In Outrunning the Demons (Bloomsbury Sport, 2019), Phil Hewitt tells his story of trauma and recovery by running.
In February 2016, marathon runner and journalist Phil Hewitt was attacked in Cape Town. Deeply traumatised by the attack, he turned to running - and found a rich source of healing and recovery. He tells his story in his new book, alongside the stories of 34 other people who have used running similarly in the wake of war, terrorism, assault, addiction, bereavement, depression and serious illness. He offers it as a book not so much about running, but much more about hope and survival.
"The trouble with being stabbed, assuming you survive, isn't so much the knife that goes into you. No, the real trouble is the mess of thoughts it leaves behind - thoughts, in my case, far harder to deal with than the physical injuries", Hewitt said.
Outrunning the Demons starts with Hewitt's first marathon after the stabbing and finishes with that marathon's finishing line. In between are 34 interviews with people from the UK, the US and Australia who have been through rough times and have found that the surest, quickest, safest way back is to run.
Phil Hewitt was a student at Wolfson from 1987 to 1990 with a DPhil in French. Currently he is the Group Arts Editor at Sussex Newspapers.
Outrunning the Demons (2019) is available from Amazon.