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Last month I received an email from a runner in PA named Chris, with an opening line referring to Richard Simmons. Wanna know how to get my attention? That’s your bait. Hook-line-and sinker. Chris told me he had written a book about running, and asked if I would care to review it. Still giggling over the fact someone used Mr. Simmons in their opening line, and totally intrigued by the title of his book, “Long May You Run”, I accepted the offer.
I’ll be honest, I have a book shelf FULL of “how to run” books. How to run faster. Stronger. Longer. Running for dummies. Running for people short on time. Running for pregnant women. A whole library of “self help for the runner” books that still have bookmarks in the first chapter or two, because I never made it much further.
Needless to say, I was so incredibly excited when I received my copy of “Long May You Run”, to see that Chris Cooper’s book is NOT like the rest. In fact, it hasn’t even made it to the bookshelf yet (that is a compliment!). My first thought was “hey, coffee table book for runners!”. Maybe that’s not the technical term, but a book you can pick up, read a few pages, put back down, and come back to later without having to re-read a few pages to try and remember what was going on, has always been a favorite of mine. I have fond memories of a coffee table book at a friends house growing up. Each page had a photo of a family, standing on their front lawn with the ENTIRE contents of their house (ALL of their belongings) spread out on the front lawn. Fascinating it was.
But back to Long May You Run. The cover says “All. Things. Running” and that’s not an exaggeration. Broken into 5 chapters, with 1 to 2 page topics in each chapter. Literally, that’s it, 1 to 2 pages. Perfect for those of us short on time (or attention) or with toddlers running the household. (If only my motor behavior text book could follow that lead! ) There is something for EVERY type of runner in this book.
For beginners: Plenty of useful “how to” information, like “Have your running shoes fitted by a Pro”, “Avoid Burnout” , and “Fueling Before and After a Run”.
For those looking for a little running history lesson: multiple “Hall of Fame” pages, including runners such as Bill Rodgers, Grete Waitz, and Kathrine Switzer just to name a few. Or “How 25+1+385 = 26.2”. Did you know the distance between Marathon and Athens Greece was only 25 miles? I didn’t. But page 148 will give you the down and dirty, turns out the we are to blame the Brits for that last awful 1.2 of a mile, haha.
How about those random fact lovers, like me? Check out: “Born to Run?” No, not the book about barefoot running, instead, a chart/summary of a study by Harvard University showing the comparison of the anatomy between humans and chimpanzees, proving we were DESIGNED to run. Page 40, “Best Race Names”, had me revising my marathon to-do list. Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run sounds fun and all but “Long Haul in your Long Johns Marathon”? Where do I sign up?
But my favorite, FAVORITE part of this book: the “Run for Your Life” chapter. “Race on your Birthday”, “Make a Pilgrimage to Pre’s Rock“, & “Run an Errand, Literally” were a few of my favorites.
Throw in some inspiring running quotes and contributions from former Olympians and running greats, such as Jeff Galloway, Pete Pfitzinger, and more… this book is the perfect gift for any runner, wanna be or elite, and everyone in between. Actually, I’d go beyond “perfect gift” and even say “MUST HAVE” for every runner. That’s a Run Faster Mommy gold star sticker for you, Mr. Cooper.
And there you have it my friends, a book that should NEVER EVER make it to your bookshelf….because it should be sitting out in the open, for everyone to enjoy!
Thank you Chris, for such a truly FUN book, and for the encouragement!!
Click here for a list of stores/websites where you can find or order “Long May You Run” http://www.chriscooperonline.com/order.htm
And because we are all a giant social-networking-running-family, click here to “LIKE” the “Long May You Run” facebook page
And last but not least, click here to check out Chris Cooper’s blog
(*note* The Federal Trade Commission says I must let you know I was provided a copy of this book free of charge, however, the opinions expressed in this post are those solely that of my own.)