Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review of Chris Pavey's Running Against Time

Why do runners always look like they are suffering so much pain? According to Chris Pavey’s book, Running Against Time, it is probably because they are injured, full of self-doubt, or in desperate need of a toilet break. Why do they put themselves through so much pain and self-doubt? Are they slightly mad and more than slightly masochistic? After reading Running Against Time you will understand why a truly committed runner runs.   
            Running against Time is no ordinary book about running. It is one man’s journey from being a she’ll be right, unhealthy McDonald’s addict, to becoming a driven, fund-raising marathon runner. Apart from its fitness and health benefits, Chris comes to love running for its adventure and because it allows him to be alone with his thoughts and nature.   
            The book begins in Japan where Chris had a job teaching English to the Japanese. Each day ended with junk food and too much sake. That was until he wound up at a hospital desperate to discover why his gut was behaving so strangely. He then vowed to get fit and took up running. Ten years, and many injuries later, he was running marathons.
            Many marathons are run with particular charities benefitting from the participant’s entry and their fund-raising activities. Chris enthusiastically threw himself into raising funds for those charities. And when tragedy struck, he decided to turn the death of a loved one into a positive by running up Mount Fuji and raising money in her memory.
            The book is written in a conversational style, as if Chris is holding court at a BBQ and enthusiastically telling stories about his latest running adventure, in between sips of a light beer. His enthusiasm for running and life will inspire many readers to finally undertake their own personal challenges.  
            Each chapter of the book ends with tips: on running, on overcoming injuries, on stretching, on fund-raising, even tips on how to design a website to promote fund-raising activities.
             Running Against Time has many riveting descriptions of Chris’ races that let a reader get into the head of a runner. They will find a runner who is full of fears of coming last or not finishing because of injuries. But they will also see the almost meditative quality of running and moments of ecstasy as the finish line is crossed. 
             You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy this book. Anyone who wants to know what drives the driven will be inspired by Chris’ determination to overcome injury and other personal setbacks, and live a well-run life. Running Against Time is an very enjoyable and inspirational book. I am proud to have helped edit the book.  


Anthony J. Langford said...

Definitely a great book and not being a runner, found it very inspiring. I lent it to my sister who I think will also benefit.

Congrats on the work you did too. Hope its selling well though sales never equate to quality.

Graham Clements said...

Thanks Anthony.

Chris said...

Thanks so much Graham! What a fantastic review! :-)

I'm really pleased you enjoyed reading it the second time round as a 'reader' as opposed to the sometimes tedious role of editor.

I think you've summed up this book better than I ever could!!