PLIMSOLLS ON, EYEBALLS OUT:       The Rise and Horrendous Fall of Marathon Legend Jim Peters


'Plimsolls On Eyeballs Out' won the category for Best Jacket Design at the  William Hill Sportsbook of the Year awards in 2011



'Hadgraft’s book beautifully tells the story of Jim Peters’ magnificent rise and dramatic final fall.'  



'A book with a splendidly evocative title and Rob Hadgraft has cast his net far and wide in search of those with first hand recollections of Peters . . . part of an elegantly produced series of athletics biographies by Desert Island Books.'




'Rob Hadgraft has produced a fascinating book that not only enables one to have empathy with how Jim Peters, the thin, sickly child of a railway worker was able to drive himself  through an incredible training regime to change the way the marathon was run, but also to appreciate  and understand the social, sporting and material environment through which he had to battle to  achieve success. ‘Plimsolls On, Eyeballs Out’ is the latest of a series of insightful and fascinating biographies that Rob Hadgraft has written and which are available from Desert Island Books. They span the period 1860-1960 and the importance of these runners was global.  They competed across the world, their exploits appeared widely in newspapers from New York to Melbourne.  The books are  important, not only for the skilful depiction of their main characters but also in terms of recording  the evolution of training ideas and of the development of the sport of distance running generally.'



'With his fifth biography, running historian Rob Hadgraft has moved closer to the present with this superb book on Jim Peters. Hadgraft has done an impressive amount of research for this book. Not only has he talked to a lot of those who had direct contact with Peters, but he has thoroughly researched the years when Peters competed. Thus he provides not only the background of the sport in England but also the social aspects. One of the strengths of this book is the rich context that Hadgraft provides for Peters’ running career. Hadgraft has an engaging writing style that enables him to maintain interest throughout the 260 pages. This is one of the finest running biographies I have read. It ranks up there with Dick Booth’s The Impossible Hero (on Pirie), Bob Phillips’ Za-to-pek, Za-to-pek, Za-to-pek and Graeme Sims’ Why Die? (on Cerutty). Highly recommended.'

- RUNNING PAST website


'I was a big fan of Hadgraft’s first athletics book on Alfred Shrubb . . .  incredibly his fifth is the first biography of Jim Peters, a man who used to dominate world marathon running . . . written in an engaging style.'



' "Plimsolls on, Eyeballs Out!" is the best book title in history . . .'

- BRIAN McAUSLAND, Scottish athletics historian


'Hadgraft’s latest book is another absorbing read, superbly researched.'



'This riveting and dramatic book with its seemingly tragic ending shows the power and strength of the human spirit.' 



' This is the fifth of Rob Hadgraft’s splendidly detailed biographies of running legends. What a story it is – absorbing if ultimately poignant . . . All these years later the name of Jim Peters is still revered by marathon runners the world over.'



'ALTHOUGH the motion picture Superman didn’t appear until long after he’d retired, little Jim Peters could surely lay claim to being the Clark Kent of marathon running. Just like the comic book hero, Peters was a mild-mannered unassuming fellow who only needed a change of clothes to morph into something astonishing and heroic.'



‘Great read and series of insights into a pioneer of modern marathon training. For a marathoner, there is a lot of great stuff in here. The description of the final Vancouver experience of Peters from the perspective of several witnesses will live with me for a long time.’

- (Angus Gillespie)


‘Historic marathon book on a runner, Jim Peters, who was ahead of his time. With poor equipment, and unknown coaching techniques, Jim made the marathon into a 2hr.17min.40sec race in 1954! I bought the book to look into the early marathon races and was not disappointed.’

- (Don B.)


‘Really interesting insight into an incredible athlete, not well known today, but few elite British runners run faster even today 60 years later.’

- (Ben Friend)


‘A truly inspirational read. It tells the story of complete and utter dedication. A must-read for all marathon runners.’

- (D.Kelly)


‘Excellent, well-written book about one of the all-time greats of British long-distance running. 

After reading this book you realise the poor state of British long distance running today.’

- (Nigel Walmsley)


‘If you've not read any of the other athletics biographies by the same author, then look them up as they are all of this standard and worth buying. I had the Kindle version and still good without printed pictures.’

- (Steve H.)


*  (BELOW) The day I became a magazine  cover star ...... !        Yes, shorts were rather tiny in those days!

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