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.

The Best Of AAU Track & Field To Watch During Quarantine

Stuck at home looking for sports to watch? FloTrack has you covered with thousands of videos from years of AAU Track & Field competition. Checkout the links below to rewatch AAU Junior Olympic Games replays as well as some of the exclusive video profiles on AAU athletes. Don't forget to download the FloSports apps to watch on the big screen!

Which Round-Number Barriers Will Fall Next?

Track and field, like all sports, is hibernating at the moment, giving plenty of room for idle thoughts. The present situation is dire, but I’ve tried to periodically distract myself with what the running world will look like when the racing resumes. One concept that’s always been interesting to me is round number records. The most famous of which, the four-minute mile, is run with such regularity now that its significance is lessened with each passing decade. Instead, I’m looking at that next set of barriers that help usher in a new digit to an event. 

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True Crime Doc On Nike Racing Shoes Coming To Netflix

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Fans of Netflix’s true crime hit Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness have been captivated by the colorful characters, shady dealings and blood-thirsty nature of the big cat industry. The story of eccentric zookeeper Joe Exotic and his various animal associates has enthralled millions across the globe with its revelations of a murder-for-hire plot, copious polygamy, the rumor of a husband fed to a tiger and one dangling eyebrow piercing. 

A Possible Explanation For Britney Spears' "5.97 100m" Post

Last Thursday, Britney Spears of all people gave quarantined track fans some much needed entertainment: the 38-year-old Toxic singer (Toxic is the best Britney song, this isn’t up for debate) claimed, in a confusing and since-deleted Instagram post, that she ran 100 meters in 5.97 seconds.

IOC Sets New Dates For The 2021 Olympics

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New dates have officially been set for the postponed Olympics. The 2021 Games will be held July 23-August 8, 2021.

How To Watch Track & Field During Quarantine This Week (3/30-4/05)

If you're as bummed out by all the COVID-19 cancelations as we are, you're in luck, because FloTrack is going to do something about it! FloTrack, and the entire FloSports network, have a plan to continue bringing high-quality, relevant and timely content to subscribers and fans while showcasing our incredible archive of live sporting event broadcasts.

Three More Diamond League Meetings Postponed

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Rescheduling Olympic Games Like "A Huge Jigsaw Puzzle" Says Bach

It's like the classic question in physics: What happens when an unstoppable force collides with an immovable object?

Watch Matthew Boling's 10.20 100m

Matthew Boling's magnificent showing at the 2019 Texas Relays was a highlight of his incredible senior year. Here's his wind-aided 10.20 100m victory. 

The Very Abbreviated 2020 Track And Field Awards

Even without the Olympics, track and field in some form may still happen in 2020. But given how difficult containing the coronavirus has proven to be, that is not a guarantee even with several months before certain Diamond League meets are set to be contested. And now that the biggest event on the calendar has been postponed, many athletes may choose to throw in the towel on 2020 in order to preserve themselves for next year. As such, it is entirely possible we’ve seen the last of track and field this season.

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