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Download Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth Audiobook, by Adharanand Finn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (536 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Adharanand Finn Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9780307989734
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“A dusty road stretches into the distance like a pencil line across the arid landscape. Lions, rhino, and buffalo roam the plains on either side. But I haven’t come to Kenya to spot wildlife. I’ve come to run.”

Whether running is your recreation, your religion, or just a spectator sport, Adharanand Finn’s incredible journey to the elite training camps of Kenya will captivate and inspire you. Part travelogue, part memoir, this mesmerizing quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s greatest runners—and put them to the test—combines practical advice, a fresh look at barefoot running, and hard-won spiritual insights.

As a boy growing up in the English countryside, Adharanand Finn was a natural runner. While other kids struggled, he breezed through schoolyard races, imagining he was one of his heroes: the Kenyan long-distance runners exploding into prominence as Olympic and world champions. But as he grew up, pursued a career in journalism, married and had children, those childhood dreams slipped away—until suddenly, in his mid-thirties, Finn realized he might have only one chance left to see how far his talents could take him.

Uprooting his family of five, including three small children, Finn traveled to Iten, a small, chaotic town in the Rift Valley province of Kenya—a mecca for long-distance runners thanks to its high altitude, endless running paths, and some of the top training schools in the world. Finn would run side by side with Olympic champions, young hopefuls, and barefoot schoolchildren…not to mention the exotic—and sometimes dangerous—wildlife for which Kenya is famous.

Here, too, he would meet a cast of colorful characters, including his unflappable guide, Godfrey Kiprotich, a former half marathon champion; Christopher Cheboiboch, one of the fastest men ever to run the New York City Marathon; and Japhet, a poor, bucktoothed boy with unsuspected reservoirs of courage and raw speed. Amid the daily challenges of training and of raising a family abroad, Finn would learn invaluable lessons about running—and about life.

Running with the Kenyans is more than one man’s pursuit of a lifelong dream. It’s a fascinating portrait of a magical country—and an extraordinary people seemingly born to run.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Completely satisfying, as well-paced and exhilarating as a good run.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Equal parts cultural examination, cult-of-running treatise, and poignant memoir, Running with the Kenyans thrives on a variety of levels. Like the skilled distance runner he is, Finn paces this book marvelously and then saves the best for the final kick. This book packs all the pleasure and satisfaction—and none of the ancillary pain—of a long training run.”

    L. Jon Wertheim, senior editor at Sports Illustrated and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Scorecasting

  •  “A hymn to the spirit, to the heartbreaking beauty of tenacity, to the joy of movement.”

    The Plain Dealer

  • “If you want to know the secrets of Kenyan runners, and have a rollicking adventure along the way, join Finn in his fascinating tale of what it is to go stride for stride with the fastest people on Earth.”

    Neal Bascomb, bestselling author of The Perfect Mile

  • “Not everyone gets to heaven in their lifetime. Adharanand Finn tried to run there, and succeeded. Running with the Kenyans is a great read.”

    Bernd Heinrich, author of Why We Run

  • “A beautiful and inspiring must-have for every runner, Running with the Kenyans is far more than an inspirational story, but a guide toward running, humility, and life, from the amazing people of Kenya.”

    Michael Sandler, author of Barefoot Running

  • “An extremely good book . . . If Born to Run taught us what to wear (or not to wear) when running, Finn’s fascinating Running with the Kenyans teaches us how to run. . . . In the tradition of the best sports writing, Finn embedded himself fully in his subject and reveals, for the first time, just how close we are to the holy grail of the sub-two-hour marathon.”

