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Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth | [Adharanand Finn]

Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth

Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a spectator sport, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you. Part travelogue, part memoir, this mesmerizing quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s greatest runners - and put them to the test - combines practical advice, a fresh look at barefoot running, and hard-won spiritual insights.
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Publisher's Summary

“A dusty road stretches into the distance like a pencil line across the arid landscape. Lions, rhino, and buffalo roam the plains on either side. But I haven’t come to Kenya to spot wildlife. I’ve come to run.”

Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a spectator sport, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you. Part travelogue, part memoir, this mesmerizing quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s greatest runners - and put them to the test - combines practical advice, a fresh look at barefoot running, and hard-won spiritual insights.

As a boy growing up in the English countryside, Adharanand Finn was a natural runner. While other kids struggled, he breezed through schoolyard races, imagining he was one of his heroes: the Kenyan long-distance runners exploding into prominence as Olympic and world champions. But as he grew up, pursued a career in journalism, married and had children, those childhood dreams slipped away - until suddenly, in his mid-thirties, Finn realized he might have only one chance left to see how far his talents could take him.

Uprooting his family of five, including three small children, Finn traveled to Iten, a small, chaotic town in the Rift Valley province of Kenya - a mecca for long-distance runners thanks to its high altitude, endless running paths, and some of the top training schools in the world. Finn would run side by side with Olympic champions, young hopefuls, and barefoot schoolchildren... not to mention the exotic - and sometimes dangerous - wildlife for which Kenya is famous.

Here, too, he would meet a cast of colorful characters, including his unflappable guide, Godfrey Kiprotich, a former half marathon champion; Christopher Cheboiboch, one of the fastest men ever to run the New York City Marathon; and Japhet, a poor, bucktoothed boy with unsuspected reservoirs of courage and raw speed. Amid the daily challenges of training and of raising a family abroad, Finn would learn invaluable lessons about running - and about life.

©2012 Adharanand Finn (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“Equal parts cultural examination, cult-of-running treatise, and poignant memoir, Running with the Kenyans thrives on a variety of levels. Like the skilled distance runner he is, Finn paces this book marvelously and then saves the best for the final kick. This book packs all the pleasure and satisfaction - and none of the ancillary pain - of a long training run.” (L. Jon Wertheim, senior editor, Sports Illustrated, and co-author of the New York Times best seller Scorecasting)

“Not everyone gets to heaven in their lifetime. Finn tried to run there, and succeeded. Running with the Kenyans is a great read.” (Bernd Heinrich, author of Why We Run)

“If you want to know the secrets of Kenyan runners, and have a rollicking adventure along the way, join Finn in his fascinating tale of what it is to go stride for stride with the fastest people on Earth.” (Neal Bascomb, author of The Perfect Mile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (187 )
5 star
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4.1 (163 )
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4.2 (162 )
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  •  
    Travis MANASSAS, VA, United States 11-28-12
    Travis MANASSAS, VA, United States 11-28-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth a Listen"

    It's a really great anecdotal account of the concept of why Kenyans are such strong runners. Ever since 'Born to Run' everyone's quick to say that barefoot running is the secret to all fast nationalities. But 'Running with the Kenyans' really looks into the ideologies and dogma of running culture of the country to help people better understand what's at stake for a successful Kenyan runner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy 08-06-12
    Stacy 08-06-12
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    1
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    "Great Story and Analysis"

    This is a great book. It if filled with wonderful characters who provide inspiration and encouragement. The best element of the book was to expose the Kenyan way of running and the circumstances that illicit that kind of commitment. Listening to this story is time well spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna United States 08-01-12
    Donna United States 08-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    14
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    "Very inspiring-Uped my milage just listening."
    Would you listen to Running with the Kenyans again? Why?

    A lot of fun traveling along with the story. Relistening just to keep Running with the group.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Running with the Kenyans?

    Visiting the famil homes and running camps.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fredrik Bjuv, Sweden 07-23-12
    Fredrik Bjuv, Sweden 07-23-12
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    "Great listen"
    What did you love best about Running with the Kenyans?

    This was a great read just before the #london2012 olympics, is all fired upp for to watch all the medium and long distance running after listening to this book.

    I could this turned into a movie about a european man traveling to Kenya to try to discover the secret behind the Kenyan running sensation for the last 25 years.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 07-09-12
    Brian 07-09-12 Member Since 2002
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    "Great Story"

    Well written and narrated. One of the best running books I've listened to. The author has a good sense of humor. Because of his non-elite status as a runner, you can really put yourself in his shoes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FoodieBerks Pennsylvania 06-19-12
    FoodieBerks Pennsylvania 06-19-12 Member Since 2010
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    Story
    "Great Story with quirky "British" Narrator"

    Inspiring story. Perhaps not as well crafted or engaging as Born to Run, but in the same genre. This will have a more narrow appeal than BTR, however. I don't see many non-runners being interested by the book. The subject is more than worthy of attention and has seemingly been ignored the mainstream sports media -- why are nearly ALL of the top distance runners from Iten, an obscure village in the mountains Kenya?? Their domination of distance running is like nothing the world has seen before. These athletes run speeds that were unimaginable just 15 years ago, and their running form is amazing to behold. Hopefully we'll see more books on this topic in the near future! The only negative is the quirky British narrator, who would be entirely out of place if it weren't for the fact that the author is british. At certain points, his style is almost robotic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi Arapahoe, NE, United States 06-15-12
    Heidi Arapahoe, NE, United States 06-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great read."
    Would you listen to Running with the Kenyans again? Why?

    I wanted to run the whole time I was reading the book!


    What other book might you compare Running with the Kenyans to and why?

    n/a


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I was reminded of the runner's heritage because of the audio, and more keen to the cultural differences.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Run, Forrest, run!


    Any additional comments?

    I've told all of my friends about this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Breakaway9 SLC, UT 06-11-12
    Breakaway9 SLC, UT 06-11-12 Member Since 2009

    breakaway9

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    7
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    "Solid Entertaining Story, Well Performed"
    If you could sum up Running with the Kenyans in three words, what would they be?

    This is a very good and entertaining story, well written and well performed. I enjoyed it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilonka Greenwich, NJ, United States 06-11-12
    Ilonka Greenwich, NJ, United States 06-11-12 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Disappointing"
    What would have made Running with the Kenyans better?

    The book was disappointing. Kind of rambled and lost focus.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Adharanand Finn again?

    No


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I really like John Lee he is a good reader.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was okay but I would not recommend it to anyone.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kukkonen 06-11-12
    Kukkonen 06-11-12
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    "Barely just ok..."

    I like more heroic-stories, while listening and during my long runs. This wasn't bad, but same time I wasn't too inspired-nor interested of whole subject. Chris McDougall's Born to Run superior many ways. Bottom line: there isn't any Kenyan-secrets to find out - so why bother to read this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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