The Lure of Long Distances: Why We Run

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PublicAffairs, Apr 26, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 273 pages
"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"--
 

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Contents

Title Page
FIRST STEPS
MIGRATION
THE PROVING GROUND
ONE MORE MILE THEN ILL COME HOME
METAMORPHOSIS
THE JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE NIGHT
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Robin Harvie ran his first marathon in 2000 after a bet. When he realized he couldn't run 26.2 miles in under 3 hours 12 minutes, despite years of trying, he decided instead to see how far he could run before keeling over. In preparation for the toughest and oldest footrace on earth he ran 6,000 miles in one year, including the Round Rotherham 50 mile ultra, the Sri Chinmoy Transcendental 100 kilometer ultra marathon, in which he came fourth, and the 72 mile Bob Graham Round in the Lake District. He lives in London.

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