today we die a little the inimitable emil zatopek the greatest olympic runner of all time

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Today We Die A Little

Author : Richard AskAdditional Writer
ISBN : 9781568585505
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 37. 17 MB
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For a decade after the Second World War, Emil Zátopek—"the Czech Locomotive"—redefined his sport, pushing back the frontiers of what was considered possible in terms of training, record-setting, and medal winning. He won five Olympic medals, set 18 world records, and went undefeated over 10,000 metres for six years. His dominance has never been equaled. And in the darkest days of the Cold War, he stood for a spirit of generous friendship that transcended nationality and politics. Zátopek was an energetic supporter of the Prague Spring in 1968, championing "socialism with a human face" in Czechoslovakia. But for this he paid a high price. After the uprising was crushed by Soviet tanks, the hardline Communists had their revenge. Zátopek was expelled from the army, stripped of his role in national sport, and condemned to years of hard and degrading manual labor: cleaning toilets in a uranium mine. Only the protests of the sporting world saved him from a worse fate. By the time he was rehabilitated in 1989, he was old and broken, a shadow of the man he had been. Based on interviews with people across the world who knew him, as well as his widow, fellow Olympian Dana Zátopková, journalist Richard Askwith breathes new life into the man and the myth and uncovers a glorious age of athletics and an epoch-defining time in world history.

Today We Die A Little

Author : Richard Askwith
ISBN : 9781473524088
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 56. 67 MB
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LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 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. On the track, his running made him a legend; off it, his charisma and humanity made him a hero. No runner has generated myth like Emil Zátopek, the Czechoslovakian soldier who revolutionised distance running after World War II. The minutiae of his victories and training methods, the poignant details of his generosity and downfall – all have been endlessly repeated and reinvented, but the full truth never told. Zátopek won five Olympic medals, set 18 world records, and went undefeated over 10,000 metres for six years. He redefined the boundaries of endurance, training in Army boots, in snow, in sand, in darkness. But his toughness was matched by a spirit of friendship and a joie de vivre that transcended the darkest days of the Cold War. His triumphs put his country on the map, yet when Soviet tanks moved in to crush Czechoslovakia’s new freedoms in 1968, Zátopek paid a heavy price for his brave stance as a champion of ‘socialism with a human face’. Expelled from the Army, he was condemned to years of degrading manual labour, far from his home and his adored wife. Rehabilitated two decades later, he was a shadow of the man he had been – and the world had all but forgotten him. Based on extensive research in the Czech Republic and with unparalleled access to Zátopek's family and friends, particularly his widow, fellow Olympian Dana Zátopková, Today We Die A Little evokes not just an extraordinary man but a glorious age of athletics and a dramatic period in European history. It strips away the myths to tell the complex and deeply moving story of the most inspiring Olympic hero of them all.

Endurance

Author : Rick Broadbent
ISBN : 9781472920249
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 42. 88 MB
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Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year "A runner must run with dreams in his heart." Emil Zatopek. In the summer of 1952 Emil Zatopek became the king of the running world with an unprecedented distance treble at the Olympic Games in Helsinki. Together with his wife Dana, who won another gold medal in the javelin, they were the embodiment of sporting romance. Born on the same day, they were champions on the same day too. Yet in 1968 this affable but eccentric Czech solider was betrayed by his Communist paymasters and cast out into wilderness. Hidden from world view, monitored by the secret police and forced to live in a caravan in mining country, he became the invisible hero. 'Endurance' is the first biography to document the remarkable rise, fall and rehabilitation of a man voted the 'greatest runner of all time' by 'Runner's World' in 2013. It is also the story of a golden age of sport played out against a backdrop of Cold War politics and paranoia. From the London Olympics of 1948 to Czech concentration camps, this is an uplifting and harrowing story of survival. As Emil rises to global fame, his old coach is locked up and tortured by StB henchmen. Their diverging paths expose the fickleness of popularity and eventually cross again when Zatopek's world is torn asunder. All both men can do is endure. The running world of this era is brought to life by dramatic accounts of Zatopek's great triumphs, manifold records and a rich collection of characters vying to dethrone him. In Britain the sharp-tongued Gordon Pirie falls foul of the media as he becomes obsessed with Zatopek and adopts increasingly-masochistic methods; mild-mannered marathon champion Jim Peters begins a quest that would make "women weep and grown men lose their lunch†?. In France Alain Mimoun crawls from the bloody carnage of his war-time exploits to overcome racial snubs and become known as Zatopek's Shadow; and in the Soviet Union, the tragic figure of Vladimir Kuts is moulded into a brutal running machine at huge cost. Only Zatopek manages to bridge this East-West divide as a savage power struggle is fought in both the Olympic arena and in the corridors of power. Due to extensive access to those involved, including Dana herself, award-winning Times author Rick Broadbent has written a vivid history involving blood and guns and a love that sustained the cruellest twists of fate. From heady nights at White City to the brave resistance during the Prague Spring, this is a book that plants the son of a carpenter at the very centre of a revolution. Whether talking to his rivals on the track or Red Army troops as tanks roll into Prague, Zatopek's humanity shines through and carries all. With traces of 'Chariots of Fire' and Laura Hillenbrand's 'Unbroken', Endurance is both a wonderful love story and a landmark tale of hope and strength in the face of crushing opposition. "It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys." Emil Zatopek

