Running Everest – Adventures at the Top of the World is the heartfelt and honest story of Holly’s completion of the 2018 Mount Everest Marathon. The book not only describes the race itself, but the journey through the Himalayas, the cultures she experienced on route, and the characters of the runners she shared the experience with along the way. Holly’s humour and first person narrative draw the reader in to her adventure making you feel like you’re also one of the team with her on such an amazing opportunity.
Part of what makes an adventure memorable is who you share it with, so the conversations Holly had with her companions, and their thoughts and behaviours, made for really interesting reading. As I imagined myself on the journey with the group, I wondered if I’d react the same way as some of them, or most of the time I was in wonderment of how they were undertaking such an epic task in the first place! Her various interviews with the key people in her journey in addition to the journey narrative meant you could delve into the various motivations of each of the adventurers, and in turn relate to what makes us ultra runners want to keep challenging ourselves in our own running.
The whole book is sprinkled with moments of inspiration. Navigating your way through countries with different languages and cultures before you even get to the start of your race is an adventure enough for some, but then Holly adds in the most epic of races as almost a side note!
For some of us runners, mountain ultras are a whole new level of experience, challenge, and bravery, but knowing that even more epic levels of running is an option if you want it, makes for exciting adventure planning of my own. Holly is a mum, as am I, so knowing family life and my own adventures are possible is exciting.
Plus I found Holly’s writing style makes you feel like you were with her on this amazing, and slightly crazy, adventure. For this reason it’s even more inspiring, and makes you wonder what your own limits are, and if you can push them to something more than you have already.
Perhaps at times the book can feel slow due to Holly’s detailed descriptions of not only the beautiful surroundings, but the people she was with and what they did, and the different elements she experienced herself. It must have been so hard to know what to include and what to miss out so overall I’m glad the detail was included.
If you’re looking for an honest and inspiring story of what can be achieved with a willing spirit, a shed load of planning, and a desire to push yourself further than you thought was possible, then this is the book for you. Although running a marathon in such conditions may not be for everyone, Holly’s honest writing style is motivational and leaves the reader wanting to experience more than they have already. Running Everest is a great read that’ll leave a smile on your face, a warmth in your heart and a fire in your belly to go add to your own running experiences.
Review by Paula Williams
Running Everest by Holly Zimmermann
Meyer & Meyer Sport