Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia: Winner of the Margaret Mead Award 2022 (Paperback)
  • Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia: Winner of the Margaret Mead Award 2022 (Paperback)
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Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia: Winner of the Margaret Mead Award 2022 (Paperback)

(author)
£10.99
Paperback 272 Pages
Published: 11/11/2021
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LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2021
LONGLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2021

'Inspiring'
The Guardian

'Excellent'
Runner's World

'Fascinating'
Publishers Weekly

'Brilliant'
Ed Vaizey

'Through reading this book you will come to understand that the heart and soul of running are to be found in Ethiopia.' Haile Gebrselassie

'Engaging, warm and humane… A delight' TLS

‘Full of wonderful insights and lessons from a world where the ability to run is viewed as something almost mysterious and magical.’ Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans

Ethiopia is a place where I have been told that energy is controlled by angels and demons and where witchdoctors can help you to acquire another runner’s power. It is a place where an anonymous runner in the forest told me, miming an imaginary scoreboard and with a completely straight face, that he had dreamt that he would run 10km in 25 minutes. It is a place where they tell me that the air at Mount Entoto will transform me into a 2.08 marathon runner. It is a place, in short, of wisdom and magic, where dreaming is still very much alive.

Why does it make sense to Ethiopian runners to get up at 3am to run up and down a hill? Who would choose to train on almost impossibly steep and rocky terrain, in hyena territory? And how come Ethiopian men hold six of the top ten fastest marathon times ever?

Michael Crawley spent fifteen months in Ethiopia training alongside (and sometimes a fair way behind) runners at all levels of the sport, from night watchmen hoping to change their lives to world class marathon runners, in order to answer these questions. Follow him into the forest as he attempts to keep up and get to the heart of their success.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472975294
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 206 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Excellent Engaging, warm and humane… A delight Through reading this book you will come to understand that the heart and soul of running are to be found in Ethiopia. I welcome everyone to experience the Ethiopian love of running, and to come and have the same life altering experience that Michael had. Running is life! Inspiring ... evocative and easily paced ... Out of Thin Air peels back the layers of one of the world’s most extraordinary and unexplored sporting cultures, and reveals a powerful simplicity at its core. Full of wonderful insights and lessons from a world where the ability to run is viewed as something almost mysterious and magical. Out of Thin Air is marvellous. Crawley is a superb writer, runner and anthropologist. On every page, you'll learn something new about running, and about the culture of the people in the world who do it best. An evocative and clear-eyed portrait of Ethiopian running Out of Thin Air is a must-read ... We'd happily recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in the sport. For the keen runner, it's a must-have! A deep dive into the rich and complex culture that produces some of the best runners the world has ever seen. Fascinating ... This big-hearted tale will resonate with readers regardless of whether they’ve ever laced up a pair of running shoes. You don't have to be a runner to enjoy this book Out of Thin Air is marvellous. Crawley is a superb writer, runner and anthropologist. On every page, you'll learn something new about running, and about the culture of the people in the world who do it best. Superb ... one of our favourite books ... recommended reading for anyone with an interest in distance running.

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