The best books about runners, records, and the remarkable human spirit

Andy Mouncey Author Of So You Want to Run an Ultra: How to Prepare for Ultimate Endurance
By Andy Mouncey

The Books I Picked & Why

Runaway Comrade

By Bob de la Motte

Runaway Comrade

Why this book?

An enthralling account of one man’s quest to win the oldest ultramarathon in the world through the prism of apartheid South Africa in the ’70s and ’80s. Not only is it an incredibly intimate account but also a fascinating insight into international politics and business machinations during that turbulent time.


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British Marathon Running Legends of the 1980s

By Gabrielle Collison

British Marathon Running Legends of the 1980s

Why this book?

Britain used to be a hotbed of marathon talent that ruled the world over 26.2 miles decades before Lottery funding. This is a collection of 21 interviews of men and women who left their mark on the sport often by force of will alone. For those of us who grew up watching these people – and I was one - this is the how and why they did it which at the time was the bit that was never really in the spotlight. So it squares the circle for me. And for those of you who came later – welcome to Old School…


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Broken: 2020: the year running records were rewritten

By Ally Beavan

Broken: 2020: the year running records were rewritten

Why this book?

Ally Beavan had a ringside seat during the lockdown year of 2020 as a few special ultrarunners lined up to take a shot at many of the long-standing records in the sport. As support crew, pacer, or simply cheerleader on many of these attempts, Beavan puts us right where the action is for a rare and often entertaining insight into what a very special time if you could run a long way very fast. I was compelled, informed, and entertained in equal measure.


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The Art of Resilience

By Ross Edgley

The Art of Resilience

Why this book?

Once again this is about so much more than the incredible physical feat involved in swimming a lap of Great Britain. Ross Edgley is also a student of the world with the smarts and courage to write his own rule book. Once again this is an engaging mix of the deeply personal, science, philosophy, and the humanity of community that has to come together to make extraordinary stuff possible.


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