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Athons are affected by the story so ou can imagine if a runner reads this They ll be even pumped up I must confess the reason I loved reading this book is not that I m a runner a former runner a fan of running although the sport has been of interest for many Vide et plein years And not because Finn has written an enjoyable interesting self effacing journey of discovery tale filled with uniue observations and fascinating facts a good read to be sure No the main reason I loved this book is its portrayal and descriptions of Iten the town on the Rift Valley Escarpment that is the main setting and a locus for serious long distance runners from around the world You see I lived very near Iten when it was just a sleepy district center before becoming the marathoner s meccaHow wonderful to read the town has grown with a number of training camps the Kerio View Hotel just in the planning stages back in my day andet remains recognizable despite all the growth It seems the old Kapteren Show Grounds where I first met my wife has become a village center of its own going by the name KapshowEven the venerable Brother Colm O Connell is there still coaching and mentoring The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race young runners at the legendary St Patrick s Boarding School Just as he was all thoseears ago when I had the honor of meeting him and sharing a meal with him The track and field team from the school where I taught Kipsoen Harambee School would compete at St Patrick sSo a reminiscence for me but still a recommended book for runners those who enjoy a real life adventure and a grassroots glimpse into another culture Finn and his wife and two children move to Kenya so he can train for a marathon What will he learn about running and about Kenyan running culture How fast will he get This makes for a fun combination of a travel book and a running book I would have liked it though if Finn had been a serious runner and didn t play stupid uite so much For example coming into it he claims to think that all Kenyan runners run barefoot all the time which he would have seen was false from any photograph or any of the hundreds of running magazine articles on Kenyan runners He s a runner but he only runs every few days taking off weeks or months at a time When he moves to Kenya he s only running up to 3 miles at a time Maybe this was deliberate sandbagging so his improvement in Kenya would be dramatic But no he keeps this schedule up even after moving his whole family to Kenya He also deliberately runs stupidly possibly so the book has drama He refuses to wear a watch for example in training or races unlike everyone else and makes any number of other dumb mistakes Since there s no new information in this book and what there is is of uestionable accuracy these details make the project annoying to any serious runner One woman tells me as we sit on the grass that she thinks running is like getting drunk in reverse With drinking it feels great at first but then Punainen kuin veri you start feeling awful With runningou feel awful at first but then after Make You Mine you finishou feel great After the race in Eldoret I decide I need to ratchet up my training I m still in my old mindset training every other day treating running as a side activity I m going running I say Why she asks It s a good uestion but right now just before a run is not the best moment to try to answer it Right before More Than a Princess (The Montevaro Monarchy you head out running it can be hard to remember exactly whyou re doing it You often have to override a nagging sense of futility lacing up The Courage to Stand Alone Letters from Prison and Other Writings your shoes tellingourself that no matter how unlikely it seems right now after Halftime with Craig you finishou will be glad The Year the Maps Changed you went It s only afterward that it makes sense although even then it s hard to rationalize why You just feel right After a runou feel at one with the world as though some unspecified innate need has been fulfilled I must be the only runner here without a watch Before I came to Kenya I had naively imagined everyone racing along without a thought for anything as controlling and analytical as a stopwatch in the West we re stuck on a conveyor Belt Going The Wrong Way In 1975 going the wrong way In 1975 example thirty four marathons were run in under 2 hours 20 minutes by American runners twenty three by British runners and none by Kenyan runners By 2005 however there were 22 sub 220 marathon performances by Americans 12 by Britons and a staggering 490 by Kenyans Thirty eight kilometers We leave at five in the morning Yeah sure Sounds good Sounds terrifying is what I mean That s almost twenty four miles I ve never run than thirteen miles before The cook passes a tray with a mound of ugali on it through the window from the adjoining kitchen then a pot of sukuma wiki which is basically stewed kale A daily diet of run eat sleep run In Iten alone there are around one thousand full time athletes living like this in a town with a population of just four thousand people Wikipedia says the population is over 42000 At three miles I begin to wonder how fast I m running I made a late decision not to wear a watch Anders thought I was mad but I ve done every training run without one and the Kenyan runners at the Kimbia camp didn t think it was a run without one and the Kenyan runners at the Kimbia camp didn t think it was a Just run how Daughter of the Moon (Tales of Inthya, you feel they said The long straight lines cutting across the parched landscape seem to stretch on farther than before The gentle wind and the soft pat pat pat of my feet are the only sounds I swing a few glances behind me but there is no one as far as I can see Just the long path already traveled empty as though I m the last runner on earth I have an energy gel in my back pocket I had planned to take it at eighteen miles but now at fifteen miles it s all I can think about As I round the last corner the beautiful arched finish rises up to meet me The clock ticks on to 3 hours 20 minutes And then I m there I ve done it A fun and interesting look at the Kenyans from an outsider s perspective Ifou are looking for an easy read about the subject this is a good starting place for Great Short Stories of Detection Mystery and Horror you However ifou are looking for any details training secrets etc ou may be disappointe. Ls 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 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 ,


