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Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running…
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Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine

by Tom Jordan

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I wanted to like this book. I really did, but it just fell flat. I don't feel like I understand one of the legends of my sport any better having read this. It was mostly a regurgitation of everything I've already read about Pre. ( )
  FireandIce | Apr 25, 2012 |
on my edit for this book i like the pictures because they show how he did when he ran in all his races. ( )
  murl | Mar 9, 2009 |
I picked up a copy of this book because I was interested in learning more about Steve Prefontaine after seeing the two-page Nike advertisement in this month's "Rolling Stone," which features the caption "Where Are All the Rock Star Runners" superimposed on the famous picture of Pre breaking the tape in his last race with no competitor in sight.

Some reviewers have pointed out that this biography is a little lean on insight into Pre as a person, a criticism with some validity. Rather than devoting a lot of space to analyzing what made Pre tick, the author relies on his running performances, together with a smattering of observations from some of Pre's competitors, teammates and coaches, to coax out his human side. (An appendix listing every race Pre ran on the outdoor track, from his high school days onward, will be of special interest to hard-core runners.) This race-centric approach was quite appropriate here; Pre said that he viewed the track as his canvas and his races as works of art.

The book left me with a better understanding of why Pre, thirty years after his tragic death, remains the patron saint of aspiring U.S distance runners: he ran unafraid, often from the front, regularly outlasting more naturally-gifted runners through his indomitable will and courage, all the while exuding a raw charisma rarely seen in the sport.

-Kevin Joseph, author of "The Champion Maker" ( )
1 vote KevinJoseph | Jan 24, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0875964575, Paperback)

The story of America's greatest running legend.

For five years, no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. But at the age of 24, with his best years still ahead, long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine finally lost. Driving alone at night after a party, Prefontaine crashed his sports car, putting a tragic, shocking end to the life and career of one of the most influential, accomplished runners of our time.

More than 20 years later, Pre continues to influence the running world.

From his humble origins in Coos Bay, Oregon, Pre became the first person to win four NCAA titles in one event. Year after year, he was virtually unbeatable. Instead of becoming one of the new breed of professional track athletes, Pre chose to stay amateur and fight for the adequate funding he felt American amateur athletes deserved.

A man of incredible desire and energy, Pre trained relentlessly. In his drive to be the best, he spurred others to do their best. As one racer said, "He ran every race as if it were his last."

But Pre not only touched runners; his exciting technique as well as his maverick lifestyle made him a favorite of the fans. A race with Prefontaine in it was automatically an event.

His brief but brilliant life is the tale of a true American hero.

This is his story.

"Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run like that before.' It's more than just a race, it's style. It's doing something better than anyone else. It's being creative."--Steve Prefontaine

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:20 -0400)

For five years, no American runner could beat him at any distance over a mile. But at the age of 24, with his best years still ahead, long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine finally lost. Driving alone at night after a party, Prefontaine crashed his sports car, putting a tragic, shocking end to the life and career of one of the most influential, accomplished runners of our time. From his humble origins in Coos Bay, Oregon, Pre became the first person to win four NCAA. titles in one event. Year after year, he was virtually unbeatable. Instead of becoming one of the new breed of professional track athletes, Pre chose to stay amateur and fight for the adequate funding he felt American amateur athletes deserved. But Pre not only touched runners; his exciting racing technique as well as his maverick lifestyle made him a favorite of the fans. A race with Prefontaine in it was automatically an event. This is his story.… (more)

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