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A Year on the Run book review

by kirsty
Friday 21st October 2016
Tags  Damian Hall   |   Daniel Seex   |   A Year on the Run
What’s the running relevance of the 3rd of August? Well, on that day in 1974 a certain Gordon Ainsleigh entered a hundred mile horse race called the Western States Trail Ride but left his horse at home. He completed it on foot and this later led to him founding the Western States 100 running race! 
How about the 4th of October? On this day in 2014 parkrun turned 10!
Ok, here’s an easy one - 13th April and its running relevance? Yes, the day that Paula Radcliffe set the marathon world record in 2003!
Damian Hall and Daniel Seex’s new book is a fascinating look at the 365 days of the calendar year and the historical running happenings of note on each day. Essentially it’s 365 mini-tales about running through the ages, ranging from pedestrianism in the 1800s, right through to present day feats and record setting. It’s a clever idea, which must have been painstakingly researched. No wonder he ran the South West Coastal Path so fast. He must have needed to get back to his book research with the deadline looming. 
But the stories are only half the joy of this book (and there is a lot of joy to be found in these pages). The other fantastic thing about the book is the stunning illustrations by Daniel Seex (a man who has the best Twitter name in the world: @thejoyofseex). The illustrations elevate it to a thing of beauty that you’d be proud to have on your bookshelves. I thought it had a style not unlike Like the Wind magazine but in book form. In beautiful, high quality, hardback form. 
Because each entry is only a few paragraphs it’s a book you can dip in and out of and it would make a really lovely present. You will go on a journey through the ages and learn things you never knew about running races. For instance, did you know that there used to be races where people had to pick up a stone (or a potato) every yard, for 50 miles? When will these races make a comeback? If they do we can blame Damian Hall.  
Damian’s enthusiastic, funny writing style, combined with Daniel’s stunning illustrations make this book a joy for anybody who’s interested in running. I urge you to get it, smell it, admire it and keep it away from anybody with sticky fingers. And I mean that in both in the ‘small child’ and ‘prone to theft’ senses.  

Published by Aurum Press

About The Author

Kirsty Reade

I’d describe myself as borderline obsessed with running, racing, reading about running, and watching others run so hopefully I’m fairly typical of Run247’s visitors. I tend to do longer races, particularly off-road marathons and ultras, but am pretty much a fan of any distance. I'm passionate about helping runners of all levels to improve through running communities I'm involved in, such as Underground Ultra and Free Range Runners. 


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