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Run the World: My 3,500-Mile Journey Through Running Cultures Around the Globe

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,252 ratings  ·  183 reviews
From elite marathoner and Olympic hopeful Becky Wade comes the story of her year-long exploration of diverse global running communities from England to Ethiopia—nine countries, 72 host families, and over 3,500 miles of running—investigating unique cultural approaches to the sport and revealing the secrets to the success of runners all over the world.

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Paperback, 288 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  1,252 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed listening to Becky's adventures around the world. Packed with tales of running, food, friendship and different ways of training it shows that there is not "the one and only" right training approach. In every country she finds a different training and nutrition style and later on uses a mixture of her experiences in her own running career.

I loved travelling to the different countries with Becky and especially the recipes she added from each.
Tara Scott
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was super excited to read this book because the concept of it is one that I am personally interested in. Combining the loves of traveling and running is right up my alley, so I was looking forward very much to this book. There were certain parts that were interesting, particularly the recipes from each country, however, I found the entire thing as a whole to be very bland. I was expecting some more epic adventures rather than the author just describing what a running trail in Switzerland looks ...more
Nicely, done, Becky Wade! Run on ... and keep telling your tale....

What a gratifying, entertaining, captivating, and, ultimately ... happy little book! Running, travel, food, culture, relationships, history ... and, get this, higher education! What's not to like?

Faced with an incredible, epic, and well-researched (and, frankly, creative and daunting) opportunity, the young, intrepid, curious, and, quite simply, brave author embarks upon a round-the-world adventure, running her way across contine
Cyanne Demchak
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you’re a runner, a world traveler, or just have a case of wanderlust, Becky’s book is the perfect summer reading. Filled with inspiration, motivation, and some tasty looking recipes, you won’t regret spending a few hours in the sun with her journey!
Jan 24, 2021 added it
I loved traveling the world through the eyes of an elite runner!
Amir A.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is not a good book, regardless of your background. While well-intentioned, it's boring, shallow and ultimately pointless. It would make sense as monthly installments in a magazine, but as a book it fails to deliver the depth of insight that its breadth would otherwise entail. It's best approached as a personal diary or a series of postcards home; because while the details clearly are meaningful to the author, they have no meaning to the reader whose perspective is detached and distant.

The a
Megan Hopkins
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it

Becky Wade earns a scholarship from Rice University, to travel wherever she wants to for several months. This scholarship, called the Watson Fellowship, is given out to only a few students once they graduate. Once she embarks on her journey, she travels throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Becky leaves her house in Dallas and travels to England, where she watches the 2012 Olympic runners. As she watches from the sidelines, Becky starts to learn more. This is the start to her long journ
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-books
I've been a fan of Becky Wade since I first heard about her Watson Fellowship-funded trip around the world to explore running culture (we're both graduates of Rice University, though she's much younger than I am as well as much faster!). This book, a summary of her year abroad in the U.K., Ireland, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and Finland, was a fun tour; I especially liked the recipes at the end of each chapter.

At times it read a bit too much like a travel guide
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This book was upbeat, happy and full of traveling/running. I was in a bit of a running slump when I started reading this due to a long series of training, but this was like a breath of fresh air that renewed me. With the Olympics coming up, this book is a fantastic build up for competition, running and I will definitely be following to see how Becky Wade does.

There were definitely a lot of stories about the travelling as well which is one of my other passions. I have a hunch that Wade may have g
Vineet Potnis
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written and thoroughly inspiring, this book makes reading a pleasant experience and a must read for every long distance and marathon runner. Becky's journeys through nine countries across the globe, adapting to nine different environments and recommending fitness and diets that are followed by champion runners, are the real takeaways of this book. Becky has achieved so much and presented it like a master, at such a young age. On a holiday to America from my native country India, I picked up ...more
Kevin McAllister
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book ! Becky Wade's zest for life comes out right on page one. And we see it again and again throughout the book. Runners will of course be inspired by her adventures, but the life lessons this young woman learns, and then shares with her readers, is something that everyone should appreciate. Take heed, this is a woman we will hear from again ! ...more
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Mostly a runners book. I liked some of the stories of competition but it is like reading a diary of an awesome vacation.
Karel Baloun
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Becky Wade is a funny, down to earth, happy lady, so it is a pleasure to join her on this great adventure. As a casual runner, I enjoyed learning about the international history of the sport, as she travelled among iconic landmarks. Would have made a great 1hr video documentary, and at least we can enjoy it in text.