My Marathon

Author : Frank Shorter
ISBN : 9781623367244
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 83. 77 MB
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My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life is a revealing memoir by Frank Shorter, the father of American distance running. After winning the 1969 NCAA title in the 10,000-meters title during his senior year at Yale, Shorter went on to win a staggering 24 national titles on track, road, and cross country courses, but it was in the marathon that Shorter achieved his greatest fame and recognition. At the 1972 Munich Games, Shorter won the Olympic marathon finishing more than 2 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. Four years later, he finished a controversial second in the Olympic marathon in Montreal. The controversy, still unresolved to this day, revolved around the East German "winner" being a possible drug cheat. Shorter later founded the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Written with noted sportswriter John Brant, My Marathon details these inspiring events, as well as the physical and emotional abuse Shorter suffered as a child. This inspiring memoir is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and the transformative power of sports.

Feet In The Clouds

Author : Richard Askwith
ISBN : 9781845136499
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 33. 68 MB
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DIV Nearly 10 years after its first publication, Aurum are re-issuing this classic running book which has defined a genre. It includes an introduction from bestselling author Robert Macfarlane and an epilogue from Richard Askwith. The concept of fell-running is simple: it’s a sport that involves running over mountains – sometimes one, sometimes many. It’s also immensely demanding. While running uphill is a stamina-sapping slog, running pell-mell down the other side requires the agility – and even recklessness – of a mountain goat. And there’s the weather to contend with. It may make the sports pages only rarely, but in areas like the Lake District and Snowdonia fell-running is the basis of a whole culture – indeed, race organisers sometimes have to turn competitors away so that fragile mountain uplands are not irrevocably damaged by too many thundering feet. Fixtures like the annual Ben Nevis and Snowdon races attract runners from all over Britain, and beyond. Others, such as the Wasdale and Ennerdale fell runs in the Lakeland valleys – gruelling marathons of more than 20 miles – remain truly local events for which the whole community turns out, with many of the runners back on the same fells the next day tending sheep. Now, Richard Askwith explores the world of fell-running in the only legitimate way: by donning his Ron Hill vest and studded shoes to spend a season running as many of the great fell races as he can, from Borrowdale to Ben Nevis: an arduous schedule that tests the very limits of one’s stamina and courage. Over the months he also meets the greats of fell-running – like the remarkable Joss Naylor, who to celebrate his fiftieth birthday ran all 214 major Lakeland fells in a single week; Billy Bland, the combative Borrowdale man whose astounding records still stand for many of the top races; and Bill Teasdale, a hero of the sport’s earlier, professional days, whom he tracks down to his tiny cottage in the northern Lakes. And ultimately Askwith’s obsession drives him to attempt the ultimate challenge: the Bob Graham Round – a non-stop circuit of 42 of the Lake District’s highest peaks to be completed within 24 hours. This is a portrait of one of the few sports to have remained utterly true to its roots – in which the point is not fame or fortune but to run the ancient, wild landscape, and to be a hero, if at all, within one’s own valley. Feet in the Clouds is a chronicle of a masochistic but admirable sporting obsession, an insight into one of the oldest extreme sports, and a lyrical tribute to Britain’s mountains and the men and women who live among them. /div

Marathon Man

Author : Bill Rodgers
ISBN : 9781250021151
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 70. 92 MB
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The legendary long-distance runner details his historic victory in the 1975 Boston Marathon that launched the modern running boom Within a span of two hours and nine minutes, Bill Rodgers went from obscurity to legend, from Bill Rodgers to "Boston Billy." In doing so, he instantly became the people's champ and the poster boy for the soulful 1970s distance runner. Having won the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon four times each, he remains the only marathoner to have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice. Winning the Holy Grail of marathons in an unthinkable record time changed Bill's life forever. But his dramatic breakthrough in Boston also changed the lives of countless others, instilling in other American runners the belief that they could follow in his footsteps, and inspiring thousands of regular people to lace up their shoes and chase down their own dreams. In the year before Rodger's victory at the 1975 Boston Marathon, 20,000 people had completed a marathon in the United States. By 2009, participants reached nearly half a million. Thirty-seven years later Bill Rodgers still possesses the same warm, endearing, and whimsical spirit that turned him into one of America's most beloved athletes. In Marathon Man he details for the first time this historic race and the events that led him there.

Running Free

Author : Richard Askwith
ISBN : 9781448137909
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 66. 70 MB
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Shortlisted for the 2015 Thwaites Wainwright prize for nature writing Richard Askwith wanted more. Not convinced running had to be all about pounding pavements, buying fancy kit and racking up extreme challenges, he looked for ways to liberate himself. His solution: running through muddy fields and up rocky fells, running with his dog at dawn, running because he's being (voluntarily) chased by a pack of bloodhounds, running to get hopelessly, enjoyably lost, running fast for the sheer thrill of it. Running as nature intended. Part diary of a year running through the Northamptonshire countryside, part exploration of why we love to run without limits, Running Free is an eloquent and inspiring account of running in a forgotten, rural way, observing wildlife and celebrating the joys of nature. An opponent of the commercialisation of running, Askwith offers a welcome alternative, with practical tips (learned the hard way) on how to both start and keep running naturally – from thawing frozen toes to avoiding a stampede when crossing a field of cows. Running Free is about getting back to the basics of why we love to run.

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