Do you remember in the summer of 2014 when the world went mad for throwing buckets of water over their heads and raising money for ALS? Do you remember what ALS stands for? Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is better known in the UK as Motor Neurone Disease, or MND. In a very unscientific sense, MND is a condition that sees a persons muscles weaken progressively until even the act of breathing becomes too much like hard work for their beleaguered system. By all accounts it is a brutal disease; there is no cure, and it often strikes even when in the prime of life. There is a
slightly much better description on the MND page.
For author Chris Spriggs the reality of MND hit home when his uncle Andrew, a long time marathon and ultra – runner, was struck down by the disease in 2011. Spriggs had been inspired by his uncle to take up running and ultimately ‘The Reason I Run’ is centered largely around the marathon that the pair undertake together, Chris pushing his uncle Andrew in a wheelchair.
I am reluctant really to go into too much detail about the book – I don’t want to ruin the story, and I certainly cannot hold a candle to the riveting writing style that Spriggs employs. The only real endorsement that I can give this book is to say that it is almost un-putdownable, if indeed that is a word. The focus, of course, is on the act of running, but the the book is so much more than that. This is a story of human endeavour, of facing adversity and telling it to f**k off, if only for a few hours. It is bravery and camaraderie, and family and running, all wrapped up in a few hundred pages.
Quite simply, it is inspirational and it is moving. I borrowed my copy from the library as I happened to stumble across it one day. However, if you purchase a copy you will be supporting the MND association as they will receive a donation from the sale, and you will be buying a thoroughly good read.