Chris Pavey - Author Running Against Time
Having read Lisa Tamati's first novel, Running Hot, I couldn't wait to immerse myself into her follow up novel Running to Extremes. Although, it was with a little trepidation.
You see, I rank Tamati's Running Hot as one of my all time favourite running novels, alongside and equal to Christopher McDougal's Born to Run, and Dean Karnazes' Ultramarathon Man. And like Dean's follow up novels to his original Best Seller I kind of expected Tamati's follow up to be great, but to fall a little short of equalling her original masterpiece. In some ways it did. In other ways it exceeded my expectations.
Like any follow up to a memoir or autobiography Tamati's Running to Extremes lacks those initial formative chapters that applied such richness to her first novel. We know her, we know her history. So where does she begin? Well, she begins with running of course. Running through New Zealand for that matter, bottom to top, and fundraising. And that is the true strength of this novel; Tamati's race accounts.
I instantly connected with Lisa's story, and after the first couple of chapters, which admittedly read a little awkwardly, just as her run through New Zealand did, her book ramped up a notch or two. I was riveted, hooked, and just as happened with Running Hot, I couldn't put this book down.
The piece de-resistance of this novel is Lisa's account of running La Ultra de High. It had me on the edge of my seat, and at the end, crying out for more. Her race accounts really do convey the struggle, the challenge, and the comraderie. By the end of her novel I felt as though I'd run the Northburn 100, the Gobi desert, and the Sahara. Tamati certainly takes you along for the ride. My only complaint is I wanted more!
What Tamati does give more of is tips and advice for ultra running, something I've found actually quite hard to come by. Perhaps because Ultra runners are too busy running to write it all down? And perhaps too, because of what becomes increasingly obvious, every ultra runner is different and takes on the challenge differently.
While I did find the advice in Running to Extremes interesting to read, I actually felt the book might have been improved without it and instead with more detail on Lisa's own struggles to overcome her injuries to take on La Ultra de High (she did include a lot about acclimatising for the race - which I lapped up). I'd have loved to have seen more about the training and all the hard work that surely must go in to getting to the top of her sport. But in this, Tamati stands together with all the other ultra runner authors out there. Is it really that easy? Does it really come so naturally to these super-human beings that there's no point writing it down? I think not! But perhaps the hard slog of reality doesn't prove such good reading.
Whatever may be the case, Running to Extremes does prove great reading, and as with Running Hot I thoroughly recommend it to any other runners out there. A must for the weekend warrior's bookshelf.
I have both of these books. What can I say? Strong. Amazing. Inspiring. Real! I then went on to attend a running retreat with Lisa Tamati (and her equally incredible parents & support crew) which was life changing and the group I met have become life long friends.
Really inspiring read. Makes you realise if you are determined enough and do the work required you really can achieve what maybe initially seems out of reach
Good read. Excellent adventures by this remarkable women. Well worth a read. Nice tips throughout the book too!
What a fantastic book. How Lisa got into running and all her adventures, this lady knows how to live life to its fullest and push herself all the way! Do read!
"Share Lisa’s incredible journey of sheer determination and overcoming challenges.
It is inspiring and thought provoking about what the human body can take and what you can do when you put your mind to it.
It inspired me to reach out to Lisa to experience her fantastic coaching style, run my first ultra marathon and to be privy to her support.
The books show not just how much support Lisa has received from family and friends but how much support she gives to others also. Thank you Lisa!"
"I absolutely loved reading Running Hot. Not only was Lisa Tamati super awe-inspiring but it felt like I was reading a story from a friend. I loved checking in with Lisa and being absorbed in her chapters. She was honest and real. Loved hearing about the personal life issues as well as the running side of things. She is one tough cookie both physically and mentally. Couldn’t put her book down. I was sad when I finished the book as it meant my “catch ups” with Lisa ended."
I actually was given the the book to read during a challenging time in my life. I couldn’t believe that Lisa struggled through life with the same issues that all women unfortunately face from time too time. Reading her first book gave me the much needed kick in the bum, I wasn’t the only person struggling with unsuccessful relationships and self doubt. I started running... and running and running..... then by freakish circumstances I was asked to be part of Lisa’s support crew during the run through New Zealand. I was in awe of Lisa when I first arrived in the South Island, she was like a god. I quickly realised Lisa was as normal as the rest of us... but with one difference. Her drive and determination to push herself past the point most of us would call it quits, was incredible to me. Her ability to push her body and mind day after day, sometimes in excruciating pain was a sight to behold. I can’t express how much my time with her has changed my life. I believe that sometimes people come into your life for a reason.... Lisa was my light in the darkness. I truely don’t believe she knows what an impact she has had on the lives of people around the world just like me. She remains real, balanced and an inspiration. I am honoured to call her my friend. And look forward with excitement to her next challenge be it within her business or ultra running, as I know she will always succeed in any challenge she takes on.