Run the World

by Becky Wade | Sports | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0062416448 Global Overview for this book
Registered by LyzzyBee of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 12/8/2018
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Journal Entry 1 by LyzzyBee from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, December 08, 2018
(26 October 2017)

A delightful book following Becky around the world as she experiences different running cultures. She’s a lovely companion on the journey, and what I really liked about the book were her open-mindedness, especially as a college athlete who’s always been under the strict aegis of a coach and team, and the way she looks not just at how the elites run in each place, as other travel-running writers do, but at the club and recreational running cultures (if they exist), too. So she compares the British and Irish independent athletics club culture with the college-centred running culture in the US (I’m assuming this is just as far as youth running is concerned and that adult runners have their own club structure?) and investigates multisports in New Zealand and orienteering in Finland, for example.

She finds lots of differences, surprised at how independently lots of people have to run and train, while holding down jobs and other roles, and is very open to different experiences in both running and nutrition. Some things are strange to her but familiar to me – like when she discovers parkrun, rather amusingly by innocently going for a run in Bushey Park (home of parkrun) and getting the feeling of someone coming up behind one … British cross-country is also a revelation to her, used to the pristine golf courses of PB-chasing America (I giggled at this, having spent my very first cross-country experience as an adult having to jump in a huge ditch … twice!

I loved how honest she is when she has to face challenges, like not getting lost in Ethiopia (she’s endearingly famous for getting lost) or befriending a shy host in Switzerland. She even opens the book struggling in the footsteps of two women in Ethiopia (she seems to love the people there best and it’s heart-breaking when she describes how she won’t be able to keep in touch with them unless they coincide at a race).

I also really liked the similarities she finds in running cultures all around the world: the long run is generally on a Sunday, there is an emphasis on mile or kilometre repeats as a standard of speed training, and, most importantly, recovery revolves around tea! Although I had read about some of these cultures before, especially about Japan, there was lots to learn here and I really enjoyed finding out about how New Zealand started the jogging revolution and other snippets. What’s lovely is the kindness that she experiences throughout her journey, from her distant cousin Padraig to jolly Finns in a summer cottage. She’s right when she describes the running community as a whole as

the kindest and most inclusive community in the world. (p. 263)

and it’s lovely to see that evidenced – in her own kindness and thoughtfulness as well.

The epilogue takes us through Becky’s first marathon, where the descriptions of each mile are interspersed with memories and learning experiences from her travels. She genuinely seems to have adopted quite a few of these, from warm-ups to recipes (there’s a recipe for each country, too, which is a cute touch) and I hope Becky both achieves running success and writes again some time.

A great read.

Journal Entry 2 by LyzzyBee at Moseley All Services Club in Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, December 08, 2018

Released 1 wk ago (12/8/2018 UTC) at Moseley All Services Club in Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Taking to Running Club Awards night for the swaps table.

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