Books

Top 5 books about superhuman running challenges, chosen by Nick Butter

The adventure athlete and author who was the first person to run a marathon in every country selects his favourite books about endurance running

Silhouette of a man running with sky and mountains in the background

Image: David Mark

Limitless by Mimi Anderson

Limitless is about courage and tough decisions while in the pit of pain. A 55-year-old mother of three, Mimi is a true adventure athlete. For 40 days, she pushed herself for more than 2,000 miles, despite the onset of severe pain, until forced to make a crushing decision: carry on and risk injury or give up on her all-time goal.

Barefoot Britain by Anna McNuff

The tale of McNuff who, despite not having run a single mile without shoes before, decides to take on a mission to run 100 marathons in bare feet. It’s funny and painfully honest.

In it for the Long Run by Damian Hall

A journalist stumbling into running goes on to become one of the best in the world. The story of ultrarunner Damian Hall’s Pennine Way record attempt in 2020. Funny, witty and brilliantly put together.

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

At the age of 40, an out-of-shape Roll transformed himself into one of the world’s best endurance athletes. A beautifully written portrait of what willpower can accomplish.

Adventureman: Running America by Jamie McDonald

In 2018 Jamie ran 5,500 miles, solo and unsupported, coast to coast across the US. An impressive feat for anyone, let alone someone who was told as a child that they might never walk again. Oh, and he did it all dressed in his superhero suit to raise funds for sick children.

Running the world book cover

Running the World by Nick Butter is out now (Transworld, £10.99). You can buy some of these titles from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

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