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Running with the Kenyans

Narrated by: Paul Tyreman
Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (419 ratings)

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Summary

After years of watching Kenyan athletes win the world's biggest races, Adharanand Finn set out to discover just what it was that made them so fast - and to see if he could keep up. Packing up his life he moved from Devon to Iten, in Kenya, to eat with, interview, sleep beside and - most importantly – run with, some of the greatest runners in the world. In the distance rests his dream, to join the best of the Kenyan athletes in an epic first marathon across the Kenyan plains.

©2012 Adharanand Finn (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

interesting read - even for a non-runner like me!

Would you listen to Running with the Kenyans again? Why?

Really good book - enjoyed it very much even though I have no interest in running and didn't know the author or anything about Kenya. I have since listened to it again and quite possibly enjoyed it more the second time. He paints a picture of what it was like for an ordinary person to live and train with the Kenyan's - I could really imagine what it was like to be an outsider and train with possibly the best runners in the world.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Running with the Kenyans?

The whole story is as much about the people and his family as it is about running.
Even if you don't like sports (and I am definitely only mildly interested at best!) I am sure you will still enjoy this book for its real story of an everyday man out of his usual element.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great listen

Fascinating story about a journalist who moves his family to Kenya to experience life as a runner out there. I found this to be a really addictive listen – the writer paints a vivid picture of both the characters and the epic environment. And, of course, being a runner, I was completely gripped by the theme of trying to uncover just what it is that makes Kenyans the best runners on earth. An engaging book that I was sad to finish.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A thoroughly interesting tale

Where does Running with the Kenyans rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

First audiobook I have listened to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Running with the Kenyans?

The Fartlek run.

Which character – as performed by Paul Tyreman – was your favourite?

Kipsang

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

These people aren't just born to run, they live to run.

Any additional comments?

Paul Tyreman performs an excellent narration

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Love running, cant finish this book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This guy cant write. Sorry. I love running, I really loved 'Born to Run' by Christopher McDougall, but the big difference is that Christopher McDougal was a journalist, his profession was to write, he knew how to spin a story. This author unfortunately had a great adventure, but cannot write and it makes for a painstaking read. As someone who also loves travel I really had high hopes for this book, the story is probably of limited appeal to someone who has never been to Africa, but I was hoping for so much more. I wanted heart to heart conversations, but it seems that either the author wasn't able to make these bonds with the athletes or those around him, or these guys just don't have much to say. I bought this to listen to on my long runs, but I cant listen to anymore of it, its so boring. An average paragraph goes something like this."I turned up at 6 oclock. Jeffery didnt turn up at 6 oclock, because hes always late, he turned up at 7 oclock" "My daughter went to school" "I could see her blond hair easily amongst all the black headed children" "She didnt want to go the next day" Africa, and Kenya especially, are mind blowing landscapes, and it feels this is lost on the author. He cannot describe what he sees around him and it felt like he was overwhelmed or his heart is closed to the whole experience. The whole writing style feels very immature, as does the nature of the interactions with those he meets. Its possible that this guy isn't very well travelled and this kind of comes across in the book. It kind of reminds me of something that the old, square bloke in the Dunlop green flash from the cricket club up the road who had only ever been on holiday to Bournemouth would write. Its got no style, no humour, no heart. And i'm going to delete it, unfinished now. I havent written this to offend anyone, Ive written it to save you all some valuable time and read something more worthy of being read. I'm going to read Scott Jureks book next, or What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. Please let them be interesting !

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great read

I like to listen to books when I run. I really enjoyed this, Adharanand's style is easy and it kept me moving.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great insight

Good book on running insights to the best runners in the world. Narrator was easy to listen to.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting story but limited practical use

interesting story of living and training in Kenya. But as far as practical insights on how to improve it could have been distilled to a few sentences... which could have been useful as a closing summary.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

brilliant running journey

just brilliant book and performance. If you're looking here for the secret of the Kenyan runner you may be disappointed. But if you are interested to see how some Kenyans, who are runners, live in a small community while training for the big win, then you may enjoy this book. i sure did.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lacking that spark.

So I am a keen amateur runner who is in my mid-late thirties.

A friend of mine recommended the book to me and I guess I should be the target audience keen runner who is trying to improve and push myself further and faster. I have previously read born to run and although not a massive fan of barefoot running absolutely loved it. In comparison I found that this was lacking depth to the characters and I found "Finn" to come across as a bit of a self entitled guy going through a mid life crisis. I also found it poorly edited with small discrepancies not being picked up such as the time of some of the runs they went on and being British but referring to the American schooling system just seemed odd, the story also jumps about a bit from place to place rather like a bullet point report than an engaging story.

So with all of the above why did I give it a 3* rating and not lower, well its simple really although I wasn't a fan of the writer or the way the story was told I feel that it does give you an insight into the Training and the life that is led by the Kenyan athletes far better than other books I have read and for that I have given it 3 stars. Id love to find a book which is focused about running with the Kenyans and not about self aggrandising.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, irritating delivery

I enjoyed the story and engaged with the characters and the writer's mission. The use of the present tense to narrate the past is irritating, as is the narrator 's occasional cavalier approach to punctuation.

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  • @MrBookChief
  • 06-11-19

Great story of a magnificent passion for running

Well put together story of a man's passion for running and self discovery. A broader view on how life can be explored. Well read

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Allard
  • 05-11-18

Very nice listen if you're into running/Kenya

If you like to read/listen an easy book on running and/or experiencing Kenya, this is highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sinan
  • 21-09-18

narrating a running story...

a great book to listen too a week ahead of a race.... or if you're thinking of changing your running technique, the. it would be perfect during the off season to develop that forefoot technique...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MM
  • 10-04-17

Perfect audiobook for listening while running!

Really enjoyed the book. interesting storytelling . listened it during my running sessions while training for my first marathon. love!