Chris Maddocks is one of Great Britain's most enduring and endearing Olympic heroes. His autobiography, Money Walks, is not only chock-full of fascinating anecdotes about the kind of competitive excellence of which most of us could only dream, but is also thought-provoking, humorous and downright enjoyable to read. I could only wish that it could be taught in classrooms, to expose children to the kind of exquisite dedication Mr Maddocks has perfected over the years of his career. This is a book that will definitely stay in my library forever, getting reread many times over the years to remind me that there really are people in the world for whom Olympic excellence is an attainable dream through phenomenal and inspiring hard work.
It would be utterly impossible to overpraise this fine and inspiring book. There are many endurance event accounts by participants themselves and by others, but while one or two may be as riveting as MONEY WALKS, none is greater. I've never known a racewalking/running (auto)biography to be so INVOLVING. You're there: every minute, every race, every problem, every triumph. This is grit and guts at the highest level possible - and in the events where GB set the pace and ruled the world and excelled for not only decades but for centuries......... Pedestrian Captain Barclay --- Runner Don Ritchie --- Racewalker Don Thompson --- Climber Joe Brown......... now Chris Maddocks takes his rightful place alongside them as the toughest of the tough and where GB excels. Frankly, the advantages enjoyed by those who grab the media spotlight (you know the ones - those ill-mannered boors who raise one finger as they hit the tape after an event lasting between 9 seconds and 40 minutes) make their achievements laughable in comparison with the hardships heroically overcome by Maddocks. If this autobiography doesn't make you get out and do a gritty extra training session nothing will. And there are warming aspects to the story apart from the training & racing details: Chris Maddocks never showboats, never blows his own trumpet (and no one would be more entitled to), and there is no side on him whatsoever. He's approachable, both social and independent, ultrasociable, very determined, and has the remarkable ability (and nerve) to talk to royalty as easily as to racing mates. One element of his competitive career that he downplays in the book, though it can readily be inferred, is the incalculably vast amounts of time he spent doing the lonely daily slogs on the hardest road of all. This man is a real balanced human being, and for me the warmest and most memorable bit comes all too briefly at the end, and with the photo. to match. As the Latin tag has it: SOLVITUR AMBULANDO ET CURRENDO.
I used to be a race walker but gave up at the age of 18. Now that I'm on my 40's I feel somewhat nostalgic for race walking and confess that my main motivation for buying this book was curiosity about what had happened to some of my fellow race walkers since I left the sport. I didn't expect much - I don't generally read autobiographies and could the life of an athlete competing in such an unfashionable sport really be that interesting? I couldn't have been more wrong and was blown away by Money Walks from start to finish! You don't have to be a race walker to enjoy this book. Chris writes with passion and tells a real rollercoaster of a story. There's honesty, humour and heartache in this book. It made me laugh and it made me cry - I was sobbing with mascara running down my face on the train when reading about the Sydney Olympics! But most of all it made me feel proud! Proud of Chris for his achievements and for putting race walking on the map. And proud to have once been a race walker. Money Walks is a truly inspirational book and I would recommend it to any sports enthusiast or anyone looking for a role model.
I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking an inspirational athletics autobiography. I first met Chris Maddocks in 1983, when he was training for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and simultaneously reading for a University degree. I was impressed by his enthusiasm and dedication to his sport - race walking - and whilst other students were still sleeping, he would be out training at 6.30 am. He went on to represent GB at FIVE Olympics and his book tells of the trials, tribulations and challenges along the way. Had he chosen a more 'mainstream' athletics event, he would be an international household name, and this book would be a bestseller from a well-known publishing house. The book is enhanced by the inclusion of many photographs from his collection.
I have read many sports autobiographies over the years and this is right up there with the best of them. This is such an honest and enlightening account of a sport that receives very little in the way of media coverage, I can now appreciate why it is so popular in many countries around the world. The technique, skill and athletic ability required to propel oneself forward at incredible speed and the endurance to maintain the pace is astonishing. The brutal training regimes, the drama of racing, the disappointments, the self sacrifice and the injuries are all laid bare in this book. As a keen sportsman I just had to go outdoors and try a bit of race walking, how on earth the likes of Chris Maddocks can move so swiftly is mind boggling. Given his amateur status it's astonishing what he has achieved as a five time Olympian. A hugely enjoyable read by a British sporting hero.
This book is a really good read. The author has written from the heart, he enlightens the reader into understanding the trials and tribulations of competeing and he certainly is'nt afraid of hard work, he sets a good example for future athelet's and anyone who needs encouragment to give it their all in anything they choose to do. I loved reading this book and have encouraged other people to read it as well. Well done Chris!
As one of the privileged persons to be with Chris in some of the stories in your book, I can nothing else as say it was so lively written that I felt times were turned back and was walking again..... I recognized so many of the things in the book, injuries, frustration, glory, records, the always forgotten sport of walking etc. Reading it while waiting on my plane I missed even my flight.
Its brought back a lot of happy memories like the link road run, occasional sessions in the weight room and running from the youth centre twice a week, thanks. Incredible dedication to athletics and a brilliant book.