O kenya to improve his marathon time and by doing so go s through a lot of up s and down s like all us runners so often do The story was very enjoyable and would recommend for any other runner out there It s no Born to Run but it was still uite good This is a nonfiction book about why Kenyans are beating the pants off the rest of us in basically all running events be they short sprint distance races or marathons It s part travelogue and part running book which is key I think even as a runner myself I think books purely about just running and nothing else are kind of boring so including the aspects about life in Kenya and travel through Kenya make this a much better book SPOILER So does he answer the uestion No but that s because there is no definitive answer there are a number of factors contributing to the Kenyans mind boggling running success Barefoot running training camps where the athletes JUST train and rest they don t have other jobs the tendency for kids to run back and forth to school they need to go home for lunch and there are no school buses Plus homes are spread apart and the school is never close to where ou live a hardscrabble life which just forces Adam in Ochre: Inside Aboriginal Australia you to be active in general the altitude and probably some other factors I m forgetting all contribute However these factors are common in many other African nations so why does Kenya in particular stand out That probably has to do with the fact that excellence tends to build on itself and it has a snowballing effect the success and the great runners there are from Kenya the the Kenyan running culture grows role models etcI would have liked to see the author at least come to some conclusions though even though there really is no definitive answer It would have been nice I think for him to include a final conclusion statement where he tells us what he really thinks the secret is even if the secret is that there is no secret He certainly does that throughout the book but I thought it would have been better addressed at the end Finn uproots his extremely supportive wife and kids from their home in England and moves to Kenya towell it s not totally clear He wants to see if he can run better even starting in midlife And at least nominally he wants to learn what makes Kenyans such good runners So he goes to live in Kenya for a few months and runs with some KenyansAnd that s or less my issue with the book insofar as I have an issue It isn t that Finn doesn t acknowledge his privilege He does sort of He seems full of admiration for the Kenyans he trains with and befriends Most are from poor rural backgrounds and he sees the hardship and privation they endure There may not be much that he as an individual can do about that But it s a little weird to read a book that dwells in the middle of this kind of ineuity and poverty without ever uestioning the larger structures behind it Finn s not interested in those things or at least not writing about them here This is a book about running But really canou write a book about how hardship makes good runners without uestioning at least a little the systems that perpetuate the hardshipSo this is complicated I was interested in Finn s story in the way that runners are forever interested in the minutiae of running A non runner would probably die of boredom or not pick this book up in the first place It is what it says on the tin But over the course of the whole book I started to feel like the book s point of view was so narrow its focus so unrelentingly on Finn and his situation his training his family his experiences even his car and meals and muscle twinges that it read like a diary than anything else I just finished reading The Blue Sweater which is Jacueline Novogratz s story of struggling to establish microfinance operations in developing countries I think Novogratz is kind of a standout case in developing countries I think Novogratz is kind of a standout case her take on people living in poverty is just so different from Finn s Finn in describing the home of a house proud Kenyan runner points out the shabbiness and odd placement of the furniture He s too experienced a journalist to pass comment but this is what he sees and what he chooses to report Novogratz never once describes the people she works with in any way that undermines them or points out the gap between their material ambitions and the things we take for granted in the West Over and over she comments on people s appearances clothes personal mannerisms and everything she says feels sincerely appreciative She s not a Pollyanna she reports being robbed and in one horrible incident almost abducted but she seems simply to have a talent for seeing people in their own terms instead of applying her own I don t get the impression Finn shares that talent And since he s imposed himself on these people s lives for his own sake and for relatively trivial reasons it all feels just a bit icky to meIt s especially strange that after the final marathon race at Lewa the event the whole book builds up to the focus closes in on Finn s own difficult race experience and pretty much forgoes everything else There s no philosophizing about the Kenyan secret to running which is a pretty thin thread in the book to start with It s just a journal of Finn s marathon Followed by a startlingly abrupt ending in which his Kenyan running partners all leave in a van and he muses that he may never see any of them againOh there s an epilogue It s Finn triumphantly setting a PR at the NYC marathon So I guess we know what the book was really about after all I finished this in a day like literally This book is just amazing The author brought me into his journey to Kenya where he lived there for six months to learn and train with Kenyan runners and to find out what are the secrets to be the best runner in the world The writing flows easily the plot seamless the stories affective Non too melancholic I did shed a tear or two reading the last chapter highlighting his running goal the Lewa Marathon I urge runners to read this I mean even I who don t do mar. E 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 his heroes the Kenyan long distance runners exploding into prominence as Olympic and world champions But 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 oung hopefu. .
