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Keep on Running: The Highs and Lows of a Marathon Addict [Paperback]

Phil Hewitt
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 April 2012
Marathons make you miserable, but they also give you the most unlikely and the most indescribable pleasures. It’s a world that I love – a world unlocked when you dress up in lycra, put plasters on your nipples and run 26.2 miles in the company of upwards of 30,000 complete strangers. Phil Hewitt, who has completed over 25 marathons in conditions ranging from blistering heat to snow and ice, distils his personal experiences into a light-hearted account of his adventures along the way from Berlin to New York, and explores our growing fascination with marathon running. This story of an ordinary guy’s addiction to running marathons – an addiction hundreds of thousands share – looks at the highs and lows, the motivation that keeps you going when your body is crying out to stop, and tries to answer the ultimate question, ‘Why do you do it?’

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (2 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849532362
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849532365
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A charismatic, charming, funny - and, above all, thoughtful - memoir about running, motivation, ambition. Perfect, not just for those who do run - or intend to run - a marathon, but for the hundreds and thousands of us who venture out from time to time to run just a mile or two ... A complete delight.' (Kate Mosse)

'This is a wonderful and frank view of a first-time-marathoner-turned-running-addict. Phil shares the pitfalls and emotions that running a marathon for the first time evoke and how running can grab you and draw you back for more.' (Liz Yelling, Double Olympian and Commonwealth bronze medallist)

'Wry, realistic and endlessly enthusiastic. A lovely reminder both of what seductive fun marathon running can be and why I gave it up.' (Stephen Brenkley, cricket correspondent for The Independent)

'An intriguing insight into one man's marathon journey… an inspiring read for any marathoner or wannabe marathoner.' (Andi Jones, international long-distance runner)

'a beautiful description of one man's passion for the open road, powered by rock 'n' roll.' (Jo Pavey, international track and field athlete)

'The pain, perils and utter pleasure of the formidable 26.2 miles by someone who has gone every step of the way… 25 times. Warning: you will seriously want to run a marathon after reading this.' (Rosie Millard, journalist, author and broadcaster)

'Phil Hewitt's highly entertaining Keep on Running reminded me of my own marathon experiences - the inevitable suffering followed by elation at finally crossing the finishing line. It is a must-read for all runners, particularly those contemplating a marathon for the first time.' (Anna Nicholas, author and journalist)

'As a writer, Phil Hewitt never stumbles. After all, this is a book about repeatedly flogging oneself for 26.2 miles, yet never once does he repeat himself. Each chapter is a fresh discovery, an inspiring insight into what it means to be dedicated to this exacting event. It is intimate, honest, entertaining and superbly written.' (Track Stats)

'Marathon runner Phil tries to explain why he does it, as he looks back over the pleasures and pains of his addictions.' (Running Free Magazine)

'An extremely engaging read' (Sussex Life Magazine)

'Phil Hewitt's well written account of his marathon-running addiction (he's up to 25) takes us from his home town of Chichester to the concrete canyons of New York. … This is the story of a man in love with his sport. … For those of us fitting running in between job, family and everything else life has to throw at us, this is definitely a book you will make a connection with' (Men's Running)

'Keep On Running is one of the best books I've read in ages' (

'Hewitt's Keep On Running is an account of self-motivation on an heroic scale' (The Burton Mail)

About the Author

Phil Hewitt is group arts editor for Sussex Group Newspapers. His books include Chichester Remembered, Chichester: Then and Now, Gosport: Then and Now and Keep on Running: The Highs and Lows of a Marathon Addict (ISBN: 978 1 84953 236 5).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A runner's must-read 7 April 2012
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With my first marathon coming up in 2 weeks time (the London Marathon 2012) I had this book on pre-order when I saw it was coming out, hoping it would bring me inspiration!

I've just finished reading it today and I think it is a great read for all marathon runners and aspiring marathon runners! I really enjoyed reading about the ups and downs of Phil Hewitt's 23 marathons around the world. He talks frankly about his awful marathons and inspirationally about his great ones. He really gives an insight into what can be experienced over 26.2 miles and before and after a marathon. There are some photographs on the inside front and back covers (8 in total) and I would have liked to have seen more, but it's not a big issue. He has been to a number of big city marathons but he's also done more unusual and smaller marathons which are really interesting to read about.

It's an easy and enjoyable read that I'm sure would appeal to all runners. If you're not already signed up to run a marathon then this book will make you want to, even after reading about Phil's worst experiences! Highly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener to a non-runner 9 May 2012
If you'll excuse the pun, I "raced" through this book, I enjoyed it so much. I think the title truly sums it up - you feel the ecstasy of the author's highs and the pain and misery of his lows.

