‘Some of mankind’s greatest acts of philanthropy have had their genesis in boredom. Numerous creative breakthroughs have emerged out of ennui too. Or as Kierkegaard put it, “They gods were bored, therefore they created human beings.” For Aradhna and me, the inspiration for Summer 2018’s epic journey came from an exceptionally tedious wait for a… Continue reading Running the Orient
At some point in 2020 I briefly skirted around the start of the Pennine Way (or end, depending on your perspective) on a small hike with friends during our relatively unrestricted summer period. It was a beautiful day with glorious sunshine baking much of the country in 30 degree heat, although it was far fresher… Continue reading In It For the Long Run
A large percentage of the running books that I have read in my life involve a journey to Africa, usually to Kenya. The basic idea is that Kenya produces a terrific amount of world class distance running athletes, and that any athlete worth their salt should go there to soak up the magic, pick up… Continue reading Out of Thin Air
This is the memoir of William Finnegan, a detailed and lovingly retold account of a life. Love, drugs, travel, apartheid, war reporting. Between it all, between every facet of his life, like a spider web which returns each time it is brushed away, is waves. Surfing, in all weathers, all lands, thick, thin, overhead, glass… Continue reading Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
How can we run faster? How can we run farther? How can we run farther, faster? These are the questions that runners of all calibres ask themselves, have asked themselves, and will ask themselves forever more. Throughout history there have been visionaries, athletes and coaches alike, who propose answers with evidence to these eternal queries.… Continue reading Running to the Edge, and Stories in Running.
I have completed the Adharanand Finn Trilogy. First I read his latest (and greatest?), The Rise of the Ultrarunners, then his first book, Running with the Kenyans, and now his middle child: the deep immersion and investigation into the fascinating world of Japanese running culture, The Way of the Runner. I am a big fan… Continue reading The Way of the Runner, and the Long Game.
There are a lot of similarities between running books. For instance, the majority of the running books I’ve read have started in the midst of a grueling race, some mountain trek, or a long distance sufferfest, before doing the literary equivalent of spiking the camera and saying "I bet you're wondering how I found myself… Continue reading Runners Book Club: Range (and a discussion about Grit)
Markus Torgeby was an extremely talented teenage runner, but he could never quite get things together in races. The potential that everyone could see - his family, his coaches, himself - was struggling to come into fruition. Running was Markus’ solace, a way to make his body and mind sing together. He struggled in school,… Continue reading Runners Book Club: The Runner.
This book came to me courtesy of the algorithm. Having previously read Richard Askwith’s Running Free my Kindle felt obliged to line this up next, and I’m glad that it did. Vybarr Cregan-Reid’s Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human is, again, partially a memoir on running experience. Like Askwith, he is a runner who prefers… Continue reading Runners Book Club: Footnotes.
My first experience of Richard Askwith’s work was a book which I have already discussed here - his biography of Emil Zatopek, Today We Die a Little - but what prompted me to pick up Running Free was an article in the September issue of Runner's World, written by Askwith, in which he returns to… Continue reading Runners Book Club: Running Free