I m not uite sure what to make of this It says it s the running secrets of the fastest people on earth It says it s the memoir of someone who wanted to see how good a runner he could be It s a travelogue of Kenya Well it s sort of all of those but not really any of them For starters there are no secrets revealed It s all pretty obvious Kenyans are fast because they run a lot as children miles day in day out as part of their lives They live and run at altitude They eat a lot of carbs eat a low fat diet and rest a lot They are often barefoot so they evolve a natural running style that is fluid and less injury prone than us western plodders Well eah but I don t call these secrets More like common sense that is well known to even the average runner As for the memoir of an above average recreational runner who wanted to see how good he could be Breve diccionario artúrico yes it is this but while Finn improved of course he did on the surface it seems to be the improvement that anyone would get if they ran ate better and ran at altitude with faster peopleThe travelogue part was interesting but I was somewhat put off by the Great White Man approach To be fair I think this was unintentional but it imparted an us and them feel to the book and to Finn s experiences in Kenya What I did enjoy were the descriptions of some of his runs The pitter patter of feet running together Harsh breath Being out there running fluidly The joy of it all These passages were wonderful and elevated the book to three stars for me As a runner on hiatus I can read and enjoy passages about running about training about forefoot strikes and running shoes Non runners will probably find their eyes glazing overOverall while there was uite a bit to enjoy I felt it suffered from a lack of purpose and direction It tried to be too many things personal sports story travelogue factual book memoir and as a result it never really succeeded in any of them It s the most tantalizing title since Born to Run and along the same lines a Westerner intent on learning the secrets of a culture truly born to run goes and lives among this foreign people temporarily partly to see if some of their secret sauce can help his own running but partly just to see well what it s like and what that secret is Along the way he meets some true characters subjects himself and his family in Finn s case family includes three small children to culture shockand brings the whole thing to a satisfying climax in the form of a big race this one with lionsSince this is a review I ll cut to the chase those ofou who think there s one key element to explain the Kenyans dominance of distance running will be disappointed But Finn does a fantastic job identifying the combination of factors that have made them so unbeatable for so many Le corps des femmes: La bataille de l'intime years He touches on all of these factors in detail throughout the narrative and near the end of the book he summarizesFor six months I ve been piecing together the puzzle of why Kenyans are such good runners In the end there was no elixir no running gene no training secret thatou could neatly package up and present with flashing lights and fireworks Nothing that Nike could replicate and market as the latest running fad No it was too complex et too simple for that It was everything and nothing I list the secrets in my head the tough active childhood the barefoot running the altitude the diet the my head the tough active childhood the barefoot running the altitude the diet the models the simple approach to training the running camps the focus and dedication the desire to succeed to change their lives the expectation that they can win the mental toughness the lack of alternatives the abundance of trails to train on the time spent resting the mental toughness the lack of alternatives the abundance of trails to train on the time spent resting the to school the all pervasive running culture the reverence for runningA few paragraphs later he writesI ve immersed myself in the world of Kenyan runners living and training with them sharing their commitment and following their almost monastic lifestyles in the hope that some of their magic would rub off on me Hopefully it has but in truth at thirty seven after ears of living an easy Western lifestyle and without anything driving me other than the joy of running and the desire to use my talent I never stood a chanceIt s a humbling messageAs always though actions speak louder than words There s a lot of hope here too for those willing to adopt some Kenyan style in their training In the wake of his experience Finn finishes as the first Westerner in the hot and dusty Lewa Marathon his first in three hours and 20 minutes After his return to the West he takes three minutes off his pre Kenya half marathon personal best And four months after that Kenyan marathon debut he runs the New York Marathon in two hours 55 minutes exactlyThe book wasn t as funny or smoothly written as Born to Run a book I loved and recommend to everyone But it felt true to me in its shades of grey characterization of these extraordinary runners and the reasons for their success I liked his unpretentious descriptions of what it was really like to run behind a group of Kenyans and I was particularly impressed with his blunt critiue of his own commitment to his beloved sport after a disappointing half marathon part way through his African sojournSince finishing this book tonight I ve found myself Googling ugaliand I think I might take a walk up my street Barefoot If The Sheep Pig you re looking here for the secret of the Kenyan runnerou may be disappointed But if Cult Science Fiction Films From the Amazing Colossal Man to YogThe Monster from Space Citadel Film Series you are interested to see how some Kenyans who are runners live in a small community while training for the big win thenou may enjoy this book Much like a voyeur the reader is given a glimpse into life in Kenya for a runner while the author trains amongst them and attempts to tap into their secret for winning race after race after race I presume it s a good gig for an author if Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy you can get it so kudos to Finn A very enjoyable story in the life of Ifou are looking for an in depth training analysis on how the kenyan s train then this book is not for Narrative Economics you The book follows the story of a runner that moved “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 isour recreation Goddesses Mysteries of the Feminine Divine your religion or just a spectator sport Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspireou Part travelogue part memoir this mesmerizing uest 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 ,

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Running with the Kenyans