The definitive biography of one of the greatest, most extraordinary runners and Olympic heroes of all time, from the author of running classic Feet in the Clouds.
Richard Askwith has been a journalist for more than 35 years. For the past 15 years he has been Associate Editor of the Independent. A keen runner and a lifelong admirer of Emil Zatopek, he has written two previous books about running. His first, Feet in the Clouds, won Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards and the Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition. It was shortlisted for the William Hill and Boardman-Tasker prizes and was named by Runner's World as one of the three best running books of all time. His 2014 book, Running Free, was short-listed for the Thwaites-Wainwright Prize.
A tale from athletics' age of innocence... He was a sporting
hero not just for his time but for all time * Spectator *
A wonderfully in-depth and often emotionally charged piece of writing * Athletics Weekly *
An astonishing achievement... There are few writers as adept at capturing so lyrically the utter and incomprehensible strangeness of distance running... A joy to read * Literary Review *
Sport book of the year... A fascinating tale, showing all sides of Zatopek, injecting humanity and humour into a dramatic life -- Matt Butler * i, Book of the Year *
Reminds us of the pain and the glory behind every victory and the power of sport to bring people together and make history -- Martina Navratilova
A warm, honest and moving account of one of the greatest sportsmen of all time. Richard Askwith brings to life both the epic triumphs but also the difficulties and complexities of Zatopek's role in Communist Czechoslovakia -- Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans
A portrait of a fine but flawed human. -- Nick Pitt * Sunday Times, Book of the Year *
A tremendous read and also a reminder of the lost purity of track and field -- Eileen Battersby * The Irish Times *
Terrific -- Huw Richards * Guardian *