Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn

80%

11 Critic Reviews

Finn's writing is accessible, and he threads entertaining familial vignettes through the book.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“Completely satisfying, as well-paced and exhilarating as a good run.”—The Boston Globe
 
Whether running is your recreation or your religion, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you, as he ventures to uncover the secrets of the fastest people on earth. Finn’s mesmerizing quest combines a fresh look at barefoot running, practical advice on the sport, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream: to run with his heroes. Uprooting his family of five, Finn traveled to a small, chaotic town in the Rift Valley province of Kenya—a mecca for long-distance runners, thanks to its high altitude, endless paths, and some of the top training schools in the world. There Finn would run side by side with Olympic champions, young hopefuls, and barefoot schoolchildren, and meet a cast of unforgettable characters. Amid the daily challenges of training and of raising a family abroad, Finn would learn invaluable lessons about running—and about life.
 
With a new Afterword by the author.
 
“Not everyone gets to heaven in their lifetime. Adharanand Finn tried to run there, and succeeded. Running with the Kenyans is a great read.”—Bernd Heinrich, author of Why We Run
 
“Part scientific study, travel memoir, and tale of self-discovery, Finn’s journey makes for a smart and entertaining read.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“A hymn to the spirit, to the heartbreaking beauty of tenacity, to the joy of movement.”—The Plain Dealer

 

About Adharanand Finn

See more books from this Author
Adharanand Finn is a journalist at The Guardian and a freelance writer, contributing regular features for The Guardian, The Independent, and Runner's World (U.K.).
 
Published May 15, 2012 by Ballantine Books. 305 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Action & Adventure, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Running with the Kenyans
All: 11 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
Jun 01 2012

Finn's writing is accessible, and he threads entertaining familial vignettes through the book.

Read Full Review of Running with the Kenyans | See more reviews from Kirkus

The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Benjamin Cheever on May 25 2012

The subtitle of Adharanand Finn’s “Running With the Kenyans” promises “passion” and “adventure” but also “the secrets of the fastest people on Earth.” Are we going to wander and find enlightenment, too? Yup.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Rowland Manthorpe on Apr 25 2012

His very lack of compulsion makes Finn a calm, humorous presence. In unobtrusively beautiful prose, he evokes the will to run at the heart of Kenyan life.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Sinclair McKay on Apr 05 2012

The book is populated with engagingly drawn characters and towards the end, Finn’s quest – the burning need to attain a certain marathon time – is gripping.

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Christian Science Monitor

Below average
Reviewed by Stephen Kurczy on May 17 2012

There are easier ways to run faster than relocating with your wife and three children to East Africa. For starters, run daily. Finn, however, has not trained seriously in nearly two decades

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The Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Joseph Nhlapo on Jul 10 2012

You might be disappointed that the answer is not what you'd hoped for, but if you are fascinated by Kenyan runners, this book written in beautiful prose will describe how running is at the heart of so many Kenyan lives.

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ArtsHub

Excellent
Reviewed by John Silberberg on Jun 26 2012

Running with the Kenyans is inspiring, marvellous and well written; read it for inspiration, to marvel at the achievements of incredible human beings, or simply for the enjoyment of a story told well.

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Sports Book Review Center

Good
Reviewed by Budd Bailey on Jul 02 2012

Few runners will ever get to see what the Kenyans' running experience is like back home. "Running with the Kenyans" is the easy way of taking that trip in a sense, a book that goes past like the countryside on a long run on a pleasant day.

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BQ by 40

Good
Reviewed by Terzah on Jun 01 2012

...those of you 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 years.

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Trains, Travels

Below average
Reviewed by Russell Cox on Sep 25 2012

An inspiring account, just not quite the coverage of Kenya I was hoping for.

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Runblogger

Good
Reviewed by Pete Larson on Apr 17 2012

Running with the Kenyans is well written and a fast read – it’s a book that I had a hard time putting down.

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Reader Rating for Running with the Kenyans
83%

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