Book review: Just a little run around the world, Rosie Swale Pope

Rosie Swale Pope I’ll start with one simple phrase: GO AND GET THIS BOOK. You will struggle to find anything more inspiration than Rosie.

To be perfectly honest, I had not heard of her, the story making news around the world had passed by me, I had no idea. Until I was at Challenge Henley a couple of years ago with Just Racing UK, helping with the set up / marshalling, and Rosie was the speaker at the opening event a few days before the race.

She was selling the book, and signing copies, so I bought one. I have had it for many years, before actually getting round to reading it. I couldn’t put it down.

Rosie decided, after the sudden loss of her husband to cancer, to run round the world as a way of raising funds for charity in her husband’s name. She is so understated and matter of fact about the whole thing, the story is beautifully inspiration, awe inspiring and hard to put into words. She isn’t phased by coming face to face with bears, axe men, naked gunmen or packs of wolves. She thinks nothing of camping in temperatures of up to -60 and was rather inconvenienced into pausing briefly due to frostbite and stress fractures. 20,000 miles of running, 53 pairs of shoes, and five and a half years later, she completed her journey.

She makes some of the bleakest places on earth sound irresistible, received 29 marriage proposals and made friends wherever she went. It took her so long to run across Russia that she decided to learn Russian, became guest at a marathon somewhere in the depths of Siberia, sled and all. She refused many many offers of help, was careful to run each and every step of the way, ensuring she was brought back to the same spot to resume her journey when she needed to stop in towns for supplies, the occasional hotel room, and so on. She crossed the treacherous frozen ice at the Bering Sea, was stuck in blizzards, you name it. She wasn’t phased by any of it.

I simply couldn’t put the book down, it’s written in such an honest, understated way.

She has made me want to go visit some of those beautifully remote places she passed through too.

An incredible woman, an incredible journey and one amazingly inspirational read.

A MUST for your book shelf.

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