How Running Makes Us Human
A meditation on running, nature and the pursuit of freedom in the modern world.
Running is not just a sport. It reconnects us to our bodies and the places in which we live, breaking down our increasingly structured and demanding lives. It allows us to feel the world beneath our feet, lifts the spirit, allows our minds out to play and helps us to slip away from the demands of the modern world.
When Vybarr Cregan-Reid set out to discover why running meant so much to so many, he began a journey which would take him out to tread London’s cobbled streets, climbing to sites that have seen a millennium of hangings, and down the crumbling alleyways of Ruskin's Venice. Footnotes transports you to the cliff tops of Hardy's Dorset, the deserted shorelines of Seattle, the giant redwood forests of California, and to the world’s most advanced running laboratories and research centres, using debates in literature, philosophy and biology to explore that simple human desire to run.
Liberating and inspiring, this book reminds us why feeling the earth beneath our feet is a necessary and healing part of our lives.
“A wonderfully subtle and ambitious book”
P.D. Smith, Guardian
“Insightful and intoxicating. Vybarr Cregan-Reid's book makes you take your shoes off and run through a world of ideas about nature.”
The Times Literary Supplement
“Footnotes is a blazing achievement.”
Kate Norbury, Caught by the River
“Few have done it so artfully and completely.”
Oliver Balch, Literary Review
“Here is a book in which the striding energy of the prose matches its subject.”
“Wonderfully authoritative vindication of what ought to be a self-evident truth: that running should be about being alive, not being a consumer.”
Richard Askwith - author of Running Free: A Runner’s Journey Back to Nature
“It’s hard to imagine a more compelling or poetic running companion than Vybarr Cregan-Reid. He inspires us not just to run, but to be truly alive while we are doing it.”
“A brilliant, broad-ranging and beautiful book. Like a great run into a wild landscape, it opens the heart and the mind, taking you off into the unknown, delighting at every turn and returning you changed for the better.”
Rob Cowen - author of Common Ground