Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Out of Thin Air
Cover of Out of Thin Air
Out of Thin Air
Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia
Borrow
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2021
LONGLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2021

'Inspiring'

The Guardian

'Excellent'

Runner's World
'Fascinating'
Publishers Weekly
'Brilliant'
Ed Vaizey

'Through reading this book you will come to understand that the heart and soul of running are to be found in Ethiopia.'
Haile Gebrselassie
'Engaging, warm and humane... A delight' TLS
'Full of wonderful insights and lessons from a world where the ability to run is viewed as something almost mysterious and magical.' Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans
'Ethiopia is a place where I have been told that energy is controlled by angels and demons and where witchdoctors can help you to acquire another runner's power. It is a place where an anonymous runner in the forest told me, miming an imaginary scoreboard and with a completely straight face, that he had dreamt that he would run 10km in 25 minutes. It is a place where they tell me that the air at Mount Entoto will transform me into a 2.08 marathon runner. It is a place, in short, of wisdom and magic, where dreaming is still very much alive.'
Why does it make sense to Ethiopian runners to get up at 3am to run up and down a hill? Who would choose to train on almost impossibly steep and rocky terrain, in hyena territory? And how come Ethiopian men hold six of the top ten fastest marathon times ever?
Michael Crawley spent fifteen months in Ethiopia training alongside (and sometimes a fair way behind) runners at all levels of the sport, from night watchmen hoping to change their lives to world class marathon runners, in order to answer these questions. Follow him into the forest as he attempts to keep up and get to the heart of their success.
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2021
LONGLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2021

'Inspiring'

The Guardian

'Excellent'

Runner's World
'Fascinating'
Publishers Weekly
'Brilliant'
Ed Vaizey

'Through reading this book you will come to understand that the heart and soul of running are to be found in Ethiopia.'
Haile Gebrselassie
'Engaging, warm and humane... A delight' TLS
'Full of wonderful insights and lessons from a world where the ability to run is viewed as something almost mysterious and magical.' Adharanand Finn, author of Running with the Kenyans
'Ethiopia is a place where I have been told that energy is controlled by angels and demons and where witchdoctors can help you to acquire another runner's power. It is a place where an anonymous runner in the forest told me, miming an imaginary scoreboard and with a completely straight face, that he had dreamt that he would run 10km in 25 minutes. It is a place where they tell me that the air at Mount Entoto will transform me into a 2.08 marathon runner. It is a place, in short, of wisdom and magic, where dreaming is still very much alive.'
Why does it make sense to Ethiopian runners to get up at 3am to run up and down a hill? Who would choose to train on almost impossibly steep and rocky terrain, in hyena territory? And how come Ethiopian men hold six of the top ten fastest marathon times ever?
Michael Crawley spent fifteen months in Ethiopia training alongside (and sometimes a fair way behind) runners at all levels of the sport, from night watchmen hoping to change their lives to world class marathon runners, in order to answer these questions. Follow him into the forest as he attempts to keep up and get to the heart of their success.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Michael Crawley is an anthropologist and writer based in Edinburgh. He runs a 2:20 marathon. In 2019, Michael was awarded a PhD in anthropology by the University of Edinburgh, following ESRC funded research, living and training alongside runners in Ethiopia. He has written for the Guardian and appeared on the popular Marathon Talk podcast. In 2018 he was invited to give the closing keynote at the annual conference of the world governing body of athletics, the IAAF. Alongside his anthropological work, he won a 2018 Handa Foundation fellowship to run a project to help struggling Ethiopian runners to retrain in other running-related professions. This is his first book.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 9, 2020
    Anthropologist Crawley debuts with a fascinating account of the 15 months he spent in Ethiopia in 2011–2012, where he trained alongside world-class marathoners as part of an anthropological study of long-distance running. While taking readers on his daily runs and conversations with runners, he shares their insights (one runner attributed his success and those from his town to diet: “They eat barley and honey, and drink milk”) and sprinkles in descriptions of how local Ethiopian running clubs have historically provided avenues to professional competitions, while also providing the opportunity “to live a whole other life.” Crawley also pointedly critiques the racism of the idea of Ethiopians being naturally gifted runners, which, he writes, ignores the enormous sacrifice and hard work of their training. Notably, the athletic culture Crawley encountered was less about competition than the joy that motivates a close-knit community. He also shares vivid descriptions of Ethiopian culture (including learning the Amharic language) and communal expectations like the prioritizing of hard work and family. This big-hearted tale will resonate with readers regardless of whether they’ve ever laced up a pair of running shoes.

  • Haile Gebrselassie Through reading this book you will come to understand that the heart and soul of running are to be found in Ethiopia. I welcome everyone to experience the Ethiopian love of running, and to come and have the same life altering experience that Michael had. Running is life!
  • The Guardian Inspiring ... evocative and easily paced ... Out of Thin Air peels back the layers of one of the world's most extraordinary and unexplored sporting cultures, and reveals a powerful simplicity at its core.
  • Adharanand Finn Full of wonderful insights and lessons from a world where the ability to run is viewed as something almost mysterious and magical.
  • Nick Thompson, CEO, The Atlantic Out of Thin Air is marvellous. Crawley is a superb writer, runner and anthropologist. On every page, you'll learn something new about running, and about the culture of the people in the world who do it best.
  • Trail Running Out of Thin Air is a must-read ... We'd happily recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in the sport. For the keen runner, it's a must-have!
  • Alex Hutchinson, author of Endure A deep dive into the rich and complex culture that produces some of the best runners the world has ever seen.
  • Publishers Weekly Fascinating ... This big-hearted tale will resonate with readers regardless of whether they've ever laced up a pair of running shoes.
  • Woman's Weekly You don't have to be a runner to enjoy this book
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Bloomsbury Publishing
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Out of Thin Air
Out of Thin Air
Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia
Michael Crawley
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel