Public Release: 

How running makes us human

University of Kent

Barefoot runner and University of Kent lecturer Dr Vybarr Cregan-Reid makes a compelling case in a new book for how running can make people's lives better.

Entitled Footnotes: How running makes us human (Ebury Press, May 2016), Dr Cregan-Reid's book explores the simple human desire to run.

Using insights from literature, philosophy, neuroscience and biology, he explores how running has had many different connotations over the years, including exercise, health, marathons and monotony.

He also highlights the importance of people getting off the beaten track, switching off, and opening up their curiosities in a world determined to keep us 'plugged in and switched on'.

With running in his blood - his uncle won a European Championship marathon gold medal for Ireland - Dr Cregan-Reid puts into practice the idea that running is not just a sport but rather a way to reconnect people with their bodies and the environment.

Using examples drawn from his own life - including his predilection for barefoot running - Dr Cregan-Reid considers and answers the questions: what of running for the sake of it? Can idle running - not work, nor exercise - but the simple movement of foot to ground in nature, reconnect people with their true selves in a deep and meaningful way?

Dr Cregan-Reid is a Senior Lecturer in English and American Literature within Kent's School of English.


For interview requests contact Martin Herrema at the University of Kent Press Office.

Tel: 01227 823581/01634 888879

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For review copies contact Joanna Bennett at Ebury Publishing.
Tel: 020 7840 8758

Note to editors

Established in 1965, the University of Kent - the UK's European university - now has almost 20,000 students across campuses or study centres at Canterbury, Medway, Tonbridge, Brussels, Paris, Athens and Rome.

It has been ranked: third for overall student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey; 16th in the Guardian University Guide 2016; 23rd in the Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016; and 22nd in the Complete University Guide 2015.

In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2015-16, Kent is in the top 10% of the world's leading universities for international outlook and 66th in its table of the most international universities in the world. The THE also ranked the University as 20th in its 'Table of Tables' 2016.

Kent is ranked 17th in the UK for research intensity (REF 2014). It has world-leading research in all subjects and 97% of its research is deemed by the REF to be of international quality.

Along with the universities of East Anglia and Essex, Kent is a member of the Eastern Arc Research Consortium (

The University is worth £0.7 billion to the economy of the south east and supports more than 7,800 jobs in the region. Student off-campus spend contributes £293.3m and 2,532 full-time-equivalent jobs to those totals.

In 2014, Kent received its second Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

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