Wade never has a bad thing to say about anything or anyone, which made for mellifluous storytelling, and left middle aged me nostalgic for naive joyous glasses. I wish I could ever en
Dec 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
2 stars for content, 1 star for the good writing and 1 star for the inspiration to embark on a funded world trip to experiment with and write about different running cultures, all the while schooling and training herself. All the different hosts and people she comes into contact with were examples for how to find an occupation related to running. The recipes from each culture are an added bonus.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I will never be able to take a year off from the rest of life and run, and I will never be an elite runner. That's why this was a fun read. I got to run vicariously. This book didn't have a lot of self-congratulatory ego language, which was a nice change (lots of running books end up boasting). The writing didn't knock my socks off, but it was a fun read. ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great read for any runner or traveler-really enjoyed her insights into running culture.
Becky Smith
Enjoyed this! Becky captures the essence of running as a culture, along with the unique cultural experience of bonding over a common love of running (and travel!)
Dmitry Khvatov
May 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I’d better not write anything here. I enjoyed reading reviews more than the book itself. My favorite quote from the reviews: “Why am I reading this?”
Shannon Carter
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an exceptionally fun read! Becky has a zeal for travel and running that is really uplifting. The writing is great and very personal-- so much so that it feels like you're right there alongside her. This book obviously is a particular delight for runners, but I think anyone would enjoy her travel stories, insights into different cultures, and reflections on relationships and growth. Can't recommend highly enough! ...more
Jul 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
As a recipient of the Watson Fellowship in 2012, 22-year-old Becky Wade traveled the world for a year to learn about living, connecting and running. Her travels took her to England, Ireland, Switzerland, Ethiopia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden and Finland. She became immersed in their cultures and trained with several runners in other countries. At the end of each chapter, she shares a recipe from the country she visited.

I loved reading about her experiences in each of these places! I'm
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Daren told me that the Jamaican track team so frequently ate restaurants out of their entire rice and apple juice supplies that he had started calling them in advance to be sure they were sufficiently stocked.

I know that I'm within striking distance of the leader, but it's becoming harder and harder to ignore the sensations of my feet slapping pavement, my legs wobbling like a toddler's, and my lower back tightening.

I try a Paula Radcliffe strategy, one I've read the English world record holder
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stopped-reading
I loved this book and was so inspired by it. I loved that she was from Houston and that I probably passed her many times on the rice track since that is my favorite run route. I loved the recipes at the end of each chapter to reflect the specific running culture. I also loved the playlist at the end in which I’ve added some of the songs to my personnel running playlist. I couldn’t wait to run in the Ethiopians and Swiss mountains. In fact, I ate muesli for the first time confident that it would ...more
Brooke Traister
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved this even before I realized the author is from Dallas. Becky tells about her globetrotting year in search of training wisdom from other running cultures around the world, often meeting local running stars and heroes along the way. I found the chapters in Switzerland, Ethiopia and Tokyo the most fascinating, and I love that she includes recipes from each country at the end of each chapter.
Danny Schiff
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The only exception I took to Run the World, was that Becky Wade stole the book I was eventually going to write about traveling the world through distance running. In all seriousness, Wade did a great job of recounting the lessons she learned while traveling for a year, as the recipient of the Watson Fellowship Scholarship, which funded her running experiences. Wade's tales of races and training alongside locals in Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Scandinavia, and Tokyo all reminded m ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Wade can write. Even non-runners will enjoy this detailed, well-paced travel memoir that celebrates a love of running in the context of great scenery, generous people, historical recaps, cultural insights, food tips, and general fun. Running as the centralizing theme just adds to the overall cohesiveness of the writing. She does a masterful job combining the Big World/Small World juxtapositions of her travel stops with interesting details and important milestones of her coming of age/prepping to ...more
Matt M
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This whole experience took a lot of guts. Whether it was traveling around the world while living with strangers or going out on runs with strangers and having no control over intensity or distance! It is no surprise that she gained so much from it. None of the recipes in the book appealed to me but I feel like they fit in with the book.

This idea of this book may have been to explore the differences in training and diet around the world but for me, as someone who always runs along, it really emph
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rice grad Becky Wade takes the year after college to explore and learn from running cultures around the globe. Making pit stops in England, Ethiopia, Australia, Japan (among others) she becomes fully immersed in a variety of running communities and brings the reader along for the ride. I especially loved the tidbits of history that litter each new adventure: this book is as informative about the global histories of running as a sport as it is about different methods and strategies for training.
Sage Kampitsis
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was really excited about this book upon picking it up from the library, as running and travel are two of my biggest passions. However, I was disappointed once I read the book. I believe Becky's experience running through various countries was a transformative one for her, but the writing on the pages did not depict the story in a way that was captivating for me as a reader. ...more
Ron S
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: running, memoir
An elite level runner secures a fellowship for a post college gap year traveling the globe to explore various running cultures. Wade grows as both a person and a runner as she goes, culminating with a win in her marathon debut, qualifying for the Olympic Trials.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved reading Becky’s stories about traveling and running. 2 years later and I’m still thinking about the connections she made and lessons she learned. Highly recommend this for people who love to run, travel, or just love a good book!
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Becky Wade is an author, freelance writer, and professional long-distance runner who lives, trains, and writes in Dallas, Texas. A former Thomas J. Watson fellow and a graduate of Rice University, she is a U.S. Junior National Champion, a four-time All-American, a four-time Olympic Trials participant, and the winner of her debut marathon, the 2013 California International Marathon.

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