I particularly enjoyed the build up to each marathon, getting an understanding of the commitment that's required. It was also interesting to read how the runners aim for that all-important PB. And I didn't realise that the beginning of each marathon could be quite so messy!

Although more of an armchair athlete myself, it has encouraged me to look into taking up running. A recommended read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired reading for any runner! 29 Jan 2013
After entering the London Marathon 2013 I was looking for a book that would give me some insight into a marathon runners life - after all they balance work,children, social lives and STILL manage to run a silly amount of miles!

This book gives you everything - the highs and the lows of marathon running. The tips and advice that is contained in it's pages are beyond priceless as it's all bundled into a great humorous read that will have you turning pages faster than you know!

I can honestly say that reading this book gave me everything I was looking for and more! The build up to each marathon and the race's themselves are given in good detail (but not too much!) which rapidly gives you that desire to grab your trainers and get out the door for a run.

Well recommended to anyone - even non-runners who just want a great read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Starts well but then...... 30 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To use a marathon running metaphor, it starts at a cracking speed with the first few chapters breezing by. It settles into a steady pace half way through with enough to keep you interested but hits the wall several chapters before the end. Once you get past the first dozen marathons, it is difficult to keep the enthusiasm going.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marathoner's page turner 13 Jan 2013
This was such a well written, page turner of a book that it is an essential read for experienced and would be marathon runners alike. I have run 50 marathons and ultra marathons, home and abroad and the author captures the absolute essence of why we do it again and again. I have read as many running related books and this one is right up there for me. Phil brilliantly captures all the high's and low's, effortlessly weaving real life and all it's distraction's into the training and the race's.
Running a marathon is the end product of months of training, which often impacts negatively on family life and which takes a great deal of commitment. One of the reviewers above complained that the author mentioned his wife too much. I totally identified with Phil and why he did so. For those of us like him with a family, we need their help, support and to be honest, permission to race after race, to leave the house to go on training run's at all hours and to go abroad mostly without them to run around 26 plus miles of foreign ground. I so very much identified with everything that he went through, which was all down to just how well he links together all of the elements of what goes into marathon running.
This is much more than just a book about running although it's primary purpose of course is to share Phil's running experiences. The rather harsh review above just does not relate in anyway, shape of form to my reading of this book. It is so far off the mark, that even in objective term's I find it very difficult to connect it to this book. There is an effortless flow throughout, with the difficult times being as compelling as the good times. Any runner knows that there are days and races when we are on fire and days when we are not. The down days and run's are inevitable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I myself am a long-distance runner for my sins, and I'll gladly order away on any book with decent reviews on amazon, without really worrying about the content of the reviews.

This book started so promisingly, with the writer getting in to running from a non-sport background, developing and learning about his training, and working towards a race day. The quote 'split open a runner and you will find a solid core of stubbornness' was superb.

Sadly though, after he's prostituted his results, times and relative positions a few times, you rapidly tire of the format of the book.

The second half is more deserved to an online blog which no one will read - His performances are mixed, his preparation mixed, and his self congratulation while listing people he finished ahead of, along with quite anal percentages is quite frankly dull. He isn't setting the world on fire, and it's just quite boring really.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very good book if ur in to running as u read ...
very good book if ur in to running as u read it ur smiling , could of been a bit shorter
Published 3 days ago by debbie
4.0 out of 5 stars ... monotonous but really is worth the read as gave great insight into...
Became a little monotonous but really is worth the read as gave great insight into all the marathon course options
Published 7 days ago by Smiley3737
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my son loved it.
Published 17 days ago by mike
5.0 out of 5 stars funny, well told story
funny, well told story
Published 23 days ago by Andrew White
1.0 out of 5 stars Race results are not everything
Book started off well and I initially found it quite interesting and as others have already stated I felt it ran out of steam half way through. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Y Weir
3.0 out of 5 stars Equally Interesting and Annoying
This book managed to keep my interest and annoy me in equal proportions. Most of the race descriptions were pretty good but there was a fair amount of padding in there too. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent A
Great purchase
Published 3 months ago by Ian
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
For those of us who have or are doing a marathon, this light hearted recounting of the experiences across a number of races is very good
Published 4 months ago by Craig
4.0 out of 5 stars Long distance geekiness and excitement
Great inspiration and a few good running tips in there too! Race day excitement all around although he isn't too kind about the half marathon runners :/
Published 4 months ago by Sophie Polak
1.0 out of 5 stars This is very difficult to read
I love running and reading books about it as well, but this was really difficult to get through, in fact I couldn't despite several attempts. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Chrellie
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