Sunday 4 December 2016

Books: A restless spirit driven toward self-esteem and joy

Running full circle, Ballpoint Press, €14.99

Published 11/01/2016 | 02:30

Frank Greally believes running is as much spiritual as physical. Photo: Sportsfile.
Frank Greally believes running is as much spiritual as physical. Photo: Sportsfile.
Frank Greally was a talented athlete.
Running Full Circle

Let's start with a confession: I have known Frank Greally for many years, or, rather, I thought I knew him. Turns out, however, I never really knew Frank Greally at all. Until now, that is.

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Greally is best known as the publisher of Irish Runner magazine, and as one of the beating hearts of athletics in this country. But the opening lines of Running Full Circle, his deeply personal memoir, scarcely prepare you for the drama that is about to unfold: "This is my story and the only story I have a right to tell. In telling it here as honestly as I can, I feel I have gone up on a high wire without any safety net."

The book begins with a journey. It's September 1976, and Greally is travelling across the Atlantic after his fourth and final year in East Tennessee State University, nearing the end of his long trek home to Devlis, the small village near Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo where he grew up. He is not in any hurry.

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