There are some books which reflect the sport in its actuality and thereby gain a significance to the runners who but them and to those who love the sport whether runners or followers of the sport. Many of these books are out of print but are nevertheless worth reproducing. What follows is a selection of three books.
- The history of the SAAA marathon championships by two men who have won many a marathon championship – Fraser Clyne and Colin Youngson – about races that are no longer held. The Scottish Marathon Club was set up in 1944 with the aim of furthering marathon running in Scotland and was very successful in that. It actually persuaded the SAAA to incorporate it into the national track & field championships. These were the glory years – everybody who was anybody in marathon running – the two authors, Donald Macgregor, Jim Jim Alder, Fergus Murray, Dunky Wright, Donald Robertson, Charlie Robertson and many more – ran in it. Then the SWAAA women’s marathon championship was recognised with many of the best women taking part in it. Clyne and Youngson have covered every SAAA and SWAAA championship in their book ‘A Hardy Race‘.
- The above book concentrates on the races, the runners, the times and places and does it well but equally important is the thoughts and attitudes of the runners. Colin has written a series of stories about the runners in the sport – no times or distances here but he writes about the runners and the races. The older, wiser or sardonic, the youn tyros, the new comers to the sport, about the national cross-country championship, the Edinburgh to Glasgow, etc, etc, are all included. Click on ‘Running Shorts‘
- Finally there is the highly respected ‘Powderhall and Pedestrianism‘ by David Jamieson, who also wrote ‘Fifty Years of Athletics’. It deals with the famous running track and grounds in Edinburgh in great detail from its beginnings through to 1943 when it was written. Well worth reading.
- Which books we prefer reflect first of all the events in which we are interested, the generation to which we belong and how interested we are in books generally. Hugh Barrow has listed a fairly comprehensive selection of boos which you can access at the Running Books page and Colin Youngson’s selection is at Running Literature.
Just click on the names of the books and go there.