This is a very practical and empowering book. As the cover indicates, it is “the ultimate guide for anyone who wants to run“. It is mainly targeted to people who are curious about running or are already running but may be intimidated or frustrated (and anything in between) by the typical image of a runner being male, white, thin, fast, … It breaks the stereotypes of what a runner “should” look like and argues that anyone can be a runner if they want, despite the nay-sayers. He advocates for the health benefits, provides concrete training and racing tips and very inspiring personal stories that will show you that you can achieve much more than what your mind (or society!) makes you think.
The book also has a lot of value for the faster runners, the race directors, or the community organizers, who have a lot of responsibility for the culture of our sport and its inclusivity (or not!).
Through his personal life stories, Martinus provides examples of how the running community is not always the most welcoming to slower people, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and, more generally, people who look different from the “typical” runner portrayed in global media, …
He provides concrete suggestions to people who are experiencing challenges with inclusivity to find their path and community. But he makes it clear that the responsibility falls on the people creating the environment rather than on the ones who suffer from it to make change happen, and he has concrete suggestions for them.
Part memoir, part manifesto, part training manual, this book will resonate with novice runners, minorities or anyone who cares about making the running community more inclusive.