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Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the secrets of the fastest people on earth Paperback – 4 Apr 2013
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'I've seldom read a better account of the exhilaration of running...what gives Running With the Kenyans its special appeal is Finn's charm ... He's unusually engaging company both on and off the track.' Evening Standard
'A revealing study of the African nationa's long-distance supremacy.' Daily Telegraph Sports Books of the Year
'What sets Finn's book apart is that in trying to 'discover the secrets of the fastest people on earth' he realises something far greater - that there's no 'elixir' but the hunger to succeed.' Metro Books of the Year
'An engaging memoir...The book is populated with engagingly drawn characters and towards the end, Finn's quest - the burning need to attain a certain marathon time - is gripping.' Daily Telegraph
A hugely inspiring story of what is possible when we dare to try.' --Ruth Field, author of Run Fat Bitch Run
'If Chris McDougall's Born to Run taught us what to wear (or not to wear) when running, Finn's fascinating Running With The Kenyans teaches us how to run, and should be required reading for anyone planning their first fun run or marathon. In the tradition of the best sports writing he embedded himself fully in his subject and reveals, for the first time, just how close we are to the holy grail of the sub two-hour marathon.' --Robin Harvie, author of Why We Run
'[This] beautifully crafted account of an expedition of discovery to Kenya defies categorisation ... The adventure is captivating.' --Nick Pitt, The Sunday Times Books of the Year
'In unobtrusively beautiful prose, [Finn] evokes the will to run at the heart of Kenyan life.' --Sunday Telegraph
'[Finn's] unfussy, evocative prose makes it an engaging odyssey.' --Sunday Telegraph
Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the secrets of the fastest people on earth by Adharanand Finn is an epic personal quest to discover the remarkable secrets of the world's greatest runners.See all Product description
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So I enjoyed this book from a runners perspective. The author set out to discover why the Kenyans are better than anyone else at marathon running. He doesn't do this.....there is no real answer but several theories. Instead he reveals an insight into the life of a Kenyan runner perhaps unseen before. Their poverty and way of life, their diet, the esteem of runners in their culture, their diet. It all makes you think.
Finally, having visited Kenya myself I could relate to this book as an ex runner knowing the terrain these runners train on.
A well written book.....but only of interest I feel to those with a real interest in the sport.
However, I needn't have worried, as it was fascinating. The author wanted to know - as does most of the world - what makes the Kenyans such great distance athletes, so he decides to go and live amongst them.
The book is written mainly from his own viewpoint; he wants to see if he can improve his own performance by training and living their way.
Ultimately, he does improve; he learns a lot about what they do, and how they do it, and what it is that motivates them. I won't spoil the conclusions, but safe to say there is no one 'secret' for him to discover.
Overall, a very readable book; part serious investigation, part travelogue.