HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Running with the Kenyans: Passion,…
Loading...

Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the…

by Adharanand Finn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8115148,805 (3.58)11
None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I thought the premise was interesting, but I'm not a runner and running sounds so utterly unappealing to me. Finn made me see why someone might want to run and also gave a good glimpse into a particular segment of a particular society (runner in Kenya) that I didn't really know anything about - and his descriptions of Kenya made the landscape sound appealing and beautiful (something I hadn't thought about Kenya before).

I picked this up during the Olympics, after watching the Men's 800 meter race, won by Kenyan David Rudisha. This made the book that much more engaging to me, especially since Finn trains in the Kenyan town of Iten, where David Rudisha is also training.

If you like "triumph of the wills" type stories, I think you will enjoy this one (even if you don't like running!) ( )
  cransell | Aug 23, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What is it about the Kenyans? In the world of running they are the crazy-fast superstars. They seem to shatter world records as an afterthought and amass place medals with a regularity that is astonishing. But what is their secret? Is it their training, their diet, their running equipment (or lack thereof)? Or is it some special magic that only Kenyans possess? Author Adharanand Finn is determined to find out.

Finn is a runner and a freelance writer for the UK version of "Runner's World". As such, he is fascinated by the Kenyans. So much so that he decides to go to the source and see for himself what they are doing and how they are doing it. Uprooting his young family (kudos to his wife!) for an extended stay in Kenya, Finn immerses himself in the world of Kenyan running. Running and training alongside elite runners and hardworking hopefuls, Finn sets himself the goal of running the Flouspar race - a 13.1 mile half marathon (uphill all the way) - that has developed into a rite of passage for Kenyan runners.

Interesting, poignant, and at times funny, this book immerses you in African culture and the cult that is Kenyan running. A great book to read for any runner but non-runners interested in African culture shouldn't pass this one by. Photos at the beginning of each chapter make the stories all the more personal and interesting. So what is it about the Kenyans? Their barefood running? Their ugali diet? Their training regime? Or is it just that nebulous quality known as 'heart'? To find out, read this book. ( )
  buchowl | Jul 20, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
An interesting read about what it's like to live and train in Kenya from the perspective of a UK runner. The book addresses some of my questions about why Kenyans are such great runners and why they didn't dominate the longer races until the last 20 years or so. Recommended for anyone interested in running or life in Africa. ( )
  cwlongshot | Jul 5, 2012 |
British author Adharanand Finn spent six months living in Kenya with his wife and three young children trying to discover the reason that Kenyans dominate the world in running and attempting to learn to run like a Kenyan. No, he wasn't a world class athlete or even a serious amateur runner. Finn is a journalist at the "Guardian" with additional regular assignments from "Runners World". As a youth, he ran with a local club in Northampton, England. In college in Liverpool, Finn joined the running team but failed to take training seriously and simply participated. As an adult with a wife and three children, training was an indulgence that time did not permit.

Although describing himself as an "overweight office worker," Finn never gave up his dream of training really hard and running really fast. This dream became a reality after he won a 10K charity race in Devon with his personal best time of 38 minutes and 35 seconds. (Kenyans commonly run sub 30 minute 10Ks.) His sister-in-law, who lived in Kenya, suggested that he run the Lewa Marathon, one of the toughest marathons in the world, run across a wildlife conservancy in Kenya. In the glow of his victory in the local charity run, Finn gave serious thought to the invitation. With the enthusiastic support of his wife, the whole family moved to Kenya.

Kenyans dominate distance running, particularly those of the Kalenjin tribe. By living near and training with elite runners, Finn gained insight into reasons for their success.

* Life style, culture, genetics and drive distinguish the Kenyan runners. They devote themselves to running. It's a vocation rather than an avocation. Running is one of the few ways to escape a life of poverty, creating the need to excel. A lack of alternatives fuels the drive to win.

* Kenyans run, eat and sleep. They train in groups and, for races, live in training camps. Training is about two runs a day, with total rest in between. Kenyans will sleep as much as sixteen hours a day.

* The diet of Kenyan runners is high in carbs. Ugali, the national food, predominates. This is a porridge or dough made of maize.

* Genetically, the Kenyans are lean and built well to run. Males are generally below 130 lbs. The Kalenjins live at altitude and children grow up running everywhere they need to go. Running is a way of life.

"Running with the Kenyans" is a well-written narrative of the difficulties of integrating Finn and his family into the local culture and his path to completing the Lewa Marathon. You don't need to be a runner to enjoy this story. ( )
  brendajanefrank | Jun 5, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345528794, Hardcover)

“A dusty road stretches into the distance like a pencil line across the arid landscape. Lions, rhino, and buffalo roam the plains on either side. But I haven’t come to Kenya to spot wildlife. I’ve come to run.”
 
Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a spectator sport, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you. Part travelogue, part memoir, this mesmerizing quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s greatest runners—and put them to the test—combines practical advice, a fresh look at barefoot running, and hard-won spiritual insights.
 
As a boy growing up in the English countryside, Adharanand Finn was a natural runner. While other kids struggled, he breezed through schoolyard races, imagining he was one of his heroes: the Kenyan long-distance runners exploding into prominence as Olympic and world champions. But as he grew up, pursued a career in journalism, married and had children, those childhood dreams slipped away—until suddenly, in his mid-thirties, Finn realized he might have only one chance left to see how far his talents could take him.
 
Uprooting his family of five, including three small children, Finn traveled to Iten, a small, chaotic town in the Rift Valley province of Kenya—a mecca for long-distance runners thanks to its high altitude, endless running paths, and some of the top training schools in the world. Finn would run side by side with Olympic champions, young hopefuls, and barefoot schoolchildren . . . not to mention the exotic—and sometimes dangerous—wildlife for which Kenya is famous.
 
Here, too, he would meet a cast of colorful characters, including his unflappable guide, Godfrey Kiprotich, a former half marathon champion; Christopher Cheboiboch, one of the fastest men ever to run the New York City Marathon; and Japhet, a poor, bucktoothed boy with unsuspected reservoirs of courage and raw speed. Amid the daily challenges of training and of raising a family abroad, Finn would learn invaluable lessons about running—and about life.
 
Running with the Kenyans is more than one man’s pursuit of a lifelong dream. It’s a fascinating portrait of a magical country—and an extraordinary people seemingly born to run.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Whether running is a recreation, a passion, or just a spectator sport, Finn's incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate. Part travelogue, part memoir, this quest uncovers the secrets of the world's greatest runners--and puts them to the test.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
11 wanted2 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.58)
0.5
1 2
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 3
3.5 2
4 12
4.5 2
5 2

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,469,015 books! | Top bar: Always visible