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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant encouragement for any runner
This book is a great mixture between one runner's own story and the philosophy behind running. Anyone who runs for pleasure, whether it's 5km or 50km, should read this book. A really inspirational read that helped me to get through a very tough race!
Published 15 months ago by Rosie

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gruelling
This felt like a tough read and I really wish I'd taken the trouble to read some of the lower rated reviews on here before purchasing this book.

There IS an interesting story in here about the authors attempt at the Spartathlon, a race I'd never heard of previously but it's wrapped up in a lot of meaningless and dull side stories.

What is absolutely...
Published on 15 Jun 2012 by Mark Swindell


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and insightful, 4 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
I really liked this book, and don't agree with the negative reviews on here. Perhaps because I read it as a mixture of a biography (of a short period in the authors life) and a history book.

The sections on the history of running, literary and cultural references were interesting, and I thought made you get to know Robin a little.

I read a lot of running books, a lot of them are very technical and dry, this was a much lighter book and it made for a pleasant and contemplative read.

It would have been nice to hear a bit more about the actual Spartathalon race, but then the story is really about the lead up to it.

One thing I didn't like, is that a seed has been planted in my mind. I recently ran the 145 mile Grand Union Canal race in the UK, and swore that was my last long race ever. My wife will not be happy...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Get Into But Worth it., 15 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
This was a hard book to get into at first but do stick with it for a chapter or two and you really get into it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant encouragement for any runner, 16 July 2013
This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
This book is a great mixture between one runner's own story and the philosophy behind running. Anyone who runs for pleasure, whether it's 5km or 50km, should read this book. A really inspirational read that helped me to get through a very tough race!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Book, 7 July 2013
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A must read book for any runner. Very emotional at times too and relatable to any runner of any distance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good mix of a personal story, history and running philosophy, 2 Mar 2013
By 
Daniel J. Weston (Wrexham, Wales, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
It took me a couple of chapters to get used to the style of writing but I found myself enjoying the book. I've seen that the book has had low stars on the reviews on Amazon but I tend to think that if people have a strong opinion they are more likely to leave reviews. There are probably a lot of people out there that have read the book, would have rated it a 4 or 3 but just haven't because their view isn't that strong.

Amongst other things I liked about the book is the fact that it included some history of running which meant I also learnt a lot about running. It also provoked me to think about why I run and what I think about when I run. The answers are not that complicated for me but thankfully Robin Harvie is a much deeper thinker and so it's a good read.

There are not many books I keep hold of to read again but I have kept this one and will read it again so for me it deserves a 4* review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helps make sense of that "Long Distance" obsession, 14 April 2014
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Mr. Tim Kern (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
Great read for all lovers of the continual pavement pound. Helps make sense of the mental obsession that drives everyday runners on to do extraordinary things. I was intrugued to learn about the Spartahlon and felt that i was not alone in a curious addiction to one of the loneliest sports that you can do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We know where he's coming from..., 28 July 2013
By 
G. O. Squintani "g.o.s." (Portishead, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
..."we" being those who've similarly taken to the roads at crazy hours, run whilst the world around us slept, got lost in the run and its rhythm...
...admittedly the majority of the population think we're mad, but - we understand each other :-)
The Spartathlon provides the backdrop to a story that is about so much more than the running. I particularly empathised with how, for all the miles of solitude, when it came to the main event Robin found himself longing for companionship. It needn't involve conversation: just sharing a few miles with a couple of Finns (names unknown) would have sufficed. It's a theme that most runners will instantly appreciate: we run alone but, thanks to that unspoken understanding, we secretly enjoy sharing the journey with fellow passengers...
I only became a runner a year ago and, quite frankly, before then I would have been bemused by a lot (but not all) of what Robin recounts here. But for anyone who's lost themselves, even if just once, even if only briefly, in the rhythm of the run... this will resound quite beautifully.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars i liked it, 6 Jan 2013
This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
It skips about a lot dipping into running history, literature, geography and memoir and in that sense unlike most books people probably expect when they pick up a book about running. The historical and literary threads are nicely woven, kind of like Robert Macfarlane's work, which is a really interesting and credible approach. The memoir sections can feel a little indulgent, but... it's a memoir and the ending is a bit loose, but overall an enjoyable read. Couple of things did spring to mind 1) the astonishing patience of the author's (grieving) wife having her husband banging out 100 mile weeks with double marathons at the weekend and an ultra every 3 weeks. She must *really* love that guy. and 2) Not getting injured with that volume of training.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gruelling, 15 Jun 2012
By 
Mark Swindell (Bolton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
This felt like a tough read and I really wish I'd taken the trouble to read some of the lower rated reviews on here before purchasing this book.

There IS an interesting story in here about the authors attempt at the Spartathlon, a race I'd never heard of previously but it's wrapped up in a lot of meaningless and dull side stories.

What is absolutely maddening are the literary references which seem to have been crow barred in for no real purpose. In a single paragraph on the Thames the author includes 4 quotes from different authors about rivers so the whole narrative becomes "As Proust said in x" or "Rousseau describes in y". I nearly gave up on the book as a result.

There is something in here for runners but there are many better running books out there to spend your money on.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant account of an endurance running obsession, 18 April 2011
This review is from: Why We Run (Paperback)
I read this in one go with great interest as I am too obsessed with endurance running. Robin Harvie's account really stands out from others in the same category (and I have read a lot of them) because of its honesty and very elegant writing style.

Robin is a "normal" guy who found himself deep in the world of ultra-running. It is very refreshing to read an account from this point of view which makes the book accessible for runners and non-runners alike.

He throws up lots of interesting thoughts on running itself, how easy it is to put one foot in front of the other but how hard and rewarding it is to endure it over long distances. What it takes to get drawn to something like the Spartathlon.

If you liked Feet in the Clouds or really want to find out what drives someone to want to run 153 miles in one go, the hours of training involved and at the same time admitting that you are not a super-human then you will really enjoy this book.

Be careful though. After reading you may find yourself looking at the race website with a view of signing up. Somehow all that suffering seems so appealing.
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Why We Run
Why We Run by Robin Harvie (Paperback - 14 April 2011)
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