John L Parker’s Once a Runner is a cult classic for runners. And I would throw my hat into the ring on this one. The worst thing about this book is that it made me want to run more than I could at the time. Don’t read this book while you are recovering from an injury or you might try to sneak in for a run.
Parker bring his imaginary runner, Quentin Cassidy, to life. It brought back many memories of college life. Our antics were different, but we had plenty of weird traditions and antics. I roomed with 3 other guys from the cross-country team senior year and we had a great time – those bonds are amazing and long-lasting.
This book sat on my Amazon Wish-List for quite awhile until my wife got it for me for my birthday. I quickly finished this book which intermixes fictional characters and stories with real life hero’s such as Frank Shorter. Quasi-villian John Walton was based off of John Walker (according to Wikipedia).
I’m sure many of us dream of running a sub-4 minute mile but Cassidy is actually really close before, stupid southern small town politics get in the way and almost ruin his career. I won’t give anything away but he puts in some killer miles and some killer workouts – 60 x 400 with 200m rest. The Trials of Miles is brutal, even for an elite athlete like him.
I highly recommend reading this book and getting re-inspired to “pound the pavement” and reach your goals. I’ve not heard a bad word about this book. What do you think of it?
[tags] Book Review, Once a Runner, John Parker, Running [/tags]