I’ve recently read a great little book called, ‘Running with the Kenyans’, By Adharanand Finn. At a time when my training has suddenly got a little more serious, his personal story of transformation through running has made all the effort seem inspirational, almost spiritual. There are some great quotes from his book here which runners everywhere will find themselves identifying with. Enjoy, then get your trainers out!
‘Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle. When the sun comes up, you better be running.’ Abe Gubegna, Ethiopian author.
‘No race begins at the start line.’ Haile Gebreselassie
‘If you want to win something, run 100m. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.’ Emil Zatopek
‘When the missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the missionaries had the bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the bible.’ Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya
‘Ask yourself, ‘Can I give more?’ The answer is usually, ‘Yes’.’ Paul Tergat, Kenyan Athlete
‘Right before you head out running it can be hard to remember exactly why you are doing it. You often have to override a nagging sense of futility, lacing up your shoes, telling yourself that no matter how unlikely it seems, after you finish you will be glad you went. It’s only afterwards that it makes sense, although even then it’s hard to rationalise why. You just feel right. After a run, you feel at one with the world, as though some unspecified, innate need has been fulfilled.’
‘Running is a brutal and emotional sport. It’s also a simple, primal sport. As humans, on a most basic level we get hungry, we sleep, we yearn for love, we run. Just watch small children left to play unsupervised. They can’t stop running. It’s part of what makes us human. Perhaps it is to fulfil this primal urge that runners and joggers get up every morning and pound the streets in cities all over the world. To feel the stirring of something primeval deep down in our bellies. To feel a little bit wild.’
‘We may obsess about our PB’s and mileage count, but these things alone are not enough to get us out running. We could find easier ways to chart and measure things. We could become trainspotters or accountants. No, the times and charts are merely carrots we dangle in front of our rational mind, our over analytical brain, to give it a reason to come along for the ride. What really drives us on is something else, this need to feel human, to reach below the multitude of layers of roles and responsibilities society has placed on us, down below the company name tags, even the father, husband, son labels, to the pure, raw human being underneath. At such moments our rational mind becomes redundant. We move from thought to feeling.’