Run the World (Paperback)
My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062416438, 288pp.
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
From elite marathoner and Olympic hopeful Becky Wade comes the story of her year-long exploration of diverse global running communities from England to Ethiopia—9 countries, 72 host families, and over 3,500 miles of running—investigating unique cultural approaches to the sport and revealing the secrets to the success of runners all over the world.
Fresh off a successful collegiate running career—with multiple NCAA All-American honors and two Olympic Trials qualifying marks to her name—Becky Wade was no stranger to international competition. But after years spent safely sticking to the training methods she knew, Becky was curious about how her counterparts in other countries approached the sport to which she’d dedicated over half of her life. So in 2012, as a recipient of the Watson Fellowship, she packed four pairs of running shoes, cleared her schedule for the year, and took off on a journey to infiltrate diverse running communities around the world. What she encountered far exceeded her expectations and changed her outlook into the sport she loved.
Over the next twelve months—visiting 9 countries with unique and storied running histories, logging over 3,500 miles running over trails, tracks, sidewalks, and dirt roads—Becky explored the varied approaches of runners across the globe. Whether riding shotgun around the streets of London with Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt, climbing for an hour at daybreak to the top of Ethiopia’s Mount Entoto just to start her daily run, or getting lost jogging through the bustling streets of Tokyo, Becky’s unexpected adventures, keen insights, and landscape descriptions take the reader into the heartbeat of distance running around the world.
Upon her return to the United States, she incorporated elements of the training styles she’d sampled into her own program, and her competitive career skyrocketed. When she made her marathon debut in 2013, winning the race in a blazing 2:30, she became the third-fastest woman marathoner under the age of 25 in U.S. history, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials and landing a professional sponsorship from Asics.
From the feel-based approach to running that she learned from the Kenyans, to the grueling uphill workouts she adopted from the Swiss, to the injury-recovery methods she learned from the Japanese, Becky shares the secrets to success from runners and coaches around the world. The story of one athlete’s fascinating journey, Run the World is also a call to change the way we approach the world’s most natural and inclusive sport.
About the Author
Becky Wade is a professional long-distance runner who competes for Asics. At Rice University she was a four-time All-American and the winner of the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award, Rice’s highest athletic honor, and the Conference USA honoree for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Rice with a triple major in history, psychology, and sociology, Becky traveled the world on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and visited 22 countries to explore long-distance running cultures.
In her 26.2-mile debut in December 2013, Becky won the California International Marathon, qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials. Currently, she is fulfilling her dream of running professionally and chasing Olympic aspirations, while coaching and working part-time at a shelter for homeless youth.
Praise For Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe…
— Tom Foreman, author of My Year of Running Dangerously
“In her incredible running journey, Becky Wade captures the beauty of the sport--chasing your goals, forming lifelong bonds, learning resilience, and of course, eating delicious food.”
— Shalane Flanagan, Olympic champion in long-distance track running and author of Run Fast Eat Slow
“Every so often a book comes along that becomes a cult classic for competitive runners but also has appeal to a broader audience. Once a Runner, Born to Run, and Running with the Buffaloes were all such books, and this terrific debut is sure to join their ranks.”
“Wade’s endearing and inspiring story will appeal to readers looking for an insider’s view of the determination and spirit shared by Olympians (and casual runners) throughout the world.”
— Library Journal
“Becky Wade is one of America’s best distance runners, yet more so an ultimate adventurer. In Run the World, Becky takes the reader along on her brave journey, providing an intimate glimpse into running cultures around the world.”
— Deena Kastor, Olympic medalist and American record holder in the marathon
“The beauty of running can always be found in the journey. Each and every mile holds something new, in the runner and in the world around her. Never has this been illustrated more beautifully than in Becky Wade’s story.”
— Dawn Dais, author of The Nonrunner’s Marathon Guide for Women
“For anyone who loves running, loves to travel, or better yet, both, Run the World offers a chance to live vicariously through Wade’s incredible journey of training in the most hallowed grounds of distance running. Her adventures will teach, inspire, and probably light a fire inside of you.”
— Ryan Hall, premier distance runner and author of Running with Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon