Book review: Run for the love of life

Run for the love of life

Erica Terblanche

Quickfox Publishing

Review: Chantel Erfort

In 2009, recently divorced adventurer, Erica Terblanche took her broken heart into the Sahara – to race 250km in the hottest desert on earth, over a period of seven days.

In addition to sharing vivid descriptions of the brutal realities of adventure racing and multi-day running through harsh conditions, Terblanche also relates, with searing honesty, the things she learns about herself out in the harsh, stark landscapes she races.

As she takes the reader along from one race to the next, you’re let in on the secrets of her life. Her loves, her heartaches and what has driven her to push her body – and mind – seemingly to their limits.

You’re also introduced to some of the characters she meets along the way, all of them racing for different reasons, fighting different demons and chasing different goals.

And Terblanche manages to write with such warmth about the people she has encountered on her journey that I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends as I turned the last page of this book.

We learn of the camaraderie that develops among racers even when they are competing with each other – and how the smallest of gestures, such as giving someone your only pair of extra socks may seem like the most generous gesture in the world.

Run, however, is more than just a recollection of the races Terblanche has run around the world, establishing herself as a champion adventure racer.

It’s also packed with information about, among others, the psychological impact of running, race nutrition, the connection between humans and nature – and how a woman’s menstrual cycle impacts her physical performance when racing.

There’s something primal that takes over when your mind tries to convince you that you can go no further.

And in Run for the love of life, Erica Terblanche describes this with great depth and passion that will inspire even the most inactive person to get up and start moving.

To this end, she has started Thrive Run Club to introduce people to running.

I highly recommend this book – even if you’re not (yet) a runner.