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Vassos Alexander is one of the best known sports presenters in the UK. He's heard by millions every morning as part of the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio. He's covered seven Olympic Games and commentated on everything from tennis to triathlon, diving to darts. A seasoned endurance runner with a sub-3hr marathon PB, he has completed some of the longest and most gruelling races on earth. He's run almost 100 marathons and ultramarathons.
He's also the author of two bestselling books on running, Don't Stop Me Now and Running Up That Hill. He lives in London with his wife Caroline and three children.
Photo credit Stuart March Photography
In addition to all the essential technical advice and insider knowledge that one would expect from a solid “How to..” book, the first half of How to Run a Marathon is very much focused on the “Why?". A few chapters in, you realise why radio presenter and sports journalist Vassos Alexander has afforded as much time to inspiration as he has to execution. Unless, deep down, you really want to run a marathon, it simply isn’t going to happen. To help you find the itch there are many inspiring (and funny!) tales of why running 26.2 miles is something so life-changing. From the blind to the barefoot, we hear the running stories of some extraordinary people from a man who seems to know everyone in the game. From Athens to Boston we run alongside a community where love and support are as present as personal achievement. And from Vassos himself we get the inside track on the very personal journey of the marathon runner in all its fun-loving, food-poisoned, rain-soaked and wall-hitting glory. Learn how to train, how to stretch, how to ‘respect the taper’.. and gain some crucial nuggets of wisdom: “A good laugh and a long run are the two best cures for anything”. This book has everything to get you over the line. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
SHORTLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS HEALTH & FITNESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2019 RUNNING AWARDS 2019 - TOP BOOK Running Up That Hill is a celebration of endurance running. Of running ridiculous distances - through cities, over mountains and across countries. Distances most people couldn't even imagine. But sports presenter Vassos Alexander is hooked! Why else would he run an ultra in Paris, backwards, having missed the start? Why head to Wales for the world's hardest mountain race with a badly sprained ankle? And why follow in some unforgiving, ancient footsteps and attempt the oldest and toughest footrace on earth, the 153-mile Spartathlon? There's joy to be found here. Really there is. Vassos recalls his own assaults on these gruelling races, along with ultra-running legends including Scott Jurek, Jasmin Paris, Kilian Jornet, Mimi Anderson and Dean Karnazes. They all testify to the transformative power of endurance running. It's about the astonishing highs that come from pushing your body to the limit. The confidence and peace when you challenge yourself and succeed. All told, this is a cracking tale of what keeps ultra-distance runners running, mile after mile after mile.
This is a celebration of running, and what lots of us think about when we run. Part escape, part self-discovery, part therapy, part fitness. Part simple childlike joy of running when you could be walking. Vassos Alexander shares the highs and lows of falling in love with running, from his first paltry efforts to reach the end of his street to completing ultra marathons and triathlons in the same weekend. Each of the 26.2 chapters also features a fascinating insight into how others first started, from Paula Radcliffe to Steve Cram, the Brownlees to Jenson Button, Nicky Campbell to Nell McAndrew. Funny, inspiring, honest - the perfect read for anyone with well-worn trainers by the door (or thinking of buying a pair...).