First steps

Writing and running are solitary experiences, and as such have much in common. For twelve months from the summer of 2008 I hid away running up to 120 miles a week in preparation for the Spartathlon, the world’s toughest endurance race. Covering 152 miles, non-stop, from Athens to Sparta, it attracts the best ultra-distance runners in the world.

I have been running marathons for ten years but have never got around 26.2 miles faster than 3 hours 12 minutes. If I could not run fast, I wondered how far I could run. A long way, as it turns out.

Spartathlon, September 2009

At some stage in those ten years I started to ask why I run, why in fact so many of us – millions around the world – run at all. The journey to the Spartathlon became a search for an answer to that question.

I took part in the Spartathlon last September. I won’t tell you what happened, yet, but now has come the time to sit down and share that story. If it started as a story about why we run, because that year of running took place at a time of change in my life of tectonic magnitude, it quickly became a story about growing into adulthood.

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About Robin Harvie

I have been running marathons for ten years. But when I couldn't around faster than 3 hours 12 minutes, I decided to see how far I could run before I keeled over. Turns out pretty far. In September 2009 I took on the Spartathlon - 152 miles from Athens to Sparta. Non stop. Why We Run is about that journey and about why we run at all.
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