Tuesday 9 April 2013

Run Like Crazy

After getting divorced and then losing his job as a Google sales executive during the GFC, author Tristan Miller turns his misfortune into an opportunity to see the world while doing some running. He sells his apartment and packs up his life in Melbourne for the adventure of a lifetime. Beginning with the Zurich Marathon on New Year's Day 2010, in a single year Tristan completes 52 marathons in 42 countries across every continent. He even manages to complete a marathon in Antarctica! Run Like Crazy is his incredibly inspirational story of that year of running.

Run Like Crazy, by Tristan Miller.

He runs the five majors of Boston, London, Chicago, Berlin and New York as well as Tokyo (this year Tokyo becomes the 6th major), Paris, Rome and Athens. He conquers the Great Wall of China in the Great Wall Marathon and runs the 56km Two Oceans in Cape Town, South Africa. In Rwanda he sees the mountain gorillas and runs a marathon to promote peace. He even manages to come second in a tough 100km ultra marathon in Mongolia!

Conquering the Great Wall of China.

To prove that he really is crazy he runs an alpine marathon in Switzerland which he then backs up the following day by running an alpine marathon in Italy! He must have really enjoyed that because he does it again when he runs a marathon in Norway and then follows it up the next day with a 100km ultra marathon in Denmark. Now that really is crazy!

A chapter is dedicated to each run and my favourite was the Marathon du Medoc in Medoc, France. In this crazy event, runners are encouraged to drink wine at the drink stations rather than water or sports drinks! The result is 42km of drunken revelry and a good time had by all participants.

There was no chance of Tristan breaking his PB in that event but he does in the Berlin Marathon and a number of other marathons. The New York marathon was also a highlight with the massive energetic crowds lining the course.

Tristan after running in St Petersburg.

He doesn't let all that running stop him from enjoying some fun nights of drinking and shenanigans with the many mates that join him on his travels. He even sneaks in a run of a different kind in Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls. A highlight for him was seeing Prince perform at the Roskilde music festival in Denmark. The day before, he briefly leaves the festival to squeeze in a day trip across to Sweden and run a marathon and then comes back to party the night away. Intense and crazy!

The epic journey is not all fun and games though. He battles loneliness and depression during much of the journey and struggles with an extremely limited budget. The never ending physical exertion, constant travel and battle to make it from one marathon to another eventually wears him down. He gets sick but courageously completes marathons in Helsinki and Siberia.

Running in Antarctica.

Somehow Tristan manages to pull it altogether and completes his 52nd marathon back in Melbourne. The year changed his life and today, as well as being a published author, Tristan is also a motivational speaker. A well qualified motivational speaker I would have to say!

His story has certainly motivated me! Reading Run Like Crazy makes you want to run a marathon and I count it as a big motivating factor in my goal to run the Melbourne Marathon later this year.

The great thing about this book is that even non runners can enjoy it. Obviously running marathons is a central theme but it's not a technical running book and it's written in a way which makes it easily accessible. Run Like Crazy is Tristan's amazing journey of a lifetime and I would recommend it to anybody to read.