Robin Harvie on why his marathon obsession will run and run

There are many ways in which to publicise a book but it is fair to say that there are not many authors who would go as far -- not in the way he intends, at any rate -- as Robin Harvie.
The 34-year-old writer, who works as an editor with publishers HarperCollins, is drawing attention to his book by running in Sunday‘s London Marathon…twice.
At an hour when most of the 40,000 due to start in Greenwich Park will still be tucked up in bed, Harvie will be setting off from Big Ben and running the 26.2-mile course the wrong way round, arriving at the start line in time to turn round and do it again.
Actually it is not only to secure a few plugs for his book.  He is also raising money for the mental health charity, Mind (sponsor him at
But it just happens that Why We Run, an already acclaimed explanation of an obsession with distance running that began with the London Marathon of 2000, is published this week.
Harvie’s attempt to run double the distance might sound ambitious but he is not exactly short of experience, having completed more than 40 marathons and even had a crack at the extraordinary 152-mile Spartathlon from Athens to Sparta, which he had to give up after 85 miles, having felt a physical agony he could not previously imagine.
The Spartathlon is the story at the heart of Why We Run, which has been described in early reviews as “brilliantly written, deeply emotional, raw and honest”.
Harvie‘s love of running is such that he cannot really understand why, relatively speaking, so few people have run marathons.  The estimate so far is that five million people have completed the 26.2 miles somewhere on the planet, but given that the world’s population will top seven billion this year it is still a relatively small percentage.  "I just think (people who don’t run) are missing out," he says.
Read Why We Run and you may be able to decide for yourself.

Buy Why We Run from Amazon


Learn interviews with Robin Hervie from the Evening Standard and The Scotsman



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