When Dion Leonard arrived in China in June 2016, he was a man
prepared. Prepared to run a 155-mile route through varying
temperatures and terrains. Prepared to endure the wet and the cold as well as the scorching heat of 120 degrees fahrenheit. Meticulous in his packing of food, bedding and clothing—that he must carry himself
through the entirety of the race—he had prepared his body and his mind to run a distance that pushes the term “grueling” to the very max of its definition. What he wasn’t prepared for was to start being
followed by an extraordinary furry friend—one that would change his
So starts the incredible—in every sense of the word—story of Finding
Gobi, and it is as heart warming and wonderful as a book about man’s
best friend can get.
The book—excellently written—makes you feel as
if you are there with the author on every step of his journey.
Chock-full of misadventures, miscommunications and joy—both for the author and his faithful companion—it is the must-read book of the
After reaching out to the author—to my delight—your humble
correspondent was generously granted an interview:
1. What has it been like getting to meet and interact with your
supporters on the book tour?
It’s been the most rewarding part of this whole experience, we
couldn’t have done all of this without them and it’s so lovely to meet them and say thanks to everyone who’s followed our incredible journey.
2. In the book, you talk about your dislike of running in the cold and rain. How does Gobi like the Scottish weather?
Much more than I do, Gobi actually ran the race on Day 1 with some American runners who had called her Tinto which was still on the cold and wet side of the Tian Shan mountain range.
3. Speaking of running, during the ultra marathon chapters, it felt like I was there with you. Wowza–running all those miles in over 100 degree weather! What is your number one tip for new runners?
Forget about the distance, enjoy the moment and believe in yourself. Whether it’s a 5km or 250km run you can do it!
4. What was your favorite food while staying in China?
Much to my dismay I ended up loving Mapo Tofu. Seeing on a daily basis the plight of animals in need it really made me aware of my dining choices and influenced me to eat a lot more vegetarian options.
5.How did Gobi and your cat get along at first? They seem pretty cozy now!
From the moment they met they have been best friends, of course they have their moments but at the end of the day they sleep together in the bed together.
6. What is one (or two) life lessons you’ve come away with from your experience of Gobi coming into your life? Something you’d wish for others to know?
Finding Gobi was one of the hardest things I’ve done but her finding me was one of the best. There is so much more to the story than what’s been in the press and you’ll be shocked, surprised, laugh and cry at the full untold story in the book.
7. And finally, congratulations on the movie! Who would you like to see play you in the film? Any ideas?
When I met with 20th Century Fox they said to me ‘We couldn’t have written this story, it’s simply amazing’. It’s going to be incredible to see Finding Gobi in the cinema no matter who plays me.
I shall let you read the wondrous particulars of the story yourself,
but suffice it to say, the book is all heart. Every page of it.
In many ways, it reminds you of how life is a race, and what makes the
journey worthwhile—even in trying and uncertain times—are those
who lovingly run lockstep beside you.
With July just having gotten underway, there is plenty of time to add
Finding Gobi to your list of must-read summer books.
Purchase the book here.
You can find more about Dion and Gobi at the official website here.