Review: Jessica Ennis – Unbelievable:      To inspire my training for Badass Mudder I have utilised my library membership reading the biographies of a number of athletes to inspire me and to get an understanding on the way of the winner.

I started off with Jessica Ennis – Unbelievable.

Unfortunately a few pages in you are presented with the biggest biography cliché

“I’m just an ordinary person from a statement that infers mediocrity in town/city

I don’t know why famous people do this, I guess we put them on a pedestal so much they have to qualify that they are an average person to relate to their fans.

From the story present in the biography, Jessica is not ordinary, as she posses many qualities that make a winner.


Like a lot of athletics biographies, there is a bit of overuse on the statistics displaying the times and positions at various races.

I guess this is interesting if you want to break down improvement over the years and this does show the importance of hardwork in order to achieve.  But otherwise it is a waste of paper.


With the first person perspective you get into the mindset of Jessica feeling her insecurities about her body image and height, the sacrifices she has made and inadequacy to the other heptathletes.

This helps present an underdog narrative throughout the book leading to the London 2012 Olympics where further pressure was added to Jessica as she was made the face of the games.

The book essentially builds up this story, with the hero winning in front of her home crowd.  Obviously the reader knows that spoiler Jessica Ennis won the gold medal in the Heptathlon as it was all over the press.

Jessica Ennis Unbelievable. Published by Hodder & Stoughton

However this was an insightful guide that shows how she started at humble roots training at the Don Valley stadium in Sheffield, her love/hate relationship with her coach, her sets backs and the races.

Who should read?

This is a relatively easy read that is interesting for runners looking for motivation to train and young girls looking for a fit, driven role model.


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