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Wednesday 29 May 2024

BOOK REVIEW: Allie Bailey - There Is No Wall

*I was sent a copy of the book to review by Vertebrate Publishing. I wasn't paid to review it and as usual have written exactly what I thought!*

This isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill running book. It doesn’t start by detailing PBs, records broken or a posed in-the-latest-kit photo of the author. In fact, it starts with a disclaimer by Allie: “Spoiler: this book is a bit miserable!”

Allie, the author draws you in from the first page and although well-known as an ultrarunner coach, speaker and podcaster who has achieved some remarkable things, describes her career as teaching people “how to run really, really far […] and how not to be a dick to themselves.”

This is ultimately a story about addiction, self-help and mental health … and how Allie saved herself.

She was the first woman to run 100 miles across a frozen lake in Mongolia and has run the full length if the Panama canal. She has run deserts, the length of Britain (in just 30 days!) and over 200 marathons and ultra marathons. She did all of this while battling with depression and alcoholism. In 2021 she began her recovery and in 2022 she was named one of the most inspiring female adventurers in the UK by the Guardian.

Yet in her book, she describes herself as “very, very ordinary”. She’s not, although most of us can relate to her. She has a down to earth and brutally honest way of speaking to the readers though her writing and she details her depression, mental health struggles and her battles in detail. You sympathise with her, relate to her and cry for her in these pages. 

However, it is ultimately an inspirational story.

It isn’t a book about being saved by running but how Allie found space within her life to put into practise things that would ultimately save her.
It’s a very easy read and very relatable and she is funny and interesting throughout. Brutally honest but ultimately inspirational, it’s a remarkable book.
A story about how running won't save you. 

More information about the book here