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The Lure of Long Distances: Why We Run Hardcover – April 26, 2011
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Dean Karnazes, ultramarathoner and New York Times bestselling author
“Every runner has a story, and Robin Harvie’s is one of the most remarkable I’ve ever encountered. [The Lure of Long Distances] 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.”
Joyce Carol Oates
“An astonishing memoir. It will make all who are drawn to running feel stirrings of true excitement.”
“An intensely personal journey, woven with philosophy, history, and pain. Robin Harvie’s debut is by turns compulsive, challenging, and ultimately rewarding.”
Independent (UK), April 17, 2011
About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Harvie was a younger man when he started running ultras, and has run much farther than I ever have. The Lure of Long Distances covers his running history, primarily the year he spent preparing for the Spartathlon, the annual 152 mile race from Athens to Sparta. He weaves in his training experiences, personal stories, reports from other races and runs along the way, anecdotes from history and modern running, and plenty of literary and poetic reflections. He writes skillfully, putting together some beautiful and effective passages.
However, the overall product didn't turn out to be a very satisfying read. All the well-written passages and stories flowed from one to another, kind of like the aid stations in an ultramarathon. By the time you get to the end, you know there were some nice views and good conversations along the way, but they only fit together in the sense that they were part of one long race.
This is not to say I didn't like the book. It was an enjoyable read.Read more ›
Harvie's book exceeded any expectations. I put this book at the top of the shelf for writing by endurance runners (both amateur and pro) - on the same level as Jurek, Finn, Murakami,Yasso, and Burfoot.
Motivating and heartbreaking, it comes the closest to explaining the compulsion, the mystery, and the satisfaction of pushing oneself to the edge.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
diffucult read, slow moving story, there are many more upbeat and great long distance reads out there, this was def on the poor read list!Published on January 22, 2013 by CC
Loved this book!
As a 'non-runner' I thoroughly enjoyed the author's personal journey and historical references. Read more
I'm heading out for my first run of 2012 and plan to do exactly the same run I've done the last two days. Read morePublished on January 1, 2012 by Brad Feld
Robin Harvie has put together an enjoyable read about "why we run." I enjoyed it very much and insisted upon reading sections aloud to friends.Published on September 12, 2011 by Ginastera