Competitive running has been rising in popularity over the years. For proof, take a stroll down High Street in the afternoon. One is sure to share the sidewalk with determined joggers who hit the streets regularly no matter the conditions. Even in town, there are shops devoted to the sale of running shorts, shoes, and whatever else an avid runner may desire. “Long May You Run: All Things Running” is a comprehensive guide for the dedicated runner, and provides newcomers to the popular sport an easy to read orientation to the growing phenomena of competitive running. The author of “Long May You Run”, competitive runner Chris Cooper, illustrates the essential steps one must take to prepare for a career in competitive running. For the casual runner, the book also provides plenty of interesting trivia on running, often mixing humor with fact for positive results. This book is not heavy on words, but rather relies on illustrations and quotes to make points. There are recurring themes throughout Long May You Run, including an international “Running Hall of Fame”, selected celebrity running stories, and milestones for the dedicated runner to work towards.
One of the more outrageous selections from the book included a story about a running organization called the Hash House Harriers, which sponsors nearly 2,000 international clubs and offers beer and snack foods as incentive to run. The Harriers organize events called hashes – based on the old English tradition of Hare and Hounds – where participants called hounds follow a trail left by one runner, called the hare. The ultimate goal for the hounds is to reach the trail’s end where a buffet of booze awaits them. Hash House Harrier’s mission statement is stated clearly as “to promote physical fitness amongst members (and) to get rid of the weekend hangover.” This example is found early in the book, and certainly helps draw readers into the book no matter their experience with competitive running.
For the seasoned runner, the book is full of advice from professionals worldwide who’ve competed in marathons and Olympic events. There are checklists of accomplishments for runners to aspire towards, such as the “Races Every Runner Should Try at Least Once” or “Run a Race in Every State”. There is material on conditioning and proper technique, as well as an entire section called “Get the Gear” (there’s more to running than just the right pair of shoes).
Long May You Run: All Things Running provides the reader with all of the necessities to prepare for a career in professional or recreational running.
The book accomplishes its ultimate goal of arousing a reader’s interest in running as a competitive sport. Every day on campus, I see fellow students who have made running a part of their daily lives.
I would recommend that anyone who takes running seriously give this book a chance. The information is direct and accessible, and there is sure to be something contained within that anyone can enjoy.
Charles Brenner is a second year communications major and can be reached at CB679085@wcupa.edu.