We love books about running at freestak and one of our particular favourites in recent years was called Running With The Kenyans, by author and Guardian journalist Adharanand Finn. This was the story of a year that Finn spent with his family in Kenya, where he tried to unlock what it is the makes the people from a tiny area of this one country in east Africa, so good at long distance running.
Having published Running With The Kenyans to global acclaim, Adharanand faced the unenviable task of writing a follow-up; what musicians refer to as the difficult second album.
On Wednesday night, we attended the launch of Finn’s second book – Way Of The Runner – at Daunt Books in Holland Park – a year-long exploration of why the Japanese are so obsessed with endurance road races and why, with such levels of commitment, they are not taking on Kenyans and Ethiopians at the most elite levels.
It was a great event, with plenty of our favourite running people there, including Tom Craggs who has been coaching Finn to some recent success in his own running and elite marathoner Tom Payn, who has featured in both of Adharanand’s books so far and is undoubtedly looking for a hat-trick of mentions. Simon reviewed the book on his blog and we would definitely recommend that you buy a copy – like the Japanese marathon runners, it is undoubtedly going to be hot on the heels of the Kenyans.