Last updated: 24-Oct-18
By Elsa Trujillo
Marathon and ultra running legend and coach Rory Coleman is now a book author. In his latest adventure on paper he lays bare the reasons why he first took up running and how it profoundly changed –and saved- his life. As Coleman himself says in his introduction, this is a life story, a story about finding redemption and purpose in running.
WHO IS RORY COLEMAN
If you live and run in the UK, Britain’s Most Extreme Runner should not be a stranger to you, having run over 1000 marathons and 200 ultras. Yes, you read that right.
As examples, he ran 28 marathons in 28 days for the 2013 Stoptober campaign to encourage smokers to quit; in 2002 he ran a marathon between every stadium in the UK’s Premier League, 660 miles; in 2004 he ran 1,275 miles from London to Lisbon via France and Spain in 43 days, and he has multiple entries in the Guinness Book of Records.
He’s a well known running trainer and performance coach specialising in MDS training, a race he is fascinated with and has run 14 times to date.
WHAT’S IN THIS BOOK
A Rebel and a Runner is Coleman’s honest account of what set him on a running path back in 1994 when, as a heavy drinker and smoker in his early 30s, he decided to turn his life around and ran his first 100 steps in his work clothes.
A year later, he ran his first London Marathon and his first ultra. In 1999 he was hooked on the Marathon des Sables in the Moroccan desert for life.
He writes about his early years and the lifestyle choices that eventually led to the turning point where his only salvation was to run. And run he did. His running CV is an astonishing and lengthy list of running exploits around the globe which he describes in detail, including emotions, favourite soundtracks and stats.
There are chapters on first successes, different ultras, MDS and the Desert Cup in Jordan, the Premier League feat and the London to Lisbon run, the Stoptober campaign, but also plenty of personal details and confessions about who he is, what drives him and all the things he’s done as a runner.
If you’re looking for some advice on how to run a regular marathon, an ultra in a hot desert, or just plain run, this is probably not the book you were looking for. If you don’t run, or like me come apart at the seams after a 10k (but still dream about an ultra), this book is a good way to get into the mind of someone that has the concentration and will power to run a marathon practically every day of his life, either for work or for pleasure.
This is a book about what inspired one person to run, how he got to it and how he keeps doing it day after day, including the highs and the lows. Coleman does not set out in this book to be liked, he is honest about his choices, his views on running and other runners, his obsession with being fit and his ambition to be the best.
I run and I read and I really enjoyed this book. I found I am nothing like Rory Coleman, as a person or as a runner and I still enjoyed this book and would recommend it.