Lance Svendsen on His New Book titled Run Anyway – A Story About Running in Two of the Most Famous Marathons in History

Author Lance Svendsen’s new book on running, life, and hope. Bottom line: a must read.

Lance Svendsen is so many things, a father, a pastor, a runner, and a writer to capture it all. 

Always having an interest in people, Lance sought opportunities to help everyone he met. Lance’s interest in people allowed him to easily transition into youth ministry after college, where he felt a strong purpose in helping young adults navigate life and their faith. Lance felt particularly called to preaching within youth ministry, despite it personally being nerve wracking to do so. The belief that Lance’s own discomfort helped others feel more comfortable and grow in their faith carried him through. 

Lance took this principle and strived to apply it in other areas of his life. Having an interest in running, Lance saw the opportunity to run in order to raise money for his cousins, who had recently lost their father, Lance’s uncle, due to cancer. Lance was determined to run in the New York City marathon, a worthy feat, and had just one month to prepare. In 2012, however, the marathon was cancelled for the first time ever due to Hurricane Sandy. Despite the race being cancelled, Lance wanted to fulfill his promise of running for the cause and, when Lance reached out to others who were going to participate in the race, he uncovered a whole running community that related to his strong desire to follow through on a promise. In just 35 hours, Lance organized a race that was attended by over 3,000 people as a substitution for the missed marathon. At the starting line, Lance realized just how much racing meant to so many of those runners- an opportunity to show up for the individual causes they believed in. 

This was enough to motivate Lance to help organize and participate in many other races, such as 500 for the Fallen, a 500-mile continuous relay leaving from Concord, MA and arriving at Arlington Cemetery to raise awareness for children who have lost a parent while serving in the military. Lance also participated in the 2013 Boston Marathon, where he finished the race just 10 minutes before the terrifying terrorist bombing occurred in downtown Boston. It’s easy to say that Lance’s running experiences have shaped his perspective around life, faith, and personal sacrifice. 

Lance continued using his gift for running and true grit in Guatemala, where he volunteered for an organization called Hope of Life. With Hope of Life, Lance would go on foot into specific Guatemalan villages, that could not be accessed via car, to bring sick children to locations with proper medical care. Although at the time the guide that runs this program would not normally allow non-natives on these dangerous trips, Lance had just completed a 50 mile race, which he used as leverage when convincing the guide of his willingness and ability. It’s as if all of the pieces leading up to this moment fell right into place. 

Lance just recently released his first book called Run Anyway, documenting this incredible journey from makeshift marathon to perilous trek through the mountains of Guatemala. The book documents this series of events from a first person perspective, much of the book being inspired by intimate excerpts from the personal journals that he kept throughout his life. These journals formed the building blocks for the book, which expertly knits together both significant national and personal events to take the reader on an incredible journey. 

During our interview, when I asked Lance about one thing he learned throughout the book writing process, he mentions that he’s glad he didn’t wait longer to start writing. When Lance first began, he didn’t know how his book would end, but he knew that he had a story to tell.

It’s a story about the recalibration periods in Lance’s life. Chances for Lance to self reflect and to ensure that he is always on the right trail, going the right way. 

It’s about someone who stepped out of their comfort zone and then stepped out again. 

It’s about adventure, catastrophe, faith, and hope. 

It’s about life. 

Give it a read. 

Get the book here!


My 10 Best Reads of 2020

A review of some of the books I read this year.

This year, unlike many others, has allowed me to really take the time to sit down with my thoughts, a good book, and a cup of tea. Some of these reads have moved me to tears, some have broadened my perspective of the world, and some have encouraged a smile on my face. I once read that it is important to note what you enjoy reading about, as this will point towards your passions and interests. However, in reading a variety of different books this year, I have found new interests, new passions, and new discoveries. I am excited for more interesting reads in 2021- if you have any favorites let me know! Here are some of the best books that I have read over the past year.

That Will Never Work

Book by Marc Randolph

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As I have mentioned before on the blog, this book just cannot be missed. Written by Marc Randolph, the co-founder and first CEO of Netflix, the book takes you on an intimate journey of the creation and evolution of Netflix, the streaming service that we all know and love. What many don’t know, however, is that the company started by mailing rented CDs to customers and grew exponentially from there. Did you also know that Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, offered to buy Netflix in 1999 for $12 million dollars? The book is filled with interesting anecdotes and provides an insightful birds-eye view of what running a business looks like- newsflash it’s often not as glamorous as depicted. My top read of 2020 and probably will be for many years to come.

Kite Runner

Novel by Khaled Hosseini

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

When I am unsure of what book to read next, I often find myself scrolling through lists posted by news outlets and blogs alike of the “Top Books to Read in Your Lifetime”. On almost every list Kite Runner appears near the top, a novel I have heard of before, but never read. Once I picked the novel up it was one I could not put down. Kite Runner is just one of those books that finishes so perfectly, tying together every theme so well at the end, leaving such a satisfying aftertaste you’ll be tempted to read it over again once you finish.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Book by Malcolm Gladwell

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Tipping Point is all about uncovering what sparks massive trends, epidemics, and social movements. If you are passionate about marketing, then I definitely recommend the read. Gladwell expertly breaks down the important facets of such “tipping points” using an accessible approach to the everyday reader. What I love about all of Gladwell’s books is that they cause you to apply his logic to personal facets of interest and this book is no exception. You’ll have yourself thinking about everything from TikTok’s ever growing popularity to the ripped jeans trend- the list goes on!


