“Sky Runner” inspires at a high level – book review by Anna Kim-Andersson

From the highest summits in the world to trail running in more gentle mountains. Emelie Forsberg is a professional sky runner and ski mountaineer. In the book “Sky Runner – Finding Strength, Happiness and Balance in Your Running” she portrays gleams of a successful running career and gives advice on how to become a better mountain runner. Recently, I read the book and was thrilled. Here is my review.

The 33-year-old Emelie Forsberg is a professional mountain athlete, who recently became mother. Last year she published the book “Sky Runner – Finding Strength, Happiness and Balance in Your Running” – a digest of her knowledge and inspiration from a career within running that is very much still in progress. The reader travels with Forsberg to the pointy Dolomites in Italy, the tropical La Reunion in France, the wild High Coast in Sweden and the thin atmosphere close to the 8000 meter summit Choi Oyo in Tibet. It is staggering, exciting and monumentally beautiful.

Myself, I am a middle-aged, new-born ultra-runner and mother of three grown-up children. I live in a medium-sized Swedish city where the local ski slope is 70 meters high. The book hits me right in the solar plexus. So much inspiration. Every page is incredible. Ahhh!

Mountain runner Emelie Forsberg has filled the book with stories about her adventures from all over the world. She talks about running downhill and uphill, about balance and strength. She provides careful tips and advice, mainly on running. And she writes delightful race reports that are easy to endeavour.

Photo by Killian Jornet

For a couple of days I bring the book with me everywhere I go. I want to know how her adventures are proceeding. How is she doing it? How to begin? Does she win? Is she finally reaching the peak of the mountain? I too want to run lightly in the mountains of the world. Maybe not in as steep terrain, perhaps not as fast or as close to the edges. But in a similar manner.

Emelie Forsberg describes that she chooses a simple life in the mountains. And that she devotes herself to it. It may sound easy, but there is nothing in “Sky Runner” that suggests that it is an easy choice. It is about selecting – and rejecting. About several hours of performances on a high level, both literally and figuratively speaking. For Emelie Forsberg, sky running eventually develops into something more than just running. It becomes a mean providing her with a job and a lifestyle.

Emelie Forsberg accomplished the 450 km Kungsleden trail in Lapland, Sweden, in the fastest known time of four days and 21 hours. She has run up and down the mountains of Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc, Galdhöpiggen and Kebnekaise. Emelie Forsberg has won the world cup in sky running and several competitions, such as the 27 km long KIA Mountain Marathon. And she has won medals in the European Championships and the world cup in Ski Mountaineering. In 2017 she also made an attempt to climb the 8000 meter high summit Cho Oyu in Himalaya, Tibet, in less than two weeks. When she was 200 meters from reaching her goal, she had to face the difficult choice between continuing – or turning back.

Regardless of her choice, Cho Oyu and the mountains of the world will remain for millions of years. But not in the same way as today, because the mountain areas of the world are transforming due to climate change. “Sky Runner” is about one individual’s choice. It is about the journey that begins when you start to listen to yourself and build the inner and outer conditions for sustainability. And on a deeper level, the book portrays crossroads that we all have to face.

Photo by Killian Jornet

If I have understood Emelie Forsberg’s philosophy behind the running – which is to seek strength, balance and happiness – then maybe I have become a better runner. And perhaps I can become a better person too.

About the book
“Sky Runner – Finding Strength, Happiness and Balance in Your Running” was published by Gawell Förlag (gawellforlag.com) in 2018. The book is available in Swedish, Norwegian, English, Spanish, Catalan and French. The book will be translated to German, Japanese and Italian soon,

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