Vassos Alexander's new book is a must-read for anyone interested in reaching that marathon milestone – and you might even see a name you recognise
Running a marathon has being almost mythic. Ask any runner you know, and they’ll have a story to tell about their 26.2 experience, or that of someone else. And that’s exactly what Vassos Alexander has done in his new book, How to Run a Marathon: the Go-To Guide for Anyone and Everyone. He’s spoken to runners from all walks of life across the world, sharing their delightful marathon tales and their tips for conquering the distance in each chapter.
The best part? Women’s Running‘s very own editor, Esther, was one of Vassos’ interviewees, sharing her thoughts on inclusivity within the world of running. Read on for an excerpt from her chapter, and the book is available to buy now if you’d like to read more.
"I first meet Esther Newman, the editor of Women’s Running magazine, at the pasta party on the eve of the Loch Ness Marathon. We spend 10 minutes comparing notes on how much our respective five-year-olds enjoy junior parkrun. "
We then spend the next hour bemoaning the sexism that still exists, scarcely believably, in the sport we both love. Esther Newman’s passion is to promote inclusivity and equality within running. It’s why she took the job at Women’s Running:
“Women need the space to be able to discuss their running separately from men, because there are different needs and there’s different stuff to be talked about. When I first started at the magazine, I remember speaking to a non-runner, who said to me, ‘Is there enough to talk about to do a monthly magazine for women about running?’ There is too much. From a gear point of view, but also from a political perspective as well as just the distances, the training, everything.
“On the current front cover are Connie and Stacy. They’re sisters and they’ve just run a half-marathon. One of our big things is that we feature real women on the cover that lead into real interviews on the inside. We never use a model on the cover. Never. We always use women who have run amazing distances or achieved great things through their running and then we talk to them inside. I think it’s ridiculous that you wouldn’t want to hear more about these people. And Connie and Stacy, it’s a lovely story. We’ve been training them to run to a half-marathon distance comfortably. I mean, why would you put them on the cover and then not speak to them inside, or why would you have them inside and not have them on the cover?”
How To Run A Marathon by Vassos Alexander is available now (HarperCollins, £12.99)