Free to Run

Today practiced without constraint by millions of men and women, young and old, champions and anonymous, running has undergone a real revolution over the past thirty years. At the crossroads of the 1960s and 1970s, society mockingly and disapprovingly pointed out the few runners who dared to venture outside the stadiums to snort in nature, considering them then as eccentrics. Women were not allowed to line up in competition over distances greater than 800 meters, medical science ensuring that their fragile bodies put themselves in serious danger by practicing endurance. The characters whose “heroic” destiny this book retraces were all “little runners” who never won the slightest Olympic medal. However, Bill Bowerman, Kathrine Switzer, Fred Lebow, Steve Prefontaine and Noël Tamini have revolutionized running. They made it a popular and planetary movement. By their example, by their passion, by their conviction, they have offered everyone this new field of possibilities. They have created the conditions so that everyone, whatever their abilities, shape, even health, is convinced that they can do it. This book is their story. This book is the story of all those who one day have dared or will dare to start running, and follow their dreams and their convictions to the end.