Who runs the world? Girls! Shout out to all the Beyoncé fans out there, but in this book, one girl literally runs around the world as she guides readers through her twelve month journey, logging over 3,500 miles to explore various cultures across nine different countries. Becky Wade, a professional distance runner for Asics, decided to spend her first year out of college diving into foreign communities, and with funding from the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and extensive research, sets off in search of both unique and common ways people across the world approach running. Wade’s journey initially began in England and then took her to Ireland, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, and Finland. Each country she visited had gracious hosts who not only established communities around long-distance running, but they also created lasting connections, welcoming Becky into their homes by exposing her to their training techniques, recovery tips, and delicious meals for refueling
on the run.
I enjoy Wade’s descriptive writing style as she documented her experiences in such great detail, which makes readers feel as if they journeyed alongside her. Every country she visited is a chapter in the book, which delineates the text in a journal entry format and separates her experiences from country to country as her trip progressed. Wade also inserts photographs from her travels to show readers visual evidence of the amazing sites she described, and, as one of my favorite aspects of the book, attaches detailed recipes for how to prepare some of the delicious foods she ate while on her trip for you to try too (I highly recommend making the
pancakes, but all of the recipes are amazing)! Ultimately, this book is fantastic for all the running fanatics interested in learning more about different values behind the sport of long-distance running to various cultures around the world. I would most likely recommend this book for anyone 12 and older who enjoys running and learning about its history. Even though the book’s exterior seems to appeal more to female readers, I think males will experience the same enjoyment from reading this book if they too like running and want to learn about different running cultures.
I really loved this book and highly recommend giving it a read. I would give Run the World a five star rating as it is both entertaining and educational toward the values and history of long-distance running in various communities across the globe.
Book Review by Heather Holt