Struggling for Christmas gift ideas for the runner in your life? Consider our picks of some of the top literary offerings out at the moment.
The Runner, Markus Torgeby
For most of us, a bad run results in an hour or two of being miserable before returning to the real world, but for Markus Torgeby it was much more. For a variety of personal reasons, his childhood dreams of running glory were shattered and as a result he moved to the wilderness …. to run. This true story, based in Sweden is a fascinating account of what it takes to do such a thing – both physically and mentally. It caught our eye because it’s nothing but extreme; it’s great to spend a few hours in the hills running on your own, but four years? It can be done, but at what cost?
2 Fastpacking - Multi-day running adventures, Lily Dyu
A book after our own heart here at Trail Running. It’s devoted to inspiring you to run some of the most amazing long distance trails here in the UK or further afield in amazing locations in the Alps.
Fastpacking is all about covering distance at speed, carrying everything you need for such an adventure. The runs have all completed by some pretty handy trail runners, so all you need to worry about is the weather! There’s everything you need to know from where to find local Eccles cakes to perfect campsites or mountain huts to set up camp in on your journey.
Produced by Cicerone, this is superbly written book by great experts who know what the reader needs. Not for nothing Cicerone leads the way in this market and is regarded as the authority to turn to in when it comes to mapping out adventure runs and inspiring walks worldwide.
Runner, Lizzy Hawker
To read Lizzy is nervous before tackling, say, the UTMB or Everest is strangely comforting given her incredible reputation as an ultra-running legend. She’s very much a real person, with the same self-doubt and fears that often accompany of a big challenge. Superstars don’t feel such emotion, do they? Well, yes they do. Lizzie takes us on real tour of discovery up and over high peaks and more importantly, leaves us with the thought that maybe, just maybe, anything is possible if you put your mind to.
4 Over The Hill at 60 Something, Barry Holmes
Now this is an interesting book with what we can only describe as some amazing illustrations. Barry has done this as a retirement project and clearly has produced what can only be described as a superb coffee table book. We think if you want a feel for the Lakes and need a bit of inspiration, then this is a nice addition to your library. Who knows, it might get you thinking about similar projects you could do yourself?
North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail
Ultrarunner legend Scott Jurek has a great tale of conquering the Appalachian Way – 2200 brutal miles that runs the length of the USA. Let’s just say Scott found it tough – but in an inspirational sort of way. If testing yourself to the max is your thing, you’ll love this story; the scenery, the climbs, the good days and bad, and of course the characters he encountered.
Running the Red Line, Julie Carter
So often running is all about tackling challenges, which is where Julie Carter comes in. She shares her love of fell running, running in general, and the people who make up our sport. It’s not an instructional book – far from it in fact – but so many runners can learn from Julie’s championship-winning background. A normal person, doing normal things and winning. Running The Red Line, £9.99.
Bump, Bike and Baby, Moire O’Sullivan
Moire O’Sullivan has a light-hearted tale of discovering just how hard it can be to rediscover your love of running (up and down mountains in this instance) having started a family. Chasing glory and small children is filled with all the entertainment you’ll ever need.
Ultramarathon Mom: From the Sahara to the Arctic, Holly Zimmerman
Mother of four Holly’s tales of preparing for and completing the Marathon des Sables and Polar Circle Marathon are great inspiration that a determined mindset is often all you need to realise your dreams. If you’ve ever fancied taking on an extreme adventure but don’t know how to start, this is the book for you, complete with plenty of practical tips too.