Review: Running Free by Richard Askwith


One of the best and largely unknown books about the challenge of running is ‘Feet In The Clouds’ by Richard Askwith. So when I discovered he had a new running book out, I had to buy it.

Askwith is long in the tooth and extremely opinionated, but who isn’t? Each chapter talks about a theme of running and how it relates to the six ages of running.

I am not going to sugar coat this, I spent alot of time disagreeing with him and nearly gave up during his 12 page rant about the cost and commercialisation of running. But when he is not shouting ‘the end is neigh’, he tells some lovely anecdotes about running with his dog Nutmeg are passionate and lyrical, the prose, literally, run

What he does argue well is the lack of community, genuine comminity, that has encroached onto our collective past time. I seriously enjoyed his chapter on mud, and through this book I found my local chapter of the Hash House Harriers, who are going to make my Doha summer more bearable.

His book, like running, is a journey. Often it is fun, sometimes it is painful and required discipline to persevere. But now I have finished it and I am a little sad it is over, but ultimately enriched for reading it.

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