The Long Run by Catriona Menzies-Pike – A Book Review

The full title is: “The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion”

It’s actually been a while since I finished this book. I usually like to review them right after finishing them so that they are fresh in my mind. I really did like this book and think it’s worth a read for women runners!

An unlikely marathoner finds her way through grief and into the untold history of women and running.

Thirty-year-old Catriona Menzies-Pike defined herself in many ways: voracious reader, pub crawler, feminist, backpacker, and, since her parents’ deaths a decade earlier, orphan. “Runner” was nowhere near the list. Yet when she began training for a half marathon on a whim, she found herself an instant convert. Soon she realized that running, “a pace suited to the precarious labor of memory,” was helping her to grieve the loss of her parents in ways that she had been, for ten messy years, running away from.

As Catriona excavates her own past, she also grows curious about other women drawn to running. What she finds is a history of repression and denial running was thought to endanger childbearing, and as late as 1967 the organizer of the Boston Marathon tried to drag a woman off the course, telling her to “get the hell out of my race” but also of incredible courage and achievement. As she brings to life the stories of pioneering athletes and analyzes the figure of the woman runner in pop culture, literature, and myth, she comes to the heart of why she’s running, and why any of us do.”

I did manage to find some notes on my phone that I took. I wrote that I finally found a running book that I can almost completely relate to. I feel like I want to go to for a run with the author, but based on the type of runner she is, and the type I am, we would most likely never meet.

She does take some time to go into women’s running history and the unfairness and inequality that is in women’s sports. It’s pretty thought-provoking and sends a strong message. She also views women’s only running events the same as me; in that, instead of taking back the streets and running safely as women, they seem to be girly-girl events with loud screaming and a demeaning male emcee (not that anyone ever notices).

I love that this book is finally meant for the slow runners out there, and the outcasts that don’t like run clubs. It’s about finding running as a means to overcome personal battles and work through some tough times. Overall, I think this book is definitely worth a read!


Add it to your “To Read” list on Goodreads.

Snag a copy on Amazon:
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