Skip Navigation

Book review: Broken

Last month we had In It for the Long Run, and this month we have a review of Broken by Ally Beaven which Jon has had his nose stuck in for the last couple of weeks!

2020 – the year of Coronavirus, lock downs and restrictions. The year of no races, and as it seemed, the year of the FKT.


Whether you cringe on hearing it, believe it to be an ‘Americanism’ or just a posh term for ‘record’, the FKT exploded in 2020 with elite runners all vying for their chance to have their name at the top. Whether borne out of needing something to do, or just being glad of the break from racing, Ally leads us through a select few attempts by the likes of Beth Pascal, Finlay Wild and Sabrina Verjee to name a few.


He’s supported some, interviewed others and even done one or two himself, giving you an insight into the minds of these runners; the what’s, how’s and the why’s of the challenges they’ve set themselves and delving into how far integrity goes into setting and qualifying these ventures. It is reassuring to know that these elite runners are still human, and humble in their attempts. Some would much rather be competing than running on their own, others happy for setting themselves long days out in the hills.


I’d never heard of Ally Beaven before this book, though many will have, but I was hooked on his straight-talking style from the start. Good books tend to take me a while to read, I often stop and imagine myself in the situations being written about. Partly due to the subject matter, but also by his writing style, Ally seems to have a way of putting you right in the moment and has a laugh at the same time.

All in all, the book is well written, funny, and with a human element that lets you imagine, just for a moment, that you could lace up your shoes and get your name on a record, even if it’s just briefly. The external perspective of what it takes to achieve these feats should make us all be more grateful for those supporting our running habit, and make us realise that running is not the solo sport we think it is. A cracking read, and a book I’ll go back to time and again.


And if all of this has made you think that Broken needs to be the next book on your reading list, then we have one more thing to make it even sweeter! The lovely folk at Vertebrate Publishing have given us a voucher code to pass on to you which will give you a cracking 25% off RRP, and we get a small amount from each sale too.

Here’s the details:

The voucher code below is valid for purchases of In It for the Long Run (which Laura reviewed last month – read it here), Broken and Peak District Trail Running directly from until 31st August 2021. Simply click the book link you want to buy and input the code RIVELIN25 at the checkout.


Feeling inspired to face your next challenge? Check out what’s coming up on our events page.

Dig Deep 2021 – Race Day information

Dig Deep 2021 is rapidly approaching, and there’s some key information all entrants need to know. There’s some stuff that’s different, and some …

Read more or View blog