I cried, laughed and scribbled down a few more places to explore while reading Lonely Planet’s Epic Runs Of The World. I mean, how can you not? I went from the fear of being eaten by a lion on a Kenyan grassland, to the world renowned Boston Marathon, and into Afghanistan where Zainab became the first Afghan woman to run a marathon in her own country! There’s the most scenic marathon at the Great Ocean Road in Australia which is a must-do, and it’s also hard to resist the lures of an English countryside from hill tops in the form of a trail race, specifically the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District.
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The book features 50 incredible routes in 28 countries, plus a further 150 suggestions. It offers everything from short city runs and cross-country trails to must-do marathons, and long-distance ultras, suited for every fitness level (labelled according to difficulty levels: easy, harder, epic). It’s definitely a textbook for experienced runners who’d like to broaden their running areas by planning and venturing into locations around the world. It’s a colourful guide if you’re a runner who is going to take the opportunity during a vacation or work trip to side-track, and fit in a run; however easy or epic you want it to be.
What I like about the book is that the narrative for each route is authored by the participant. The writers, seem like experts in their field, who know their stuff (you can learn more about them on page 328, the last page on this literature). This tried-and-tested style of writing in the first person, dives into the atmosphere and brief history of the event or area, while still giving a delicious account of the whole experience; the highs and lows, the fears and triumphs. Each story opens with full colour photographs, a route map, some fun facts about the race or area, registration and route details. If you’re not in the mood to read, you can catch these details without having to go through the full story, too. Plus, each story comes with three suggested routes which has a similar feel, if you want more options like that.
Otherwise, I think the book is big and heavy with texts in a fine font, making it hard to just sit back with it after a long day.
But I like running, I love travelling, I enjoy learning about new cultures and environment. So, I put it on a table and went from story to story with my reading glasses on! It’s worth the effort.
Review copy provided by MPH Distributors.