The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Book Club - ONLINE - Out of Thin Air: Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia

Michael Crawley

Tuesday 21st September 2021

Online event starting at 19:00 BST - Public event (all welcome to join).

Note - Register for the event on Eventbrite and you'll be emailed a Zoom link shortly before the event.


The Anglo-Ethiopian Society's book club will discuss Out of Thin Air - Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia by Michael Crawley.

"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.


Book a place using Eventbrite in order to be sent a link to the session. More registration details are on the Eventbrite page.

Eventbrite Tickets - Out of Thin Air - Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia by Michael Crawley


Shallow Graves book Out of Thin Air - Running Wisdom and Magic from Above the Clouds in Ethiopia by Michael Crawley.

Publisher : Bloomsbury Sport, November 2020

ISBN : 9781472975324 (hardback)
UK RRP £16.99

ISBN : 9781472975324 (ebook)
UK RRP £11.89

ISBN : 9781472975300 (pdf)
UK RRP £11.89

ISBN : 9781472975294 (paperback), on sale November 2021
UK RRP £9.99


First Published in News File Spring 2021

Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily the views of the Society.
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