A trail-blazing book about women’s fights to access the great outdoors – and a very personal book about how running through the landscape helped the author in her journey from bereavement back to a sense of belonging
‘Heartfelt, passionate, infuriating and often devastating, this book will inspire you to fight for your right to tread your own path’ CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ, author of Invisible Women
When Rachel loses five family members in five months, grief magnifies other absences. Running used to help her feel at home, but now she becomes painfully aware of her inability to run without being cat-called or followed. She sees injustices facing women in sport, and male bias in competition regulations and media coverage.
Running outdoors sharpens her sense of the grief women experience – every day, everywhere – for lack of freedom. Rachel goes in search of a new family: foremothers at the dawn of outdoor sport. She discovers Lizzie Le Blond, who scaled the Alps in woollen skirts, photographed fearless women skating and tobogganing at breakneck speeds, and founded the Ladies’ Alpine Club, defying men who wanted the mountains to themselves.
Yet after such groundbreaking progress in the late 1800s, a backlash drove women out of sports and public space. Are we now living through a similar reversal in women’s rights or an era of unprecedented liberty? Telling Lizzie’s story alongside her own, Rachel runs her way from bereavement to belonging, in a world that feels hostile to women. On the way she’s inspired by the tenacious women, past and present, who insist that breaking boundaries outdoors is, and always has been, in her nature.
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