    Robin Harvie, author of The Lure of Long Distances

  • “Part scientific study, travel memoir, and tale of self-discovery, Finn’s journey makes for a smart and entertaining read.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Bryant | 2/14/2014

    " A relatively quick and easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christi Thomas | 2/12/2014

    " It definitely had some good points. The most interesting was the stark difference between our reality and theirs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Casey | 2/10/2014

    " Inspirational in terms of just running and doing it to the best of your ability. Also a helpful spin on minimalist running and appropriate form, but some of it will be familiar if you are already in the stream of minimalist form. I've spent a lot of time in Kenya over the last 6+ years. I found Finn's perspectives respectful of Kenyans and help runners get in the mind and motivation of these esteemed and gritty runners. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/26/2014

    " This book answered a question that I'm not unique in wondering: how do the Kenyans win so many marathons? Rather than drop in and analyze Kenyan exercise techniques, food, and the like, the UK-based author, a decent runner to begin with, moves to Kenya with his family. The book recounts his experiences both training and living there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amelia | 1/22/2014

    " More about the author than about running, but he was very honest about his highs and lows and I liked his descriptions of how life in Kenya worked. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 1/21/2014

    " I liked it. I wouldn't say it was amazing. But it kept me turning pages. And it was shorter simple chapters. It hit points I was interested in and supported a lot of my ideas about running. Makes me wonder what it'd be like if I went hardcore into running for a bit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adolfo Neto | 1/15/2014

    " The author went to Kenya with his family to try to discover why they Kenyans are so good as long distance runners. There is no definitive answer to that question in the book, but the author gives some hints. Besides that, there is the story of his training, how Kenyan athletes usually train, the friendships he made, and so in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sadie | 1/14/2014

    " I love a good non-fiction running book. I didn't enjoy this one as much as "Born to Run" but it was an interesting look at running in Kenya. Lots of new information I didn't previously know. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff Hayes | 1/12/2014

    " If you're a runner, read it for the story, not to try and find the secret of Kenyan runners. You probably already know or suspect what the secret is, anyway, but its a great story and well-written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dara | 1/7/2014

    " I thought this was a terrific read. A great mix of culture, running and adventure. Barely being able to run myself, I think it's incredible the distances run. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vojta | 12/21/2013

    " Well, not as thrilling and epic as "Born to Run" but still very inspiring and "educative" (when it comes to running). If you like to run then you should not miss this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 12/17/2013

    " Overall a really good read. Some parts were a little slow. Great for anyone with an interest in running. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna Carnegie | 11/30/2013

    " This book is a great read if you are a runner or sports enthusiast. It's motivating & informative. I would definitely recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christian Duchateau | 11/17/2013

    " Loved this book. Really well written. I found Finn's perspective on Kenya captivating, loved reading about their running culture and the people seem so friendly and fascinating. I also found his personal journey extremely motivational. This is a must read for any distance runner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gwendolyn | 6/16/2013

    " Not quite my thing, though I generally love books on running. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzi | 5/2/2013

    " Nice, quick read about someone exploring the means by which a tiny country produces the vast majority of the world's top runners. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky Crowe | 2/22/2013

    " More a travel book than anything about actual running. Barefoot running is more efficient. Kenyans are passionate and driven. Still an interesting look into the life of the Kenyan distance runners. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hardeep | 1/25/2013

    " Very well written book, without being overly condescending, scientific etc etc, about Kenyans in distance running. Author recounts his experience of living and running in Kenya, and the improvements he gained from his time there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carlyle | 10/25/2012

    " I loved this book, I want to do the same he did, i am thinking about going to Kenya to run with tose guys. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ricky | 9/12/2012

    " An easy and quick read. Nothing earthshattering, but definitely adds a nice perspective to the typical training regimes of elite Kenyan athletes. I only wish I had the luxury of Finn and move to Iten to train for a marathon. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 7/30/2012

    " This book started off strong for me, but I started to lose focus with all of the runners names. It was hard to keep track of everyone. I liked the ending of the book though. The book could have been about 50 pages shorter for me. "

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About the Author
Adharanand Finn is a journalist at The Guardian and a freelance writer, contributing regular features for The Guardian, The Independent, and Runner’s World (U.K.).
About the Narrator

John Lee, a stage actor and writer and a coproducer of feature films, has narrated more than one hundred audiobooks of every conceivable genre, earning some three dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award.