The story of Al Howie is a remarkable and at times unbelievable adventure into the heart of the longest races in the world with one of modern history’s most eccentric ultra-marathon runners.
If you ran 2225 kilometres from Winnipeg to Ottawa, you’d be crazy. If the day after you arrived in Ottawa you showed up to a 24-hour race and started knocking back beers, you would be stupid. If you then ran the 195 kilometre, 24-hour race, won it, and ran all the way back to Winnipeg, you’d be a true freak of nature. If later, at 46 years old, you ran 7200 kilometres across Canada in the world-record time of 72 days, 10 hours, and then followed it up two weeks later by breaking another world record (which happened to be your own) in the longest certified race on Earth, you’d be a mega-distance alien. In all of this, if you were forever broke, using fake names and aliases, teetering on the edge of sanity, and doing it all in racing flats, you’d be Al Howie.
Based on interviews with Howie himself during his final two years (he died in 2016), Jared Beasley’s book takes the reader into the incomprehensible distances of a legendary runner and the amazing and complex world of an astounding figure in modern sports history.