Keep On Running By Phil Hewitt
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As more people consider expensive gym membership to be the height of conspicuous consumption, so those of us who spurned running indoors on treadmills to a distracting backdrop of trashy TV have noticed a significant rise in the number if runners regularly completing a circuit of the local park for free.
Many appear delighted simply to have jettisoned an onerous monthly direct debit; others struggle in natural, windswept conditions, while a smaller number clearly harbour greater ambitions beyond running 10km in under an hour.
Phil Hewitt is one such ambitious runner, a man who, having accumulated a steady supply of life’s responsibilities (mortgage, work, family life etc) found his thoughts became increasingly focused on running, “an unspoken longing for that rush of energy you’re supposed to get as you hammer out the miles.”
The author was clearly bitten by the running bug back in 1998, for since then he has clocked up an incredible 24 marathons in eight different countries. “Life without a marathon looming on the horizon has become unimaginable,” he writes.
Like many of life’s most precious gifts, chance played a large part in presenting Hewitt with the opportunity to run his first marathon, in London.
“Perhaps I had been seeking [the opportunity] for a while,” he reflects. His trousers had begun to feel a tad too tight around the waist, he was working long hours in a largely sedentary job and “sluggishness had crept in by the back door…of my existence.”
Many folks, when recognising this, decide ‘to get fit’, although crucially, it’s invariably at some future point. Hewitt, when presented with the chance to compete in the London marathon, grabs it with both hands.
His enthusiastic acceptance is one of many inspirational passages in a well-written sporting tale. The author is driven not by any promise of financial reward, nor has he been building to running a marathon for years, yet the sense that he must undertake the challenge quickly forms in his mind and he is keen to satisfy a desire that exists within many of us.
What follows is an extremely readable account of self-motivation on an heroic scale, one likely to inspire park runners everywhere into thinking, “I could do that”.
We’ve teamed up with Sports Book of the Month & have five signed copies of Keep On Running to give away.
To win this week’s sports book, go to their website (www.sportsbookofthemonth.com) and answer the following question:
What is the exact distance over which the marathon is run?