This is kinda how I've been feeling lately...like I was 'Once A Runner'! I recently came down with a pretty decent bronchial infection and ended up missing a few days of work for the first time in close to a decade. In the last two weeks I've run only three times...Once A Runner...I guess I'll just call it my month long taper leading in The Chuckanut 50k in Bellingham, Washington on March 20th. Anyways, back to my original posting...
I had heard of John L. Parker, Jr's book through the running circles for a few years now. When I first caught wind of it however, it had been out of print for a few decades and the only available used copies were attracting upwards of $75 online! According to a website called Bookfinder, 'Once A Runner' was the most-searched for out-of-print fiction or literature book for all of 2007 and 2008!
Thankfully this all changed in 2009 as they finally re-released an updated version of the cult classic. I managed to snag a new one off of Amazon for just $15!
I like to read, though I'll be the first to admit that I don't do it nearly enough. It takes a good book to keep me interested and this was most certainly I book I could not put down. Last night I finally finished off the last 1/3 of it...from 2am-5am (apparently this medication I'm currently on doesn't quite allow for a regular sleeping pattern!)
The general outline of the book centers around a fictional character by the name of Quenton Cassidy and his college pursuit of running a sub four minute mile. The majority of rest of the running names utilized in this book however are based around the real legends of the sport. Written in 1978 and based in the 1960's, it also served as a bit of an education to this running newbie.
I didn't run track in high school or college, as I only began running in 2004. This book however, made me truly wish I had done so as a teenager! The story is completely gripping and anyone who currently competes seriously in the sport of running/ultra running can certainly associate with the sacrifices that are necessary to succeed.
If you have a track background, chances are you've already read this novel or at least heard of it. If like myself however you are fairly new to the sport you may not have heard of this book just yet and as such I'd like to be the first to tell you to grab a copy and devour it. I'm pretty sure you'll love it as much as I did!