Running with the Kenyans : Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth, Paperback Book

Running with the Kenyans : Discovering the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


"Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year" - This is shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

After years of watching Kenyan athletes win the world's biggest races, from the Olympics to big city marathons, Runner's World contributor Adharanand Finn set out to discover just what it was that made them so fast - and to see if he could keep up.

Packing up his family (and his running shoes), he moved from Devon to the small town of Iten, in Kenya, home to hundreds of the country's best athletes.

Once there he laced up his shoes and ventured out onto the dirt tracks, running side by side with Olympic champions, young hopefuls and barefoot schoolchildren.

He ate their food, slept in their training camps, interviewed their coaches, and his children went to their schools. And at the end of it all, there was his dream, to join the best of the Kenyan athletes in his first marathon, an epic race through lion country across the Kenyan plains.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Memoirs
  • ISBN: 9780571274055

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What is it about the Kenyans? In the world of running they are the crazy-fast superstars. They seem to shatter world records as an afterthought and amass place medals with a regularity that is astonishing. But what is their secret? Is it their training, their diet, their running equipment (or lack thereof)? Or is it some special magic that only Kenyans possess? Author Adharanand Finn is determined to find out.Finn is a runner and a freelance writer for the UK version of "Runner's World". As such, he is fascinated by the Kenyans. So much so that he decides to go to the source and see for himself what they are doing and how they are doing it. Uprooting his young family (kudos to his wife!) for an extended stay in Kenya, Finn immerses himself in the world of Kenyan running. Running and training alongside elite runners and hardworking hopefuls, Finn sets himself the goal of running the Flouspar race - a 13.1 mile half marathon (uphill all the way) - that has developed into a rite of passage for Kenyan runners.Interesting, poignant, and at times funny, this book immerses you in African culture and the cult that is Kenyan running. A great book to read for any runner but non-runners interested in African culture shouldn't pass this one by. Photos at the beginning of each chapter make the stories all the more personal and interesting. So what is it about the Kenyans? Their barefood running? Their ugali diet? Their training regime? Or is it just that nebulous quality known as 'heart'? To find out, read this book.