Book by Tara Westover

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was one of two choices in a virtual book club that I was recently apart of- which was such a fun experience that I highly recommend seeking out! Although this book is not one I would have grabbed off the shelf to read myself, I really enjoyed learning all about life in a survivalist Mormon family, a life contrasting my own. The resilience and sheer vulnerability that Tara displays throughout the novel is totally inspiring. Tara shows us an intimate look into the human experience of discovering personal identity separate from any entity that surrounds us. It’s a New York Times Bestseller for a reason!

Little Fires Everywhere

Novel by Celeste Ng

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Little Fires Everywhere is another book from my virtual book club that I am so glad that I had the chance to read. Now an acclaimed TV series, the novel takes you into the parallel lives of two families who could not be more than different, but uniquely intertwine. It is such a thrill to watch the stories of the two families unfold that you won’t want to put this book down for a second.

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now

Book by Meg Jay  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Being someone in my twenties, I thought that this would be an appropriate book for helping me navigate some of the tough questions that many people my age face. This book was especially interesting because it is written from the perspective of a clinical psychologist talking with her patients who are all in the twenty year olds. Although it was a bit anxiety inducing- talking about time and big decision making does that doesn’t it?- the book was an insightful read. If you think that you are alone in asking “if my twenties are supposed to be the ‘best time of my life’, why doesn’t it feel that way?” this will be the book for you.

The Rich Boy

Basil and Cleopatra

Love in the Night

Short Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

These short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald were such a joy to read. Packed with delightful details, you will feel all of the emotions in reading a large novel in just a few pages- a true testament to Fitzgerald’s eloquent writing. One of the many things that I love about short stories is that you can embark on many different literary journeys in just one afternoon, exploring a variety of themes, characters, and motivations. If it isn’t this book of short stories, I recommend you pick up another.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days

Book by Jake Knapp  

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Although this isn’t a book I would normally pick up for a leisurely read, Sprint was super helpful in guiding me with a project I was working on. Sprint is especially helpful to entrepreneurs and leaders who are looking to shake up convention and provide a new way of doing things in a speedy manner.

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

Book by Malcolm Gladwell

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Although Malcolm Gladwell is my favorite author, I had to give this one a three out of five stars because of the lack of cohesion between the stories within this book, although understandable considering they are a compilation of the journalist’s articles published in The New Yorker. If you are looking for a light read or even a book to consistently pick up and put down, this is a good one for that. Packed with interesting stories and anecdotes, you will never get bored reading this one!

The Shack

Novel by WM. Paul Young

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I am not quite finished with this novel, but I knew that it had to make the list. Incredibly detailed and nuanced, The Shack tells the story of a man and his meeting with God and the subsequent adventures that they embark on during their meeting. For anyone who has ever grappled with questions about the Christian faith, this book is a compelling and quite beautiful read. Young humanizes God in such interesting ways, which makes the read altogether enjoyable and thought provoking. I can’t wait to finish this novel over the holiday break!

All You Need to Know About Investing: Short and Simple with Author Leonardo Timis

Does finance jargon seem like a foreign language? Is investing meant for “other people”? After reading Leonardo’s new book, you might change your mind.

There is no getting around it, investing and finance language can be complicated. Yet, writing a book explaining it sounds nearly impossible! Nevertheless, a fellow Babson classmate of mine and an exchange student from Bocconi University, which ranks 3rd in Europe for Business and Management, has just written a book titled All You Need to Know About Investing Short and Simple. His goal? To help everyone understand investing or, as Leonard refers to it, the “planet” of the confusing and complex.

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself, the author!

Hi Ursula! I was raised in Milan where I studied Finance at Bocconi University. During my last semester, I exchanged at Babson College in the States, now I live in Dublin where I work for Credit Agricole.

What was the inspiration behind writing a book about investing?

Well, I feel the financial world is perceived like another planet from those that are not on it, a planet of suited professionals speaking another language. But if you look closely at this planet, it is not as complex as it seems, at all. I thought that by simplifying the language, I could create a bridge between the real world and the financial world, helping many that might want (or need for investing purposes) to know more about it. That’s why I decided to write this book.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in writing a book aiming to simplify the complex language of finance?

Avoiding the use of sectorial but more precise terms, preferring more common words in order to be understood by more people. Simplicity requires common terms.

What are the core issues people find most confusing about investments and investing?

It links to the previous question, sectorial terms. These terms are a way for financial professionals to express precise ideas, to communicate more efficiently and rapidly among themselves, but sometimes these words are too exaggerated, scaring those that are outside. But again, if you look closer, the ideas under these words are actually easy to understand.

When the market does take a turn, as it had a few months ago, what is your investing perspective and advice?

For long term investors like me, market downturns are a good thing, we actually wait for them to buy. But the last turn was not enough, prices on the stock market are still too high because of ow-interest rates and because of pushing up forces coming from index investing.

What is your view on increasing global debt?

This is a great question. We are at the end of a macro debt cycle, we should see big changes from this point of view over the next years, especially from Central Banks, they have to address this issue.

What advice would you give to young adults to ensure they will have a bright financial future?

Do not think short term, unless you are an insider trader (just kidding, insider trading is not legal). Think long term instead, for three reasons: compounded interest rate effect, inflation and transaction fees cost.

Where you can pick up a copy of Leondardo’s book




Free PDF



The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.