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Summary

A memoir about the meaning of running from renowned historian and author of The Time Traveller's Guides.

You might run for fitness. You might run for speed. But ultimately, running is about much more than the physical act itself. It is about the challenges we face in life and how we measure up to them. It is about companionship, endurance, ambition, hope, conviction, determination, self-respect and inspiration. In this yearlong memoir, which might be described as a historian’s take on Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, the celebrated historian Ian Mortimer considers the meaning of running as he approaches his 50th birthday. From injuries and frustrated ambitions to exhilaration and empathy, it is a personal and yet universal account of what running means to people and how it helps everyone focus on what really matters.

©2019 Ian Mortimer (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Why Running Matters

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Objectifies women

This audiobook made me feel incredible uncomfortable at times when discussing women in their running clothes.

6 people found this helpful

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Just Terrible

The writer is comedically egotistical, sexist and pompous. Constantly talking about his legacy to the world, what he can pass on to his sons, comparing himself to the builders of medieval cathedrals! Not to mention the constant biological justification of lusting after women half his age. I’m afraid this is what most women fear is really going on in the minds of the Pale, Stale & Male. It’s not becoming written down or read aloud. Do not read if female.

5 people found this helpful

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This is exactly how I feel about running!

What a book. I am a self confessed running bore, and my long suffering wife and most of my friends can’t understand why. This book describes how I feel, the reason why and the meaning. The euphoria I felt when I ran the Brighton Marathon to the disappointment to not getting a time I wanted, even when it was a “good time”. I can’t recommend highly enough especially if you want to understand why we run and why Park Run matters. Totally excellent, I will recommend to anyone and everyone I meet!

3 people found this helpful

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Boring

There are so many better running books out there. This book is quite boring because it is all about one middle aged man’s “revelations” about running and life. There are 40 odd chapters in the book and all of them are about a park run. So it feels like you are listening to the same story over and over again with him mostly talking about his pbs, his times, his injuries... At one point you realise that you just don’t care. Ian Mortimer thinks he got all these big lessons about life from running but I suspect the only thing he cares about is how fast he runs. Couldn’t stand it after chapter 11 and I will return it. He also objectifies women. Talking about female runners’ clothing and lusting after them. So don’t buy this book, try something else there are a lot of books out there about running that are actually inspirational.

1 person found this helpful

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You have to be a runner

Overall, I would class this book as a background book. You probably need to like running regularly and also like numbers. I listened to it on several training runs for the Paris Marathon. Good going Ian for your achievement, and you might have encouraged me to try a park run one day. I even signed up for a barcode. Would I listen again - no, but it certainly got me through some good 50 miles :)

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Just awful

Badly written, poorly narrated and very boring! Author goes off in so many tangents. Disappointed.

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An interesting view of the benefits of running

Engaging story about the benefits of park run and running. Like how it links running to improvements in other aspects of life.

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Enjoyable

Enjoyed listening to Ian and his Park Run stories. Very easy listening and would recommend!

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A year of runs

This is a great book, read in a very engaging way by the author. So inspirational to listen to while you’re running — and so many great lessons to learn. Thoroughly recommend.

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Inspirational

Loved this audio book and will definitely listen to it again many times, totally inspired

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Profile Image for adam viljoen
  • adam viljoen
  • 18-12-20

from Adam

Adam Viljoen . At the age of 75 this book inspires me to keep on , and on and on with my jogging. In my 50 ' s I was n. one over 32 km and n. two over 21 km , in South Afrika.