ON THE RUN: Becky Wade Runs the World in Her New Book | Ep. 23

Listen to the On the Run Podcast with special guest Becky Wade, author of the new book "Run the World."



Becky Wade has seen what many runners only dream of experiencing. 

Through 22 countries and more than 3,500 miles of running, Wade embarked on an unprecedented journey through the ultimate crash course of running cultures around the world. Every run, recipe, and hilarious mishap is captured in her new book, "Run the World"--a chronicle of the diverse, yet universal language of running. 

I've anticipated the release of this book for awhile. I followed Becky's travels when she was granted the Thomas J. Watson fellowship and received funding to travel for a full year. She documented her experience with photos, recipes, and journal entries on her blog, "Becky Runs Away."  An antsy college senior at the time, I was envious of her trip and wanted to soak up everything she learned. 

Wade visited England, Ireland, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, and Finland--all with fascinating running cultures in their own right. She specifically chose each destination for her study of the history, practice and diversity of international running culture. 

For example, her visit to England not only included watching the 2012 Olympic marathon race, but also visiting the track where Roger Bannister clocked the world's first sub-four-minute mile. In Switzerland, she experienced the rush of mountain running and learned the semi-pro culture of working and studying while training with a local club. In Ethiopia, she hiked for more than an hour just to begin a run up Mt. Entoto, a 10,000-foot mountain where East African legends like Meseret Defar and the Dibaba sisters have trained.

An encouraging theme throughout the book was the welcome Wade received from her hosts. Her arrival in Ethiopia could have been a dicey situation when Wade's initial housing plan fell through, but she was fortunately welcomed with open arms by Joseph Kibur, founder of the Yaya Village (a camp for a female runners' scholarship program). After a last-minute email, Kibur was ready to pick her up from the airport so she could experience the camp. 

Examples of these types of generosity are abundant throughout "Run the World," and show a deep-rooted sense of community in running--no matter the place. 

Wade was also the recipient of some unbelievable good luck in several situations. My jaw dropped when I read about her casual car ride with the fastest man alive, Usain Bolt, and his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake. Wade even remembered the 6-foot-five Bolt calling her "Shorty."

One of her connections, Duncan Gaskell, set her up with a room in a flat in London, which was later also occupied by Olympic-caliber Kenyan runners: Winny Chebet, Gideon Gathimba, Maggie Masai, and Mark Kiptoo. Wade eventually met Olympic silver medalist Vivian Cheruiyot, who even taught Wade how to cook a classic Kenyan dish: chicken stew with ugali, the first of many unique recipes included in the book. 

While reading about Wade's experience, I couldn't help but think of the book as a love letter to running world. No matter where she ran or who she met, each experience was unique to its region, but connected in the generous, wholehearted welcome of those who ran with her.

Meet The Men Who Will Try To Slay Kipchoge At The London Marathon

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34-year-old Eliud Kipchoge is the best marathoner there has ever been, and very likely, the best there ever will be. He enters this Sunday’s London Marathon just seven months removed from his transcendent 2:01:39 world record in Berlin, a 78-second improvement on the previous record that is only comprehensible because Kipchoge ran a is he human 2:00:25 at Nike’s Breaking2 event in 2017. Oh, and he’s also won 10 straight marathons and has never lost in London. To call him the favorite on Sunday isn’t enough; Kipchoge is arguably the biggest favorite there has ever been at a major marathon.

Four Big Questions Heading Into The Women's London Marathon

While Eliud Kipchoge casts a long shadow over the men’s race at the London Marathon, the women’s competition has much more balanced field. The current title holders from London, Berlin, Chicago and New York are all entered in this year’s race along with Americans Molly Huddle and Emily Sisson. 

UPDATES: Farah Slams Haile G Over Hotel Incident, Haile G Then Slams Farah

UPDATES (Thursday, April 25): 

House Of Run: Would A Kipchoge Upset Be Farah's Biggest Accomplishment?

Jason and Kevin discuss Michael Norman’s 43.45 opener, the landscape in the men’s 400m, Divine Oduduru’s 19.76 in the 200m, Eliud Kipchoge’s likely outcome at the London Marathon and the prospects for Emily Sisson and Molly Huddle on Sunday.

DI Men's XC Championships Could Soon Move To 8k

A major change could be coming to NCAA DI men’s cross country in 2020 as the Division I Track and Field and Cross Country Sport Committee is recommending a proposal to switch the championship distance from 10,000m to 8,000m.

Norman's Absurd Debut, Divine's Double | Weekend Recap

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Michael Norman runs ahead of schedule. 

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Michael Norman Debuts With 43.45 400m, #4 All-Time

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It’s only April 20, but already 21-year-old Michael Norman has put the 400m world record on notice:

Asbel Kiprop Banned Four Years For Doping Violation

Former 1,500m Olympic and World champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya has been banned four years for a doping violation, the IAAF’s Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Saturday. The 29-year-old Kiprop tested positive for EPO in a out-of-competition test in late 2017, and was provisionally suspended from competition on February 3, 2018.

Weekend Watch Guide: Loaded Distance Races At Bryan Clay, Cardinal Classic

Another busy weekend of college and professional track and field is on tap, and FloTrack has you covered Thursday through Saturday with five live events:

FloTrack To Stream 2019 London Marathon In Select Countries

AUSTIN, Texas — April 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, announced an agreement with London Marathon Events to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon on FloTrack.com exclusively in Canada, Australia, Pan Europe (excluding UK, Ireland, and Italy) and Pan Asia (excluding China and Japan). The deal was agreed to in collaboration with TCB Sport Media.