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.
Vybarr Cregan-Reid is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Kent. He has a popular blog, psychojography.com, and has written on running for the Guardian, Telegraph, Literary Review and the BBC. He has also written numerous articles and essays for academic journals and a book on Victorian culture. @vybarr