after our marathon break—books about running to inspire, educate and entertain

Well that turned into a marathon break - the best laid plans and all that! (If you're reading this post in isolation, we took what turned into a way-too-long break from WTBA to get a few other things in order.) 

Speaking of marathons :), I’ve been reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It’s witty and conversational in tone, fascinating and eye opening. Quite inspiring.


Here’s one of the fascinating parts:

“Three times, America has seen distance-running skyrocket, and it’s always in the midst of a national crisis. The first boom came during the Great Depression … Running then went dormant, only to catch fire again in the early 70’s when we were struggling to recover from Vietnam, the Cold War, race riots, a criminal president and the murders of three beloved leaders. And the third distance boom? One year after the September 11 attacks, trail running suddenly because the fastest growing outdoor sport in the country. Maybe it was a coincidence. Or maybe there’s a trigger in the human psyche, …”

And an eye-opening and inspiring part about the Tarahumara people of Chihuahua, Mexico:

“…the Tarahumara are industrious and inhumanly honest; one researcher went so far as to speculate that after so many generations of truthfulness, the Tarahumara brain was actually chemically incapable of forming lies. And if being the kndest, happiest people on the planet wasn’t enough, the Tarahumara were also the toughest: the only thing that rivalled their superhuman serenity, it seemed, was their superhuman tolerance for pain … a Tarahumara champion once ran 435 miles … Other Tarahumara runners reportedly went three hundred miles at a pop. That’s nearly twelve full marathons, back to back to back, while the sun rose and set and rose again.”

Cool, huh!

Born to Run is a cunning kind of reading. Technically it’s non-fiction and mind expanding, but it’s also fun to read and feels like a rollicking yarn of a story. Definitely give it a go—you don’t need to be into running at all to love it.

And—to bring an end to our marathon hiatus, here are three picture books about running to inspire, educate and entertain.

Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull—the story of Wilma Rudolph who was known as the fastest woman in world in the 1960’s. She was a premmie baby, polio sufferer and an African-American woman—now there’s a story about rising above your circumstances with determination and truck loads of hard work!

Girl Running by Annette bay Pimental—the story of Bobbi Gibb, first woman to run the Boston Marathon. It's ridiculous to imagine a time when women were excluded from running long distances! (There’s also The Girl Who Ran by Kristina Yee)

The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha Diane Arnold—a fictional story inspired by the real life of Cliff Young, the Australian gum-booted farmer who at 61 years old ran 875 kilometers from Sydney to Melbourne.

It’s nice to be back! Talk soon.

Names in the picture books – Wilma, Bobbi

(The books are individually linked to Book Depository—they have great prices and free postage anywhere in the world—but you might also like to check Amazon out.)