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From Last to First A Long-Distance Runner's Journey from Failure to Success by Charlie Spedding

From Last to First A Long-Distance Runner's Journey from Failure to Success

Biography / Autobiography   

Sue Baker's view...

Anyone who has contemplated running, started to slog round the local circuit or ventured further in the sport will want to read this book. It’s a down to earth, well-written account of a life where Long-Distance running became supreme, all the more interesting as Charlie Spedding doesn’t describe himself as a natural runner. His self-belief allowed him to undertake the punishing running schedules and the dedication needed for the constant training – in all of this there is a reward, the sheer brilliance of outdoing one’s personal best or winning, being in peak condition, having a purpose in life. That rare sports book that twins the ability to tell a good story with a narrative that will have wide appeal and provide that best of motivation, the inspirational role-model.

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Who is Sue Baker


From Last to First A Long-Distance Runner's Journey from Failure to Success by Charlie Spedding

Charlie Spedding describes himself as 'not particularly talented' - at least, compared to the group of people he had chosen to find himself among. These were the athletes in the Olympic marathon. So how did he end up with a bronze medal? How did he win the London Marathon? And why does he still hold the English record for the distance? In this remarkable autobiography he explains how - how someone who was almost bottom of the class when he first went to school, and even worse at sport, eventually turned himself into a genuinely world-class athlete, competing in top marathons all over the world, and genuinely going from last to first. As well as the enthralling life story of one of our finest distance runners, this book is a wonderfully clear and inspiring piece of life coaching for anyone who wants to make the most of their talents. But more than this, as Spedding says at the start, 'I believe that on occasions you can create the circumstances in which you can perform at a higher level than your talent says you can'. Spedding's own story, and his chronicle of the big races he excelled in, proves it's true. For anyone aspiring to run a marathon, or indeed anyone who wants to set themselves a goal they think beyond their reach - and achieve it - this is an essential book.


'It's a pleasure to accompany him on that journey'
Independent on Sunday

'Inspirational story'
Athletics Weekly

'Honest, frank and inspirational'
The Journal (Newcastle)

About the Author

Charlie Spedding joined Gateshead Harriers when he was 16 and competed in distance races for 20 years. He now runs occasionally, and also enjoys long distance cycle trips. Working as a community Pharmacist in the North-East of England, he passionately believes most people could improve their health with more regular exercise. He has been a summariser with Radio 5's London Marathon coverage for 17 years.

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd April 2014


Charlie Spedding

More books by Charlie Spedding
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Author's Website


Aurum Press


224 pages


Autobiography: sport
Marathon & cross-country running



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