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In the Running: Stories of Extraordinary Runners from Around the World Paperback – 8 Sep 2016
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-A fascinating look at the limits of human endurance--informative, inspiring, but above all entertaining.- --Kate Mosse, author, Labyrinth
"A fascinating look at the limits of human endurance--informative, inspiring, but above all entertaining." --Kate Mosse, author, Labyrinth
‘A highly inspirational and touching legacy to the many long distance runners who have achieved great triumphs against the odds. A gem for the running community at large - of which I belong.’(Anna Nicholas, author and journalist)
A passion for running and runners shines through this book, a timely reminder that at its essence it is the purest, most simple of sports. Through its legion of subjects, all hugely accomplished in their different ways, Phil Hewitt engagingly captures running's soul.(Stephen Brenkley, enthusiastic runner of five marathons and former cricket correspondent of The Independent)
‘An eclectic runnerpedia of astounding facts and inspirational stories, Hewitt's book reveals characters prepared to do just that little bit more to reach their chosen running goal. Sourced from a vast array of running lore, even the most seasoned reader will find something new and wondrous here. I read it from cover to cover, but you could just as easily dip in whenever you want. Enjoy.’(Charles Rodmell, gearselected.com)
'What a marvellous idea for a book about the most fascinating characters in the history of distance running! No one is better fitted to tell their stories than Phil Hewitt, a brilliant wordsmith devoted to the sport.'(Peter Lovesey, novelist and athletics historian)
‘A fascinating look at the limits of human endurance - informative, inspiring but above all entertaining.’(Kate Mosse, author and broadcaster)
‘An inspiring celebration of the milestones and motivation of running’s greatest stars, In The Running also lauds the everyday heroes at the back of the pack. Encyclopaedic and engaging, you’ll delight in its many tales of courage, camaraderie and sheer craziness.’(Lisa Jackson, author of Your Pace or Mine?)
‘For women, it's not just about running. It's about changing their lives. Phil Hewitt captures this in his compelling narrative of these astonishing women who have created this sport.’(Kathrine Switzer, first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, winner of the 1974 New York marathon, and leader of the 261 Fearless Movement) See all Product description
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Scott Jurek, no doubt a stunning athlete, is described as 'a modern Pheidippides' for his efforts at Spartathlon, then the author casually mentions Yiannis Kouros who has four faster times than Jurek and anyone else at Spartathlon. Kouros doesn't even get his own story despite running feats that make even Jurek look like a beginner. In a section about running streaks, it's all about Americans despite Britain's Ron Hill putting them all in the shade. He is not even mentioned as an aside.
It's odd, fragmented, not well researched, lacks focus. There are a couple of stories that are interesting, people I hadn't heard of, but it's just a couple. Anyone with an interest in running will have read most of these stories before.
I genuinely don't understand people gushing about how inspiring this is, or describing it as encyclopaedic. It captures the soul of nothing, in my opinion, and there are many, many far better running books out there.
There's a chapter devoted to runners with disabilities.Rick Hoyt, for example, who was described as a 'vegetable' by doctors when he was born, took part in many marathons, with his father pushing his wheelchair. Phil Packer, who sustained spinal injuries at Basra, ran the London Marathon on crutches. David Kuhn, who is blind but runs to raise money for cystic fibrosis.
There's a chapter on running in harsh conditions, eg, the Marathon des Sables, in the Sahara. Sounds like hell on earth but I did enjoy reading about it lying in my cosy bed. Sicilian, Mauro Prosperi, got lost in a sandstorm and survived by drinking his own urine and bats' blood and eating lizards. Dave Heeley, who's blind, also ran this marathon, not to mention 7 marathons on 7 continents, and 10 marathons in 10 days.
There are elderly runners: Fauja Singh, who ran his last marathon aged nearly 102; brave runners, such as Jane Tomlinson, who began running marathons when she was given 6 months to live at the age of 36; unusual runners, such as Sister Madonna Buder, the Iron Nun, who became the oldest woman to complete the Hawian Ironman, aged 75, and Eddie Izzard, who had never run more than 5 miles before, took a break from surreal stand-up, to run a gadzillion marathons, one after another.
The book is well constructed, crammed with facts and stories, many of them quite incredible, and is essential reading for anyone seeking running inspiration or ideas.
The book is broken up into categories such as; ‘Running finds its feet’, ‘When the mind is willing’ and ‘The modern greats’ and then within these categories each story is told in an easily digestible chunk. It’s light, easy reading that you can pick up and put down at any point and then easily dive back into.
Clearly very well researched, funny, incredibly interesting and thoroughly inspiring I’d recommend this book to anyone who loves running, or aspires to! It presents running not only as a sport or form of exercise but as a form of endurance and courage against the odds.
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