As If Running On Air: The Journals of Jack Lovelock

As If Running On Air

(Published by Craig Potton: 284 pages, full colour, 240 x 215mm, clothbound hardback)

This was my first book. It is now out of print but I have some copies for sale. $30 in New Zealand (postage included).  Overseas: Australia $NZ50; USA/UK $NZ65 (postage included). Email me to purchase.

In the 1930s the New Zealander Jack Lovelock was one of the world’s best-known athletes. In 1933 he broke the world record for the mile. At the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games he won a gold medal and broke the world record for the 1500 metres.

Throughout his running career Lovelock kept a remarkable series of journals and diaries. These are reproduced in As If Running on Air. There is an entry for every race: some are brief, little more than notes, others are eloquent and reflective. Together they constitute a unique record of a sporting life in the 1930s and offer insights into what it took to make a world champion.

The introduction provides an overview of Lovelock’s life and considers the myths and legends that surround him. Essays introduce each year and, along with biographical sketches of other key figures in this golden era of middle-distance running, provide a rich sporting context. The book is illustrated with photographs and cartoons from Lovelock’s own albums.