It is probably not surprising to learn that the modern craze for running is not new: our species has been running since we were able to stand upright. What may be surprising, however, are the many ways and reasons we have performed this painful, exhausting and yet exhilarating activity down the ages. In this original, humorous and almost improbable world history, Thor Gotaas brings us many unusual and curious stories showing the remarkable diversity of running, from earliest times to the immense popularity of running today at athletics meetings, world championships and Olympic games. Amongst the myriad characters the author describes are King Shulgi of Mesopotamia, who four millennia ago boasted about his ability to maintain high speeds while running long distances, and once claimed to have run from Nippur to Ur, a distance of not less than 160 kilometres.
In ancient Egypt the pharaoh had to run to prove his vitality and to hold on to power; Norwegian Vikings exercised by running races against animals; and, then there are the little-known naked runs, whore runs, endurance tests at bars, backward runs, monk runs, snowshoe runs, the Incas' ingenious infrastructure of professional runners and the running culture of Native Americans. In this unique book, Gotaas has written a world history that will come as a revelation to everyone who reads it. It will appeal to all who wish to know more about why the ancients shared our love, and hatred, of this physically demanding yet spiritually rewarding pastime.
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 198 x 138 x 34 mm