Why We Run
Everyone can run. Whether it is a jog around the park on a Sunday morning, or lining up with 40,000 other people at the start of the London Marathon, all it requires is a pair of trainers and the open road. But where does that road lead and why do we run at all? Robin Harvie ran his first marathon after a bet, but it wasn't until he had ventured 6,000 miles into the extreme world of ultra-distance running to the start line of the oldest and toughest footrace on earth, that he found an answer. As a hobby turned into a 120-mile-a-week obsession, so a way out of his daily routine evolved into a journey to discover who he was and what he was really made of. Through the scorching heat of the desert and into the darkest hours of the morning, Why We Run reveals the beating heart of the brutal and profoundly intoxicating experience of running. If you have ever wondered what makes you lace up your trainers, and why you keep coming back for more, this is your story too.
There is much to enjoy in this erudite, literary memoir -- Observer Where the book truly excels is in its depiction of Harvie's internal landscape. He largely shuns training tips and inspirational advice in favour of a true memoirist's tone, exploring the reasons why he runs - grief, ambition, boredom - with an almost brutal honesty. These passages are as moving as they are illuminating ... this is a memoir for anyone who has ever dreamed about reaching the outer limits of what they're capable of and, as such, it should be enjoyed by an audience far wider than just those who head home this evening wearing a medal -- Independent on Sunday Harvie writes intricately on how such a limit-busting endeavour (the Sparthalon) made him understand himself, his journey into adulthood and his family -- Metro His journey is undeniably a compelling one -- Independent Harvie tells many more fascinating stories in this vein about everything from the suicidally dedicated marathon monks of Mount Hiel in Japan, whose initiation requires them to run a marathon a day for 100 days, to the danger of modern trainers -- Mail on Sunday Every runner has a story, and Robin Harvie's is one of the most remarkable I've ever encountered. Why We Run is brilliantly written, deeply emotional, raw and honest. Robin scrapes away the superficial dermis and offers a rare glimpse into the mindset and motivation of a long-distance runner -- Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathoner and NY Times bestselling author An astonishing memoir--wholly unlike any other writing about 'running' and 'obsession' that I have encountered. It is both eloquent and rawly emotional--candid to the point of pain, illuminating, and finally very touching. It will make all who read it, who are drawn to running, feel stirrings of true excitement, if just a bit tinged with dread! For Robin Harvie is a 'real' runner--and a 'real' writer, and though competition is not the point, as the memoirist makes clear, in this case he is an uncontested winner.' -- Joyce Carol Oates An intensely personal journey, woven with memoir, philosophy, history and pain, Robin Harvie's debut is by turns compulsive, challenging and ultimately rewarding--a magnificent literary marathon in itself -- Philip Hoare
Robin Harvie ran his first marathon in 2000 after a bet. Since then he has run 15 more.