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Running For Their Lives: The Extraordinary Story of Britain's Greatest Ever Distance Runners [Kindle Edition]

Mark Whitaker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

In 1928 two extraordinary Englishmen competed in an unprecedented event - a transcontinental road race across America that required them to run an average of 40 miles for 80 consecutive days.

Despite being separated by class, education and age, Peter Gavuzzi and Arthur Newton became close friends and formed a successful business partnership as endurance athletes. They raced in 500-mile relays, in 24-hour events, in snowshoes and against horses; and they became the stars of a craze for endurance events that swept across depression-era North America and the most famous long-distance runners in the world.

However, history has forgotten these two men, and in Running for Their Lives - in a story peopled with remarkable characters, unimaginable feats and tragic twists of fate - they only now receive the recognition they so richly deserve.

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Product Description


"A poignant account of unrecognised achievement" (Bryon Rogers Spectator)

"Well-researched and entertaining... Whitaker's real achievement is to resurrect for recognition the careers of two genuine British sporting heroes" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Remarkable" (New Statesman)

"A timely reminder of the best that the sport can achieve" (The Sunday Times)

"Astonishing" (Reader's Digest)

Book Description

The captivating story of the country's greatest ever endurance runners, tragically unapplauded by 1920s Britain

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1478 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (5 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007NZQ63U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #327,987 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars True Title 14 May 2012
The title says it all. Two men with world beating talent who achieved things that few people have matched and now days few would even attempt. I have read quite a lot on Newton including locating and buying a copy of Harry Berry's book that is credited here but the amount of research and especially the details unearthed on the lesser known of the two - Gavuzzi - is a revalation. There are many running books published but few get as close as this to their subject. I enjoyed this as much as "Feet in the Clouds" which deservedly was nominated for awards. This volume deserves as much recognition, these men really were "Running for Their Lives" and deserve far more acclaim than history has awarded to them.
The writing was sympathetic yet unbiased and for a first book the author should take a bow.
"shufflingbob" (no longer able to run)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As a keen runner, I am always on the look out for books and stories on the subject, and often come away rather disappointed - but Mark Whitaker's account of the lives of Arthur Newton and Peter Gavuzzi really is something else. This is an exceptionally well researched account of the lives of two pretty exceptional athletes, and it is told brilliantly. To run the kind of incredible distances these men did, all the while trying to earn a decent living from their efforts in the face of an occasionally cynical press and disinterested public, is a testament to their stamina and will. Ultimately, when I finished the book, I felt inspired and keen to learn more about both men. Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing life story 23 Jan. 2015
By flash
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a remarkable tale from a time gone by.
Today people still try to run across America but they do it with great perpetration, the latest equipment, the latest nutritional science and a great deal of help from support crews. Most still fail.
I cannot comprehend what these guys put themselves through, it is truly amazing and they and their achievements really should be brought into the awareness of the modern world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic tale. Very well written 2 Nov. 2014
Absolutely fantastic tale. Very well written. I went through the first 200 pages in a day and half it was so gripping. I slowed down deliberately to take in the story in more detail. As a runner, some interesting training ideas noted. As I read other books on running and autobiographies, there was interesting cross reference with the difficulties between amateurism vs professional atheletes of the era.

Must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 23 Dec. 2013
I really recommend this book. I'm not in the least bit sporty; indeed the closest I get to running is walking fast to the tube station. And yet this history of two extraordinary men held my attention from the start. What courage! What guts! A great read that weaves the story of two remarkable men with the histories of Rhodesia and Natal and the development of sports promotion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Running and more... 18 Nov. 2013
By John
This book charts so much more than any one race; although it uses the transcontinental race of 1928 as it's opening focus. There are many surprising nuggets in here from the birth of the superstars 'manager/promoter' to a potted history of Natal and Rhodesia. As mentioned here it is sympathetically written, yet unbiased and historical. A real treat..!
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