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Summary

Running is not just a sport. It reconnects us to our bodies and the places in which we live, breaking down our increasingly structured and demanding lives. It allows us to feel the world beneath our feet, lifts the spirit, allows our minds out to play and helps us to slip away from the demands of the modern world.  

When Vybarr Cregan-Reid set out to discover why running meant so much to so many, he began a journey which would take him out to tread London’s cobbled streets, climbing to sites that have seen a millennium of hangings, and down the crumbling alleyways of Ruskin's Venice. 

Footnotes transports you to the clifftops of Hardy's Dorset, the deserted shorelines of Seattle, the giant redwood forests of California, and the world’s most advanced running laboratories and research centres, using debates in literature, philosophy and biology to explore that simple human desire to run. 

Liberating and inspiring, this book reminds us why feeling the earth beneath our feet is a necessary and healing part of our lives.

©2017 Vybarr Cregan-Reid (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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    5 out of 5 stars

A philosophical exercise for the mind, body and soul.

For something (running) that I never thought I’d get into, this has been a complete game changer. It has inspired me not only to get out into vast green spaces but explore them, feel them and admire them in a brand new way that I never knew possible. Vybar’s writing is just beautiful. He manages to deliver such a powerful insight into the romanticism found within running in green spaces, along with the hilarity and intrigue he depicts within his personal journey. A must read for not only runners who can relate, but people with the ability to wonder and the desire to explore a new realm of freedom.
Wonderfully narrated too! A true pleasure to listen to (especially whilst running)!

8 people found this helpful

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It ended an hour before my run did

I loved every piece of this book. Some have criticised it for being a creed on barefoot running. It isn't. Cregan-Reid talks about barefoot running for sure, and why not, he does some of his running unshod, but it's hardly hardcore on the topic. But what it is, is a soaring paean to the joys of running - anywhere, in any way and in any footwear. He employs a rich array of scientists and literary interlocutors to weave together a beautiful narrative flow that I enjoyed enormously as a I trudged the byways of Berkshire. Had I not been running while listening, I would have been yearning to. I just wish it had been an hour (or more) longer. The narrator is also excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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A lyrical rendition of one running journey

I adored this book. A perfect companion for a runner (especially during a run, though Vybarr may disapprove). I didn’t expect it to be this good but now it’s among my favorite running books. Actually among my favorite book because this is not just a book about running but about so much more.

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Will Listen to this again!

I started my "Audible" journey back in March 2020 at the start of lockdown and I really love running books, ultra running, triathlon etc..."Born to Run" was probably my favourite so far. Footnotes was an amazing listen, a new perspective for me... I loved this book and theres so much in it that im definitely going to listen to this book again.... and i haven't said that about a lot of books ive listened to. I also want running to be as natural as breathing when it comes to the regularity, the importance, and running outside, to fully experience and be connected with one's self and the environment without all the gadgetry and self imposed goals and objectives that we set around running...its the most natural thing in the world... just take off and run and experience...i really loved this book!

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The running book that has it all

I've read A LOT of running books but bought this audiobook version on a whim a few years ago. I've listened to it so many times I've lost count.

It's so wonderfully and beautifully written. It ranges from the author's personal experiences to looking at the data that makes us good runners. If you have any interest in running, please do not pass this one by.

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Not just for runners

A book about running and life or is it a book about life and running? Either way it is a beautiful meander through the things that make us human and it’s relationship to the thing that is most natural to us but not all of us do it. To run.

If you’re a runner read this book, if you’re interested in human physiology and psychology read this book. If you like travel books with a bit of a twist it is also for you.

Great narration, the story flows smoothly and if you let yourself be, you are taken on a journey. A journey that involves quite a bit of running :)

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Meandering, deep diving, long run into why we run

Like a good long run, it is broad in scope, takes a few wrong turns but has many moments of inspiration. I enjoyed the interweaving of British history, philosophy, literature and science into the narrative.

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Exceptional inspirational listening experience

So much about this listening experience to love. The author's relationship with running was even more enhanced by philosophy, psychology, geography, poetry, literature and travel. enlightening does not cover it. thank you & missing it already.

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More than just running...

I really enjoyed this audiobook. Very insightful, thought provoking and in parts laugh out loud funny. Highly recommended

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Really enjoyed this book. It's fun and informative

Fun and informative read. I'm not a runner, but I am inspired to give it a go now.

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  • Randy YH
  • 07-11-18

A bit too literary for me, but still excellent

This is a running book in one sense, but the author is very steeped in and aware of literature and the many tendrils it sends into many aspects of human life, including running. He has an amazing command of literature and as an audio book, was a little hard to keep track of the many briefly mentioned and fairly esoteric writers and situations. Nevertheless I learned a lot. Also Vybarr (sp) has a wonderfully organic and natural view of running and that was super refreshing for a watch-crazed miles-counting runner like me. Definitely worth reading and even listening if you are quick with the “go back 20 seconds” button. The one criticism I would make is about the reader, who was very good but has this habit of doing an American Accent when a quote by an American is being read. It is very well done, but definitely sounds like an Englishman imitating an American and so is distracting. Stop that! I am sure his American Accent is much better than my English accent, but still...

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alex Syvorotka
  • 12-02-19

Useless show off of a pretentious author

Bought this book because I wanted to learn more about running experience from other runners. Very disappointed, all I got is the author's showing off in knowledge of literature like quotes of Tolstoy that have nothing to do with running. Author mostly describes his own running experience and insists on the idea that the only right way to run is... barefoot. Also that running it the only right way to exercise and that gyms are the 'fast-food' of exercising.
My bad that I just expected the book to be less philosophical and more practical.

1 person found this helpful