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Summary

In It for the Long Run is ultrarunner Damian Hall’s story of running a first marathon aged 36, dressed as a toilet, and representing Great Britain four years later. His midlife-crisis running problem escalated to 100-mile ultramarathons and record-breaking bimbles, culminating in his 261-mile Pennine Way run in July 2020.

In 1989, Mike Hartley set a record for Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Pennine Way, running Britain’s oldest National Trail in two days and seventeen hours, without stopping for sleep. Hartley’s record stood for 31 years, until two attempts were made on it in two weeks in the summer of 2020. First, American John Kelly broke Hartley’s record by 34 minutes. Then Hall knocked another three hours off Kelly’s time.

Hall used his record-bothering run to highlight concerns for our climate and ecological emergency: His attempt was carbon negative, he created no plastic waste, and he and his pacing runners collected litter as they went, while also raising money for Greenpeace. A vegan, Hall used no animal products on his attempt. Scrawled on his arm in permanent marker was "F F F", standing for Family, Friends, Future.

Packed with dry wit and humor, In It for the Long Run tells of Hall’s nine-year preparation for his attempt, and of the run itself. He also gives us an autobiographical insight into the deranged, custard-splattered, hedgehog-dodging world of ultramarathon running and record attempts.

©2021 Damian Hall (P)2021 Vertebrate Publishing

What listeners say about In It for the Long Run

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Great listen

I’ve been listening to this while running and it has been motivating me amazingly. The narration is brilliant as well.

1 person found this helpful

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inspiring

Damien's down to earth and gripping commentary on his descent into ultras is both captivating and inspiring.

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Interesting and motivating read

I have listened to quite a few books written by runners and I think this was the most interesting. Damien's journey from journalist to runner is clearly mapped out and the depth into each important run is perfect. It kept me going and distracted me during some long training runs. The narration was light and pleasant to listen to. I'm sure I will listen to it again.

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Genuinely the worst book I’ve ever listened to

Terrible, tries to be funny. Too many silly innuendoes, 22 mins in and delete. 0*

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Epic feats but slightly annoying tone

Having been in awe of Damian Hall's rapid ascent from journalist to record breaking ultra runner I was very keen to listen to this book. And it truly delivers in terms of (running) rags to riches storyline and the detail of every painful and/ or epic run. it's a who's who of extraordinary runners. So I would definitely recommend if you are keen to understand his journey (race by race) and his motivation. I would also add that he does talks about his passion for the environment and fighting climate change which was unexpected but laudable.
BUT the tone throughout is a little annoying. He takes self-effacing and "dad jokes" a ridiculously long way. Also there's only so many times you can tell yourself you're doing this incredibly selfish sport "for your children". Also his pronunciation of the word "nous" really irritated me. It's "NOW-S" unless you're speaking French!

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Interesting listen, could do without the activism

Very interesting listen and detailing of someone’s journey from novice to world class athlete. The activism was an unnecessary addition

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Super inspirational!

Absolutely loved it. Really enjpyed the narator and the story of a great guy just getting on with things. Super inspiring to get out there and just DO IT!

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Great company out on the hills

I listened to this whilst trail running, absolutely loved it! I found his accounts of excessively long races very motivating whilst struggling up the baby hills of the North York Moors 🤣

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cracking book amazing author

i loved it and its made me more focused to push that little bit further.

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great book a real page turner

Well written book would of got a solid 5stars but for the climate crisis nonesense

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  • Debbie
  • 15-02-22

not engaging

this story did not grab my attention or motivate me. I would look other places for a different book.