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The Lure of Long Distances: Why We Run

By Robin Harvie
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Book Details
  • Author: Robin Harvie
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Published: 2011-04-26
"Amateur ultra-distance runner Robin Harvie does not run fast. He has never broken a record, has never won a single race in his life, and despite numerous attempts, has never been able to complete a marathon in less than 3 hours and 12 minutes. His strength is not running fast, but running for a long time. Upon discovering this, he decided to challenge his endurance and follow the footsteps of the original Marathon hero, Pheidippides, by running the 2009 Spartathalon in Greece, which covers 152 miles, non-stop, from Athens to Sparta. The Lure of Long Distances spans Harvie's year in preparation--a 6,000 mile plus tour of raw blisters, stretched tendons, snapped tissue, blood, sweat and meditation that culminates in his attempt to run the toughest footrace in history. The book is an elegant blend of running lore and memoir that explores where simply putting one foot in front of the other can lead. With a broken body and a racing mind, Harvie retells the running legends of history including the races of greats such as Emile Zatopek and Abebe Bikala, who famously ran the marathon in the 1960 summer Olympics barefoot. Along the way, he describes the details of his own grueling training regime and explores what is so attractive about long distance running in the first place. Why do we do it and who did it first? Do we run to escape the routine of every day life or are we motivated by the promise of returning home? Harvie takes these questions to the road, and explores what running is really made of"--