on 27 April 2012
Chris Brasher The Man Who Made The London Marathon is the fascinating saga of a man who would not take no for an answer. If all of Brasher's exceptional achievements were listed it would be a chapter not a forward. Pacing Roger Bannister in the four-minute mile, winning an Olympic gold, establishing orienteering and fell running in Britain, mountaineering creating the Brasher boot and becoming a millionaire for the second time, being one of the U.K.'s top sports journalists, head of BBC department and a successful racehorse owner to name just a few- Wow!
John Bryant the author of this engaging authorised biography was a lifelong friend of Brasher and is also a runner of some note- Oxford blue, county champion coached Zola Budd and now president of the world's oldest running club and chairman of the London Marathon trustees. This Fleet Street Man has the lifelong reputation of gentleman journalist, a former editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, Executive Editor of the Mail and Deputy Editor of The Times for more than a decade and established author the expectation for a balanced, insightful and engaging read with the right mix of facts and entertainment is high. Bryant exceeds all expectations and has produced an inspiring book which I genuinely couldn't put down.
I had the good fortune to meet Chris Brasher several times. One time I was running with club members including Bryant along the Thames, Brasher was cycling past and he slowed down to chat and give me encouragement. When I was getting out of breath he cycled on and passed Bryant at great speed and shouted 'keep up'. Bryant has certainly caught the essence of this incredible man whose legacy of the London Marathon and the beautiful areas of countryside he has preserved lives on with as much energy and enthusiasm as he did. I loved this inspiring book and hope you enjoy it as much as I did and that like me you will feel a bit of Brasher has rubbed off.
on 20 May 2012
John Bryant writes with affection and respect for Chris Brasher in his book, but this does not stop the author from dealing with Brasher as a man, as opposed to legend. The sometimes bloody-mindedness of Chris Brasher's ambitions fed into flaws as well as virtues. But still what remains is a well written portrait of a remarkable man, who devoted his life to athletics yet still succeeded in numerous other spheres.
I have also just read John Bryant's new Lords of the Olympics book, which is an equally excellent mix of history and biography. In many ways Brasher is a man that was able to balance the ethos and enjoyment of athletics with the demands of the increasing commercialisation of sport. It's a shame he isn't around today to steer the Olympic organisation back on course.
on 4 May 2015
One tends to know bits and bobs about the life of Chris Brasher, his role in the breaking of the four minute mile, and the creation and execution of The London Marathon, but there were lots of other aspects to this very full and varied life. The biography was written by a friend who was able to put the other side of this, at times , bombastic and difficult individual. The subject comes out well, as someone who believed passionately in many things, and fought hard to achieve these ideals. I suppose most achievers must have a hard side to achieve whatever it is they want to achive, and Chris Brasher is no different-whether its to win a gold medal, create The London Marathon.or save Petersham Meadows,he attack them with the same determination. Good and interesting read