, but mostly of just how wonderfully kind people are all around the world. This story really inspired me with the idea that we are all one people on this Earth despite our differing circumstances. We all
suffer the same diseases and in particular Cancer is a world-wide issue. All around the the world people are battling and surviving and so many of these still have the compassion to help a stranger. You will enjoy and be moved by this charming and passionate book.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly inspirational.... 21 July 2009
I dont normally put reviews on, but this is an exception to the rule!

I read a clip of this book in Runnersworld and had to buy it. Rosie is without doubt one of the most inspirational people I have ever heard about, and has spurred me into running again. I could not put it down it was that good!

The hardships she shared, but more importantly the friends she made were awe inspiring.

She really must be made a Dame and nothing less!

Thank you Rosie.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Laugh or cry 12 July 2010
There is no doubt that this is an amazing feat of human endurance but I was completely non-plussed by the book. The travelogue extends from gushing accounts of the banal to... well absolutely nothing for thousands of miles. We know nothing of this woman from reading the book apart from a dogged determination to put one foot in front of the other, endlessly. She seems to have no observation skills at all, no thoughts worth recording (apparently) and even less to comment on. Who is Rosie? I have no idea. WHo advised her to write this? They need shooting. An amazing journey over five years covering thousands of miles of inhospitable terrain, battling ferocious elements and encountering isolated peoples living on the edge of survival and the book is about the length of an average pamphlet! This is woeful.
I'm left with so many questions. Is Rosie courageous or selfish? Brave or reckless? Where are the stories of the many people who selflessly made this journey possible? How DO you get a pair of running shoes to such remote places with such amazing timing and how was that done? And why am I not informed? I could write more about a jog around the local park - infact this review might be almost as long as the book. Save your money. There is no insight here and the prose and editing are appalling. Sadly you will probably end up irritated by this remarkable woman rather than admiring her!!

Additional: I think the problem with the positive reviews of the book is that they focus on her physical achievement and not the book as a literary work. This is supposed to be a BOOK review and not a review of Rosie Swale Pope. As I have said, her achievement in the journey was remarkable but the book is just remarkably bad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I've started, so I'll finish 15 Dec 2012
By Noel
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is a temptation to mark this book based on Rosie Swale Pope's persistence with such a long and arduous journey on foot around the world. Had I done that this would be a 5* review but I had to review the book not her effort. Her journey was not a temperate zone circumambulation of the world but one primarily in the snowy north, an arctic trip across northern europe, Siberia, Alaska and northern Canada. She started her journey in Wales and stuck to it until she eventually got back to her start point. No doubt she was tempted to give up at times, though that's not clear from her narrative. I know I was tempted to give up reading the book many times but felt I should complete it.

Along the way though I learned very little about what was going on within Rosie's mind and precious little about the landscapes through which she progressed, apart from there being a lot of snow. Those parts of the journey when she must have been travelling on spring or summer days do not occupy much of the narrative, such as it is. Huge chunks of territory transited through get no mention. Mind you I had to resort to an atlas to try to trace some parts of the route because for all the distance covered there is not a single map, not even a sketch map in the 300+ pages of this book.

The book could be likened to a long, very long, oscar acceptance speech in which she thanks again and again the wonderful, fabulous, special, outstanding, fantastic, amazing ..... people who help her along the way. It is of course right and proper to show appreciation for kindnesses but someone, somewhere in Harper Collins should have drawn the line and said enough gush is enough - focus on the journey. Describe the places you saw.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Courage in Adversity
I first read about rosie swale pope in my mothers magazine which whetted my appetite for the autobiography. Tremendous courage. Very agreeable read.
Published 11 days ago by e.J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what a story
This book deserves 100 stars. So well written I feel I have been on this wonderful journey. I have recommended it to all my friends
Published 25 days ago by B. Cutts
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this!
What an amazing story and recorded as she travelled so detail is captured as events unfold. Is this the bravest lady on the planet?
Published 2 months ago by A COOK
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
Heard about this book on the radio and it sounded interesting, not my usual genre but thought I would give it a go. It is wonderful! Read more
Published 3 months ago by sarah j hendry
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood marvellous
Everyone should read this book, it shows you can do anything if your determined . She is one remarkable lady.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Diamond
I urge everyone to read this book, this woman is the most inspiring human being. I have been suffering with cancer and this book gave me such a boost. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marilyn Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars a really great book
A true inspiring story which gripped me from start to finish, told in a way that carried the reader through her great journey
Published 4 months ago by Francessca8
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had bought book instead of kindle version
Would have liked some photos and maps on my kindle version! Great woman, great story though, so a good read.
Published 5 months ago by Mark Dougan
5.0 out of 5 stars Good conditions and amazing story ...
...about how an "ordinary woman" can find her strongness from inside and survive facing any adversity. Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. C. García Brito
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Journey
It was an interesting book. Can't imagine how Rosie kept going for that amount of time. She could probably have written 2 books to capture more of the interesting things that... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joanne Burch
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